Back when I was trying to loss weight (more than a decade ago -- crazy!) I thought the key to losing weight was A) going to the gym B) avoiding carbs AT ALL COSTS and C) eating as little food as humanly possible …
At the time, I didn’t know the human body was designed to store fat in times of famine and I had NO idea that by cutting back to 1000 calories, I was actually slowing down my metabolism and making it even harder for me to lose weight.
It wasn’t until I started reading books on nutrition, biochemistry, and human anatomy that I started to figure things out. I decided that instead of waiting until I was starving to eat (and then eating WAY too much food in the evenings), I would shift my focus to eating more during the day so I wouldn’t feel so hungry and tempted to “cheat” in the evenings.
And guess what?
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Seriously! If you can make eating a healthy breakfast a regular habit and part of your daily routine you'll be one step closer to reaching your weight loss goals.
Here are 10 EASY breakfast meals that are loaded with nutrients to keep your weight loss goals on track.
2. Green Smoothie
Add spinach or kale to a morning smoothie for extra fibre. Blend 1-2 handfuls of spinach/kale with your favourite fruit and liquid of choice. Here is my favourite green smoothie recipe:
• 1 cup cold water
• 1 scoops of Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder
• 1/2 a Banana
• 1/3 cup of Strawberries
• 1 cup of Spinach
• 1 tbsp of chia seeds
Eat raw vegetables with dip (try broccoli, cucumber, carrots, peppers and cherry tomatoes). Or try roasted Brussel sprouts and asparagus—cook them up the night before and eat them cold (they're just as good). Pair your veggies with a boiled egg and some nuts and you’ll be feeling super energized come lunch time.
5. think Scrambled VEGGIES
Instead of scrambled eggs with a measly handful of spinach or tomatoes, try reversing the ratio. Sauté loads of vegetables in some coconut oil (any combo works, but spinach, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, and butternut squash is super delicious). At the very end, add an egg or two to bring it all together.
6. cRACK AN EGG IN IT
Crack your egg into a hollowed-out tomato half, half of a bell pepper, or even a big portobello mushroom and broil on high until set. Top with a little Parmesan cheese and enjoy. It looks super fancy and it tastes delicious!
7. eAT lEFTOVERS FOR BREAKFAST
8. ULTIMATE AVOCADO OPEN SANDWICH
Mashed avocado on bread? You can do better than that! Load up your toast with mashed avocado, raw sauerkraut, grated beet, and roasted cauliflower. Drizzle with tahini, or a thick slice of juicy tomato and creamy mozzarella. Delish!
9. THE "BETTER" BREAKFAST BURRITO
10. PUMP UP YOUR PANCAKES
It’s that time of year again, when family and friends gather together to enjoy traditional meals and cheers the occasion with wine and beer.
That’s right, it’s Thanksgiving in Canada!
And I wanted to post a few helpful tips to keep you from blowing your diet this weekend!
I totally get the temptation, I really do. Holidays can be challenging even in the best circumstances (we all have that one family member that leads us to drink, right?), but when your trying to reach a weight loss goal, it means this type of get-together is even more challenging.
Here’s some helpful tips to help get you through the weekend with both your sanity AND your waistline in check
1. Plan Ahead
Do not, I repeat DO NOT show up at the party without something “diet approved” in your hands. It’s not to say that you can’t eat what’s being prepared, but you don’t want to sit down and find yourself staring at a table full of food you can’t eat.
I always bring a dish or two that I know I can eat and others will enjoy as well. If you’re concerned the host will be offended, give them a call the day before and ask if you can bring something. Just be honest. Let them know that you're working towards a goal and you want to stay accountant.
Honestly, I have yet to show up to a party with food in my hands and have the host be upset with me. Most people appreciate the gesture.
2. Don’t Overflow Your Plate
Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean you should eat 2-3 times more than your body needs. We’ve all done it, and you know exactly how you feel afterwards – you feel like a big stuffed, bloated pig and you hate yourself for it, right?
So, don’t do it!
Just eat how you normally would. It’s Thanksgiving, not your last supper! I’ll even give you an easy way to plate your meal for success:
Fill half your plate with raw and/or cooked vegetables.
The other half should be 1 portion of protein and 1 portion of carbohydrates
(both the size of your palm).
You also want to add 2 tbsp. of healthy fat
(for example, butter on your veggies).
