weight loss

Meal Planning: My top 6 tips

Hey guys,

Last week’s theme was meal planning inside of Tara Allen Health. It came as the result of a poll I posted on social about what you guys wanted more help with. You ask, I provide! ;-)

Before you make your next meal plan - or first meal plan - check out my latest video complete with my top 6 tips for meal planning when you’re reaching for a health or body transformation goal.

Health + gratitude,

Tara

P.S. Both my kiddos make quite the appearance in this video. If you don’t like noise or chaos, skip this video! :-)

Are you tired of the weekday restriction / weekend indulgence cycle?

Happy Monday!

Or should I say, "Happy 3.5 days until it's weekend mode"?!

If you're like many of the ladies I talk to, you might find yourself stuck in a weekday restriction / weekend indulgence cycle.

This is you if you recommit to a "plan" every Monday that's unmanageable enough to have you breaking up with said plan by week's end. Then one happy hour, a baby shower, and a big Sunday dinner leaves you feeling bloated and unhappy with your affinity to overdue it every. single. weekend.

Or maybe you're experiencing shorter cycles - daily cycles. You restrict most of the day only to find yourself out of control by the time the sun goes down.

There are many reasons for this happening and, thankfully, many tools we can put in place to be able to take back control. Side note: make sure you're popping inside my Facebook group, Healthy, Fit, & Strong with Tara Allen Health often so you don't miss any of these tools!

For today's purpose, I want to focus on one, important tool…MODERATION.

Moderation is a word we hear tossed around all the time and often think it's for those of us who are already at our goals, right? Like, can you possibly practice moderation AND STILL make more progress?

Yup!

In fact, you'll be making it much easier to reach your goals if you practice moderation.

Moderation in this case means allowing some "fun foods" into the mix on any day that ends in a "y" if you feel like it.

Moderation means no foods are off limits (unless, of course, it's an allergy or sensitivity that will make you feel like garbage - totally not worth it).

But just because something might be higher in calories, or more rich, or higher in carbs…it doesn't mean it should be shunned Monday through Thursday only for you to be left pining for it come Friday night. I see you chocolate, wine, chips and dip, ice cream...

Is there a way you can nourish your body and also allow a little flexibility for some things that you really enjoy?

If this is something you struggle with, you're like 90% of the people I know. ;-) Leave a comment below and let me know. I'd love to help you get to a place where you're not just comfortable with moderation, but you enjoy it and thrive with it.

In health + happiness,
Tara

Fat loss is just ONE reason to optimize health...and not even the best one.

There are a million reasons to optimize your health…and fat loss is just one.


"But Tara, aren't you really into body love and body positivity and body neutrality…?"

YUP!

"But Tara, are you saying it's ok to want to lose excess body fat too?"

YUP!

"Ummm…is that confusing?"

Nope! I mean, typing this email in the third person in hopes that it's as entertaining to you as it is to me right now is a little confusing. But fully embracing body love / positivity / neutrality alongside believing wholeheartedly that we all have the right to choose whatever goals we want to work on for ourselves? That's not confusing to me in the least!

If you want to hear 12 minutes of my thoughts on the topic, check out this recent video.

Or, just understand that fat loss is just one of many reasons to optimize health. Fat loss is not particularly motivating either in the long-run. So, if you want to stay in the game for a while, you may want to consider chasing some additional goals. I just saved you the 12 minutes. You're welcome. :-D

If you fall in the camp of women that do have fat loss as a goal, but also would like to focus on feeling better, improving your energy, and living long enough to watch your grandkids drive your own kiddos crazy, leave me a comment. Tell me your goals. The simple act of writing them out and sharing them with someone (me!) will help you to get started.

XO,

Tara

The 5 things you need for a health + body transformation

Hey there,

There are 5 things you need to have a successful health / body transformation.

And it's not kale….or kettle-bells. ;-)

CHECK OUT MY LATEST VIDEO (below) where I cover these 5 'things'.

These are not traits as most people believe, but SKILLS that can be practiced and developed over time. Pour your attention into these 5 areas and watch how successful your journey becomes.

Short on time? I get it! (I really do). Try this: LISTEN to the video instead of watching. Multitask while commuting or folding laundry or stretching.

Or, just check out this brief overview to get an idea...

The 5 things you need for the most amazing health + body transformation to take place:

1) Confidence. Build trust in yourself by taking baby steps and actually doing what you say you'll do. Confidence builds and you can set bigger goals at that point.

