How to Get the Best Results from Your Diet


Are you focusing your health efforts on the activities that will make the biggest impact?

I see a lot of people spending way too much time on the things that aren’t moving the needle.

Things like:

Looking for the best protein powder.

Downloading new workout apps.

Researching supplements for weight loss.

Trying to decide if you should be intermittent fasting.

I get it. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae. You can do all of these things until the cows come home, but without the foundations in place, progress will be slow at best. 

If you’re putting in effort and not seeing results, check in on the following:

  1. Focus on 80% whole foods.

Whole foods are ideal to ensure that you get the micronutrients to keep your body functioning optimally. The water content and fiber of real food will keep you satisfied longer. By choosing whole foods over processed foods, you’ll avoid inflammatory compounds like food dyes, preservatives, trans fats, and more.

  1. Pay attention to your protein and fiber intake.

Protein is the most satiating macro nutrient. It’s also essential for immunity, blood sugar balance, and muscle repair. The right amount for you depends on your weight, activity level, and goals.

Fiber is also satiating. Furthermore, it’s essential for a healthy microbiome, which affects everything from your cravings to mental clarity, immune health, body weight, and more.

  1. Balance blood sugar.

No matter what diet you eat, balancing blood sugar is so important in reducing cravings, balancing hormones, having the energy for a full day outside, and so much more. I have several posts about this on my blog. Essentially, you want to include fat, protein, and fiber at each meal or snack.

  1. Sleep 7-9 hours per night.

Sleep deprivation affects several hormones which impact appetite and hunger. Ever notice how you crave all the carbs when you’re sleep deprived? Not only can sleep disturbances affect your waistline and put you at higher risk for metabolic syndrome, lack of proper rest prevents you from putting in full effort during training sessions.

  1. Manage your stress.

The stress hormone cortisol wreaks havoc on your health in so many ways. Regardless of what style of eating you follow and no matter how healthy you eat, if you’re not managing your stress, you’re not going to see the results you want. Your body holds onto weight, muscle gain is stalled, recovery is slower, and fatigue increases. Stress management can be as simple as a few deep breaths to shift from a sympathetic dominant state back into parasympathetic. Check in with yourself often.

Focus on Foundations for Faster Results

Nailing these foundations support you in feeling better in the day to day by reducing brain fog, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. On your adventures, it means the ability to hike longer days, recover faster, keep up with your adventure partners, and have a body that’s capable of doing what you love until your last breath.

I write about how important it is to personalize your approach and learn exactly what works for your unique body. I absolutely believe that and it’s why I work closely with clients to support them through that process. That said, a personalized approach goes hand in hand with focusing on the foundations.

You deserve a long lived, healthy, adventurous life. If you’re not feeling great, check on your foundations before searching for the latest “hack.”

Ready to take the next step in your journey? Find more free resources here.

Prevent Stress to Optimize Physical & Mental Performance


Stress in 2020.

How are you? Genuinely.

Take a deep breath and scan your body for any tension.

Because let’s be real: 2020 continues to be a hot mess.

From natural disasters to pandemics, economic challenges, & more, there is A LOT going on right now. If you’re experiencing heightened levels of stress in your life, you’re not alone.

I’ve experienced my fair share of obstacles this year & I can’t think of anyone in my life who hasn’t.

In fact, it’s one of the primary drivers of the concerns clients are coming to me with right now, whether they realize stress is at the root of their symptoms or not.

It’s contributing to:

>> unwanted weight gain, especially around the midsection, without changes in diet or exercise>> inability to fall asleep or stay asleep

>> waking up after a full night of sleep and still feeling tired

>> salt cravings

>> intense afternoon fatigue and an inability to get through the day without coffee and/or sugar

>> changes in appetite–either lacking an appetite or eating a whole pizza in one sitting (nothing inherently wrong with that, but if it’s not a conscious choice, there may be something deeper going on)

>> being set off into tears or a tantrum when anything goes wrong>> reaching for booze (or your escape of choice -e.g. food, cannabis, social media, retail therapy, etc.) as a coping mechanism

>> getting sick more often and wounds that won’t heal>> lacking motivation to work out, opting for another episode on Netflix instead

Stress affects how you think, feel, and behave. It manifests as full body fatigue, making workouts feel harder, as digestive issues like heartburn, stomachaches, and as a foggy brain, leaving you scattered, impulsive, touchy, and doubting yourself. It also wrecks your libido and, for another night in a row, you find yourself reaching for the ice cream instead of your partner.

Particularly in 2020, stress can be rooted in feelings of overwhelm and a lack of control.

But, here’s the good news: When it comes to your health, there’s a lot you CAN control during this time to replenish the body.

