What the heck is activated charcoal and why would you take it?
(NOT to be confused with the charcoal used in your barbecue…)
Activated charcoal is a natural treatment used to bind and trap toxins, chemicals and other impurities in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t absorb them. This makes it a great treatment for food poisoning, as well as meals that don’t “sit well” as it can help alleviate gas and bloating. It can also be good for preventing a hangover. 😉
Recently, it has become a popular ingredient in beauty products. I’ve seen it added to toothpaste as a natural teeth whitener and to skincare products as a detoxifier.
I always keep a bottle in the pantry and take it with me when I travel (which obviously hasn’t happened in a while 😭) just in case I need it. It’s not something that should be taken daily, but rather taken “as needed” or for short-term use. Be sure to choose an activated charcoal supplement made from natural sources like coconut, and drink plenty of water when taking it to prevent dehydration and to assist in flushing the toxins out of the body.
A morning ritual sets the tone for your entire day. Here are some suggestions to help start your day on the right foot:
Don’t hit snooze (more than 2x). I don’t want to get into the habit of delaying or putting things off. So as soon as my morning alarm goes off, I try to get up right away. If I’m feeling extra tired, I’ll allow myself to hit snooze, but no more than twice. This trains me to be disciplined rather than taking the easy route.
Make your bed. Why is such a small task such a big deal? Naval Admiral William McRaven, said it best: “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”
Journal. Grab a notebook and take a moment to jot down the following:
1. Three things you are grateful for.
2. Three affirmations (I am healthy, energetic, determined, etc.).
3. Three positive things you are expecting from the day ahead.
It will only take a few minutes, but this activity sets your mind up for a positive and productive day.
Drink water. Your body has gone many hours overnight without water, so it’s important to hydrate upon waking. For an extra boost, try warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to kick-start your digestive system and support your liver.
Meditate. The morning is the perfect opportunity to take some time for YOU before your busy day begins. Even if just for 5 minutes, find somewhere quiet to sit, listen to relaxing music or a guided meditation and breathe. You can meditate on a mantra or Bible verse that brings you a sense of peace that you can carry with you throughout your day.
Get moving! I get it; we aren’t all morning people, but try to do a little something to get your blood flowing first thing in the morning. Whether a strength training session, a walk, yoga or simple stretching, movement = energy.
When trying to get healthier or improve an area of our lives, we tend to focus on our actions first. We exert will power to change our behaviors, but then wonder why we can’t stay consistent and why we “self-sabotage.”
I find that most of my clients know what to do to get healthier, but they struggle with consistent execution. I’ve been coaching for 10 years and have noticed a common pattern among nearly all my clients: your thoughts make or break the execution of your goals. So how do we get our thoughts to support us in the pursuit of our goals?
1. Define your WHY.
Why do you want to get healthier? What is your internal motivator? I recommend that your “why” be based on something deeply personal and meaningful to you, such as “I want to run a marathon” or “I want to be healthy for my kids,” rather than an external motivator (ie: what other people think of you). External motivation is often short-lived and unfulfilling, but meaningful internal motivation will fuel you as you work towards your goals.
2. Let your WHY guide your thoughts.
There is a big difference between the thought:” Ugh, I have to exercise today” and “I’m choosing to exercise today because I want to keep my body healthy and active.” The first thought discourages you and the second thought supports your efforts. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to have a constant cheerleader in my head rather than a negative Nancy. Keep your thoughts in check and make sure they’re aligned with your WHY.
3. Take consistent ACTION (despite what you feel). If we only did the things we felt like doing, we’d all be in trouble. Motivation fluctuates and you’re not always going to feel like putting in the effort. Take action towards your goals despite how you feel. You’ve made a commitment to yourself, and commitments should be kept. Remind yourself of your WHY and go out and get the job done!
Choose thoughts that empower you > Take daily action towards your goals > Those consistent actions will turn into habits > Your habits shape your life.
-Meal planning & prepping makes eating healthy easier and more convenient, especially for those who are busy and on-the-go.
-Limits the decision-making needed at each meal.
-Reduces the need to exert willpower and settle for less-healthy meals out of convenience.
-Saves you $$$$$!!!! You can save a significant amount of money over time by choosing to bring lunch to work everyday rather than order out with your co-workers!
Questions to ask yourself:
What are your favorite foods?
How can you build balanced meals (protein, carb, fat + fiber) using your favorite foods? Having staple meals is super helpful!
How much variety do you need?
Can you eat repeat meals/leftovers, or do you get bored of foods quickly?
Which meals you do need prepped (ie: lunch & snacks for work) and which meals can you make at home (ie: breakfast & dinner)?
What days of the week can you food shop and set aside time to prep?
How many “flexible” meals a week would you like? (ie: dinner out, birthday lunch with a co-worker, brunch with friends, ice cream on a weeknight just because).
It can be helpful to plan these “fun” meals into your week.
You may choose to plan out your meals Monday-Friday, and leave the weekends open for flexibility, or you may prefer to have some”fun” meals throughout the week. Choose what works best for you!
Here’s an example of how to plan “fun” foods into your week:
Note: the salad simply represents healthy homemade meals 😉
Step 1: Pick your meals
~Aim for balance of carbs, protein, fats & plenty of fiber from fruits & veggies
~Aim for whole foods
~Give yourself as much variety as you like
~MUST include foods you love! 🙂
~Plan your meals for however many days you’d like
Step 2: Make your grocery list
You can organize your list into the categories: Produce, Pantry items & Proteins
Step 3: Prep!
You can prep each meal, one at a time starting with breakfast, or prep one category at a time: produce, pantry items & proteins.
Any meals that you’ll need to take on the go can be placed into glassware/containers so they are ready to grab & go! For the meals that you can cook at home, prepping the ingredients helps make cooking a breeze!
Meal Prep Example:
~Make overnight oats
~Assemble yogurt parfaits (keep granola separate so it stays crunchy)
~Wash and chop fruits & veggies
~Portion out snacks
~Hard boil eggs
~Assemble lunch boxes
~If you’re sitting down to a meal that you prepared, but are truly not in the mood for it, you can absolutely opt for something else! However, I find that when you prep meals using foods & flavors you LOVE, you’ll usually be super satisfied!
~While meal prep day may feel time-consuming, think about how much time it is saving you the rest of the week & remind yourself of the benefits: