All Diets Work . . . But Not Always (Just Hear Me Out)

Finding the perfect fitness program isn't easy, but it's possible. Find out how to pick the perfect nutrition and exercise plan to meet your specific needs.

I know what you’re thinking, all diets work?  What magic potion are you drinking?  Here me out on this!

I think I was about twelve years old when I went on my first diet.  I’d like to say that it worked forever and I adopted a new healthy lifestyle during my raging hormonal tween years, but lets be real, did anyone?  The reality is I’ve had an on-again off-again relationship with dieting and fitness for the vast majority of my life, and I loved that every program I signed up for.  Literally, every time I cut carbs or counted calories I lost weight and felt a renewed sense of life and purpose.  The problem was this: every time I cut out carbs or counted calories I eventually uncut carbs or became too busy to track calories.  Inevitably, I would begin to gain weight and thereby lose my newfound confidence.

Finding the perfect fitness program isn't easy, but it's possible. Find out how to pick the perfect nutrition and exercise plan to meet your specific needs. All diets work, but not always.

My theory is this: any time you begin a new health program or fitness routine, you begin paying attention to what you eat and how much you move.  You no longer mindlessly eat whatever comes your way or whatever you have time to grab between appointments.  You plan, you prep, you pave the way towards your own success.  Finally, you take the time to create a meal plan, grocery shop, avoid the chip and cookie aisles, and you are diligent in your plans.

You have become intentional.

There it is!  You are intentional; with your nutrition, with your physicality, and therefore with your life.  The hiccup with most people {myself included} is we gradually become less intentional as time wears on.  Eventually, we lose focus, and we give ourselves allowances.  We run out of time to meal prep, and we convince ourselves that “just this week” we’ll figure out how to grab-and-go in a healthy way.

So, we grab an apple on our way to work, but when lunch rolls around we hear our coworkers are going out to eat.  So maybe “just this once” we’ll join them.  Perusing through the “light” menu, we order a salad or fish {so proud} until we realize someone is celebrating a birthday or a promotion.  We  can’t not order appetizers or desserts (or both!) for the table. We’ll indulge in “just” a few bites . . . then “just” a few more.  After work, we’ll run through the drive-thru “just this once” for a chicken wrap {hey, it’s small!}.  I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.  We play the “just” game until we’ve gained back every pound we lost plus a couple more.  How do we possibly break this cycle?

Finding the perfect fitness program isn't easy, but it's possible. Find out how to pick the perfect nutrition and exercise plan to meet your specific needs. All diets work, but not always.
Photo credit: Gretchen Rubin “Better than Before”

Break the Cycle

If you know me, then you know I am a HUGE Gretchen Rubin fan.  I love how her books and podcasts emphasize the importance of knowing ourselves in order to find true happiness and contentment with our lives.  Through learning more about myself, I discovered that I’m an obliger, a person who responds best with outside accountability.  I’m an abstainer, I can’t just have one potato chip without it leading to an empty bag thirty minutes later.  I’m a lark, I perform best when I’m well rested and wake up early.

Upon learning these things, I discovered that I needed to find a program that gave the obliger in me some outside accountability and allowed me to be strict with my goals without being pressured by the 80-20 rule.  In the very least, I needed a program that offered these options.  And I found it.  I found the solution for me in a bag of nutrient dense powder and six little color-coded containers that come with an incredible support system of like minded friends willing to hold me accountable to the goals I’ve set for myself.

Finding the perfect fitness program isn't easy, but it's possible. Find out how to pick the perfect nutrition and exercise plan to meet your specific needs. All diets work, but not always.

It might not be the program for you (sacrilege, I know!)

I can guarantee you this: there is something that works for you!  I’m confident in this.  I wouldn’t lie to you.  ALL DIETS WORK!  I wasn’t kidding about that.  The first step you need to take (and I’m serious about this) is to learn more about yourself.  What makes you tick?  What triggers your emotional eating?  How are you best held accountable?  What are your favorite types of fitness programs?  How can you create a system to eat more healthfully?

