10 Ways to Eat Less at Mealtimes

10 Ways to Eat Less at Mealtimes

eat less

If you’ve ever struggled with portion control or being ravenous once you sit down at the table, check out these TEN WAYS TO EAT LESS AT MEALTIMES.

10. Use a smaller plate.  You’ll get the visual cue that you’re eating more food which helps you feel satisfied.

9. Serve food from the kitchen rather than the table family style. Be aware of portion sizes as you serve.

8. After food has been plated in the kitchen, immediately pack up leftovers and put them in the refrigerator. Remove the temptation to go back for seconds (or thirds)!

7. If eating out and ordering an entree, order a to-go box at the same time.  Pack part of the meal immediately upon being served.

6. Rather than ordering an entree, inquire about the size of appetizer portions.

5. Eat fruits and vegetables first. Unless you have blood sugar issues, allow yourself unrestricted portions of fruits and vegetables.

4. Drink a glass of water as soon as you sit down at the table. Most of us are under-hydrated as it is. By drinking water first, you nourish your body with water AND start to fill your stomach without ingesting a single calorie!

3. Chew your food thoroughly. Eat your meal slowly. Savor the tastes.  Allow your brain to get the message that you’re eating and satisfying your hunger.

2. Engage in mealtime conversation.  Again, this gives you time for the brain to give the ‘all full’ signal.

1. Eat only when hungry, not just because everyone else is eating at that time. If you’re not hungry, lead the conversation.

What are your top tips for eating less at mealtime?  I’d love to hear them!

Grab the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle While You Still Can!

Grab the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle While You Still Can!

Have you ever wondered how you can make small changes and have a healthier, happier family?

I think about that question pretty much all the time.

That’s why I’m so excited about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. It’s 100+ resources packed with useful tips for real people just like us.

I’ve already had a sneak preview, so I’m trying to figure out my favorite part. Is it the…

  • eCourse Yoga For Healthy Hormones: How To Use Yoga To Boost Your Metabolism Naturally By Balancing Low Thyroid And Adrenals by Marina Gutner ($27.00)
  • Cooking for Hormone Balance. Rebalance Your Hormones with Food by Magdalena Wszelaki ($67.00)
  • Energetic Mama: Become a Better Mum by Becoming a Healthier You! by Jessica Donovan ($29.00)


I think it might be the Build Healthy Habits: Six Weeks to Wellness by ME! ($57.00)

If those don’t sound interesting to you, don’t worry. I haven’t yet mentioned the other 103 resources :).

But rather than paying for individual courses, you can receive the whole bundle for just $29.97.

That sounds like a great deal, but that’s not all…

I am also offering a bonus of my own. Buy through my affiliate link, and you’ll get a FREE enrollment in my six-week Balance Virtual Bootcamp. All you have to do is email me your order number after you buy your healthy living bundle.

Say “yes!” to getting the tools you need for a healthier, happier life by picking up your bundle right now.

But don’t wait too long. The sale ends TODAY at midnight!

P.S. I think this is a great bundle with life-changing resources. But what’s really awesome is the 30-day happiness guarantee. Try it out and if you’re not satisfied, just ask for a refund within 30 days.

This post contains affiliate links. I am a proud UHLB contributor.

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle FAQs

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle FAQs


As a Running on Balance reader, you’ve probably received my emails about the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle.

I’ve been getting some great questions from people looking for more information. So I decided to just answer them all in one place in case you have the same questions.

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle FAQs

Q1: What am I going to do with 107 eBooks / eCourses? Yikes!

A1: There is no way on earth each of these eBooks / eCourses is relevant to where you are right now! Some of them will have a lot of appeal, and some won’t.

But in most cases, it only takes 3 or 4 eBooks or eCourses that you’re going to use for you to start saving money. So, even though you won’t use every resource in the bundle, it would still be really hard to not save a ton of money anyways.

My eCourse, Building Healthy Habits: Six Weeks to Wellness, normally sells for $57 all by itself!

Q2: With so many resources included, how will I even know where to start?

A2: That’s one of my favorite things about Ultimate Bundles! Each bundle includes a practical Getting Started Guide to help you identify which eBooks and eCourses are most relevant to you. Knowledge is power, but only if you can access it, right?

In addition to the guide, inside your bundle you can narrow down all the products by category or even keywords to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Q3: How do I know I’m actually getting good quality products and not just a bunch of “throw-away” eBooks?

A3: For one, over 80,000 people have purchased a Healthy Living Bundle in the last few years, with thousands of folks purchasing the newest edition every single year. That simply doesn’t happen if the bundle is stuffed with “garbage.”

More importantly, as a contributor to the Healthy Living Bundle. I guarantee I wouldn’t take part in something that I felt wasn’t up to my standards.

(And if you’ve known me very long, you know I love to overdeliver.)

Q4: OK, but what if I buy it and don’t like it?

A4: There is a 100% happiness guarantee refund policy. If you don’t love it, just email customerservice@ultimatebundles.com within 30 days to ask for a full refund.

Q5: Can I just wait and purchase it some other time? Isn’t this “limited time only” just a sales gimmick?

A5: You’re right, and I really dislike that gimmick. However, because of the unique nature of this sale (Ultimate Bundles does not have the perpetual right to sell the included eBooks and eCourses), the sale will truly end on September 25th.

That said, included in the author contract is the right for Ultimate Bundles to run one more 48-hour sale at some point during the next 12 months. Although it’s likely to happen for the Healthy Living Bundle (due to its popularity), it’s not guaranteed. The safest way to guarantee that you get your copy is to pick it up before the official expiry **tomorrow** MONDAY September 25th.

I hope that fully answers your questions!! In my opinion, there really is no downside, and there is a ton of upside. But I’ll leave that up to you. Just don’t wait too long, because the sale ends TOMORROW.


This post contains affiliate links. I am a proud UHLB contributor.

Physical Wellness: Fitness, Nutrition & Hydration

Physical Wellness: Fitness, Nutrition & Hydration

The concept of wellness includes everything that affects the health and outlook of a person: physical, mental, and spiritual.  When we think about physical health in Western society, most of the focus goes to issues such as weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol markers.  As someone interested in holistic health and wellness, today we will look at the three components of physical wellness: fitness, nutrition, and hydration.

Aspects of Physical Wellness


As the first component of physical wellness, fitness relates to the body’s ability to carry out daily tasks.  How strong is the skeleton? How well do the muscles pull on the bones to move the body?  How easily can you do what needs to be done every day without getting tired?

Fitness includes cardiovascular health, which is the efficiency of the heart and lungs working together.  Exercise such as walking, running, swimming, biking, and dancing are all ways to improve cardiovascular fitness.

Resistance (or strength) training is another component of fitness.  Activities that build strength include weight lifting, using resistance bands, or aqua exercise.

Including both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training in your life improves your fitness.


Food is the fuel your body needs to survive.  If you feed your body with high quality fuel, you’ll get high quality results.  Unfortunately, the converse is also true:  feed your body junk, and you’ll feel like junk.

Any quick Google search reveals the tremendous number of popular nutrition ideas.  While following a particular nutrition philosophy may have good science behind it, there’s a lot of nutrition information that is driven by fads.

Michael Pollen famously said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

As simple (and obvious!) as that sounds, it really is sound advice.  In a society of abundance, we have food around us at every turn.  As such, we tend to overeat.  Even worse, this food that is so readily available is usually non-nutritious.

Your physical wellness can be improved if you eat nutrient-dense foods and pay attention to your body’s cues about when it is full.  Again, it seems to simple to be true.  But sometimes we shouldn’t ignore the obvious.


Water consumption can improve your physical wellness with little to no expense to you.  Huzzah!

