Tag Archives: health coaching

Striving for a Healthier Lifestyle? Surround Yourself with Healthy People

It’s been said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. While we often think about healthy living as largely a sum of eating habits and activity level, sometimes we tend to forget about the importance of mental health and surrounding ourselves with healthy, positive people to help us lead healthier lives ourselves.

When I was a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach, we talked a lot about what we refer to as ‘primary food’ – the things that feed you that aren’t food, like relationships, career, physical activity and a social life. Relationships are such a big aspect of health, and they have the power to bring us up or hold us down throughout our lives in such significant ways.

I got to thinking about this topic last weekend, when my husband was doing a Ragnar Relay race. The basic gist is that it’s an overnight event where teams of 12 run 200 miles in a relay race. I woke up on Saturday while he was doing the race, and totally did not feel like doing the yoga session I had planned on starting my day with. But then I thought about Adam. He has been eating, sleeping, and breathing schoolwork for the MBA program he’s in when he’s not working full-time, the man rides his bike to and from work in order to squeeze daily workouts in, and he was running 20 miles in a race in the midst of it all.

And so, I got up, put my yoga clothes on, and headed to my mat for a practice. I told myself to just do it, and while I wasn’t totally feeling it, I’m glad that I pushed myself to practice.

He was my motivation to get up and get going that morning, and I think that we push each other in life in general – whether it’s to workout when we don’t feel like it, encourage each other to better ourselves through education and experiences, or to work hard and take risks in our careers. We both are motivated people, and I think that we rub off on each other in positive ways.

Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about who I spend my time with and how they may be elevating my life or bringing it down. I truly believe in the power of the attitudes and energy of others rubbing off on me. Putting that idea into action, sometimes it’s meant having to take a step back from relationships if they aren’t serving me in a healthy way. One of my favorite quotes is, “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.”

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Introducing My Custom Meal Planning & Health Coaching Program!

Happy February!

How’s everyone doing with their New Year’s resolutions & goals for 2017?

According to Forbes, only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. JUST EIGHT! Not surprisingly, I’ve also read that the #1 New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to lose weight & eat healthier.

Personally, I’m less of a New Year’s resolution person, and more of a make-goals-at-any-time-and-crush-them kinda girl. Why? Because while I like the idea of a fresh start with a new year, I believe in the power of hard work & consistency to make changes in any month. I also believe that if you’ve already given up on your resolutions, you always have the power to start again with a renewed sense of motivation – no matter the time of the year.

When it comes to weight loss, eating better, & getting healthier, a lot of time people give up because they don’t have the support they really need to be successful – whether that means understanding their food cravings and unhealthy habits, having someone there to support & motivate them, becoming more knowledgable about nutrition, or a bit of all of the above.

So, I want to help you rock your New Year’s resolutions.

I want to help you develop healthier eating habits, shed unwanted pounds, and be the confident, happy person that you’ve been envisioning in your head.

ANNOUNCING… MY CUSTOM MEAL PLANNING & HEALTH COACHING PROGRAM!

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Focus on Gratitude with a 2017 Positivity Jar

Here at Foodie Loves Fitness, I practice & preach the concept of moderation when it comes to most things. But, if there’s one thing that I think you can’t have enough of, it’s gratitude (well… and love).

Longtime readers probably have heard me talk about the concept of practicing gratitude daily. I believe that doing so brings lots of positivity into your life, and as with the law of attraction goes, it also attracts new good things. I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to harp on the negative, and instead, I invite you to focus more on the positive this year.

If you’re wondering about techniques to be more consciously grateful, you’re in luck, because today I’m sharing one new way to bring more gratitude into your everyday life.

It’s called a positivity jar, and the idea is that every time something good happens, you write it down on a little piece of paper, and throw it in the jar. By the end of the year, you hopefully will have a jar full of little reminders of why life is good that you can look back on!

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Cultivate Gratitude by Switching Your Mindset from “Got to” to “Get to”

Hello, hello!

Today I want to talk about a concept that I’ve been sharing with my health coaching clients and loved ones this week. The idea first came into my consciousness during a yoga session last weekend.

yogi-tea-wisdom

I’m usually an optimistic, genuinely happy person, but since I share real life stuff on this blog of mine, I don’t mind admitting that I’ve just been experiencing a bit of a down feeling that I haven’t been able to quite shake. When I woke up last Saturday morning feeling like I was kind of in a funk, I decided that I was going to start my day with a yoga practice to stretch my sore muscles and soothe my soul. I did a class via YogaDownload, and decided to do a post-class meditation afterwards to further clear my head and open my heart.

meditation-brings-wisdom-quote

The concept of the Outlaw Yoga meditation (<– which by the way, Outlaw Yoga is perfect for those of you that don’t gravitate towards the stereotypical yoga instructor vibe. The founders are these tattooed, long haired, cool guys that teach with live music being played in the background) was cultivating an attitude of gratitude by looking at things from “got to” to “get to.” The premise is that if you alter your mindset with a more heart-centered approach, you’ll be able to cultivate a constant reminder of gratitude in your life.

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Friday Reflections

I’ve been reflecting a lot about life lately.

I think it’s partly having been in my home state of New Jersey for a few weeks, partly me entering my last year of my 20’s earlier this month, and partly me just being an analytical person. But I’ve been thinking a lot about life.

Stormy sunset skies at Barley Point, an island I grew up on

Stormy sunset skies at Barley Point, an island I grew up on

Every time I visit home, I find myself looking at the places I see and the people I’m with with fresh eyes. I think that many people who have lived far away from their families and hometowns can relate to this feeling. I also think that it’s nearly impossible to look at it with such new perspective unless you’ve been away. Everything sometimes seems exactly the same, while other times it seems like everything has changed. I even drove through my alma mater while I was there and got to reflect on my college years.

And somewhere along the way in the now many years that I’ve been gone, there’s this interesting dynamic of me feeling like I have two homes in my heart: where I’m from, and California. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that I was brought to California to be awakened in ways that I wasn’t before. I’ve really grown and grown into my own here, and I’ve been looking inward and thinking about what’s shaped me.

The view from my favorite nearby park & its little mountain

The view from my favorite nearby park & its little mountain

I think that being independent on my own living in new areas has helped me often push out of my comfort zone and learn a lot, that being apart from my husband and loved ones has helped me to be a more loving and patient person, that being on this journey to be the healthiest, happiest me and helping others to do the same has given me confidence and satisfaction, that traveling has broadened my horizons and given me new perspective. I’m grounded by a marriage that has gotten stronger with each year. I feel a calmness that doesn’t get shaken easily, and I think that my love of hiking and yoga has helped to develop that at a spiritual level.

cloudy sunset at Barley Point

There’s this quote I love: “A mind that’s stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” I just want to keep learning, growing, listening, experiencing, and loving all that life has to offer.

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8 Ways to Be Healthier While Traveling

Hello, hello!

Can you guys believe that we’re already towards the end of July? It seems like the summer is just whizzing by!

headstand play at sunset

Next weekend starts the beginning of a month of travel for me. First, I leave for the east coast to spend time with my family and friends out there for a few weeks. My hubby was already scheduled to take a trip to Philly for a weeklong class to start his Masters degree at Temple University, so it seemed like a good time for me to head east too. I’ll be based at my parents’ house in Jersey, but will also traveling around the state to visit in-laws and friends, heading to Philly a few times to see my hubby, and will probably visit NYC once or twice.

Then, I come back to Cali for a week of normalcy before heading out to Ireland. I’ve never been there before and am excited to go! I’m expecting lots of greenery, pubs, and castles, and will of course keep you guys in the loop about what I’m doing in Dublin and around the country. If anyone has must-see recommendations, please let me know!

Photo via Ireland.com

Photo via Ireland.com

I adore traveling. It’s a passion of mine to see and explore new places. But traveling can certainly make it more of a challenge to live a healthy lifestyle. Since it’s important to me to consistently feel my best, I’ve developed some healthy habits that serve as guidelines during my experiences traveling. Here are 8 ways that I stay super healthy while traveling!

Keep up with a workout routine. While I might not get in as frequent or as long of workouts as I do when I’m in a normal routine, I make sure to still fit in exercise when I’m traveling.

A shot from a hotel room yoga session in Mexico in June

A shot from a hotel room yoga session in Mexico in June

Sometimes I bust out a quick HIIT routine or yoga session in my hotel room. I use whatever I have available to me, which sometimes is a treadmill, other times is a few sets of dumbbells, and at times may be just a floor with a bit of space to jump around.

It also helps that my hubby is the same way. When he opts to go for a quick run around whatever city we’re in, I push myself to get in a workout as well!

Tahoe smoothies

A healthy smoothie lunch in Lake Tahoe

Keep it healthy for breakfast & lunch. Let’s be honest, I love food and when I’m traveling, I’m going to splurge sometimes. Food is no doubt part of experiencing the culture of different places. But, if I eat a big breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I feel bloated and gross. Instead, I try to keep it pretty healthy for breakfast & lunch, and then I indulge at dinner.

Venice-5

Pizza in Venice — which was even better than it looks!

In example, if I know I’m going to eat Italian for dinner and bathe in a pool of pasta, I make sure to get in protein and go light on the carbs during the day. Or, if I order pancakes for breakfast, I’ll eat only half of them to avoid feeling stuffed. It’s all about balance.

Venice-13

What my breakfasts looked like while vacationing in Italy

Love a big fancy brunch? Go for it, but then even it out a bit with a lighter dinner. All in moderation my friends!

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The 80/20 Diet Rule + Spring into Shape with My New Health Coaching Program

“Nicole! You’re eating French fries?!”

“Ice cream?? Wow, there’s ice cream in your freezer!!”

These are the kind of things I hear from people who are aware of my passion for healthy living and see me eating ______ (insert anything sugary, fried, fattening, etc.).

People seem to find it surprising, but yes, I’ll eat fries once in awhile. I indulge in dessert sometimes. I drink one too many glasses of wine here and there… and not because I’m diving off the deep end from my healthy diet, but because I embrace balanced eating and the 80/20 principle.

80:20 diet principle

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What is the 80/20 approach to diet?  It’s a pretty simple idea: 80% of the time, you fuel your body with healthy, nutrient-dense foods, and then the remaining 20% of the time, you can indulge in treats and less nutritious foods. A lot of the time, that 20% for me includes things that aren’t junk food. For instance, I’d consider some dark chocolate or a glass of red wine as part of that 20%. Both are heart-healthy, but I look at them as extras that I don’t really need, but that I just enjoy and feel like having.

The percentages aren’t an exact science. Some days and weeks I’m more like 90/10, and then other days and weeks I might splurge more and eat more of a 75/25 ratio, but the idea is to achieve a healthy eating balance where treats are part of your diet guilt and stress free.

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New 1:1 Health Coaching Offering!

My active, healthy lifestyle is such a big part of my life. As a health coach, I love getting the opportunity to share some of my knowledge and passion about health, and to help support my clients in reaching their healthy living goals.

start living healthy

I believe there’s no greater feeling than feeling healthy & happy from the inside out! That feeling transcends into every other part of life. Making an active lifestyle a priority, feeling like you have the power in your diet, and coping with stress in healthy ways are some of the things that I work on with my clients.

Nicole Crane Health - Logo

Normally, I offer a 6-month health coaching program, where the client and I “meet” (via in person, Skype or phone) every other week to hold an hourlong session. In between those meetings, we often communicate via email, where I send motivational notes, informational handouts about things we’ve discussed, and answer any questions that pop up. My program is tailored to the individual, so I customize it depending on their needs and challenges.

To Be Healthy - quote

While 6 months is thought to be an ideal amount of time to make healthy changes a habit and create a new lifestyle that can stick, I understand that committing to 6 months is a lot for some people. That’s why I’m offering a brand new option that allows you to become a health coaching client without diving right into a whole program: a 6 session package!

6 Session Offer

Just what does this offering include?

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The Diet Trick That’s Guaranteed to Make You Healthier

Nutrition is such an interesting subject. There are so many dietary theories out there with millions of loyal followers, yet often they conflict with each other.

Dietary Theory books

(Image via the Institute for Integrative Nutrition)

In all honesty, some of them make me cringe a bit. I’m talking to you, Paleo followers that claim they’re “eating like a cave man” yet they buy conventionally raised meat that was likely transported from halfway across the country from animals that had been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, and fed a diet unnatural to them.

But I digress. Nutrition can definitely be confusing for people, even for someone whose studied nutrition and is really into food like myself. While dietary theories can drastically differ in ideology, there’s one thing that I believe all decent diets have in common: lots of veggies & fruits.

veggies

My #1 diet trick is something that I consciously implemented into my daily eats years ago: Eat veggies and/or fruits at every.single.meal. 

It might sound hard to eat at least one veggie or fruit every time you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but with a bit of planning, I promise you that it’s not. Here are some examples of how I do it:

zoodles

If I’m quickly throwing together some ravioli or pasta for dinner, I make sure that there’s a green alongside it, like zoodles or string beans. Sometimes it’s a fresh veggie, other times it’s something canned or frozen… whatever works in the moment!

Chocolate cashew banana protein smoothie

Chocolate cashew banana protein smoothie

I’m a smoothie monster. I make one almost every day. What does every single smoothie I make have in it? Either banana or some sort of berries.

Ponte pasta primavera

If I’m out to dinner, I tend to order an entree with a lot of veggies. If my entree happens to not have a lot of veggies, I get a salad as an appetizer. That salad not only nourishes my body, but it cuts the edge off of my hunger, so I’ll eat less of my entree (Leftovers are awesome!).  

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Weighing in on the “Curvy” Girl Revolution

“Babe, you have to come in here and watch this,” my husband yelled to me as I cooked dinner while he relaxed in the living room one night last week.

He then proceeded to rewind the Sports Illustrated behind-the-scenes show he was watching where they talked about one of the models, Robyn Lawley, being a “plus- sized” model who represents the average woman in America:

robyn-lawley-sports-illustrated-swimsuit

Both his and my reaction were the same in thinking that Robyn – whose absolutely gorgeous – didn’t look like a plus-sized woman on the show. I do realize that in the modeling world, Robyn is indeed considered plus-sized, I just think it’s kind of crazy. I can’t help but feel that the modeling industry is totally warped and out of touch with what the vast majority of real women look like for Robyn to be categorized as plus-sized. I do think that the modeling world is moving in the right direction though, because Robyn takes the prize as the first plus-sized model to be in a Sports Illustrated issue.

Another “curvy” girl to be pictured in S.I. is Ashley Graham, who proudly shows off her size 16 body for a paid advertisement in the magazine. I watched this interview of hers, and I kind of love her. She’s fit, she’s healthy, but she’s not a small girl and she’s okay with that. In the interview they talk about this “curvy” girl revolution happening, and the topic has been on my mind since I saw it.

ashley graham

Ashley Graham

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