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Dear MissyV.

Keep asking. 

One of our biggest fears is not knowing. But I say that the phrase "I don't know" is very empowering. 

It opens the door to learning, connecting and bettering ourselves every time."

I just want to be healthier in 2019. Where should I start?


I feel all fitness levels can benefit from the answer to this #DearMissyV question. Whether you are just beginning your quest for better health or re-starting, I think it’s a pretty cool place to be. There’s so much potential for growth and learning! However, I'm aware that starting anything new is uncomfortable and puts you in a vulnerable position. Trust me, I know. I’ve been working on a project for almost a year and most days I’m scared AF but I keep reminding myself that nobody gets anywhere without a lil' discomfort.

But I got you, I can help! 


| MOOD

First and foremost ya’ gotta get your head straight and have a plan. Whether you like to write in a planner the night before, or scribble on post-its early morning, there NEEDS to be a plan. Ask yourself, “How will I stay motivated today/this week? Who do I need as a support system? What can I do now to set myself up for success this week?” Consider journaling your answers.


| FOOD

If you are just starting out consider these three bullet points: 

Eat less food all around (portion control). 

This is obvi, I know, but very important. Huge quantities of food are not healthy for your digestive system.

Increase the amount of water and clean electrolytes you consume daily

Start the day w a huge glass of water and keep going all day. 

Increase the amount of greens you eat

And don’t just choose one. Eat ‘em up and know that their anti-inflammatory properties will help your body and mind in ways you can only imagine!


| GROOVE

Plan to #moveyourbody everyday. Yes, everyday. Even if you only have time for a 5-15min workout 2-3 days a week you will feel the positive effects. More energy, less stress, better sleep, cardiovascular benefits...the list goes on. And try not to lose momentum! There is no set amount of time it takes to build a habit, but know that consistency is the key! The more consistent you are, the more likely your exercise routine will become natural to you.


Remember, whenever you start any new dietary pattern or fitness regime, consult your doctor first.


In other news, one of the reasons I created the MFGproject was to introduce my DearMissyV column. I want to be available and answer all your most pressing fitness and wellness questions on a regular basis.

You know how passionate I am about living a healthy lifestyle, but you also know I keep it 💯real so we’ll have fun in the process I promise.


Peace & Love.

MissyV.

I don't like vegetables, what should I do?


First of all...grow up.

Maybe that’s a ‘tough love’ kind'a answer, but for real you guys—you can’t live your life on bananas, yogurt, Kashi bars & chips n' salsa. Nobody should be eating like that everyday. So quit pissin’ and moanin’ and do what you know to be good for your health.


Start by figuring out which veggies you do like. Make a written list and place on your frig or somewhere in your kitchen. 

Make three columns: vegetables you like, vegetables you don't like, and vegetables you are willing to try.

Ponder the list of veggies you don’t like. Ask yourself why you don’t like them. What experiences in your past created your belief system? Maybe you weren’t exposed to vegetables growing up? Did a family member you look up to not like this vegetable? Or maybe you never learned how to prepare said veggie, therefore you never made the effort to try. 

Maybe you don't favor a certain vegetable due to it's texture. I can get on board with that. However consider the vegetable may have been over-cooked when you experienced it last, so trying it raw might be for you (or a simple flash-steaming). The reasons are endless, and some of which are understandable. My son does not like spinach cooked. So I make a conscious effort to leave a couple handfuls on the side for him because he doesn't mind eating it raw. I don't want him to miss out on those nutrients!

I urge you to try working through some of your veggie biases. Are you ready to heal from the food trauma that may have occurred and leave those memories and experiences in the past? I hope so. Because YOU CAN move through those emotions and prepare to expand your mind (and palette) to new food experiences that will bring you better health and reduce the incidence of illness and/or disease.

Creating healthy habits start with the thought. Then you make the effort and focus on consistency. You can continue to live a life void of good nutrition and keep telling yourself you don’t like ‘this or that' or you can embrace that now more than ever an open mind is a necessity for whole mind+body wellness. Personally, I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t like. But I was raised to eat them. Did I always like it as a child? Of course not. I sat in a darkened kitchen, hours after dinner was over, staring at the last few bites of green beans. Mm hm me too. But as we get older we start to realize how we like our veggies. Raw with a little hummus on the side, or steamed to perfection with just the right amount of salt. Mmmm...


