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Archive for January, 2012

What Areas of Your Life Are You Neglecting?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~ Edward Stanley

Are your children involved in lessons and activities that you make the time to take them to, while you miss another week of yoga class or the gym? Do you have the money for their activities but don’t believe that you have it to spend when it’s something that you want to do for yourself? When is the last time you had a massage or a facial? Or even more basic, how often do you get to wash your face and brush your teeth at night without being disturbed?

Is there something that you’ve wanted to do for yourself for so long, something simple that will improve the quality of your life, your health or just make you happy? Before you know it, weeks, months and maybe even years have gone by and whatever it is you still haven’t made it happen for yourself. Why aren’t you willing to invest the time or money when it’s for YOUR health, happiness and wellbeing instead of someone else’s? Does this sound familiar to you?

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I am talking to myself and not just to you in this article. As a busy working parent, I get it and constantly have to remind myself that I matter and that I need to take care of me too. We need to invest in ourselves so that we can give to others and even when we know this, we often don’t act on it. By investing in yourself, you are not being selfish. And by putting other people first, to the exclusion of your needs, it may not even serve them in the end.  Did you ever hear the expression “if mama ain’t happy ain’t no one happy” or have you been on an airplane and been told to put your own oxygen mask on before helping your child.

Life is complex and when our lives are rich and full it can be even more complex.  There are so many things that are worthy of our time and attention. 

So how can you focus on our own wellbeing?  Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Make a decision: This is an essential step for any change or transformation. You decide that you want something to be different and you commit to making it different. You don’t even need to know how that will happen in that moment of decision. You just have to decide that it will happen.  Think about this and you’ll realize that it’s true for just about everything in our lives.  One example would be weight loss.  Lots of methods might work but none of them will until you commit to the decision to lose weight. There are many other examples that I can give. In this case, it may be that you need to decide that you and your needs matter. If you want to talk with me about this, send me an email.

  2. Make sure that you have the food in the house that you enjoy and will support you through the day.  Food is essential for us to live. It also gives us pleasure. How often do you go to the store and buy everything you need for your kid’s lunch and snacks and don’t focus on what you enjoy or what will support you? Do you have enough energy throughout the day? Are you within range of the weight that works for you? How often do you take the time to focus on your nutritional needs or make a meal that you love? Do you even know how to begin?  Take the time to be prepared to have food on hand for you.

  3. Make plans to meet a friend for lunch. Pick a place that you love, where can choose a meal that you feel good about eating and make time to enjoy the company of a friend. Really take time to share what’s going on for you and listen to what’s going on with them.  When we are busy, it’s really easy to lose touch with ourselves and the people we care about most.

  4. Find a form of physical activity that you enjoy: I can’t overstate the importance of this. Having once had it, then losing it and now getting it back, I can’t emphasize the need for this too strongly.  If you don’t already agree, please trust me. Once you get started, you will feel and see the changes on the inside and outside of you. If you want to brainstorm about what’s possible and might be fun, send me an email.

  5. Set aside some quiet time each day: This can be in the form of meditation or reflective practice or it can just be a few minutes where you stop and sit quietly each day. You can even do this during your meal time if you can find a quiet place to be alone.  So many of us keep going, going, going from the time we get up until the time we go to bed.  Taking a few minutes each day has benefits for our health and wellbeing.  If you’d like to know more about how to incorporate this into your life send me an email.

  6. Make sure that you have a supportive community: Seek out like-minded people in your life who support your growth, development, wellness and happiness. This can be friends, coaches, trainers, family members, health care providers or anyone in your community. Just know that you have people to support you when you need it and people whose company fosters your happiness and growth.

  7. Make a decision to do something that you’ve wanted to do for you. Maybe you want to learn a new language or take some cooking lessons, maybe you want to learn digital photography or to get a massage. Maybe you want to get back into something that was once important to you. You have said at some point that you will do it.  Take one small step and make it happen. Go ahead and do it now!

These are just some ideas to get you thinking about the areas of your life that might need some time and attention from you and some suggestions to get you started.  I am more than happy to talk with you about the specifics of your lifeJust send me an email and we can set up a time to talk and please, stop letting everyone cut in front of you or you will never get to your place in line.

Think Nourishment Instead of Deprivation to Lose Weight and Not Your Sanity

Friday, January 13th, 2012

“It’s bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children’s health than the pediatrician.” ~Meryl Streep

Happy New Year!!!

Did you make a resolution?

Are you one of the many who have resolved to lose weight?

I know that so many people intend to lose weight, eat differently and exercise more every New Year. In fact, many make this same resolution year after year. If I didn’t know this from my business, all I’d have to do is turn on my TV and watch the commercials that start in late December.

Have you seen the long commercial with Janet Jackson talking about one weight loss system or that very cool ad with a before Jennifer Hudson singing with an after Jennifer Hudson for another diet plan?

It’s an important resolution; yet so many of us dread it because we think about it in terms of deprivation.

So what are you going to do? Will you eat fewer calories, fewer carbs, less fat?
Will you join one of the many weight loss programs and/or a gym?
Will you go it alone, skip breakfast or have a just a salad for lunch? And then maybe a frozen “diet” meal for dinner because it feels easy?

I don’t know about you, to me that sounds terrible. It does not seem like a way to live even in the short term and definitely not a way of life.

So here is my suggestion. While this may sound inconsistent with weight loss, I am going to encourage you to eat. Yes eat!!!

Eat real food. Eat high quality foods that include carbohydrates, protein and good fats. Don’t think about what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, don’t skip meals or under eat. Instead think about nourishing your body with lots of fresh and delicious food.

Here are some ideas that focus on nourishing you and your body rather than deprivation:

  • Eat Wholesome Food: Eat things that are as close to the way nature created them as possible with all of their edible parts. Avoid things that have been stripped of nutrition and processed with chemicals. The unrefined and minimally refined foods are typically found on the outer aisles of the market and are things like vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fish, meat and eggs. The more you nourish your body, the more it will want to be nourished. This is how you will eventually get rid of cravings and will find it easy to make the healthy choices on a regular basis.
  • Eat lots of fresh vegetables: From leafy greens to carrots and winter squash. These all taste delicious and will give your body tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber and are naturally lower in calories than most other foods. Make this a big part of your plate. If you’re looking for ways to prepare vegetables so that they taste great, you can find that here. If you add meat and/or fish consider smaller portions, almost like a condiment for the vegetables.
  • Eat a good breakfast: Are you thinking about skipping breakfast to save calories? Not a good idea. A good breakfast will set the tone for your day. If this means waking up 10-15 minutes earlier; do it. Don’t grab a bar that you eat in the car or a low calorie cereal with skim milk. Eat a real meal that will keep you full and your blood sugar balanced. A combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat should accomplish this. If you need some quick suggestions you can see them here.
  • Consider that a salad may not be your best lunch choice: Yes, of course, I LOVE salad. But don’t be tricked into thinking that a salad is your best lunch choice when you are trying to lose weight. Salads can come with lots of down falls. Depending upon where you get it, it can be full of unhealthy fats and unnecessary calories from the ingredients to the dressing. And the dressings are often full of artificial things and/or things that are in there to extend shelf life and are not good for you. I am a big fan of making your own dressing for a salad. Also, even a good salad can simply not be enough food for a meal. Just like breakfast, make sure you eat a lunch that will keep you full and your blood sugar balanced. You can see my idea of a good salad below and if you want to see me demonstrate a simple salad and dressing, you can see that here.
  • Stock your pantry and refrigerator: Take time to set yourself up for success. Make sure that you have what you need in the house to make the meals that you will support your goals. I personally went out yesterday with a long list (mostly produce) of things that I wanted to help me get back on track after a lot of holiday eating and drinking. Not having what you need, when you need it will sabotage your success. So think about what you want, make a list and go to the store and buy it.
  • Find an exercise routine that works for you: This is a big piece of the puzzle. Combined with wholesome eating, exercise will keep you feeling great and once you’re feeling great you will want to feel even better. I know this from personal experience too. Find something that is fun, that you look forward to doing and enjoy. See what’s around, try out new things and make it your “you time”.

These are just some ideas to get you started and I don’t mean to over-simplify how challenging weight loss and maintenance can be. Once you begin to feel great, it will be easier to stay on track. Imagine feeling really good about your food choices, making them easily and feeling great in your body. Do you want help getting started?

Take advantage of my offer in the Recommendation section of this issue or send me an email and I’d be happy to support you.