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Meal Prepping 101

Meal Prepping and Planning

Trying to eat healthy seems overwhelming already then add daily stresses of work, trying to squeeze in a workout, having a family, and trying to have a life makes it feel impossible. Let’s face it, many of us having busy schedules, busy lifestyles, weeknight cooking constraints, or plain hunger getting the best of us wanting something now.

In comes meal planning and prepping. Scheduling or putting aside a block of time on the weekend to plan and prep for the week will save your sanity, save you money, save you from making bad choices, help with weight loss or muscle gain, and nourish your body with a healthy balanced meal. Meal prepping also helps you to eat more of a Whole Foods nutritious diet and less processed. You are also able to control what is in your food without the hidden or additional fats, sugars, and processed ingredients in a lot of out to eat meals.

How do you start meal planning and prepping for the week?

Step 1

Plan and schedule. Decide what you would like to have for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks. This can come through looking at Pinterest, searching online, or from your favorite cookbook. Make sure the meals are balanced and healthy. Then schedule some time that works for you on a weekend to prep and cook for the week, making sure you have plenty of leftovers to carry throughout the week. You might even have a little extra to throw in the freezer as a bonus.

Step 2

Cooking & Prep Time! In the beginning, try to not make it complicated. Keep it simple.

You can do batch cooking, make-ahead full meals, or prepare individual containers of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for grab and go for each day. You can also incorporate both, which I do to help switch things up and make life easier. I usually have breakfast prepared in individual containers, snacks, and some lunches when I am out and about but I also have Batch cooking done for dinners, optional lunch/snack days on switching things up. You will find out quickly by experimenting which options work best for you and your lifestyle.

Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas

Smoothies-Smoothies-Having cut up fruit, pints of berries, and frozen fruit makes it easy to throw in a blender to make the next day. Usually, a good base of a smoothie is nondairy or regular milk or yogurt, frozen fruit…banana is always my must-have ingredient for potassium and then I will throw another fruit of choice. Fruit is great for fiber, antioxidants, and much more nutritional factors. Then throw in a handful of Veggies like spinach or kale or cucumbers or carrots or beets. Believe it or not, the fruit overtakes the veggie taste if you are trying to incorporate more veggies but not a fan.

Here is an example recipe for one of my go too smoothies.

Pear-Delicious Green Smoothie

1 1/2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Banana (Frozen)
1 Pear
1 cup Baby Spinach
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Hemp Seeds or Flax Seeds (great for Omega-3s)
1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder (I use Vega One)
Blend all in a blender. If too thick you can add more liquid.

Serving Size -1

Overnight Oats or Cooked Oats-Overnight oats are an easy lazy way to prepare your Breakfast for the week. Throw in 1/2 cup of dry rolled oats & 1 cup of nondairy or regular milk. Then you can stir in yogurt if desired (use less milk), optional protein powder, fresh or frozen fruit, hemp/chia/flax seeds, and even nut butter. If you need a little sweetness you a drizzle maple syrup or chop dates in.

Chia Seed Pudding-Chia pudding is a great quick and easy breakfast to prepare the night before. This Breakfast is chock full of protein, Omega-3s, Fiber, and Antioxidants. If you are looking for a lower carb Breakfast, this a good choice as well. The best starter on making this healthy Breakfast is to add 1/2 cup of nondairy milk, 2 tbs of Chia seeds, 1tsp Vanilla, & a handful fruit of choice. You can also drizzle maple syrup or honey, even diced dates in for added sweetness.

Lunch & Dinner Meal Prep Ideas

Lunch and Dinner are generally easy as you can do batch cooking to have items to throw together and reheat or you can pre-make soup, stews, or meals ahead of time, or both. You can throw different combinations and options in individual containers for your meals on the go this was as well.

Batch Cooking-Cooking sides in batches make life easier and is a lifesaver. You can easily throw sides together with a meal or protein of choice, make a bowl, throw together in a salad, or wrap. The possibilities are limitless and will be so helpful when you get home tired and starved.

  • Oats or Steel Cut Oats (Pre-cook and place in individual containers to have different toppings on each to switch it up)
  • Rice or Quinoa (Great to have on hand to throw in as a side, in a wrap/burrito, salad, or in soup/stews)
  • Vegetables-Roast, steam, or sauté vegetables (Great to have these prepared ahead of time to throw in as a side or pretty much anything)
  • Beans (Having these on hand is a great additional source of Protein and Fiber to have as a side and incorporated in meals)
  • Roasted diced or Baked Sweet Potatoes (Sweet potatoes are very filling, nutritious, high in Fiber, Antioxidants, and are a great choice for any time of the day.) 
  • Fruits-Cut up Raw or Cooked (having fruits cut or prepared are great for snacks, desserts, or to throw in meals)

If you are a meat eater-Batch cooking roasted, baked, grilled, or crockpot-instant pot meats are great to have on hand for lunch/dinners and to throw in anything. If you are not in the mood of cooking, you can always buy a rotisserie chicken to make life easier.

If you want to cut time on cooking or standing over the stove having an instant pot or crockpot will help you be able to multitask and make life easier when meal prepping. Also on lazy days, it is good to have frozen fruits, frozen veggies, frozen or bagged cook rice, or canned items to throw in meals instead of batch cooking.

My usual go to’s for lunch would be a huge salad with beans, veggies roasted or raw, diced roasted sweet potatoes at times or quinoa, and side of high-quality balsamic vinegar to drizzle over. I even throw in everything seasoning by Trader Joe’s or Savory Spice Shop or maybe sprinkle some Hemp Hearts Chipotle or Rosemary garlic hemp seeds. I am also a fan of soups or stews so those are usually my go-to for lunch or dinners as well but I will throw in extra veggies, beans, and quinoa if I am wanting it heartier along with a side salad. Dinner usually would be a bowl of a lot of Batch cooking, an entree I prepared during meal prepping or a large bowl of soup/stew.

Snack ideas

  • Fresh cut of veggies from meal prepping with hummus
  • Fresh raspberries with a little high-quality dark chocolate inside
  • Fresh fruit and nuts
  • Larabar (love they are only 3-5 ingredients)
  • Homemade energy bites or bars
  • Cooked edamame
  • Portion sized Skinny Pop or popcorn
  • Mary Gone Crazy Crackers, Nut Thins, or Pretzel Thins (even homemade crackers) with nondairy cheese or if you eat dairy-laughing cow cheese
  • Apples or banana slices with peanut butter or nut butter of choice

Step 3

Containers & Storage

Having a good supply of containers helps with meal prepping and organizing your refrigerator and organizing your life. You can choose a different variety of sizes of containers, stackable ones, bento boxes, or divided boxes. Glassware is the best as you can easily see the food, they are sturdier, last longer, and you don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching into food. If you don’t want to buy any containers and have plastic ones, that is fine just make sure not to microwave or heat up in the containers.

Step 4

Enjoy

Enjoy the work you put in from the weekend. I understand Meal prepping and planning seems overwhelming, but take it one day at a time. You can always start with meal prepping Breakfast first or snacks, then work on more the next time. I promise you, it will become easier and help you reach your goals along with bringing more healthy eating and less stressed living. Hopefully, this blog has helped to give all you need to slowly get started with meal planning and prepping so you can make life a little easier.

If you have some of your favorite meal prepping or planning tips, please do not hesitate to comment to share.

Also, if you would like to have these helpful tips emailed to you in a pdf booklet or if you would like to sign up for a weekly or monthly meal plan program-please do not hesitate to email me TODAY!

Hello Dry January

Happy NEW YEAR and Hello “Dry” January! As 2022 has approached, we all are shifting our focus on our yearly goals.

Within the last few years, “Dry” January and Mocktails have become more popular as of one new year resolutions to abstain from alcohol use for a month in hopes to reset and lose weight.

Non-alcoholic wine, non-alcoholic liquors, and “Mocktails” are gaining speed in popularity online and in bars. These drinks are as complex and fancy that would impress any mixologist. Some popular non-alcoholic beverages have adaptogens to calm you instead of the hangover after effect. You will also find herbs and superfoods in some drinks besides the sugary mocktails we had as a kid. It is an excellent way for people who don’t drink or are doing 30 days without still wanting to entertain or being social without the awkward feeling of not drinking or ordering a drink with friends.

Why should you give “Dry” January a try?

During 2020, a majority of us drank a little more than we usually do 🙋🏼‍♀️ and picked up an unhealthy habit. As a result, alcohol consumption was up during 2020 and in 2021.

Did you know that an estimated 1-year increase in alcohol consumption during and through the pandemic can result in 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure, and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040 (1)

Going at least 30-Day without any alcohol helps reset your body by healing your liver, may lower triglycerides levels, may lower blood pressure, help improve sleep, helping clear your focus, clearing up your skin, help aid in weight loss, and may help reduce anxiety or depression. (2) (Make sure if you have a drinking problem to consult your physician before doing anything)

Here are some helpful tips on doing a “Dry’ January or “Sober” October:

  1. Plan. Look up your local bars and resturants where you hang out with friends and see if they have any Mocktails or non-alcoholic drinks. You will be surprised that even some of the higher end and fancy places have more than you think. Look online for some recipes that you can make at home or when hosting a get together. I have a few in my MOCKTAILS blog you can view. Also search online and in stores for some non-alcoholic wine, beer, liquors, and pre-made cockatils. I have tried a few, some are okay and some very good. I keep a variety pack on hand of Curious Exlixirs for nights I don’t drink and wanting a little something. #shakennotslurred
  2. Eliminate. Make sure to put away any tempations that might be staring you down in your house. This way you are not easily tempted to drink. If you are going to a party, bring your own non-alcoholic drink or mix a pitcher of a Mocktail to share.
  3. Support. Make sure to let your friends and family know what you are doing ahead of time so they can be supportive and help hold you accountable. You can also get a friend to join you to be your sober buddy to help keep each other motivatied and it is also fun to have someone doing it with you.
  4. Stay Busy. If your drinking was more of a social thing or of being bored, then try to stay active when you normally would drink is a nice distraction. Try picking up a hobbie, reading more, working out, or even cooking.
  5. Stress Relief. If your triggers come up and you are needing a drink due to stress or emotions then work on those emotions than masking them. Do you yoga, walk, practice meditation, have a dance party, or do something that makes you happy. Try not replacing one bad habit due to emotions with another one like emotional eating, etc.
  6. Keep Going. If you do have a drink and slip up, just like healthly eating; brush it off and don’t beat yourself up. Start right back the next day and put that foot in front of the other and KEEP GOING!

