Tips

christmas-cookies-2918172_1920.jpg

Video 3: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays

In this video series I’m talking about ways to keep your willpower up during the holidays. In the video yesterday I shared three things you can do if you find yourself to be uncomfortable at a social gathering and therefore obsessively thinking about food and alcohol. In this video I talk about how our desire to fit in with others can overshadow our healthy eating goals.

read more
Laura B. FolkesVideo 3: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays
christmas-cookies-2918172_1920.jpg

Video 2: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays

In this video series I’m talking about ways to keep your willpower up during the holidays. In the video yesterday I discussed one reason we focus on the food and drinks at a party is because we are avoiding feeling uncomfortable. By having the awareness of what we’re avoiding, it can help so you can determine what you need in the situation. In this video I provide some suggestions of things you can do if you find yourself at an event and being consumed by thinking about food.

read more
Laura B. FolkesVideo 2: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays
christmas-cookies-2918172_1920.jpg

Video 1: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays

Thanksgiving was the kick off to the festive holiday season, which can be fun and celebratory, but also stressful and overwhelming at the same time. We are often surrounded by our loved ones as well as some of our favorite foods we only get once a year, leading to temptations and ultimately indulging.

read more
Laura B. FolkesVideo 1: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays
Laura-on-Bondi-Beach.jpg

Interview: Is “Fat” a feeling?

When I started my journey to become a Health Coach I decided to start working with my own Health Coach, Ali Shapiro. Even though I had lost 60-pounds and was maintaining my weight, my thoughts were consumed by food and constantly thinking about when I was going to eat next. It scared me to think that I could possibly get hungry and be ill prepared without any food on hand. I thought there had to be a better way other than the exhausting mental gymnastics. I had done one of the leading weight loss programs for years with success in getting down to my goal weight. However I was missing one piece of the puzzle.

read more
Laura B. FolkesInterview: Is “Fat” a feeling?
Flavored-Yogurt.jpg

How to Reduce the Sugar Content in Your Yogurt (Recipe Included)

Yogurt is a popular breakfast due to its convenience and belief by many that it’s a healthy option. While it is healthier than some breakfast options, do you know how much sugar is in your yogurt? If you eat a flavored variety, you may want to check the label. Some brands have as much sugar in them as a Twinkie! Yes, you read that right, a Twinkie! This article from Huffpost shows the comparison of yogurts and the amount of sugar in each.

read more
Laura B. FolkesHow to Reduce the Sugar Content in Your Yogurt (Recipe Included)
Cocktail-1.jpg

Four Tips to Enjoy a Happy Hour Without Stress

Picture this. You’re sitting at a table with co-workers at a happy hour hot spot when the hostess hands you a menu. Immediately your pulse starts racing and various thoughts run through your mind. ‘What should I order?’ ‘I want to eat healthy but I don’t want to come across as boring or like I can’t have a good time. Plus, I don’t want to miss out and feel like an outcast because I order something different than everyone else.’ Or, ‘If I eat what I want, I’ll blow my efforts and won’t be able to get back on track so I just won’t eat.’

read more
Laura B. FolkesFour Tips to Enjoy a Happy Hour Without Stress
Fig-salad.jpg

Clean Living: A guide to Eating Clean

When it comes to clean living, one aspect to consider is clean eating. It seems like this is a topic around food and diet that has become more prominent in the news and media, which is exciting for someone like me who is a Certified Holistic Health Coach.

It is definitely becoming more mainstream as restaurants such as Panera have cleaned up their menus to only include “clean” foods and ingredients. In case this concept is new to you, here’s the definition of clean eating: “At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.”

Based on this definition, eating clean is not a diet but is more of a way of life. It’s going back to simpler times when there weren’t as many packaged foods available and people relied on fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, good fats and whole, unprocessed grains as their food sources. I realize that eating a perfectly clean diet now a days can prove to be challenging, so here are a few tips and small steps you can take to start eating clean:

  1. Strive to eat clean 80% of the time. While this is ultimately where you’d like to get to, if you’re currently eating clean 20% of the time, aim for 40% and build on it slowly until you’re able to get to 80%. Making small, incremental changes can be helpful so it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch. Ultimately you want any changes you make to be sustainable.
  2. You can still buy packaged foods; you just want to be sure to read the label. Ideally you should be able to pronounce and identify every ingredient and there should only be a handful of ingredients listed. If the label looks like a long paragraph you may want to skip that food and look for an option with fewer ingredients.
  3. It’s important that you don’t feel deprived. Many diets are built around deprivation, which is why 95% of fad diets fail and most people will regain the weight they lost in 1-5 years1. One way to ensure you don’t feel deprived is to find clean recipes of some of your favorite foods. Here is a list of some great recipe options from Greatist.com.

Some of the benefits of eating a clean diet could include a more balanced energy level, maintaining a healthy weight, building up your immune system and improved sleep to name a few.

As with everything, you don’t need to strive for perfection when it comes to eating clean. Making small improvements and taking one step at a time will lead to results.

About Laura:

Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.

Receive a free “Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Healthy on the Go” with tips and snack ideas you can enjoy anytime and anywhere at www.laurabfolkes.com. Laura can be contacted at laura@laurabfolkes.com.

 

 

Source: 1Statistics on Weight Discrimination: A Waste of Talent, The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (http://www.cswd.org/index.html)

read more
Laura B. FolkesClean Living: A guide to Eating Clean
Train-Station-Interior.jpg

When McDonald’s is the Healthiest Option…

The other day I was at the train station waiting to board the train for a six hour ride. I needed to grab dinner while on the go and was in search of something healthy, so I browsed the food court only to find stalls serving ribs, hot dogs, pizza, soft pretzels, donuts, and the dreaded McDonald’s. I found myself walking in circles reading each menu to see if a salad was an option anywhere, but wasn’t having any luck.

After 10 minutes of walking aimlessly looking for an option to appear, I decided to suck it up and go to McDonald’s knowing they definitely had a salad on the menu. So I walked up to the register and ordered a salad with grilled chicken. I paid and walked over to wait for my food to be ready. While waiting I was told it would be a 10-minute wait for the grilled chicken but they could gladly top the salad with fried chicken immediately.

I laughed and told them that I didn’t have time to wait for the grilled chicken since my train was scheduled to leave in 20 minutes and I wouldn’t eat the fried chicken. They shrugged and said they could give me a refund. At this point I was thinking about my other options and felt that a salad was still the best option compared to everything else on offer. Therefore, I asked if they could top my salad with a hamburger patty instead, which is the solution we came to.

I wanted to share this experience because sometimes it’s necessary to make the best decision you can based on what you’re given. You aren’t always going to be able to eat the way you want to and in those circumstances it’s ideal to do the best you can and feel confident with the decision you did make. One meal does not define you or your diet and viewing each meal as a clean slate can be helpful.

About Laura:

Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.

To learn more visit www.laurabfolkes.com or contact Laura at laura@laurabfolkes.com.

read more
Laura B. FolkesWhen McDonald’s is the Healthiest Option…
Party-table.jpg

Tackle the Holidays with Ease

The holidays are supposed to be festive and a time for celebration, but sometimes they can be stressful and overwhelming. Around this time of year we give ourselves permission to indulge because a fresh New Year is right around the corner. Some people enter into the holidays with the mindset that they’re going to take a break from their healthy lifestyle and they expect to gain weight because they feel like they don’t have control over it. But what if we can stop this cycle and set ourselves up so we don’t feel like we have to play catch up come January 2nd?

There are times that we have idealistic expectations of how we want the holidays, or a holiday related event to go. When those expectations aren’t met, it can lead us to turn to food for comfort or as an escape. In general, many of the cravings we have aren’t really about the food. Instead they are often the coping mechanism we have identified as safe to help us get through different situations from the past.

Between approaching the holidays with idealistic expectations, a number of gatherings, family time, traveling and gift shopping, the holidays can be exhausting. When we arrive at holiday parties exhausted it increases stress and ultimately causes our blood sugar to be off balance, which then leads to our inhibitions going down. And when our inhibitions are down, we have more of a tendency to say, “Screw it!” because we feel we deserve a treat.

There are steps we can take to set ourselves up for success during the holidays to help avoid binging and ultimately gaining weight:

  1. Set your goal(s) for the holidays: The goal should be measurable, attainable and realistic to ensure you’ll stick to it. The more specific it is, the better. The goal can be related to food, exercise, some of your triggers, or even how you want to engage with, or interact with people, as a few examples.
  2. Envision what could go wrong: Research shows that actionable and intelligent goal setting includes planning for failures. In the planning you’ll learn how to navigate it rather than falling back on the old standbys of self-judgment, shame and blame.
  3. Plan ahead: During the holiday season we are often out of our routine, which can make it hard to stick to what we know works like planning, preparation and implementing self-care. Even though we may not have time to plan during the holidays, thinking ahead and planning for those times is helpful so we have some strategies in place. For example a couple questions you can ask yourself include, what are some triggers you know will come up during the holidays? How have you handled them in the past? What could you do differently so the trigger doesn’t lead to binging?
  4. Enjoy! If you know one of your favorite holiday foods is a trigger, it’s OK to enjoy and savor the foods you love that have meaning. It’s important that we allow ourselves to have these foods and not beat ourselves up afterwards. Planning ahead can help since we are making a conscious choice to eat the foods we rarely get to enjoy through out the year.

These are just four steps to help you feel confident that you can tackle the holidays with ease so you don’t feel like you need to start again after the New Year. Feel free to reach out with any questions or if you would like to discuss any additional strategies to help you during the holiday season.

About Laura:

Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.

read more
Laura B. FolkesTackle the Holidays with Ease