Skip the dinner roll, gravy and all the other fixings that will just make you feel bloated. Trust me, you’ll thank me when everyone else looks uncomfortable, bloated and tired and you’re sitting all tall and empowered beside them.
3. Ignore the Comments
There’s always going to be that one “crab in the bucket” so the faster you learn how to deal with the comments, the better.
You know who I’m talking about, right? The person who says, “Oh, you can eat just one cookie. Try it!” OR “What? you don’t need to lose weight, what are you talking about…eat!” OR “But it’s Thanksgiving, you should treat yourself.”
Do you want to know what a treat is?
“Not feeling like you have to unbutton your pants because your afraid people can see your muffin top.”
Now, THAT’S a treat!
Here’s the thing, some people can’t handle watching other people succeed. It brings light to the fact that they haven’t been able to take control of their own life and it makes them feel uncomfortable.
Just smile and say, “Thank you. Everything looks delicious, but I’m good.” Then immediately switch the conversation to, LITERALLY ANYTHING, besides what you’re eating.
[HOT TIP] Ask them about their kids or pets. People LOVE IT when you show interest in this area of their life!
4. Don’t Be a Booze Hound
If you want to have 1 or 2 drinks with dinner, that’s acceptable, but don’t finish the bottle, OK?
Alcohol is SUGAR which means it’s going straight to your fat cells if you don’t burn off
the excess calories and I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the habit of going for a run after I attend a social gathering.
I also recommend drinking a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you consume.
Alcohol + Dehydration = Hunger which leads to…. oh, I don’t know….2 pieces of cake!
Let’s not go there, OK?
In the end, I just want you to get through this weekend feeling empowered. I want you to be able to attend social gatherings with the confidence and determination to stay true to your goals.
You made the commitment to become the best version of yourself, so don’t welsh on your promise, OK?
One final thought.
Remember that after the party (when everyone else is gone) you’ll be left with just you. So, tell me this:
What’s More Important?
Eating a bunch of food to satisfy your need to fit in and make other people happy? Or staying true to your word and your commitment to yourself so you can look in the mirror and say,
“F**K Yeah! I’m unstoppable!”
Happy Thanksgiving Beautiful!
To Health and Happiness,
Carmen Lisa xo
There’s a big difference between having a hope, a dream, or a goal to lose weight........
“I hope one day I can reach my weight loss goal.”
As nice as this notion is; it doesn’t sound like this person is going to lose weight anytime soon, right? Clearly this person thinks it would be “nice” to lose weight, but they are relying on the fact that something will happen in the future to make that happen. What is that something? No one knows. So, what are the chances this person will actually reach their weight loss goal? I think it’s safe to say, slim to none.
“I look forward to the day when my dream comes true and I finally reach my weight loss goal.”
This statement holds a little more weight (no pun intended) because at least she is contemplating weight loss and visualizing herself actually achieving it, but it’s still not enough to facilitate change. When we dream of being thinner, we are still stuck in our heads. We aren’t actually doing anything to turn that dream into reality. Unless we take action our dreams will never be anything more than a nice picture in our minds.
“My goal is to lose weight this summer.”
Can you feel the power in this statement? This person sounds WAY MORE committed to making it happen because when we state something as our goal, we are telling ourselves and the universe that this is something we are going after. We’ve decided we want it and we’re ready to do whatever it takes, to make it happen. This person has the best chance of reaching their weight loss goal, don’t you think?
So, what have you been telling yourself? Are you hoping and dreaming you’ll lose weight or have you made it your GOAL to lose weight?
If you’re ready to make weight loss your goal, then this blog post is for you. I'm going to teach you the step-by-step system I use with my clients, to help them create goals that not only motivate them, but also ensures their success.
Clearly, having a goal to lose weight is much more powerful than “hoping” or“dreaming” about it, but it’s still not enough to get you to the finish line.
If you want to set yourself up for success, you need to create a SMART goal.
What's a SMART goal, you ask?
It’s a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timed.
And how do you make a SMART goal? Well, grab a pen paper and let’s make yours right now!
Step 1. Make it Specific
Some examples of specific goals are,
“I want to lose 25 lbs”
“I'm going to eat 2 more servings of fruits and vegetables a day”
“I want to run a 5km race”
You can further define your specific goal by asking yourself WHY you want to achieve this goal and HOW you’re going to do it. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What is your goal?
