5 Second Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe

What I'm Sipping on this Summer

I'm all about the beverages. Seltzer, wine, coffee, kombucha, a great craft beer —  gimme, gimme, gimme. 

That said, some beverages can come loaded with sugar and carbs and can be disastrous for your health and your waistline. So I was pretty psyched when I created this deliciously sippable lemonade a few years ago . . . and I actually feel bad I haven't shared my secret recipe with you all yet!

So here you go! Quick and easy. 5 Seconds. Promise. 

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Step #1 Grab a Big Glass or Mason Jar

I like to use recycled 30 oz mason jars we saved from some marinara sauce a couple years ago, so keep a look out for food in pretty glass jars you can save and reuse. But if you don't have any jars on hand, simply a big glass or these mason jars on Amazon would do the trick.

STEP #2 Add Lots of Ice and Water

Ice makes this beverage incredibly refreshing. Add water 'til your cup is about 3/4 full. 

Step #3 GRAB YOUR PRE-SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE FROM THE FRIDGE

I swear by the brands Santa Cruz and Lakewood for on-the-go pre-squeezed natural and pure lemon juice. It's simply natural lemon juice from organic lemons, with no added sugar. A bottle lasts for 4-6 weeks in your fridge and saves you so much time every day. 

I pour a generous serving, probably about 1/2 an inch of lemon juice.  

PSA: The same brands sell actual lemonade (with a ton of sugar) so make sure you're buying the right bottle with ZERO calories, ZERO SUGAR listed on the back if you pick this up at your local Natural Foods store, Whole Food or grocery store. 

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STEP #4 ADD YOUR SUGAR SUBSTITUTE

I use 2-3 drops of stevia, and that's it.

Some clients use a bit of coconut sugar or drip of maple syrup, but FYI that's going to add some real sugar and calories to your bev.

Step #5 CHEERS

Stir and sip and adjust to taste. I like mine sour with extra lemon.

Maybe even add a beautiful metal straw to save the environment. Or replace the water in this recipe with club soda and this beverage makes a great mocktail substitute for an alcoholic drink. 

On a health front, real lemon is super alkalinizing, cleansing and detoxing for your insides. I'll cheers to that!

Enjoy this sugar-free, zero-calorie beverage! 

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PSA: The acid from the lemon can erode your teeth enamel over time. That's why I prefer to drink this via a straw and slush my mouth out with water afterwards. ALSO, *avoid* brushing your teeth 30 minutes after drinking. I don't want you digging the lemon even further in to your teeth by brushing aggressively. Just rinse. 

 

A Little Story on Vitamin D

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Let me tell you a little story about Vitamin D, aka, liquid sunshine.

In early May, I got my annual bloodwork done at my doctor and asked about my Vitamin D levels. I definitely felt the winter blahs earlier this year and didn’t do a good job of supplementing through the winter (like I advise my health coaching clients to do — hey, it happens! ).

So I was really pleased, and a bit surprised, when my doctor told me my numbers were fine, and I was in the healthy range for Vitamin D. He told me that I should just "keep doing what I'm doing" because it's great!

Okay, I thought. I guess I'm good!

Then thankfully, he handed me a print-out of my results and I walked out of the office. I found a seat outside and pulled out the paper to review my numbers myself. Thankfully, I've been trained to look at my client's bloodwork to teach them how to optimize their health and not just settle for the standard American averages. 

The standard and safe range for Vitamin D is between 30-100. Anything less than 30 is considered deficient and you might experience these symptoms : bad mood, low energy, winter blahs or compromised immunity. Not fun!  

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I tell my clients to aim for Vitamin D levels between 50-70, which is idea for optimal health, immunity and mood.

Anything in the 70-100 range is technically still safe, but is primarily used for intensive healing and targeted supplementation typically monitored by a doctor.

So, my friends . . . . my Vitamin D levels were at 33! 

That's so low! That's practically deficient!

Why did my doctor tell me I was "doing just great and keep on going!" when it's clear I was borderline and I'd expressed that I'd suffered from the winter blues and specifically asked about my Vitamin D levels? 

Once I got over being frustrated with the entire system, I was, in a sense, relieved because I knew I could take action.

Here's what I've done the last 6-8 weeks:

  • Aim to get 15-20 minutes of sun-midday (without SPF) for optimal Vitamin D absorption.
  • When I'm outside, try to show as much skin as possible to soak up all the rays ;) 
  • When I'm at the beach, wait 15-30 minutes before applying sunscreen.
  • Supplement with this Vitamin D Lotion daily  - because, FYI we don't absorb much Vitamin D from food.

I haven't been tested, but I feel great and I know that my levels are climbing.

Bottom line

Look at your numbers, aim for optimal levels. Don't settle for the average American standards, because you have the tools to do better than that and feel AMAZING.

Need help? Come to me. We should talk.

Disclaimer: of course, don't get burned. Please always bring sunscreen.

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Supplements for Busy People — Binto Review

Holistic healing relies a lot on targeted supplementation — everything from probiotics, to magnesium, fish oil, Vitamin B-complex, and the nutty sounding ones like ashwagandha or dandelion root.

It can get really overwhelming. 

When during the day am I supposed to take all these supplements? Cue, getting even more stressed out.  
Do I really have to open all these bottles? I'd rather just go to bed.
What do I do when I travel? Leave them at home, and then forget about your supplement routine for the next month.

Ugh. Been there. Done that. 

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When I started my path to holistic healing — combatting adrenal fatigue and getting my period back naturally for the first time since my teens — I was taking a ton of supplements and my adherence to my program was ehhhh . . . 60%?

It felt so overwhelming to remember when to take all my pills and I frankly didn't want to feel like a sick person carrying around a pill case.

So, I was thrilled that after many years of on and off again supplement use, my friend Andi from summer camp introduced me to Suzie Welsh.

Suzie has a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing and worked in a Fertility IVF Clinic for years. She gets what women need for optimal health and was determined to find a solution to make taking targeted and personalized supplements EASY and effective for women, everywhere.

And she did it!

Suzie is the Founder and CEO of Binto, a subscription-based women's health company. If you hop on over to their website, www.mybinto.com, you start by taking a quiz to customize your supplements to your symptoms.

Then, Binto creates a customized suite of products that will be sent directly to your door every month. I'd never tested out this type of supplement subscription model before, and I was super interested to see if this would be a good fit for my health coaching clients, who tend to be on-the-go, busy professionals, and of course, for myself!

Suzie and I hopped on the phone to chat and she answered all my questions and more. Read on for my results and why I am the biggest fan of this product.

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THE RESULTS

Here's what I experienced after the last two months testing out their personalized kits:

  • My period cycle went from 36-40 days, to every 28-29 days (the ideal cycle). 
  • My nails are growing faster.
  • My digestion is great — no bloating or weird tummy aches.
  • I haven't gotten sick — aka my immunity is strong. 

Sure, the results are great. But here's what I really love about the Binto model and feel oh-so-comfortable recommending it to my 1-1 clients.

