nutrition

You are what you eat! Really!!

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I know what you're thinking..."I could really use a snack right now!" How did I know that? Because I'm human too, which means I get tired at this time during the work day and I love food!

And, similarly to you, millions of people make diet and nutrition goals and resolutions every year. Whether it's to lose ten pounds, follow a specific diet, or eat more veggies, we all need to pay attention to what we're eating!

Now, two weeks into the New Year, where do you stand with the resolutions you made just two weeks ago?

If you've already fallen off the bandwagon (we won't tell :), here's your chance to get back on.

In this week's video, I interview Shira Hirshberg of All Foods Nutrition to tell us what big food mistakes we're making and what small changes we can make that will have a major impact in our diet.

Why is this important to you?

Your nutrition and health is so central to how we feel and our ability to access our full potential. Need more focus at work? Well, what did you eat today? Feeling rather moody? What did you eat today?

See what I mean?!

{https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7T8EggQiA4}

So maybe you're one of those health wizards that has this all down already? Great! Make sure to share your strategies with the rest of us on the blog! 

You Vs. Summer - Will you lose?

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Picture this: You’ve worked really hard since January to work out regularly, cut out sugar and carbs, and make your needs a priority to get healthy and improve your life.

Fast forward to July: You’re at happy hour on a Tuesday drinking beer and sharing nachos with friends. You’ll end up staying out late and feeling terrible for work tomorrow. You’ll soon forget the pain and repeat the cycle on Thursday, Saturday, and so on.

What happened???!! You were doing so well with your health and goals!

Even those with the best of habits and intentions succumb to the stronghold of summer. Its long, warm nights, laughter, and relaxation… Wait, what am I saying?! You’ve worked so hard to get this healthy. Are you really going to let it all go now?

You wouldn’t be reading RI Fit Magazine if you weren’t interested in your health and wellness. Summer can sneak up on you and attack your wellness goals and all the progress you’ve made without much notice. Before you know it, you could be back where you started – at your old weight, with your poor diet, and inconsistent exercise.

Avoid this regression by making a plan for summer success! Know your obstacles and determine action steps to overcome them ahead of time.

Here are some common obstacles that you’ll encounter this summer, and ways to overcome them in order to maintain your health and wellness:

You vs. time with friends

Who wouldn’t want to see more of their friends and family this time of year, whether it’s at a BBQ, the beach, or doing something active? The key here is quality over quantity. If you say yes to everything, you will end up exhausted and overwhelmed. Ask yourself, “How does this outing serve me? Is this something that makes me happy?”

You vs. the gym

Not getting to the gym because you’re spending too much time hanging out with friends? Get a sweat buddy! Tell someone your fitness goals for the summer and make a commitment to keep each other accountable. Find a time to exercise together, because you’re more likely to keep that appointment with them.

You vs. the food

Make a list of the foods you can have all the time, for example fruits and vegetables; food you can have once daily, such a dairy or breads; and foods that you never want to be eating, like super sugary foods or bagels. Make these three lists based on your diet and goals ahead of time to in order to avoid nutrition sabotage on a weekend getaway.

You vs. the beer

Who doesn’t like a Summer Shandy when the sun is out on a Sunday afternoon? The key to this one is moderation. When we tell ourselves “no” to something, it can make us want it more. Figure out the number of drinks you want to have based on your wellness goals and set that limit before you start drinking. Always make sure you have a designated driver too!

You vs. Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important wellness indicators that everyone forgets about. If you’re not getting good sleep, then your work, relationships, and fitness will likely suffer too. Set a curfew for yourself! Determine an amount of time that you require for adequate rest – aim for at least 7 hours. Starting from the time you need to be at work the following day, count backwards to the time that you’d need to be in bed to get your adequate sleep. This is your curfew time!

Share your summer tips and success stories in the comments sections below!

Vlog: Self Care is Essential!

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[video type="youtube" id="0njUhhG0_PY" width="624" height="351"] Happy Monday! Are you coming off of one of those weekends?! You know- the kind where you can't believe that you got no rest and feel even more tired than on Friday?

The likely culprit...No self care!

Think about it- what did you do for yourself over the weekend? This is not sustainable to not make time for yourself! You deserve to cared for too! Whether it's a bath, reading a book, or making time for exercise, it all goes into your emotional bank account.

Learn more about the emotional bank account and my self care catalogue in the video! Share your comments and self care success stories below!

You're not Perfect! [neither am i]

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Bloggers! I have missed you.... but not forgotten about you!

Last week was the busiest week at my practice (saw so many clients!), had the first session of the Build Your Best Self seminar, and attended a 3-day intensive training for Core Energetics (part of my 2-year program). I'M TIRED!!!

