The Happy Healthy Hunny 2-Week Clean Eating Reset

Overview

What is clean eating? There are a lot of opinions on what “clean” food really is, but to me it means eating things that either

  1. are a plant,
  2. grew from a plant,
  3. ate a plant,
  4. ate something that ate a plant, or
  5. are products of either 3 or 4 – meaning something like milk.

Basically, not eating things that were made in an industrial plant.

The Clean Eating Reset is designed to help you start kicking cravings to sugar and processed foods so that you have an easier time sticking to a healthy lifestyle. Once sugar and nutrient-deficient processed foods are in our bodies, we want more and more of them. The only way to kick the cravings is to let these foods (or I should say “foods”) pass through your system so that your body forgets about them and no longer craves them. Processed foods and sugar are truly a drug designed to be addictive and need to be treated as such.

Why 2 weeks? Because two weeks is a time frame that you’re likely to stick to. A 30-day clean eating program can seem really daunting and big challenges that we’re not used to doing often lead us to feeling overwhelmed and then self-sabotaging ourselves. This doesn’t mean that you can’t keep going past the two weeks, but I do think you’ll have an easier time staying committed to the reset by starting with two weeks.

I’m also including tips and challenges for self-care because cleaning out negative thoughts from your mind is really important to living a healthy lifestyle. The vast majority of our unhealthy habits and choices stem from a negative emotion and if you can turn those emotions around and/or learn how to cope with them in healthier ways, you’ll see a huge turnaround in your physical health.

Thank you for trying out my Clean Eating Reset and congratulations on making a decision to work towards a happier and healthier You!

Clean Food List

Vegetables:

  • All vegetables are clean if they come fresh or frozen!

Proteins:

  • Meats such as chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and wild game
  • Fish such as tuna, haddock, salmon, and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Natural protein powders derived from plants, like the Vega brand
  • Nuts do have protein, but are considered more of a fat source
  • Beans do have protein, but are considered more of a carb source
  • Note: Foods like chicken nuggets and fish sticks do not count as “clean” because even though they started as a clean food, they were processed in an industrial plant. Keep proteins as close to their natural source as possible, unless it’s a ground meat product with no additives

Fats:

  • Nuts- raw, dry roasted, and/or salted are all OK
  • Nut spreads – with no additives like sugar
  • Seeds – such as Chia and Flax
  • Egg yolk
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil & Coconut Oil
  • Animal fat
  • Whole Fat: Butter & Milk & Greek Yogurt (limit dairy intake)

Carbs:

  • Fruit – just like vegetables, they’re clean fresh or frozen!
  • Potatoes – regular or sweet
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Beans
  • Oats (minimally processed)
  • Whole Grains (limit as much as possible)

Beverages:

  • Water – lots of it!
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Fresh-squeezed fruit & vegetable juice
  • Coconut, Almond, and other nut milks are all clean if there are no additives

Self-Care

Tips:

  • Work on having a positive mindset focused “I can do this and whatever else I set my mind to”
  • Replace criticisms of yourself with compliments
  • Surround yourself with people who bring you positivity instead of negativity and lift you up instead of put you down
  • Smile at yourself whenever you look in the mirror to build confidence and self-love
  • Take time for yourself to do things you enjoy to remind yourself that your needs are a priority
  • Focus on your health and how you feel rather than how you look
  • Stick to physical activities you actually enjoy so that exercise doesn’t feel like a punishment or something you “have to do”
  • Always focus on the things you have accomplished instead of the goals you have not reached
  • Have the courage to follow your intuition and to follow the paths that you know are right for you, rather than letting other people guide your life. It will limit feelings of helplessness and build more self-confidence.

Challenges:

  • During the reset, have at least 80% of your meals be home-cooked, even if they were cooked at someone else’s home or by someone else.
  • Over the two weeks, set aside time for physical activity at least 6 times. It can be going to the gym, doing a workout at home, going for a walk around the neighborhood, or anything else that gets you moving. Make sure to only pick activities you enjoy!
  • Over the two weeks, set aside time for meditation at least 2 times. It can be as little as 5 minutes in total silence or listening to a soothing song and connecting with what you are feeling in the moment. Or it can be a longer guided meditation directed towards a goal you have.
  • Make a list of the ways you want to feel as a new “goals” list instead of one that is appearance-based and keep that somewhere you can look at whenever you’re feeling discourage or un-motivated.
  • Every time you criticize yourself or someone else makes a criticism of you, give yourself 3 compliments to negate the criticism.

