Are you depriving yourself?

Deprivation: depriving oneself of something or someone

One cookie will not make you gain weight nor will one donut. It would take many cookies + many donuts that would make you pack on the pounds. You need to stop believing everything you hear + read on Google. You need to sift through the truth and “marketing tactics” these companies continue to convince their consumers about.

Is it hard? Yes because all our lives we're taught different things when it comes to nutrition. Forget what you learned! All you need to know is this:

  • eat less processed foods re: TV dinners, pre-packaged salads with “chicken,” or frozen chicken tenders

  • Less sugar

  • More grains (unless you have celiac disease)

  • More veggies

And, bam, that is IT! There’s no special formula, trick or tactic that you need to follow. You wouldn’t be depriving yourself and you can still lose weight.

We need to reminder food is fuel, food is medicine and stop thinking about it as our enemy. It’s hard to change your mindset around food. I know because I’m still trying to view food as fuel. But, it can happen.

That is IF you’re ready to change your mindset and be open to trying new foods. Are you willing to substitute plant-based food for animal products a few times a week in order to lose weight? Are you willing to start listening to your body? I mean REALLY listening. No, you cannot have a conversation with your body, but can determine if you’re hungry or thirsty.

It takes time and effort. You could put this energy into changing your mindset instead of “dieting” because let’s face it…. dieting SUCKS.

Most likely all you plan on consuming are salads, smoothies. But, you’re unable to eat fries, burgers, cookies or even cupcakes? Not even 1? Eating SALAD every single day as “punishment” is not a way to live. It just sounds horrifying! It doesn’t have to be that way - I promise.

If you’re ready to change your mindset + stop the dieting mentality, let’s chat! If you want to learn about balancing nutrition + healthy relationships and so much more, why not schedule a FREE health consultation? I promise it will be worthwhile if you’re ready + willing to change your ways. Let’s get you on the road to feeling healthier + happier.


I'm Overcoming an Undiagnosed Eating Disorder....

**PLEASE NOTE THAT I’M DEALING WITH MY UNDIAGNOSED EATING DISORDER & NOT LETTING IT GET TO A POINT OF NO RETURN. Honestly, some days are worse than others. I wrote this in the hopes that it helps someone else in a similar situation. I’ve always told you I’ve be open & transparent with you, so here goes!

Growing up, I was always self-conscious about the way I looked.

In high school, I got a little heavier and by senior year, I knew I had to make a change. So, I lost weight, but there were days when I just didn’t think I was skinny enough.

I’ve carried that mentality ever since and I didn’t know why I felt this way - until I started attending Institute for Integrative Nutrition and found out I had an undiagnosed eating disorder.

That means I never binged or purged or did any self-conflicting damage, I would just tell myself that I wasn’t good enough and I could only eat a certain amount of calories. If I ate too much, I would NEED to work it off. If I didn’t, I would feel like absolute crap. I tried to change my mindset, but nothing worked.

Then, I got pregnant and KNEW if I did not change, I would be hurting my child.

I was nervous though because I knew my mind would creep in and potentially take over.

The first trimester was hard. Every time I would eat more than I usually do, my mind would say, “no, no, no you’re not allowed to eat that much.” I tried to fight what my mind was saying, but somehow, I couldn’t fight the urge to want to listen. Gosh, I was PETRIFIED of gaining weight. Every time I thought about gaining a pound or so, I would cringe.

“You are growing a freaking person inside of you, Hope, you need to stop,” my husband would remind me. Then, there was my mother who told me the same followed by one of my friends. And, I KNEW I had to listen.

I knew I was blessed because so many women cannot get pregnant and I was privileged enough to get pregnant, so I had to stop wasting my time on such a stupid matter. At the same time, I knew it was psychological and if I needed to seek help, now was the time to do so.

When my 2nd trimester began, my mindset started to change and I felt differently. Instead of constantly worrying about the amount of food I was consuming, I focused on my growing baby. I’m not saying I’m completely “over” it, but I’d definitely feel better about myself and am happy about being pregnant.

** Please note that there was NEVER a time I put my growing baby in danger due to my mind. I ate when I was hungry, but never overdid it.

If you’re struggling with an undiagnosed eating disorder that you had no idea you had, please talk to someone! Do not be afraid to ask for help or pretend that everything is okay.

I knew that if it got to a point where it was affecting my everyday routine and my life in general, I would seek help but at this time, I can handle it on my own and know how to talk myself out of feeling like I need to eat less. I’m NOT going to endanger my growing child just because my mind is telling me not to eat “too much.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Pay attention to your triggers. Does eating certain foods make you feel bad about yourself? Does a certain friend or family member make you feel about about yourself? Stay away from them because you DO NOT NEED that negative energy!

  2. You’re binge eating and then throwing up. RED Flag! It’s not normal, so you should probably find someone to talk to about why you’re doing this in the first place.

  3. If the thought of gaining weight concerns you, then you may want to seek help!

There are always people around to talk to. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist YET, feel free to reach out to friends, family or a holistic health coach!

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.


"Fitting Out"

I learned the concept “fitting out” at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Basically, what it means is instead of trying to fit in with the crowd, you should stand out because we’ve taught our brains to be wired unlike the average person. We don’t see the world in the same way the average person sees it.

I’ve witnessed it myself, especially at my last job where the women would emphasize how healthy they were while in reality they were either eating smaller portions or TV dinners they deemed “healthy.” But, it’s not their fault because they were never educated about health + wellness. Not to mention, there’s different theories that emerge all the time in the media, magazines, TV, etc. They definitely do not think the same way I do and that’s okay. But, I guess I’m scared to “fit out” because I want to be accepted. And, the confusion lays in that sometimes I crave attention and other times I just want to bury myself underneath the surface. I guess it all depends on how the day is going.

