5 Self Care Tips to Reduce Anxiety

When you find yourself stressed out and full of anxiety, life becomes harder and can make every day activities like your job, your sleep, your interaction with your loved ones and community, debilitating and may create even more stress.

Here are 5 tips that I have applies to my life and have shared with my clients to help them to reduce their own stress and anxiety and I hope that one or all five of these help you as well!

  1. Focus on your Breathing: Your breath is the key to your balance and can make a huge difference in how your body responds.  I’ve found that most people don’t even know how to properly breathe.  One exercise that I would encourage you to do is to place one hand on your chest/heart and one hand on your belly.  Inhale for 5 seconds, focusing on filling your belly/diaphragm with as much air as possible, then exhale completely for 10 seconds. Repeat this pattern for 2 minutes, working your way up to 5 minutes at a time.  Trust me, this one is a game changer! I do it before I go to bed after a long and stressful day.
  2. Listen to Music that Creates Good Vibes & Feelings: Music is such an emotive thing and can evoke positive feeling or negative feelings. You can change how you feel by listening to music and I’d suggest that you listen to songs that make you feel happy or that evoke happy memories. Create a playlist and listen to it daily, especially on your way into stressful situations/environments like a meeting or even family dinners (in the event that all of your family dinners come with a side of family drama :))
  3. Exercise and Move Your Body: Sometimes transferring the heavy, stressful, and anxious energy that you are holding inside into something physical can be an amazing thing.  Physical activity can release feel good hormones that combat stress and make you feel better, even if your situation doesn’t change. Try going for a walk or taking a workout class or just putting on some music and dance like no one is watching!
  4. Spend Time with Good People:  Do you have people in your life who make you smile or laugh until you almost pee your pants? Do you have people in your life who make you feel better and loved by simply being in their presence? FIND THOSE PEOPLE AND SPEND AS MUCH TIME WITH THEM! Don’t use this quality time with them to whine and complain, instead focus on the good – laugh until you pee your pants, embrace and hug until you release your tears, enjoy a meal that fills your heart and your belly.
  5. Fill and Fuel your Body with Healthy Food: When you’re stressed, your body and digestive system may not be working as properly as you would want and I know it may feel good to indulge in foods that don’t support and fuel your body, but try your best to eat healthier options.  Support your body and help it to maintain balance by fueling it with healthy foods. Check out  my free Clean Eating Guide ebook for recipes and ideas and you’ll also get access to my free Clean Eating Accountability Facebook group where I share some of my healthiest recipes.

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful for you in managing your stress and anxiety.

3 Tips to Get Out of Your Funk

I don’t know what is going on these days, but I’ve been speaking with a lot of my clients and friends who have said they are feeling “Blah!” when it comes to their jobs, their relationships (or lack thereof), their finances, their family, and their health/fitness. I don’t what it is, but I wanted to share my 3 tips that have helped me and I’ve already heard back from a few who have said my tips have helped them.

In the video below, I break it down into the following:

  1. Get Clarity in what you want.  If you are unhappy, it’s important to know exactly you are unhappy about and what exactly you want to change.
  2. Get Organized and clear the clutter. When our life, house, minds, fridge, etc is packed with clutter, it can create more anxiety and stress about the current situation and it can prevent us from seeing opportunities and possibilities to change ourselves, our situation or our perspective.
  3. Get a Goal that you can use to focus your attention and energy.  Once you know what you want to change and you have created space for change to happen, you have to take action by moving forward in a positive direction.

Watch the video to get a bit more about these tips and to help you get on track to getting out of your funk!

10 Tips to Successful Self Care

Happy girlHappy September, did you know that this month has been dubbed #SelfCareSeptember? I personally thought that this was so fitting as this month, I am focusing on Self Care and doing a the new online yoga program, 3 Week Yoga Retreat, and the 21 Day Ultimate Reset detox program. So, I figured that I would also do my best to focus on other areas of Self Care and want to challenge you to do the same.