1. DECLutTER YOUR SUPPLEMENT DRAWER

Why have countless bottles of almost expired supplements taking up space in your cabinets? Keep it simple, throw out unused or expired products, and use the monthly delivery to literally save space in your kitchen or bathroom.

2. STOP THE OVERWHELM

Life is overwhelming enough. We have to make so many choices every day. It can feel exhausting at the end of a long day to remember which supplements you should be taking that night. Stop the mental fatigue and just rely on your personalized kit. 

3. PERSONALIZE EVERYTHING

Binto understand that every person, every body is different. They personally customize every single kit to be unique to you. If you guys know me, you know that I LOVE personalizing everything. Personalized nutrition, personalized fitness, personalized wellness. Because, it works.

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4. Take ON THE GO

Raise your hand if you travel a lot for business or pleasure. Yup, me too. When I worked in Finance, I was on the road 2-3 days a week, and then would often jet off somewhere with my girlfriends most weekends. That's a lot of packing to do!

Nowadays, most of my clients are constantly on the go, and I love that they can just throw a few supplement packets in to their bag and make their flight.

5. SUPER HIGH QUALITY

Suzie and I spoke a lot about quality when we chatted on the phone and I was very impressed by her standards. You know you're getting the best with these products.

6. AFfORDABLY PRICED

Which leads right in to pricing. I was suspicious . . .  why weren't these super high quality, personalized supplements not like, $100 or $150 a month? Why weren't they more expensive? Because frankly, other companies out there are charging multiples of Binto's pricing.

And here's why :: Suzie explained to me that the supplement industry is known for the middle-man taking a huge chunk of the profit and raising the price to consumers. Not Binto. They've purposefully decided to keep the margins low, to benefit the consumer and build a loyal customer base.

These packets are truly affordable, for EVERYONE. I'm paying just $35 a month for my kit. And it's getting shipped to my door. That's less expensive than if I went out to the store and bought everything on their own! 

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7. OPEN A DAILY GIFT

My favorite part. At the end of the day, I open my cabinet and pull out a little packet and feel like I'm almost, sorta opening a box on a Christmas Advent Calendar. I'm so thrilled and excited I'm on track and I get to open the cute little designer pouch every evening. The process makes me feel proud of myself and what I'm doing for my health — and you can't get much better than that.

WANT TO TRY IT YOURSELF?

DO IT!

Let me know what you thinK! 

Just a note: Suzie and her team sent me my first month of product for free. But I've since personally subscribed to their service ($35/month) and plan to continue indefinitely. I volunteered to write this blog post simply to share with my community and clients. I make no commissions. All opinions are truthful and my own.

 
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9 Ways To Prevent Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the worst.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a tension headache. I feel you.

Since I was a little kid, I suffered from severe tension headaches and frequent migraines. My heart and hugs go out to all the headache sufferers out there. Headaches are debilitating and they’re especially frustrating for those of us who expect a high level of daily performance and productivity from ourselves. 

Now that we’ve agreed that headaches make you feel like crap, what can we do about them? And how can we use nutrition, fitness and wellness to conquer some of our headache triggers?

Take a breath, you’re in the right place. 

Here are some ways to deal with the root cause of crippling headaches, get ahead of common headache triggers and ultimately practice prevention. Thankfully, they’ve worked for me over the years and I only get two to three headaches a year now, rather than two to three headaches a week. A significant improvement, if you ask me!

Here are nine ways to build your way out of tension headaches:

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1. Drink enough water.

Headaches sometimes simply mean our cells and brains are dehydrated. Jump over to last week's blog, My 5 Favorite Ways to Drink Water, to calculate how many ounces of water you need a day to avoid getting a headache. 

2. Stabilize your blood sugar.

Focus on healthy fats and protein in each meal and mini-snack you eat. Try to avoid simple carbs and sugar rushes which throw your blood sugar into a headache-producing tailspin. 

3. Keep frequent snacks on hand.

Know your trigger point for an empty stomach and know when that might result in a headache. If I go more than 5-6 hours without eating something, I typically feel the onset of a headache. Now, I always keep raw almonds in my bag. They’re boring, but I’ll eat them as an emergency snack, and they work! 

4. Manage Your Stress.

Learn to under-promise and over-deliver. Manage your boss or your client’s expectations by building in extra time to complete your projects. This will make you look like a rockstar whenever you send something over early and it will mitigate stress when unexpected roadblocks and delays inevitably occur. 

5. Exercise frequently. 

Working out several times a week keeps your body feeling in peak shape, increases blood flow to your brain, muscles and cells, decreases stress and flushes your body of toxins via sweat. Avoid too many shoulder exercises (like shoulder shrugs with weights) that can cause instant neck tension and thus, headaches. 

6. Relax a tight torso.

A tight torso is often a sign of stress, sensitivity to overstimulation and tension in the body. Learn to hang on a pull-up bar, love your foam roller, and roll and stretch your way to greater relaxation in your body and neck.

7. Increase your back strength.

We need back strength to support our head (it weighs 10-11 pounds!) and take tension out of our neck and shoulders. You want to use your lower trapezius muscles to stand up straight, not your upper traps. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Google it or go hire a personal trainer for a session to give you the 101 for back strength, posture and avoiding tension headaches. 

8. Practice belly breaths.

Breathing correctly was always really hard for me. Learn how to do the “Buddha Breath” by expanding your tummy every time you breathe in and contracting your belly every time you breath out. This type of deep breathing incites your parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes calm and reduces stress.

9. Massage your neck and shoulders.

Repeat after me: Massages are not indulgent! They're totally worth it as part of your headache-prevention plan. Go get your tight muscles massaged at the nail salon, sit in the steam room, stretch, take hot showers, treat yourself to an Epsom salt bath. Massage out the tension and let the blood flow to your brain to prevent and manage headaches.

 


>> PSA on NSAIDs


I’ve taken a lot of Advil over the years, and unfortunately it’s really hard on your gut and can even cause stomach ulcers, which is such a bummer. Thankfully I rarely get tension headaches anymore, but I still use NSAIDS for the terrible “hint of a hangover headaches” I get after a couple glasses of wine these days. I wish I didn’t have to pop a pill. If you have better method, cure, or remedy, let me know! It’s definitely something I’m still working on.

 

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5 Favorite Ways to Drink Water

Water ~

Confession time: I think water is the most boring thing to write about, read about and think about. But it’s actually the most important thing we actively do for our bodies each and every day. I write in my book, Self-Care in the City, that I want you to Drink Water Like It's Your Job.

While I get in to the nitty gritty about water in the book, I'm going to keep this one light. After all, it's Friday!

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I AM A WATERHOLIC

Here's the thing, I've always been a self-proclaimed "waterholic". I pee about every 45-60 minutes!

I've been eager to share ways I squeeze water in to my day and don't have to think about it. As my health coaching clients could tell you, once you automate a habit, it becomes effortlessly easy over time. 

So! Let's start with a little science, then get in to the fun stuff.  

Drink half your bodyweight in ounces every day.

Throw out the old "eight glasses a day rule," because everybody is different — and use this new rule of thumb. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you'll want to drink 150 divided by two, which equals 75 ounces of water at minimum per day. Add in 20 ounces for your sweaty workout, which brings your daily recommended amount of water to at least 95 ounces per day.

Pop Quiz: if you weigh 200 lbs, how much water do you need to drink in a day?

Answer: 100 ounces, at minimum. Plus an additional 20 ounces if you exercise. Which brings you to 120 ounces a day.

 

Glass Water Bottles - 6 PACK

My amazing Aunt sent Alex and I these water bottles after my visit to her place in Denver last summer (where I chugged so much water to avoid altitude sickness). Since then, we've got in the habit of filling up these bottles and keeping cold, crisp water in the fridge. It truly feels so fancy! The colored cap version six-pack are great for keeping track of multiple family members and avoiding shared germs.

 

MASON JARS

Its just simply beautiful sipping water out of a mason jar. Next time you're at the grocery store, buy some salsa or marinara sauce that comes in a pretty jar, and then clean and repurpose the jar for beverages. (That's what we do!). But if you're eager to get your hands on this mason jar look ASAP, here's your link.

BPA-FREE Wine Glasses

Stop thinking about wine for a moment ;) 

I swear, I use these for water too. In fact, we always keep one of these strong plastic glasses by the bathroom sink. First, they look beautiful and second, having the visual cue reminds me to drink a tall glass of water first thing in the morning. So go grab yourself a 4-pack and keep one by your sink. And use the rest for wine and picnics in the park!

HEALTHY HUMAN WATER BOTTLE

I know, I know, Swell Bottles get all the hype. And they're great! But I like to root for the underdog and I find these Healthy Human water bottles to be an easier shape to lug along in my tote bag or hold in the cupholder in my car. Not only do they keep your water icy cold, but who can beat a classy opaque white look? Great water bottle for at your desk, or at the gym.

Hand Blown Clear Blue Rim Glasses

When I worked in Finance, I'd hit up TJ Maxx about twice a year and treat myself to a new glass for water at my office desk. It was a fun way to remind myself to drink water and not drink out of the sad paper cups at the office. I'd bring my nice glass to meetings and felt confident having a good looking glass sitting on my desk. I had a similar hand blown glass form Mexico, which was my favorite! 

BUCKET LIST ~ Berkey Water Filter System

Bonus!

This Berkey Water filter is the top of the line when it comes to high quality water . . . and you better believe it's on my wish list. I've heard the water tastes even better. We're pretty lucky living in NYC and having good tasting tap water, but if I lived elsewhere, I'd get a Berkey Water filter ASAP. 

Pro Tip Sometimes we think we’re hungry but we’re really just thirsty. 

So you’re telling me that if I drink more water, I’ll eat less food and lose weight? Yup, yes I am. If you’re dehydrated, your body sends you hunger signals as a ploy to to get you to eat food that has water content. So why not just have some water instead and wait 20 minutes? If you’re still hungry, by all means, go eat some food please. 

PS: Want to know why I want you to Have a Crush On Your Water Bottle? Read this archived post for more.

NOTE: I only recommend products I would use myself or that I recommend for clients in my practice or at workshops. Some of these products are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I get a little commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

What I've Been Loving Lately

OK. Truth.

The last thing I want to write about this week is the book. I need a break. And let's be honest, I bet you do too!

So, I thought, hey! I love reading these fun "Loving Lately" posts from other health bloggers, so let's give our minds a collective break and enjoy some mindless scrolling in this week's post. 

Happy ALMOST Memorial Day Weekend Friends!

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Revenge Body

Uh, yes. Over the last three weeks I've binged watched both seasons of Khloe Kardashian's show, Revenge Body. If there were 100 episodes, I'd keep watching. Please tell me there is going to be a Season 3. It's just that good.

I find it's the perfect way to totally turn off my mind, but still be getting in some good fashion, food and fitness #inspo and learning from the top trainers, nutritionists and functional medicine doctors in Los Angeles. 

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CAESAR SALADS

I've been hardcore craving "real" Caesar salads, aka the kinds with dairy, full-on dressing and gluten-filled croutons. Not exactly super healthy. So! I've been satisfying that craving by making it healthy-ish and grabbing a Kale Caesar from Chop't about once a week. 

I also picked up Tessemae's Organic Creamy Caesar to recreate a healthier, dairy-free option at home. Delicious.

Finally, my bestie recommended this vegan caesar recipe and I can't wait to give it a whirl.

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OPAQUE "EDGY" PINK NAILS

Romper Room by Essie. That perfect opaque pink color for spring. You can see it over on my Instagram, here

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HYDRATING ROSES MASK

This Andalaou Naturals face mask is helping my super dry skin adjust to the seasons. It's like getting a mini facial for just $4.95.

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NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIALS

I can sometimes be a total homebody, so I love watching hilarious, top-notch comedy from the comfort of my own couch. These three specials had me laughing out loud for hours.

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BUTCHER BOX

I only purchase grass-fed, organic, hormone-free meat for our home. So Alex and I finally tried Butcher Box for the first time a few weeks ago and fell in love. They make it SO EASY and you can always have the highest quality animal protein in your freezer. Plus, the insulated black bag is super cute. 

Friends! If you sign up for Butcher Box using my link, you'll get 2lbs Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon as a thank-you. And I will too! Mmmm.

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PRECISION RUNNING TREADMILL CLASSES @ EQUINOX

Oh I'd missed you. After teaching this class format as an instructor for two years, I took a one year break to focus on writing my book. Now that I'm a member at Equinox again, I have been taking the class again hardcore as a PARTICIPANT and it feels so good to run-run-run it out.

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.... shamEless plug ... my book

Ya know, I had to. Amazon link. 

What do you want to hear about next week? 

5 Ways I Love to Drink Water? Or 9 Ways to Prevent Tension Headaches? You let me know. Drop me email at michelle@fitvista.com to put in your 2 cents. XO.

Take a Fake Sick Day — Book Excerpt

Yes, I want you to be a rebel and take a fake sick day.

Here’s why: I believe deeply in preventative wellness. If you’re feeling run down, absolutely fatigued, stressed out and only getting through the work day thanks to chocolate, sugar and four cups of coffee . . . you need a day off.

Otherwise, you WILL get sick and that will knock you and your productivity out for longer than just one day.

Sure, vacation days are great, but they’re precious, and if you’re like me, you carefully dole them out for strategic three-day weekend trips and a couple longer vacations each year.

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I never thought it was fair that I took such good care of myself that I only had to take two real sick days during my last six years working in finance. Usually, I’d come into the office and tough it out, even if I was exhausted.

Our human resources portal allocated eight to nine sick days to each person, but of course, you were only supposed to take them if you were genuinely sick. I always thought, why do sick people get sick days? What about the people who are adamant about trying to stay healthy in the first place?

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My last year, I thought of a plan: I’d take a fake sick day. For the record — and for my former bosses & HR Department that may be reading this! — I only did this twice, but it was 100% worth it both times.

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Here’s how you do it: 

 

1.  Pick the day in advance: Make sure you don’t have to reschedule important meetings or hit uber important deadlines. 

2.  Fake a migraine or a head cold or touch of the flu and send an email around 8 a.m. saying you won’t be able to make it in to work.

3.  Don’t tell anyone. Revel in playing hooky for the day and keeping it your little secret. 

4.  Go back to sleep if you need it. Hang out in your pajamas. Putter around your apartment, hit up the gym for that 11 a.m. yoga class you never get to go to, take a nap or get groceries delivered at 2 p.m. 

5.  Write in your journal or watch an inspiring documentary.

6.  Go get a massage around the corner at that local place.

7.  Order healthy-ish takeout and watch a movie. 

8.  Go to bed early-ish and get ready to wake up recharged and ready to rock.

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No one is going to really get in touch with you all day! All your friends think you’re at work. Your colleagues will ease up on their demands and you’ll be able to handle everything tomorrow anyways. It’s absolutely freaking glorious.

Remember, this is all about preventative health and true, deep self-care. Our bodies come crashing down when we’ve overextended ourselves and are exhausted. As a result, we get sick and put ourselves out of the game for days on end — feeling like crap and sniffling through every business meeting.

The key to self-care is learning to listen to cues from your body about when you need to slow down. When you need deep, authentic rest, and a day of unstructured time at home — to give you the energy to power through another five weeks until your next vacation.

Otherwise you may get burnt out, you may get sick, you may put yourself at risk for long-term chronic lifestyle disease. During your Fake Sick Day, your company will go on without you. Yes, it might mean 20 percent more work on the day you get back, but you’ll benefit from the renewed energy and positive mindset to get through your tasks.

Also, please don’t drink the night before. I highly advise you not to spend the day recovering from a hangover. You’ll only get the true benefits of a Fake Sick Day if you make it about preventative wellness and restoring your energy to charge ahead with greater productivity.

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>>> A WORD TO MY GOODIE-TWO SHOES OUT THERE: 

You’re a good employee. You’ve earned the brownie points. You’ve put in the time and sneaking in two sick days a year is not going to take that away from you.  

Feel free to send me an email at michelle@fitvista.com and tell me about your Fake Sick Day. I promise, I won’t tell a soul! 

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When in Doubt, go for a Walk — Book Excerpt

Hi Friends, thrilled to share another book excerpt with you! 

Today's post is all about one of my favorite things  — walking. How boring you think? No!

Walking is super efficient for your busy life. It's movement and relaxation, all wrapped up in one. Plus, we all need a bit more nature in our lives, right? 

As I always tell my clients, "When in doubt, go for a walk." 

You'll feel better.

PS: Make sure you'e on the list to pre-order your book by signing up here!  Thank you for your support!

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Book EXCERPT WAY #43 "SOLO Walk and Thinks"

 

“Solvitur ambulando” is a Latin term which translates as “it is solved by walking.”

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Walking helps you examine your feelings and understand the deep wisdom of what your body and mind is trying to tell you.

Have a problem you can’t logically solve? Go for a walk. Feel off and can’t figure out what’s bugging you? Go for a walk. Feel depleted and stuck creatively? Go for walk.

Walking and thinking is the perfect combination. Yes, even extroverts need time alone to think! And to my introverts out there, I can tell you’re already on board with this one!

When I first started going on long walks around age 26, I cared about what people thought. As a post-collegiate varsity cross country runner, I pondered, would they think I went for a run and got so tired I had to start walking? That would be so embarrassing!

My younger self planned my “walking outfits” very carefully to make sure it didn’t look like I was going for a run, but was still comfortable enough to stride at a brisk pace. Remember those bell bottom Lululemon black pants? Those were the best. Add on an athletic windbreaker or light jacket, a puffy vest, my Middlebury baseball cap, aviator sunglasses and Apple earbuds and I was ready for my walk.

Nowadays, I couldn’t care less about what people think of my walking outfit. I’ll throw on leggings, a sweatshirt, no bra, my eskimo parka, a hat and sneakers and get out for a 30 minute walk most days of the week.

>>> TYPES OF LONG WALKS

I have a few types of long walks that I absolutely love. Which ones am I missing? Feel free to mark this one up, circle your favorites and jot down your notes in the margins.

1. Podcast walks.

There’s so much good content out there these days that you should probably stop reading this book, go for a walk and listen to a podcast. #JustSaying.

2. Tech detox walks.

Leave your phone at home, throw on an old fashioned watch if you need to keep track of the time, and get out the door.

3. Kombucha walks.

Put $5 in your pocket and walk 10-15 minutes to a place that sells kombucha. At only 60 calories and 4g of sugar per bottle, Kombucha is a caffeine-free way to get a fun kick to your afternoon and a brisk walk into your day. Sip or chug it on your way home.

4. Walking meditation.

Walking is a proven meditative activity, and meditating on the move is a particularly efficient way to de-stress. 

5. Walking the dog.

Use your puppy as a built-in excuse to get outside. Don’t have a dog? Take yourself on a walk. You need it just as much as Fido.

6. Fake errands.

Take a 10-minute walk to go pick up some of that dental floss you keep forgetting to buy. Or go restock your soap supply. Whatever it is, it’s getting you outside and linking your walk with a sense of purpose and reward.

7. Friend “walks and talks.”

Feel the urge to gab and want a friend to convince you to head outdoors? Go for it! Ask a colleague or bud to come along for a walk-and-talk, which you’re now all-too familiar with!

8. Business walks.

I’m my own boss, so I often take myself on a “business meeting” walk to think through the complexities of my business, deconstruct a client issue or strategize for the future.

9. Creative walks.

Got writer's block? Can’t get that design looking quite right? Not sure what to say at your next sales presentation? Go for a walk and let the answer come to you.

Now that’s “solvitur ambulando.”

Revolutionize Work Entertainment — Book Excerpt

I'm thrilled to start sharing book excerpts with you . . . leading up to our official publishing date of April 24, 2018! Stay tuned in this space for official pre-order announcements later this month and make sure you're on my list for the latest updates.

Xo, Enjoy! 

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BOOK EXCERPT, WAY #17 REVOLUTIONIZE WORK ENTERTAINMENT

Entertaining clients over steak and wine dinners is exhausting.

I know, because I did it for almost seven years — and it can be a serious drag on your health and wellness goals. I would often dread work trips where we had multiple nights planned at fancy restaurants or gastropubs in London. Sometimes I’d even drink that second or third (or fourth) drink because I just didn’t want to be there and I was throwing an inner temper tantrum. 

At the time, I’d rather be saving my booze for the weekend with my actual girlfriends or for going on first dates with guys. Waking up early to work out during week and eating healthy have always been priorities for me. On all business trips, I’d pack sneakers and workout clothes and bring along healthy snacks but then, once I’d hit that third glass of wine, I knew it was game over.  

Sure, there is a time and place to bond over wine or beer and it sure can be hilariously fun. But if you’re in sales or tasked with building client relationships, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of boozy entertainment. Luckily, in 2018, and your options are way more versatile than they were back in 2008. 

Here are some methods I developed at the end of my career in finance that now work well for my professional clients.

