Life

Do You Feel Emotionally Well?

It has taken me half a lifetime to feel emotionally well and it feels good. I don’t often write about my personal life and innermost feelings but I believe sharing our stories helps others. I’m often taken by surprise when I hear or read about someone’s experiences that are similar to mine; it makes me know I’m not alone.

I spent my entire life believing that I was not worthy of, well, anything good. I believed anything bad that happened was somehow my fault and anything good that I did would be appreciated – but in reality, I didn’t think it was even noticed. That didn’t stop me from being kind and doing anything I could to please others; I believed my life, my purpose, my reason for being was to make others happy.

I was taught all of that behavior by my parents. They were strict, unkind, demanding, inappropriate and selfish. My siblings and I were trained up to meet my parents expectations whether realistic, appropriate or not, and we obediently tried. For some reason I didn’t walk away after becoming an adult and moving on with my life. Even as an adult with kids of my own, I kept on being a people-please[r] with my parents as well as others. It didn’t serve me well to put my own needs and innermost feelings aside. In the past two years one at a time, my parents passed away. First my father, then my mother most recent. The last two years were pretty rough on me as my mother needed my help on a constant level. I always obliged. Each time over the years, that I would help her or visit her I always thought it would be different – better; but it wasn’t. Everything I or my siblings (in-laws included) did for her went unappreciated. N’er a thank you.

I found courage to heal. I found an excellent psychiatrist, [don’t stop at one, it has to be the perfect fit for you] and I saw her twice a week at first and once a week after that for nine years. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Another best thing I did for myself was to take lessons in martial arts, Kempo karate for twelve years. It taught me self-confidence, inner peace and how to react calmly.

The number one best thing I did for myself was to raise my kids with love, appreciation of who they are individually, respect, nurturing, and kind. I had rules but I was fair. My kids might not think anything of it and that is perfect. It’s perfect because that means they didn’t have anything negative to compare it to. They were given the love a parent should give. They were treated the way a parent should treat their children. I taught my kids honesty, empathy and compassion. That’s not to say that they didn’t have rough moments along the way, they did. I took steps to help them and protect them as best I could. I certainly made mistakes along the way but I always learned from them, owned them and I apologized when I was wrong. I was the parent to my kids that my parents could not be to me and my siblings.

The whole world is suffering with this corona virus Covid19 epidemic and it’s a bit scary. This epidemic will make history. During these difficult times, I find myself wanting to call and check on my mother and hope she would want to check on me. Then it hits me that she is gone. It also hits me that she never called to check on me when she was here, why do I still hold onto hope that it would’ve been different or better? I can dream of a different set of parents all I want or I can be that parent to my kids, now grown but still loved more than the day before. So, I pull myself together and check in on them.

Life isn’t always the way we wish it would be. In fact, it’s almost never how any of us dreams of. But we have the choice to heal grow and get free. Free from our own poisonous thoughts, free from other’s thoughts/feelings about us and free to respond to life’s happenings in a way that nourishes our soul and spirit.

I have a choice, you have a choice. Find your options, talk it out, write it out, be open to opportunity and failure because with those comes growth.

I’m here for you. My heart is open, my mind is open and my ears are open. Come on in and sit a spell, share your thoughts, release your pain. You can email me any time, I’m quick to respond.

Be well. God bless.

Life

Feeling Anxious in the World Today; and Trying to Find Balance and Peacefulness

Everyone everywhere is aware of the Covid-19/Coronavirus outbreak that is pretty much world-wide. Each of us is handling it differently based on our job, our health, our contact with others and such. How I’m dealing with it at this very moment is in a sort of tangle.

I’ve always been a bit of a germophobe, clean hands, clean surfaces and a clean home has always been at the top of my list of importance; my kids, while fully grown now, would agree. If I made/make food for you, or for family you can bet that it met/meets all sanitary standards.

I’m a hairstylist and a personal health/lifestyle coach by trade. I have lots of one-on-one contact with my hair clients and mostly internet contact with my coaching clients. Coaching feels a whole lot safer lately than hair styling! I’m trying not to let that stop me from caring for my clients as expected but I am making calls beforehand to make sure they have not been sick; it’s not a guarantee but it makes me feel a little more confident with contact. I will be diligently washing hands, keeping as good a distance as possible and spending as little time as I can with each client. I will bring water with me as I read that sipping water will wash down any germs and stomach acids can kill them.

I find myself confused if to see my clients or postpone their appointments. Confused whether to go buy groceries or clean out the pantry and refrigerator/freezer for the next few weeks. I have put myself in a state of anxiety wondering what to do and I’m certain that I am not alone.

I don’t want to over-react but I also don’t want to under-react. I don’t want this moment in time to make you feel like you are prisoners in your homes. Make this urgent time of little human contact be a kind of respite for you. Become a little bit selfish. Find time to reconnect with your inner peace, your spirit, your own comfort and God. Take time to clean that which you have put off but also find time to read, write, meditate, nap, garden, walk alone, cook something special, be comfortable with being alone with just yourself and with your family.

What are your doing during this awful moment in history? What are your thoughts? Anxieties? What is your plan while hunkering down away from social activity? What do you want to get off your chest? How are you doing?

For a moment close your eyes, breathe deeply and let calm wash over you.

Life

Begin Again

In the silence of snowfall

Today is the 364th day of the year. I feels like it has been about that long since I have written to you, my faithful readers. I want you to know that I appreciate you and I promise to be more active in your life as you are in mine. I also appreciate your emails of caring and concern.

Twenty-nineteen started out pretty normal (normal is very different for each of us) for me. I set goals, dreamed of new opportunities, planned steps to reach emotional and physical wellness and I felt optimistic.

As winter faded and spring opened its wings I lost my uncle whom which I was quite close to. My heart ached for my cousins and for the rest of us as we learned to accept our loss. Several weeks following I lost a cousin and my heart broke a little more especially for his sister, nephew and brother. Add two months and my mother passed away. My schedule basically worked around helping her daily with various appointments, chores and general lifetime duties. Getting through cleaning up what is left behind becomes a full-time job as well as staying strong over emotions is. Fast forward two months and I learned that another cousin has passed away. Feeling overwhelmed with sadness over the devastation of this news and living far away from his family left me feeling helpless; I wanted to be there for them, to give a hug, lend an ear and just be caring and supportive. Move ahead a few more weeks and the news of a newer friend’s passing came through. The heartache his family has been suffering is heart-wrenching.

Dealing with everything involved when someone leaves this world is overwhelming and emotions are kicked aside until you find the time to deal with them. The loss of five people in five months has been emotionally exhausting. Now that Christmas has passed and a new year is hours away, my heart and head are fighting agreement. Life with my mother in the past 3 years has been a pretty constant duty. While it wasn’t easy, anyone who knew her understands, it was part of my daily life. Having that removed in a flash is jolting. I feel both sadness and relief. I’m working through it and I know I will be okay.

Something my mind has been doing to me is feeling that I could be next. So many losses so close together is quite overwhelming and not allowing yourself to show the sadness hurts more than it helps. I’ve recently been retreating from gatherings and other invitations so that I can process all that has happened in the past seven months. I’m allowing myself to exhale.

I plan to stay optimistic; I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl. I plan to spread love, happiness and my optimism throughout 2020 and I invite you to tag along!

Again, I appreciate you so very much.

This post is dedicated to those I’ve lost this year: Michael Parent (uncle), Alan Hamel (cousin), Jacqueline Hamel (mom), Steven Black (cousin), and Michael Cunningham (friend). May you all rest peacefully and fly free.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Beat Sugar & Carb Cravings with Spring Produce!

Seasonal eating fuels your body properly..contact me for your personal list of seasonal foods.

Some of us, in fact all of us, get cravings every now and again. Cravings can tell a lot about your body both physically and emotionally. Physically we often crave what our body is missing such as certain minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. Emotional cravings can come from the stresses of everyday life; we crave sweets when things are difficult, crunch when we are angry, carbs when we feel fatigued both physically and mentally, and so on.

Each season causes our body to shift as well as our cravings. Winter brings on warming, heartier foods, spring, cleansing, purifying foods, summer, lighter, raw and cooling foods and fall leaves us in-between summer’s bounty and winter’s chill.

Spring cleansing foods that are available right now help to clean out and purify the blood. These foods also offer great amounts of phyto-nutrients – which help feed the body’s cells, boost the immune system and even reduce inflammation. Phyto = plant, the best fuel and disease defense is plant nutrition.

So how does this help curb sugar/carb cravings? By eating these in-season, fresh phyto-nutrients (leafy greens, dark green veggies, other colorful veggies and fruit, your body can clean out the ‘gunk’ and refresh or reboot your system. Focus on these whole and natural foods and note how your body changes.

Remember, your body will crave what you feed it most. Happy, healthy body rebooting!

Try this simple recipe, from Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook it’s cleansing and alkalizing. Add Arugula in other dishes as well, sandwiches, multi-greens salad, soups, stews…add it last to keep it nutritious!
Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Joint Pain and Dietary Guidelines – Eating Shouldn’t Hurt

Joint pain affects all of us at one time or another; it even strikes kids from time-to-time. As we get older, joint pain is more typical in our daily lives, but through diet and other changes you can reduce joint pain.

Joint pain has many different causes including poor diet, low/no exercise, injury, age, wear and tear.

If you regularly eat foods like white bread, wheat bread and other refined carbohydrates, or if you eat a lot of whole grain breads and pasta, you can count on having joint pain. If you eat fried foods, French fries, donuts, chicken fingers, potato chips, many items in the Chinese food menus, red meat, processed meats and other processed foods, sugary foods such as soda, sweetened juices, candy, pastries, corn syrups, margarine and shortening, you can expect to have inflammation caused joint pain.

If you suffer from daily joint pain and stiffness, give a diet change a try. Changing your diet to better food choices can help ease joint pain without having to depend on medications that make your body toxic and sluggish. The bonus to changing your diet not only improves your joint health, you’ll likely drop a few pounds, improve your blood pressure and clear out your intestinal track, leaving you feeling lighter and more energetic.

Changing your diet will take commitment but you can easily shift into better choices when you know what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. A simple list follows so that you can start making changes today.

Avoid – Inflammatory Foods

Fried foods including chips and other items from the snack aisle, simple carbs (as listed above), processed corn, sugary drinks and snacks, artificial sweeteners, red meat (at least cut down on it), processed meats and other processed foods, artificial butters, salt, alcohol, omega 6 oils (corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and vegetable oil) shortening and lard – use real butter, but practice portion control and try using lemon juice and spices in place of butter.

Eat – Anti-inflammatory Foods

  • Vegetables – All types of vegetables, all colors – raw, steamed, boiled or roasted – broccoli, parsley (phosphuraphane, K & C and calcium)
  • Nut oils- walnut (10x the omega 3’s than EVOO), avocado, almond, peanut, sesame oils and butters
  • Whole grains – barley, farro, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal (if you find that you feel bloated after eating any of these, avoid them, also avoid barley & seitan if you are gluten intolerant)
  • Fruit – citrus, pineapple, berries, melons, cherries (vitamin C)
  • Garlic, onions, leeks
  • Milk, yogurt & cheese (vitamin D & calcium)
  • Nuts/Seeds – peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, chia, flax seed (1 oz./day = magnesium, omega 3’s, zinc, iron, potassium & blood sugar control)
  • Beans – all kinds without sugar added, soy beans, edamame, tofu (magnesium, iron, calcium, fiber)
  • Mushrooms – (copper helps produce red blood cells and has potassium for heart, muscles and nerve)
  • Molasses – 1 tablespoon (magnesium which helps relieve inflammation)
  • Fish – 3-4 times/week (omega 3’s) Omega 3 supplements (less absorption into the body than fish)
  • Spices – ginger, turmeric, juniper berries, cinnamon, cayenne, chili, pepper (all anti-inflammatory)
  • Tea – dandelion root tea, green tea, black tea (anti-oxidants, polyphenols, EGCG)

Next time you’re at the grocery store or farm stand, choose some of the healthy foods listed and start making change for your body soon. You deserve to eat well and feel good!

Again, changing your diet isn’t always easy but when you practice making healthier choices and begin feeling the benefits change becomes easier. If you’re not fully convinced that diet plays a big role in joint pain, test it out for a month. Make the suggested subtractions and additions to your diet for the next month and make notes about how you feel each day or week. At the very least, it can help ease some pain, reduce a few pounds and help clear out your digestive track from gunk that builds up from the foods on the foods to avoid list.

Let me know your thoughts or get in touch if you would like guidance and accountability in making healthy changes.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Comfort Outside of Food

Comfort comes in many forms and for each of us comfort means something very different from the next.

We all seek comfort. We look for it in our family members, our friends, sometimes strangers, nowadays we can reach out and find it through social media, we seek it from our pets, some look for it in cleaning, shopping, going to the gym, finding distraction in a movie; we also look to food for comfort and some look for it in a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or other alcohol. I’m sure there are hundreds more ways people look for and sometimes find comfort.

Along with looking for comforting situations comes the reason we seek it. Those reasons are endless and among them is stress, sadness, boredom, depression and loneliness.

Too often many comforts lead to less than healthy choices. We crave certain foods when we seek comfort. Particular textures and tastes have much to do with how we are feeling. Common cravings are sweets, carbs, junk foods and alcohol. Giving in to these cravings leads us into a downward spiral often leaving us feeling worse.

If you find yourself seeking comfort on a regular basis and turning to foods or activities that you know deep down isn’t doing your body of lifestyle any good, take a step back and make a decision to finally take care of YOU. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is important for a healthy, happy and long life.

As a holistic health coach, I’ve helped people overcome their overwhelming desire to give in to self-sabotaging choices for seeking comfort. Is seeking unhealthy “comfort foods” getting you down? Let’s talk!

Life

Be the Light in Someone’s Life

As I drift through the days the way we all do, I look for ways to inspire others. I live to help others find happiness and peace. I used to think it was my jog to make others happy but after many years of thinking that way and feeling I had failed somehow, I came to understand that other people’s happiness is not up to me, it’s up to them. 

We are all responsible for the way we think and the happiness we choose. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and interferes with our best thought plans and we feel depressed or angry and out of control. That’s because we are out of control. I’ve heard and read many times that man may plan his course but God plans his steps. (Prov. 16:9) If you don’t think so, just look at plans you made that didn’t work out and think of how in the end, many of those changes were for the better.

We can set intentions and make plans and follow through as closely as we possibly can but if they don’t work out they way you expected, don’t be angry; instead, see with an open mind and look for the good that can come of the new circumstance. There is a reason for everything and you can accept that better when you believe that there are other ways to get to your destination.

Inspiration for others comes in many shapes, sizes, intentions and emotions. Be open to what can be, be aware of what is and be thankful for what never was. Everything will be as it should be. Everything changes in the blink of an eye. Be calm, be love, be open and be true.