let’s be real for a second.
We get it.
Keeping up with life alone is a challenge.
Putting forth the extra effort needed to care for and nourish your body falls to the bottom of the list.
Especially when easier, unhealthy choices bombard us at every turn.
If this is you, we’re glad you found us.
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Reach your goals. Change your relationship with food. Become a more educated consumer.
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One-on-one, hour-long counseling session to evaluate nutrition habits, needs and areas for improvement, so you have a plan to implement. Perfect starting place to assess where you are and the changes you can make to improve your health.
Personalized nutrition plan with built-in, ongoing accountability to help you reach your goals. Program includes weekly online check-ins, plan refinement and support for navigating life’s curveballs. Ideal for reaching weight loss goals and athletes in training.
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All of the nutrition support you need plus weekly meetings to ensure extra accountability. We realize some people need to hear another voice and are less engaged with technology. If you are committed to change and want the extra personal touch, this will help.
Putting all the pieces together can require some new approaches and new tools. Let us help you makeover your kitchen, teach you to cook, master meal planning, take a smart shopping field trip. Accelerate your learning curve with our proven tips and tricks, so you can sustain your new healthier life.
As I progressed in my training for Ironman Texas, I realized I would have to improve my approach to my nutrition if I were going to do well in my first Ironman. I consulted with focused+fit to fine tune my hydration and nutrition strategy to power me through the race. focused + fit provided me guidance on how to stock my kitchen, construct a meal plan for training days and understand how many calories I needed to fuel my training day in and day out. This information was very valuable to me as a newbie to the sport of triathlon. Lisa really kept it simple, and I was not overwhelmed. In addition, she taught me to listen to the signals that my body gave me regarding nutrition/hydration throughout training, so I could adjust as I trained as well. From a nutrition standpoint, my race went great. I was able to eat what was comfortable for me, and complete the race well-fueled and without any GI issues, which is always a big concern for long-course athletes.
recent thoughts and tips
In the last three years, I’ve become completely dairy-free and gluten-free as I worked to feel my best. These are two things that are popular for people to cut and recommend eliminating from their routines for autoimmune diseases and as a way to help people cut calories by removing processed foods from their diets. However, I don’t espouse that they are wholesale evil or problematic for everyone, but for some people it is a worthwhile experiment. I thought I’d share a little more about mine.
For starters, from the time I was two, I had a diagnosed milk allergy. I was extremely limited on the dairy I could eat as a kid and though I remember some cheese, it was fewer and further between than most kids. However as I became more independent and older, I generally ignored this personal history. I knew that if I had something like lasagna or ice cream I’d start coughing almost immediately and my stomach would hurt, but I’d recover and repeat. And I loved cheese as much as anyone. That’s about how I subsisted until my mid 30s when paleo became all the craze and was the food approach of the day in Crossfit circles.
Intuitively, the approach of focusing on whole foods and cutting grains and dairy felt right to me. Without a lot of facts, I started skewing that way, cooking paleo food for myself, baking paleo goods and seeking a leaner post baby body. I never really got leaner, but I felt pretty good. But the milk and allowances still crept in. On vacations or meals out, I’d enjoy it and not worry about it. I didn’t feel that badly either. At least not that I remember… I did do a couple of Whole30s as well and the re-entry phase confirmed that dairy was a problem. A HUGE PROBLEM. But it didn’t seem like gluten was, so after that I focused on keeping most dairy out, and didn’t worry about grains. But I’ll acknowledge there was still some dairy along the way. I mean, I’m a Texas girl who loves queso. That didn’t count in my book, and when we went to France a couple of years ago, and I had cheese every single day.
That seemed fine for me until I was about 41. I honestly don’t know if I got more sensitive to dairy from keeping it out of my diet more, which some scientists hypothesize happens because your gut biome changes, or it could be that I became radically more aware of how dairy made me feel as exposure points became fewer and farther between. But I kept testing it because again, cheese, and I kept thinking I should be able to eat Greek yogurt or goat whey or casein or goat cheese or parmesean. You name it, I’d still test it because it was all in the vein of these healthy-ish options that work fine for other people. Until finally I realized the consequences of these individual exposures were more than I wanted to deal with. After an ounce of cheese, I’d be bloated and uncomfortable for about seven days. My weight easily spikes up four pounds if I eat some dairy, and I finally decided it wasn’t worth it. That was about 18 months ago, and though I’ve accidentally had a little when there was some in a protein bar that I wasn’t aware of or in some dark chocolate that wasn’t truly dark chocolate, I can honestly say I feel so much better it is so worth it to me and I’m firmly committed to this as a long-term need and plan.
Also being dairy-free is so much easier now than it was several years ago. For the most part I don’t try to replace the cheese I missed with vegan options or fake alternatives, but I do like some coconut milk or almond milk in my coffee. You should have seen the lengths I would go to in an effort to get coconut milk for my coffee when on business trips before Starbucks had anything but soy milk. It was a little ridiculous.
Being gluten-free is a much more recent development, and honestly my experience has made me more apt to ask clients to consider it – especially if they are coping with thyroid issues, PCOS, stalled progress (when everything else is in place) or GI distress. In December, my thyroid was starting to run low and in an effort to get things back on track, my doctor had me adapt a few lifestyle approaches including reducing training intensity, sleeping more and going gluten-free. For gluten he wanted me to do a 30-day elimination and reintroduction experiment, so that’s exactly what I did from about mid-January to mid-February.
Again being gluten-free now is easier than ever. For Jeff’s birthday treats, we could buy gluten-free flour and do a 1:1 replacement in the recipes without even blinking. For our daily food, I already wasn’t eating a ton of it. I just had to switch up tortillas on taco night and be more diligent about what I’d eat out. I mean when you’re at a family gathering in Texas that’s a BBQ and family provided desserts, and you’re dairy-free and gluten-free you can pretty much eat nothing. I had a whole lot of brisket and strawberries that day as I recall. But you know what? The next day I felt fine. And the day after. That was worth it.
When it was time to reintroduce gluten, I made a batch of whole wheat pancakes from scratch. I picked this for a couple of reasons. Since I knew the ingredients I could be sure it was really gluten I was reacting to if anything. Also who doesn’t love a giant batch of pancakes? It was much less dramatic than I react to dairy, but it was not good. I had minor bloating, but mostly I felt achy. Achy all over for days. I was in denial, so I eliminated again and reintroduced again. Same. So that’s it. That was the end of gluten.
Our sensitivities change over time and can be brought out by stress, age and other health factors. My doctor said my issue was non-celiac gluten intolerance, which was probably made worse by overtraining and aging. Though we didn’t officially test the dairy, I suspect it’s still a straight up allergy based on my reactions.
I honestly believe that people should evaluate these things for themselves and see if it helps them feel better than cutting just because they read eliminating them is good for you. Good for you, for many, is short hand for eat other stuff instead. Seriously it eliminates pizza, mac and cheese, burgers, queso and so many other go tos in our carb-dense, calorie-dense world, which are good things to cut for reasons far beyond the dairy and gluten components of the food. If you want to get serious about it because you’re coping with undiagnosed symptoms, eliminations and reintroduction as well as medical testing is the way to go. And if you’ll go to those lengths and know more about how it is affecting you, you’ll be more committed to living that lifestyle than you ever would be because you read an article or someone at the gym told you it was a good idea.
It’s no secret that I’m a technophile and data junkie. It’s an element that has it’s pros and cons, but it’s part of who I am. Lately I’ve been trying to really dial in on optimizing my recovery and working to sync my training loads and expectations to my monthly hormonal cycles. I’ve found a few new apps to really help with this effort. It was no small feat to get everything working together and fortunately, my parter-in-crime, Kathy, helped with a ton of the research, so I thought I’d share what I’m now using week in and week out to help with this endeavor.
Please note I wear an Apple Watch 3 and use an iPhone daily. I also use a Garmin Forerunner for swimming, biking and running and this foundation factored into the different apps I’m now using. Some are long-time stand-by favorites and others are new additions.
Food tracking and planning.
- MyFitnessPal. I’ve been using this app for a little over two years to track my food. Honestly, my favorite thing about it is that as a coach I can see my client’s food journals in detail and it integrates well with our client support software. The database is broad, but it isn’t perfect, so you have to be careful about using quality entries when logging food. I use the premium version to be able to fine tune my macros. All things being equal, I would love to try out Chronometer, which is getting great reviews for the way they validate and verify their entries, but they don’t offer the client support features we need.
