Self-control is easier when your mind and body is busy…

I was deep into my work and didn’t think about food until my stomach growled ‘feed me’. Hunger felt good. We, too often, eat for several reasons from it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner time-even though we ate a big snack 10 minutes ago or because we’re meeting friends and that always involves food; a restaurant or at someone’s home, because we’re bored, watching TV, and many more self-justifying excuses.

I skipped breakfast, bad practice, because I was running a little close for work so decided I’d eat after my first client. Immediately after the client, I began more work, putting food off again until the growling began. I made a sandwich of ham and loaded it with spinach. That was my lunch which held me surprisingly until dinner. Remember, my mind was preoccupied with work all day and it was a welcomed relief.

Three-thirty p.m. came around and I knew I needed to make a dinner plan. I rummaged through the refrigerator, reached for organic stewing beef I had, browned it in a large Dutch oven, added a dark locally brewed beer and some Italian herbs and simmered it for a few hours. It smelled delicious and warming. About 1/2 hour before serving I added potato chunks, carrots, celery, onion, 6 cloves of garlic, and simmered until the potatoes and carrots were tender; I tossed in a half bag of peas, warmed them and we enjoyed a warming, healthy hearty meal. The beef was fall apart tender and the entire meal was fast and simple to put together; I could continue working while it simmered gently.

As each day comes to a close with food choices under control and satisfaction with my food choices, I can look forward to tomorrow with a positive outlook. I look forward to inspiring you to follow your dreams, your goals and intentions and find great success in your self-satisfaction too!

Connect with me via email at Dawn.InitiateWellness@gmail.com

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

What Does Food Mean to You?

Food means something different for each of us. For me it means satisfaction, indulgence, self-complimentary ( I think I’m a pretty good cook), savory as in savoring the positive moments in life (because I, like many, have had too many negative moments throughout my life), gorging on second helpings because of life’s limitations. My excuse for eating more than I need sometimes is self-justified by ‘because it tastes good’ and I deserve it. Deserve it! Honestly? We don’t deserve much. We are given, blessed with, fortunate, etc. to have abundance of food; let us not gorge ourselves! The answers I gave are almost certainly a result of my past and present emotions; food becomes comfort, memorable, it’s social, it’s personal, it’s public, it pleases, it displeases, it even simply fuels our body but it’s rare that we think exactly that when we are eating; it can become self-sabotage.

We relate food to who we are, who we were and who we want to be. We use food as a tool to bury feelings, to celebrate feelings and to blame our shortcomings on. We often rate ourselves by our commitment to what we eat, how we eat, why we eat and we let food define us.

Once we can understand and accept the reasons we treat food the way we do, once we really get to the bottom of our relationship with food we can develop a new relationship with food; we can let food be our friend instead of our enemy. Food feeds our cells, it fuels our body giving us energy, balancing our moods, our blood levels, sleep, making our health the best it can be given that we eat the right foods and the proper amounts on a regular basis. As Hippocrates said many years ago, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”.

The next time you feel particularly connected to a certain food in a sort of disconnected way, stop yourself, go deep inside and try to relate how the particular food makes you feel when you eat it. There’s no right nor wrong about it, it just is and that’s okay. Slowly you will be able to better control the way you relate to and treat food.

If you’re in need or in search of professional help in your eating and lifestyle habits, you are in the right place. Email me to get started on your journey to better health, better habits and heading up the road to happiness. You CAN be in control when you have the tools to help.


Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

My Weakness: Portion Control

and coleslaw with plain Greek yogurt and spice dressing

Like many, I love food. I eat and crave healthy food [most of the time], I don’t eat processed food and I rarely ever eat junk food.

I usually have good self-control but sometimes I find myself going back for seconds simply because it tastes so good! That is a poor excuse for overeating especially when my stomach has been satisfied the first time around. This doesn’t happen every day, and when it does, I know I need to go inside myself and re-assess my emotions.

When I go inside myself emotionally, I ask: do I want seconds because it indeed does taste so good that one serving isn’t possibly enough or is there something missing in my life? If it’s the latter, what is missing? What is it that food is satisfying for me? Why does food make it somehow a little better?

Do you find yourself going in for more than you need? Do you feel uncomfortably full sometimes after you eat? Do you sometimes feel frustrated about where you are in your life, or about not being able to reach your goals as easily or quickly as you wish, do you feel like something is missing or off? The we you feel is often the reason we eat more than we should, or why we eat sugar, carbs, crunchy, chewy, gooey things, or soft, cold, or warming foods and drinks.

Assessing your feelings, writing them in a journal and getting in touch with your innermost feelings will help you to move forward. If you don’t quite know where to start, as a health coach, I work with individuals with exactly this type of behavior, help is always available and affordable. You are worth feeling good, looking good and being healthy.

Gaining control over what and how we eat is something we need to accomplish. When we accomplish that goal first, it makes our big goal easier to reach and new goals more exciting to set….and reach!

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

Broccoli Super-food Salad

This salad will help cleanse your system and provide you with minerals and vitamins. Choose organic ingredients when you can to avoid pesticides and such.

  • 1 head broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces
  • ½ small onion – red onion or scallions will work nicely
  • 2-4 carrots, sliced thin, chopped or run through a spiralizer (Cut a slice lengthwise before spiraling to make separate pieces) – I used 2 large carrots, one purple & one yellow
  • handful dried cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds – I only had whole so I ground them coarsely
  • about 4” chunk of cheddar cheese, diced tiny (optional) for non-dairy use 2 Tablespoons Nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup Green Goddess Dressing (Organic) (or dairy-free equivalent)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt – Greek or regular (Organic) (or dairy-free equivalent)

Mix all ingredients and chill several hours to overnight. Enjoy!

*Variations include diced apple, chopped orange slices, grapes, berries or other types of nuts. Create!


Anxiety: What Eat & What to Avoid to Ease It

We all have suffered with anxiety at one time or another and we all will suffer with it again. Anxiety, unfortunately, is a part of life as we know it – but you don’t have to cave in to it. By eating the right foods, avoiding the anxiety feeding foods and learning simple lifestyle habits, you can overcome personal anxiety.

What is anxiety? It’s a normal reaction; anxiety is a feeling response of worry, nervousness, fear, uneasiness and even feelings of eagerness/impatience toward a situation. Usually anxiety is temporary; if you find that you have anxiety that has been going on for a very long time, it’s a good idea to talk to someone about it, maybe even your doctor.

Food and lifestyle habits play an important role in dealing with anxiety. There are some foods that feed feelings of anxiousness and some foods that calm those feelings. How food affects your body’s nervous response is of key importance. Without going deeper into the explanation and reasons for anxiety, let’s look at the foods that help us and then the foods that we should avoid.

Anxiety Easing Foods & Supplements include tryptophan rich foods, B-vitamins and B-vitamin rich foods, chamomile & green tea, lemon balm fresh herb and tea, hops, valerian root, lavender [an emotional anti-inflammatory], fermented foods [probiotics] and probiotic supplements.

Foods to Eat:

  • Tryptophan: turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, sesame seeds, peanut butter
  • B-vitamins: beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, citrus, rice, nuts, eggs, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, whole grains, wheat
  • Carbohydrates: [yes! Don’t turn away, they’re important!] whole grains (true whole grains, not additions to convenience foods), wheat, brown rice, potatoes, all vegetables
  • Fermented foods: yogurt, kefir, soy milk, Miso soup/broth, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, pickles, tempeh, kimchi, micro-algae drinks
  • Omega 3’s: salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, nuts, supplements
  • Lean Protein: plain Greek yogurt (add your own fruit, honey/maple & nuts), fish, meat, cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, soy, lentils
  • WATER!

Foods to Avoid [or at least Limit]:

  • Caffeine – (at least cut down if you drink coffee and soda all day long)
  • Sugar – (causes depression) incl. sweets, candy, cakes, pies, cookies, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup and other highly refined sweeteners, aspartame,
  • Processed food – boxed, frozen, canned, fast food…etc.
  • Added chemicals – MSG (depression, headaches, fatigue) food dyes (disrupts normal nervous system function)
  • Salt – messes with blood pressure, heart works harder to control the stress hormone adrenaline, *don’t buy/use pre-seasoned or flavored meat as they are high in sodium and added chemicals
  • Fried foods
  • Fatty foods – causes depression, hot dogs, deli meats, sausage

Focus your diet on clean eating whole foods, vitamin & mineral rich foods, calming herbal teas and plenty of water all year long and avoid the foods that trigger the ‘stress response’ and you can better control anxious situations. Of course stressful times will always be part of our lives, but we don’t have to let our lives revolve around our personal stress; it doesn’t have to be part of who we are.