2. Why are you creating this goal? How will it make you feel?
3. How will you achieve this goal
4. When will you achieve this goal?
When I’m making goals, I find it helpful to turn my goals into future statements. This way it feels like the transformation has already happened when I read it. I always spend time picturing myself at the finish line (this is where dreaming can be helpful).
Let’s use my client Sarah as an example.
Sarah is 190 lbs and has never participated in exercise. She has a very stressful job with long hours and doesn’t have much energy at the end of the day. She’s tired of feeling tired all the time and doesn’t feel good about herself when she looks in the mirror. She thinks losing weight will help her fell better.
I asked Sarah to picture herself in the future and ask herself the questions listed above. Sarah created the following goal in the form of a future statement:
“It’s been 3 months and I feel beautiful and full of energy. I’ve lost 40 lbs by committing to my weight loss program of running 3 days a week, strength training 3 days a week and eating a whole foods diet.”
Much better than “lose weight”, right? Once you know exactly what you want, it's easier to plan out how you are going to get there.
What’s YOUR specific goal?
(write it down)
Step 2. Make it Measurable
For Sarah’s goal, we have 3 things we can track – her weight, the number of days she runs and strength trains, and what she eats. This is why having a SPECIFIC goal is so important. You can’t measure a generic statement like “lose weight”.
Because Sarah planned to reach her goal using a whole foods diet, I encouraged her to commit to writing in a food journal every day so she could track how well she followed the diet. That way if her weight loss stopped, she could refer to her old food logs to identify the problem.
I also encouraged her to keep track of her exercise schedule. I gave her a simple activity chart where she could check off the days she ran vs strength trained that week.
Finally, because she wanted to lose 40 lbs, so agreed to weighing herself on a weekly basis to see if she was on track. She also made a mini-goal of losing 3 lbs a week to keep her motivated while she waited to reach her ultimate goal.
How will YOU measure your success?
(write it down)
Step 3. Make it Attainable
It’s important that you make your goal attainable. Setting a goal to weigh 120 lbs when you are 5 feet 8 inches is not smart goal setting; neither is hoping to lose 40 lbs in 4 weeks.
In short, make sure your goals are realistic and you know it’s possible to achieve in the time frame you allotted.
In Sarah’s case, I asked if she felt that her goal was attainable and she admitted that she felt overwhelmed at the thought of tracking her food and exercise every day. She also wasn’t sure she could commit to exercising 6 days a week right off the bat.
Sarah decided to change her goal so it would be more realistic and attainable for her. Her new goal was still challenging, but it didn’t make her feel overwhelmed.
“It’s been 3 months and I feel beautiful and full of energy. I’ve lost 25 lbs by committing to my weight loss program of running 3 days a week and eating a whole foods diet.”
Sarah made a great decision to adjust her goal based on her abilities and confidence.
Is YOUR goal realistic and attainable for you?
(If not, go back and revamp your goal into something you feel confident you can achieve.)
Step 4. Make it Relevant
A goal should have meaning for you and be relevant to your abilities and interests.
When I asked Sarah if her goal showcased the things she wanted AND enjoyed, she was conflicted.
She said, “I definitely want to feel beautiful and full of energy. That is my big WHY and I am happy with the thought of losing 25 lbs. I want to be healthier – not a fitness model. I’m just not sure about running. I’ve never done it before. I’ve never done any exercise before.”
So, I asked Sarah if she could think of an activity she DID like. She responded with, “Well I love going for walks in nature. There is a hiking trail near my house and it has a beautiful waterfall at the end.”
She made another change to her goal.
It’s been 3 months and I feel beautiful and full of energy. I’ve lost 25 lbs by committing to my weight loss program of hiking 3 days a week and eating a whole foods diet.”
At this point, Sarah was feeling really excited and motivated. She said, “Wow. I think I can actually do this.”
(If not, go back and make some adjustments).
Step 5. Make it Time-Bound
Sarah knows a realistic rate of weight loss for this particular diet plan is 1 to 2lbs a week and she wants to lose 25lbs. Therefore, if she lost 2lbs a week, it would take her a little over 3 months to reach her goal.
Sarah remembered that her goal needs to be attainable and realistic and she has a very stressful job and busy schedule so she wanted to give herself a little bit of wiggle room to reach her goal. Sarah is SMART.
