Chin up buttercup, RISE!

It’s never over…(sigh)

Just when I think I’ve got this, something unplanned comes along.

I don’t work out for 2 days which then turns into 2 more days.

I have one Parmesan bread bite, then I go back for just one more bite.

I might as well have one piece of pizza….and just one more.

Before I know it, I’ve had 2 pieces of pizza.🍕

It’s a vicious cycle & it can be so discouraging.

Those relentless voices start whispering and then screaming…’might as well give up,’ ‘it’s the weekend.’ ‘Might as well just start Monday.’ ‘It’s ok, just accept it.’ Blah, blah, blah!!! They’re LIES. I can’t buy into them.

I can’t keep beating myself up. I can’t change what I did yesterday, it’s gone. That fall can remind me, but I can’t allow it to define me.

We all have moments of weakness.

Sometimes our moments of weakness turn into days, weeks, and years of weakness.

It’s not the end of the world, y’all.

We all make mistakes and get off track. It’s inevitable. It’s life.

The mistake does not determine the type of person that I am or the quality of my character. What defines us is how well we RISE after we fall.

Chin up buttercup, turn that frown upside down & move forward. Today is a new day, make good use of it. #RISE

Day 2/21 Days of #movement and #ketones

It’s not getting easier, I’m getting #BETTER 💪🏻 Day 2/21 days of #movement and #ketones Mission: strength and confidence.

https://youtu.be/e_eEyqNgl4sClick HERE

Smile! 😁

Wearing my best smile today in honor of ‘NATIONAL SMILE DAY!’ 😁 What make you smile?

I smile when something is funny or if something that I’m doing brings me joy. I smile at puppies and babies. I smile when my children laugh. I rock a mighty grin when I think of those that I love and beam the light of joy ✨ when spending time in the company of delightful people.

Smiles are powerful! They not only create engagement between two people but the more a person smiles, the healthier their brain can be. It is a direct link to our brain and can help to reduce stress.

Just one smile can brighten someone’s day and improve yours. Smiles are infectious. A smile can develop confidence and generate a new outlook on the world. A smile is the universal language of kindness.

Smile because life really isn’t that serious. You’re beautiful and amazing. Smile because you’re unique and you can. Smile because tomorrow is a new day and someone loves you. Because you deserve to…SMILE.

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~ MOTHER TERESA

Give it a try, share a smile – today. 😃 ~ Monette

BETTER with Water 💦

Are you drinking enough water? Why are you drinking anything other than water? What excuses, what bad habits are you allowing to stand between you and BETTER health?

WATER 💦 – it’s a powerful tool in breaking weight loss resistance.

75% of us are chronically dehydrated. No wonder we don’t feel good. Some symptoms of chronic dehydration include:

1. fat and weight loss resistance – when your body doesn’t have enough water, your metabolism slows down. Your body needs a certain amount of water for metabolic processing. Dehydration makes it hard for our bodies to utilize fat as fuel when we’re dehydrated; we’re storing more fat and packing on pounds.

2. constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, or any type of dysbiosis – hydration is essential for all bodily function, especially digestive processes.

3. bloating and water retention – when your body doesn’t have enough water, it holds on to what it has because it’s not getting enough.

4. brain fog, headaches, depression, inability to focus & concentrate – dehydration restricts the blood supply to our brain which doesn’t allow it 🧠 to function properly.

5. low blood pressure, hypertension, and/or a sudden drop in blood pressure; muscle weakness – dehydration creates an imbalance in our salts and electrolytes in our body.

6. dry skin, urinary tract infections, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, premature aging (wrinkles), and high cholesterol.

When I don’t get enough water, I feel it in my joints. That’s because water is a lubricant and keeps the cartilage around our joints hydrated and supple. It’s also what protects our spinal chord and tissues. You can survive without food, but you cannot survive without water.

How much water do we need? Experts say six to eight cups per day. Others say, 50% of your body weight in ounces. The truth is that it depends and everyone is different. Guidelines don’t take into account height, how much sodium is in our diet, activity level, age, hormones, and weather conditions. Here’s a tip for ya…use the color of your urine as a guide. We’re drinking enough water when our urine is almost clear. Can we drink too much? that would be tough. We’d know because we would constantly be going to the bathroom and we’d feel it.

I personally try to drink 75 to 100 ounces per day. I start my mornings (even before coffee) with 16 oz of water. I don’t feel over-hydrated or dehydrated. It’s a good amount for me.

If you make one healthy choice for BETTER today, I hope that this inspires you to drink more water because of the profound effect that it has on our cellular function, hormone regulation, digestion, and gut health – to become healthy from the inside out.

Inflammation? Could it be the culprit?

Geeking out this FriYAY…🤓

Are you feeling tired, brain fogged, puffy, bloated? Having headaches? Is your skin breaking out? Are you holding on to extra weight no matter how much you exercise or calories you restrict?

