An Interview with a Nutritionist

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A little while ago I had the privilege to interview a nutritionist and yoga instructor by the name of Julie Newton, who works closely with Joie de Vivre. We spent some of the afternoon discussing nutrition and wellness in everyday life and some information I thought would be extremely insightful for others to hear as well. These snippets can be advice that I believe everyone can use as guidelines to living your best life. These answers are directly from the amazing mind of Julie herself, so the answers will be a bit more personal as to not lose any impact on her words.

  • What are the best foods to eat on a busy day?

    • So, I would say to start with a decent breakfast. Look at things that have a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and good healthy fats. A good default is fresh yogurt that is not sweetened, and eat that with a bit of fruit and some chia or granola. You want to be sure to get your daily fiber, which comes from the fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and seeds. As for good protein, for the mornings fresh organic cows milk or non-sweetened yogurt is a good choice. But protein can come from non meat source such as nut milk or soy milk as well. Cheeses are also a good source for protein and calcium. Finally for healthy fats, good sources to get these are in seeds (such as chia, flax, and hemp), nuts, and avocados.

      When you are getting through a busy day, its important to limit your caffeine intake as much as possible. As much as we may need it to start the day you should try to limit the coffee intake. This is because it can add a lot of sugar and unhealthy fats to your diet(if you get a frappuchino or really sweet drink for instance or load up your coffee with sugar and milk). All of that sugar combined with caffeine and extra fat can alter your energy levels throughout the day and it can impact your work. If you do have to drink something in the morning, use herbal tea. Herbal tea has natural stimulants inside the flowers and plants that brew it, and these gently wake the body up. They are better at keeping energy levels consistent throughout the day.

      Finally snacks are just as important as meals. To pick a good snack, look for anything that travels well such as fresh fruit, hummus, nuts, and hard cheeses (like cheddar, gouda, or asiago) are good sources of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. There are also some decent protein bars out there too, just keep a look out for the amount of processing and sugar that goes into them. In general for a busy day, the most important thing is to bring awareness to your diet. Try to eat as little processed food as possible and if you end up in a situation where you have to eat out, be mindful about what goes into your meal. Look for fruits, vegetables, quality carbohydrates, protein that is not fried or saturated in oil. And finally look for color, a meal where everything is a different color is sure to be something nutritious.

  • How much does diet play a role in ones life?

    • This is huge, because I don’t actually like the use the word diet. I prefer to use f lifestyle choice. Because ‘diet’, that word gets a bad rap and is limiting. For humans, food is supposed to be enjoyable, nourishing, and social. Its about having a lifestyle of being aware of what we need. Food is there so we can survive on a physical level, but theres also a sense of thriving in the realms of emotions and mental and social because it helps us deepen connections with those we share around us. Its something thats part of us. Food is a thing that connects us to the planet, on a bigger picture the planet is what sustains us. We are not separate from what we eat, its part of how we thrive on so many different levels. So it’s really important in someones daily life.

  • If you could lean a new skill what would it be and why?

    • If I were gonna learn a new skill, it would be the art of writing. I love to read.  Even in short passages that may be one or two sentences, I find these are things that stick with you. All throughout my life there have been books and texts and things, but I find those people who have a way to writing really short and concise impactful writing are far more impressive. Thats something I would love to have, I even joke with my husband how one of these days Im going to learn how to use a pottery wheel once we aren’t so busy and the kids are grown.

  • What light exercises do you think are Most beneficial to sustaining a positive mood?

    • I teach yoga so this is big for me as well. I’ve also been as student of yoga for a really long time. I’ve been teaching for years now, and what Ive found is best is sun-salutations. It helps to bring your energy up for one, but it also forces you to stop everything and be in the present moment. You aren’t needing to focus on anything else except for keeping yourself balanced and right here. These poses are easy and not very intense, they are mild and anyone can do them. I even do then when I find myself overwhelmed during the workday and just need a few moments to slow down and ground myself. There are also some other poses that are really good for the mind and mood if you need to reconnect with yourself such as forward folds, downward dog, tree pose, and child pose.

  • What motivated you to pursue the desire to help people lead a better life?

    • First of all I really love quality food, that could be an answer in itself. But the biggest thing is that; in the past several years I’ve lived in a space where it can be very overwhelming and busy. So its easy to make the food choices that may not be the best for me or my family. Im in this environment where my choices affect myself and the way I impact my family, so I can really connect to the idea that when I make good food choices for myself and my house, it makes such a difference. I know that it’s a struggle and that it can be some work not only to give into convenience and cravings, but with some planning Ive found that in my own life how happy me and my family are when we are eating mindfully.

      We are bombarded with unhealthy food choices, and it may fill us temporarily, but it leaves other aspects of our life empty. I’ve wanted to show people that with some planning you can completely overhaul the way that you eat, still feel satisfied, and eat what you love but not have the struggle associated with it. I think it’s empowering too, because people realize they have the tools they need to take control of their life inside of them already. It can be really inspiring once people start using this mindset that they previously didn’t give much time to. Even making one change shows that every little change that you make makes such a big difference. So me being able to show people how you can make these changes one step at a time is super fulfilling. 

Acceptance

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Having a family member or friend come out to you can be a challenging time for you and for them as well. It can be a learning experience on how to accept them and cope with your emotions. There are several ways that you can show your love once you accept them:

  • Understand They’re the Same Person.

When first coming to terms with someone who has come out, the important part to know is that they are still the same person you have known throughout the years. Your child is still your child no matter what their sexual orientation is. The memories you have with her have not changed and your view of her should not either. With them disclosing this information to you, they are trusting you with something that can be hard to open up and talk about. By giving them the love and acceptance they deserve this can strengthen the relationship.

  • Educate Yourself.

When you first learn that someone is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, it can be hard not to think of stereotypes that come with the term. It is important to understand that how someone expresses themselves is not based on the sexual orientation. If a man is interested in the fashion industry, it is not safe to assume that he is gay. A crucial element when accepting someone is learning the correct vs. incorrect terms to use around them. These are some statements or terms that should be avoided: 

·That’s so gay

·Gay lifestyle

· Disordered

  • Support System.

By supporting your family member or friend this can allow your relationship to grow. There are many positive things you can do that shows the person that you support them. This can be correcting someone who makes a derogatory remark and explain to them how it can be hurtful to that person. If someone is transgender, it can be a simple task of going to a doctor’s appointment with them. With someone going through a transition in life, it can make a huge difference in their mental health if they feel they have the right people that are supporting their decision.

Tips to a Restful Nights Sleep: Part 2 (What TO do)

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In line with the previous post, lets look over some of the techniques and implements you should do to help get a better and deeper sleep. This post covers various approaches to conquering insomnia, so there should be something for everyone to try.

  • Be Consistent:

The human body does well on a routine, if you develop one before you go to bed your body will quickly get the idea of “Ah, this means bed, time to get sleepy.” Make sure that this routine happens roughly the same time nearly every night and is something you find enjoyable.

  • Relax:

As mentioned earlier, the body needs time to get into sleep mode. To give your body the best chance of sleep, make sure you slow down and progressively relax as the night goes on. This could be reading, writing, spending time with family/friends, or meditation. You could even incorporate your relaxation into your bedtime routine, a nice hot shower or bath before bed followed by a face mask is heavenly after a long day. If you find yourself still laying awake 20 minutes after doing your routine, keep it up until you feel tired.

  • Focus on Your Body:

Paying attention to your body and its functions as you lie in bed may help you to notice things on a deeper level. Checking in on your body and feeling where you are in the moment as you slowly breathe allows you to decompress from the stress of the outside world. Noticing how your hands and legs are resting against the bed allows a positive state of welcoming the rest and allowing yourself to just exist as you are can help you drift off into slumber. 

  • Facilitate a Positive Sleep Environment:

The more comfortable the surroundings, the easier it will be to fall asleep. Some of the things you can try are to dim the lights or sleep in total darkness, think about sounds or have something relaxing playing in the room, make sure your bed is comfortable, or try keeping the room at a slightly cooler temperature will help the body naturally become sleepy. We produce a lot of heat when we sleep, so in an effort to conserve energy our bodies will get sleepy faster if its cold.

  • Be Energetic and Social in the Day:

Studies have shown that people who were social and saw the faces of people went to bed in a better mood than those that did not. As social creatures, our energy gets used up when we enter social situations, so being depleted of it at the end may help achieve a deeper state of sleep. In addition, going to bed in a good mood from social exposure facilitates a more restful sleep.

  • Have a light snack:

We are not trying to go to bed starving or stuffed. If possible we get a happy medium of a satisfied stomach followed by peaceful sleep not only because they fill you up, but because the nutrients and vitamins contained in these snacks can aid in producing hormones and chemicals that naturally help you get to sleep such as tryptophan, magnesium, calcium, and melatonin. Some great snack foods include: Walnuts, Almonds, small amounts of  dairy, green leafy vegetables, small amounts of foods with a high glycemic index (such as pretzels, white rice, cereal, and corn chips), tart cherry juice (or any natural red juice such as cranberry, pomegranate, etc.), fruits (especially kiwi and bananas), and herbal tea (chamomile in particular).

If all else fails, ask a doctor! 

Tips to a Restful Nights Sleep: Part 1 (What NOT to do)

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We all know that sleep is critical to function on a day to day basis, but an irregular sleep pattern can do more damage to the body than you may realize. A lack of sleep can affect your emotional wellness, hormone balance, physical appearance, and much more. A good nights sleep can make a world of difference, so to help you out here is a list of things you can bring into your life to help the journey to dreamland.  

Lets start with the things to avoid,  sometimes knowing what not to do is better than knowing what to do. Everyone is different in how they can get to sleep, but if you want to improve your sleeping habits here are some things you may want to start with:

  • Light and Electronics:

    Our bodies are naturally hardwired to function when the sun is up, and our internal clock cannot tell the difference between a lightbulb and the sun. As it gets closer to bed time, limit your exposure to artificial light that comes from your in-home light and electronics. Electronics not only stimulate our brains, but screens emit a special blue light that mimics the light we see from the sun, which tricks the body into staying awake. Try to use dim lighting in your home to allow your body to naturally bring itself to a state of rest.  If you have to use your devices before bed, use them on a lower brightness or install an app that can block blue light on your device. We recommend f.lux!

  • Alcohol and Drugs:

    Alcohol is known as a depressant due to its ability to slow our bodies functioning down, but alcohol itself is a toxin that the body has to process out. Which means drinking it before bed interrupts every normal internal function going on. This can cause indigestion, hormonal imbalances, instability in the muscles and brain, and of course you may even wake up with a hangover. Drugs and nicotine are typically stimulants, which means they release adrenaline and kick your body into high gear, the exact opposite of what you want when its time for bed. If you have to smoke or drink, do so 3-4 hours before bed. Better yet, if you can avoid these two things altogether before bed.

  • Irregular or Long Daytime Naps: 

Studies have shown that a single 20-30 minute nap in the middle of the day can improve functioning, but anything more than that can be detrimental to your overall sleep patterns and cause you to not be tired until you have to be at work.

  • Going to bed Stuffed or Starving:

Going to bed without any food in your system makes your body think its starving, and your stomach will keep you awake through hunger pangs to try and motivate you to eat. Alternatively, while people always feel sleepy after a big meal, you can easily put on more weight when you digest a giant meal asleep. You may not even digest it fully, which leads to intestinal bloating, gas, infrequent bathroom visits, and lethargy when you wake up. Try to eat a nutritious meal before 9:00 PM, make sure to take your time eating and chew slowly. This gives the body proper time to digest and know when it is full for the night.

Tips for Goal-Setting

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Tips for Goal-Setting

Get S.M.A.R.T.

As some people always say, ‘If you want to become successful, you must first set goals.’  In a world where so much is constantly going on, it is important to center ourselves and make sure that our personal needs and desires for a fulfilling life are being put first. One way to create a fulfilling life is to create goals specifically for you. However, in order to accomplish the goals you wish to pursue, you must first understand how to set them. According to The Huffington Post’s author, Stacy Kim, there are seven rules that are useful for women when setting obtainable goals for themselves.

1. Pick one goal to focus on.

2. It’s best to start with a “want to” goal rather than a “have to” or a “should.”

3. Focus on yourself.

4. Recognize the difference between projects and tasks, and choose each wisely.

5. Set a check-in point.

6. Celebrate your successes.

7. Be flexible. Abandon goals that don’t serve you well.

 

Being on the right track with setting realistic goals for yourself will allow you to be on your way to living a more confident and structured lifestyle. Goal-setting can help you to better your life by encouraging you to dream big and set yourself up to reach your upmost potential.

Consider this acronym when setting goals. S.M.A.R.T. which stands for goals being: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely

Specific goals help aid in the direction you want to go and end up in.

Measurable goals help to measure your success.

Attainable goals help to make sure that the goals you are setting hold the best possible outcome of actually being achieved.

Relevant goals should focus on where you see yourself a week from now, or even a few months from now from your current situation.

Lastly, Timely goals help set deadlines for when you want certain goals to be met and setting deadlines is a good practice to get into because once you meet a deadline, you can finally celebrate your successes when the time comes.

Personally, using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym has helped me tremendously. Every week I sit down with my planner and/or journal and come up with at least three goals that I wish to accomplish that week. Once I have written the three goals down, I analyze them with the acronym and that helps me internalize whether or not they are going to allow me to grow as a person. I hope that the S.M.A.R.T acronym and Stacy Kim’s seven rules will help you to reach your own personal goals! Remember: no goal is neither too big nor too small. Happy goal-setting!

Written by: Katie McCrory

Postpartum Depression Recovery

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Pregnancy can be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, but of course, has its challenges as well. It is shown that 1 in 8 women experience postpartum depression after giving birth. There are elements that can cause drastic changes in a woman’s life, especially in physical and emotional health. Some physical changes include fatigue and abdominal pain. Emotional changes can consist of mood swings and/or feeling withdrawn from family and friends. An important key factor is to know that postpartum depression can happen to anyone. Here are some steps that you can take to help in your recovery:

Nutrition

Having a well-balanced diet can help with controlling mood swings. Consuming non-nutritious foods can result in a lack of energy and lower self-esteem. Avoiding sugary foods such as sodas, ice cream, and highly processed boxed foods can be beneficial in lowering your blood sugar levels. A substitute for this can be complex carbohydrates like whole grain (oats, farro, barley, etc.) which provide a better foundation of energy.

Rest

Women who have postpartum depression often struggle with maintaining a balanced sleep pattern. A step that you can take to help control this is to rest when your baby sleeps. Even if you cannot fall asleep, laying down in a quiet place can do your body and mind wonders. You are not only helping yourself, but your baby as well by sustaining a relaxed state of mind.

Communication

Women who are always putting others first can struggle when it comes to asking for help about themselves. Allowing yourself to open up to family and friends can be a prominent source of emotional support. Even if they cannot help solve the problem right away, expressing your thoughts can ease any distress. You may even be shocked to find that they have gone through an experience close to yours.

Support Group

Support groups can be a wonderful experience for new mothers. When going through a change in life, it can be hard to put yourself out there and make new connections with people. By joining a support group it can provide a specific level of support that can be hard to find. Learning about other women and the experiences they have gone through can give you hope and reassurance that you’re not alone through this journey.

 

Mindful Eating Workshop: Path to Wholeness

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“Eating is not only nourishing for the body, but also for the mind.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Through mindful eating, we learn how to use the senses, intuitively listen to our needs, and feed our body with the intent to thrive and find healthier versions of ourselves.  Mindfulness is a practice of living in the present moment, cultivating a connection of the body and mind. Explore meditation and mindfulness exercises which highlight using food choice as an opportunity to take care of yourself.  Join Joie De Vivre for a workshop to discuss the importance of a mindful relationship with food and the positive changes it can bring into life. 

Complimentary participation is on a first come, first serve basis. To sign-up please complete the form below with your name and email address.  Parking and driving directions will be emailed once attendance is confirmed.

When: Friday, August 24, 1-2:30 PM
Format: Small group (8-10) women
Where: One Atlantic Center, 1201 West Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 2300, Atlanta, GA 30309


"Mindful practices connecting food, awareness and kindness for our best nourished self." -Unknown

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Managing Self-Care and Reducing Stress

Self-care can be defined as an act done by oneself that amplifies health and happiness. It can be an essential part of maintaining healthy relationships and stress. Stress can play a large part in your physical or mental well-being. It can affect you psychically such as a decrease in energy or the inability to sleep. The amount of stress you have can affect your mental health as well such as anxiety or depression. Here are tips that can help in stress reduction:  

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Sleep Techniques
When attempting to sustain a busy schedule sleep can be put on the back burner. With having little to no sleep or interrupted sleep it can be challenging for many people. Luckily techniques have been developed to help end restless nights. A strategy that can help is learning the correct breathing techniques. By slowly inhaling and exhaling this lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. When taking a slow deep inhale, this raises your oxygen level enabling your body to not work as hard to run.

Guided imagery is a technique used to reduce stress and promote a good night’s sleep. This strategy helps relate your unconscious mind to your conscious mind. Spending time imagining yourself on the beach surrounded by palm trees can help distance you from the stress at work to the peaceful image in your mind.

Putting Yourself First
At times we feel that taking time for ourselves is seen as a selfish act. Without self-care, you can have outcomes that can add more stress to your life. This can include arguing with your spouse because your emotions are hard to control due to your lack of sleep. But to help others we need to make sure our needs are met first.

Women who are juggling a career and family can feel overwhelmed and selfish for taking time for themselves. The key is to stop believing your selfish for putting yourself before other’s needs. To make yourself a priority, schedule a time each day to focus on your health and well-being. This can be simple tasks such as going for a walk after work, reading a faviorite book, or taking a bath before you go to bed.

Written by Katelyn Carow

Saturday Mornings Green Smoothie

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Start your Saturday off the right way.  This green smoothie is a perfect blend of fruits and green vegetables and an ideal way to receive the perfect vitamin and antioxidant boost.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup of apple juice
  • 1/2 cup of kale
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 medium banana sliced
  • 1/2 cup honeydew melon
  • 1 cup of ice

Place all of the ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.  Serve immediately.

3 Ways to Help Kids Manage Sibling Conflicts

Having more than one kid in the household increases your chances of conflict. Sibling rivalry will become an inevitable aspect of the relationship with your kids. The conflict can leave parents at their wits end, exhausted, wanting to find a solution that can bring it to an end. Bickering, teasing, and even physical fights can be disruptive, create an unhappy home environment, and a sour relationship between siblings. Here are three ways that you can help your kids manage sibling conflicts.

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1. Parent as You Should
Ignoring the conflict between your children is reckless and neglectful. You have a responsibility to take action when sibling rivalry progresses to excessive physical or verbal incidents. Step in and address the situation by having a candid conversation with your kids about what’s going on. Listen to their concerns and provide suggestions on how they can handle disagreements in a positive manner, without teasing, being spiteful or physical fights.

2. Implement a Family Plan
Establish real consequences, both positive and negative, by creating a family plan that directly addresses the sibling rivalry. The consequences should be levied against all involved in the conflict. For example, everyone loses computer privileges if a shouting match erupts. On the other hand, should the kids go an afternoon without any fighting, they could enjoy family game night as a privilege.

3. Avoid Comparisons
It is normal for siblings to have different personalities and abilities, but comparisons should be avoided at all cost. You don’t want to give your kids the impression that you love one more than the other, or acknowledge the accomplishments of one and ignore the other. Acknowledge your kids worth on an equal level, highlighting and encouraging their talents on an individual basis. 

Sibling conflict should be avoided because it can be toxic. Parents have a responsibility to limit or eliminate sibling rivalry from their household. It is important to promote a warm and close-knit relationship between your kids because it is important to how your kids will transition into their adult relationships. While sibling rivalry is generally inevitable, it can be addressed in every home if parents play their part, establish ways to deal with the conflict and avoid pitting siblings against each other.