On Thursday evenings from 8 to 9pm ET, IBN hosts #HandmadeChat, a Twitter talk show to help handmade entrepreneurs sell more products, have more fun, and be more successful both personally and professionally. While the show is aimed mainly at business owners who make and sell handmade consumer products, the topics and discussions can empower and encourage the growth of any small business.
Yesterday's chat was sponsored by Bramble Berry, soapmaking equipment, fragrance oils, classes, videos and more!
Our topic was Boost Your Health To Boost Your Business. Our guest was esthetician, holistic health coach and CEO of Holistically Haute, Rachael Pontillo. Here are some of Rachel's best tips for maximizing your health and fitness.
Q1 WHAT ARE THE TOP THINGS YOU DID TO LOSE 80 POUNDS RECENTLY?
It took about 2 and a half years, and the biggest thing I did was to consciously change my thinking. First, I got rid of my “skinny” clothes and accepted that my weight at the time might be my size for the rest of my life. I made the decision to accept that, and realized that I had to learn to love myself and accept responsibility for where I was.
The book, The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder, inspired me and offered great tips for rearranging certain aspects of my diet, adding lots of nutrient-dense, fresh whole foods (mostly greens and grains), and also, magic green smoothies. It also educated me on why certain foods like processed sugar, dairy and wheat/gluten were probably not serving me well, and possibly getting in the way of my results.
Q2 HOW CAN HANDMADE ENTREPRENEURS, WHO SPEND MUCH TIME ONLINE, STAY HEALTHY AND FIT?
It’s all about being organized and prioritizing health in your schedule. I schedule grocery shopping trips, time to prepare meals, and yoga practices into each day. I plan ahead and make lots of things in advance so I always have something healthy to grab on super busy days.
Q3 WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT: DIET OR EXERCISE?
It’s kind of like which came first, the chicken or the egg! You need both, but you don’t necessarily need both at the same time.
At my heaviest, I was in a lot of pain and unable to do a lot of exercise. Once weight started to come off, I had lots more energy, was in less pain on a regular basis, and wasn’t sore for days after a brisk walk or jog. This isn’t always the case for everyone, because everyone’s needs are different, but I started with the nutrition and added exercise later. I also experimented to see what type of exercise my body liked the best.
Q4 HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO LOSE A LOT OF WEIGHT GET STARTED WITH EXERCISE?
Slowly and with guidance. It depends on how much physical pain you have (many overweight people have chronic pain issues), and it depends on whether you have existing health issues other than weight concerns. Walking and low-impact cardio like spinning, an elliptical, and swimming are fantastic because you can adjust your pace. Higher energy stuff like Zumba, Vinyasa or Power yoga are great when you are ready for it.
Listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to push out of your comfort zone, but don’t do anything to cause pain or wind yourself too much right away.
There are many theories on this, and different things will work for different people, but overdoing it when you are carrying a lot of extra weight can be very dangerous. Always seek professional help.
Q5 WHAT SUPER ENERGY BOOSTERS DO YOU KEEP ON HAND THROUGH THE WORKDAY?
Green smoothies! They are great for energy throughout the day. I also love raw veggies or seed crackers with hummus—they taste great and give you some protein. Also make sure you are drinking enough water—fatigue is often a sign of dehydration. You can also do some breathing exercises, “office” yoga, or even some jumping jacks for a quick burst.
Q6 HOW MUCH WATER TO YOU RECOMMEND PEOPLE DRINK PER DAY AND WHY?
The rule of thumb is to take your weight and divide it by two. Drink that number in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, drink 100 ounces of water daily. This varies depending on your level of physical activity, and also the weather. We need more water when we are sweating more in the summer.
Q7 WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOBILE APPS WE CAN USE TO BOOST OUR FITNESS LEVEL?
iHeart Fruit and iHeart Veggies (both free) are fantastic and let you check nutrition information on your favorite fruits and veggies and track your daily intake. They are a user-friendly and fun way to help you get your fruits and veggies in! Another app I like is Water Your Body ($0.99), which tracks your water intake throughout the day. There are also lots of great yoga apps that are either free or very low cost.
Q8 WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDED ON THE GO SNACKS?
I pack fruit and veggie slices in a small container with salsa or hummus for dipping. I also like sunflower seeds, walnuts (now considered a superfood!), and homemade trail mixes. A little bit of organic chocolate with 70% or higher cacao content is nice too.
Q9 WHAT FOODS SHOULD WE AVOID — ESPECIALLY THINGS THAT WE'VE BEEN LED TO BELIEVE ARE HEALTHY?
Artificial sweetener like aspartame and sucralose are linked to many health concerns and have been shown in studies to possibly increase sweet cravings.
Also beware of anything labeled “low-fat/fat-free,” “low-carb,” “sugar-free,” “low calorie,” etc., unless they are whole, real (not packaged or processed) foods. A “low-something” version means it is not the whole food, and the body often cannot properly digest it. Eat the whole food and watch your portions.
Q10 WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PRACTICAL HEALTH AND FITNESS BOOKS?
Q11 DO YOU RECOMMEND THAT SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS ENGAGE A FITNESS OR WELLNESS COACH? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Yes I do. Small business owners are often pulled in many different directions and have so many obligations and responsibilities that they neglect their own needs. The coach is there to focus on you even if you don’t focus on yourself!
A coach can create a plan that works within your busy schedule, and provides support, education, and accountability. A coach might also come up with different solutions and strategies for prioritizing, scheduling in “you” time and meal planning, and have suggestions you might have never thought of. Coaches are trained to meet people where they are in their busy lives and provide healthy and sustainable solutions. Who wouldn’t benefit from that!?
More About Rachael Pontillo
Rachael has been a member of IBN since June 2011.
She is a mom, a licensed esthestician, a certified level II Reiki practitioner, a certified Wull Stone Therapist and a health coach. She also loves makeup, and has worked as a freelance makeup artist for more than 10 years. She is also a freelance writer and copy editor, and the editor at Holistically Haute blog. Her work has been featured on Blogcritics.org, Technorati Media, and Dermascope Magazine.
When Is The Next #HandmadeChat?
The next #HandmadeChat will be Thursday, January 3, 2013, at 8pm ET, with Dawn Fitch of Pooka Pure and Simple in Orange, New Jersey. Dawn, who has been featured in dozens of magazines and television shows, including the CBS Evening News and on the cover of Black Enterprise Magazine, will to share her story and her best tips for your personal and entrepreneurial success.
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