>>Assess your current stress load. The perceived stress scale (google it) is a widely used tool for this. Often we don’t realize we’re stressed until we quantify it.

>>Identify stressors which can be physical, psychological or even chemical. Financial concerns or an endless to-do list may be obvious, while others, like over training and toxic body care products are easier to overlook. It all adds up.

>>Now, are there any you can remove or lessen? The body will balance itself when we remove the roadblocks.

>>Incorporate restorative practices. Some stress is unavoidable so intentional stress relief is essential. I invite clients to create an ala carte menu of options such as exercise, time in nature, meditation, journaling, breathwork, & yoga.

>>Reduce stress via your nutrition by eating enough, balancing blood sugar with fat & protein & fiber, & reducing stimulants. Once diet and lifestyle is addressed, you can consider supplements, like adaptogens.

Take stress seriously. I’ve seen clients find reserves of energy, release stubborn weight, redefine their relationship with sugar/alcohol/caffeine, clear up brain fog, wake up motivated, and much more by addressing stress.

And lastly, I invite you to give yourself a break. If you’re feeling like everything is a little harder than normal right now, you’re not lazy. You’re a human. Which means your human body is susceptible to the effects of stress and it needs rest and nourishment.

Ready to take the next step on your path to optimal health? Connect with me here.

How to Keep Your Body Adventure Ready


Does the following sentiment resonate with you? 

“I want to be capable of doing what I love until my last day on Earth.”

I was recently having a conversation with a friend in the long distance hiking community about the concept of being a lifelong adventurer.

This is someone for whom adventure is an essential component of your identity. The adventure itself may take different forms throughout different times in your life, but the underlying spirit remains the same. For the lifelong adventurer, your excursions aren’t a “once in a lifetime” thing. They’re necessary for you to feel fully expressed and self-actualized.  

You do your best to get out there summer after summer. Living out of your car. Going days without showering. Well, maybe not living out of your car anymore. Or maybe you are. Either way, no shame in that. You do what you need to do to live a life that is meaningful to you.

While the adventures may look slightly different than they did a decade or two ago, you have no intention of stopping until your last breath. And having the health to do what you love, whether that’s hiking, biking, climbing, or just feeling good running around the yard with your labradoodle, is essential.

This hiking friend was telling me about how after he turned 40, he started noticing that he didn’t have quite the stamina he used to have and that he felt more stiff in the mornings. He’d started taking some supplements we discussed (more on that in a moment) and he shared how it helped him continue to crank out 30-40 mile days and recover faster after back to back to back hard days in the mountains.

Similarly, I worked with a woman who pushed her body running ultras in her early 30s and was now struggling with low motivation and lack of energy during runs and hikes. We developed a protocol to support her adrenals so that she has the energy to keep getting after it for years to come.

It got me thinking about the best ways to care for the body, that precious vessel, so that it’s capable of accessing wild places for decades to come. 

Here are 5 keys to keeping your body fit for adventure: 

Eat for longevity.

I talk about this topic ad nauseam, so I’ll keep it brief. Focus on whole foods. Include loads of antioxidant rich foods (think fruits & veggies). Keep blood sugar balanced by including fat, protein, and fiber at each meal. Remember, you don’t need to be perfect. Just shoot for 80/20 and know that what you put in your body 3 times per day makes a HUGE difference in how you feel and what you’re capable of in pretty much every area of life.

Manage stress.

Chronically high stress creates chronically elevated cortisol, which wreaks havoc on the mind & body, including weight gain, memory impairment, heart disease, digestive issues, depression, anxiety, and more. Life is wild. One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to set aside 10-20 minutes per day for intentional stress relief. Whether that’s a walk in nature, meditation, journaling, or a snuggle with your cat, find what works for you and make space for it. 

Supplement wisely.

Nutritionally speaking, we know that the body requires certain levels of nutrients to function optimally. We also know that due to the abundance of nutritionally poor foods available today, many of us do not get the daily requirements of several key nutrients. Furthermore, chronic illness, gut dysbiosis, exposure to toxins, stress, and heavy physical demands on the body all deplete nutrient stores more quickly.

As discussed above in regards to my friends, finding the right supplements to support your body can make a big difference. Getting blood work done is the best way to know where your current levels are and to determine what you may need. However, there are some supplements that can benefit nearly everyone.

I created a whole free guide about this which you can download here. It’s important to note that I’m not a doctor and you should educate yourself and make your own decisions. Side note: I wrote about the supplements I took on the CDT here

Train in seasons & learn to listen to your body.

I used to run 7-10 miles every single day. That eventually burnt out my adrenals and led to overuse injuries. Looking back, my body was sending me countless signals that it was not happy with what I was doing.

Have different ‘seasons’ for how you train. In the summer you might go harder because the days are longer and the weather is conducive to getting out more. In the winters, you may slow down and give your body time to rest and rebuild. Tune in and honor your body so it will keep going for years to come.

Personalize your approach.

An important component to remaining active and healthy in the long run is learning about your unique body. What foods does your body do best with? What types of exercise? What types of living environments? What supplements? How much social time do you need? 

When we’re not doing what’s best for our unique bodies in any of these areas, it can lead to inflammation, which has a cascade of negative effects on the body and is at the root of nearly every chronic disease. Take the time to learn what your body thrives on and honor that. 

Aging doesn’t have to be a slow decline into a sedentary life where the highlight of your day is watching the Price is Right (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the point is that if you want to live an adventurous life, you can!). With a bit of attention and self care, you can absolutely keep doing what you love for the rest of your life.

Your body is incredibly resilient and powerful!

Ready to take the next step on your journey? Let’s connect.

Dealing with energy slumps & cravings during a pandemic

relax digestion

Have you found it harder to stick with healthy habits with everything that’s been going on in the world recently?

Perhaps working from home has kept you more sedentary than normal, the fridge is just a few steps away anytime you need a procrastination snack, and alcohol feels a bit more tempting than usual.

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I’ve heard this from a lot of clients recently.

If you’ve been trying to get back on track, I have a quick story to share and I’m curious if you can relate:

“I know what I should do, but I’m just not doing it.”

A client recently said this to me with guilt in her voice during our first session.

This smart, talented, driven woman explained to me how she “failed” at keto, at veganism, at going paleo, and with fasting. She told me how her body must be broken. And how she has no willpower.

She starts the day fasting, with the best of intentions. She eats a salad for lunch, and by mid afternoon, she’s on her 3rd espresso, dragging through the last meeting of the day. She eats her “clean” dinner only to end the night at the bottom of a pint of ice cream, in a puddle of shame and frustration. How did this happen again?

She doesn’t understand why she can’t “stick to her diet.”

This breaks my heart because not only is she not seeing the results from the effort she’s putting in, but she’s feeling like a failure in the process. On top of all the other stress she’s dealing with, she’s feeling like her health is a struggle as well.

She wants more energy, better mental health, and to lose a bit of weight, but it feels like nothing is working.  

Here’s the truth I tell her:

Your body is NOT broken. You DO NOT have a willpower problem.

Diets, food rules, and restriction do👏not👏work👏long term.

When you give yourself too many rules, the natural inclination is to resist and rebel. Only once you stop the steady stream of shoulds running through your mind, does space open up to hear what your body actually needs and wants.

If a certain style of eating is not satiating you, keeping you energized, nourishing your skin, hair, and hormones, and keeping your mind sharp, you haven’t failed at the diet. The diet has failed you. Just because something works for your boyfriend or aunt Becky doesn’t mean it’s right for you.

We’re all biochemically unique. But, in a world where we’re bombarded with so many “shoulds” around what we’re supposed to be eating, we forget that our own bodies actually know best. Imagine that 🤔

So, first and foremost, to make sticking with healthy habits easier, find out what works for your unique body. This goes for food, but also for exercise, supplements, stress management, etc. 

Additionally, here are 3 tips that you can implement today to regulate appetite and keep energy levels steady, especially in times of higher stress.

*Eat 20-30 grams of protein within an hour of waking.

As this study indicates, eating a higher protein breakfast can decrease levels of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. It also slows stomach emptying, which means you stay satiated longer and have more consistent energy. This keeps you from reaching for that donut an hour after breakfast.  

By the way, if you intermittent fast and it’s working for you, keep on keepin’ on. Fasting works for some bodies and not others, particularly female bodies. It can raise cortisol which is counterproductive to your goals and lead to binges later in the day. So, if you’ve tried fasting and you’re not seeing results, try a different approach.

*Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day. 

Fiber keeps you full longer, stabilizes blood sugar, and supports a healthy microbiome. This can support a reduction in cortisol output. A healthy and diverse microbiome also means fewer sugar cravings. Most Americans get about 15 grams per day, by the way, so try tracking for a day or two to see how much you normally get. Go for whole food sources, like veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.


Thirst often masquerades as hunger. Whether on trail or off, start your day with at least a liter of water. Add sea salt and lemon, if it’s available, for a boost in minerals and energy. Drinking water before eating breakfast or a sugary snack ensures that you’re not confusing hunger for thirst. Staying hydrated also helps you avoid unnecessary blood sugar swings, keeping you from craving more sugar. Shoot for half your weight (in pounds) in ounces of water.

