The Magic of Mushrooms

Generally when we think about mushrooms we see a pizza topping, a salad topper, or something you add to a great omelette. Today I want to introduce you to the, not so new, but increasingly popular in Western culture, immune boosting mushrooms, that can have incredible healing properties.  

Mushrooms can boost and restore your immune system, increase oxygen flow to your cells, amp up your mental clarity, regulate blood sugar, lower stress and help you sleep better.

While mushrooms such as reishi, lion's mane, maitake, and cordyceps are have only very recently become recognizable names in Western cultures, these amazing shrooms have been sacred in Asian societies for thousands of years.  They were originally kept only for the super rich and elite, and were seen as symbols of well-being and longevity. So if they were cherished by the Asian elite for their immune boosting benefits, surely we are deserving too.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Reishi

  • Contains polysaccharides that help boost immune system function and have anti-tumor properties. Polysaccharides also have the ability to lower blood pressure and reduce blood levels sugar levels.

Lion's Mane

  • Rich in antioxidants that support overall health at the cellular level. The more antioxidants you have in your diet, the easier it is for your body to produce and maintain energy as well as wrangle up those nasty free radicals.

Maitake

  • Has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the gut, or gastrointestinal tract.

Cordyceps

  • Can significantly boost energy levels by increases the amount of oxygen uptake in the body. Extra oxygen means better sleep, improved metal alertness, increased stamina, and an improved mood.

One way to get more mushrooms, and all of their health benefits in your diet is to use dried mushrooms or mushroom powders. While fresh mushrooms may offer the maximal health benefits, mushroom powders make it easy to enjoy mushrooms abundantly and frequently anywhere and at anytime. In a dried form it also makes it much easier to sneak them into your kid’s smoothies, soups, or a stir-fry.

As with any holistic approach, it is important to be aware of the risks and the benefits before taking any supplement, so be aware and consult your doctor if unsure you should start adding mushrooms to your daily regime.

How to Rewire Your Brain for Food Freedom

Do you ever wish that you never obsessed about food, your next meal, or what you ate last night that you regret today?  Do you watch the clock and calculate when your next meal is, or use every bit of willpower you have to keep you from not grabbing a cookie off the coffee room table?  I've been there and done that.  I was forever thinking about food, and often wished I could be free.  I looked at those people who could just take one bite and walk away with envy.

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What changed?  There were a number of factors, but there were two big things that made all the difference.  The first thing I did was to get my body into a state where food and the thought of it didn't take over.  This began when I started fueling my body properly with adequate protein, moderate carbohydrates, healthy fats, and at least 25 grams of fiber per day.  Biologically, when we start stabilizing blood sugar levels through reducing carbohydrates, increasing healthy fats, and getting enough daily fiber our bodies' natural cues of fullness, and satiety begin to kick in.  When our body starts running on the proper ratio of macro-nutrients and insulin spikes stop, dopamine receptors start to replenish, and cravings start to lose their grip.  To add, leptin starts firing again, and our feelings of fullness returns after we eat a meal.

The second, and key factor, is changing old patterns of behavior.  Yes, you've made huge strides when you get your body running optimally with food changes, but that alone is not enough.  Under times of stress, sadness and even boredom, we can easily resort back to old patterns of behavior and turn to food as a comfort, even with our bodies functioning optimally.  After all, our brains stores memory, and rest assured, it remembers how good a bowl of Ben and Jerry's made you feel the last time you had a bad day.  Like a recovering alcoholic removes alcohol from their homes, you too need to remove trigger foods from yours.  Creating new habits can take weeks, and for some, months to become an everyday part of life.  Don't be a hero and rely on willpower.  I'm not here to say, never eat this, or stay away from that, but I am telling you to give yourself the time and space your body needs to heal, rewire, and begin running optimally again.

xo

If you are ready for food freedom drop me a line.  I'd love to chat.  info@tarrahwynn.net

 

 

Countdown to 40

My fitness and nutrition journey has taken me down a very long and winding road.  Over the years I’ve experimented with different diet and workout protocols which have taught me an incredible amount about my body and overall health. Since the beginning of my fitness journey, while training for fitness competitions, I realized that having an end date was extremely important in keeping me focused and accountable.  Over the years as I moved away from fitness competitions I found I still needed goals or end dates to keep me motivated.  As I'll be turning 40 in November I decided what better goal than to look and feel my best on such a milestone birthday? 

85 Days to 40 

85 Days to 40 

Although I’m still feeling nervous when publishing progress pictures, I really-really hope my on-going transformation story, lessons learned, and road to 40 can help YOU to realize what you are really made of!

I hope that my tips will give you some inspiration and motivation to find your own inner power and realize that with goals, time, effort, and by honoring yourself you can achieve anything you want! I used to think that having a six pack, or getting to certain number on the scale would make me happy, until I got there, and actually felt the same as I did before.  I realized that happiness comes from feeding your body good food, movement, and most of all, loving who you are at every stage you're at is the key.  While, I still have areas I'd like to improve on, I can say that I have a better self-esteem than ever before. Why? I took care of myself!

My brain fog is gone, my skin glows, I’m feeling energized all day, I eat clean, I lift weights, do minimal cardio, and I have muscles and strength: I see my body as strength, beauty and know it will be with me for many years so I want to take care of it.  Achieving and maintaining a healthy and fit body takes time, patience and consistency, but it’s SO worth every day working for it!

Lessons Learned:


1. Consistency
Some weeks I made it to they gym only 3 times, and others, it was 6.  Regardless, I made movement a priority even when I didn't really feel like it.  Get creative when the gym is not accessible!  $5 resistance bands, and $10 skipping ropes are great ways to get in a workout practically anywhere, and at anytime.  

2. ADD in some HIIT
I trained for four fitness competitions doing state cardio, so when HIIT became popular I literally wanted to puke, just thinking about it.  Although walking on a treadmill for up to 45 minutes was a long time, it was easy!  What I learned was that by adding in only 1-2 HIIT cardio sessions per week not only reduces your time performing cardio, but it helps your body burn more fat longer throughout the day.  The other thing...it takes practice!  I set weekly goals for myself.  At first my goal was to just get 4 rounds of 20 seconds HIIT, then resting until I recovered.  The next week I added in one more round.  The next week I increased the speed, just one notch at a time.  Baby steps every day, that's it.  

