How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthy does not need to cost you an arm + a leg! Most people believe that they're unable to buy healthy food because they simply cannot afford it + that's far from the truth.

There are plenty of ways to eat healthy on a budget + I'm going to provide you with those ways:

1) Buy canned or frozen veggies. Frozen fruit + canned veggies last longer than fresh produce. I suggest doing half and half. If you have certain foods that you know you’ll make the week of, I’d opt for fresh fruit. For foods you’ll make later on, just buy them in a can.

2) Buy 1-2 animal-based protein. Animal products are a bit expensive. So, I'd suggest buying only one or two animal-based protein whenever you go shopping. If you do buy chicken or beef, try to opt for organic grass-fed beef or pasture-raised chicken. I know they can be decently expensive, but it’s better than buying conventional meat because the animal is coped up and doesn’t have room to roam around and in turn they most likely contracted a disease, which in turn could be passed onto YOU.

3) Always read food labels. Before buying any food, be sure to check the ingredients. I cannot stress this enough. The rule of thumb is if you’re unable to understand ALL of the ingredients, you probably should not be putting said food in your body. Need help with understanding ingredients? I’m doing a Facebook live next Wednesday, May 8.. Click here to join my tribe!

4) Buy less junk food. It’s okay to splurge on chips once in a while, but try not to make it a habit. Chips are nothing but empty calories and they do nothing for you nutritionally. Instead, buy a bag of potatoes and make them yourself! Not only are they healthier, they might be cheaper.

5) Replace animal protein with plant-based protein. Chickpeas, black beans, legumes, lentils are a few options you can buy instead of chicken or beef. They’re way cheaper and you feel full aftward. You might be either skeptical or thinking you’ll still be hungry, but I can assure you if you eat the right amount of plant-based protein, you won’t! If you need suggestions, let’s chat!

6) Make a grocery list before you shop. Hunger + no grocery list makes for a bad combo. This might be something you do anyway, but for me, growing up, my mom wouldn’t make a grocery list and would end up going over budget. If you’re trying to stick to a certain amount of money, I’d suggest choosing recipes and only buying the ingredients for each one.

7) Buy in bulk. I didn’t think it was cheaper to buy in bulk, but really it is! Overtime, it will save you money. I buy healthy foods from Costco, which I personally like better than BJ’s & Sam’s Club. I think they have more organic & healthy foods.

8) Cook large portions. It’s awesome when you make a meal big enough to eat for lunch to next day! So, make foods that you know will be sure to yield leftovers. How about pasta with veggies? Homemade pizza? Rice with veggies?

9) Buy generic brands. Usually name brands are more expensive than generic brands. If you find that they have the same exact ingredients and the generic brand is cheaper, opt for generic. It will save you so much money in the long run!

10) Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. Be sure to eat lunch, dinner or a snack before food shopping because you’re more likely to pick up whatever looks good, which is usually junk food.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

10 Ways to Stay Happy + Healthy

I used to think just by eating clean and healthy foods, it would equal to a guaranteed happy + healthy life and boy was I wrong!

Here’s the truth: eating all the salad & kale will not automatically make you happy + healthy because there are so many other components.

Sure - these foods WILL make you feel good, but they will not be the all end all because as humans, we crave companionship and if you’re not getting that in your life, in turn you might end up with an eating disorder, binge eating, etc. And, I’m NOT saying that just because you don’t have a boyfriend, you’re destined to be unhappy! All I’m saying is relationships of any kind are extremely important for your overall well-being along with a few other components.

Here are ways to stay healthy:

1) Eating healthy. Okay, again, this one is obvious. Eating bags of cheetos every night will not make you feel good. In fact, your stomach will probably HATE you. Eating those types of foods once in a while is fine, but not all the time. I always stick to the 80/20 rule. Most of the time, I’m eating salad, sweet potatoes, kale, etc and foods that will benefit my body instead of hurt it and then the other 20%, I eat chips or something considered “unhealthy.” Remember: we only get 1 body, so why punish it day in and day out?

2) Building relationships. Whether it’s a significant other, family or friends, surround yourself with loved ones. We all crave human interaction and making memories with people is SO good for your health. So, plan a girls night, a date night, or go out to dinner with your family ASAP!

3) Enjoying your job. Do you like your job? There are so many people who have stayed in their jobs because of the pay or they cannot find another job and it’s sad. If you’re finding you’re miserable with your job, it might be time to re-evaluate your job situation. Being miserable at a job will only bring on negative emotions, which could lead to depression. Try to make sure you’re happy at your job and if you’re not, sometimes happiness overpowers money!

4) Being financially stable. Do you feel as if you’re financially stable? This is a hard question for most because we always want more! The amount of money we earn isn’t always enough, but there’s a difference between living to work or working to live. When you’re financially stable, you’re less likely to feel stressed. I get that sometimes you feel like you don’t earn enough, and you’re looking for a way to earn more, consider taking on something you enjoy on the side! If you’ve always wanted to be a dog walker, baby sitter, blogger, vlogger, health coach, etc, why not go for it? But, if you’re happy with your situation, more power to you!

5) Going to trips. I find that traveling is good for the mind, body + spirit. Getting away from life for a few days clears your mind and makes you feel less stressed. And, besides, who doesn’t like to try new restaurants, explore different cities and decompress? It doesn’t have to be a long trip or that far, rather, you could go somewhere local and still feel the same way.

6) Get off social media. I say comparison might just be the death of Americans. Our whole lives are spent looking at other people’s lives, bodies, etc and feeling depressed. So…. stop scrolling for a few days and you might find yourself feeling happier + healthier.

7) Have sex. Okay, okay, no one wants to talk about sex + I get it, but it is healthy to have sex. It puts you in a good mood and the sensation is like nothing else, so as long as you’re safe, have all the sex you want!

8) Listen to music. Maybe this is a personal preference, but I find that listening to music definitely makes me happier!

9) Enjoy food. Try not to let food rule your entire life. If you’re craving a donut, have the damn donut. Don’t restrict yourself because you’ll end up binge eating. Please try not to punish yourself for listening to your body. Just enjoy every single bite of that donut and eat healthy the rest of the day. It DOES not have to be a recipe for disaster. Rather, think of it as a treat!

10) Spend time with your animals. I find that taking my dogs for a walk or simply cuddling with them puts me in a better mood. Whether you have a dog. cat, rabbit, etc, make sure they know how much you love them!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Healthy Living Tips

Being healthy is about more than just eating nutritious food. These tips will help you find balance, health, and happiness.

  • Be generous.

  • Be grateful for everything and everyone.

  • Focus on what’s good in your life.

  • Hum or sing a happy song every day.

  • Laugh often.

  • Treat yourself to things that you enjoy daily.

  • Keep your bedroom clean and organized.

  • Spend time outside.

  • Spend less time watching TV.

  • Chew your food well.

  • Say thank you.

  • Be positive.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

5 Ways To Feel Less Suffocated At Work

If you work at a desk job, most of your day is spent sitting there getting projects done, eating your breakfast, lunch and possibly dinner, chugging down coffee, possibly soda to keep you going. And, if you have a very important deadline, you never really get up from your desk to move your body.

By the time you get home, you’re so exhausted that you skip your yoga class and the downward spiral begins.

Either way, you might feel suffocated at work.

Most of your day is spent indoors and if you don’t have a window, you’re not getting ANY sunlight.

So, if your office feels a tad stuffy most days, this is what I suggest:

1) Take 15 minutes out of your day to walk. Go to a local park. Walk around your work’s parking lot. Do something to get the heck out of the office.

2) Meet a friend for lunch. Do you find yourself needing some time to re-group? Use your lunch break to meet a friend and either do lunch or just take a walk.

3) Drive around for 15 minutes. Don’t have anywhere to go? Why not drive around with the windows down and get some fresh air? t will do you some good to get the heck out of the office.

4) Come home for lunch. Live close to your house and need a breather? If you feel yourself needing alone time or needing time away from the office, why not spend your lunch break at home?

5) Grab a coffee or a smoothie. Do you feel like you’re in a slump and need some caffeine or a refreshing drink? Grab a cup of joe or a smoothie!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Listening to Your Body & Deconstructing Your Cravings

When I was in college, I started restricting myself from eating certain foods such as donuts, bagels, pastries and anything else I considered “bad food.” At work when someone brought in donuts, I would take a cold, hard look at them and want one so badly, but deny myself the pleasure.

I would say I’m pretty good at controlling myself when it comes to food.

But, some people are not. For instance, if you restrict yourself from eating specific foods, more than likely, you’ll end up binge eating, which is worse than just eating the darn donut in the first place.

It wasn’t until I started attending IIN that I found denying myself was actually hurting more than helping, so I started LISTENING to my body. Was I in the mood for a sweet treat? If so, I would have something small. I never felt like I needed to eat a whole carton of say ice cream because I began tuning into my cravings.

Is it easy to listen to your body?

Hell no.

But, once you train yourself to tune into what your body WANTS, you’ll more than likely not feel the desire to eat an entire chocolate cake.

Do you know why you crave certain foods? This is why:

  1. Lack of Primary Food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship, having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, or uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice can all cause emotional eating. Many people try to cope with uncomfortable emotions or difficult situations by seeking balance through food. Food can provide a form of relief, or even an escape, when you’re under stress. In this way, food is being used as a strategy to fulfill areas of primary food that aren’t being satisfied.

  2. Water. Staying hydrated is a great way to help reduce extreme cravings and may ultimately help regulate the amount eaten to match needs more closely. A glass of water before eating has actually been shown to reduce the amount of food consumed during a meal. Another factor to consider is that your hydration status affects your body’s electrolyte balance. When you sweat and lose water, you also lose electrolytes, like sodium. This may lead you to seek out sodium-rich foods following an intense workout.

  3. Lack of Nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it might produce odd cravings. An extreme example of this is a disorder called pica, which leads to extreme cravings of nonfood items, like clay. This condition may arise due to a chronic iron deficiency.

  4. Seasonal. The body often craves foods in accordance with the season. In the spring, people crave lighter foods, like leafy greens or citrus fruits. In the summer, people crave cooling foods, like raw foods and ice cream. In the fall, people tend to crave grounding foods, like squash, onions, and nuts, and many crave heat-producing foods, like meat, oil, and fat, in the winter. Cravings can also be associated with seasonal holidays. For example, turkey, eggnog, or Christmas cookies.

  5. Inside Coming Out. Cravings often come from foods you’ve recently eaten or foods from your childhood. Recently eaten foods tend to be fresh in your mind, so you’re more likely to crave that food in an attempt to re-create a positive eating experience. Similarly, when you crave foods from your childhood, you may really be seeking the feeling of comfort those foods may have provided when you were younger.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

I Finally Found My Happiness

I’ve always wanted to help people, but wasn’t sure in what compacity.

In college, I felt drawn to the magazine industry and yearned to live in NYC to become a magazine writer. I did intern for Good Housekeeping and Family Circle Magazine, but changed my mind due to the competitiveness.

Instead, I went straight into content writing then became a social media coordinator, and finally a community manager. But, there was always something missing.

When it came to my career, I never felt settled.

I always felt the sense that I was meant for something greater. I always felt like there was something else out there for me. I would suggest a new career every week, but never followed through because it wasn’t meant to be. That was until I moved to Greenville a year ago and came across holistic health coaching.

Something clicked in my mind. The excitement started creeping up and that’s when I knew I finally found it. I’ve spent most of my 20’s confused as to what career I wanted. I’d start a job, love it and then all of a sudden, something would happen. And, in my heart, I knew it was a sign. I kept on looking and wondering when it would finally hit me.

So, now, after years of exploring career options, I’m becoming a holistic health coach and my goal is to help people – whether it be men or women – become their best selves. I want to see the smile on their face when they finally find their happiness. The joy I’ll feel will be overwhelming and for the first time in my life, I know I’ll be making a difference.

Via Hannah Kerr’s Little Pink Book

FU, stomach

FU, stomach.

That’s why I say almost on a daily basis to my stomach whenever I feel nauseous or feel like I need to eat before I pass out. You see, I’ve had a sensitive stomach for years. That means, if I eat certain foods that will make me want to sit in the bathroom all day or don’t eat a certain amount of food per day, I’m screwed. In order to get my stomach working properly, there are specific things I need to do.

Firstly, if I eat a meal with a lot of grains, I’ll feel full, but at the same time, I’ll still be hungry. Let me specify that the days I eat a bowl of quinoa + veggies and I’m at work, it just sort of sits at the bottom of my stomach making me want more foods. But, I’m not really hungry. It’s annoying. The only way I can cure my stomach is if I walk. My office isn’t very big, so that’s sort of an issue. However, if I eat that same meal at home and get adequate amount of exercise, I’m fine. Ugh.

Also, let’s say I eat an apple at 3 and don’t eat dinner until 7:00, my stomach will HATE me. Reason being my stomach does not like apples. It will indicate that it will be bothering me the rest of the evening whether I like it or not. Hate you, tummy. I’ve been living with this for a while and wanted to disclose this information because I told you I would be transparent, real and genuine when it comes to discussing my life. If you’re living with a sensitive stomach, I’m here to tell you I’m here for you.

All those times you had to head to the bathroom in a social situation, I get it. How about the times you feel as if you need to pass gas, but your co-worker is in your office talking about something you don’t care about. How about not wanting to complain when you’re starving, but the food won’t be ready for another hour and there are NO snacks around. What about when you thought you brought an extra granola bar, when in fact it’s nowhere in sight. Or, how about when you do make it to the bathroom and three of your co-workers are gabbing about their husbands and you really have to go #2? They stand in front of the mirror giggling, meanwhile it’s just about ready to plop. TMI? Yeah, it’s embarrassing, but it’s reality for us. This is something we need to live with on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis and it’s time to talk about it.