Add one new vegetable to your list each week. Implement them into any meal. Do a little research online. Easy google search: ‘best way to cook cauliflower’. Whether you eat vegetables sauteéd, raw, roasted or steamed, PLEASE make it a priority to consume the most nutritious foods on the planet!


Some more information on why veggies are SO good for you:

Vegetables have the healthiest organisms on the planet. There is no amount of vitamins or supplementation that can make up for the phytonutrients in veggies. Their anti-inflammatory properties are also endless. And if you don’t know, all inflammation puts the body at risk. It’s best to aim for an anti-inflammatory diet, and veggies are a big-HUGE-part of that. Another perk to eating vegetables is they are very low in calories and don’t cause the insulin spike that most fruit does (except for beets and corn). And you expend most of those veggie calories chewing and digesting, so win-win! 


Peace, love & always purchase organic;)

MissyV.

How do I stay on track with my diet?


Everyone strives for the elusive ‘perfect’ week of eating and exercise. There is a feeling of great achievement when we get the meal planning just right, and we’re able to check every exercise box for the week! I get it! It feels great to be ‘in the groove’ with allll that. But understand that we all struggle with consistency sometimes. ALL of us. And I believe there are two fundamental issues when it comes to staying ‘on track’:


First and foremost let’s address sleep habits. What are yours like? Are you getting 7-9 on the regular? Try not to roll your eyes too hard. I understand how life can be—especially if you have an infant. But the importance of a good night’s sleep goes way beyond just getting horizontal. Achieving deep REM sleep is pertinent to not only re-charging your brain but also keeping your hormones in check. You will be less crabby and less likely to make poor dietary choices during the day if you have had a good nights rest. Here are some tips to help you get your 7-9:

  • Refrain from eating 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid screen time at least 1 hour before bedtime
  • Charge your phone or other devices outside the bedroom
  • Create complete darkness in your bedroom (cover all LED lights if possible, I use black electrical tape;)
  • Use an air purifier or humidifier with essential oils
  • Consider lowering the temperature of your room

Stress. Yes, that’s the other piece of the ‘dietary consistency’ puzzle. I discuss this often with clients and I’ve learned that one of the biggest problems is emotional eating. When we are stressed we tend to eat too much or eat the wrong foods. We’re human and it happens. But by now I think we are self-aware enough to know what creates stress for us (triggers anyone?), who creates stress for us and when stress is looming. Awareness is key.

The next step is preparedness. Let’s face it, we can’t completely avoid stressful situations, but we can control our responses to them. Arm yourself with these tips for dealing with stressful situations:

  • Deep breathing techniques and/or 1-5 minute quiet meditation before ‘the storm’ ;)
  • Acknowledge the stressor and talk yourself through it either out loud, in your head or write it down (keep a small journal handy, this can do wonders!)
  • Allow your self quiet reflection time after a stressful situation or interaction 

The reality is that we are so hard-wired to go-go-go that we forget to care for our minds in and around our every day occurrences. It is important to reflect and understand why we are agitated, which causes us to over-indulge or choose unhealthy foods. Why we are ‘triggered’ and responding in a way that is untrue to who we are and what we really want for ourselves.

If you want to explore this topic more and have a better understanding of what your triggers may be as it relates to staying ‘on track’ with your healthy lifestyle, my MFGjournal can help.

Try it for a week. 

Be as truthful as possible and you will notice connections that will support you in continuing your journey of healthy eating and exercise.


Peace, love and don't forget YOU have the power.

MissyV.

How do I speed up my metabolism?


If you believe you have a slow metabolism, you most likely feel as though you are not able to “burn fat” at a rate that suits your fitness goals. While it’s true that everyone’s metabolism works at a different rate, there are reasons as to why your metabolism is slow in the first place, or slower than you would like. Maybe you have been ‘yo-yo’ dieting for a long time (trying different diets to see what works), or maybe you’ve lost weight only to gain it back several times. Either way, this behavior has confused your system and caused it to go into “protection mode” since it’s not sure when calories are going to be restricted again. Whether you can relate to that or not, here are some ways you can begin to re-set your metabolism:


Strength training is a MUST

By adhering to a strength training routine, you are automatically increasing your Resting Metabolic Rate (which means you are burning more calories when you are at rest). Muscle at rest takes more energy to maintain, therefore the more muscle you have the more calories you burn without increasing overall activity level. You want to train in a way that gets your body to prioritize muscle. Even adding 2-4 lbs of muscle can lead to burning anywhere between 400-700 more calories a day. SCORE!


Increasing your intake of non-starchy vegetables

Veggies contain fiber, macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), all necessary for building muscle and regulating hormonal responses is important for metabolism. Veggies also ‘crowd out’ any unhealthy processed foods you may be eating. The focus should be on putting more healthy foods into your body that create satiety (the feeling of fullness).


Get more quality sleep

Consider going to bed and waking at the same time everyday. Getting 7-9 hours of un-interrupted sleep decreases cortisol. This increases your metabolism. Yes, it’s that simple.


Stress less

If you are tolerating any level of stress on a regular basis you are taxing your metabolism. Stress activates a cascade of hormonal reactions in the body (involving leptin, ghrelin, cortisol, and insulin, to name a few) that leads to your body constantly being in a state of “fight or flight”. You may think you’re handling it well, but your metabolism is suffering. So what can you do?

Find ways to reduce stress: Exercise (lowers cortisol and inflammation, increases dopamine and serotonin), meditate (even 5 min a day is helpful and has been proven to lower cortisol), indulge in a hobby or hang out with friends that support you (increases serotonin and dopamine:). Make the time, you’re worth it!


Don’t go overboard with cardio

Our bodies are very adaptable therefore more cardio makes us more efficient at enduring, well, more cardio. When we load our bodies with excessive amounts of cardiovascular activity, our body is taking that message as, “If this guy is going to keep pushing me like this, I’m going to adapt, get better at it, and conserve!”. You become better at enduring more cardio. I know this may not be what you believe OR what you want to hear, just understand that cardio is part of the metabolism story, it’s just not the whole book.


Patience is a virtue

Virtue-Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. Hm, I feel this is quite fitting actually. Having patience with ourselves can be frustrating. I know. But patience, when working toward a goal such as shifting your metabolism, is most definitely a virtue. Ya’ gotta do what’s right here. Fast weight loss can be achieved, it’s true, but the drastic way it is done (usually by severe calorie restriction or eliminating a whole food group from your diet) is not going to support long term success OR long term health. FACT. Slow and steady wins the race. Permanent weight loss comes from permanent behavior changes (see 5 bullet points above). And behavioral changes take time.


Hopefully some of this information resonates with you and is helpful. Please don’t feel like you have to implement all of these things at once! Remember…patience.


Peace & Love.

MissyV.


*This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your current diet and exercise program. 

I don't have a lot of time, which is better to do, strength or cardio?


A friend asked me this question directly and my immediate answer was strength! And then I said, “but move really fast while you are doing it though.” I laughed when I said that, but I was only half kidding.


If you have limited time to work out, always choose the strength workout. The reason is simple - the more density of muscle you have, the more efficient you are at burning calories. And if you recall from my previous Dear MissyV question about metabolism, I wrote about how muscle at rest takes more energy to maintain, and that you want to train in a way that gets your body functioning to prioritize muscle. Muscle takes more energy to maintain so your body will be burning more calories naturally at rest.


By doing a strength workout in a swift and proficient way, you are increasing your endurance, building muscle density, improving your cardiovascular health and setting up your metabolism to optimize fat burning while maintaining muscle mass.  


Here are some tips on how to set yourself up for a successful strength circuit workout when you have limited time:


  • Have a plan. Check out my IG page (@missyvacala) for some great strength workout combinations. There’s a simple way to create a movement pattern that will get your muscles working and heart pumping. It does not have to be complicated. You just need to have a plan.
  • Create a space that is conducive to movement. Whether you are at the gym or at home, have your space and equipment ready to go. Move the coffee table, or pull the bench into your designated workout area. Be ready so you can hustle! Doing walking lunges? Map out the space you will be walking in. Doing push-ups or plank shoulder taps? Have your mat off to the side.
  • Create a playlist that is the same length as the amount of time you have to workout. This way you won’t be stopping to find ‘just the right song for squats.'
  • Turn off your notifications. If you can turn off the world while you are working out this is a bonus to achieving your goal to complete your workout. Ignoring your phone will ensure you really get (and stay) in the ‘zone.’ Distractions will not only slow you down they will pull your mind away from the most important thing—YOU taking care of YOU.
  • Get involved with your hydration. I find that when I’m feeling like I need 10-15 seconds of rest, I’m tempted to sit down and check my phone. NOT what we want to be doing during a workout, especially if we have limited time! Instead, I go for my water or hydration of preference. This is helpful not only because it forces us to drink more during the workout, but also allows us the rest we may need. (Moral of the story, don’t sit down during your workout;)

By making a habit of the above tips you will be on your way to the workout gains you desire. Maybe you have a very lofty fitness objective for yourself, and that’s totally cool and admirable! But don’t be discouraged if you have limited time. Don’t be discouraged if you ‘only got to workout' two times this week. All we have is time. And we either make the time or TAKE the time. Sometimes we make the time and it doesn’t work out. But then other times we TAKE the time. Life is life and we have to be patient and go with the flow. By sharing what your priorities are, with the people closest to you, it will likely help you flow in the direction of well-being and health. You’ll be surprised to find that eventually your workouts will become natural to your every day routine.

But in the meantime, if you only have 15 minutes, that is plenty of time to feel good and experience the benefits!


Peace, Love & TAKE the time.

MissyV.

Do you believe in "cheat meals"?


I feel like I should first explain that my personal approach to wellness, and the heart of my health coaching, is teaching health and wellness as a lifestyle.


No dieting involved, just the inclusion of whole, healthy, REAL foods. 


When you practice this type of dietary lifestyle for any amount of time and reap the amazing benefits, you tend to crave less and have less need for “cheating” (or the desire to over-indulge in unhealthy foods).


Could you imagine that??


It really happens! You begin to develop such a deep understanding of health and healthy eating that you couldn’t even imagine messing with your results; amazing energy, restful sleep, dependable digestion, beautiful skin, weight management… The benefits of eating well go on and on!


So now maybe the question is ‘Do I believe in having an occasional treat when practicing a whole & healthy foods dietary lifestyle?’ ;)


The answer is YES! Having a scoop of ice cream, or a small order of fries is okay to indulge in once in awhile. After all, we are humans on this planet, experiencing the unpredictability of everyday life. Dinner may be planned but then a neighbor invites you to hang out and barbecue. We eat smart and take care of ourselves but enjoy nights with family and friends when the opportunity arises. But we don’t use those moments as an excuse to over-indulge. Life happens but we continue to stay true to ourselves and our healthy living path. We travel, go on picnics and stop for lunch when the appointment went longer then it should have. It’s so important to be flexible and involved in activities from day to day. Have fun and trust yourself. Community, connection and self care are what keep us sane!


Just remember your health and the health of your family are number one. Health of body, AND health of mind.


Peace, Love & Healthy Living,

MissyV.

How do I ‘spot reduce’ one area of my body?


This question comes up A LOT in my line of work. Like you, I see the headlines and read the articles about fitness programs that target specific areas of the body. I’m drawn in by the products and promises too: ‘Sleek Abs For Summer: Top 5 exercises to get you there!’, ‘Ten Days to Toned Thighs!’, or my personal favorite, images of fit trainers performing triceps kick backs assuring you will ‘reduce the size of your saggy arms if you stick to these four exercises!’. Cue eye roll.

The truth is you can’t ‘spot reduce’ any area of your body. Isolating one area of the body in the hopes of ‘trimming down’ its size is a waste of valuable work out time. Let me explain….


The myth that you can reduce excess fat in one particular area by working it out to exhaustion has been sensationalized for years. While hundreds of crunches will definitely make you feel as if you are achieving the goal of a trimmer tummy, in doing so you will be predominantly increasing your strength and endurance in the abdominal area. But without any other lifestyle changes, or adjustments to your workout regimen, you will not see a reduction in the size of the area you are concentrating on. It’s all very ‘sciencey’ as to why. But I urge you to keep reading because you’ll finally understand WHY the spot reduction myth doesn’t work.


Why Spot Reducing Doesn’t Work…


While you are busy working small muscles to reduce the fat in one area, the larger muscle group is like, “OMG it’s so funny that you think you can get trim that way!”. Seriously though, by ‘burning out’ your triceps with hundreds of rope pushdowns a week you are not moving closer to your goal of fat loss in that area. You see, overall fitness, not small muscle fatigue, is THE determining factor of how your body will burn fat effectively. Read that again. The more fit you are as a whole, the more efficient you will be at ‘burning’ calories at rest, therefore the more effective your whole training routine will be for your entire body. Will you be able to reduce the fat in that one ‘trouble area’? Yes, you will! Since you will be reducing overall fat, those trouble areas will be proportionally reduced as well. And a full body training routine can and will get you there. (Read on for attached workout.)


Real Talk!


The ‘burn’ or burning sensation you feel when working out a specific area is not burning fat. Gasp! Yes you read that right. As a matter of fact the burning sensation is technically a chemical reaction to an increased training intensity.

Is it true that in some fitness classes they push you to ‘feel the burn’? Yes.

Is it true that I have even said, ‘work to fatigue-you may feel the muscle burning-but work through it!’ Also yes.

It is not wrong to say this, nor is it wrong to feel muscle fatigue or the burning sensation. You are becoming stronger, increasing your muscle endurance and most importantly working toward the goal of over all fitness to increase your ability to burn more calories at rest. It’s important to understand that while fat DOES break down for energy use, you can't pick-and-choose preferentially where that happens. It is a body wide phenomenon. Your unique shape is obviously genetically influenced, but the reality is that overall body fat percentage reduction will lead to an overall leaner appearance.


What You Can Do:


Increase your fitness level! This doesn’t take any longer than the workout you are doing now (or plan to do;) A full body strength and cardio routine that focuses on working larger muscles groups through bigger movements is key. Squats, push-ups (pushing), pull-ups (pulling) and combination exercises are ideal (ie. reverse lunges with bicep curls).  Download Three Full Body Workouts Here. By performing these types of movements that involve small and large muscle groups you are not only continuing to challenge yourself to achieve your main goal, but also getting way more out of your workout by increasing your metabolism. More time efficient, more body efficient!

Be sure to work the exercises in a circuit fashion and don’t stop moving! If you are integrating cardio intervals you don’t have to be sucking wind to make progress. That’s a myth too! Be honest with yourself while training; when a particular movement seems too easy, add more intensity. (If you are weight lifting, increase repetitions or load. If doing cardio intervals move faster or jump higher safely). If the body isn’t consistently challenged it will not change.


YOU. GOT. THIS.


Part of your training must include improvements in your state-of-mind. Teaching ourselves the physicality of training is sometimes the easy part. It’s our minds that need the real preparation! Have a plan. Create habits that support your plan. And last but certainly not least, have a support system.

Keep in mind that fitness is a lifestyle. The whole-picture-goal is to add the identity of a healthy person to your personality traits. If you believe you are a healthy person, you will do what healthy people do.


Peace, Love & Healthy Living,

MissyV.

I can’t get my kids to eat veggies, what should I do?


Don’t give up hope! 

This is a common question I get from parents that can be solved with a little planning and effort. But first ask yourself if you are modeling the veggie-eating behavior you want to see in your kids. I’m going to come out and say it—The truth is that we have to eat a variety of vegetables if we want our kids to! But if you are already doing that, the question is, “What more can you do?” What can you do to make eating vegetables natural and pain free? Void complaining, meltdowns, threats and bargaining!


I have to start with modeling the behavior. If you are not really into eating veggies yourself then maybe you need to start. You know our kids are watching our every move. There’s no fooling them either. If you’re saying it and not doing it—they know and it’s not cool. But you are eating them (or want to be) eating vegetables, right? No eye rolling here. You want to eat them more so you and your family can enjoy the health benefits that come from eating a broad spectrum dietary lifestyle.

See my Dear MissyV column where I answer the

question, “I don’t like vegetables, what should I do?”. I outline some

clear steps you can take to get on a track with veggie-eating!

However, if you are eating vegetables at every meal, is your child noticing? Do you talk about what you are eating and why? I tend to talk about food and it’s benefits a lot. However I recognize it’s my ‘thing’ so it comes natural to me. But I urge you to make the effort. Even a little information goes a long way. Try a quick Google search before making dinner about the vegetable you are preparing, like ‘fun facts about asparagus’.


Cut out distractions. Are your meals focused on the task at hand or are there phones out or maybe a television distracting the meal? Are we sitting down together to eat, or are we rushing to get out the door at every meal? Wait! I’m not judging! I’ve been there! And even though my kids are in high school now—I’m still there some days. But I noticed these habits early on. I noticed when they were quite young how distractions and business (on my part) not only made them argumentative about the food, but sometimes made them less likely to want to eat at all. I knew I wanted them to eat healthy, make good food choices when I wasn’t around, and all around understand how food is ‘all that you are’ from energy, to skin, to wellness and brain function. So I made conscious decisions and choices so the proper eating habits would ‘sink in’.

It really doesn’t take that long to eat so working on getting your eater to be task-specific will be helpful. Take the meal time to talk about food, answer questions about next meals, have them help you with grocery lists, talk about the vegetable they’re eating, or whatever comes to mind. Some of my best conversations with my kids have happened when we are eating (well, not talking with our mouths full of course!)

Kids like to make decisions. They want to be in charge! I say get them involved in choosing some of the fruit and vegetables the family will be eating that week. Try this printable or make a colorful list of your own that the kids can choose from. Have it out on the kitchen counter the day before you go shopping. Or go a little further and enlarge, laminate and have them use a dry-erase marker to circle what they want to eat or try! Getting them involved will make them feel like they have a choice in the matter. Kids love this!


Consider allowing your child to touch, feel, wash, prepare, layer, sprinkle, pour, chop (when age appropriate—be careful even plastic butter knives are sharp!), stir or shake. As you know kids love to get involved. But really they just want to do what YOU are doing;) I know it is not realistic to do this every meal, or every day for that matter, but a few times a week will work wonders. It will not only give them a better understanding of the vegetable they are going to be eating (bonding with their food!), but it will make them feel closer to YOU too.


Affirm their veggie-eating behavior. Before, during and after is a good idea. Also affirm them in front of other people; teachers, family members, coaches or music instructor. People they admire or learn from. This is definitely age specific and when and how you bring it up has to be natural and depends on the situation. Getting in a casual conversation about eating healthy with their coach after practice is probably do-able. And then, as your child is within ear-shot, ‘slide in’ how impressed you’ve been that they’ve been making healthy choices at home.


That being said, the importance of talking about food and health at other times during the day, when you are away from the table, is critical to getting your child to start eating veggies or to eat more variety. If it is important to you that your family eat vegetables, and they are clear on why it is important, then it will be important to them too. If it is on your mind it will come naturally to talk about it.


Hope this helps!

Peace, Love & Healthy Living

MissyV.

What is collagen and should I be taking it?


Collagen is all the rage right now so I understand why this question is of interest to so many people. Advertised from highway billboards to CVS shopping carts touting health benefits that are truly remarkable like skin enhancement and bone support. There is definitely some truth to those claims, but let me clear something up about supplementation that is a main-stay with my health and wellness ideology: Focus on eating a complete, whole and natural foods diet first, then decide if you need supplementation in addition to that.


Collagen is an interesting supplement to dive into. I’ve put a lot of thought into this protein over the years for multiple reasons. One area of interest is its history. My studies and research have revealed that our society has been deficient in collagen for about four to five decades. It’s not in the foods we’ve been eating or eat on a regular basis. Even now it’s hard to find a dietary lifestyle that includes high quality meat that is prepared on the bone. You see, that is where the real collagen is. It is found in the bones and connective tissue of the animal you are consuming. The powdered, collagen supplement is derived from this (marine collagen comes from fish). When was the last time you ate organic chicken right off the bone? Or a grass-fed (and grass-finished) rib eye? Or sardines? By consuming the collagen of the healthy animal, we reap the collagenous benefits!

Collagen from animals assists in strengthening your ligaments, tendons, and the ends of your bones. It’s not just in your joints ya’ know! It’s also in your skin, arteries, hair and everywhere in between. So you can see how having this fibrous scleroprotien (another term for collagen;) streaming through your body is essential to your health. In my professional opinion collagenous bone broth is a kind of youth serum.


I have absolutely nothing against implementing supplements into your dietary lifestyle, I use them almost every day, but understanding why you are choosing to take the supplement, learn about the quality of the supplement you are taking, and understand if the supplement is necessary for you and your dietary lifestyle. Supplements should be ‘in addition to’ your healthy eating, not ‘in place of’. Relying on supplementation to be your main source of that nutrient won’t get you closer to your desired outcome. For instance, popping a multi-vitamin and chugging a green-drink every morning then eating at a fast-food restaurant isn’t in your best interest.