Getting your healthy food habits dialed in lays the foundation to build the other health habits on top of that. You have more energy and motivation for your workouts. When you’re feeling better from better food choices, you’re less tempted by the alcohol or the cookies.

In terms of improved energy and less cravings, these tips can work for you whether you’re at home or out on a wilderness adventure. 

You deserve a full, adventurous life (whatever that means to you!) and it starts with having a healthy mind and body. 

And it can be more simple than you’ve been led to believe. Which is why I do the work that I do: to take my own years of struggle and use it to support you in deepening your understanding of how food works in YOUR body so that you create the health you need to do whatever matters to you.

Ready to collapse the timeline on your health goals? Start here.

Daily Women’s Wellness

womens wellness

During turbulent times, one of the most simple, yet powerful, ways to remain afloat is by focusing on small daily acts of self care. Daily wellness routines need not take up a lot of time and can serve as the anchors that hold you in place when it feels like the waves of life are pushing you every which way. 

As a woman, you may tend to put your own wellbeing on the backburner as you support everyone around you. However, to show up fully for others, it’s important to “put your own oxygen mask on first” as the adage goes. Incorporating a few key practices (what I refer to as stability anchors) in your day can have a big impact on your sense of groundedness and wellbeing. Stability anchors don’t have to be elaborate, time-consuming rituals; they just need to anchor you into yourself and the present moment.

What are your stability anchors? How can you start by adding just one more into your day today?

Here are some ideas to get you started: 

Consume a Nourishing Diet

How you feed your body throughout the day can be an act of self love. Food has a profound impact on your energy levels, your mood, and your mental clairy. Nourishing yourself does not require that you buy the most expensive superfoods available nor does it mean holding yourself to unrealistic standards and complicated food rules. 

Nourishing your body is about fueling in a way that makes you feel your best physically, mentally, and emotionally. Most women find that consuming a mostly whole food diet with balanced blood sugar meals containing protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates is a good starting point. Find what’s best for you and use your meal times as a way to practice self care.

Turn to Your Herbal Allies

Herbs can be a simple and effective cornerstone to your daily wellness routine. Two categories of herbs that can be particularly helpful during trying times are nervines, which have a restorative effect on the nervous system, and adaptogens, which help the body modulate the effects of stress. 

These herbs can be taken as teas, capsules, or tinctures, and can also be part of a mid-day wellness habit, such as a calming cup of mid-afternoon tea.

Carve Out “Me Time”

What sparks joy and makes you feel your best? Even if you only have 20 minutes available for yourself, it can make all the difference in your sense of wellbeing. Set this time aside in advance and make it non-negotiable. Use it for activities that fill your cup. Some ideas include going for a walk in nature, being in the sun, breathwork, meditation, journaling, or a cup of tea and inspirational reading. 

By creating small pockets of time throughout the day for mini wellness rituals, you can remain grounded and calm as the world swirls around you.

Ready to take the next step in your journey? Schedule a free strategy call here

Sleep Strategies to Boost Immunity


Could a lack of sleep be impacting the strength of your immune system?

Folk wisdom has long promoted the belief that “sleep helps the body heal”. Over the past 15 years, a  growing body of research has accumulated supporting the popular wisdom that sleep regulates the immune system and enhances immune defense. 

One mechanism for the impact of sleep on immunity is via the potential of sleep to improve the functioning of T cells, which are an important part of the immune system. Another way sleep impacts immunity is because sleep is when the body produces cytokines, a protein which targets infection and inflammation. Therefore, insufficient sleep equates to the production of fewer protective cytokines. 

Insufficient sleep -anything less than 7 hours per night for adults- is unfortunately common in our modern world. Many people struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, or to get quality sleep. In addition to immune system suppression, chronically poor sleep can contribute to diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, type II diabetes, and depression. 

Fortunately, there’s a lot that can be done to naturally support healthy sleep cycles. For better sleep and a well functioning  immune system, try the following tips: 

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene Throughout the Day

A healthy sleep practice starts as soon as you wake up. Start by maintaining a consistent wake time each day. To reset your circadian rhythm, which will support healthy sleep cycles at night, get exposure to natural light in the morning, ideally within an hour of waking.  

The habits you practice throughout the day also have a big impact on your sleep duration and quality. Give yourself a caffeine curfew, such as noon, or at the latest 2pm. This applies not only to coffee, but to caffeinated teas and even chocolate. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, preferably outside, and no more than four hours prior to bedtime. In the evenings, avoid alcohol and nicotine, and try to finish your last big meal at least 3 hours prior to bedtime.