2) Discipline. Motivation comes LATER. Before motivation there is discipline - like the less fun but just as effective coworker that seems to always get the job done. ;-) Do the things that you don't want to do (if they will ultimately help you). Go for that walk. Lift those weights. Eat the spinach. Whatever.

3) Perspective. All goals boil down to how you want to feel. No one cares how much you weigh…not even you! What you care about is how you think you'll feel when you get there. Zone in on that feeling you're going for. Connect to it. Stay focused on that.

4) Grace. If you beat yourself up after 'making a mistake', your brain will try to make itself feel better by doing things that aren't serving you (stress / emotional eating, skipping your workouts in favor of Netflix and couch, etc.) Giving yourself grace tells your brain it's not under attack and therefore, it doesn't need to seek out comfort in other ways. Isn't neuroscience fascinating?!?

5) Fail forward. Everything is a chance to learn. Don't rob yourself of those learning opportunities by aiming for perfection. Things WILL NOT always go your way. That's a blessing! Because now, you get a chance to be curious about what went down, create a new game plan, and try that on for size the next time you encounter that situation (think weight loss during the holidays, vacation, illness, busy time at work, etc.)

You DO NOT need to be born with these traits or be a master at them yet. We all have these baby seeds inside of us ready to grow!

I'd love to hear from YOU. Which one of these 5 things do you struggle with the most? Drop a comment below.

Health + Happiness,

Tara

Your Type A-ness is interfering with your results

Are you a ‘control freak’?

I am too! Well, trying hard to let go a bit, but it’s definitely a part of my personality. And just in case it’s a part of yours, too, I wanted to share why you may be finding that you’re successful in other areas of your life - career, family, business, relationships - but can’t seem to figure out how to hack your way into the health or body goals you have set for yourself.

That’s why I recorded a live workshop video for you on exactly this topic. And as always, I share in the video what you can do about it; how to learn to work WITH your personality type. ;-)

In good health,

Tara

You are creating a new habit NOW....and now....and again now!

You're either creating new habits or reinforcing old ones every single day!



NOT working out is actually a habit. Yelling at your kids… a habit. Snacking at night, avoiding new situations like the plague, complaining to anyone who will listen, stopping at the drive-thru, your 3 PM coffee….all habits.


I'm not one to judge what your habits are. No way! I'm busy working on optimizing mine - and teaching you what I learned from years of coaching myself and others.


Here's what you need to know if you are actively pursuing something greater for yourself...


Your brain does not know the difference between a "bad" habit and a "good" one. It just likes to create systems (a.k.a. habits) for efficiency out of anything you do - or DON'T do - often.


The first time you walked, you had to try hard. Same thing went for brushing your teeth, tying your shoes, and your first commute to work.


The best part is that our brains can be 'rewired' at any time! You get to upgrade your habits whenever the heck you want to.


Here's how:


1) Keep doing the thing you want to become a habit. Understand that it will feel hard for a while, but eventually it WILL become second nature. You are in control here. Stick with it.


2) Celebrate every baby step towards your progress. Yes, it'll make you smile in the moment. But here's what's even better than that - your brain will start to associate your new habit with the feel-good hormones you get from the feeling of pride and hope. This is the best way to fast-track your way towards turning that action into a habit because our brain is always seeking out the things that leave us feeling good.

What’s one habit you’re currently working on?! I’d love to hear about it!

If you’d like to join my newsletter list, where I share healthified recipes, more video trainings on wellness and weight loss, and other tips and resources for you on your health journey, come on over! You’ll get an instant download of my favorite 3-day plant-based meal plan for losing body fat. It’s a great way to kick off some results or just get to experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen. Enjoy!

In good health,

Tara

30-second change to supercharge weight loss and health

Do you have a minute to dedicate to your goals?


How about half a minute?

I'm not going to tell you to give up soda or do lunges in your living room for 30-seconds - not today, anyway. ;-) Today, I want you to take a quick inventory of your self-talk. More specifically, I want you to hone in on negative self-talk.

So many times every single day I hear the following from women:

"I am lazy."
"I am out of shape."
"I can't…"
"It's too hard."
"I've never been able to…."

This negative self-talk does 2 things:

1) It makes your brain UNHAPPY, sending it on the hunt to find comfort as soon as possible. For most people I know, food and/or alcohol are quick fixes here. Comfort is a negative sum game. Meaning, your brain WILL get the comfort from somewhere if you've put yourself under attack.

2) It forces you to identify as the person you are feeling like you are. If you think it's too hard, it WILL feel too hard. If you think you're out of shape, you will collect plenty of evidence to prove you are "out of shape". From this place, are you making decisions and taking actions that will propel you forward towards your goals?

Nope.

Here's the 30-second trick…every time you catch yourself thinking or saying out loud something negative about you, your body, or your health, I want you to pause and replace that thought with something that's positive (or at least neutral).

This is what that looks like:

"Tara, you're so lazy! You've been sitting on the couch after work every single night this week."

Pause. Take a breath. Then say, "It's ok that you've sat on the couch because maybe you needed the rest. Now you can get up and go for the walk." (neutral)

OR...

"You're not lazy! Remember that time when you worked full-time and went to school full-time when 9 months pregnant?!" (positive)


It will feel really awkward at first. Then you might start to feel like you want to beat yourself up for the negative self-talk in the first place, but don't! Simply replacing the old thought by telling yourself the new thought right after will start to help you think differently.


When you think differently, you won't be self-sabotaging as often (hello full-pint ice cream Netflix nights!) and you'll be in a better state to gain momentum.


Change your brain, change your life! So, whaddya say?! Are you in?

Warm Apple Salad

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Ready for a new side dish?



Warm Apple Salad
Makes 4 servings



Ingredients:

4 to 5 cups loosely packed spinach or spring mix salad blend
1 lemon, zested and juiced (separated)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt to taste
¼ cup onion, chopped
4 apples, sliced
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. Wash the greens and place in a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the garlic into the lemon juice. Stir in the sea salt and lemon zest. Whisk in the olive oil until it’s emulsified into a vinaigrette.

3. Pour half the dressing over the spinach and toss well. 

4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add in the onion, cooking until translucent and slightly caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add in the apples, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Toss in the pumpkin seeds to warm.

5. Add the onion-apple-pumpkin seed mixture to the spinach. Add the rest of the vinaigrette and more salt if desired. Serve and enjoy!



In good health,
Tara


P.S. I have just 1 (but I can be talked into 2) spots left for 1-on-1 coaching in June. If you are interested in learning more, you are welcome to schedule a free 15-minute call. We'll chat about your goals and what you need and find out if it's the right fit for us to work together.


P.P.S. If you prefer to check out some details - including the cost - on your own first, I totally get that! I'm the same way. ;-) Check out my 1-on-1 virtual coaching package here.

5 pillars every weight loss program needs to have (that no experts are talking about)

WHAT IF YOU ARE MOTIVATED TO MAKE A CHANGE, BUT NEED SOME GUIDANCE?!?

In another recent video, I cover the 5 pillars that need to be a part of every healthy + sustainable weight loss program. You don't ever have to pay me a dollar (and I'm gonna keep showing up for you for free anyway!) But, I do want to make sure if you're ready to finally lose the weight once and for all (or otherwise heal your body), that you're going about it with all angles covered. If not by me, then on your own or with help from someone else.

Many nutrition experts just address nutrition.
Fitness experts will tell you it's all in the workout plans.
Occasionally you'll find someone that covers both nutrition and fitness.

But if that was truly all you needed, you'd have accomplished it already, right?!

This is GOOD news! It's actually great news because it means YOU are not broken, but rather the approach you've tried in the past didn't actually get to the root cause of what is going on.

A truly effective coach or weight loss program will cover all of the following - in depth:

  • Mindset (emotional eating, creating new habits, etc.)

  • Mindful eating (slowing down, internal hunger cues)

  • Nutrition (including portions, meal timing, actual real-life recipes)

  • Fitness

  • Lifestyle (sleep and stress play a huge role in healthy weight loss)



A program that thorough is hard to come by. In fairness, I don't know other professionals that are trained in all those areas. So it makes sense. Scope of practice laws are in place to protect us!



If you are interested in hearing more about the 5 pillars…or if you've ever been curious about what it looks like to work 1-on-1 virtually (completely online) with me to make a health transformation, definitely check out the video!

If you are READY to make a change and would like to find out if we are a good fit for working together, you are welcome to schedule a (free) 15-minute call so we can chat about your goals and next steps.

In good health,

Tara

Weight loss and GOOGLE! Huh?!?!

What do Google and weight loss have to do with each other?


You many be thinking, "Nothing!" But hear me out. ;-)


In a recent video workshop, I talk about exactly this - both literally and metaphorically. It's worth the watch (or listen) if you have been feeling a lack of motivation or direction lately in your healthy / weight loss journey.