So no matter if you do a “Dry” January, “Sober” October, or take a week off….. your body and mind will thank you, but your taste buds will still be active and happy with many of the non-alcoholic recipes or pre-made that are out there these days.

I am participating this month in “Dry” January just like I did in “Sober” October, so join me if you want and even tag me on Instagram @erinwhelesswellness if you have any new finds or recipes during your “Dry” January. Cheers.

Welcome 2022

Happy New Year and Welcome 2022! We are officially in a NEW year and a NEW Month! We are facing a new chapter and a clean slate in our lives.

Take this time to look back and reflect on 2021.

Let’s not look back and think of all the things we could of should of have done differently or didn’t do. Remove any negative thoughts of 2021.

BUT let’s reflect on the GREAT & FAVORITE things that 2021 had brought us and everything we are grateful for in 2021. Let’s celebrate those WINS, no matter how small they may be. AND carry those grateful and positive vibes into 2022.

Too many times we tend to focus on our new year resolutions or goals for the New Year AND overlook focusing on everything we’ve accomplished and appreciate everything we have. It puts everything into perspective and shows you where you are and where you need to go going forward.

Every year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives.

Chances are you’ve set quite a few goals in the past that didn’t quite pan out or didn’t come close to reaching whatever goals you may have set in the years past.

BUT, if you didn’t reach those goals or gave up, it is not just you…..did you know that there has been research that around 80% of people GIVE UP on their goals.

One main reason is setting unrealistic goals on yourself that would be hard for anyone to obtain…so it’s not you. 

It is common for people to decide on things that they truly want to accomplish in life, then to set a goal to work towards, but to ultimately come up short leaving them frustrated and discouraged.  In fact, 25% of people actually abandon their New Year’s Goals after just 2 WEEKs!  For those of them that manage to push past those weeks, 60% abandon them within 3-6 months.

What if this year, we expanded the idea of “goals” into something even BIGGER – a vision of SUCCESS. 

Think about what would make 2022 a successful year for you. Write it down and say it to yourself.

Now Visualize IT! What would it look like if you achieved it? How would it feel?

I’m not just talking about health & fitness goals, although those are extremely important to have.

I’m talking about a 360 Wellness approach of ALL ASPECTS of your life…..career, family, social network, mental, spiritual connection…..in conjunction with your health and fitness goals.

What is the one thing that you look back on and think, “Wow, I did that!”?

When you are striving for your goal, keep in mind and remind yourself that you’re on the right track with your “vision of success” when you:


1) Feel yourself start to smile and/or 

2) You feel some butterflies in your stomach

Now, here’s where the rubber meets the road….

Start living your life “AS IF” you’ve already reached that success.

What would your day look like today if you ALREADY achieved that success? Picture it vividly.

What daily habits you would have picked up along the way? 

It’s time to start DOING THEM now – to adopt the habits of that future version of yourself. 

Sustaining Habits is a lot about mindset. It takes 3 weeks of performing a routine for it to become a normal habit. So be patient with yourself and take things one day at a time. YOU’VE GOT THIS! 

Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.” -Robert Collier

Remember, the past has passed, so learn from each year so you are armed and ready for 2022. Don’t just wish for a great year this year; VISUALIZE & CREATE IT! CHEERS to the New Year. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

✨Need help setting your Goals and Habits for 2022? I have created this handy Goal Setting and Habit Workbook to help you set yourself up for a great YEAR! Click to download for FREE!

Foam Rolling into Positive Benefits

The foam roller is one of the best recovery tools available today! If you know me, then you know I have every type of foam roller in my house, car, etc. I love foam rollers and use them in my weekly routine.

Why? Well, they’re affordable, easy to travel with, take to the gym, office, and can make a HUGE difference in your body in a short amount of time.

If you haven’t tried foam rolling before, you’re in for a “feels-so-good-when-it’s-done” treat!

While you’ll likely feel more flexible and “looser” after your very first session. You’ll notice even BETTER results by foam rolling on a regular basis.

What is foam rolling?

Foam rolling, also called self-myofascial release (SMR) is a form of self-massage.

It helps reduce muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation all while improving circulation & range of motion.

To foam roll, just roll your muscles (controlling the pressure) on a dense foam cylinder. You’ll gently move back and forth over any tight areas or sore spots

How does foam rolling work for recovery?

A network of connective tissues (fascia) surrounds and supports your muscles.

When part of that network becomes blocked – by either too little or too much activity – your fascia can become dehydrated. This can create a painful adhesion or knot (aka  “trigger point”).

Those knots can limit movement in the muscle as well as create painful chain reactions in other parts of the body.

Foam rolling can help break up these muscle adhesions, reduce pain, and improve movement!

When should you foam roll?

You can foam roll anytime. Before working out to get the blood flowing in the muscles, help prep your muscles, and improve performance. After working out as a post-workout recovery with stretching can help speed your recovery and reduce any post-workout soreness. AND on your days off or any time of the day. Setting aside a few minutes to use the foam roller outside of your exercise routine can help you focus on any stubborn spots. It is not just for working out, it is also great for days you are sitting a lot or on your feet.

Hurts so Good Positive Benefits of Foam Rolling

  • Reduce soreness and recover faster.
  • Improve your flexibility and range of motion.
  • Help improve pain.
  • Help relieve back pain.
  • Great for rehabilitation.
  • Temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.
  • Helps reduce stress and relax.
  • Improves flexibility without impairing strength.
  • Improves posture.

Types of Foam Rollers

Did you know foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes? From long to short, to smooth to textured or ridged, vibrating, sticks, and even balls. I use my long smooth roller to get more areas I am trying to get or to help aid in more of a deep stretch. The ridged trigger point roller I have is fantastic when I need to get deep into the tissue and knots in very tense areas. I have a few balls smooth, ridged and bumpy to work my feet, hands, shoulder blades/ upper back and to focus on trouble areas a roller can’t get to. And my stick is perfect on days I am trying to get to those sore quads, glutes, calves, or IT band.

If you are wondering what type of foam roller you should get and use or how to incorporate it into your weekly routine. I have a great Foam Rolling guide for you to download that is perfect for beginners and for users that have been dabbling into rolling.

The takeaway is adding foam rolling to your weekly routine can be a great recovery and relaxing part of your routine with great added benefits. Do note that foam rolling can be painful, especially in the beginning similar to a deep tissue massage but with staying consistent, foam rolling can start to feel good afterward. Your body will thank you later.

AND don’t forget to download your FREE Complete Beginners Guide to Foam Rolling. This guide has everything you need to know to become a foam rolling pro.

Do you foam roll? What are your takes since starting it in your routine?

Get your FREE Foam Rolling Beginners Guide

At Erin Wheless Wellness, I believe a holistic approach to your health, wellness, and fitness is the most effective.

It’s not just about sets, reps, and distance-it’s about supporting your body before, during, and after your workouts. Making the time for recovery. And also during your everyday life!

I am all about finding healthy solutions that work with your lifestyle – especially those that keep you feeling motivated and feeling successful!

And it’s one of the things I do best in the 360 Holistic Wellness Program. This program is specifically designed to give you exactly what you need when you need it and help you reach your goals, no matter how those needs may change.

Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4299735

Working out in a Time Crunch

Working out in a time crunch seems impossible. We all know how important it is to move your body and get in regular exercise, but we get busy or life gets in the way at times. Things pop up all of the time and make it challenging to stay active.

You know that exercising or staying active is good for you, can help you lose weight, boost metabolism, improve your mood, and even sleep. But I know what you are thinking, who has the time?

It’s all too easy to move your workout to “tomorrow.” And guess what? In reality, that’s what most of us end up doing and a lot of times, “tomorrow” doesn’t come. After all, you’re busy with everyday responsibilities at work and home with your job, family, children, home chores, cooking, and just plain tired.

If you’re not currently working out, the idea of getting started can seem overwhelming and dreaded.

But getting regular exercise is less of a time commitment than you may think, and the PAYOFFS are definitely worth it … both now and into the future!

Why should I make the time for Fitness? Here are a few benefits why you should rethink and try to add in at least 10-20 mins of exercise a few days a week. Heck, start with 5 min and work up.

  • Cut your risk of heart disease. Working out strengthens your heart and improves your circulation, boosting blood flow and oxygen levels in your body. This helps lower your risk of high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart attacks.
  • Improve blood sugar and insulin levels. This cuts your risk for type 2 diabetes – and also helps manage it if you’ve already developed it.
  • Boost your mood and mental health. When you work out, your body releases chemicals that help reduce stress, lift your mood and leave you feeling mentally refreshed.
  • Build your bones and muscles. Regular exercise can help build bone and also slow the loss of bone density that comes with age. Plus, strength- training workouts can help you maintain / increase your muscle mass and strength.
  • Improve your sleep. It can help you fall asleep faster AND stay asleep longer.
  • Keep your brain healthy. Regular exercise encourages your body to release proteins and chemicals that improve your brain’s function and structure.
  • Control your weight. It helps you burn more calories, a key part of weight loss, and helps you build and maintain metabolically active muscle tissue.
  • Lowers risk of falling. Especially for older adults … doing balance and strength exercises (on top of moderate cardio workouts) can reduce the risk of falling down.
  • Improve longevity. Being active helps protect you from dying early from the leading causes of death, like cancer or heart disease.

I know you are thinking that is great and all, but I do not have 45-60 min to workout with everything I have going on in my life

What if I told you that you do not have to work out that long? I talked about this a few months ago in my blog “How much Exercise Do You Need” that working out just 10-20 minutes every other day or 3 days a week is sufficient. You can even do two 5min workouts in the morning, during break or lunch, and after work to break it up.

That is why I have a FREE handy dandy Time Crunch Workout Guide for you to download and use as a guide to help you get more bang in your exercise buck in a short amount of time.

Which in this case means TIME, EFFORT, and ENERGY.

Health experts recommend that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.

"A 30 minute workout is just 2% of your Day"

Moderate activity includes things like walking, swimming, hiking, or mowing the lawn. Vigorous activity includes jogging/running, kickboxing classes, HIIT classes, or indoor cycling.

STOP pushing your health and well-being to aside and start making time for yourself TODAY!

Go ahead and download my Time Crunch Workout Guide where you’ll find results-driven workouts that will fit into even the busiest schedule and for ALL fitness levels!

Bottom line: Your fitness doesn’t have to suffer because you have a jammed schedule. In fact, making time to improve your fitness can help you bring MORE energy to the rest of your life! Finding even 5-10 minutes to crank out a quick workout can leave you feeling stronger, refreshed, and ready to take on your day. So, what are you waiting for?

At Erin Wheless Wellness, I am all about finding healthy solutions that work with your lifestyle – especially those that keep you feeling motivated and feeling successful!

And it’s one of the things I do best in the 360 Holistic Wellness Program. This program is specifically designed to give you exactly what you need when you need it and help you reach your goals, no matter how those needs may change.

*Always contact your physician before performing in type of exercise or nutrition program.

Are Sugar Substitutes Good or Bad?

Looking to Reduce your Sugar addiction? Try my 7-Day Sugar Detox

There are countless reasons to eliminate added sugar from your diet.

  • It saps your health,
  • contributes to a growing waistline, leaves you feeling tired, moody, and blah,
  • and it fills your body with empty calories that can make you feel like you’re riding a blood sugar roller coaster.

If you’ve ever tried to cut back on sugar before, you know it can be a real challenge! This is one reason a lot of people lean to artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes, but are they any better for you?

THE SKINNY ON ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

There have been so many health controversies and heated debates on whether or not artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes are the best substitutes for a sugar-free lifestyle.

One thing to remember is that these sugar substitutes are synthetic chemicals, the reason they are called artificial sweeteners nor are they a whole food even though some might have come originally from a natural source. They are still considered processed food.

Artificial sweeteners have that sweet taste, actually, some have a sweeter taste than regular sugar. They all offer zero-calorie and are labeled as sugar-free or low in sugar so they are a no-brainer for those looking to lose weight. (1) BUT, their effects on appetite and weight loss or gain vary among studies.

Did you know that non-nutritive sweeteners are far more potent than table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup? Just a very small amount produces a sweet taste comparable to that of sugar, without comparable calories. That leads to an overstimulation of sugar receptors from frequent use of these hyper-intense sweeteners may limit tolerance for more complex tastes.

So what does that mean? It means that if you use these sweeteners on a daily basis it eventually changes your taste buds and things that were once were very sweet seem not as sweet anymore and vise versa.

It might also result in you craving more sweets and reaching for something sweet and processed over highly nutritious food, and even gaining weight. Participants in the San Antonio Heart Study who drank more than 21 diet drinks per week were twice as likely to become overweight or obese as people who didn’t drink diet soda. (1) Some studies believe that artificial sweeteners might even increase appetite and promote weight gain (2). Regular consumption might also lead to lowering your metabolism which in the end will increase your hunger that will eventually lead to weight gain. (3)

Some artificial sweeteners have been linked with potential health issues and digestive upsets or poor gut health.

Now, I am not saying all of the sugar substitutes are bad….they do offer benefits if you are trying to lose weight cutting calories, helps people who have diabetes to reduce their sugar consumption without raising their blood sugar, and they don’t cause tooth decay. (4) (5)

So what should you do? If you must use sugar substitutes be mindful, treat it like processed food, and use it in a limited moderation within conjunction of a healthy whole foods diet. Try adding some natural sugar source like fruit when wanting something sweet. Natural fruits are whole food, high in nutrients, and high in fiber but if you are watching your sugar intake just make sure to keep in moderation to 2-3 servings a day.

Need help in reaching your Wellness Goals? If you are looking for guidance, coaching, accountability, and motivation in your health, nutrition, and fitness….I can HELP! Schedule a 15min Success Call to ask any questions or see if you are a good fit for my 360 Holistic Wellness Program TODAY!

What’s Zapping Your Energy?

Do you feel like your energy is drained by the end of the day? Too tired to work out or be active? You might not know that many every day habits can leave you feeling tired. 

Here is a list of 12 Things that is Zapping Your Energy

1. TOO Much or TOO Little Exercise. Being sedentary not moving your body can make you want to move even LESS! Making time for exercise can get your blood pumping, improve your endurance, improve your mood, and boost your energy. Try walking more stairs, getting outside for a quick stroll, or get up off the chair or sofa every hour. See how you feel. BUT on the other hand, too much exercise could also present a problem. Overtraining depletes our energy reserves, breaks down muscle, and eventually makes us weaker, not stronger. Make sure to take plenty of time off for recovery and add in rest days. (1)

2. SUGAR! If you have done my 7-Day Sugar Detox you know that sugar not only zaps your health, but also contributes to a growing waistline, leaves you moody, and blah. It ALSO leaves you feeling tired. WHY? Sugar provides quick energy, but after pick up, it drops you hard and leaves you looking for more energy. Why is this? It fills your body with empty calories that can make you feel like you’re riding a blood sugar roller coaster leaving you feeling tired. (1)

3. Eating processed and refined carbs. Too many carbs, especially refined carbs can actually cause you to feel tired throughout the day. These might give you a quick shot of energy thanks to the blood sugar rush, but when your body sends out insulin to remove the sugar, it can make your blood sugar level plummet – leaving you tired and drained. (2)

4. Loss of Quality Sleep.  Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your health and wellbeing. Your body needs sleep to fully recover and recharge. You might not realize this, but your body does a lot of things while you sleep, including store memory and release hormones that regulate your metabolism, muscles, strength, and energy levels. Did you know that studies have shown that insufficient sleep can also impact your waistline? Not only does it affect your willpower but a lack of sleep can boost your body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. When your cortisol levels rise, it causes your body to store fat, particularly around your midsection. So as you see, getting a good night sleep is extremely important.

5. Food sensitivities. One side effect of eating foods that your body is sensitive to includes fatigue. If you think that you might have sensitivities, it’s worth checking with your doctor. Common culprits include gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs.

6. Not Eating Enough. Not getting enough calories (i.e., food) can make you feel tired and so can eating a poor-quality diet without enough nutrients. Make sure to eat more of a whole foods balanced diet throughout the day and do not miss meals. Try NOT on being too restrictive on your eat or consume fewer calories than your BMR (basal metabolic rate) as this will not only deplete your energy but also affect your metabolism and hormones, but not in a good way.

7. Not getting enough protein. Studies show that eating protein boosts your metabolism, and scientists believe this may help prevent tiredness. 

8. Not being Hydrated. Studies show that being even a little dehydrated can make it harder to stay focused and leave you feeling drained. Lack of water can cause you to experience periods of fatigue and low energy as your body tries to function without enough water. If you’re constantly feeling sluggish and tired despite getting a quality night’s sleep, you may need to boost your water intake. Make sure you are drinking a minimum of 8-8 oz glasses of water daily to stay hydrated.

9. Caffeine. Like refined carbs and sugars, these can send your energy up before crashing back down. Not only that but caffeine can take up to 8 hours to clear your system, making it harder to get a good night of sleep, adding to the energy drain. If you keep reaching for caffeine instead of focusing on a good night’s sleep you could be throwing off your natural sleep cycle.

10. Stress. Feeling constantly stressed can definitely deflate your energy, both mentally and emotionally. Just another reason it’s important to have (and follow!) a plan for managing stress. 

11. Being in a negative environment. It’s possible to “catch” the moods of the people around you, but being aware of it can help lower your susceptibility, as can finding things that make you feel positive! (3)

12. Underlying Health Problem. (4) Your fatigue feeling could be more than just tiredness. If you are having constant fatigue, extreme lack of energy, or even falling asleep a lot during the day. Make sure to always check in with your physician first as you might have an underlying health problem you are unaware of or might be under the weather.

Bottom line, make sure to move your body, eat a healthy whole foods balanced diet, stay hydrated, watch your sugar-caffeine-processed foods, get quality sleep, and surround yourself with a positive environment. Your energy should quickly return. If it doesn’t, make sure to see your physician to rule out any underlying health problems or issues.

At Erin Wheless Wellness, I believe that your results are all connected – sleep, stress, nutrition, fitness, mindset, and more. 

If you’re looking to boost your results, check out my tiered package services for my Wellness programs

👉🏼TIERED SERVICES or Book a 15 min Discovery Call to see what other services I have or to create a custom package just for you. =>> BOOK NOW

Make it a great day!

Client Spotlight

Client Transformation ALERT!

Let’s meet today’s fantastic transformation client. Barbara came to me a few months after the shutdown last year. She felt lost on what to do after CoVid hit because she could not do her Yoga or Tai Chi classes since the shutdown. In addition, she was looking to lose weight, particularly in her midsection, to improve her stability and tone.

She had not done strength training as much but was familiar with stretches and yoga. So she picked up doing strength training with me 3 days a week, walking every day, and yoga once or twice a week.

For a woman in her 60s, she has impressed me each week by crushing Personal Best each week (9 on one day), being able to perform challenging and advanced moves like a champ, and all while staying committed, not missing a beat. We also incorporated healthy habits in her daily routine to increase her performance, health and transform her into a better version of herself.

Over the year we have worked together, she has lost a whole size or more (her leggings were too loose.😬). She has gained muscle while losing fat, gained strength, stability/flexibility, looking toned, energy has increased, and reduced that jiggy midsection she wanted to eliminate. These outstanding results were ALL done with NO Restrictive or Fad dieting but on being active, strength training, and being mindful of your eating while still enjoying her wine and treats. 

She is another client of mine who is living proof that age is ONLY a Number. Heck, she could kick my butt on a few workouts. But, it only shows you that you can accomplish anything regardless of your age, fitness, or health level.

 “Erin works with care with me as an individual and tailors my workouts to meet my needs. She also recommends modifications to specific exercises. She is very attentive to proper form. Erin is also very knowledgeable about nutrition questions. She is truly a blessing for anyone interested in getting into shape and feeling healthy and strong!” Barbara M

Feeling lost? Do you need Motivation, Accountability, or Help on your Goals? Message me today at erin.wheless@gmail.com or book a 15 min Discovery Phone Call to ask any questions or concerns you may have. As a Wellness & Transformation Coach as well as an Online Fitness Trainer, I can help you reach your GOALS and get your LIFE Back!