A great way to get more collagen in your diet:


Shop and cook organic and sustainably farmed meat and poultry, bone in. If you or your kids prefer not to eat it like that, cook then slice the meat off the bone, chop neatly and serve. The benefits of collagen are still there!

Make bone broths from the bones of the meat or poultry you have prepared. Drink as a broth or tea and/or and make soups and stews with it. Another option is to add the broth to rice or other dishes for extra flavor and nutrition. The extra broth will stay for about one week in the frig. You can also purchase it frozen.

Purchase a quality powdered bone broth and make soup or serve as tea

•Purchase a quality powdered collagen powder and mix into smoothies


What to look for in a powdered collagen supplement:


•Ingredients- Like any processed product, know your ingredients. Avoid unnecessary additives, salt and sweeteners. You can add herbs or salt yourself!

•Source of ingredients- Look for information designating what animal the collagen came from. How was this animal farmed? Check the company’s website. You can usually find the information there. If you can’t, that is a red flag.


Collagen is a necessary component of our diets. How you choose to implement is your choice but I suggest adding from natural sources first, then supplement if needed.


Hope this helps!


Peace, Love & Healthy Living

MissyV.


*This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your current diet and exercise program. 

What should I eat for breakfast?


My favorite MFG mantra is Get Healthy From The Inside Out. And one of the best ways to do that is to hydrate and nourish yourself in the morning hours.

Breakfast is in fact just that, a break-fast. You are breaking the fast that was anywhere between 7-9 hours while you were sleeping.

Try out these Break-Fast Options that have healthy fats, fiber and protein. This will promote satiety throughout the day, help to balance your blood sugar while also increasing your capacity for fat burning. All must-haves in your quest for a healthier you!


MFG Break-Fast Options

  • Eggs (any style) over spinach with a ¼ or ½ avocado
  • Omelette with your choice of greens, colorful peppers & onion Break-Fast Omelette Squares
  • Plant-based protein supplement smoothie with coconut water, low sugar fruit and powdered collagen. Check out my smoothie recipes for ideas.
  • Gluten-free toast with avocado
  • Low sugar fruit smoothie mixed with coconut water, coconut oil, collagen, chia seeds and sprouted nut butter
  • Gluten-free toast with butter and nutritional yeast with low sugar fruit on the side
  • Avocado with lemon and hemp seeds
  • Salmon and arugula with sliced apples on the side

Ideally you want to ingest water first thing in the morning. After preferably 7-9 hours of sleep drinking 10-20 ounces of water will hydrate your cells, help purify your colon for the work that it’s getting ready to do all day (i.e. allow for better absorption of nutrients) and support the lymphatic system which leads to increased immunity (and who would say No to that?!).

Also, the rush of hydration on an empty stomach goes right to the cells helping in the production of muscle and blood cells. Cool right?

Drinking your water room temperature, hot with lemon or cold is a matter of preference. If you find it challenging to drink water in the morning try using a straw, works for me!

Consuming healthy fats, fiber and protein in your break-fast is one of the smartest things you can do to set your self up for success. It is important to feel satiated from real food and not processed products high in refined carbohydrates and loaded with sugar. Those types of 'foods' tax your system, create inflammation and cause your blood sugar to rise. Ideally you want to aim for anti-inflammatory foods that are low in natural occurring sugars, high in fiber with moderate to high protein. These foods promote satiety (that wonderful feeling of satisfaction after eating), balanced blood sugar (you will be void of the carbohydrate “crash”) and increased capacity for fat burning (when insulin levels are regulated, the body doesn’t go into fat storage—read that again!)

Gone are the days of breakfasts void of nutrients! We have to acknowledge that decades of marketing brainwashed us into believing we need sugary ‘food-like substances’ in the morning (or at all for that matter). We have to let go of the belief system and concept that cereal and dairy are good for us. We have to get over that.

Open your mind and your palette to nutrient dense breakfasts that are filled with so many health benefits, amazing flavor and satisfaction!


Peace & Love.

MissyV.


The information provided can be modified to accommodate any dietary lifestyle you are currently following (vegan, vegetarian, ketogenic, etc.).

As always, consult your physician before changing your diet especially if you have any health issues or a medical history.