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Are you ready to train your brain this spring?

Science has proven the power of the brain and visualizing.

Check this out:

Scientific studies reveal that when you visualize an action, you stimulate the same brain regions as when you actually perform that action. Cool!

Medical studies prove that when stroke victims imagine moving a limb – even after it’s paralyzed by a stroke – brain blood flow increases enough to reduce tissue death. Wow!

One athletic study proved that visualization enabled nationally ranked gymnasts to execute several complex tricks for the first time.

Visualization has also been shown to improve high jumpers clearing the bar!

In other words, your brain can be trained to create outcomes you most want.

And this is exactly why I’m hosting a full-day workshop to focus on the dreams and desires you want to blossom and bloom into reality. Because it works!

On April 22, I’m hosting my BLOSSOM & BLOOM VISION-BOARD WORKSHOP.

It’s a full-day immersion for you to focus on your authentic life and get clarity and to focus on the dreams and desired you want to manifest!

Spring is a perfect time to nourish the tender buds of the visions you may have planted during the cold, dark winter months. Now’s the time to allow those blossoms emerge in this season of renewal with a day of creativity, community and clarity for what you want to bring to life throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Only 20 spaces are available for this workshop. Register here.

Would you like to train your brain to attract your dream life?

Will you say YES to creating a vision that can manifest your dreams?

>>> Click here to be taken to my Vision-Board Workshop website where you can read all the juicy details and register!

With sweetness,

NEW DATE: Spring Vision-Board Workshop

Well spring came in like a lion today in Nova Scotia with a freezing rain storm that has closed public schools which means kids are home for one more day after the March break.

Not exactly the lamb-like start we might have hoped for this spring.

Oh well, not much we can do about the weather. What we can do is choose our reactions, our coping mechanisms and how we show up when things don’t go as planned. Because that’s life. It never really goes as planned does it?

This happened to me recently when I announced the date for my Spring Vision-Board Workshop. I scheduled it for April 1st and heard from many of you that date didn’t work. Too close to March break, travel plans and other conflicting events happening that weekend locally.

So I had to make a decision about how I reacted to this turn of events – get grumbly, frustrated and pouty about it, or get proactive, positive and solution-focussed. And that’s just what I did. I have a new date, a new website and very excited to launch it to you today!

The Blossom & Bloom Spring Vision-Board Workshop will take place on Saturday, April 22nd at the Wooden Monkey Restaurant in Dartmouth.

>> Check out the new web page with all the details of the workshop here.

Spring is the season of renewal. New light and new possibilities. The days grow longer, plants blossom and bloom, baby animals are born. We’re surrounded by new growth, new intentions and new opportunities. Spring beckons us toward greater self expression and serves as an opportune time to set our intentions into motion.

During the dark, colder winter months we think, we contemplate we go inward to reflect and hibernate. We nurture the seeds and intentions we planted and set in the fall. As we welcome the lightness of spring it’s time to encourage those those tender buds to blossom with a day of creativity, community and clarity.

I invite you to join me for a full day to focus on the dreams and desires you want to manifest through the spring, summer and fall and allow them to blossom and bloom into reality.

It’s not too late to set in motion the resolutions you created in January and is not too late to reach your goals in 2017. Spring is the perfect time to create a vision board for what you want to BE, DO and HAVE in your life.

>>> Read all the details of the workshop and register here.

Thanks so much for being a valued member of my community. I can’t wait to see you in person and help you manifest your dreams.

With sweetness,

At this time of year I always get a little bored with food. My palate is growing tired of the winter fare – the root veggies, stews and big pots of soup.

At the beginning of the winter season I love these meals but after three or four months of the same old, same old, I find myself in a food funk.

I start to crave new tastes and textures, long for the spring greens to appear and hanker for some new recipes.

I wrote about this last year when I was getting bored of the winter root veggies stocking the farmer’s market tables. I’d had my fill of cabbage, leeks, kale and turnip. They’d been our staple, go-to veggies for many months and with the spring harvest still a few weeks away, I needed a change.

So I shared this winter harvest salad recipe that helped bridge the transition.

This cobb salad is also a good one that can be enjoyed any time of year.

The salads I enjoy as we move from winter to spring are hearty, filled with lots of chopped, shredded and chunky veggies, a good serving of protein and and a flavourful dressing. These are definitely full meal salads.

Today I want to share with you my new favourite salad that had been getting me through these last few weeks.

It came about when I looked in my fridge and found some leftover slicked chicken breast and all of those winter veggies that just weren’t doing it for me.

“What can I do with chicken, cabbage and carrots?” I asked myself? “Hmmm, a chunky asian chopped salad might be nice.”

So I began the search for a recipe I could adapt to what I had in my fridge. After a few google entries I found a couple that fit the bill. I went to work chopping, grating and blending.

The result was a crunchy, thai flavoured, meal-sized salad that left my taste buds and belly satisfied for hours afterward. My mouth is seriously watering again for this big bowl of yumminess.

You could use any crunchy firm veggies you have (first time I didn’t have cucumber and it was perfectly fine) and it would work well with any leftover protein – beef, chicken or pork. But it’s the dressing that really makes this salad all that! It’s the “piece de resistance” the highlight, the jewel in the crown.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Crunchy Chopped Asian Chicken Salad

Ingredients

For the Peanut Dressing:

1/3 cup organic peanut butter (I use Nuts to You brand)
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce (I use Bragg liquid soy seasoning)
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, quartered
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

For the Salad:

1 1/2 cups shredded or chopped chicken
3 cups chopped Napa cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage (you could use 4 cups of a prepared coleslaw mix or other shredded veggie mix in a pinch)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber seeded and cut in 1 inch chunks
2 medium green onions thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth and looks like caramel.

For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. When ready to serve add in the dressing and and toss to coat. You might not need all the dressing. Serve with chopped peanuts on top, lime wedge and cilantro garnish.

Serves 4

Chocolate Avocado Cake

I’m always on the hunt for sweet treats we can enjoy from time-to-time, for special occasions or when those sweet cravings hit.

Because I help my clients manage their blood sugars and move away from processed refined sugars, many people mistakenly think I will tell them they can never have sugar again. Well that would be a pretty miserable existence wouldn’t it?

While some of us may be more sensitive to sugar and have to watch how often we’re eating it, I believe there is always time and space in our lives for the occasional sweet treat.

This winter my husband came home with a recipe from one of his patients for a chocolate avocado cake that has become one of our favs.

He first made it during snowmageddon – that enormous nor ‘easter that dumped about three feet of snow on Nova Scotia! While we were seeing pictures of our friends on Facebook indulging in “storm chips” (yes that’s a real thing in these parts), after shovelling we treated ourselves to “storm cake.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cake is a cross between a chocolate cheesecake and a chocolate mousse pie. The flavour is rich chocolate fudge, texture is creamy and smooth and it’s not too sweet. It’s quick to whip up, no-bake and keeps nicely in the fridge for a week or so.

This guilt-free chocolate cake is also dairy, gluten and grain-free. So what’s in it you ask? Mostly avocado, dates and nuts. Here’s the recipe.

Chocolate Avocado Cake

For the crust:

  • 1 cup organic unsalted pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins or pitted medjool dates (we’ve used dates both times)

Pulse nuts and dates in food processor until fully combined. Press into cheesecake pan

For the filling:

  • 2 ripe avocados – peeled and pitted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup organic cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews (soaked in hot water for 10 mins and rinsed)
  • pinch of sea salt

Blend all filling ingredients in the food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour over crust. Chill in fridge before serving. The longer in the fridge the better.

We’ve simply enjoyed the cake plain on it;s own, but it would also be yummy topped organic whipped cream, your favourite healthy ice cream or fruit.

Enjoy!

With sweetness,

Michelle MacLean, Health Coach

I’m excited today to let you know another Manifest Your Dreams Vision-Board Workshop is in the works.

The workshop in January had such an awesome response (19 out of 20 spots sold) and such great feedback (see below), that I want to do it again!

Here’s a picture of the group in January with their finished vision boards:

And here’s what a few of them had to say about their experience:

“Thank you for a positively great experience — I had lots of fun. Great participants. Location was fabulous. I am very hopeful that my dreams will come true.”

“There was so much I loved about the workshop! I’d say the best part was the visualization we did at the beginning. It help so much with my board.”

“At the end of the day I felt great, relaxed, happy and focused. It was an awesome day and meet some wonderful people.”

On March 6th I’ll be releasing all the details of my spring workshop and opening registration. By joining the VIP Invite list below you can hear the details 24 hours before everyone else.

The Manifest Your Dreams Vision-Board Workshop is an in-person event being held in the Halifax area. There are only 20 spots available and they’ll go fast. I want to make sure those of you who are truly interested can get early access and claim your space.

Join me and a room full of like-minded people for a full day of creativity, connection and community. Begin the spring season with intention, clarity and motivation around the dreams and desires you want to manifest in the remainder of 2017!

Just click the link below and submit your name and email address to be added to the VIP Early Notification List.

>>> CLICK HERE!

Why get on the VIP Early Notification list?

Getting on the VIP Early Notification list gives you access to all the details of my spring Manifest Your Dreams Vision Board Workshop 24 hours earlier than everyone else. There are only 20 spots available so this is your chance to make sure you don’t miss out.

* By signing up for the list, you are not obligated to purchase a ticket to the workshop.

Here’s the link one more time. CLICK HERE!

I can wait to recreate this magic once again.

With sweetness,

Five tips to minimize risk of Alzheimer’s

Every year, 25,000 Canadians are diagnosed with dementia. Currently there are 564,000 Canadians living with dementia and there are more than one million Canadians affected directly or indirectly by the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia and the most common.

In recognition of Alzheimer awareness month, I dedicate today’s column to understanding the connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, and how you can minimize your risk of developing the disease.

Diet and disease

You may have heard that Alzheimer’s disease is being called “Type 3 diabetes.”

Dr. Mark Hyman says, “New research shows insulin resistance, or what I call diabesity (from eating too many carbs and sugar and not enough fat) is one of the major factors that starts the brain-damage cascade, which robs the memory of over half the people in their 80s, leading to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Joseph Mercola says, “Mounting research suggests our modern diet is playing a significant role in the skyrocketing prevalence of Alzheimer’s. Processed foods tend to be nearly devoid of healthy fat while being excessive in sugar, and this combination appears to be at the heart of the problem.”

Dr. David Perlmutter says, “There’s so much in the news these days calling attention to the fact that diabetes is associated with a profoundly increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease … but there’s an important point that is absolutely critical to understand. While it seems like a good idea for diabetic patients to take medication to control blood sugar, the research seems to indicate that diabetics taking these drugs do not improve their situation, in terms of lowering their risk for Alzheimer’s.”

Connected, but how?

On their website, Mayo Clinic staff write, “Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are connected in ways that aren’t yet fully understood. While not all research confirms the connection, many studies suggest people with diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes, are at higher risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s dementia or other dementias. Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes may help reduce your risk of cognitive decline.”

Further from the Mayo Clinic, “Diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 per cent increased risk for dementia while high-fat diets are associated with a 44 per cent reduced risk. This combination of very little sugar and carbs, along with higher amounts of healthy fat is essential not only to address Alzheimer’s, but diabetes and heart disease as well, since all of these conditions are rooted in insulin and leptin resistance.”

The good news is that diet and lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The thing to remember is that diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease don’t happen overnight. Symptoms and damage start earlier in life and take decades to develop and worsen.

Five ways to minimize your risk of Alzheimer’s disease:

1. Reduce processed refined carbs. The number one dietary strategy is to remove the processed refined carbs and sugars — things like candy, desserts, sweets, pastries, cookies, etc. Your focus should be on getting healthy amounts of carbohydrates primarily through vegetables.

2. Eat healthy fats to nourish your brain. There is plenty of research to support overall health benefits, and specifically for the brain, of eating healthy fats like avocados, grass-fed butter, olives, organic virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nuts like walnuts, pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs and wild fatty fish.

3. Exercise daily. Studies show physical activity can prevent and even slow down the progression of cognitive decline and brain diseases like dementia. And it doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or run a marathon. In fact, even a 30-minute walk each day will help. If you are more active, things like high-intensity interval training or weight lifting are great. Find something you love to do that gets you moving and do it regularly.

4. Control your stress levels. Chronic stress takes a toll on your body and brain, so if you want to stay healthy, find a way to reduce stress and relax. Common strategies include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, mindfulness practices, walking in nature, reading a good book, enjoying a hobby, taking a hot bath and massage.

5. Get a good night’s sleep. Poor sleep is another risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, so you’ll want to make quality sleep a priority. Aim for between seven to eight hours each night. Minimize television and blue light from computers right before bed. Develop a calming routine for winding down in the evening.

While there is no guarantee these tips will prevent Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive conditions, implementing them is a good start toward providing your brain and your body with the nourishment they need to be healthy and well.

If you would like further support to keep your brain healthy and well through a low carbohydrate diet and healthy lifestyle activities, I have a variety of ways we could work together. From private coaching packages, to food diary reviews, one-time nutritional consultations and online group programs, we’ll find the right support to fit your budget and health needs. Drop me an email at mmhealthcoach@gmail.com and we’ll schedule a free 30-minute phone conversation to discuss.

This post first appeared here in the Halifax Citizen on January 30, 2017. 

Five steps to a healthy smoothie

I had the opportunity to be a guest on Global TV recently demonstrating how to make a healthy smoothie.

The hosts loved my blend of organic blueberries, organic spinach, cacao powder, avocado and water (see recipe below).

I believe smoothies can be healthy, convenient additions to a whole foods diet. Here are a few reasons why, some common mistakes people make and a five-step process for building a healthy smoothie.

WHY SMOOTHIES ARE SO GREAT

1. Depending on what ingredients you include, they can have fat, fibre and protein, which is my magic combination for keeping your blood sugar stable. If these are all included, your smoothie constitutes a complete whole foods meal.

2. They are a great way to get added greens into your diet. And especially good for kids who don’t like the dark leafy greens, as you can mask them with the flavours of the other ingredients.

3. You can make a big batch in the morning, drink some for breakfast and keep some for later as a snack. And they are convenient to sip on-the-run, in the car or on the bus.

4. They can be a great whole foods breakfast. Breakfast can be one of the most sugar-laden, unhealthy meals of the day.

COMMON SMOOTHIE MISTAKES

1. Including too much fruit. Using fruit juice like orange or pineapple as a base can add more sugar than a can of soda. Then adding in bananas, pineapple or other high glycemic fruits can be a lot of fructose to ingest first thing in the morning. I’m not saying all fruit is bad, but you want to balance out your smoothies with some other healthy ingredients.

2. Skipping the healthy fat. Most smoothies do not contain much, if any, healthy fat. To make sure your smoothie is balanced, keeps you full, satiated and stabilizes your blood sugars, you want to include healthy fat. My favourite way is to add 1/4 of an avocado.

3. Drinking too many calories. If you make a whole foods smoothie with all the necessary ingredients, it is a full meal. Many people have their smoothie in addition to their regular breakfast, which adds a big hit of extra calories. It’s best to have your smoothie alone, or break it up over a couple of meals and snacks throughout the day.

4. Buying pre-made smoothies and mixes. Smoothies have become known as a healthy food, but beware of pre-packaged smoothies and mixes which can be loaded with sugar, additives and nowhere close to being healthy. Make your own at home with a few ingredients to ensure you are getting the best quality ingredients.

FIVE STEPS TO A HEALTHY SMOOTHIE

1. Start with the base.

I usually just use water. Adding in juices usually just provides too many extra calories and sugar without the nutrient value. Other options are coconut water, chilled teas and milks such as almond or hemp.

2. Add in greens.

We all know that dark leafy greens are nutrient dense powerhouses, and most of us need to get in more greens each day. At this step, add in spinach, kale, collards or lettuce greens — the darker the better to get all those vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients.

3. Add some fruit to create more sweetness.

I prefer berries which have less sugar than some other fruits like pineapple, bananas and apples. Frozen berries are great to keep on hand for your smoothies. Berries are packed with antioxidants, fibre and phytonutrients that protect your cells from damage.

4. Add in some fat.

My favourite healthy fat is avocado, since it gives a lovely creamy texture to the smoothie and provides a healthy dose of potassium (more than bananas) and healthy monounsaturated fats which are heart healthy. They also have lots of fibre. Other options are nuts, nut butters, coconut oil or organic, full-fat yogurt.

5. Top with superfoods.

These are optional, but for an additional punch of nutrients and antioxidants you can add in things like maca or cacao powder for hormone balance, energy and immune boosting; chia, hemp or flax seeds for protein, essential amino acids, polyunsaturated fat and fibre; green algae powders like chlorella or spirulina for chlorophyll, detoxification, digestive health and anti-inflammatory properties.

MICHELLE’S CHOCO-BERRY SMOOTHIE

This is the recipe I made on Global TV. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • A big handful of organic spinach (about 20 grams)
  • 1/4 medium sized haas avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • Water

Fill with water to the top of the ingredients and blend on high until the ingredients are emulsified.

Calories 130, carbs 16 grams, fat 6 grams, protein 3 grams, fibre 7 grams

Drop me an email at mmhealthcoach@gmail.com and I’ll send you a free copy of my Ultimate Smoothie Builder handout that you can print, post on your fridge and use to make unlimited combinations of healthy, whole food smoothies the whole family will love.

This post first appeared here in the Halifax Citizen on Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017. 

Creating resolutions and setting goals for the new year is a natural thing to do in January. You want to change aspects of your life, make improvements, achieve goals and live your dreams.

As you flip the calendar onto a fresh new year, you may feel ready to drop old patterns and create new habits. It’s a new opportunity to grow, learn and evolve. An opportunity many of us embrace with energy and excitement.

So why is it so common, by the end of February, to have lost focus, fallen off track and find yourself unable to follow through with your resolutions?

Having resolutions isn’t the problem. Sticking to them is.

Here are five common resolution-setting mistakes that might indicate why you find it hard to stick to them:

1. You don’t create a vision

Most of us jump right into goal setting without having the big picture perspective. But goals are empty without a vision for why you want to change.

Your vision is about your best life — your fullest life, your deepest dreams and desires.

Think about what you want to be, do and have in your life. Open up the possibility thinking. Your vision provides the intrinsic motivation for making any change in your life.

If you don’t have this vision, you won’t have the purpose, direction and focus, you’ll be easily tempted and less inspired to keep going.

2. You don’t write them down

Our resolutions start as thoughts, ideas and plans in our minds. For many of us, that’s where they stay — in our heads. You don’t say them out loud, you don’t tell anyone and you don’t write them down.

This is a big mistake.

When you keep things inside, they aren’t real. It is very different to write versus think. Writing your resolutions down evokes a visceral response. You become emotionally connected to them, believe in them and are more likely to manifest them into reality.

Make time to write down your vision and then your resolutions.

3. You jump right into action

If you skip first two steps — visioning and writing things down — and jump directly into making a change, chances are you won’t be as successful.

For example, if you decide to quit smoking and go cold turkey on Jan. 1, it’ll be much harder than if you took time to prepare for this change.

In their book Changing for Good, Prochaska, Norcross and Diclemente found that people who try to accomplish changes they are not ready for set themselves up for failure.

When it comes to your resolutions, you need time to think about it, truly believe it is the best thing for you, make preparations, decide on a plan and only then will you be ready to take action.

4. You don’t develop an action plan

Again, because you are likely so keen to get started, you might not take time to develop an action plan.

This is a mistake because without breaking down your vision and resolutions into doable, manageable, timely, practical, meaningful steps, you’ll likely get overwhelmed and frustrated and not make progress.

Write down specific goals you have along with the weekly steps you’ll take to accomplish them. Put timeframes and measures for each one so you’ll know when you’ve reached completion. I recommend focusing on between one to three main resolutions or goals for the year.

5. You don’t get support or accountability

Research indicates that two top success factors for making lifestyle and behavioural changes are connection and support. If you try to go it alone, don’t share the experience, don’t have external accountabilities and don’t get support, you will likely not be as successful.

You are more likely to uphold your commitments to yourself when you share them with someone else. This maybe with your partner, spouse, friend, co-worker, or maybe you hire a coach or other professional to support you.

Surround yourself with the supportive, encouraging people who can help you reach your goals and stick to your resolutions.

Don’t fall into the trap of these common resolution-setting mistakes anymore. Use these tips to make and stick to your resolutions in 2017.

If you need some extra support to develop and stick to your resolutions, I’ve put together a special coaching package that provides guidance, accountability and support. Don’t end up in March feeling deflated and out of control. Email me at mmhealthcoach@gmail.com for details.

This post first appeared here in the Halifax Citizen on January 3, 2017. 

Low Carb Holiday Recipe Round-Up

During the holidays there are so many food related gatherings it’s always good to have some tasty recipes on hand for entertaining, contributions for potlucks and to have done-ahead for pop-ins and for family nights at home.

Today I share with you a round-up of some low-carb alternatives to many of the traditional gourmet and comfort-food delights we indulge in at this time of year.

I checked in with some of my favourite low carb websites and curated a collection of recipes that will nourish and delight your friends and family.

Enjoy!

45 delicious low carb grain-free holiday recipes. Cookies, cakes, muffins, pies and bread.

9 savoury holiday nibbles and 9 sweet treats & nibbles

Low carb holiday appetizers

More low carb holiday appetizers

Low carb egg-nog

Low carb cocktails

10 best low carb stuffing recipes

20 low carb holiday brunch recipes

Found this goldmine of 100 low carb holiday recipes for a crowd in all the main categories – appetizers, soups & salads, stuffing & gravy, veggies & sides, main courses, desserts, treats & baked goods and holiday drinks.

The key to successful healthy eating

Most of us have a desire to eat healthier and we have some knowledge about healthy foods. Unfortunately, information and intentions don’t get the healthy meals on the table. If they did, we’d all be eating clean and healthy every day.

What trips us up the most around healthy eating, and sabotages our good intentions, isn’t our lack of desire; it’s our lack of organization and planning.

And you know what happens with anything in life when you haven’t planned or organized. You end up flying by the seat of your pants. You’re rushed. You make poor decisions. You go for the quick and easy.

We all know what quick and easy means: drive-throughs, takeout, microwaved meals and convenience foods that are processed, refined and lack any real nutritional value.

I know in my own life there are weeks when I don’t think ahead, don’t have recipes in mind, or don’t have healthy ingredients on hand. When I try to ‘wing it’ and go with what I feel like eating in the moment, when I’m starving, it usually isn’t very healthy.

I also hear weekly from clients how much planning pays off. The ones who prepared and planned for the week were much more successful at reaching their health and wellness goals and sticking to their commitments than the ones who didn’t plan.

I hear it time and time again that the healthy soups they had frozen in the freezer or the leftovers really saved them when things got busy.

Now I will confess. I’m planner at heart. I love planning. It’s one of my innate tendencies and preferences that I’ve nurtured and developed throughout my life. So getting organized comes naturally to me. Where I fall down is on implementation. I’ve learned we need both these pieces to come together for us to be successful in whatever we set out to do.

When it comes to healthy eating, preparation is the key to success.

How much easier and smoother would your week go if you had healthy food prepared, if your cupboards were stocked with the ingredients for your top three favourite healthy meals, or if veggies were already cut up in your fridge? What if you had batches of soup and guacamole made? What if there were lean proteins pre-cooked for salads and stir fry meals?

Think about how much more energy you’d have. How much easier decision making would be. How much more in control and confident you’d feel. How much more well-nourished you and your family would be.

The reality is that we plan for many important events in our lives — trips, retirement, holiday celebrations, weddings, birthdays and all the other milestones along life’s path. But isn’t your health and wellness journey one worth planning for as well?

Learning to cook, meal plan and organize around food is definitely an investment of your time and energy as you get started. I promise it does get easier and more habitual over time. But the payoffs, the outcomes and results are so worth it. You’ll free up a lot of time, energy and brainpower that’s now wasted in worry, overwhelm and indecision.

You might even find time for that neglected hobby, spend more quality time with the family, get to a yoga class and even save some money. And you’ll be nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive and be healthy for years to come.

Sounds like a pretty good trade-off, doesn’t it?

Now, over to you. What’s one small step you can commit to over the next week around healthy meal planning and food prep? Tell us in the comments.

If you need help getting started with healthy meal planning and organizing, drop me a note at mmhealthcoach@gmail.com and we can book a consultation to develop your healthy eating action plan.

This post first appeared here in the Halifax Citizen on Dec 2, 2016.