How to Use Summer to Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals

How to Use Summer to Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals

Usually, when we think of weight loss, we think of work. We picture dumbbells, ellipticals, squat racks.

But – as most of our community knows – I am my most happiest when I am not slaving away at the gym everyday. It isn’t fun and it feels like work. To top it off, it is not the most efficient way to lose weight!

However, I am also my most happiest when I am engaging in physical activity. It makes me feel more energetic, confident, strong, and inspired. Over the years I have found a way to be really fit without being a total gym rat (balance!), and it is a huge reason I am able to maintain my weight management goals. In this post I show you how you can do it, too. The best way to achieve harmony with your body (and contribute to your weightloss goals) is by combining a low level activity that you love with a handful of high intensity exercises throughout the week. Balance! Summer is a perfect time to get in touch with outdoor activities that are actually fun but are also a workout.

How Much Should You Exercise?

I recommend that you try a low-level activity, like one mentioned in the list below, combined with one or two high intensity interval exercises and one strength training session a week to fully maximise your bodies potential. This will totally help you optimize your free time as well as health benefits, further contributing to a healthy balanced life!

It is important to give yourself the amount of exercise that your body needs. What does that look like? We really need to be intune with how much is too much, but we also need to not sell ourselves short. If you are obese, overweight, or ill, start as slowly as you need. The important part here is to just start. As you start slowly and continue, you will be able to achieve more weight and health goals overtime.

Best Summer Exercising Activities

There are literally a ton of ways to combine socialization, nature and its positive effects, and exercise with summer activities. You are capable of killing three health beneficial activities with one stone! This is why we all love warmer weather, right? I absolutely love doubling up on tasks by doing things like going on a walk with a friend to catch up, or getting competitive with some corn hole.

Any of the following would be considered at least a low impact activity that you can also do outside. These can definitely be modified to be a high intensity workout depending on the conditions.


Low-Impact

  • Biking
  • Kayaking or canoeing
  • Lawn games like cornhole or bocce ball
  • Walking
  • Outdoor yoga
  • Hiking
  • Climbing trees
  • Tossing a frisbee or ball
  • Swimming
  • Hula hooping

High Intensity Workouts

  • Interval Sprinting
  • Interval Biking
  • HIIT Classes
  • Spin Classes
  • Boxing
  • Crossfit

What to Eat

Seasonal produce is the best in the summer, there is a huge plethora of delicious fresh foods in season, not to mention it’s also grilling season.

Check out my post here on the best kabob recipes, and this post on what produce is in season right now.

I am a big fan of salads during the summer; they’re easy to throw together and you can combine so many different toppings to make it a superfood salad. My favorite right now is throwing arugula in a bowl with salmon, persian cucumbers, broccoli sprouts, seaweed and tahini for an asian style salad. The fat from the tahini combined with the protein from the salmon keeps me full and it’s super easy to throw this together.

If you are looking for more ways to reach your weight loss goals, check out my program, Weight Loss Unlocked here.

For more resources on healthy weight loss, check out my list of resources available here.

Pre-Order Bonuses for Coconuts and Kettlebells (The New Book!)

Pre-Order Bonuses for Coconuts and Kettlebells (The New Book!)

Y’all! I have been counting down to this day since Noelle and I decided to embark on this crazy journey that is writing book. In addition to writing this BADASS BOOK, Noelle and I have also been working on some killer bonuses for everyone who pre-orders the new book, Coconuts and Kettlebells. The pre-order bonus package contains content that isn’t included anywhere in the book. It’s sort of like Coconuts and Kettlebells 2.0—an extra chapter, audio file, and bonus workouts, all of which are additional resources to help you pursue health in a way that is right for your body.

We also want to show a little love to all of you amazing listeners and readers who decide to pre-order the book! We put a lot of sweat, tears & love into this project, so it means a lot to us that we can finally share our co-parented child with you! This little bonus package really sweetens the deal and makes the book (already amazing) even more amazing (so, amazing enough for you).

And, we’d also be really grateful if you pre-ordered the book — this gets us one step closer to being bestsellers and therefore able to reach so many more people. And also bestsellers, did I mention that part yet?

So basically, everybody wins. You get the book early with sweet, exclusive material that will not be available anywhere else, AND you get to help us spread the word about our philosophy and projects!

So what’s it all entail?! 

