If you're a city dweller and you're anything like me, getting away from the tall buildings and into a bit of nature is reeeeeeally delicious.
Man, it's so good to be with old friends. For those of you who have moved away from your best friends, or who have best friends who decided to find a new zip code, you know the feeling. When you are with your closest friends, you remember where you came from and who held your hand while you were taking your journey as a younger you. Even though you really don't know what their current day-to-day life entails, you look at their faces and memories come flooding back. You see the face that you looked at you when you were carrying books to your fourth period class, or the face that shared your first ever dorm room, or the face that helped you through your first heart break. It's beautiful. In my opinion, everything about life feels so much better when you are with your best friends. I'm feeling so thankful that my friends continue to embrace who I am as I continue to reinvent myself. They always meet me with supportive questions and they even know how to cheer me on and boost my cautious nerves. This past month has been really wonderful, but very busy. I knew a lot would come up for me and get in the way of doing this little project. Updating my courageously healthy blog as much as I have been able to has put me in a state of reflection and awareness. I've been more aware in general of what's going on in and out of my kitchen (my refrigerator has never been cleaner!), but most of all it's helped me get a clearer vision for my work and how I can be of service to my clients, family and friends. It also has helped me see what parts need to be in place for me to be truly successful. What kind of support I need, and how much planning and work needs to be done for my career. It's all good information.
Some of you are in the beginning stages of experimenting with your diet and lifestyle. The beginning can be very tough, I totally get it. Finding a safe place and space in your life to be able to explore new habits is a daunting task for many reasons. I wanted to give you a few tips based on what has worked for me to make it easier. Here's a little Q&A list that may soften your experience.
Q. What can I say to my family and friends when I'm just starting a new program and trying to be "good"?
A. You can start by warning them before an event or gathering, to take the pressure off yourself. Choose the person who you feel is the most supportive in general and tell them what your doing. You can say something like "Hey friend, I'm just starting to experiment with my health so I can feel better. I realized that not only is changing my diet inexpensive, but it's giving me the opportunity to see how my body feels when I eat certain foods. I was wondering if you would help me "deal" with the other people in our circle who may be less supportive?" If some one asked me something like this, not only would I want to throw my arms around them and give them lotsa love, I'd cheer them on for being so courageous and brave. Now, if you know for sure that being around family and friends in a time like this is a bad idea... stay away till you know you can handle it. Shifting addictive or unhealthy habits takes structure, support and sanity. Emotions that come up when your past and your future meet can be too overwhelming, so hold off for a bit, love. When the newer you feels courageously ready, you will know it.
Q. I'm sluggish, stressed, and not able to loose weight. I feel really stuck and don't have any ideas, extra time or money to fit healthy living into my life. What the heck should I do?!
A. Great question.
1. Start first with your gut. What is your gut telling you? What is the most important thing you can do to shift the way you feel? Exercise is often the answer for many of my clients, family and friends. The easiest way to add more exercise into your busy broke life is to walk more. Park a mile away from work and walk there. Park in the furthest corner of the parking lot and carry heavy bags with your strong arms. Get off the train one or two stops early. Or leave your car keys or train pass at home and walk to work if you are close. When going to the gym is too tough to fit in or too expensive, just walk more! I promise you will feel better in your body and your mind.
2. Drink more water. Most of us are dehydrated. Drink pure water. Add lemon if you want to be crazy.
3. Veg more. This has two parts. If you are not eating vegetables every day, you are missing out on the nutrients that will help your body heal and your brain function. Also if you don't let your body "veg out" to release stress, your body won't heal. If your life is stressful (who's life isn't?!) it may be the reason your body is holding on to excess weight. Take three deeeeeep breaths right now and think of something you are thankful for. Then go steam some broccoli.
