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How to increase your metabolism

What is Metabolism?

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight. But what exactly does this all mean?

Well, technically, “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body. It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. And without this amazing biochemistry YOU would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:
●  Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
● Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
●  Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism, you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.


What is the Metabolic Rate?

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:
● Work (i.e. exercise and other activity)
● Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions)
● Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat)

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat, the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate. One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: A LOT!

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism. Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too! Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial! As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does. So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you’re not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen. So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”.


The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food. This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%. By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don’t forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.


Enjoy this recipe. A delicious way to add protein to your dinner.

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

(Serves 4)


  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 organic chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • dash salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

Preheat oven to 425F. Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper. Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken. Drizzle with avocado oil. Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!


If you are ready to increase your metabolism through the power of nutrition and fitness, consider joining the THRIVE program {your one-stop wellness program}. Combining the expertise of a certified personal trainer + a certified nutritional therapy practitioner, you will have everything you need to start THRIVING in your health and wellness! Learn more here. 




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Food combining and mono meals for better digestion

Food Combining

You’ve probably heard the saying “You are what you eat.”  I believe this to be true.  But I also believe that you need to take it one step further.

“You are what you can digest.”

For someone who struggles with digestive dysfunction or symptoms of a sluggish digestive system, eating mono meals and/or paying close attention to food combining could be very beneficial.

What is a mono meal?

What exactly is a mono meal and why is it beneficial? Very good question which can be answered by taking a step back in time. You see our ancestors, for thousands of years, wouldn’t have had access to the diverse array of delicious foods we have when we open our fridge.  It would’ve been more of a scenario like you found a berry bush at it’s prime ripeness. Ancestrally we would’ve understood that with no way to preserve such bounty, we’d have to eat as much as we could right then and there. Our bodies and brains are much better adapted to this since it’s how humans ate for the majority of their time on this earth.

food combiningA mono meal is just a fancy way of saying, fill yourself up on a meal that consists of ONE thing. Eat a big bowl of just watermelon, eat four bananas, a big bowl of steamed sweet potato etc.  The benefits of mono meals are mainly to do with digestive health. They remove the burden of your digestive system having to differentiate from an array of different substances which all require different enzymes.

The way we eat doesn’t always make sense. Combining starches, proteins, fats and sugars is bound to create a digestive burden which shows up as discomfort, gas and other pesky digestive issues.  When you take a break from complex meals, your organs have a chance to rejuvenate. Detoxification naturally happens at this point and you might find that when you go back to eating as usual, you digest your food better and have more energy.

This leads me to my next point…

What is food combining?

Food combining is a system of eating foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy.  It takes into account the area of digestion for each food within the digestive system and the complexity of digestion for each food.

There are three primary categories of food: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.  Each category of food requires different enzymes for proper digestion.  So here are a few good rules of thumb to follow:

DO NOT EAT PROTEIN AND STARCHES AT THE SAME MEAL.  Proteins begin their digestion in the stomach where the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin to break down the food in a highly acidic environment.  When you eat starches, digestion first begins in your mouth, then your stomach secretes the enzyme ptyalin to create an alkaline condition.  Eating starches and proteins at the same meal will neutralize each other and will prevent proper digestion of either food.  Proteins need a highly acidic environment.  Starches need an alkaline environment.

food combiningEAT FRUITS ALONE, ESPECIALLY MELONS.   This is because when fruit is eaten, the digestive process works very quickly and our body uses different enzymes to digest the fruit. The simple sugars contained in fruit need time to be completely absorbed by your body.  If you eat fruit close to a meal, especially right after a larger meal and combine with other foods, it’s held in the stomach too long along with other foods and will rot and ferment in the gut.  Fermentation can lead to gas, rob you of energy, and slow down your digestion.  Now let’s talk about melons.  Melons do not digest well with other foods, period.  And they will frequently cause problems unless consumed by itself.

To recap, here are the best methods for food combining.  

  1. Eat fruit alone.
  2. Eat proteins with non-starchy foods.
  3. Eat starches with vegetables.

Your gut is really your first line of defense for sickness prevention and ultimate health.  It’s easy to forget so I always like to remind my clients that 80% of the body’s immune system lives in the gut.  If you have suffered for a long time with energy issues, poor digestion and inflammation, then you may want to consider food combining.  What have you got to lose?

Do you need support for your digestive health?  Nutritional therapy could be just what you need.  I work with clients across the US and specialize in digestive health, adrenal health, blood sugar and so much more!  Learn about my practice and services here.  http://cecemcclintick.com/work-with-me/


How does journaling improve your gut health?


What do writing words on paper have to do with healing your gut? How does journaling improve your gut health? The answers might surprise you. Journaling can help your digestive health in a few ways. There’s been a surprising amount of research done on the health benefits of keeping a journal.

Reduce Stress and Digest

Writing in a journal is a powerful exercise in stress reduction. There are few opportunities in life to spill out your deepest emotions without fear of judgement and journaling is one of them.

Stress is terrible for your gut health. It inhibits healthy digestion and chronic stress can even lead to more severe conditions like leaky gut.

Using a journal as an outlet to vent negative emotions gets them out of your system and has a cathartic effect. It might seem weird if you’ve never journaled before but you’ll probably grow to view writing as a form of therapy. It’s simply a space to write down how you truly feel and process the good, the bad, and the ugly.



Keeping Track of Your Reactions

The other benefit of journaling for gut health is keeping track of what goes into your body and your reactions to it. You don’t have to do this forever, but if you want to get on the fast track to healthy digestion, it’s necessary.

Try writing down what you eat and how you feel for one week and you’ll be so much more aware of your reactions to certain foods. It doesn’t have to end at how you feel physically, you could also make a note of how you feel emotionally after eating certain foods.

Perhaps eating soup makes you feel comforted and cozy, where eating a fast food burger might make you feel bad about yourself.  Do you feel wired or jittery after drinking your second cup of coffee?  Start to take note of how you feel before and after each meal to begin to see a connection to your gut health and the foods you eat. Write it all down and over time you’ll be more conscious of only putting food in your body that’s deeply nourishing.

Make it Special

Journaling is an act of self-love. You do it for yourself and no one else. Get yourself a beautiful journal that inspires you to take action. Having a gorgeous journal will inspire you to use it.  Click here for ideas and happy writing!  I can’t wait for you to experience how journaling can improve your gut health.

How to alleviate stress with lavender oil


How to alleviate stress with lavender oil

Lavender oil has been known to treat skin issues, reduce anxiety, and strengthen your immune system.

Lavender oil has been used for thousands of years (roughly 2,500 years to be exact) as perfume, a deodorant, disinfectant, insect repellent, and an aphrodisiac.  Interesting fact, it was also used to tame lions—needless to say, lavender oil is a superstar natural health remedy.

Lavender has always been known for its calming and relaxing effect and is regularly used to treat high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that the use of the scent of lavender increases the time spent in deep sleep. These results were also stronger for women than men.

Photography by Sash Photography http://sashphotography.com

Other health benefits lavender provides includes skin treatment (especially with acne), digestive relief, and infection prevention and treatment. Lavender has properties that are anti-microbial to reduce fungal and inflammatory infections. This versatile oil has also been used for pain relief, headaches and migraines, muscle aches, menstrual cramps, allergies, asthma, sleep inducing, gas or bloating, burns, chicken pox, dry skin, and muscle relaxant.

For women who are going through menopause, lavender tends to have an estrogen-like effect on the body to help you through the change (not to mention the stress and discomfort that comes with it).

Best results are found when lavender oil is used in your bath, diffused into the air, or directly on your skin. For your bath, mix about 5 or 6 drops into the bath water. If you are diffusing the oil into the air, I suggest 10-12 drops of lavender and only two drops if you are applying directly onto the skin.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.