Please take a few minutes and follow the links to Gretchen Rubin’s quizzes and articles above in order to help you get to know yourself better, and comment below with your tendency and how it helps you create a system of success for yourself!  I absolutely LOVE hearing how others are finding ways to implement these systems in their daily lives. I can’t wait to see yours!

Fuel your body. Feed your mind.  Free your soul.

Reaching Goals & Gaining Self Control

Setting and achieving goals can be a tough nut to crack, but here is a new concept to help you gain some self control and reach your goals.

Setting and achieving goals can be a tough nut to crack, but here is a new concept to help you gain self control and reach your goals.

I was experiencing a pretty frustrating morning when I decided it was time to get out of the house, slap on my headphones, and go for a hike.  Gaining self control is a constant issue in my world, so I checked in on my podcast library to see what I could find to pull me out of my miry mood.  If podcasts could be spirit animals, I found mine in this episode of Freakonomics Radio where Katherine Milkman shared her findings on a concept she has coined “Temptation Bundling.”  (NOTE: she also discusses the “Fresh Start Effect” in this episode, but for the purpose of focus, I’m saving that one for a future post).

Setting and achieving goals can be a tough nut to crack, but here is a new concept to help you gain self control and reach your goals.

Milkman’s idea of “Temptation Bundling” has you pair something that you like to do with something that you should do.  Generally speaking, as humans, we are naturally inclined to create time for what we enjoy and avoid that which we do not, which is why so many people have a tough time setting and achieving goals.  So, the light bulb went off, and her research followed.   Admittedly, this theory stemmed from her own personal challenges sticking to diets and her struggles with self control at the end of long work days.  Her motivation was to research possible solutions for herself as well as to help others reach their goals.

While listening, I realized that I had unknowingly implemented her notion of “Temptation Bundling” several years ago.  At the time, I was unhappy with my health, and couldn’t figure out how to motivate myself to hop on the treadmill that was collecting dust in my bedroom.  I made excuse after excuse: I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I’m too lazy (ok, so that one was probably true, but not a decent reason).  It occurred to me one day that I was clearly not “too busy” to workout if I had enough time to binge on Netflix every night and most weekends.  So, I made a decision that I was “not allowed” to watch any television unless I was on my treadmill.  I didn’t have to run or get too crazy, but I had to be moving.  Guess what?  IT WORKED!  I was on that treadmill which might say more about my addiction to Netflix than it does about my commitment to getting healthy, but it doesn’t matter!  I was on the right road to a healthier and happier me.  Turns out, I also had this trick in my back pocket to get my laundry done.  I made a rule that I was only allowed to watch Jeopardy (yes, I’m a nerd and I love Alex Trebek’s quippy ways) while folding clothes.  SPOILER ALERT: IT WORKED AGAIN!   Ultimately, I had paired something I liked to do: watch television, with something I should do: workout & fold clothes.  

Setting and achieving goals can be a tough nut to crack, but here is a new concept to help you gain self control and reach your goals.

Here are a few more examples of “Temptation Bundling” that might be up your alley:

  • Indulge in a cheat meal & do 50 sit-ups
  • Only listen to your favorite album & balance your checkbook
  • Skip your workout?  Skip the brewsky!
  • Avoiding someone you should spend time with?  Take them to your favorite restaurant (reserve this restaurant solely & completely for difficult people)
  • Clean out your inbox while watching your favorite movie
  • Declutter while listening to your favorite podcast
  • Only play Candy Crush when you’re on the stationary bike (please only on a stationary one . . . yikes!)


If you need help getting your “Temptation Bundle” together, don’t sweat it!  

I’ve got a worksheet to help you figure it out:

Setting and achieving goals can be a tough nut to crack, but here is a new concept to help you gain some self control and reach your goals.

What did you come up with?  I’d LOVE to see all of your bundles in the comments below!

If you want to read some other great posts from some of my bloggy friends, we’ve got a Bloggy Brunch goin’ on!

How to Walk 10,000 Steps Everyday!

Trying to figure out how to stay more active during the day? Here are a few tips to get you up and moving!

AFFILIATE LINK DISCLAIMERHow to get more steps in your day.

So you’re wondering how to get more steps in.  Whether you have jumped on the Fitbitting Bandwagon, or you are simply trying to move more throughout the day, here are a few tricks I’ve discovered to get at least 10,000 steps every single day.


Take a Break

How to get more steps in your day.

If you’re anything like me, you start working and get sucked into your computer for hours.  Whether you’re responding to the Never Ending Story of your inbox, or you’re locked into your calendar, there are days when you start work, and next thing you know the sun set without you even noticing.  On these kinds of days, you have to be intentional about getting more movement than the sporadic trip to the restroom.

The easiest way I have discovered to get myself out of desktop gridlock is to set an alarm.  Every couple of hours the alarm on my phone goes off with a reminder to stand up and get moving.  When I hear the alarm, I immediately stop what I’m doing; I have to.  I know that if allow myself to finish up one last sentence, that one sentence turns into two, which turns into three, which eventually turns into several hours and my alarm goes off again.

So, when the alarm goes off, get up, stretch your legs, take a lap around your office, your house, the library, where ever you might be, and keep moving for five minutes.  You’re getting those steps in, PLUS the mental break is great for your productivity and mental acuity (another topic for another day).


Park Inconveniently

How to get more steps in your day.

Whether you are just getting to the office, pulling into the grocery store parking lot, or taking a trip to the mall, make it a point to park farther away than you normally would.  I don’t mean snagging the spot one lane over.  Go big or go home on this one!  Take the absolute farthest spot from your office entrance, or find a spot far from the cart return (and by all means take the extra steps to return your cart), or if you’re really inspired before your shopping excursion, choose the parking lot on the opposite end of the mall.  Just imagine all those steps you’re tracking as you traverse through the crowds of shoppers.  The bottom line is this, if your typical course of action is to get the quickest, closest, and most efficient parking spot, just do the opposite.


Take the Stairs

How to get more steps in your day.

You’re probably rolling your eyes in a duh-like fashion, so I won’t tell you what you already know.  Just like picking a decently far parking spot, take the stairs over the elevator at every opportunity.

You’ve heard all of that before, but what about taking the stairs at home (or if you live in a one-story, taking some extra steps).  How many times have you been sitting on the couch, or lying in bed, or finishing up dinner, and you either need or want something, but you decide it’s too far away?  Don’t tell me I’m the only one here guys!  Lying all snuggly in bed when you realize you are desperately thirsty, but getting out into the cold and walking to the kitchen is THE LAST thing you want to do, am I right?

Well, now you have some extra motivation to take the trek downstairs (and presumably back UP).  Getting extra steps is now on the forefront of your mind, so do it. Just do it.  Get up out of that fluffy goodness of pillows and down comforters, and get that glass of water.


Get Outside

How to get more steps in your day.

Now, I understand that some people do not live in the temperate climate of Southern California, so I’ll concede that this might not be possible for some of you year round.  Don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for you too!  For now, though, let’s assume it is a beautiful day . . .

Slap on some sunscreen, and hit the road Jack!  Seriously, what are you doing inside on a day like this?  Go for a walk around your neighborhood, take a hike (literally, not metaphorically), try something you’ve never done before.  Scroll through Groupon to find a new adventure.  Call up a friend you’ve been meaning to reconnect with, and invite them to join you.  With a little bit of creative intention, the possibilities are seriously endless.


Discover Moments

How to get more steps in your day.

You have a thirty minute lunch break; you’ve finished your sandwich, and you still have 10 minutes before you have to report in.  Ordinarily you might lounge around the break room, or crush through the most recent licorice forest.  Instead, why not take advantage of those few, precious moments to enjoy some fresh air?

If weather or time do not permit a jaunt outside, take the stairs down to the lobby and do a couple of laps.  Take the stairs back up to your desk before your boss clocks in.  Who knows, maybe you’ll lose track of time and the leisurely stroll turns into a mad dash.  The point is, if you have time to watch a show, play a game, or troll your newsfeed, you have plenty of time to get in a few extra steps.


Join or Start a Challenge

How to get more steps in your day.

If you have a fitbit, you may have noticed that there is a tab for challenges in the app.  This has proven to be an excellent way to find motivation to get your buns off the couch.  You can easily find friends to challenge through Facebook, your contacts, or by inviting them with an e-mail.

Fitbit has also designed different types of challenges.  Depending on your competitive nature, you can walk to annihilate the competition, or you can collect challengers simply to cheer each other on.

I thought that I was doing pretty great hitting my 10,000 daily step goal. Then I started joining challenges. This is when I realized some of my friends were more than doubling my steps on a daily basis.  I found this to be incredibly motivating to get moving even more, and I did!  I have yet to catch up to these high stepping maniacs, but my new daily average is closer to 15,000 (and I feel GREAT!).


Don’t have a Fitbit and starting to feel left out?

{CLICK HERE} to peruse some popular fitness trackers!



If you’re interested in finding ways to sneak veggies into family dinner, check out Veggie Hide And Seek.



What do you think?  Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to reach your 10,000 steps every day?  Please share them in the comments below!  I love to learn new tricks!


Ultimate Reset: Reclaim (Week 1)

Finding the perfect fitness program isn't easy, but it's possible. Find out how to pick the perfect nutrition and exercise plan to meet your specific needs.
Real talk:  I was absolutely TERRIFIED to try out Beachbody’s Ultimate Reset.  I kept putting it off, and putting it off, until I finally reached out to some fellow coaches asking for accountability.  Thankfully the BB community fosters fabulous coaches wanting to support and encourage one another, so I was graciously met with fellow coaches in a similar terrified boat.  All that to say, we all picked our start dates and went at it full force.
I am happy to report that I am absolutely OBSESSED with this program.  I’m only on Day 4, so we’ll revisit this obsession often over the full 21 days, but for now I’m in love, and here’s why:
1) There is soooooo much food.  On other cleanses and fasts I’ve tried, I have felt hungry . . . nay, hangry!  Not on the Reset, though!  I am eating huge (and I mean HUGE) meals 3 times a day, plus an afternoon snack.  The important thing to remember is that the food is filled with nutrients that your body uses efficiently, unlike fried or processed food that removes most of the nutrients before you get a chance to consume it.  I’m sure you know that when you consume these nutrient dense foods, your body becomes more energy efficient.  Others have reported some fatigue, but I have ironically been experiencing an influx in energy levels and sustained endurance so far.  I did make sure to wean myself off of caffein the week prior to the Reset, so I’m sure that was hugely beneficial in acclimating my body to this program.
2) The food is delicious.  Any other picky eaters out there?  I’ve never been known for my adventurous palate, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.  That being said, I made a commitment to trythe recipes detailed in the program.  I usually avoid things like oatmeal and fish, so I was not exactly ecstatic to see those options on the first couple of days.  But I put my big girl pants on and gave them a shot, and you’ll never guess what happened (well you read the heading on this paragraph, so you might be able to guess) they were incredible!    So far, everything on the meal plan has been incredible.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ll stumble across at least a recipe or two that isn’t to my liking, but for the picky eater that I am, I was expecting to be miserable with the food choices.  This was definitely a pleasant surprise (have I mentioned my proclivity to hangry outbursts?)
3) The supplements are bearable.  You can hardly notice a taste for most of the supplements in Week 1, and there aren’t any uncontrollable bathroom experiences (you know what I mean).  Notice that I said “most” in that first sentence?  Well, here’s the catch . . . every afternoon there is an Alkalinize supplement that you add to just 2-4 ounces of water.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I definitely did not expect it to be green and earthy (pretty sure I was expecting something salty).  So, my first attempt at knocking it back was pretty rough.  However, it has become easier to consume with each passing day, so I’m hoping by the end I’ll barely notice along with the rest of them.
The pictures above are just a snippet of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for Week 1.  The first week is fittingly called “Reclaim” as I definitely feel a renewed sense of ownership over my body and my choices.


If you want to “Reclaim” your body from toxins and cravings and are thinking about trying the Ultimate Reset, shoot me a message or leave a comment.  I’d love to answer any questions you have or give more details about my own personal experience.

For more info on fitness and health, check out one of our favorite blogs: