Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Try This Tuesday: Enjoy the Process

Sometimes, I think we get too caught up in the daily minutia of life, that we miss a lot of the joy that is consistently being offered along the way. Too often we are merely focused on achieving a goal, crossing items off the to-do list, and tending to all of the responsibilities and obligations that we have and create for ourselves. I am definitely guilty of this.

Certain times of the year (like now) remind me of this very important lesson. With only three days left of my only daughter in Grade 5 (and me wondering where the f%#k the time has gone), it's a bit of a slap in the face reminder about how time slips by so quickly and unnoticeably. I will never in my entire life have this experience again. Have I really taken the time to enjoy her, and this experience of being a mom to a 10 year old? Or rather, have I more often been rushing through it all to get to the next thing/obligation/task/responsibility?

This concept of enjoying the process can easily be applied to any area of your life. We must be able to find joy in doing 'the things' because the process IS life. The end result is just the end result. Look for ways that you can find and incorporate enjoyment into all the processes of your own life: while you're doing the laundry, driving the kids to school, losing the weight, working on a big work project, doing the errands....Because this is actually where we spend our lives.





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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Food Tracking Apps

A couple of days ago, Global News did a piece about apps that track your eating. Dr. Arya Sharma, a professor of medicine at the University of Alberta who specializes in obesity, was interviewed for this piece and talked about how tracking food intake can be very helpful for weight loss, because of the principal of self-monitoring. He also cited a recent study from the Journal of Obesity, which found that people who logged their food more frequently lost more weight.

The entire article can be found here. In my own practice, my clients and I use photo-journaling for tracking food. Not only can it be helpful for identifying habits and behaviors, but it also provides an overall view of your day: did it contain enough vegetables and fruit; was it mostly consisting of unprocessed foods, etc.; does my diet need to be more diversified? It’s a LOT less cumbersome than physically entering in data into a calorie-counting app, which as dietician Andrea D’Ambrosio points out in the same article, can be wildly inaccurate.

If you’re curious about the app that I use in my practice and would like more information on my program, please email me at hello@stacyyates.com

From the article:

Just writing down what you eat, and knowing that you have to record it, can be a powerful reminder to make healthy choices, he said. Say you passed a plate of cookies in the office. “That simple act of saying, ‘OK, but now I need to record and I need to remember it,’ might actually make you think twice,” he said.

“It becomes mindful. And that changes everything.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Try This Tuesday: Look for the Bright Spots


When you’re working on implementing new habits it can sometimes feel overwhelming, and that anything less than “perfect” simply isn’t good enough. But this thinking only perpetuates an unhelpful cycle of all-of-nothing behavior. (I’m not doing it right; it’s too hard; I can’t; I quit).

Instead, I encourage you to begin to look for the bright spots: any successful efforts you are already doing that are worth emulating; that are realistic, sustainable and can be developed further. You aren’t doing ALL THE THINGS wrong – you’re doing a lot right already. Focus on how to “grow” and foster those areas: What’s already working and how can you do more of it?

Note: This is a concept I picked up from the book “Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard” by Chip & Dan Heath. It was another great read on behavior change.


Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Best Type of Exercise...

I get asked this question sometimes....and I always have the same response:

The best exercise for you is the one you will actually do. Just get out there and do it.

Walking is ALWAYS a great place to start.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Relationships with Social Media

The role of social media in both my personal life and professional life has been on my mind a lot lately. Has it been on yours? Personally, I know I am “scrolling” way too much. Professionally, I feel this constant underlying pressure to “be relevant” by doing all the things that people “should” be doing to promote their business on social media: creating content and live stories, taking really good photos, constantly thinking of what to share about your life (enough, but not too much), learning all about the functions and settings, comparing what you are doing with others in your industry, and on and on...

But the irony of it is that staying relevant on social media takes a lot of time and effort…time and effort that could be better used to work on more important things, like your business. I’m not saying that social media doesn’t have a time and a place, but I do think that it can definitely perpetuate an unhealthy relationship with social media and your phone, and I feel that I have been moving in that direction.

