🎉 We have a special announcement! 🎉 Our Facebook group has gone through a little makeover, so to celebrate, we’re giving away FREE access to the foundational level of the Body in Balance program to one lucky lady! Read below for all the details, join us via the link in my bio, and enter the contest! We’ll draw a winner Friday 💕. • Repost @amandamontalvord ・・・ Guess what y’all?! (FYI-I can say that now that I’ve almost been living in Texas for a year). • • @rootandbranchnutrition and I have been in the process of revamping our free online community for women formerly known as the Body in Balance Community. We are now the Balanced Babe community. • • What’s different? We’ve restructured how we share information. We do 2 Facebook lives a month based on a theme chosen by the ladies in our group—one with us and our point of view and one with an expert in the field (so fun!). • • We also pop in for shorter videos (5 minutes) throughout the week to help inspire, answer questions, and just chat! • • Why did this come about? We’ve been working hard at supporting women in this group for about 9 months now and did some evaluating that led to us wanting to name the group what our goal was for the group—to support all members in becoming balanced babes and living their best lives! • • We also want to keep expanding our brains and connecting with others so we decided to bring in experts. We truly think this is going to be great for everyone involved. • • To kick off the official Balanced Babe Community, this week we are giving away access to the foundational level of our Body in Balance Program for FREE to one lucky winner in our group. • • This winner can even upgrade to the VIP level for a super discounted price and get her hormones tested and receive a personalized protocol from us, plus work 1:1! So fun! • • If this sounds interesting to you and you want to enter the giveaway and see what we’ve got going on inside the Balanced Babe Community you can join here bitly.com/balanced-babes or click the link in my bio!
Sometimes meal prep is really interesting- you find some fun recipes, implement new foods, make the most pretty meal that’s IG worthy. And sometimes it’s just gotta be s i m p l e because LIFE. • When something is a priority, you make it happen. But it’s so important to be okay with things being imperfect and remove some of the stress (especially when it comes to food)! • One way I do this is making sure I have ingredients on hand that can make a quick meal, even if it’s not IG worthy (posting anyway 😂), or new or exciting (I ate the same meal 2 nights ago), or is basically the result of cleaning out the fridge at the end of the week (i.e. tonight), or is followed by chocolate 🍫😉. • Some staples we always try to have stocked at our place include salad 🥗, cruciferous veggie slaw, @primalkitchenfoods dressing (which can jazz up even the most basic meal), @caulipowered pizza 🍕, plantain or @sietefoods chips, brown rice or chickpea pasta, eggs 🍳, canned wild sardines, and frozen grass fed beef or turkey 🍔. Pair one of these proteins with 1-2 other ingredients, spices, cook or top with nourishing fat, and we’re good to go🍴. • This month we’re talking meal prep in our Body in Balance Facebook group. @amandamontalvord and @theemilymorrow got together earlier this week for a special love video chatting simple, stress-free meal prep tips and recipes, with a demo! Head to the link in my profile to join the group and get some ideas! • And let me know, what are your best meal prep tips?
One of the best things you can do for your body is to simply breathe- especially for your hormones! • There are 2 branches of the autonomic nervous system- the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. Most of us run in sympathetic all day- this is our alert, stressed, fight or flight state. It activates us and helps us survive in the face of threat, but sympathetic dominance interferes directly with our hormones as well as digestion, immune system, brain function, and more. • On the other hand, the parasympathetic state is our relaxed, restorative, healing state. It’s where we digest, rebuild, and rebalance. It is the yin to the yang of the sympathetic. And for the sake of our health, we need to hang out there more often. • Breathing deeply and slowly helps our bodies switch on the parasympathetic nervous system. It immediately can calm and center us. And practicing can train our bodies to get here quicker! • I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed this week and asked myself today “what can I do right now to feel better?” and my immediate thought was “breathe.” So I’ll keep breathing, keep supporting my body, and keep remembering that I have control over my reactions, no matter what. • Try it- stop what you’re doing now and just take 3 deep, slow breaths. Focus especially on filling your belly and exhaling fully. Then comment with an emoji that describes how you feel! 👇🏼😌✨
I'm not a fan of diets, especially for weight loss. They are synonymous with restriction, deprivation, hunger, and cravings. They often incite negative feelings and emotions. And they are built on a shaky foundation of misconceptions, particularly that eating less is the best (and only) way to lose weight. • There are hundreds of diets out there aimed at weight loss, and they all have quite a lot in common- there's likely an element of restriction, a focus on what you CAN'T eat, some set of rules to be followed, and likely some financial component as well. • Instead, ditching the diets and choosing real food is a powerful and natural way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss is much more about WHAT and even HOW you eat, rather than solely focusing on HOW MUCH you eat. • Real foods are those closest to their original, whole states. They are interpreted as nourishment, and are better digested, absorbed, and utilized as fuel. The natural nutrients (vitamins, minerals, essential fats, fiber, etc.) we need to function are abundant. They are free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colorings, and other additives that can be problematic. • Unlike processed and even low-fat and sugar-free foods, real foods positively affect our hormones, especially those involved in hunger, blood sugar regulation, and fat storage. Especially when meals are properly balanced, real food naturally supports a healthy weight by supporting all of the systems involved. • Simply eating real food can be used as a stepping stone for finding the specific nutrition approach that works for you. You can adjust amounts, specific foods, and overall balance to suit your needs, and you can continue to do so forever (unlike with a short-term diet). And while I fully support an intuitive eating approach, I also know that it works best with a framework of whole, nutrient-dense foods to support the body. • If this is new to you, just start by reading ingredients lists on the foods you buy. Start thinking about where your food comes from, what’s in it, and what happened between its original state and the way it shows up on your plate.
September is going to be a really crazy month for me and towards the end of last month, I found myself getting anxious. I was worried I wouldn’t get everything done and wouldn’t be able to slow down and enjoy the good things. I was mostly nervous that my health would suffer as I’m trying to *heal* some hormonal imbalances, not make them worse in the face of more stress. • But then I remembered- I control how I react. I control how I think. And (although to an extent), I control what I say yes and no to. • So I sat to reflect over the weekend on how I wanted to feel this month and what I wanted to focus on, and jotted down my September intentions. • Setting intentions is something I try to do every month. I brainstorm in a journal, write them out and make notes, and then simplify and rip a page out to hang where I can see it daily. It helps me create more of what I want in my life, and less of what I don’t. It gives me a path to follow and a gentle nudge when I need it. • If you haven’t set your September intentions, it’s not too late! Join our private group of Balanced Babes via the Iink in my profile to watch 2 videos we did this past week all about the process and how we set intentions. • What are your September intentions? Comment and let me know 😊.
A little Yoga for Stress with @adrienelouise this morning #pajamayoga 😊. • Moving my body daily and getting more yoga in is one of my September intentions (I’ll share more on that tomorrow). I love intense training and weightlifting, but sometimes my body doesn’t. Yet my body always loves yoga. It always leaves me feeling better than before I began. It always brings me joy. So the simple answer for me: Do more yoga. • Since I work with many women dealing with low energy, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances, yoga is pretty much ALWAYS included in my client’s protocols. Finding a studio and attending classes is a great way to be accountable and find connection, but sometimes there are barriers preventing that from happening. • This is one reason why I love Yoga with Adriene @fwfglife. It’s free on YouTube and the library is as varied as it is extensive- there’s something for everyone. But I especially love her philosophy of finding what feels good and moving like you love your body. I feel like we all could use a little more of that! • I challenge you to add some yoga into your routine and see how you feel! • PS- This is not sponsored in any way and like always, just sharing things I love and think you may too 😘.
