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A Day in the Life, Part Two


Last month we took a peak into a day in the life of a health coach. This month we will dig deeper into meals and snacks on the go, handling stress, and other healthy habits and tricks to help on your wellness journey.

With a few small changes, you can live la healthy life and be your best you.

Meals and Snacks on the go:

This seems to be the Achilles' heel of the best laid health plans and meal prep. We get busy, we are running out the door, running late, rushing from errand to errand, and the kids are tired and hungry so we grab what we can when we can. The good news is we don't have to resort to a burger and fries when we are on the go. Allow yourself to get fast food on occasion, but set up some non-negotiable rules like not going more than once per week or skipping the side dish each time. Some of my favorite items to grab on the go are:

Coffee Shops: Look for hard-boiled eggs, pre-packed salads, fruit cup or oatmeal (hold the sugar). Avoid the pastries, cookies and over-sweetened coffees.

Burger Stops: For the kids, or you, swap your side of fries for fruit. Skip the soda pop and juice and go for water. Get a salad or get your burger protein style and wrap with lettuce, no bun. Go easy on the sugary barbecue sauce or ketchup and stick with mustard or mayo. Avoid the fried foods as much as possible.

Grocery Store: Grab a cup of pre-cut veggies or fruit, get a pre-packed salad or a pack of hard-boiled eggs. If you go to the deli look for skinless chicken, steamed vegetables or salads with lentils or lean meat for protein and avoid salads high in saturated fats like the ones with lots of cream or oils.

When I am on the go I do my best to have some protein bars in my car and when I need to stop and grab some food I aim for low carb. I always assume if it's being prepped outside my home the fat content will be higher than I think. If I aim for low carb, I can enjoy the higher fats. I do this because I don't mix a lot of fats with a lot of carbs in a meal, that is a recipe for weight gain.

Handling Stress:

I like to think I don't have much stress but with multiple kids, multiple businesses and life that just isn't the case. In today's busy world, we all have too much stress, whether it be from work, life, home or in our environment. Stress plays a huge roll in your health and managing it to your best ability is key.

I won't tell you to do yoga or meditate, although those are great, I want to start with small doable items. Watch your breathing. Do you hold your breath when you get stressed or anxious? Keep an eye on it and take a deep breath when you notice yourself doing this. This will help slow down your heart rate and is calming. Do it 10 times when possible, but even just one is good. You will catch me doing this all day long. If I have a stressful situation arise, it helps for me to talk it out. If you have a colleague, spouse or pal to chat with, set aside a few minutes to talk it out. There are also some great apps out there like TalkSpace to do just that.

Be Grateful:

Having a positive mindset has a lot to do with being and feeling healthy. If you are constantly sick or tired, take a few minutes to think about what you are grateful for with your health in spite of that.

Does your body, regardless of size, allow you to get out of bed each morning to see a new day? Do your arms help you carry your children? Do your ears allow you to hear your favorite song? There is always something to be grateful for and as the late great Wayne Dyer said, "When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change."

I keep a thankful journal and write down one thing every day I am thankful for. It helps lift my spirits and appreciate all that I have. I only write one sentence so it's not an overwhelming task to do.

Even if you aren't where you are on your health journey you will get there. Just take it one day at a time and be grateful for each step you make towards the healthier you.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville She can be reached online at


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