Create a Sleep Sanctuary

Your sleep environment is an important component of a good night’s sleep. Keep your bedroom temperature on the slightly cooler side. Thermoregulation strongly impacts sleep cycles. Studies have found that the ideal room temperature for sleep is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 75 or below 54 will likely cause some difficulty sleeping.

Reduce ambient noise and light. Did you know that your skin actually has receptors all over the body that can pick up light? If there’s light in your bedroom, your body is picking it up and sending messages to your brain and organs that can interfere with your sleep. Use blackout curtains or tape the blinds to get the room as dark as possible. An eye mask and earplugs can also work wonders! 

Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding. Paint and decorate your bedroom in restful colors. Keep the bedroom for sex and sleep only and try to avoid doing work there. 

Create an Evening Routine

While morning routines are well-recognized for their ability to contribute to enhanced wellness, creating a wind down routine is just as powerful. As with wake time, aim to be consistent with your bedtime as well. Additionally, to reduce melatonin-disrupting blue light, avoid looking at screens 1-2 hours before bedtime. 

You can also draw from these tools to help you wind down:

  • An aromatherapy bath with epsom salts and lavender oil
  • Reading light fiction
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Stretching
  • Herbal support, such as adaptogens or nervine

Experiment with these strategies to find what gives you the best night’s sleep, knowing that you’re supporting a healthy immune system in the process!

Ready to take the next step in your journey? Schedule a free strategy call here

13 Mindset Habits for Success


Have you noticed how you can intellectually know all the practical actions you need to take to get the result you want, but you still don’t do it?

Of course! As Derek Sivers would say, “If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” But we’re not. Because you need more than information. More than just the formula. 

You need the belief system that will inspire you to take consistent action towards your goals, especially when you hit the inevitable obstacles. Without the right mindset, you’ll sabotage your own progress over and over again. Fortunately, cultivating an empowering belief system is something you can get better at with practice, at least it is according to Carol Dweck’s research on having a growth mindset.

Cultivating the right mindset is a key component to getting what you want, whether that’s losing 15 pounds, running a marathon, or writing your best-selling novel. For the purpose of this post, I’ll define mindset as a collection of thought habits and beliefs that shape how you interpret and interact with the world. 

Mindset Habits for Success

Here are 13 mindset habits which I see in my most successful clients, in the top performers I study, and which I strive to cultivate in myself.

  1. Focus on the Gain (the progress you’ve made) vs the Gap (how far you have to go). Where were you a year ago? What have you accomplished? Pat yourself on the back!
  1. Get back on track quickly. Goal progress is rarely linear. Sometimes you get off course. Recovery quickly. Don’t make it mean something about you. It’s just part of the journey. Just keep moving forward.
  1. Curate your consumption. This applies to every area of life, including the food that fuels your mind and your adventures, the media you consume, the relationships you imbibe. Everything you take in is impacting you on some level. For everything, ask is this helping me become the person I want to be or not?
  1. Focus on process over result. Knowing where you’re headed is important, but once you set your sights, focus your energy on the day to day actions. Like a thru-hike, progress happens one step at a time. Looking at the finish line too often can overwhelm you.
  1. Prioritize and optimize your energy above all else. It’s your most precious resource. Do something daily just because it feels good and restores your energy. This is a true expression of self love and it’s not woo. It literally primes your brain for more consistent positive decisions.
  1. Be weird. If you want an average life, do what everyone else is doing. If you want an extraordinary life, do things your way. Let go of caring what other people think and instead focus on creating the life you want. 
  1. Clarity comes from action. You might not know the best way forward, but moving 100 mph in the wrong direction is better than staying stuck in analysis paralysis. Take action, get feedback, iterate, move forward.
  1. Your past is not your future. Even if you’ve tried and ‘failed’ at a goal multiple times before, use the failure as feedback of the path that doesn’t work. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb.
  1. Ask for help. None of us achieves everything alone. Getting support in your goal can help you hit goals 100x faster than you could alone, figuring it all out yourself. Before you take advice from the random guy in the internet forum, ask yourself if he has the result you’re seeking.  
  1. Don’t wait for motivation to strike. Mood follows action, not the other way around. Act in the direction of your goals and the motivation will follow. 
  1. Focus on getting the basics right and push back on complexity. You don’t need a more complicated diet or $200 running shoes to get the body you want. Have you mastered the basics? Are you eating mostly real food? Are you committed to 30 minutes of walking each day? Start there. Put your attention on a strong foundation.
  1. Commit to higher vision for yourself. You’re here to live an extraordinary life. You’re totally capable. It’ll take effort. Recommit to your vision daily and take action. 
  1. Define the outcome clearly. It’s hard to get to where you want to go if you don’t know where that is. The brain needs a target to aim for. Be specific.

Which of these do you already embody? Which would you like to adopt? Remember that changing your mindset is a matter or repetition and practice. When you catch yourself in a limiting thought loop, pause, and re-frame the thought to some believable, yet more empowering. Little by little, you’ll upgrade your thoughts and your entire life.  

Ready to take the next step on your journey to your best life? Schedule a free Health Made Simple Strategy call to apply to work with me.

Finding Weight Balance & Preparing for Adventure

Three key changes this client made to return to his high school weight, increase energy, and live a life that’s “off the charts.”  

I always find other peoples’ stories inspiring, so this week I want to offer a case study of one of my clients who’s been crushing his health goals in preparation for a challenging autumn hike in Colorado. 

Joe is a well educated, high achieving executive in his late 40s with a history of success in many areas of life. He was already in a relatively good place in his health, but wanted to break through a weight loss plateau and reach the next level of what his body could achieve. He was tired of looking in the mirror and feeling disappointed. He was tired of restricting, dieting, and overexercising but not seeing the results. He had adventure plans and was ready to collapse the timeline and finally start feeling good.

Here are the changes we worked on together:  

>>Dial in a unique nutrition plan.

There is no one size fits all diet. Finding a sustainable way of eating for you involves finding which foods support health for your body and which don’t. It also involves learning how different macronutrients affect your body.

Joe increased his protein intake to an appropriate level for his age and fitness level. He shifted away from processed foods and into eating more whole foods, which kept him full between meals and balanced his blood sugar and hormones. He got off the restrict and binge cycle and developed a healthier relationship with food and his body (more below on how he did that). He stopped focusing on the weight as much and learned to trust his body.

>>Incorporate lifestyle changes beyond diet.

We evaluated all areas of Joe’s life, including his fitness, sleep, and stress levels. He made changes which reduced how much cortisol he was producing, which was responsible for fatigue, weight gain, and anxiety. Joe began a regular meditation practice and stopped running hard every day. He prioritized sleep and made time to relax, often in nature.  

>>Shift mindset + underlying patterns.

Long term results hinge on shifting not just diet and lifestyle habits, but on looking at how you make decisions for your health and why you choose to treat your body the way you do. Joe had a history of disordered eating behaviors. I’ve been there and I know how frustrating it is to know the decisions you want to make for yourself but to not follow through.

Once he was on a whole food nutrition plan that satiated him and supported his physiology, we could address the mindset and triggers that were keeping him from hitting his goals. Restriction, skipping meals, and stress are common scenarios that lead to binges. He learned other forms of emotional coping. He learned to slow down so that he could hear the feedback from his body. He learned to tune into what his body needed and to trust it. 

All of this was incorporated in a way that fit Joe’s life and supported the creation of new habits. 

In summary, cookie cutter strategies don’t work.

Joe was able to achieve the health he was after by customizing his diet for his unique needs, adjusting his macronutrient ratios, tuning into his body, reducing cortisol through lifestyle changes, and by removing the beliefs and triggers that were keeping him in a cycle of self sabotage. 

Hopefully this inspires you to know that you can have the health, the body, and the adventurous life you desire at any stage and age of life. It takes strategy + mindset shifts, but it’s absolutely possible!

Ready to take the next step towards a healthier you? Schedule a complimentary Health Made Simple Strategy Call to see if we’re a good fit to work together.

We’ll discuss your health aspirations and a potential plan for how to move you closer to those goals. We’ll see if we’re a good client-coach fit and you’ll come away with clarity on next steps, whether or not we decide to work together. Why wait another day to have a healthy body so you can have more energy to go on that dream trip?

Related Posts:

How to Optimize Sports Recovery

 Hit Your Health Goals Faster: 6 Mistake to Avoid

How to Hike More Miles in a Day

Hit Your Health Goals Faster: 6 Mistakes to Avoid


This post is about how to fast track your health goals without using restrictive diets or overexercising. If you like this, make sure to get in touch over on my Facebook community, Holistic Health for the Avid Adventurer, where we cover topics just like this one. If you’re interested in strategic 1-1 support, you can also apply to work with me. I would love to work with you now or in the future! ~Katie

I used to wake up at 5:30 to run 5-10 miles before working a full 12+ hour day as a baker. I was eating what the health magazines told me was the perfect diet. I counted calories. I cut carbs. I tracked my macros.

I didn’t know how I could be any more “perfect” with my health habits. And STILL, I was struggling with chronic fatigue, creeping weight gain, anxiety, and low energy on my runs.

In short, I was giving it everything I had and I still wasn’t experiencing the results I was after.  It’s disheartening to feel like you’re giving it your all and you’re not getting anywhere. I was overwhelmed with conflicting nutrition information and how to sort through it. I just wanted energy, strength, and endurance for my day to day life and also for my outdoor adventures.  

After trying and failing at many different approaches, I want to share with you the mistakes I made and the lessons learned when it comes to creating a wellness routine you can maintain for life; one that will allow you to have the energy, weight balance, mood, focus, and freedom you need to pursue big adventures in life. 

Mistake #1: I was overcomplicating it. 

I got caught up in what the media and different outside sources (even ‘professionals’) were telling me to do and I forgot that my body knows best. I was overriding signals of hunger and exhaustion to tame my body into submission. That’s not sustainable. The true process of coming to peace with food and my body was in learning how to pay attention to the feedback my body was giving me. Listening to hunger and fullness cues. Taking rest when I need it. These are a few of many examples.

When I pay attention to my body and trust what it’s telling me, I don’t need to follow strict eating rules or avoid entire food groups. With the focus on whole foods, cravings dissipate, taste buds adjust, the body regulates itself, and food no longer consmes every thought. 

Mistake #2: I was looking for the “perfect diet”. 

After much trial and error, I learned that there is no “perfect diet”. There are foods that work for your body and where you are in your life and for your current goals. The optimal diet for you may shift over time. That’s why I no longer give meals plans, and instead teach clients how to tune in to their body to see how it responds to different foods and macro nutrients and at different times of day. This gives you freedom from ‘food rules’ created by someone who knows nothing about you or your body.

Mistake #3: I thought fewer calories and more exercise would help me hit my goals.

This belief definitely slowed me down on my health path. It also caused my adrenals to tank and my hormones (especially thyroid) to get thrown out of whack. This caused a cascade of unpleasant symptoms like an autoimmune disease, fatigue, hair loss, weight loss resistance, and depression. 

Here’s why: Your body needs to know you’re safe. This is especially true for women. When you starve yourself or train too hard, it signals to your body that you’re in danger. You shift out of parasympathetic dominance (rest+digest mode), where humans are meant to spend the majority of time, and into sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze) overdrive. This causes stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to be released in the body.

Excess cortisol causes all sorts undesirable effects like fatigue, headaches, weight gain, lowered immunity, anxiety, and much more. 

Mistake #4: I thought being healthy was all about diet and exercise.

What you eat and how you move is important, but there are other factors that play a big role as well. Specifically, sleep and stress levels matter more than you think. Sunlight, time in nature, and a reflective practice also contribute to overall wellness. Again, the reason relates to how these components affect your hormones, most specifically cortisol. Lack of sleep and excess stress in any form (emotional, physical, chemical) raise cortisol levels. See Mistake #3 for why that matters. 

Mistake #5: I didn’t define my outcome clearly.

To be honest, I got caught in the trap of thinking that the number on the scale was the metric that told me whether or not I was healthy. And while weight can be one component of health, when I think about my long term vision of a healthy life, it’s about feeling strong, free, present, and capable. Redefining what health means to me freed me from being trapped by someone else’s expectations. 

Mistake #6: I didn’t look deeper into WHY I was self-sabotaging.

When I would sabotage my goals by overeating or simply not engaging in self care, I thought it was just because I was a failure or had no willpower. When I began to unpack this, I realized that, as cliche as it sounds, I wasn’t truly loving myself. Any change that came from a place of self hate instead of self compassion wasn’t going to be effective. I had to look at where I picked up the programming that told me I wasn’t lovable unless I looked a certain way or ran enough miles or etc etc. Exploring what’s blocking you on an emotional and subconscious level is where lasting change starts.

In summary, I hope that seeing some of the mistakes I’ve made when it comes to achieving true health will help you to collapse the timeline on your own health goals, so that you can ditch the dieting, drop the obsession, and have a wellness routine that’s sustainable for life and gives you the vitality you desire.

PS. I’ve turned these lessons into a holistic methodology I use to guide private clients through this (and MUCH MORE) while customizing these concepts to your unique life and circumstances. It’s geared towards providing busy, ambitious, high achievers with a SIMPLIFIED health strategy that creates REAL results.

Ready to take the next step in your health journey? Apply to work with me.

