4 ways to effortless weight loss & better health

4 ways to effortless weight loss & better health

There are many different approaches to weight loss, health and fitness – so many that it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to figure out which approach will work best for you.

Looking back, I spent most of my life struggling to maintain my weight through intense and excessive exercise and a “healthy” diet that probably ended up doing more harm than good. Learn more about my health journey HERE.

I did my fair share of experimenting with diets and exercise for weight loss and optimal health, so I’m aware of the frustrations and disappointments that can come about.

I can sympathize with those who feel like they’ve tried it all (and have genuinely put their full heart and energy into programs), but nothing seems to work for them – and if it does, the results are often short-lived.

When working with clients, my approach to sustainable weight loss and health is NOT one-size-fits-all. Each person and body is unique which means customized programs are often the best approach – and yield greater results.

Although the approach you take to health and fitness is important, it’s not the only part of the equation.

The one thing that most healthy and physically fit people have in common is consistent healthy habits.

They don’t dabble in a diet or exercise program for 1-month then stop without rhyme or reason and jump on board another trendy program the following year only to fall off the wagon again.

They’re more consistent than not when it comes to healthy eating, exercise and/or lifestyle practices – whatever their idea of “healthy” is at a given time.

I often get asked the question – “Jen, what’s your secret to always looking healthy and fit?”

Well, my secret in my early 20s is definitely different than my secret today. I’d argue that my current secret is much juicier given that I’m both fit and healthy today vs. just being fit (and not very healthy) years ago.

Without question, my approach to health and weight loss has evolved over the years given new research that has shaped my perspective and opinion.

My years of experimenting and gaining knowledge have led me to a formula of healthy habits that I can say with confidence have allowed me to not only lose extra weight I was holding onto, but also sustain a healthy weight effortlessly – all while gaining back my health.

Check out my top 4 healthy habits for effortless weight loss and better health …

4 ways to effortless weight loss & better health

#1: 7-9 HOURS OF QUALITY SLEEP

Research suggests that 7-9 hours of quality sleep is the ideal dose for feeling good and functioning optimally the next day (although we’re all wired different and some people do report feeling better with less sleep).

According to Chinese medicine, it’s not only how much sleep you get that matters, but also when you get it. The window from 11 PM – 3 AM (which correlates to the liver and gallbladder) is most important in terms of maintaining health, especially as we age. A bedtime of 10:30 PM is recommended so that you are asleep by 11 PM when the liver and gallbladder start to regulate qi (energy), process emotions, balance hormones and detoxify the body – all key players in weight loss.

If you’re a night owl, it may not be realistic to fall asleep by 11 PM in one or two attempts, but small steps can get you closer to this optimal window. Try heading to bed 30-minutes earlier and slowly build on that number over time.

In addition to the above, the quality of your sleep is equally important. 7-9 hours of interrupted sleep (e.g. waking up 5 times to pee then another 3 times because of your snoring partner) probably isn’t going to lead to that “well-rested” feeling the next day.

Sleep should be uninterrupted, deep and in ideal bedroom environment – no artificial lights, room temperature on the cool side, cell phone off or in airplane mode to avoid EMFs, etc.

#2: ONE NUTRIENT-RICH SMOOTHIE A DAY

Let’s face it, life is a chaotic mess most of the time and it’s not always realistic to get 3 healthy meals down the pipe.

Smoothies are a simple, affordable and realistic way to obtain the nutrients your body needs to function optimally, making weight loss and maintenance effortless. They have played a large role in my health journey which is why they made it to my top 4. Learn more about my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge.

I suggest replacing your weakest meal with an easy nutrient-rich smoothie. For most people, breakfast tends to be the weak link given the rush to get to work and/or get the kiddies ready for school.

Most convenient breakfast foods (ie. high-sugar cereals, yogurts, muffins, granola bars, bagels, etc.) don’t put your body into an optimal state to conquer the day.  These nutrient-void “foods” often leave you searching for the next convenient, high-sugar food in order to keep your sugar burning body from collapsing on the office floor.

Replacing one nutrient-void meal with a nutrient-dense smoothie that contains quality protein, healthy fats, and smart carbohydrates (in the right ratios) can make a world of a difference. It truly is a simple step towards weight loss and better health.