I hope you try some of these suggestions and I hope to hear from you on your experience and/or thoughts about anxiety. Now, full breath in………let it out…exhale!

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat


What is cholesterol?

It is a type of fat made in the liver to help bile production. Your body makes some cholesterol on its own and is needed to help digest food, make vitamin D and hormones; sex hormones to be precise. Your liver will produce more cholesterol when you eat trans-fats and saturated fats; if these are part of your regular diet, it will lead to unhealthy cholesterol levels.

What are the dangers of high cholesterol or high LDL?

LDL is low-density-lipoprotein and you want to keep this number low; HDL is high-density-lipoprotein and this level is best when kept high.

Three common risks of high cholesterol levels are heart attack, stroke and insulin resistance which can, and usually does, lead to diabetes if healthy changes are not made.

Without throwing out all the numbers, here are some ways to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level and/or get your cholesterol back to a healthy level.

  • Eat less/no bad fats: red meat, fatty meat, fried foods including everyone’s favorite, French fries. Sorry, your life is worth more than a few fries!
  • Quit smoking if you smoke.
  • Consume less alcohol if you drink more than 1-2 per day.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight but even if you’re thin, you can have high cholesterol; know your numbers.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables, soluble fiber: oats, oat bran, beans, lentils, peas.
  • Exercise: it reduces the absorption of cholesterol. Get active 30 minutes/day at least 5 days a week. If you can’t find time, break it up in 10-15-minute intervals a few times a day. Walk, run, bike, swim, dance, jumping jacks, jump rope, roller blade. Just get active!

By eating a diet higher in vegetables, fruit, healthy fiber and healthy whole grains, eating smaller portion sizes, drinking plenty of water every day along with physical activity, you can have and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. In adopting these habits, you will likely have healthy blood pressure and sugar levels as well.

Eat, drink & play the healthy way!

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

Mahi Mahi with Lime Couscous

2016-03-23 14.39.03
Marinate the mahi-mahi Serve alongside or on top of couscous and a fresh salad

1-2 fillets for each person depending on the size – place in baker/casserole/pan

3 small limes, juiced (buy organic so you can wash them and simmer the couscous water with the peel)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1” fresh ginger squeezed through garlic press

Salt & Pepper

Mix all ingredients and pour over fish pieces – refrigerate for a few hours or you can cook it immediately for milder flavor and quicker preparation.

Cook at 325° for 20-30 minutes.

While fish is cooking, prepare your salad and couscous.

Lime Couscous

Add the washed peels from the freshly squeezed organic limes to a saucepan. Add the recommended amount of water per serving of couscous and a dash of salt and simmer for about 10 minutes, remove lime peels and add couscous and a little oil and continue to cook as recommended on package, usually about 10-15 minutes.

Wash your salad greens and spin dry.

Yogurt, Lime, Cilantro Dressing

2 Tablespoons plain yogurt

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

2-3 Tablespoons lime juice

Dash salt & pepper

Water if needed to thin consistency-teaspoon at a time until desired thickness

Add all ingredients to a jar, cap it and shake it – let sit until just before serving and dress salad and toss before serving.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Take A Hike!


Keep moving – never stop moving.

Take the long way around, zigzag, take the stairs, park the car far away from the door, take a long walk, a short run.

Take dance breaks, let everyone join in, take time to play, test your limits, let it go, spend time alone, walk in the woods, hear the birds, the leaves, the breeze.

Step outside first thing in the morning and breathe in fully, feel the sunshine warm your face, let it go.

Step outside late at night, breathe in fully, look up at the stars, let it go. Be in the moment daily.

Take a hike!

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Breathing Space for Healthy Lungs


Breathing Space for Healthy Lungs

Fall weeds and molds, winter dampness & closed indoor allergens, spring pollen and the pollution from daily living can wreak havoc on your lungs. The pollution doesn’t stop there; electronic gadgets such as computers, TV, tablets, e-cigarettes, space heaters affect the air quality. Then there are toxic cleaning supplies, pesticides in the air and on produce that we ingest through the mouth and through the nose. What can you do to ensure healthier lungs and easier breathing?

