Friday, April 28, 2017

Supplements taken by a Holistic Nutritionist

I am FINALLY getting the chance to get this blog post done. It's been a long time coming. Back at the beginning of March I shared a photo of myself on Facebook, talking about how much hair I now have after taking my supplements religiously for a month. A few weeks later I showed another picture of me with even more hair . I've always had thicker hair but I had begun to notice how ridiculously thick and long it had gotten in a short period of time. Not exactly what I wanted, but I also know that one of the key indicators of health is the health of your hair (along with skin and nails). I've received loads of questions on what I'm taking, so here it all is:

1. doTerra's Microplex VMz
Loaded with vitamins and minerals, this supplement is meant to support overall daily wellness. It contains loads of antioxidants to help support the immune system and helps ease digestive upsets. This is also formulated with a digestive enzyme blend and contains a blend of kale, dandelion, parsley, kelp, broccoli, brussels sprout, cabbage, and spinach

2. doTerra's Alpha CRS+
This supplement is meant to support DNA functioning through antioxidants. Good for mental clarity, brain functioning, immune functioning and cellular stress. doTerra's blend includes potent amounts of powerful polyphenols including baicalin from scutellaria root, resveratrol from Polygonum cuspidatum, ellagic acid from pomegranate, proanthocyanidins from grape seeds, curcumin from turmeric root, and silymarin from milk thistle to help support healthy cell function


3. doTerra's xEOMega
Healthy omega fats are one of those things we do not get enough of in our diet. Important for heart health and circulation, immunity, healthy joints, hormone regulation, and healthy brain, eyes and nervous system functioning. doTerra's blend is a unique formula of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils and a proprietary blend of marine and land-sourced omega fatty acids.



4. doTerra's Mito2Max
Energy, energy, energy! I workout 6 days a week right now, sometimes twice a day, and on top of the 3 supplements above, I attribute a portion of that energy and stamina to this supplement. Mito2Max promotes efficient production of ATP in the mitochondria of cells, enhances stamina and efficient use of oxygen, supports metabolic adaptation for diverse activities and improves mental energy


5. Genestra's HMF Super Powder
Probiotics are a MUST for anyone. Due to poor food choices, stress, antibiotics and other medications, the condition of our gut flora sucks. Since 80% of our immune system and 95% of our serotonin production are found in the gut, it is imperative we care for it. This is one myself and kids take every single day. I get this particular brand from my ND, and she rotates me between this one and another brand (that I can't quite think of right now). It's important to get as many strains of bacteria as you can through probiotics, so rotating them is a good idea. I always recommend going through a ND to ensure you receive a good quality product. Genestra is one that I love.

6. doTerra's Terrazyme
I don't take this one daily, but I take it if I'm eating something I know my body isn't excited about and has difficulty digesting (like pizza, breads, chicken). This supplement is a blend of whole-food enzymes and supporting cofactors that help strengthen the body's production of enzymes which is important in the process of healthy digestion of food nutrients and cellular metabolism of nutrients to energy



Other supplements I take include:
Vitamin D - only during the months I don't see the sun as much. Otherwise I try to spend as much time outside as possible.

Zinc lozenge - as soon as I feel anything illness-wise coming, I suck on one or two of these a day. Zinc is amazing for the immune system

BCAAs - this one is related to weight lifting. Coming in powdered form, I dump a scoop into a large shaker of water and drink before, during and right after my weight training session. I rarely deal with sore muscles despite making gains. BCAAs are great for muscle recovery and growth

Protein Powder - I typically add a scoop of powder to a large bottle of water and drink right after a workout. I love Vega's Sport Performance brand for this purpose as they include BCAAs designed to support the body after a workout. For an all around health supporting drink though, I do like Vega's all-in-on nutritional line. There are a variety of flavours, but I tend to stick with vanilla. For those local, they often have Vega on sale at Zehr's. I believe Costco carries a couple choices as well.



So, there it is.
If you are looking to order any of the doTerra supplements, you can order through
http://mydoterra.com/rachelneill


If you are having trouble navigating or have further questions, shoot me an email: rachelsfitnessandwellness@gmail.com

I hope that was helpful1

Monday, April 17, 2017

Potential & Drive

One of the most frequently asked questions I come across is "how do you stay motivated?" In typical fashion, many of the people I see come to me, driven and excited about the possibility of working out, getting strong and being healthy. At some point the excitement wanes, results aren't coming quickly enough, and they just give up to some degree or another.

