When the clean eating movement first began it was slightly controversial because it meant that issues in mainstream, tried and trusted products were being pointed out. The dieting industry used buzz words like “sugar-free” and “low-fat” to grab people’s attention and now “clean eating” is being used in that same manner. The use of marketing terms is proven to get the consumer to buy food products that appear healthy or “clean,” but in fact still have ingredients that are not real, whole foods.
So, I wanted to share exactly what clean eating truly means to me. How it’s defined, why I do it and how it makes me feel.
The simplest rule for clean eating is to eat whole, natural and real foods. For example, eat some blueberries, not something with blueberry flavoring. At its most basic this means foods that don’t have crap added to them, but during processing it also means that they haven’t had anything taken away from them. For example, rice. Brown rice is an excellent grain to eat, but white rice has become more mainstream and while it is still rice instead of adding anything it’s been stripped and bleached of its good parts and what remains is practically cardboard.
Anytime a whole food is changed from its natural form the true value of nutrients become diminished. That doesn’t mean you have to live on plants, fruits and vegetables the rest of your life, but it does raise concern when eating foods that come from mainstream manufacturing where not only are the nutrients diminished through processing but chemicals, dyes and preservatives are added. Those are the “unclean” ingredients that the consumer needs to be careful of. If you make your own sauce, marinades, and cook from scratch you can be in control of what you are adding in, but when you buy packaged dressings, sauces, soups , cereals and other foods you need to be aware of the ingredients used.
Clean eating is also a mindset about how you watch what you eat. Most diets and health choices used to be based on how many calories, how much trans fat, etc. So, we started reading labels for these things and ignoring the ingredient list. If you start with the ingredient list and make sure the things you eat are whole, natural ingredients than you are feeding your body properly. These foods will naturally be low in calories and other elements that we check. Start with the ingredients and the other labels on a nutritional label will line up as well.
My rule is five ingredients or less in pre-packaged foods and I still read what those five ingredients are. I am sensitive to certain ingredients such as wheat and dairy so I want to make sure that those are not part of the five ingredients.
There are a lot of tips out there on exactly how to eat clean and live the lifestyle. Here is my quick, down and dirty list of the absolute musts for clean eating.
So, to me “clean eating” isn’t a marketing term. It’s not a fad diet. While you will lose weight naturally by adopting the lifestyle, but it’s bigger than that. It’s disease prevention. It’s life-long.
The better I can fuel my body with foods that It recognizes and absorbs properly the better I feel both physically and emotionally. I am not always perfect but I am aware and mindful of what I am eating.
As a health coach I have helped many men and women learn how to read labels and cook foods that are tasty , nutritious and “clean,” I started Be Well Meals because I love good food and I love to help others get healthy and feel healthy. When you know the right ingredients to use and how to put them together eating healthy becomes part of your lifestyle and is not a burden on your time or energy.
For further information on how you can transform your health with proper food choices you can contact me or come visit me at our restaurant location Be Well Meals , 121 Gateway Rd, Myrtle Beach SC.
When I was 36 I got Lyme’s disease and during the process of diagnosis and treating that I discovered something else, I had the Epstein-Barr virus. The virus is life-changing, yet not. A somewhat silent infliction that causes you to not feel “right,” but not so bad that you are bed ridden and unable to live your life.
Epstein-Barr is the most common viruses that humans carry. I guarantee that at least a few people reading this post have the virus and have no idea. They may feel constantly tired. Have trouble getting out of bed and just start blaming themselves that they are depressed. There’s a high chance that is not the case.
These types of inflictions though can be dangerous not only to your physical health from the symptoms it causes, but to your mental health by feeling like something is wrong with you, but if you aren’t vomiting or showing other incredibly obvious signs you can blame yourself, beat yourself up mentally and be swept into an overwhelming cycle of feeling miserable.
For ten years I consistently had flare-ups. These flare-ups showed their ugly face by making me feel flu-like and more than anything, just completely and utterly exhausted.
The past three years have been so much better though. I’ve put an anti-inflammatory diet in place, engaged in juicing, got plenty of rest and made regular visits to chiropractors and massage therapists. During those years I didn’t really have any flare-ups. My energy was always high. I could go, go, go and feel just fine.
I had no idea what opening a restaurant to help people manage and improve their health would do to mine. The long days, lack of self-care and stress have sent me in a downward spiral that has made me feel like it’s three years ago. While helping others improve, I sent myself back.
So, two weeks ago I decided I needed to make a true, honest effort to change before things continued to worsen. I put myself on a juice cleanse and an anti-inflammatory diet and forced myself to take some time to rest.
I’d like to say that miraculously the symptoms of my Epstein-Barr have faded again, but it is no miracle. They have thankfully faded again, but it’s because I actually took the actions that mentally I know I needed to take. It wasn’t a miracle. It was work, self-awareness and dedication that made my symptoms fade.
If you think you might have Epstein-Barr virus I urge to ask you doctor to get tested. When you know you have it then mentally you realize there’s something there that you need to control and you release the blame you’ve been placing on yourself. It truly helps to understand what is going on with your body, because once you realize it you can get it under control.
Read more about Epstein-Barr virus here >
Sometimes fate steps in and makes us do the things that we don't want to do, but need to do. For me, the thing I didn't want to was take twenty minutes to not do anything. Just sit.
Well, fate made me in the form of sticking me in an elevator in the middle of this uncomfortably hot summer we are having. When days have been filled with "I need to do that" and "I need to go there" fate stepped in and said for the next twenty minutes, you lady, are not going anywhere or doing anything. You will sit in this moving, metal box for twenty minutes to sweat and reflect in silence.
So, yes, leaving my fourth floor apartment the elevator stalled between floors and left me helplessly hanging out inside. It took about twenty minutes for the fire department to get there and a fireman to pry the doors open and help me get to safety.
In all my life I have never been stuck in an elevator or known someone who had gotten stuck. It seemed like something that only happens in movies and television shows as a cute place to rekindle a love or an uncomfortable place to have an awkward conversation. Not a solo, boring, hot and stressful place to get stuck when you are just trying to get to your restaurant.
As a person that likes to reflect on why things happen to us and what we can learn from them I've taken away four main things from my experience getting stuck in an elevator:
1. I know have a little bit shorter leg workout because I am terrified of the elevator and have added taking four flights of stairs up and down multiple times a day. My already tired feet from standing up at the restaurant all day really appreciate these extra steps at the end of the day.
2. I am working too much and neglecting my own self care. I needed a minute to reflect and when I didn't give it to myself, it was thrust upon me.
3. Shit happens. We can't control certain situations. Sometimes we are late for work, miss an appointment or plans. The best we can do is move forward and not let the stress build and eat us up during the time we are missing. If you can't get someplace, if something happens, people understand, you need to understand as well and not get stressed over something you cannot control.
4. The Myrtle Beach Fire Department is quick, kind and helpful. I am forever grateful that I didn't have to spend all day in that elevator because of them.
So, whatever hiccups come into your life, whether it's a flat tire, broken alarm, elevator troubles or anything else wild that comes along during this crazy ride called life, take it in stride, accept it and keep on trucking, even if trucking means you now take the stairs.
My mind is constantly fluttering, as most peoples are. It bounces back and forth between personal to dos, business to dos, health and wellness to dos and then you mix that in with the other daily thoughts that pop up and it’s like a confetti gun blasted around inside my head.
Sometimes when it seems just too much I break things down. Make them manageable. After all, the quote “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” didn’t become popular because there’s no merit to it.
So, to help myself and hopefully you make this week, organized, successful, productive and happy here are 5 tips to break down your week and make it successful.
1. Make a List.
No, not 12 lists that are scattered everywhere, covering different topics. Try making a list by DAY instead of topic. I find that when I can look at a day as a whole and make one, single list for that day it’s much easier to organize and accomplish instead of piecing together a personal to do list, business to do list and more. Get a pretty notebook. Try talking into the recorder on your phone and making sure to go back and listen. Avoid sticky notes (if you're like me) you put them up, they fall away and you forget things.
