7 Ways to Get Straight with Your Food

OK.  So we have heard the conflicting words about food for years.  Eat more meat, less carbs.  Eat no meat, it causes cancer and other diseases.  Wait, no! A vegan diet causes nutrient deficiencies. Maybe paleo and going back to our primal roots.  Snack.  Don’t snack. Eat 5 small meals.  No, consume all your food in varying time frames (intermittent fasting). Don’t eat fruit.  AND DON’T FORGET YOUR GREENS!

Seriously, it can all be so overwhelming.  But, I am here to help you straighten out some of the conflicting thoughts on food that you have heard.  After doing a TON of research myself, as well as trial and erroring it, I have some tips for you.

1. The same diet (as in types/ pattern of food you eat) won’t work for everyone.
     This should be a given.  I mean, we all look different and we all have different body types and needs.  So why would our bodies all react to food the same way?  The first thing to get straight with food is understanding that what works for your co-worker, best friend, or even your mom or sister, may not work for you.  Everyone means well, but you have to do what is best for you.
2. You need all of the food groups.
     In line with the opening paragraph, I mentioned some of the many varying thoughts that people have been trying with food, most of which comes with restricting one type of food.  Well, I’ll tell you what.  Our bodies NEED the nutrients from a variety of food.  A well-rounded diet will help you get the vitamins and minerals that your body needs without vitamin supplements.  Your body absorbs vitamins and minerals from food much better than in pills, so eat a rainbow.  You don’t need to cut fats, carbs, or fruits.  They all play a role in your diet.  The key: moderation.
3. If you feel bloated and tired often, chances are it’s your diet.
     Wait!!! Don’t reach for that RedBull or RockStar!  Chug a bottle of water, cut back on the white carbs and processed foods and watch the miracle that happens! Seriously! Try it for a few days.
     Our diet affects more than our waistline and hips.  Be conscious of what you are eating and start thinking of food and water as something that will help you feel better and reenergize from the inside out.  As a wife and mom of 3, life gets busy, but when I am eating right and getting enough water, I am like the Energizer bunny.  But a calm bunny.  A calm energizer bunny…
4. It’s OKAY to trial and error!
     Take this as official permission to trial and error and find what works for you.  If you are eating healthy, eating a variety of food, and watching portion sizes, it is okay to try intermittent fasting (that’s another post), snacking or removing it, moving around certain foods to different times of the days, and cutting certain foods and adding them back in to see how they affect you.  Everyone is different.  There are hundreds, thousands, of diet books, but you don’t have to follow one to a T.  It is amazing to read and get advice on trying new things that will help your body, but at the end of the day, you need to do what is right for your own body.  You do you, boo! 😉
5.  You don’t need to eat 5 small meals a day to lose weight….
     … UNLESS your body does best with that.  Honestly, I have tried that off and on for years, but I actually find that I eat more, am more bloated, and the scale starts creeping up.  I personally need a solid breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and on occasion will snack or eat a dessert if my body is truly craving it.
6. Yes, you can still have that slice of cake or bowl of ice cream and lose weight.
     As I stated above, the key is moderation. 90/10.  Eat healthy most of the time and you can splurge every now and then.
7. Cravings can have a purpose.
     I will be honest, I do give my cravings the time of day.  If all I can think about is a big juicy burger, I probably need to up my protein and iron intake.  I eat something meaty, whether a burger and not, and it goes away.  If I have a major sweet tooth that won’t go away, I will have a small whatever it is or eat some fruit, and walla, fulfilled.  Just take a moment to see if you are craving something because you are bored or stressed or whether it is a true craving that might help your body.
Food is simple.  Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be.  Treat your body well and it will treat you well.
Until next time,
Autumn 🙂

Greek Yogurt Parfait

This recipe is simple, but I had to share.

I would have never thought to add pineapple in my yogurt bowl. Berries, bananas, apples…. I have done all of those, but this time I was out of everything but pineapple.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  When I eat breakfast, I also don’t want to be hungry in an hour or two.  I want to be full for at least 3-4 hours, which means I need some protein.

As every mom knows, mornings can turn hectic and sometimes you need something that is quick, easy, and healthy.  This is that recipe.

Greek Yogurt Parfait:

3/4 cup PLAIN Greek yogurt (this is key so you get all the benefits without the sugar)

1 cup of fruit (I’m telling you, pineapple is my new favorite!)

1/3 cup granola (low sugar, high protein)

Sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg over the whole thing

And if you really need a little extra sweetness, a tidbit of honey or maple syrup can jazz it up, but I promise that the fruit and spices will deliver on the flavor.

I personally use my portion control containers to measure it all out quickly and easily.  I can even pre-fill them and stick them in the fridge the night before, or in my lunchbag for work, and I know I have a full serving of protein, fruit, and carbs.

Do you have a certain go-to fruit that you throw in your parfaits? I would love to hear!

Until next time,


The Nightingale

Ok, ladies. If you like historical fiction novels that are set in the World War era… If you are into novels set in France… If you are into a page turner that you WILL NOT be able to set down, boy, oh boy, have I got a book to recommend for you.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was set in France during World War II. It puts you in the midst of two sisters who have struggled with a distant father and the loss of their mother. These girls are opposites as far as personalities go, and that is what this book explores as the Nazis begin to infiltrate France.

What was amazing to me was how the author was able to bring these characters and the scene alive. One sister takes on the alias “The Nightingale” as she works to bring Jewish people to safety. She seems to have all of the strength through her independent, stubborn, hard-headed, feisty spirit.

Her sister, on the other-hand, is agreeable and naive to the realities taking place around her. She is left on her own with her daughter as her husband, her childhood sweetheart, goes to fight in the war. While he is gone, she witnesses the Germans coming in and family and friends being taken away. German soldiers begin taking over homes, including hers.

While these sisters seem different, throughout the story you will see that they are more similar in some ways than they realized. Beyond the sisters, though, you actually get a glimpse into what living through the Nazi takeover was like. How it was slow and confusing, and how it was possible that neighbors and friends turned against each other. You develop a greater respect for those that lived through and survived those horrors.

I HIGHLY recommend you grab yourself a copy today. I could NOT put this novel down. It is one of the few books that has ingrained itself into my memory and my heart.

If you are a voracious reader, you will know what I am talking about.

The characters came alive. The story, the setting, the richness and depth of the tone- everything about this book was riveting and a must read. Don’t delay. Read today!

*** I am not being paid to write this review, I truly loved it and just want to share. 🙂

When Life Comes Together

Life can get messy. Jobs, family issues, vehicles, housing, bills, sick kids, ER visits, chauffeuring from one place to the next, it can all be so much, especially when we forget to take a moment to breathe, soak in the gift of the moment, and be thankful for where we are.

For me, the struggles began as summer became Fall. I was driving across town to work/ son’s school, and I had a feeling my life was going to be shaken up a bit. Two days later our family car was totaled as we drove home from the grocery store. My son was out of school for a week. We had been having issues with the teacher for a bit, but it became progressively worse when he returned. After some prayer and discussing the issue with my husband, we  moved him to a new school. 

Well, working for the school that you just pulled your son from can create a bit of conflict, to say the least. And as the bills and the car insurance issues from the car wreck rose, so did the stress. But we pushed through. 

That is until one gloomy, rainy day after an especially trying family day. As I walked through the brisk, drizzly school property for an impromptu meeting with the school admin, I had the feeling that this was it. I surrendered the to the fight, and walked back to my desk knowing two weeks later I would be jobless. 

That all seems horribly gloomy for a motivational Monday post, huh? Lol. As tough as everything has been though, my mantra has become: “After night, there is always a sunrise.”  

While I haven’t seen how everything will fall perfectly into place again, I have seen things coming together. Sometimes night needs to fall on our life so God can do some behind the scenes work jnder the cover of that night, so that come the sunrise, his glory, his beauty, the newness in our life can shine and we can stand in awe at the beautiful work that God has done in our life through the gift of a brand new “day”. 

When things get tough, life falls apart, and the dark of night seem to cover your life, just remember, after the night, there comes morning, and with that, a glorious sunrise. 

Until next time,

Autumn 🦋🥀🌷❄️🌅

Back to the Daily Grind We Go

I have 3 kids: an elementary schooler, preschooler, and toddler. Due to the crazy weather we’ve had lately, today was the first day for the oldest to go back to school. It also happens to mark my first day officially working my coaching business full-time. 

With a flood keeping the schools closed on Monday, I noticed A LOT of complaints from parents about having to keep their school age kids home another day after a 3 week holiday break. 

Now, I get the complaints from the daycare/ preschool parents, who are probably relying on that form of care so they can work.

