Tag: #lifewithzest

How meal planning can stop emotional and binge eating

Emotional and binge eating is a train wreck waiting to happen. It’s certainly been a crazy few weeks and saying that things have not been going your way is an understatement. You go for the easy option, the live-your-mood option, the convenient catastrophe. You may have started the day out with your willpower at level 100 and you were all set to climb the elementary school food pyramid, but somewhere mid-day, your energies tanked, your patience grew short, and then your cravings soared.

How do you prevent a crisis like that? You prevent it the way you prevent all crises: a crisis management program or as we like to call it, meal planning. It prevents from derailing from your objectives and gives you easy plans to fall back on. When energies run low and so does willpower, your past self has already figured out things for you. There are a few simple breadcrumbs left for you to follow your way to living the healthy, balanced lifestyle you had set out on when life was all sunshine and rainbows.

Still not convinced on why you should plan your meals to make life easy? Let us break down the possible advantages of having a go at planning your meals.


Like any of the resources that are integral to our survival, our willpower is non-renewable. We start out our days and weeks with a preset amount of willpower that gets used up rapidly in small decision-making tasks from what we should wear to what we should say. When we resort to cooking up something, we fall back on fast foods and dirty meals.

Meal planning prevents you from crashing midway because you have plan A, B and Z to resort to when you cannot figure what will be healthy and happy for you to have for dinner. Meal planning takes off one thing of your daily to-do list, freeing up time for you to treat yourself with nothing but the best on no matter how hard the day has been going.

Portion Planning

Meal planning allows you to give all the important things their rightful place in your menu. When you plan a menu beforehand, you get to choose what goes in there. Meal planning gives you the opportunity to stick to your New Year’s resolution of treating your body right and having your doctors’ recommended portion of fruits and vegetables. Even on days when you feel like putting no effort into cooking or eating whatever your first craving is, a meal plan reminds you of an alternate meal that you set out for yourself that will not only gratify you in the moment, but something your future self will also be grateful for.

Treat Yourself

Some days right now you will have to piece together any and every crumb you find to just get through the day and eat for the sake of survival. With meal plans, you get to go the extra mile and plan for yourself a meal that you know you will like. This preplanned blessing might just be the meal that turns your awful week around because you planned a meal that was nutritious and a treat to pick you up.

The Tension

When we don’t plan and prep, the more stress we have, and right now even one less thing to stress about will help the days go a bit better. This is why all romantic comedies leave you with a message of going with the flow and throwing caution to the wind. With a meal plan you get the best of both worlds, you can avoid the stress of pondering over “What for dinner?” and replace that with meals that give you zero-stress and maximum gratification and nutritional value.

Need help with meal prep or planning? Let’s hop on a virtual coffee. I would love to help take some of your stress away, at sandi@lifewithzest.com

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5 Natural Ways To Flourish

5 Natural Ways to Flourish


5 Natural Ways To Flourish

What does it mean to flourish? 

To flourish means to grow, thrive, and prosper. 

This beautiful term resonates deeply with anyone who wants to encourage and inspire wellness. To flourish means to direct our life towards the highest levels of feeling good and functioning well. When speaking of health & wellness, we refer to consistently encouraging wellness within ourselves, our bodies, and of course, within our minds. 

This leads us to an awareness of an –all-pervading sense of wellness within our spirits. To flourish is something beautiful and something that each of us can learn how to do.

How Do We Flourish?

We flourish simply by allowing ourselves to and encouraging ourselves to do so. For some, this is easier said than done. Many people who have tried, and have faced too much difficulty, eventually give up because they think their life is just not cut out for it. 

No matter how hard they try, something always gets in the way or pushes them back in the wrong direction. Let us dig deep into what we must understand about flourishing – about constantly evolving, growing, and moving forward.

Knowing How To Flourish

To know how to flourish, we must fully understand the process. Flourishing, though the definition is of growing, prospering, and thriving, is not always a case of flourishing. 

Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Let me explain. 

The tree that flourishes in nature faces many obstacles. It faces potential destruction in its early stages by animals possibly crushing it underfoot. The small tree has to compete with all the other trees and plants in the forest to get the sunlight it needs. Even when it has fully matured, it still must face gales and storms. And, through all of this, it must continue to strive towards flourishing.

It can be seen then that flourishing is not something achieved but is something that one must aspire towards. And, do that, we must accept that we will face challenges. 

To flourish, we must face challenges, and it is also essential that we overcome those challenges or at least have a mindset that will strive to overcome them.

5 Natural Ways To Flourish

Motivate Yourself – Without motivation, it is impossible to flourish. Be inspired through passion, whether related to doing something for yourself or others. Maybe your sentiment relates to providing a future for your family or leaving a legacy. It doesn’t matter what motivates you to use your motivation to flourish. Use it to grow and to push you to the next level.

Accept all challenges – When you are challenged, you are forced to flourish. However, this doesn’t mean that you do it when somebody has challenged you to a game of pool, and you win the match easily. 

No, a true challenge is something you find difficult. It is something that you cannot achieve with ease. It is something that requires that you grow. To learn a new skill, visit a new environment, face a fear, or achieve something. This is the real meaning of flourishing, pushing your boundaries, expanding your limits, forcing yourself to flourish.

Face your fears – Fears, in every case, are designed to limit us. By facing our fears, we are pushing ourselves into an area of life that we have been too afraid to visit. To truly flourish, we must wish to do anything, and we must be able to do everything without limitation. To accomplish this, we must create mental barriers to the challenges that life gives us. 

Everything that comes our way can be used as an opportunity to flourish. And by facing our fears, we will make the most of every opportunity that does.

Balance – Balance life from the perspective of your Body & Mind to truly flourish. We must develop a way that promotes life balance. If we cannot promote physical wellness, our mental side will struggle. The same goes in reverse. By creating balance physically and mentally, we allow our spirits to flourish.

Develop harmony – Harmony is quite important when it comes to flourishing. Without it, we face too much opposition in the world. This opposition leads to restrictions on our ability to express ourselves. 

If we cannot express ourselves freely, we cannot flourish. Learn to accept what happens around you and even within you, be selfless if it encourages harmony. You will flourish. And everyone you interact with will likewise do the same.

5 Tips For Exercising When You Are Busy

For some people, the 24 hours in a day is still not enough to fit in a workout schedule. Between struggling to balance a busy career with family life, it may seem like there is hardly any time left to exercise regularly. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up on your desire to lose those extra pounds, build up your muscles or tone up your body. All you have to do is find creative ways of fitting effective exercises into your daily schedule. To help you achieve this goal, here are five simple but effective tips for exercising when you’re busy.

Tip 1 – Choose Efficient Workouts

To get the most out of your busy schedule, go for efficient workouts that burn more fat in less time while keeping your metabolism high for hours after exercising. Bodyweight exercises, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and kettlebell training are just some of the many efficient exercise options available to you that can be used to burn fat, build up your muscles, improve your cardiovascular fitness and much more in very little time.

Tip 2 – Focus On What You Like

Making your workout fun by choosing activities that you like is a great way to stay committed to exercise during busy times. If you’re doing something you enjoy, you’ll actually want to exercise and will, therefore, take the time to workout, regardless of how busy you are. If you choose exercises that you don’t enjoy, the opposite will happen and you’ll find yourself constantly making excuses to avoid working out.

Tip 3 – Make Exercise A Family Activity

Is family one of the things keeping you too busy to work out? If so, turn the time you spend with your family into family workout time. Cycling, hiking, walking and jogging are just some of the many fun outdoor activities you can enjoy with your family and will help you stay fit while spending quality time with your loved ones.

Tip 4 – Workout In The Morning

If you cannot find the time to exercise during the day or in the evening when you get home from work, make exercising your number one priority by becoming an early riser. You’ll have enough time to engage in an effective workout session if you wake up a few hours before you have to leave for work. Doing exercises first thing in the morning will also help you stay consistent because it’s the first thing you do before any other tasks or obligations come your way.

If you do start exercising in the morning, make sure you don’t sacrifice your sleep. You still need to be getting at least six hours of quality sleep every night to workout effectively. Sleeping for less than this will have a detrimental effect on your workout performance and results.

Tip 5 – Workout During Your Lunch Break

Instead of spending your entire lunch break sitting at your desk, take that opportunity to sneak in a workout. A one-hour lunch break offers you plenty of time to go for a walk or hit the gym for a fast-paced 15-30 minute workout followed by a shower and nutritious meal. Not only does a lunchtime workout allow you to fit exercise into your busy routine but it also has a rejuvenating effect and makes you much more productive for the rest of the day. Why not grab others from work to support each other?


No matter how busy you are, you can always find time to implement one of the suggestions in this article and add exercise to your routine. So choose one that suits your current lifestyle best and start implementing it today.

What Are The Best Belly Fat Exercises?

You may ask, what the best belly fat exercises are. To be honest, there are hundreds of exercises you can do to get rid of that belly that just doesn’t seem to want to go away.

The great thing is they all work, you just have to find what works best for you.

I know that may not seem like a big deal, however, it may be one of the most important factors in this whole process.

The reason being is that you want to make sure that you can go the distance with the particular program. In the past many people have chosen a program, getting burned out and it causes them to fall short of their goal.

OK, now that we have that out of the way let’s take a look at some of the best exercises that could help you get rid of that bulge that’s so aggravating to get rid of.

Walking – The great thing about walking is that it doesn’t have to be speed walking or even miles at a time; simply a brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes a day will work.

Another great exercise is yoga; this exercise can not only get you slim and trim. Yoga can also help you stay in the right frame of mind to get the job done. Yoga may take some time to get used to; however, it’s an excellent way of getting you where you want to be.

My first yoga instructor used to like to say: “Yoga is like weight lifting without the fancy weights. Your body is the resistance”.

The next exercise I would recommend would be crunches or sit-ups. The great thing about sit-ups or crunches is that there is a variety of ways you can do these. There are different angels you can use while doing your crunches or sit-ups. This way it reaches all the different abdominal muscles that you have.

There you have it. These are just a few of the best belly fat exercises which you could do to reach your goal of having a flat tummy. Put these few exercises, or even one of them into practice, and you will be sure to get where you want to be.

What exercise could you fit in today?