It’s been 4 ½ months and I feel beautiful and full of energy. I’ve lost 25 lbs by committing to my weight loss program of hiking 3 days a week and eating a whole foods diet.”
Sarah is really motivated now and she’s ready to finally put this plan into action. The SMART goal she created makes sense to her because it was made specifically for her wants and needs.
Is YOUR target date realistic?
Do you KNOW you can achieve it in that time frame?
(If not, make some more changes).
Once you are finished creating your weight loss goal, I encourage you to write it down on an index card and carry it around with you. Read it whenever you need motivation; like first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. You can also make extra copies and hang them on your mirror and fridge to give you more encouragement.
You can TOTALLY reach your weight loss goals. You just need a SMART goal and the determination and commitment to see it through.
Are you Interested in losing weight and looking for a qualified coach with a system that will get you there?
If so, I encourage you to book a free 45 minute discovery session with me. We'll chat about your goals and see if my 12 week mind-body boot camp weight loss system is the right fit for you.
If I left things to chance, I would rarely exercise or cook meals at home.
One of the most important things you can do for your health is to plan ahead. It really is the key to successful weight loss and more importantly – long-term weight management!
Today I’m going to share some simple tips on how you can get better at scheduling exercise and planning your meals in advance.
We’re all busy juggling a million things, but here’s the bottom line:
“If you want to lose weight and KEEP IT OFF, you MUST cook more meals at home and incorporate regular exercise.”
Not only will you be healthier, you’ll also save time, money and a whole lot of calories in the long run.
You know the saying “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” right?
Well that statement is bang on when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. It does take effort, but the more you do it, the more efficient you become in time.
Tip#1 - How to Schedule Regular Exercise
First, you need to look at the week ahead and pick the times you will dedicate to exercise because if you don’t plan for it – it won’t happen.
That’s just the way it goes. Some people can fly through life by the seat of their pants, but they’re the exception. The rest of us need a PLAN so we don’t get side tracked by the million other things we need to do.
Sunday is a great planning day. Sit down with your calendar and pick the days and times you are going to dedicate to exercise and mark it in your calendar.
If you have a family calendar, mark it down there too so everyone knows you aren’t available (this is a MUST for all you moms out there). Don’t let others dictate your entire schedule – you need time for yourself too.
Also, avoid planning exercise on days that are already full of activities; it will only make you feel stressed and guilty when these activities take longer than they should (and they always do, right?).
I also recommend choosing a specific day and time throughout the week. “Consistency breeds success” and creating a routine is a simple way to build new habits.
Ask yourself these questions when you’re planning your weekly exercise:
1. What days and times can I dedicate to exercise this week?
2. Can I schedule 20-30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 times this week?
Make it a priority and add it to your calendar with all the other important appointments so you don’t forget.
BONUS TIP: The night before, place your workout clothes somewhere visible and leave your shoes by the door (the less excuses you have, the better).
#2 Plan Meals in Advance
If you find yourself wondering what’s for dinner and it’s 5:00 pm, you’re in trouble. It happens to all of us, believe me I’m not perfect either, but when you leave things to chance you are much more likely to reach for quick and easy processed foods.
Planning meals in advance takes time to get used to it, but it’s way less stressful and a whole lot healthier in the long run!
What are the benefits of planning meals ahead?
1. You Save Time
By dedicating 1-2 days a week to meal planning and prep, you’ll save yourself a ton of time the rest of the week because all your food will be washed, chopped, and ready to go. Plus, when you cook meals at home, you can make double or triple the batch leaving you with lunch and dinner options throughout the week.
2. You Save Money
Before I started planning my meals in advance, I wasted a TON of food (and subsequently money). If you find yourself throwing away spoiled produce or expired food at the end of the week – you need to start going to the grocery store with a plan. Only buy 3-4 days’ worth of food at a time and only buy what you need. Do this for 30 days and you’ll be surprised how much money you save.
3. You Save Calories
When you have healthy, pre-made food at your fingertips, you are less likely to rush out and buy quick, convenient, highly-processed food. You also won’t eat “chips and dip” for dinner because your starving and that’s the easiest thing to grab. Being intentional is key to your success and having food “ready-to-go” means you have one less hurdle to overcome.
Personally, I plan and prepare my food on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. While it may seem like a lot of extra work, spending a few hours 2 days a week makes eating the other 5 days super quick and easy.