You don’t have to do all 10 of these, but you should definitely think about adding a few these into your daily regimen, because taking care of yourself is critical.  Most people think that “Self Care” means being selfish, but I promise you, it’s the complete opposite. If you are stressed out that opens up the door to a bunch of things like poor sleeping patterns, poor eating and fitness habits, negative emotions, strained relationships and finances, and the list goes on and on. When you make self care a priority, you will find that your life is more balanced, you have more energy, and you are finding that your health, finances, relationships, and everything in between will improve!

Here are my tips for Successful Self Care

  1. Start your day with Gratitude: Gratitude is a big part of living an abundant life, when we focus on things to be grateful for, I believe, that we receive more things to be grateful for.  Find 3 things each day that you can be grateful for and if you can’t think of anything, simply waking up, having a sound mind, and an opportunity to make a positive impact in the world.
  2. Take a Morning Moment: Each morning, I take a moment to reflect on the day ahead, it helps to remove any anxiety about what is to come, but it gives me a chance to plan a head, set my intentions, and remove any negativity. My morning moment typically includes prayer, journaling, meditation, or reading the bible. Try to do one thin
  3. Eat Healthy & Nourishing Meals: The food that you put into your body is the fuel that runs your body and if you are putting junk and crap into your body, you can’t expect to have high energy to run your day.  I personally ensure that every morning my breakfast is healthy and nourishing, because that sets the tone for the rest of the day. Try adding more greens, lean protein, whole grains to your diet and limiting the processed, refined junk food for September.
  4. Fill your brain with Positivity: There is so much “crap” on the news, media, and on social media that can bog us down, but I am challenging you to fill your mind with positivity.  Each day, I read or listen to Personal Development to make sure that I’m developing myself.  You can find a podcast or audio book to listen to on the way to work or while you’re walking the dog, you can read 10 pages of a book, or even watching more positive movies and TV and listening to more positive radio stations.
  5. Drink Water: Hydration is a big part to feeling and looking great, your body uses water for a ton of reasons and a few years ago when I struggling, drinking water was a big part of feeling better.  You should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. To spice it up, add fresh fruit to your water.
  6. Move your body for at least 30 Minutes: The idea of being holed up in a gym for hours is not necessary for getting great results, I tell my clients to simply move your body doing anything that gets your heart rate up and that you enjoy, can have the same benefits.  Find a dance or zumba class, go for a walk with a friend, or try a new fitness program. Exercise helps to reduce stress, blood pressure, and increase bone density, improve your mood, and make you feel better.
  7. Spend some time alone: In a time where we are always connected, it’s nice to be able to disconnect and spend some time with yourself to check in with yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long time, even 5 minutes of alone time can help to clear your mind and provide a bit of peace in a stressful day.  I like to sit outside and have a green tea or take a bath for 20 minutes or sometimes I take myself out on a date, yup a movie or dinner for one and just enjoy myself!
  8. Spend quality time with loved ones:  There is emphasis on the world “quality” when you are spending time with your family, friends, spouse, etc, it’s important that you are present in that moment. Solid connection with people, when you are present in the moment, can lift your spirits like none other. So put the phone away, let work be done with for the day (or at least that moment) and focus on the people that you are spending time with.  Take time to share about your day (the highlights), laugh over funny moments and memories, eat dinner together, or lay on the couch and watch a funny show together. Call up a friend and chat for a bit and be focused on enjoying the moment.
  9.  Spend Time In Nature: Nature recharges me and living in San Francisco, with so many beautiful hikes and trails and the bay surrounding me, has done wonders for my peace of mine.  But even if you don’t have access to a breathtaking trail, you can find a nice park or take the scenic route home and roll the windows down to enjoy nature.  One of my clients, before coming into the house after work, she sits on the hood of her car for 5 minutes to simply listen to nature – birds chirping, the insects buzzing.  Another one of my clients can witness the most perfect sunsets in the WalMart parking lot by her house. Find your way to connect with nature and let it recharge you.
  10. End your day with Peace: How you start your day and end your day matter. Ending your day with peace is a surefire way to have a restful night of sleep where your body can regenerate and you wake up feeling ready to tackle the day.  Set a “shut down” time where you turn off the TV, the phone interactions, and other connections with electronics.  Start to unwind and relax. You may want to lay out your clothes for the next day, or create your to do list for the next day so your mind isn’t buzzing about what you have to do, because you can have peace that you have a plan for tomorrow, or simply lay in bed and read a book or do a guided meditation.