We keep being told that in order to loose weight we just need to eat less and exercise more, BUT – inflammation plays a HUGE role in all of these things!

Research shows that a significant contributor to chronic inflammation comes from what we eat. When we eat inflammatory foods daily, we are constantly turning on our body’s inflammatory response. Over time, this incessant inflammatory response can lead to weight gain, drowsiness, skin problems, digestive issues, and a host of diseases, from diabetes to obesity to cancer.

If your weight-loss efforts have plateaued before you’ve reached your goals, try eliminating some of the following inflammatory foods from your diet and see how your body responds. You might be surprised. 😲

Refined starches and sugary foods: they aren’t dense in nutrients, and they’re easy to overeat, which can lead to weight gain, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol (all related to inflammation). Sugar causes the body to release inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Soda and other sweet drinks are main culprits. Anti-inflammatory diet experts often say you should cut out all added sugars, including agave and honey.

High-fat and processed red meat (like hot dogs): these have a lot of saturated fat, which can cause inflammation if you get more than a small amount each day.

Butter, whole milk, and cheese: the problem is saturated fat. Instead, eat low-fat dairy products.

French fries, fried chicken, and other fried foods: cooking them in vegetable oil doesn’t make them healthy. Corn and other vegetable oils all have omega-6 fatty acids. We need some omega-6s, but if we get too much, we throw off the balance between omega-6s and omega-3s and end up with more inflammation.

Coffee creamers, margarine, and other trans fats: labeled “partially hydrogenated oils” – these raise LDL cholesterol, which causes inflammation. There is no safe amount to eat, stay away from them.

Wheat, rye, and barley – GLUTEN. People who have celiac disease need to avoid gluten. But for everyone else, whole grains are beneficial.

Remember – everyone’s different. While a certain food might cause inflammation for one person, that isn’t the case for the next. Not all ‘diets’ fit all!

‘Exogenous ketones’ provide benefits such as enhancing cognitive function, reducing inflammation, controlling blood sugar, mitigating food cravings, and increasing energy levels by reducing inflammation – inhibiting inflammasone proteins that induce inflammatory responses in your body. 🤯

So, let the testing begin…eliminate and replace some of the known inflammatory foods from your diet with more nutrient dense foods and see what happens…how your body responds. It’s worth a shot…to looking and feeling “better.”

The RED dress! 💋

RED. I rarely wear it, I didn’t realize that until I needed to wear it for a special event and I had NOTHING that color in my closet. I had to buy something just for the occasion. I slipped into that dress this morning and immediately grew self conscious and uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that I considered wearing something more comfortable (preferably grey or black) for my first two appointments and changing for the ‘Go Red Luncheon.’ I’ve never really given it much thought, but this morning as I stepped out, begrudgingly – to put gasoline in my car…’it’ fanned me with a brick! The reason why…

RED – a dynamic & passionate color that symbolizes love, passion, rage, and courage. It demands attention and evokes great emotional impact. It is considered a color of power.

As an introvert, I SOooo prefer blending into my surroundings, but today – after I realized “why” I was feeling so uncomfortable…I made a conscious decision to own that power. I faked it till I made it, HA! I wore that RED dress with confidence and strength. Sista, there was something pretty AMAZING about being a part of a sea of other beautiful, strong, and courageous women wearing RED. There is POWER in RED.

And to the sweet Manager at McDonald’s in Kinder that complimented me on how stunning I was in that dress…I simply said “thank you” without minimizing her kind words. #growth

Is there a color that evokes deep emotions for you? Think about it…

Friends, I challenge you! ❤️ Wear RED! OWN “it” sista! Be bold – be courageous; step out and be the woman that God created you to be. #livepurposefully

~ xo

Monette

A healthy dose of vitamin “sunshine” may be JUST what you need:  body & soul.

A healthy dose of vitamin “sunshine” may be JUST what you need:  body & soul.

8 months ago, I was running an average of 8 miles a week training for a half marathon and following a clean eating diet. For 2 years prior, I had successfully managed to lose 35# by working out 30 minutes a day and following a portion control and clean eating diet.  Mind ya, I was NOT perfect…but consistency and perseverance got me to my goal weight.  I felt great – strong and confident. I started running and enjoyed the comradery of the running community. I fell in love with the run and even completed my first ½ marathon.  Last year, I decided to go for the ½ once again.  I started training and continued with the plan that I had followed the year before.  Only, this time…something was significantly different.  I was struggling.  My runs were much slower, I couldn’t breathe, and my knees were hurting, I was gaining weight, I was emotional, not sleeping well, and I was in a chronic state of soreness to the point of deep pain.  I didn’t understand…I wasn’t doing anything different from what I had done the year before.  My nutrition was the same and the training was the same.  I struggled through the race in December and finished with a disappointing time more than 40 minutes slower than the previous year.

After the race, I took some time to recover by doing some low impact walking and Yoga workouts, but continued to follow the nutrition plan that I had been following for the past 2 years.  I was growing more and more discouraged with my weight gain, but attributed it to Holiday indulging.  In January, I went to GP for an annual wellness check.  A very low pressure check led to blood work that revealed something significant.  A Vitamin D deficiency!

What I’ve learned about adrenal fatigue, aging, hormones, vitamin deficiency over the last several months has been enlightening and has turned my health and fitness journey upside down.  I dismissed my symptoms as ‘normal’ aging ailments and failed to take them as serious as I should have.  It’s not “normal” to be in constant pain, to experience dizziness to the point of seeing stars when you stand up from a sitting position, and it’s not normal to gain #10 in 3 months with no significant changes in your diet…especially when you’re running several miles/week.  So, I’m sharing this information in hopes of stirring in any other woman the importance in getting yourself checked out if you are experiencing similar symptoms.

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is produced by the body as a response to sun exposure; it can also be consumed in food or supplements.  Despite the name, vitamin D is considered a pro-hormone and not actually a vitamin. Vitamins are nutrients that cannot be created by the body and must be taken in through our diet. Vitamin D; however, can be synthesized by our body when sunlight hits our skin.

Sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes 2-3 times per week allows most people to produce sufficient vitamin D, but vitamin D breaks down quite quickly, meaning that stores can run low, especially in winter. A substantial percentage of the population is vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D is best known for its role in supporting bone health and strengthening the immune system and is essential for maintaining the mineral balance within the body and has a much wider role to play in our overall health.

1) Vitamin D is vital for bone health.  It plays a substantial role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood, which are extremely important for maintaining healthy bones. We need vitamin D to absorb calcium in the intestines and to reclaim calcium that would otherwise be excreted through the kidneys. Vitamin D deficiency manifests as osteomalacia (softening of the bones) or osteoporosis.  Osteomalacia results in poor bone density and muscular weakness. Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease among post-menopausal women and older men.

2) Reduced risk of diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency is suggested as one of the contributing factors in the development of blood sugar imbalances. Inadequate vitamin D, may affect the release of insulin, reduce insulin-producing cell function and impair glucose metabolism in the body. Healthy insulin release is essential for the regulation of blood sugar levels in the body.

3) Regulating cell growth and for cell-to-cell communication. Some studies suggest that calcitriol (the hormonally active form of vitamin D) can reduce cancer progression by slowing the growth and development of new blood vessels in cancerous tissue, increasing cancer cell death, and reducing cell proliferation and metastases. Vitamin D influences more than 200 human genes, which could be impaired when we do not have enough vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the development of certain cancers, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancer.

4) Regulating depressed mood.  Increasingly research is finding a possible link between vitamin D and its effect on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which has a large influence on our mood, sleep, stress and overall well-being. Increased vitamin D levels can be effective in helping to manage symptoms of depression, and there is also a suggested link between reduced sunlight exposure during winter and the development of the ‘winter blues’ or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include:

  • getting sick often
  • fatigue
  • painful bones and back
  • depressed mood
  • impaired wound healing
  • hair loss
  • muscle pain

If Vitamin D deficiency continues for long periods of time it can result in:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • depression
  • fibromyalgia
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • osteoporosis
  • neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease

Our environment and lifestyle choices can affect your body’s ability to produce vitamin D.  The majority of vitamin D is produced from exposure to adequate sunlight.  People who avoid the sun by covering their skin, have a dark skin tone, or have limited sun exposure in winter months, can be at greater risk of deficiency. The use of sunscreen reduce the body’s ability to absorb the ultraviolet radiation B (UVB) rays from the sun needed to produce vitamin D.  A sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 can reduce the body’s ability to synthesize the vitamin by 95 percent. To start vitamin D production, the skin has to be directly exposed to sunlight, not covered by clothing. Although vitamin D supplements can be taken, it is best to obtain any vitamin or mineral through natural sources wherever possible.

Increasing outdoor activities and exposing your skin to unprotected sunlight are helpful ways to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D. It is important, especially during summer, to be very careful when exposing our skin to the sun and for only short periods to avoid sunburn. Before 10 AM and after 4 PM are safer, when UV conditions are lower. Supplementing your diet with vitamin D can also be a convenient and easy way to ensure you are consistently getting the required daily dose of vitamin D, especially during the winter months.

Since being diagnosed, I have been put on a heavy dose of prescribed Vitamin D supplementation.  I continue to follow up with my GP for blood work to include liver function, blood pressure checks, etc.  I’m beginning to feel better.  My sleep has improved, my moods have improved, and I’m no longer in constant pain, and I’m no longer seeing stars when I stand up.  I continue to explore a nutrition and exercise program that compliments hormonal issues that I face as a premenopausal woman at 47.

The take away is…you know your body better than anyone else.  You know when something is not right.  Stop second guessing yourself and get yourself checked out.  Be your own best advocate and be proactive.  Feel better, look better, be BETTER.

xo~ Monette