Here’s a fact: even if you love veggies, it can be hard to get the required amount (2 to 3 cups a day).
And that’s a shame, because veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that your body needs to function at its very best.
If this is something you struggle with, I’ve got some easy ideas to help you ramp up your veggie intake:
1. Chop them into tiny bits
… and stir them into scrambled eggs, soups, potatoes, casseroles, etc. When they are minced, you barely notice them!
2. Add them to every meal … one meal at a time
Start by finding ways to add them to the easiest meal (probably dinner), and then when you master that, move on to another meal.
3. Be intentional about it
Decide it’s not a balanced meal if it doesn’t contain veggies, and then get on it!
4. Make them tasty
Experiment with adding sauces and spices to your veggies. This makes a huge difference!
5. Be sneaky
Try adding carrot or pumpkin puree, spinach, and/or mushrooms to your burgers or meatloaf.
6. Fill in the Gaps
Add a scoop of powerful greens to your daily shake or juice. I use Ningxia Greens to get my extra dose of powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. With over 60 nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, herbs, algae and mushrooms I love the peace of mind as it supports my immune system, digestive health, and energy levels!
If you haven't joined my private Facebook Group, Wellness With Colleen, hop over there now. Every week I offer fun challenges, healthy recipes, and wellness tips.
This group is perfect for you if:
✔️ You want daily inspiration to stay on track while you create your healthy lifestyle
✔️ You’d love to get your biggest nutrition and fitness questions answered by a real coach and other like-minded people who are on the same journey
✔️ And you like getting access to FREE recipes, tips, workouts, and more!
Talk about an accidental discovery ...
I’ve got a client who went on a trip to Europe a few years ago.
She ate differently than she did here in the US – basically less processed foods and more whole foods (veggies, fruits, proteins, etc.).
Can you guess what happened?
After a few days, almost every one of her everyday aches and pains went away.
Pains she had gotten used to – a sore knee, a tight low back, etc. – were pretty much GONE.
And this happened even though she was MORE ACTIVE all day, walking and sightseeing. Not to mention sleeping on strange beds.
It made such a difference that when she came home, she decided to keep it up – staying away from all her favorite go-to’s for snacks and weeknight meals.
She learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes, making a slight change in your lifestyle or everyday diet can have a HUGE payoff.
There are a lot of foods out there that can increase inflammation in your body.
And as you probably already know, inflammation is linked with aches & pains (especially if you have arthritis), but also obesity, diabetes, and a long list of other diseases.
I’ve put together a list of foods that are directly tied to inflammation, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
- Sugar. Processed sugars can trigger the release of inflammatory messengers in your body called cytokines.
- Trans fats. These can cause systemic inflammation. Even though they’re banned, trans fats can still be found in fast foods and some processed items. Check ingredient labels and avoid items with partially hydrogenated oils.
- Omega 6 fatty acids. Your body needs a healthy balance of omega 3s and 6s, but most of us get way too much of the 6s, which can lead to inflammation.
They’re found in salad dressings, mayo, and many vegetable and seed oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, and peanut.
- Refined carbs, aka “white” carbs. White flour, rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, etc. can spike your blood sugar and lead to inflammation.
- Alcohol. Moderate drinking (1 drink a day for women; 2 for men) may have some health benefits for many people. However, studies show the more alcohol people consume, the higher their level of inflammatory markers in their bodies.
- Processed meats. The methods used to prepare these meats create AGEs (advanced glycation end-products), which are linked to inflammation.
Some people also find they get aches and pains from foods they are sensitive to, like gluten, dairy, and even some vegetables.
I’m not suggesting that you go on a big kick and throw out all of those foods. That can be hard to sustain.
But sometimes making just one or two changes can start you on the road toward feeling your absolute best.
We can also assist our bodies through supplementation. I personally take these three everyday to support my body:
1. Ningxia Red: massive antioxidants to fight free radicals in our body.
1. Ningxia Red: massive antioxidants to fight free radicals in our body.
2. BLM (Bones, Ligaments & Muscles): helps joint mobility with collagen, glucosamine, and essential oils
3. Vitamin D: powerhouse for immune system and inflammation.
Reach out if you have any questions!
Have you ever gone on a trip and found out you’ve been UPGRADED?
Maybe it’s for a flight, car rental, or even your hotel room.
Everything feels like a treat … better seats, better ride, better sleep.
Well … that’s what your body feels like when you UPGRADE your food choices.
When you STOP feeding it ultra-processed food and START giving it food that’s flooded with benefits (more fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.), your body feels like it got an upgrade!
Basically, it’s all about SWAPPING out things that block you from your results …
and replacing them with foods that move you closer to your goals!
Here are just a few examples of upgrade swaps to try:
Chips → Nuts
Why upgrade? Potato chips contain very little in the way of positive benefits for your results or your health. They’re high in sodium, usually contain unhealthy fats, and their refined carbs can send your blood sugar up.
Meanwhile, nuts contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and micronutrients your body needs.
Fun fact: people who regularly eat nuts are 14% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 20% percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease!
TIP: Portion control is everything. One serving of nuts equals about 1 oz., or about ¼ cup (38 grams). Savor each and every bite!
Cookies/Cakes/etc. → Dark chocolate
Why upgrade? You’re swapping out all the unhealthy refined ingredients (sugar, white flour, unhealthy fats) … and you’re replacing it with an ingredient that actually helps you!
The cocoa in chocolate contains flavanols, which (among other things) can help lower your blood pressure and improve how your blood vessels function.
Again, it’s all about moderation – 1 ounce (30 grams) equals 1 serving.
Soda → Herbal Tea
Why upgrade? Most of us already get way too much added sugar.
The American Heart Associates suggests that women get no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar (24 grams) a day, and men, 9 teaspoons (36 grams).
But ... get this!!!
A single 12-oz serving of soda contains 7-10 teaspoons of sugar. GROSS.
Not only that, but studies link diet soda to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
Herbal teas are a MUCH better choice. Some (like chamomile) can help you relax, others (like peppermint) can energize you, and some just plain taste great! I also drink my Ningxia Red daily. I like to mix with club soda for a boost of natural energy and massive antioxidants!
Steak → Salmon
Why upgrade? You’re swapping out saturated fats for healthier fats that protect your health.
Steaks, burgers, and hot dogs are all high in saturated fat that can raise your level of LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol that’s linked with heart disease.
But fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which most of us don’t eat enough of. These healthy fats lower how much fat is in your blood and cut back on plaque buildup in your arteries.
Pasta/Rice/Potatoes → Veggies ... Especially Green Veggies!
Why upgrade? For starters, most of us don’t eat nearly enough veggies.
If your diet is heavy on starchy carbs (like pasta, rice, or potatoes), one of the easiest ways to get more is to swap out a serving (or 2!) for vegetables.
Starchy carbs contain a lot of calories for how many nutrients they contain. Plus, they can raise your blood sugar.
By swapping in veggies instead, you can boost your micronutrient intake AND reduce inflammation that contributes to disease.
TIP: To add a little more snazz to your veggies, experiment with the recipes in my Tasty Sauces, Marinades & Salad Dressings Recipe eBook! If you missed it, here's the link: https://colleenriddle.com/landing/tasty-sauces-marinades
As you can see, upgrading your food choices has nothing to do with deprivation. It’s all about foods that taste great … and have great benefits.
Small changes really can make a big difference in your results, and in your life.
PS: If you’re ready to create a real change in your life, let me help you kickstart your journey with my 28-Day Total Body Transformation Program. For less than a cup of coffee a day, you will get a proven success plan including meals, grocery lists, community support, workouts, coaching, and more! Check out the details here. Our next group starts September 13th!
This month I want to focus on one of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS you can do when it comes to getting ACTUAL results.
And this one thing will also help:
- Your health
- Your workout/sports performance
- Up your energy levels
- Reduce painful joints
- The quality of your skin and hair
- Your heart
- Your brain
- How you feel now and into the future.
Big stuff, right?!
It has to do with what you EAT. If you've known me for a while, you've probably heard me say, "You can't out train a bad diet!"
Because there’s a direct line between your food intake and EVERY one of the things on that list (plus a lot more).
This isn’t groundbreaking news. But …
There might be something specific standing in your way of putting it into action.
FACT: There’s a type of food specifically engineered to make you crave more of it.