I've been thinking a lot about this the past week, sparked by a few conversations with clients and taking time to reflect on intentions for the upcoming month. It seems to relate in so many different facets of the work I do, but also so much going on in my own life. And I see it happen in two ways. • For one, many of us tend to go through the motions, checking things off the list, looking only toward what's next. We never take a minute to pause and be present in the moment so we can really find joy and gratitude along the way. We keep chasing satisfaction in productivity. • I also see that many of us, while on our journeys toward whatever goal we have, meet challenges and detours and let these throw us off. We fail to see that ebbs and flows are not failures but are just bumps in the journey. We find ourselves falling off track and promise to get back on tomorrow/Monday/next month but don't realize that there really is no track- there is just life. Meeting goals is never linear and we're wasting time putting things off until we can be perfect. • So whatever you're working toward-- whether it healing, weight loss, adopting healthier nutrition habits, getting back in the gym, training for a race... or even things like looking for a job, searching for a house, starting a business, planning a wedding, preparing for a new baby-- it can't hurt to slow down, be present, and enjoy the process. It will help us appreciate whatever we're after even more once we get there.
A Sunday well spent- backyard camping, coffee by the fire, a long hike, and lots of family time ❤️. (Oh & in exactly two months I marry this handsome guy 😍). • What’s everyone doing this holiday weekend?
I know- this phrase is one that’s thrown around a LOT. But I think we all need the constant reminder. • I’ve been reading @brenebrown’s Daring Greatly, and I’m getting a whole new perspective on this idea and it’s starting to finally sink in. • We ALL have these feelings— that we aren’t smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough, strong enough, talented enough, successful enough, (insert word) enough. We’re never satisfied. We compare to everyone else. We think we need to be and do more to be worthy. • When the reality is, we’re all trying our best. We’re all imperfect, but we’re all worthy of love and success and happiness regardless of our imperfections (or maybe even because of them). • When we learn to practice self-compassion, and we open up the conversation about the thoughts we struggle with, we can see that we’re not alone. And that none of us are perfect and we don’t need to be.
Woke up to a gorgeous morning so decided to head to the park and take my new @evolvedmotion Empack for a spin. • Despite being short on time (you gotta sleep in when you need it, am I right?!), I still got an amazing workout in- and the best part was that I felt energized after, not exhausted. • Here’s what I did- • 12 rounds: 6 bent-over rows. 6 squat cleans. 6 shoulder presses. 6 squats. • I’m seeing lots of outdoor workouts in my future with this new toy 😍.
Under-eating is one of the most common reasons I see people struggling to lose weight. And chronic dieting- specifically calorie restriction- can actually make weight loss (and maintenance) more and difficult in the long run. Dieting culture tells us we need to eat less to lose weight. But that’s not necessarily the truth. • What usually happens? We go on a diet or cut calories (and often simultaneously increase exercise), and see initial weight loss. But then we plateau and progress stalls. And our first instinct when we stop seeing results is to eat less, move more. Be stricter with diet, more intense with exercise— which just depleted and stresses our bodies more. • We need fuel. We need sufficient calories, macronutrients, and vitamins and minerals. When we deprive our bodies of adequate nutrition, they don’t have the necessary materials to function properly. • Our bodies always adapt. They want to conserve energy when we don’t take in enough calories so they prioritize metabolic functions. Not only does this mean a decrease in metabolism, but vital processes get put on the back burner. This is where you may notice brain fog, menstrual cycle changes, poor sleep, and depressed mood. It’s common to enter a cycle of continual caloric restriction to match the slow in metabolic rate. It becomes more difficult to lose weight, or maintain weight loss, by eating the same amounts we once did. • Instead, we can focus on properly nourishing our bodies, with conservative calorie restriction to support fat loss. This is where balanced meals and whole, nutrient-rich foods come in. This is where slowing down at meals and eating mindfully is important. And this is where paying attention to the body- not just the number on the scale- is crucial. Signs like low energy, cravings, and consistent hunger are not things to deal with, ignore, or suppress. They are important signals our bodies are sending us as feedback. • If you’ve been dieting or restricting your calories for a long time (which I would define as 3 months or more), or are struggling with a stall in weight loss, it may be helpful to consider increasing your food and nutrient intake!
A week ago, Root and Branch Nutrition turned 3 and today, this picture popped up in my memories. I’ll never forget the feeling of receiving this in the mail and finally knowing that my lifelong dream was “official.” Like “I know exactly what I want to do,” but also “what the hell am I doing?!”. • I took some time last week to reflect on the path these past few years have taken me on and where I want it to all go next. I wanted to share 3 quick thoughts here in the sake of vulnerability and authenticity of course, but also especially for anyone who has been a part of this journey or is looking to pursue a career in this field. • 1) I do not have all the answers. About nutrition. About health. About business. And I don’t pretend to. I get the whole “fake it til you make it” idea and I agree to an extent. But I also don’t want to pretend to be anything I’m not. What I can tell you is that if I don’t know it, I will do whatever I can to learn it! I think that’s been a humbling and powerful lesson for me- not knowing is never a deterrent, and my drive to change that is what matters. • 2) Nutritional therapy has been probably the most rewarding endeavor of my life. I've helped change lives. I've helped women break free from diets and restriction and find freedom with food. I've helped women who were struggling to get pregnant conceive and have healthy babies. I've even helped past clients find a new career path in nutritional healing! But in the end, I give credit to the clients because they did the work. I do the digging, the guiding, the supporting. They all make it happen and I'm so proud. • 3) I still can't figure out if empaths are drawn to this work, or if this work makes us empaths. All I know is that I feel all the things. I take on my clients' stress, their struggles, their successes. I do believe it makes me more successful in my work- it drives me to help and solve problems. But it also increases my need to take care of my self. Balancing the two is hard. If I ever figure it out, I will let you all know! So for those in my personal life who don't see or hear from me as much... (continued in comments👇🏼)
I’m just settling in after an amazing weekend celebrating my dear friends’ wedding, relaxing and reconnecting with my tribe, and exploring what the Great Smoky Mountains and Knoxville have to offer (like this gorgeous art I just had to capture😍). • Weekends like this truly keep me grounded and sane. I am so grateful to have people in my life who constantly remind me of what’s most important. Plus, some time away is always refreshing and puts things in perspective! • Where is your bliss leading you?
When you believe that you “can’t” eat something, you’ve taken away your power. • When you use this language to defend your eating to others, you may even meet resistance and pressure. • But when you flip the script and own your choices, a magical and freeing change happens. You step into control of your own body. You take your power back. Think about this: Why may you feel you “can’t” eat a certain food? Unless you’re allergic, there’s not much other reasoning. Are you following a diet plan that places that food off limits? Did you read or hear that food is “bad”? Are you unable to fit that food into your daily calorie or macro allotment? How valid is the reason you cannot eat something? • Even if you’re working with a practitioner and are following a therapeutic diet that removes some foods for a period of time... isn’t it your choice to follow that protocol in order to heal? • And even if a particular food causes certain symptoms, isn’t it your choice on how you consume that food in order to avoid those symptoms? • Sometimes, a food doesn’t work for our bodies. But if we want to eat it, we are by all means “allowed” to. If we want to avoid or lessen it in our diet because it doesn’t help us feel our best, it’s not because we “can’t” eat it, it’s because we are choosing not to. • All I’m trying to say that when it comes to what you eat and don’t eat, you have free will. When you choose, you own your decision. Get rid of the shame and guilt that comes when you “cheat” on your diet or “are so bad” when you eat a cookie. It’s always your choice! • A week ago, I did a video in Body in Balance about the importance of choice in your intuitive eating journey, specifically when it comes to finding what works for your body. If this resonates with you, I recommend you check it out! Head to the link in my profile to watch.
What honoring my hormones with movement looked like today... • Entering my follicular phase means bringing on some heavier weight training. 👉🏼 Ladies, this is an optimal time in our cycles for strength training. We are primed for muscle growth and strength increases here, and less prone to injury. We also use carbs more efficiently during this phase (think fuel and recovery!). • Yet also, being kind to my adrenals after an emotionally stressful time means focusing on movement quality and strengthening the basics. 👉🏼 Weakened adrenal output and chronic stress leads to weakened ligaments, especially in the hips and low back. Being careful not to push yourself too hard if this is the case is so important. • Add this all up and it meant box squats and lots accessory work this morning, followed by a chiropractic adjustment tonight to support recovery and get me into parasympathetic (think- chill and restore) mode. • Your hormones have a major influence on your body- and that of course effects exercise. And for women, this is especially true. The hormonal shifts we go through impact our training motivation, intensity, recovery, and adaptation. • How do you honor your hormones through different phases?