318: Supercharging Your Mental Brilliance, Energy, and Health with Megan Lyons

By July 9, 2018Podcasts

 

 

Megan Lyons, from The Lyons’ Share Wellness, cuts through the clutter of health and nutrition advice to offer simple, powerful solutions to feeling more brilliantly energized everyday.

You’ll Learn:

  1. Surprising insights that come from keeping a food journal
  2. The difference proper hydration makes – and how much water you should actually be drinking daily
  3. How to prepare energizing meals with minimal kitchen time

About Megan

Founder and owner of The Lyons’ Share Wellness, Megan Lyons is deeply passionate about inspiring others to feel their healthiest and happiest. Megan is the author of “Start Here: 7 Easy, Diet-Free Steps to Achieve Your Ultimate Health and Happiness,” a Top 10 Amazon Bestseller in Nutrition. Megan holds degrees and certifications from Harvard University, Northwestern University, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and is a candidate for a Masters in Holistic Nutrition. She lectures widely at hospitals, corporations, and organizations. When she’s not health coaching, you can find her working out, teaching fitness classes, cooking, reading, traveling, and cheering on the Dallas Mavericks.

Items Mentioned in this Show:

Megan Lyons Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Megan, thanks so much for joining us here on the How To Be Awesome At Your Job podcast.

Megan Lyons

Thanks, Pete. I’m excited to be here.

Pete Mockaitis

Oh, me too. You one time placed second in a crossword puzzle competition. Tell us, how does a crossword puzzle competition work? Is it live, are they all gathered in the same space? What’s the story here?

Megan Lyons

It’s absolutely as nerdy as it sounds, in the best possible way. I embrace my nerdiness. It was a college competition held by Will Shortz, who is the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, a famous crossword puzzleist. And he hosted a student competition at my college. And I loved crossword puzzles, I still do. It’s a great way to kind of tune my mind off from everything else. So you just sit there in silence and he gives you a crossword puzzle, and you race to finish it in the most accurate way and as quickly as possible, and then you run down the auditorium stairs and turn in your puzzle, and that’s it. Then they grade it and you win or don’t win.

Pete Mockaitis

It seems like, when you mentioned the racing part, that you can just build a whole movie or a dramatic story out of the event. So, was it like that? Were there hundreds of people in rows and rows and rows of tables, or what was it like in the scene?

Megan Lyons

It was a college auditorium, so there were probably 200 people or so. And you have those little folding desks that come from the side of your chair and then flip over. So it’s not the most spacious atmosphere; everyone’s kind of squinched in together. I guess you could make a movie but there’s a lot of silence going on, a lot of scratching your head, so it might be a bit boring.

Pete Mockaitis

You’ve got to have maybe the montage music, and then the bits and pieces. Well, I’ve never been very good at crossword puzzles. I’m usually pretty good at trivia contests. And so, I don’t know, what’s the key? How does crossword excellence bloom?

Megan Lyons

The skill is in two things. One is repetition. So, you’ll find the same words used over and over and over, and as soon as you can get a little hook, as soon as you’re 100% sure of a word, then you can start using the letters that are there to fill in the rest. And then number two – I have a weird memory thing, where if I read, let’s say, 48 across, and I don’t know the answer, in my mind I still can see the clue. When I look down at the puzzle where 48 across should be, I can still see that clue. So I can keep it all in my brain, which makes me just a little bit quicker.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s cool, that’s cool.

Megan Lyons

It’s fun.

Pete Mockaitis

I love the game Bananagrams, in which you are competing to form your own words with others. Have you played that one?

Megan Lyons

I have played. It’s been quite a while, but you make up words. Is that true?

Pete Mockaitis

Well, I guess if you’re cheating. [laugh]

Megan Lyons

Oh, okay. I think the people I played with must have been cheating, because it was frustrating to me.

Pete Mockaitis

I don’t know why, I looked up words with the letter Q that don’t have a U in them, which has served me so well. And I don’t even know if I’m pronouncing it right – qintar.

Megan Lyons

I don’t know that one.

Pete Mockaitis

I believe it’s an Albanian currency worth half of a lek. And the plural is qindarka. But I might be pronouncing it so wrong. But everyone says, “You made that up.” It’s like, “Please, challenge me.” It is my go-to for a Q with no U, because Ts and As and Rs and Is are plentiful.

