When most of people think of being healthy, they usually think of eating a healthy diet and exercising. Although those are very important, they are not the only factors involved in living a vibrant life.

All too often I see people investing a lot of time, energy and money on buying and preparing healthy food or paying for fitness club memberships to exercise only to still be overweight and feel frustrated. I’ve learned, living a healthy, high-energy life requires looking at your whole life, and your whole self, both inside and out.  When we overlook other very important lifestyle factors like getting proper rest, downtime, play, fun and connection we suffer and certainly do not get the lasting results we desire.

How we feel and think on a daily basis are just as important components to our health and looking good as the mechanics of how we move and the food we use to fuel ourselves. In other words, we must think holistically – at our whole lifestyle, mind, body and spirit to be able to achieve the results we want.

When you consider your healthy lifestyle, do you also think about:

  • Your stress level
  • How much recovery and down time you have
  • How you think/your beliefs/self-talk – your anxiety level, optimism, expectations, confidence, etc.
  • Getting regular sunshine
  • Having meaningful relationships with people you care about and trust
  • Connecting with nature regularly
  • Minimizing toxins in both home and personal care and hygiene products 
  • Ensuring you enjoy regular play and fun

Without addressing these lifestyle factors, we will never reach the levels of wellness we aspire to and will be perpetually frustrated and lose our joy (and boy is that unhealthy!).

To make it easy for you, I’ve put together a checklist of four of the key foundational areas to look at when considering your health holistically. Next time you find yourself frustrated or falling short of your goals, have a look at them and see how many you can check off on your list!

Key Lifestyle Area #1: Diet and Nutrition

  • No one-size-fits-all solution – Must learn to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – How You Should Feel After!
  •  Learn about the hormonal impact of food and macronutrients – All calories are NOT created equal!
  • Eat an Ancestral Diet = high in healthy fats, with adequate protein and low in net carbs (no sugar, processed foods, fake foods, etc)
  • Eat REAL FOOD – Eliminate packaged, processed foods, soda, fruit juice, “sports drinks”
  • To achieve ideal weight, you must determine your personal Carbohydrate Threshold or Quotient, eat adequate, high-quality protein and plenty of good fat
  • The longer the shelf life, worse is for you – do a Kitchen Makeover and clean out the crap!
  • Read all labels – Can a Kindergarten kid pronounce the ingredients?
  • Identify personal food intolerances or allergies
  • Make Sure at Least One-Third of Your Food Is Raw
  • Eliminate All Wheat, Gluten, and Highly Allergenic Foods from Your Diet (Wheat, Soy, White flour products (baked goods, cookies, and pastries), Rye, Teff, Spelt, Kamut, Barley, Couscous)
    • Low energy, acne/skin, gastrointestinal problems: bloating, diarrhea, cramping, constipation = symptoms of intolerance
    • Non-gluten grains: Rice, Corn, Buckwheat, Millet
    • Eliminate Transfats -like hydrogenated oils and shortening
  • Understand Serving Sizes and portions
  • Avoid Soy
  • Fast 12 hours
  • Consider Basic Supplements – probiotic, Magnesium, Vitamin C and D
  • Get Adequate Sun Exposure– Optimized vitamin D levels may significantly lessen your risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, age-related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D can also combat infections and control seizures, especially for epileptics.
  • Use The Hunger Scale – (0-10: “0” = stuffed and “10” = famished) eat between a 5-6 -Never get stuffed/Starved. Eat until 80% full and then stop. (for proper digestion, weight loss and energy)
  • SLOW DOWN when you eat. TASTE and CHEW each bite. Never Eat when stressed
  • RX: Drink a minimum of ½ your body weight in ounces of pure water per day.