What are your favorite clean eating recipes and favorite things to do for self-care? Comment below or on the Facebook post!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley


5 Simple Ways to Build Self-Love

Self-love is the most important part of living a happy – and healthy – life. It’s what gives you the confidence and strength to fight for the life you deserve surrounded by others who empower you instead of one filled with self-doubt surrounded by people who tear you down further. Self-love doesn’t mean you can’t love others and they can’t love you. It means that you love yourself so fully that you are able to love others selflessly and that other people’s love of you is simply a bonus rather than the determining factor of your happiness.

Self-love is knowing that you are worth all of the beautiful things in life you desire and having the courage to get them for yourself.

But building self-love can be tough. We live in a world that constantly makes us aware of our “flaws”.  It tells us we’re not smart enough. We’re not thin enough. We’re not pretty enough. We’re not good enough. It’s up to you to break through all of that negative noise and convince yourself that are good enough.

Here are simple things you can do on a daily basis to improve your self-love:

  1. Smile at yourself whenever you look in a mirror. This is honestly the easiest and most impactful way to build self-love. Think about the warm fuzzies you feel when someone else smiles at you. You have the power to give those feelings to yourself whenever you smile in a mirror. It’s a silent way of saying “I like you. You are worth kindness.” And the best part is that those feelings or worth are coming from yourself, making other people’s opinions of you unimportant.
  2. Accept compliments from other people. How often does someone compliment you and your response is to negate that compliment whether out loud to that person or in your own head? Imagine the difference it would make in your self-esteem to believe the compliments you get instead of always putting yourself down.
  3. Take time for self-care. Most of us are guilty of making the other people in our life our priority and never taking the time to put ourselves first. It’s so important to take “me time” to do something good for yourself. Whether that’s getting a massage, getting your nails done, doing an at-home spa night, taking your favorite spin class, quietly reading a great book, or binge-watching your favorite TV show. As long as it’s something YOU want to do that makes YOU happy, do it! It’s a simple way to remind yourself that your needs are just as important as everyone else’s.
  4. Stand up for yourself. This one is a bit more challenging and uncomfortable to do at first, but it is so worth it. Think about the people in your life who push you around and make you feel bad about yourself. Now imagine standing up to those people and preventing them from putting you down. It can be scary standing up to someone, especially if they are in a position “above” you such as a boss or parent, but allowing someone to insult you or push you around on a regular basis can have a huge negative impact on your self-worth and the sooner you stop their behavior, the sooner you’ll feel better about yourself.
  5. Make a list of everything you like about yourself. Once you start your list, you’ll be surprised by how quickly it will grow! It may start out as just a few things, but over time that list will grow as your self-love grows. You can either keep a running list on a piece of paper or you can put sticky notes somewhere in your home that you’ll see every day so you’ll have a constant reminder of all of the great things about you. Imagine the impact of combatting the negative messages you receive every day from the outside world with your own positive words about yourself. Now that’s self-empowerment!

Do you have other ways to improve your self-love? Share them in the comments either on my site or Facebook page!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley


How to De-Stress and Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety

Whether you suffer from full-blown anxiety or just the stress of daily life, there are simple things you can do every day to feel better. I will say that if you do have anxiety, it is always a smart move to at least talk to your primary care doctor and hopefully see a therapist because these tips may not be enough. But I do believe they can make a big difference for those with daily stress and also help in the quality of life for those suffering from anxiety.

The most important thing you can do is to to identify what causes you stress/anxiety and, if you are able to, avoid those situations and people. For example: I personally struggle with large crowds, so I avoid bars/clubs, large parties, and I do my shopping when I know the store won’t be its busiest.

However, sometimes it can be difficult to avoid our stressors, like in the instance of our jobs. If you are not prepared to leave your job and it is causing you a lot of stress, it is important to find ways to manage that stress. If there are certain co-workers who are adding to the problem, try having a respectful conversation with them about how they can help you out or at least not make things worse for you. You can also use your lunch break to completely leave the building to get a mental break in your day that will allow you to regroup. If it is the amount of work you have stressing you out, try creating to-do lists and check things off as you go so that you continue to feel accomplished and your tasks feel manageable.

Work is one (and probably the most common) example, but there are many other factors in our life that can be contributing to our stress/anxiety. Each case will have its own specific ways in which it can be helped, but let’s talk about general methods of reducing stress that may apply to a situation you find yourself in.

  • Meditate. Meditating at least once a day – whether in the morning, mid-day, or at night – is a great way to calm your mind and center yourself. It is a period of time for you to disconnect with the world and focus on yourself and what you are feeling. Guided meditations are an excellent way to bring positivity into your life.
  • Prioritize. Sometimes just having too many things going on can cause a lot of stress. Being able to look at the bigger picture and prioritize what should be done first and possibly finding things that can be taken off of the list altogether will help a lot with stress management.
  • Prioritize part 2. Another way to look at prioritizing is to decide what deserves your energy and attention and what does not. Sometimes there are things that stress us out that are beyond our control and it is important to be able to remove them from our thoughts and not give them any energy. Instead, focus your energy and attention on the positive things in your life to bring more peace and happiness.
  • Breathe. When you do find yourself caught up in stress and anxiety and it feels overwhelming, take a few moments to breathe. Think of it as a mini meditation where all you are focusing on is your breath and centering yourself. It is a great opportunity to tune out whatever is causing you stress and to focus on something simple.
  • Talk. Sometimes the most helpful thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to talk to someone about it. It gives you a chance to get out of your own head and see things more clearly. Plus, venting always feels great because you know you are not alone in your problem. Whether the person gives you advice you wouldn’t have come up with on your own or just provides emotional support, you’re going to leave the conversation feeling much better and more in control of whatever is stressing you out.
  • Exercise. Whether it’s running it out, lifting it out, dancing it out, punching it out, or doing whatever you like best, exercising is an incredible stress-reliever. Not only do you create an outlet for your aggression, you also release feel-good endorphins that will help fight off the negativity in your life.
  • Reduce Caffeine. As someone who used to drink 4 cups of coffee a day and constantly had the jitters and was an anxious wreck, I can confidently say that reducing your caffeine intake will work wonders on your stress and anxiety. You don’t need to go cold turkey (I still have 1-2 cups per day), but keep lowering your intake until you feel those daily jitters go away and find that your stress levels have been significantly reduced.

If you have any other methods of stress-reduction, feel free to leave them in the comments 🙂 I’d love to hear your ideas!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley


What is “Integrative Nutrition”?

We all know what nutrition is. It’s concerning the food and beverages we put into our bodies and how it all nourishes us. So what is “integrative nutrition”?

Integrative Nutrition is the concept that food isn’t the only important factor to nourishing our bodies. You can probably guess that fitness is also an important factor to your health, but did you know that your relationships (whether they’re romantic, friendships or family), career, spirituality, and so many other facets of your life play a huge role in your overall health?

My favorite question that really gets to the core of integrative nutrition is: “Why do you do what you do when you know what you know?” In other words: If you know how to be healthy and the steps you should be taking daily to feel your best, why do you continue to make unhealthy choices that keep you from being the healthiest version of yourself?

For instance, you know you’re supposed to eat nourishing unprocessed foods at every meal and your plan is to go to the gym every night. Yet, multiple nights a week you find yourself leaving work to go home to eat pizza or ice cream along with a bottle of wine and you skip your workout. Or you go out for drinks and unhealthy restaurant food with co-workers or friends instead of going home to your healthy groceries and taking the spin class you planned on taking. Or, if you’re a parent, you eat the chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese you made for your kids instead of the healthy meal you planned on making for yourself. Why do so many of us make these choices when we know what the right ones are? Are we stressed about our jobs and need to let loose? Are we in an unhappy relationship – or unhappy because we’re not in a relationship – so we eat and drink our feelings? Are we tired and overwhelmed from all of our daily responsibilities that we feel like we can’t put the effort into one more thing? Or are we simply giving into social pressure from friends, romantic partners, and/or family only to regret it later and beat ourselves up for it?

There are countless reasons we make unhealthy decisions when we know the right ones to make and it is my job to figure out why those decisions are being made. Once you know the emotional triggers behind your unhealthy choices, you can start working on healing those issues and before you know it making healthy choices for yourself will come easy. It’s all about learning the right healthy choices for you, figuring out the “why’s” behind your unhealthy choices, coming up with coping strategies that don’t involve food, and becoming the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley