Dealing with Negative Emotions Podcast

A new podcast is up and ready for you!

Jessica (from the fun, “girl talk” dating episode) is back and shares her fool-proof strategies for dealing with negative emotions and emotional eating. Get a rubber band and paper clips!

Jessica’s tip for looking at activities as "nourishing" or "depleting" will also TOTALLY change your life (it’s already changed mine) I also share my ABCDE productivity method that’ll help you get more done during the crazy busy summer.

The power of words, thoughts, and triggers in our environment (how even the littlest change in mindset or self-talk or our surroundings) can breed success (or create quicksand) is another key theme.

“Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s selfless”

You don’t want to miss this episode!

P.S. Do you love listening to the podcast? Show your support by leaving a review on iTunes.

P.P.S. Join the Meal Mentor newsletter (it's FREE!) Click here to signup!

Enjoyed this post? Get our blog posts sent to your email

Does Clutter Make You Fat?

Have you wanted to lose weight but couldn’t stop indulging?

Do you constantly feel OVERWHELMED?

Are you putting things like exercising or doing the meal plans on hold because you’re “too busy?”

It’s the clutter.

A 2013 study found that people spending time in a messy room were more likely to choose junk food over a healthy apple, and other research suggests a connection between overeating and clutter.

When you get rid of the junk in your house, you’ll get rid of the junk in your trunk ;)

(I couldn’t resist…)

But in all seriousness -- if you don’t feel stressed over the mess in your house, you’ll be able to come home and relax… and have more energy to focus on what is needed to take care of yourself.

(Plus think about all the time saved not looking for things… you get HOURS back, seriously!)

It all starts with your fridge.

Set aside 15 minutes to clean out your fridge tonight. YOU HAVE 15 MINUTES.

Take everything out of the fridge and set it on your counter or the kitchen table.

Grab a big trash bag and toss the old, junky “food.” Make way for healthier options.

(If you have an extra 10 minutes, give the fridge a good wipe down and cleaning, too.)

Next, divide your fridge into zones, putting commonly used ingredients together.

Having an organized, clean fridge will make it easier (and more enjoyable) to cook.

You’ll instantly go from feeling overwhelmed to OVERJOYED.

++ The new sexy fridge will also give you a boost of confidence…

…and a sensation of lightness…which you’ll want to keep…

It’ll foster good choices and more positive behaviors. FEEL healthy. FEEL energized.

You intuitively know LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE means more than “diet.”

Interestingly, I became a “minimalist” and started “downsizing” right around the time I started slimming down and using the meal plans.

I guess I was tired of carrying ALL the excess weight in my life around ;)

When it comes to clearing clutter (the fat in our homes) it isn't about the stuff itself, it's about the life you want to live. The same is true for losing weight: It's not about the pounds, it's about living the life you deserve in the body you want.” -- Peter Walsh (TLC’s Clean Sweep)

But “trimming the fat” (tidying up) isn’t the first-and-last stop.

“You also have to create routines. From meal planning and shopping to mealtime rituals,” says Walsh.

You know you need to get organized ;-P

Having a plan in place is the secret weapon to success!

Success = consistency… and consistency starts when you have less clutter and more structure.

You’ve got to create an environment where your healthy self can THRIVE.

Are you going to commit to de-cluttering your fridge or your life?

If so, leave a comment “I’ll declutter” below.

Affirmations are powerful! You’ll be 23x more likely to do it if you say you will!

Happy decluttering!

P.S. You can take the dump-it-all-out-and-only-put-back-the-“good”-things approach with your pantry as well -- and your closet, too! Keeping only what you really LOVE.

P.P.S. Join the Meal Mentor newsletter (it's FREE!) Click here to signup!

Enjoyed this post? Get our blog posts sent to your email

Summer Success Plan

You have to know where you're going if you're ever going to get there!

Create a roadmap with mile markers for a successful summer! (Summer is a GREAT time to knock some items off the to-do list, slim down, and optimize your life!)

#1 Pick your PRIMARY goal.

For example "I will lose 15 pounds by August 10, 2015" or "I will save $1,500 by August 10, 2015"

#2 Choose three (3) things you are willing to do consistently to achieve that Result.

Weight-Loss Example: I will follow the meal plans each week. I will limit alcohol to two glasses of wine per week. I will do yoga for 10 minutes per day.

Money Saving Example: I will immediately set aside $50 from each paycheck. I will not buy any new clothes. I will meal plan and limit eating out to once per week.

#3 Explain how you will celebrate your success.

Weight-Loss Example: I will buy a new pair of jeans. Money Saving Example: I will take a personal day and read a book.

#4 Explain how you will feel when you reach your goal:

Weight-Loss Example: I will feel sexier, healthier, and more confident! Money Saving Example: I will feel relieved and more financially secure.

#5 {BONUS} Pick two small projects or bucket-list items to complete this summer.

Examples: "I will organize my pantry." "I will go zip lining." "I will take a yoga class." "I will practice two yoga poses per day"

#6 Create a scorecard for mile markers to track your progress.

For example, create 8 boxes with dates of each week to record and track your weight-loss or money saving progression.

Or if you resolved to, say, walk 300,000 steps by August 10, 2015, you could write various benchmarks (i.e. 25,000, 100,000, 250,000 with a space to write the date you achieved that goal).

PREMIUM MEMBERS: A fill-in-the-blank worksheet and scorecard is available for download in the forums. (You can also connect with other members to find an accountabilibuddy) You'll also find several examples for inspiration and ideas :)

Enjoyed this post? Get our blog posts sent to your email

Body Image Podcast


A new podcast is up and ready for you!

In this episode Marla (my copilot!) and I talk about body image, and how our early childhoods, friends, and “Hollywood” can mess up how we see ourselves. (Plus real world tips for finding self-acceptance and loving our bodies a little bit more).

Marla is also a cancer survivor and for a long time she thought her meds kept her from losing weight, but ultimately she realized she was using her meds as an “excuse” and that when she stuck with it -- adhered to the meal plans and her nutritional excellence -- the weight came off.

I especially loved Marla’s honesty and inspiring words about how we have to stop blaming things and instead put that fire and energy into taking action… instead of feeling hopeless or depressed when something isn’t going our way, or happening as fast as we like, to turn that dark emotion into dodged determination!!!

“Give it time” Marla says -- you got this!

P.S. Do you love listening to the podcast? Show your support by leaving a review on iTunes.

P.P.S. Join the Meal Mentor newsletter (it's FREE!) Click here to signup!

Enjoyed this post? Get our blog posts sent to your email

How I Set My Goal Weight

HUGE thanks to everyone who attended the live workshop (or watched the replay!)

(I’m loving all your rules, too! Looks like “I do not eat in front of the TV” is a big one!)

Since the workshop, a bunch of you have emailed me asking…

“How do you choose a goal weight?”

It’s a great question (though not with a short answer!)

If you have a lot of weight to lose it can be helpful to set a smaller benchmark initially.

Benji talked a lot about this strategy in his podcast (Listen here)

In the end, Benji lost half himself -- 135 total pounds! But he freely admitted it would have been too overwhelming for him to set a goal of losing 135 lbs, so he made a lot of benchmarks and worked towards those in stride.

Focus on losing an initial 10% of your starting weight…

…but get away from using the scale to track if you can.

I love to tell this story about how I had a goal of “120 lbs” in my head for years, but really, that number did not guarantee I would achieve what I really wanted, which was to fit in a pair of jeans I’d been lugging around as “inspiration” for 10 years.

(You can read more here: Me, My Goal Weight, and a Pair of Jeans.) The story ends happily: I finally fit in the jeans (and they are now too big!) but I never made it to 120 lbs.

Set a measurable goal that isn’t a scale or number -- whether it’s fitting into a pair of “goal pants” like I did, taking measurements, tracking with pictures, or taking Sara’s approach: “I have been chasing a number that I am 30 pounds away from, but truly I just want to run without pain. If that happened at 140 or 160 and not 120 pounds, I wouldn't care. I just want to be comfortable in my body and clothes.”

I’ve also found with myself (and many members) that your body's definition of a goal weight is often different than whatever we pick in our head. It's not uncommon for a member to tell me they "wanted to lose 20 lbs" but lost 40. Or in the case of Benji, he never would have believed he needed to (or could!) lose 100 lbs, let alone 135 lbs.

Sometimes we have no perspective until we start losing, too.

Another story I like to tell is how when I got down to 140 lbs (squarely in the “normal” range for my height) I still wasn’t happy with my appearance. My stomach was still hanging over my pants and my arms and thighs chafed constantly from rubbing.

I then had my body fat measured and discovered I was at the tippy top end of what was considered "healthy" even though I was at a "healthy weight."

With the help of the meal plans, I lost another 12-13 lbs and ONLY then did I finally land in the healthy range.

It was also shocking what a difference 10 lbs made in my appearance and how GOOD I felt.

(You can read more here.)

I always read “throw your scale away” but resisted it with a vengeance. Please learn from my mistake!

Weighing myself daily, and even weekly made me batty. (You can see my log here.)

Eventually I came to appreciate the scale cannot tell me my fat to muscle ratio. The scale can’t tell me if I fit into my favorite jeans or promise I’ll look good naked. And most importantly, the scale has no way of knowing how I feel -- which is strong, fierce, healthy, and yogilicious!

Set a measurable goal with a pair of pants, photos, or measurements! But if you must pick a weight, start with the goal of losing 10% of your starting weight -- you should be able to do that within 2-3 weeks.

Make this the summer of success! Enroll in the meal mentor program. Class starts June 22nd! (for members only)

P.S. Join the Meal Mentor newsletter (it's FREE!) Click here to signup!

Enjoyed this post? Get our blog posts sent to your email

Creating a Self-Supportive Environment Podcast

A new podcast is up and ready for you!

In this episode Jennifer (my copilot!) and I talk about the relationship between religion and veganism (it was Jennifer’s faith that brought her to a plant-based diet!) and the importance of being kind to yourself.

Finally, an open and honest look at hate-talk (why do we say things to ourselves we would never ever say to someone else?) and how detrimental bashing ourselves can really be.

Creating a self-SUPPORTIVE environment involves taking a moment to appreciate yourself, too!

Jennifer also talks about parenting little vegheads, how to adapt the meal plan meals to be more kid-friendly, AND she shares her #1 secret key for staying on track! (and what YOU should do more of to succeed!)

I also loved Jennifer’s honesty about losing, gaining it back, losing it again, and self-sabotage.

Don’t miss this episode!

P.S. Do you love listening to the podcast? Show your support by leaving a review on iTunes.

P.P.S. Join the Meal Mentor newsletter (it's FREE!) Click here to signup!

Enjoyed this post? Get our blog posts sent to your email