One thing I've learned through training for a fitness competition is self-motivation and drive. I think drive is something that, internally, is enduring. But externally is fleeting. Those who come to me telling me they want to lose weight because their husband made a comment about her weight and how gross she was getting (true story...I should have throat punched him), I know that, unless she is able to find her worth through the process of working with me, her determination will not last. Drive that comes from another person will never sustain the drive necessary for results.

I have defining moments in my life that helped flourish my drive. And the amazing thing about drive, is that once you catch a glimpse of your potential through it, it strengthens and grows and becomes ingrained in who you are and what you stand for. It makes you hungry for more.

As for working out, I am consistent because I have a variety of motivations, some positive and a couple maybe not so much:

I feel proud when I workout.
I love feeling strong.
I love the way my body looks and feels when I'm consistent in my workouts.
I love the release of stress I physically and emotionally feel when my body is working hard.
I love the confidence that comes from caring for my body.
I love knowing my kids are being influenced by these choices and hope they will care for themselves as they get older.

Not so positive reasons?
Sometimes I avoid feeling emotionally. I'd rather feel my muscles and feel the hard through my body rather than my heart.

I want to look good naked. Although in all honesty, while I know this can be seen negatively by others, I see it as a positive. I want to show off my hard work. I want to show off my pride. I want to display my effort. I want to feel awesome in my own skin. This to me feels like freedom, one of my core desired feelings for my life.

One thing I found through my competition, is that the biggest barrier between us and success in the fitness world is the idea of options. The trouble is having a scheduled gym day and talking ourselves out of it. It's that slim window of choice that fucks us up. Because it's in that space that fear and doubt creep in and those bastards sure can be loud and convincing, can't they?

You're not worth this time.
You'll never look hot in shorts.
Everyone at the gym will stare at you.
You should just sleep instead.
This isn't working, you're still fat.


And those voices will keep you stagnant as long as you allow them to. They'll keep you inactive and stuck in a level of comfort that prevents you from witnessing your potential.

What keeps me in the gym day after day is that I don't give myself a choice (unless I'm actually not well). It just is what happens every day. I don't question it or hesitate, I just go. I have my workouts pre-planned so that those moments of coming up with a plan can't disguise the voice that'll talk me out of it. There isn't an option for me, this is just what I do. Just like brushing my teeth is something that happens right when I wake up, working out just happens before my kids wake up. It just is. I don't complicate it by thinking otherwise or allowing myself the option. It just is.

It is reported that Albert Einstein wore a version of the same grey shirt every single day because he didn't want to waste brain power on choosing an outfit every morning.

Mark Zuckerberg wears a similar outfit everyday consisting of a grey t-shirt as well. When questioned on it, he stated, "I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community."

Steve Jobs followed the same approach with his choice in black turtlenecks.

They get it. Decision making requires energy, cognitive dissonance, frustration and conscious attention. I take the same approach with working out. I don't think about it, it just happens. I plan my workouts once a week, spending 10 minutes doing so. For the rest of the week I just get up, get it done and move on. My life isn't cluttered by deciding whether or not to do it.

I'm no math wizard but here's my formula for the three characteristics of success

Consistent Action = Drive = Potential
Awareness of potential = Drive = consistent action
Drive + Consistent action + awareness of potential = unlimited success

All three equal one another in some capacity. All three feed on one another and grow one another. Once you find one, the other 2 will flourish.
You just need to be patient.
And consistent.
And stop doubting yourself.
And stop listening to what others want of you.

This is for YOU and only you, and once you tap into your internal drive, your potential absolutely is limitless. And success inevitably will follow.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How to Develop & Grow Mental Grit

I'm currently training for a half marathon. It'll be my fourth one - about 4 years since my last. I don't necessarily LOVE running long distances. I find I get bored, my body gets annoyed and my mind just tells me to quit out of sake of monotony.
I was running 11.2K the other day (7 miles) and around the 8K mark I was just done. My hips were sore, my chest burning, and I was just tired. Tired of running. Tired of moving in the same way. But I kept plugging away and finished off the planned distance. I knew if I quit before the end, my next long run would mentally be twice as hard as it otherwise should be. That little voice reminding me of my shortcomings would be screaming in my ear.