Join my free smoothie Challenge

I’ll teach you everything you need to know about making easy, nutrient-rich smoothies that are designed to help you lose weight and feel great. You’ll also recieve over 16 dessert-inspired smoothie recipes!

#3: INTERMITTENT FASTING

Have you ever tried a 12-16 hours fast? Most of us already practice 12-16 hour fasting without even realizing it.

These short and easier fasts are a great opportunity for your body to tap into existing fat stores and focus energy on clean-up and repair of cells (instead of digestion). So, not only is it helpful for weight loss, but also healing your body.

For some, this may sound like the impossible, but it’s actually a lot simpler than you think.

Here’s an easy way to implement a 12-hour fast:

1) Finish eating your last meal (dinner) between the hours of 6-8 PM (no snacks after dinner, just water or herbal teas if desired).

2) The next day, eat breakfast no sooner than 12 hours from your last meal (if you finished eating dinner at 7 PM, you would have your breakfast at 7 AM). If your dinner hour is earlier or later just adjust your breakfast to 12 hours from that time.

Once a 12-hour fast becomes easy, you can start bumping up the hours between dinner and breakfast until you reach 16 hours. Intermittent fasting can be done as often as you like (or your body allows). Start with 2-3 times per week.

Do you usually eat something soon after waking up? It may take some time and practice to recondition your body to not want/need food upon waking, especially if it’s been a long-standing habit. Try satisfying your hunger with a large glass of water, black coffee or green tea first. This can be an effective way to reduce hunger so you can extend your fasting time.

#4: 20-MINUTE MORNING WALK OR MOVEMENT ROUTINE

Did you know that your body is in fat-burning mode the minute you get out of bed? You can easily amplify the amount of fat stores you burn from your body by adding in a light walk or movement routine first thing in the morning.

Give this a try … Before eating breakfast, head outside for a light 20-minute walk. No jogging, speed walking or anything that jacks up the heart rate – just light movement.

If going outside isn’t an option because of cold weather conditions, I recommend the following:

• Use an indoor cardio machine (treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, rower), if you have one. Just remember to keep the intensity low for 20-minutes.

• Pull out a yoga mat and do some easy sun salutations and stretches for 20-minutes (check out an easy morning flow here).

Aim for 2-3 times per week to start. Once that becomes easy and habit-like, increase to 3-4 times per week and so on.

I usually do a light walk or movement routine in conjunction with my 12-16 hour fast – it’s a powerful fat burning combo!

Is your morning routine already packed with a long list of things-to-do, so even 20-minutes seems like the impossible? Before you write-off walking or movement completely, try fitting in your walk during lunch hour or after dinner. OR join a yoga class after work or dinner. Movement is medicine for the body (and calories burned) no matter what time of the day you decide to do it.

I hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to reach out to me in the comment section below.

Learn about 5 tools/markers for tracking healthy weight loss and positive changes in your health.

Join my free smoothie Challenge

Get started on your journey back to health by joining my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge. It’s a simple and natural approach to weight loss & better health. 

4 reasons why I use PurePaleo Protein powder

4 reasons why I use PurePaleo Protein powder

Finding a good protein powder that works well for your body isn’t easy given all the crappy and unknown ingredients found in most protein powders on the market.

A high-quality protein powder should make you feel good when you consume it. Protein powders should not cause symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, lethargy, etc. – and if you’re using one that does, I highly recommend removing it from your diet.

If you’re new to protein powders or shopping around for a different protein powder, I recommend reading this article to get a better sense of what to look for in a high-quality protein powder.

PurePaleo Protein has been my go-to for many years now and has played a large role in my journey back to health. Its benefits are so great that even Functional Medicine Practitioners and Naturopathic Doctors use and recommend this protein powder to their patients.

Check out what makes this protein powder so great …

4 reasons why I use PurePaleo Protein powder

1. It’s comprised of 70% collagen making it the perfect anti-aging protein powder.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body ensuring the health and vitality of your skin, hair, tendons, cartilage, bones, and joints.

Our bodies cannot synthesize enough collagen on their own and our diets today contain minimal collagen which is why supplementing with collagen is so important.

PurePaleo Protein, and its collagen-rich composition, works from within to enhance your skin, hair & nails and support your bones and joints, naturally. Collagen helps restore the skin’s moisture, improving the elasticity, tone and vibrancy that’s already within you. A true anti-aging protein powder!

