Finding My Happy Space

Happy Hump Day!

This morning I was able to spend some time in one of my favorite places in the house: my kitchen.

While some won’t think this odd at all, I must confess that I times I disregard my love for the kitchen. Sometimes I simply don’t want to enter it for fear of dirty dishes and big messes. Can any other moms and dads relate here?

The kitchen has always been a vital part of my life. On weekends, my mom could often be found in the kitchen making a true southern breakfast, complete with biscuits, eggs, pancakes AND bacon! I also remember baking chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen and learning the bare (EXTREMELY bare!) basics of baking. The kitchen has always signified a place of nurturing. Unfortunately, as I embarked upon my weight loss journey, my love for  the kitchen dimmed.

My second confession today is that I love food! I really do :) I love crisp, fresh salads and rich, creamy soups just the same. And I can get really excited over  a well cooked hamburger too! Food has seemingly always been a passion for me, so it’s natural that I became a nutritionist. The funny thing is that with my emotional roller coaster with food, I haven’t begun to utilize my nutritionist skills until recently. Here is the very basic thing you need to understand about food: IT WAS MADE TO BE ENJOYED.

You read that right! When did food become the enemy? Ahem…..somewhere in the early 80′s when “diet gurus” starting butting in and telling us what to eat. Have you noticed something? The DIET industry is BOOMING…and so are our waistlines and worse, disease. Coincidence? Well, that’s another post entirely and it is coming :) Food is not your enemy and your enjoyment of food needn’t be martyred to lose weight. In fact, if we would learn to relax and nourish our bodies with what they need (NOBODY needs a Big Mac and fries people), then the body is more complying with letting go of unwanted weight. I speak the truth!

So, I have made a shift from killing my body in the gym to pouring my heart out in the kitchen. My husband and kids LOVE when these moments come around! My intent is to spend time in my happy space every day, preparing meals that nourish us from the inside out. So, that’s all great, but what’s in it for you right? Well, I’ll be sharing my happy space journey with you. I’ll let you in on all the happenings, including the kitchen updates and new gadgets. I just got a Vitamix (OBSESSED!) and I’m in desperate need of picking a color for the kitchen walls. All of it, from recipe remakes to failures to videos on how to ensure you shop your store smart, stock your pantry with confidence, travel light (intestinally speaking) and even make your own dressings and kimchi (oh yes, YOU can do this!).

Why am I doing this? Every good nutritionist (the GOOD ones!) have periods of self experimentation. This ensures that what is being recommended actually works. Through years of research, I have noticed the one common denominator for those seeking help to lose weight or overcome illness is this: FOOD. It’s not that our bodies are just lazy, our food isn’t working FOR us. Actually, over the past couple of decades our food has begun working against us. Any kind of workout will help most people feel better IF they are feeding themselves well. My intention is to make that possible. Eating healthful is not impossible, no matter your career choice or current life situations. Come along for the ride and get ready for vibrant health, renewed energy and all the weight loss your body needs.

From our kitchen to yours,

kitchen help

 

Michelle

 

Nutrition Essentials

When it comes to feeding your family, there are some essentials to keep on hand and in mind so that everybody stays healthy:)

  • Wash and chop vegetables beforehand so they are readily available. Most grocers offer already prepped veggies too. Place them in baggies or reusable containers at eye level in the fridge. That way, when a snack attack hits, you’re ready.
  • Wash fruits and place them beside the sink. I have a fruit bowl beside my sink and keep it stocked with oranges, bananas and apples. Berries get washed and placed in the fridge. Watermelon and other melons are portioned out into containers and placed in a prominent place. That way when we get hot from playing we can easily get some healthy fuel.
  • Add some flavor. Both of my kids take veggies and a fruit to school every day. The veg is in a baggie and I always put a lemon and lime slice with them. The kids LOVE this as they can squeeze the slices over the veg to give it a better, more refreshing flavor.
  • Make your lean proteins in advance. I grill/broil chicken breasts, slice them, then place them in containers. This way I have them on hand for quick grab-n-go lunches and also ready to go dinners.
  • Keep plenty of frozen veggies on hand as well. This way you’re 5 minutes away from adding vegetables to your dinner. Nix the butter laden ones and go for fresh. Place them in a small pot with some chicken stock and play around with fresh herbs to season them. We really love fresh rosemary and parsley with our mixed veg.
  • Keep high fiber, whole grain crackers and breads on hand in the pantry. These help to fill you up and give you energy too.

Should you choose to keep treats in the house, go for some that have at least SOME nutritional value: dark chocolate, dark chocolate covered almonds, dried fruits, granola bars, protein bars, etc. keep these in a container in the pantry. i use a large white bin and keep it above eye level. That way these treats are there when we really want them, but we are less likely to eat them first.

Keep in mind that staying healthy is not as difficult as most think it is. With a small amount of planning and some dedication it is the easiest part of your day!

Stay healthy!

Michelle