Shifting out of Fear, Anxiety, and Depression

This post provides practical physical, mental, and emotional tools you can use TODAY to start shifting out of emotions, like fear, anxiety, and depression. If you like this, stay in touch over in my Facebook community, Holistic Health for the Avid Adventurer, where I do free trainings on topics like this one. If you’re interested in strategic 1-1 support, schedule a free call and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. I would love to help you achieve your goals now or in the future! ~ Katie

There was a time in my life when I lacked the motivation to even get out of bed. I felt hopeless and overwhelmed. I knew I wasn’t living the life I wanted to, but I didn’t know how to get out of my rut. I wanted to make better decisions for myself, and when I failed to do so, day after day, I would feel even more frustrated.

This cycle repeated itself until I finally started to make tiny shifts each day, which compounded, eventually resulting in an entirely new way of experiencing my day to day life. Having been in and out of this cycle multiple times, it’s now easier to recognize when I’m falling into a funk, and I now have a set of tools that get be back into an optimal state more quickly.

Having a toolkit of  physical practices and mental frameworks provides a means to move through these challenging emotions and into a place of greater personal power. From there, I’m much more effective at supporting those around me and acting in alignment with my truth. 

This post goes into some of those tools that have helped me shift out of anxiety, fear, anger, and despair. Feel free to take what works for you and leave the rest.

For a long time, I fell into the trap of believing that my mental and emotional suffering wasn’t “severe enough” to be worth addressing. I now realize that suffering is relative, and the world needs each of us feeling our best so we can show up to do the work we’re here to do, whether that’s through our jobs, or as parents, or by sharing our stories, etc. 

It’s important to note that our physical, emotional, and mental health are intricately intertwined. When one is suffering, the other pillars inevitably suffer as well. For instance, when you’re treating your body like crap, you’re less emotionally and mentally resilient. We’ll get more into why that is in a minute. 

Finally, I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t feel our emotions. I think it’s important to feel, to acknowledge, and to work through them, but not to get stuck in them.

Why do I feel like crap?

Before I get into the practices that help move me into a better mental and emotional state, here are some factors I’ve identified that consistently contribute to feeling less than ideal. When I notice myself in a slump, I can usually find one or more of these at play.

  • I’m caring too much about fitting in or meeting someone else’s expectations or being “perfect” … essentially, I’m giving other people’s/society’s opinions too much weight.
  • I’m hyper focused on myself, my needs, and my own experience.
  • I’m taking myself too seriously.
  • I’m creating the illusion that I’m alone.
  • I’m viewing my own sensitivity as a weakness rather than a gift.
  • I’m acting out of alignment with my value system.
  • I’m not supporting my physical body (e.g. under- or overeating; not enough sun; not getting out in nature; not making time for rest and pleasure.

Based on the above, you might guess that some of the strategies for moving into a different state are essentially the opposite of the root causes.

How do I shift my mental and emotional state?

Physical Practices

  • Focus on eating real food. This means whole foods, like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and salmon. Cut back on hormone-disrupting, inflammatory foods, like processed sugar. Quit dieting. Learn how to tune into genuine hunger and how to stop when satiated. For an explanation on why real food supports better mental health, read up on the food-mood connection, the role of the microbiome in neurotransmitter production, and the effects of blood sugar stabilization on mood. 
  • Don’t overcaffeinate.  
  • Move the body daily, from a place of joy, not punishment. 
  • Daily time in nature, ideally with some skin exposed to the sunlight. 
  • Serve others. Even if that just means holding the door for someone. 

Emotional + Mindset Practices

  • Give up perfectionism. As Brene would say, “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be, and embrace who you are”. Perfection is a myth and chasing it stems from a feeling of not being ‘enough’, just as I am. So, I focus on the root of why that feeling is there in the first place.
  • Daily practices that rewire my brain towards seeing the positive. The negativity bias is the notion that we’re hard-wired to look for dangers and threats in our environment. For me, a daily journal session focused on anything that’s going right in my life (even if it’s the tiniest thing) slowly trains my brain to find the positive. 
  • Cultivate resilience by framing challenges as lessons and as an essential part of becoming my most whole, expressed self.
  • Raise my self awareness through personal development work.
  • Reframe sensitivity and empathy as a gift and learn to set boundaries appropriately.
  • Define what matters to me and what my values are. Act accordingly.
  • Zoom out to see the bigger picture. I have a Pale Blue Dot print which reminds me that this life is short and fleeting, and that my ‘problems’ are probably not as big as they seem in the grand scheme of things. 

Is it selfish to spend time on self care?

I believe that having compassion for others goes hand in hand with having compassion for ourselves. When I take care of myself, I’m better equipped to take care of others. Remember, it’s not selfish to put your own oxygen mask on first.

Related Posts:

Staying grounded during times of uncertainty

Stress eating: Why we do it and how to stop

The impact of happiness on health & how to create more of it