Underappreciated protein

It's rare for me to blog about a single food category, but this one is so underappreciated, it's worthy. Please read on ...

Top 6 reasons to make BEANS a regular part of your diet:

1. They are one of the most nutritionally complete foods available.

2. They are an excellent protein source (with no negative animal protein consumption consequences.)

3. They can dramatically reduce your risk of being amongst the 97% of Americans who don't get enough daily fiber.(Their high-quality soluble fiber helps regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol, Their insoluble fiber helps prevent intestinal disorders, control appetite and keeps you feeling full.)

4. They are an environmentally friendly food source (especially compared to animal protein sources.)

5. They are known cancer fighters. In fact, the most comprehensive analysis of diet and cancer ever performed was published by the American Institute for Cancer Research. Sifting through some half a million studies, nine independent research teams from around the globe created a landmark scientific consensus report reviewed by 21 of the top cancer researchers in the world. One of their summary cancer-prevention recommendations is to eat whole grains and/or legumes (beans, split peas, chickpeas, or lentils) with every meal. Not every week or every day. Every meal.

6. They are versatile i.e. they come in many varieties and there are so many ways to enjoy them

Not surprising that I encourage my coaching clients to eat cleaner and ratchet up their nutrition with beans and legumes. A common question is " How does one easily incorporate beans into the diet?"

Top 5 ways to eat more beans

In hummus
In soups, stews, chillis
In burritos and wraps
Tossed atop salads
In veggie-centric side dishes

My invitation to you
Make a dish this week that includes a favorite bean variety. Repeat next week. Double down the following week. Small steps add up to big change over time.

To your good health!

Coach Gayle

Certified Whole Health Coach

Image by Chris Pagan, Unsplash.com

Inspired by Jack

Here's to a hearty dose of wellness inspiration from the past ...  

If you don't recognize fitness hero Jack LaLanne and his wife of 50+ years, Elaine Doyle LaLanne, check out Jack's wiki bio here. There are myriad things from his 96 years and approach to wellness to be inspired by, but this particular highlight is especially noteworthy: 

Jack described himself as sugar-holic and junk food junkie until he was 15. He also had behavioral problems, but "turned his life around" after being inspired at a wellness talk about the benefits of good nutrition by health food pioneer Paul Bragg.

What a great reminder that no matter where your health is, you can turn your 'ship'  in any direction you decide.  

The esteemed author of the bestseller Atomic Habits, James Clear, blogged about LaLanne's life as well.  Check out his fascination with Mr. LaLanne and his healthy habits here.  

May you be inspired to make healthy choices for your self every day. 

Coach Gayle

Certified Whole Health Coach
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer

Sugar High

"The only good thing about cake is when it's in your mouth."

This realization brought a hardy chuckle in a recent conversation with a WhyPowered coaching client who's come a long way with managing her cravings for 'treats'. While she still has the occasional urge for pastries, sugar cravings no longer dominate her days.

It's easy to fall into sugar-centric eating traps: 

A workplace monthly celebration of birthdays features cakes and donuts, so you partake.

Your Starbucks chai latte habit keeps you going on long afternoons-- sometimes with a pastry.  

Your busy lifestyle has you munching on Clif bars as meal replacements (which in some varieties deliver more added sugar than a candy bar.)
With 80 percent of our weight determined by food choices (both quantity and quality), it's critical that we be intentional with our long term health in mind. (If you missed last week's blog about adulting our tastebuds, check it out
here.)  It's not just our waistlines that are impacted. Excessive added sugar is directly connected to our country's epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and a host of inflammation-related ailments.  

Here are five simple guidelines about sugar that can help you be more aware and adjust your daily consumption:

  1. Know that naturally occurring sugar from fruit is not detrimental to our health. Two servings of daily fruit is recommended for good health and can effectively satisfy a sweet tooth. 

  2. The recommended maximum daily limit of added sugar for women is 6 teaspoons, 9 for men. (In grams, this is 24 and 36.) The typical American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day--nearly four times the daily healthy limit.  

  3. Minimize your processed food intake---this is where most added sugar comes from. Sugar-centric drinks are a huge offender as well.  

  4. Be an avid label reader. If a product has more than 7 grams per serving of added sugar, find an alternative. (And pay attention that the suggested serving size is realistic for you.)

  5. When you're eating high sugar, low nutrient food, practice moderation. (I invite clients to "sound the portion control alarm bells" during these times.) No need to deprive yourself. Learn to be satisfied with less and find a place of balance.

To your good health,

Coach Gayle

Certified Whole Health Coach
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer

Adulting Your Tastebuds


When I was five and thought my parents weren't looking, I'd sneak spoonfuls of sugar from the sugar bowl in the dining room buffet.

Kids are notorious for their obsession with sweets and for turning up their noses at most vegetables.They live in the moment, are ruled by their tastebuds and don't consider long-term implications of not eating a well-balanced diet. As adults, if we don't outgrow our childlike tastebuds, it can have major negative health impacts.

"Adulting" with our food choices needn't mean eating bland foods that only serve our health. Finding balance between enjoying flavorful food and food that is also good for us isn't easy, but there are many options today that hit that 'sweet spot'. Often a big shift involves adjusting our mindset to be open to possibilities. 

As we adjust our food choices to healthier, our taste buds reorient, too. As we navigate toward whole, unprocessed food, the junkier, processed stuff starts to lose its appeal. We can 'retrain' our taste buds at any age in life; while it requires determination and consistency, knowing your Why makes the journey much easier.   

My invitation to you

Be specific about the changes you want to make for upping your health game.
(Pssst: the biggest and most positive dietary shift most Americans can make is eating more fruit and veggies---only 3% get enough in their diets.) For accountability and support, get in touch. I'd be honored to be your guide.   

To your good health!

Coach Gayle

Certified Whole Health Coach
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer

Photo by Darrell Cassell of Unsplash.com

4 Pillars

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For all the potions, lotions and other anti-aging products women (especially) use to slow or feel better about the speed of aging, I want to share that the number one, without-a-doubt way to control how we age is by leading a consistently active lifestyle. 

While a regular walking habit offers many health benefits, we know that it really isn't enough. 

To be in good balance, we must pay attention to the four 'pillars' of sound physical fitness:

Balance, Strength, Flexibility, & Cardio

Most women tend to focus more on cardio fitness to the detriment of the other pillars and here's a reason not to:  When you are strong and fit, you age tremendously better.  

With strength, you can better maintain your metabolism and body composition as you age. When you're not actively working to maintain it, your strength naturally diminishes along with your metabolism which will slow 1% per year or 10% per decade after the age of 35.

Check out this insightful summary from the book Younger Next Year, by Dr. Henry Lodge and Chris Crowly for a look at how strength training slows the aging process and keeps you fit well into your later decades. 

Note: Please don't confuse the term 'strength training' with bodybuilding or anything close to that. You needn't ever step foot in a gym or lift heavy weights to maintain your strength. Simply using your body weight at home on the floor, when done properly and consistently, can be sufficient. Think planks, squats, lunges, push-ups, etc.

My challenge for you
Select one fitness pillar this week you can focus on paying greater attention to for rounding out your wellness.  

To your good health!

Coach Gayle
Certified Whole Health Coach
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer

She did it! Health Hero Spotlight

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She Did It & So Can You

That’s the premise behind this feature: Real Life Health Heroes

We shine the spotlight on women who, with a little help from their Why Powered Health Coaching friends, have come unstuck on their journey to better health and sustainable weight loss.

We featured Jean in February when she was celebrating 30 pounds weight loss and we thought you’d want to celebrate with her the doubling of her success!   

Jean is now 61 pounds lighter with whole health coaching*

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Be inspired by Jean’s personal story in this two-minute excerpt of her transformation. Watch/listen here. 