It’s time to stop hiding and finally come forward. It happens to the best of us. And, I can help you - you can trust me when I say I know how you feel. I understand 100% and if you need an ear, please send me an email: adashofhopee@gmail.com.

The Day I Realized I Had Become "The Nagging Wife"

Let me be real with you on this topic. In my blog, I plan on being transparent, truthful and authentic, so this is something couples rarely talk about, so I figured I’d shed some light.

It was on a Saturday morning when I realized I’d somehow become “the nagging wife.”

“Do you really have to eat that whole bagel?” I asked my husband. “Carbs are the enemy.” He shrugged it off as I proceeded to continuously ask him the same question which lead to him ignoring me. Unfortunately, this sort of situation is a common occurrence.

About a year into dating, I began nagging him about his eating habits. He’s a binge eater and sometimes eats when he’s not hungry, which in my opinion isn’t healthy. Me on the other hand who is overly obsessive about my weight and stomach only eats when I’m hungry, which is the norm. But, still, the person who is self-conscious about her own weight is telling her husband what to do when it comes to eating.

“I’m a much bigger person than you, Hope and need to consume more calories. I can’t eat pea-sized meals like you,” he said. And, you know what? He’s right. It seems I’ve projected my body issues onto him. It seems I’ve become the woman who is pushy and controlling.

In the last year, I’d say I've become “that” wife. The type of wife who pouts if he doesn’t give me enough attention, the wife who gets pissed off if he watches football every Sunday for a few hours, the type of woman who tells their husband what he can and cannot eat. Ew. I’ve always told myself I would never ever act like that because it’s appalling.

Every time I start to nag my husband about this and that, I need to remember that it’s really annoying and not helpful. There are other ways to get my point across and nagging is definitely not the route to go.

On that Saturday, as we drove in the car, all I could think about was hopping out due to embarrassment. I finally listened to myself and sounded really immature. I was always the cool and laid-back girl who let situations roll off her shoulders, so why have I turned into a control freak?

Going forward, when I start to become “that wife,” I need to step back, and just let It go.  I am not going to be in control of every situation and monitoring his eating is only hurting our relationship. The more I push, the more he’ll start to distance himself.

If you’re in this type of situation, here are some key aspects to keep in mind.

1) Being a controlling wife is annoying. Need I elaborate?

2) If he doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot eat, then why do the same for him?

3) Stop projecting your self-conscious body issues onto him and deal with them YOURSELF. Harsh, but true!

4) When you feel yourself in a nagging mood, do something to distract yourself so you don’t go down that path.

Have you ever gone through a similar situation? If so, how’d you handle it?

Let’s chat : therealwayshopegvl@gmail.com

Hi I'm Hope and I'm Becoming a Holistic Health Coach!

Back in 2013, I knew the nutrition field was calling my name, but I just didn't know what I wanted to do. Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Dietitian were a few options I explored, but I never followed through with any of them because I was never sure which to choose. 

One day, I looked for nutrition schools and came across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, but had just graduated from college, so I knew it wasn't feasible.  In addition to the student loans that I now owed, my learning disability held me back. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to comprehend what I put in front of me. In order for me to understand something, I need to read it over a few times. It's frustrating when trying to comprehend material and not being able to process the information.

So, my love of nutrition was put on the back-burner because I was still living with parents and wasn't getting paid enough to pursue another career. 

I decided to move forward as a social media/marketing coordinator. I went from job to job trying to figure out what I truly wanted. Every job started out the same way. I'd love it and then something would happen that would make me dislike it. It was a pattern I desired to break.

Fast forward to this year when I met a girl in Anderson, SC that was a Holistic Health Coach. She went to the same school I looked into years before. I took it as a sign, but despite it being right in front of me again, I still searching for a profession that I loved. Photographer, wedding planner, social media coordinator, marketing manager, and the list went on. I'd tell my husband I wanted to try something new almost every week. But, truly, I had NO clue. I was confused, but determined to figure it out.

That was until I looked into the program seriously this time. I started reading all the components and it started calling my name. I contacted the school and spoke with an administer who told me all about the school.

"You have two options: a 6-month or 1-year program," said the gentleman. Everything he was telling me was appealing. The smile began to form on my face as I began to soak in the information. I knew it in my heart and knew my next step was to tell my husband, who I figured would be skeptical because well, the certificate is $5,000. 

But, at the same time, I KNEW this was my destiny. I knew that this is what I want. This is what I'm destined to do for the rest of my life. I'm learning how to balance earning a certificate as a health coach with my full-time job and it's hard, but it will be so worth it in the end. 

So, two weeks ago, I officially started my journey as a holistic health coach. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out: adashofhopee@gmail.com!