For the bonus chapter and audio file, we decided to dive deeper into popular topics that we get a lot of questions about. These topics are discussed with the understanding that everyone has different needs, and there is no one diet (or body size) that is right for everyone. The pre-order bonus package includes:

1. Bonus Chapter: Losing Weight While Remaining Well-Fed

In this bonus chapter, we offer guidance for people who may be struggling with weight loss. You’ll learn about the most common reasons women experience weight loss resistance, and the best ways to support the body’s metabolism. You’ll also learn how to facilitate the appropriate mindset when pursuing weight loss goals, and the most common pitfalls, including the wagon mentality, the shame cycle, and associating your worth with what you eat or the size of your waistline.

2. 5 Bonus Workouts

In addition to the 24 workouts in Coconuts and Kettlebells, you’ll get access to five bonus workouts—all of which can be done from home or on the go. So basically you’re getting 29 different work-outs total, enough to absolutely keep your work-outs fun and interesting!

3. Audio Recording: Finding the Macronutrient Ratio That’s Right For You

Should you eat low carb? High carb? What if you’re an athlete? Or breastfeeding? Macronutrients are a hot (and complex) topic right now. We give you an hour of glorious Noelle and Stef talk on how to find the macronutrient ratio that is right for you. We also answers questions from the community related to the topic.

4. Discounts with Partner Brands

You’ll get access to special discounts and promotions with our favorite brand partners, including Thrive Market, Morrocco Method, Four Sigmatic, and Kettle & Fire.

 

To get the Pre-Order Bonus Package:

1. Get the book! Pre-order a copy of Coconuts and Kettlebells anywhere books are sold, including AmazonBarnes and NobleBooks-A-MillonGoogle PlayIndieBound, or iBooks. Make sure to do this before August 7, 2018! Whether you pre-ordered the book months ago or pre-order it today, it all counts!

2. Send your purchase confirmation to this email. Simply forward us your purchase confirmation or take a screen shot and send us the photo.

3. We’ll confirm your pre-order and send you an email with instructions on how to get your goodies.Be sure to check your spam filter (or Promotions tab).

When you pre-order the book, it helps us tremendously. The more pre-orders we have, the more the industry sees the book as noteworthy. This gives us a better chance of being on best-sellers list(s), which will get the book in front of more people. We want our message to spread like wildfire. We want to grab people who are deeply rooted in restrictive eating and diet culture, and show them a completely different way to health.

We wouldn’t have this opportunity without you, so thank you for supporting us and making this possible. We can’t wait to get the book in your hands!

You’re lovely and thank you for being a part of this amazing journey!!!

<3 Stef

What the location of your breakouts really means

What the location of your breakouts really means

Our body uses its own particular language to communicate problems to us. This may be in the form of an ache, pain, or of all things, a pimple. Our body is literally trying to talk to us to tell us something is not  aligning with our physiology, and we need to learn that language.

It may be difficult to decipher this language, but no worries I’ve got your back!

We now have enough science and research behind us demonstrating that the locations of our breakouts can be caused by certain things.

For instance, if I eat dairy (an inflammatory food for me) I break out around my chin or jaw line. This is something that took me a decent amount of time to comprehend, but now that I have, it is a very reliable way to understand my skin.

So, what are the main things causing breakouts?

Acne primarily originates from two things, our diet and our hormones.

How Hormones Affect Our Skin

The most problematic hormones for your skin are the male sex hormones, called androgens a group. The two most prominent ones are testosterone and DHEA-S.​​Testosterone​​​ is a male sex hormone that you’ve probably heard about. It’s produced in reproductive organs in every body, though at much higher rates in men than in women. DHEA-S ​is not a sex hormone.  It is produced by the stress glands (adrenal glands) in the body. But it resembles male sex hormones so much that it has androgenizing effects in the body. The body has unusually high concentrations of androgen receptors in certain areas:  

  • around the mouth
  • the chin
  • the jaw
  • the forehead
  • the shoulders
  • upper back
  • glutes

So What Does This Mean?

Androgens or male sex hormones cause the body to do two things, make more sebum than what is normal, and boost skin cell growth rates. Too much male hormones means too much growth. Too much male hormone power in the blood means too much growth. When these growth processes occur with too much frequency or intensity, acne develops.

Check out my article here to learn more about whether you may have too much testosterone.

When we are able to eliminate hormones as the cause of our breakouts, (check out my program Clear Skin Unlocked if hormones could be the primary factor causing your breakouts.) we can then look at the next most inflammatory thing, our diet.

Dietary Factors Causing Acne

Unfortunately, there are a lot of dietary reasons we could be breaking out. A lot of them stem from causing inflammation in our bodies. The following are some of the main dietary reasons we develop breakouts :

  • A diet high in omega 6 fats
  • A diet high in deep fried and fried foods
  • A diet that includes trans fats
  • A diet low in omega 3 fats DHA and EPA relative to the amount of omega 6 in the diet
  • A diet high in refined and added sugars
  • A diet high in grains or dairy

I know this seems like a lot. If you have been following a paleo diet then most of these will not be an issue for you. If not, I recommend starting by eliminating processed foods, and go from there. I have more tips on how to do this, located in my program Clear Skin Unlocked, here.

So what do the locations of our breakouts mean?

  1. The Chin and Jaw & Neck : The highest concentration of testosterone receptors are found in the skin here. If you have a hormone imbalance you will likely see pimples in this area in a range of sizes. These can occur often around our menstrual cycles, when our hormones are fluctuating.
  2. Cheeks : We use our phones a lot, right? Make sure you are cleaning your phone often otherwise you are introducing loads of foreign bacteria to your face here. In addition, if you are smoking, this has a habit of showing in the cheeks because this area is believed to be linked to our respiratory system.  
  3. Chest : Our chest is a very sensitive area that we can sometimes forget about when it comes to washing and cleaning our face and other areas of the skin. Definitely take extra time to make sure you are washing your chest adequately. If that doesn’t do it, and your breakouts are happening in  the summer, check out this blog post on other things that may be causing the breakouts to occur.
  4. Forehead, upper back and glutes : There are also testosterone receptors found in these areas, not as potent as around the mouth. but they are real. This combined with natural sweat and dirt can cause serious breakouts.  


So – long story short, we should be looking to our hormones first to understand if we have any imbalances that could be causing breakouts, especially in the jaw, chin, forehead, upper back & glutes.

Here are a few more resources for understanding hormone imbalances and what your breakouts mean:

Hormone Balance and Inflammation

Cystic Acne and Hormones: Everything You Need to Know

The Ultimate Hormonal Acne Treatment Plan

5 Signs You Suffer From High Testosterone

Then, we look to our diet.

As we pay more attention to our skin and the contributing environmental and dietary factors in our life that may be influencing it, I promise it will become easier to understand and recognize where these breakouts are coming from and why. I am a big fan of journaling, especially to notice stress levels which could really be causing inflammation to spike.

Best of luck, and as always, I am always here.

 

<3

Sneaky Causes of Summer Breakouts

Sneaky Causes of Summer Breakouts

Here I am, thinking about how only a few months ago I had my winter skin regime down to a science. I had found the perfect combination of skin products to use and when to use them. Then, summer comes along and reminds me that our skin is a living changing organ and that we need to rotate our skin regimes throughout the year.

The changing of the seasons doesn’t usually mess with my skin, mainly because I have spent so much time testing a regime that works for me. However, the years that spring is non-existent and we leap into summer without warning can without warning, lead to unexpected breakouts.

This is one of those years. I have had several breakouts and have been trying to track all the things that could be contributing to this annoying part of my life.

Diet? Just fine.

Skin care products? Even better.

So what gives?!  I am sure there are a few things you can think of that could contribute to summer breakouts. Hotter weather means more sweat, etc. The following are the most common sneaky causes of summer breakouts.

Sneaky Causes of Summer Breakouts

 

  • Sweat : Sweat doesn’t necessarily clog your pores. It is only when sweat mixes with oil and bacteria on your face that these breakouts occur. If you are using a lot of product on your face and are sweating on top of that, all that goodness starts to mix up and get stuck in your pores. If you are in a situation where you need to wear product on your face and happen to be in a sweaty environment, then just make sure you are washing your face afterward with a gentle cleanser. This brings me to my next point:

 

  •  Overwashing : When we are sweating and moving all day we tend to feel stickier and like we need to shower more often. This can lead to over washing, which will strip the face of its natural oil causing it to overproduce oil. This reaction caused from unbalanced oil composition can result with more breakouts. Stick to washing your face in the morning or evening, and try to only spot treat after that. If you are curious about other tips for info on keeping your skin clear, check out my program, Clear Skin Unlocked.

 

  • Sunscreen : Sunscreen can be full of ingredients that clog your pores. There was a time as a teenager when I would break out constantly because of poor quality sunscreen. My skin burns very easily and I would grab whatever sunscreen was accessible to prevent this. Because the ingredients in sunscreen vary, the results it may have on your skin will vary. If you are looking for a safer sunscreen that won’t clog your pores, check out this one.

 

  • Sunburns : If you are foregoing the sunscreen all together, then you are probably getting burned or some type of mild sun damage. Sunburns are truly awful for our skins composition. The skin burns and dies and peels off, forcing it to regrow. This may sound like a rejuvenating thing, but it really is forcing your skin into overdrive, drying it out which can lead us back to point 2. If you do get a sunburn, apply aloe as a natural moisturizing remedy.

 

  • Other Foreign Products : Things like bug spray, artificial tanner, heavier moisturizers, and general environmental toxins will cause breakouts, especially with the increased amount of time we spend outside in the warmer months. Try sourcing safer products with non-toxic ingredients when possible, and if not possible, try to limit your exposure to these products.

 

  • Outliers : If none of these reasons add up, I highly recommend checking out my program, Clear Skin Unlocked. My no-strings-attached program can help you decipher whether hormone imbalance, autoimmune conditions, or even leaky gut amongst other things can be contributing to breakouts. Get it here.

 

 

My Summer Regime:

I think I may be suspect of overwashing this time around and have been careful to tread lightly around my washing regime. Currently, I have been using the following to keep breakouts at bay:

Lightweight Hydrating Moisturizer : I typically apply a thin layer of this in the morning and it allows breathable moisture all day. Get it here.

Countersun Sunscreen : Beautycounter’s sunscreen is well known for being free of chemicals and junk, and it also doesn’t make me break out which is rare for a sunscreen. Get it here.

Portable Face Wipes : These are great on the go for when you are traveling and may be extra sweaty. I keep these on hand to wipe off my back and chest when I am traveling. Get them here.

 

Do you get summer breakouts? Is it just me? Let me know what works for your pesky summer breakouts.

 

<3 Me!

What You Need to Know Before Trying CBD

What You Need to Know Before Trying CBD

The first time I heard about CBD was while I was watching a documentary about treating children with severe ailments including seizure disorders like epilepsy. The parents of these children were seeking any and all options to aid in the treatment of their illnesses; more common treatments, like typical pharmacy treatments,  were not working in a way that allowed the children to maintain any type of normal life. These medicines would come with awful side effects that just weren’t worth it.

So they tried CBD. It seemed like a miracle, the CBD allowed for rehabilitation without nausea or any other side effects.

So what exactly is CBD?

CBD is Cannabinoid oil, a cannabis sativa constituent that LACKS the psychoactive effects of the commonly known ingredient in marijuana, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

This is really important for me to share, loves. CBD does not alter the mental state, nor do you gain any type of “high” by using CBD, a factor that differs from THC.

Typically CBD is sourced from hemp plants, whereas marijuana is sourced from marijuana plants. Hemp plants are not bred to contain THC, unlike marijuana plants.

The body has a system called an endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system translates signals it receives from cannabinoids. The body also produces its own set of endocannabinoids as well- which are produced in our bodies during stressful situations, and commonly known by cardio buffs as “runners high.” This entire system assist our sleep, immune and pain system functions.

An extremely fascinating piece to note from the Paleo Mom, is how anti inflammatory pharmaceuticals like Tylenol, act as an activator in the endocannabinoid system, in turn producing endocannabinoids to reduce inflammation.

CBD enters our bodies and immediately seeks out our receptors that may be inflamed throughout our body and our brain. It is speculated that CBD may actually help encourage the body to produce its own cannabinoid compounds to seek out inflamed receptors in addition to the CBD received from consuming.

Uses of CBD

CBD is most often used for inflammatory conditions like arthritis, chronic pain or fibromyalgia. Patients seek out CBD as a substitute to pharmaceuticals that could have negative side effects or addictive properties. There have been a few studies done in humans with arthritis but not enough to be conclusive. Most of the studies are done on animals which can only be so informative. According to medical news today, other uses for CBD include :

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Anti-seizure properties
  • OCD
  • Panic disorders
  • Acne
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Chronic diseases

Because of its speculated anti-inflammatory properties CBD is now being studied to treat various autoimmune conditions amongst other ailments. As mentioned before, a lot of those studied have not concluded so the research available on CBD use for autoimmune conditions is limited and on a case by case basis.

How to use CBD

CBD typically comes in oil form. You can ingest the oil orally with effects occurring within a minute. Other forms of CBD products include :

  • CBD patches
  • CBD cooking oil
  • CBD infused water
  • Tinctures
  • Topical lotions
  • Vaporizer pens

 

Is CBD Paleo?

Paleo Juggernauts Mark Sisson and Chris Kresser have both vocalized their support of using CBD oil and marijuana for anti-inflammatory and medicinal purposes. Mark discusses the benefits of using marijuana including aiding in PTSD symptoms, type 1 diabetes, and weight loss.

But with every “miracle” cure on the market, there are downsides that we need to be aware of.

Trust your source

If you are interested in using CBD to treat inflammation, definitely make sure you know exactly where you are getting the product from. Lots of grocery stores and companies are trying to capitalize on this oil in untrustworthy ways. Because CBD is not regulated by the FDA, much like essential oils, companies are allowed to say that a product contains CBD even if it contains a minute amount, and often these companies charge a lot for the product.

CBD is legal in all 50 states, so I would recommend sourcing online or if your state has an approved medicinal or recreational marijuana regulation; you can purchase CBD through those shops that have informative and educated employees.

As mentioned above, CBD does not have THC in it which means you do not get high from this compound. However, if you are regularly drug testing for any reason, CBD could cause you to have a positive drug test.

I have several friends that use CBD to manage chronic diseases. One of the best parts of supplementing with this oil is that it is not meant to be a permanent supplement. CBD is supposed to ease you back into a life where you can eventually manage symptoms while not taking CBD, unlike pharmaceuticals.

 

The New Tea Technology I Can Get Behind

The New Tea Technology I Can Get Behind

So I had no idea you could get tea in powder form, other than the well known matcha tea. Apparently this is the future though and you can get anything in powdered form, including high quality tea. My most recent experience with powdered tea was trying Pique Tea Crystals.

I often laugh at myself because whenever I make hot tea I always have to reheat it before getting anywhere near finishing it. Now that it’s summer, combined with my inability to finish a hot mug of tea, means I have basically have been seeking out all the iced beverages.

Pique Tea Crystals contain literally the same ingredients and leaves found in a tea bag, but are in powder form. And why powder form, you ask? Other than being extremely convenient, the powder form was born out of a 1300 year old tradition called Cha Gao, or tea paste, originating in the Himalayas. It stems from the same process as loose leaf tea making. In today’s fast paced life we often burn our tea, or make it incorrectly; resulting in a loss of polyphenols and antioxidant content, which is most likely the reason we were drinking the tea in the first place.

By making the tea into “crystals” or powders and placing it in small packets, the creators at Pique Tea have taken the guesswork out of making tea properly, and maximizing the nutritional content.

According to Pique Tea’s  website, drinking tea can have the following benefits:

  • Improve gut health
  • Stronger immunity
  • Sustained energy
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Aid in clearing skin

If you’re interested in a more detailed list of my other favorite teas and their benefits, click here.

So, we know tea is amazing and the benefits on our bodies is seemingly obvious. In addition to that, Pique Teas packaging puts them at the forefront of the tea game.

I’m pretty obsessed with their packaging because:

  1. I can bring it camping or traveling and it’s as simple as pouring the powder into my cup versus soaking a tea bag and having to dispense of the tea bag
  2. It’s small format makes it compact and easy to stick away in my bag
  3. No steeping required. You literally pour it into your glass, and stir and it’s ready to drink

All of their flavors can be used in cold water, excluding the English Breakfast tea and the Earl Grey. These two flavors mix best with hot water. They also carry the following flavors:

  • Jasmine – The Jasmine is extremely floral. I have had several Jasmine teas in my life and none have quite the loud, for lack of better words, flavor as this one. If you are not a fan of Jasmine, tread lightly with this one.
  • Mint Sencha – This is a Mint Green Sencha tea, and one of my favorites. I often found myself mixing several packages to combine flavors, and this one was great with the Hibiscus Mint.
  • Sencha – The Sencha is a green tea. I thought this one could have had a little more of a full body Green tea flavor, but it seemed like the majority of these that I tried iced weren’t as flavorful as when I drank them hot.
  • Hibiscus Mint – Floral and minty, yet subtle, this was one of my favorites.
  • Passion Fruit – The Passion Fruit is a Green tea, so there is caffeine in this one as well. The powder took me off guard because it was a mustard yellow, so much so that I had to google what color Passion Fruit was because I was unsure.
  • Earl Gray – I love the smell of Earl Gray (not a fan of the caffeine content though). The bergamont scent was definitely present, a scent I love to diffuse occasionally. 
  • English Breakfast – I think there are those that are English Breakfast tea drinkers or Earl Grey tea drinkers. Although fragrant and delicious, I didn’t actually drink this one because of the high caffeine content. You’ll have to be the decider with these. 

I tried mixing the powder in ice water and I do not recommend that. The crystals had a more difficult time dissolving and attached to the ice in weird lumpy chunks. If you like your drinks icy, mix it in cold water first and then add ice.

Because of the method used to produce this tea, the polyphenols, antioxidants, and l-theanine content is easily absorbed and accessible by our bodies. And, the super convenient and conscientious package make these little cuties the perfect pick me up or gift for the tea lover in your life.

Y’all know I am slightly obsessed with tea. Any crazy new tea technologies that you have heard of recently? There has to be more out there!