1. Suggest a coffee meeting.

In a coffee meeting, you can chat with your business contact for 45 minutes, cover company updates, ask about their kids, and then — boom — you’re done! You can line up three to four coffees and knock out all your meetings in one day (and still have lunch by yourself!). Please, switch to decaf or tea at some point to save your adrenals.

2. Lunch at a fancy salad bar.

You’re going to eat a salad for lunch anyway, right? If that’s the case (and I hope it is), ask your professional contact to meet over casual salads. They’ll appreciate the healthy gesture and the time saved.

3. Sit outside.

We all need more time outdoors, so on a nice day, I’d suggest grabbing coffee and sitting outside. On of my favorite business trip memories is stopping by an outdoor cafe and sampling dark chocolate at the food trucks with a consultant I covered.

4. Have a club soda mocktail.

At work cocktail events, make your first drink club soda and lime. No one will know the difference. 

 

If you’re skeptical about my tips, here’s another story for you: Before I jumped ship from the finance world, I mentioned to my boss how much fun it would be to hit up Barry’s Bootcamp in Boston with the consultants we covered. We’d provide a unique experience for them, create more of a bond by seeing each other sweat, and get that adrenaline rush from a challenging workout class (plus, I hoped we’d be able to skip the heavy drinking afterward). We didn’t end up making it happen before I left for nutrition school, but two years later I got a text from my old boss that he was in a taxi in Boston, en route to Barry’s Bootcamp to take our consultants out for a hard run and thanked me. I was flattered.

I often notice how the tech, advertising and fashion industries tend to lead the way with unique client entertainment and thinking outside the box. Years ago, I remember my friends in these roles would take their female clients out for a spa afternoon, go get their nails done while talking shop at a boutique salon, or book exclusive bikes for a SoulCycle class with their business partners.

So be radical. Be different. People will remember you better. And most importantly, you’ll feel better. And that’s worth more than any unlimited expense account.

xo,

Michelle

5 Healthy Snacks for Biz Travel

 
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How many times have you rushed out of a long day's worth of business meetings and sprinted to the airport? Clocking every minute so you don't miss your flight?

Yup. I've been there. Done that.

You get to the airport and think  — shoot, I haven't eaten anything in over six hours! — so you pick up something sort of crappy from the airport kiosk or you just hope that the plane has some sort of passable snacks on board.

But it's usually pretty blah right? Do you usually feel kind of sick and off after eating that stuff?

I did. 

I worked in Finance for over six years and after a day of rapid-fire biz meetings, and rushing to the airport, the last thing my body needed was cheap, nutrient-poor food that made me feel like crap. 

So here's what I started to do — carry my own high-quality emergency snacks — always! Throw these in your work travel bag and you'll never have to think about back-up snacks again. You'll always have something nutritious on hand to eat and prevent that cranky, hangry, headachy feeling. 

Every couple months I just re-order everything in bulk on Amazon, so you always have these snacks ready to grab-and-go.

 

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Primal Kitchen's Macadamia Sea Salt Bars are worth the price. They pack in 15 grams of protein, 18 grams of healthy fat and 5 grams of fiber in to one bar. And I love that they only have 3 grams of sugar! Use this when you need some serious fuel to get you to your next meal. 6 bars for $17.

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Epic's Bison, Bacon and Cranberry Bars are perfect for getting high-quality organic animal protein on-the-go. Sure, getting used to eating a "meat stick" can feel weird at first. But I promise, you'll start craving them. So pick up that sad airport salad — and make sure it's vegetarian — and add your own clean, high quality meat to the salad with a meat stick. 12 bars for $26.

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RXBar's Chocolate Sea Salt Bars are everyone's favorite! They're made with real cacao and have a quality 12 grams of protein and 9 grams a fat. I don't love that they're higher in sugar, at 15 grams, so stick to just one a day. If you find yourself addicted to them — take a break. I find these are a much more glamorous option than eating a stale cookie from the airplane beverage service. So eat your RX Bar and be proud of your healthy choice. 12 bars for $24.

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Justin's Almond Butter Packets are so versatile, so make sure you always have them on hand. You can eat them straight from the packet, or spread them out over an RX Bar (my personal favorite option for breakfast while flying), or pair with a banana or piece of fruit, or celery / carrot sticks. Maybe it's the Vermont in me, but I'm partial to the Maple Flavor. 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar. 10 packets for $9.

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Cashews in a Zip Lock Bag I prefer to buy raw organic cashews in bulk from the bins at the Natural Foods store or Whole Foods and portion them out in to zip lock bags to grab and go. It saves me money and helps with portion control. But do what works for you! A serving size of 20 cashews (pictured in photo) is about 180 calories. Skip the roasted, salted versions. They're filled with weird oils and can be too addicting. Raw cashews have a delicate, buttery taste and make you feel wayyy better. Enjoy!

Hope these five quick snack hacks inspire your next trip. Why don't you hop on Amazon now and get planning?

I don't want you feeling sick and crappy at the end of a long day — that's the worst! So enjoy stabilizing your energy, mood and your waistline with these low sugar, high fat, high protein and high quality options. 

xo,

Michelle

Links include affiliate codes, but all opinions and suggestions are my own.

 

My Go-To Green Smoothie

It's almost 70 degrees in New York City today! It's starting to feel like spring may be just around the corner and boy do I need it. Every year I convince myself that *this will be the year* I skip out on the winter blues . . .  but then during the second half of February . . . it hits.

Seasonal Depression. Grey Skies. Cabin Fever. Ugh.

After a few days of feeling sorry for myself, I've taken action. I went for a long run outside yesterday (my favorite medicine) and I've booked myself a Vitamin IV Drip (yup) at the Nutridrip Flatiron location next week and I'm writing a blog post about it soon.

I can just feel I'm deficient in Vitamin D (impacts mood) and Vitamin B (impacts stress & mood). So stay tuned! 

Anyways! One of my favorite ways to get back on track when I'm feeling off, is to blend up my go-to Green Smoothie. 

Here's a little two minute video with my friend Alex that shows you how!

Sometimes all we need is some greens and fiber to feel better, make our little gut bugs happy and restore our digestive systems.

If you've recently come home after a long trip, drank too much wine over the 3-day weekend, or want to ease yourself back in to healthy eating, then this ones for you.

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My Green "Ice-cream" Smoothie

This is my go-to recipe all year-round. I recommend adding warming spices like cinnamon or pumpkin spice during the winter months to further help your digestion. 

  • 1/3 frozen ripe Banana 
  • 1-2 Cups of Almond Milk
  • Big Handful of Greens, like Spinach 
  • Half a (not-peeled) Zucchini 
  • 1 Scoop Vegan Chocolate Protein Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt + Pinch of Stevia
  • Cinnamon or Pumpkin Spice

In your Nutribullet or Vitamix, blend greens + almond milk first to avoid chunks of spinach. Then add the frozen banana and chocolate protein powder etc., and blend again until you reach your desired consistency.

Feel free to add almond butter, avocado chunks, chia seeds, or top with nuts or paleo granola for healthy fat and satiation. Fat is your friend.

And just use 1/3 cup of almond milk if you're making a smoothie bowl.

And let me know if it tastes a bit like green ice-cream! 

 What my green smoothie typically looks like in a cup  . . .  yes, with our pet reindeer from Christmas. #normal

What my green smoothie typically looks like in a cup  . . .  yes, with our pet reindeer from Christmas. #normal

 My clients and I swear by this doctor-approved vegan protein powder. Expensive but worth it.  Via Parsley Health .

My clients and I swear by this doctor-approved vegan protein powder. Expensive but worth it. Via Parsley Health.

Time-Saver Hack - Your FREEZER

I know you're busy. This doesn't have to be hard.

Like anything, it will get easier and quicker with practice. Promise.

My green smoothie takes me about 3 minutes to make in the morning and I used to whip this one up on the reg when I worked in Finance and commuted daily to Midtown, Manhattan.

I live by the motto “freeze yo greens.” Before you think I’m crazy, think about freezing some spinach, peeled ripe bananas and avocado chunks in ziplock bags before you leave for your next business trip. Just like this photo I posted on Instagram. When you come home, all you’ll need is some almond milk and vegan protein powder or almond butter to whip up a rebalancing green smoothie.

 Store frozen greens and bananas in your freezer, plant-based protein powder, nuts and superfoods in your pantry—you’ll never have an excuse not to be kind and loving to yourself as you sip on some restorative greens.

Store frozen greens and bananas in your freezer, plant-based protein powder, nuts and superfoods in your pantry—you’ll never have an excuse not to be kind and loving to yourself as you sip on some restorative greens.

Dark Chocolate + The Magic of Magnesium

Do you crave chocolate ALL THE TIME?? Mmm hmmm, thought so. Happy Valentines Day! Chocolate is everywhere today.

I love dark chocolate. If I was stranded on a desert island and had to choose between wine, cheese, bread, pizza or chocolate for the rest of my life  . . . I think I'd always choose the chocolate (and well, sometimes the wine). 

That said, chocolate cravings can tell you something. Dark Chocolate is chock full of magnesium and if you find yourself always seriously craving chocolate, you’re probably just magnesium deficient.

Repeat after me — this crazy chocolate craving is not about WILLPOWER people, it could be a magnesium deficiency! 

Hallelujah, right? 

At least 75% of the American population is magnesium-depleted. And I'd argue that highly motivated, driven — and stressed out — people, who also live in big cities, are severally deficient in magnesium.   

Yes, that likely means YOU.

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So, what the heck is magnesium?

Magnesium is a chill-out mineral — it helps regulate blood glucose and blood pressure, protects the proper functioning of the adrenals and female hormones, promotes muscle recovery, enhances a sense of CALM, helps you relax and allows you sleep like a baby.

Doesn’t that sound nice?

But!  

Caffeine and alcohol deplete our bodies of magnesium and chronic STRESS robs our bodies of this precious mineral little by little. 

It makes sense from an ancestral perspective. Our body knows to temporarily shut down our own production of magnesium if we're stressed. Hundreds of thousands of years ago — if cortisol and adrenaline were pumping through our veins as we’re running from a tiger — we'd stop producing magnesium. Same thing happens today, but from the stressors of daily life, emails from the boss, deadlines and tough commutes.

Action Steps

So! What do to about it? I'm glad you asked.

Counteract chronic magnesium depletion and go get yourself some magnesium supplements. Try: 

Always supplement with your magnesium at night because it is a chill-out mineral. Many of my clients find their chocolate cravings disappear within a week of consistent magnesium supplementation.

Bonus: You’ll sleep like a rock, poop like a rockstar (yes, magnesium helps with bowel movements too) and your chilled out self will thank me later.

And when all else fails, eat the damn chocolate. 

Health Coach Tip: I recommend skipping the sugary milk chocolate and always choosing the highest quality dark chocolate you can find, (with a cacao content or 75% or higher).

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, so always consult with a medical professional and do your own research before you start a supplementation regime. 

Why I Wrote This

My goal is to help people who are experiencing the same stressed-out symptoms I had five years ago — and fix their issues with stress NOW.

As a stress-less Health & Wellness Coach, I help you navigate the tricky grey area of adrenal imbalances and optimize your nutrition and lifestyle to upgrade your entire picture of health. Even if it feels overwhelming, it’s better to tackle stress early, than wait for decades as your stress manifests itself in to serious chronic illness or lifestyle disease.

Today, I support countless clients with stress and adrenal imbalances and here’s what I tell them during our initial consultations:  

If you suspect you have an adrenal imbalance, you most likely do. If you’ve tried to ask your doctor but they didn’t listen, you’re not alone. I believe you. I believe in the validity of your symptoms and that they’re trying to tell you something.  

You got this,

Michelle

 


 

 

Why You Should Flirt with Your Water Bottle

I was in a client session recently and found myself saying "I want you to want to MAKE OUT with your water bottle."

I blushed, realizing how ridiculous I sounded, but I continued on, "I want you to feel like you have a crush on it. Imagine yourself in a business meeting and your shiny new water bottle is sitting on the table in front of you. You keep stealing glances at it. You blush. You just want a sip  ..... You want to kiss your water bottle!"

We both started laughing. She said she totally understood the vibe of my story and immediately logged on to Amazon to check out the field and find her new water bottle soulmate. 

 Brought my favorite stemless plastic wine glasses (link below) to a weekend trip to Beacon, NY with Alex. Quick tip : Easy thing to throw in your suitcase for sipping water while traveling.

Brought my favorite stemless plastic wine glasses (link below) to a weekend trip to Beacon, NY with Alex. Quick tip : Easy thing to throw in your suitcase for sipping water while traveling.

Just think. You're touching your lips to your preferred water bottle or cup every time you sip.

It should feel good. It should feel pleasurable. 

Talking about drinking enough water can be really boring, so I I often ask my clients, "do you even like your water bottle?" 

Because, here's the thing, if we don't like our water bottle -- if it's old, creepy, hard-to-clean, easy to leak, not the right color, doesn't match our outfit, not fancy enough for the office, or has the wrong slogan on it -- we're not going to use it. 

We all know we should be drinking enough water, but how can you motivate yourself to actually do it?

Check out these top health coach picks for your next water bottle crush. You're going to want to pin them against the door as soon as you lay eyes on them and take a big sip for yourself. 

Happy sipping 'n shopping!

xo, Michelle

 

Don't touch my man, bkr Spiked Glass Water Bottle in London Opaque Light Grey

>>>>> Forward this to your friend who crushes on her water bottle and won't let it out of her sight and read on to my piece in mindbodygreen for how many ounces of water you really need in a day. 

 

 

Listen : Hear from my clients on Health Coaching with Michelle

Curious about: What is a Health Coach? What kind of clients choose to work with me? And what they love about the work we do together? Then pop in and listen to this audio trailer compiled from 1-1 interviews with some of my clients!

When I received the final cut of this project, it was my first time listening to any of the content. I was moved to tears, incredible flattered and SO PROUD of my former clients. You are all heroes (and heroines). 

A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to my former client, fellow Middlebury College grad, friend and superbly talented, Alex Braunstein, for suggesting we put together a trailer, conducting 1-1 interviews and singlehandedly bringing this vision to life. You ROCK girlfriend. 

PS: Please check out Alex's work for projects of your own. She's insanely talented! 

Thanks for listening and being here, xo, Michelle

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Stressed? Burned Out? 7 Ways to Prevent Adrenal Fatigue.

Hello FitVista Readers!

I'm thrilled to introduce you to Dana Monsees - a fellow Middlebury College graduate, Varsity Collegiate Athlete, Health Nut, Fitness Lover and go-go-getter. Since we were five years apart during college, when we met each other via Instagram (yup) we instantly connected on our personal experience with Adrenal Fatigue and the work we do now with our clients and community - educating on how to stress-less with diet, smart workouts and lifestyle practices. We've teamed up for a duo guest post series - check out my 20 Ways to Give Yourself Adrenal Fatigue post here over on Dana's blog and read on below on how to practice prevention. This is the EPIC BIBLE OF knowledge I wish I had 3-4 years ago when I was burned out and a basket-case of stress.

Xoxo, Thanks for reading, Michelle 

Hey friends!

I’m Dana - the Nutritionist, Health Coach & Blogger behind Real Food with Dana, a healthy living website where I teach you how to heal and thrive with real, totally delicious food. I’m pumped to meet you all and be guest posting on www.FitVista.com for my awesome friend Michelle  - thanks for having me guys!

 

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I know what it’s like to have adrenal fatigue - and complete adrenal exhaustion, and I don’t ever want to go back there again. So how can we prevent adrenal fatigue?


Whether you run your own business, have a side hustle + a full or part-time job, are in graduate school and trying to balance all of those things, have a family, or are just busy AF and can’t keep your head on straight...we all have those times when everything just feels like *too much* and you’re just going to sit down and cry in the middle of the road if one more thing happens, right?

 

Let’s be real. Most of us who get adrenal fatigue, cortisol resistance or adrenal exhaustion are total type-A personalities, entrepreneur types, who love high-intensity workouts, competing in half marathons, triathlons, etc., have a million things going on and thrive on being busy (and stressed).

Work hard, play hard, right? It’s just how we do.  But it’s that work hard, sleep less, caffeinate (and drink) more, work out harder, play harder lifestyle that creates the perfect environment to develop adrenal fatigue. Adrenal exhaustion (and HPA axis dysregulation) are also tied in with a host of other adrenal-related problems, like thyroid issues, losing your menstrual cycle, leaky gut/intestinal permeability, sudden onsets of anxiety, low blood pressure, weight gain, cravings, and massive blood sugar imbalances, just to name a few. And by the time we realize that it may be our personality and lifestyle choices that are creating these symptoms, it’s already too late - and we’re in the throes of chronic exhaustion and adrenal fatigue, not knowing what to do about it to recover

So whether you’ve had adrenal fatigue before, you think you may have it, or you’re trying to prevent yourself from slipping into adrenal fatigue (for the first time or again), we need a game plan. Today, we’re talking about 7 strategies to prevent adrenal fatigue. These are tools I use in times of high stress to prevent both myself and clients I’m working with from slipping back into cortisol resistance, extreme fatigue, crazy whacked-out hormones and cravings, under-recovering from workouts, and the vicious cycle that is adrenal fatigue like from happening again.
 

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1. Chill the f*ck out. (stress less)

Easier said than done, especially for us competitive, go-go-go, entrepreneur, A-types. Many people who suffer from adrenal fatigue, or who on track to get it, have lifestyles similar to mine. They overwork themselves in every aspect of their lives, make food choices that don’t adequately support their bodies (specifically with extremely low-carbohydrate, low-fat diets and excess amounts of caffeine and alcohol). They have the “can’t stop won’t stop” mentality, and they force their bodies to go until they literally can’t go any more. And for these people, it is *the hardest thing* to chill out and allow themselves to relax. Have trouble doing yoga or meditation because you can’t calm your mind down, and you think you could be doing so many other things with your time? This is you - and these are the people who need yoga and meditation the most.

You cannot recover from adrenal fatigue if you have stress coming from every area of your life. So we need to figure out where we can cut some stress out, where we can learn to manage unavoidable stress, and build in some stress-relieving practices. 

Chill the f*ck out. PRACTICE SELF-CARE. Do some yoga, or meditate for 5 minutes in the morning with an app. Get a massage. Take a walk in the park with your dog. Listen to a podcast or some calming music. The world will not stop spinning because you didn’t hit everything on your to-do list or post on instagram today. YOU WILL BE FINE, I promise.

Another tip? Stop letting little things get to you. So what if you’re stuck in traffic on the way to a big meeting? Yeah, it sucks. But there’s literally nothing you can do about it (aside from get out of your car and sprint to the office, which I’m guessing you’re not going to do… and imagine the pit stains? ugh.), so you might as well chill out, apologize when you get there, and move on. 

I know you still have commitments, and a million things to do. Here’s what I do - at the beginning of every week, I make a list of all the things I MUST get done that week. Schedule it all out by day like appointments to yourself. Pro tip: schedule in breaks, where you can *actually* chill out, go for a walk, take time for yourself. This is key to recovery and preventing adrenal fatigue. 
 

2. Say no to high-intensity exercise, long runs, and your favorite spin class.

Yes, that means crossfit. And zengo cycle. And your yoga class with weights. And pretty much everything you love to do, I get it. 

But let’s think about it. When was the last time you weren’t *totally exhausted* after a workout, when it didn’t take you days to recover before your next one? When you didn’t have to drag yourself out of bed with multiple cups of coffee and then take a preworkout, just to get through your workout?  

You already have a lot of stress in your life, and stress - whether it’s “good” or “bad”, can come from multiple places - and exercise is one of them, even if you love it. Your body has a certain threshold for stress, and once you go above that, it’s the total exhaustion / hormones totally out of whack / can’t get out of bed in the morning / can’t recover from workouts / when is this going to stop? Feeling. 
 

Exercise is a form of stress on the body, and if you’re already dealing with a lot of stress, it’s probably too much for your system to handle. High-intensity exercise and cardio (running, biking, etc.) spike your cortisol, which is why people with adrenal fatigue sometimes can feel soooo good for a little while after a hard crossfit workout, spin class, etc. But then, you totally crash, can’t function for the rest of the day, and can barely drag yourself out of bed the next morning to do it all again. So yes, your favorite workout could be pushing you farther into adrenal fatigue. It sucks, I know. But it’ll get better as long as you take some time off to recover.

What to do so you don’t go stir crazy? Walk. hike or bike (leisurely). Scale your workouts waaaay back. Lift some weights - but not to your max. Stick with low intensity. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. it will tell you when it’s too much. 

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3. Be selfish. Put yourself first.

