Tips for Healthy Eating and Portion Control

Tips for Healthy Eating and Portion Control 

PortionsDo you have trouble controlling how much food you eat?  When you go to a restaurant or a fast food joint do you overeat or choose foods that are unhealthy for you?  Good news, portion control doesn’t mean starving yourself and changing some of foods you eat can be easy.  First let us focus on the food offenders and how to replace them.

Most of our calories come from foods high in fat and sugar.  This counts for about 800 calories of our daily intake.  The top of the list is cookies, cakes and yeast breads.  We also load up on calories in chicken dishes because the chicken is breaded or fried.  Sodas, energy and sports drinks, pizza, pasta, tortilla and beef dishes pile on more calories.

Let’s start with including healthy fats in your diet.  They keep you feeling fuller longer and allow your body to absorb the vitamins you need.  Some of these include avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds.  Bran, whole grains, rice and barley are also full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.  The fiber is what helps you feel full longer and low calories.  They also keep you bathroom visits regular.  Foods that are high in saturated fat/trans fats are foods that stay solid at room temperature.  Most of these types of fats are found in butter, coconut oil and animal fats (meat, dairy, bacon and chicken skin).  You should try to avoid this type of fat as much as possible and it should only contribute to 10% of your calorie intake.

Next focus on eating whole foods that include protein and healthy fats.  Such as fruits, vegetables and lettuce.  Add avocado to a salad or a light dressing.  This makes you feel fuller.  Instead of fatty meats, choose lean.  Try to shoot for at least 8 ounces of fish per week.  Instead of butter or margarine, use olive oil or olive oil.  Try baked goods with whole grains instead of white or refined.  Other healthy choices include low-fat dairy food, eggs, beans, and lots of fruit and vegetables.  Don’t deprive yourself, you will end of eating more food later in the day.   Try and stay away from processed foods.  They have chemical additives that make it difficult for us to have just one serving size.

If you want a piece of pizza, choose a thin whole-grain crust.  Put vegetables instead of meat.  Use a low or fat free cheese, or cut down on the cheese using just a sprinkle.  Have one piece and then eat some fruit or vegetables.  All of our favorite foods can still be eaten if we just try make better and healthier choices.

Now let us concentrate on eating the right portions.  Here are ideas to help you gauge what is too much.  If you start downsizing your portions your stomach will too.  Learn to “eyeball” your food to gauge what is too much and what is just right.  Pick a smaller plate to place your food on.  Over the years dinner plates in homes and restaurants have gotten bigger.  So the amount of food we put on them is too much which in turn leads to us overeating.  Learn to serve the right sized portions.

  • Use a smaller plate;
  • Don’t go back for seconds;
  • Don’t keep food on the table that tempts you; and
  • Store leftovers in single-serving containers.

You don’t need to measure or weigh food every time you eat.  Instead, keep a mental picture of images you can relate portions too.  This will make it easier for you imagine healthy portion sizes.  Here are some ideas to give you an idea:

  • A portion of pasta is ½ cup = 1/2 a baseball;
  • A 1 medium potato = a computer mouse;
  • A cup of fruit or vegetables = a fist; and
  • A serving of leafy greens = 2 tennis balls;

Do you think that bagels and bran muffins are a healthy choice?  They are but they are two to three times larger than a healthy portion.  A large bagel can be close to 300 calories.  Even a low-fat muffin can pile on 300 calories and if you spread it with butter or cream cheese you have added more fat and calories.  Wow your breakfast is a whopping 500 calories or more.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is skipping meals.  Always start your day with breakfast.  Try something high in protein, you will feel fuller longer.  Plan ahead what you eating for lunch.  Bring healthy snacks with you, this will help you get through the times before lunch and dinner.  Portion control is difficult when you’re starving!

If you have to have a snack, place it in a bowl or on a plate rather than eating out of the bag or container.  This will make you more aware of how much you are eating and an easy way to manage your portions.

If portion control is more of an issue when you eat out, have a healthy snack before you leave.  Restaurants usually serve enough food for two or three people.  So plan on taking part of your meal home.  Ask the waiter not to bring you the bread or chips, this makes it less temping for you to eat.  Ask for an extra plate to place ½ of the portion to take home.  Order one meal and split it with your companion.  Don’t feel like you can’t “have it”, just decide what you would enjoy more and make the choice.

Slow down and enjoy your food.  Eating fast doesn’t give your stomach time to make you feel full.  Eating slower gives your stomach time to register that you are full making you eat less.  Remember chew each bite more.

Have a healthy balance of foods each day.  Your daily diet should consist of the following:

  • 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit;
  • 2 ½ to 3 ½ cups of vegetables;
  • 5 to 8 ounces of grain, 1/2 from whole grains;
  • 3 cups of nonfat or low-fat dairy foods
  • 5 to -6 ½ ounces of meat, beans, and seafood; and
  • No more than 5 to 7 teaspoons of oils, mostly from plants, fish, and nuts;

You are not alone, most of us are unaware of the amount of food we consume each day and how unhealthy it is.  For more information visit my website:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:


10 Tips to Eating Whole Grains

Whole_GrainsDo you know where grains come from or what foods are considered to be whole grains? Any food that is made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal or barley is a grain product. Foods such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereal, tortillas, and grits are some examples of these grain products. Grains are actually divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel known as the bran, germ, and endosperm. People who eat whole grains as part of a nutritional and healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Additionally, whole grains are an excellent source and provide nutritional value as they contain essential enzymes, iron, dietary fiber, Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins. Our bodies absorb grains slowly and provide high-quality energy.

Here are 10 tips to eating whole grains:

1. Make simple switches – to make half your grains whole grains substitute a whole grain product for a refined grain product. For example eat 100% whole wheat bread (be mindful of the sugar content), another option is flourless breads instead of white bread or bagels or brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice.

2. Whole grains can be healthy snacks – popcorn, a whole grain can be a healthy snack. Make it with a little or no added salt or butter. Also try 100% whole wheat or rye crackers.

3. Save some time – cook extra bulgur or barley when you have time. Freeze half to heat and serve later as a quick side dish.

4. Mix it up with whole grains – use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.

5. Try whole wheat versions – for a change try brown rice, whole wheat pasta or gluten-free. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes and whole wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.

6. Bake whole grain goodness – experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin, or other flourless-based recipes.

7. Be a good role model for children – set a good example for children by serving and eating whole grains daily with meals or as snacks.

8. Check the label for fiber – use the nutritional facts label to check the fiber content of whole grain foods. Good sources of fiber contain 10% to 19% of the daily value; excellent sources contain 20% or more.

9. Know what to look for on the ingredients list – read the ingredients list and choose products that name a whole grain ingredient first on the list. Look for whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole grain, whole oats, whole rye, or wild rice.

10. Be a smart shopper – the color of a food is not an indication that it is a whole grain food. Foods labeled as multigrain, stone ground, 100% wheat, cracked wheat, seven-grain, or bran are usually not 100% whole grain products and may not contain any whole grain.

For more information about healthy eating please visit my website here. Read more articles about nutrition here.

Do you need help with your healthy lifestyle design? If so contact me today!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Poor Eating Habits

poor habitsDid you know that many of us are overfed but undernourished?  We eat plenty of food, but most of the food is a convenience or packaged and these types of food are stripped of nutrients.  When you are running late, do you drive through a fast food joint to grab dinner.  Or if you just got home from your son or daughter’s baseball practice, do you grab a box of hamburger helper and open a can of vegetables?  Do you starve yourself all day then gorge yourself at dinner?  Maybe you eat on the run, while standing or driving.  Bad eating habits is not just a lack of willpower.  It can be that sneaky habit you develop without realizing it.  It could be running out the door in the morning without breakfast.  Or sitting in front of the TV eating a bag of chips.  It could be that beer you drink on an empty stomach.  While this may keep you full it doesn’t provide the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.  These unhealthy eating habits affect our nutrient intake, including energy, proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and fluid.

How does poor nutrition affect us?

Poor nutrition can impair our daily health and wellbeing and reduces our ability to lead an enjoyable and active life.  It can contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, and over a period time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as:

  • being overweight or obese
  • tooth decay
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • heart disease and stroke
  • type-2 diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • some cancers
  • depression

It is estimated that healthier diets might prevent $71 billion per year in medical costs, lost productivity, and the value of premature deaths associated with these conditions.  Good nutrition based on healthy eating is an essential factor that helps us to stay healthy.  If you are serious about eating healthier you need to shake it up.  Change those bad habits and start thinking differently.

Most of us are creatures of habit.  We buy the same foods and prepare the same recipes and live within our familiar routine.  The problem is we get so comfortable in our ways it is hard to give up those habits.  “Many people are skeptical about changing their diets because they have grown accustomed to eating or drinking the same foods, and there is a fear of the unknown or trying something new,” says John Foreyt, PhD, director of the Baylor College of Medicine Behavioral Medicine Research Center.  Even when you want to change, old habits die hard.  “Over time, habits become automatic, learned behaviors, and these are stronger than new habits you are trying to incorporate into your life,” says Foreyt.

Eating a healthier diet may be intimidating at first.  But once you start and notice the change of how you feel and how good the food taste.  Overtime your preferences will change and cravings will fade away.  Don’t feel discouraged if very thing is going along great and then you hit a rough patch and fall back into your old habits.  Just pick yourself up and start moving forward again.  It is time to shake things up and change those bad eating habits and start thinking differently.  If eating healthier seems like a big change for you, take it one step at time.  “Try to gradually incorporate new habits over time, and before you know it, you will be eating more healthfully and losing weight,” says Keri Gans, MS, RD, American Dietetic Association spokesperson and a nutritionist in private practice in New York.  Start slow and pick 1 to 2 changes to make.  Once you have accomplished those, pick 1 to 2 more.  Make it easy and something you can live with long term.   Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • be aware of your bad habits;
  • aim for two to five servings of fruit and vegetables each day ;
  • try to eat less sugary, fatty or salty foods; and if you have to only in small amounts;
  • drink fresh water instead of sugary drinks;
  • try some healthy recipes;
  • plan your meals ahead of time to shop for healthy ingredients;
  • enjoy eating healthy food with family or friends without distractions; and
  • make your snacks fruit or vegetables instead of chips.

Start slow, take your time and before you know it your lifestyle and eating habits will have changed for the better.

It is time to shake things up and take control.  For more information visit my website:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Stress Management

relax Feeling like there are too many pressures and demands on you?  Are you losing sleep because you’re worrying about issues in your life?  You’re not alone, everyone experiences stress at times.  Unfortunately stress is a fact of life.  Stress can be helpful at certain times, but also at the same time to much stress can damage your health.   Here are some fun facts where stress is helpful.

  • When you feel threatened, upset or in danger the body’s defenses kick into high gear to fight for your life or freeze and not move;
  • It helps you stay focused, energetic and alert;
  • It gives you extra strength to defend yourself;
  • It helps you to rise to challenges;
  • It sharpens your concentration; and
  • It makes you happy.

Now here are some facts where stress can damage your health.

  • Cognitive Symptoms (memory problems, poor judgment, constant worrying, anxious or racing thoughts).
  • Emotional Symptoms (moodiness, irritability, agitation, depression, and isolation).
  • Physical Symptoms (aches, diarrhea, nausea, chest pain, rapid heart beat, loss of sex drive).
  • Behavioral Symptoms (eating to much or not at all, sleeping to much or not at all, procrastination, mail biting, pacing).

Common causes of stress:

  • Life changes;
  • Work or school;
  • Relationships;
  • Financial issues;
  • Family;
  • Worrying or negativity;

Situations and pressures of our daily life can cause stress.  Stress can be brought on by our exhausting work schedule, kid’s activities, family or everyday demands.  We think of stress as being negative, but it can also be positive things that cause stress such as planning a wedding, buying a house going to school, anything that puts a lot of demands on you.

We are all different and “too much” stress differs from person to person.  Your ability to handle stress depends on many factors, your health, exercise, attitude and outlook, ability to deal with emotions.  Because of the widespread damage stress can cause to your overall health, it’s important to know how much you can handle.  Some people are able to roll with the punches, while others crumble on far smaller frustrations.  Some people seem to thrive on the excitement of a high-stress lifestyle.

To manage your stress you have to start identifying the source of stress in your life.  Sometimes that is not as easy as it sounds.  Your true sources of stress aren’t always that obvious and easy to overlook.  You may think that your stress is caused by your job deadlines when in reality it might be caused by your procrastination to meet the deadline.

Smoking, drinking, overeating, pills, procrastinating, withdrawing from people, physical violence, constantly doing things to keep you busy are temporary coping mechanisms that temporarily reduce stress but cause more damage than good.

If these are your methods for coping with stress you are just contributing to your health and emotions.  It’s time to make a change and find healthier options.  There are many ways to manage stress, but they all require change.  Until you accept responsibility for the role you are creating your stress level will remain outside your control.  You can either change the situation or change your reaction.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies.  Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.  Try positive self-talk every day.  You can do this while in the car, at your desk, or before you go to bed.  Need some help try these positive statements:

  • “I’ve got this.”
  • “I can get help if I need it.”
  • “We can work it out.”
  • “I won’t let this problem get me down.”
  • “Things could be worse.”
  • “I’m human, and we all make mistakes.”
  • “Someday I’ll laugh about this.”
  • “I can deal with this situation.”

Remember positive self-talk helps you relieve stress and deal with the situations that is causing you stress.  When stress makes you feel bad, try doing something that gives you pleasure, even if it is only for a short period of time.  Joy is a natural way to fight off stress.  Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if it is only for a short period of time.

For more information about how to handle stress visit my website here.  For more information visit my website:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Emotional Imbalances

emotionalRecent discoveries on how the brain works have shed important new light on the role a wide variety of natural chemicals play in manufacturing normal thought patterns, feelings, self-awareness and perceptions.  Emotional imbalances occur when a person is not coping with life.  Whether it is stress, anger, depression, or feelings of negativity. It is important to balance these emotions to prevent further problems.  There are several treatment for emotional imbalances.  These includes exercise, meditation, creative expression, relaxation, herbal medicine, massage, acupuncture, Ayurveda, aromatherapy, reflexology, counseling, and homeopathy.

The Seven Emotions

The seven basic emotions related to organ function are anger, joy, worry, dreamy, fear, sadness, and fright.  Each organ has a corresponding emotion.  If there is an imbalance with the emotion it can affect the organ’s function.  For example, prolonged anger can lead to an imbalance in the liver.  The liver imbalances can produce symptoms of anger, often leading to a self-perpetuating cycle.

It is important to remember that it is normal to experience the full range of emotions.  It is only when a particular emotion is experienced over a period of time or with intensity that it becomes a source of imbalance.  It is obviously important for a person with severe emotional problems to get professional help from a trained psychotherapist.  But even in these cases, therapy is more effective when the corresponding organ imbalance is rectified.  Acupuncture is especially effective in treating disorders of emotions.  Even when it is not completely effective in treating a physical ailment, it almost always brings about a state of emotional peacefulness.


Anger is associated with the liver.  By its nature, anger causes qi to rise in the liver, which leads to our face turning red, our eyes.  It causes headaches and dizziness.  This matches the pattern of liver fire rising.  Anger can also cause liver qi to “attack the spleen,” which causes indigestion, diarrhea and lack of appetite.  Especially if you argue while eating.

In a more long-term view, suppressed anger or frustration often causes liver qi to become stagnant; this might can result depression or menstrual disorders.  It is interesting to note that people who take herbs to release stagnant liver qi often experience bouts of anger as the stagnation is relieved.  The anger will pass as the condition clears.  Similarly, anger and irritability are often the determining factor in diagnosing liver qi stagnation.  Many people are relieved to know that their rage has a physiologic basis.  It is essential to avoid drinking coffee when treating anger-related liver disorders, as coffee heats the liver and greatly intensifies the condition.


The emotion of joy is connected with the heart.  A disorder related to joy may sound perplexing, since most people want as much joy in their life as possible.  The disorders associated with this emotion are not caused by happiness; rather from too much excitement or stimulation.  Or sudden good news that comes as a shock to the system.

When evaluating stress levels, psychologists look at all sources of stress, both positive and negative.  Clearly the death of a love one or a job loss is a source of stress. However, a marriage proposal, a job promotion or a marriage is a happy occasion.  These are also a source of stress.  A person who is constantly on the go, partying, and living a life of excess can eventually develop heart imbalances, palpitations, anxiety, and insomnia.  A person with heart imbalances may also exhibit emotional symptoms, since the heart is the seat of the spirit.  You may see this person chattering happily to himself with outbursts of laughter.

Such behavior results from the heart organ’s inability to provide a stable resting place.  This type of imbalance is treated with acupuncture along the heart meridian.  Herbal treatments consist of formulas that nourish heart blood or yin.  If heart fire disturbs the spirit, herbs that clear heat from the heart are used.


Worry is a very common emotion in our stress-filled society, worry can deplete the energy of the spleen.  This can lead to chronic fatigues and digestive disturbances.  A weakened spleen cannot efficiently turn food into qi, and the lungs are unable to extract qi from air efficiently.  A person who worries too much “carries the weight of the world on his/her shoulders,” is a good description of how a person feels when her weak spleen leads to dampness.  Treatment for this would include herbs that strengthen the spleen, allowing a person the energy to deal with life’s problems.


Too much thinking or obsessing about a topic can also deplete the spleen, causing a stagnation of the qi.  A person with this condition may exhibit such symptoms as poor appetite, forgetting to eat, or bloating after eating.  In time, the person may develop a pale complexion from a deficiency of spleen qi.  This eventually affects the heart, causing the person to dream about the same subjects at night.  Students are often affected by this imbalance; the standard treatment is the use of herbs.


Sadness or grief affects the lungs, causing fatigue, shortness of breath, crying, or depression.  Treatment for this condition involves acupuncture along the lung and kidney meridians.  Often, herbal formulas are used that tonify the qi of the lungs.


The emotion of fear is related to the kidneys.  This can be seen when extreme fear causes a person to urinate or in children it can manifest into bed-wetting, which psychologists have linked to insecurity and anxiety.  Over time long-term anxiety can deplete the kidneys of qi, eventually leading to chronic weakness.  Treatment involves tonifying the kidneys with tonics.


Shock is especially debilitating to the kidneys and heart.  The “fight or run” reaction causes an excessive release of adrenaline that sits on top of the kidneys.  This In turn causes the heart to respond with palpitations and anxiety.  Chronic stress from shock can be very debilitating to the entire system, causing a wide range of problems.  Severe shock can have a long-term effect on the heart, as is evident in victims of post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Treatment for shock involves psychotherapy, herbs that calm the spirit and nourish the heart and kidneys, and regular acupuncture treatments.

For example, a balance of work and play is good for your mental and emotional self.  If you have too much of one or the other it creates problems in your work and your personal life.  So you need to ask yourself how balanced your life is.  If you find yourself out of balance, I suggest you begin to fix it before it takes a toll on your mind and body.

It is time to find balance in your life so you can start living a healthier life.  For more information visit my website:

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design.  For more information or to schedule a holistic health assessment, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

Chronic Stress – How It Impacts Long-Term and Chronic Illnesses

stressresponseStress is inevitable in everyday life in society today. It can be caused because of a job, family, finances, emotional or unhealthy relationships. However, when stress is experienced at a higher rate it impacts your immune and digestive systems, so people who suffer from a chronic illness – such as diabetes – it can create even worse problems. Diabetes is one illness which is stressful due to the difficulty of stabilizing blood glucose levels, diet and exercise being a significant part of your daily routine.

