More Size Inclusive & less Weight Bias

Weight Bias is a topic that needs to be talked about and not overlooked. It stretches out in our society from the fitness to the medical professionals, social media, and the lack of size-inclusive in gyms to the fashion world.

What is Weight Basis? Weight bias refers to negative attitudes, beliefs, assumptions, judgments, and even discrimination directed toward individuals who have larger bodies. (1)

Today’s society has us feeling like we should be and look a certain way to obtain optimum health and fitness (usually by photos of Thin or Ripped people).

THIS IS INCORRECT!  The pressure on our appearance and what we should look like is worse now than ever before. Social media has worsened this aspect, with influencers, celebrities, and health-fitness professionals blasting pics or posts engraving that thought in us and our younger generations. Most of them use filters, poses, and apps to manipulate to look skinner or more toned to even enhance the way they look.

In the times of photoshopping, airbrushing, and photo manipulating apps, our reality has become somewhere distorted, and women are chasing an ideal image that is unhealthy and in some cases, not real. 

This has led us as females to unhealthy diets, unhealthy exercise, negative body image, and a negative mindset of ourselves.

People often forget that Marilyn Monroe was considered sexy and beautiful in the 50’s with her extreme natural curves and body fat.

WHY is it that only people with low body fat and lean muscles are the picture of health? I call BS, as I know many Skinny “FAT” and unhealthy lean people. You can be unhealthy or out of shape even if you are muscular or thin. 

AND you CAN be healthy in a larger body. You can be stronger with more body fat than a muscular person. You can be SEXY and BEAUTIFUL in a large body. 

Healthy and Happy bodies come in different shapes and sizes, not just one size or one look.

It’s time for health, medical, and fitness professionals to WAKE UP and LISTEN.

Listen to your clients or patients before assuming anything based on their size and before creating a program, meal plan, or diagnosis.

Large body individuals should not be put in a one-size-fits-all program or one-size-fits-all workout. NOR should be looked at any different than someone leaner.

Make sure they feel comfortable, safe, and heard in your environment. Make sure your equipment is designed for all shapes and sizes. Make sure your workouts or plans are designed and modified for everyone.

AND remember, just because someone is a larger body or is not lean does not mean they are looking to lose weight, they are not lazy, they are not unhealthy, they are not weak, and they do not eat unhealthy all the time.

Let’s change the weight bias society into a happy nonjudgmental space for all shapes and sizes. AND let’s bring more size inclusivity to the fashion, medical, fitness, and wellness world.

I have special training as a size-inclusive specialist to help you gain your confidence feeling empowered, feel heard, feel sexy in your own skin, and improve your wellness by discovering simple habits that will help you establish the balanced, healthy lifestyle you desire and get stronger mentally and physically.

Erin Wheless Wellness is accessible, weight neutral, body-positive, age empowered and all-inclusive in all programs.

I focus on transforming lives, not just bodies. 

What Are Adaptogens 

You have been hearing a lot about Adaptogens on social, online, in ready-made mocktails, and in wellness products. But what are adaptogenic herbs, exactly?

Adaptogens are plants, mushrooms, or herbs designed to increase your body’s ability to adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stresses. So what does that mean? It means that adaptogens help your body to “adapt” to external stressors that can impact your health. They’re thought to stimulate your body’s stress-protection response, and it helps your system return to a balanced state. Adaptogens also can maintain or normalize metabolic functions, improve energy levels and restore systemic equilibrium.

The great thing about Adaptogens is you get that “ZEN” state without chemicals, alcohol, or drugs. Below is a list of a few Adaptogens:

  • Ashwagandha This shrub grows in India, the Middle East, and the regions of Africa. It has been used to help against aging, anxiety and relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration. It has calming properties instead of a stimulating effect. It is also known to help increase athletic performance, testosterone levels, and muscle strength. *People with hyperthyroidism should avoid taking this adaptogen. (1)
  • Tulsi (aka holy basil)-Sometimes called “the queen of herbs,” this fragrant plant comes from India and grows in other areas of Asia. Holy basil is often used in Thai food. It is a medicinal herb used for everything from coughs or colds, combat adverse effects of stress, stabilize blood sugar levels, promote longevity, antimicrobial, and treats scorpion bites. (2)
  • Ginseng-You might already be familiar with this popular herb. It has potent antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and boost your immune system, along with other great benefits. BUT is also an adaptogen. Did you know that there are many different kinds of Ginsengs? You will find American ginseng, Asian ginseng, Korean red ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and more. These are Panax ginseng, considered an adaptogen that enhances physical performance, promotes vitality, resists stress and aging. (3, 4) *Ginseng should not be taken for long periods.
  • Rhodiola rosea L-This shrub grows in arctic and mountainous parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. It is known as “golden root” or “arctic root”. This plant is a stimulant used to reduce mild anxiety, depression, anti-aging, promote good health, strength, endurance, and reduce fatigue due to stress.
  • Astragalus-This plant has been a staple of traditional Chinese medicine for a long time. This root is usually used along with other herbs to treat problems like hay fever and boost your immune system while increasing stamina and strength. Side effects may include fatigue, headache and low blood pressure. Astragalus can interfere with drugs that suppress the immune system.
  • Cordyceps-This is a fungus that grows on caterpillar larvae in China. The fungus is hard to cultivate, so the cordyceps found in dietary supplements can be grown in a laboratory. In lab tests, cordyceps has been known to help stimulate immune system cells and has calming effects. * You should avoid taking cordyceps if you’re on blood-thinning medications, because it can cause bleeding issues,.
  • Reishi mushroom-This Asian mushroom has been used to help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. It can also help stimulate the immune system and may also assist in strengthening adrenal gland function to reduce stress. You probably have seen numerous reishi mushroom or mushroom coffee alternatives, lattes, and teas for a healthier pick me up.  *Avoid taking reishi mushrooms if you are on blood thinners or are immunocompromised.
  • Shitaki Mushroom-The Shitaki mushroom is probably one of the only adaptogenic mushrooms that you can find in your local market. This mushroom is also a rich source of Vitamin D, Zinc, and essential B vitamins, and they have been shown to boost the immune system. The Skitaki is one of the adaptogenic mushrooms that can have health benefits such as improved brain function, energy, balance hormones, and improved immune system.
  • Lion’s Mane-This Asian mushroom has been known to help cognitive and brain health, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, reduce anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms. There have been studies that it could protect against dementia (4)
  • Maca-This root from Peru is a caffeine-free, plant-based superfood and a nutritional powerhouse that has become popular. You can find it added in almost any kind of health food from protein powders, superfood powders, coffee alternatives, and even chocolate. Maca root can contribute to balancing hormone levels, relieve symptoms of menopause, improving mood & energy levels, and support a healthy libido. (5)
  • Schisandra & Schisandra Berry : This herb is most helpful in promoting liver health, stabilizing blood sugars, protecting the nervous system against stress, anti-inflammatory, helping re-energize the body as well as acting as an adaptogen. The berries are sweet, tart, salty, spicy, and bitter.
  • Goji Berry-This berry is known as a superfood and many people like to add it in their smoothies, oats, bars, or teas. The goji berry boosts energy and physical and mental performance, gives a calmness and a sense of well-being, immunity booster, and improves sleep. It is considered an adaptogen, which helps to manage your body’s hormonal response to stress.
  • Licorice root “Sweet Root”– is a popular adaptogen used in Chinese medicine to help the body adapt to stress, supports the endocrine system, and helps soothe and support the adrenal glands regulating the cortisol levels in the body. It supports estrogen and testosterone levels in the body and supports female hormonal systems. Licorice Root benefits the digestive system as a whole.

The bottom line is you can use adaptogens in your routine for a few days or weeks to get through a stressful or busy time, or on days you feel worn down. Try rotating the type of adaptogen in your routine every few months so that your body can benefit from the subtle differences among herbs. Remember that adaptogens aren’t a cure-all or a substitute, and some, just like any supplement or herbs, are not approved by the FDA.

*Always remember to talk to your doctor before trying an adaptogen product or any new supplement, especially if you have a health condition or take any medications. Your doctor will let you know if it could affect your health or interact with the medicines you take.

Stepping Into the Right Shoes

Did you know that not wearing the correct shoes can affect your entire body and overall health? Yep, that’s right….you read that correctly. It’s crazy to think that shoes can play such an important role in your health, wellness, and fitness.

