August 20th, 2014

How sleep affects cravings, weight and running performance

I’m excited to kick off the reset in a few weeks with many of you! The group support and accountability is one of the best aspects of this group- it always amazes me.

Making good choices for our health is more complicated than just food.   A few months ago, I wrote a post on 7 Reasons Distance Runners Struggle to Lose Weight.  One of the pieces I want to expand on is sleep.

It’s on my mind. As a mom to a 3 week old, I’m not getting a whole lot of it these days.  :)

As a culture, we are chronically sleep deprived (and dream deprived).  We find ways of dealing with this with stimulants (hello, caffeine and sweets!) in the morning or afternoon and depressants (alcohol, sleep medications) in the evening.  Dr. Rubin Naiman considers this the “medicalization” of sleep and calls it dangerously unhealthy.

How Sleep affects cravings, weight and athletic performance

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Us?

Lack of sleep has implications for our health on all levels, but I’m going to focus particularly on  food cravings, weight management and running performance

These three are all closely connected.  When we are sleep deprived, our appetite regulating hormones are suppressed (grehlin and leptin) so we don’t feel full and satisfied as we normally would.  Our bodies are looking for quick energy to feel better, so we generally crave sweet foods and processed carbohydrates (cereal, crackers, granola bars, etc).  Both of these are broken down into simple sugars in the body that spike our blood sugar and give us an instant pick-me-up, but soon drop off leaving us in a slump again and looking for more carbohydrates and sugar.

(Have you experienced this? It’s the story of my life these days running on broken sleep! I’m drawn to carbohydrates and sugar like crazy.)

Cortisol, the stress hormone, also rises when we are sleep deprived which can cause the body to store more fat and inhibits weight loss.  This, plus the combination of poorly regulated appetite hormones and excess sugar can lead to a much more difficult time managing weight. Many studies have been done on this topic and you can read more on sleep loss and the weight connection here.

In terms of running and training, you can run a good race on a few nights of rocky sleep.  But constant sleep deprivation will affect your training, recovery and overall performance.  This article has more research and details on the running-sleep connection.

Beyond those areas, sleep is essential for strong immunity, mental sharpness and clarity, better mood, improved memory, less inflammation and is associated with a longer lifespan.

Sometimes, sleep is out of our control.  I can’t do a whole lot about night time wakings until my baby is a little older and sleeping better.  But when it is in your control, tone down the stimulants and depressants to allow your body to find it’s natural rhythms.  Turn off the electronics, set up healthy sleep habits, have a regular bedtime routine and attempt to go to bed earlier.  It pays off!

How much sleep do you get?

Have you noticed lack of sleep affecting your appetite, cravings and/or training?


August 18th, 2014

Reset your metabolism - 21 day Reset Challenge

Hi friends,

Back in January, I kicked off the first Reset (whole foods) challenge as a way to clean up our eating after the holidays and eliminate sugar overgrowth in the gut, sharing simple holistic health tips in daily emails. Those little changes can make a big difference.  It was so rewarding to see the many success stories and “aha” moments!

In April, I hosted the second challenge with an emphasis on detoxifying our bodies and unclogging the liver (spring is the ideal time for this!) Again, we had a fantastic time supporting each other and learning how different foods made us feel as we slowly added things back in.

Now it’s time for round three… for September, the focus will be on our metabolism and I’ll be sharing some of the “health” foods that can wreak havoc on your system.

Let me tell you, I am in need of this! The breast feeding hunger is crazy and I’m not making the best choices these days. Less sleep always leads to more snacking and sweets for me, too.  I’m ready to clean up my eating (while obviously keeping my intake very high for milk supply).

September 21 Day Reset

Each reset challenge has new recipes and a 21 day sample meal plan, so you can absolutely repeat the challenge.  I find every 3-4 months is an ideal time for a “reset” and plan to continue the January, April, September schedule.

You can check out some of the success stories from April’s challenge here.


As in the other challenges, you will receive a 21 day sample meal plan, recipes, grocery lists plus bonus tips in daily emails

This reset will also include information on the health foods that harm metabolism and a meal replacement list with suggestions for alternatives.

Everyone has the option to participate in a private Facebook group for additional support to share successes, challenges, recipes, tips, etc.

The challenge will run from Monday, September 8th- Sunday, September 28th.

The first 20 participants can use the code “earlybird” for a $10 discount.

Ready to join us?

Find all the details and register here!


Have you ever done a reset or clean eating challenge?

What time of year do you find most challenging to eating well?



August 17th, 2014

Easing back to running post-partum + Meal Plan Link Up

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I started slowing getting back to jogging this week (baby J’s 3rd week). I had some questions about waiting until 6 weeks or how to know you’re ready, and wanted to briefly address that here.

The danger in sharing all of my workouts of course [...]

August 15th, 2014

My Successes with Essential Oils + Giveaway

Hi everyone,

I wanted to follow up on some of my earlier posts about how I’m using essential oils and answer some of the questions I’ve gotten about them.

I started consistently using oils about 6-7 months ago, and wrote this post on how I’m using essential oils with kids…

and how I was [...]

August 13th, 2014

3 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse + WIAW

Happy Wednesday! I’m finally sharing a What I ate Wednesday post again, along with an old favorite recipe I rediscovered.

I’ve been craving chocolate lately. And creamy desserts. And healthy fat.

In the fall I was making this chocolate mousse and I had completely forgotten about it!

It’s so easy and really delicious. I managed [...]

August 11th, 2014

Marvelous weekend

I have so much to be thankful for these days. And that’s not to say that these days are without their challenges and exhaustion, but I’m making a point to focus on the good.

Marvelous is…


Seriously. First mine were here for a week, feeding us and cleaning the house and driving L back [...]

August 10th, 2014

Meal planning link up

The days are all running together for me… how is it Sunday again already?

Not much has changed since last week. I’m still aiming for a short walk each day, but only a mile or two. And if I miss it, that’s fine. Maybe this next week I’ll start to feel like going further or [...]

August 8th, 2014

Life with a 10 day old (Baby and Mama)

Well, we made it to the ten day mark and I thought I should check in with a little update. I’m always curious how moms are doing in those early weeks… the newborn stage is tough. Well, tough for me. Some women love it! But I find it much easier to have an older child [...]

August 6th, 2014

3 Strength Moves to Improve Your Running Form

A huge thank you to my sweet friend Lindsay for sharing here today! She and her pro triathlete husband have some great advice for improving your running form, which can decrease injuries and make you a faster, stronger runner.

Hi there friends. My name is Lindsay Cotter and I blog over at Cotter Crunch [...]

August 4th, 2014

The Birth Story

This is probably going to be lengthy, so settle in if you want all the details. If not, I’ll be back into more “normal” blogging soon. I’m also linking up with Katie today.

My due date was Friday, August 1st. On Monday, July 28th I went for a slow four mile jog to see if [...]

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