Friday, June 27, 2014

Robyn Coale Interview - Part 2

Hello my friends!

I hope you are all excited to continue reading about Robyn from The Real Life RD! She posts frequently on her blog, so make sure you subscribe to get her posts :) Before you start - if you enjoy reading this interview, please make sure to share on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media websites!

6. I know that you stress the importance of having a balanced diet. When you’re not eating “clean,” what is your favorite indulgent meal?

I like to view foods in terms of a “focus.” So I focus on all those nutrient dense plant foods- fruits and veggies [especially dark leafy greens], whole grains that are the least processed like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc, beans and legumes and healthy whole food fats like avocado, nuts and seeds. Then if I want other foods, that’s totally okay, but I focus on wholesome foods that nourish my body so I know I’m getting all the nutrients I need. It’s all about balance, and if I want something- I’m going to eat it. But overall I find that when I’m eating the “focus” foods, my body just craves the good stuff most often- but when a craving does strike... I LOVE a wood fire, veggie pizza with a really good goat cheese, a glass [or two!] of red wine and then follow that with some really good ice cream- mint chocolate chip or cookies and cream are my fav. 

7. Is there any  piece of advice/knowledge that has helped you most in your life?

To be okay with not being okay. We don’t always have to be okay and do all the things and have it all together. When I finally realized it was okay to not be okay all the time, I not only fully embraced who God created me to be, but my relationships with others grew stronger. I was able to love others better, and I found so much more joy in life. I stopped trying to perfect everything and instead started seeing everything through a grace-filled lens. It’s something I have to remind myself of everyday. 

8. Reading your “About the RD” page is truly inspiring. You have accomplished so many incredible things, and you continue to amaze me. If you had to choose one thing that has been your greatest achievement, what would it be?

Well, I’d say anything and everything in my life is the Lord’s doing- He has blessed me more than I ever imagined, and I just feel really grateful. Of course I have my struggles too, I’m human, but I feel very blessed. Being accepted and starting a graduate nursing program at Columbia University is definitely up there, but overall I’d say seeing Nutshell Nutrition grow into the private practice it’s become is at the top. When I started Nutshell, it was really just to make a little extra money so I could pay off my student loans from undergrad. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, my mom was a single mom of 5 working as a teacher, so I wanted to be able to get myself out of student loan debt as fast as possible and then start saving. And at first, I had a few clients and I was blogging, but I hadn’t really found my niche yet. I was practicing the same way I am today, but I hadn’t realized that the way I practiced nutrition as an RD was something that was different than most RDs, and that’s what I should start blogging about- my passion for helping people find food freedom, eat more, and nourish their bodies well. Today, it’s my sole source of income and the business has grown into something I never thought it would be. Everyday I’m thankful for what it’s become, and I hope to continue to grow the business while I’m in nursing school.

9. Is there anything “big” that your are working towards? What is one major goal that you hope to achieve?

I actually just started an accelerated nursing program at Columbia University to become a Nurse Practitioner. After working as an RD for a year and a half, I realized that my passion for helping others extended far beyond food. Especially as Nutshell Nutrition grew and I was seeing more and more clients, I wanted to know more and help them, but I felt like I was at a dead end in my practice- I couldn’t comprehensively care for people like I wanted to. The program is 2 1/2 years and after the first 12 months I will have a BSN and be an RN, then over the next 18 months I will do the master’s portion and graduate in December of 2016 as a Family Nurse Practitioner with a speciality in women’s health. Then if I decide to go on, I can do another 18 months of school and graduate with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. So that’s where I’m at now. I’m still an RD and although the program is very intense, I will continue to do Nutshell Nutrition as long as I am able while in school!

10. On busy days, or when you just don’t know what you want to eat, what is your go-to healthy meal?

Hands down, roasted potatoes [yukon gold and sweet potatoes] that I slice into discs, toss in coconut oil and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Along with that I love a homemade veggie burger I’ve had in the freezer or a good quality one from the store- like Sunshine brand or Hillary’s burgers- and a kale salad [massage kale with EVOO + lime juice and sea salt] with sliced avocado on top!

And that's all, folks! I hope you've enjoyed this two-part interview! Make sure you subscribe and comment below! Have a super, super great week and keep shining for HIM.


Friday, June 6, 2014

5 Ways To Slim Down 4 Summer

Hello my friends!

It's another beautiful, sunny day here in Florida! Thank the Lord that mostly every day is this nice. I can hardly imagine waking up each morning to a dark, drear-looking sky that make me want to cuddle up next to a warm fire and drink hot chocolate. Sounds nice though, huh?

Since summer is here, and everyone is trying to slim down and get that perfect, bikini body, I have some great tips to let you know how you can do it. Whenever I look at my twitter feed all I see are ways to lose weight quickly and how to get the 'perfect' body for summer. It seems like that's what everyone wants. Well sometimes the advice that is given isn't so good. What I mean is that it isn't healthy to do these things to your body. But in a world were skinny is the 'perfect body', how can you expect anything other than that? So here are some really good ways to slim down for the summer. :)

1. "Drink 8-10 glasses of water, and only water, every day. Cut out all those sugary soft drinks and juices and load up on water. Not only will you save money, cut a large amount of unnecessary sugar from your diet and facilitate fat metabolism, you will end up eating less because water fills you up. So before you devour your long-awaited lunch, chug a full glass of water." -10 Slim Down Tips

2. Swap long hours at the gym for interval training. Studies show that doing high-intensity workouts "increase your metabolism and burn calories long after you workout."

3. Eat breakfast. We always say that. Are you wondering why? Studies show that when you skip a meal, you blood sugar drops exceedingly low, and your metabolic rate slows. This results in hunger and lack of energy which leads to over-eating. 

4. Fill up on anti-fat foods. Those are... fruits. Simples as that! Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, so they actually help rid the body of water and bloating. Melons, grapes, tomatoes, etc. are all great fruits and vegetables to start adding to your diet.

Those are all great ways to slim down for the summer, but here is a way you can flatten your stomach (definitely) and actually lose a little weight: Try Temple Cleanse!

Temple Cleanse is designed to gently cleanse your colon from impacted waste. It not only cleanses your colon, but also will jump-start your wight loss! Try Temple Cleanse today! 

Seriously, have an absolutely amazing weekend, and don't forget... SHINE FOR HIM!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quest Review - Apple Pie

Well hello everyone!

I've been completely ignoring the blogging world, so I'm sincerely sorry. The good news is... I've got a pretty fantastic review for you today! I mean I've already expressed my complete adoration for Quest Bars, right? Many times I see puzzlement about whether Quest Bars are really worth the extra money. If I had to answer, I know I would say "yes." 

No, not every flavor is my favorite, and not every texture is amazing. But I have to say, in the 
end, they definitely win as one of my favorite protein bars. They are so filling and most of them have a pretty awesome flavor. Not every company can always produce a 'wow bar', but for the most part, Quest has a selection of bars that are quite good! So today I'm going to focus on only one bar, but trust me - it'd definitely one of their very best!

Quest - Apple Pie - Protein Bar Review

Quest surprised me extremely with this delicious protein bar! I will admit that I have not had apple pie for a long time, so when I say it reminded me of apple pie so much, remember that it is based off of my vague remembrance of when I had it. :) 

When I ripped open the bar, I could smell a delicious mixture of cinnamon and apples and... you get the point. 
The bar already got a +1 for just the smell- and I hadn't even tasted it yet!! I couldn't not take a little nibble of this bar before I mixed it all up for the dish I was planning on making, so when I did taste it for the first time, it tasted exactly like apple pie! Amazing, right? 

So now that we know it's a great-tasting bar, we can continue with our baking. I used this bar to make little apple pie cookies. I originally found the recipe for Quest cookies on Blogilates, but I had already devoured the Quest bar it called for so... I used the Apple Pie! No regrets. 

                                                               Quest Apple Pie Cookies

                                                                           2 Apple Pie Quest Bars
                                                                           1/4 C. Milk
                                                                           2 Tbsp. Applesauce
                                                                           1 Tbsp. Coconut oil, melted (or canola)
                                                                          3 Tbsp. Flour 
                                                                          1/4 Tea. Baking Soda
                                                                          1/2 Tea. Butter (optional)

Mix everything together in a bowl, and pop into the oven for about 5 - 7 minutes on 375. I mixed up some powdered sugar and butter/oil to drizzle over the top of them, and then I sprinkled cinnamon. I'm sure they would be delicious with other toppings!

Some more pictures, naturally! 

They were soooo good! I would definitely make these again and again! They tasted so much like an apple pie. 

Well I hope you enjoyed this Quest recipe! Have a blessed day, and go get some Quest Bars now! 

Keep shining for HIM,

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Robyn Coale Interview - Part 1

Hello my friends!

How has you weekend been? What have you been up to? I'm so excited to share with you a project that I've been working on with fellow health and fitness blogger- Robyn Coale

Robyn Coale is an amazing healthy-living blogger who has created a way to help you begin either your weight loss journey or your quest to live a healthy, happy life. :) If you'd like to find out more about her business, then this link will direct you to her brilliant website: Nutshell Nutrition. If you'd rather see her awesome blog,  check out The Real Life RD. :) 

1. If you had to choose one individual who has greatly inspired or influenced you, who would it be?
My biggest influences in my life are the women in my church, especially those in my Bible study. You're probably thinking..why didn't she say her mom?! My mom is a HUGE part of my life, and we are best friends. My momma is my hero. She raised five kids as a single parent on a teacher's salary and has taught me so much about life. Even though she's 600 miles away, I look to her for wisdom, and she is my biggest encourager. But when I think about the women in my life who are influencing me, its the women I live my day to day life with. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by such loving, understanding, wise, witty, and big-hearted ladies who not only hold me accountable, encourage and support me, but also influence the way I live my life- they've taught me to be more gentle, self-less, bold, and forgiving.

2. Have you felt that maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been difficult? What do you find most challenging in living a healthy lifestyle?

Overall, I would say maintaining a healthy lifestyle is much easier now than it was in college- but really, I wouldn’t say it has been that difficult, simply because nothing is an absolute. I think we can tend to look at food legalistically, when really we should be seeing it as something that’s very flexible. We won’t always be in a situation where there is a plethora of fruits and veggies or vegetarian options or whole grains and that’s the 10%. The other 90% of the time I try to eat well and nourish my body with foods that will give me energy, and the other 10% of the time I go with the flow, enjoy foods I wouldn’t make for myself and see it as just that- as food, not calories or 5 pounds or whatever. I think initially, a healthy lifestyle can be more difficult as you wean off the addictive, high-sugar, processed, unhealthy, fatty foods, but as your palate adjusts and you realize you have more energy, feel better, sleep better etc when you are eating better then you WANT to choose foods that make you feel good. For me, the most challenging thing is finding time to exercise. I LOVE to sweat, but my lifestyle is pretty busy so setting aside time to get in a workout can be challenging- lately I’ve been doing a lot of walking or running and hiking with friends, that way I can socialize and get some exercise too!

3. Do you believe that there is any one factor that is absolutely essential to beginning and maintaing a healthy lifestyle. If so, what do you consider to be the most important factor in living a healthy, balanced life?

Absolutely, you have to do it for YOU and for internal reasons- something more than just vanity. When we want to lead healthier lifestyles simply to lose x amount of pounds or “tone up” then it’s very easy to start to equate food with calories or with weight or numbers in general rather than seeing food as nourishment. And when we only see food as numbers, that is when an unhealthy relationship with food develops. Your intentions have to align with your values. You are much more likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle because you want to have more energy so you can invest in relationships better or play with your kids after school or sleep better than if you want to look better in a bathing suit or fit into a certain pant size.

4. How do you feel your blog has helped (or hindered) you in living a healthy life?

That’s a good question I had to think about for a bit. Since my blog isn’t necessarily set up like a food log where I share my daily eats, the way I eat hasn’t really changed. I would definitely say the blog has really helped me to be more in tune with my feelings and body and reflecting on those things in order to put them into words. A lot of times when I blog about touchy or “heavier” topics, it’s because I’ve been through something similar, learned from that and then decided to share that with my readers- so the blog has really taught me to be vulnerable and take time to sit down and reflect. In general though, seeing a lot of blogs that can be damaging and aren’t necessarily “healthy” has really made me aware of what is out there and how to spread a different message about true health.

5. The Bible is an endless source of inspiration and encouragement. Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or one that particularly inspires you?

Absolutely! There are so many but here are some of my favorites :)

“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God” Phil 4:6
“Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” Romans 12:2
“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” Matthew 6:34
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for the good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

 Thank you so much, Robyn, for taking the time to answer all of these questions! I'm super excited to have you back for Part 2!!

If you haven't already visited her blog, then make sure you do so now : The Real Life RD

Have a blessed day, and keep shining for HIM!