A couple of days ago, I was listening to a great podcast called “Being Boss” about “Word of Mouth Marketing”. It was a reminder that I don’t need to excel at marketing my business on social media; I need to excel at serving my clients.  Because if I continue to do a great job serving my clients (which is the whole point), they will be the very best “marketers” I could ever ask for.

Then, just today, I listened to a podcast from The Feed Good Effect called "Want to Break up With Your Phone? Here's How". Catherine Price, an award-winning science journalist said something right at the beginning that stung a bit. She said: “I don’t want to be staring down at my phone while life passes me by”. Ouch. Isn’t that the truth? This was just after I had posted a short article about perspective this morning on my blog.

All this is making me realize that I have been spending far too much time on my phone and social media. I am not going to post just because “it’s been a couple days” or “just to be consistent”, because I will remain consistent where it matters most – with the service I provide to my clients. Instead, I will post as authentically as possible; when it’s relevant; and when I WANT to share (and not because I feel I have to). That just feels better to me, a private person at heart anyway.

I strongly encourage you all to listen to these podcasts too. Our phones and social media really are affecting us, and we have to make some choices regarding how much of them we want to allow into our lives. They serve a great purpose, but they are also purposefully designed to keep us addicted.

I love social media for a lot of reasons: seeing people on amazing and fun trips, celebrating moments, seeing other kids grow up, learning interesting facts and enjoying jokes and videos. I just think that lately it’s been more negative for me: a way to compare, to feel less than, to feel FOMO, and to feel pressure by all the “SHOULD’s”.

So if you don’t see me as much here, you’ll know why. I intend to spend more time smelling the flowers, playing in the trees, and I plan to focus my “growth and engagement” in my REAL life: where it actually matters.








Perspective: Both a Blessing and a Curse


I am going to give you two examples of how perspective (in this case, the perspective of time) can be both a blessing and a curse.



The first example is weight. Have you ever looked back at old pictures from your 20’s or 30’s and remembered, somewhat astonishingly, that in those photos, at that time, you thought that you were fat and wanted to change your body and weight so badly? When the reality of the situation was that you actually weren’t “fat”, and your obsession with your weight was what stopped you from participating in so much life?

The second is children. Have you ever thought of a particular age or stage to be particularly difficult, and that you just had to ‘hunker down’ until it passed? Until the next one came? And then the reality of this proved to be that you spent so much time wishing for the time to move on quickly. Which it did.

Perspective shines light upon these things; helps us see the reality of situations. I wasn’t fat. I didn’t need to obsess. I was too busy comparing myself to others. How silly was I to have wasted so much precious time. I didn’t need to hope for an age or stage to pass, because parenting is just challenging, period. I am lucky to be experiencing it all, and I love my child deeply.

So the part of perspective that is a blessing is the part that allows me to see this truth now, with hopefully a lot of life left within me. The part that is a curse is the part where I realize the incredible waste: wasted memories, wasted years, wasted concerns on people who never mattered, and wasted opportunities to live my life and be in the moment.

But, being the eternal optimist that I am, and realizing that there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about the past, I choose to move forward with this knowledge and do my best to consistently be present, accept myself as I am today and yet still strive to fulfill the many goals I have yet to achieve. That’s all we really can do.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Try This Tuesday: Chew Your Food

This might sound ridiculous, but I am actually quite serious. So many of us are barely aware of how we actually eat. Bad habits abound when it comes to our mealtime rituals: eating while in the car or while watching TV; “loading up” our utensils before we’re actually done chewing and swallowing what is already in our mouths; and eating food we don’t even know if we are enjoying, are just a few examples of these bad habits.

Despite not actually being a “weight-loss” coach, in addition to wanting to learn and adopt positive eating habits, a lot of my clients also have goals to lose some weight. The interesting thing is that healthy eating habits often result in weight loss for people, as they exchange their bad habits for good ones. (A great read on this exact subject is a book is called “Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting” by Darya Rose)

Here’s an example of why…most people aren’t actually chewing their food nearly as much as they should be! Did you know that chewing your food properly may help you lose weight (and be healthier?). A lot of people are eating in such stressed and hurried states (another problem) that chewing is the least of their concerns.  But if you’re serious about your weight, your health, and your overall enjoyment of food, you need to slow down and chew properly.

Guess how many times you should chew each bite of food (on average)? The answer is 32, but of course, this totally depends upon things like the size of the mouthful and the type of food.

Chewing more falls under the umbrella of basically being more aware of what and how you are eating – which is what I work with my clients on. If you’d like to learn more about how we do this, please send me a message!

Photo Credit: @creativeexchange



Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Tips for Healthy Eating While Camping!

A client recently asked me for some tips on maintaining healthy eating while camping, and I came up with a few ideas for her. I personally am not a camper, but I do plan meals for the cabin every summer, and while I have a full-size kitchen to work with, I too look for meals that can double as both healthy AND easy.



First of all, just because you’re camping doesn’t mean that you have to throw all your healthy eating out the window. In fact, what you’re eating doesn’t have to change that much, as long as you are prepared and willing to do some prep ahead of time.

Some Dinner Ideas:

Veggie-stuffed quesadillas: You can use any recipe you like, but include some veggies like spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Cook up the filling, let it cool, and then fill your quesadillas, each between a layer of parchment paper; then freeze until ready to be warmed up on a skillet or BBQ!
Veggie-loaded chili: What a super simple way to eat! This is like a crock-pot meal to go! You can include a lot of veggies (and fiber-rich beans if you like)! Option to add a bun. If you freeze this one before you go too, it will take a while to defrost, doubling up as a helpful way to keep your cooler cold!
Greek-Style Turkey Burgers: A healthier take on a regular burger, because you can sneak in chopped spinach, feta, and sundried tomatoes! High-quality grass-fed beef is another good idea. Serve with a bun and/or a bagged salad (the ones with the dressing and everything you need inside)
Pre-made kebabs/skewers: This is another great idea to take on the road. Load up all your skewers ahead of time, and eat with some pre-cooked rice, potatoes or pita. I have a few great combination ideas on my Pinterest page.

(Note that all of these meals include veggies IN the meals. This is a convenient way to ensure you’re eating them without having to prepare and/or cook them separately. Double up dinners so that they can be reheated and served at lunch).

Snack Ideas: 

Fruits! Bananas, Apples, Oranges, Grapes!
Beef jerky
Higher-quality bars (like Larabars)
Homemade granola bars
Homemade nut and seed mixes
Homemade muffins
Homemade energy bites

Breakfast Ideas:

My homemade breakfast cookies
Homemade granola bars
Overnight Oats
Breakfast quesadillas (freezer friendly)
Protein shakes

I created a new Pinterest Board with more ideas, so check it out if you need some inspiration. And if you have a camping meal that you love that is healthy, please pass it along!





Try This Tuesday: View Setbacks as Par for the Course


Setbacks and failure are a natural part of learning new skills, whether we want to admit it or not. When you were a kid and first hopped up on your bike, did you fall or were you perfectly balanced from the time you started? Of course you fell! But then you got back up again...fell some more...got up some more….until the times between falling and getting up were greater because you were simply falling much less often. 

It's frustrating when it feels like we’ve moved 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, but this often isn’t what’s really happening if we're persistent. It’s more like 3 steps forward, another small 1, then 2 back. When you’re learning a new skill, you should factor in “setbacks”. If you do, you’re less likely to quit because you understand that it’s all just a part of the process. 

There’s no “never”, just “not yet”. Remember that. 




Being Intentional During the Holidays

My #1 advice to people around this time of year is to be absolutely intentional with everything: with the parties you choose to ...