Megan Lyons

I love that. If I see it in a crossword puzzle, I will send you a picture.

Pete Mockaitis

Please, that would be so good. So anyway, that’s the crossword story. But you’re also applying your mental skills to another endeavor – your business, The Lyons’ Share Wellness. What’s it all about?

Megan Lyons
Yeah, so it’s about cutting through the junk basically – the fat diets out there, just the diet culture in general, I guess, the conflicting information out on the marketplace. The diet industry’s a $60 billion industry, because everyone’s saying something different. And I want to get to the root of what actually makes people feel better mentally, physically, emotionally. So mainly what I do is one-to-one nutrition consulting for people who want to lose weight, solve digestive issues, increase their energy, basically just clean up their diets and don’t know where to start. But my approach is rooted in several things that set me apart – science for one, positivity for two. I’m not about attacking you, I’m not about feeling bad about your decisions or beating you up for anything. And then bio-individuality is the third one.

Pete Mockaitis

There’s so much to go on right away. So, that’s what struck me about your message, because I do hear a lot of incoming requests from wellness coaches, but none of them have your deep background from data, analytical, research-based stuff, coming from McKinsey. So that was really cool and eye-catching. So first, just because maybe it’s on listeners’ minds – what does the word “bio-individuality” mean?

Megan Lyons

In my mind it means that different nutrition approaches work for different people. So there’s not any one-size-fits-all meal plan, diet, etcetera, that works for absolutely everyone. There are a few things that we can talk about as we go into it that do apply to most people, but if it were so simple that there was one magic diet, everyone would be following it and we wouldn’t have a health crisis on our hands.

Pete Mockaitis

Now, when you say “works”, I’m imagining that in two ways. One is, it works for my lifestyle and my schedule and my kitchen setup and my travel schedule, that kind of thing. It works as, I can fit it into what I’m doing with my life. But then I think there was another dimension of “works”, in terms of – which I want to hear your take on – are you saying that individual bodies, our biochemistry will react differently, and substantially so, to the same inputs? Like I may react to high protein or high fat or whatever completely differently than you would.

Megan Lyons

That’s what I’m saying.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay, alright. Well, that’s intriguing, because I think that there’s a lot of noise and a lot of conflicting views out there when it comes to nutrition. So, do you have any proof points or a study you could point to that says, “Here’s your smoking gun. This is absolutely the truth.”

Megan Lyons

Oh yes. I think if we had five hours, I could fill it easily with this. But I’ll start with one of my favorite examples, which many of your listeners who are in this world, in the nutrition world, might have heard of – The Inuit Paradox. The Inuits are a group of Eskimos in Greenland and they are super healthy. Their mortality rate is very low, their incidence of chronic disease are very low, at least those of them who are still eating their traditional diet. And their traditional diet is basically all whale blubber. They don’t eat vegetables, and trust me, I am the number one preacher of vegetables, so this study kind of pains me to even admit. But they basically just eat whale blubber all of their lives. And if you look at the science, that could be almost impossible to have no incidence of cancer, etcetera, without vegetables and with so much saturated fat. But they’re remarkably healthy.
And then on the other hand, if you look at groups of people that are featured in books like The Blue Zones or incidences of high octogenarians, people who live a really long time – they are mostly eating vegetables. So I think in The Blue Zones, which studies nine, I believe, of these societies – the average meat consumption is 15 ounces per month, which is four to five really small servings of meat per month. So if you compare that to the Inuits, there’s no one right answer.
And then I’ll give you one more, since I love this stuff – a personal example. I got into it initially because of my own journey into trying to feel better, trying to have more energy. But as I progressed I was having some really serious GI issues – some bloating, just discomfort all the time. And I knew, based on knowing my body, that spinach, almonds and oranges were causing these issues for me. And I went to a bunch of GI doctors and they all said, “Are you crazy? Those foods are really healthy. No, no one can have issues caused by spinach, almonds and oranges.” And finally I found a food intolerance test, and the test showed, remarkably, that I was intolerant to spinach, oranges and almonds. And so those healthy foods for most people just were not healthy for my body at that time, and once I took them out for six months, I felt so much better after that.

Pete Mockaitis

Now that’s intriguing right there – that we could have some food intolerances that we don’t even know about, that by purging can yield dramatic results. Megan, how do I get me one of these tests?

Megan Lyons

Yeah, so I’ll caution you that there are a lot of food intolerance tests out there on, and I’ll tell you how to get it. One way is through me, through my practice. I do food intolerance testing, and so if listeners are interested in that, they could just go to my website or email me and hopefully we can put those links in the show notes. But I’ll caution you even before that, that you know your body the best, and if you’re having some kind of issues, it is easy to take a blood test and get a paper that tells you, “Yes, yes, yes, no, no, no.” But the science is still pretty new, and your experience is much more valid than that.
So I already knew oranges, spinach and almonds before I took the test. I just took the test to have some validation, to have some data behind it to justify what I already knew I needed to do for my body. So I always encourage people, try eliminating those things that you think are causing you issues first. If you don’t know, try some of the common triggers. Almost always it’s gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, maybe even bananas and avocados would be the next. So try some of those before you spend the $500 or more to get a food intolerance test.

Pete Mockaitis

It’s interesting, because as I think about my own diet and experience of vitality, I don’t know if anything at all is leaping to mind. But I think that there could be something lurking, because some days I feel on fire, brilliant, alive, alert, awake, enthusiastic, and then other days it’s just like, “Huh, seems a little hard to do the thinking that is required of this task in front of me.” And I don’t even know what the variable is.

Megan Lyons

So, I would ask you before you do the test, have you ever kept a really detailed food journal?

Pete Mockaitis

No.

Megan Lyons

I would do that. It’s so amazing how much you can figure out just by keeping a food journal for one week. People find the most obvious things when it’s on paper. It’s like, “Oh, duh, of course. Every day after I eat a donut I feel like junk”, or something like that. Even if you’re not really eating a donut – I’m being dramatic – but you’ll notice patterns just by writing it down. It’s just that we forget. It’s not important to remember what I had as a morning snack seven days ago, so I don’t tie that to my symptoms. And with intolerances symptoms can show up up to 48 hours after. So unless you’re writing it down, it’s hard to do that. And Pete, just for you – if you do a food journal for a week, I’m more than happy to look over it and see if I can find anything for you.

Pete Mockaitis

Aw shucks, thank you. I appreciate that.

Megan Lyons

Yeah.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay, so bio-individuality is for real, and we get to the bottom of it with a food journal and / or the food intolerance test. So, could you share with us then, beyond the individuality, and if we had to generalize a bit when it comes to professionals, and I will say, in the United States? Shoutout – thank you, international listeners, but I guess we’re 80% in the U.S. and apparently U.S. has some dietary things that could be a bit different than other nations. So, what are some of the top, top things that have some great evidence behind what we should do if we want to feel more alive, energetic and brilliant every day?

Megan Lyons

Yeah, so I’m going to underwhelm you at first, but when I underwhelm you, if someone says, “Oh my gosh, you’re talking about water” – I’m going to challenge you to see if you’re actually doing what I’m saying. So, there goes the first one, is drinking more clean water. It is so, so, so important. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and we don’t even get the feelings anymore, our body stops sending us signals that we’re dehydrated.
But when we are, not only is our digestion impaired, but our brain function slows down really, really quickly. We have fatigue, we need more sleep. There are so many things that happen when we’re dehydrated that I have to give that as the number one tip. So, my rule is always half your body weight in pounds + 16 for every hour of exercise you do daily. So if you weigh 200 pounds and you exercise an hour a day – that’s a 116 ounces of water that you need to be drinking. And this does not include coffee, it does not include soda. It’s really just water. So that always has to be my number one.
Number two is going to be eating more vegetables. And again, this is something that everyone knows who’s listening to this podcast. Eat more vegetables – of course, we’ve heard that all of our lives. But hold up a fist in front of your face – that’s the serving size for your individual person. A baby needs fewer vegetables than a 300-pound male. So, a fist size is a serving size. I encourage people to get 8 to 12 servings of vegetables every single day. Do you think most of your listeners do that?

Pete Mockaitis

No.

