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Kendra Miller: Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle During Busy Season

Published by Summit Marketing Team on Mar 25, 2024 10:26:28 AM


The Young CPA Success Show: Episode 16

Busy season is in full effect! For nutrition advice when you need it the most, Kendra Miller, a registered dietitian, joins Joey and Hannah to explore the intersection of nutrition and the demanding lifestyle of accounting professionals. They discuss the challenges of maintaining healthy eating habits, particularly during CPA busy season, and the importance of hydration, balanced meals, and regular physical activity. Kendra provides practical advice on meal planning, managing stress eating, and making mindful food choices.


Intro (00:00:00) - Welcome to the young CPA Success Show. If you're a young accounting professional, this podcast is your ultimate guide to navigating your early career. Join us as we share valuable insights, expert advice, and practical tips to help you kickstart your path to success and excel in the accounting industry. Let's embark on this exciting accounting journey together.

Joey (00:00:23) - Hannah. So I know when we're usually talking about these intros, we usually kind of try to keep it light and keep it funny and tell some stories and really just sort of have fun with it, because generally speaking, we like to have fun, wouldn't you say?

Hannah (00:00:37) - Absolutely. We sure do. We're a good time.

Joey (00:00:40) - Yeah, exactly. We're not just accounting nerds. We've got so much more going on., but today's episode is a little bit. I don't want to say heavier, but it's a little bit more personal to me. And I know from our conversations it's more personal to you as well. So, I thought we'd, we'd we should introduce our guest here first, and then I'd like to kind of roll into some stories about, you know, why we're having our guests on the show today? Because it's something that's very personal to me.

Joey (00:01:10) - It's something that's very personal to you and it's personal to a lot of people. And, you know, there's this is I don't want to sit there and say there's a trigger warning because we were very intentional about trying not to talk about things that could potentially trigger. But this is something that I know a lot of people struggle with. I've struggled with it. You've struggled with it. So.., our guest today is Kendra miller. She's a registered dietitian, her website is fuelinglifemutrition.com and we wanted to talk to her today about strategies for nutrition and eating and healthy and fueling your body and doing all of the things that, you know, I really wish that I had done a better job of when I was, when I was younger. And one of the reasons I think people would be like, well, why are you having a dietician on a podcast about being a CPA? It's a fair question., the idea behind this was thinking back in my personal life to when I was younger, I was not in a good place physically, mentally, emotionally, all of the things I struggled very deeply with anxiety.

Joey (00:02:26) - I struggled with depression. I struggled with my weight. I alternated between certain types of disordered eating, whether it was situations where my stomach was so upset that I didn't hardly eat at all, to the opposite, where life was stressful and things was happening, were happening, and I was coping through the one thing I could control, which was eating. And so, I've yoyo throughout the better part of my life between being significantly underweight and not being able to take care of myself from that perspective to also, you know. Putting a stress on my body that led to what we thought was a heart attack at age 26. It turned out it wasn't. Thankfully, there was an inflammation in my heart in the lining of my heart, but it presents like a heart attack. And I'll tell you what, it's a very sobering experience in your mid 20s to sit in an ICU and have a doctor come up and say, hey, so, we think you might have had a heart attack.

Joey (00:03:26) - We're going to put you on nitroglycerin. You're going to sit here in the ICU for the next couple of days, and we're going to make sure that you didn't have a heart attack. And that was kind of that. I was 26 years old. That was that inflection point in my life where I was like, you know. Haven't been taking care of myself. I haven't been doing the things that I feel like I should be doing to, to take care of myself. And my body was paying the price, and it took that to get me to be like this. Can't, this can't continue.

Joey (00:04:01) - So that's why I really wanted to talk with Kendra today, which you know, just to talk about some strategies and things. And, and you know what I really hope the audience can, can get from this is that, number one, if you are struggling with something like this, like you're not alone., there's lots of people, including this guy right here who's really struggled with a lot of things related to food and nutrition and not just the physical side, too.

Joey (00:04:30) - Felt a lot of shame as a kid because I was a bit heavier. So, it was it was not. I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I never really saw it as something that was fuel. I saw it as something that either I should or shouldn't do, or I should feel guilty about this and not that. And you know, if I wasn't doing everything perfect, I felt ashamed. And that led to more mental spirals. Like, if that's something you're going through, I just want you to know, like, I see you, I hear you, I've walked that path, and we just want to help.

Hannah (00:05:05) - Yeah, absolutely. And I'm going to get a little bit vulnerable with our audience. And I feel the tingling in my nose. Hopefully I can make it through sharing this story with you all. But for me, fitness, nutrition, my health in general took a huge turn and shift in mindset for me. I can nail it down to the day when it did take a turn for me, and that was on September the 12th of 2021.

Hannah (00:05:33) - It was the day that my best friend called me and told me that she had cancer., she had just had a massive surgery. It was not something that she thought she was having symptoms for. She went in thinking she was having an appendicitis and ended up spending 31 days in the hospital because they had to remove the majority of her colon. And found out it was stage four colon cancer at the time. And I watched her., she passed away on May 31st of this year. But I watched her over that 18-month time span. Absolutely just struggle because her while she was not unhealthy by any means, she also wasn't at her fittest. She wasn't at her best. Like she wasn't fueling her body with the things that she needed to fuel them with. Up to that point. For me, that was the day that I said, I know that if I'm ever faced with something like this, I want to be sure that I'm giving my body the absolute best shot to fight whatever it is, the unknown that that might be in front of me.

Hannah (00:06:36) - Yeah., having watched her go through that. And I hate that it took something like that for me to shift my mindset on that. I've always struggled with my weight as always. Obviously for women, this is a hot topic and forever will be in terms of the comparison trap, in terms of, especially in high school, going to school, some really, really fit girls that I always just compared myself to. That was always a hard place to be in. But that mindset was more of a vanity mindset. If I'm just being completely honest in terms of a vanity metric that I was, that would that I was focusing on in terms of with my health journey up to that point. Like I said, it totally shifted from that point forward for me because it was not just about the vanity metric, it was about making sure that I could be here for my family long term, that I'm showing up as the best version of myself for my family, the reason why for me change.

Hannah (00:07:30) - And so I hope for our listeners that it doesn't take something like that for your mindset to change, that you can start early in your career implementing these things in your day. So that way you truly can show up as the best version of yourself for your family. At the end of the day, no matter what your hours look like, even if they are long hours. Because like we like we say like just in our profession, we're inevitably known for working really long hours, but..

Joey (00:07:56) - And really stressful hours too.

Hannah (00:07:57) - Yeah, very stressful hours. So still being able to mitigate some of that stress, which we talk about with Kendra and also be present at the end of our day and, and fuel ourselves and get the rest that our bodies need in order to show up as a version of ourself, not only for our family, but for our coworkers too, for our clients., I hope that our listeners can take that away from this conversation.

Joey (00:08:19) - Yeah. And I and I want to make sure we're, you know pointing out and we I feel like we did a really good job on this on the show is that we're not here to tell you what to do.

Joey (00:08:27) - We're not here to tell you, you know what to eat, what not to eat, those types of things. What we're here to, to try to help you do is, is gather some resources. And that's there was a conversation kind of at the, at the end of the, of the episode where I thought Kendra gave some really, really solid advice and she mentioned something to, you know, you, your comments about. You know what it was like to kind of be a little bit younger and maybe having getting, I think the word you used was comparison trap and social media has made that really, really challenging., because and I do it too, you know, I, you know, working on, on running a half marathon right now,, I've done a triathlon, I still look at pictures and stuff and you see something come across Instagram and it says Jack dude, who's got like 4% body fat. And I'm like, I'm just never going to be that.

Joey (00:09:18) - And you get stuck in it. And what Kendra mentioned that's really important is there's some really, really great resources out there if you, you know, just need to figure out how to find good, healthy food near you, or you need to figure out how to find some help with creating a meal plan or even just, you know, learning how to cook. If you don't know how to cook yet, that's okay too. There's lots of resources, but, you know, make sure as you're as you're looking through it that you're focusing on credentialed people and not just, you know, finding the influencer on TikTok who, you know, maybe has a not so great credential or doesn't have a credential at all, that's advising. Like, there's some really, really great resources out there that have been vetted. They've been educated. They have, you know, gone through and have read the science and have read the data and know what they're talking about. And those are the people that we should be paying attention to.

Joey (00:10:08) - And I thought she gave some really great resources there at the end for us to remember and think about.

Hannah (00:10:15) - Yep, I agree. So, if y'all do take something away from this, I hope that it's that you're not alone. You're hearing it from me and Joey that you're not alone. And we're going to hopefully provide you with some good resources and tangible action items that you can walk away from this podcast implementing. The minute that it's over.

Joey (00:10:36) -So okay, so talking a little bit about and I'd love to talk a little bit about kind of your background, and you went to UT and Oklahoma. That's usually not a combination that goes well.

Kendra (00:10:49) - It's not I got a little bit of flak from that. Yes.

Joey (00:10:52) - Who were you cheering for last weekend?

Kendra (00:10:55) - Texas.

Joey (00:10:56) - Okay. Well I'm sorry.

Kendra (00:10:57) - Unfortunately, yeah.

Joey (00:10:59) - That's okay. My mom's family went, too. They were all UT fans. My aunt and uncle are still part of the Texas Exes.

Joey (00:11:06) - They just moved back to Austin. And six years ago when we were looking at where we wanted to move, like Austin was like really high on the list. It was between Austin and Albuquerque. And we were like, well, Austin, be really cool, but we're not going to be able to live in the part of Austin that we want to live into. So let's start.

Kendra (00:11:21) - I will be honest, like I haven't been back there in over a decade. Okay? It's it's changed.

Joey (00:11:29) - A little bit since you've been there.

Kendra (00:11:31) - A lot since I've been there. And so ,I feel like I lived there in the best of years, like in my, in my life and like when it was like just becoming. And so that big growth phase.

Joey (00:11:42) - So, let's roll back the clock and talk a little bit about how you got started in this, because you mentioned that you were a competitive dancer, which kind of got your start in some of these things. How did that start for you?

Kendra (00:11:56) - So yes, I was a competitive dancer.

Kendra (00:11:58) - I danced all through college and really enjoyed that. But in that field you find a lot of eating disorders. And that is definitely something that I struggled with in high school is anorexia and bulimia. And with that, I realized that nutrition was super important and I didn't know really what I was doing at the time. Like who does in high school? Let's face it, that's so. But it got me into the field of nutrition and I was like, okay, I want to learn more about this. And so, when I went off to college, that's what I focused on. And I said, in college, I will never work with anyone with eating disorders or disordered eating patterns. And what do I do now? That's at least 20 of my clients are, clients that are, you know, struggling with eating disorders or disordered eating patterns and trying to figure that out. But along those paths I went into many different fields from college. And after graduate school, I moved up to Alaska, and I spent ten years there working in public health, nutrition and specifically with women, infants, children's programs, ran a kitchen at the hospital.

Kendra (00:13:09) - I did a little bit of every phase of nutrition that you can imagine, and that was a wonderful learning curve for me, because I got to work with people of all different ages, stages and phases and figure out exactly what I wanted to do as a dietitian and how I wanted to see that evolve. In addition to that, I got to pair that with the values that I have as an individual outside of my profession and outside of what I do in, you know, the money-making sense. But I got to say, okay, well, this is what I want long term. And so from there, I went into private practice when we moved down to the lower 48. And now I'm a women's health and sports dietitian. So I get to work with, you know, my niche of people that I find, you know, needs and help balancing their hormones. Maybe it's weight management, maybe it's disordered eating and eating disorders, or maybe they just, you know, they want to exercise, but they don't know how to balance the food and nutrition part with it to really see improvement in their you know, exercise performance or exercise for weight loss.

Kendra (00:14:12) - All this vast array of information that we have can be a little bit overwhelming. So, they turn to a dietitian and that's where I'm there to help.

Hannah (00:14:21) - I know for me I have always struggled, especially whenever life gets busy. And notoriously as accountants, we have busy seasons. Like quite literally, we are busy and we're working crazy hours. So like, I do really good in that season where I'm not as busy and I'm like eating great, I'm exercising like I'm supposed to, but then life just gets busy and it's like I don't take the intentional mental energy to put into nutrition and eat and exercise like I should. And so that has always been a struggle for me. And I feel like probably for a lot of our listeners, they're probably in that same boat and can relate to just this seasonality that happens inevitably through just our career. So I guess speaking to that, how do you combat that? Because that for me is just, like I said, always been a struggle. And I, can admit I need some help.

Hannah (00:15:16) - Whatever comes in that to that area.

Kendra (00:15:19) - Well, I think, you know, you pulled I want to pull something that you said out of there and that is that you have this off season, the off season of the busy season. And like a professional athlete, they have off seasons as well. That's where they build their fitness. They build those habits. They build the stuff that's going to make them successful in the long run. And that's exactly what you want to be, is you want to be successful during your busy season, so you're not stressed. You are taking time to spend with your family and your friends and getting those social things that you need in there. But in order to do that, you have to have a strong foundation. And so during those off seasons, if you will, that's whenever you're creating those healthy habits that are going to last you into the busy season. So that means that you are consistently eating meals, that you're there around the same time every day. So, your body knows whenever it's going to get the energy it needs, it knows when to expect it.

Kendra (00:16:08) - And so you can rely on your body's clock and your hormones to balance that out a little bit, too. In addition to that, you're going to be really consistent with water intake. So, you know, okay, if I'm not drinking enough water, you know, I get fatigued in the afternoons or, you know, I just start to feel really lethargic. I'm more likely to get sick. So, when you have this habit of drinking water regularly, then you are already fighting off, you know, some potential illnesses that you might have when your body is stressed with different challenges that you have during those busy seasons. In addition to that, you know, we really focus on exercise, too. You know, I typically say when it comes to a balanced health and lifestyle, it's 80% nutrition, 20% exercise, and you can't do it the other way around. So, you have to make sure that you are moving your body in some way. You do not have to be a professional athlete. You do not have to be someone that is, you know, training for anything in particular, but just moving your body is so important.

Kendra (00:17:10) - And so when you get into a habit of moving your body regularly, you can fall back on that habit. So, it's not something that goes to the wayside during your busy season or whenever you have other obligations that you have to attend to. It's already there and in that foundation. So those are my three main things that I say, okay, what do you want to have when you go into a busy season? You want to make sure you're eating your meals consistently after, you know, consistent times, that you're drinking plenty of water and you have exercise as a habit.

Joey (00:17:37) - I'm so glad you mentioned the water intake, because that was something that I've always been notoriously bad about, is I'll just I'll just go straight to the cup of coffee or something like that because I'm like, I need this boost. And it's like, no, no, no, no it's gotta be. And it's hard. Like my wife and I, she's also an accountant. So, she deals with these struggles as well.

Joey (00:17:55) - We both have our water bottles, and I try to drink about 5 or 6 of these a day, at a minimum, just throughout the day. And I've always tried. And I'm not great at it. But if I can have one of these before I have my first cup of coffee, that makes me feel so much better throughout the day. And I didn't realize that so many of my struggles when I was younger were mostly from dehydration and not from anything else.

Kendra (00:18:20) - Exactly. I think you nailed it right there, is that we tend to, like, put our troubles and struggles on something else, rather than like taking care of that foundational aspect of our health and nutrition, too, which is water.

Hannah (00:18:32) - Yeah, I'm so bad at drinking water. Like, I can admit that. Like, I have to be really intentional, especially in the winter months. I feel like in the summer months I'm much better about drinking water. Like I crave that cold drink during the day, but especially in the winter months, I really struggle to get that water in.

Hannah (00:18:50) - Like, do you have any tips for somebody who might struggle getting that water intake? I mean, asking for a friend here.

Kendra (00:18:57) - Well, we had a great one is, you know, have a water bottle with you at all times or, you know, there's nothing wrong with chugging water at first thing in the morning, for example, or like at lunchtime, you know, three periods per day., so having a water bottle where you can kind of measure and see what your intake is,, another tip would be, you know, don't shy away from hot teas, especially in the winter if that's something that you like to, or cold tea, you know, if it's unsweetened beverages, those are still great options for you. They're going to hydrate you very well. Or don't forget that you might be able to like, add a lemon or some lime splash. You know, spice up that water literally with, you know, you know, bubbles or anything that makes it fun and something that you want to enjoy and to drink regularly too.

Joey (00:19:40) - That's something my wife does. Hannah. She because she runs cold., she's a native Texan. I moved her to the high desert. She doesn't handle winters in the same way. She needs that hot humidity. And when we get the cold kind of air and stuff here, she craves the hot. So, what she'll do is throughout the day, we'll have a tea kettle kind of going, and 3 or 4 times a day she'll fill it up and she'll add a splash of lemon. She'll add a lime wedge or something like that to it. And that really kind of helps her get the thing. But also, you know, it feels a little bit like, you know, you're warming yourself from the inside. And it was really funny. When I was starting out, we had one opportunity to kick my coffee habit because I was like a 5 or 6 cup of coffee a day guy, until about three years ago when I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled. And when you have your wisdom teeth pulled, you can't really drink hot drinks.

Joey (00:20:29) - And you can't do these types of things because you've got stitches back there, and if you mess them up, it's no bueno. So that was when my wife was like, you're going to take this opportunity to not be addicted to coffee. And so that was when I weaned myself off and have capped it at two caffeinated cups of coffee a day. But then throughout the day, we'll have, you know, if it's cold or I need something, we'll have decaffeinated teas. We try to go green if we can. Sometimes it's a black tea. Mostly. Try to go green tea., Tracy's much better about that than I am, but it does kind of give that nice little. Elevation of your water intake without having the, you know, the dehydrating side effects of the coffee.

Kendra (00:21:09) - Yeah. And I will also add like, you know, soups are hydrating too, as well as fruits and other things that we may not think about. Most of our food actually has quite a bit of fluid into it.

Kendra (00:21:19) - But we want to drink what we can. So, I'm not saying, like, you should go and eat your fill of fruit to get your water intake, but also recognizing that we're getting fluid from other sources is important to know, too.

Joey (00:21:32) - So I have a

Hannah (00:21:33) - Going to try it.

Joey (00:21:34) - I have a controversial question.

Kendra (00:21:36) - Oh, okay. Let's see. Right.

Joey (00:21:38) - How important is breakfast?

Kendra (00:21:40) - Oh.

Joey (00:21:41) - I feel like it's more important than I give it.

Kendra (00:21:44) - It is really important. So, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. And here is why. It's not that, you know, the cereal industry many years ago claimed that it was the most important meal of the day because they wanted you to eat cereal. Well, no, what it's doing is it's literally breaking your fast. So, you are fasting overnight. This is a good thing. This allows your body to digest the food, allows you to sleep, allows you to use those proteins from the food to rebuild muscle and all these wonderful things that your body needs to do, but you need to break the fast.

Kendra (00:22:16) - If not, then your cortisol levels when you wake those cortisol or stress hormones tend to rise. And we don't like being stressed more than we need to be. Right? So, by eating breakfast within 1 to 2 hours of the day, it helps regulate your hormones so you can eat you know eat well obviously. But you're less stressed. You're more apt to have a balanced metabolism. Your body's working and functioning like it should. And you have the energy to support your most active parts of the day. And let's remember that energy comes from food. It doesn't come from caffeine, as many people think of or you know from. The more you exercise, the more energy you're going to get. Well, no energy in this most pure form is your calories that you get from food in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. And so we have to give our body energy if we want to expect it, or if we expect it to perform in any way, shape or form.

Hannah (00:23:14) - So you mentioned fasting.

Hannah (00:23:15) - And I know this is really big, especially in the health industry right now in terms of there's, I think, some really polarizing thoughts on intermittent fasting and the benefit of that. What are your thoughts on it?

Kendra (00:23:26) - So, again, this is probably controversial too. You guys are bringing up all the topics, but you should fast when you sleep. So that kind of you're like, okay, yeah, duh. I'm not going to be like eating when I'm sleeping. But as I said earlier, that allows your body time to process the foods like it needs to, but you have to give it time to get there. Because as we're finding out more and more in the research, sleep is super important. This is what allows you to get done what you need to get done. Especially as accountants. You guys have busy schedules. You have processes in the brain that need to be functioning on top level, and if you are not well rested, you're not able to do that. So how does that affect fasting? Well, usually I say if you're going to fast, it needs to be obviously when you're sleeping, but move it up.

Kendra (00:24:10) - A lot of times when we think about, you know, intermittent fasting, it's later on in the day. And so people are eating closer to their bedtime. As a result, your body is working on trying to digest the food while you're sleeping rather than focusing on the rest. And so, you're not getting the benefits of your sleep as you should. So instead of, you know, pushing back that fasted time or, you know, the eating window, so to speak, you really need to move it forward. As I said earlier, you're eating breakfast 1 to 2 hours between waking up. But that also means, on the flip side, 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. You're weaning off food so you can focus on sleep and getting ready for bed. This is how your body works, and that's how metabolism works. To make it flow, to make you feel good and make sure that you are, you know, getting the most energy throughout the day that you need. And you're not getting those slumps that we tend to experience whenever we are in a bad mood, for example, or are very stressed.

Hannah (00:25:05) - Yeah, I've heard a lot about intermittent fasting and the benefit of it. In fact, I've read a book, called Fast Like a Girl that just talks about that and just the impact of hormones. However, I have never, I guess, really like put the thought into in terms of the time window. I guess I've always thought of it in the morning and just fasting like through to like lunchtime or something of that nature versus on the back end. And what you just said makes total sense for me. Exactly.

Kendra (00:25:31) - Well, and we live in a culture where, you know, we're inundated with all these nutrition notions and what you should do and everything like that. And when it comes to intermittent fasting, oh, I bet you guys have been thrown the gamut of, you know, this is what you should do and these are the times you should do it. And it tends to be later on in the day. And the science just isn't so supporting that, especially for women. Like that's a whole different topic that we don't need to get into.

Kendra (00:25:54) - But, since you brought it up, I will say, you know, we need to make sure that we are eating breakfast at regular times a day, and then we're allowing our body to rest before it sleeps at night.

Joey (00:26:05) - I am glad you mentioned the hormones though because that's something I've been noticing is like I think and it's, I think different for men than women. But I feel and I felt woefully unprepared to understand the impact that hormones have on all of this stuff until, my wife and I kind of went on a journey to sort of regulate that in a bit more of a natural way, as opposed to some of the other strategies that she had used in her life to regulate her hormones. A that period when we were kind of when she was like going through kind of getting that stuff all regulated was very interesting. But what we didn't realize is exactly what you're saying. Those hormones are regulating everything. And when they get off kilter, weird things happen.

Joey (00:26:53) - So I'm glad that you're glad that you're mentioning that there's a little bit more going on to it than just, you know, what's going in and out. There's stuff going on underneath it. I mean, I feel woefully unprepared to even understand it.

Kendra (00:27:05) - Well, exactly. And that's why, you know, bring it back to the beginning of our conversation when I said, you know, here's the three main things that you need to, you know, start with a balanced habits as eating consistent times. I didn't say you need to eat this, this and this. Notice that I said you need to eat it consistent times because that's exactly what it does. It balances those hormones. It regulates your insulin. It lets your blood sugar know when it's supposed to go up and down, which is very important for preventing diabetes. And, you know, it works with your cortisol levels. So, it helps with your stress management. All this stuff is super important, and it is related to your hormones too.

Hannah (00:27:39) - I also want to talk about meal prepping. I think Joe mentioned that earlier in the importance of that, or even just your thoughts on it. I know I tend to get into a rhythm of meal prepping, but then again, life just gets busy, so it's hard for me. I have three kids, so it's also hard to find those little windows and pockets of time to meal prep. What are your thoughts about it? Do you feel like that is important in terms of staying on track or what are your thoughts?

Kendra (00:28:05) - Okay, so this is a loaded question. And so, the reason I say this is because we are all individuals and because we are individuals, we treat meal planning in different ways. Meal planning. Meal prepping is kind of, you know, potato, potato. How do you want to talk about it? But for some individuals, you know, they're going to do really well with meal planning for the entire week ahead of them. They're going to prep on Sunday, get all those vegetables shops, have all their meals planned, and that's going to work for them, which is great.

Kendra (00:28:33) - And I love that when it does, it's not always the case for other people. Their meal planning is going to be okay. I'm going to wake up on Monday morning and I'm going to decide, look at my refrigerator. I'm like, okay, we're going to have pasta for dinner because I have some leftover tomato sauce from, you know, three nights ago, I have, you know, a little bit of meat and some half of a bell pepper and an onion and, you know, whatever it is, and I know I have pasta in there. So, they're going to meal plan that morning for what's going to happen in the evening. The importance, I think, really comes down to having a plan going into a meal, because whenever we go into a meal, we don't want to be free feeders, if you will. Our human nature doesn't allow us to do that very well and regulate the food that we consume as a result of that. So, we want to know, okay, this is where I'm going to get my balanced meal.

Kendra (00:29:23) - I know that it's going to have, you know, some whole grains in there, some fruits and vegetables, a little bit of protein and some fats so that, you know, that hits all of our food buckets. It's a balanced meal that we know that's going to send us home, give us good nutrition and make us feel good in the long run. So when it comes to meal planning, you can just kind of recap that and tied a little bow on it is that, you know, it can be for, you know, one day it can be for a week. You have to do what works best for you and is consistent for you to maintain. Now, for me personally, we have a meal planning guide with Fueling Life Nutrition, and this is something that we put together. And it is three meals every week of the year, literally that you can plan. It has a grocery list to go to it. So, we've done this because we really recognize that, you know, it's nice to have a little bit of guide because sometimes we're stressed out and we don't want to do that.

Kendra (00:30:14) - So maybe it's your busy season and you need a meal planning guide to help you, but you don't need it on your off season because you're pretty on top of things., whatever it is, go for your resource that works for you and can be consistently something that you can rely back on.

Joey (00:30:30) - We do. One of the things that's been really helpful for us is, finding an app or something like that that kind of serves as a recipe guide. That's something we, we use plan to eat, which is one that I, you know, not a paid not a paid sponsorship, just a fan. But it does kind of help us. We tend to like to do things more on a weekly basis. And the reason for that is, you know, and this is a problem in a lot of places in America, it is not the most convenient thing for us to be able to go find fresh fruits and vegetables near where we live., food deserts are a real thing in America where, you know, a lot of.

Joey (00:31:13) - Especially as you get into more rural areas. It's tougher to find those fresh fruits and vegetables. And it takes I mean, I think it's about a 20-minute drive for us here to get to the store that has the fruits and vegetables that we're looking for in the manner that we're looking for. So, for that, we tend to lean more towards the weekly stuff because we can kind of batch the grocery shopping. But I think if it was a little bit more convenient, we probably would do kind of the daily thing because then it's like, you know, trying to figure out on Sunday what you're going to want Thursday afternoon and be like, super excited about is really difficult. And there's a lot of times we're like, man, I really wish I didn't pick this dish for Thursday because it's a soup. And what I really want is a cozy pasta.

Kendra (00:31:57) - Yeah, well, and those are the things that I say, okay, have a backup plan. So, we have like about three different meals that we have as a backup plan that I know that my kids love them.

Kendra (00:32:06) - They're fun favorites. They're easy to make under 30-minute meals. And so, you know, it's egg noodles, frozen broccoli and some pesto sauce. Like that's one of our meals. And it's easy and I can fall back on it if it's a busy night. And, you know, kids have to get to soccer practice, that's, you know, something that I can throw together. That's one of our, like, easy ones. You know, quesadillas are always one, but have some meals in the backup plan so you don't have to stress about it whenever it's there and always shop for those items if you're running out of them. But pick three that you can keep in the freezer. You know, keep in the pantry. You don't have to have fresh fruit or vegetables all the time. Frozen options are great, and you can rely on those quite simply for those times whenever you're like, okay, I really just I don't want soup. Not again.

Joey (00:32:55) - I, you mentioned something earlier too, that I want to acknowledge to, which is that, you know, whenever I talk with my mom, I'm also an accountant.

Joey (00:33:02) - And she struggled with a lot of these same things when, when we were growing up. We've learned so much more about this in, like, the last couple of decades than we did ever before. And, you know, I think my mom, when we talk about it, she feels a lot of guilt about some of the stuff that we fed because for, for in those cases, when I was a kid in the 90s, instead of egg noodles and frozen broccoli and some pesto sauce, it was, here's a Hamburger Helper type thing. And it's yeah, you know, we've learned since then that maybe that wasn't the choice that we would make now, given the information that we have. And I want to acknowledge two things. One, you know, there's always. If you start a nutrition journey tomorrow, that's perfect. If you don't, that's also okay. It happens on your terms and on your time. And everybody's got a different struggle that they're, that they're trying to work through.

Joey (00:34:02) - There's also so many more resources now than there were before. If you're someone who is curious about learning more about nutrition or maybe struggling with some of the things that, you know, like not having access to fresh fruits and vegetables maybe the only store you've got near. Use a Dollar General and that's what you can go to, or that's what you can afford., where can someone go to find resources on kind of how to help? Get some of the education that has come out from the research that we've been doing over the last couple of decades.

Kendra (00:34:40) - Right, so first of all, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a wonderful website, eatright.org. I would start there if you're looking to gain more information. In addition to that, always look for reputable sources. So those are going to be registered dietitians. They are the people that know and have the education on nutrition as opposed to, you know, some random person you find on Instagram that has, you know, this false nutrition certification.

Kendra (00:35:06) - Like look for the credentials because that means that they have the education and they've gone through a structured process in order to get their specific title. So those are my two things on, you know, where you're going to turn to for nutrition information. If you are in a food desert or looking for something, you know, look for the resources around you. I love that you mentioned Dollar General. I think they have done a wonderful job of getting out into rural communities and making sure that healthy and fresh produce is available there. And, you know, putting it at a price point where we can all kind of go and enjoy food. So I think that's a great option. In addition to that, you know, I mentioned I lived in Alaska for ten years and we were in rural Alaska. So that means that food had to be flown in. And so, if we wanted fruits and vegetables in the winter, I got an a weekly produce box. So, I had to order those a week or two in advance to know what I could get and play my food then.

Kendra (00:36:00) - So if that's you and, you know, like, okay, I got to I got to think about this, you know, know your resources around you kind of do some research, ask friends. It's not like you have to sit down at a computer or write everything down in the pen and pencil, but, you know, play your friends around you and see what's around and what you can do. And there's so many great online resources now that you can take advantage of, and there's no reason that you can't plug into those either.

Joey (00:36:26) - I love that you mentioned the Dollar Generals. That's a huge thing here because northern New Mexico is rural in the same way that Alaska's rule and in the same way that, you know, where Hannah's from, had some very rural areas as well. And we've seen more resources pop up in the last five years than I think I saw in the 30 years that I lived here before then. So, you know, it's something that we I'm glad that we've recognized that that's an issue and that we're putting resources towards helping that because, you know, I think it's.

Joey (00:37:01) - I'll. Maybe this is controversial. I feel like that's sort of a basic human right. Is having at least access to fresh fruits and vegetables. I think that's something that we need to really bake into society, because nutrition is the foundation of everything.

Kendra (00:37:17) - And I will kind of tag on to that. And your question about meal planning is if you have school aged children, take advantage of school lunch programs and school breakfast programs. They are incredible. And they do have to meet certain criteria. Maybe they're not what your child wants to eat all the time. I mean, my kids are like that too, but they give the kids a very balanced and nutritious options that are going to lead them on to a healthier lifestyle. So, you know, don't stress about meals all the time if you don't have to, because you have that option as well.

Hannah (00:37:48) - My kids do like my boys. Like they love the school lunches. My daughter, she is a little bit more picky. So, we do have to pack her pack her lunch every single day.

Hannah (00:37:57) - But my boys absolutely do. I'm like, if I can at least eliminate, you know, two thirds of what I need to do in the mornings, then I'm going to do that., I am notorious, though, just with having kids and having baseball practices and things like that after work. Like it's inevitable that we're going to stop in a drive thru at some point, like it is just we have to choose the convenient option., and a lot of times sometimes that looks like I have to choose a convenient option for my kids, but then I come home and I just kind of fix whatever I can, like get my hands on and fix for myself so at least some fuel in my body that way. But I know in that in a lot of different plans as well that I've read, there's a lot of polarizing recommendations on different types of food to stay away from in terms of processed foods, sugars, white bread, things of that nature. What in terms of what you believe? Are there any specific foods that we should absolutely, hands down non-negotiable.

Hannah (00:38:54) - Stay away from.

Kendra (00:38:55) - Foods that you're allergic to, foods that are rotten or spoiled, or foods that are poisonous. Those are the ones that you need to stay away from. Otherwise, eat and enjoy your food. That is one of the main things that I try and instill in my clients is food is fun, food is good, it is nourishing, and food is fuel. Now, you know, if we're going to break down that a little bit further, maybe it's, you know, eat your best and your healthiest 80% of the time in the 20% of the other time, like just, you know, go for what you can., if we're going to break it down even further than that, I'd say, you know, just my little nutrition lesson that I give with everyone. You know, you have five food buckets. In order to make a balanced meal, it needs to include grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and a little bit of fat. And with that, you know, three of those make a meal.

Kendra (00:39:46) - So we don't need to overcomplicate things. I think that's our in our nature as humans and especially as Americans, we tend to overcomplicate nutrition. It doesn't need to be as complicated as many of us think it is. Again, that kind of comes into our cultural society of things. But when we break it down and we just consider, okay, how do I need to feel my body, what resources do I have? Okay, this is what it is. And you go for that and say, okay, I got some, you know, some fries. That's going to be my, my, my starchy food for the day. And, you know, I'm going to have some chicken nuggets with it and then it's going to be some protein. And let me see how can I, oh I have an apple. There we go. That's my meal. Like this is something that, you know, if you have baseball practice and you need to make the most of it, just do the best that you can with what you have.

Kendra (00:40:29) - And knowing that your kids are going to get a balanced meal, maybe at school lunch the next day, or for breakfast in the morning, those types of things to.

Joey (00:40:38) - I also love what you said about having frozen vegetables, kind of in the in the freezer section. I think back to when, you know, when we're kind of making our breakfast in the morning, we kind of make a what you got smoothie in the morning where it's like, you know, and it's a trick that we and my wife is so good at it, she, she, like, doses me up with all of the things that like, normally are tough to get in there. So, it's like the berry smoothie is also dosed with a frozen spinach or frozen kale and some flax seed and all these other things. Yeah, I love those types of meals where it's like, to your point, Hannah, you're kind of just scrounging around to like see what you can find. And it's like, oh, well, I've got some I've got some frozen berries that are fresh for as long as we need them to, and some frozen vegetables.

Joey (00:41:19) - And then, yeah, we're just going to see what else we can fit in here to like supplement this type of thing. So yeah, I love those types of meals in the morning because it's just quick and easy and it's like, you know, it doesn't, you know, there's nothing wrong with just kind of throwing it all in there and seeing what comes out.

Kendra (00:41:36) - Absolutely. And again, it all comes back to that balance. Like, okay, do we have these five different buckets in there? Are they filled up okay. That's the most random meal that we have. But by golly we're getting all these different nutrition and needs met. And so it's good to go.

Hannah (00:41:53) - So you also talked about moving your body as well. And that is something that I find there are some days that I'm sitting here and I don't get up until I'm here from 730 to lunchtime until I get up to do that, just because I just get in the groove and I just get in the habit of just powering through and working.

Hannah (00:42:11) - So it is, again, something that I have to be really intentional about in terms of getting up, especially working from home. And I'll go walk outside like change of scenery, get some fresh air. I am not at once upon a time in my life I was an athlete, so like I spent a lot more time exercising, training, that sort of thing. But now moving my body just looks like maybe a 10 or 15 minute walk outside, is there a minimum in terms of when you say move your body, is there a minimum that you say, hey, at least move it for this amount of time in order to really see the biggest benefit in your day?

Kendra (00:42:43) - I can't remember the exact recommendation, but I think it's at least 30 minutes a day., it's a recommendation. I might be off on that one, so don't quote me there. But, you know, it doesn't have to be all at once. Yes, we do get more health benefits if we're, you know, going into cardiovascular realm of that, which I'm not going to, but we're going to say get up and move as much as possible.

Kendra (00:43:05) - So certain things that work with some of my clients who are working from home, I have them set timers on their phone so they their timer goes off at, you know, 55 on the hour. So that 55 to an hour, they're standing up, they're moving, they're doing squats for five minutes. They have mini bands at their desks that they're doing like, you know, bicep curls or, you know, something that's, you know, working those muscles as well, or they're standing up, they're doing high knees. It doesn't have to be anything complicated, but you're doing those five minutes on every hour. And so, if you add that up for let's say you're working eight hours, like are you meeting those 30-minute requirements. Yeah. And those little pieces all add up. But on top of that it's also moving that blood to your brain. It's refreshing all your body there. So, you end up actually working and performing better at your desk as well. So, it has multiple benefits rather than just like the health benefits of exercise in general.

Hannah (00:44:04) - Well, I'll tell you, I have sure been over complicating this whole thing is you have taught me today, that's for sure. Because just like the timer, like, oh, that's so simple. That's something that could easily start like today and start doing and just stand up, like you said, high knees at my desk, like, oh, back here in my office, I can absolutely implement and do that. I, I'm telling you, I've just overcomplicated this thing.

Kendra (00:44:28) - That's okay. And you're not alone. I think that's the thing that most people come to me and they're like, oh, okay. Well, and this is another thing I like to talk about with my clients is that, you know, we start with these habits and their small habits. It's just like setting a timer and doing high knees or making sure that you're drinking five of your water bottles every day. You know, these are small habits. They're nothing large. They're nothing like life shattering at that moment or within that day.

Kendra (00:44:56) - But as we build them up and we add them up together over time, these are sustainable habits that really can change your life. And that's what we want is, we want these positive, life impacting benefits that are going to last us into our 50s, 60s and beyond.

Joey (00:45:12) - One of the things I used to do, when I was still going to the office and not working from home, is we had at our the first CPA firm I worked at. We had a two break times throughout the day. Two 15-minute breaks, one at like 10 a.m. and one at like three. That is built into the schedule. Everybody does it. Nobody sets meetings. It's like sacred time, which a I think everybody, if you have the ability to control your calendar, everybody should set up some of that sacred time for themselves and just as a, as a tip to coworkers, like if you're looking at your coworker schedule and you see I'm looking at one of my coworker schedules right now and it says lunch and yoga like.

Joey (00:45:51) - As a coworker. My advice please respect that time for your coworkers. Don't schedule a meeting during that time. Let people have that sacred time on their calendar. But what a friend of mine and I used to do in the office was during that 15 minutes we would walk up and down the stairs. We would just go and do stairs, and we would do stairs for 5 or 10 minutes and catch up and have a have a glass of water while we're doing it. And it didn't it wasn't anything intense. We weren't like sprinting up the stairs. We were just walking up the stairs. And then we would walk down. Then we'd walk up and we'd walk down again. And A, it was a nice way to catch up and B, it was it really did. Make me feel a lot better during the day. And then I also had another place where, you know, every I don't know. At the bottom of the hour. You know, five minutes before, when I was working in another office, I would stand up and I would just take a lap around the office and I'd go check in with my people here, go check in with this person there, see how they're doing.

Joey (00:46:51) - And it wasn't a ton, but it was just a quick little five-minute lap around the office. And, you know, building that into my schedule really helped with that, too.

Kendra (00:47:02) - Yeah. And then, I think you mentioned something really important there. It says social and emotional health too. So, we talk a lot about our physical health, but especially when it comes to food. Let's face it, it's an emotional health aspect as well so when you combine those two, they have multiple benefits, you know, combining your social well-being with your physical well-being. If you have the opportunity to exercise with someone, go chat with someone on a walk. Go for it. It's great for you.

Joey (00:47:27) - Speaking of the emotional health and this is this is the trust tree. This is this is the trust tree. We can all be vulnerable with each other. I am a stress eater. I've known this about myself. I'm sure I'm not alone in being a stress eater.

Hannah (00:47:41) - You're not. I'm with you there.

Joey (00:47:42) - Yeah. And one of the things I've done to try to curb it is like, you know, I've found that for me, knowing that I'm a stress eater, I have to surround myself with, like, okay, if I'm going to stress eat, at least I'm going to I'm going to stress eat some nuts instead of stress eating a bag of chips. But, what? As somebody who struggles with that, A is there anything that like, is that my body telling me something or am I just looking for comfort and. I don't think I don't ever feel like there's anything wrong with it, but I just want to make sure that if I'm going to do it, I'm doing it in a healthy way. Any tips or advice for us?

Kendra (00:48:19) - Okay, so I'm going to back up just a little bit on this line and we're going to say, okay, where did that stress come from? So, if we can ever mitigate any of the stress, that's what we want to do first and foremost.

Joey (00:48:31) - So especially stress unfortunately comes from accounting.

Hannah (00:48:35) - Yeah. Our job. Yes.

Kendra (00:48:36) - So you go into it and you have that knowledge, as you said. Okay, I know I'm a stress eater. I know this is going to happen. I know, you know, when busy season comes, I'm going to stress eat. So, what do you do. You set up for yourself. You know those five minutes. You know on the hour exercise breaks because that helps help our stress levels go down, helps that cortisol level regulate. In addition to that we're going to again, you know, drink lots of water and make sure you're having healthy, balanced meals. You're eating enough at meals. That's one thing that I find a lot of times people are not eating enough. And so, they're going to, you know, binge or stress eats later on because they're not full or satisfied at the time. So, if you're not satisfied, you're more apt to stress eat in this case. And maybe you do just, you know, you are satisfied, but you want something to put your hands on and you know you want something to fidget with, for lack of a better term.

Kendra (00:49:27) - A lot of times, especially as adults, we turn to food to help fulfill this need to put our hands on something and to have our mouth occupied with something. So, you know, if we are hungry. But, all means eat, you know, do a self-assessment and say, okay, am I hungry? As my stomach growling, I'm not able to focus on things, am I, you know, fatigued. These are all signs that we need to eat. So, if you need to eat, grab a handful of nuts with maybe some crackers on there, or an apple and peanut butter, a cheesesteak with. But, you know, maybe it is some pretzels or carrots and hummus. You notice that all of these have, you know, a carbohydrate and some protein combinations that are really good., but in addition to that, you want to make sure you're okay, you're feeding your hunger cues, but if it's just emotional, then you have to say, okay, well, how else can I address this? I know I need to have something to fidget with my hands.

Kendra (00:50:19) - Maybe it's, you know, sipping that that hot tea that you mentioned earlier, chewing some gum in that case, or if you do need to eat something, okay, have a, you know, a handful of nuts or some popcorn or some sort of other light snack that you can enjoy that's, you know, going to be fulfilling. It's going to satisfy that need, but it's not going to like, topple you over and making you feel worse as a result of eating it. And I think that's what we really need to be cautious of, is a lot of times when we stress eat, we feel worse in terms of physical health. You know, if you just ate that bag of chips and you didn't realize it, or that bag of Oreos like you literally feel sick, but sometimes, you know, we also feel guilty too. I think with food, it also instills a level of guilt, too. If we're not eating what we think we should. And so, we want to address that as well.

Kendra (00:51:09) - So making sure that we have food available that is going to nourish us, and it's going to be enjoyable. That's going to be really key whenever it comes to stress eating and mitigating that stress as well.

Hannah (00:51:21) - You posted something on Instagram that I think truly drives this all home. It puts a big bow on everything that we've talked about and the reason why this is important for us as accountants, as women, as husbands, as fathers, as mothers, all of it is. Give your family the best of you, not just the rest of you. That was like, oh, like that. That was a big oof for me. Whenever I saw that on your Instagram, because I'm like, man, how many times at the end of my day am I showing up for my kids with the last 2% of all that I have to give them? Whereas all these things that you've said, I think would add exponential energy to the me that my family gets at the end of the day, and for me, that's just all the more reason why I should start prioritizing these things and start implementing them.

Hannah (00:52:17) - So that way I can show up as the best version of me for my family, not just for my coworkers at the beginning of my day, but my family, who obviously they're infinitely more important at the end of the day than my career and how I show up for them. So, I think that's just a really beautiful way to kind of tie it all together. Yeah.

Kendra (00:52:37) - I think whenever I work with my clients, it's always, we start with your value system, you know, what do you value? And those are the things that drive our decisions or that should drive our decisions, so to speak. They don't always do that. Sometimes work takes precedence over our family when it shouldn't. And as a result of that, we have to come back to our values and say, okay, why am I doing what I'm doing? Okay. I want to make sure that my kids have a long, healthy life, that they get to do all these after school activities. And so how do I get that for them and that I get to be there and see them for it? You know, whether it's, you know, right now, five years from now, 20 years from now, and we have to put it into that perspective.

Kendra (00:53:13) - And those values are going to be what drives our decisions in the present. And so, when we put it in that perspective, I think that's one of our clients are like, oh, okay, I need to make this happen right now.

Hannah (00:53:26) - Yes. And that's exactly how I'm feeling leaving this conversation. Is that okay. I'm about to set a timer, for with five minutes left on the hours that I can stand up and walk outside or do some high knees and I'm gonna go fill up my water bottle, I'm gonna try to prioritize my water and I'm gonna make sure I eat consistently. So, you've already given me some really tangible things to implement so well. 

Kendra (00:53:49) - That's great. 

Hannah (00:53:50) - Thanks so much for chatting with us about this today. 

Kendra (00:53:53) - Yes. And as you can tell, I'm obviously super passionate about food and nutrition. And just like how that ties into our life as a whole. So I'm so glad that you can take a few bits of this information and apply it, because that's exactly what we want is to have that sustainable nutrition that takes us into the future.

Hannah (00:54:09) - Also we always like to end on a little bit of a different note, and we want to know more about you as well with this. So obviously we know that you are a registered dietitian. We know that you focus on women's athletic health and just focused on that piece of it. So, we've learned that about you and that you I consider you an expert in this field as a result. But we all just like I'm an accountant and I'm a mom. I want to hear what your and is. It can be a number of things but I want to hear what is your and.

Kendra (00:54:43) - And I'm an ultrarunner.

Hannah (00:54:46) - Oh that's awesome. 

Kendra (00:54:49) - Yes. So I'm working on that right now.

Joey (00:54:51) - And yeah that's a that's a level of running that absolutely terrifies me. I'm going to be perfectly honest, as someone who, you know, really loves a good 5K, but sees no reason to go any further than that, props to you, because that's a lot.

Kendra (00:55:10) - It's taken a process, and I will say I never considered myself a runner ever until I got older.

Kendra (00:55:16) - As I mentioned earlier on this, you know, I was a competitive dancer. That's the first thing you can go into. But it's just so therapeutic for me. And it's something that I've really latched on to and really enjoy.

Joey (00:55:27) - Is there a specific race that you're that you're building towards or working towards? Because there's a lot of ultras that are run in my neck of the woods.

Kendra (00:55:34) - Yes, exactly. Well, I will actually say, like, I hate to race, so I just do it for the pure joy of it and go for it on my own.

Joey (00:55:44) - Sometimes that's the best time. I. Yeah, as a former competitive athlete, I've, I've told people this before like it's a lot less stressful when you're just doing it for fun. Exactly. It's I was a very big competitive golfer in high school, and it's so much more fun now that I just don't care how I'm doing. There's no stress, there's no pressure, just out having a good time. So, I think that's great.

Kendra (00:56:09) - Well thank you.

Hannah (00:56:11) - And if our listeners want to connect with you outside of this podcast, what is the best way for them to do that?

Kendra (00:56:17) - You can go to my website at fuelinglifenutrition.com, or you can visit me on Instagram at Dietitian Kendra.

Hannah (00:56:25) - Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for being with us today. Like I said, I've already gotten some things that I'm going to implement. Like by the time we get off, of this podcast, I hope that our listeners do too. So, thank you so much for joining us.

Kendra (00:56:37) - Thank you for having me. This has been fun.

Outro (00:56:39) - If you're a young CPA looking to develop in their careers, we're always looking for great people. Visit our website for remote work opportunities with Summit Virtual CFO, or find all our open positions at Anders CPAs and advisors.


Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During CPA Busy Season with Kendra Miller

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