8 Ways Daylight Savings Time Affects Your Health and How to Handle It

Ask any parent about Daylight Savings Time and they’ll groan and roll their eyes. Especially when you have kids, these two times of the year are extremely challenging, to say the least. Sleep schedules are a big deal for parents to get established, so disruptions like these can cause larger stress loads than normal. But many are asking two other very important questions regarding daylight savings time: 1) How does daylight savings time affect your health? and 2) How does it affect your sleep?

To start off with, it can take a week or more for your body to adjust to daylight savings time. In this week, studies have shown serious negative affects of daylight savings time, including sleep cycles being thrown off, which results in higher stress, shifts in eating patterns from hormones being disrupted, anxiety, depression, higher occurrence of heart attack, more traffic accidents, and more workplace injuries. All these add up to some pretty significant shifts in our health that could be avoided. To get a better idea of what this all means and how we should approach it, I asked sleep coach and consultant Sheryl Guloy, PhD for her expert opinion:

Have you heard that there is a discussion on doing away with our annual springing forward to daylight savings time (DST) and falling back to standard time? About a month or so ago, all of this talk reached my neck of the woods, up North…way up to and past the Canadian border, with a beeline to Montreal. The idea of doing away with this time change goes far beyond my city and probably extends or will extend to yours.  In fact, this discussion is international in scope and proposals to end this practice is currently ongoing across North America and Europe. It is a hot topic in several states, such as Massachusetts, Washington, Tennessee, and Texas.

While it may seem normal for us to spring forward and to fall back every year, toggling our sleep between standard time and daylight savings time, research on the effects of springing forward reveals just how detrimental to health one hour of sleep loss can be. In Autumn, however, falling back to standard time has been found to result in more positive gains as people’s sleep becomes better (keep this tidbit of information in mind because there’ll be more on this later). Taken altogether, sleep experts, including myself, believe that keeping time consistent throughout the year is best for our health. 

Should Daylight Savings Time be Abolished?

The first reason for keeping our time consistent has to do with sleep loss, which we know negatively affects health, mental health, and performance. When springing forward in springtime, our body misses out on an hour of sleep. The second reason is that our bodies run on a biological clock, entrained to the 24-hour day. It’s from this relationship to the day’s cycle that the biological clock gets its formal name, circadian rhythm.  In particular, we have circa, meaning around or approximately, and dies, meaning day, in Latin. The biological clock influences when we become sleepy or become hungry. Specifically, it plays a role in metabolic function and homeostasis as well as in immune response, recovery from mental and physical fatigue, emotional regulation, learning and creativity, and memory consolidation. 

Keeping your circadian rhythm consistent is important for the regulation of all of these functions. Research on the effects of switching from standard to daylight savings time has revealed a spike in strokes, heart attacks, and car accidents soon after springing forward. Consequently, policymakers have begun holding discussions on whether the practice of switching between standard and daylight savings times should be abolished, with some places having already chosen to end the practice. 

Now, while doing away with the time change is something that is applauded by many researchers and sleep experts, the concern that has arisen in some areas where this policy change is being contemplated has to do with which time would become the default. In particular, the concern has to do with whether an area chooses to select daylight savings time as the “new” standard time. 

Why does it matter whether or not we choose daylight savings time?

Well, it matters because our circadian rhythm takes cues from our environment to keep it on track, such as sunlight; temperature change; and eating schedules; among other things. So, this means that our environment and lifestyle affect our biological clock and, consequently, sleep. What happens is that even though we may believe that we should eventually adjust to the time change, the negative effects of springing forward can last throughout the period of daylight savings time for some people.

How the body reacts to daylight savings time

Like I mentioned, not only do our bodies like consistency, but the circadian rhythm is tied to the day, which means that external cues such as daylight and temperature play a role in its regulation. Now, imagine what happens to night owls, for instance, who are already genetically predisposed to going to bed later and are already at greater risk of experiencing sleep deprivation. Imagine what happens to them in the summer when they are exposed to brighter light later in the evening. 

Essentially, sunnier evenings delay the circadian rhythm and, hence, the time that people actually fall asleep. Yet, most people still have to wake up at the same time for work throughout the DST period. It’s pretty easy to see how the risk of experiencing sleep loss increases. Right? Remember that night owls will not be the only ones affected. Everyone will be affected but to varying degrees. 

Okay, let’s make this even more concrete. What would you expect to happen if we kept standard time versus if we kept savings time? 

First, let’s assume a regular 9-to-5 work week, regardless of the time of the year (not factoring in any COVID-19 effects on your work schedule, like working from home). Also, let’s say that you get 7 hours of sleep every night, falling asleep at 11:00 pm and waking up at 6:00 am. 

If daylight savings time becomes the new “standard”, how would cities be affected?

To help you see what would happen in very real terms, I’ve created Table 1 to show the effect on sunrise and sunset times in cities across North America, with Houston, Texas, being at the most southerly location, and Edmonton, Alberta, up here in Canada, being at the most northerly location. 

Table 1. Standard Time Versus Daylight Savings Time (Sunset/ Sunrise)

In Table 1, I’ve included the actual recorded times for June 21, 2019 in daylight savings time. Notice how late the sun sets in the summertime. This translates into delayed bedtimes because a significant number of people will find it more challenging to fall asleep at earlier times. While the sun sets pretty late in Houston, at 8:25 pm, notice when the sun sets in Seattle and Edmonton. Imagine what it would be like if the sun were to set at around 9:10 pm or 10:07 pm where you live. Personally, I know exactly what it’s like because I used to spend quite some time in Alberta. It feels like it’s only around 5:30 pm or 6:00 pm when it is, in fact, already 9:00 pm at night. No wonder, then, that many do suffer from sleep loss throughout the DST period.

How about during wintertime? What would happen if daylight savings time were to become the “new” standard time? Well, first of all, notice how late the sun would rise in Houston. Basically, the sun’s rays would only begin to appear at around 8:12 am. Now, look at the other cities, where the sun will rise even later. Imagine what it would be like to be in Seattle, where the sun would only rise at 8:54 am. In Edmonton, it would only rise at 9:48 am; that’s only 12 minutes shy of 10:00 am…or mid-morning! Wow. The thing is that bright light in the morning plays a critical role in keeping the circadian rhythm from being delayed too much at night, which is especially important in helping night owls keep their sleep-wake times aligned with the regular 9-to-5 hours that they’ll still be expected to keep.

These examples bring to light some conditions that make daylight savings time problematic if it were to be selected as the default time. Policymakers are essentially proposing that DST be selected as the default when it has been shown to contribute to health, performance, and safety concerns. Unfortunately, daylight savings time is being proposed as the new standard in states like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. Meanwhile, in Canada, cities like Toronto are also pushing for daylight savings time. In Texas, however, discussions seem to be veering toward keeping standard time as the default, which I believe would be the wiser and healthier choice. 

Sheryl Guloy, PhD, is sleep coach/ consultant, researcher, and educator. Her interest in sleep began with her own sleep troubles and her realization that she is a true night owl. She co-founded a sleep initiative, Somnolence+, through which she aims to make sure that more people know about their own sleep and have strategies and tools to help them sleep well. 

You can find her blog at: www.sleepwellblog.org

Or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/sleepwellpage

The Mental Load Women Take on That’s Creating Resentment with Husbands

Tips and checklist for how to talk to your husband (or wife) to ease the stress and replace resentment of the female mental load women inevitably take on in your household.

One of the most frustrating arguments I can have with my husband revolves around this topic. Not because I feel it’s taboo, or because I believe the whole ‘women’s chores’ BS (I grew up in the South where unbelievably demeaning attitudes involving gender inequality in household work, among other things, still exist heavily.) I think it’s because I could never quite put my finger on what “it” was for a long time.

One of our biggest blowups involved going to a kids birthday party one Saturday. I am always expected to be the one who knows the day and time, has bought the gift, gift bag, and card, and then prepped everyone for the party, in addition to picking outfits, making the kids get dressed, and then doing hair for 4 females in the house. That doesn’t count me getting myself ready either. And one day I’d had enough.

My husband, after lounging on the bed watching TV during the whole ordeal of us getting ready without his help, couldn’t understand why I was fuming when he didn’t remember to grab the darn gift on his way out the door. And I lost it. (Please know that I have a short fuse, and up to this point I had exercised extreme patience with this whole situation…or maybe not patience, but holding my sh!t together, minimum.)

What is *The* mental load for women

I had to explain that this wasn’t an isolated occurrence. This kind of thing happened on a daily basis with literally any family or household thing going on. I realize I’m a SAHM, but when he honestly doesn’t even put a single thought into anything regarding the kids or family, that’s where I’d drawn my line. And I just could not, for the life of me, put my finger on what the real issue was.

He’s repeatedly said to me, ‘Tell me what to do and I’ll do it!’ So from the outside, it should look like he’s totally innocent and I’m the nastiest Momzilla that ever lived. (Or maybe Wifezilla.) But what had been festering for years finally made perfect sense when another mom with the same issue gave it a name: The Female Mental Load women take on in nearly every household.

It was the mental load.

The overbearing, heavy, unmovable mental load of moms everywhere.

The mental load women take on of having to remember everything, coordinate everything, plan everything, buy everything, assemble everything, and do everything–which smothers me with the stress of it all. It was a lack of initiative from him in any one single part of all those things. He didn’t want to have to think about anything. So he left it all to me.

I already ran the household by myself, especially since he’s gone for work so much. That means I’m already a single parent the majority of the time. So I had that plus the mental load of all of it. All to myself.

Guilt steps in…as always

For a while I felt guilty; I mean, I am the one staying home instead of working outside the home. But one day I snapped. Ya know, the birthday party day. Yes I stay home with the kids, I’m not at a job outside the home. But I thought back to when we both worked full time. And it finally dawned on me… things were the same way back then.

And I don’t think it’s an on-purpose thing for him (or any male partner.) It’s just, for one–we think differently than men. But I think a little of it is that they don’t want to have to think about anything. (It is for my husband anyway.)

And this happens in soooo many households even though we’re supposed to have evolved from this whole ‘traditional’ attitude of the woman doing everything involved with the kids and household. That whole gender inequality in household work thing. Many friends have told me they feel it’s come from how their husbands were raised. Meaning: we have to be very direct and communicate the fact that they’re not guests in the household (nor are they king of the 7 realms that sits on the iron throne.) They’re our partners. Plain and simple. A partner contributes to running and maintaining the household and children you BOTH have.

So in all this hefty load-bearing, we’ve come to use these 4 ways to work through the communication of the whole issue, to help the load get split more evenly and, hopefully, relieve some of the resentment from the mental load I’d taken on by myself for far too long.

Open a conversation about it

One of the first things I always have to remember in this is to NOT start our conversation while in attack mode. Using ‘I feel’ statements to communicate the burden you have makes a huuuuge difference. Maybe even make a list to give examples. And reiterate that he is one of two parents here, and half of a couple.

Let him know how much you feel this is on you. Maybe even talk about how this kind of thing puts you in a bad mood, stresses you out, and makes sexy time feel so-NOT-sexy. (It does for me anyhow!) Open up about your feelings and let him know that you shouldn’t have this entire load to yourself.

Then make a list of all the things you handle and anything he handles, then split it up. Be very clear that you will each be responsible for those things without the other’s help unless necessary.

The whole point is for you to not have to remind + direct when it’s time to do each thing.

Be calm and listen to both sides regarding the mental load (BOTH of you)

Lord help me this one was hard. I felt like this was so one-sided forever that the years of resentment and trying to figure out how to talk to my husband about the mental load when I couldn’t even define it created this huge storm in me that was a Cat 3 hurricane bout to level our marriage.

But through the stack of books I’ve read and therapy (yes go do this even when you don’t ‘think’ you’re having problems!) I’ve been able to learn the skill of stepping back and putting myself in his shoes for the sake of seeing the other side to be able to put my own resentment to rest. It’s hard. It’s really freaking hard. But it falls in line with the whole ‘forgive someone else for YOU not them’ mentality. This is for your sake.

The other side of the coin is that he has to be able to also be calm and step back himself (or herself) and see your side as well. That’s the whole point of this, and if you don’t have a receptive partner, you’re wasting your breath. So I won’t lie and say this will be easy. It may take extra steps to get into the correct listening mode for both of you.

Tips for collaboration

Make sure you’re planning ahead, first and foremost. It’s super simple to either set a timer, or create a system for something. For example, if his new responsibility is to do one load of laundry a day, ask him to set a timer on his phone, or ask that he throws it in while dinner is going.

Reminders are always going to be your friend (well, actually his since you already remember this stuff.) But using things like lists, sticky notes, and reminders on phones are always really helpful.

Make sure you’re dividing things up by either skill level, or what one or the other likes to do. My husband actually really likes to cook. So when he’s home–I don’t have to cook! 🎉🙌 I don’t mind doing floors, so I sweep and vacuum. (Also, we delegate stuff to the kids as well, and they have chores. If your kids are older, make sure they’re doing their parts, too–sometimes we forget how capable our kids actually are!)

Reversing roles

Don’t feel like specific tasks need to go to one or the other based on gender. My husband likes mowing the yard, but I used to do it as a teen at my dad’s house, and actually loved the peace and quiet. And what mom couldn’t use that, right? 😂 So I’m absolutely not opposed to doing the yard in lieu of him taking something I do inside.

I also got a big wakeup call on this after my brother got married and had their first kid. His wife was in the Navy, and he was a ‘military mom’ for years because she was out of the country on tour. Since her being back for months at a time, he’s never handed over the roles he started out with. He still takes the kids to school and daycare, picks them up, and does all afterschool activities. They both work full-time. It’s actually been refreshing to see him in that role–especially since we both grew up in a traditional, patriarchal community. Honestly it makes my heart smile. 😍

Learn to let go

If you have a real problem with things getting done a certain way because you’ve always done it that way… you’re gonna have to just let some things go. Trusting that it’ll get done–even if it’s not exactly how you do it–is gonna be huge in letting some stress fall away from your shoulders.

If it’s a matter of it being done properly (either by your partner or your kid), that’s a different animal. Take some time to teach how it’s done correctly, whether it’s the hubby or a kid, then move on.

The biggest takeaway here is to understand that your house doesn’t have to look like a Pottery Barn catalog all the time. People actually live in it. So if the tasks that have been handed out don’t get done the minute you think they should, you’re gonna have just step back a little. Leave the load on the other person. That’s why you handed it over in the first place, right?

How’s your female mental load, women friends? Have you had this discussion in your household? How did you go about splitting it up? (Let me know in the comments!)

Need more relaxation and less stress in your life?

Check out the TRUEWell hub for stress management HERE.

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The Effects of Forest Bathing That Will Blow Your Mind as a Mom

How Moms Can Use Forest Bathing for Stress Management + Anxiety Relief

What is Forest Bathing?

Ok, I usually don’t subscribe to the latest ‘trend’ when it comes to health, UNLESS it’s super science-backed + super cool, so when I first heard the term ‘forest bathing’, I immediately thought you sought out a lake in a forest to actually bathe. (Ew.) This, however…THIS–is so much better than a weird bath in a questionable lake with God-knows-what nipping at your body.

Forest Bathing is actually a practice (sometimes referred to as shinrin-yoku) where you immerse yourself in a forest (specifically trees) and just….be. You basically empty your mind and use your senses to be very mindful of the things around you and what you’re experiencing right then. It’s sort of like meditation, but where your eyes are open and you’re focusing on the nature that surrounds you.

“Ok-so why the heck would I bother seeking out a forest to do this, then?”, you may be asking…. and since I advocate merging healthy + efficient for doable daily healthy practices, you may also be asking how in the world forest bathing would be efficient. The long and short of it is that taking purposeful breaks during your day boosts your patience, creativity, and productivity. So that, combined with all the health benefits, is where the magic ✨of forest bathing comes from.

how to do forest bathing and the benefits of forest bathing near me

What are the Benefits of Forest Bathing?

The things that Forest Bathing do to your body, mind, and soul are absolutely incredible. It invokes calm and peace, sure–but it actually does all these physiological things to your body that are crazy therapeutic! Like INCREASED: parasympathetic nervous activity, positive feelings and feelings of well being, and even a boost in the immune system from the essential oils in the trees and plants that are emitted to protect themselves from germs and bugs! And don’t forget the DECREASED stuff, like: lowered cortisol levels, lowered pulse, lessened feelings of depression and negative feelings,   and even stress and hostility!

Honestly, the benefits are overwhelming–and totally worth it. And–this is the best part–it’s not just for adults. Kids are totally benefited just as much–especially kids with ADHD! This study determined that as little as a 20-minute visit to a nature setting could increase attention performance in kids with attention deficits. In fact, they compared the results to being as effective as recent formulations of ADHD drugs that fall under the brand names Concerta, Daytrana, Methylin, Ritalin, and Aptensio. That’s pretty incredible!!

What is a Nature Bath?

This is just a matter of semantics, as a nature bath is relaxing in nature or a forest atmosphere, the same as a forest bath.

How do you Take a Forest Bath?

Here’s how to take a nature bath or forest bath (with or without kiddos).

Step 1: Forest Bathing Near Me

At the expense of being Captain Obvious, first thing is to actually find a forest. If you already know of one near you, great! You’re on to step 2A or 2B. If not, there are a few resources online to help you locate one. The first is Discover the Forest. This site will locate a forest within a given radius in miles, based on your zip code. It also has a few other pretty cool pages, like the Discover the Urban Forest button. It’ll take you to some cool activities you can do in the forest with kids….which we’ll get to in a minute.

The second resource is the National Forest Locator Map. This option lets you see which national forests are around you, and then has the link to visit each forest’s web page.

The third resource is to just Google: ‘National Forest Near Me’ or even try ‘forest bathing near me’. Just doing this alone pulled up 3 separate hiking trails near my home within 7 miles.

And the fourth option is to find the outdoorsiest person you know and ask them! Seriously–friends/family/coworkers that camp, hike, or trail ride will absolutely know the best and/or closest forests to you.

Step 2A: How to do Forest Bathing Alone

Just FYI, I’m not about to suggest leaving your phone at home for this one. Way too many people have gotten lost in the woods for me to think that’s a good idea. However, I am ordering you to turn the ringer off, and the vibration off. And any notifications, period. Also, I know you want to log these steps on your fitness tracker. But it’s best to actually leave that thing at home. Besides, most have apps that sync with your fitness tracker will track you via GPS anyhow. Just set that to start when you get to the forest and it should sync. Bottom line: NO ELECTRONICS.

What you SHOULD do, however, is get into a purposeful mindset about getting out into nature, in the quiet, away from everything. A cool practice I read about is finding a rock at the edge of the forest, telling it all your worries, then tossing it onto the ground. Your worries should stay with the rock. And when you come back out, pick the worries back up if you want. (Undoubtedly nobody does.)

Your only goal in the forest should be to take note of the things around you. Use your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? What do the leaves feel like? (Please look up what poison ivy looks like, like a responsible human being with common sense does, before you go. Coz looking it up on your phone is NOT allowed, Cheater!!)

Step 2B: How to do forest bathing WITH Kids

Obviously it’s going to be a completely different experience to forest bathe with your kids. First you should probably lay down some ground rules. Kids also need explanations for things–otherwise how do they learn?? Explain what this is for–getting in touch with nature, separating from electronics for a healthy mind break, a nice relaxation period to recharge.

Then tell them the rules: no electronics, no running, no screaming, no fighting, hands to yourself. Calm. You can touch things. But think about the things you’re seeing, the things you smell, the way those things feel in your hands. Take it all in and stop to breathe deeply with eyes closed every few minutes just to smell and hear.

Remember that there’s always the chance that the kiddos will go nuts about being in nature instead of cooped up inside in the first place. Some kids need to get all that giddiness out of their systems before they can really get into the mode of just being present.

If you feel your kiddos fall into that category, try the activity sheets from the Discover the Forest site. Print them out and let them do the activities the first few times you take them out into the forest. Then try actual forest bathing after that.

If you go out and they’re calm, but say they’re bored, even after trying a time or two, maybe let them take a book out and read, or even journal or draw. Just being in nature will give many of the benefits of forest bathing while keeping their mind going without the stimulation of electronics. Here are some journals available for books he or she has read, as well as several journals for adventures, bucket lists, and even bird watching!

And let me know how your experience was in the comments below!

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the benefits and how to do forest bathing

How Blue Light Affects Sleep and What You Should Be Doing About It Tonight

The many direct and indirect ways of how blue light affects sleep every night.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which gives me a portion of the proceeds if you purchase something at no additional cost to you. However, I only recommend things I trust, believe in, or actually use and love.

Oh, what heaven it is to finally, finally get all the kids down for bed, have the kitchen cleaned, me showered, and have some time to breathe in my super soft jammies and warm bed! I love being able to sink down and either watch a good show to wind down or catch up on what my friends and fam are up to on FB or Insta for a few minutes after my bedtime routine.

how blue light affects sleep

The problem I didn’t realize with the TV and phone scrolling is that once you start….it’s very hard to stop. I mean, obviously FB is very good in figuring out how to make it ‘addictive’, as is Pinterest or Insta! But that’s not the only problem. You don’t feel like you need to go sleep at that point because of this little pesky thing in your electronics called blue lights and how the blue lights affect sleep.

And make no mistake, blue light can affect not just your sleep, but also can indirectly start a whole cycle of other problems! Since sleep is so incredibly important for our body and brains to function, this is becoming a huge problem. Sleep can affect our hunger hormones, our energy levels, and even make us feel foggy and lethargic all day if we don’t get quality and enough sleep. My philosophy is to always merge healthy + efficient to make health magic happen ✨. And since bad sleep can be counterproductive to so many of our other health efforts, it’s one of the highest things on my list for clients to fix up front.

Where Blue Light Comes From

Blue light is emitted from pretty much all your electronics with a screen: TV, phone, tablets, game systems, computer monitors. But it also comes from our LED lighting. The thing is, blue light is in sunlight, which we need–but when it’s an isolated short-waved light like we’ve produced in our electronics and the LED lights we fill our homes with, it becomes a different issue. Especially when we’ve got it blaring in our faces all day and night.

Does Blue Light Actually Affect Sleep?

The answer is yes–blue light does actually affect sleep. The direct effects of blue light are eye strain and disruption in melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone you produce to get to sleep. But the eye strain part is also important. Think about how many people have headaches through the day that are just attributed to ‘sitting at a desk’ or ‘tech neck’. A good portion of this can be traced back to the actual blue light they’re inundated with all day and into the night. Neck pain can cause poor sleep as well.

How Blue Light Affects Sleep Indirectly

How blue light affects sleep indirectly become more tricky. But based on the direct effects, they come in 2 parts: the hormone issue, and the eye strain issue.

1-Hormones— Melatonin is a hormone, and your body kicks the production of it up around 2pm at the same time cortisol should be gradually getting lower. This works in harmony so that by bedtime you’re sleepy with cortisol very low (it gives you energy when it’s high.) But when blue lights are kicking it down when the sun goes down outside, we have a problem. The blue light melatonin connection is why it’s so hard to go to sleep when you’re scrolling on your phone or just. can’t. stop. watching that fave show you’ve been binging.

When you disrupt that melatonin production, you’re disrupting other hormones, too. It’s pretty muck jacking with your circadian rhythm, and keep this in mind: 2 OTHER hormones are at play while you sleep called ghrelin and leptin. These 2 hormones tell your body whether you have enough energy or not. If you’re not getting enough sleep, and the melatonin is out of whack, these 2 hormones will also be out of whack.

Why does this matter? Well, have you noticed if you’ve only had a couple hours of sleep how hungry you are all day? Or that you crave carbs all the time? This is because those 2 hormones are telling your body you need more energy. And when you eat more, especially simple carbs (including sugar), what happens? Yep–you gain and store more fat. (Booo!!)

2–Eye strain— This can quickly develop into greater problems, because those blue lights are shorter waves and actually penetrate your eye all the way to the light-sensitive cells in the retina. This can actually increase the risk of macular degeneration! I don’t know about you, but I already have eye issues. I was SEVERELY nearsighted until I had LASIK. And it was 25 years of misery with contacts. I have no intention of making things bad again!!

And also, that eye strain can–again–contribute to headaches. How much pain medicine are you downing and filtering through your kidneys and liver because of that headache every day/ few days?

How to Be Strategic with Blue Light

One of the best ways to get around this blue light conundrum in our age of digital and tech gadgets is to start setting a ‘curfew’ for the electronics. Our household has a rule of none from dinnertime on. And if the hubby and I want to watch TV after the kids are in bed, we have blue-light-blocking glasses that I snagged off Amazon. (Link below if you’re interested.)