 Behaviors before coaching:
Sedentary most of her life, tried many diets and would lose a few pounds, quit and gain them back. Had knee surgery and wanted to avoid a second surgery.  Was painful to simply walk.  Felt stuck and out of control with food choices. 
 Jean today

New lifestyle behaviors: Walks and enjoys intense gardening work nearly daily, no longer controlled by chocolate cravings, feels hopeful, confident and in control of her health, food and her life.

 61 pounds lighter with the accountability and support of WhyPowered group coaching

 “My WhyPowered Coaching Group and Coach Gayle
 made my transformative health journey possible. They helped me believe in my ability to succeed. My reinforcing success mantra is now 'Never Going Back!'”—Jean C.  

*Jean is one of seven women Coach Gayle has helped shed 50 pounds or more without dieting.   

To your good health!  

Coach Gayle

Fall down 7 times, get up 8

Wherever you may be in your wellness improvement journey, keep working on solidifying your healthy habits They are the foundation of life-long well-being.

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In the beginning, as we start to shift out of unhealthier behaviors, it can feel awkward, even laborious.The new habits haven't yet taken hold.  

It can take months, even years for things to settle into a new identity ... into our body and soul. We have to work at it with diligence, effort and repeated practice. We have to force ourselves to do things even when our primitive brains tell us to stay on the couch or zip thru a drive-thru for a meal when we are tired. 

We need to repeat-repeat-repeat our new, healthier behaviors--.day after week after month after year. 

Owning the 'CEO of our own health' title is a lifetime effort It's a marathon, not a sprint.  

Even after a long time, when a major life stressor hits, we can find ourselves reverting to old patterns of lower levels of self-care. Then we need to show ourselves compassion and self-love and patience even more.  


We may find we have more to learn. So we keep learning and growing. 

Over time, the patterns become more of your default way of being. It becomes--- you. You trust the struggle. You realize the old you no longer exists.  

Fueling your body with healthy food, exercising regularly, proactively managing your stress are all forms of self care. When you start to feel out of balance, rein things back-in and show your self some love.  

To your good health!

Coach Gayle

Certified Whole Health Coach

Certified Personal Fitness Trainer


What I do: I help women become proactive caretakers of their well-being and reach their 'happy' weight without dieting. With coaching, they connect to their deepest reasons for change--their WhyPower-- for getting their health habits in balance; eating cleaner, exercising consistently and proactively managing stress. With strength training, they get fit faster, optimize their body composition and love the skin they're in! 

 featured photo by Mauro Paillex, Unsplash; content inspired by Melody Beattie

Mini Rant

I’m normally a pretty positive person, so excuse this mini rant …

We're skipping vacation days in the name of productivity. We're obsessed with our electronic gadgets and spend unhealthy numbers of hours each day sitting and not being active. Our sleep is disturbed and our diets are out of balance with processed, convenience foods because we are 'too busy' to shop and cook for ourselves.  

When the anxiety starts wearing on us and we head to our doctors for symptom relief, we too often rely on medication to 'fix it.' 

The answers aren't in a pill bottle.  

Prioritizing our own daily self-care, spending time in nature-- a natural de-stresser-- and making time for exercise and meal prep that's focused on whole foods to help our bodies stay in balance all help us be proactive and intentional with our wellbeing. Only 20% of chronic debilitating illnesses are genetic; The other 80% are based in our daily lifestyle choices.   

My invitation to you
As we welcome summer, find an outdoor activity or two you can enjoy each week.  Embrace it and make it your natural de-stressing 'you time.' 

To your good health!  

Coach Gayle

Certified Whole Health Coach
Certified Personal Fitness Trainer


What I do: I help women become proactive caretakers of their well-being and reach their 'happy' weight. With coaching, they connect to their deepest reasons for change--their WhyPower-- for getting their health habits in balance; eating cleaner, exercising consistently and proactively managing stress. With strength training, they get fit faster, optimize their body composition and love the skin they're in!