Yes, I've been slacking on my blogging. My goal is to connect with you at least 3 times per week on here, but that just didn't happen last week. And it might not happen this week. And that's okay :)

That's okay ????!! [Did I really just say that?] Yes!!!!!!!! A few years ago I would have NEVER actively admitted to not achieving something I set out to do. Never mind calling attention to it on a blog post! Have I lost my mind?? [don't answer that :)]

No I haven't! I want to make it okay for everyone to admit to the same! I'm not perfect, and I'm never going to be. I have this idealized image of myself that I'm never going to reach. And I'm fine with that. Because that idealized self doesn't schedule much time for fun, works too much, and doesn't account for real-life mishaps.

If we feed into the idealized self, we create unrealistic working environments and goals that often lead to disappointment and discouragement to keep trying. Ever worked in a place where salaried employees were working 50-60 hours weekly instead of the intended 40 hours? That happens when one person tries to met an unreasonable demand, and eventually it becomes the norm. Now you have a culture that's built on overworking and undervalued free time. Not good for the employees or the company itself.

The US has a disproportionate amount of burn out, workplace accidents, and suicides. I think this idealized self could be the culprit. We need to make it okay for each other not to work towards unrealistic goals and levels of achievement that hinder real life experiences.

Only once we are honest with ourselves can we begin to look at affecting realistic, positive changes to better our lives. I'll go first:

I'm not perfect. I won't be able to achieve all the goals I set for myself. Most days I don't finish my to-do list. I'm human, and I keep trying.

Now it's your turn! Get real with yourself and others. Stop aiming towards your idealized self and reach for something tangible, realistic, and authentic. Get real in the comments below! Tell us about your idealized self and what's gotta go! 

Moving towards my best self,

Brittany

Seminar Countdown!

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With only 7 days until the start of the Build Your Best Self seminar, I wanted to do a 12-days of Christmas-isque countdown. See 6 and 7 below:

Day 7

There are 7 days in a week. Each day provides us with a new opportunity to focus our intention, find clarity in action, and pursue our greatest desires. What did you do in your last 7 days? Come join us to find your focus!

6 Days until the Build Your Best Self seminar:

Experts say we are all connected by 6 degrees of separation. But even with the people we already know, doesn't it feel like we're separated by even more? It can be really difficult to open up to the ones we love and speak our truth. We have fears of rejection, seeming needy, and feeling vulnerable. In order to Build Your Best Self, you need to rally the support of those in your life. You need to learn to communicate effectively, ask for what you need, and speak from the heart. Have trouble doing that? See you May 1st then.

Find out more information about the seminar on my vlog and email me at brittany.drozd@gmail.com!

Find Your Passion!

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Do you have a friend who is always excited to tell you about their new workout program? How about a relative that’s posting pictures of their nutritious meals? A colleague who is so stoked about their recent promotion? Yeah, you know these people. They’re usually the ones we love to hate. But have you ever asked yourself, “Why are you hating on this guy?” These people are generally positive, optimistic, and fun loving. So what do you have against them?

Their Passion!

These people have a passion for something- whether it’s the gym, a sunny day, or making a positive change in their life.

So when you’re down in the dumps, it’s easy to hate on these people for their optimism. But really, we’re jealous! The real you says “I want that enthusiasm, energy, and spirit! I want to be that passionate about something!”

So how do you find passion?

  1. The first key to finding your passion is understanding passion. Passion is defined as a strong and compelling emotion, feeling, or desire. Passion can come in the form of positive and negative, such as love and hate. If you’ve ever been really opposed to a new policy or legislation, you can relate to a negative form of passion. It’s important to understand that both forms of passion can be fulfilling.
  1. What turns you on? The second key to finding your passion is paying attention to what turns you on. What gets you excited? What activity leaves you with more energy? What would you do if money were no object? List your answers to these questions in simple, one-word columns. What patterns do you see in the responses? Try to create categories from there to narrow it down.
  1. Discipline is the third key to your passion. What are you willing to wake up at 6am for? What do you make sure you do daily or weekly no matter how busy you are? What is something you feel you can’t live without doing in your life? Again, list your one-word answers and look for patterns and categories. Are any similar to your answers to #2?
  1. What do you want to change? What do you wish was different about the world? What do you want to change in your life? Less stressful job? Travel more? Connect better to friends and family? When we notice we want to change something in our own lives, we often find that’s true for others as well. Suddenly, your desire for change is authenticated and supported by many others in your circle. When we see a need that could potentially benefit hundreds of lives, we can find the energy to bring it to fruition. Use the answers from this section to compare to #2 and #3.

