Easy stress eating cure + LiveWell360

by Kim on October 24, 2014

So I’ve been obsessively watching this Weight Loss for Women Online Conference the last two days—did you hear about this? It features lots of big name speakers from the blogging/paleo communities, like Mark Sisson, Diane Sanfilippo, Sarah Fragoso, Stefani Ruper, and Katie the Wellness Mama (yes, I’m pretty sure her last name is “the Wellness Mama”).

weight loss

Yesterday was Day 2 of the conference, and I got totally wrapped up in the talk on the psychology of eating with Marc David and Emily Rosen. (Each video is only available for free for 48 hours, so you might still be able to catch it if you go NOW!)

I’ve heard these guys speak before, and was completely enthralled then too. Emily has actually gained and lost 100 pounds multiple times, and researched her way through the whole thing, so she’s definitely earned her expertise in the area.

When you factor in the whole mental aspect of weight loss, everything becomes so much more complex—and then you look back at the old “move more and eat less” philosophy, and it just sounds sort of ridiculous. Of course it’s not that easy, or we’d all have it figured out by now.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, I can summarize it for you really easily:

Stress is bad. Stress while eating is really, really bad. And if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s catastrophic.

Here are some of the main thoughts I jotted down while listening (only because I’m an obsessive note-taker and started doing it without thinking):

–We all naturally seek pleasure in eating. When we’re stressed (even if we don’t “think” we’re stressed), the body is desensitized to pleasure.

When we can’t get pleasure from our food, we naturally eat more in a subconscious attempt to find it.

–Being in a state of stress and/or having a lack of “awareness” during meals leads to an inability for the body to take in nutrition. So even if you eat the healthiest meal in the world, your body can’t fully benefit from it if you’re also stressed.

–We think our weight loss failures are a lack of willpower, but our physiology will always beat out our psychology. We can’t override the body’s natural tendencies with simple good intentions—aka willpower is not enough, and not the problem.

Stress wipes out healthy gut bacteria. Marc mentioned a study in Russia, where Russian fighter pilots had their gut bacteria measured before and after a stressful mission. The study found that one stressful event can wipe out 90% of healthy gut bacteria.

–For people who are “doing everything right” and still not losing weight, the culprit is almost always stress.

What to do:

Emily talked about doing some deep breathing before meals, to force the body to switch out of stress mode and into relaxed, weight-loss-friendly mode. Just 6-10 long, slow breaths is all it takes. (Isn’t it wild that breathing can do that?)

There were some other really interesting points in the talk too, like Marc and Emily’s take on the fight or flight thing. They claimed that it’s actually fight or flight or FREEZE—which gave me a huge lightbulb moment.

Do you ever have times when you have so much to do that you can’t do anything? You’re totally paralyzed, have no idea where to start, and end up on the couch in front of the TV? That’s the freeze response—or playing dead in nature, which looks like apathy in our daily lives. It usually comes right after a super stressful time.

Anyway, I could go on all day, but you should definitely check out the video, and the entire conference, if you’re interested in this stuff. I seriously eat it up (pun intended).

In other news, I wanted to formally introduce you to my new gym-slash-diaper bag (it happens to be perfect for both equally-stinky purposes):


LiveWell360 was so kind to send me their Accel bag to review, and I could not be more impressed. The first thing you notice about it is that it’s crazy heavy duty—just look at these seatbelt straps!


Perfect for rolling around in the car, getting jammed into a tiny locker, and then stuffed into a closet at home. (Or maybe everyone else is kind to their gym gear?)

Then there are the pockets—honestly, so many (13!) that it’s almost overwhelming, and puts my organizational freak tendencies on overdrive. (Must use ALL THE POCKETS.) There’s even a removable divider in the middle (it attaches to the velcro strips you see below) that’s designed to keep your clean clothes separate from your stanky stuff.


(But I could also see it being great for separating dirty diapers from clean baby clothes and bottles…just saying.)

Before every workout (or outing with kids—same thing), you should always read your gym bag for motivation.

The other thing I love about this bag is its size. It holds quite a bit of stuff while somehow staying extremely compact. NOT that this is a diaper bag, but I’m reminded of the fact that my diaper bag inexplicably bloats to giant duffle bag proportions after I insert one small travel container of wipes.

One final underrated feature: the Accel can sit up. It’s structured. I hate when you’re trying to dig in a bag and it’s just flopping all over the place.

livewell 360

I know it’s a little early to be thinking Christmas (nah, I just said that to fit in—I’d put our tree up tomorrow if my husband would let me), but this bag would be a great gift idea. There’s the versatility factor (I will NOT say diaper bag again…) and it’s a great way to encourage fitness without giving a gift that seems to subtly say “it wouldn’t hurt for you to get a little more active.” (That’s you, home workout DVDs.)

Plus, LiveWell360 is a respected name in the gym bag world, so giving this bag as a gift serves the dual purpose of simultaneously impressing people with your fitness knowledge. (haha!)

P.S. Use this link to get 15% off your purchase!!

Naturally, the bag photo shoot eventually morphed into a fall family shoot…



Any other tricks for managing stress eating?

Do you ever notice yourself having the freeze response in life?

Do you have a favorite gym bag? What do you love about it?


Disclaimer: LiveWell360 sent me a complimentary bag in exchange for my honest review. They didn’t tell me what to say, and I received no additional compensation.

Have a great weekend!




Reebok finds and a 3-day strength program

by Kim on October 21, 2014

Hey guys! Thanks for the encouragement yesterday on my BodyFlow cert! I already have my first team teaching gig set up for this Sunday—and yes, I’m terrified. Please don’t mess up, please don’t mess up, please don’t mess up…

On a positive note, if I do mess up, I’m guessing no one but the other instructor will notice. (As long as I can avoid screaming OH CRAP and melting down on stage.)

Here’s a nice little perk of instructor-hood: the DISCOUNTS! I knew about the Lululemon fitness instructor discount (10% I think?), but I didn’t realize we got 25% off at Reebok too. I’m already eyeing up this hoodie, which my instructor was rocking all the weekend at BodyFlow training.

yoga hoodie

It says GA on the back…(get it? I didn’t for a long time, haha). And the hood turns into a big, cozy cowl neck—love it!

I’m also digging these cloud leggings:

cloud leggings

I think I’m the only person on earth (or at least in the blogging world) who doesn’t own a pair of funky printed leggings. Am I missing out or what?

Today has been a good day so far. This morning was story hour at Barnes and Noble, which is the highlight of our Tuesdays over here.


I just have to say, I’ve been loving being a stay-at-home mom to a toddler. It’s just a lot more fun than when it was just me and a baby. There are so many more activities we can participate in around town, plus I have someone to talk to all day—even if he is 2 and pronounces laundry “yang-yee” (one of my favorites, haha).


I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do when Joshua grows out of his sleep-anywhere-anytime newborn stage and needs a morning nap in his crib. It’s a huge luxury right now to be able to pile the kids into the car and be gone all morning, knowing that Josh will sleep and Mason doesn’t need to.


Something else I wanted to share today was the strength program I put together for myself recently. I just finished reading The New Rules of Lifting for Women (great read!!), and was thinking about diving into their program, but I didn’t love everything about it. So, I decided to flex my personal training muscles a little bit and write my own.

There are basically two approaches to strength training: you can do circuits, where you work multiple muscle groups at a time and end up with shorter, more intense workouts, or you can do split training, where you work different muscle groups on different days.

I couldn’t decide which approach I liked better (there are pros and cons to each, of course) so I took the easy way out and just combined them. This program starts with the same (super challenging) circuit every day, and then dives into some split work, which changes each day. Bookending all that is a quick warm-up and some core work.

Check it out and feel free to give it a shot if you’re looking for something new! All you need is a set of moderately heavy dumbbells (8-15 lbs. – I use mostly my 10’s and 15’s, although I wish I had some 12’s).

3 Day Strength Program

The days are meant to be spread out in a week, with rest days in between, like WMF or T/Th/Sat.

If you try this, I’d love to hear about it! It’s one of my new go-to’s.

Hope you’re having a great week!




Les Mills BodyFlow training

October 20, 2014

Hey guys! I’m taking a day off from my Monday inspo boards (hope you don’t mind!) because I have more exciting things to talk about…specifically: I made it through Les Mill BodyFlow training!! And I even passed—3/3, woohoo! Check out this shot of our awesome group: Notice anything weird? …Yeah. We’re all wearing wings. Glittery […]

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Friday Faves: blog summit, sticky socks, and my first PSL

October 17, 2014

Helloooo Friday! Typically, I’d be thrilled about another weekend, but this is going to be a long one for me with BodyFlow training. I’m still excited, but, you know…I’m definitely not looking at a sit-on-the-couch-and-browse-Pinterest-with-a-giant-cup-of-coffee weekend. I got an email from my instructor with last-minute instructions, including some thoughts on our track presentations. In her […]

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Les Mills BodyFlow training prep

October 16, 2014

Wow, I can’t believe my Les Mills BodyFlow training is only two days away already! Yiiiiikes. As part of training, I have to present two tracks to the class, which means I have to memorize them in advance. I was assigned the hip opener and abs tracks. (Great, make the woman who just had a […]

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Halloween and food allergies

October 14, 2014

As a food allergy mom, Halloween stresses me out. We haven’t had to fully address it yet, since Mason is only 2, hates wearing costumes, and doesn’t like candy (or, really, hasn’t been exposed to it). But eventually, I know it’s going to be something we’ll have to deal with. And I’m nervous. Not so […]

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Inspiration board #4

October 13, 2014

Hey friends! This post is getting up way later than I was hoping today…we’ve had a hectic morning over here! Mason inexplicably broke out in hives all over his chest and tummy, so I had to pick him up from preschool, and I’m still not sure what’s going on. He hasn’t been exposed to anything […]

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Friday faves

October 10, 2014

Hey guys! I have to keep this short and sweet—I have an appointment with the chiropractor in an hour to hopefully fix my 90-year-old back. All the baby-carrying and hunchback-style breastfeeding has finally caught up to me! My back’s actually been hurting for weeks (same thing happened after Mason was born), but a few days […]

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A few reasons I love having two kids

October 9, 2014

When I was a one-kid mom, it seemed like all I ever heard were horror stories about life with two. I was especially haunted by a quote from Kris Jenner, of all people (on a show that I definitely don’t watch all the time)… She said: “One is like one. Two is like twenty.” At […]

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Roasted balsamic tomato basil meatloaf cups with goat cheese

October 7, 2014

Hey guys! So, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I made the decision: I’m getting certified in BodyFlow through Les Mills! The training is two weekends from now, and I’m nervous about it for a bunch of different reasons. First of all, I’m supposed to memorize a track by then, and […]

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