Megan Lyons

No, most people definitely do not do that. It’s hard to do in a busy world, when we’re getting information thrown at us from a dozen different angles and we have places to go and we’re not just sitting there picking vegetables out of our garden. But it’s really, really important, and will help you feel, like you said, energetic, more clear at work, just better able to function throughout the day.

Pete Mockaitis

Well, as I visualize the amount of 8 to 12 of my fist – and granted, I have large hands – but it’s substantial. And so, I’m curious, in practice how that’s done. I guess it’s a bunch of salads, is probably the most direct answer. But what’s your take – how do people pull that off? I’ve heard about these greens supplements or beverages. Is that any good, or how do you think about this?

Megan Lyons

Yeah, I always think that eating your vegetable is the best, but then there are several supplements that if we’re just not able to achieve the best case, there are several out there that I’ll talk about. Just to give you an example of how it’s done – my average day in the life, for breakfast I’ll either have probably a breakfast hash, which is sweet potatoes, zucchini, Brussel sprouts, and some turkey and some spices, maybe some good quality healthy fat in there. Or I’ll have a green smoothie, or I have a crustless quiche recipe on my website that’s pretty popular with people. So something like that, I’ll get at least two, probably three servings of vegetables in my breakfast. You’ll notice that I eat a lot of food. I’m a smallish person, but I eat a lot of food. It just happens to be a lot of vegetables.
Then for lunch – you called it – a salad is generally a great way to get in your vegetables, however most people when they start trying to be healthy, it’s like, “Oh, salad. Hold the avocado, no dressing, please.” Something like that. And I really, really encourage you to have healthy fat with your salad, otherwise it’ll never fill you up, it’ll never satiate you, and then you’ll always think of salad as a bad, boring thing. So, load up that salad with a bunch of protein or a bunch of healthy fat and really have something that you enjoy. So that’s another four servings easily with my salad at lunch.
And then I have a veggie pack every single afternoon, which is one of the simplest things I’ve ever made up, but you would be amazed how many of my clients who have paid hundreds and thousands of dollars, they come back and they’re like, “That one thing that you told me, the veggie pack – that’s what changed my life.” So, it’s a little frustrating and positive all at the same time. But a veggie pack is simply a ziplock baggie, or I use these reusable stasher bags or any container full of raw vegetables. And I make seven of them on Sundays. I encourage myself, I eat that before any other snack in the day. I just get those vegetables in, and that lowers cravings throughout the day, that really does pick up your energy, increases the fiber that you’re consuming, so your digestion’s improved, helps you prevent overeating at dinner. So, so many benefits. So, that’s another two. I think I’m at… Let’s see, how many am I at? Eight or nine right now.
And then for dinner I’m generally having some kind of salmon and vegetables, or chicken cauliflower fried rice, with cauliflower obviously. Some kind of vegetables that give me another two or three servings. So for me, I average 10 to 11 per day. I understand that for someone who’s traveling like I used to do all the time, or someone who chooses not to prepare their food for whatever reason, that’s tough. So, you called it with the greens powders. My favorite one is Organifi. I have no connection with them; I just think it’s a really great company. And that’s a powder that you dump into a water bottle and just shake it up and drink it. It doesn’t taste so bad and it gives you some great quality vegetables and fruits in there. And then capsulized for people who can’t even or don’t even want to drink the juice. Juice Plus+ is another good one – that’s a capsule.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s good, thank you. And I’ve heard a lot about that Organifi, mostly from podcast ads.

Megan Lyons

I know, I know.

Pete Mockaitis

Organifi – you think it’s cool, and I’m intrigued now because I’ve heard a lot about it. But even more so, eating the vegetables in those moments – that’s handy. So, we got the water, we got the vegetables. Any other big ones?

Megan Lyons

Yes, I want to talk about sugar, but I want to throw in a stat, since you just reminded me that you’re so specific about your requests. So, I have a really great stat, one of my favorites from a 2017 report in the Journal of Epidemiology. It said that an estimated 5.6 to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year could be reversed or maybe attributable to a deficiency in fruit and vegetable intake. So, that is huge. We’re talking millions and millions of deaths every single year, just by eating a veggie pack or something simple like that. So, do it. Eat those veggies, get those veggie packs in.
But then I have to talk about sugar as well. And I wrote a book a couple of years ago called Start Here, which gives some of these basic tips, but lots more statistics behind it. And the sugar chapter was absolutely my favorite chapter to write because I got to see how much of an issue this really is. It is almost impossible to reduce or to avoid added sugar. And I work in this field. I study this day in and day out, and I know more than the average person, but I’m still consuming added sugar all the time because it is in everything. I think it’s 72% of products in the average grocery store that are in a package have added sugar, so it’s just incessant.
And I really believe it’s causing a bunch of our health issues as Americans, but really as the world. If you plot some of the chronic diseases and our sugar consumption, it’s a pretty direct correlation. So, whether it’s actual sugar-laden foods that everyone knows – ice cream, cookies, cakes, things like that, or it’s just getting really, really conscious of where sugar’s hiding – in salad dressings and tomato sauces and yogurt and juices and drinks and bread and granola bars and all this kind of stuff, working on reducing your added sugar, or your sugar intake overall, would be incredibly helpful.

Pete Mockaitis

And what is the problem with sugar?

Megan Lyons

Oh, gosh. Again, do you have five hours? So the basic problem is that when we eat sugar, sugar in our blood stream is not good. Our body doesn’t like that. Our body likes sugar in our cells. And sugar in our cells is actually helpful to some extent. It’s glucose – a lot of people hear of it as glucose – and that powers the brain. It’s easiest for your brain to operate on glucose. So in the cells it’s not a bad thing, but in order to get it from the bloodstream into the cells, we need a hormone called insulin, which a lot of people have heard of, but they don’t know what it is. And I like to think of insulin as a Pacman. Pacman with the mouth opening and closing, it grabs onto the sugar in the bloodstream and it shuttles it into a cell. So it’s actually really, really helpful.
And when we eat something like an apple, the insulin response that we get when we eat an apple – let’s say it has 20 grams of sugar – we get the appropriate amount of insulin to get all those 20 grams into our cells, and nothing’s left over. But when we eat or drink a soda or something like that, which our body doesn’t really recognize – it’s different types of sugars; it’s high-fructose corn syrup and it doesn’t have nutrients and fiber and things that help our body deal with it – we get too much insulin secreted.
So, if you drink the same 20 grams of sugar from soda, you would get a higher insulin response, and that excess insulin is what causes issues. So it causes you to store belly fat, which a lot of people don’t like, but also it turns into much more significant issues in my mind – things like insulin resistance, which then turns into type 2 diabetes, which is something that everyone wants to avoid, and even things like Alzheimer’s. Neurological conditions are highly linked to an excess of insulin over time. I’m certainly not saying that if you have one soda in your life, you’re going to get Alzheimer’s or cancer or any of these things, but over time that excess insulin response is linked to so many of these things.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay, noted. So sugar is problematic. Any other key “don’ts” when it comes to getting that high level of energy and mental brilliance?

Megan Lyons

Yes. I really like to focus on the “do’s”, but I’m going to give you a few more “don’ts”, because like I said, positivity is my thing. I think added sugar’s number one. The number two “don’t” that I would say is false health products. So never believe anything that’s on the front of the package if it says “healthy” or “diet” or anything like that. I use in my presentations when I’m using PowerPoint, which is still my consultant crutch – I have a slide with this pure protein bar and it says “Eat good, look great, high protein, low sugar, gluten-free”, all these claims on the front, but people don’t realize that you can put anything on the front of a package – it’s widely unregulated.
And then you turn it over, the first thing I want you to look at is the ingredients there. I don’t really care if it has 20 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar and 0 calories, which isn’t possible anyway. That doesn’t matter to me if the ingredients are junky. So I want you to look at the ingredients. And I have three rules for looking at ingredients. Number one – fewer is better. So, many of these protein bars and false health foods have 40, 50 ingredients. It’s like chemical soup in there. So, too many ingredients is number one.
Number two is ingredients that you recognize. There are some “energy bars” or “protein bars” – whatever you want to call them – that the ingredients are very simple. You may have seen the RXBAR, which says “5 almonds, 6 cashews, 3 dates, 2 egg whites, and no B.S.”, or something like that on the package. The point is, you recognize all of those ingredients. On many of these bars or health products, you don’t recognize the ingredients.
And then the last one, tying back into our sugar conversation is, I don’t want sugar in any of its forms to be in the first three ingredients. So, ingredients are listed in descending order of volume and I don’t want sugar to be one of the top ingredients. The only kicker here is that there are over 63… Well, that’s kind of a funny thing to say – over 63 – I believe there are 63 FDA-approved words for sugar, so you have to be pretty careful. Look for any kind of sugar – cane sugar, maple sugar, corn sugar, anything like that; any kind of syrup – high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, whatever; or anything ending in “ose”.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay. 63, interesting. Can we link to that? Do you have that catalogued somewhere?

Megan Lyons

Yes, I will find it for you and get it to you.

Pete Mockaitis

Thank you, cool. Okay, so we got some big “do’s” and some “don’ts”. I want to hear your meal planning and prepping approach. It seems like you’ve put tons of thought into this and have it down. And I guess I’m just coming to terms with, time after time I’m hungry and I just don’t have a plan. And then it’s just kind of whatever. It’s like whatever I can grab and put in my mouth in the time I have before the next appointment. And I think I’m just coming to terms with, “This ain’t working so well.” And you’ve really got a process down. Can you lay it out for us? How does that work?

Megan Lyons

Sure. First, I meal plan and food prep for exactly the reason you said. It’s not that I believe everyone has to do this or else you’re not fancy or something like that. It’s not for the Instagram, believe it or not. It’s just that my lifestyle is full, it’s busy, and I like it that way. But if I’m walking in from work at 8:30 p.m. and I’m starving, I’m not about to spend an hour cooking my dinner. I would much rather go pick something up or drive through something or whatever. But if I walk in at 8:30 p.m. and my meal is already ready to go, I’m excited about it, I’ve made it a few days before and all I have to do is heat it up, then I’m much more likely to go ahead and eat that. So, it all comes from… Have you ever heard of Shawn Achor? He wrote a book called…

Pete Mockaitis

The Happiness Advantage.

Megan Lyons

Yeah, exactly. He talks about lowering the activation energy of habits that you want to encourage, and this is a long-studied theory or tactic that I believe to be true. And almost every occasion when we make things easier that we want to do, we will actually do them. As silly, as simple as that sounds, it’s so true. So meal-planning and prepping is all about just making it easier for me to eat healthily. And basically what I do – I’m going to give you the 30-second version, and then I have a webinar that is maybe 45 minutes. For anyone who’s really interested in going into the weeds, they can access that.
But basically what I do is I have this template, which is a grid of the week, and all of the meals. I block off any events where I’m going to be served food or I’m going out to eat, and then I put a box by those occasions where I need it to be all ready to go, five minutes or less, no preparation required. And then I just start plotting in meals.
So I have probably four or five breakfasts that I rotate through all the time. I don’t really get bored for breakfast; it’s just something that I want nutritious and quick and delicious, and that’s it. So I plot one of those in. Then I do the same for lunch and dinner, with probably a little bit more variety. And then I go to the grocery store. As soon as I get back from the grocery store, I chop everything right then. Don’t even spend the time to put it back in the fridge. It seems like you’re just wasting two minutes, but those two minutes every single week add up, and then you have many more excuses later. So chop it right away.
And every single week I have something in the crock pot, something on the stove, something that’s raw, and something in the oven. And so, that just makes it easy for me to be like a mad scientist in the kitchen, doing four meals at once. By the time I’m done, I have, I like to say 21 meals for the week, but I really don’t actually. I probably prepare 18 of my meals for the week, and I have it all ready to go in glass storage containers, and it just makes my life so much easier.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s so good. One in the crock pot, one on the stove, one in the oven, and one raw, you say.

Megan Lyons

Yes, that’s right.

Pete Mockaitis

So then we can have all of them going at the same time – the crock pot’s crocking, the stove is burning. Well, not burning, you know…

Megan Lyons

Yup. Hopefully not burning. Although I have set off the fire alarm at least five times in my food prep.

Pete Mockaitis

Well, you had a few things going on at once. And then you’re making them in pretty substantial quantities. So is that fair to say, the crock pot might have six meals in it?

Megan Lyons

Exactly, yes.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s great. And so, let’s talk about these glass storage containers.

Megan Lyons

Sure.

Pete Mockaitis

I guess I’ve looked a couple of times at Amazon, and once again I interrogate the Amazon options. I don’t know how many times I’ve clicked into, “No, no, show me all reviews”, and now I want to keyword-search several things within them.

Megan Lyons

I like this.

Pete Mockaitis

It’s kind of my approach. So these storage containers, I guess in my world, I’ve yet to quite find the ultimate. And I’ve looked maybe three times and sort of aborted the mission after about 20 minutes of, “I can’t quite find what I want.” And then something else takes me away. So, I guess in my dream world, the perfect food storage container would be about meal-sized, so one meal – there you go. It stacks together, so you can stash them away in the kitchen without taking up gobs of space. You would have some kind of a lid or a spill prevention, so that if you needed to put it in a briefcase or a suitcase, you can do that. And then you can microwave it. And I’ve heard – and maybe you’ve got the dirt on this – is that it’s sort of bad news to microwave plastics, because it can release phytoestrogens or something bad.

Megan Lyons

Yeah, that’s the BPA thing that we hear about. I think it’s true. I wouldn’t stress about microwaving plastic one time, but if you’re going to do it every day, I definitely do recommend staying away from plastic.

Pete Mockaitis

So lay it on us – what is the perfect solution? You said you’re using glass.

Megan Lyons

Yeah, I do. I use these snapware glass dishes, I guess, that I got from Amazon, and I have a little bit.ly link. Do you use bit.ly links ever?

Pete Mockaitis

Oh, absolutely.

Megan Lyons

They just make my life easier, yeah. So it’s bit.ly/storemyfood, all lowercase, just to give people the exact ones that I use. But I have to say I’m not as particular as you, and I’m patting myself on the back because I meet all of your requirements. They are meal-size, they’re glass, they are leak-proof, they snap together, they don’t take up too much space, they’re dishwasher and microwave-safe, all that kind of stuff. And I really like them. They’re a bit of an investment upfront – I think they’re probably $4-$5 each – but they’re worth it over time.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay. Well, I want to go there immediately and take a look. So, that’s cool. And are they heavy if they’re glass?

Megan Lyons

Yeah, they’re heavy. So, I walk to work every day, and I just transitioned to a backpack. I’m regressing in my age. But I used to have a bag that was over one shoulder – then that was too heavy because I was bringing all my food. So I then switched to a roller bag, but then the roller bag was kind of a pain and it made loud noise. So I went back to the old school backpack. And I just consider it part of my extra workout to get my food all the way into the office and back.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay, understood. Well, thank you. At last, maybe we’ve cracked the code here. So, much appreciated.

Megan Lyons

Of course.

Pete Mockaitis

And then for the recipes – I am a fan of things you can make a bunch at once. So you mentioned the crockpot, so I think that’s great for stews or chili. What are some of the other go-to’s, like, “Hey, this is quick and easy to make a bunch of food at once that segments and stores and lasts well?”

Megan Lyons

Yeah, so in that meal-planning webinar I have, I think 20 or 30 of my favorite meal-prep recipes that people can download as well. But think of things that have some liquid in them or that you’re not just tasting one food at a time. So for people with texture issues, meal prep can be a little harder because something like a fillet of salmon doesn’t reheat as well as a chicken chili or something like that. But if you can do soups, stews, casseroles, quiches, any kind of stir fry dish, or I love cauliflower, rice and zucchini noodles, things like that, with sauces on them – all of those reheat really, really well.

Pete Mockaitis

Perfect, thank you. Well, Megan, tell me – this is so good. Anything else you really want to make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Megan Lyons

Oh, there are just so many. I think the last thing that we didn’t talk about was the impact of the gut microbiome on our health. And this is just getting so much press lately. It’s one of my pet peeves when people come to me and they say, “I saw this study that says obese people have a different gut microbiome than non-obese people, and so this is just how I’m going to be the rest of my life.” Or whatever, fill in the blank with something other than obesity.
But one of my favorite studies is when they used mice, but they’re trying to right now extrapolate this to humans, and they switched the mice from a plant-rich diet to a Western diet with refined sugars, low quality fats, all this kind of stuff. And their microbiome, the gut bacteria, changed within one day. So it is true that if you are obese or you are sick or you have type 2 diabetes or something –  it is true that part of it is your gut microbiome, but it’s a bit of the chicken and the egg here. You have the power to change it.
So, I always encourage my clients – take one step in the right direction. Don’t get overwhelmed by all of this information and say, “I have to do everything or nothing”, because that’s why people do nothing. Just do one thing – make a veggie pack this week and have one every day, or try to trade your soda for water tomorrow. Just do one thing and you will feel so much better from that that you’ll get the snowball rolling and it’ll keep growing.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s excellent. So, quick question on the gut microbiome – are probiotics amazing? What’s you take?

Megan Lyons
The right quality probiotics are amazing. Unfortunately most probiotics on the market are heat-processed, and that deactivates most of the good stuff. So be sure you’re getting a good quality probiotic. The one that I usually recommend I get from Amazon or a health food store – it’s Garden of Life, The Ultimate Flora. I’ll give you a link to put that in the show notes as well. But if you’re not getting that one, just be sure that it says that it’s not been heat-processed or it’s in a dark glass container. Or even better, eat some probiotic-rich foods, like sauerkraut or kefir or kimchi or some of these things with weird names that taste a little bit bitter. If you’re getting true yogurt with actual probiotics and you tolerate dairy, that’s great too. It’s just as easy or just as possible to get your probiotic from food.

Pete Mockaitis

Perfect, alright. Well then, could you now share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Megan Lyons

Absolutely. It’s one that many people will have heard, but I wrote it on my entrance to high school wall – we got to decorate the wall. So it’s always been my favorite. It’s Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

Pete Mockaitis

Thank you. And how about a favorite study or experiment or a bit of research?

Megan Lyons

I think that one that says 5.6 to 7.8 million premature deaths could be prevented if we just eat five to eight servings of vegetables per day.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay. And how about a favorite book?

Megan Lyons

Right now my favorite book is Food: What the Heck Should I Eat by Mark Hyman.

Pete Mockaitis

And a favorite tool?

Megan Lyons

Favorite tool is FollowUpThen. It’s a free email tool that helps me keep track of my clients. It sends you a reminder when you should follow up with someone by email.

Pete Mockaitis

And how about a favorite habit?

Megan Lyons

My morning routine. I do a 10-set morning routine every morning – meditation, gratitude journal, exercise, drinking a bunch of water, things like that. And it just makes me so much more productive every day.

Pete Mockaitis

And is there a particular nugget you share with folks that really seems to connect and resonate and they say, “Wow, Megan, that’s so good!”

Megan Lyons

It’s, “Every day, every meal, every bite is a new opportunity. Make the most of it.”

Pete Mockaitis

And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Megan Lyons

My website – TheLyonsShare.org has almost everything, but they can also find me on social media at TheLyonsShare on Instagram or Facebook. Or they can email me – megan@thelyonsshare.org.

Pete Mockaitis

Yes. And I think it’s so important, so I’ll just say – Lyons Share, as in your name, as opposed to the animal. And two S’s – LyonsShare.org. So, great stuff. Thank you.

Megan Lyons

You are hired. You can be on my marketing team, because I say that so many times per day. Thank you for filling in the blanks here.

Pete Mockaitis

Well, you just shared so much important stuff, with regard to the recipes and the meal planning and the items. I think it’s so important that we don’t miss out, because that’s great.

Megan Lyons

Thank you.

Pete Mockaitis

Thank you. And do you have a final challenge or call to action you’d issue to folks seeking to be awesome at their jobs?

Megan Lyons

Well, we talked about the veggie packs enough, so I think that’s going to be the challenge. Make a veggie pack, one for every day. Start with five days during the week – raw vegetables, anything you like. Just get a fist size in there and eat that before any other snacks for one week, and let me know if you don’t feel better. I will be shocked.

Pete Mockaitis

Perfect. Megan, thank you so much for bringing some clarity and some sanity and some wisdom to this important topic. It’s been a lot of fun, and I wish you and The Lyons’ Share Wellness all the best!

Megan Lyons

Thank you, Pete. It’s been fun for me too.

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