JUST NEW on Anything But Bland – Expert Advice through Q&A sessions with some of the best fitness, health and beauty experts out there. I love meeting and supporting other like-minded individuals and with combined knowledge and experience, I’m confident these sessions will provide you with valuable information, helpful tips, and the inspiration to try something new. If you have any requests please drop me a line and we will be sure to answer it for you!
To kick off the first Q&A session and the start of a new month, I caught up with Holistic Nutrition Coach, Fitness Guru and Self-Care expert, Nicolette Jones.
What is your advice for winding down from summer and getting back on track for fall/winter?
September is almost like another January- it’s got a “new year” feel to it. After the culmination of Stampede, all the patio drinks, parties, barbecues (etc.) you naturally feel like you want a reset! My advice is to create a routine! I know, it’s so damn cliché and standard, but it’s the only way to get “back on track”.
Don’t overhaul your entire life in one day or you won’t stick to anything! Implement small changes every week. Meal prep everything for one week, don’t miss a workout for one week, cut out alcohol/sugar for one week, track your macros for one week (etc.) If you try to do all those at once and flip your routine entirely, the moment you stray from one aspect, you’ll just say f**k it altogether!
Getting back on track is easy when you consider something non-negotiable. Like they say, try saying “It’s not a priority” instead of “I don’t have time.” Love yourself enough to make yourself, and your health, a PRIORITY. You’re so, so worth it.
What is your go-to for satisfying your sweet tooth?
To be 100% honest with you, I follow flexible dieting (IIFYM/If It Fits Your Macros) so if I want something sweet, I’ll fit an actual treat in. That being said, I don’t always actually want junk food, shockingly enough – so I love making raw energy bites. The combinations are endless! You can use nut butters as a base, dates, shredded coconut – and then you can add powdered superfoods, protein powder, hemp/chia/cacao nibs for texture. So yummy, so fast to make, whole food rich, healthy and can be kept in your freezer for over a week so make them in big batches!
What are your top 3 weekday dinners?
As someone with IBS, I can’t really plan my meals. I have to eat according to how I feel hour to hour. Sometimes dinner is a green smoothie, sometimes it’s warm water and lemon juice, sometimes it’s steak and asparagus. When constructing a meal, I always think of it as a balance between a protein, a carbohydrate and a fat. I love eating a ground 1. turkey burger patty with half an avocado on top of spinach and spiralized zucchini, 2. baked chicken breast and mashed cinnamon sweet potatoes and 3. big shakes with protein powder, spinach, kale, cucumber, ginger, pineapple, alfalfa sprouts, chilled Liver Support tea (red cleaver, dandelion, burdock.
What is your favourite way to relax/spend a self-care day?
Self-care is my favorite thing! I start with a digital detox – no phone, no computer – unless it’s to listen to music. I meditate, set intentions for my day, smudge with palo santo and white sage. I’ll usually go out to the mountains or get outside in some way, shape or form in the city! It’s vital for grounding. I save recipes from Instagram all the time and never have time to make them, so when I set time aside on a self-care day, I’ll make sure I create one of those saved recipes! Treat yo’ self. I always without fail do a face mask of some kind, and then massage a serum into my skin with my Dien Chan facial reflexology tool. I listen to good vibe tunes, watch stand up comedy, change my bedding because what’s better than sleeping in fresh sheets, am I right?
I do most of this almost every day – I take self care SERIOUSLY. But if you’re just starting to carve out time for yourself, it doesn’t have to be an extravagant ceremony. It can be anything from saying no to doing something you hate, setting boundaries with someone in your life, washing your makeup off at night, getting a manicure/pedicure, putting your work down and reading for fun. It just has to something where you feel like #1 and you are honoring yourself.
What are your favourite sources of protein?
I absolutely love tofu and edamame beans – I know some people want to have an opinion about soy isoflavones being “bad” for hormone balance, but I’ve done enough research/read enough literature to be unconcerned. I am not a huge meat eater, so I love having meatless options. Lentils, quinoa, spirulina, black beans – these are also great meatless options.
However, my absolute favorite is wild sockeye salmon (NOT farmed) – I’m a huge brain health advocate, and while salmon is an amazing protein source with about 25 g per 4 oz serving, it also has omega-3 fatty acids (DHA/EPA) which are anti-inflammatory, amazing for brain health/mood, joint health, hormones balance, skin/hair/nails (etc.)
What is your favourite beauty product?
Makeup wise? Becca or Anastasia illuminator! It makes you look so alive and dewy, and I get so many compliments that my skin looks healthy when I wear it. Skincare wise? Anything exfoliating. I love chemical exfoliation, not so much grainy scrubs. Glycolic acid face pads or face masks are my jam! Just don’t over do it (like I often do).
What are some of your daily health habits?
I work out every day without fail! In some way or another. Whether it’s a walk, a spin class, an hour running stairs, a heavy lifting day in the gym. Moving my body has to happen or I don’t feel well. I also make sure I drink 2 L minimum of water, and a kombucha (I’m addicted) I also ensure I get a ridiculous amount of greens which is why smoothies are so helpful because eating enough salad to meet the requirements is sometimes ridiculous!
If you’re looking to get a good sweat, what type of exercise do you like doing?
Spin class, CrossFit WOD or Alexia Clark workouts! I’ll definitely be DRIPPING in sweat. I do one (or sometimes 2 a day) at least 5 times a week.
What are your top tips for staying motivated?
The best advice I got from my first trainer was F**K MOTIVATION. You absolutely, 100% will NOT feel motivated every day. DO IT ANYWAYS. I don’t always feel motivated to wake up at 5 A.M. every day for cardio. I don’t always feel motivated to walk passed the candy aisle without grabbing something. If we only did things when we felt like doing them, we wouldn’t get much done! Sometimes you have to grind it out. Have a vision in mind (I hate the word goal) and remind yourself that to manifest that, you’ll need to go the extra mile even when you’re tired, or work was busy or your kids wouldn’t go to sleep on time or whatever else comes up! It once again comes down to making yourself a priority!
Great read and super helpful. Thank you for sharing, Nicolette! Keep up with Nicolette and her daily inspiration here.
Health & Happiness,