Guest Post: Getting Back To Goodness With Eating & Exercise (Part 5)

This is a guest post by Brooke Benlifer.

Here’s Part Five of her Back To Goodness Series.

As most of you already know, Brooke is a Registered Dietitian and good friend of mine.

She was instrumental in helping me create our Lose 10 Pounds In 30 Days workshop.

A workshop that continues to successfully help people lose weight once and for all.

Here we go again – another months worth of exercise and healthy eating.

Take it away Brooke!


Thanks Mike – always a pleasure to be here.

June was a wonderful month for me…full of good workouts, fresh food and new fitness endeavors.

I wrote last month about having diverged somewhat from my intended meal template. June could have easily brought with it even more diversions due to family visits and impromptu dinners, but it didn’t. Here’s what helped make this a successful month in terms of food that fueled me and aligned with my wellness goals.


Be Public About Your Food Preferences

One night we had good friends over for a spontaneous dinner. Because my husband and I were getting ready to travel, we had very few groceries left at the house.

My husband and my friend’s husband took care of dinner for all of us (the shopping, prep, table settings, everything).

And because they know me so well, in fact, they know us all well,  they knew we would all appreciate a healthy, fresh salad with lots of colorful veggies and some hearty protein.

Grabbing a bucket of fried chicken or slapping some easy sandwiches together would have been easier, but the salads hit the mark and gave us all the energy we needed to conquer our busy weekends. 

Similarly, when friends had us over for dinner, they asked us what we liked to eat.

This was a perfect opportunity to speak up and suggest a grilled chicken salad or offer to pick up some groceries to whip up something nutritious for everyone.

It was a great way to lead by example and demonstrate how to always have something healthy available at the table. 


Create A Plan & Follow Through

My husband and I both have meal plans that work for us individually and help keep us fit and feeling fantastic. I decided to post these on our fridge, for several reasons:

1) It helps me pack lunches and snacks and gives me instant meal ideas.

2) It makes it easy to stay on track with our lifestyle because it is in plain sight every time we open the fridge to reach for a snack.

3) People see our plans out in the open. Whether or not it plants a seed in them to want to make a change in their own diets, I do not know. But it does make it clear to them that health and happiness is a top priority in our family.

4) It makes shopping easy!


Listen To Your Body

When my husband was traveling or had to leave extra early for work, I had a couple of times where I was not able to get in my morning run.

On these days, instead of throwing in the towel altogether on working out, I substituted my morning run with a long walk with my kids in the stroller coupled with weight training.

On another occasion, my sweet husband asked our neighbor if she wouldn’t mind coming over one morning for a few minutes so I could fit in my 12 minute interval run. She was more than happy to help out and my kids adored the time with her. It was a win-win.

On a not so positive note, my kids got really bad colds this month and my husband and I did not escape the virus and getting sick as well. Needless to say, we were exhausted.

There were a couple of days when an early morning run was not in the best interest of my health.

Instead of pushing myself to do something that would not contribute to my recovery, I opted instead for workouts that were gentle and low impact.


Read Up On The Science Behind Your Choices

For me, a Paleo meal template (vegetables, fats, proteins, nuts/seeds) works perfectly to keep me feeling great.

I just finished reading “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes… it is a must read!

(Note from Mike: Here’s an awesome 12 minute video summary of the book)

It turns all of the commonly held dietary beliefs on their head. In a nutshell, carbohydrates (especially rapidly digesting carbs, such as breads, rice, pasta and cereal) are fattening, NOT protein and fats.

The calories in/calories out theory is false and not based on scientific findings.

This book made me want to shout from the rooftops that eating eggs and fish and oils and fats are good for you!!!

Ditch the low fat foods and eat REAL FOOD, delicious food! Bring on the full fat and toss the “light” products for good.


Road Trip

As I write this, I am in the midst of a family road trip.

In preparation, we’ve packed fresh fruits, canned wild tuna, almonds, freeze dried fruits, lots of water bottles, Starbucks Via instant coffee, green tea and we’ve been stopping for yummy meals along the way (crab and lobster this evening!).

We even packed up last night’s leftovers (a Ziploc bag filled with cut up Romaine lettuce and leftover rotisserie chicken).

My husband and I have been taking turns getting our workouts in and doing family walks with our kids together. It’s been 108 F outside, so early morning workouts are essential.


That’s A Wrap

And there you have it – how I got back to goodness in June.

What will you do this month to get back to goodness?

I’m excited for a brand new month ahead and hope you are too.

Oh, and here’s a spoiler alert for next time…I’m starting Crossfit!!


BrookeBenlifer1Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD is a Cornell University graduate and Registered Dietitian. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband and twins.

“My passion is preventative health through optimal nutrition. I want to lead people toward healthier, more fulfilling lives.”


Featured Image Photo Credit: Try Small Things

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