Come join me inside my FREE, private facebook group for women looking to lose weight in a healthy + sustainable way for more resources, recipes, and video trainings!

In good health,

Tara

3 steps to crush sugar cravings and lose excess body fat

Imagine a life with no cravings!



No, wait…imagine what would happen to your body and your health if the sugar cravings could finally go away!

While there are no magic pills to make such a thing happen, there are definite steps you can take. In my latest Workshop Wednesday video, I shared 3 steps that will get to the root cause of your cravings and help you lose excess body fat. Consider this your road map to start taking action and seeing results!

If you're finding these videos helpful, hop onto my email list to ensure that you don’t miss them! I share healthified + delicious recipes (is there any other way though?!?), workouts, wellness and weight loss video trainings, and new opportunities over there - weekly! And P.S. you’ll receive a super-awesome welcome gift right away when you join. ;-)

CHECK OUT THE (10-min.) VIDEO RIGHT HERE:

Talk soon,

Tara

You don't need more willpower!

Have you been blaming WILL?



Good ol' Will…as in, WILLPOWER…tends to get a bad rap.



Everyone's looking for it. No one has enough. Everyone wants to 'find' more or create more. People are throwing their goals and dreams to the wayside all the while blaming their lack of willpower.



If you've ever found yourself saying, "If I only had more willpower…", then I'm glad this email found you today!



Willpower is actually a limited resource. Meaning, we run out of it fairly quickly due to all of the decisions we go through in a typical day. Those that are killin' it with their goals, getting healthy, fit, and strong all around you - they DO NOT have any more willpower than you do.



Let me say that again…successful people do not have more willpower than you.



So what's the secret? It's actually all about neural pathways. In the non-nerd world, it's also known as HABITS.



Check out my latest Workshop Wednesday video in which I tell you exactly how to make progress towards your goals without needing any willpower. Oh, and have you noticed what's different about my videos these days? They're shorter!! Hallelujah! I've been condensing my videos by shutting up sooner so it's more feasible for you to watch / listen on a weekly basis. ;-)



If you're liking the new, shorter videos, would you do me a favor and hit "reply" to this email and let me know? Of course if you'd rather I babble on forever about your favorite topics, let me know that too. I'm always looking for your feedback so I can best support you in your health & weight loss journey.


In good health,

Tara

P.S. If you need a weekly dose of weight loss and wellness tips, tools, and resources in your life, let’s do it! Join my email list and let me treat you like the VIP you are!



The scale is making you GAIN weight!

Is the scale making you GAIN weight and excess body fat?


You might be surprised to find out that this is, in fact, what's happening for many people - certainly most of the women I work with and speak to.


Check out my latest Workshop Wednesday video to learn how and why and what you can do instead.


And then, get rid of that dang scale if it is affecting you in this way too!

In good health,

Tara

P.S. If you are on a weight loss / fat loss / wellness journey, we should hang out more! Did you know that I share online workshops, recipes, and more tips to help you transform your body + life FOR FREE? Every week?! Join my email list to get in on this and receive a welcome gift immediately! ;-)

FAT LOSS and Meal Timing

Fat loss - when the heck should I eat?


It's a common misconception that we need to be eating a million times a day in order to increase our metabolism and burn more fat.


First of all, let's talk about who is looking to burn more fat? If you are looking to lose weight or even just "tone up"…you're looking to decrease the excess fat you have on your body. 


Watch my latest live video (or just listen - you don't need to see my face) as I get into how to tap into your fat stores to use them up as energy. We're discussing meal timing (when and how often) and we nerd out on what insulin is and the role it plays in fat storage and fat loss. It's a pretty unknown concept to most. Definitely worth the 35 minutes if fat loss is on your agenda!


Here's a quick summary:


1) Insulin is a fat-storage hormone that helps us carry sugar into our cells to use as energy. Whatever we don't use gets stored as fat to use at a later time.


2) If insulin remains elevated, our bodies remain in fat storage mode and do not switch over to fat burning mode.


3) Lowering insulin is what allows us to switch over to fat burning mode. We can lower our insulin by focusing on nutrition upgrades and timing our meals properly (hint: eating every 2 hours will not allow your insulin levels to come down for you to enter fat-burning mode).



Watch or listen to the video for lots more details and for the 3 tips I share at the end so you can get going on your fat loss goals right away!!

In good health,

Tara

P.S. If you’d like a (FREE) 3-day meal plan designed to help you with WHAT to eat and WHEN to eat for healthy fat loss, you can grab that right here! Enjoy!

Metabolism article (with Dr. Axe)!

Hey guys,

Check this out…

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I didn't pick this picture!! :-)


But, I did get to write alongside one of my favorite writers / educators in the holistic health space… Dr. Axe!

The article all about metabolism came out last week in Glam. If you'd like to find out if we are able to improve our own metabolism (spoiler alert: we can!), you can check out the article right here.

In good health,

Tara

P.S. If you struggle with a sluggish metabolism and are looking for a way to kick things in gear, grab my FREE 3-Day Meal Plan!

How to achieve ANY goal you have!

Do you want to lose weight? Do you wish you could eat better more consistently? Have you been putting off your workouts?

In the video below, I share everything you need to know to break down ANY goal you have into action steps and daily practices. I discuss The Habit Loop and The Cycle that you can apply to any area of your life that you’re looking to upgrade.

**Warning: The video gets wonky around minute 4 but then picks up around minute 7 or so. This was a livestream and my internet connection was poor. However, you don’t miss much at all (what the heck was I talking about for those 3 minutes, anyway?!?) and I believe you will gain so much from watching this if you are looking to achieve something in particular.



If you are not on my email list, hop on ASAP so you can receive the companion worksheet I mentioned that’s heading to an inbox near you on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. :-) Sign up right here!

In good health,

Tara

Why my virtual coaching program is 12 months!

Hey people!

Have you ever noticed the ridiculous claims some health and weight loss coaches make?

“Drop 20 pounds in 21 days!”

“Lose 3 pants sizes in a week!”

Blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaah.

Why are we drawn to such statements? Well, because we want to believe it’s true, even though we’re skeptical. The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. The other truth is, even if it DID work that way, when you when back to doing life after the week or 21 days, it would all. come. back (sometimes with interest).

My private, virtual coaching is a longer-term commitment at 12 months and I LOVE IT that way. It works. Check out this video to find out why. :-)

Happy weekend!

In good health,

Tara

Wrapping up 2018 with a WIN

October is HERE!

Isn’t that bananas?! I can’t believe we have entered the final 3 months of the year…the last 90 days…the 4th quarter…

Anywho, here’s what’s awesome about that: YOU get to decide how you want to end 2018. YOU get to choose to hold your head up and see this year out with tons of momentum going into the New Year. The holidays certainly bring up some unique hurdles and traditions, but it never has to mean that they have control over you. Never. YOU are always the one in control.

If you’ve been feeling like you want to focus on something - a goal - to wrap up the year and feel accomplished, then this video is perfect for you. We get into the 7 steps you need to choose what to focus on.

HOW do you want to feel on December 31st as you’re counting down 10-9-8-7…?

HOW do you want to show up for yourself?

HOW do you want your energy, your strength, your immune system, your confidence, your patience, and your life to look? Give yourself the edge this year and COMMIT to something.

It’s your journey. What will you choose?

In good health,

Tara

Is that a protein bar...or a carb bar?

As a health coach - slash - nutritionist - slash - personal trainer - slash - RN, you can imagine that while I work with lots of ‘general health’ requests, weight loss is a top priority for many of my clients.

One of the most common mistakes I see people make on their weight loss journey is mislabeling their food groups. Watch the video below to find out if you, too, are making this common mistake. The good news is that with a few simple swaps, you may be right back on track with your weight loss goals.

If these videos are helping, make sure you sign up for my newsletter list so you don’t miss any!

“See” you soon!

In good health,

Tara

Chia Watermelon Fresca

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Watermelon, watermelon...everywhere!  Want to put this fruit to good use before it's out of season?  Try this deliciously refreshing recipe!

 

Chia Watermelon Fresca (Serves 1)

 

Ingredients: 

• 1 1/2 cups seedless watermelon cubes

• 3 tbsp. water

• 1 tbsp. chia seeds

• 1 slice lime, for garnish

• Sprig of mint, or strawberries, for garnish

• Ice

 

Directions: 

1. In a blender, puree watermelon and water until smooth. 

2. Stir in chia seeds and let them sit for about 5 minutes (to thicken up). 

3. Stir again, and let it thicken for as long as you’d like!

4. Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with lime and sprig of mint or strawberries.

 

Enjoy!

 

In good health,

Tara