Key Lifestyle Area #2: Exercise and Movement

  • Vital to life and all proper bodily functions – both physical, mental and emotional
  • The primary benefit of exercise is not necessarily weight loss but instead to make you more sensitive to insulin, burn excess glucose and to engage all your bodily systems and hormones
  • Being fit and losing weight is NOT a matter of “calories in and calories out”. It’s about understanding the different metabolic and hormonal effects of different foods and macro-nutrients as well as ideal exercise timing for maximum effect
  • Exercise format balance = Key. You want VARIETY:
    • High-intensity interval training (HIIT). This requires just 20 to 30 seconds of maximum effort, followed by 90 to 100 seconds of rest. HIIT improves your muscle tone, promotes higher energy levels, enhanced production of the HGH, or human growth hormone, and leads to increased calorie burn.
    • Strength training – Improve muscle strength, tone, and elasticity, create strong connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments, and slow down and even reverse risk of Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
    • Yoga and Active isolated stretching (AIS)
    • Cardiovascular- increases mitochondria, oxygen transport and circulation/detox
    • Balance, Agility, Speed and Power

Key Lifestyle Area #3: Proper Sleep and Rest

  • Ideal amount of sleep per night = 8 hours minimum
  • Sleep is essential for proper repair and revitalization of all body cells, tissues, organs and systems
  • Needed for detoxification and anti-aging
  • Deficiency can lead to weight gain (because levels of appetite-inducing hormones rise) and affects brain, reducing ability to think and focus also increases sugar/carb cravings when sleep deprived
  • Lack of proper sleep is associated with higher risk of depression and chronic diseases – diabetes, cardiovascular and heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer
  • Resting as needed is part of the repair and rebuild requirement of your body. Listen to it and slow down, unplug and rest as needed – with NO GUILT! We are not machines. We are human!

Tips for Getting Great Sleep

  1. Expose yourself to sunlight during the day – especially in the morning. This will increase your serotonin and happy chemicals.
  2. Refraining from using electronics at least 2 hours before bedtime: TV, computer, phone (emit blue light that tricks your brain into thinking that it’s still daytime – hinders the pineal gland from secreting melatonin at an optimal time, usually between 9 and 10 pm.)
  3. Establish “wind-down” routine. The body likes routine.
  4. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  5. Sleep in complete darkness – melatonin, reduces body temperature and hunger and optimizes your circadian and improves gene expression and cellular growth and repair as well.
  6. Keep room cool/fresh air: Ideal room temperature = 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit
  7. Taking a warm bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime – raises your core body temperature,  when you get out of the bath, the temperature drops, signaling your body that you’re ready for sleep.
  8. Exercise contributes to better sleep but ideally not within 3-4 hours of bedtime.
  9. Nap wisely: taking long naps during the day disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm, or your body’s internal clock. Ideally, keep naps  a maximum of 20 minutes, at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
  10. Don’t eat  3 hours before bedtime, otherwise the digestive process can interfere with your natural sleep cycles
  11. Listen to meditation or relaxation CDs before bed to help unwind
  12. Do 5 minutes of deep breathing at bedtime
  13. Use aromatherapy/essential oils like Lavender, Serenity, Peace and Calming or Sandlewood – either diffused or topically
  14. Get a massage at the end of the day
  15. Read a relaxing book
  16. Pray
  17. Write an “End of the Day Gratitude List” of all the things you were grateful for that day (no matter how small!)
  18. Journal – write your thoughts and emotions to get them out of your head and help you process, release and reframe them
  19. Drink hot water with lemon before bed or Chamomile tea
  20. See Foundation #4 below (you need a fun/stress outlet so you can rest)

Key Lifestyle Area #4: Regular Play and Social Connection

  1. Make a Happiness/Fun List of things you love to do and that make you feel good
  2. This is important for your mental and emotional health and your overall quality of life.
  3. Research has shown that strong social ties and connections are as powerful for promoting good health as exercising regularly and not smoking
  4. Getting regular play and fun promotes creativity and problem-solving
  5. Fun is one of the best (and cheapest) anti-aging potions we know of!
  6. They are powerful stress-relievers
  7. They prevent overindulging in “naughty” foods, activities and emotions due to “lack of fun and fulfillment” in your overall life
  8. We evolved with tribes. We are social beings and it’s in our DNA to connect and collaborate with others. Loneliness and feelings of isolation are very damaging to the heart and blood vessels.
  9. Strong social ties give meaning to our lives
  10. All work and no play make you a dull person 🙂

After over 25 years in the health and fitness industry and with varying degrees of success, including performing for large audiences, spots on National television and commercials, modeling/magazine cover features and being a guest consultant on radio shows, what I’ve learned is that no matter how high the perceived level of the accomplishment, you can’t truly enjoy any achievement and have a sense of rest and peace in your heart until you first do these two critical things:

1. You know who you are – without all of the societal programing, expectations and people-pleasing 

2. Line your mind up with your emotions, feelings and beliefs with your body, energy and spirit.

You see, you can do all the “right” things:

  • follow the toughest, most scientific workout program
  • commit to the strictest diet
  • and even have the “perfect” life on the outside with the perfect body, house, car, job, kids…or whatever

…but until you get your mind right and address your Emotional Fitness, which I like to think of as:

  • knowing who you are
  • what’s really important to you
  • what’s driving you and your behavior
  • how you think
  • what you believe
  • what your values are
  • what you focus on
  • how you process emotions
  • how you talk to yourself

…and then utilize the habits, tools and techniques you need so you can live in accordance with these components, I guarantee you will continue to spin your wheels, your results will not last very long, you will always feel like it’s “hard” or a struggle and you will even feel miserable, deprived, a loss of freedom and/or at the very least unfulfilled at a gut level.

Well I’m here to let you know the good news: There is a better way – and it’s A LOT easier than you think! And I know because I’ve lived it myself.

That’s why my passion – my mission – is to help share what I’ve learned to help others struggling with the same issues by creating products, eBooks, workshops, classes and events that address these issues and help share the habits, techniques and tools I’ve discovered to harmonize them.

I would love to connect with YOU and hope to meet you in person one day and hear your story. I know we can learn from each other and we might even have some fun along the way. I sure would be honored to share this crazy this crazy thing called Life with you!

Flyer CWR 12 Spirituall Laws of Success Workshop Sept 2016

In this fun group meeting you will learn the keys to manifesting desires:

  • Whether it be a more fit and healthy body
  • A new job
  • Better relationship
  • or simply living with more joy

… this workshop will focus on the 12 key universal laws of success.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC yet space is limited therefore registration is recommended

You can save your spot either IN PERSON at the club, ONLINE HERE or on our PHONE APP, “Miami Fitness” under “Special Events”

WhyEmotional-First-Aid-Paperback is our physical health more important than our Emotional Fitness and Psychological Health?

Why is it we have medicine cabinets for common physical injuries like cuts and colds but no toolkits for common psychological injuries such as failure, rejection, guilt, and loss?  

Well, now we do!

You know by now to be truly “fit” we need to close the gap between our physical and emotional health or we will never have real, sustained wellness and happiness.

Thank you Dr. Guy Winch for your important and powerful work and book: Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt and Failure and Other Every Day Hurts. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of this book is how it talks about that LONELINESS HAS BEEN SHOWN TO ACTUALLY KILL YOU and distorts our thinking from reality. And I love how most importantly, Dr. Winch teaches us how to overcome the unwanted feelings and what to do about it.

Chronic loneliness increases the likelihood of an early death by 14% and causes high bp, high cholesterol and suppresses the immune system functioning!

Plus scientists now regard chronic loneliness to be as significant a risk to long term health as cigarettes!

This is why we must prioritize our psychological health.

Each chapter in Emotional First Aid is dedicated to a specific common emotional wound; how the injury impacts us in the short term and the long-term psychological fallout that results if we leave it untreated. The second part of each chapter offers concrete, easy-to-use treatments, all of which are backed up by hard cutting-edge science and illustrated by fascinating stories about real patients, amazing psychological experiments, and garnished with a dose or two of humor. Emotional First Aid is a psychological medicine cabinet, a tool kit that can protect our mental health and increase our emotional resiliency.

Get that GLOW and radiate from within 🙂 Time to create the life you’ve always wanted: One with more clarity, peace of mind, fun, love, fulfillment and joy!

This is a fun and amazing group of women who get together in a casual setting to share our strength, wisdom, inspiration and support of each other. We are a mixed group of all different ages and backgrounds who are united in our common goals of striving being the best we can be while learning, growing and loving the lives we live as well as the people who we share our lives with.

We meet about once per month on various topics of mind-body health and wellness. We think you will find us very warm and fuzzy!

GO TO CALENDAR PAGE FOR NEXT MEETING DATE

Location:

Miami Fitness & Lifestyle

202 Sutton St.

North Andover, MA 01845

*OPEN TO THE PUBLIC but space is limited – Pre-Registration Required to reserve your spot

*Plus to help keep the fun and momentum going in between our meetings, you will be automatically included in our private Facebook group so you can share and connect with others 24/7, whenever you want!

“I got such a sense of hope that it IS possible to be my true self by being true to myself. Not needing outside validation but being able to validate myself. I am just so excited to continue on with awakening the divine feminine and learning more about myself in this process!! Thank you so much!! I’ll see you next class!” – Rhianna Casale, Derry, New Hampshire

“I have felt so much more sure of myself since I started with this group. I know I now have the tools to build myself stronger again.” -Sarah Terrazzano, Groveland, MA

“OMGEEEEE – feeling amazing! Went home feeling peaceful and ready to take on myself. And still feeling good!” – Lisa Belfiore, Plaistow, NH

“Awakening Your Divine Feminine is a fantastic program! Since beginning this journey, I have felt more joy, am more centered and now have additional tools at my disposal for personal growth as a human and as a woman. It’s an inspirational community of women exploring their divine nature: a community of sharing!” – Joanne K., Georgetown, MA

“I entered the workshop feeling unbalanced and left feeling nurtured, calm and collected.” – J. M., Andover, MA

*LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE: Registration is dependent on payment in advance. Walk-ins only if space allows or amy@amyfournier.com with questions.

Join us today!

“Uggh, I shouldn’t have eaten that!”
“I look so fat in these pants!”

How many times do you speak badly to or about yourself each day?

You know, that constant mental chatter of the little voice in your head that seems to always be judging and criticizing what you do and how you look?

We all know we shouldn’t talk badly about or to ourselves but most of us still do.

Worst of all, often we do it so automatically that we don’t even realize how many of our thoughts are negative!

Whether it’s judging a body part you don’t like or berating yourself for a “stupid” off-the-cuff comment you made when you where overtired and irritable, these split second, negative thoughts kill your confidence, damage your spirit and steal your joy!

That’s why I’ve come up with this cheap and easy little method that can help you break this bad habit…fast!

I call it The Elastic Band Exercise and it goes like this:

Simply put an elastic band around your wrist, then every time you say or think something negative, judgmental or mean about yourself pull it out far from your wrist and let it go…then…”SNAP!”… OOOUCH you will be (painfully) aware of the fact that you just did something hurtful to yourself!

Coolest part is, you will also become aware of just how often you say negative things about yourself because every time you do you will be painfully reminded.

Now that’s what I call a mind-body connection!

You see friends, health is an inside-out job.

It’s more than just eating salads and exercising regularly: we have to also get our minds right and control how we think and talk about ourselves and the things that happen to us in our lives because how we think directly affects how we feel and how we feel determines our life experience and ultimately how “happy” we are.

So please try my Elastic Band Exercise and remember: To be fit and happy, be kind to #1 first…which is YOU! 🙂

xo