Now what?

What common threads did you find in your answers? Start looking there for a theme or category that you really connect with. Then try it out! The truth is you never really know what your passionate about until you give it a chance. Maybe your were certain you would love working in healthcare, but you tried it out and it was much different than you thought it would be. Then try again! You can always return to your list for more inspiration.

Grow your list as well! This isn’t something that will remain stagnant, and will change as you grow and explore yourself and your surroundings.

Let go of feeling like you have to have all the answers about your greatest passions and pursuing your life’s dreams. The benefits of passions and dreams are in the journey, not necessarily the destination.

Already found a passion? Share it below! You never know who you'll inspire!!

How your FEAR won't let you Win!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMGFb0HJBbU

We all use information from past experiences, our emotions, and needs to make decisions and take action. Our decisions are usually made based on fear or love. But we don't like to call it fear (because that would be embarrassing!). Instead, we feel self-doubt, frustration, anger, jealousy.

But wouldn't it be nice to act from a place of love? Real, sustainable change can only happen when we change our motivation to act from fear to love.

How has fear stopped you from taking action towards your goals? When did you regret doing something out of fear?

If you've already made this change, how are you acting out of love now? Share your story below to inspire others!

Find out what's missing TODAY!

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Included in the Build Your Best Self seminar is my Status and Strategy Assessment ($199 value). Get a peek of what the 4-page assessment looks like. This is a great tool to find out EXACTLY:

• What’s missing in your life

• What’s stealing your drive and motivation

• What’s causing lack of clarity and keeping you from moving forward

• What clouds your vision and prevents you from formulating an action plan

• What you can start doing TODAY to achieve greater success

Get it FREE when you sign up for the seminar!

The Build Your Best Self seminar begins May 1st! Contact me to reserve your spot!

Find me at Crossfit Providence

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJESOnNoP5E

I'm so proud to be part of this amazing group of people! When I first joined Crossfit Providence, I had the same fears everyone does - "I can't do this", "these people are intimidating", and "I will never be as good as them." But these thoughts are so self-limiting!

That's why I've become part of the staff - gradually, step by step, I've made huge gains in my strength, fitness, and overall wellbeing. I know you can have those gains too!

If you see me in the gym, are interested in making specific goals for yourself, or want to get rid of that voice that says "I can't", stop me and say hello. Or contact me through this website.

You can make huge changes in your life. You can build a better version of yourself. Ask me how!

Happy Sunday!

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Happy Soul Sunday to all of you! It's a beautiful sunny day here in Rhode Island. But no matter where in the world you are, it's a beautiful day to reset, renew, and restore for the week ahead.

Who has started Spring Cleaning already? Me too! It's unbelievable how many material things we accumulate. I moved a year ago and had the opportunity to get rid of all the crap I didn't need. So I find it astounding that only 1 year later, here I am with the same problem.

The funny part is that when we're buying all this "stuff" we totally 100% believe that we need this item or really want that thing. But the truth is the need or want are really just masks and lies.

You will always get everything that you need. Sometimes no more than that, but always enough. How do I know that? Well, tell me a time when you didn't have all that you really needed to survive. Please, do tell me in the comments below if you've been through a time like that.

We get stuck in the mask of "I need this" or "if I only had that...I'd be happy. Or "...I'd be fulfilled." Or "...I'd be [fill in the blank with your core desired feeling]." But these are only lies we tell ourselves.

What we need to be happy will never come from the Apple store or Nordstroms. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But it's true.

We have to consciously and actively create and pursue happiness in and by way of ourselves. You have to be aware of your life aim. You have to make goals. You have to take chances and move towards your fears. You have to go outside of your comfort zone, and you have to go inside of your heart to find out what you really need.

Today I took to time to nourish my body with exercise, my my mind with organization and cleaning, and my spirit with laughter and friends. This made me so much happier than buying new shoes!

Don't believe me? Try it for yourself! Clearly your old methods of trying to obtain happiness and fulfillment aren't working. Otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this blog!

Make today and every Sunday a place to get rid of what's not serving you and make space for nourishment, restoration, and something new in your life. Create your best self in the process.

- Brittany

Want your life Photoshopped?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRlpIkH3b5I

So often we run around wishing things were different about our lives, and our selves. What if you could change that?

In this video, 4 women received professional makeup, styling, and photography to make them look like "Cover Girls." Every woman's dream, right? Well, their reactions may surprise you.

Not only did these women feel that they didn't recognize themselves, they had overall negative reactions to being so drastically photoshopped. They even said, "I don't even know that person."

How do you project this is your own life? Do you wish you looked like someone else? Had someone else's career? Someone's life? That would fix everything! Right?!

Wrong. Don't ask to look like someone else. Or be someone else. Be yourself. Be your best self.

-- Brittany

Change Vs. Progress

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“Only two things in life are certain – death and taxes.” Heard this before? Definitely rings true during tax season! But I’d like to propose that something else is certain as well: Change.

While it often seems that we’re stuck in a rut, we know that change will come. Why? Because it has every time before! We used to be little, then we grew. We used to have flip phones, now we have iPhones.  We used to have no clue about our health, now we’re educated on how to be healthy.

We know change is coming; yet we still talk about making changes as if it’s some elusive challenge. Change is certain. Progress is not.

So what’s progress? Progress in your fitness? Nutrition? Overall health? If change is anything different from the status quo, then progress is a change that is more specific, goal-oriented, and measurable. 

Progress is a measure of relativity. You’re moving towards change in a specific direction. Movement on that trajectory is identified as progress. If you altered your habits to lose weight, but it resulted in weight gain, this is change but not progress. If you started a healthy diet to lose weight, and we’re gradually losing the weight, this is progress.

You need a goal in order to measure progress from change. PS- “I want to be healthy” is not a goal, it’s a statement. Make sure your goal has specifics, a timeline, and is measurable.

Specifics: Try “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables daily” versus “I will eat healthy”. By articulating the specific thing you will do, you will be more likely to actually do it!

Timeline: Create timeframes, start dates, and deadlines for yourself. Otherwise, your “Someday” will likely never come. Here’s a sample of a timeline - “I will eat 3 servings of vegetables daily for 6 consecutive weeks, beginning March 9th.”

Measurement: How do you know you’re not at your goal already? How do you know if you’re making progress towards your goal? Most importantly, how will you know when you’ve reached your goal? Measurement. This is key to the whole process of making progress and achieving your best self.

Ask yourself these questions to assess your goal for measurability:

-       Can you count it?

-       Can you create a percentage from your results to determine your progress? (i.e. I ate 3 servings of veggies 3 out of 5 days thus far= 60% progress towards goal).

-       Can you make adjustments to your goal based on your findings from your percentage and experience? (i.e. maybe only 2 servings of veggies daily is more reasonable for you. Maybe 5 days weekly versus 7 is better for you).

*This is not to say that you should lower your standards, but continuing to progress on an adjusted goal is more beneficial than failing miserably on a strict, unattainable goal.

Ok, Let’s go over what we know:

-       We know that change will come. The question is how, when, and in which direction?

-       We know that progress is necessary for improvement, not just change.

-       We need a goal in order to distinguish progress from change.

-       Our goal needs to be specific, have a timeline, and be measurable in order to evaluate progress.

If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail. So make a plan, make progress and achieve your goals. This success will build your momentum for future goals and future successes. Progress, not change, is necessary to become your best self.

Happy New Year!

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Happy 2014 Everyone! Out with the old and in with the New You! What are you going to do this year to make 2014 your best year?

Since it's January 1st, I know some of you must have thought about your resolutions already. So let's hear them! I'm always looking for new ideas, and I love hearing from readers!

Anyone out there have a health and wellness goal? If so, check out Mind Body Green's website for endless tips on nutrition, mindfulness, and fitness. I learn new tricks all the time on there, so check it out!

What's my New Year's resolution? To eat 1 cup of greens (kale, arugula, or spinach) a day. I make so many goals and achievement plans in my work, fitness, etc. that I needed a resolution that takes better care of me. Because without me, I'm lost!

Share your resolutions and plans to achieve them below!

Serious About Change: Dr. McKaila Allcorn

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Meet Dr. McKaila Allcorn. She is just like the rest of us in that she’s a daughter, wife, and has a demanding job. But she’s different from us in a few ways too. McKaila had the discipline and commitment to significantly change her body, and as a result, improve her life!

So, what was the last straw McKaila?

“I had trained for 3 months to run a half marathon with some friends. I had been running several times per week and pushed myself during the race, only to find that I had lost 1 pound throughout the whole process! I know there had to be a better way to lose weight and get healthy.”

Like many of us, McKaila wanted better for herself and needed to change her ways. She had been busy in medical school and her residency at Kent Hospital, and let her health become less of a priority. But continuing on this path was a not an option for her if she was going to live the life she wanted and help care for others who are sick as an ER doctor.

So what did you do?

“I am from Oklahoma and had a friend back home that had talked with me about this product called Juice Plus+. So I did my research and found that I was going to have to significantly change my diet if I was going get healthy and lose weight.” Juice Plus+ provides whole food nutrition in a capsule so you can get the fruits and vegetables your body needs to run most effectively. It’s then next best thing to actual fruits and vegetables for a busy lifestyle.

McKaila says she loves this product because they provide nutrition plans and education. This knowledge can empower sustainable change for people’s diets. Additionally, the nutrition plan encourages you to try several different diets, such as gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. That way, you can see what your body responds to, and cater your meal planning from there.  All diets aren’t right for everyone, so find the plan that works for you and get after it!

But it wasn’t just supplements that changed McKaila’s body. Not even close! Real foods and preparation are requirements! McKaila said she would cook several meals on Sundays and package them up so she’d be ready for work, snacks, and any other time that would tempt her away from her goals.

McKaila said she notice a big energy boost after making these changes – along with better skin, and friends who had reported getting off medications because of the positive effect real foods had on them.

So as long as I eat right I’ll have these results?

Wrong again! McKaila said she was also in search for something that would nourish her physically, mentally, and spiritually. Yoga. Several times a week, no excuses. Rain or shine. “If you’re going to make a real lifestyle change, you have to be consistent. It can’t just be when you feel like it.” McKaila is currently training to become a yoga teacher and share with others the positive experience she’s had with yoga and it’s supportive community at Laughing Elephant yoga in East Greenwich.

Any tips for the rest of us?

“Find your motivation. Mine was my long-term health. I used positive self-talk to get through those tough days.” Time management is very important too. Make sure to make a date with healthy cooking and the gym that you won’t flake out on!

Doctor McKaila mentions that obesity is a risk factor for so many diseases and conditions that are life threatening. So don’t be a victim - get healthy, get active and regain control of your life!

What are your health and fitness goals for 2014? Will YOU be the next person we feature for Serious About Change?

What is Harvard saying about nutrition?

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In the midst of the Holiday season, what are you doing to try to avoid an eating overload and sugar comas? We know you can't say no to mom's home cooking and Aunt Susie would be totally offended if you didn't try her pound cake! So how do you deal? Make a schedule. Find out when all those holiday gatherings are and write them down. Then make all non-party days the time to recover, restore, and reset for nutrition's sake!

Don't just take my word for it. Harvard Medical School's vast scientific and social research has produced the following tips to make your holiday meals a success - without adding extra pounds to work off after New Years!

- Change your perspective! Good eating is not a punishment, but an opportunity. If you know why it's important and what to do, you'll find it enjoyable and satisfying.

- Change slowly. By the time you are 40, you'll have eaten some 40,000 meals — and lots of snacks besides. Give yourself time to change, targeting one item a week.

- Snack on unsalted nuts, trail mix, fruit, raw veggies, Rye Krisp, or graham crackers. Try eating a few handfuls of a crunchy fiber cereal such as Kashi, or nibble on a cereal bar.

- Experiment with new recipes and meal plans. Be creative and take chances. Instead of dreading your new diet, have fun with it.

- Take a long-range view. Don't get down on yourself if you slip up or "cheat" from time to time.

What is your plan for Holiday survival plan? How do you keep your nutrition in check? Share below!!

Soulful Sunday

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I don't usually blog, write, or work on Sundays, but today is important!

All week long we are professionals, spouses, parents, sisters, and all the roles in which we have to give. We give time to this, and give energy to that. And at the end of the week we are literally spent! We need a day to replenish.  A day to build up the energy reserves and restore our direction and focus. Sunday is that day. It's a day for ourselves and a day for our soul.

What makes you feel more connected to your world and your soul? For me, it's indulging in the little things: a croissant from my favorite bakery, or attending that yoga class I never make time for. By giving back to myself, I can start to restore my soul for another week.

This Sunday, I indulged in creative time for my business (I never do that)! It felt amazing to brainstorm and think of how to better help people meet their goals. It was also a time for creating food! I nourished myself with kale chips. Such an easy recipe and good for the soul! Later today, I plan on going to that yoga class. Then....I will be prepared to start my week of right!

What did you do for yourself on Soulful Sunday?

10 tips for a healthy life from the World's oldest person

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Ever have a tough time getting up on a cold fall morning because you feel achy? Or feel really old because you can't keep up with teenage trends? Think again! Mr. Kimura of Japan recently passed at the ripe age of 116. And according to the article at the link below, he seemed very quick witted until the end.

Mr. Kimura lists 10 ways you can try to surpass his accomplishment of living to 116. These are some of my favorites:

- Exercise daily - Let your struggles make you stronger - Be one with Mother Earth - Practice gratitude

http://bit.ly/19dOi8C

What do you do to live 100+ years? Share your secret!