www.juliewilcoxson.com

It is the beginning of the year when people get excited about making positive changes however, 60% of the time those changes are short lived.

I want different for you. I want you to achieve all the things that you want out of life but you can’t do it by sitting by and wishing for it. A wish is nothing short of a dream. What you want are goals with actionable steps.

What didn’t you achieve in 2018 that you still want in 2019? Write them down and put some emotion behind them. Why do you want these things in your life? What would be different if you achieved them? How would your life be better? How would you feel if you didn’t accomplish them?

Now what actions do you need to take to make them a reality? Do you need to reduce the amount of television that you watch? How about planning your meals out for the week? Going to bed earlier so you can get up earlier to get your workout in?

Let’s make this year the year with no excuses, instead let’s make it all about action. The choices that you make everyday should reflect the goals you want. If you want to be healthier but you are still eating most of your meals out of a bag, then those choices won’t get you to your goals. You must be responsible for what you eat, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, working out, getting in movement daily, and talking to yourself positively.

No more wishing for things to happen for you…..

                                                                        Make them happen

Juliewilcoxson.com

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Can you believe we are in December? Is anyone else wondering where 2018 went? It seems like I blinked and we’re already moving into a new year, boy, I don’t need time going by that fast.

I know this last month throws a lot at you but I still want you to focus on making it through without derailing too much from all those healthy habits you have worked on all year. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some delicious Christmas goodies but I do want to help you devise a plan of action before you go all in.

Surviving the Holidays by Health & Fitness Blogger www.juliewilcoxson.com
Get moving

Here are my quick tips to help you this month

Tip # 1: Schedule your workouts. I know your busier than ever trying to make all the things happen but to be able to accomplish so much over the next 24 days you are going to need the energy. Exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety, it helps keep our sugar cravings under control, and if you are anything like me, it makes you a little more pleasant to be around. It is important to keep a familiar routine when so much is going on around you. Let’s face it, everybody needs 30 minutes to an hour to take care of themselves no matter what time of year it is.

 

Tip # 2. Drink your water. When the temperatures dip down it makes us reach for the hot teas and an extra cup of Joe, which ultimately means we need even more water. Dehydration makes our skin drier, less performance in our workouts, less energy, and our bodies need the water for survival. The goal is half of your weight in ounces of water at a minimum (you need an extra 8 ounces             for every hour of exercise and every cup of coffee).

 

 Tip # 3. Get your Sleep. This is the one area we always try to skimp on to fit more “stuff” into our day. Wrong idea! It is flu season and when you get yourself run down, you lower your immune system making you more susceptible to all the illnesses that are going around. Sleep is when your body rejuvenates. We are overstimulated all day long by our jobs and having cell phones around the clock. The goal here is 7-8 hours each night just as you did the last 11 months. Sleep is when the magic of all your hard work gets to come to life.

 

 

Tip #4. Arm yourself with healthy snacks. How many times have you been held up longer than you had planned? Poor planning = drive thru’s and candy bars. Never leave home without healthy portable snacks. I always have a bag of protein powder, water bottle, and a snack bag of raw nuts with me. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just healthy. Have you ever gone on a long road trip and didn’t plan to stop for gas because you wouldn’t have time? That would be craziness, treat your body the same way- it needs refueling throughout the day.

 

Tip # 5. Practice Gratitude. Don’t let this time of year get you caught up in what you don’t have. Instead focus on 5 things every day that you are thankful for. It can’t be your family because that is a given, instead look for the little things like a great cup of coffee,  5 minutes of unplanned quite time to yourself, a great conversation with a friend, a beautiful sunrise. Look for the small things in your everyday and you will start appreciating all that you are blessed with.

 

Living a healthy lifestyle is year round and we can’t push it aside because we are too busy with other things. It is a full time commitment. Embrace the feeling you get from a good workout, or the stress release it provides, make those feelings something you look forward to so you don’t want to miss.  I hope you learned a tip or two to keep you on track this holiday season. I would love to hear how you have handled it all in the past.

 

Juliewilcoxson.com

 

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The lies we tell ourselves, I will start tomorrow?

I know what you are doing; I have been there myself a million times. You get gung ho about starting a new fitness program or you decide you want to start eating healthy. You may even do great for a couple of days until your girlfriend calls and invites you out for dinner and some wine. The diet quickly goes out the window; but you tell yourself its okay because you will do better tomorrow.

Do You Have a Habit of Breaking Promises by www.juliewilcoxson.com
It’s just one cupcake, right?

Tomorrow arrives but the kids want pancakes and you love pancakes, a couple will be okay besides you will eat well at lunch. But you forgot that it is Lisa’s birthday at the office and they are catering in with pizza and of course there is going to be cake, so the cycle begins.

The Fitness Promise

Maybe, for you it is beginning a fitness routine and the same scenario above plays out. Your girlfriend invites you to dinner during your normal workout time so you skip it. When you get home, you are way too tired to get it in, besides you are too full from all the extra calories at dinner, you cannot work out on a full stomach, RIGHT!?

How many times have you done this vicious cycle where you make a promise to yourself that this is the time that you are going to get that body that you once had or always wanted ONLY to keep breaking the promises you made to yourself?

Would you keep inviting a friend to dinner if they kept canceling on you every time something “better” came along?  I don’t think I would be friends with that person for very long. It would make me feel like a loser if they cancelled our plans because something more interesting was going on.

What is a promise?

Just so we are clear, a promise, as defined by Webster Dictionary, is: “a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified.

When we don’t keep a promise to someone, it communicates to that person that we don’t value him or her. We have chosen to put something else ahead of our commitment. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lights-camera-happiness/201005/why-keeping-your-promise-is-good-you

Did you read that part? I put it in bold for you? Breaking a promise, especially a promise to yourself is still a promise; it communicates to that person (you) that you don’t value yourself. We have to start keeping the promises we have set for ourselves to prove that we are worth the time and effort that it takes to be healthy. I have 5 simple steps to help you to NEVER break a self promise again.

These 5 simple steps are designed to help you start feeling better about yourself so that you start to value your worth. As I already mentioned to you, that you won’t take care of something that you don’t value and this is the first place we need to start.

Step 1: Start drinking water every single day. I want you to take your weight in pounds and divide it in half. The number you get is what I want you to drink in ounces every single day 365 days a year without excuses. For example if you weigh 150 lbs then you will need to drink 75 ounces a day (that’s just over 9 glasses of water a day). I know you probably think this is silly but it works. When your body is hydrated, you have more energy (remember when you said you didn’t work out because you felt worn out).  By giving your body the water it needs and desires it can perform the necessary daily functions it needs to do in order for you to feel good.

Step 2: Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you do right now. Another reason we don’t feel like doing the things needed to take care of ourselves is because we are walking around sleep deprived. We try to fit a million things in a day (I didn’t say productive things but things). Realize you cannot do all the things in one day. You have 6 other days that you can work things into by making a list by priority in which your workouts should be at the top of the list.

Step 3: Move. Movement is life. Our bodies were never meant to sit for 8-10 hours a day. We sit at our desks, we sit during long commutes, we sit in meetings, we sit at the ball field, we sit and we sit and we sit. You need to get up and move, get in your workout every day. Get up every hour and just walk around and stretch. Not only will your body movement patters improve, you will have better mental focus, you will wake up without the caffeine, your body will be happier, and you will feel better overall and you will experience less tightness.

Have you ever flown on a plane and during the safety demonstration they tell you in case of an emergency put your oxygen mask on first and then your child’s. The reason for that is you cannot possibly help your children or anybody else for that matter, if you are incapable of doing so.

If you feel guilty setting aside time for yourself then think of the story of the flight safety demonstration.

Step 4: Feed your body well balanced meals. Think colorful meals loaded with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. Our body and our skin needs the antioxidants and vitamins they provide. Have your choice of lean protein to help build your muscles, include some healthy fats in order to regulate your hormones, have a little complex carbs to provide energy you need for that scheduled workout. Don’t skip on meals, don’t starve your body, instead fuel it.

