BEST DIET FOR YOU JENNIFER DENE WELLNESS

5 Tips For Creating Your Own Perfect Diet

So you’ve decided to make healthy eating a priority this year. You want to have more energy, maintain your ideal weight, and feel comfortable and confident in your beautiful body. Trouble is, you have no idea where to start, which begs the question: what’s the best diet for you?

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. For many years I struggled with food and my body. I believed that I couldn’t find the perfect diet, or if I had I must have been doing it wrong. (In the words of my inner critic I lacked motivation,  I wasn’t good enough,  I would start again tomorrow)

Truth is, I hadn’t actually found an ideal diet for my body, so it made sense that I was having a pretty rough trot with the whole eating thing. But once I figured it out, everything fell into place and questions of motivation were wiped off the table. Because you don’t need to be motivated to eat foods that make you feel great.

Today I’m sharing five actionable steps that will help you also discover your best personal diet. Read on my foodie friend.

Diet Versus Dieting

Before we dive in to the meat and potatoes — i.e. figuring out what you need to eat in order to feel healthy, happy and filled with delicious delight — I need to clarify the distinction between YOUR diet and dietING.

The friendly nerds who contribute to Wikipedia (my darling husband included) tell us that: diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism (1). They go on to talk about dietary choices, the ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients for energy, health and longevity. Basically your diet is just another way of saying the foods that you eat.

What makes this word tricky, and almost taboo, is when it ends with “ing”, or sits in a sentence with words such as follow, start, stick to, new, strict, struggle, celebrity and fad.

Going on a diet, or the act of dieting, is synonymous with restriction and deprivation. These are also words that make me think of a short-term commitment, something that you’ll (miserably) try for a while before going back to your regular diet, aka what you normally eat.

It’s a tricky distinction to make, but it’s really important that you do so. You should be able to talk about YOUR diet without people thinking that you’re going on A diet.

I’ve even had comments from women visiting jenniferdenewellness.com who have blasted me for being another so-and-so who is condoning unhealthy body image for women. Hmmmm…guess they didn’t see this post about flaunting your dimples or this one where I helped you get back in touch with being beautiful you.

Honestly I don’t want to always say “the foods that you eat” or “your nutrition choices” just to be politically correct. A healthy diet means that you eat foods that have a high nutritional value and do wonders for your longterm health. It’s a word that has outlived any single dieting trend, and it’s what we’re talking about today.

 BEST DIET FOR YOU JENNIFER DENE WELLNESS 2017

Should You Stick To One Type Of Diet?

We’ve established the difference between diet and dieting, which is my cue to step off the soapbox!

Now you may be asking but what about things like the Paleo diet or being a vegan? Are they diets or dieting?

Unfortunately it’s in our culture to label everything we do, which leads to many people using these diets to self-identify — I am Paleo or I am vegan. But restricting yourself to the boundaries of a certain label makes it difficult to honor your body’s needs. 

For example, a woman who is trying to get pregnant requires a certain amount of carbohydrates to ensure healthy hormone levels for fertility (2). This becomes a problem if she’s following a strict Paleo or Keto diet that focus on very low carbohydrate intake.

Or what happens when a man who thrived on a vegan diet for years starts experiencing depression, joint pains or fatigue? Will he be open to eating animal foods that will quickly boost his B12 and iron levels, or will he feel unable to make that choice because he has told the world he doesn’t eat meat? (3), (4)

The point is that we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves to stay within the boundaries of a certain label, and we should never, ever be held hostage to the food that we eat. That’s why I see these diets as guidelines…more like a cuisine than a strict set of rules. 

I see enormous benefit in the principles of enjoying a vegan, paleo or mediterranean diet. But what works best for me is not following any of them to the letter, and rather taking a mix-and-match approach that suits my body’s unique needs.

With that in mind, here’s the mindset I want you to have as you start to incorporate the following tips into your lifestyle:

  1. Food is just food, it’s not your enemy and it’s not your gate-keeper
  2. Short of having allergies or chronic diseases that require you to eat a certain way, you do not need to eliminate entire categories of food to be healthy
  3. I give you all the freedom in the world to combine the best bits of each diet to suit your unique needs — like mashing together potatoes, peas and gravy at Sunday lunch!

BEST DIET FOR YOU JENNIFER DENE WELLNESS 2017

 

How to create the best diet for you

Below you’ll find my five top tips for discovering your best diet yet.