The complaints that saddened me came from the moms who were home full-time or who work from home. 

I get it. It is so much easier to get things done when the children are at school. I also understand the need for a normal routine. 

BUT, you had children. You chose to have those little ones and you get them for about 18 years before they spread their wings and you wish them well, trusting you raised them well and that they will make good choices. 

So then, what exactly are you in a rush for? Six hours of peace and quiet? So they stay home an extra day. That is 6 more hours to speak life into them. To connect, let them hang out with their siblings that they are away from for 6-7 hours a day, heck, maybe even have them do some chores. *gasp!*

Moms- I get it. I sooo get it. I get tired. Some days I just want to flop into bed, and then I look at the clock and see it is only 10 a.m. Sometimes I wonder if those kids are going to leave me  with gray hair (or any hair) before they even make it to high school. 

But then they reach up and grab my hand with a smile as I walk by them. They ask for a puzzle, a story, or just to have me listen to a 3 minute thought they have floating around in their head. In those small moments, the sun shines through their eyes. Their heart pours out their innocence, their hope of being noticed, and of just having me acknowledge and share in their excitement for a short moment. 

So parents, is it really that bad to spend one more day with your child? Some parents pray or mourn for that gift of time. 

Until next time,

-Autumn 🌺🌼💐🍂

What makes you jump out of bed?

I would love love love to sleep in every single day. For some reason, it just feels good and feels so relaxing. Yet, there is stuff to do, kids to get dressed, workouts to do, cleaning to be done, income to be made, etc. 

But what if I say that you can actually jump out of bed excited each day?? (This coming from a non-morning person who was suffering from anxiety just a month ago.)

You see, the key to this is your mindset. I can choose to lounge in bed, snooze the alarm, and sleep in “just a little longer” or I can think of how I can maximize the day and make the most of the gift of a brand-new day that we have been given. 

I can CHOOSE to get up, spend some time in my Bible and get my mind right for the day. I can CHOOSE to get my workout done and eat a healthy breakfast before the day starts to take care of the body I have been given. I can CHOOSE to spend my day using my actions to love and take time to spend with my kids.

Think about what brings you joy. Even if something doesn’t, spend your time joyfully getting it done and dive in deep. 

Our brains are made to adapt and before you know it, you can become that morning person who looks to the day and sees hope where you might’ve only grouchily stumbled out of bed after smacking the snooze button for the billionth time, walked to the coffee pot to down a cup of coffee before facing those little people in your home that call you Mom and the day becomes like any other. 

Change your mindset, change your life. And if you need to, pray about it and see where you might be lacking in your life and what is keeping you from living each day with excitement and fulfillment. 

Until next time….

-Autumn 🌸🌻🦋❄️

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Cheers to a new you in 2017! The healthier, fitter, goal-focused, and accomplishing you.

It is a new year, a fresh calendar, and the possibilities seem endless. But just HOW will you make sure that this year goes as fantastic as you hope it will? The secret lies in making plans on executing those goals of yours.

For me, rather than calling them resolutions, I am calling them goals. To backup those goals, I have plans- daily, weekly, monthly, and then the year-end where I want to be when the ball drops next year.

This year I have created bigger goals for myself than I ever have before, but I am tired of feeling stuck with one year rolling out to the next with no real change.

What if we all lived up to our fullest potential and actually tried to reach out to fulfill those big, scary dreams of ours? Could you imagine how much your life would change?

This year, that is my goal. I am going to live each day, sun up to sun down, with purpose.

In 2017 I realize that every little thing we do is either growing us and bringing us closer to our goals, our leading us away. That soda or cookie each day doesn’t seem like a big deal, but in 5 years the extra weight and sugar-addiction will say otherwise. On the other hand, that daily salad may be an annoyance at first, but in 5 years you can be healthier and fitter than you are now. Comparing those 5 years, there will be a bigger difference then than there is now.

Don’t look at the near-future, look at the 1 year, 5 year, and 20 year future. Where do you see yourself?

My goal this year is to live in line with this and consistently build better habits and reach for goals that take me out of the place that I have been stuck in.

What are your goals? Where do you see yourself as the ball drops on 2018? Ask yourself this, and if you are brave enough, I would love to hear them!

Happy New Year, friends! Here’s to not only making resolutions, but actually becoming the you that you dream of in 2017.