Q. I need help getting started. I can't do it on my own. Who should I ask?
A. I would recommend that you start with your doctor. Get some blood work done and talk to him/her about what your plans are, also get a copy of your blood work and do some investigation of your own. Are you vitamin deficient? Most of us are, and it can effect your energy levels and ability to lose weight. If you are ready to invest money in your health- which I can't recommend enough- I would get a health coach. I can help you find one in your area that will work in your price range. It will save/change/reboot your life. Working with a coach is amazing because they focus on your individual needs and goals. They are supportive, creative and tough. They are what you need them to be, and they will connect you with the tools you need to succeed. You can also work with a personal trainer, pilates teacher, yoga teacher, nutritionist and you are allowed to "interview them" to see if it's a good fit. Make sure you show up with a few questions to see if your personalities mesh well. Also ask if they give a discounted intro session, some will.
Ok friends, onto food. My recent travels made me realize a few things about how tricky it can be to keep up with the healthy norms you practice at home. I found that by preparing for our car trip with healthy options (nut butter and crackers, apple slices, popcorn, water bottles, dried fruit) we were able to avoid the fast food trap. Being prepared really pays off! As for the length of our stay with my besties... my daughter and I enjoyed all the same foods as everyone else did for the most part. I just made sure that there were always healthy options within reach. Carrots and hummus, yummy salads, lots of fruit... all this made me feel awesome. Each night there were delicious green salads and a whole grain salad to pick on too. I was able to pick and choose what my body wanted. I left feeling happy healthy and full of love.
My favorite part of our kitchen adventures were our fresh juice cocktails.
Fresh Juice cocktails!
Here were my two favs: (you will need a juicer)
1. Take off the skin, and roughly chop 1 pineapple, 2 oranges, and a lime or two. Fill a pint glass 1/2 way with ice, add about half seltzer, a healthy shot of your choice of booze- we used tequilla- and top with about a an inch (or more) of fresh juice. This will make quite a few drinks, so make sure you are thirsty! Your mouth will be SO freakin happy.
2. Remove skin from 4 oranges and three lemons. Fill a pint glass 1/2 way with ice, add about half seltzer, a healthy shot of your choice of booze- we used vodka- and top with about a an inch (or more) of fresh juice. These cocktails are so refreshing. I could almost drink them all day. :)
Here was a fun breakfast for the kiddies:
Egg in a hole.
Whole grain bread of your choice- gluten free would totally work. Butter or oil a non-stick pan- we used coconut oil. Crack and egg and keep it in a small bowl near by. Cut out a little hole in the bread and throw it in the pan. Immediately pour the egg in the hole. Cook till you please, eat with a smile. Thanks to my bestie Laurie for making these for us!! She's a genius.
I wanted to share a recipe I made last week that was a hit. Seed-satinal Paleo Breakfast bars. I didn't get a pic of this, but I made them right before I went away for Scott to munch on and they were gone when I got home! Score. This bar is full of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. It is gluten free, nut free and vegan.
A note about the foods I choose:
I make it a priority to buy local and organic foods as much as I can. I plan for the week, buy in bulk, absolutely use my left overs and I get courageously creative with our meals to save time and money. Since avoiding GMOs and other questionable icky unnatural ingredients is important to me, I give it the attention it deserves. I feel that cheap food (I'll talk more about this later) is an illusion. Over time using quality organic foods has drastically changed our lives for the better. I'm not an expert, I'm just good at experimenting so I've learned a lot.
My mission as a health coach is to help you live a courageously healthy life that you love. I'm hearing from my clients that they simply want to feel better. They want to feel in control of their health. Not only is this possible, but it can be joyful. Small steps, big results. Lasting change takes time, but luckily life is long.
( I invite you to take a deep breath after reading that last sentence.)
Thanks for taking this 30 day journey with me! Let me know your thoughts along the way. Where are you with your health? What's in your way from having a healthy life?
I want to be a resource for you, so reach out and share your story!
You. Freakin. Rock.
PS. If you are new to my blog, go ahead and "like" me on facebook and sign up for my newsletter. I will send you healthy doses of love and insight on how to make courageously healthy choices fit easily into your already lovely life. Oh, and please share your thoughts below. I'm the curious kind.