This struggle to carry on took me back to the day I really started to run out of necessity. It was 13 years ago, about a week after I received the shocking news that my Mom had passed away. Devastation doesn't touch the surface of what I was feeling. I needed out of the pain, it was too much for me to feel all at once. So one day, on a walk, I began to run. It didn't last long so I alternated it with walking. More often than not. When my feet sped up, I felt slight reprieve from my pain and I became addicted. I needed to run. I needed the release, even if temporary, from my grief. I was aware of the wind rushing on my face, the sun warming my skin. I felt my heart pound and my breath race as my body struggled to figure out what was happening. The whole experience forced me into the present moment rather than the grief from recent news and desperate fear of what lie ahead.

It was then, in grieving for my Mom, that I learned how to strengthen my mind. The dictionary defines mental grit as "firmness of character; indomitable spirit." I like to think of mental grit as an ability to persevere regardless of the challenge. Or maybe BECAUSE of the challenge.

So while I likely started developing mental grit back when I was much younger, the first memory I have of specifically evolving my mind was back in June of 2004.

My body was out of shape. But my breaking heart made me run farther than I thought I could. I soon came to realize that I was capable of more than I knew. Mental grit was developing.

Over 13 years I have mastered the art of mental grit...though I'm still far from being a pro.

Being outside my comfort zone in the gym or on the pavement expands the circle of belief I have in my capability. I am constantly pushing harder, to prove to myself that the limits I have are only in my mind. Someone recently asked me why my hill runs aren't easy. After all I've been doing the same hill run for months and I always come back winded after a hard struggle. After thinking about it, I realized it's because I won't ALLOW it to be easy. If I feel comfortable I will speed up to challenge myself. I thrive on a good challenge. My body can only do what my mind will allow, and when the body is feeling done, that's when the mind has to be strong and carry on for the body.

This translates into the emotional life as well. When I am faced with something difficult, I know that I have what it takes to get through. And not just to get through but to THRIVE through.

Here are my top 5 tips for developing mental grit:

1. Be outside your comfort zone
Staying in a familiar zone of comfort will never open your eyes to possibility. Start pushing against the walls of comfort.

2. When you think you're done, keep going
This is really the only way you'll start strengthening your mind. By pushing past those times you think you are done, whether that be physically, mentally or emotionally. When you're working out and tell yourself you're done, give it a few more reps or a few more minutes.

3. Look for the lessons
When you're in the midst of a struggle, always look for the lessons. They are always there, and recognizing them will help keep the focus on that, rather than fear and feelings of failure.

4. Find gratitude
Again, to keep the focus on the positive and to keep your mindset in a good place, find gratitude and be thankful for whatever it is you are going through. Be thankful for the journey and all the beauty that comes from struggle and resiliency.

5. Celebrate your successes
Anytime you experience success, no matter how small, celebrate it in some way. Every time I finish a run, I say aloud, "good job Rachel,"and I take a minute or two to FEEL that pride I have for myself. Mental grit isn't about just pushing and pushing, it's also about pausing and thanking.


Remember, mental grit comes from within. Nobody else can give it to us. But with the proper soil, these seeds of resiliency and indomitable spirit will grow and flourish
xxoo

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Quick & Easy Healthy Energy Balls

I HAVE to share this recipe with you. It's a staple in my kitchen, I make a batch usually once a week and it never lasts the full week. Full of healthy fats, easy to transport and simple to customize, it makes the meal plan of pretty much every client I work with. So I wanted to share with you. They make a great pre-workout, post-workout or anytime snack. I love them when my sweet tooth hits. Ready for your tastebuds to be blown??


- 2/3 cup creamy nut butter (I like almond or peanut)
- 1 cup oats
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (vegan or dark are my go-to)
- 2 T raw honey
- 1/2 cup whatever (this is the fun part!) I mix this up and like to play with different things. Some options:

flax seeds
hemp seeds
chia seeds
raisins
gogi berries
shredded coconut

Mix and match it up!

Just mix everything up in a bowl, roll into balls and place in the fridge or freezer. Seriously, that simple. And to save even more time, you can just press into a pan to make bars instead.

Let me know if you try this recipe out and what you think. I'm going to predict that you are pleasantly surprised!


xoxo Rachel