If we drink enough water, we create in our body the optimal conditions for carrying out hundreds of basic and essential functions.  But if we are under-hydrated, we can experience all kinds of unpleasant issues: headaches, backaches (hello!  kidneys!), muscle fatigue, and brain fog.

But by staying well hydrated, our body can easily digest the healthy nutrient-dense foods we eat and can lubricate the joints we use in fitness activities.  Again, sometimes it’s the simple things that can deliver the biggest results.

When taken together, fitness, nutrition, and hydration contribute to physical wellness.  And because we live in our bodies all day every day, when our body feels good, our mood and interactions with others improve.  When you feel good, you feel good!

Product Review: Rally

Product Review: Rally

I’ve blogged about the stomach troubles I’ve faced while running. I bonked in both the 2014 NYC Marathon and the 2015 Dallas Marathon, due in part to stomach upset. Both times, I was drinking a full-strength electrolyte drink that made me nauseated.

So when I was approached to test a new-to-market electrolyte replacement drink, I knew I’d be reviewing it as a skeptic.  Rally promises low sugar (good!), B Vitamins (speedy recovery!), twice the potassium of most sports drinks (happy muscles!), and 2.5 times the electrolytes of leading brands (good for on the go).

I was intrigued by the concept of an electrolyte drink aimed at recovery rather than on-the-run hydration. As someone who logs a lot of miles during peak training, I need all the recovery help I can get.

Product Review Rally

Rally comes in four flavors: tangerine, fruit punch, lemon lime, and raspberry grape. Of those flavors, two seemed really appealing to me and two didn’t sound so tasty. But I was committed to trying them all. (In the name of thorough research, of course!)

Citrus flavors are generally my favorite, so I started with the tangerine Rally after a long run. Oy vey, it was tart! I could tell without a doubt that the sodium level was higher than in other electrolyte drinks. The tart saltiness wasn’t appealing to me, but I drank the whole bottle anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised to notice a real bump in my energy level that afternoon. Rather than feeling the mid-afternoon slump that generally takes place on a long run day, I felt quite energetic. Maybe this Rally stuff was on to something after all!

In the week that followed, I tried the other three flavors. Lemon-lime was next, again because of my preference for citrus. It was more appealing than the tangerine, but I still had to work pretty hard to get through the whole bottle. I was surprised by how strong the flavor was, particularly because the drink it clear. It is thick like an electrolyte drink, with a bit of the expected heaviness that lets you know you’re not drinking water.

I was pretty neutral going in to the raspberry grape taste test. Wow! I loved this one! It was a bit lighter tasting and less salty than its citrus cousins. I also experienced the recovery boost touted on the label.

Begrudgingly, I tried the fruit punch Rally. Please note that I really intensely dislike fruit punch flavored stuff. Even as a kid, I wouldn’t drink Hawaiian Punch. So my expectations were very low.

Needless to say, I was surprised when I found the fruit punch the most drinkable Rally flavor. It was the only one that, when I got to the bottom of the bottle, I wished there was more! (The bottles are each 20 ounces, so there should be no need for more recovery drink than that! It’s plenty!) The fruit punch had the lightest taste.

While I only liked two of the four Rally flavors, I recognize that taste is hugely subjective. When I think about the results I had when I drank Rally, they are all favorable. Not only did I experience more energy in the afternoons after hard run efforts, but I felt less day-after muscle fatigue as well. When you are results-driven, that kind of outcome is motivating.

Rally is available for purchase in select state. Click here for a map to see if you can purchase Rally near you.


I was provided four bottles of Rally for free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and based on my experiences.

The Magic of Meal Planning

The Magic of Meal Planning

The Magic of Meal Planning

I hate waste.

Regardless of the resource– food, money, time, energy– I look for the most efficient way to do things.

My obsession began when I was nine years old, and my family took a vacation to the still-being-built-new-Urbanist-town Seaside, Florida.  When we were there, Seaside consisted of a few houses here and there, a post office, and a town market that had a bookshop.  It was in that bookshop that I bought “Cheaper By The Dozen” by Frank B. Gilbreth.  In this classic story, I met the Gilbreth parents and their twelve kids.  I also met the concept of efficiency as it was applied in everyday life.

I often tell people that I run because I prize efficiency.  I don’t need any equipment, and I can run anywhere.  I can get in a great workout by varying tempo and terrain depending on how much time I have.

But the real place my efficiency obsession shows itself is in my commitment to meal planning.

You see, people wrongly assume that I love to cook.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I neither have an adventurous palate nor a desire to develop one.  I also find no real joy in the cooking process, although I’m certainly grateful to be able to prepare meals for my family with little thought as to how I’ll have the time or money to make it happen.

I love to eat healthy, nutritious, delicious food.  I will spend money on high-quality ingredients, but I’m too frugal to eat out often.  And I hate, HATE wasting food.

Meal Planning

So, I’m a meal planner.  For the last 15 years– my entire married life– I’ve made a weekly meal plan.  I try to make dishes that use similar ingredients so that I can buy in bulk and eliminate waste.  Having a plan also saves time, since I can have all the ingredients I need on hand and can even do some prep work on days I have more time.  Over the years I have learned to order meals in certain ways during the week to capitalize on lighter vs. busier evenings and allowing for meals that create leftovers– well, they did until I had a 12-year-old boy to feed– to give myself a night off.

This year for Lent, our family sacrifice was to eat more simply at dinner time.  I used my Pinterest board of soups and stews as the basis for our two-month meal plan.  I filled in days with different salads or sandwiches.   I only included meals for Monday-Friday so that we could have one night of leftovers and one night to either eat out or make other plans. By the end of my planning, here’s what I had:

February 2016

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
ASH WEDNESDAY- lentil soup Taco salads Bean & Cheese burritos/salad
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Irish beef stew w/mashers Chicken noodle soup Quiche & biscuits Southwestern chicken salad Risotto
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Chicken fried rice Baked potato soup Sausage spinach carrot lentils Greek salads w/grilled chix Broccoli cheese soup
28 29
Thai coconut chicken soup

March 2016

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 2 3 4 5
Sausage penne bake & salad Coconut ginger chicken w/rice Chef salads Tuna Noodle Casserole
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Shrimp & corn chowder Chicken enchilada crock pot soup Roasted Veg Salad Lemon chicken orzo soup Quiche & fruit salad
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Chicken tortilla soup Pesto pasta primavera Tuscan chicken stew Taco salad French onion soup
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
Bolognese Breakfast For Dinner & Fruit Creamy chicken stew Slow cooker potato & corn chowder Penne rosa w/shrimp


I know how hard it is to please multiple people’s palates night after night.  In the past, I have asked each kid for a meal suggest every week, so that I can assure them that if Monday night isn’t your favorite meal, your choice is coming later in the week.  For the Lenten simple suppers calendars, I didn’t ask for anyone’s input.  And here’s the miracle: no one complained!  Granted, my kids love pretty much any kind of soup or pasta, so these meals played to their strengths.

By planning out meals for nearly two months, I freed myself up on a weekly basis.  I am fortunate not to need to sales shop so closely that I can only buy goods on sale, but I have been there.  Meal planning using the sales flyers as a starting point is another way to approach this habit.  I do stock up on good deals when I find them, and keeping a stocked pantry of staples is another way of saving time.  Rare is it that we have to come up with a Plan B for dinner because of a missing ingredient.


If you have never tried meal planning before, I know it can be daunting.  With the development of Pinterest and it’s seemingly endless options for recipes– some good, some terrible– meal planning has become even easier.  Feel free to search my Super Yum and Soup’s On! boards for ideas, including some of the meals on the above calendars.   My favorite food blogs for healthy, easy recipes are Iowa Girl Eats  (gluten-free recipes) and Damn Delicious.  Give yourself a few weeks of trying to plan your meals, and reap the benefits of more home-cooked meals in less time.

Good health and great happiness to you.