2. It’s gut-friendly so you won’t crap your pants!

Many people complain about how protein powders irritate their gut and cause things like gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, etc. That’s because most protein powders on the market use low quality protein sources that are contaminated and/or hard for our bodies to digest. They are also loaded with fillers, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.

PurePaleo Protein is processed in a way that allows for easy extraction, digestion & absorption of protein + nutrients. It’s also squeaky clean with no added garbage.

The best part is, because PurePaleo Protein is so collagen rich it actually aids in the repair of your gut lining, so not only does it NOT irritate the gut, but it also helps to heal the gut.

3. It tastes amazing and blends beautifully into a smoothie.

This is by far one of the best tasting protein powders on the market. Whether you choose vanilla or chocolate flavour, you can’t go wrong. PurePaleo Protein blends perfectly into smoothies with not chalky taste or weird textures. You’ll be convinced you’re drinking a milkshake – even with greens added to it!

Additionally, this powder is sweetened with stevia – a natural plant based sweetener that will not spike blood sugar levels. It really is the perfect combination of healthy and delicious!

4. It’s derived from grass-fed cows, making it not only healthy, but extremely nutrient-dense.

According to good research, grass-fed meat gives you more bang for your buck on all fronts, with its significantly higher levels of omega-3s, antioxidants (like vitamin E and glutathione), minerals (like zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium), and other important nutrients.

Check out some of the great articles that Chris Kresser (a well known Functional Medical Doctor) has put together. He’ll show you how an unbiased review of the evidence indicates that grass fed red meat is one of the healthiest foods you can eat (find links to these articles in the resource section below).

 

PurePaleo Protein is an ideal protein source for:

  • Weight loss
  • Building lean muscle, cartilage and ligaments
  • IBS or other gut conditions
  • People with food sensitivities

Highlights of PurePaleo Protein

  • Paleo + keto friendly
  • Free of dairy, gluten, grains + GMO
  • Naturally sweetened with stevia
  • Available in vanilla, chocolate & unflavoured

Get PurePaleo Protein

The best protein powder for weight loss, IBS & anti-aging 

Are you vegan or vegetarian?

For those of you who are vegan or vegetarian, I have sourced out a high-quality, plant-based protein powder for you.

PurePea Protein powder is a true vegan protein which has high bioavailability and excellent digestibility. The raw materials, North American grown yellow peas, are not genetically modified (non-GMO) and are produced with a natural fermentation process which uses no chemical solvents.

Click here to learn more or purchase PurePea Protein.

Join my free smoothie Challenge

Learn how to create healthy and delicious smoothies using PurePaleo Protein + get over 16 dessert-inspired smoothie recipes when you join. It’s the ultimate challenge for weight loss & better health.

5 Ways to Support Digestion

5 Ways to Support Digestion

Coming from a history of IBS, I spent a lot of time and energy figuring out ways to correct my daily nagging symptoms.

That meant not only healing my gut, but supporting proper digestion so I could better breakdown food and therefore absorb more nutrients and avoid inflammatory responses caused by a leaky gut.

Here are a few ways that I support my digestive system daily. I recommend giving all of these a try or at the very least starting with one and adding to your digestive support routine in time. These simple tips go a long way especially when practiced regularly.

5 Ways to Support Digestion

1. GINGER

  • Helps to relax the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.
  • Add a 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp. ginger powder to your smoothie or incorporate it into your other meals.
  • Drink ginger tea in-between meals.

2. EAT/DRINK SLOWLY & CHEW THOROUGHLY

  • Digestion begins in the mouth.
  • Chew your food 20-30 times before swallowing.
  • Sip (don’t gulp) your smoothie. Take at least 20 minutes to consume it.

3. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

  • Helps prepare the gut for incoming food by releasing enzymes that breakdown food.
  • Add 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar to water and consume 15-20 minutes before your meals.

4. AVOID EATING WHEN STRESSED

  • Stress compromises your bodies ability to digest food properly.
  • Here are some tips to help: 1. Eat sitting, not standing. 2. Take a few deep breaths before eating. 3. Avoid eating when emotions are strong (sad, angry, excited) and 1-hour before or after a workout. These tips apply to drinking your smoothies as well.