There are a few simple steps you can incorporate into your daily habits for healthier lung function, and there are bigger steps you can take if you’re up for making major changes – you choose but please, make some type of change for your better health. If you smoke, consider kicking that habit too-need help? I have a few tips on how to help eliminate cravings for that next butt – just ask!

Breathing space in your home begins with clean surroundings by removing dust, debris, and dirt from your walls, window hangings & bedding, furniture and floors on a regular basis. If you’re surrounded by electronics daily at work and home, it’s helpful to invest in air cleaners & Himalayan salt lamps – for more information on which one to buy, read here:  http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/cr-05-2005.pdf

Breathing space for your lungs begins with food. Some foods cause congestion and gunk in your lungs while other foods help to open up your airways by reducing inflammation. Some foods help oxygenate and purify the blood helping you breathe easy and feeling energized.  The following is a list of the foods you should be eating every day for healthy lungs.

  • Vitamin A foods: pumpkin, spinach, carrots, dark leafy greens, lettuce, fish, bell peppers, winter squashes & sweet potatoes
  • Vitamin C foods: citrus, watermelon, celery, parsley, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, berries, melons
  • Vitamin D foods: egg yolks, fortified milk & juice, fortified grains/cereal, cod liver oil, sunshine. If you take a D3 supplement it is good to take a magnesium supplement too so that the D3 will get absorbed.
  • Vitamin E foods: seeds, nuts, peanut butter, mango, broccoli, spinach, beet greens, red peppers, avocado, swordfish
  • Magnesium foods: tuna, halibut, beans, milk, yogurt, brown rice, prunes & other dried fruit, dark leafy greens, broccoli, avocado, bananas, dark chocolate (70% & higher)
  • WATER: Water helps hydrate your lungs and keep it free of mucous. Drink at least 6-8 10 ounce glasses per day.

As you can see, many of the same foods are in more than one category so eating healthy isn’t very difficult to do. You are what you eat so be wholesome, natural, fresh, light and energetically affected by what is around you and what is inside of you.

Healthy Inside/Healthy Outside

Mind, Body, Spirit Pause

Which of these words or phrases apply to you?

Full mind, off-track, focus issues, multi-tasking, not finishing things, loss of interest, loss of motivation, easily distracted, feeling flighty, unsatisfied, going through the motions, auto-pilot, not remembering how you did something or got someplace…and there are probably a large number of other descriptions of feeling disconnected between your head and body.

When you feel this way, it’s necessary to take a mental break. Sometimes an hour is all you need to feel reconnected and with it but other times you may need a day, a weekend or a week. Vacations are given for a reason, so take your seriously. We all need to exhale from time-to-time. Taking a much-needed break is healthy for your body, your mind and your spirit. When you get yourself back in touch with feeling and being, remember to keep your peace by taking time out weekly; even daily to keep yourself grounded. Daily moments can release anxiety and toxins. Plan your week with a few minutes each day to reconnect with your body; know what your hands, legs, feet and the rest of you is doing…feel it. As often as you can, touch the earth with your feet and hands. Breathe the air, feel the sunshine, rain and breeze.

To get your daily dose, try this simple yoga pose called mountain pose. By doing this you allow your mind and body to become aware as one whole unit. Always remember to breathe consciously, inhaling, holding and exhaling…do it often throughout every day, it’s cleansing and releasing.

Here is a simple instruction on how to properly do “Mountain Pose” found at https://www.doyouyoga.com/mountain-pose/

Mountain Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Come to stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart. Lift and spread your toes wide, releasing them down to the ground, and root down through all four corners of your feet — the big toe mound, pinky toe mound, and the two outer edges of your heels.
  2. Engage your thighs to lift your kneecaps slightly (without hyper extending your knees). Gently draw your energy in toward the mid-line of your body.
  3. Lengthen your tailbone down toward the floor and find a neutral pelvis.
  4. Draw your low ribs in to your body and press your shoulder blades into your back, lifting your sternum. Move your shoulders away from your ears, and broaden your collarbones.
  5. Relax your arms by your sides, turn your palms to face forward to open up through your chest.
  6. Bring your chin parallel to the floor and soften your face and jaw. Get tall from the soles of your feet up and out through the crown of your head.
  7. Remain in the pose anywhere from 5 to 10 breaths.

Take time to breathe. Take time to just be. ❤