Do you want to see how you can prepare food for the week in as little as an hour?
Check my YouTube video: “Meal Prep: Learn how to prep your meals for the days ahead in as little as 1 hour”
Need a quick and easy meal idea to get you started? No problem.
Check my YouTube video: “Quick and Easy Stir-Fry: How to make a meal in under 10 minutes after your weekly meal prep is complete”
Learning to plan ahead and be prepared is the first habit I teach my clients because it guarantees they maintain their weight loss FOR GOOD.
If you want more weight loss tips, enter your name and email address in the fields before so you can start receiving my weekly newsletter TODAY.
Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to be active when you're caught up doing something that’s fun and has a clear purpose?
That's because time really does fly by when you're having fun!
So how do you get yourself to exercise when you're feeling tired and unmotivated?
Easy. You make it fun!
Below you'll find 3 ways to transform exercise into something you look forward to - rather than dread.
1. Make It Social
Whenever possible, it’s best to work out with someone else – especially someone whose company you enjoy. Being with another person keeps your mind focused on them rather than the task at hand, ultimately making the work-out pass by more quickly. It also gives you a ton of mood-boosting benefits that come along with social support.
Research suggests that exercising with others may be even more effective in fighting depression than working out alone. So, the next time you’re planning a brisk walk, consider inviting a friend or a loved one to join you.
2. Make It Absorbing
Sometimes, it’s not possible to exercise with someone else, but there are other ways to make your workout more enjoyable.
- Listen to music – many people find it easy to get caught up in their favourite music. So the next time you’re exercising by yourself, you might consider taking along a portable music player with your favourite up-tempo songs.
- Listen to an audiobook – listening to a good book or your favourite podcast is a great way to pass the time when exercising. Have you ever been so caught up in a book that you didn’t realize how late the time was? I certainly have, and the same thing happens when you pair it with exercise. In fact, often times my workouts are even longer because I don’t want to stop before the chapter ends!
- Pick a game – any exercise that has a game-like quality will capture your attention and be more engaging than an individual activity. Sports like baseball, soccer, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball require very little equipment and are super fun to play. There are also several active video games on the market that provide surprisingly good aerobic workouts – have you ever tried Dance Dance Revolution? After 30-minutes, you’ll be sweating for sure!
3. Make It Purposeful
Exercise is WAY easier and more enjoyable when it incorporates a purpose. So the next time you go for a walk or run, try picking a destination that matters to you. It could be a friend’s house, a retail store, a coffee shop or a scenic waterfall – any place at all, as long as it’s somewhere you want to go.
You can also create purposeful exercise right in your own back yard, by mowing the lawn, raking, shoveling, mulching, or gardening. Because yard work is so goal-oriented, many people find it highly energizing – which allows them to stay at it for longer stretches of time. And believe it or not, this sort of activity is very aerobic (You can test this by taking your pulse the next time you’re working in the yard).
If you haven't been able to stick with a traditional workout program, try one of the strategies above and let me know how it goes.
You are what you eat!
If you've been struggling with you're weight and HATE exercising, I suggest scheduling a free wellness consultation with yours truly. I have a 12 week weight loss program that is AMAZINGLY effective and you'll never have to step into a gym once. I promise!
Let's talk about this is more detail. Click HERE to schedule your consultation now.
Do you love your breakfast or skip it?
One thing to remember is that including protein and healthy fat with each meal helps manage blood sugar, metabolism and even encourages weight loss.
This is because protein and fat help you feel full longer and your body actually needs to burn more calories in order to absorb and metabolize them.
In this post, I'm going to show you how to get protein, healthy fats and even some veggies into your morning routine so you can start the day off right.
I’m pretty sure these will become your new “go-to” breakfasts.
Breakfast Food #1: Eggs
Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food. And for good reason!
No, I'm not talking about processed egg whites in a carton. I mean actual whole “eggs”.
Egg whites are mostly protein, but the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses. Yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
Studies show that eggs keep you feeling full longer and also help stabilize blood sugar and insulin. Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a quick “grab and go” breakfast when you're running short on time.
And no..... the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.
Just be careful not to cook the eggs over high heat. High cooking temperatures can cause the cholesterol to become oxidized and it’s “oxidized cholesterol” that's unhealthy for the heart.
If you stick to low-medium heat when you are cooking eggs over the stove, you’ll be A-OK.
Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber so they make a great addition to any breakfast.
Just don’t reach for “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars. I'm talking about real, whole, unsweetened food here.
Nuts and seeds are the ultimate fast food if you're running late in the mornings. Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds along with your boiled egg and you can munch away during your morning commute or once you reach the office.
Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie. You can get your hands on 9 delicious smoothie recipes by signing up for my FREE 48-Hour Smoothie Challenge.
Breakfast Food #3: Veggies
You probably already know that protein is important for every meal; but what about vegetables?
Veggies are powerhouses full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water. You can't go wrong adding them to every single meal so try adding them to your breakfast too!
You can even try having a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast! It might seem strange at first, but there’s no reason why you can’t step outside the box little. Personally, I love raw veggies like broccoli and carrots with a little bit of dip first thing in the morning.
I've included a delicious recipe below that includes protein, fat and even veggies for you to try.
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 or 2 eggs (how hungry are you?)
¼ cup veggies (spinach, sliced mushrooms, diced peppers)
dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric
1. Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).
2. In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.
3. Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil. Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
4. When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.
5. Serve with a slice of whole wheat toast & enjoy!
Veggie Tip: Substitute with your favourite vegetables. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli, diced tomato, and onion.
Vegan Tip: Substitute eggs for tofu to make "Veggie Tofu Scrambled" instead.
To Health and Happiness,
Wellness Advocate and Nutrition Coach
I often wonder what the world would look like if we stopped focusing on our differences and became aware of how very similar we are.
What if instead of seeing "enemies", we learned to recognize ourselves in others?
What would the world feel like if we decided to replace our fear and prejudice with love and compassion? What would the world look like if we stopped pointing the finger outward and instead, turned it inward?
What if we all became a little more interested in being the best versions of ourselves, instead of focusing on how others could be better?
What if every day our mantra was: "How can "I" do better?"
What would the world look like then?
Some may say this kind of thinking if "idealistic", but from what I know about the human heart, I know it is entirely possible.
We are not the destructive, violent, uncompassionate species that media makes us out to be. The acts of violence we see around us in the world isn't us - its "fear in motion".
We've all been made to live in fear and we've all been forced to react to this false sense of "being under attack" ALL THE TIME.
But are we? Are people really out to "get us?"
Most people I meet just want to live their life in peace and comfort. They want a life of meaning, purpose and fulfilment. They want food, shelter and friendship. They want to experience beauty, wonder and grace. Most people don't want to fight - they just want to live.
I mean, Isn't that what you and I want?
So who are we fighting really? Who's the big bad enemy?
The Americans? I know a LOT of American's and the are awesome, smart and kind.
The Muslims? I know a LOT of Muslim's and they are awesome, smart and kind.
The Immigrants? I know a LOT of immigrants and they are awesome, smart and kind.
I could go on and on - but the answer will always be the same. In the end, I think we're all awesome.
That's a great question and I have many theories (but those are for another day).
Today I just want to talk about us, you and me, and how very similar we are when you focus on what really matters - that we are Love incarnated.
Yes, we (you, me, them) are love. The spirit inside you is pure, loving, kindness. Believe me when I say this - you are good and the very essence of you, is in fact, love.
You, me (and even the person you fear the most) has a heart that was meant to Love, it's just that somewhere along we way, I guess we all got lost......
But I want us back. I really do. I want YOU back. I want everyone back. I miss you all because deep inside, I can feel your heart and it makes me so sad to be apart from you.....
But how do we become reunited again? How do we unite together as one super human AWESOME race that says, "you know what? I'm Done Living In Fear. I choose Love."
How do we do that?
Well........I think we just decide.
We decide that we won't let fear rule us anymore. We decide that the path of least resistance doesn't serve us anymore and we commit to not only finding the essence of Love within, but we commit to sharing that Love with everyone and anyone that crosses our path - yes, even the ones who scare us!
Even the ones who do terrible, ugly, ungodly things. Even the ones we "GASP" currently hate.
Because that's what loved ones do.
When someone we know is lost we rally up the troops and we go out and find them!
We find them!
Because they CAN be found - and not with threats, violence and war - but with LOVE.
We choose love. Because THAT is who we really are.
We are love.
We are the ones that hold out our hand to our "enemies" and say.....
"I'm done fighting. I choose you."
And how do we do that?
