Fast Eating & Weight Gain

Could shoving food down your throat lead to weight gain? Learn what the top scientists and researchers are saying about fast eating.

This post is also featured over at The Well Necessities at

photograph by Katya Higgins Photography –

Today’s post is something I am super duper passionate about. Well, I am passionate about all things health and wellness but this one in particular has always been of much interest to me. People often ask why I eat so slow or why I am still on my first plate while they are on their third. At first I thought I was weird or sick or something but quickly realized I was actually doing the right thing. Now I get to tell you about the importance of slow eating and the effects it can have on your overall health and even weight management. Simplholistic is not the place for diet campaigners or quick fix pills and if that is why you are here, you will be highly disappointed. I work on whole mind, body and spirit approach to your health and recognize that we are all different. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan here. Alright, let’s get started with some crazy statistics.

The good ol’ stats.

Did you know that 63% of eating is done while we are doing something else like driving, watching TV, playing video games, working or walking?(1) That means that only 27% of eating is mindful eating which is not good. We need to be present to properly take in, breakdown and digest our food. Another crazy statistic is that 52% of Americans said they think learning how to file taxes is easier than learning to eat healthy!(2) Our American people would rather work with governmental agencies that take their money (haha) than learn to eat whole foods. I want this to end and I will do anything in my power to work with YOU to learn to eat healthy. 1/4 of American’s eat fast food every. single. day. American’s consume 31% more packaged foods than fresh food…. that is a heartbreaking statistic. 20% of our meals are eating in the car (which is now illegal in Washington by the way). I want you to sit on those for a moment and think about if you fall into those statistics. If you do, you can change it and make healthier choices for you and your family. If you don’t, you go girl (boy).

Another statistic that leaves room for huge improvement is that healthiness decreases by 1.7% every hour that passes. This means that we are prone to eat healthier at breakfast and as the day goes one, we will likely eat more junk and less fresh food. If you eat healthier in the morning you will feel better, have more energy and want to eat healthier throughout the day. Let’s beat this statistic! Now, my fav, the money talk. My clients and random people I meet throughout the day always talk to me about how expensive clean eating is and how they could never afford it. Well, did you know that 10% of American’s disposable income is used on fast food annually? That is $7,385 on fast food, this is “food” I question how it has even passed regulations to be sold for human consumption.

How long do you think it takes for your body to recognize that it’s full?

Talk science to me.

This right here is the good stuff that I have been dying to share with you. That question above about knowing when you’re full is the topic of the portion of the blog. There are countless numbers of studies done on slow eating and whether or not it is beneficial to your overall health. Spoiler alert, it is. Precision Nutrition, NCBI, Mayo Clinic and many of my very favorite doctors agree the it takes about 20 minutes for the gut to tell the brain it is full. If it takes less than 20 minutes for us to scarf down a huge plate a food we are likely overstuffing ourself and disrupting the hormones associated with appetite and satiation. This means if we eat less a full meal in less than 20 minutes we are potentially stuffing ourselves beyond what we actually need aka over calorie consumption aka weight gain.

Slow paced eating is associated with satiation (satisfaction) and gut hormone response (Ghrelin).(3) When we eat slowly we are choosing a preventative option that guards us from weight gain caused by over calorie consumption. This slow eating also helps to curb food intake for those, like many of clients, that are suffering from obesity and/or diabetes. The research on quick eating is pretty unanimous:

“Eating quickly promotes weight gain and makes you feel out of control of your eating habits.” & “Fast eaters gain more weight than slow eaters.” – Precision Nutrition

Eating is a beautiful thing and something we should enjoy with friends, family and even by ourselves. Let’s talk about the steps to eating so you can get an idea of what is actually going on.
Step 1 – We smell, see or think about food – this is when the brain gets excited and we start subconsciously preparing for digestion. Pretty cool, huh?
Step 2 – We salivate to prepare for putting food into our mouth – this serves as a lubrication
Step 3 to however many steps there are – these are the digestive steps that are crucial in food breakdown and getting the nutrients we need for overall health. Our stomach starts to excrete more acid and our small intestine prepares for peristalsis (an involuntary muscle contraction for swallowing). If we eat too quickly, we never get to fully experience this (brilliantly designed) digestion process. There is a reason we should get off of the screens, video games, stress train and actually sit down and eat our meals, s l o w l y.

Research after research shows that we eat fewer calories when we eat slower. I keep nailing this on the head because I want you to remember it. Eat slowly creates actual biochemical changes that make us less inclined to overeat. This isn’t some new-age mumbo jumbo or whatever you are thinking; this is science. Prolonged chewing also prevents diabetes and decreases your chances of unnecessary snacking. When we eat until we are full and do it fast, we are tripling our chances of becoming overweight. There are hormones that are released and feedback between the gut and the brain when we eat slowly. You guessed it, when we eat fast, this doesn’t happen. We are robbing ourself of optimal health by something that could easily be fixed! Inadequate chewing shortchanges nutrition because digestion begins in the mouth. Carb and fat digestion begin in the mouth and when we chew, it signals the rest of our body for the incoming food.

PHEW. I will end this post here but I do have a couple little fun things for you. When I first became health conscious I set a timer during a meal and then ate at normal speed. I was amazed at how fast I ate, 3 minutes for a whole meal!! Do the same and let me know what your times are and what you would like them to be. I hope this helps you to be the healthiest you that you can be. Be sure to follow me in instagram and subscribe to my email list for a FREE gift.




Urbanity Hair Salon in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Looking for a organic hair salon in or around Northern Idaho? Urbanity hair salon is the best place for you to get a clean cut with clean ingredients.

Ladies (and gents) are you sick of your hair running awry and feeling like you can’t do anything about it?

I have good new for you.

While I was at a wellness fair earlier this year, I got to meet the owner of a holistically based salon in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Tia, the owner of Urbanity, has been working with hair for several years and believes it is more than just cutting off hair. She wanted to create a safe space for you to come, with confidence, for all your hair needs and that is just what she did.

If you don’t know, I have some insanely wild curly hair that requires a lot of love and skill to work with. I never let people touch my hair because they either butcher it with layers of curly despair or hack it all off which makes me look like a frazzled poodle. Tia has curly hair herself which means she has year of experience working with it.

No butchering, hacking off or fear of scissors anymore!

She started with a brief overview of what to expect and then put m zin the chair for an amazing hair wish. Something about other people washing your hair is so magical, do you agree? She uses a product called Hair Story that is made from essential oils and other clean ingredients. While the product isn’t 100% clean and to my liking, I will settle for it a few times a year when I get my hair done. It sloughs off waxes and other junk from your hair and scalp which leaves you feeling amazing. Say goodbye to that greased down hair look. + it smells delicious!

Next, she took me to the chair and began the cut. With her expertise in curly hair, she shaped and textured my hair to perfection. Her unique curved cutting technique left my hair feeling light and healthy. I definitely recommend her to my curly and non-curly haired friends alike.

Urbanity Salon is located in downtown Coeur d’Alene. If you are a local, it’s right next to one of my favorite juice bars: The Wellness Bar. They are a close walk from all of CDAs sweet offerings. Next time you are dining out, at the lake or free from the kids for a day, be sure to stop by Urbanity. Be sure to mention me (Ashlee from Simplholistic) for $9 off your next appointment!

Get Your Poop In A Scoop with Kitlife Planners

Need to get your life back on track? This planner will help you do with in style. This carefully curated Kitlife planner is your gateway to a organized business and life!

Do you ever find yourself wondering why you don’t have a personal assistant, that new google assistant or in the very least, a planner?

Do you love to write lists? Then, do you get excited to cross those tasks off?

Do you live to complete that final to-do before ending your day? Guilty.

Maybe you would forget your head if it wasn’t attached to your body?

Well, if you answered yes to any of the above, I have your back. Last year around this time, I won an incredible planner and it has become the foundation of any and all organization that occurs within my business, spiritual life and personal life!

kitlife planner, planning, entrepreneur

Kitlife Planners are extraordinary planners that take the good old fashioned pen and paper game tot he next  level. Each planner is carefully curated by amazing business women. Jessica is a dietician/yogi, Liz is the marketing whiz and Jenny is the captain of the witty comments and spreadsheets . Each planner contains personality, emotion and motivation just for you! With a focus on more than just to-dos, you get an all-in-one life guide. They include inspirational quotes, wellness tips and nutrition advice. <– my personal fav. They even include 8 mini glasses of water on under the wellness section because we all need a reminder to stay hydrated! Must I say more? At the bottom of each day is a box for you to write what you are grateful for.

Here’s a little recap of what you’ll get:
1. wellness space
2. the “big three” task box
3. gratitude space
4. inspirational quotes
5. hourly time chart
6. notes space
7. monthly overview calendar
8. quarterly check in (goals, dreams, big wins, body image, reflection)
9. cute seasonal tidbits

I use my planner each day and I don’t know what I would do without it. Once, I misplaced it and had to take a major anti-picnic deep breathe because it is THAT important. This year, I want you to take control of your life, health and business because you’re the only one that can get you going. Using a planner is a sure fire way to get your goals and projects rolling.

Need more incentive? Once you buy your planner you will gain access to the exclusive #kitgirls Facebook group. This group gives you insight to all things planning and girl power.

Here are a few reviews from their clients and everyday #kitgirls.

Head over here to get your planner with a special discount 😉 Be sure to let me know when you get it! You can tag me @simplholistic and @kitlife for a chance to be featured on Instagram!




Staying Healthy In Uganda, Africa

Uganda, Africa was calling our names so, we went! Come learn all about how to stay healthy on an international mission trip & be sure to tell your friends and family.

Travel is something we love in our household. We get to try new things, see new places and make more memories. We love to get creative in our packing and try new things we normally don’t buy because #budget. Going out of the country to an undeveloped part of Africa is no joke and could seem overwhelming. I prepped for two weeks worth of snacks, 4 days of travel and layovers and lots of bus rides. I can’t wait to show you my tips and tricks. Enjoy this and use it next time you adventure! *this post contains affiliate links.

Part 1 – the prep.

Like any good adventure requires, I began to prep (food) a few weeks before the trip. I needed to know a few things: 1) that we would have enough food for our days out in the villages, 2) that we would have quality snacks and 3) that we would be supporting our favorite brands all the way from Africa. Thanks to the handy internet, I received all the snacks right to my doorstep. Quick & easy. I prepped 14 bags for both myself and my husband. Each bag contained 1 RX Bar, 1 Primal Kitchen’s Collagen Bar, 1 to-go pack of Vital Proteins Collagen, 1 to-go pack of Dr. Axe Collagen and 1 nut butter pouch (either Nuttzo or Crazy Richards). These were our day bags that we tossed into our day packs each morning before heading out to the village. They were perfect. I was confident that we would be getting sufficient protein on these long hot African days. SOOOO important y’all.

Some other essentials: bamboo pillow, earphones, books and good luggage. Here are some of the snacks we brought for the 6 and 15 hour plane rides. kale chips, chocolate, nut butter, salad, bacon, roasted veggies, hummus, ginger shots and apples.

click here to get your collagen packets!

Our days.

3 a.m. – wake up because jet lag is real RUFFF
– stretch, yoga, try to go back to sleep, talk, eat random things, etc.
– brush our teeth (with bottled water), spray on the bug dope and put on the deodorant
7 a.m. – breakfast
– starch on starch on starch
– occasional greens (either kale or spinach, not too sure)
– pineapple DAYUMM, watermelon and BOMB bananas
– cup of tea with collage and ghee
8 a.m. – family time (debrief about how good God is)
9 a.m. head out to our site for the day
lunch – usually a granola bar because tomato & cheese sandwiches are less than ideal haha / my very allergy
7 p.m. – dinner (so difficult for me to get used to)
– starch on starch on starch, meat, and some veggies per my request because I was NEEDING them

Things to consider.

In America we have all the things we need in life. Clean water, food, clothes, shelter and so much more. Our food is quality (well, we have the option), our water is clean (free of parasites and dysentery) and we don’t have to walk 10 miles to get it. We have refrigeration and a wide variety of foods. Quality meats aren’t contaminated and tadpole infused water isn’t our fate. We don’t have to rely on potatoes, corn and wheat to get enough calories. We visit the grocery store for all of our needs and seldom touch a garden. It’s a different way of life and all of what I just mentioned above is not a luxury in Uganda.

A normal meal (for us mzungus) was fried/boiled potatoes, chicken curry, beef, fish, steamed veggies, bananas, fruit, chapati (unleavened bread), rice, ugali (cornmeal), sukuma wiki (kale) and “soup” aka a tomato sauce for your rice. Their food contains lots of spices we don’t eat here in America which means upset stomach nation. A lot of their food is fried or battered so, running into some hidden wheat was a problem for this gluten-intolerant lady. Interesting enough, I had some chapati from non-american wheat and I was just fine. No reaction, no bumps no nothing.

Since they eat later there, the food seems to sit in your stomach a little heavier than normal. This was especially so since we were eating so many carbs and so little fresh food or fat. When you go, all I can say is go with the flow and don’t stress. That will only upset your stomach more. Chill, hangout with the beautiful people and count the many blessings around you.

The real MVPs.

I felt so blessed to have amazing brands backing this trip. They loved what we were doing and were so excited to be involved in our every day life in Uganda. I got to share their delicious products with the African people and our team members. The Africans LOVED to try new foods that were nutritious and delicious. Our team members loved to have something other than curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner 😉 Here are the brands that fueled our trip and make difference in thousands of people’s lives everyday. I have included direct links to all of the products for you 🙂

RX bar – whole food protein bars without any BS. Several different flavors and perfect when they are warmed by the African sun!
Ancient Nutrition – protein packets with greens, beets and other important nutrients we were lacking overseas.
Primal Kitchen – collagen bars in 4 different flavors that are actually better warmed up than cold like here in Washington.. haha
Heather’s Choice – healthy, calorie dense backpacking meals that were a LIFE SAVER. They were my plane companion and the macaroons are absolutely delicious.
Nuttzo – nut butter packets with no junk. Peanut, peanut-free, cashews, brazil nuts, flax, chocolate and so much more.
Crazy Richards – peanut butter packets that went perfectly atop a little apple banana 😉 the african’s had never had “peanut cream”
4th & Heart – grass-fed ghee that satisfied all my fat cravings when all there was was bananas and pineapple, we made bulletproof tea and coffee each morning. The Madagascar vanilla is delicious
Vital Proteins – collagen protein packets that couldn’t be more convenient. We got the marine peptides and bovine collagen. We added it to oatmeal, fresh juice, bottled water, coffee, tea and soup!
Artisana – their cashew and coconut butter are delicious and the pecan butter is a real champ when you’re on a bus for 10 hours
Holly’s Keeping It Real – this natural deodorant with minimal ingredients packs easy, travels well and makes your pits smell real nice
Badger Balm – when we pulled this bug spray out our team members were like “spray us because it smells so good!” and even better? the mosquitos HATED it. their sunscreen kept our delicate white skin safe and the chapstick made our lips nice and glossy sans sunburn 😉

We flew through Dubai on our way home and were delighted to see an organic juice bar in the airport. Look how adorable it is & the food was on wonderful.

For next time.

Now that I have some experience and know what I am doing, here are a few tips that I wished I would have known before going.
1. pack more return home snacks for the long plane rides and layovers
2. pack electrolytes because no amount of water was ever enough for us. we needed coconut water and salts!
3. pack noise cancelling earphones for the plane rides and big cities – it was draining for my brain to hear all that noise and this would help jet lag
4. pack melatonin because sometime you have to manually knock yourself out after 12 days of waking up at 2 a.m..
5. bring a larger diversity of snacks (repetition gets real… repetitive)
6. pack dark chocolate, hair brush, games, crosswords, meat sticks, oatmeal, fanny pack and coconut milk powder

Have you even been anywhere in Africa? I would love to know so, comment below and let me know your experience, tips and where you went. Have a beautiful day & be sure to share this with you friends and family if you enjoyed it. God bless you!