There are also some apps you can use on your computer screen and android or iPhone that will reduce the blue light and put out a warmer tone.

Also, you can get blue-light-blocking screen protectors now for your iPhone or computer screen like these (genius) ones:

But my favorite (because they send you a little blue light and card to test it) are the glasses. They’re just like regular glasses–clear–but they block that light for you, which you can check out HERE.

Bottom line is that we really need to be more vigilant in keeping the blue lights out in the evenings.

How about your household? Do you have a ‘tech curfew’? Have you experienced the effects of blue lights with headaches or sleep disruptions? Let me know in the comments!

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Fall Inspired Homemade Spa Recipes to Transition Your Skin + Hair into Autumn With a Glow

Fall-inspired homemade spa recipes are by FAR one of the best ways for Mama to transition from summer into fall with one of my most fave smells of all time: pumpkin! If it smells like fall, Mama’s happy! So what’s the big transition? Transforming that dried out summer skin from the sun, sand, and chlorine to smooth, supple, and glowy skin!

What a better way to practice some stress management and self care when you’re strapped for cash, don’t have a babysitter, or ya know… quarantined. Here’s how to transform your skin, but also your hair and face, with these 3 fall inspired homemade diy spa recipes!

at home homemade spa recipes for fall pumpkin

Pumpkin Spice Latte Body Scrub Spa Recipe

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

1 TBSP coconut oil (or olive oil)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 TBSP cinnamon


1.Mix the pumpkin puree with the oil until all combined

2. In a separate small bowl combine cinnamon, sugar, and coffee. Stir until completely mixed.

3. Pour the dry ingredients into the pumpkin and oil and whisk until completely combined.

4. Apply to body in bath tub or shower and scrub to exfoliate.

5. Rinse!

*Tip: the longer this recipe sits, the more the sugar dissolves. Since it works in addition to the coffee for exfoliation, try to use it asap. Also, maybe don’t use this one before bed if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

*Of all the fall-inspired diy homemade spa recipes, this is my favorite! Maybe because I’ve just last year jumped on the pumpkin spice flavor wagon, but this pumpkin scrub recipe is seriously sublime!

fall inspired homemade spa recipes body scrub leg

Apple Cider Vinegar + Yogurt Conditioning Hair Mask Spa Recipe

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg’s brand–it’s organic and has ‘the mother’)

2 TBSP yogurt (plain, full fat, organic)

2 TBSP honey (raw, unheated)


Mix all ingredients together really well. Apply to barely dampened hair and massage into the scalp and ends of hair. Wrap hair into a bun. Cover with plastic if you wish. Leave for 20-30 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. (Great for weekly conditioning mask!)

Glowing Pumpkin Face Mask Spa Recipe

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh, but try to use organic)

1 egg (raw, organic)

1 tsp honey (raw, unheated)

1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar (organic, I use Bragg’s brand with ‘the mother’)


1. Whisk egg, then add pumpkin puree and honey. Mix till combined.

2. Stir in apple cider vinegar till completely mixed.

3. *This is messy, so wear something you don’t mind getting drips on! Apply to freshly washed face over the sink, tub, or shower in case of drips.

4. Leave for 15-20 minutes, then rinse, and follow with moisturizer.

fall inspired homemade spa recipes face scrub jar

Hopefully you can ‘transition’ into fall with me with these yummy fall-inspired 🎃 diy homemade spa recipes as well! (Just try not to eat it first! 😉)

diy spa recipes at home pumpkin fall  food

Know someone that could use some self care me time via fall-inspired spa recipes? Please SHARE this post!

How Lifting Weights for Women Improves Every Health Issue You Care About

Lifting Weights for Women: the 7 MEGA Benefits You Didn’t Know

Somewhere along the line, Mamas have gotten so completely exhausted that we sometimes don’t believe we can even take the time to stay fit, or even get fit. Walking, home workout videos, and aerobic classes seem to take too much time. And forget about strength training! Nobody has time to do circuits in the gym while there are a million and one things to get done at home, and all those munchkins to haul around all afternoon, right?

But the thing is, lifting weights for women, or strength training, has some really huge benefits! And while you may think strength training should be at the bottom of your priorities when it comes to fitness–or even stress relief–I totally disagree.

My whole philosophy is to find the magic middle ✨ between healthy and efficient to make sure healthy habits are doable on the daily. And working in strength training, whether via lifting weights for women, or isometrics in a HIIT workout can be that happy median.

It’s super easy to fit in a HIIT routine, and-although it’s a little more difficult to track with a fitness tracker like a Fitbit, there are a ton of apps you can log for HIIT routines. MyFitnessPal can also log your strength training.

lifting weights for women

But aside from that, here are the super compelling arguments for lifting weights for women:

1. Lifting Weights for Women and Anti-Aging

Did that get your attention?? Yep, strength training has been shown to slow the aging process! (HIIT technically performed better in the study, it showed a larger increase at the cellular level.) Read here about a 97-year old man that weight trains. Unbelievable and SO motivational!

2. Strength Training and Better Sleep

As soon as you give birth to your first born, you know the need for sleep like no other human on the planet. And unfortunately it doesn’t get a whole lot easier for a while. Especially when more babies are added, in addition to the normal stresses of modern life. I know SO many women that have so much on their plate that they literally can’t turn their brains off at night to sleep.

3. Strength Training and More Energy

I know this sounds sort of counter intuitive, but it’s real. Somehow, when we’re feeling fatigued, our cells are sort of in a drowsy state. But when you start to move, everything wakes up and things start percolating. And that doesn’t end when you quit working out. It helps you have more energy all day. Not to mention that you’re getting better sleep from strength training already, so it’s sort of a double whammy of awesomeness for your health.

4. Strength Training Burn More Calories

Even though per minute, cardio burns more calories–and it’s only like 2 calories–strength training still trumps it for kcal burn. The reason is that strength training induces calorie burn way after your workout as well. Plus, if you’re actually putting the correct amount of effort into it, you’re still getting some cardio while you strength train.

5. Strength Training and Stress Reduction

Stress reduction is such a HUGE part of self-care for busy Mamas. We have so much responsibility piled onto us all the time that we really have to stop and pay attention to reducing the anxieties and stress that are nearly unavoidable. Strength training also helps reduce anxiety and stress as well. Part of this also may have to do with the sleep connection, but regardless–it’s another major benefit!

6. Strength Training for Increasing Bone Muscle Density

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve read about the reduction of bone muscle density in women–especially past menopause. (Settle down–I’m not saying you’re in or even close to menopause, I’m just saying this is important in the same way your retirement account is important!) Strength training actually increases bone density because of the resistance against your muscles and bones. This is a really big deal as hormones (many of which directly affect bone density) start going haywire. Mine started in my early 30’s, I just didn’t know that’s what the problem was until later.

7. Strength Training Boosts Confidence

I don’t know about you, but I have lots of times when I feel less than…anything really. Why I love strength training is that it makes me feel strong, and the changes in my body make me more confident. Seriously. I feel better, I think I look better, and those combined make me more confident. Also I can wrestle with my husband and I’m convinced I almost win sometimes. 😉

How about you? Do you already strength train? Thinking of starting?

Let me know in the comments below!

Know someone that’s thinking of starting strength training? Please SHARE this post!

lifting weights for women

What Diet is Best for Me Ultimate Guide and Roadmap

BY FAR, the biggest question people have for nutritionists (including myself) is: What diet is best for me?

And I get it– your dietary style has a lot to do with how you feel every single day. I wasted so much time trying to lose baby weight after my second and third kid using a dietary style that didn’t support my body type and allergic condition. It was a miserable multitude of months seeing weight go up and down while relying on daily antihistamines and asthma medication that made me feel like I was in outer space.

I felt like a failure, and I didn’t get why my allergies seemed to get worse even though I was eating ‘healthy’. (In my naive defense, I didn’t understand food labeling at the time–that came much later as I completed formal education in nutrition.)

Most people want to know which diet is best for me to lose weight. But there’s a lot more that goes into this question than just–tell me which diet is best for me. Here’s why.

First, every single body is different. Meaning your metabolism is different. Your body type is different. Yes, your DNA is different. But also, your tastes, environmental factors, lifestyle, and habits are all so very different!

what diet is best for me

What I like to guide clients and readers to do is figure out which goals they have based on their medical issues FIRST. This means asking yourself what your goal is (which can be to lose weight, avoid foods you’re allergic or intolerant to, pull down blood sugar levels, decrease inflammation, get your gut health back on track, get energy levels steady all day, get blood pressure under control, or just simply eat healthy intuitively. And this is not all-inclusive, by the way–there are many, many other goals you could have based on health issues.)

The reason I tell people this first is because you can waste so SO much time collecting and trying out recipes that aren’t right for you and your family.

Why does this matter? Well, first because it’s not getting you any closer to your goals, but also–the endgame should be to set up an automated routine for each aspect of your health so you don’t have to think about it. For you to become a Systems Superstar as the President and CEO of your health. To do this you must act like a CEO—learn from experts, then create and use systems to delegate + free your mind so you can focus on things to propel your business and make the best of your family time while feeling fantastic physically and mentally.

My philosophy is to find that magic ✨ middle where you merge healthy + efficient.

which diet is best for me

But to get an efficient system going, you have to take a bit of time, researching and soul searching to build your proper foundation first. Otherwise you’re chasing squirrels up the wrong tree.

So take a look at what I call the ‘Dietary Direction Hierarchy” diagram to get a better idea of what I mean in terms of your diet or dietary style being the foundation to your SYSTEM that should eventually run itself:

what diet is best for me to lose weight

Since you’re reading this article and asking ‘which diet is best for me’, you’re at the Foundation level (the green one). You have to use health conditions, habits, and goals altogether to figure out what the perfect diet is for you.

which diet is best for me

So what I aim to do is give you some guidance on where to start based on what your goals are. Then you can further research different dietary styles with the resources listed below. And keep in mind that many people have more than one health issue that needs to be addressed with diet. When you’re looking at your issues, notice recurring dietary style recommendations. These are where you should start.

But I cannot stress enough 2 important things:

1) EATING CLEAN will do more for you right off the bat than counting anything. If you’re eating sugar, refined carbs and flours, and processed foods, eliminate those first.

2) It will probably require you TRYING a few styles to get the one that’s BEST FOR YOU. There’s almost no way around that. So let’s get started.

Grab the FREE Clean Energy 1-Week Meal Plan Here: 👇


The best diet for losing weight (fat)

I put this first because ‘what is the best diet for losing weight?’ seems to be the most commonly asked question. Here’s the deal, studies have shown that the best diet is the one you’ll stick to. This means the one that works best with your habits, or that you’re willing to change or make new habits to support the diet. These studies, however, didn’t take into account any of the things I listed above. So I still recommend you figure out what will work best based on your lifestyle, habits, and any food intolerances/allergies you may have.

As far as what works with your body type, some people do much better on low-carb or keto styles where you severely limit carbohydrates. Others do better when limiting total calories. Some would rather have the flexibility of eating specific foods they want as long as the daily total falls into specific macronutrient counts. And even others do very well using the ‘smart carb’ method where you’re specifically choosing your carbs but not necessarily limiting them. The benefit to this is that you can still have carbs, but you’re choosing ones that are healthy in terms of nutritional content and FIBER. *Fiber is key!

And yet others really hate counting anything and would rather follow ‘rules’ regarding which foods they can or cannot have based on that dietary style.

And the last group would be those that would rather learn to eat intuitively (which is a new buzz word for the wellness and diet world). Sometimes it’s called ‘non-dieting’ or the ‘un-diet’, but it means you reset your metabolism and taste buds for whole clean foods, and then listen to your body for what you need daily.

This is a lot of information overall, and it can be confusing to figure out overall, “What diet is best for me?” So really dig into what diets you’ve tried in the past and how you’ve FELT on each.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Did I lose weight in a healthy, steady way?
  2. Were the recipes and types of food easy to find, cook, and choose when out (eating out/drive-thru)?
  3. Did I have enough energy to do my work AND exercise?
  4. Did the diet disrupt any gut issues? Or solve any?
  5. Were there any other noticeable changes (good or bad) regarding skin, mood, and brain fog/focus?
  6. Why did you quit? What were the barriers that made it unsustainable for you?

Here’s a flow chart to get an overview of what this means so far:

what diet is best for me

A great way to kickstart your clean eating is the Rocketfuel Reboot, which you can find HERE.

Once you have these questions answered, you can look into dietary styles to see which ones will match best based on your health concerns. Since this is the next point in this sequence, I’m going to give some options based on health concerns.

Best diet for Lactose Intolerance

Being lactose intolerant means you have tummy troubles when you have any kind of dairy. Sure, there’s lactose-free milk. But it’s very difficult to avoid dairy in everything else. If this is your only health issue, you really can try any dietary style for weight loss as long as your foods are dairy free. However, the Paleo diet is dairy-free and also emphasizes whole foods. Whole30 also removes dairy. (But both of these also restrict grains and legumes).

*Recipe search tip:

When searching for recipes, you may need to add ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegan’ onto your search to find recipes that will not include dairy.

Best Diet for Diabetes or Prediabetes (and sometimes PCOS)

Prediabetes, diabetes, and PCOS all involve the way the body responds to sugar entering your bloodstream. These conditions don’t allow proper insulin production to process those blood sugars, which can lead to a variety of serious health concerns. This means you need a dietary style to limit and control the sugars you’re eating every day. Doctors also recommend losing weight if you have any of these conditions because of the connection with body fat and hormone levels that all interplay in these conditions.

Most people must do a drastic dietary overhaul to manage these conditions with food. For that reason, I actually recommend cleaning up your food first, eating smart carb style next, then moving on to lower carb if your blood sugar levels aren’t coming down within acceptable range. This may mean going into the keto levels of carbohydrates. Again-all this depends on your body, DNA, lifestyle, and environment.

The best diets for these conditions are smart-carb styles (Paleo with limited natural sugars, Mediterranean diet, Pescatarian, low-carb, and keto).

**Recipe search tip:

Use the terms ‘Mediterranean’, ‘low carb’, or ‘keto’ in your search terms, and don’t be afraid to combine terms. For example, if you need higher fat but lower carb recipes that you’d like to follow the Mediterannean principles of more fish and olive oil, try something like, ‘Mediterranean keto salmon recipes’.

The Best Diet for Severe exhaustion or Energy rollercoaster

Believe it or not, energy rollercoasters and exhaustion are usually caused by using ‘energy’ foods to give boosts throughout the day just to get through the day. This means sugary foods and caffeine normally. The best course of action for these conditions is to first wean your caffeine consumption back (cause headaches), and wean back from sugary foods and replace them with complex carbohydrates. If you’re trying to lose weight, see what these changes do first, with adding some light walking and yoga, then decide on a plan to cut either calories or carbs to lose the fat.

People who feel this much exhaustion and energy rollercoaster feelings all day usually have severe stress in their lives too. This means you’ll also greatly benefit from doing a deep-dive and commitment to managing your stress levels throughout the day and improving your sleep.

The best dietary styles for this are going to be smart-carb, low carb, Paleo, keto, Mediterranean, or even Whole 30 to shift your body out of relying on ‘hits’ of short-lived energy to survive the day, and instead use long-lasting carbs or fats for sustainable energy that’s whole and healthy.

**Recipe search tip:

Use terms like ‘low carb’ or ‘sugar-free’ looking for recipes, or try the specific dietary style you’re using. Just make sure to review the recipe ingredients and double-check there are no added sugars.

The Best Diet for Gut issues

Gut issues can look like anything from irregularity to constant bloating and pain. It can also include a ‘brain fog’ feeling, and even issues like anxiety and depression since the mind and gut are so closely related. Another indicator that you need to address gut issues is you’re having constant allergy issues and/or have candida (yeast infections) frequently.

For gut issues, there are several different avenues you can go since it really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Yes, the gut needs to be healed if you’re having these types of problems. But there are many different protocols to heal that take totally different approaches.

I will say this: If you have any of these gut issues but want to lose weight, I recommend you work on healing the gut FIRST. This is because your body is not absorbing the nutrients it needs from food or supplements you’re taking, and your body will be working overtime trying to compensate for this. This means it will be that much harder for your body to shift into fat-burning mode.

Recommended dietary styles for this would be: Low FODMAP, the Gut-Health Protocol, the GAP diet or any other dietary style that eliminates grains, dairy, and soy for a period of time to allow your gut to heal (which would also include Whole30 or Paleo, and possibly even low-carb with no dairy or keto with no dairy.) Studies have also shown plant-based diets to help with gut issues because of the higher fiber content.

Bottom line on this one: I recommend working with a professional to determine what your gut issue actually is so you can figure out how to heal first, then worry about weight loss.

The Best Diet for When You’re Intolerant to meat

I hear this every now and again, that someone is intolerant to meats. This can be true, but sometimes the intolerance is due to an allergy that’s developed because of leaky gut. (See prior section about gut health).

My recommendation on this would be to first try a few different types of meat with NOTHING else on them to make sure it’s not just the fat, sauce, or seasonings you’re using. Then see what your reactions are to fish and eggs. Find out what you CAN eat.

Plant-based diets can actually have some meats in them, and if you can find some meats you can tolerate well, this might be the way to go for you. Otherwise, vegan, Pescatarian, plant-based, or vegetarian would be the dietary style you need to focus on. This means very careful calculations for protein intake. If you go this route, I would definitely work with a nutritionist who specializes in vegan diets. Especially if trying to lose weight, because you have a whole other ballgame when it comes to figuring out whether you should cut calories or carbs, and how to do it appropriately to ensure you’re still getting adequate protein.

**Recipe search tip:

Use the term ‘plant-based’, ‘vegan, or ‘vegetarian’ when searching recipes.

The Best Diet for High blood pressure

High blood pressure has traditionally been associated with high-stress levels and high sodium levels in the diet. And while these 2 things definitely contribute to it, the science is now showing that our sugar intake, as well as weight, are huge factors as well. The 3 main things I recommend for high blood pressure are: cleaning up your diet STAT, implementing stress management techniques EVERY day, and getting in a workout every day that RAISES your heart rate.

As far as dietary style, several are good for high blood pressure. The DASH diet is the most popular in searches, but my problem with this diet is that it’s a little loosy-goosy on clean eating. Unless you’re committed to combining more clean foods with the DASH style, I’d go more towards the Mediterranean diet, Paleo, smart carb, low carb, or keto.

Bottom line will be limiting salt and sugar, so you’ll do well to start with cleaning up your foods first, then move to smarter carb or Mediterranean, then low carb or Paleo, and then keto if needed.

**Recipe Tip: Always remember that in recipes, you can always adjust the amount of seasonings and salt to decrease that overall intake in your meal. This is more difficult when you’re eating out, so be careful.

The Best Diet for High cholesterol

High cholesterol is a warning sign that we’re not taking proper care of our heart, whether that’s a lack of exercise, other poor lifestyle choices, or just our diet in general. By far the most popular recommendation from doctors is the Mediterranean diet because of the large amount of fish, olive oil, and whole grains that it uses. This is not to say that other dietary styles may work as well–like Pescatarian– but there are many studies proving the effectiveness of the Mediterranean diet for heart health.

The Mediterranean style limits red meats, alcohol, simple carb foods, and added sugars. It also promotes more whole grains, legumes, and beans for their mega fiber content. Another key component is the healthy fats from lots of fish, avocado, and olive oils.

**Recipe search tip: simply search using ‘Mediterranean recipes for’ and then your next ingredient to find lots of options.

The Best Diet for Celiac

Having Celiac or gluten intolerance means the ‘Which diet is best for me’ question must obviously be answered with, ‘Any diet that eliminates gluten.’ The dietary styles which don’t include gluten also eliminate grains, unless you look for recipes that are simply labeled ‘gluten-free’. The 2 most popular dietary styles for this would be Paleo and Whole 30.

But keep in mind that low-carb and keto can’t do grains either because grains have so many carbohydrates. Another point to think about is that many people with celiac or gluten intolerance are also sensitive to dairy. For this reason, many food blogs will group these types of recipes and label them, ‘gluten-free, dairy-free.’

The main thing to know is that trying to eat any type of bread, cakes, pastries, etc that would normally be made with wheat or grains means learning an entirely new way of baking or cooking.

The second thing to know is that it’s very difficult in our modern food society to get whole grains easily if you can’t have gluten–which you still may want for the fiber. And fiber is super important. So you’ll absolutely want to avoid breads, cakes, pastries, etc that are packaged because they’re usually made from potato flour, rice flour, or other flours that have little to no fiber and cause large blood sugar and/or insulin spikes. (This means it triggers fat storage, so if you’re trying to lose weight on a gluten-free diet you need to avoid these things.)

**Recipe search tip: Use the terms ‘gluten-free’, ‘grain-free’, or whatever dietary style (Paleo or Whole30) in your search terms. You can also combine terms, for example, ‘gluten-free keto’.

The Best Diet for Inflammation

Inflammation can have many different causes, but the main starting point should be eliminating added sugars. The second thing to work on would be replacing trans and saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated and upping your omega 3’s. For those reasons, the Mediterranean Diet or Pescatarian diet are both excellent dietary styles for inflammation.

There are many different conditions that can lead to higher inflammation, but your DNA can also play a big role in that as well. That doesn’t mean throw in the towel cause you can’t control it anyway–rather, that means you actually may have to put in a bit of extra effort to keep your inflammation under control.

There are a few self-proclaimed diets for inflammation, but again–I recommend cleaning up your diet first, then addressing ongoing issues from there.

The Best Diet for Autoimmune Issues

Autoimmune diseases are some of the most difficult to manage because you’re fighting with your body’s natural immune system. However, studies are showing eliminating certain foods and working on healing the gut first can make big headway in how you feel before trying specific dietary styles. There is a specific diet called the Autoimmune Protocol (or AIP diet) that walks you through this period of healing. It can be pretty intense, so just go into it prepared.

Aside from that, many people have found that combining low-carb diets like low-carb or keto while eliminating caffeine and alcohol have made huge differences in managing their autoimmune issues. Another dietary style good for autoimmune issues (rheumatoid arthritis, in particular) is a plant-based diet.

Again–this is a lifelong journey and battle, so clean up your diet first, heal your gut, then try a few different dietary styles to see what will give you relief the most.

The Best Diet for Skin issues (like eczema)

If you have skin issues like eczema or random breakouts, there could be 2 possible culprits: hormonal imbalance or intolerance to certain foods. If you’ve got hormonal imbalance, it usually starts with gut issues. So I’d see the section above on gut health. If you have intolerances, the best way to see this is to eliminate gluten (or even all grains), dairy, and soy, as these are the top 3 culprits. A full-out elimination diet may give some insight as well.

Another possible culprit could be the types of fats you’re consuming. If you eat lots of trans fats or way more omega 6’s than 3’s, your skin could be suffering terribly.

If you’d rather have a dietary style to follow to help eliminate these, the Paleo diet and Whole 30 are very clean eating-centric and don’t include grains, dairy, soy, or legumes.

**Recipe search tip: Use the terms ‘Whole30’ or ‘Paleo’ then whatever other main ingredient you’re searching for. Or if you’re just looking for recipes in general, you can search Google or Pinterest using these terms.

The Best Diet for Allergies (food or environmental)

Food allergies are no joke. So if you KNOW you’re allergic to a certain food, if it’s one of the top 8 (peanuts, dairy, soy, wheat, nuts, shellfish, eggs, fish) you’ll have to work around these in your diet. This is really difficult to navigate because of cross-contamination as well.

So if you only have one allergy, it can be fairly easy to find a good dietary style. If you have more than one, it starts to get tricky. And the higher the number, the more difficult it is to feed yourself. That being said, it will be even more difficult to lose weight before healing your gut, unless you’re starving yourself anyway because you can’t figure out what to eat.

I recommend working with a nutritionist that specializes in food allergies first and foremost. She can help you work on healing your gut so you’re absorbing nutrients appropriately. She will also help you create (or create for you) personalized meal plans that eliminate all the food allergens you have so you’re not constantly freaking out about your next meal (or just going hungry for fear of a reaction).

If you have environmental allergens, this can be a huge sign of gut health issues or candida imbalance. Both can be addressed by cutting out sugar and processed foods first and foremost. Then work on healing the gut as well. Adding in as many nutrient-dense whole foods as possible will help you have more energy to deal with the allergy situation. Stress management will also play into this (as well as good sleep), so address these issues as well.

And as far as weight loss when you have these issues, address the gut health first, then choose a diet that FEELS GOOD to your body. If you have zero energy all day doing low carb or keto, you may just need a higher complex carb way of eating like the Mediterranean or smart carb. These diets are really good for getting in a lot of fiber that help feed those good bacteria you worked so hard to get back with your gut-healing. So work on those things first, then deal with the weight issue.

How to Choose a Diet or Dietary Style

Now that you’ve looked at the options for each dietary style, see which recurring ones come up for your conditions.

And now comes the fun part: Trying different things.

Yes, this is a pain in the butt. Yes, it takes time. But this is the way to finding the *perfect* diet or dietary style for you. You wanna be in the group of people that actually lose weight because you stick to it? Then quit asking, ‘what is the best diet for me’ and actually do the work to find it!

YOUR NEXT STEPS –> Choose a dietary style to try, find recipes for at LEAST 4 weeks, and see how you feel! If it’s not fitting into your habits and capacity to cook and prepare the food, move on to the next. But give it a MINIMUM of four weeks. (You can do anything for 30 days, right?)

Wanna clean up your diet while deciding on a dietary style? Try the FREE Clean Energy 1-Week Meal Plan 👇 (It’s clean eating + smart carb).


Know someone that could really use help choosing a dietary style that will work? SHARE this post!

what diet is best for me

How to Drink More Water Every Day With These 7 Hacks (even if you hate water)!

How to Drink More Water With These 8 Hacks Every Day.

Waaaay back when I was in high school and college, how to drink more water wasn’t on the forefront of health news. And they certainly hadn’t started bashing added sugars, nor begun scolding us for drinking sodas. So back in those days, my beverages consisted of mainly straight juice, sweet tea (I am from the South), and sodas. All full of sugar. Like, LOADED with sugar!

I couldn’t understand why certain weird and undesirable things were going on as a teenager and young adult in my body. Things like terrible skin, horrible mood swings, and what I now know was the beginning of my panic attacks.

Being dehydrated, or even almost dehydrated can cause some really crummy things to go on in your body. And as a busy Mama, these crummy things are just some of the little things that stress us out, and put us on edge when we’re already being pushed to our limits in day to day life. Being hydrated by learning to drink more water is part of self-care because it’s crucial to health and processes going on in our bodies. This includes having enough energy every day. I constantly promote finding the magic ✨ place where healthy + efficient merge, and drinking more water 💦 every day absolutely holds a place high on the list of things that tick off both boxes.

how to drink more water when you don't like water or aren't thirsty

 The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Being properly hydrated every day is so, so important! It helps you think better, it gives you energy, and it keeps your systems running properly.

Think about how well a dish sponge would work with only a tiny bit of water in it. It would be extremely hard to get a dish properly cleaned with a ton of goop and not enough water, right? That’s what happens in your body.

But also, your kidneys are trying to balance the minerals in your body (which affects your circulatory system!) They get bogged down when there’s not enough fluid in your body. So don’t underestimate the importance of staying hydrated properly!

What happens when you drink more water?

>Improves your skin, hair, and nails

>Relieves headaches

>Reduces muscle cramps

>Helps to flush out your body

>Improves weight loss efforts

>Gives you more energy

>Helps wounds heal faster

>Improves concentration levels and mood

ALL of those things make it uber worth it to me to drink more water!! How about you?!

How much water should you drink in a day?

The amount of water needed in a single day has had lots of debate over the past few years. But here’s the reason why: Every person’s body composition is different, every person’s health situation is different, and every person’s activity level is different. Plus every person lives in a different climate. There are so many variables that it really depends on several different things. But here’s where to start:

Calculate your body weight, then divide by 2. That’s how many liters you should start with each day. Or-

The Mayo Clinic suggests starting with 11.5 cups/day for women and 15.5 cups per day for men.

However—if you live in a very dry climate, if it’s summer, if you’re sick, if you’re taking meds that make you dehydrated, if you drink lots of coffee, AND if you’re very active—you should drink more than that!

I challenge you to start out with the basic formula, then add as needed. See how you feel every few days and add more if you feel like it.

How can you drink more water when you don’t like it or when you’re not thirsty?

1. Drink It Before Every Meal

The first tip for drinking more water on a regular basis is simple – just have a full glass before each meal and snack you consume, including before your morning cup of coffee. This is one of those simple reminders that allows you to drink more of the good stuff, without really having to think too much about it. Train your mind to know that if you are going to put anything into your body, whether it is your breakfast or a late-night treat, you have to drink 8 ounces of water first.

This provides multiple benefits. First, it reminds you to drink another glass. It’ll also going to help your food digest a little better. Plus, it prevents you from overeating since it helps to fill you up a little. It’s not uncommon to think you’re hungry, when you’re actually thirsty. (Especially if you’ve eaten a super salty meal earlier in the day!) If you’re not hungry after a full glass, wait a bit before eating.

You should also try to drink a glass of water before or after every other beverage you drink. Force yourself to drink the same amount of it as the other beverage you’ve consumed.

2. Infuse or Flavor It

A common problem people have with drinking water isn’t that they don’t remember to drink it, but they’re just not interested in it. This is totally true for me, and was a big issue when I was pregnant. I finally found one brand that I sort of craved. (Yeah, that had to do with hormones, those darn things!) The good news is, you have some other options. You don’t necessarily have to drink just plain filtered or tap water all day, every day. There are many ways to add flavor and make it more interesting, without piling on the sugar and calories.

The Simple Method

If you are short on time and just want a super quick way to add flavor, go with lemon water. All you need to do is add a few lemon wedges, squeezing in the juice first, then putting the wedges in it. Lemons have a lot of tart juice, so this will flavor your water quickly and easily. You can also try a mixture of lemon and lime, or use other juicy fruits like grapefruit. (Just one tip is to not let it sit for a long time, even in the fridge. The rinds have a tendency to leech out super bitter/sour taste if left too long. Trust me. It’s mouth-puckering.)

Fruit or Vegetable Infused

This is one of my absolute favorites! And when I make this ahead of time and store it in a beautiful pitcher in the fridge, I find that I crave it all day! When you can spend more time on it, you can use other fruits, vegetables, and even herbs to flavor your water. This is called infused water, since it’s a longer infusing process. You aren’t just flavoring it with these ingredients, but adding more nutrients from the produce and herbs.

To make infused water, you should have a glass pitcher and access to filtered water preferably. Prepare your fruits, veggies, and herbs depending on what they are. Berries should be sliced so you can access the juice inside, fruits with hard skin should be peeled first. Veggies should also be peeled and chopped. Muddle your herbs to release the oils and flavors.

Add the ingredients to the bottom of the pitcher, cover with ice, then add your water. Let it sit in the refrigerator for as long as you can before drinking it, which really allows those flavors and nutrients to come through. And oh goodness, are they delicious!

3. Choose a Cup You Love to Use

Do you want to encourage yourself to hydrate more? It’s all in the cup! Seriously, I’m so guilty of this, and it drives my husband nuts! If you use boring water bottles you don’t like, then you probably won’t drink as much as you should. A good way to have fun with it and remember to bring the bottle everywhere with you is to choose a bottle or cup that works best for you.

This might mean the overall look and color of it, or the ease of holding onto it while walking. There are so many small details that determine if it’s a good fit or not. For example, if you drive a lot, you want it to fit perfectly in your cup holder. On the other hand, if you bike for exercise, you may want it to have a tight lid, but one that is easy to pop off when drinking while riding.

Try out a few different cups until you feel like you have found the one that is perfect for you.

4. Limit Other Drinks You Consume

Another little trick for drinking more water is to reduce all of the other drinks you consume. This doesn’t mean drinking water 100 percent of the time. But, it does help to reduce the ‘bad’ beverages, so that when you are thirsty, you go for water instead. This eventually increases your water intake simply because you’re going for water when you feel thirsty, and not other beverages.

5. Track Your Water Intake

This isn’t something you need to do every day for the rest of your life, but for now, it might be hard to determine how much water to drink, and if you’ve even reached your goal for the day. Start by figuring out a good way to track your water. This can be an app on your phone, a notepad, a planner you keep in your purse, or a program on your computer. {Or just download the one below!}

Start by tracking your water for a few days before trying to increase how much you drink. This lets you know how much you’re currently drinking on an average day. If it’s less than 8-10 glasses of water (8 ounces each) a day, you need to start increasing it. Once you are tracking daily, it helps you know how and when to drink a little more throughout the day.

6. Enjoy Fruits & Veggies with High Water Content

If you find that you simply can’t drink enough water, then eat your water instead! You should still try to drink as much as you can, but this is good for the days when you’re a little below your water intake goal. There are fruits and veggies that have a high water content, therefore helping to hydrate you. (Read: This does NOT mean drinking these as a juice–this means eating the fruit or veggie, thereby getting the fiber to offset the sugars you’ll be ingesting.) These include:


7. Try These Reminders

If you enjoy water, but you often forget to drink more of it, these little reminders can be helpful for you.

  1. Drink water before every meal, snack, and other beverage
  2. Have a glass first thing when you wake up
  3. Hydrate before or after your workouts
  4. Drink a glass of water after every trip to the bathroom
  5. Have a glass or bottle every time you enter your office or your home

As long as you keep these reminders in the back of your mind, and follow the other tips mentioned, you should be on your way to dramatically increasing your water intake and reaping the awesome benefits from it! I promise your body will thank you!!

What tricks do you use to get more hydrated? Let me know in the comments!

Know someone that could use help with increasing their hydration? Please SHARE this post!

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10 Epic Reasons to do HIIT Workouts for Women

10 Reasons Why HIIT Workouts for Women are the Time Saving Answer for Busy Moms That Don’t Have Time to Work Out

HIIT workouts for women are one of those Godsends that happened when I thought getting fit with small kids totally impossible. As busy moms like us tend to have more and more responsibility loaded onto our shoulders, fitness tends to get moved to the back burner. I know it is for me. Even though I know I’ll feel awesome when I do strength training, walk a few miles, or do my secret weapon workouts: HIIT workouts.

hiit workouts for women

But honestly–the amount of time needed for a single hiit workout at home or at the gym inevitably will get clouded with questions about what else I could be spending that time doing. Is it that way for you, too?

I’ll preach this till the day I die to other moms, but in all heart-to-heart honesty💕: Your home and family cannot run well if YOU aren’t running well. Movement and fitness has GOT to be a mandatory part of your self care! It’s just as important as incorporating relaxation into your days, as well as being KEY to reducing stress and anxiety, not to mention a huge catalyst in getting better sleep.

Which is why I’m so incredibly thankful I discovered HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. And if the term ‘high intensity’ scares you right off the bat–STOP! Please don’t let it! It’s actually a very effective (and super efficient) way to work out, and HIIT workouts for beginners are aplenty online (but really aren’t difficult to make on your own.)

My philosophy is to find the magic middle where we merge healthy + efficient to make healthy habits doable on the daily. And HIIT is a perfect example of that magic happening! ✨

The way that HIIT workouts work–simplified–is that you have a set number of exercises, and you go all out for about 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, then move onto the next exercise all out for 20 seconds, and so on, until you finish all exercises. (BTW, a similar type of workout called Tabata is as effective since it uses the same high intensity interval method.) So basically you can work in cardio and strength at the same time.

When I have a serious lack of time I do the simplest exercise routine of HIIT exercises that I have. It’s printed out, and it’s 4 really simple exercises that get a workout in so that I can de-stress and rest easy.

The exercises consist of:

20 seconds-jumping jacks

10 seconds-REST

20 seconds-mountain climbers

10 seconds-REST

20 seconds-high knees

10 seconds-REST

20 seconds-burpees

Easy, right??!

So, I have asthma and long-winded cardio has never been a good option for me. Especially during my most allergenic periods, since my asthma is triggered by allergies.

Which is why I’m such a big supporter of easy HIIT workouts, and why HIIT for beginners can be so simple and hopefully prove the benefits in only that short amount of work. The shortest one can take ONLY 8 MINUTES!! (And if I’m sick or it’s that time of month, I may get away with only one cycle for only 4 minutes.) Honest to goodness, if you can’t fit an 8-minute workout it, we got problems. Cause the best HIIT workout is the one you actually do.

So here are the benefits of doing these quick HIIT workouts for women:

1-HIIT workouts are excellent for heart health

First of all, this includes lowering blood pressure. See, when you do things that make your heart rate elevated, the blood flow initiates the cells lining your blood vessels to release a compound that dilates the blood vessels. This is like your body’s own natural medicine working for it! Pretty cool, huh? When those blood vessels are more dilated, your blood pressure goes down. That’s why any good doc’s first recommendation for lowering blood pressure should be exercise! (IMO)

2-HIIT workouts allow you to choose your own workouts

Honestly, you can choose any exercise you want for each component. If you’re focusing on cardio, do something bouncy like burpees or jumping jacks. Want to focus on strength for legs and butt? Do walking lunges. Need more core work? Do planks. The possibilities are endless. Also, all you have to do to get ideas is go onto Pinterest and type in ‘HIIT workouts core’ or whatever you’re looking for specifically, even ‘HIIT for beginners’. A million people have already made this easy for you. 😉

3-HIIT workouts allow you to choose your own time allotment

Even the most Type-A’s of us sometimes let our fitness goals fall to the wayside when we’ve got super limited time. When that happens, do 3 rounds with 4 exercises. 8 minutes–bam! Got a bit more time? Add in another exercise, or opt for doing 4 rounds. The options for time restraints are limitless. Which–again–is why I absolutely love HIIT workouts for women.

4-HIIT workouts can be done with or without any kind of equipment, so essentially you can do your HIIT workout at home

Yep–isometrics are totally fine with every exercise you do in your HIIT workout. But if you wanna add in something like a kettlebell (which is what I do when I’m working on legs and butt), you can absolutely do that, too!

And–get this–there are HIIT treadmill workouts, too! So if you’d rather do this on a treadmill, tread-climber, whatever–it’s totally doable. And this is sometimes the ONLY option if you have a joint injury or condition where burpees and the like aren’t possible. (Or, ya know, just had a baby.)

5-HIIT workouts can be done literally anywhere!

Going on vacay? Or a work trip? HIIT workouts can be done right in your hotel room. And if you’re doing one of the treadmill workouts, nearly every hotel chain has a fitness room. Take advantage of it!

6-HIIT Workouts burn calories and fat in a short period of time (this one is my absolute fave!)

Studies have shown HIIT to burn the same amount of calories in just a 15-minute session than would happen in an hour session of jogging on the treadmill! That’s pretty incredible! And a giant bonus for us moms that have limited time!

7-HIIT Workouts boost your metabolism

HIIT keeps that metabolism going way after you’ve quit working out. Yeah, you heard that right! The research also says it can keep burning calories 1 1/2 hours up to 24 hours after your workout. As a result, that’s gonna help you burn calories, so if you’re trying to lose some fat, this is an excellent type of workout to consider.

8-HIIT Workouts help build endurance

What this means is that if you ever do any other types of exercises, even, say, riding a bike, that doing HIIT workouts will help you be able to ride for longer on that bike. As a result, the increase in endurance on your system will translate to other physical demands you have.

9-HIIT Workouts allow you to be creative and sort of ‘multi-task your fitness’.

Need to get in some play/exercise time with your dog? Go in the back yard with a dog toy and do sprints around while he chases you to get the toy. Rest for about 10 seconds, then do the same again. My lab particularly loves to chase her soccer ball, and WANTS me to kick it around and chase her when she has it.

Wanna spend more time with your kids while they get energy out? Chase them on their bikes for 20-second sprints. Kick a ball back and forth with them. Also, the younger they are, the worse their aim–you’ll have to chase it down every time! Jump on the trampoline with them. Play freeze-tag!

These examples, and any you come up with, should be based on spurts of all out work balanced with small periods of rest.

10-HIIT Workouts Reverse Signs of Aging

Whuuuuuuttt??!! YES!! HIIT workouts for women have been shown to reverse signs of aging better than any other type of workout! This is also especially important when you cross the age-40 threshold, and having that cellular performance already in place when you do turn 40 is even better. Seriously, busy Mama, that expensive wrinkle cream can only do so much. 😉

 Ready to try out a HIIT workout? Maybe you already do an awesome one? Let me know in the comments!

Know someone that could use help with a super time efficient and effective workout option like HIIT? Please SHARE this post!

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