This may sound like weird advice, but it’s like oxygen masks on an airplane - you have to put on your oxygen mask first before you can help anyone else. If you’re sick, how are you supposed to help others - whether that be your family, your friends, your clients, your growing business, etc.? Take time for yourself, and put your recovery above others needs (while being reasonable, of course. If you have kids or a pet, you can’t just leave them to fend for themselves!)

Stop saying yes to to extra commitments or ones that stress you out. No, you do NOT have to go to that person’s party if you’re totally exhausted. You do NOT have to offer to drive carpool every day. You need to recover, so you can be there for everyone else in your life. 
Say no to toxic friendships and relationships (another form of stress and negativity that you could probably do with anyways). Avoid negative people and negative self talk.

If you can, work from home some days. 

Quit that job that makes you dread waking up every day. Maybe you can’t do it now, maybe not in a few months, but you can start thinking about options. I did it, and I’ve never looked back. 
 

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4. Stop eating food that makes you and your body feel like sh*t. 

Here’s the thing. Some of the foods you eat may seem totally fine for you. You don’t have celiac, you don’t feel like you’re sensitive to gluten, and you eat it all the time, so you must be fine, right? Well. The thing about gluten, dairy, soy, and a couple other potentially problematic foods is that they have a high probability of causing inflammation throughout the body (which you already have going on if you’re dealing with adrenal fatigue symptoms), and we can’t put that fire out unless the inflammation-causing agents are removed for a period of healing. 

ELIMINATE (for now) foods that can cause inflammation, blood sugar spikes, or an unhealthy psychological response.

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Crappy cooking oils (hydrogenated, vegetable oils, soy oil, peanut oil, corn oil) - check your ingredient labels!
  • Artificial sweeteners and added sugars
  • Junk food (processed, packaged junk. That means you, twinkies). 
  • Simple aka high glycemic carbohydrates (aka white foods) like white flours, white rice, white potatoes. These spike your blood sugar

 

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5. Eat REAL (nutrient-dense, healing) FOOD.

And make sure you’re eating enough. A lot of the time when I work with adrenal fatigue clients, there’s a common history of over-exercising and under-eating, whether it’s for weight loss or body composition goals, an  unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies, or even disordered eating. Did you know 1200 calories a day is the recommended intake for a THREE YEAR OLD? I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re reading this, you’re definitely not three years old. Just saying. Low calorie / low carb / low fat = high stress for the body. 
 

Healing foods for adrenal fatigue:

  • Healthy fat + protein at each meal.
  • Slow-digesting carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and starchy vegetables (winter squash), parsnips, plantains, etc. 
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Colorful veggies = nutrient density. Eat as many as you want.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods: broccoli, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, kiwi, tomatoes, pomegranate.
  • Magnesium-rich foods: green leafy veggies, dark chocolate, and nuts + seeds.
  • Add himalayan sea salt to your food to help with low blood sugar. 

Increase the healthy fats. However. Upping the healthy fats in your diet will help. It’s hard to be prescriptive with specific recommendations since I don’t know you or your specific situation, but make sure you’re getting at minimum 75-100g of carbohydrates per day for adrenal fatigue healing, for now. 

Note: A ketogenic/super low carbohydrate diet is not your friend right now. Keto can be very therapeutic in other situations, however, for NOW, when your body is already totally stressed out and hormones are out of whack, your body won’t even allow you to get into ketosis. And going lower carbohydrate right now isn’t going to help heal your hormones or cortisol rhythms. 

Not only WHAT you’re eating, but HOW you’re eating is also extremely important here. Don’t scarf down your food while driving/watching tv/running between errands. Take time to sit, breathe, and practice mindful eating - so you can actually digest, heal and reap the benefits of these nutrient-dense foods you’re eating. 

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6. Stop drinking coffee AND alcohol.

This is not a fun one, I know. DANA. You can take away my gluten-filled goodies, even my favorite sugary snacks, but you CANNOT take away my coffee. I will. Literally. Die. (and or fall asleep at inappropriate times of the day) without. It. 

And that, friends, is exactly why you need to be away from all forms of caffeine right now. Every time you drink coffee, you’re stimulating your adrenal glands, aka activating the fight-or-flight response, and producing cortisol. We’ve all experienced it from having a little too much caffeine - your heart starts to race, you feel jittery, and like you just need to go run somewhere to burn some energy off.

When you have adrenal fatigue, your natural cortisol rhythm is thrown off. Normally, cortisol is high in the morning (to wake you up), highest at noon, and then gradually lowers throughout the day to allow you to naturally fall asleep at night. With adrenal fatigue, many people have very low cortisol in the morning, and then get “tired and wired” and have a cortisol spike at night. So of course, we reach for caffeine in the morning because we literally can’t function without it - you’re right about that. But using coffee to wake up when you have adrenal fatigue is like putting a bandaid on the problem - you’re not actually fixing anything, and are only messing up your cortisol rhythms even more. 
 

7. Sleep MORE

At least 8 hours a night. This probably goes without saying, right? But if you’re not sleeping, how are you supposed to stop being exhausted all the time? When you’re getting *restful* sleep, your body is in recovery mode - which is exactly what you need to get out of adrenal fatigue. This may mean you need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. Which may totally not be feasible, but maybe a 45 minute nap in the middle of the day is. Do what you can! 

Try your best to get to bed before 10 or 10:30, which is where studies have shown the most restful type of sleep occurs. 
 

BONUS: Consider some supplements. 


When you’re stressed, the body is using up a lot more of certain vitamins to help compensate, to produce more hormones, and to try to bring your body back into homeostasis (balance). You can get these nutrients from food, but considering supplements in your period of recovery may be very therapeutic as well. Talk to your naturopath or nutritionist for specific dosage recommendations! 

  • Vitamin C helps the adrenals produce more cortisol
  • Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, and becomes more depleted the more stressed you are. It’s extremely helpful for both relaxation of the muscles, to support the nervous system, and for sleep
  • B vitamins support energy levels and can help replete what your body is losing from being in a constant state of stress and depletion from adrenal fatigue. 
  • Adaptogens are Ayurvedic herbs that studies have shown can help bring the body back into balance by moderating the stress response, strengthen the immune system, and may help lower cortisol levels. (Source: 1, 2, 3)
  • Current two favorites for stress are ashwaganda and reishi. Favorite way to get them? In teas from Four Sigmatic.

Remember, this isn’t forever.

As you recover, you’ll gradually be able to get back to your favorite workouts, your coffee and alcohol (to your tolerance, and in moderation). BUT. Remember what got you here in the first place. If, once you’re recovered and feeling better, you go back to the same lifestyle and choices that landed you to total adrenal exhaustion in the first place, what’s to prevent you from going back there again? 

Be smart. Listen to your body. Take care of it! It’s the only place you have to live. 

Dana Monsees is a Nutritionist, Health Coach, puppy lover, and the fun-sized founder of Real Food with Dana, where she teaches clients and readers how to heal and thrive with real food. Her goal is to help you find health and happiness with real food and a paleo lifestyle, one delicious meal at a time! Because life’s too short to eat boring, tasteless food. Caveman would if he could. Come check her out on Real Food with Dana!

Blog & Nutrition services: www.realfoodwithdana.com
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