Summer Slips & Slides

The key to achieving your optimal health and wellness is making your health a habit. Simple as that. The process of transforming your health involves replacing less than healthy habits such as eating processed foods, negative self talk, absence of self-care, and crowding them out with behaviors and actions that actually make you feel good, balanced, in control, and daresay, happy.

So there you have it. Now switch off the computer and go take back your health!

Ahhhh, you are still reading!! And I am still writing, so there must be a bit more to this healthy living than just tweaking a few habits. Right you are. And I call them “Slips and Sildes”. Let’s dig in.

A slip, in my experience, occurs when I make less than favorable choices, it feels like I am slipping a bit, or moving away from where I want to be. Basically, I engage in a behavior that I have previously identified as one that brings me discomfort or one that is known to lead to additional poor decisions. This is what a slip looks like for me:

  • Eating foods I know will cause me to feel crappy or bloated
  • Eating foods that tend influence cravings for additional crappy foods i.e.: processed foods, sugars, certain types of alcohol, bread
  • Spending too much time on social media, which I find significantly impacts my mood (gateway for self-judgement and negative self talk galore!)
  • Complaining (I’m working hard on being present, grateful, and keeping perspective. Complaining throws all that work down the toilet.)
  • Negative self-talk (we’ve covered this one a bit in previous post, no explanation necessary!)

When is a slip not a slip? So, this is key. I believe what holds most people back from jumping head first into a healthier lifestyle is the fear of deprivation. A lot of folks think that being healthy means they will never have another piece of cake, or cocktail, or binge-watch their favorite 90’s show (yes I’m talking about Friends. Or E.R.). But that’s not what being healthy is all about. And it’s a damn shame we’ve created this mentality. Yes, for some people, eliminating a food or behavior that causes their body harm or distress should be avoided. But going gluten free right off the bat because you’ve heard it is healthier, is not necessary or even advised. The truth is that you should be able to live a life that resembles what is important to you, what you value, and what makes you truly happy. If treating yourself to a decadent sweet treat is important to you, then you will plan for it. You will decide when and what is right for you, and you will know that your other decisions throughout the week allow for you to enjoy this moment. And you will know that this is not a slip, rather, this was a mindful indulgence. And therefore you will not feel that you have failed yourself, you will not feel guilt, you will enjoy each bite.

A slip, on the other hand, is when there is a loss of that sense of control. A slip tends to have an emotional connection. We are going against what feels good, and we are aware of that. For me, my slips seem to begin when I skip my Morning Pages writing exercise, and instead get on social media and seem to lose an hour or more (Yikes!). From there, my exercise may be a little less energized, and then I may also be more relaxed in my eating that day because I am feeling  a bit funky. This right here is the transition of slip, into slide. The slide can then last anywhere from two weeks to months. The slide is where you just keep making decisions that you know are not supporting your goals. It is within the slide that we may deem ourselves unable to be healthy, or to reach our health goals. This is hogwash, by the way.

I have chosen to write about this process because I believe that I tend to exist somewhere in between slips and slides. I know what works for my body, my mind, and my soul. And I know that when I begin to let those things fall behind, I suffer on each of those levels.  I also believe that if I am experiencing this cycle, I am not alone. And it is my goal as a Health Coach to help others find their own balance. Experiencing slips & slides is what makes us human, it is not a sign that you are not meant to work towards your best health.

So how does one navigate the world of slip & slides? This is what I have shared with my clients, and I share it with you so that you too will know that your journey to health is supported. It is important. And you’ve got this.

  • Be mindful
    • This means you need to give some thought to what and how you eat. Be aware of what make you feel good, what makes you feel crappy, and make decisions based on that information
    • Be present in the moment, make decisions that support your goals
  • Count on eating the forbidden foods
    • Unless you are completely restricting your diet by removing certain foods all together, than you will most likely indulge from time to time so..
      • plan for it
      • make choices that meet your needs and match your goals
      • have no shame is saying “no thank you”, any judgement for taking care of your self is not your issue
  • Have a plan
    • Just like you meal plan, plan for having whatever your “treat” is, whether it is alcohol, sweets, fine cheeses, etc
    • Your plan should provide you with structure to enjoy treats without the guilt. For example you may:
      • Wait until the weekend for to enjoy a treat, staying on track during the week
      • Apply the 80/20 rule with eating, keep it clean and healthy 80% of the time and treat yo’self 20%
      • Bring your own treat so that you control the ingredients
      • Have a plan for how you will deal with workplace sweets
        • This is a tricky one for my clients, office birthday parties can throw us through a loop!
        • Hold your head high if you would like to say no thank you, there is no shame in that game!
        • If you want to eat it, be mindful. Remind yourself that you are not failing, or falling off your plan. Eat, enjoy & let it go. Holding on to guilt or emotions regarding food tend to only come back to haunt us
  • Self love & Self Care
    • Knowing what allows your body and mind to thrive is essential to making healthy decisions
    • Incorporate daily practices that keep you moving towards your health goals and living aligned with what is important to you