But, IIN encourages you to be different and proud. They teach this theory because it’s important to embrace who you are instead of being someone you’re not. And, the average person does not spend 3-4 hours at a grocery store looking at the ingredients or looking up recipes for their upcoming grocery list or plan out in their head what their breakfast, lunch and dinner looks like like I do.

“Fitting out” is about saying NO when you’re offered food you don’t normally eat just so you don’t look weird. Yup, that’s me though. Today I ate a slice of dominos pizza despite the fact that I would never be caught dead eating that because it’s so unhealthy. But, no one gets it and I should have spoken up and said politely, “no, thank you,” but I just wanted to fit in with everyone else despite the fact that I knew how unhealthy and bad that piece of pizza was for me, but I kept on eating it.

It’s hard. But, you know what, this concept is about celebrating the fact that I’m different than most people. People may label me as “picky,” but it’s really the fact that I care about what I put in my body. I’m sorry that you don’t care what foods you eat on a daily basis, but I do and I need to respect myself enough to say NO. I need to accept myself as I am. I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve come from and at the end of the day, that should be all that matters. I need to stop hiding who I am and just be ME. And, today I want YOU to be yourself.

Charleston on a Budget

This is a sponsored post.

Charleston, SC is known for its historic charm, well-preserved architecture and history as well as its restaurants. It's a clean city where you feel safe walking around at night and during the day. Most people think going to Charleston will break their bank, but if you find inexpensive activities and restaurants to eat at, you'll be well below your budget.

I'm a health and wellness guru, so when I travel to Charleston, I look for healthy places to eat and activities that exercise the body and the mind. Sure, you can walk around downtown Charleston, but you need transportation to actually get you there. This is where Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle Co. comes to mind. 

                                               Image from Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle Company

                                               Image from Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle Company

Whether you're celebrating an accomplishment, a girls weekend or a bachelorette party, this shuttle service is at your disposal. Why should you feel the need to worry about who is driving, where to park and who will be the designated driver at the end of the evening? Lowcountry has you covered on all accounts and not to mention, they’re budget-friendly!

If you're unaware of the things Charleston has to offer, I got you covered! Not only have I compiled a list of my favorite healthy restaurants, I'm also going to suggest some activities to do while you're there.

I'm obsessed with trying new healthy foods. Before I visit an area, I always do my research on what restaurants I NEED to check out. I love supporting local businesses and tend to stay away from chain restaurants. 

1) Basic Kitchen. Whether you’re in the mood for brunch or dinner, this restaurant has plenty of options! With menu items such as Avocado toast, salmon salad, granola bowl, thai spiced turkey burger, beet burger, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re vegan or can’t eat gluten, they also offer alternatives for you.

2) Verde. Craving salad? Head to this hot spot and create your own. Want a wrap instead? They also offer create your own wraps. You pick your base, add protein, cheese, dressing and additional ingredients. It’s a simple and healthy lunch that will fill you up.

3) Five Loaves Café. If you’re in the mood for a good sandwich, head to this café. They even allow you to pick the type of bread you want. The soups are made fresh daily. The best aspects of this café are they utilize locally sourced ingredients, antibiotic free turkey and chicken, nitrate free bacon, cage free and pasteurized eggs.

4) Beech. Acai bowls are the craze right now, so Beech should be your go-to if you’re looking for a pick me up. If you’re craving something a bit heavier, opt for one of their poke bowls. There are plenty of items to choose from and you’ll honesty want to try them all.

5)  Butcher & Bee. This place prides themselves on making everything from scratch. From their pastries, ice cream, coffee and tea, salads, sandwiches to their desserts, all their items are delicious. Have I tried all of their menu items? Not yet!

Even if you try 2 out of the five restaurants I listed above, you won’t be sorry. And, when you’re done with eating an amazing meal, Lowcountry is there to pick you up and drive you to your next adventure.

Rent one of their classic, traditional or modern cars and ride in style. Whatever mood you’re in Lowcountry has your back!

Next, I’m going to move into some activities you HAVE to try. Not all of these activities are health and wellness-based. Some of them are more so scenic.

1) Charleston Tea Plantation. Do you like hot and iced tea? You’ll definitely want to check out Charleston Tea Plantation. It’s the only plantation in the country. Grab your friends and learn about the history of this plantation. Not to mention, you get free iced and hot tea and can buy souvenirs in their shop.

2) Folly Beach. Want to lounge by the beach? Bring some sunscreen, your favorite bathing suit and your favorite girls along with a bottle of champagne and relax at the beach. If you’re in the mood for a workout, there are plenty of exercises you can do to burn some calories. But, if you’re just looking to chill, just bring the essentials.

3) Patriots Point. Do you like history? If so, you’ll love this museum. Learn more about World War II and the Vitenam War. While this might not be an ideal activity for a girls trip, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a history nut.

4) Angel Oak Tree. This tree is said to be 400- 500 years old and is a live southern oak. Take a cameo with your and your best gal pals. It’s worth the drive, it’s free and it’s a must see while in Charleston.

5) Still Soul Studio. Take a class at this studio and work off that brunch. Their classes are definitely budget-friendly and will get your heart rate up. If you’re looking for more of a relaxation session, try their Meditation classes.

You’ll need a service to pick you up and drop you off between the beach, museum and sweating your butt off, so if you’re looking for excellent service, quality prices and a service that fits your needs, give Lowcountry a call today!