So what do we know about stress and where it comes from? Stress is more than just an emotion or unpleasant feeling; it is a biological response to a perceived threat or challenge. Stress has been around since the beginning of time when you think about it. The ‘fight or flight’ response that you may feel is because of stress. So animals have this same response – they will either fight or run when threatened; we act in the same way. The nervous system usually balances the body’s responses to daily events in order to maintain proper levels of alertness and relaxation. A little stress can be a good thing because it motivates you to improve performance (team sports or meeting a deadline); it can even enhance our memory ability. When stress becomes chronic and constant then problems will start to arise.

Back in the day of the middle ages society was different and people reacted differently to stress by either being aggressive or by fleeing but today’s society no longer allows that way of life. So not only has our stressors changed, but so has our way of dealing with them. Most people will just allow the stress to build up; this is chronic stress and can cause more negative physical consequences. It reduces ability to fight infections, increases gastrointestinal problems and heightens pain sensitivity. It raises blood pressure and impedes the breakdown of fat in the bloodstream increasing risk of a heart attack and stroke. Chronic stress also affects the brain.

The stress response is actually part of the biological system created in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal glands. Sensory information including stressful things is from the hypothalamus which will emit a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone, which activates the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is the master hormonal gland and controls the production of hormones in many different parts of the body. It sends a signal through the blood telling the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cotisol. These are the hormones that ready the body for ‘flight or fight’ and will shut down many bodily systems (immune and digestive for instance) so that the body’s energy can be used entirely for the task at hand. This may be great for a short term strategy but in chronic stress will create long term havoc on the body, damaging tissues and increasing incidence of disease and disorders. It will also cause the hippocampus (the area of the brain that shuts down the stress response after it is no longer needed) to become damaged and impair its ability to shut down the stress response.

In the long run chronic stress can start to affect more areas of the brain causing lower ability with mental functions, reasoning, logic, planning, and can breakdown the filters in which certain substances – such as toxins and large molecules – can penetrate the brain. Reducing unnecessary stress will have wide-ranging positive effects, from lowering blood pressure to promoting cardiovascular health. There are many ways to lessen the stress in your life, different things you can do from yoga and exercise to creating a healthier lifestyle.

Want more information in stress reduction visit my website by clicking here. Do you need help with your stress reduction plans? Do you need help with designing a healthy lifestyle? If so contact me today!

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at:

4 Tips to Eliminate Stress-Related Debt

Debt-stress-File-6021396-300x205When one is heavily in debt or have over-extended oneself, this can certainly cause a large amount of stress and affect every area of your life. Debt can be accumulated through credit cards, student loans, business loans, car loans, mortgages first or second, or small to large ticket items and at times this can be simply what some call everyday living. Clearly a lot can happen over the years and debt can build up. It can become very frustrating and create pressure on personal relationships, career, family, health and can lead to illness.

Here are 4 tips that may help provide you with some relief of the debt-related stress:

1. Focus on the big picture – you can become overwhelmed and frustrated while paying off debt which causes you to lose focus of the big picture. Remember your debt is only temporary if you stay focused. Allow yourself to focus on your emergency funds and retirement, imagine the extra money you will have once your debt is gone – in other words don’t lose the focus on the big picture.

2. Remember the why – the why is the big reason for striving to be debt free. Everyone has personal goals, focus on what those goals are and remember the why.

3. Make room for rewards – you cannot stop living just because you have debt. Celebrate those big wins with small rewards, set up a system based on your goals and then treat yourself when you accomplish them, so if you have a goal for paying off $1,000 in debt in 6 months and you pay it off in 3 give yourself an extra treat. Just make sure your goals are realistic.

4. Pay off debt like it’s a game – if you think of it as a game (and maybe include some of your like-minded friends and family) you can see who reaches the finish line first. Getting out of debt is more about your attitude than your finances, be a debt-fighting warrior and you will win the game.

When you start to utilize these tips you will feel a little less stressed and less frustrated, and perhaps a little more excited when you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Want to read all of the blogs from this past week? You can read them all in full here.

Do you need some stress relief, debt counseling, or a better financial plan? If so contact me today and let me help.

Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: or visit her website at: