You don’t have to be June Cleaver preparing every little thing from scratch. You don’t have to be perfect. – Denise Costello
On this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast, I’m really excited to talk with Denise Costello, the founder of The Energized Body and co-founder of Chrysalis Center for Meditation and Wellness. Denise’s journey started with food, but moved into movement. We’re going to talk about both, plus an amazing experience she’s offering this spring.
Denise lived a very healthy lifestyle. She integrated exercise, movement, cooked and ate healthy. But when her twins were babies, she heard radio report on cancer, saying that by the time her children turned 18, one of six people would have cancer. She got really serious about protecting her family and trying to lower their risks. So she dug into integrated medicine and tried recipes and meditation—and she gathered other moms to share what she knew. Then she turned helping moms and families into a business.
Two important things about Denise were that she realized a healthy lifestyle was doable—even with twins and an adopted daughter. Even when her husband was in the Navy Reserves and gone for long stretches. Even while running a business. She approached situations like making dinner with joy — and without a need to do it perfectly. We’ll talk about specific tips for make it easier.
We talk about:
- Getting your kids involved with food prep and cooking
- Setting your own standards of normal instead of worrying about what other people think
- Using a Crock Pot (I think I’m finally convinced to try)
- Kitchen hacks to make prepping dinner easier
- Making cooking more enjoyable—Denise describes her kitchen “sitch” and why music matters
- Fitting in movement, being forgiving of yourself, and Denises 80% rule
Denise Costello is the sometimes called the Fit Foodie. She’s the founder of The Energized Body and co-founder of Chrysalis Center Meditation and Wellness. She started out as a nurse and got excited about empowering individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle, thereby keeping them out of the hospital. Her interest in health and wellness increased and got personal with the birth of her twins. Her mission is to help you eat your way happy & healthy so you can feel your best, be your best & give your best.
Doable Changes from this episode:
- TAKE SHORTCUTS IN THE KITCHEN. Chop and freeze onions so you have them ready when you need them—or buy them pre-chopped. Look for basil, garlic, and ginger pre-chopped and frozen. What other prep could be done for you? How else could you set yourself up for ease another day? These kinds of shortcuts lead to healthier meals, instead of unhealthy choices.
- MAKE MEAL PREP ENJOYABLE. Create an enjoyable situation before you start cooking. Turn on music, light a candle, pour yourself a cup of tea — create the right mood.
- PLAN MOVEMENT. Denise says, “First you have to make movement a priority in your head, and you plan it.” Getting movement in first thing in the morning is great. You get it done before you get distracted or pulled in other directions. Getting up early can be tough for some people, but Denise suggests that when you exercise, you sleep really well, which might make getting up early easier.
REALLY getting healthy as a family can be a big lifestyle change. But no matter how insurmountable it may feel, focusing on one doable change at a time can help you take small steps toward your big goal.
A healthy lifestyle is really made of lots of little things that when repeated regularly and added together over time make a huge impact on your life.
Choose one Doable Change every Sunday night — one thing that you are willing to play with for the week. The key is to keep it doable and fun! Write that thing on a sticky note or your phone so you remember it. Then put 3 things on your calendar that support it.
Choose from the changes above or download a list of 101 Doable Changes we made for you.