Wearing the incorrect shoes, not having insoles for your arch support, and even wearing worn or older shoes can also contribute to the health problems of your legs, knees, hips, IT band, back, neck, and stability. Not to mention you are more likely to be prone to injuries if you wear improper shoes when staying active, walking, running or jogging, working out, or even standing on your feet a lot. (1)

Most people are unaware that they should replace their shoes every few months, depending on how active you are or when you have reached the following:

  • The outer sole is worn or worn down
  • You’ve reached 300 to 400 miles of running or walking in your current pair (even if your shoe looks good and are not worn, because most shoes lose their impact protection, support, and cushion after they have reached the 500 max miles )

It is essential when choosing a new pair of shoes, is to make sure that they are helping to keep your body aligned, are best for your arch type, type of gait (how you walk), have a good amount of cushion, fit correctly, and is not too tight.

Why are all those critical in buying a shoe v/s buying a shoe for the lowest price and style? When we choose fashion over a good supporting shoe for our body and foot type, we are choosing to inherit tons of ailments and become prone to injuries.

Finding the correct and perfect shoe just for you can help align your body, increase your stability, relieve pain, and improve your performance.

Make sure when looking for a shoe that you consider the following:

  1. Width-Always measure and make sure you get a shoe that fits the width of your foot, not too loose or too tight. Shoes too narrow or too wide can lead to painful blisters and calluses.
  2. A Toe Box is important to consider. You want to make sure to have plenty of space for the toes and be able to wiggle. Leaving a roomy space and not too tight helps prevent calluses, bunions, and hammertoes. (2)
  3. Heel-Choose a shoe with a heel collar that cushions the ankle and ensures a proper fit.
  4. Midsole-Make sure you choose a shoe with a good cushion at the midsole that will help cushion and reduce impact when your foot strikes the ground.
  5. Orthotic Insoles-Choosing an insole can help cushion and support your foot and arch. Orthotic insoles can be a game-changer as they are engineered with unique features that improve mobility, enhance comfort and help relieve foot pain. Removable insoles can be laundered or taken out to dry between walking sessions.
  6. Arches-Your arches are not all created equally. Everyone’s arches are not normal arch as many are born with structural issues, such as high arches and flat feet, which means they need added support. Not wearing supportive footwear when you have abnormal arches can cause a lot of symptoms to set in, such as pain in the feet and lower legs. This is where having the correct shoes come inhandy. *Unsure on which arch you have? Try the paper-water test. Take a piece of paper and put it on the floor. Then wet your feet and walk over the paper. Look at the shape of your foot. If you see the top and bottom of your foot and not much in the middle, you have high arches. If your whole foot shows no curve in the middle, you have flat feet. If you can see your entire foot and a slight curve in the middle, you have a normal arch.
  7. Foot Support-A good supporting shoe will provide your body with the support you need. Whenever you take a step forward, your ankles, knees, hips, and back rely on your feet for proper balance. If you wear improper and unsupportive shoes, it can negatively impact your joints and affect your body’s balance when you stand. So it is vital to make sure to have shoes that provide cushions and good support. Ankle support is also a must as it limits the side-to-side movement that knocks your ankle out of alignment.
  8. Your Gait Pattern (how you walk) is very important to know. It is good to know if you have neutral pronation (which is when your foot comes in complete contact with the ground, rolling inward about 15 percent to absorb shock). Or do you tend to underpronate (which is when the outer part of your heel hits the ground first, and your foot rolls inward just a little or do you tend to overpronate (which is when your foot rolls inward more than 15 percent.) Overpronation can cause stability issues with your foot and ankle, so it is important to know how to correct it with the correct shoes and insoles.

This is all great to know, but how can you figure out what kind of arches, gait, and support you need in a shoe if you are unsure what you are currently dealing with? The best way to find out all this and which shoe would be best for you is to go to a specialty store like Fleet Feet. Speciality stores shoes like Fleet Feet can do a 3D scan of your foot to find your arch and more details on your size, width, etc. They also have you walk to figure out your gait so they can recommend the correct shoes for you.

The bottom line, happy feet lead to a happy body and a happy life. They can also improve your performance in reaching your wellness and fitness goals. So, go show your feet some love and take care of your body.

Know Your Heart Rate Zone

Since it’s Heart ❤️ Health Month, let’s dive into some facts about heart rate zone training, shall we?

Knowing your Heart Rate Zone is something important to know when you are staying active or just starting out a fitness routine.

This is something I do for my clients at the beginning of our coaching where I calculate and let them know their HR max and the HR zone to stay within, even if they just walking.

Heart Rate zones are a % of your max HR. If you exercise too close to your max HR (Mhr) your heart & body will struggle to keep up with the demands. (1)

The goal of Heart Rate zones is to help you work efficiently but to allow you to challenge yourself to improve cardiovascular fitness. It can help make sure your workout is both safe and effective.

You’ve probably seen those charts slapped on your gym cardio machines and confused about it. OR you probably try to reach the ORANGE zone when you are working at Orangtheory but just know it is an “Afterburn” zone to strive for at least 12min but don’t know much else on the zones. (2)

Most of those charts are oversimplified and some don’t take into account your fitness level that you see online or on cardio equipment. BUT with some simple math, you can figure out the right zones for you if you are unsure where to go.

First thing is first. What are the zones and how many are there? There 5 zones from very list to very hard/max. Here is the breakdown.

  • Zone 1: Very light, between 50% – 60 % of MHR. (this is with very little effort)
  • Zone 2: Light, 60 %-70 % of MHR. (this is your fat burning zone and your recovery zone after aerobic/anaerobic periods)
  • Zone 3: Moderate, 70 % to 80 % of MHR. (this is your aerobic zone-endurance, challenging but doable)
  • Zone 4: Hard, 80 %- 90 % of MHR. (this is your anaerobic zone-hardcore training) Stay in this zone only 10% of your time.
  • Zone 5: Very hard, 90 % – 100 % of MHR. (should not be in this zone too long only 5% of your time) only experience athletes should train in this zone for short burst periods like HIIT or TABATA.

If you are unsure what app to use to find your Heart Zone, here is a simple and effective way to find the zones you need to be within. All you are just two things:

  • A calculator and
  • To know your resting heart rate (which is your pulse before getting out of bed in the morning). Bonus tip, if you use a fitness tracker you can easily find this on your tracker.

NOW here is how to Calculate your MAX HR (MHR) with this formula:

220 – your age = maximum HR (MHR)

2. Calculate your HR reserve by subtracting your resting heart rate from your max heart rate (MHR above):

MHR – resting HR = HRR (heart rate reserve)

3. Then, simply multiply your HRR by your target zones … & add your resting heart rate number back in.

(HRR x target zone percentage) + resting HR = target HR

EXAMPLE: Let’s say you are 40 years old and your resting heart rate is 65. Here is how you’d calculate your zones:

220 – 40 (age) = 180 (or, MHR)

180 – 65 (resting heart rate) = 115 (HRR)

For moderate intensity (50% to 70%):

(115 x .50) + 65 = 122

(115 x .70) + 65 = 145

For vigorous intensity (70% to 85%)

(115 x .70) + 65 = 145

(115 x .85) + 65 = 163

The American Heart Assoc recommends staying within a target heart rate ranging between Moderate intensity of 50% to 70% (this is your fat burning zone) and Vigorous-intensity of 70% to about 85% (this is your aerobic zone) (3)

MAKE SURE TO NOT GO OVER YOU MAX HR! If you do, just reduce your intensity. Beware of pushing yourself too hard too often. If you are short of breath, struggling to keep up, or are in pain, your exercise intensity is probably higher than your fitness level allows. Back off a bit and build intensity gradually.

This is where having a fitness tracker or wearing a heart rate monitor comes in handy for you to easily view your heart rates zone and make sure you are within the zones you need to be in while you are working out.

*Some meds (like certain blood pressure drugs) can interfere with your heart rate, always consult with your doctor before starting a workout regimen or kicking up your intensity, especially if you have any heart disease risk factors.

Bottomline, Monitoring your workout and heart rate zones can help you avoid training too hard by knowing exactly when you’re overexerting yourself. It will also allow you to bounce back faster by ensuring you stay in the proper zone on recovery days. AND make sure you are working out safely.

Question ⁇ Do you pay attention to your heart rate during your workouts? Comment and let’s know your thoughts.👇

Mental Fitness

What is Mental Fitness? Maybe you heard this recently or have seen a post from me about it but are confused about what it all means and how it ties in your wellness and fitness journey.

Mental Fitness can be defined as Fitness for your mental health. It is having and maintaining a state of mental well-being and cultivating awareness of how we think, how we behave, and how we feel.  

It is also referred to as a series of exercises that help you slow down, decompress, and improve your mind.

There are 4 components to Mental Fitness that are within the psychological or emotional fitness area which includes self-acceptance, self-esteem, resilience, and the ability to manage or handle strong emotions. Just like physical fitness has a few crucial components of cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility-stability, and body composition. (1)

Mental fitness and your overall mental health is just as important as physical fitness, and shouldn’t be neglected. But, unfortunately, it is the one thing we overlook and push to the side as we tend to focus more on our health and weight loss goals than our mental health goals.

Here are some things to start working on to improve your Mental Fitness Game. (2)

  • Affirmations-Harnessing Positive Thinking with Daily Affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements you say to or about yourself that can help you overcome self-sabotaging, self-doubt, and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often and believe in them, you can make positive changes. Performing positive affirmations can be used to re-program your thought patterns and change the way you think and feel about things around you. Doing this will involve positive self-talk, which recruits the “left brain,” which helps promote self-esteem and well-being. 
  • Visualize– Visualizing or Manifesting brings something tangible into your life through attraction and belief. It is an act of daydreaming or imagining everything you want is coming true, using the law of attraction. You do this by visualizing what you want and the feeling of what it’s like to have it. Sitting in that positive vibration signals your subconscious that this feeling and state is your reality. That is where the magic happens within your subconscious. As discussed in Affirmations recruiting the “left brain”, visualizes recruits and activates the “right-brain” that enhances optimism or feeling of positivity, confidence, and personal effectiveness. You can also use the same practice into vision boards, putting everything you desire on a board using paper and magazine cutouts or electronic boards. Then focus and look at it each day. Doing this ends up easier for some people than sitting meditating or with your eye closed trying to visualize. In the end, Visualizations can help you be able to focus on positive things, even if it doesn’t quite go in the direction you want it to. It will help you head into a better path.
  • Gratitude & Journaling– Journaling and writing down my gratitude for the day is one of my go-to’s for my health and wellness practices. Like meditation, I didn’t believe it was something I should do daily and had difficulty committing to doing it for a while. Practicing journaling with gratitude forces you to pause to be grateful and mindful, helps you express and deal with your emotions for that day, helps reduce anxiety and stress, and helps you write down specific thoughts out in your head and manifest them into the universe. Adding this to your routine will slowly change your life and even boost your mood.
  • Breathwork & Meditations-Mediation or working on your breathwork can be a powerful technique that you can access anywhere and anytime by slowing down, deepening your breath, and clearing your mind. Making sure to breathe is obvious; however, when we are stressed or mad, we tend to hold our breath, or our breathing is more shallow or irregular. Deep breathing is an essential part of your daily routine. Practicing deep breathing exercises or even practicing mediations allows us to take fuller, slower breaths that reflect a genuinely relaxed state reducing stress or anxiety and can even be known to lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try closing your eyes and taking in a deep breath for a 3 count, HOLD for a second, and exhaling out for a 3 count. Then Repeat. If you want to go further in breathwork and give meditation a try, remember that it takes “practice,” so be patient trying it 3-5 minutes at a time. BUT, it can help calm the mind, reduce stress or anxiety, reduce blood pressure, improve memory, and lower negative emotions. While exercise is good for the brain and the body, so is meditation. Meditation, this Mind-Body-Connection, is an alternative way to treat depression and anxiety. Calming the mind allows you to problem solve in a more relaxed manner. Meditation can strengthen our ability to watch all the troubling and stressful things our minds do. It also helps us to focus and tune out distractions. You can grab some free apps like Insight Time, Smiling Mind, & Exhale. Did you know that when you work with me as your coach, you even get meditations added in my wellness app to be able to do at any time or schedule at your convenience?sight Time, Smiling Mind, & Exhale. Did you know that that when you work with me as your coach, you even get meditations added in my wellness app for you to be able to do at any time or schedule at your convenience? (3)
  • Relax & PAUSE-We are in a world of always being on the go, working too much, constantly scrolling online, or adding too much to our plate. We need to SLOW down more. While everything around us is in constant motion, finding the time to PAUSE can be good for our mental health and to be able to appreciate all we have around us. Relaxing and Pausing or being Mindful in a more present state can look different for everyone. Maybe you take time to cozy up reading a book, take a long scenic walk or hike on a beautiful day, draw a bubble bath with candles lit listening to some soothing music, get outdoors more or play a sport, sit in a comfy chair taking in the day relaxing with a good cup of coffee or a drink. Whatever you choose to do, the fundamental of pausing and being mindful is the same; it’s about doing activities that help us take our minds off our daily stressors and reboot. AND, don’t forget to make sure to schedule more “ME” time each week.
  • Practice Being Positive MORE-Oh the power of positive thinking. This is something that is often overlooked, and it is an important one. Positive thinking will bring positive results in your life. It also helps with stress management and improves your health and well-being. Believe it or not, if you shift your mindset to a more positive one, you will start seeing shifts throughout the day and week. Why? It is because our moods, behaviors, and thoughts are all connected, so when we make a positive change to one, it can create similar changes in another, creating a positive chain reaction. Thinking about it negatively will make us feel negative and more likely give us the results we do not want in life. Do you think to yourself, I have a black cloud following me around? Have you ever wondered if maybe it could result from how you are thinking and reactions or actions you are taking? Thinking positive is not about burying the negative thoughts or outcomes; it is about changing your perspective into seeing the positive side more in each day. Start every day with a positive thought. This will also help increase your mental fitness, change your outcome, and set the tone for the day’s rest. Here are some ways to work on being more positive: focus on the good things around you, hang around more positive people than negative, tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day and believe it, practice positive self-talk and slowly remove being your own worse critic.
  • Exercise Your Brain Muscles-Reading and doing puzzles help to increase being mentally fit. One of the best ways to train your brain and work those muscles is to play games to keep your mind sharp. Some great games to start incorporating weekly would be doing crossword puzzles, board games like Jigsaw puzzles or chess, and Sudoku. These games are designed to improve memory and boost your mental fitness. Reading is excellent for your brain, helps you stay present, creates visualization, and promotes relaxation. In fact, it is one of the great ways to get you ready for sleep.
  • Stop Multitasking-I know this one may come as a shock as I was one person who used to multitask like no one’s business, proud of how much I could do all at once and handle on the fly. BUT, did you know that it can hinder your performance, making you become less efficient and leaving you having a more likely chance at making mistakes? This is because our brain is constantly forced to switch gears, bouncing back and forth between tasks. Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than focusing on doing a single thing at a time. The study found that people who have regularly bombarded multitasking with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time. That is what Gary Keller talks about in his book “The ONE Thing”, focusing your energy on doing one thing at a time. Even Brian Tracy talks about knocking down one task at a time in his book “Eat that Frog”. Another negative side to multitasking is it takes away from you being mindful and present. As we are more in a present state, we can better retain information, listen, and be aware of, not being sabotaged by distractions. Start carving out a chunk of time on your phone or calendar with each Task TODO or project that you will complete for that day. When working on that task, put your phone away; don’t check emails or text messages or scroll on social media or online during this time. This will help you stay focused and get the work done without distractions.(4 5)

Fitness, in my opinion, is a mental exercise more than just physical. -Anushka Shetty

So as you see, it is vital in your Wellness journey to start focusing on your mental health and become mentally fit. Make sure you start working more on your mental fitness for at least 10 minutes a day or more. Then see how everything comes together in your health and wellness journey once you do.

To everyone who is overworked, busy, and stressed. So you are always busy working, on the go, or taking care of everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority. Let’s CHANGE That TODAY! 

Need help working on your healthy habits and mindset? I can help as a Holistic Wellness & Life Coach! Book a 15 min Success Call to see how I can help you in your Wellness & Life Journey this year!

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?


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!