Posted by karen
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As a holistic nutritionist, healthy food solutions for wellness are pretty much right at the top of the list - of course, along with other lifestyle habits like getting enough sleep, exercise, drinking water and more. In spite of diligent efforts for health, however, we injure ourselves; have sore muscles, headaches and indigestion; plus a host of other afflictions that can show up from living in an imperfect world. Our medical system (believe me, I am so thankful for the privileged country I live in with access to modern medicine) offers help in many ways, very often in a chemical form which can be effective but also carries side effects.

Thus my love for essential oils. 

My introduction to essential oils was drinking peppermint tea, cooking with dried and ground herbs, and using oil of oregano and melaleuca (a.k.a.tea tree oil). The oregano for niggling ear, nose, and throat symptoms and the tea tree for fungal issues: both were effective treatments - and still are - but essential oils were not on my radar for personal use or in my work as a holistic nutritionist.

That changed a year ago.

My daughter-in-law, Dawna, was exploring treatment options for one of her boys (my youngest grandson) who'd been diagnosed with Henoch-Schönlein Purpura (HSP) a year earlier. Mainstream medical treatment offered solutions that looked very bleak for their son long term. As parents with a passion and philosophy that "food is medicine", my son and his wife researched for more holistic possibilities.

Dawna's quest directed her to Dr. Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Health Institute. His dietary recommendations proved to be helpful (basically a raw diet), but the implementation of therapeutic grade essential oils blew everything 'out of the water'. Joah's health improved dramatically - with blood and urine tests originally showing a number 3 or more in protein down to 0, where it should be. This positive healthier journey continues to bless him with an amazing prognosis; and his whole family have joined him in using and reaping the benefits of essential oils. 

Watching these changes piqued my own interest; along with a growing inventory I am learning and experiencing enough to be excited and convinced about these natural, aromatic healing tools to fill my 'medicine' chest.

Essential oils include a myriad of plant 'medicines' and seasonings and health enhancers with specific properties that I couldn't begin to cover here but I have included some things that have worked for me and others, as well as links for you to start exploring your own path with essential oils.

Cypress -  good for relaxing tight neck muscles, as well as a blend called Deep Blue.

Rosemary - worked well for sore achilles tendon after running two consecutive days.

Frankincense - I use this for so many things (its effectiveness makes up for its expense!); one of my favourite uses is for calmness and 'feel good' properties. My husband thinks it's a great after-shave - I agree - nothing but the best for this guy. Also, this oil is particularly interesting historically

Melaleuca has been a wonderful help for a condition my husband gets every winter. Our Scottish neighbour calls it chilblains (his father was a doctor so he could well be right); however you diagnose the itchy, red swelling between the toes, it was irritating to no end. Putting a few drops of Melaleuca on these areas - both as a solution and a prevention - worked great for Derryl this winter. Melalueca, mixed along with another great healing oil, lavender, recently came to the rescue again for my husband: again in his toes! This time it was to treat a burn when a small slice of hot metal fell off our decrepit barbeuce and landed right between two toes, immediately creating a blister. With very little air getting at it to heal, especially with being inside socks and workshoes all day, this was getting to be a 'real pain' - we finally clued in and gave the melaleuca and lavender combo a try. Healed up nicely. (Another benefit of this: we now have a new barbecue that isn't spewing bits of itself on unsuspecting 'victims'.)

Adult emergency department using essential oils to reduce workplace stress.

Owie Spray: the Power of Essential OIls - some pretty amazing pictures of healing. 

A Prairie Homesteader Girl - lots of interesting information and story material written by a joyful homesteader writer.

Joybilee Farm - a great resource for "foraging" into herbal and "homesteader" remedies.

A couple recipes for treatments

Head-Ache Fixer - adapted from Joybilee Farm

28 drops peppermint

8 drops eucalyptus

6 drops melaleuca

6 drops rosemary

3 drops lavender

barely 1 drop vetiver

Mix together in small, dark-coloured glass bottle. For headache, place 2-3 drops on your finger and rub along the hairline, either at the back of the neck or along the edge of your face (careful not to get in your eyes.). Always drinkg lots of water too, as headaches often occur due to dehydration.

Winter Blues Buster - to add to your Diffuser

4 drops wild orange

3 drops lavender

2 drops Frankincense

Add to 70-80 ml water and use in diffuser. This is a great combination to use in the evening to help experience a good night's sleep.

AromaTouch Technique 

This technique has been designed by doTERRA. I took the course to become certified in applying eight essential oils to benefit clients to help reduce stress, assist immune health, fight inflammation and restore homeostatis - a hands-on addition to my holistic nutrition business. Unfortunately this can not be applied online - but if you are in the Lunenburg County area of NS and are interested, do contact me to set up an appointment for this very relaxing and healing 45-minute treatment.

I hope this information has been helpful for you. I am not an expert in essential oils - just learning and experimenting what works for me and learning from others. If you are also on this natural medicine route, let me know what works for you.

 

Disclaimer. I use doTERRA oils so am most familiar with this company, but I am not proposing to push this brand on you. However, for the healthiest results, I recommend you choose certified pure, therapeutic-grade oils that do not use rapid processing or chemical intervention of any kind. Again, I am not a doctor and my comments are not to be taken as medical advice - they are simply what has worked for other people or myself. 

Posted by karen
karen's picture

This earthy-looking photo has a bowl with whole grain, and a half loaf of bread baked with a high percentage of organic Red Fife flour. Looking at these two, any thoughts on what could be 'missing' from the loaf of bread?

Your answer might be, "the bread isn't made from whole grain, so it probably has white flour added to it, thus missing some of the nutrients." A great answer.

Any thoughts about what might be missing in this absolutely white bread?

One saavy answer could be that all the bran and germ are missing because it appears to have been made totally with white flour. 

I propose at least one other not-so-obvious missing item. Magnesium. Refining grains removes 80-97 percent of magnesium and even though flour is often "enriched", magnesium is not included. And that is isignificant, because magnesium is an important energy-giving component that we expect to be found in foods containing grains

I'm citing this example to show, that at first glance or thought, we often don't know what is missing.

This 'what's missing' concept also translates to road blocks in other important areas, like wellness and weight loss (which incidentally, includes bread and vitamins and chemicals)!

As a holistic nutritional consultant I see weight loss and wellness success with many overweight people, specifically as they work through a four-or-eight week In Balance program that is:

-- real
-- practical
-- manageable
-- and sustainable.

It is not a fad or far out diet. Truthfully it is quite normal and back to basics. I hear feedback like: "I've got my life back", "I feel so much better - I'm more rested, not bloated, I had to buy smaller jeans and I've already lost 12 pounds!" 

In Balance works for adults and families. That's why I'm sharing this great offer to help you find out 'what's missing' with past attempts and to help you realize long-term weight loss for you and your child or teen. 

Once you discover: what is the missing information, how to put that missing information into place in busy family life, and understand the emotional foundations that can trip your family while moving towards a healthy weight range - that missing information becomes amazing and life-changing.

This can be the turning point because In Balance:

-- taps into all the primary causes for obesity
-- is different
-- is for life
-- works!

If you or someone you love has a child or teen that is struggling with excess weight, please attend this free webinar  - Ten Mistakes Parents Make When They Help Their Child or Teen Try to Lose Weight (discover what's missing) and be sure to pass along the registration details to those who could use the information and support! 

As you stop making mistakes that create obesity, you can move towards safely and effectively tackling the excess weight. Register for our free webinar Saturday, April 26, 10am PST, and help your child or teen discover a healthy appropriate weight forever!

My colleague, Brenda Wollenberg, and I look forward to having you join us.

Posted by karen
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I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Zahn, a life coach and woman of varied skills, interests and roles.

It was December. I was in a work flatline slump (thankfully, I was still breathing!). Through an online meandering, I discovered Lisa's website and knew I wanted to connect with a woman who is 'living the life of her dreams'. Making contact and arranging a coaching session via Skype went seamless. The coaching session gave me precisely the clarity I needed - Lisa asking the right questions to help me identify some blockages - and equally as important, working together to arrive at some practical and personal steps how to move forward. A plan and accountability. Knowing I was checking in with Lisa three weeks later kept me honest! It is still working - to this very day, as returning to a writing routine was one of my roadblocks. Part of my personal action plan was writing an interview for Lisa and now I get to share the other half of our interview exchange. We all have seasons when we need help - please read on and meet Lisa, a wholehearted, professionally trained life coach who can help 'transform your everyday life'.

 Please tell me about yourself and what is your work as a life coach? How is coaching different or similar to consulting?

The heart of my work is one-on-one coaching with clients who are feeling stuck or uncertain in their lives and want to move forward but need clarity on what they want and how they'll get there. I also write my blog (and now a new ecourse on self-kindness) and plan to lead workshops and retreats. My coaching style is called Co-active Coaching and it's different from consulting in that we meet our clients where they're at and consider them to be the experts in their own lives. This doesn't mean coaches like me don't have expertise and sometimes offer it, but a cornerstone of my model is that my client is naturally resourceful, creative and whole and I get to work with them to draw that out and, hopefully, evoke their own transformation. I get to be a catalyst, in other words.

I love this on your blog: coaching for clarity and joy. Can you elaborate on why you chose that for a tagline? 

Joy is one of my favorite words! I truly believe that, like Christian monk and mystic Henri Nouwen said once, "We have to choose joy and keep choosing it." I want to help people find their joy and choose it. We can do that through the practices of gratitude and vulnerability, and through creating places and communities where it's safe to be open to joy. I also know what it's like to lack clarity, to be stuck and uncertain of how to move forward. I can coach clients to move out of that, using coaching tools like asking powerful questions, finding metaphor, articulating what's going on, and acknowledging, championing and reframing. One of my favorite ways to find new clarity is to reframe what my client thinks is a character flaw into a gift.

What is it about your work that you would identify as the drawing card (or would like it to be) for people to seek out your services as a life coach?

I want to work with thoughtful, smart people who are ready to move out of stuckness--out of the boxes they or society have put them in--and move into a transformed life of joy and clarity. It's not easy and it's a continuous work in progress, but I know it's possible because I myself have been living this way. I have needed coaching to move out of my own boxes, so I know the power of having someone on your side, an objective listener and voice for your best life.

We share some things in common – knitting, gardening, keen on the healing power of herbs, married to the love of my life (over 40 years!). I’m curious to hear the story how you arrived at your current career, including the changes made after being a full-time Mom.

Gosh, it's been a long journey! Who would want life to be any other way, really? One of my other favorite quotes is by Seneca "It takes a lifetime to learn how to live." There is so much grace and optimism in that quote, and I feel I'm living it by continuously learning and stepping into new things. I found coaching through a friend. She introduced it to me and we ended up going through training together last summer, one of the best things I've ever done (thanks, Meg!). 

My background and education is in the ministry where I studied to be a Lutheran Pastor and served as Intern Pastor (Vicar) and Chaplain. Getting married and raising my kids was my true calling, however, and I happily stayed home for many years, all the while dabbling in those things you listed. Now that my kids are teens, it was time for me to find something to really take up my time so I wouldn't hover over their lives so much. I actually applied to finish my Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling but knew I didn't want to work for the church again. I wanted my own business, and I knew coaching was the right model of work for me within the first 12 minutes of practice coaching someone during training.

There are so many opportunities for growth, personally and in our work. How do you navigate through all the clutter of the options – and within that potential, are there future areas of learning that resonate with your calling?

I know exactly what you're talking about! Just in the last few days I've been de-cluttering my email inbox and Facebook newsfeed as much as possible because it IS overwhelming. As someone who loves to learn, it's hard to shut it off. Your word "resonate" is perfect because I've been finding that the only way to decide who to pay attention to, what to learn and where, is to ask myself what truly resonates with me, say 'yes' to those and 'no' to the rest.

Areas of learning that are calling to me right now are in the area of personal growth and helping my clients navigate personal growth. I'm very interested in teaching about self-kindness and compassion because I see that too many of us are very hard on ourselves and we make our lives unnecessarily hard that way.
I will continue to work with that word JOY and bring it to others in the form of one-on-one coaching, retreats and workshops. In my new email freebie, my ecourse called Stop Being Mean to Yourself: 4 Commitments to Self-Kindness (accessed free via my website sign-up form), I've developed a framework toward loving ourselves that involves making joyful choices, learning self-awareness and self-acceptance, and being compelled by our values and purpose. I intend to keep thinking, learning and teaching on those themes.

As you know, nutrition and wellness (teaching, consulting, coaching) is my passion and work. How do you feel about your journey of developing healthy habits? If there are especially challenging areas, how do you make peace with them and remain open to making healthy changes? 

This is a great question and I think I could use some coaching on it! One thing I have been asking myself lately is "what would be the kindest thing to do for myself right now?" Whether it's about work or rest, what to eat, or how and when to move my body, looking at what's 'kindest' really helps. The kind thing is often not the easy thing! It sometimes involves eating oatmeal with yogurt instead of a bagel with cream cheese, or getting dressed instead of lazing around in my pajamas all day, or getting a task completed so I can truly feel at rest when I'm done. I'd like to look at getting more exercise in this way. The kindest thing has to be something I enjoy (I like oatmeal as well as bagels, truly. I do need to move my body more, and in ways that will give me some more muscle strength and energy as I age.
That said, I am quite forgiving of myself on these types of things, because I am certainly not perfect. I don't dwell in the past but instead try to keep moving forward. I have quite a positive body image, for the most part, and that helps a great deal in motivating me to take good care of my health. I believe strongly in focusing on nourishment rather than punishment. 

 

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your story: it's been great getting to know you. I will be happy to coach you on developing those healthy habits. P.S. Thank you for giving me the freedom to choose photos that conveyed my perception of your supportive and joyful coaching!

If you would like to know more about Lisa and her work, please contact her through her website.

Posted by karen
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As a natural nutrition consultant I have discovered my "purposeful" work that can improve your life!

-- I am a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, with a diploma from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition - using the foundation that we are all created individually, and are complex beings of body, soul and spirt.

-- I am a Certified Consultant with In Balance wellness and weight loss - we use real food, not shakes, pills or packages and not a one-formula-for-all approach

The skills and services I offer:

-- one-on-one consultations, with recommendations for nutritional and lifestyle changes

-- individual or group wellness and weight loss programs

-- seminar presentations at women's functions, schools, business/corporations, community clubs 

-- webinars

Clients who use my services are:

-- weary of too little energy and too much weight

-- not sure where to start to make real-food nutrition and lifestyle changes

-- troubled with allergies and other symptoms of dis-ease

-- tired of dealing with brain fog, digestive issues, fatigue, hypoglycemia

-- children and adults who have followed food guides and diets without achieving a healthy weight 

-- arned with nutritional information but feel mentally blocked by thoughts and beliefs 

-- tired of not feeling well and want to get their health back for the long haul 

Some of the practical help clients can expect:

-- steps to help identify food intolerances and sensitivities

-- what foods to eat to balance nutritional deficiencies, to help with mental clarity, energy and balancing blood sugar levels

-- what foods are the best fuel for your body type

-- reviewing how exercise, attitude and emotion, sleep, stress management, etc. contribute to balanced health

-- an action plan to move towards improved health - including recipes, menus, healthy lifestyle recommendations

How you can connect with my services to help discover your solutions:

-- contact me through my contact page

-- we will have an initial meeting (in person, by phone, or online) to discuss your health concerns and goals to determine what is the best way to move ahead to meet those concerns, (i.e. a weight loss program, a review  of your current weekly diet with appropriate recommendations, a more in depth assessment of dietary and lifestyle habits with several follow-up appointments, etc.).

-- On-going appointments and sessions can be in person or online.

-- for speaking engagements I will address details specifically to your group

-- fees will be structured according to the specific need: please check my Services and In Balance pages for cost guidelines 

Bonnie's Story

"I really enjoyed my In Balance experience with Karen because of her infectious exuberance for the great work she does! I have never had a better understanding of why, in trying to lose weight in the past, that it has nothing to do with weight, but everything to do with getting your life back, i.e being healthy and your best self. I will turn 58 at the end of this month, and have never felt healthier or younger than I do now.  It will be how I will live my life from now on, and just maybe, like my dear Grandmother, will live to be 104 years of age healthier than I was before I started In Balance!"

Your Story

Do you want to make changes for a more vibrant and wholesome life?  I can help you achieve your  balanced-healthy-life story....just contact me to get started.

Posted by karen
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What is a cleanse? Think: house cleaning time for your body.

If your daily home routine is stuffing scattered socks and what-nots out of sight in a drawer, sweeping the kitchen and making a pass under the table, wiping out the bathroom sink with a soiled washcloth at the end of the day - I'd guess a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday the vacuum is roaring, laundry is getting caught up and the toilet brush is in action.

This home(l)y example is a partial and simplified example of cleanse for your body. Maybe cleaning isn't on your list of favourites. I can relate. There are benefits to cleaning, besides knowing where you store your library books, that can make your body "sing"!

First some groundwork material about Cleanse.

Who should cleanse? Almost everyone.

Stick with me here. Visions of physically intense measures, dire dietary deprivation, investing big bucks for a desert spa, or scenarios based on what you're reading, watching or hearing are not the pattern for most cleanses. 

What might be reasons for you to cleanse?

It could depend on your accumulation of toxins that:
- come from without, i.e. air pollution, chemicals/cleaners/pesticides, noise, medications, etc.
- come from within, i.e. waste from bacteria and cellular metabolic function, unmanaged stress, pent-up emotions, etc.

Entering a new season:
- on the heels of dietary indulgences, i.e. holidays, cruise vactions, week-long family reunions (eating marathons?!)
- following exceptional stress, i.e. work, relationships, grief/death
- according to the calendar - spring is an ideal time for rejuvenation and renewal

Wanting to break addictions from sugar and refined grains (a smart dietary shift for a body in balance) - to allow your body to begin re-calibrating to what your body needs and wants!

( Click here for recipe: refined-sugar-free and grain-free "granola".)

Symptoms often associated with toxicity: digestive tract pain, gas, bloating, skin problems, fatigue, decreased immunity, depression/anxiety.

What might a cleanse look like for you?

Click here for Green Winter Juice recipe.

- two weeks without any fast food or any kind of processed foods 
- a weekend of juices, broth and vegetable soups 
- a two-week gentle dietary cleanse like the one we use with In Balance wellness and weight loss programs
- a more restrictive diet cleansing program
-----brown rice 
-----anti-inflammatory 
-----alkalinizing
-----elimination 
-----detoxification   

Cleansing your body on a regular basis:

- start your day with a glass of water with a Tbsp. lemon juice to activate the janitor (your liver) and drink water throughout the day - 6-10 glasses
- eat dark leafy greens in salads, smoothies or juices
- include beets, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli), garlic in your diet
- breathe deeply - to the bottom of your lungs
- meditate, relax, journal, seek out beauty, enjoy healthy relationships, be in nature

Bottom line benefits: based on where you start and what kind of clean(s)ing you do.

- feel less bloated
- you've kick-started your way towards a healthier living regime
- feel less sluggish after going through some heavy eating
- have more energy
- more clarity in your concentration and less "brain-fog"
- you feel more in balance - hormones and blood sugar levels are happier

Will a cleanse take work?

Like all things we value, effort and planning for a cleanse are required. Perhaps link up with a friend for moral support.

Getting one-on-one coaching to walk you through the "how" and the steps of a cleanse will help significantly in setting you up for seeing results.

I would love to work with you: contact me to arrange a consultation - or to find out how an IB4Real or IBReal8 program can help you move forward from where you are to: cleanse with benefits.

(P.S.For more regular updates on recipes, fitness and what Real Food Matters is offering, I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter. Click here to check out my "launching" issue.) 

Your body can fix itself if given half a chance - treat it well with some routine housecleaning.

(Credits for first and last photos to my daughter, Renee, at FIMBY.)
 

Posted by karen
karen's picture

 

              

 

In January, clients call who are:

  • tired and bleary-eyed
  • non-exercisers from Thanksgiving through New Year's
  • stressed to the max
  • disillusioned with what was supposed to be an amazing celebration
  • financially overdrawn
  • sugar and white flour junkies
  • carrying 5-10 lbs. of excess weight they didn't have before the holidays
  • and crying… “I’ve had enough!”

For those who want to plan for a simple, sane and spirit-soothing: "that was an excellent Christmas Season!" 

I AM OFFERING ONE HELPFUL SESSION TO DISCOVER HOW TO

  • cleanse pre-season so you better handle cravings, food and alcohol temptations and the "all you can eat" appie parties
  • have a healthy and Lean as Can Be rhythm already established so you are in control of when and how to fit in holiday events
  • know and appreciate your body type so you plan less stressful and more life-giving ways to celebrate
  • strengthen, rather than tax your willpower stores so that you make better choices in major areas of life, all through the holiday season

 

Saturday, November 16, 12:30-5:00

Middle LaHave, Lunenburg County

(online option available the following week)

 

This is a must attend seminar with lots of information. One that the Christmas candy industry, and the marketing gurus "shop, bake and decorate until you drop because that means love" might not want you to know!

 

This Detox-Body, Mind and Spirit seminar, with a special holiday twist, will have you going into the Christmas season with:

  • an eating and “get-movin” game plan
  • head held high confidence
  • strategies for handling whatever the holidays throw your way

 

And even better, you won't welcome January with fatigue, mental stress and extra pounds, and instead you can have a New Year's celebration of gratitude for health and wellness!

 

 My early Christmas present to you includes:

  • 4.5 hour seminar
  • tub of NutriVerus: the whole food supplement IB uses for immune support, cell-to-cell communication, healthy digestion and support in metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins
  • 4Real Detox E-Guide (almost 100 pages)
  • Cost: 50% off the price of $300.00 – for a *Christmas-in-November price of $150.00
  • Registration closes Nov 4, 2013

(*At this price I need a minimum number to run the seminar, so feel free to invite your friends and family members who you'd also like to have a de-stressed Christmas!)

Email karen@realfoodmatters.ca  for further details and directions.

Posted by karen
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Summer is almost here - and it can't come too soon, right?

Unless ... you're not feeling good about squeezing into your shorts, or wearing that bathing suit while catching some vitamin D on the beach.

There is still time! It's not too late to lose a few pounds - or best of all - to positively impact your health beyond the summer months.

The 4Real, 4Summer, Half-Price for Half-Dozen, is a sweet deal at $165/person (includes valuable resource e-book). AND the deal is even sweeter: you gather a group of five - (to make up the half dozen), you get the program for free.

Sweet options to consider:

Are you short on time and can't work 4Real into four weeks? The 4Summer program can be designed for a one-day 4-hour session OR a two-day 2-hour session. Online and in person.

Do you have friends scattered across the country? IB online can include these far afield friends. 

If you can't get six people together, contact me anyway and maybe I can match you up with an online group.

What's the catch? One week to register.

Are you thinking "Yikes - one week to decide and round up my friends"?

That's right - but not that you haven't aready thought of helping out your health, right?

How to register.

Contact me as per information on the poster.

Do it now - summer will soon be in full swing!

 

 

Gettin'er Done

08 Apr 2013
Posted by karen
karen's picture

Gettin'er done...

The shirt was included in my race packet (for the record, I ran the half and not the full marathon).

I did gett'er done. I expected to finish and I did.

Ten years of running a whack of races from 1K - 56K prior to that event inspired confidence; I did my usual routine by:

-- Registering.

-- Training.

-- And - to repeat myself - the expectation of crossing the finish line (upright and smiling!).

 

As a holistic nutritional consultant I love working with people who are accepting challenges to start making changes. In dietary and lifestyle habits. They may be seeking improved wellness, weight loss, increased energy, better sleep patterns, overcoming symptoms of disease - looking for long term benefits and results. 

In my work, clients express their sense of need by contacting me or making an office appointment. Like my race analogy, they "register." It's an act of commitment: "I need to change some things." 

We get started on a plan. This is where the training starts.

 

The plan will vary, but working with my In Balance health and wellness participants, it will look something like this:

-- logging food, activity, etc.

-- meeting with me once/week (in person or online) for 4-8 weeks for education and coaching on the factors to build a balanced life

-- being physically active

-- adopting a positive attitude

-- accepting the reality of consistent lifestyle and dietary changes for longterm healthy benefits (i.e change takes time!)

Change - or training - is never easy, even if/and/or when the plan is simple and straight forward. 

 

However: following through to gettin'er done will be more successful - and enjoyable - if you follow these five keys:

-- put aside perfection and "train" with your best efforts - go for excellence

-- accept your body type, your personality - not everyone "runs" at the same pace 

-- make both short and long term goals

-- grant yourself some grace and start a daily thanksgiving journal

-- expect to "finish" and align yourself with an accountability partner who believes in you too

 

It's within your power to knock down the roadblocks hindering you from getting to your finish line. You can make it - you're just not there YET.

I'd love to hear how you get to your finish line. And in the meantime, I'm going to follow through on today's "race plan" - to make a batch of my current favourite cookies: click on Sweet Potato Coco-Nut Cookies for the recipe.

Posted by karen
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Emotions.

 
Need 'em - to add spice to our lives, fleshing out the spectrum of feelings associated with living.
Love 'em - for their ethos, their passion, their need for expresssion - particularly on special occasions like February 14th!
Hate 'em - their power can be frightening, depressing, confusing.
 
Emotions can be sneaky, tricky - creating a hunger that we think can be satisfied with food.
 

Here are some tips to help us decide if our hunger is a physical or emotional one.

 
* Emotional hunger comes on in an instant - with an urgency that's overwhelming. Physical hunger doesn't usually demand, "I need food right now!" (unless you haven't eaten in a long time), it gradually sneaks up on you. 
 
* Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods, e.g. usually the refined sugars and refined grains kind - that provide an instant rush. It sends the message you NEED cheesecake or chips. Now. Physical hunger calls out, " I'm about to expire here, sure could use a spinach omelette, or a loaded salad, or chicken and stir-fry - even granola and fruit sounds good!"
 
* Emotional hunger often leads to eating a whole bag of chips or a pint of ice cream without so much as giving it a thought - and probably not really savouring it. You're usually more aware of what you're doing if you're eating in reponse to physical hunger. 
 
* Emotional hunger wants you to eat - and keep eating - often until you're uncomfortable. Stuffed. Physical hunger usually is satisfied when you are comfortably full.
 
* Emotional hunger doesn't have a growling hunger pang gnawing in your stomach. It's more tuned in to things like crunchy, salty, and other aspects of texture and smell. 
 
* Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt or shame. (Negative emotions that tend to get stuck on the "repeat" button in our brain.)Physical hunger nutritionally satisfied is generally that - satisfied.
 
 
(Thank you to Turning Point Personal Coaching Solutions for sharing tips on Emotional Hunger.)
 

At some point, we all are challenged by the temptation of using food to meet an emotional hunger.

 
The first step is start being aware of recognizing it as such.
 
Number two is being mentally prepared for alternative non-food solutions to meet that hunger:
** phone your grandkids or kids and treat yourself with a "visit"
** make yourself a cup of a special tea you've been saving for such a time as this
** get outside for a walk or if you work in an office building, do a short stretching session and walk the stairs to the next level
** pull out a handwork project or read a few chapters of a book (even in the middle of the day)
** go to the florist and buy yourself one Gerber daisy
** etc. etc.
 
Number three: as you gradually "read" the signs and meet the emotional hunger with ways that feed your emotions, you will be developing your will power muscle and become stronger in determining between the two kinds of hunger. 
 
We were created with emotions - and thankfully so. Embrace the discovery how you are emotionally wired.
 
Valentine's Day is this week -  a perfect day to experience and celebrate the gift of life and love. Be kind and gracious to those you love - and that includes you too. If chocolate speaks your" food love language", make this simple and delicious raw chocolate pie. Enjoy it with intention, pleasure and without guilt!
 
 
Click for recipe → Chocolate_Cream_Pie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Posted by karen
karen's picture

For the last 10 days I've been on a sugar-free, grain-free cleanse. This has also meant no natural sugars, including fresh and dried fruits. The night before I started it I had a huge fruit smoothie - does that tell you anything about my relationship with fruit?!

 

This choice was made for several reasons:

- I'm presenting an In Balance wellness and weight loss program that has a gentle dietary cleanse as part of Finding Your BALANCE, and I thought I   should experience the process to understand what I'm teaching/asking the participants to do.
 
- I've never done a cleanse for an extended period
 
- I live in a real world with real toxins so my body could use some house-cleaning
 
- I wanted to start a habit of eating more vegetables than fruit rather than the other way around
 
- I wanted to test my self control
 
- I wanted to see how it would affect me - physically, emotionally, mentally
 
- I was curious to see how my body would react without grains
 
 

I've discovered a few things:

 
- it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be,  (i.e. I'm not feeling continually hungry and craving foods )
 
- when my husband grinds the coffee in the morning, it doesn't bother me all that much, that instead of java I will be drinking caffeine-free, herbal tea (I've renewed my friendship with Rooibos)
 
- as much as I love nuts and seeds, I have my moments when I feel like a squirrel
 
- I miss my fruit - cranberries are on the okay list, and I'm so very grateful for Terra Beata, a local bountiful cranberry bog)
 
- I rarely go out for lunch but two times in the last week it happened. One little cafe had the best roasted veggie soup that I could have asked for. (Well, thinking on it, there was more oil in it than I would have used.) Everything in it was legit - and the roasted flavour was delic. (Probably thanks to the oil :)
 
- the preparation and planning period has value, and not only in practical terms,  (i.e. even though my pantry and refrigerator was stocked with cleanse food ingredients, the first morning it took a few minutes to shift from my almost-daily default menu - home made granola or cooked hot cereal)
 
Here's what I whipped up: sauteed leeks and red peppers, scrambled in a couple eggs and served it up on a bed of greens. Protein and veggies - yummy!
 
 

Some Conclusions:

- I have plenty of energy (even without eating grains) - I was a little concerned that my running and other fitness activities might need to be curtailed. Thankfully, not so. 
 
- I can't help but think how very blessed I am. I decided to use self control in my food choices (which meant eliminating some regulars) -  compared to the huge percentage of people who exist on the barest of nutrition and food options because they have to.
 
- will I do it again? I might. After today, I have 3 days left of my two weeks and I don't foresee why I will cave now.
 
- I fortunately had only one day of a very low-grade headache (can a habit of one- (sometimes more) - cup of coffee/day really make you that addicted?)
 
- my mental alertness and stamina has been at par if not better than normal. 
 
- I got to digging through recipes to add some variety to " how many ways can you eat broccoli, cauliflower, greens, carrots, etc." and there are many delicious options
 
- I miss eating quinoa and brown rice and sweet potatoes  
 
- would I recommend a cleanse? A variety of variables weigh in here: the type of cleanse, the reason for the cleanse, if a person has strong cravings for refined sugar and other refined foods, the timing of doing the cleanse, etc. Generally, I'd say most people would probably benefit from an occasional  cleanse.
 
- Has it been dreadful? Not at all.  I have understood the feeling of being even more intentional about what foods I eat. And it's not about denial, but understanding some of the recalibrating my body can do when I say "no" to foods that I thought, "But I always have .... for breakfast."
 
- And this week I found an acceptable substitute for granola. Yeah!! So of course I'm going to make it to the end.
 
Click → Printable recipe for Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Cleanse-Friendly Granola
 
 

Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Cleanse-Friendly Granola

1/2 cup organic unsweetened coconut flakes (could also be shredded)

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup raw walnuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pecan pieces

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger powder

 

Pulse ingredients in a food processor or high-powered blender until desired consistency. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

To Serve:
 
Scoop 1/4 - 1/3 cup of granola into a bowl.
 
Pour 1/2 - 2/3 cup almond mik or yogurt over top and let sit for about 5 or 6 minutes.
 
Spoon fresh (or thawed) cranberries on top and enjoy!
 
Optional:
 
- sprinkle with hemp seeds for extra protein
 
- lightly toast granola before serving, using heavy stove-top skillet
 
 
 
Have you done a cleanse? I'd be interested to hear your experience and if/what you felt were the benefits.

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