 

So now, you may go ahead and take back your health!

Be well, happy & healthy!

Beth 

PS:

IMG_3139
This a family portrait from my 6 year old, Anna. I love this gentle reminder, that in the eyes of our children we are perfect. And we have blue hair.

 

 

Advertisements

Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

When it comes to eating healthy, the emphasis goes beyond just carbs, fat, protein, and calories. It even goes beyond food groups!  When you make the conscious decision to start eating healthier foods, it’s important to pay attention to what’s in your food.

Did you know that the nutritional value of most our produce has decreased over the last few decades? The food we eat no longer gives us the nourishment it used to, requiring us to seek other sources of vital nutrients.  This is due to the increasingly more common use of pesticides and genetically modified foods (GMOs).

By consuming organic food as often as possible and choosing foods that are locally grown, you can minimize the effect of pesticides and GMOs in your diet!

 The Dirty Dozen

These foods have been named as the most likely to be contaminated by pesticides. If you’re on a budget, these are the foods you want to prioritize buying organic.

  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Sweet Bell Peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Grapes (Imported from elsewhere)
  10. Spinach
  11. Lettuce
  12. Potatoes

Safer Bets: The Clean Fifteen

These foods are the least likely to contain pesticides, according to the President’s Cancer Panel. Because of their many layers and rough outer skin, these foods are less likely to be toxic when bought conventional.

  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapples
  5. Mango
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi fruit
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet potatoes (also known as yams)
  15. Sweet onions

Guidelines for Staying Safe When Buying Food

Most foods are much better for your body, on multiple levels, when purchased organic. They’re closer to the earth and more care has been taken to ensure that they’re raised in a natural setting.

If you’re not able to purchase organic at a grocery store, farmer’s markets are a great alternative. Local farmers aren’t subjected to the same large-scale requirements of a corporate or a farm subsidized by the government. They’re usually more likely to use fewer pesticides and more natural methods when growing foods. Often, these small farmers carry organic produce, even if the label itself doesn’t say “organic.”

It’s also easier to buy foods that are in season if you have local sources. Farmers want to ensure that their stock doesn’t go bad before the next crop comes to flower. Eating seasonally is also statistically the best way to avoid food that has been genetically altered to remain fresh longer.

Where do you buy food in your neighborhood? Do you typically buy organic food? Tell me why or why not in the comments!

If you want to learn even moreabout prepared and packaged foods, check out Foodbabe.com, you can also follow her on Instagram. Vani Hari has made it her mission to uncover the often toxic and unhealthy ingredients that are added into many of our packaged foods. Her efforts have created change in some of the leading food producers and fast food companies. Bottom line, know what you are eating!

Eat well. Be well,

Beth 

19023335_10211717318881014_7807326063711630934_o

Self Doubt & Chocolate Cake

Self doubt is a real troublemaker. For the past year I have been focused on developing my own wellness practice. When I am relaxed and at peace, the idea flows and appears in reach. Those moments of confidence have been few and far between the past two months, and good ol’ self-doubt has taken up residence. I chose to write about my experience with self doubt for two reasons. First, I am using this public format to hold myself accountable to practice methods of self-care and personal development to crowd out the negative self talk and doubt. Second, self doubt can be the brick wall that stands between you and your journey to health and wellness. Our mindset is a key player in determining our success with our transition to a healthier and happier version of ourselves. Here I explore self doubt, outline steps to take control of our thoughts, and last but certainly not least, I close with chocolate cake: a story & recipe link.