We realize that fear is no longer serving us and we simply decide....
To Health and Happiness,
Carmen Lisa xo
P.S I know letting go of fear it hard. I struggled with it my whole life, but I refuse to be a slave to it any longer. If you want to learn how I let go of my fear, you can read my story here: How I Let Go of Fear.
Lately, I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I want to do with my time on this planet.
I’ve been asking myself, “Carmen, what do you want to experience in life?” What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your life to feel like?
And each time my soul responds with…..LOVE.
I want to be surrounded by love.
I don’t know about you, but Love really feels like magic to me.
The smallest gesture of gratitude between friends.
The helping hand of a stranger.
Accepting each other for our differences.
Forgiving people for their mistakes……..
These expressions of love truly melt my heart.
Do you ever ask yourself, “What do I want my life to look like? What do I want my life to feel like?"
The truth is I think about it every day, but up until now I was afraid to share it with you.
I was afraid that you would judge my belief in love and God as being “bible-thumper-esque” (even though I’m not religious) or you'd think I was an “impostor” (because I’m not religious) LOL. Sigh! How could I ever be truly open with you with those thoughts running around in my head?
Truthfully, I think I was afraid that if you really saw me, you wouldn’t like me anymore…..I guess in the end, I was afraid to be me. I was afraid to take off the mask, ditch the filter and stop “fitting in”.
Yes, after years of acting on stage, giving presentations, and speaking at conferences I, Carmen Lisa MacPherson, was afraid to be seen.
Wow. That was a big “Ah Ha” moment for me.
But in that moment of honest and loving fear I realized something wonderful………………
“If you try to please everyone, you please no one.
But if you stay true to yourself, yes, some may hate you,
But at least they will see how you love others and how others love you.”
Ah, yes. Love is magic.
So even if you don’t get my “over the top” proclamations of love and unity, I hope you can at least find comfort in the fact that no matter what you do, someone in this world (i.e. ME) cares about you.
And while it's true that loving deeply can sometimes lead to abandonment, rejection and judgement – I’ve learned that love is definitely worth the risk.
Love is worth the fear because Love is worth more than any “thing.”
Love is everything. At least, love is everything to me.
So here I stand, loving you, and while I may run from religion due to all the horrific things people have done “in the name of God,” that will never stop me from running towards a loving God with open arms.
From now on, I won’t be afraid to open my heart and let you in. I’ll be brave and let you see me just as I am – an imperfect, loving (with a little dash of “weirdness” to keep it interesting) kind of girl.
And you know what? I’m OK with that.
So that’s my big secret.
I love you more than words could ever say. I guess you’ll just have to find a way to deal with that my friends.
Of course, my blog post wouldn’t be complete without a delicious recipe for you, so here’s a scrumptious dose of “Nutrition for the Soul”
Nutrition for the Soul
Fold two hands together,
borrow peace that’s in your heart
Add one cup of acceptance
And divide in equal parts
Dissolve the hate within you,
Finding mercy is the key;
Chop the grudge in tiny pieces
And sprinkle forgiveness to set it free.
Stir in love and laughter,
Set the dough with your good deeds;
Toss with genuine kindness, then
Share with those in need
Add several cups of hope,
Don’t forget your light within;
Nothing is impossible,
If we promise to begin.
The amount of people served,
All depends on me and you…….
This recipe can feed the world,
If we really want it to.
- Carmen Lisa
Are you sacrificing your own identity because you’re afraid others will judge you?
Are you sacrificing your health because you’re afraid to ask questions and make changes?
Are you sacrificing your dreams because you’re afraid to make goals that you might not achieve?
Hit reply and let me know.
We “sensitive souls” need to stick together.
To Health and Happiness (and above all else….Love),
Carmen Lisa xo
P.S How many times do you think I used the word LOVE in this post? LOL
One day you're feeling sexy and confident and the scale is singing your praises. The next day you feel like Shamu (yes, the whale) because the damn scale said you were 2 lbs heavier.
And yes, we are all aware that the way we look doesn't "define us", but that doesn't mean we don't feel pressured to look a certain way and be a certain weight, right? #thanksmedia
Here's the thing - while maintaining a healthy weight is important it's not as important as the circumference of your waist (and this is great news for people like us who are mostly concerned about thunder thighs, cankles and the odd "chin fat"). LOL!
So here we go, let's take a look at our waist circumference and see how we do....(well...you look at your waist and I'll look at mine, OK?).
Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”)
Do you remember those fruity body shape descriptions from high school where you checked to see if you were more of an “apple” or a “pear”? You know - the apple's were described as being kinda round in the middle (aka kinda belly fat-ish and beer belly-ish) and the pear's was described as being rounder on the hips and thighs (aka thunder thighs and bubble butt)?
Anyways, THAT is what we're going to be talking about today.
Can you guess which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance, diabetes, and mood fluctuations) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases).
Yup – the apple!
And it's not because of the “muffin top” (i.e. the subcutaneous "under the skin" fat). The health risk is actually due to fat that's inside the abdomen because this fat covers your liver, intestines and other important organs needed for your body to function properly.
This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and this “un-pinchable” fat is what you need to be most concern about.
The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure. These changes in your blood sugar also tend to cause unnecessary fluctuations in your mood.
Unfortunately, apple-shaped people are at much more risk for visceral fat than pear-shaped people.
So how do you determine if you are an apple or a pear?
The easiest way is to just measure your waist.
Women, if your waist is 35” or more (pregnant ladies are exempt, of course) and men if your waist is 40” or more, you could have what's known as, “abdominal obesity” .
An even better indicator is to calculate your Hip-to-Waist Ratio.
- Measure your hip circumference at its widest part.
- Measure your waist circumference at the belly button or just above it.
- Divide your waist circumference by your hip measurement.
- Use the chart below to determine your risk factor.
Of course this isn't a "diagnostic tool" so don't panic, but a large waist circumference does increase your risk for developing sleep apnea, blood sugar issues and heart issues, so it's important to be aware of it so you can start making the necessary lifestyle changes PRONTO.
Tips For Reducing Belly Fat:
- Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways. First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food. Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax seeds, chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.
- Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer. It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.
- Avoid added sugars. This means ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).
- Move more. Get some aerobic exercise. Lift some weights. Walk and take the stairs. It all adds up.
- Stress less. Seriously! Elevated levels in the stress hormone cortisol have been shown to increase appetite and drive abdominal fat.
- Get more sleep. Try making this a priority and seeing how much better you feel (and look).
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. In a bowl toss sprouts with garlic, oil, and lemon juice.
3. Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes. Toss.
5. Bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Serve and Enjoy!
Tip: Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving vitamin K - so you may want to consider adding them to one of your weekly meals.
To Health and Happiness,
This is one of my favourite recipes because it makes a delicious meal that is quick and requires very little clean up.
It's also very versatile.
You can make the tortilla chips, or simply buy organic corn chips at the grocery store. You could also enjoy the fillings with some tomato, lettuce, green onions, green chilli's, and salsa in a burrito or taco. The sky really is the limit!
Plant-based meals are AMAZING and this recipe is a great way to experiment with vegan cuisine. I personal haven`t come across a single person who doesn't love this (the "walnut meat" is especially awesome)!
- Place flax meal in a large bowl. Blend all remaining ingredients except the chili powder and cayenne pepper in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Add flax meal, chili powder and cayenne pepper to the blender and process for 20 seconds. Remove any lumps in the mixture by stirring. Taste and adjust
- Spread the mixture on the dehydrator sheet with the spatula to no more than 1/8-inch thickness and place in the dehydrator.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the spread after 30 minutes. Using a paring knife, cut and shape into chips in the size you desire.
- Sprinkle the chips with sea salt and continue dehydrating until they reach the desired crispness (12-24 hours).
Cashew Sour Cream:
Walnut Taco “Meat”:
- 1 ripe avocado,
- ¼ cup of green onion
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- Mix all ingredients together with a fork and VOILA!
- Dice up some tomatoes, onion and lettuce.
- Arrange walnut meat, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, onion and lettuce on a plate (sprinkle with some chili powder for presentation ☺ )
- Add chips to one side and ENJOY!
My mission in life is to share my simple philosophy for better health and greater happiness.
Eat to Live. Live to Love.
Food is the gift that nourishes our mind and body. Love it the gift that nourishes our soul.
Together, they equal the recipe that will take your mind, body and spirit to the next level.
I hope you will join me on a transformational path that will reunite you with your best self.
To Health and Happiness,
Carmen Lisa, xo
Mind, Body and Spirit
with the Gifts of
Living Food and a