Eating Clean

There are all kinds of regimens designed to help you lose weight or change your relationship with food. The one that grabs me lately is the notion of eating clean. When you eat clean, you try to eat unprocessed foods and leave the rest behind. Simply said, you eat whole foods. You will read labels and try to make sure that you know what every ingredient is. If it has items that you can’t even pronounce, you might want to skip consuming it.

In the process of eating clean, you will attempt to buy organic whenever you can. Organic foods have more vitamins and micro and macro nutrients in them. These elements are simply not duplicated in non-organic foods. Your body knows the difference!

Eating organic may be a struggle at first. Start by introducing one or two organic foods to you grocery basket, your kitchen and your palette weekly. As you adjust, build it up and purchase more organic foods when you can. When you can’t find organic, don’t sweat it. Buy industrially farmed foods, but begin to make buying organic a priority overtime.

While eating clean, it is okay to make certain compromises, but stick to the rules you design about what is okay to eat and what is not okay to eat. Notice the concept of eating clean will vary a bit from person to person or kitchen to kitchen, but many similarities will exist. Deciding to eat clean will become a way of life based on the values you have decided to act on over and over again. These ways of behaving will become habitual, even second nature overtime. What was once a strain to engage in will become completely normal.

There may be certain foods you decide you want to avoid and others that you cannot live without. So for example, you may decide to go lactose free, yet may decide grains and gluten are for you. So in the spirit of eating clean, you will not use processed white flour, but instead cook with wholewheat, or buckwheat flour and add almond milk, when you make pancakes. On the other hand, you might nix all salt and animal protein. So you’ll skip meat, fish and fowl, opting for more grains and nut butters or legumes as your plant sources for protein. Just remember you can eat clean with a variety of twists!

Nonetheless if you are eating clean, you will use potatoes from the ground to make potatoe soup, and not rely on soup, which comes from a can by Campbell’s Soup or some of their competitors, or soup that comes in the form of powder in a pouch. You may make your own stock or buy it at the store, but buyer beware! Look at all the ingredients. The less ingredients, the better. You may add raw spices, when possible from the garden, garlic, chives, basil, rosemary oh my! These home grown spices are far preferable to those chemical creations found in small bottles in most stores. The potatoes you purchase will be organic, and not individually wrapped. Individually wrapped potatoes tend to have been sprayed with chemicals, before they are wrapped to reduce sprouting.

You will choose organic carrots, when possible, and always choose long carrots over baby carrots, which are not grown in the ground, but processed and bromated from carrot pieces.

When eating the dirty dozen, you will try to buy organic and take the time to clean your fruits accordingly to remove unwanted residue from pesticides. Food preparation is important.

You will make every attempt to get to know local farmers from whom you source as much food as possible. You will talk to them about how they farm organically. If organic is not their way, you will find another farmer in the area to shop from.

Your diet will not necessarily be raw, but it will be free of chemicals and antibiotics. You will choose organic butter and meats that are lean and antibiotic free. You will opt for eggs from chickens that are not only raised cage free, but also pasture fed. Purchasing a higher quality egg will never lead you astray.

When you purchase organic or chemical, pesticide and antibiotic free, you invest in yourself. If you don’t think you and your family are worth it, no one will!

If you want to eat this way and make it a priority, it will affect what you purchase and how you prepare your food. Priorities like these, pay dividends overtime. You will likely notice health benefits over the long haul.

Are you as intrigued by eating clean as I am? What would be important to you in this journey? Write down four things you would be sure to follow on a regular basis. What is most important to you? Can you write down the gist of what your eating clean regimen would like like? Can you write out a three day or week long food plan which incorporates your new eating clean concepts?

If you are ready to be in conversation on a regular basis about eating clean, contact me to set up an initial health coaching call. I would love to support your movement in that direction.