Give one or all of these a try for the month of #SelfCareSeptember and see how your life changes!

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reach Your Weight Loss Goals 


Many people think that there is a perfect time to get on track to lose weight and get healthy, but the reality is, “someday” usually never comes. If you are infamous for saying “I’ll start someday”, I want to give you 3 things you can do today that will get you into action to start your successful journey of losing weight and hopefully keeping it off for good! 

  1. Do a Kitchen Audit: This is one thing I do with my clients, because it forces them to take immediate action and it eliminates temptation to fall off track. We pull out everything from their fridge and pantry and go through each item to determine if we keep it, throw it away or donate it. We keep the foods that are clean and not overly processed. We throw away any expired or extremely unhealthy foods, and we donate any non-perishable goods that are not going to help them reach their goals. If there is no junk in the house, you won’t be tempted to eat it. 
  2. Start Tracking Your Food: When my clients start working with me, I ask them to write down everything the put into their mouth from breakfast to a breath mint. This helps me to get a better idea of what they are eating and to help me develop a better meal plan for them, but for the client it gives them a clear picture of how healthy they truly are eating. I find that most people believe that they eat healthier than they really do, which causes them to not take their nutrition as seriously as they should when making changes. 
  3. Make a commitment to yourself and share it with someone: We bend over backwards to make and keep our commitments to others but tend to flake on ourselves. Take a moment and think about one thing you plan to do that will lead to you being healthier and happier. Once you figure it out, write it down and then share it with someone or even better post it on Social Media and ask your network to hold you accountable. When you put it out into the open, it holds you accountable and it allows for others to support you. It can be hard to stay on track if you feel like you’re doing it alone. My most successful clients are those who have a strong support system. 

You don’t have to make big changes, to get amazing results, but you do have to take action! Give these tips a try and if you need more help with getting on track to reach your goals, connect with me on Facebook. 

Holiday Recovery Tea

 
The holidays are a time of family, friends, festivities and food. Along with that can come stress, colds, and the body needing some serious TLC. Here’s a simple drink that is perfect to drink first thing in the morning, after a big meal, or before going to bed.   

I call it Holiday Recovery Tea, because it is packed with detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bloating ingredients that will boost your immune system and soothe your body.  

Here is the recipe: 

  • 1/2 of a lemon, sliced 
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric 
  • 1 marble size knot of ginger
  • 2 dashes of cayenne pepper 

 

  1. Heat water in a kettle. 
  2. Combine honey, cinnamon, tumeric, and cayenne pepper into a teacup with a spoon.
  3. Add ginger and lemon to the honey and spice mixture. 
  4. Once the water is hot, pour on top of the mixture and let steep for 3-4 minutes. 
  5. Enjoy. Once, you’ve finished, you can add more hot water to keep enjoying.     

 

5 Tips To Get Up & Workout This Winter

12376700_10109900696187364_4999197646206342273_nIt’s raining here in San Fran, but that doesn’t mean the workouts have to stop! Here are a few tips to get motivated to workout.

1. SUCK IT UP! Success isn’t comfortable or convenient. The truth is, if you want to reach your goals, it will require you to do things that you don’t always want to do! Get dressed, and get it done!

2. Find a workout buddy. When I don’t feel like working out, I can usually rely on my girls Jessica  or Kylie  to workout with me and push me in a killer workout. I always dread it before, but never regret it after. Who’s your workout buddy? 

3. Review Your Goals and ask yourself “Why?”. Think about why is it important for you to reach your goals. How will your life change? How will you feel if you don’t reach your goal?

4. Reward Yourself. If you are motivated by positive reinforcement, give yourself a reward (not food!) for actually getting it together and working out.

5. Track & Review. Do yourself a favor and figure out a way to track your progress. You can either use photos, take weekly measurements or use an app tracker, to help keep you motivated.

The key is to look at how far you’ve come and keep the eye on the prize. Don’t let excuses keep you from being the better version of yourself. You got this!  If you are struggling to stay accountable this winter, join my next 30 Day Fitness & Clean Eating Accountability Challenge.  Click here to learn more! 