CURIOUS about my services and Wellness app? Did you know you can also TEST Drive my App and Program for FREE for 7 Days, NO STRINGS ATTACHED!

Power Walk into Healthy Benefits

Are you looking to increase your endurance and cardiovascular but also want to lose weight? There is a debate that running or jogging trumps walking for fat loss, BUT have you ever tried Power Walking?

If you have bad knees or are unable to jog or run, well look no further than trying to Power Walking. Power walking is done by using a brisk walk speed of 3.0-5.0 mph and pumping your arms.

Did you know that power walking burns the same or similar number of calories as running or jogging? You heard me correct, power walking at 4.5 mph for one hour would burn the same as jogging at 4.5 mph for one hour. (1)

If you are starting out Power Walking, start by doing intervals of normal walking pace and then increase your speed for 1-2 minutes and then reduce speed for a minute. Then REPEAT. Each time you increase your speed try the next round just a little faster or longer time or you can even add inclines in during your Power Walking. You can increase the effectiveness if you are walking on an incline and making sure you are pumping your arms.

Here are some great benefits to adding Power Walking to your weekly routine.

  1. Cardiovascular and Endurance -Walking at a fast pace will improve your cardiovascular, bringing up the heart rate into the fat buring and endurance zone, strengthen your heart, and even help lower blood pressure. It gets your heart pumping stronger and faster, moving oxygen-rich blood more efficiently to all the muscles, organs and tissue throughout your body. (2)
  2. Helps SHED those Pounds-Power walking just for 20-30min for at least 3 days a week, along with a healthy diet is an effective way to lose weight. Did you know that you could burn off off approx 564 calories an hour? (at a 4 to 5 mph pace). (3)
  3. Strengthen & Tone your Muscles– When performing power walking you will be working and toning the glutes, thighs, calves, hips, shoulders, upper back and abs. Increase the incline and you will get those legs, glutes, and core really working.
  4. Great for Beginners– Power walking can be performed by all ages and for anyone at any fitness level. It is a lower impact cardio exercise than doing running, jogging, HIIT, or Tabatas.
  5. Easy on the Knees and the Body– Power Walking is a lower impact exercise than running or jogging in which is easier on your body and reduces the risk of injuries.
  6. Reduces Stress and Anxiety – Just like a runner’s high, power walking can release endorphins, in which helps ward off anxiety, reduces stress, and can help boost self-esteem.
  7. Great for Joint Health– Just like walking, Power Walking can help protect your joints, including your knees and hips. Your muscles and joints become more flexible, and the stress on your knees is significantly less than if you’re pounding the pavements jogging or running. It also can help lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support your joints.

TIP-As with walking, jogging, or running make sure you invest in a comfortable pair of shoes and buy shoes for your gait. Pick shoes that have well-cushioned heels and arch support. Make sure to warm up at a walking pace for 5 minutes, keep good posture, and always stretch afterward. AND HYDRATE.HYDRATE.HYDRATE

If power walking or speed walking is not for you and you prefer just walking at a normal pace, then look at my previous blog Walking into Surprising Benefits to see the amazing benefits you get in just getting out and walking.

Bottom line, if you are looking to break your plateau and looking for a way to boost your cardio fitness try adding power walking into your routine.

You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program

Bloat Be Gone

We have all been there, myself included. You wake up with your stomach not poking out as much, and by the end of the day, your gut has expanded beyond belief to the point uncomfortable. Even miserable.

Bloating is a condition where gas released from the breakdown of foods builds up in your stomach and intestines instead of passing out of the body. It can lead to abdominal pain, constipation, digestive disorders, etc. 

Did you know that women tend to experience more bloating than men? (1) So girls, it’s not all in your head.

Bloating can be triggered by various reasons. Here are some ways to reduce or eliminate bloating and feeling lbs lighter.

SLOW DOWN, Start eating slowly and make sure to chew your food better with every bite. Doing this reduces the amount of air you swallow with the food (which is a cause of bloating), and it also helps you not overeat since it takes time for your brain to signal it’s full. Overeating will also lead to bloating. Eating slowly is a great way to practice eating more Mindfully.

Reduce any Food Sensitivity or inflammation. Try to find out your food sensitivities and eliminate what is bothering you. If you are unsure, try doing a low FODMAP diet and food journal. What is FODMAP, you ask? Well, it stands for (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols.). They are a group of short-chain carbohydrates found in certain foods that usually trigger bloating and digestive distress. (2) Most common food sensitivities that increase cause bloating are dairy, gluten, Artificial sweeteners & sugar alcohols.

You can click below to get a 7-day low FODMAP Meal Plan diet for you to try.

Improve your Gut Health. Keeping your gut health balanced and happy is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Ways to improve your gut health is making sure to improve your sleep, reduce stress, add digestive Enzymes and Pre/Probiotics.

What are digestion enzymes and pre/probiotics, you may ask? Digestive enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down the food you eat. These proteins speed up chemical reactions that turn nutrients into substances that your digestive tract can absorb. You can get digestion enzyme supplements or powders, but you can also found nature sources like honey, papaya, mangoes, bananas, avocado, and fermented cabbage like kimchi or sauerkraut.

Adding prebiotic and probiotic supplements to your diet may be a great way to improve your gut health. Prebiotics helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria. They both help to keep a balance between the good and bad bacteria that live in your gut. This can help reduce symptoms of gas and bloating. (3)

Probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, and pickles. (4)

Reduce carbonated drinks and chewing gum, which causes cause bloat from the gas within the carbonation. Also, chewing gum can lead to swallowing air which will produce bloating.

Stay Regular. Make sure you are staying regular and not constipated. If you have a problem staying regular, make sure you get in more soluble fiber, stay hydrated drinking plenty of water, and stay active. HYDRATE. HYDRATE. HYDRATE 

Reduce Sodium Intake. Not only is eating a diet high sodium foods not as healthy, but it also has you retaining more water weight, which shows a false increase on your scale. Did you know that a study at John Hopkins showed that gastrointestinal bloating could happen when you eat a diet high in salt? All they reason to be more mindful on the amount of sodium in the foods you eat.

Reduce foods that give you Gas. Certain beans and legumes are known to cause gas. Not to mention, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and cabbage can also lead to bloating. One of the main reasons these foods are higher on causing gas and bloat is their higher fiber intake. If your daily fiber intake is low, try eating fewer servings until you slowly increase fiber intake. Doing this will help reduce the bloating of these foods. (4)

Peppermint oil or Peppermint. Did you know that Peppermint can help reduce muscle spasms in the digestive tract that may be caused by bloating? Peppermint oil is effective against bloating and other digestive symptoms, at least in IBS patients. (5)

Do you have problems with bloating? Do you feel like your belly expands a lot by the end of the day or after you eat? 🙋🏼‍♀️ Do you feel like you have food sensitives? I do; I know my body doesn’t act kindly to me if I have anything that has dairy. What are your struggles?

Bottom line, you can reduce bloating by eliminating trigger foods or food sensitivities out of your diet, improve your gut health, and applying simple diet and lifestyle changes. However, if your problem persists, always contact a doctor to ensure no severe issues or medical conditions.

Client Transformation

For today’s Client Transformation, I want to brag about my mom. I started working with her in October 2019 after realizing that she could not get up by herself when she was on the floor. As a daughter, this worried me as I kept thinking, what if she had fallen and no one was around. Since I was starting my new career and venture, I decided right then and there that she would be my beta tester on workouts, program, and my wellness app. I figured it would be a win/win for both of us.

She hadn’t workout nor ever done strength training before. She had been on a few yo-yo diets in the past where she had lost weight, but she had lost a lot of muscle, making her arms softer than before, and gained weight in her midsection. Her upper body strength was very weak, and she also wanted to get healthier.

Over the last year, she has gone from not being able to get up off the floor by herself to now being able to get up all by herself quickly. She was unable to do tricep kickback with 3lbs, and now she does multiple sets with heavy weight, not to mention she can do 40-50 total tricep dips on a given day, & she can hold a 1 min plank. She can do a hollow hold, Russian twist, or any core exercise I throw at her like it is nothing. She has hit numerous of PRs. She has even lost inches where she has gone down a size, and now she complains the new size pants are loose. Who wouldn’t love to have that problem? Her arms that were flabby and loose are now tone and smaller. She has been like a little girl screaming & excited that she now can wear short sleeves again. She did all that without restrictive dieting, no low carb or macro counting, or crazy workouts.

She went from not working out to loving strength training, not to mention the energy and strength she has gained. Even before Covid, she didn’t feel comfortable in a gym setting, nor did she like having to work out at a particular time. She has loved not having to worry about going to the gym and enjoys working out whenever and wherever she wants at her convenience.

She is a true warrior and is an inspiration to us all. She is living proof that age is ONLY a Number. At 78, she has amazed me from where she started to the level she is at now makes me smile and proud. It only shows you that you can accomplish anything no matter your age, your fitness, or health level.

” About a year ago realized that I was out of shape, had flabby arms and an increased waistline and abdomen. I could not get off the floor without pulling myself up with a chair or sofa! I had tried losing weight several times and even gotten my weight down, but felt that I needed exercise at my age. Erin Wheless started working with me to help me build up my strength in my arms and legs. Over the course of the past year, she has slowly helped me build my strength so that now I can get off the floor by myself, my arms have become more toned, my legs are stronger and my waistline has slimmed down. She has slowly changed my life with exercises that I can now do online instead of going to the fitness center. She has a calming demeanor when I’m hard on myself yet has a way of encouraging me that makes me want to achieve more. Thank you Erin for helping me feel good and look better than I ever dreamed I would at my age! ” -B Moss

Do you need Motivation, Accountability, or Help on your Goals? Message me today at erin.wheless@gmail.com or book a 15 min Discovery Phone Call to ask any questions or concerns you may have.

You can also TEST Drive my App and Program for FREE for 7 Days, NO STRINGS ATTACHED!