Fighting Inflammation

Inflammation like stress in small “controlled” conditions are actually good for the body.  It’s like exercise when we exercise we put our bodies under stress (a controlled stress); but when your body doesn’t know when to shut it down that’s when things can go haywire and start to fight something that’s not there which means your body starts to fight itself.

Most people will notice a mood change/fatigue initially or elevated blood pressure.   Fatigue can also set in fast when you have an immune system that is chronically over excited which is more like an adrenal rush which leads to adrenal fatigue.

Because everyone is different we know that inflammation can be triggered by different situations like too much exercise to no exercise, an unhealthy diet, or unaddressed stressful situations.  I know my inflammation went diagnosed because I not only ignored it, but I was what I call an intense person, I thrived under stressful situations I thought it pushed me to do more.  You know the saying Oh I work well under pressure, or oh pressure makes me work harder.  Well the pressure was doing so much damage that my body was breaking down on the inside.  So much so that when after a car accident that wasn’t major at all sent my body on a downward spiral because my system was already exhausted from fighting itself trying to get me in balance.

Here are a few tricks that can help with Inflammation

1. Eat More Leafy Greens

Whole-food plant-based diets are becoming more popular.  It is often called Vegetarian or some people go full Vegan. This eating lifestyle is when most of your meal is focused on plants and food made from plants rather than meat being the main focus.

If you are like me and you still enjoy at least one meal a day with chicken or fish another way to eat more leafy greens and other veggies is to have a smoothie.  Fresh is best but there are some amazing dried green options out there.  Bottom line is…..Eat more greens!

2. Gut Health

Probiotics are bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection which mean they can have a positive impact and reduce the symptoms of heart inflammation. Try to add a daily dose of  fermented foods to your day like yogurt, pickles,miso, sour dough bread, kimchi, or sauerkraut.

You can also get supplements with all different types of probiotics.  The thing you want to look for is “live and active cultures”.  I use Ultimate Flora  I recommend you do a cycle of probiotics then take a break 10-14 days and cycle again.

3. Low Impact Fitness Time

Stretching, yoga, or walking can reduce your stress which can help to decrease your inflammation. Doing a low impact workout daily does make a difference.  Take a look at my online yoga retreat complete with a meal plan to help you along the way.

4. Laugh and Smile

There is some truth to the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Have fun with friends,  conversations, and social interaction has been known to release endorphins which are your body’s natural feel good chemical. Research shows that laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, which improves your resistance to disease.  Having positive social contact each day can be a powerful anti-inflammatory.

You can work on fighting inflammation with these 4 healthy habits that are both good for you and beneficial.

Until Next time,

Nicole, your healthy LYFEstyle Coach

Want personalized tips, schedule your one on one break through session 

Want Abs? Do This

Planking is a great way to get some exercise in that benefits the whole body.  In fact, you are actually working the entire body when you plank because you are defying gravity and suspending yourself up.

How to Plank

Planking is about alignment. The whole body should be in a perfectly straight line. Establish a good base on your hands or your elbows, directly under your shoulders at a 90-degree angle. An easy way to get into position is to start on your hands and knees.  Next, place your forearms or hands carefully, and then step back with one foot and then the other. Press those hands or forearms into the ground and push yourself away from the floor. The classic plank is done on your forearms. Now squeeze!

Benefits of Planking

Planking is an excellent way to work your abs since there is an emphasis on your core. This exercise also strengthens your core and aids in developing definition in your midsection.

Planking can help with back pain by stretching out the back muscles. It also lengthens out your vertebra and stabilizes your back with stronger abs over time.

Strengthening your core through planking helps your posture and coordination.  Your whole body works together to perform the plank, so you reap the benefit throughout the body.

How to do the Side Plank:

Lay on your left side on the floor. Place your feet together on top of each other. Next, prop yourself up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from shoulder to ankle. Place the top hand on your hip. Repeat on the right side.

Plank Challenge

Mix up a plank challenge with holding a pose with different variations of planks. Try 30 seconds of a classic plank, 30 seconds a side plank, return to the classic plank for 30 seconds, side plank on the other side for 30 seconds, and then finish with another classic plank for 30 seconds.  How many days can you do this? Time to set a plank challenge goal.

Who’s ready for a plank Challenge?  I’m hosting a short challenge group.  If you want accountability and motivation to push you along the way


Football, Basketball Oh My

It’s football and basketball season right now. From college games to the NFL,
there are tailgating, home parties and gatherings at the local sports bar. Fun is had by all and eating is a big part of these festivities.

Football Food Overload

It is estimated that, on an average, game day enthusiasts can consume up to a whole day and a half’s calories. Imagine the spread filled with multiple-layered dips with chips galore for starters. Let your mind fill with all those different tailgate treats. There are some healthier lighter choices that you can make that will help you stay on track. Some of these are not the most obvious choices. Let’s take a look.

Smarter Healthy Choices

Based on an average serving here are the comparisons. What do you pick?

Potato Chips vs Pretzels

You normally say pretzels? But it is more complicated. Pretzels win on protein, calories, and fat, while chips have the edge on fiber and sodium. They are both not the best choice. Still better opt for the carrots!

Guacamole vs. French Onion Dip

Guacamole gets the win with lower calories and healthy fat. Avocado anyone?

Grilled Potato Skins vs. Potato Salad

Your winner here is the potato skins.  That creamy mayo is a downfall.

All-Beef Hotdogs vs. All-beef Brats

Go for the hotdog here! If you are holding out for the brat, there may be other alternative brat choices that you can find like turkey brats or vegan brats.

Cotton Candy vs. Snow Cone

The winner here is the cotton candy. I know you were thinking the snow cone because it is only ice and syrup.

Intent on Having a Beer?

Many beers are less than 120 calories that do not taste watered down. Do your own test to determine your favorite light beer.

If eating is part of your game day shenanigans then plan accordingly.  Get your workout in, choose wisely and as always have fun!

If you want more personalized tips go to onlinewellnesswithnicole

It’s your body O.W.N. it

Nicole, your healthy lifestyle coach

Remember This When Dining Out

Many times of the year that eating out happens more often and the holidays is definitely one of those times. Without a doubt, there are family and friends that you will want to spend time with, and that means eating at a restaurant.

When you are out are you more inclined to eat more or drink more? The odds are that you do!

Here are a few tricks that will help you stay the course and stick to your health and fitness goals.

Tip 1

Arrive on time. If you get there early, someone will suggest you have a drink before dinner.    Just because you are eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying the things you like.  Having a drink is fine as long as you keep it to a minimum.  Remember alcohol is filled with empty calories, lead to poor sleep , and also known to increased food consumption.  When you have one, there is more temptation to continue.

Tip 2

Alcoholic drinks served in tall thinner glasses rather than short full glasses tend to limit the amount you drink. Research shows this to be true which can allow some room for you to eat other things while you are out.

Tip 3

Water, water, water! Drink more water instead of taking more and more bites after you are full.  Take time to hydrate have a glass of water (with or without lemon)

Tip 4

Avoid the bread and order veggies or protein as an appetizer.  Bread can be eaten, but research suggests that eating bread after your main course is better for you. Snacking before the meal makes you want to keep eating it. Don’t fill up on the bread!

Tip 5

Wait until everyone has their food to start eating. This is both polite and beneficial. The longer you are at the table, the more you are inclined to consume.

Tip 6

Order first and order what your mind tells you that is best for you. Waiting for others to order or even asking will promote the idea of switching what you want. Narrow in on a good dinner choice that is in alignment with your goals.  Try to choose meals that aren’t covered in gravy and sauces, or deep fried.

Making smart choices during the dinner will allow you to have some room for dessert. Better yet, how about sharing dessert with others. What a fun idea!

Wear something sexy, not too stretchy.  No one wants to ruin a great look with a bloated belly lol.

Get up and do your workout the next day.  Trust me you will feel better about any choices that you made.

I hope these few easy to do tips help you when dining out during the holidays.

Until Next Time,

Nicole, your healthy lifestyle coach

Holiday Meal Swaps

There are a lot of holiday dinners from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Studies show that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas, WOW! It’s cool to spend time with family and friends making memories, but you do not to give up on the goals you have been working on. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit, you just need to know how to modify your meals. While you are making lifestyle changes, know that your meals can taste great and be even healthier if you swap out old standbys for some healthy recipes.

Here are a few to get you on the right track.

French Onion Dip

Appetizers are often the first course of the evening. Consider veggies instead of chips!


You don’t need to miss them or smother them with butter. Here are two great additions to the menu.

Green Beans with Lemon and ThymeRosemary Roasted Yams

Mashed potatoes can have a substitute with Roasted Cauliflower Mash!

Can’t forget the gravy! Try this Simple Gravy

Nothing says the holidays more than sweet potato pie and pumpkin pie. These recipes will be excellent additions to your meals.

Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Crust

Consider these alternatives. You may have some new favorites and some requests for your recipes.

Try adding a bit of healthy eating during the holidays as much as possible!  Remember it’s not what you do every now and then that causes adverse effects, its the daily malpractice.  So enjoy in moderation.

Until next time,

Nicole, your healthy lifestyle partner.

Pumpkin Power

Winter is here!   As we get ready for the new year it is easy to lose sight of some of our fitness and health goals. Office parties and travel can put sugary, unhealthily options right in front of our faces. While October has passed it’s still pumpkin season so let’s talk about a few of the major benefits to adding more pumpkin into your life this season.

Great Post Workout Snack

After intense training sessions, our body needs assistance replenishing what we lost through sweat. Pumpkin is a wonderful source of potassium, actually even more than the famed potassium king banana. Potassium helps to refuel our bodies and can also help us avoid muscle cramps after working them to the max.


pumpkin_a-great-post-workout-snackStrong Source of Fiber

Along with being a food with one of the largest amounts of Vitamin A, pumpkin is a powerful source of fiber. Using pumpkin in your nutrition planning can help give you a sense of being full for much longer periods of time, allowing you to scale back the amount of food you are actually eating. Pumpkin is also extremely low in calories, so it is a great food to eat when you are hungry.


pumpkin-strong-source-of-fiberVersatile and Easy to Use

Adding pumpkin to your meal planning is very easy and can be accomplished in a multitude of ways. Of course you know of the not so healthy choice, pumpkin pie (because of the added sugar). With a few modifications, pumpkin pie can still be enjoyed as a good desert choice and can be a good way to treat yourself for goals achieved without going overboard. Pumpkin can be consumed in seed form, puree form, used for smoothies, or used as a pasta addition.

Versatile-and-Easy-to-Use_pumpkin.jpgOne easy way to incorporate pumpkin into your day is with a delicious smoothie.

Here is a very easy recipie for you to enjoy:

Ingredients for Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

  1. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  2. ½ cup pumpkin (canned is fine)
  3. ½ banana (sliced)
  4. ½ cup vanilla almond milk
  5. ½ Tbsp honey
  6. ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  7.  1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  8. ½ tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1 scoop protein powder (I like vanilla shakeology)

Add ice if you like about 5 cubes, blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Sprinkle with cinnamon on top along with crushed walnuts or pecans and enjoy.pumpkin_smoothie

Let me know if you tried these tips and how they work for you.

Until next time

Nicole, your healthy lifestyle coach