3 Hormones That Cause Belly Fat & How to Regulate Them!

One of the biggest frustrations that most people have with their bodies, is getting abs.  These are the hardest to achieve for most people especially when you are working hard with your fitness program, but there might some things that could be counteracting the work that is being done with your workouts.  
 
Your diet and your stress levels can cause you to carry more weight/fat around your midsection, no matter how many crunches you do.  Stress and diet play a major role in how your body regulates hormones and there are 3 in particular that are affected: 
 
  1. Cortisol: Better known as the “Stress Hormone” triggers fat storage.  If you are in a constant state of stress your body is creating a lot of cortisol, which reports have found is also responsible for overeating, thus creating more opportunities for your body to store fat. 
  2. Leptin: This hormone is produced by your fat cells and plays a role in appetite control. It can also slow down your metabolism. The best way to keep this hormone regulated is through eating clean.  Research has found that when you have too much sugar and highly processed foods in your diet, the hormone is overproduced and the body doesn’t respond to it properly. 
  3. Insulin:   This hormone pulls extra glucose from the bloodstream, but when you overload the body with (bad) carb-loaded meals or sugary drinks, your blood sugar levels spike, which causes your body to release insulin. Gaining weight can often lead to insulin resistance, which can make it hard for your body to remove the sugar from the bloodstream and store it as fat, particularly around the midsection. 
In short, you can help to better regulate and manage these hormones by doing the following: 
  • Adopting a Clean Eating regimen – which means eating real and whole foods instead of highly processed foods packed with chemicals and preservatives. Think fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains. Click here for my Clean Eating Guide. 
  • Get adequate sleep each night – your body is not a machine and needs rest to rebuild, restore and regenerate.  If you are not getting enough sleep, you can wreck havoc on your hormones and send them out whack. 
  • Breathe Properly – many people tend to take shallow breaths which is often called “Chest Breathing” which mimics panic in the body and can cause your body to produce more cortisol.  When you feel stressed or find yourself “chest breathing” take 3-5 deep breaths where you fill your belly with air by breathing through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. If you want to learn about a technique that I use sometimes, let me know and we can do it next time we work together. 
  • Take a Yoga Class – Yoga helps to destress the body, but it also does a great job of teaching you how to use your breath properly.  Trying a program like PIYO can help you to understand how to use your breath properly. 
  • Try Meditating – I started to listen to guided meditation podcasts before going to bed and it has helped me tremendously to manage my stress but to also get a better night’s rest. 

Hopefully, you find these tips to be helpful!   For more information or if you would like to set up time to chat about how to put a plan together to reach your health and fitness goals, click here! 

How to succeed in the midst of failure

Many times it can be hard to keep working towards your goal, when you find yourself constantly getting knocked down time and time again. This message is for anyone who is on the brink of giving up or wanting to quit. Watch this video then comment below with your declaration to get back up and give it another try.

What goals are you pushing toward? What will you do today to get back up and work towards that goal?

Be inspired.

The #1 Exercise to Lose Weight & Burn Fat

As a personal trainer and healthy lifestyle coach, I always get women who ask me what is my absolute favorite exercise for weight loss. Most women believe that Cardio is the best way to lose weight, and yes it a great part of the equation, but it is not the whole picture. If you want to turn your body into a Fat Burning Machine, it will require you to pick up a pair of weights and add resistance training to your fitness regimen.  I am a big fan of weight training, especially for women, because we typically stick with the cardio machines and aerobics classes.  These are all fine and dandy, but if you are looking to change, sculpt and define your body, you will need to add weight training.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get started with adding weight training to the equation, visit http://www.CoachingWithAllison.com and we can set up time to chat more about your goals and I can help you put a plan together!

How to be More Positive

I am a firm believer that what we speak is what we attract. If you are always complaining, nitpicking and speaking negativity, you will continue to attract more things to complain, nitpick and be negative about. So, why not try the opposite and focus on the positive side of things and use your words to express gratitude, positivity and appreciation? Wouldn’t life be much better if we could attract more positive things??? At the end of this video I offer up a little challenge, I would love to see how it goes!