Step 5: Have gratitude. I didn’t do this one for a long time and then I realized I wasn’t living in the moment therefore, I wasn’t seeing all the beauty right in front of me. I am one that is always reaching for the next goal immediately after one is accomplished. When I started keeping a gratitude journal every night of 10 different things I was thankful for during that day, my life really changed. I saw my surroundings and I started to live in the here and now. If you can’t think of 10 things then start with just 5, but I promise you can think of 10. It can be anything from that fresh brew coffee in the morning, to the easy drive into work, or the great conversation you had with a friend.

Live in the moment so you can thrive in the next….

 

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If you are looking for that high protein well balanced carb meal to get you through your workouts then look no further… I mean we all struggle with what to eat pre-workout especially for those early morning workout sessions… I discovered this recipe recently and modified it to fit my nutritional requirements to make it trainer approved… Go ahead give it a go and let me know what you think….
 
Ingredients: 

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter (you could use almond butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 scoops of protein powder ( I used BSN Sythna 6 chocolate)
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini diary free chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place all ingredients into a mixer (add chocolate chips and walnuts during last minute of mixing).
  3. Mix until well incorporating; mix will be pretty liquidy.
  4. Line muffin tin with muffin cups and spray with non stick spray.
  5. Using an ice cream scooper fill muffin cups 1/2 full.
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes depending on oven or until knife comes out clean.

Enjoy
 
 

Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing.
And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Win-win!
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They’re “satiating”.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
Summary:
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
● Slices of lemon & ginger
● Slices of strawberries & orange
● Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
● Chopped pineapple & mango
● Blueberries & raspberries
Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning. They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.
References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

The Science Behind Mindful Eating: What Happens to Your Body During a Mindful Meal

Are you one who drinks your water with lemon or without? If you are one who chooses no lemon you may want to rethink your decision….
With flu season in full swing the extra boost of Vitamin C to your immune system is a very good idea. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning gives the body time to absorb the Vitamin C and potassium effectively. If your not a fan of water adding a couple wedges of lemon might just change your taste buds. If your having stomach issues lemon water may give you some comfort there too. It can help relieve indigestion and ease an upset stomach. It helps stimulate the liver and flushes out toxins which means less bloating.
Did you know that the antioxidants found in Vitamin C fight damage caused by free radicals keeping the skin looking beautiful. Another great benefit is it helps the body produce collagen which is essential in fighting those fine lines and wrinkles.
Are you reaching for that third cup of morning coffee? Let lemon water help boost your energy levels naturally. Also by adding it into your daily morning regime you can see some benefits on the scale too. Lemons contain pectin which is a fiber found in fruits which helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
With all of these great benefits I encourage you to give it a try. Simply fill a glass with water and add a few slices of lemon to it.
 

In the Burpees and Bacon Kitchen we have been cooking of a mess of favorite dishes during our meal prepping. Sink your taste buds into this quick delightful dish of flavorful goodness. I have always loved lasagna but it never loved me back, I was so excited to learn of a skillet recipe that I could modify to fit my schedule and my health needs. I love to add veggies in just about everything that I cook but if you don’t share in the love, it is easy to omit.
 
Ingredients:

  • 3- 14.5 oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 oz of mushrooms
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-pound grass fed hamburger
  • 12 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of minced thyme
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 no boil Gluten Free lasagna noodles
  • 3 Tablespoons of chopped basil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Pulse entire contents of tomato cans into a food processor until coarsely ground.
  3. Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, add oil until shimmering and then add onion and ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  4. Cook until softened and slightly browned.
  5. Stir in garlic, pepper flakes, and mushrooms and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute
  6. Add in hamburger and cook until no longer pink. Stir in tomato mixture, bringing to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
  7. Transfer to a bowl add in spinach leaves.
  8. In a second bowl, combine ricotta, egg yolk, thyme, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper. Combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses into a third bowl.
  9. Spread ¾ c sauce over bottom of empty skillet, put in noodles to over, spoon cheese mixture over noodles and repeat. Finish with mozzarella mixture.
  10. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly around 30-40 minutes.
  11. Cool and serve, optional garnish with basil…

IN my opinion the lasagna tastes even better the second and third day because it gives all the flavors time to combine well. So this would make a perfect make ahead meal.