3. Change up the workouts
I started weight training at the age of 16, and learned the old school bodybuilding way.  Lower reps and high weight.  What I learned was that consistently doing the same exercises over and over, along with constantly adding load, kept my body stagnant, and made me REALLY, REALLY sore.  To break through a fitness plateau without killing your body, change it up every 6-8 weeks.  For example, I will work on a progressive overload protocol for 6 weeks, where the goal is to add sets, reps and weight every week.  Then I will take a few weeks to deload, and then start a new and different program.  Making my body guess, and training intensely has been key to my transformation.

4. Focus on quality nutrition
At the beginning of my fitness journey I was more focused on hitting my macro nutrient goals, over consuming high quality, nutrient dense food.  I found myself eating the same handful of foods day in and day out.  I was excluding entire food groups and had no concern over where my foods came from, where they grown, or what chemicals they were filled with.  As a result I was fighting cravings all the time, feeling hungry immediately after eating, and was experiencing severe bloating, digestive distress, and brain fog.  I learned that my body needed more fat to satisfy cravings, more fiber to ensure proper digestion, and that toxic overload from pesticides, chemicals and artificial ingredients leads to hormonal imbalances.  

5. Create clear & track able goals
Creating goals can make the difference between achieving your desired results or not. When I started working out, I just wanted to “lose weight” and “have a flat belly”. When I signed up for my first fitness competition there was an exact end date.  When I paid the deposit for my first photo shoot, that was it.  I had a goal! Accomplishment comes from being consistent over time, to see a goal to the end.  I have kept using this strategy and it still helps me to keep going and stay motivated.

6. BE PATIENT!
Please don’t ever believe you have to choose a crash diet, stop eating or get obsessed and anxious with food. Losing weight really fast by eating less calories or cutting the carbs is not sustainable or healthy and will hurt your metabolism. Confession: I tried it myself. Lesson learned: cutting calories, and doing excessive cardio made me miserable and set my hormones out of whack! Nowadays I eat a when I am hungry, usually 3-5 times per day.  I realized that if my body and mind are not in a happy place, neither am I.  If fat loss if your goal, give it time and take it slow.  You may not see changes right away, but don't let that discourage you.  Consistent steps, overtime is where the lasting changes occur.  

7. Cheat meals
Ok so cheat meals are a controversial topic in the nutrition space.  Some say they are essential in hitting your fitness goals.  Other say don't do it.  For me, I tried them and always felt terrible afterwards.  Something about eating healthy all week long, then sitting down to a greasy burger and fries, didn't seem right to me at all, nor did it make me feel good afterwards.  I realized that I could eat foods I enjoyed throughout the week, without having to deprive myself all week, awaiting the "Cheat Day!"  If I felt like chocolate, I ate a square of dark 70% or higher, high quality chocolate.  If I wanted some chips, I'd have them.  BUT, in moderation!  

Healthy and fit is something that looks different on everybody but feeling healthy from the inside is universal. My goal for 40 is to be happy, healthy, fit, strong.  

 

xo

Tarrah

 

 

How to Avoid the Afternoon Slump with These Snack Ideas

Why do you feel an afternoon slump? It all starts with how your day begins, and what you eat throughout the day.  Eating a healthy breakfast with protein and healthy fat can set you up for a day that’s NOT filled with cravings for junky and sugarladen foods.  It’s one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success all day long.   


It’s also important to make good choices at lunch.  If your go-to lunch is pasta salad, a big sandwich or a large heavy meal, you will inevitably hit that afternoon slump. Heavy meals can make us feel tired as the body works hard to digest, and large portions of carbs at lunch cause the classic blood sugar spike and crash, which will leave you reaching for more of the same in a couple of hours.  Make sure your lunch contains protein, healthy fat and complex carbs.  

It can take your body a little bit of time to break old habits, so if you do find yourself in an afternoon slump, craving all the things you shouldn’t be eating, try these snacks to help you get through.


Sugar-Free Afternoon Snack Ideas:


• Handful of oven roasted chickpeas

• Turkey and veggie roll-ups with mustard

• Coconut fat bombs – see recipe below*

• Veggies and hummus

• Boiled egg – can be stuffed with guacamole

• Celery sticks and unsweetened peanut butter


Lastly, avoid sweet coffee drinks with sugar and cream, try drinking green tea which provides a small boost of caffeine, while also curbing the appetite. 


COCONUT FAT BOMBS:

Ingredients

5 tbsp coconut butter, softened 4 tbsp coconut oil softened

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2 tbsp finely shredded coconut, unsweetened

1 tsp stevia


Directions:

1. Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and stir or whisk thoroughly to combine. You can also place in a high-speed food processor with a touch of water.

2. Once the mixture is smooth, pour into ice cube tray.

3. Freeze for 1 hour and then allow to thaw for 10 minutes before serving. 

What the Heck Is a Health Coach Anyway?

If you run in the on-line or social media circles you've likely heard the term health coach.  However, I still find people looking confused when I tell them that's what I do.  Think of us a new kind of health professional, who's job is to help people make those easy-to-say, hard-to-do lifestyle shifts that promote good health—getting enough exercise, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress. Although health coaching has been around for decades, it has only become increasingly popular with the rise in obesity and chronic diseases.

The truth is, most of us know that eating processed foods, not exercising, drinking too much, and not getting enough sleep is not healthy, yet we still do it. 

To make matters worse, doctors, nutritionists and dietitians often don’t have the time or resources to coach us on what to eat, when to eat, or even get close to getting to the bottom of what our real triggers around food and lifestyle are.  That's where I come in.