And this food product is also crammed with some of the worst things for your body that you can eat: added sugars, unhealthy fats, salt, and loads of extra (empty!!!) calories.
→ It’s “Ultra-Processed Food” – cookies, chips, donuts, candy bars, sweetened cereals, sweetened granola bars, fried chicken, white bread, mashed potato flakes, etc. – and many scientists agree it’s ADDICTING.
And even if it’s not ACTUALLY addicting, studies have found these “foods” stimulate the reward pathways in your brain the same way some drugs do.
So, not only is this “food” NOT GOOD for you, it makes you crave even MORE of it.
This is a huge area of research right now.
I put quotes around “food” because it actually bears very little resemblance to real food. It has basically been stripped of its nutrition (fiber and micronutrients).
I have a LOT of great info coming for you about these “foods” and shifting away from eating them.
BUT FIRST … it all starts with AWARENESS.
Start paying attention to what you’re craving (and what foods you are eating). Keep track!
Write down what you’re craving, and also when. Documenting all of this will help you find patterns - and it’s also a great way to start taking back control.
So that’s your mini-assignment for the next few days – notice the who/what/when/where/why of any cravings you have.
No judgment! Just pay attention and keep track.
Are you up for it?! Email me back and let me know.
PS: Ready to take your results to the next level? Check out my upcoming 28-Day Transformational Challenge. Begins Sept 7th... I can help you make it a reality!
Everybody’s talking about doing “detoxes” and “cleanses” … but what does that really MEAN, anyway? And is it even a real thing?
I want to flip the script on that idea as we dive a little deeper into “cleaning it up” this month.
I had a big shift about this a long time ago that completely changed my perspective.
So … a lot of “detoxes” focus on eliminating toxins and getting rid of wastes that are in your body.
Here’s the issue with that: Your body already has a complex and amazing built-in detox system, made up of your skin, lungs, kidneys, colon, and liver.
These organs all work together to filter out toxins and waste, and then help you get rid of them by sweating, through your breath, or when you’re in the bathroom. I still believe in a good cleanse/detox once or twice a year, but we can do so much in between!
FACT: If there’s a breakdown in this system, you probably should see a doctor!
BUT … what if the toxins in the foods you eat, the products you use on your body, or the chemicals in your environment start to overload your detox system, putting a lot of stress on it?
It can get to the point where your body can’t keep up with eliminating them as fast as you absorb them, and they start to build up in your body. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.
Since we can’t actually SEE toxins, here’s a stat that can make it real:
Did you know that the average newborn baby has 287 known toxins in their umbilical cord blood (this is according to the Environmental Working Group)? 😳
And the breakdown of those toxins includes 180 that cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 that are toxic to the brain/nervous system, and 208 that are linked with birth defects or development problems in animal research.
Talk about a toxic load!
What if instead of focusing on CLEANING OUT toxins from your body ... you did your best to avoid them in the first place?!
That way, you’re “detoxing” your INPUT as much as possible, before it ever hits your system.
You can do that by upgrading the quality of what you feed your body and also what you surround it with. This will help reduce your overall toxic load. (I have a ton of info about this in my Clean It Up Challenge Guide.)
I’m talking about:
- Foods with fewer pesticides, antibiotics, contaminants, etc.
- Personal care products with fewer known toxins
- Staying away from plastic water and food storage containers
- Using more green home care products
With a little intention, you can lower the number of toxins you’re exposed to in the first place!
It’s a much more PROactive approach to your wellness.
So: I have a little bonus challenge for you today! One of the best things you can do to help your body’s detox system do its job is to DRINK WATER! (From a BPA-free container, obviously – and bonus points if it’s filtered water!)
This helps your system flush out all those waste products.
Exactly how much water you need every day depends on (among other things) how active you are, any health issues you may have, and your size.
But as a general rule, shoot for at least half of your body weight in ounces (Ex: 150lbs shoot for 75 ounces of water). If you struggle drinking water try adding a drop or two of Young Living Vitality Essential Oils (my go-to is peppermint, grapefruit, lemon, or lime)!
Track your intake today and post in the Facebook group!
It’s not the big things we do once in a while, but the small things we do CONSISTENTLY that bring results. Make sure and download my free 5-Day Clean It Up Challenge to give you a step-by-step guide to help removed the daily toxins!