About Healthy Justice

I am a Health Coach, Fitness Blogger and Personal Trainer. I love sharing my knowledge and experience to help my clients live a healthier lifestyle.

My journey with food and health began as a teenager when I found freedom from an eating disorder. I struggled with this anorexia for years, but through faith and perseverance I learned how to have a healthy relationship with food and my body.

It’s now my passion to work with clients to reach their personal goals and create a healthier lifestyle. Another joy of mine is in blogging. On my blog you will find an array of articles from healthy recipes and nutrition tips to workouts and inspirational success stories.

My Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Fitness certification is with NESTA (National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association)
My Health Coach certification is with the NDP (National Diabetes Prevention Program)

We are all somewhere in the process of transformation. My experiences have taught me to believe in the possibility of change. It’s my hope that you live extraordinary!

If you’re interested in learning more about my health coaching plans and pricing or would like for me to present on fitness topics don’t hesitate to contact me.

Natalie, aka…Healthy Justice:)

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Nourishing Our Bodies Through Mindfulness and Gratitude

We are on to Thanksgiving, and if you sneeze or blink you could miss this special holiday. Christmas can overshadow the stillness that Thanksgiving calls us to, so let’s allow ourselves to slow down and appreciate this month.

I thought a great way for me to enter into this season of thankfulness would be to attend a series wellness classes offered at the Women’s Center For Healing & Transformation in Abita, Louisiana.  These classes were taught by some of the community’s most gifted healers and teachers.

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One of the classes I attended was on the topic of mindfulness and how it profoundly effects our health.  Mitzie R. Meyers, RN, MSN, CNE, AHN-BC, presented in one of their cozy rooms in the Women’s Center.  The small group of like-minded women combined with a rainy Fall day made the class that much more wonderful.😊

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As a health coach I have experienced through heart felt conversations how many struggle with not having a good relationship with food.  The fundamental reason is that we’ve forgotten how to be present as we eat.

Have you ever looked down at a plate of food and it has vanished?!  You feel a sense of disappointment that you didn’t even taste your food, and then the internal critic shows up and ruins the pleasure of eating.

It’s time for us to show up for ourselves and put an end to this cycle.

The recipe for mindful eating calls for the warming effect of kindness and the spice of curiosity.  Jan Chozen Bays M.D.

What is mindful eating?

It is much more than eating slowly & without distraction, although that is a big part, it involves so much more.  Meyers shared these definitions:

  • Giving focused attention to your meals (put away electronics)
  • Using all your senses with the process of eating
  • Being aware of your hunger and satiety (see hunger scale http://www.whereineedtobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Hunger-Scale.jpg)
  • Making choices that support health and well-being
  • Awareness without criticism or judgement.
  • Having intention and attention both internally and externally.  For example, at your Thanksgiving meal think about where the food came from, the process it took to get to your table & allowing that to expand your appreciation😇

Here is a visual to help you practice these ideas:

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Why is mindful eating important?

In her presentation Meyers said,

research shows a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems and reduce the risk for Type II diabetes.  Some other benefits she shared is that it improves digestion, increases the enjoyment of food & reduces over-eating.

After the class I had an opportunity to ask Meyers about how mindfulness can help us enjoy the holidays without gaining 15lbs. in the process-;)  She said, “have an intention for what you want the holiday to mean and make that happen.”

We talked a little bit about how the holidays can lead to depression for some people, but she says, “you can feel empowered to make the holiday what you want it to mean to you.  This openness in the heart will allow gratitude to come in.”  When we are grateful it removes us from walking under a dark cloud, and we realize the abundance that is present in our lives.  “It all starts with intention.”

What will your intention be for Thanksgiving and this time of the year?  What is the reality you want to create?  How will you show up for yourself and your family?

 

Sometimes The Hard Choice Is the Right Choice

Have you ever overridden your gut feeling about something only to constantly be in a place of indecision and inner turmoil?  It can be scary to follow through with what you feel is right because of the sacrifices it might entail and the possibility that you could be wrong.

At our core we have two basic and motivating emotions, fear and love.  Fear causes us to pull back from life, but love allows us to be passionately open to life.  Think about this, if you could remove all of your fears, how different would your life be?  Unfortunately, by the time many of us get over our fears we will be too sick or too old to do those things we wanted to do, had we not let our fears hold us back.

The lesson is clear:

We must transcend our fears while we can still do those things we dream of.  To transcend fear though, we must move somewhere else emotionally; we must move into love. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I John 4:18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

When you allow love to be your motivating force it will change your life.  That change may involve sacrifice, but the peace and hope that fills your soul will be the wind beneath your wings.

My life changed in a day when I moved from fear into love.  It was a painful decision that I didn’t want to make, but I kept reassuring myself that sometimes the right decision is the hard one.

When you finally surrender to doing what you know inside of you is right, fear will be kicking and screaming the entire time.  Those are the moments in your life that define you. 

So one day I’m enjoying sunshine and palm trees in New Orleans with my mom, and the next day Sammy and I are hiking through snow.

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There has been suffering and sacrifice in my choice, but I feel an inner peace that everything is going to be alright.

So how are you going to approach your life?  Are you going to be an old man or woman that wished they would have done things differently, or are you going to choose to not let your fears hold you back?  Can you be okay with settling, being unhappy and not quite sure of yourself?  Living in fear is exhausting, whereas when you open yourself up to love you give yourself a chance to be happy and to have joy and peace.

I don’t want to be a judgmental, anxiety ridden, depressed and mean person so the choice to me is pretty clear.  Love is where I want to live.  Look into your heart and find the courage to walk in love today.

 

 

 

Laughter Can Change Your Life

One of the best times in my life was when I worked with one of my best friends. We were blessed to work for a hospice company that embraced our effervescent and joyful spirits. Entering into peoples’ lives at one of the most serious and sacred times was an honor. However, what I discovered was that the patients’ and families needed more than our pity, they needed our strength.

Nehemiah 8:10: “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

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(my friend and me after a home visit.  LOL!)

For those who still insist to be serious, here are some benefits of laughter that should give you much needed boost:

  • Reduces risk of heart disease: Research shows that laughing expands the inner walls of the arteries thereby increasing the blood flow. Furthermore, this positive effect lasts for 30-45 minutes. When you laugh, the blood flow increases and the blood pressure rises; but when you stop laughing, blood pressure drops back to its baseline. This relaxing effect helps bring down blood pressure.
  • Natural painkiller: Laughing helps people forget about pain. Studies show that children watching comedy films tolerate pain more easily. There are many more studies to validate the pain relieving effects of good laughter.
  • Massages the abdominal organs: Belly laughing gives a good massage to the abdominal organs, like liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen and adrenal glands. As a result, blood flow is increased and their functioning is improved.
  • Decreases stress: Laughing instantly reduces stress hormones level and hence is one of the most effective ways to reduce effects of stress.
  • Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
  • Helps keep diabetes under control: A study showed that people who watched a funny video after meal had comparatively lesser blood sugar level than those who watched a serious film.
  • Makes you look young: Laughing requires as many as 15 muscles to squeeze facial muscles in to a smile. This act increases the blood flow around the face making you look younger.
  • Improves your breathing: Laughter empties your lungs of more air than it takes in resulting in a cleansing effect; similar to deep breathing. This is especially helpful for people who are suffering from respiratory ailments, such as asthma.
  • Boosts your immune system: Researchers have found that laughter actually boosts the immune system, increasing the number of antibody-producing T-cells. This then makes us less likely to get coughs and colds. It also lowers the levels of at least four hormones that are associated with stress, so after a good giggle you should be far less tense and anxious.
  • An effective anti-depressant: Laughter keeps depression and anxiety at bay by boosting the production of serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. It’s no surprise that people with a good sense of humor rarely get depressed. And even if they do get, they get over it quickly.
  • Acts like a cleansing and energizing breath: During stress, our breathing is shallow and there is a build up of carbon dioxide and residual air in our lungs. Belly laughing forces the air out of lungs, until its empty, followed by a deep inhalation. Hence repeated laughing cleanses the body and energizes it with fresh oxygen.
  • Gives good sleep: One of the main factors responsible for sleep problems is stress and anxiety. Having a good laugh prior to sleep reduces stress and anxiety, promoting deep, restful sleep.
  • Offers several psychological health benefits: It boosts self-confidence and gives mental strength to cope with conflicts and challenges in life. It also helps us come out of anxiety and depression. It improves out mental health and makes us forget all the tensions in our daily busy lives.
  • Laughter is contagious: It not only lifts our spirits but also of others around us. Humorous person are always in demand. A single humorous person lifts the spirit of everyone around him/her. Blessed are those who have such friends.
  • Boosts your relationship: If you’re looking to find a new partner, then laughter will help you find a new mate. Men love women who laugh in their presence and women actually laugh 125% more than men. And if you’re already with someone, then a shared sense of humour is an important factor in keeping your relationship running smoothly.
  • Helps you lose weight: Burning off calories by laughing might not sound as if it has much use, but a hearty chuckle raises the heart rate and speeds up the metabolism.

Laughter is the perfect example of how the best things in life are free. Make it a great day!

Keeping The Fight When You Want To Quit

While I was working out in the gym, I had a conversation with a friend who had recently experienced the deaths of his best friend & sister within a week’s time.  Even with his obvious heartbreak, he was getting through his workout with commitment.  Seeing his inner strength toward suffering reminded me how important it is to keep the faith during the storms of life.

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Live long enough & you will have the battle scars to prove that your character has been tested.  There are some fights in  life, some setbacks & struggles that leave you wondering, “Will I ever come back from this?”

-a failed marriage has taken the fight out of you

-a lost job and you had to move back in with your parents

-the death of a child or spouse has you broken & numb

-people you thought would be there for you have let you down.

On the outside you can appear to be the strong guy, but on the inside you’re Minnie Mouse.   This is the most challenging fight of all, the fight inside, in our minds.  It’s the self-defeating thoughts we think that strips us of our power.

It’s never about what “they” say about you that makes you feel defeated.  It’s what you say about you that brings your defeat.

Put the past behind you.  Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future.  Today you have the opportunity to get it right.  “When you hold on to your history, you do so at the expense of your destiny.”  TD Jakes

  1. Don’t Quit

            Make the decision that no matter what you will not quit.

  • Take quitting off the table. Quitting is not an option. When you feel overwhelmed with worry or fear, tell yourself, “I got this.”
  • You didn’t survive everything you have been through to drown in shallow water.  Don’t give up because the moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.

       2.  Keep Moving

When I was healing from a loss in my life there were days when I had to tell myself over and over, “one step at a time.”  The thought of going through a whole day was enough to make me want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head.

            Keep consistent to your routines.

  • Like my friend, it was his routine to come to the gym & he stayed true to that in spite of how he  felt.  There is a comfort in routine that keeps us anchored.
  • Move your body even if you don’t FEEL like it. Feelings come and go that is why you must make the decision to not quit, and trust that the good feelings are going to come. The sun will shine on you again.

       3.  Rise Above

            Fight & pray for the struggle to transform you into a better version of yourself.

  • Rise above the pain to become someone stronger, nobler, wiser, braver, more beautiful than the old you.
  • Rise above the self-doubt and same old stories that leave you feeling like a victim. Tell yourself a new story where you are experiencing success, love & happiness.
  • Perception is everything. See yourself as a conqueror and speak your destiny into existence.

Romans 4:17  Call those things that be not as though they were.

Fight the Good Fight

How To Slay Your Giant

This week I will be facing a giant.  This giant is part of a fear that I’ve had for half of my life, & it’s one of many standing in the way of my future career plans.

It may sound ridiculous, but dissecting a rat is a HUGE issue for me.  In the past when I’ve seen blood being drawn or been exposed to some type of medical procedure, I’ve become light-headed & usually end up fainting.   I’ve avoided this type of work my whole life, but after a lot of reflection I have decided to work toward being a nurse.

rat(sorry, lol, I had to make it real with a pic from my textbook…)

What is the giant in your life that is standing between you and the life you desire?  Maybe your giant is an addiction to food, alcohol or drugs.  Or maybe it is some type of fear that has haunted you most of your life.

The fears in your life will not go away until you face them.  Is it scary?  YES!  Is it risky?  YES!  Is it challenging?  YES!  But living in fear, avoidance, & below your potential is not a life of freedom.

One of my favorite stories in the Bible comes from I Samuel 17 when David fights Goliath.  For 40 days Goliath taunted the army of Israel until David showed up.

You might have some fears that have been taunting your most of your life.  It’s time to get sick and tired of being sick and tired.  It’s time to come eye to eye with your fears that keep you overweight, or bound to your past and to a way of life that wasn’t intended for you.

David shows up on the scene, hears the threats of Goliath and wants to know, “hey, what does the guy get who kills this giant?”

Answer….He gets the princess, a ton of money and a life free from taxes.  He was like, this is a no brainer!  What have you guys been waiting on?!

This is how you should look at the fears that are standing in your way.  Get out there in the arena & wrestle with your giants.  Even if you get some battle scars, it’s worth it!

HOW ARE WE GOING TO SLAY OUR GIANTS?

We must visualize the rewards.

What if that giant was gone in your life?  What if that issue you are struggling with is no more?  How would your home life be, your relationships, your everyday experiences?  For example, when I get past my phobia I will be able to comfort, nurture and bring healing to people.  I will get to do work that I love and that there is a demand for.

You have to do it with courage and commitment.   David knew how to use a sling shot & he ran with it toward the giant.  He had to have been afraid, but he was all in!  Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s feeling the fear but doing it anyway.

There is a saying, when you make up your mind, it’s only a matter of time.  Indecision & 2nd guessing  will never make you a conqueror, but courage and commitment will!

Say some prayers for Healthy Justice;)  This Wednesday is the big day!

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Train Like An Athlete

athlete  Within each of us lies the potential for greatness.  Our bodies yearn to reflect the glory & strength that they were created to reveal.  It is up to each of us as individuals to honor the Creator & allow this beauty to be seen.  Through discipline, hard work & focused commitment we give our bodies an opportunity to rise up to their destiny.

Great athletes set themselves apart in their talent through dedication to their training.  Although their bodies look like they were carved by the gods, it’s not about aesthetics for them, but performance.  They approach every aspect of their training with the mindset to become their personal best.  They give themselves every chance to succeed.  They eat foods that will fuel their goals.  They give their best to the mental and physical aspects of their workouts.  As icing on the cake they get a banging body.

I get that many of us can’t train exactly like an athlete.  We don’t have hours to commit to that type of training regimen each day.  However, we can adopt the mindset of an athlete and give our best to the 3+ hours a week we do have along with the dedication to a healthy lifestyle.

Training tips:

  1. Don’t get hung up on appearance.  It can derail your chances for success.  Instead focus on performing better than your previous workout.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others.  Compete with your best self.
  3. Commit to the process.  Athletes train for years to develop their potential.  Make this a lifestyle.
  4. Focus on improving something about yourself and your workouts.

Be watching for my next post where I will share one of my personal workouts for training like an athlete.

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