As a health coach my job is to identify, with YOU, what is at the root of your problem.  We go deep to uncover what areas in your life need support and work on ways to implement small, gradual changes overtime.  Whether your goal is to lose weight, have more energy, or just feel less foggy, we take the time to listen, help you discover where and why you are struggling, and help you navigate the world of confusing nutritional advice to figure out exactly what works best for your unique body.  If you've ever wondered why Keto worked so well for your best friend, but made you want to curl up and die, it's because we are all different.  What works for one, does not mean it will work for you, or even if it is healthy for your body.  

Although health coaches become your #1 cheerleader, we WILL hold you accountable to your goals while guiding and mentoring you through the seasons of your life to ensure you achieve what you set out to do.

Health coaches, like me, are often drawn to this profession after a personal struggle.  For me, it was years of competitive fitness competitions, followed by restrictive eating, overexercising, and an insanely stressful day job.  I found myself exhausted, inflamed and dealing with digestive distress on a daily basis.  To add, my cortisol levels were flat lined, and my hormones were completely out of whack.  As I began my healing journey, centered around food, lifestyle, and mindset shifts, I realized that I could take my passion for food, fitness, and healing, to support, and hold space for others just like me.  While walking through my own healing journey I realized that I wasn't a failure or lacked will power or stamina.  I realized that I was trying to fit into a mold that did not fit my body, nor my lifestyle.  I was trying to be superwoman and as a result my health suffered.   If this is you, know that you are not alone.

If you are confused, frustrated, or sick and tired of feeling terrible, but just don't know where to start, let's chat.  I am offering free 30 minute consultations where we can discuss where you're at now and where you want to go.  Click here to sign up.

 

Metabolism and calories – What's the connection?

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.  You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight.  But what exactly does this all mean?

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Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It's how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do. Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

●      Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).

●      Allow activities you can't control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).

●      Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”. 

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).  The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

●      Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).

●      Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).

●      Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you're not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!  The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you'll burn.  But that's not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.  How big you are counts too!   Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial! 

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you're not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program.  Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you. 

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don't want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they're doing “work”.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).  You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently. 

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don't forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Tarrah is an Integrative Nutrition & Health Coach who I works with women (and men) who have busy lives and who don’t have the time to spend hours in the gym and who WANT to be their healthiest, click here to check her out.

 

Taking Massive Action to Achieve Your Goals

It's time to talk about the elephant in the room.  Guys, I'm talking about the act of taking massive action in order to achieve your goals. Taking massive action means making your goal and accomplishing that goal your duty, obligation, and responsibility.  It means making a choice and taking full responsibility for the things that have held you back in the past and reconciling with them in order to move forward. 

To illustrate this I want to tell you a story.  Over the last few months I've noticed this man at the gym, who has literally been shrinking before my eyes.  I see him there every morning, walking away on the treadmill.  Then, I saw him again another day, but it was later in the afternoon, and there he was working with a personal trainer.  As the personal trainer stood there expressionless there he was flipping a massive tire like it was HIS mission.  He was dripping in sweat and his eyes were lazer focused.  The next time I saw him I asked, "Hey, are you doing two-a-days?"  He smiled and said YES.  He proceeded to tell me that just four months ago, after having had enough of on-going back injuries, excess weight (320 lbs of it), and sleep apnea, he decided to make a change (aka Massive Action).  He has not stopped since and to date has lost a total of 66 lbs, has tons of energy, and the sleep apnea is GONE.  He went from eating one meal a day, to eating smaller, healthier meals throughout the day.  What he said at the end was beautiful.  "You know what?  It really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be."

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Unfortunately many people don't take massive action, rather they spend their lives reacting to their existing circumstances instead of acting to create the circumstances they desire.  When they do make an effort to change their lives but don’t get the results they want, they give up too easily and tell themselves to remain content.  

"Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited of what could go right" - Tony Robbins

Why is this?  

  • We don't get clear on what we want and why we want it
  • We don't design a game plan on how to achieve the goal
  • We don't change up the structures and habits that allow us to take action
  • We don't break down our goal into smaller, more achievable steps
  • We don't recognize our own limiting beliefs
  • We don't want to step outside our comfort zone
  • We don't ASK for help, or worse, we do, and don't do anything with it

Whatever the reason, recognizing what your true, or self-proclaimed challenges are need to be identified in order to move forward.  Action does not need to feel bad, and it doesn't need to be grossly uncomfortable or impossible to sustain.  Action needs to be fully backed by our initial goal and it needs to feel inspiring.

If you need more support, ask for it.  Seriously, we are not meant to do this all alone.  Surround yourself with people and activities that inspire you and most of all, have fun! I am taking on a few select, motivated clients who know what they want, but need more support on their path.  Let's connect and see if we are a good fit.

xoxo Tarrah

 

 

Do you really need nutritional supplements?

Most of us have probably taken a nutritional supplement at some point in our lives.  It may have been something recommended on the Dr. Oz show, or perhaps your friend was raving about how amazing she felt after taking a particular vitamin.  Regardless of the reason, most of us have taken something at some point in our lives.  

The health supplement industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and is projected to have sales just shy of $300 billion by 2024. 

Unfortunately, many of us are consuming these products with little or no real knowledge of how they work, when they work, or if they even work at all.

As a holistic health professional, I will always recommend food as the most essential way to satisfy your dietary requirements.  My approach is to identify the root cause of a problem and begin to heal that area first with diet rather than to immediately slap on a Band-Aid, or pop a pill.  Unfortunately, we live in a time where stress, poor lifestyle choices, disease, lack of sleep, toxic food and nutrient-starved soil are at all-time highs.  Supplements can help, and in some cases are a necessity.  

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If you are considering taking a supplement I encourage you to chose carefully.  While Health Canada regulates natural health products, not all countries do.  Reports have been documented, warning of contamination and improper labeling.  Do your homework to understand what rules apply to supplement regulation in your own country.  

Further, do not assume that because you may take a supplement for a period of time that you will need to take it indefinitely. 

Often, what we need in the winter will not be what we need in the summer.  If our stress levels increase, we may need additional support for that time period.  The key is to begin tuning into your body to better understand when you need more support.

When you may need more support:

  • Times of extreme stress (emotional or physical)
  • Digestive issues
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Restrictive dieting

When experiencing any of these symptoms or conditions, it is always best to consult with your doctor or health care provider before taking anything new.  They can ensure you are well-supported and are getting the supplementation you need, and reduce your risk of any adverse reactions. 

I've said it a million times before, "There is no magic pill!" There really isn't, trust me I've tried! 

Achieving optimal health begins with feeding your body the best quality food you can, moving often, enjoying life, having great relationships and minimizing stress.  When that isn't enough, turning to nutritional supplementation can be a great option.  Keep in mind, you are an individual in every way so what works for your best friend, isn't necessarily what is best for you.

As always I'd love to hear from you and hear what has worked best for you.  You can reach me on Instagram, or via email at info@tarrahwynn.net.

 

Learn to Love Your Inner Mean Girl

Have you ever woke up and immediately she starts nattering?  You know, that girl that lives inside your head, the one who tells you are aren’t good enough, smart enough or skinny enough?  She comes and goes, but when she’s appears, she's generally pissed off and has nothing nice to say.

My inner mean girl usually pops up early in the morning, often during my drive to the gym.  It doesn’t seem to matter how inspired, creative or motivated I felt the night before, out of nowhere, she arrives, sits on my shoulder, and says really horrible things.  

Any of this sound familiar?

I've had the opportunity to learn more about this voice, this inner mean girl, or as Confidence Coach, Kelsey Abbott calls it, our gremlin.  It turns out, according to Kelsey, we create these girls/guys/creatures to protect ourselves from perceived shame, failure or embarrassment.  Their main goal isn't to intentionally make us feel bad, they simply want to keep us protected so nothing can hurt us.  Their persistent chattering can often lead to self-doubt, fear and even self-sabotage.  

Self-sabotage can show up in a variety of ways.  Staying up too late, hitting snooze when you should be at the gym, eating "just one more" cookie when you committed to eating healthier, or putting off applying for that promotion because you're convinced you’re not qualified.  Guys!!! This is her/him/the gremlin at work!!  Dealing with our inner mean girl is possible.  Here’s how.

1. Get curious

The first step in facing your inner mean girl is to pay attention.  Notice when she shows up.  Is it at a certain time of the day?  What happened the day before?  What does she say?  Writing down these observations will help you see patterns and better understand her triggers.  Once you become aware she's come out to play, calmly listen as though you are watching from outside.  Be curious and do your best not to judge.  

2. Remember what her #1 job is

Your inner critic's main job is to keep you safe.  Remember when your mom told you not to eat raw cookie dough or you'd get worms?  That was because she didn't want you to get food poisoning.  Making us scared was a way to keep us safe.  So when she appears, look at her and know she's protecting you the only way she knows how.

3. Expect epic tantrums

As Kelsey Abbot explained, "At some point during our journey, we realize that we want to grow more than we want to be safe.  That's when we realize our gremlins are holding us back.  It's also when our gremlins often throw epic tantrums."  This is what I've experienced after personal growth, a promotion or a day of pure creative flow.  Without fail she shows up yelling really loudly.

4. Replace your thoughts, change your state

 Replacing the negative thoughts as they arise, with love and gratitude is a great way to move quickly into a better state of mind.  Words of affirmation such as, "I am worthy", "I love you", "I am wealthy and wise" can help to decrease reactionary behavior.

It's important to know that NO ONE is without an inner critic.  Tony Robbins, Oprah, and men, yes men have them too.  The difference between those that have mastered their inner critic, and those that haven't is their ability to recognize, acknowledge and change their state quickly.  Tony and Oprah don't hang out in mean girl/guy land for long and your don't have to either.    

How To Go Clean Without Going Broke

So you’ve decided now is the time to finally go clean, but are feeling overwhelmed because you don’t have a million bucks to spare?  If you are nodding your head, keep reading.  If you are wondering what I mean by going clean, let me explain.  Going clean means different things to different people, but to me it was about eating foods as close to their natural state, and using products that were free from harsh chemicals.

I had tried to go organic a few times, but after spending $100 at Whole Foods and leaving with only half of a bag, and a draining bank account, I was convinced it was unattainable.  I carried on with life until chronic inflammation and digestive distress became my everyday norm.  Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, the operational expert in me came out, bound and determined to fix this problem once and for all. As I began to dive into the research, read the books and watch lectures from leading experts, I came to realize that the foods I was eating, along with the products I was putting on and in my body were wreaking havoc in my system .  It became clear to me that I had to figure out a way to make changes.

I started searching for local, organic markets, but it being the middle of winter, I was coming up empty. Then one day, on my way to the grocery store, I noticed a sign, “Farmers Market”. I had driven by this plaza for 3 years and never noticed it. Sitting beside a local dive bar and a convenience store, it was no surprise I had missed it all this time. When I walked in I was in heaven.  Before me were rows of fresh, locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables.  When the cashier raised her head and said “$37.10” please, I was in shock. I left with three full bags!! 

Feeling extremely proud of my progress I started thinking about what was next in my pursuit for a cleaner life. I had skin care, house hold cleaning products, and glass food containers up next. As encouraged as I felt for getting my food in order I began to feel overwhelmed with how far I still needed to go, and how much it was all going to cost. As a recovering “avoider” I decided to make a plan and allow myself the time and space to get to where I wanted to go, and stay committed to the process.  

After a retreat in Florida I was introduced to a vegan, botanically based, and cruelty free company. The women there, who were already users, had radiant, glowing skin, without makeup!  I was sold immediately.  The products fell perfectly in line with my next step to a cleaner life. I remembered back, wondering why I hadn’t done this sooner.  Ahhhh yes!  “It was too expensive!”  What I realized, was that these products, like many other natural, botanically based products required much less to achieve the same result as on the shelf, commercial products. If you are like me, you likely have a bathroom cabinet full of partially used face creams, cleansers and body scrubs that either caused you to breakout or caused irritation.  When I did the math, and looked at the ingredient list, it was a no brainer.

As my other products, such as shampoos, household cleaners and toothpaste ran out I replaced them with natural products. I watched out for sales on glass food containers, and slowly began throwing out my old plastic. I planted seeds and started growing my own herbs and kale.  If you don’t have a green thumb, no worries, me either!  I am happy to report that everything is still alive and growing. I am not done yet, but that’s ok!  Each step towards a cleaner life is progress.

If you’ve decided that now is your time to start moving towards a cleaner life, take your time, and pick one thing to work towards changing. Research local farmers markets around your community, skip the $5.00 Starbucks,  buy in bulk, and look for coupons.  Take it one step at a time and don’t forget why you started.

Please let me know how this goes for you and be sure to contact me if you get stuck or want some suggestions. info@tarrahwynn.net

 

Overcoming Fitness Plateaus

Are you finding your workouts have become boring, uninspiring and aren’t getting you the results you once got?  Or, is the thought of hitting the gym starting to make you cringe?  Are you simply going through the motions?

I’ve got news for you!  This is completely normal.  We all go through different season of ebb and flow in our lives.  Some seasons have us in push mode, and other seasons require us to be more at ease or flow.  Our fitness journey often moves in the same way, but don’t let monotony or boredom derail you from achieving your goals.

The fix isn’t as complicated as you may think.  Joining a spin class at your gym or dropping into a yoga studio for a class can be the catalyst for changes.  Sometimes we just need a change of pace to get us out of a rut.

Here are my top 3 tips to overcoming fitness plateaus:

1.       Train with a partner.  I personally, prefer to train on my own.  The gym, for me, is MY time.  It is the space where the only person I need to be accountable to is myself.  I like to crank up my tunes and go to work.  There are times though, when I feel like I’m not progressing, or simply need a kick in the pants, or just some extra motivation.  That is when I’ll train with my husband.  Having him there to push me past the point where I’d normally stop, or giving me that little nudge to get in a few more reps is all it takes.  I always feel the difference the next day, which means progress was made.  If it's not your partner, schedule a workout with a friend.

2.       Hire a coach.  I am a huge believer in hiring coaches when you have a particular event, goal, or are plain old stuck.  Coaches can help by designing a program, in-line with your goals and lifestyle, and be there not only for support, but also to hold you accountable.  But I can't afford it," you say?  Even if you can't afford to hire an on-going trainer, scheduling in even one session can give you new ideas and help push you outside your comfort zone.  

3.       Metabolic workouts.  This one has been something I’ve recently added into my weekly routine.  Metabolic training, or circuit training is when you perform multiple movements back to back with little to no rest.  When I was finding myself bored with my program, I decided to set one day a week aside for this type of training.  Each week I review my results from the previous week and challenge myself to improve, either my time, reps, or total weight lifted.   Below you will see an example of what this looks like.  I time each rowing round, note it, and try to beat it the following week.  With each round the reps decrease so you should be trying to increase the weight lifted.  The rounds should be performed back to back, and you want to rest only 1-2 minutes between rounds.  It's a heart pumper so if you have any medical issues, you should first consult with your doctor.  Let me know how it goes for you!

Copy of Metabolic Workout.png

We all go through different waves in our fitness journey.  The key is to spice things up and make it fun.  Your goal is to overcome an plateau, and essentially make it fun again. 

 

Chronic Dieting and Metabolic Repression. What you need to know.

Do you find yourself working out intensely and consistently, plus eating consciously, and not losing weight?  Or you were losing weight but have recently hit a plateau, and find yourself working out even harder?

Or when you successfully achieved great results in the past or did fitness competitions, and can't seem to get as lean?

Excessive or long term periods of dieting coupled with excessive cardio can cause metabolic repression.  Regardless of your caloric output and conscious eating, you stay the same, unlike before when you were losing body fat.

Getting back to where you once were, it's more complicated than the simple calories in vs calories out concept.  Our metabolism is more complex and acts more like a see saw than a calculator, always working to achieve balance.  When you eat less and exercise more to burn calories, your body compensates by making you more hungry while at the same time decreasing the amount of calories you burn at rest.  When you eat less, hormones such as thyroid and leptin start to drop to create balance in the body.  Then there is cortisol.  When cortisol levels rise, due to extra stress on your body, it adds further metabolic stress and slow down.

I can think back to many of my cutting diets in the past.  Things would start out great.  I followed the plan to a T.  I would lose a few pounds right away and feel great.  

Quickly I'd find myself feeling hungrier and seriously craving all the things that were not on my plan.  Little did I know, this was the start of metabolic repression.  Back then my reaction was to compensate by dropping calories and increasing cardio. Voila, the pounds would start dropping again!  BUT...it would hit again, another plateau.  I remember checking in with my coach trying to explain that I was following the plan to a T, but, deep down, feeling like they thought I was lying because I hadn't progressed and was looking soft, watery and inflamed.  I was always sore, tired and started experiencing digestive issues.  Little did I know, I had started a viscous cycle of metabolic repression, that left me struggling with my weight for more than 10 years.  

What can you do?

1.  Reverse diet for as many weeks as you did for the original diet.  This is SO important and very few diet books and on-line programs explain this.  Often when people restrict food and exercise intensely for 4-16 weeks the common reaction is to reward themselves with food that was previously off limits.  Especially common with fitness competitors, this can lead into days and weeks of eating "dirty", leading to weight gain of up to 20 lbs in a few short weeks.  Although it may seem hard, it is really important to slowly incorporate calories back into your diet.  Adding 10 grams of carbs, or 1-2 grams of fat per week will allow your body adapt to the extra calories without extra weight gain.  If you dieted for 10 weeks, you should expect to reverse diet for approximately the same time.  

2.  Slowly reduce cardio.  For example: If you were doing 5 x 1 hour steady state cardio sessions per week, try doing 5 x 45 mins per week.  Intentionally reduce the amount of cardio you are doing each week and begin to add in a few High Intensity cardio sessions.  High Intensity cardio can increase fat burning potential, in half the time, throughout the day. 

3. Manage stress.  Long term dieting often leads to hormonal imbalances which can make it hard for your body to achieve homeostasis.  Meditation, walks outside, breathing techniques or belly laughing are great ways to reduce cortisol levels and elevate hormone function.

4. Get rest.  For me this is much easier said than done but it is true!  Insufficient sleep and rest can increase inflammation, reduce brain function and hinder our immune system.  The goal here is to regain optimal metabolic function, so skipping that party to get to bed early or taking a day off the gym is essential.

Just as you've trained your body to become accustomed to fewer calories, it is possible to retrain your body to handle much larger amounts of calories while performing less cardio.  Consistently monitoring your progress and making small changes over time will help you maintain the physique you worked so hard to get, while eating enough food to feel great.

If you have any questions please send me an email - I'd love to chat.  I've been there and done that many times, and know how difficult it can be.  My email address is info@tarrahwynn.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The truth about smoothies and why they can be the cause of your weight gain

Let's face it, those well curated Instagram feeds full of colorful smoothies look incredible don't they?  They're packed full of nutrients, fruits and super-foods so they must be healthy right?  What you may not realize, is that not all smoothies are created equal.  In fact, many of them can actually be the cause of your weight gain.  

As I scrolled Instagram feeds, and searched Pinterest for great smoothie recipes, I found myself extremely frustrated.  Frustrated because all of the recipes were FULL of sugar, carbs and excess calories.  The more I looked into the ingredients of these beautiful beverages and smoothie bowls, the more I realized how confusing this could be for many of you.  I want to share some tips on how you can add smoothies into your life without derailing your nutritional goals and increasing your waistline.

1. Choose your fruit wisely.  Yes fruit is filled with vital nutrients and fiber, but many fruits contain high levels of unrefined sugar, which can lead to insulin spikes.  When we dump excess amounts of sugar into our bodies our pancreas goes into overdrive, increasing the output of insulin.  If not processed or burned off, overtime, can lead to increased fat storage, obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.   I suggest choosing 1-2 fruits max, and avoiding added fruit juice.  Adding a full banana, 1/2 a mango and 1/2 cup of blueberries, although looks, and probably tastes amazing, will likely equate to over 50 grams of carbohydrates!  

2.  Add FAT!  I am here to tell you that fat won't make you fat, although we've been programmed to believe this.  Adding fat into your smoothie will add a rich creamy texture, reduce cravings, and make you feel satisfied longer.  The right kinds of fat will allow your body to release leptin.  Leptin is the satiety hormone, essentially the flag to your body that you are full and satisfied, reducing the feeling of hunger and the desire to eat more.  BUT not all fats are created equal.  I suggest including unprocessed fats such as organic ghee butter, avocado oil, coconut oil or my favorite, avocado.  If dairy is your friend, you could also add whole Greek yogurt.

3. Add Superfoods.  As we move throughout our day, consistently fighting against the clock to complete everything on our to-do-list, we often neglect eating whole, nutrient dense foods.  When making a smoothie, add in super-foods like Spirulina, Cacao, Maca, or Essential Greens.  Superfoods pack a TON of amazing antioxidants and nutrients we generally don't get in our regular diets.  Superfoods help to detoxify our bodies, fend off illnesses, and keep us energized throughout the day.  My favorite is a cacao maca smoothie mix.  It gives a chocolatey, smooth texture, plus it's full of healthy goodness.

4. Add Protein.  As an avid weight lifter, I understand the importance of getting adequate protein in order to repair, build and maintain muscle mass.  Proteins are also used in hormone production and deliver essential vitamins and minerals.  I love adding a scoop of protein powder, or even some tofu, adding a rich, creamy texture to my shakes.  When choosing a protein powder ensure you read the label carefully.  You want to choose something on the lower carb and fat ratio, with at least 20-30 grams of protein per serving, avoiding over processed brands.

 

Chocolate Coconut Power Shake

1 Scoop Arbonne Chocolate Protein Powder

1 tbsp natural peanut butter or almond butter

2 tsp unsweetened coconut

2 tsp cacao & maca powder smoothie mix

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp quinoa flakes

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

5 ice cubes

Stevia to taste

 

Calories: 343

Protein: 17.5g  Carbohydrates: 29.3g  Fat: 17.6g

Do not fear, smoothies can be a great source of protein, carbs and fat, but you must choose your ingredients wisely.  

 

6 Tips To Reclaim Your New Year's Resolution

2018 statistics showed that 45% of Americans and one third of Canadians choose getting healthy and losing weight as their New Year's resolution.  Unfortunately, with all the good intentions, only a small fraction of us keep our resolutions.

In this article I will run through 6 tips that will get you back on track and on your way to reclaiming, and ACHIEVING your New Year's Resolutions.  

1. Determine your WHY

Making the decision to make lifestyle changes is a big deal, but where many people fall short is not getting crystal clear on "why" they want to make the change.  They may say they want to lose weight to look better, or to fit into a pair of skinny jeans, but this is where we fall short.  We need to get to the emotional point where being successful stops the want and becomes a must.  Pull out a pen and your journal or a piece of paper and answer the following questions to develop your "why". 

  1. What will I have in my life once I achieve my goal?
  2. How much better will my life be once I hit my target?
  3. What will I lose out on if I fail or give up?
  4. What areas of my life will be improved?
  5. What are the top 3 things that I will gain once I reach my goal?

2. Make it a non negotiable

Once you've determined your 'why' it's time to make the commitment to yourself that you will not allow in distractions that prevent you from taking the time to prepare meals or exercise.  Schedule it into your calendar and do whatever it takes to not deviate from the plan.  We need to treat this time like a doctor's appointment or a staff meeting.  Finding the time to meal prep, with two small boys is challenging.  To ensure I have the time and space to prepare meals, my husband and I have made an agreement that for a few hours on Sunday he will occupy the kids, or take them out so I can cook.  I suggest setting aside 2-3 hours on a Sunday to commit to meal prep.  As you get more efficient and comfortable with the process you may find 1-2 hours is enough.

3. Set the game plan

This is where you would determine what meals you plan to prepare for the week, or how many days a week you will commit to exercise.  I suggest starting small to avoid overwhelm.  Plan to prepare meals for 2-3 days and choose known and easy recipes.  Depending on which nutrition program you are on I suggest focusing on three food sources; a protein source (chicken, fish, tempeh, tofu, lean beef), a complex carbohydrate source (rice, potatoes, beans), and vegetables.  Preparing these items in bulk will allow you to easily throw quick meals together.  Pinterest has some great One Pan recipes that combine multiple food sources on one pan.  If you decided you will get to the gym 4 days next week, refer to tip #2.  Do not falter on your scheduled gym time!

4. Write it down

Heading off to the grocery store without your plan on paper is a recipe for forgetting something or overspending.  As important as writing down your "why", making a shopping list is #2 on my list of importance in being successful.  Go through the recipes you've chosen for half of your week's worth of meals and write down all the items you will need.  Bring the list and a pen so you can check off the items as you go.  I suggest the same thing for your workouts.  Yes, showing up is key, but without a plan you could find yourself not making the most out of your time.  

5. Choose nutrient dense, whole foods

Incorporating whole, nutrient dense foods will improve your physical performance and mental health and clarity.  Choose foods as close to their natural state as possible.  If you buy packaged food, be sure to read the food label and pick items with ingredients that you recognize!   I also recommend choosing some frozen items for those days when you need something quick.  Frozen spinach, cauliflower rice, avocado and berries are always in my freezer.

6. Share your goals

Studies have shown that publicly sharing your progress can actually help motivate you to accomplish your goals.  Spend time with those who support your goals or those who have achieved what you want to.  If you cannot find any positive support there are a TON of supportive groups available online.

Trying to run a marathon without a reason, a commitment, a game plan and a support team sounds crazy right?  The same concept applies to achieving your health and fitness goals.  Taking the time to layout your plan will lead to a much more successful and enjoyable experience.

 

 

Photo: Marc Guellerin

 

Is Tracking Macros Right For You?

Sure there are a million diets out there that will have you shedding weight quickly but what generally happens?  As soon as you finish the diet, the weight comes back!  Can you relate?  Two hands up from this gal. 

Why most diets don't work long term is the fact that they restrict certain foods and some, even entire food groups.  They also allude to loss, deprivation and struggle.  In simple terms, they are not REALISTIC.  They don't take into account for real life events such as weddings, birthday parties, all day work conferences or vacations. 

What if I told you that you could have cake, popcorn, heck, even a glass of your favorite wine, all while achieving your physique goals?  Sounds pretty amazing doesn't it?  When I first heard about "If It Fits In Your Macros" aka "IIFYM" or flexible dieting, I was skeptical.  Being a former fitness and bodybuilding competitor I knew how to get stage lean, but I knew that there would be sacrifices... NO cookies, chocolate and definitely no wine for 12-16 weeks.  How could I replicate those results, loose fat, gain lean muscle all while having to flexibility to eat "non-diet" food?  

To understand flexible dieting, you need to know what macros are.  Macros, or macronutrients, are the nutrients coming from protein, carbohydrates, and fat.   Tracking macros, or flexible dieting is method that revolves around meeting daily macro targets based on your fitness goals.  It can be used to gain, loose or maintain weight.   There are a number of ways to determine your macro requirements.  You can find macro calculators on the internet that will give you a baseline to start working with.  You will input your age, weight, height, activity level and fitness goals and tadaa!  The ratios of protein, carbs and fat will spit out.  Although online calculators are a great way to start, they do not factor YOUR uniqueness.  Stress, job, lifestyle, etc all play a role in how your body utilizes protein, fat and carbs.  Hiring a coach is something to consider if you're looking for a more customized plan. 

Macros.JPG

 

Once you have your macro targets, you can start tracking using various apps such as MyFitnessPal.  Getting the hang of hitting the "numbers" takes some time and patience.  When I first started it seemed impossible to hit my daily macros.  I bought into the hype and believed I could eat whatever I wanted and still get lean.  I was trying to add in pop tarts, cookies, and whipped cream.  Guess what?  The numbers would never add up!  What I came to realize was that if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.  Let me explain.  Technically, IIFYM allows you to eat whatever you want as long as it fits in your daily totals.  The reality of it is, you'll never reach all of your macro targets eating nothing but junk food...the math simply won't ever work.  You need to incorporate nutrient dense, "clean" foods for the majority of the meals you eat, and the macros that remain can be for the foods that help keep your sanity.  

If you are wondering if the macro diet is right for you?  Ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I willing to measure, weigh and track my food?  Macro tracking requires you to weigh and measure all of your food if you want to be successful.  You need a food scale that you can buy for $15.00 or less at your local Wal-Mart or Target, a few measuring cups and measuring spoons, and you are set.  Once you get the hang of it you will become well equipped in eye balling portion sizes when you're eating out or at a friend's dinner party.

2. Do I prefer to follow a cookie cutter diet plan where I don't have to think?  If you prefer following a nutrition plan that requires zero thinking or personal input, IIFYM may not be the best choice for you.

3. I'm eating clean but I'm not loosing or gaining weight. What am I doing wrong?  Chances are your portion sizes are off.  The test that got me hooked was the peanut butter test.  That scoop that you take out of the jar when you're just starving...take that scoop and measuring it out.  I was surprised to find that what I thought was 1 tbsp, was actually 2...which equates to approximately 200 calories and up to 20 grams of fat.

If you have any questions at all, please ask.  Leave a comment below or get a hold of me on instagram at @tarrah1127 or drop me a line at info@tarrahwynn.net

 

3 Ways to Protect Your Energy

Have you ever felt completely drained after spending time with certain people?  Or perhaps experienced times when a conversation with a boss or colleague set you off, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted?  If you answered "YES", you are not alone.  I want to share 3 tips that you can implement today that will help to preserve your energy for the things and people you love.

Become aware of your physical body

A fundamental physiological response occurs when we experience various forms of stress.  This is the fight or flight response, originally discovered by Walter Cannon.  When we perceive a threat in our physical environment or personal well-being our body prepares us for action.  Chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol are released into our bloodstream, our thinking becomes more narrow and our heart rate becomes elevated.  We innately prepare to flee or fight.  

Recognizing this physical response is the first step in preserving you energy.  As you become aware of the physical reaction starting to occur in your body, you can begin to take action.  Breathe.  In a seated position, place one hand on your stomach, just below your rib cage.  Breathe in deeply through your nostrils and feel your hand being pushed out by your stomach.  Repeat 5 to 10 times.  

Manage your time spent with "Energy Vampires"

Most of us usually have at least one person in our lives that sucks the life out of us.  Often times it is someone that we must deal with, such as a family member, boss or colleague.  How do you preserve your energy when these people cannot be avoided?  Put on the shield!  I don't mean a battle shield.  I'm talking about an invisible shield that you can put up to protect your energy from these vampires.  Remain present in the conversation, but pretend there is a protective barrier between you and the person you're dealing with.  Imagine their judgement, negativity or toxic energy bouncing off your shield.  

Get quiet

A huge factor in energy preservation is not allowing negativity to bring you down, or even worse, bringing those around you down.  Getting quiet, whether it's sitting down to meditate, listening to an uplifting podcast, or taking a walk outside.  Taking time to get quite with yourself can help refuel your energy reserves.  When I'm in the "swirl" or "funk" I like to tune into an uplifting podcast.  Just 10-20 minutes of listening to an inspiring story can completely shift your mindset.  It allows you to get outside of your own head and get clear on what is really important in your life.   Often hearing someone's story of triumph over adversity can help you put things into perspective and realize that your perceived "bad day" really wasn't that bad at all.

Check out my favorite podcasts below:

The Amber Lilyestrom Show

Lewis Howes - The School of Greatness

Opera Super Soul Conversations

Will It Change Your Life?

Have you ever found yourself opening up your gym bag only to realize you forgot a key component, such as your shoes, sports bra, or even worse, your pants?  UGGG!  That was me today.  After clearing the pile of snow off my car and driving through snow covered roads in the dark, I proudly arrived at the gym only to realize I forgot my shoes!  For a few moments I considered rocking my winter boots, or maybe just socks.  Fortunately I came to my senses knowing that I would look ridiculous. Next I thought, "screw it", I'm going home and am crawling back into my warm bed.  After all, I had just lost 30 minutes.  I would be rushed and maybe I should just take today off.  Then I said to myself, "will this change my life?"  At that moment I realized that YES it would. 

The sentence, "will this change my life" came to me about a year ago.  I found myself sitting on the couch, watching tv, struggling to stay awake just so I could see the end of a show.  I asked myself, "Tarrah, will staying up to late to watch the end of this show really change my life?", and the answer was NO.  

I began applying this concept to other situations in my life such as what food or alcohol I was putting into my body.  Whether I would stay up late to watch tv, or whether I would go to bed early and get a good sleep. I though about who was I spending my time with? What was I reading, and what was I doing with my spare time?  When I gained the clarity by asking this question many of the "things" I was doing really added no value.  

So, made the decision then and there that YES, turning back, getting my shoes and going back to the gym would change my life.   I chose to not let a little bump in the day ruin a great thing.  When I prioritize ME/exercise my overall mindset is better, my stress is reduced, I sleep better and all of this makes me a better mother and wife. 

So I ask you, what actions and decisions would be different if you stopped and asked yourself this question?   

The 3 Day Detox That Changed Everything

I was recently inspired to share my experiences after completing Dr. Steven R. Gundry's, The Plant Paradox, 3 Day Detox.  In three short days EVERYTHING changed for me. 

For as long as I can remember I have been plagued with digestive issues, chronic inflammation, mood swings and cravings that seemed to take over me.  I tried everything, from skinny tea, laxatives, juice cleanses and thousands of dollars worth of vitamins.  I would experience a few days of success and then head back to my old habits, only to feel the same as I did before.  

Before I dive into the details of what I experienced during the 3 Day Detox, I think it's important to go back in time to explain my nutritional history.  Back in the early 2000's I began competing in fitness competitions.  At that time the standard bodybuilder nutrition programs consisted of plain chicken, brown rice, NO SALT, broccoli and water..oh and plain mustard if you needed a little extra flavor.  There were no cheat days EVER.  The plan certainly worked and helped me achieve an extremely low body-fat percentage, but the side effects were; the lost of my period for months, blackouts and chronic fatigue. 

What I didn't know back then, was how to move back to normal eating patterns when the competition was over.  I was so scared of rebounding after the competition, like I witnessed so many others do, that I just continued on the same meal plan.  Broccoli, rice and chicken.  When I fell off the wagon I just punished myself with added cardio sessions. 

Looking back it is no surprise why I struggled with digestive, inflammatory and fatigue issues. 

About six months ago I began a 5 day Inflammation Reset Detox.  All organic, colorful veggies, free range meat...what could possibly go wrong?  Well just about everything.  Without sharing the details, the symptoms that surfaced had me running to my doctor's office.  He explained to me that when someone with a sensitive gut completely overhauls their diet, even with "good" food, there can be side effects.  So, feeling pretty defeated I was back at square one again!

When a friend, and holistic healer, posted Dr. Gundry's book on Instagram I decided to grab the book.  As I flipped through the pages I felt a beam of light shining down on me.  THIS IS IT!  I was in, fully in.  In the book, Dr. Gundry talks about how the "healthy food" we consume can actually be toxic to our gut and overall health.  This really spoke to me.  I had been eating organic veggies with lots of color and still feeling like complete crap.  I was also consuming many "calorie free" condiments, drinks, gum, dressings, etc in an effort to get the maximum volume out of each meal without the extra calories.  I realized I was completely WRONG.

All of the three days included TONS of veggies, a moderate amount of protein and high levels of healthy fats (avocado oil, avocado, etc).  Coming from a girl who likes to eat, I didn't feel hungry at all.  I did work out 2 out of the 3 days and did feel slightly more fatigued than normal.  I recommend low to moderate activity when going through any type of detox. 

Over the next three days the bloating disappeared, my stomach was flatter, and the 2:00 pm afternoon slump was gone.  To add, I felt HAPPIER, more positive and motivated.  So to anyone who deals with any of these symptoms, I highly recommend giving this book a read. I expect it will change your perspective on food, as it did with mine.