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching a Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom by Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Hts, OH

Three Ways to Reduce Stress that Might Cause Overeating

Many things cause us to feel stress. It could be that promotion your boss has dangled over your head, contingent on performing well on your next big project. It could be that lingering divorce you are trying to get through. It could be the ninth time your young child belts out M-O-M! It could be fighting between your children. It could be demands from your husband to have the house clean and dinner on the table, when he arrives home. It could be dwindling finances and difficulty making ends meet. It could be that time of the month and it just might be trying to make care arrangements for your aging mother, who now depends on you, like you once depended on her.

As most of you know, stress can cause us to overeat when we least expect it. You might find yourself tiptoeing down to the icebox in the middle of the night, not because you are hungry, but because you are searching for something. Goodness knows you won’t find that special something in the fridge, but you will search away, putting everything in your mouth to determine for sure that it is not the thing that will quell your desire. Stress and over eating are undeniably linked. If you take the time throughout your day and throughout your week and on the weekends as well, to engage in stress reduction activities, you will reduce your need to overeat in response to stress. Self care is really important. If you don’t remember to engage in self care, no one will do it for you.

No matter where the stress comes from, it’s important for you to know how to deal with. Stress leads to high cortisol levels, which if prolonged creates damage your health. You can engage in mini breaks several times daily, you can have daily rituals, which help you decompress and some activities for stress reduction may have to take place over the weekend, when you have more time.

Never forget to take mini breaks throughout the course of your day. A mini break doesn’t take long, but can clearly shift the overall tone of your day. You might stop to pet your cat for 5 to 10 minutes. You might engage in some deep belly breathing every hour on the hour and you might get up and take a quick walk down the hall or down the street, if you can manage it. The change of scenery will do you a world of good. Taking in some fresh air and focusing on something new can give you the lift you need to move forward and break through that problem solving that you are currently in the midst of. Even though you are looking at something new, another part of your brain might still be working on the problem at hand and a solution might evolve, nearly out of thin air, owing to your new perspective.

If you work at home, you might take a quick utilitarian break. You might break to wash the dishes in the sink, or put a load of laundry in the washing machine. You might buzz up to the bank to pick up some extra cash, or deposit the checks that have collected. You might even take the dogs for a quick spin around the block. If you work out of the home, you can still take a utilitarian break to go to the post office, or make a few quick calls to schedule an appointment with the dentist or hairdresser.

Obviously, there are some more time consuming things you can do to reduce stress, like take a walk every morning, or every evening. You might head for the gym, after work, but before going home for the evening. You might schedule a weekly massage at home or at your masseuse’s location, and you might elect to play tennis with good friends. You might pack a lunch and go swimming on your lunch hour to get you ready for the rest of your work day.

Weekends are special. At least part of your weekend should be devoted to self care. You might hike in the woods or the mountains on the weekends. You might go skiing, or play paddle ball, or squash with a friend. You might go surfing or sailing. You might take in 9 holes of golf. You might stroll through a museum!

If these things aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps you like nothing more than heading to the store, purchasing great foods and going back home and cooking them up. Many people find cooking to be relaxing and fun.

Self care and stress reduction can be physical, but they don’t have to be. You might like to read mysteries or history books, or write poetry or pursue a creative endeavor. You might like jewelry making, pottery, needlepoint, even scrap booking. You might like playing the piano, the violin or the guitar. All of these things engage the mind, help to pass the time and provide pleasure. Some are solitary and others are done in groups. Of course, gathering with friends and family can be a great source of stress reduction. You choose the type of activity that makes the most sense for you. All of these are forms of stress reduction.

Take out a pice of paper or grab your tablet or phone and make a note regarding what type of mini break you engage in regularly and what type you want to commit to doing regularly as of today. Next think of what you do daily now and what you might like to start doing daily starting today. Finally, note how you take care of yourself on the weekends to create a sense of overall wellness. Next write down what types of activities would you like to build into your busy weekend schedule to reduce stress and promote wellness?

If you would like to work through these and have a coach to hold you accountable to your new commitments contact me and we can range a time to meet. Remember you are never to young to begin a self care routine.

I look forward to speaking with you soon!



Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights Ohio

Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Model of Change

Some of you may have heard of Prochaska and his model of change somewhere in your travels. What follows is a refresher of his his model or in some cases a fist presentation.

Prochaska contends that change follows a several step model of change that is essentially the same for everyone! He explains that you start at Precontemplation. This is when you are not even aware you have a problem. You are actually in denial that anything is wrong. You are eating away at your favorite buffet and eating everything your heart desires, without a care in the world. In fact you go back for seconds and heaven forbid thirds! Oh my! Your belly is sagging and your back hurts, and you have ongoing gas and bloating after you eat. I wonder why! That’s Precontemplation.

Contemplation is when you are seriously questioning whether or not you would like to make a change. During contemplation you may be weighing the pros and cons related to create the change you are considering. So you are considering the trade offs. What do you have to give up to get what you want and is it worth it in the end. So here you might consider is it worth it to give up sundaes, cupcakes and Chinese almond cookies, along with French fries and chicken wings, not to mention chocolate chip pancakes smothered in maple syrup or eggs Benedict and hash browns, in order to feel better or sport that new figure on the beach, and spare yourself diseases associated with our preferred food regimen such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and auto-immune disorders to name a few.

Preparation is the stage in which you are actively getting ready to engage in new behaviors to lead to a new result. So you are going to plan on what combination of exercise and diet you will pursue to effect change and build a body that you prefer as compared to what you already have. In this phase, you might be clearing out your pantry and your refrigerator. You might create meal plans for the week and you may be researching several of the numerous dieting options out there, in order to select the one you plan to pursue. You may even go out and purchase a new pair of tennis shoes, a new work out outfit or a new bathing suit. You might even purchase a membership to a new sports club.

Action is the stage in which you actually begin to set the plan in motion. Once in the action stage, daily you are engaging in new behaviors designed to help you reach your ultimate goal over time. In this stage, you may grocery shop in a new way. You might, for example, choose to shop the perimeter of the store and forgo what’s in the middle. You might check over your cart before heading over to the cashier. When you recheck your cart, you can remove those items that are not in line with your new diet plan. You may weigh yourself to get a baseline weight. You may bake your chicken, instead of frying it. You may eat berries, instead of more traditional and fattening desserts. You may serve yourself on smaller plates. You might intentionally push yourself away from the table, before you even feel full, knowing your brain takes time to process your food and send out signals of satiety or fullness.

In the maintenance stage of change, you are cruising along without much difficulty in maintaining the changes. However, you are still at risk for relapse.

Once you hit termination, the changes you have made have become ingrained habits and are truly second nature. You are no longer craving foods you once ate religiously, and might in fact find your new way of eating preferable to your old habits which got you into quite a bit of trouble. At termination, you no longer need a cheerleader at your side urging you to make the best choice. You make the decision effectively without deliberation and are comfortable with your new normal which is really now just becoming old hat. Wouldn’t you just give about anything to be at termination regarding the change that is knocking on your brain right now? I know I would.

Where are you regarding creating positive changes in your life?


Do you think you could reach goals faster, quicker and with less stress, if you hired a health coach to work with you? Of course, reaching your goal faster, quicker and with less stress can’t be guaranteed, but that is generally the idea behind coaching. Many can reach their goals more efficiently with coaching, than if they go it alone.

Adding a coach to the mix might be the new ingredient that might make this attempt different from the rest. Perhaps by being accountable to someone else, you just might do a better job sticking to your promises and thereby reach that goal you so desire. Do you think it’s worth a try? Only you know for sure! You are the expert on you. If you are one of the ones that feels it’s time to ramp up your efforts and hire a coach, you can reach me to schedule an initial session through Contact Lisa.



Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

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