Keep it simple and enjoyable

Overcomplicating anything leads to confusion. A statement that is especially true when it comes to improving personal habits.

Planing 7 days of meals in advance may seem smart, but it’s actually very overwhelming…meal prep is absolutely a skill.

And while I used to do the big Sunday cook-up, I no longer do. These days I prefer to spend a little more time in the kitchen each day, to prepare the right meal for my body on that day. This shift has helped me reconnect with my physical needs and conquer old habits of overeating and emotional eating.

So instead of playing Martha Stewart during the working week, you can simply plan to have a few staples on hand — such as cooked quinoa or rice, roasted sweet potatoes, hardboiled eggs and plenty of washed green veggies. These form the base of an easy meal that you can top with other yummy things. 

Get educated (but take other people’s advice with a grain of salt)

Here’s the deal — you can’t succeed at something that you don’t understand. Learning why it’s a really good idea to kick your sugar habit, or that drinking diet-soda is linked to dementia and stroke (5) will make it a heck of a lot easier for you to stick with your new way of eating.

Saying that, it’s also not a good idea to blindly trust every piece of diet advice that you hear. Glossy mags tend to publish the Cliff’s Notes version of any given dietary theory. While this may spark your interest, you really need to understand the why behind the what. I recommend working with a professional who can explain what is the best diet for you, why that’s the case, and how you can follow it.

Keep A Food-Mood Journal

In terms of intelligence, sometimes your body is smarter than your brain. A food diary traditionally tracks calories and quantities. A food-mood journal explores how different types of food make your body feel. I prefer the latter.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Start a new word doc (or grab a notebook), and create four columns
  • Column A: record each meal that you eat, listing as many ingredients as possible
  • Column B: make a note about how you felt physically immediately after eating
  • Column C: note how you feel 2 hours after eating; this is useful to highlight digestive reactions, note fatigue or energy, return of hunger, etc
  • Column D: this is a spot for any notes, thoughts or comments that you might have

Your food-mood journal can help you pinpoint the meals and ingredients that make your body thrive.

Be Consistent & Avoid Squirrel Syndrome

Once you’ve found a way of eating that works for you, you’ll need to stick with it. And yes, that includes ignoring the latest trend in Women’s Health or on Dr. Oz.

Again, feel free to gather information, but don’t jump ship on something that’s working well for you. Put your healthy blinkers on and commit to eating your ideal diet for 3 months before making any big changes.

Your Needs Will Change, So Be Adaptable

Avoid squirrel syndrome but also keep in mind that your dietary needs will change over time. Variable factors include: your age, lifestyle and immediate health needs; the climate in which you live; your menstrual cycle (are you pregnant, peri-menopausal, going through menopause or postmenopausal); holiday season and festive eating; and even life events that cause stress, physically, mentally or emotionally.

Creating YOUR own perfect diet is what serves your beautiful body at every stage of life.

You Don’t Need To Do It Alone

Would you like help in discovering your perfect diet? Are you committed to dropping the weight of deprivation, and slipping back into your ideal body and life? Why not find out more about working with me in my Fit, Feminine & Fabulous coaching program. Click here to learn more.

With love,

Healthy Living Habits: Separating Fact From Fiction

Put down your green juice* and step away from the detox!

We’re midway through January, which means that we’ve spent the past two weeks being bombarded with messages that tell us how to be a better, fitter, healthier, happier, and just an all-round more enlightened human being.

This time of year it’s hard to open a magazine, watch a talk show or skim through your inbox without being slapped in the face with articles that highlight your flaws under the thin veil of “self help”.

I’ll be the first to admit that I often read these kind of articles. Let’s call it morbid curiosity. But while I used to see this stuff as gospel, these days I read with fascination about the crazy schemes that people in my industry can come up with.

They know that the single fastest way to selling products is by making someone else feel insecure. Especially women, and especially when it comes to losing weight and feeling comfortable in their body.

Of course, there’s no better month than January to dig into people’s fears. Holiday indulgences look a lot less festive in the bleak light of the new year, and those quick-fix detoxes suddenly seem much more appealing.

So let’s separate fact from fiction, and chat about the one thing that you ACTUALLY need to do to develop the healthy living habits that allow to create a body and life that you love. 

Drumroll please…

The secret to lasting weight loss and long term health is this: follow through on just ONE fundamental healthy living habit until you can do it on autopilot.

Instead of splitting your focus twenty different ways, and making grand statements about everything that you’ll change in the year ahead, choose just one simple task and do it every single day until it becomes a habit.

It’s difficult to get motivated when you’re overwhelmed. Choice is the enemy of action. It’s easier to say that you’ll do and change a dozen things about yourself, rather than actually changing just one.

So I need to repeat it: step away from the detox. Choose one new healthy habit to start today, and repeat it every day until it becomes just another part of your every day lifestyle.

Healthy living is a journey, not a destination. Don’t limit yourself to being perfectly healthy for one month out of the year, but rather commit yourself to being generally healthy every single day.

And while we’re chatting about it, I do have a new program this year. And because I’m not interested in pulling the wool over your eyes, or convincing you that this is something that you need, I’ll lay out all the facts below and let you make up your own mind:

The Weight Loss Starter Kit

The Weight Loss Starter Kit is my fundamental week-long program that walks you through the seven essential daily habits that you need to lose weight, improve your health, and increase your energy.

These seven habits are not new, they’re not sexy, and they’re not complicated. But you better believe that they’re effective (and chances are that you’re not doing them).

I’ve made this thing crazy easy to follow — I know that you’re busy — so you’ll receive just ONE email from me each day for a week. In that email is one simple healthy living habit that you can implement right then and there. At the end of the seven days I’ll bundle it all up as a pretty little PDF, and send that your way with a couple of bonus gifts.

There are seven daily habits that are the foundation of living a healthy life. Without them there’s not point in dabbling in anything more complicated, like the detoxes, cleanses, bootcamps or health retreats.

Like the KISS principle says, Keep It Super Simple, and watch the results roll in.

Purchase The Weight Loss Starter Kit here for only $14.99

With love,

JDW Signature

*P.S. While I actually have no qualms with green juice, but plain old water will always be king.

New Year’s resolutions stick | Jennifer Dene Wellness

Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick

I have a thing for planners. Specifically paper planners, or “diaries” as we call them in Australia.

One of the most exciting things about starting a New Year is having a brand-spanking new planner. The pages crisp and clean. 12 months of unwritten potential.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Maybe not…my husband doesn’t.

In fact, just the other day he actually laughed at me when I told him that I bought a (rather oversized, rather heavy) planner here in Australia, to take back with me to L.A.

Yes, it may be as long as my forearm. And yes, it may be two inches thick. And yes, it may be pre-filled with all of the Australian public holiday dates, not the US dates. But it’s a beautiful blue and it fills me with optimism for the year ahead.

Frankly, I see it as a practical and economic way to take up suitcase space!

Which brings me to the point of today’s post: how to make New Year’s Resolutions Stick.

Now, I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions…vague promises of self improvement aren’t necessarily an effective way of achieving personal goals.

But there is something about the transition between years that makes goal-setting seem more achievable. So let’s ride that wave of motivation and set some clear and practical resolutions, to make 2017 your healthiest, happiest year yet.

How To Make New Year’s Resolutions Stick

Step One: The “Mini Year”

Rather than thinking of 2017 as one 12-month year, break it down into four 90 day mini-years.

12 months is too long to commit to anything — except marriage I suppose — so let’s shorten the playing field. I learnt this concept recently from a friendly fellow by the name of Todd Hermann. It’s my first year putting it into practice too, so we’ll be experimenting together.

Step Two: Have A Quarterly Focus

Only pay attention to the first 90 day period, the rest can be neatly marked in the planner as “the future”.

How liberating!

Step Three: Make A Goal List

Take some time to think about your top health, lifestyle or personal goals. These might include weight loss, weight gain, stress reduction, spending more time with family, getting fit, eating less sugar, cooking more at home, feeling professionally fulfilled…or something different altogether.

Step Four: Choose Your Top Priority

From that list choose the one thing that is absolutely your top priority. This becomes your main goal for the next three months.

Next Steps >>>

Now, if you’re anything like me you probably think that you can achieve more than one big goal in 90 days. Right?

Wrong.

It’s too complicated and too overwhelming to try and change everything at once, and splitting your efforts across multiple endeavors makes it less likely that you’ll have achieved anything come April.

So keep it simple and effective by choosing one main goal to focus on, and follow through with it until you have success!

Now that you’ve gotten this far, you’ll need to think about exactly WHAT you need to do to reach that goal in 90 days. This part is crucial; breaking your big goal down into simple bite-sized pieces is the difference between success and failure.

And I can help!

If you’d like to set and achieve your number one health, lifestyle or personal goal in the first 90 days of 2017 here’s what you can do:

Book A Strategy Call With Me

This one hour call is all about YOU. Together we’ll work out the exact steps that you need to take to reach your number one goal.

(Can’t figure out your number one priority? I’ll help you with that too!)

As always, my advice is personalized and super simple, so you can start to see results straight away. You’ll also get a recording of our Skype session to replay at any time, and a full set of notes.

Book your strategy call with me here ($97)

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you’d like more guidance and support throughout your 90 day “year” then you will love Weight Loss That Lasts — my signature 1:1 fitness, nutrition and lifestyle program that shows you how to transform your body and life in the simplest way possible.

You can learn more here, or immediately book your free 15 minute consultation with me here.

I truly believe that we’re all going to rock the socks off 2017, so let’s do it to it.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Can’t find a call time that works with your schedule? Or have more questions about the Strategy Call or 1:1 Program? Just shoot me an email by clicking here.

How To Make Healthy Decisions - Jennifer Dene

How To Make Healthy Decisions (And Why We Don’t Like To)

I was at the supermarket the other day and I wanted to buy a bag of chips. I headed into the snack aisle, my eyes scanning the shelves, my hands not knowing whether to reach for potato or corn. (I adore them all.)

“Are we getting chips?” my husband asked.

“Ummm, maybe. I was thinking about it. Do YOU want some?” came my response.

Our conversation continued…

Him: “Sure, if you want them.”

Me: “I don’t really mind.” (I did.) “We’ll only get them if you feel like them.”

And continued…

Him: “Let’s not worry then, I don’t really feel like chips tonight.”

Me: “Are you sure? You might want some later. Maybe we should get them just in case…but only if YOU want.”

Can you see what was happening here? Despite the fact that I wanted chips I wasn’t willing to say the simple words “I’m going to buy myself a bag.”

Why?

Because I didn’t want to be responsible for making that decision.

I catch myself doing this from time-to-time, outsourcing my decisions so that it’s not my fault if things don’t pan out.

It’s a habit I don’t like and one that I’m changing, but it still catches me out every now and again.

Home cooking is a simple decision: you either cook or you don’t.

Exercising is a simple decision: you either do it or you don’t.

Drinking wine on a Tuesday night is a simple decision: you either drink it or you don’t.

These are some of the decisions that I battle with, and that I might pass off to someone else, even though the “right” choice is both personal and situational. Some days exercising is the best decision, other days it’s not. Sometimes getting take-out is great, other times it’s not.

You might not always make the right decision, but you do have to be willing to make a decision, especially if taking control of your health is important to you.

This month I’m committed to making my own healthy living decisions, with authority and without guilt, to see how the choices that I’m making affect my health, my happiness and the quality of my life.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

With love,

JDW Signature

exercise hacks

Exercise Hacks & Workouts For Weight Loss

Is it just me or has our culture become obsessed with speed? You only need to read a magazine or browse the internet to be bombarded with “hacks” for getting more done in less time. Eating, working, exercising, socializing, bathing, relaxing, sleeping. Every area of our lives has been touched by the wand of time-management. Yet somehow, even with these time-saving strategies, we still lack time. 

We work harder and faster, and get more done in less time, just to have more time to be MORE productive. It seems counterintuitive, no?

I don’t want to get more done. If anything I feel the need to do less, but to do those things properly.

Efficiency has its limitations, and extreme productivity isn’t a roadmap to leading a content and healthy life.

And yep, that includes your fitness routine…

Over the past five years the fitness world has exploded with exercise hacks. Trainers and novices alike boast how they can compress their 60 minute workout into 15 minutes (and still get the same results).

Gah.

But what does that say about the state of our lives? That we don’t have time to give our body — our physical home and temple — 45 minutes of gentle, unhurried movement in a 24 hour day.

Why are we more concerned about wasting time than safe-guarding our health? Why are we hacking our lives away?

Clients often ask me for the quick fixes, the shortcuts. They want to know what exercises they need to do to lose weight fast. What hack is there for quickly getting back into those skinny jeans?

Sometimes I think my answer disappoints them. The only “hack” is consistency.

To lose weight and keep it off, to get fit and stay fit, to feel as good in your body in 10 years as you do now, remember this: fitness needs to be simple, gentle and consistent.

And that’s why my workouts here on the blog take a back-to-basics approach to fitness. And that’s why I’m never going to yell at you to move faster, or push harder. And that’s why this week I encourage you to slow down, connect with your body, and un-hack your workout routine.

Let me know how it goes!

With love,

JDW Signature

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Hack-less Workout Routines You Might Like:

Learn The Jump Lunge

Crunch Free Ab Workout

Stretches For A Tight Upper Back

FOLLOW THROUGH | JENNIFER DENE WELLNESS

How To Follow Through (& Set Goals That Matter)

I hear a lot of “failure” talk in my coaching business. Women will come to me after another failed attempt to lose weight. Another failed attempt to stick to a diet. Another failed attempt to strike work-life balance.

Which got me thinking about the concept of success and failure, and the clinical way in which we set goals and expectations for ourselves.

And I’ve realized that we’re going about it all wrong. It’s not the women that are failing, it’s the process they’re taking. 

You see, the standard way to set a goal is to think of a desired outcome (rather intellectually) and then take specific actions to get there. While being smart about goal setting is important, there’s a downside to being too strategic about the whole thing.

When we think too far ahead, and have a laser focus on how we’re going to achieve something in the future, we’re overlooking one of the most important aspects of success. That is: Will I enjoy the journey of reaching this goal?

If the answer is no, then you don’t have a hope of success.

Because successfully reaching a goal isn’t just about the outcome, it’s about enjoying the process that gets you there.

The key to staying motivated is to find joy in the journey. I don’t know about you, but counting calories, eliminating food groups or doing exercise classes that I hate is not going to motivate me to follow through on my health and fitness goals. If anything, it’s a one way street to failure.

But that’s the way we go about this whole goal-setting thing – we make choices that look good on paper.  It’s intellectual, but it’s not effective. And ladies, that’s what makes the diet industry a billion dollar business.

So What Can You Do Differently?

Instead of thinking about something you’d like to achieve and immediately asking how do I get there, start by asking why.

Why do I want to get to reach that goal?

Why do I want to make that change?

Why does this really matter to me?

Only after you’ve found your why, should you start on the how, which should be created in a way that’s realistic, sustainable and (most importantly) enjoyable.

Remember this: Goals aren’t reached overnight. Life is in the journey. Start with why. Build your own how.

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

Weigh in on this discussion by leaving a comment below.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Are you ready to break through walls of self-doubt and commit to reaching your REAL goals, once and for all? Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me via email: jennifer@jenniferdenewellness.com to schedule your free consultation.

Stop Dieting | Jennifer Dene Wellness

Stop Dieting And Live At Your Ideal Weight

Do you have a healthy relationship with food?

Are you able to eat intuitively, enjoying all kinds of food without guilt or shame? Or do you feel trapped by certain sets of dieting rules that tell you what, when or how to eat?

Would you love to stop dieting but are anxious about gaining weight if you do?

In today’s video I’m sharing the simple mindset shifts that allowed me to finally stop dieting, and changed my life physically, mentally and emotionally.

And it started with the realization that finding our ideal weight doesn’t start with the food on our plates, it starts with trusting in our bodies and experiencing our lives. 

If we spent more time focusing on how we want to feel, we could (quite easily) look how we want to look. Tweet This.

If you’re regularly eliminating foods that you enjoy, just because someone whom you have never met — and knows nothing about your lifestyle or body type — has written a book suggesting that you should, then today’s video is for you.

I hope that, by pressing play on today’s video, you will feel empowered to release the diet mindset and discover how to live at your happy weight, in a happy way, once and for all.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you. Answer one or both of the questions below.

  1. Does the idea of ditching the diets feel liberating or anxiety-inducing to you?
  2. Have you experienced an “aha” moment about eating for your lifestyle and body type?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Remember that this video is part of my series: 7 Ways To Love Your Body & Life This Week. Catch up on all the videos here.

Click the image to download your free Self Love Checklist!

7 Ways To Love Your Body (Cheat Sheet)

Just to recap, here’s your task for today:

  • Write down all the dieting rules that you’re trying to follow. Keep what serves you and ditch the rest.
  • Stop classifying foods and “good” or “bad”, and give yourself permission to eat all food.
  • Pay attention to the foods that make you feel great, and the one’s that don’t.
  • Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re comfortably full.
  • Enjoy a treat every day!

Then, dive into the next video, where we’re chatting about making exercise fun!

Thank you so much for joining me here on Jennifer Dene Wellness. I know that together we will create a bright, healthy and purpose-filled future for ourselves, and the women that come after us.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to download your Self Love Checklist. Here it is.