5. DIGESTIVE ENZYMES & BITTERS

  • Try the above suggestions first. If you continue to deal with digestive issues I recommend trying a digestive enzyme like Digestzymes.
  • Digestive enzymes are important for people who fall into one or more of the following groups: 1. No gallbladder 2. Prior use of antacids (prescription, Tums, Rolaids, etc.) 3. Older adults. 4. Chronic illness or high stress.
  • Digestive bitters can be helpful as well. Just add to water and drink in-between meals.

Digestzymes

For optimal digestion. Say goodbye to gas & bloating after meals or that feeling of fullness after eating only a small quantity of food.

What your scale isn’t telling you

What your scale isn’t telling you

Are you feeling discouraged by the number on your scale?

Have you started a new exercise program and/or weight loss/nutrition plan, but despite all your efforts your weight just doesn’t seem to budge in the right direction?

What up with that?!?!

Well, I come bearing great news …

Believe it or not, no changes in your weight can still mean your moving in the right direction with your health and fat loss. Here’s how this twisted idea works…

What your scale fails to tell you is how much fat, muscle, bone and water mass you have (also known as body composition). This missing piece of information is key since body composition tells us more about a healthy body than just weight alone.

Now wrap your head around this crazy idea…

Muscle weighs more than fat, which means that as you become leaner – and start losing fat – your weight may not shift much and … wait for it… your weight may go up!

This is a common story for someone who starts an exercise program or changes their diet to include more nutrient-dense foods that help burn fat and build lean mass.

So, contrary to popular belief – no changes or an increase in your weight when starting new healthy habits, may in fact be great news for you.

Ok, moment of truth – how many times have you stressed out about this? …

Going up 1lb then coming down 1lb then going up 2lbs, but then coming down 2lbs. Now I’m up 3lbs, but wait I’m back down 3lbs. Oh s#!%, now it’s back up 1lb, but if you give me a moment to pee I can get it down another pound. Now I ate a bag of potato chips and I’ve gained 2lbs, so maybe I’ll skip breakfast and look, I’m back down 2lbs …

Yep, unfortunately this song is a top hit on my music charts — and we need to have a little chat before I go bananas from hearing it one more time.

Small changes on the scale over a short period of time are usually an indication of fluctuations in water weight NOT fat weight. For example, if you consume extra salt in your diet, your body may respond by retaining more water which will increase the number on your scale. This increase in weight has nothing to do with fat but instead is a reflection of an increase in water weight.

So, next time the number on your scale goes up and down and all around from morning to night, PLEASE sip on some calming herbal tea and stop stepping on that damn scale!

Now that you have a better understanding of the downside to using weight as a tracking tool, let’s chat about markers that are more accurate for tracking healthy weight loss and changes in health.

5 ways to track healthy weight loss & positive shifts in your health

1. Body measurements

Track changes in your chest, waist and hip measurements since these numbers are a better indicator of fat loss. Also, pay attention to changes in how your clothing fits. Are your jeans feeling looser and more comfortable?

2. Energy levels

Track changes in your energy levels throughout the day. Are you experiencing more energy in the morning and/or sustained energy throughout the day with fewer afternoon crashes?

3. Digestive health

Track changes in your bowel movements (do they feel and look healthier?) and GI symptoms (are you experiencing less bloating, gas, heartburn, pain, etc.?)

4. Sleep

Track changes in the quality of your sleep. Are you falling asleep faster, waking up less throughout the night and/or feeling more energetic upon waking?

5. Mood

Track changes in your emotional state. Are you feeling happier, less stressed, more connected with friends and family, etc.?

If you’d still like to use the scale as one of your tracking tools, here’s what I suggest…

Weigh yourself once a week, in the morning before any food or water is consumed.

For women – since weight tends to fluctuate more due to our monthly cycles, I recommend weighing yourself once a month (at the same period in your cycle) to avoid getting discouraged by large weight fluctuations that can happen during the course of a monthly cycle.

If you are having ANY negative thoughts and/or feelings around weighing yourself – I highly recommend getting rid of your scale since it will not contribute to your health and may hinder it (both mentally and physically).

At the end of the day, the number on the scale is just that – a number. It can tell you a small story about changes in your overall weight when looked at over longer periods of time, but it doesn’t tell you a whole lot about your body composition and overall health.

I hope you found this article helpful. Leave a comment below and let me know if there are any specific topics you’d like me to address in future articles I write.

Join my free smoothie Challenge

Get started on your journey back to health by joining my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge. It’s a simple and natural approach to weight loss & better health.