Monthly Archives: November 2015

A Gratitude Meditation and How to Do Alternate Nostril Breathing (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

Weight Loss Coach & Yoga Instructor Stephanie Mansour stopped by Fox Chicago to share a gratitude meditation perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. Meditation builds confidence and positivity which is why it’s an important part of any weight loss program and healthy lifestyle.

This Gratitude Meditation is the perfect way to help you center and ground before the holidays, but it’s also the perfect way to build confidence and joy around health and fitness! As a weight loss coach, I love talking about this subject because it’s so valuable— feeling positive leads to better health—and I’m all about your best health!

A Study in Gratitude

A recent scientific study followed three different groups of people. The first group kept a daily gratitude journal. The second kept a daily journal of everything that irritated them throughout the day, and the third group just wrote about what happened during their day. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but the first group had the most positive outlook on life after the study was over!

If you want to lose weight and feel great, there’s more to it than just hitting the gym. In my weight loss program for women, I coach my clients about how to create their reality through intentional and positive thinking.
What we think about and how we feel affects what we do—right down to our ability to lose weight, make it last, and love our bodies no matter where we are in our health journey!

A Gratitude Meditation for Thanksgiving

Follow these three easy steps for a refreshing and grounding meditation to help you feel even more thankful this holiday season. Try this Gratitude Meditation every morning or evening. It will help you feel happier and more confident.

1) Align with Your Intention

Our intention this holiday season is gratitude. Pick one thing you are thankful for and hold it in your mind as you continue with the following two steps.

2) Anchor Your Body

Take a moment to connect with yourself. Anchor your body by either resting your hands on your thighs, placing a hand over your heart, or pressing the thumb and forefinger together in a mudra of courage and confidence.

3) Breathe and Center

Now, begin breathing slowly in and out through your nose. Pay attention to your breath and just let it flow as it will. Do this for three minutes (or more if you want to!) and let thoughts in your mind float by like clouds. If your thoughts stray, come back to your breathe and your intention of gratitude.

If you want to step up your meditation, you can practice nostril breathing.

How to do Nostril Breathing

Take a thumb and put it over one nostril. Breath in through the opposite nostril. Then, plug the side you just inhaled through and exhale through the other nostril. Continue switching back and forth breathing in one nostril and out the other. Nostril breathing helps balance your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, while helping you be fully present and focus on your gratitude.

 

If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com.

 

How to Overeat at Thanksgiving Without Feeling Guilty

Health and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by ABC Chicago to share how to add more nutrition to your Thanksgiving meal without sacrificing any of your favorite foods! Learn simple ways to beat the food coma and how to detox if you do overeat with this video about the surprising health benefits of your Thanksgiving favorites.

Everyone worries about eating too much on Thanksgiving. Maybe you have a weight loss goal you’re trying to meet and think that means skipping out on the joy of your favorite Thanksgiving foods. As a weight loss coach and health expert, let me officially take that worry away!

4 Delicious Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Check out these four great ways to get the most out of your Thanksgiving meal and still feel like you got to indulge and enjoy every bite! While I provide custom meal plans for the clients in my weight loss programs for women, these ideas work for everyone no matter your dietary restrictions.

Green Bean Casserole Dressing

Green Bean Casserole is a family favorite in my home. So what do I do? I use it to dress about other roasted and sautéed veggies! Spoon the casserole on to roasted Brussel sprouts or sautéed asparagus.

Or, go a step further and add the Brussel sprouts and asparagus to your traditional green bean casserole recipe! This way, it tastes just the way you crave, but you get more fiber and nutrients so you fill up on the good stuff and have fewer cravings for the bad stuff!

Veggie Stuffed Stuffing

Take your favorite stuffing and add in two cups of cauliflower! You won’t even be able to tell it’s in there. Seriously! Cooked cauliflower has a texture similar to stuffing and it takes on the flavors of the food and spices you blend it with, so you can trick yourself (and your guests) into eating more veggies while still indulging in the comfort of a warm and hardy stuffing.

You can even sprinkle some cauliflower on top of the stuffing for added flair. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about anyway, right?

Gobble up that Protein

Focus on that turkey! The protein from turkey helps stabilize your blood sugar levels which spike with all the starches and desserts. Protein helps you feel more satisfied as you indulge in all those tasty sides! It helps you feel great longer with fewer overwhelming cravings.

Pumpkin Pie for Mental Health

Ever think, “Oh, I can’t have that piece of pie.” No way! You can and you should (yes, I’m a weight loss coach and I just said that!). Health is a journey for life. That’s why it’s so important to practice holistic thinking when it comes to food. If you always deprive yourself, it’s more likely that in a moment of stress or weakness you will overindulge and then feel sick or ashamed or frustrated with your weight loss journey.

But if you learn to rethink your approach to food, particularly desserts, you can treat yourself and break free of the destructive cycle that comes from living in extremes.
So have a piece of pie! Just not ten pieces! And maybe, think about cutting the slice of pie in half. Give yourself permission to enjoy and savor every bite.

Bonus: How to Detox the Day After WITH Thanksgiving leftovers

After a decadent day of feasting, the best thing you can do the next morning is to jumpstart your metabolism. Set yourself up for success by getting lots of protein at breakfast. Then, focus on eating easily digestible foods, like cooked veggies and lean proteins throughout the day.

Try this tasty breakfast idea:
Crumble leftover pumpkin pie crust into muffin tins, crack an egg inside, fill with turkey and green beans and cook in oven until warmed through and eggs are firm!

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If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com.

4 Holistic Remedies to Beat the Common Cold (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

Health Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by Fox Chicago to share four holistic home remedies you can try to bounce back from a cold fast. Here are four ways to clear your sinuses, soothe your scratchy throat, and ease muscle aches so you can crush that important meeting or attend that fun holiday event.

Get back to the holiday happy!

High levels of stress around the holidays leave us all more susceptible to common colds. My job as a weight loss coach is to help my clients live holistically and empowered in all aspects of their lives. Many clients in my weight loss programs for women work in corporate offices around a lot of sick people! There’s always that nagging dread about, “Will I be next?”

Stay ahead of the cold and flu season this year with these four common cold remedies.

The Irrigation Station

The Problem:
Congestion is a killer. Flush out mucus and phlegm up top to help everything below.

The Fix:
• Use a Neti Pot or a squeeze bottle irrigation system like the Xlear Nasal Spray. Mix a saline solution in warm water and then squirt up one side of nose and let it drain out the other side.
• Boil water in a stove pot. Add a few drops of essential oils. Then, put a towel on your head, and lean over pot, hold face over the rising steam. Inhale deeply.
• Soak a washcloth in hot water with essential oils and lay across your face while you breathe deeply.
• Eat hot, steamy chicken noodle soup or drink a steamy mug of Echinacea tea with honey to help with congestion.

Sweat It Out

The Problem:
Aches and pains, fatigue, scratchy throat, and sinus congestion. Yuck. Believe it or not, working up a sweat really helps when you have a cold (not if you have the flu!). Getting your heart rate up keeps everything moving and detoxing.

The Fix:
• Rejuvenate in a hot sauna
• Linger in the steam room at the gym or a hot shower at home
• Get in a workout! Work up a sweat at home with my Steph it up with Steph DVD or check out my free workouts at my FREE 21 Day challenge.

Chug, Chug, Chug

The Problem:
Dehydration worsens cold symptoms. Your body needs extra fluids to zap those bugs away!

The Fix:
• Water, water, and more water! If you can’t make yourself guzzle eight glasses of water a day, drink some carbonated waters or lightly flavored waters like La Croix to make sure you’re getting enough fluids.
• Take a Wellness Shot! I love this Ginger Turmeric Wellness shot from Kor. Packed full of vital nutrients this cold-pressed shot of goodness helps reduce inflammation.

Stimulate, Soothe, Support

The Problem:
Feeling tired, sluggish, and congested? Here’s how to stimulate and support your system with aromatherapy cold remedies.

The Fix:
• Wake up your senses with invigorating yet soothing eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils! These are great for on the go. Simply dap a drop on each wrist or below your nose and inhale all day.

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If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com.

Which Candy is the Best Choice? (As Seen on ABC Chicago)

Health & Fitness Coach Stephanie Mansour breaks down common candy favorites to give you recommendations on which to opt for as the Halloween bowl sits tempting you after the holiday! Indulge your sweet tooth and stick to your weight loss goals at the same time!

It’s not just kids who love Halloween candy. If you’re tempted to dip into the candy bowl but are concerned about weight loss—good news! You can enjoy sweet treats and stay slim through the holidays with smarter candy choices.

You Can Eat Candy and Stick to Your Weight Loss Plan

Yeah, you heard me! And I’m a weight loss coach so you can trust I know what I’m talking about! Sugar in moderation is absolutely fine. My goal for all the clients in my weight loss programs for women is to simply change their mindset about candy and cravings.

You see, when your body is low on fuel it craves more sugar and carbs and you’re more likely to eat a lot of sweets and fast. Give your body some good fuel first and the craving will subside. Then you can indulge your sweet tooth with a piece of candy rather than the whole bowl!

Remember to eat it slowly, savor it, and pretend it’s the most expensive piece of candy in the world!

Fuel Up on Protein to Avoid Sugar Cravings

Enjoy the sweets without feeling those intense sugar craving by eating a balanced diet of protein, fruits and vegetables. Before rewarding yourself with a chocolate bar make sure you eat some protein first. It’s as easy as that.

Which Halloween Candy is Healthier?

M & Ms Vs. Peanut M & Ms

While peanut M & Ms have more calories they also have more protein! And that’s a win!This means, if you’re going to eat sugar might as well give it some good protein at the same time because it is healthier than just sugar alone.

Milky Way Vs. Snickers Bar

Again, Snickers Bars have nuts so they have more protein making it the healthier option over a Milky way. Make sure you stick to a snack size serving though instead of a full-size candy bar.

Gummy Bears Vs. Sour Patch Kids

The less sugar and the fewer ingredients—the better! Regular gummy bears have ½ the grams of sugar as Sour Patch kids. They have the same number of calories, but avoiding excess sugar is what keeps you healthier.

Peppermint Patties Vs. Peppermint Candies

One mini Peppermint Patty is 120 calories or you could eat three peppermint candies at just 60 calories! Based on calorie count, peppermint candies are better. If you’re craving chocolate though, go for a dark chocolate Peppermint Patty over other white or milk chocolate options because it has antioxidants and less cream and sugar.

Kettle Corn Vs. Candy Corn

Get your sugar fix and a satisfying crunchy snack with Kettle Corn! Make your own and pop it in your microwave and save yourself at least 50 calories compared to candy corn. Kettle Corn has a lot less sugar and is good source of fiber!

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If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com.

The Best Workout to Do in the Morning, Noon, and Night for Your Lifestyle (As Seen on Fox Chicago)

Weight Loss Coach and Fitness Expert Stephanie Mansour dropped by Fox Chicago to demonstrate the workouts to do if you’re short on time and low on inspiration. Try these simple ways to lose weight while you build strength and confidence. Watch the video to get great weight loss tips and learn easy workouts you can try today.

Even though I’m a weight loss coach, even I don’t always have time to hit the gym for a full hour or two! But that’s why I know firsthand the benefits of small, intentional workouts done throughout the day. Try these fun and easy workouts to support your own weight loss and fitness goals no matter if you’re at home with the kids or busy at the office.

Morning Workouts

Mornings are the best time of day to hit it hard! Go for high intensity interval training. Need some extra motivation? Lay out your workout clothes the night before. Shoot for a 20-minute workout, but even if you can only do 5 minutes, that’s okay—do it! Every little bit helps your weight loss and fitness goals.

Morning Exercises:
1) Run in place for 1 minute
2) 1 set of arm exercises
3) 1 set of leg exercises
4) Repeat!

Do squats and lunges for strength training but also try adding arm presses in at the same time. This is great if you’re short on time because it gets your heart rate up and combines two workout moves in one. Bam!

Lunch Workouts

The goal at lunch isn’t to work up a sweat since you probably won’t be in workout clothes! Try these low intensity movement exercises to keep your brain fresh and alert and your body limber and strong.

Chair Pilates: Close your office door and do some simple chair Pilates! Or if you can snag an empty conference room, throw down a mat and do ten minutes of Pilates.

Office Walks: Walk around the office at lunch or march at your desk. You might feel silly at first but then you’ll feel great with more oxygenated blood circulating through you. Our bodies crave movement so start marching, pump your arms, do a little dance, whatever!

Mini Breaks: Little workouts throughout the day keep your brain in a happy state of mind and more likely to take advantage of a class or gym workout when the opportunity arises. Whether at work or at home, set a timer on your phone so every hour it reminds you to get up and walk around or do a quick set of exercises for five minutes.

Night Workouts

At the end of the day, the goal is to lower your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol (the stress hormone) regulates your metabolism helping you lose weight and controls blood sugar levels and reduces inflammation. All these things directly influence your health, energy, and weight.

Ease insomnia: Many of the clients in my weight loss programs for women have trouble falling asleep. Relaxing yoga and meditation helps them sleep better and lose weight (for real!). So don’t worry about working up a sweat at night—that’s going to make it even more difficult to fall asleep!

Light Yoga: Destress from a busy day with some light yoga. Do a half of a sun salute and other standing yoga poses, or try lying on the ground with your legs up in the air against a wall.

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If you want more tips on how you can lose weight and keep it off, make sure you join my FREE 21 day challenge at stepitupchallenge.com