- PlanToEat. This is my recipe log and meal prep planning tool. It’s an annual subscription, but I buy it on Black Friday when it’s 50% off for the year. I keep all of the recipes I use regularly and find online that look appealing in it, so then when I want to meal prep for the week, I can drag and drop recipes into a calendar and use the auto grocery list for shopping. I also love that their clean formatting cuts out all of the crazy annoying ads that pop up on food blogs where I get a lot of my recipes. I know it’s how they monetize their websites, but it still drives me nuts.
Sleep support and tracking.
- White Noise. I started using this in hotels when I would travel for business, but then I realized it was just as helpful to have on at home, especially when I go to bed an hour or two before my husband. I know I should get a white noise machine and get my phone out of my bedroom, but I haven’t forked out for one yet because this is working well enough. Personally I like the “red noise” sound selection.
- AutoSleep. This is what I’m using to track my sleep now that I’m working to get a firm handle on getting enough sleep at night. And enough may also be characterized as more. I’m not sure I’m to enough yet. It tracks sleep, deep sleep, heart rate variability and waking pulse, which is good for assessing whether or not I am accumulating fatigue night after night and whether I’m in need of a rest day. My understanding is that the margin of error on tracking deep sleep relative to what an EKG would show is pretty high, but I do know the data seems to correlate with how I feel and like tracking food, when I see a log of low sleep nights it helps me know how to adjust because how I recall it is poor.
- AutoWake. From the same makers as AutoSleep, this is an alarm that’s supposed to help nudge you to wake in a lighter sleep cycle to make it easier to wake up. When it wakes me up early (you can set how much early it can wake you), I find it annoying, but when I used a regular alarm recently when my Watch was getting fixed, I was definitely groggier getting out of bed, so I think it’s going to stay.
- FITR. This is to help track not only when your period is, but also the symptoms you have through out the month and it graphically shows you where in the month your hormones are in the cycle. There are tidbits of information on how your body is feeling and doing relatively to the cycle of the month to help women understand their bodies better. There are a lot of options for period tracking, but in terms of actually knowing what you’re tracking, I’ve found this one to be the best.
- Headspace. This is a meditation app, which is the only way I am able to meditate. I’ll fully own this is not an ingrained habit for me. I tend to do it in short stints fall off, try again. It’s also helpful for getting to sleep when I have an extra busy mind. But when I use it, I like it.
- ROMWOD. This is more my jam. I try to do ROMWOD daily to both stretch my body and force myself to do deep breathing and relax. It’s yin yoga geared toward crossfitters in 12-20 minute segments. The awesome thing I love about my body is that I put on muscle easily, but easy gainers tend to be incredibly tight, which can set up a cascade of injuries. Regular stretching is key for me to keep things happy, and I’ve found having a video series to follow daily works better for me than thinking I’ll randomly self program the stretches I hate (see Couch stretch and saddle poses).
Fitness fun (also the geekiest section of all).
- Garmin Connect. I mentioned I’m a Garmin user because I love their watches. I like their app for seeing the segments of my swims, bikes and runs in detail and I also use it to track my running shoe mileage. If I were using my Apple Watch or phone to track workouts, I’d probably more partial to Strava, but this tech integration works for me.
- TrainingPeaks. Because I’ve been doing triathons for years, I’ve been using TrainingPeaks forever. Even now while I’m not training, I like to loosely plan out my workouts for the week and make sure I’m not overloading myself in a given week. TrainingPeaks pulls in everything from my Garmin and my AppleWatch in one place to see it all. Also, I figure if I start tri training again, it will be good to have the current data available to my coach.
- HealthFit. Getting Apple Watch data into TrainingPeaks is no small feat. The HealthFit app makes that function possible. You could look at a lot of the Apple Watch data on the Apple Health App, but to see the Garmin data synthesized as well you have to look elsewhere. I realize this is a bit of a patchwork, but this app was a seriously exciting find (Thank, Kathy!) to get everything into one view. It even pushes my scale weight, sleep and HRV into TrainingPeaks to see how my workouts are impacting those elements.
Hopefully this gives you some fresh ideas about how technology could work for you. If you have something I should add to my repertoire, I’d love to hear about it!
For many people, cooking is a lost art. With longer commutes, two-income households and super convenient food available at every corner in every single store, it has fallen out of so many people’s routines. Sometimes this is because they never learned how to cook in the first place and for others it just fell off the priority list as life got more hectic. However, the health consequences that accumulate over the months and years of eating out too much are clear and a significant issue I see with my clients. Read More
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