Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Great Blood Work Results Can Be a Side Effect of Eating Properly

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Maybe you want to change your diet to lose weight, maybe that’s your only goal, or maybe you want to lower blood sugar, cholesterol or blood pressure. Whatever your goal is, it will happen when you are diligent in adopting new good habits.

One of the first things that I have experienced happening with my clients is their improved blood work results. That shows that your body IS changing even if you can’t see it. If you stay committed you will see further results. Keep in mind that your body heals from the inside out just as it gets “out of order” from the inside out; for example, you’re fit and trim, you begin eating processed foods, junk foods, fatty, deep fried and sugary foods – at first you feel fine, but soon you begin feeling sluggish, eventually you step on a scale and see you have gained weight etc. This happened from the inside, out; it doesn’t show up right away because it’s inside wreaking havoc first.

What does it mean to eat right? First, it doesn’t mean that you must deprive yourself or count calories. When you truly eat right, calories shouldn’t matter because eating properly is not that hard to do. Eating right means not over-indulging at any meal, eating slower, and eating whole foods instead of those that come from a box, jar or can, unless you or someone you know has canned them personally of course, and limiting or replacing sugary snacks and drinks with healthy low-sugar options. It’s that simple.

Whole foods are foods that are as they came from the ground, tree, animal or sea. These foods have not been broken down and mixed with chemicals and preservatives; nor are they pre-cooked as are many processed, boxed, canned or frozen foods. Most low-fat options such as dressings, crackers/cookies/pastry, and most other foods with the exception of dairy are strongly discouraged by the holistic standards because they are worse for you than their full-fat partner due to the added sugar in most low-fat options; plus when we choose low-fat we often tend to think it’s okay to use more since it has less fat – this leaves you with even more sugar! Read labels.

Do your body a favor, surprise your doctor and omit the need for medications to keep your body in healthy balance. Eat properly, get regular exercise whether intense if that’s your thing or a more relaxed form of exercise if you prefer.

The bottom line is calories in always must be lower than calories burned if you want to lose weight, proper foods are the key to great blood work results and portion control helps all the above. Make gradual changes until these changes become habits that you no longer must think about; let it come naturally. Not sure how to begin? Contact me and I will help you ease into a healthy, happy lifestyle.

To your good health!

C.H.E.F. Recipes (Cheap Healthy Easy Fast)

Stuffed Swiss Chard

I went to my favorite farm stand in town and picked up some great greens. One particular green I bought was Swiss chard; the leaves were enormous and crispy and bright. I used some in salad and other dishes but I still had a lot of large leaves left so I decided to stuff them and bake them the same way you would for stuffed cabbage. They were a hit so I wanted to share my recipe with you. You can stuff pretty much any large enough vegetable leaf, so go ahead and create!

Stuffed Swiss Chard

  • 1 lb. organic ground chicken ( you can substitute meatless ground protein)
  • 1 med. Onion
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (you can use quinoa or other whole grains)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Wheatabix cereal = 2 biscuits (you can use bread crumbs)
  • Italian herb blend – oregano, basil, parsley, etc.
  • Dash salt and pepper
  • Cleaned and trimmed Swiss chard leaves or other leaf of choice
  • 12 oz jar of crushed tomatoes – I used my home canned mixture from last year

Mix all in a bowl until well blended. Put about ¼ cup onto middle of a leaf and roll it up covering all meat and place seam side down in an oiled baking dish. Repeat until all leaves and chicken is used up. Pour tomatoes over top of all stuffed leaves. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes.

Life

Energy Flows Where Attention Goes

20180720_174651Energy flows where attention goes comes from the book “The Secret” and when I read that it made complete sense to me. I watch and listen to people everywhere and I see how this statement is true. Where you put your focus is where you feed your desire or your problem; so, after reading that I decided to make changes within myself which I will share with you.

A few years ago, I moved away from a place I was familiar with and where all my friends are. I didn’t move far but just far enough that it’s not convenient to just pop in on each other or run to the store for a quick something. I learned who my true friends are and those who don’t care whether I exist or not. At first, their actions hurt a lot but I have realized that it’s a choice they have made for one reason or another and I accept them for that. At first, I beat myself up for moving here and not closer to the ocean as I planned for many years – I moved here to make someone else happy instead of for myself; lesson learned. Since reading that quote “Energy Flows Where Attention Goes” I decided that it’s true and that focusing on where I would rather be and what I would rather be doing isn’t changing where I am and what I am currently doing. I recently decided to embrace where I am and what I am doing and since then, just one month so far, I have enjoyed more of life than I can remember enjoying for a very long time.

If life has got you down, if people have let you down, and if you are wishing for things to be different then put your focus on what you have right now. Put your energy into where you are at this moment and keep planning for where you’re headed. I’m not suggesting abandoning your dreams, I refuse to abandon mine, I’m only suggesting to accept what is, appreciate what you do have and enjoy this very moment. As you move forward you will find that you are closer to where you want to be, you feel happier and more at peace with each moment and every good blessing in your life.

We cannot change what was but we can accept where we are now and have a little more control of where we want to go and how it will be when we get there. Put your energy to positive use; let your attention flow where you want your energy to go.

Need help getting there? Need help reaching your biggest or even your smallest goals? Contact me at Dawn.InitiateWellness@gmail.com  As a certified health coach, I can guide you and help you become in control of your diet and in control of your life!

Life

Motivation

20180704_113546Motivation must come from within you. It’s not something that can be given or received. Motivators are simply tools to help you organize your thinking and organize your plans.

When you feel unmotivated to do something it’s just a mindset that you’re in. You might be unmotivated because your task seems uninteresting to you, it might feel like a chore, you might not care about why this task must be done; there are many reasons why you feel unmotivated to it. If you can change your mindset you can increase your motivation. Changing your mindset can be as simple as telling yourself to just get up and get it done and once you start you feel a sense of relief and satisfaction. If changing your mindset is more involved than just deciding to do it, get involved. Get involved in your activity by getting to the core of why you are doing what you are doing and put into your mind and spirit what your success will bring you when you do what you must do.

Motivation can be found in physically and mentally engaging in your activity. When you track progress, when you make lists and cross off things as you complete them and when you follow a daily regimen you stay motivated. When you have the mindset that “I’ve got this” and you play along like you’re doing everything as you should, you end up losing control and losing your motivation. You must be honest, diligent and active in your attempts to finishing everything you start.

Motivation is an attitude. Motivation is a practice. Motivation can lead to good habits when used and good habits become natural behaviors without having to use much thought and exertion.

Just as self-control isn’t given, it’s used – so is the same with motivation; everyone has it but they don’t always use it.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Start from Where You Are; Do the Next Right Thing

You start something new; eating better, exercising, less sugar, less snacking, quit smoking, drinking etc. You start out strong and well-intentioned but one day during lunch you slip up a little and you talk yourself into feelings of failure & inadequacy, reminding yourself of all the times you’ve repeated this behavior in the past and so you unintentionally give up for the day or for the week or month. You tell yourself this was a bad time to start and you justify your thoughts with excuses and decide that next month will be a better time to start.

That type of behavior is what keeps us from ever reaching our goals. That behavior comes from within your mind’s self-sabotaging ego. Self-sabotage is our emotional way of coming to terms that something probably won’t work; it helps us to excuse our failures ‘just in case’ we need to. Self-sabotage also excuses us from having to do something to reach our goals, our plans and our wishes.

Before you begin any project it’s important to prepare for it. When we do a household project we first need to take the steps necessary to begin, we decide why, how and we list what we will need to get it done. These steps are important in everything we do because without the why, how, what, and what if’s, we have no direction, no path to follow.

If you are planning to lose weight or just eat better for good health, you need to be fully in it and committed. Your first step is to decide if you truly want it for yourself or if you’re doing it because you ‘have’ to. If you are doing it because you were told you need to, there’s a good chance you won’t follow through and be successful. You must want it for yourself. Then you can list the why, how, what and what if’s and be more successful at reaching your goal.

If you’ve already begun or if you plan to begin better lifestyle habits, take a little time to write your “why, how, what and what if’s”; doing this will help you get on track and stay on track.

1- Why are you going to eat better and exercise?

2- How are you going to do this?

3- What will you do daily?

4- What if you slip up on one meal, one day or for a weekend?

What if? If you slip up you start from where you are and “do the next right thing”. So, you splurged a little, you ate more, you ate the wrong thing, you didn’t exercise today…so what! Put on your ‘can do’ attitude and start from where you are at each moment.

Don’t judge yourself by your failures but by your attempts at success.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Why to Eat in Season Foods & What Ones to Eat

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With so many choices for foods to eat just about anywhere you turn, particularly if you live in an urban or suburban area, it’s no wonder many of us are in a constant struggle to lose weight, to feel better, to eat less, to sleep better, to not feel bloated, to have less stress and the list can go on.

Eating foods that are in season and local as well, is nothing new. Before national and international shipping began, folks ate what was available at that particular time of year. Personal canning was more popular than it is today and root cellars were more popular as well.

Seasonal eating is the essential key of holistic and medical traditions; good health and emotional balance. Seasonal eating means building meals around foods that have been just harvested and adjusting your diet to particular health concerns each season brings. It connects us with the calendar in the way that:

  • Winter foods warm you, keep you full longer and use spices that are warming and immunity boosting.
  • Spring foods cleanse your blood & lungs, ridding your cells of unwanted fats and prepares your body for warmer days.
  • Summer foods hydrate your body and keep it cool and lighter.
  • Fall foods help build your immune system and help to ease your body into transition for colder months ahead.

In season foods taste better and are more nutritious due to being picked when they are fully mature with all their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in tact. For example, spinach picked at its peak has 3 times the vitamin C as spinach picked early to ship across the states or to other countries.

Seasonal foods are not limited to fruits and vegetables. Fish also has seasons and by eating fish that is in season, you’re more apt to eat wild caught fish which is healthier than farmed fish which has high levels of cancer causing chemicals as well as unhealthy fats and less protein – particularly salmon. And I will add that tilapia is not a healthy choice due to it having 56 mg. of bad cholesterol in just a 4-ounce portion.

For resources and lists of what is available where you live, check out these links:

http://www.eatwellguide.org/

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

http://www.sustainabletable.org/seasonalfoodguide/

There’s a reason for the seasons and there’s a reason all foods don’t grow in all seasons. Eat what is local to your area at each time of the year and even from month-to-month for better health; your body will thank you.

Your body will only treat you as well as you treat it.

Happy local and seasonal eating!

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Coconut Oil, Friend or Foe?

coconutoilpostI use cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil less than I used to. I didn’t taste much difference between that and a light olive oil in stir-frying. My knowledge of coconut oil in the past was that it wasn’t very good for you so my curiosity in why that ‘claim’ is different today, is no surprise. I decided to dig in, learn more about the pros and cons about coconut oil and decide for myself based on my nutritional training. I’ll share what I have learned but first let me state that I research like crazy before I decide on just about everything and I use references with highly accredited credentials.

In and before the 1980’s the use of coconut oil was ‘bad’ due to it being a saturated fat which raise bad cholesterol levels and so the use of hydrogenated oils became the norm. Findings later decided that hydrogenated oils were worse for us that coconut oil so up rose coconut oil fame again because of its minimal processing. In fact, everywhere you read there are claims that coconut oil is a ‘miracle oil’ and will fix just about any ailment you have including your squeaky gate…or gait.

What I have found in my recent research project is that the goodness of coconut oil depends on what oils you are replacing with coconut oil and how the coconut oil has been processed. Depending on what it’s replacing it can either raise good cholesterol as in replacing hydrogenated vegetable oils, have a neutral affect as in replacing butter and lard and it can have a questionable effect regarding heart health. Most of studies were done in countries where diet and exercise lifestyles were far different from here in the U.S. and other countries.

I just bought a new jar of coconut oil basically because of all the claims that we are all bombarded with. I now wish I had done this research ‘before’ I bought more but now I have a full jar of organic, unrefined coconut oil to use up. I’ll use it sparingly as I did the first jar but I might use it more externally than internally though I’m not afraid of it, I just choose to lighten up on it a bit. There is no evidence that it is down-right unhealthy for you but there are also no fantastic studies proving that it IS a miracle oil.

Everyone has their right to an opinion and a choice so I will practice mine based on the findings of my research. I’ll use up the jar I have but, in the future, I think I will stick with using the small amounts of extra virgin olive oils and various nut oils (and sometimes I even use a pat of butter-eeek!) that I am a fan of. I don’t use a lot of oil in a day and I don’t eat packaged snacks much if at all and my blood work had always been great so I feel confident in what I typically use for cooking.

If you do choose to use coconut oil in your cooking, choose the best product. Make sure the coconut oil you buy is organic, virgin, unrefined, cold-pressed; it will be in the purest form possible while conveniently put into a jar.

What are your thoughts on coconut oil? Have you used it and has it performed miracles for you? If so, what else has changed in your habits when you switched to using coconut oil? I’d love to hear your thoughts so drop me an email!

After thought: Coconut oil is pretty great on your skin, especially those overworked hairstylist hands, gardening hands, cooking hands, mechanic hands and all hands (and feet) in-between!

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Sugar Belly

 

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Chances are, you have heard the words and/or read about sugar belly. It’s a real issue so I thought I’d make a quick note for you to get some of the basics of sugar belly so that you can begin making small changes today that will lead to big changes for your future.

Sugar belly could quite possibly be the toughest fat to get rid of – it certainly is the last thing to go when ‘dieting’. What is sugar belly? It’s the fat we get around our middle that is more often a direct result of eating too many simple carbohydrates; of course, eating too many fats and the wrong type of fat has a lot to do with that middle belly bulge too.

Here’s a quick bit of info. on belly fats:

  • Visceral fats are deep inside and around the organs and it takes more energy to burn it.
  • Subcutaneous fats are right under the skin and the hardest to lose – starches and fats store as this fat first then it works its way deeper into the body.

If you don’t improve your nutrition and lifestyle, you could end up becoming a statistic of type 2 diabetes. Don’t wait until it gets to that point, don’t wait to react…become pro-active!

While changing your dietary and lifestyle habits can be difficult, confusing and maybe less convenient, it’s not impossible and it’s not as hard as you think. When you know what to do and how to it, you can ease into a better lifestyle and better health.

  • You can begin making changes by replacing sugary and starchy foods with fiber foods such as vegetables, whole grains and fruit.
  • Eliminate or at least limit beans, corn and potatoes. You can add these in in limited moderation after you have reached your goal, but always keep moderation under control.
  • Increase lean proteins moderately – eat lean meats, eggs, tofu, tempeh, and whole grains such as quinoa.
  • Have 5-9 or more servings of vegetables every day and 1-3 servings of fruit every day. This might sound like a lot of vegetables but when you eliminate the simple carbs. and junk foods and sweet sugary snacks, you’ll realize that lots of vegetables fill you, fuel you, hydrate you and clean your body from the inside out.

What are the benefits of eating more vegetables, fruit and lean proteins?

  • Clean, purified and oxygenated blood
  • Less fat in and around the body and organs = lower weight
  • Clear, vibrant, healthy, younger looking skin
  • Complete nourishment = more energy, alertness, better hydration
  • And so much more!

Make a change today. Choose a healthier, lighter you. Get rid of your sugar belly and find yourself in a new light. As always, if you would like guidance I am always happy to be your personal health coach, just call or write and let’s get started!

Life

Are You Resistant to Change?

changeWe want change in our lives, we want it on a regular basis and we make plans to make the desired changes but we never quite follow through–but why not? Why does change excite us and tease us but scare us at the same time? Why do we plan to dive in fully but put the brakes on when we get to the edge of the diving board?

Some change is simple and it involves oneself only, but sometimes a change affects others, disrupting life and causing us to step back or at least slow the process of making change happen.

If the change you’re trying to make involves yourself only, what is holding you back? What does your desired change look like to you? Is it realistic? Is it convenient? Inconvenient? Is it too hard? Is it too big? Are you at a loss of where or how to begin?

If the change you wish for involves others, as well as yourself, are the others aware of your desired change? How did they respond? What’s the scariest part of making that particular change? What is the worst case scenario; best case scenario? What do you need to push yourself forward?

Breaking old habits can catapult you toward your desired outcome and force you toward making progress. Taking small realistic steps toward whatever your goal may be is how to get there. Every single journey begins with that first step more often than a giant leap. Outline your desired change and decide what first step you can take today to begin your journey toward change.

Change is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be horrible when you are prepared.

Life

Motivation

20170813_161729What one or two things helps you find motivation and inspiration?

Is it a particular item?

Is it a certain aspect of nature?

Does motivation come from support of friends or loved ones?

Does a certain person inspire you?

Whatever your source of motivation and inspiration is, use it!  If you are unsure of what motivates you, take time to sit quietly in nature, in your house, in your safe spot or wherever you feel most at peace and open your heart and mind to discover your method of inspiration.

Become inspired!

Share your thoughts here, ask questions, make motivation happen for you!