Some of you out there already meditate, some of you may have tried it and don’t like it and some of you may have just laughed at me, because let’s face it, you’re busy. You don’t have time to schedule time to do nothing. But, try again. Try the calm app if you struggle. If you need something to do while doing nothing try reading a book that is purely for pleasure, coloring, stringing beads onto a bracelet, painting something random. Anything that gives you a moment of reflection and silence. The most important thing is to find a place where you are free from distraction, moms are especially seasoned with this. I used to hide in the bathroom just to have the space to talk on the phone when my kids were little (even big). Do whatever you need to in order to get a quiet, peaceful space.
3. Feed your body what it needs, not what you want.
Mentally we have become wired to crave certain things. The comfort foods. The sweet. The salty. We turn to these in times when we are busy, stressed or any other range of emotions. But while our mind might want these foods, our body gets pissed when it’s fed these foods. Our cells only have so much energy to put into each day and when we put in certain foods the effects are immediate. Heavy comfort foods instantly make you feel tired because your body is now working overtime to process them, not function through your day. Sugars give your mind a high and then a crash. And salty foods spike your blood pressure. All these things do not set you up for a successful day. They set you up for lethargy, headaches, stomaches and more. Give yourself, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. I've recently not been eating well and it's caused a lot of disruption for me, so I'm doing a raw food cleanse to get back on track. We all have our moments of weakness.
4. Get some sleep.
It’s become a bragging point to say how little sleep we can function on, well I think we should start being proud of how much deep, restorative sleep we can get. I know you know you need sleep. This isn’t new information, I just want to remind you of the importance of truly, really trying to make sure you get a great nights sleep. Try aromatherapy, a cool, dark room and maybe even some bedtime yoga, like this sequence, to try and get a more restful sleep. Also try setting a bedtime for yourself, drinking some chamomile tea and taking a break from technology. It's hard to follow this one when you can't silence your mind. I've been waking up at 2-3 am and that's when my day begins because I'm so engulfed by thoughts. If I was better at following the other tips listed here such as an organized to do list, eating better and meditating I would most likely naturally be getting more sleep.
5. Forgive yourself.
NONE OF US IS PERFECT. If you stay up late, eat crappy food, skip a workout, miss a deadline or anything else that puts you in a funk the most important thing to do is acknowledge it happened, take a moment to accept it and move the hell on. It’s not the end of the world and forgiving yourself is the only way to not royally screw up the rest of your week. Let it go, smile big and walk forward. Forgiving yourself gets easier as you get older. I can forgive, understand and move on much easier now than my younger years. It's all a continual growing process.
Our current lives are flooded with fighting, violence and anger. There’s the bombings, shootings, protests and the negatively charged political elections. Hell, even the dumb celebrity culture that we follow as a mental break from the harsh realities of the world is steaming with feuding between Kanye, Taylor Swift and the Kardashian kids.
When I start to feel overwhelmed by all of this and my veins feel like they are going to burst through my skin because it’s too much. It’s too unsettling. Too out of our control. Too violent. Too sad. Just TOO MUCH. I go back to basics.
I concentrate on what I CAN control, which helps managing the other things bearable. I can control my health. I can control my body. I can do things to increase my stamina, my mental energy and my all-around well-being.
Election years especially are notorious for instability. Google various stats on election years and you find numerous articles citing the instability and decline in travel and stock markets and a lengthy list for managing the stress and uncertainty that come along with so much debating and drastic changes.
You know what makes all of the stressors in the real-world even worse? When your body is stressed out. Physical stresses make it even harder to handle the mental stress that comes our way. So here are some tips for getting back to basics and taking care of your personal welfare to help you deal with the world-wide issues plaguing us today.
Read Something Positive
When I’m stressed with the news I turn to places such as Buzzfeed and this article to remember that most of humanity is good. The news just focuses on the bad. We all need to see photos and stories that make us smile every now and then.
Check Your Diet
Stress tends to cause emotional eating and we start purging on comfort foods. Look at what you are eating and make adjustments to incorporate more fruits and vegetables. You may also be eating things that aggravate your system such as dairy and wheat.
Take Some Time
Go for a run, meditate, attend a yoga class, go to a comedy show, arrange a dinner with a friend, color. DO something that makes you feel happy, laugh, connect with real life people. Whatever your enjoyment of choice is don’t spend your time on the couch. It’s important to connect with people and share positive experiences to get us through stress.
While I was running on the beach I noticed some unusual activity buzzing around me. Yes, I was seeing first hand this new Pokemon Go craze.
Seeing people play it while I was running, which is when my mind tends to get inquisitive about life, raised some deep questions. My thoughts on it are not to bash Pokemon Go, but to question it in regards to health and wellness.
Pokemon Go is just a dramatic example of a trend that has becoming increasingly common. The trend of needing technology to get us out and moving. Creating movements that our bodies are designed to make shouldn’t naturally need technology to get moving, but for years it has become an epidemic and I have to wonder how truly sustainable is it really?
While technology games such as Pokemon Go, running and workout apps, video games such as Nintendo Wii, even back to that old Nintendo game with the running pad or Dance, Dance Revolution are all on the rise so is obesity, so obviously this tend isn’t working any kind of mass magic.
In order to prevent chronic disease we have to develop habits that are lifelong, so I have to wonder if playing Pokemon Go (or any other virtual reality game that gets people moving) is truly a long-term thing or just a fad?
My personal feelings are that we need to support and spend money on things that are truly sustainable that educate, support empathy, support spirituality and most importantly support human interaction.
Is all this technology just another addiction? Another distraction getting in the way of the real, deep down issues?
Someone was telling me the other day that their teenager was playing Pokemon Go in the park and came across someone else playing it and they began talking and found common ground. While that is awesome, I still have to wonder if that’s sustainable social behavior. Is it a behavior that will be taken and learned from and brought into other areas of life or does it push forward the trend of communicating via short text messages.
I’m sure there’s stories such as that which are positive. I even saw a story about dog shelters using Pokemon Go to encourage people to walk the abandoned dogs. For every positive story though I have to wonder how many negative stories go along with that. How many people are just sinking further and further into a technology addiction? I feel disheartened that it takes a game to encourage young people to walk dogs, go to the beach, get outside.
I challenge all of you to take a moment and reflect. Reflect on how much time you spend on your cell phone, how much time you spend looking down at a screen as opposed to up at the sky or out at the ocean. I know they are necessary in today's life, but just take an extra moment and be mindful of your time on this earth, your individual health and wellness and the role technology plays in the whole scheme of it all.
This past week I held our first Be Well Health & Wellness Fair! It was a huge success even despite the heat. It was a scorching day, but all the health warriors showed up and set up their tables. Even if they were sweating their you know whats off, they came with a positive attitude and a single, cohesive goal in mind: to share all the wonderful outlets there are here in Myrtle Beach to improve our health and wellness with the community.
Did you know that chronic disease is the number one killer in our country? Many of these such as diabetes and heart disease are manmade epidemics and preventing them is all about lifestyle choices.
At the fair we had motivating fitness businesses, knowledgeable health coaches, an acupuncturist, a local fresh produce distributor, chiropractic care, our local running club and the Wellness Council of South Carolina, a local nonprofit that educates children in the school system and others about a healthy lifestyle.
We had people coming in that were curious and motivated. Our community wants and needs to know that these sources are here and available.
Health and wellness gets so confusing. There are so many books, chatter and advice floating around in our world, but sometimes just talking to a friendly face who understands what you are going though, even if they don't have the answers, just knowing someone cares about your health and wellness can make you feel better.
We had people coming in and ordering raw juices and smoothies, trying things that they had never tried before and that was truly amazing.
The day was filled with heat, sun, sweat and most importantly lots of love.
I am grateful to know so many amazing people in Myrtle Beach. When I first moved here I had a hard time fitting in. I didn’t know my tribe, I felt disconnected but because I was highly-motivated I was able to seek out these things I needed.
My goal as we continue to hold more Be Well Health & Wellness Fairs is that people come out to find their tribe and we, as a community, can help them make a difference in their preventative health, managed care and spread the word and knowledge.
When you have vital information I believe it is your duty in the community to share that information with others.
The people who come out and get educated are able to share with their neighbors and that’s how we can be a healthier society. If we wait for the government, our doctors or somebody else to make us better or help us change we will be waiting for a length stretch of time. It’s up to every individual. Sometimes it’s hard; you're sick, you’re tired, you feel like crap - I get that. I’ve been there, but that’s not a good enough excuse. Staying in your pity party about how crappy you feel wont change anything.
If you are interested in being part of our tribe connect with us; subscribe to our newsletter, attend a fair, come in and see us, get connected, stay connected.
I think each one of us has a journey that we are not always aware of because we are constantly searching. Searching for purpose, searching for answers, searching for the meaning of our journey. We’re never just letting things happen organically. It seems that it typically takes a major life crisis for us to realize our journey.
A lot of people see me as this health and wellness guru, a warrior figure. I love that and I strive for that because I’m just a normal girl who has gone through some major changes in the last (almost) 55 years and along that path I realized that health and wellness is my journey. I spent ample amounts of time searching for this journey though to finally find it.
My life has been far from perfect, but as we know perfection is the flaw. I’ve had many ups and downs, twists and turns and roadblocks along the way.
Many of my bad moments were self created by me, based on my perception of what I thought was reality and some of it was not in my control. One thing I have learned is that when things are not in your control DO NOT try to control them because it makes them worse. I learned that later in life. It’s hard to release the things out of our control, but it’s necessary for our own success, well-being and all around sanity.
Letting go of the things we cannot control can make us feel fragile. It is hard for us to come to terms with our fragility. We are fragile. But we are not fragile without the ability to be strong as well.
We must find that balance between strong and vulnerable to move along our journey.
I’ve been hurt many times in my life. And I don’t like the feeling. And I’m also a Libra which makes it worse since Libras are known to be idealistic and sensitive.
We all have our path, our journey, our specific struggles.
This is all something I wanted to share because when I think about things that resonate with me I feel a craving to share them because I believe there is probably someone out there who could benefit from my sharing, possibly even more than one, but no one would benefit if I kept it to myself.
In our crazy lives we have to never stop believing. We have to never stop knowing that it’s all going to be OK and we don’t have to be in control every minute of every day. This uncertainty keeps us on our toes.
Change is something that I believe greatly promotes growth and helps us to gain understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.
We are here for a reason. I think I have finally found my purpose through health and wellness efforts and turning them into my career and livelihood. I’m not perfect in my own health and wellness and I will never say that I am. I don’t think I even want to be perfect, but I keep striving to know more, learn more, branch out more and be more.
At the end of the day I just want to make a difference in someone’s life. But I believe no matter what field we are in we all want that. We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves, we want to impact the world.
Stay true to yourself and work hard towards the things that are important to you and I promise you, you’ll make a difference.
As many of you have heard me say before, my dream for Be Well Meals & Juice Bar is to create an amazing, uplifting sense of community that helps people gain a sense of inclusion and also live healthier lives.
I’m not a technology person, sometimes I rant about technology and have an overall disdain for how much it can frustrate me, but I also have to give technology a lot of credit because technology is responsible for social media, and social media has greatly helped me spread my message and connect with people.
In the present day social media, where there are boundless stories of cyber bullying and mean comments, I want to continue to use social media as an extension of Be Well Meals & Juice Bar sense of community.
It took me awhile to figure out what a “hashtag” was, how it worked and what it meant, but now that I know it can be helped to bring people of specific interests together I want to start a social media campaign with YOUR help.
For the next few weeks I will be running a #bewelltips campaign. I want to use it to gather the tips, thoughts and feelings of this amazing health and wellness warriors community. Once I’ve gathered the inspiration from the community I will spread it far and wide though social media.
So, here’s what I have in mind. Share your tips for health and wellness with us on social media with the hashtag #bewelltips on it and everyone who participates will be entered to win 5 lunches from our 5 for $35 program. The drawing will be random and will take place on July 15th. After the initial campaign I will be spreading everyone’s wisdom by continuing to use the hashtag #bewelltips.
Part of this community of inclusion is that NO ONE, myself included is perfect.We all have days where we slip, where we do things we aren’t proud of, but we have to know that EVERYONE has these days and does these things. Once we settle into the reality that these things happen to everyone and we are not alone it’s much easier to get past and move on. That’s where the second part of the campaign comes in. There will be a second drawing for your anonymous “oops moments.” To keep it anonymous you can enter the “oops, no one is perfect,” portion of the contest by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us what your oops moments are. We will then be sharing these moments, without names or information, but just sharing them so we all know we aren’t alone. That time you binge ate cheese at midnight. That time you secretly ate two dinners. Tell us about your oops moments so that you know you’re not alone.
We encourage anyone and everyone to participate, but unfortunately we can only offer the two prizes to Horry County Residents or anyone who will be picking up their weeks worth of meals in person since we do not currently ship.
Thank you all for following me on this journey thus far. For fighting for and sharing this health and wellness community. I’m excited to see it grow and flourish along with people’s health.
Contact me at email@example.com with any questions or to submit your tips or your oops moments.
A couple years ago I nixed dairy, yes even cheese, from my diet. That food group we were all told was necessary for our calcium intake and avoiding osteoporosis, is in fact not necessary. When I say dairy, it’s not just milk. It’s byproducts from cow’s milk, it’s cheese, yogurt, ice cream, chocolate and more.
To sum up the main reasons I gave up dairy it’s pretty simple, it caused me to be constipated, bloated and occasionally made me break out in hives. There is a lot of research out there that points to the idea that we do not NEED dairy in our diet.
There’s so many alternatives for both nutrients and taste that are actually better for your body. If you think about it, dairy is nature’s food for growing mammals; infants and animals drink milk to grow and received nutrients from their mothers, but humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk and eat other dairy based products past the crucial developmental stages of infancy.
The science behind why dairy caused me to be bloated, constipated and breakout has to do with the sugar and proteins in it. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, dairy sugars and proteins are the second most inflammatory things we digest, second only to gluten. This inflammation sends the stomach into a hellish nightmare of digestion that causes the symptoms I mentioned before.
I won’t get into the science of all the exact things dairy does to your body, but according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, dairy consumption is linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other health issues.
The argument that dairy is needed for bone density and health has also been proven to be invalid. According to multiple studies from the Physicians committee dairy did not help bone health at all in children, adolescents or women. The actual best ways to build bone density are other food to include in your diet such as broccoli and kale and getting exercise.
I haven’t really missed dairy since I gave it up because I have included other things in my diet that satisfy my cravings. Everyone now and then I truly miss cheese, but staple foods that typically include cheese can still be made, for example our vegan lasagna.
Recipes that would require butter, such as creamy pasta sauces I’ve replaced with a nutrient-rich cauliflower cream sauce that tastes amazing. Milks for drinking, cereal and more can easier be replaced with milks made from nuts such as cashews or coconut. I can even make milk flavors in chai, chocolate and strawberry.
I use nut milks in my baking, coconut oil instead of butter, nut milks instead of yogurt in smoothies, and when I want ice cream I buy non-dairy brands that use coconut or almond milk.
This week I encourage you to try going dairy free, even if it’s just for one week to see how different your body feels. At Be Well Meals our entire menu is dairy-free and we also offer coaching and cooking classes if you are interested in getting help to live a dairy free lifestyle come see us or contact us here.