When she’s not busy helping women increase their energy, lose weight, and feel their best while working as a holistic nutrition coach, Kristen Hobson loves tinkering in the kitchen. She enjoys coming up with all kinds of recipes for healthier alternatives to her favorite treats because she believes eating healthy shouldn’t mean feeling deprived. Below, Kristen shares great advice as we head into the food-filled holiday season… and even includes a recipe for a yummy bite that won’t make you feel guilty.
Happy fall, y’all! It’s a good time to review the year to see if there are any goals we still want to work on. There's still plenty of time left until the end of the year to keep working on your current health goals! Or, why wait until January when you can get a head start on new goals right now? Here’s my step-by-step plan for conquering your health goal, whatever it may be.
Step One: RESILIENCE The quicker you can bounce back from falling off the wagon, the quicker you’ll get to your goal. 1. Welcome “failure”: You’ll learn more from failing than from perfection. Your “failures” teach you what to do differently next time. When you look at it that way, setbacks are actually lessons instead of failures. 2. Avoid the downward spiral: Be aware of how you talk to yourself. If you fell off the wagon, you don’t need to beat yourself up about it and tell yourself you’ll never get to where you want to be. If you make a mistake, assess what really happened and decide to do better next time. Don’t blow it up to be worse than it actually is. 3. Look forward: No more ruminating about your mistake! Think about it just long enough to figure out what to do better next time and then move on.
Step Two: CONFIDENCE Believe you can achieve your goal and you’ll actually be more likely to make it happen. 1. Trust yourself: You can never have too much confidence when it comes to wanting to achieve better health for yourself. Trusting in your ability to get there helps you make the small everyday decisions that are required to actually get there. Second-guessing can make it take longer to achieve your goal. 2. Act like you’re already there: When you’re not feeling your best or feeling the most confident about your goal, use your body to pretend like you are. Stand tall, smile, and move like you’ve already achieved your goal. Imagine and visualize how it will feel to achieve it and use that feeling as fuel and inspiration. 3. Boost your energy: Energy boosts your physical and mental confidence. Get some movement every day. Don’t sit for more than one hour at a time without standing up and walking around for a few minutes. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Avoid sugar and processed foods. This will enable you to have stable energy all day.
Step Three: GRIT Gotta have the perseverance to stick with it! 1. What’s your “why”? Everyone’s got a reason bigger than themselves for wanting to achieve a specific goal. Seek out your deep sense of purpose, write it down, and post it somewhere you’ll see every day. You’re more likely to persevere with this constant reminder, despite any mistakes or setbacks you face. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, dig a little deeper: Why exactly do you want to lose weight? Is it so you can live long enough to meet your future grandkids? Is it so you can have enough energy to care for your aging parents? Really dive deep and figure out what’s driving you — and then don’t lose sight of it! 2. Reignite your passion: If you’re feeling things getting tough, write down everything that excited you at the beginning of pursuing this health goal. When you remind yourself what excites you about this journey, you're more likely to keep moving forward. 3. Win every day: What are 1-3 mini-goals you can accomplish every day that will get you closer to your long-term goal? Concentrating on small wins helps to take your mind off what seems like the insurmountable larger goal. And when you have daily wins, you’re more likely to stay committed.
Step Four: FOCUS Go hard, but also go soft. Vary your intensity. 1. Reward yourself: Find something for a reward other than food. Each week you hit all your mini-goals, reward yourself with an experience or a small gift. Maybe a luxurious bath with a new essential oil, a small bottle of nail polish, or a new kitchen gadget. This helps reset your mind so you’re better able to keep your eyes on the BIG prize — achieving your health goal! 2. Acknowledge your hard work: Regularly tell yourself you’re doing a good job and that you’re proud of yourself. Try talking to yourself in the mirror and giving yourself a hug or a pat on the back. It may seem corny, but it works! Changing your habits is HARD. But you’re going to crush it!
Pumpkin Pie Fat Bombs
“Fat bombs” have been all the rage lately in the health food sphere — and for good reason! When you include healthy fats in your diet, you’re setting yourself up for longer-lasting, steady energy. These little bites will give you more energy and keep you satisfied a lot longer than that granola bar stashed in your purse.
Here are some of the benefits of eating pumpkin:
It’s high in antioxidants.
It’s high in fiber.
It’s high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene (which your body turns into vitamin A).
It’s nutrient-dense, containing potassium, copper, manganese, vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and folate.
This recipe is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and can be made nut-free and keto (see notes below).
Makes: 16 squares (if using 8x8 glass dish) or 16-20 bites (if using mini cupcake paper liners)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 1-2 hours
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut butter (coconut manna)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (Himalayan pink salt tastes the best!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
In a saucepan on low heat, mix the coconut butter into the pumpkin puree until melted. Stir constantly — burnt coconut butter tastes awful!
Add the coconut oil and mix until melted.
Remove pan from heat and stir in the maple syrup, spices, sea salt, and vanilla extract.
Pour into a greased 8x8 glass dish or a mini muffin tin lined with paper liners. If using an 8x8 dish, smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. Top with whole toasted pecan or walnut halves, or crushed pecans or walnuts.
Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or until firm. If using an 8x8 dish, cut into 16 equal squares for serving.
To make nut-free: Omit the pecans or walnuts.
To make keto: Use maple-flavored sugar-free syrup (I use Lakanto brand).
To store: Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to three months.