The danger with self-doubt is that it is powerful even at the beginning stages. And if fed, it can grow at an alarming rate. Self doubt, left unattended, can:

  • block growth
  • zap creativity
  • drain potential
  • create cycle of negative self talk

Basically, you are stuck. Self doubt will keep you from achieving success. Self doubt will keep you from trying. Self doubt will keep you in the same exact place.

For some, there is an origin of self-doubt, which then creates a sort of theme to your thoughts. My non-mantra is a fear of not being smart enough, and because of this, a fear of failure. The origin of this belief stems from my experience with an undiagnosed learning disability and attention disorder. 14 years of failing grades will undoubtedly have an impact on a girl’s self confidence! After seeking out help and receiving a diagnosis and support, I went on to achieve Deans list and never dropped below a B. So the truth is that I am intelligent, and I can achieve success. But self doubt still lingers, and rears its ugly head at the moments I am most vulnerable.

We all have the ability to succumb to self-doubt and negative self talk. Some of us are more susceptible than others. This is not weakness or personal failure. It is human nature. It is necessary for you and I to know this truth, and use it as our foundation. If your own thoughts and mindset are standing in your way of living your life, happy and healthy, you are the only one who can do anything about it. Here are some tips for combatting self doubt:

Personal Development: Call it “shelf help”, voodoo, or whatever you want. But the truth is the messages you absorb through either reading or audio have an impact on your mindset. So make the decision to pump something into your brain that you find inspiring, motivating and authentic. There are incredible resources out there to match any personality. I tend to enjoy a bit of humor and less-sap in my personal development, here are a few authors/wonder women I recommend:

  • Brene Brown
  • Jen Sincero
  • Glennon Doyle aka “momastery”
  • Cheryl Strayed
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Shonda Rhimes “The Year of Yes” (Self doubt often leads to the word “No” , so this book is a great reminder to say YES to new opportunities, invites & experiences)
  • Malala Yousafzai (This book offers a heavy dose of perspective. Get inspired, get motivated, take action)

This is my short list, it is a work in progress. Pease drop me a note in comments with recommendations for some good ol’ positive talk. For the “I don’t have time to read”-ers, change takes the effort. You don’t know until you try something whether or not it may be a game changer for you. So figure it out. With Audible, kindle, audio discs, there are numerous opportunities to make this work. Carve out 15-30 mins a day to absorb messages with meaning. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Personal check-in’s: How often do you stop to check in with yourself? For too long, my days were centered around everything and everyone but my “self”. Life is going to happen, things are going to go from incredible to extremely challenging in only a matter of time. Having daily practices in place that help us maintain clarity and balance only strengthen our ability to handle all that life chucks at us. This can be accomplished through:

  • Meditation and breathing
    • Oodles of resources exist both on-line and in the library, find the right fit for you by just starting with 5 minutes of quiet each day. Go from there!
  • Journal
  • Morning Pages
    • Google Julia Cameron, 3 pages a day can unleash creativity you never even knew existed
  • Daily Affirmations
    • These statements reflect your inner truth. Recite them, write them, post them on your bathroom mirror so you can be reminded of your awesomeness while you brush your teeth. Do what you’ve got to do to get the positive self talk flowing
  • Gratitude
    • Identify ten things everyday you appreciate having in your world

Use your life-line: Four months into my health coach training I knew I needed to reach out for a little outside help. I found a therapist because I could feel fear and negativity building, and I knew that in order to be successful, and just plain happy, I would need to get it in check. Talking to someone on a regular basis allowed me to access a safe and warm space, free of judgement. I was guided on how to stop fear and self-doubt in its tracks by actively changing my thoughts. There is no shame in the counseling game. I believe that we all can benefit from having a therapeutic outlet, some thoughts are just meant to be let go.

The bottom line is this:

  • Self -doubt has a knack for showing up just when you are on the cusp of something big
  • Self- doubt can be a catalyst for something awesome, if you identify it, understand where it is coming from and PUSH PAST IT
  • Living a full, healthy, and balanced life requires mental and physical wellness. Create daily habits and behaviors that address FULL BODY HEALTH

And now, chocolate cake!

So the story here is that in the month of May we celebrated two birthdays, a wedding, a mini-family reunion, and my completion of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition program. It was a doozy of a month, and with all the positive vibes going around you would think I would have been on the top of my game. Truth is, I was juggling all sorts of emotions and they got the best of me. My son, Hudson, turned 4 early in the month. We had a small star wars themed celebration with dear friends for dinner & cake. The force is strong with this one! At his request, I made a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, strawberries and blueberries. The cake was perfection. It was moist, not too sweet, and the frosting was on point. It was also beautiful. Oh, I loved the moment his face lit up seeing this creation. Info on the recipe is below, because it is just a dream of a cake. The other side of the story is that my daughter also celebrated her birthday, 6!! She is quirky, funny & a lover of all things animal. Her birthday cake was a bit of a bust, but hey, you win some you lose some (see, that’s me telling self-doubt to take a hike).

**Vegan Chocolate Cake by Minimalist Baker** 

https://minimalistbaker.com/one-bowl-vegan-chocolate-cake/

I encourage you to live fully. Make your cake, and eat it too!

Be Well,

Beth 

IMG_2505
Smile, it does the body & mind, good!

 

 

 

Detox & Cleanses & Fasting, Oh my!

Ahhh Spring! The season of renewal and rejuvenation! The days are getting longer, the sun is a bit warmer, well at least I’ve heard it is outside of this New England town, and things are on the up and up! For many though, Spring can also be a time of increased attention and focus on what lay beneath the safety of winter warm coverings. As we begin to shed the layers to welcome the warmer weather, it is not uncommon for people to experience a sense of anxiety about the impending summer season. If you can relate, you are definitely not alone.

I’m sure by now you have heard of at least one type of “Spring into ____________”, filling in the blank with one of the many health and wellness words that may come to mind. Wellness programs tend to piggy-back on what nature is already providing us, opportunities to shift focus back to ourselves, encouraging us to nurture ourselves and take control of our health. A very popular approach to jumpstarting your health transformation is through completing a detox, cleanse, or fasting. Let’s dive into each of these options, after all, the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to your health! I want to give credit to Alex Jamison, author of The Great American Detox Diet and guest lecturer at IIN for breaking down the differences between each approach.

Food Based Elimination Detox: The reality is that we are overexposed to toxins on a daily basis, from the air we breathe, to the food we eat, clothes we wear, and media we absorb. The purpose of a detox is to remove or eliminate toxins from our body. While you can achieve this in a variety of ways, I will speak generally of detoxing through diet for the purposes of this post. A food based elimination detox is simple: remove the not-so-healthy foods (refined sugars, flours, processed foods, alcohol) and replace with the good stuff (whole foods, vegetables, grains, fruits, water). While the process is simple, there is a mental struggle many experience through cravings and even withdrawal as you remove such substances as sugar and caffeine. Benefits of a detox include:

  • Weight loss
  • Candida cleanse
  • Organ support
  • Curing cravings
  • Clarity
  • Connecting with your body
  • Renewed focus on feeling good

Completing a food- based detox can be a game-changer for your health. The time frame should be at least 3 weeks and may run longer. Over a period of just three weeks you have the opportunity to begin transforming your relationship with food. By crowding out crappy food choice with whole foods, hydrating your body with water, and discovering how to feed your cravings with healthy options, you are able to begin developing habits that will support and nourish you for the long run.

Cleanse: Cleanses generally require consuming raw food and are primarily vegan in nature. A cleanse can last anywhere between 3-7 days. It is recommended that you ease into and out of a cleanse by consuming raw foods in the days leading up to and following the cleanse. Foods to include: fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, herbal teas, green tea in moderation, lots of water. Benefits of a cleanse include:

  • Quick weight loss
  • Promotes elimination of toxins that weaken the body’s natural detoxification systems
  • Clear skin
  • Boost immune system
  • Increase energy
  • Clarity

Cleanses are generally not recommended for people with raised blood pressure or heart disease. Use caution when completing a cleanse as they may stress the internal organs and cause nutrient deficiencies. Please consult a holistic health professional prior to beginning a cleanse, as there are various restrictions to this approach and it is important to find what is right for you!

Fasting: Traditional fasting is the act of abstaining from all food and drink, with the exception of water, for a period of time. These may be completed for spiritual and health purposes. Fasts typically range from hours to weeks depending on the purpose. Fasting is a natural form of detoxing the body. The benefits of fasting include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Cleansing body of toxins
  • Enhane mood & increase energy
  • Room for greater spiritual connection

Generally not recommended for raised blood pressure or heart disease.  Fasting for long periods of time can deprive the body of critical vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Known to cause fatigue, dizziness, constipation. Please consult a holistic health professional prior to beginning a fast, as there are various restrictions to this approach and it is important to find what is right for you!

Beth’s Detox: I am on day 2 of my own 30 day food based detox. I have put together my own detox based on what I have learned throughout my holistic health coach education with IIN, as well as what my personal goals and interests are. I feel best when I follow a plant based diet, and while many of the popular programs out there are paleo driven, my body does not enjoy eating mostly meat and vegetables. I feel I process whole grains and nuts well, therefore they are included in my detox. I am following a plant based detox in which I will eliminate:

  • Alcohol
  • Sugars (I will keep whole fruits)
  • Flours & processed foods (see ya tortilla chips you tasty devils!)
  • All animal based foods

What I am hoping to gain:

  • Finally kick my habit of eating foods that my body just doesn’t enjoy or seem to tolerate all that much
    • dairy
    • flour
  • Mental clarity and sense of greater control that comes from taking a break from alcohol
  • Further strengthen my meal planning & prepping habits
  • The physical bliss that comes with a body free of bloating, food induced exhaustion and too much processed foods

So which one is right for you? If you are interested in completing one of the detox approaches discussed here today, please feel free to reach out. I can help guide you in this process, as well as provide you with the support necessary for successful completion. Not ready to take the plunge, no worries. How about trying a new breakfast recipe that can jumpstart your day for ya? Ok, here you go. Here’s my current favorite breakfast recipe from The First Mess. Enjoy!

There is so much more to breakfast than toast, bagels & breads!! I love oats, and apparently oats love me back. Give this overnight oats recipe from The First Mess a try. ONO’s are all the buzz now, explore hundreds of recipes online or make up your own!

Hemp and Vanilla Bircher Breakfast

In a small mason jar add:

1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 tsp vanilla powder or extract

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp pure maple syrup, optional

Place lid, shake to combine, then put in fridge for at least 4 hours, best overnight. Add in fruit, or eat plain!

Be well. Be happy.

Beth

IMG_2270
The day was too beautiful to eat at the table. Hemp & Vanilla Oats

 

 

 

Use it or lose it…

…either way, it is up to you! With each sun set, comes a brand new day. How do you approach these new beginnings?

The key to your health and wellness, otherwise known as “happiness”, is personal choice. Boom. There it is. Now, some people will be intrigued and want to know more. And others will stop right here, leave the site and continue on with their lives. There is something significant that differentiates these two groups. One group has folks that are genuinely interested in learning helpful and simple ways to improve their health. The other group is stuck. I have decided to speak to those that are ready to learn, and when the others are ready, thanks to the interweb, these words will still be here.

Personal choice is a doozy of a topic. It’s all on us. We make hundreds of decisions each day. We decide what to wear, eat, what to listen to, or what to read, how to communicate, whether or not to exercise, drink, when to go to bed, when to wake up, and the list goes on. The majority of us also make decisions that impact those around us, like our pets, family members, co-workers, and friends. Some of these decisions occur with ease, others may require more attention or thought. What I have learned through both personal and professional experience is that we struggle to make decisions that involve enhancing our health and wellness. I believe that most people maintain an ebb and flow relationship with their health- having periods of being super healthy and then falling off and resorting back to old habits until then next health boost. Why is this?

Commitment. Based on recent conversations and life experiences, I’d say that the main issue is our unwillingness to fully commit to ourselves. This may seem harsh and your first reaction may be to feel defensive, and that is good because CHANGE starts with the feelings, and then moves into self-reflection followed by action.  I write this as a full time mom, who once was also a full time working mother of two.  What I have learned is that time or resources wasn’t the main issue keeping me from tending to my health, it was my attitude towards myself. Please understand, I am not pitching this as a “buck up and take care of yourself” talk. What I am saying though, is that our health and wellness does require buy in from ourselves. It is an attitudinal shift- in which we learn to advocate for what we need to be physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. This will require tough conversations with yourself, your partners, and your family. The bottom line is that if the people around you do not support your efforts to be the healthiest and happiest version of yourself, you may want to re-evaluate your relationship. 

So how do we become jedi masters of our health? There is one simple train of thought I have found to be extremely effective in guiding my decisions:

Does this move me forward?

Does this keep me stuck.

Does this pull me back. 

These are my guiding principles when I am making decisions. I consider whether my food is going to fuel me for the day, or is it going to leave me feeling tired, bloated, hungry? Example, dairy and I are not friends. Though I have loved cheese in my lifetime, it causes severe breakouts and is not gut friendly. So I keep this in mind, will eating cheese move me forward on my journey to feeling awesome, or will it be a set-back. When I feel I am in a rut, if I am reaching towards junky food or alcohol, I can decide to either stay in the rut, or get out of it and move forward. Do I nail each decision, every day? No. I am human. I do however, aim to do my best.

The trick is to develop healthy and positive habits that will keep you moving forward, so that if you do take a step back, you can quickly get back on track. Where should you start? This answer will vary person to person. There are two main questions I have been asked recently, and that often come up in conversations with other mommas:

How do you exercise everyday? What about _______________ (fill in the blank with possible challenges such as: kids, school, work, resources, unsupportive partners).

  • You are your only advocate. You are the only one who can control your level of health. So:
    • If you can not get to the gym, work out at home. If this is less than ideal, then do it in the interim. Stop waiting for when you can get to the gym. There are a few solid at-home fitness resources out there you can access via phone, laptop, iPad. Do a free 30 day trial is money is the next excuse, and go from there.
    • Schedule your fitness in your daily calendar. I do not work out of my home, however, I schedule my exercise as if I have to leave for work when I bring the kids to school. This requires a routine- it may be bumpy and you may miss a day here and there. KEEP GOING. Set your exercise gear out the night before, have your kids participate. Do what you need to do to fit it in.
    • If you find yourself rattling off excuses for not exercising, I challenge you to grab a pen and paper and write down 3-5 solutions for adding exercise into your routine. Next step, look at your calendar for the next week and add in three days of exercise. Set goals you can accomplish!! 
    • If your partner is not on board with your desire to get time for yourself, whether to exercise or just breathe, than this process is going to involve a more effort on your part. How would you advise a friend in this situation? Consider this and then try to take your own advice. Communication is key, and your health is non-negotiable.

How do you stay on track with food? What about ___________________ (fill in the blank with possible challenges such as: kids, school, work, resources, unsupportive partners).

  • Healthy eating begins the moment you decide to eat healthy!!! And, IT IS POSSIBLE EVEN ON A BUDGET. Where there is will, there is a way.
    • There are oodles of resources out there ranging from healthy eating blogs, cookbooks and even shows & documentaries. So the information is out there. But I suggest start small:
      • Aim to eat colorfully!! Make 1/2 of your plate vegetables at lunch and dinner.
      • Add in fresh fruits, nuts & seeds as snacks
    • Meal Planning is no joke. Seriously. Meal planning is a personal choice and it is one that can either make or break your week!!! Yes, life will happen and if one member of your family get’s sick your plan may be off. However, keep going.
    • How I meal plan:
      • Stack of my favorite cookbooks and my go-to blog Minimalist Baker
      • I do this after kids are in bed, accompanied by a glass of wine, bit of dark chocolate
      • Use your schedule as your guide for identifying nights that may be late dinners or eating on the run. This is where one pot dishes, or prepping ahead of time is crucial to create nourishing meals
      • Consider anything you can make ahead of time on the weekend, like muffins, snack balls, nut mixes, that will help with lunches and snacks
  • What about kids? Are you cooking five separate meals?
    • Build into your meals foods your kids enjoy
    • Have meals that may be easily deconstructed
    • Include their input, get them engaged!

 

Easier said than done? Perhaps at first. Creating new habits requires energy and drive. And I believe you’ve got just what it takes to transform your health! I am here, available to answer questions and share resources. Please comment with your health and wellness questions or topics you would like me to explore.

Be well. Be happy.

Beth17833952_10211183626979050_962029374985323799_o

Eat this. Do that.

This is what my dad suggested I call my health coaching practice. He says I should just keep it simple, tell em’ what to eat and what to do and not do. I have found since embarking on this process, that people do want to know the basics. “Just tell me what to eat” has been thrown my way many times. To which I reply, “I don’t know.” But I’m lying. Because the truth is, I do have a solid answer to that question. But my question to you is, do you really want to know?

As I was cleaning out my kids room I stumbled across a children’s health book from 1943, “Health Can Be Fun” by Munro Leaf. I opened it up to the first two pages and read the following:

Good health is something we don’t think about very much until WE DON’T HAVE IT. Then, when we are sick and feel awful, we promise ourselves that we will take better care of our HEALTH as soon as we get well. BUT when we do feel better again, too many of us just forget all about it.

17425953_10210994697495931_4820562881067875180_n

What’s up with that? Seriously, this is so stinking true, and it is from 1943!!!! This cycle can continue until you either choose to take control of your health and wellness, or you, well, don’t and nature runs its course. But let’s stick with the taking control route, it’s much more positive don’t you think? By reclaiming your health, you are committing to yourself for the long term. Please don’t wait until you are sick to get healthy. There are simple changes you can make that have lifelong influence.

So here’s a cheat sheet to my “Eat this. Do that” list that I gave my dad. He’s my dad so I want him to stick around as long as possible. In general, a Health Coach is not going to tell you what to do, it is your journey and we are your guide on the side. But if this post has the opportunity to nudge a few people towards a healthier version of themselves, then I am happy to share a few “must do’s”.

EAT:  My challenge to you is to fill half of your plate for both lunch and dinner with vegetables. You can take it one step further and aim for -5- different colored fruits and vegetables each day. Adding whole fruits and vegetables into your daily meals sounds simple, yet this is what initially stumps most people.  So, here are a few of my favorite plant based resources that have taken my recipe game up several notches:

IMG_1976
Get in your greens right from the start! 

Resources for Plant Based Lifestyle

  • A Plant-based Life by Micaela Cook Karlsen
    • This book is beautifully written and includes incredibly nourishing and delicious recipes
  • Forks Over Knives
    • Recipes and resources for going plant-based
    • **Documentary with same title was a game changer for my family. Watched it once and had no doubt we needed to at least give the plant based lifestyle a go. To this day, I recall feeling my best when we were completely plant-based

Cookbooks

  • Oh She Glows by Angela Liddo
  • Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon
  • Minimalist Baker by Dana Shultz
  • The First Mess by Laura Wright
  • Thug Kitchen**This is A MUST for anyone out there who LOVES dropping the F*bomb while cooking**

DRINK:  This is a sensitive subject in my house, but here’s the deal. You gotta drink your water. Period. Why is this a sensitive subject in our home? Because I have no issues consuming the recommended amount of water in a day. I love it. I’ve always been a natural hydrator.  My husband? Not so much. So when he comes home complaining of a headache on a daily basis and I ask him about his water intake, he often flips me the bird, with his upmost love and respect of course. Overtime, he has gotten better though. These days he is on top of his water game, and those pesky headaches are no where in sight. He learned from having a repeated back injury that hydration is essential for healing and for everyday thriving. So this is my water guidance:

  • How much water should you drink? It is recommended that you drink half of your body weight in ounces of water- so divide your weight in half, and that number represents the amount of ounces you should aim for. If you exercise on a regular basis, you should aim for consuming that amount. Otherwise, use this formula as a target.
  • How should you drink this much water? I recommend drinking at least 8 oz of water first thing in the morning (room temperature, not ice cold), before any food or coffee. Throughout the day, drink a glass of water before eating any food, and keep sipping as you can throughout the day. Often our brains tell us we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Reach for your water first! Hydration will aid basically your entire body, it’s good all around.

DO THIS: Now here is where directions need to be person centered and strength based. One action I, and every other health professional can recommend, is to MOVE YOUR BODY!!! I believe exercise and movement are extremely important though not just for your physical health. We currently live in a zooming society- overscheudled and under-nourished. Self care often goes out the window. Scheduling yourself 30 minutes everyday to move your body will help to heal your mind as well as aid in your overall physical health.

The above recommendations are the foundation for good health.  There is not a single person who can not benefit from eating whole foods, proper hydration, and moving their body.  Take care of yourself, no one else can do it for you.

While the recommendations are simplistic, the process to a healthier you often has roadblocks and challenges along the way. Working with a Health Coach can help with this process through offering support, guidance, and accountability. You do not have to do it alone.

Let me know if there is a topic you’d like me to explore! Upcoming posts are in the works on plant based eating, self care in a modern-mommy world, and my latest obsession…inflammation!

Be well. Be happy.

Beth

Wellness in a nut(free)shell

We are in the midst of a total health and wellness boom! Just browsing social media you can find oodles of healthy eats, exercises, and wellness tips. From the zoodle craze to oil pulling, there appears to be hundreds of ways we can live healthier. Most days I find inspiration and motivation amongst the many images gracing my screen. But then there are those other days. You know, the days when you just don’t feel strong enough to not compare your current lifestyle to the seemingly picture perfect ones you find with each glance? And then to not go down the rabbit hole of self doubt which for me may sound a little like this: “well should I be paleo? or whole 30? where do I even find hemp seeds that I can afford? do I need LED light therapy?”, and the list goes on. In order to navigate today’s social world of health and wellness, we need to get back to basics.

Your wellness begins with you. The concept of wellness is multidimensional, we are talking about your physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, and environmental health. These areas include things like our mood, our home environment, our level of physical activity, our social life, our career, and our relationships. And they are all connected-Yay!!!- which means when you begin to make subtle changes in one are of your life, you will be more prepared to experience the overflow and continue making adjustments in other areas of your life!

So where does one begin the process of getting back to one’s self? Creating a positive mindset is critical for your overall wellness. Did you know that the average person has roughly 70,000 thoughts a day?! Take a minute and consider your thoughts from today, were they positive? Were they focused on having an incredible day? Or were they messages of stress, fear, or doubt? Getting your thoughts on board is first and foremost, and not impossible.

I’ve put together four ways to begin re-connecting with yourself:

Morning Pages: Created by Julia Cameron, the process of writing 3 pages everyday as close to waking up as possible, is proven to cultivate creativity and empower your personal transformation. I know what you are saying, because I’ve said it: “I can’t write! I don’t know what to say for THREE pages! You mean BEFORE coffee?! Kids! I have kids, I can’t write first thing in the morning!”. Well, I did it. And you know what, it works. I began by writing about the first things on my mind, daily activities, to-do list, then I would identify things I was grateful for, and I also developed and wrote affirmations, this easily takes three pages:) And to be clear, while my goal was to write upon waking, the reality is that I often couldn’t swing it if a kiddo had crawled into my bed. So write when you can, the point is to write! What I learned after doing this on a regular basis is that I found writing to be a safe space for my thoughts, emotions, ideas, and from there I would see more clearly how to take action. Julia has a Facebook page, check it out!

Meditation: I’m sure you have heard it before, and I’ll say it again for ya: Meditation is an incredible tool for connecting to your breath, to your mind, and to your soul. I find meditation to help with falling asleep, and sleeping deeply. I would love to meditate every morning, but the reality in our house is that it often does not happen. I have a few  guided meditations keyed up on my iPhone with a set of ear plugs on my bedside table. I aim to listen to a few at bedtime. Practicing meditation 5-10 minutes everyday has proven to be beneficial for your overall health. Find a quite place in your home, close your eyes and settle in. If you want help getting started check out The Chopra Center for free guided meditations, and your local library for recordings or text.

Read it and Believe it: I have taken to listening to audiobooks using Audible as a tool for personal development. Negative self-talk has always been hunkered down in my brain, and the influence could be seen in my everyday life. So I decided that I needed to reintroduce positive thoughts, and push out the negative ones. It can’t be achieved over night, but overtime we can develop the skills necessary to identify the negative and untrue thoughts, release those suckers. Here are a few books that I have read over the past year and have found them to be enlightening, motivating, and completely inspirational:

  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown
  • Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
  • The Miracle Morning by Hal Erod
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Meton

Health Coaching: When I enrolled with Institute of Integrative Nutrition I was ready and willing to use myself as a guinea pig for all that I would be learning. I was at a time in my life when each aspect of my personal wellness was out of sorts and I knew I needed a change. The Health Coaching process was developed to help people learn and create new habits that support a healthier lifestyle. The process is free of judgement and bias, and completely person centered and strength based. I am grateful for the education I have received as it has allowed me to get my life back on track. I look forward to sharing this knowledge and experience with others. For anyone interested, I offer a free initial consultation with me, no strings attached. If you or someone you know could benefit from beginning their health transformation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have you tried any of the above practices? Or read any of those books? If so, please share your experience in the comments! Do you have your own form of inspiration? Please share!! We all have so much to learn from each other!

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog. Please send me a note if there are any health and wellness topics you want me to cover!

Be well. Be happy.

Beth