Here We Go!

 

Welcome! I’m so glad you chose to join me on this crazy journey! I’m Linda, a very proud Momma of 3 grown boys, step-mom to 1 girl and 2 boys who I’m crazy about, a few daughters-in-law who warm my heart and grandmother of 6 of the best kiddos on the planet!! Oh yes, I can’t forget about my Granddog Hayden.

At this point in my life, I’ve decided to take a very different journey. I’ve taken a step back from the corporate world where I was a successful sales manager. I worked for fantastic brands and fabulous products. I truly loved what I was doing, the people I was blessed to work with and my fantastic customers but knew in my heart something was missing. Always striving to be the best I could be, I decided to enroll back into school…gulp. I’ve decided to get my Health Coach Certification so I’ll share every step of the way with you! As I learn, so will you! Let’s get started and see where this path takes us…

Let’s spice up our water! Oh la la

How many times have you heard this from people who care about you, “drink more water, drink more water!” And while you know it’s good for you; it keeps you hydrated, it’s good for your skin, it helps fend off hunger, yadda, yadda, yadda 😉

Let’s face it, water can be boring. And what I hear more often than not, people don’t/won’t drink water because of that very reason. So let’s spice things up a bit, shall we?

Yesterday, I cut up a cucumber and minced some mint into my water and it was so refreshing. I felt like I was back on vacation, walking through the dreamy Paris streets sipping my delicious concoction.

This morning, I found strawberries in the refrigerator so I decided to cut them up and add a few slices of lemon. This made my water a bit sweet, a bit tart and 100% scrumptious. Here’s what my infused water looks like:

Infused water

 

Infused water is especially beneficial to those who feel water is a bore Zzzzzzz, because it makes the act of drinking water more enjoyable, tingles your taste buds and is a treat for your eyes. Isn’t this pretty sitting on my desk? As an added bonus, infused water has the sweet fruit flavors of fruit juice without the extra calories or sugar.

Here are a few Infused Water concoctions I found while cruising the web:

  • Strawberry, Lemon and Basil
  • Orange and Blueberry – I’m going to try this one tomorrow
  • Watermelon and Mint – my usual summer ‘go-to’
  • Citrus and Cucumber – I’ve not tried this one yet
  • Strawberry, Lime and Cucumber
  • Citrus and Cilantro – interesting…I do love Cilantro
  • Rosemary and Grapefruit – I’m not a fan of Rosemary so if any of you lovely readers tries this, please let us know what you think
  • Raspberry, Rose Petal, and Vanilla – this sounds magical and should be infused into champagne 😉 not water! lol
  • Blueberry and Lavender
  • Kiwi and Cucumber
  • Honeydew and Raspberry
  • Watermelon and Coconut water

So, the nest time you hear your inner voice screaming at you to put down the Diet Coke and grab some water – do it! But infuse it with something fun…your body will thank you for it and you might just drink more.

Are You Illuminating?

I had to return an adapter to the Apple store today. Let me start by saying, I’m not a fan of the Apple stores – at all. While I can appreciate walking in and having multiple people greet me, if you don’t have an appointment (and most times, I do not), be prepared to sit and wait and wait and wait and wait (Zzzzzzzzzzz) until someone will even speak with you. It’s frustrating as heck and in the past, after waiting for over an hour, I’ve walked out without talking to anyone. Grumble, grumble.

Today, and yes, without an appointment, I walked into Apple with the hopes that I would be able to return the Euro phone adapter I had purchased for our vacation, and get out of dodge as quickly as humanly possible. As I walked in the door, and in usual fashion, I was greeting with “Welcome to Apple, what can I help you with today?” I told the woman I had a return and she replied, “I can help you with that right here.” Whoa…wait…is this some sort of a trick? I’m not being reprimanded for not going on line and making an appointment? I handed her the package along with a print out of my Visa charge, I did not have the receipt. She kindly took my information, found my contact info and receipt in her system and within a matter of minutes, the transaction was completed.  I looked her in the eye and said, “that was fantastic! I’m out of here with ease and grace. Ease handled by Apple and their efficient process and grace offered by you” and I smiled at her. She took my hand, which surprised me, and thanked me for saying that. And with a warm smile and soft voice said I made her day.

How easy was that?!? Not the Apple transaction necessarily 😉 but making someone’s day with just a genuine smile, eye to eye contact and a kind word. I have to tell you, it made my day too.

Which got me to thinking…Do I leave people feeling good about themselves? Do I offer a kind word? A genuine smile? Or maybe eye to eye contact? From now on, I will. I refuse to let other’s foul moods effect me negatively. My sons have always said I view the world as ‘Rainbows and Butterflies’ and they’re right. It can be a warm, welcoming world, if we just choose to illuminate ourselves and others.

Namaste

Work your butt in 7 minutes!!

I just found this amazing Bum workout and am loving it so I wanted to share.

Yes, glutes are having a pop culture moment. But whether your focus is, um, aesthetic, or based on a fitness goal, you need glute strength for just about everything—from running to jumping to lifting.

The powerhouse muscle group can be worked in a number of ways—from squats to swings – that help you burn calories and get stronger. Just let Grokker trainers Jenny Pacey and Wayne Gordon (a.k.a. “Pace & Go”) show you how it’s done. You’ll work every angle of your rear in this no-equipment workout—and get it all done in less than 10 minutes.

Add it to a cardio day or do it alone if you’re in a time crunch. Just make sure to warm up first and cool down after. 

WORKOUT

To recap, here are the moves you’ll do:

  1. Plie Squat
  2. Reverse Lunge Back Leg Lift (both sides)
  3. Kneeling Side Leg Lifts (both sides)
  4. Four-Point Kneeling Leg Lift (both sides)
  5. Bridge Hip Lift with Knee In and Out

You didn’t need to get dressed, find your gym bag, drive to the gym, fight traffic, and worry about how you look while you’re exercising. Isn’t this fantastic?!?

HELP – I’m buzzed!

Have a blast this 4th of July weekend, be safe and try your best not to over-indulge…especially with sugar! And if you do have a bit too much ice cream, or some of Aunt Mary’s famous Apple Pie, don’t crash on the couch like I know you’re going to want to do.

When we get too much sugar in our system, our bodies go through this up and down roller-coaster both physically and emotionally. “The minute you put a sweet in your mouth, you get a surge of dopamine, a feel-good hormone with addictive properties,” says Amanda Bontempo, RD, a nutritionist at NYU Langone’s Cancer Center. As sugar floods your bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin to control blood glucose levels. This suppresses the ‘fullness’ hormone leptin, which makes your brain give you the green light to grab more sugar/ice cream/ candy. Glucose is rapidly digested, and your spiked dopamine and blood sugar levels fall quickly. “The crash depends on the person, It can be 15 minutes to a few hours after eating,” says Bontempo. “Your instinct is to eat more sugar to get another buzz, or sugar high, but it’s really important to resist. Once your willpower bank is tapped, it becomes increasingly challenging to make healthy choices.” You see, technically, it’s not that you have no will power; your brain takes over and makes you act like a 3 year old who just dropped his ice cream cone on the cement.

dropped ice cream cone.jpg

Here’s a few tips to get your system back on track.

spoonful peanut butter

  1. Eat a spoonful of peanut butter or hummus and fresh veggies. Both slow the absorption of simple sugars and with the high fiber in the veggies, you’ll feel fuller and more able to walk away from the cotton candy.
  2. Get active! I know you’re going to want to crash, and hard – but resist. Go for a walk; take a bike ride, anything to get your body moving. Getting active allows your muscles to use up the blood sugar instead of storing it.
  3. Drink tea with lemon. Green tea and lemon are both diuretics, which means they’ll make you take more bathroom breaks. You’re not directly eliminating the sugar, but you are forcing your blood to pump through your kidneys faster. And drink plenty of water which helps you feel full and counteracts suppressed leptin levels.tea with lemon

4. Don’t forget to plan your morning breakfast – I can’t tell you how important this step is!! A low-sugar, balanced breakfast is imperative the day after a sugar surge. “The ideal breakfast is high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbs,” says Bontempo. “The protein and fat keep you full, and fewer carbs encourage you to burn yesterday’s stored-up sugar energy. “Try a veggie omelet with a slice of whole-grain toast, topped with avocado. Go easy on the fruit, it may be a natural sugar but it’s still sugar to your system. And if you drink coffee, go easy on the creamer. Most store-bought creamers are filled with sugar and you don’t want to start that roller-coaster all over again.

eggs and toast

Be safe, have fun, enjoy your family and friends and try as best as you can to only have one slice of Aunt Mary’s famous Apple Pie!

Sisterhood Pledge

This morning I woke in a very odd mood, feeling a bit off, a bit not like myself. I started my regular routine but just didn’t feel ‘right’. Have you ever had one of those mornings?

And then, I fell upon this. You know, somehow God, the Universe, The Creator, Source Energy, whatever you call your higher power, has a way of showing us exactly what we need to see and at the perfect time. I read this and cried. I read this and it hit me right in my heart. This, this is how I will strive daily, to live my life. This is the world I want to live in. Is this a self-help / spiritual / crunchy granola hippie way of thinking? No, it’s a way of life. It’s having the courage and self-love to hold the highest respect for everyone…everyone! When we support each other, we can and will change the world.

i-pledge

I pledge to the women of the world…

To cultivate sacred sisterhood, honoring both myself, you, and all women.

I will take a stand for our rights, safety, well-being, and equality.

I will stand by your side if ever you are bullied or shamed, treated without kindness and respect.

I will honor, nourish, and cherish the feminine in both of us, celebrating the natural rhythms of our bodies and nature, the wisdom of our intuition, the guidance of our feelings, and the creative magic of our vision.

I will support you in remembering your truth, seeing your gifts, beauty, and wisdom – connecting to your purpose and dreams.

I will value you and support you in valuing yourself through claiming your worth, wisdom, right compensation, self-care boundaries, and needs.

I will honor that you have different ways of living than me, different beliefs, preferences, values and needs. I will be open to learn from our differences without making either of us wrong or bad.

I will honor and respect the wisdom and value of all phases of age, body shape, health, and abilities.

I will courageously speak up if I see relationship patterns or behaviors that harm your physical, mental, or emotional well-being while also honoring your timing, journey and choices.

I will be open to receive your feedback on my relationship patterns and habits, be humble that I may be resistant to seeing the truth, and will check in with my inner guidance before taking any actions to change.

I will cherish your secrets and personal shares in sacred confidentiality.

I will not spread gossip, rumors or perpetuate drama, say bad things about you to others, nor bad things about others to you. I will use my words as a sacred creative tool to connect, inspire, collaborate, and illuminate.

I will give you authentic compliments, lift you up, support you as you grow, hug you when you want it, take care of you when you are not well, embrace your tears, and encourage your aliveness.

I will be gentle and respectful when I share my reflections with you about things that don’t feel good to me or meet my needs, boundaries, or desires. I will do my best to not disconnect, punish, blame, or push you away.

When you are sharing your challenges with me I will seek to be fully present, to listen, to ask questions, and to confirm with you how you would like to be supported. I will tune in with myself to ensure I am available to offer you the support you desire, and will not judge myself if I am not.

When I feel really strong emotions or triggers, I will release the energy through dance, movement, song, art, writing or another form, reflecting on and distilling the truth of what wants to be shared before I speak. I will communicate with an intention for understanding, connection, clarity, and harmony.

I will try to be courageous when I’m afraid to be vulnerable, I will breathe open my heart when I want to hide or shut down, I will trust my intuition to guide me how to share in a safe way.

I will reach out to you when I need it, accept if you are not available, and remember that I am not alone.

If I feel judgmental or triggered, I will let it reveal to me what wants to be healed in myself, opening to gratitude for the gift of insight and this opportunity to grow.

If I am harsh or unkind, I will take responsibility for it, and take the time to cultivate healing within so I may show up with my authentic care.

I give us both permission to be messy, to be in process, in transition, to stumble as we grow, to be wild, passionate, unleashed, and full of life.

I will seek to be pure in my intentions, transforming any manipulative tendencies or hidden agendas into deep self-trust and cultivating a connection with my soul’s desire for you to thrive.

I will not use your successes to make me feel small or create distance between us, I will celebrate them and open to being inspired. I will do my best to support you in living your dreams.

I will ensure that I am taking care of myself so I can show up for myself, you, humanity and this gorgeous planet.

I will do my best to be on your team.

I will cultivate generosity, sharing, and collaboration so we can support each other’s missions knowing it is creating a better world for all.

I will recognize the importance of sisterhood and create time in my life to nourish our connection.

I want to live in a world touched by your radiant presence, unique gifts, and soul’s purpose.

I am your sister. I see you, I thank you, I care about you.

 

 

Dance to the Beet

Come on…that’s funny!

Beets get a bad rap. You either love them or hate them! I’ve never met anyone who said, “yeah, they’re ok”. It’s either, “oh my goodness, I love beets!” or “ew, gross, they taste like dirt”. And, the later statement could actually be true.

I believe beets are so underappreciated because we grew up with the canned beet experience. But raw, fresh out of the garden beets are actually quite sweet. They have high sugar content and when cooked just right, have a very sweet finish.

Let’s take a look at some of the healthy benefits of beets that go along with all the potassium, iron, phosphorous, calcium and trace minerals they offer.

  1. Cancer Fighting Potential – I won’t go into all the scientific research that’s been done (but I highly suggest you do some research on your own) but because of the powerful phytonutrients that give beets their dark red color, they may be helpful in warding off cancer. You’ll find numerous medical and scientific research that supports this claim.
  2. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease – Betaine and folate found in beets, together act to help lower homocysteine levels which can otherwise increase the risk of heart disease by causing arterial damage and inflammation.
  3. Boosts Vision Health – beets contain a wide variety of phytochemicals that can be helpful in improving eye health and nerve tissue. Beta carotene content of beets is also very potent in preventing age related eye problems.
  4. Enhances Endurance and Stamina – beets have carbohydrates that provide fuel for energy. Also, the nitrates in beets turn into nitric oxide which can help regulate the amount of oxygen used in low intensity exercise while improving tolerance to high intensity workouts. I wonder if this works in the bedroom. It’s worth a shot…
  5. Improved Digestion – Beets are packed with dietary fiber that is important for digestive health.
  6. Natural Treatment for Anemia – Beet root juice is considered a natural therapy for treating anemia. It has exceptional cleansing properties with a high iron content that has the potential to restore red blood cells while supplying oxygen and increasing blood count. Who knew?!?

beets

There are many more benefits but I don’t want to bore you with all the medical and scientific data…BUT, I will offer a few tips to help you cook with them so they don’t taste like dirt. 😉

When cooking with beets, try not to overcook them, the longer their under the heat, the more nutrients you lose. I’ve found that when cooking with beets, if you make sure the entire beet has been peeled, the ‘dirt’ taste disappears, I promise. And, if you peel them and toss them with coconut oil before you bake them – they come out crazy delicious! You get the sweetness of the beet along with the sweetness of the oil – YUM!

And check out this recipe – I think you’re gonna love it! Beet Chips Recipe!

Vegan Chicken Salad

I came across this fantastic recipe by The Veggie Girl (check her out, her blog has great content), and wanted to share it with you.

This recipe is simple and you can make it in less than 5 minutes. If you’re vegetarian not vegan, you could add a hard boiled egg for even more protein. But keep in mind, chickpeas are a powerhouse of protein. Just one cup of chickpeas packs a whopping 39 grams! FYI, the average woman should be getting between 60-75 grams of protein daily.

Here’s the simple, delicious recipe –

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • ¼ cup dill pickles, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup purple onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 Tbs vegan mayo
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp pink himilayan sea salt
  • ¼ tsp turmeric

Instructions

Sidebar – I always use organic when possible

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  1. First, using a potato masher or a fork, mash the chickpeas into a shredded texture, leaving a few chickpeas whole.

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2. Combine all remaining ingredients with the chickpeas

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3. I found this ah-mazing Hydroponically grown lettuce that I wanted to try. Hydroponically grown just means that the plants were grown in a nutrient rich solution and not soil. Plants get many of their nutrients from the soil and hydroponics can and does offer just as many nutrients as the soil grown plants. But…a word of caution, some hydroponic solutions are not organic – it just depends on the farm. You’ve got to do your research.

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If you’d rather have your Vegan Chicken Salad in a sandwich, you can top it off with some alfalfa sprouts, shaved carrots, spinach leaves, even black olives!

Thanks Veggie Girl, it’s delicious!

 

How to save Hundreds of $$ and feel better instantly

Want to promote healthy skin and proper digestion? Interested in a natural detoxifier? Water is a basic necessity. The body is more than two-thirds water, and keeping it hydrated is vital. Other reasons to have water as a regular part of your day include:

Healthy blood and bones.

Toxin elimination. Skip the fancy (and costly) detox plans. Plain water naturally helps remove toxins through the lymphatic system, intestines and kidneys. I just saved you hundreds of dollars – you’re welcome

Lubricated joints. Water helps protect against wear and tear and can even help reduce joint pain.

Proper digestion. Water helps prevent constipation by adding softness to stools and fluid to the colon.

Alertness. Even minor dehydration can lead to headaches, irritability, impaired concentration and fatigue. The human brain is 85 percent water; keeping it hydrated is essential for proper functioning. This happens to my husband all the time. He complains of a headache and I ask him to drink 1-2 glasses of water right away. Within 15 minutes, his headache disappears.

Healthy skin. Water hydrates from the inside out, helping to maintain elasticity of the skin.

The standard recommendation is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day. I don’t know that such a high volume is essential for everyone; however, I do know you need to drink throughout the day – this is easier if you keep a large glass or glass water bottle handy at all times. If you work in an office, carry around a glass water bottle and take it to meetings. You’ll not only make sure you’re hydrated but positively influence your co-workers to do the same! I have always recommended drinking high-quality water from a trustworthy source, or, if possible, getting a water-purification system for your home. If you are trying to wean yourself from soda, consider switching it out for sparkling water with a lime as a refreshing, healthful alternative.

Trust – it’s a funny thing

I only imagined, but honestly, I had no idea. The old saying holds true, you don’t know what you don’t know. And once you learn it, you can’t un-learn it. I was one who actually trusted labels…until now.

I just tried to watch the video Glass Walls by Sir Paul McCartney. I screamed out loud 3 times, cried like a baby and – for mature audiences only – I threw up. I only got through one minute and 45 seconds before I had to turn it off I was so sickened by what I saw.

The reason for me even attempting to watch this video was because I had always bought ‘cage-free’ eggs for my husband and yesterday learned in my Integrative Nutrition class that Food Label Claims are NOT always what you think they are. Words like free-range, grass-fed, natural, and organic seem to be everywhere and seem self-explanatory – but their actual meaning isn’t as crystal clear as I had hoped. Let me explain:

Antibiotic-free  –  Antibiotic-free means that an animal was not given antibiotics during its lifetime. Other phrases to indicate the same approach include ‘no antibiotics administered’ and ‘raised without antibiotics’.

Cage-free  –  Cage-free means that the birds (chicken, turkey, etc.) are raised without cages. What this doesn’t explain is whether the birds were raised outdoors on pasture or if they were raised indoors in overcrowded conditions. This one really upset me. In the video, if you can get past the first few seconds, they’ll show you cage-free birds in unbelievably crowded barns, living in their own feces. They’re fed hormones to the degree that they get so huge, their legs actually break under their own weight. It’s awful.

Fair trade  –  The fair trade label means that farmers and workers, often in developing countries, have received a fair wage and worked in acceptable conditions while growing and packaging the product.

Free-range  –  The use of the terms ‘free-range’ or ‘free-roaming’ are only defined by the USDA for egg and poultry production. The label can be used as long as the producers allow the birds access to the outdoors so that they can engage in natural behaviors. It does not necessarily mean that the products are cruelty-free or antibiotic-free or that the animals spent the majority of their time outdoors or outdoors at all. Claims are defined by the USDA, but are not certified by third-party inspectors. What??!? Yep, that’s correct, there are no third-party inspectors involved whatsoever.

GMO-free, Non-GMO, or No GMOs  –  GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants, and animals. Products can be labeled “GMO-free’ if they are produced without being genetically engineered through the use of GMOs.

Grain-fed  –  Animals raised on a grain diet are labeled ‘grain-fed’. Check the label for a ‘100% vegetarian diet’ claim to ensure that the animals were given feed containing no animal by-product. As for animal by-product, I’ll save that disgusting blog post for another time.

Grass-fed  –  This means the animals were fed grass, their natural diet, rather than grains. In addition to being more humane, grass-fed meat is more lean and lower in fat and calories than grain-fed meat. Grass-fed animals are not fed grain, animal by-products, synthetic hormones, or antibiotics to promote growth or prevent disease; although they may have been given antibiotics to treat disease. A ‘grass-fed’ label doesn’t mean the animal necessarily ate grass its entire life. Some grass-fed cattle are grain-finished, which means they ate grain from a feedlot prior to slaughter. Seriously L Look for ‘grass-fed’ and ‘grass-finished’.

Hormone-free  –  The USDA has prohibited use of the term ‘hormone-free’ but animals that were raised without added growth hormones can be labeled ‘no hormones administered’ or ‘no added hormones’. By law, hogs and poultry cannot be given any hormones. If the meats you are buying are not clearly labeled, ask your farmer or butcher if they are free from hormones.

Pasture-raised  –  ‘Pasture-raised’ indicates that the animal was raised on a pasture where it was able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants rather than being fattened on grain in a feedlot or factory barn. Pasturing livestock and poultry is a traditional farming technique that allows animals to be raised in a humane manner. Animals are able to move around freely and carry out their natural behaviors. This term is very similar to ‘grass-fed’, thought the term ‘pasture-raised’ indicates more clearly that the animal was raised outdoors on a pasture.

You can’t un-learn what you learn. I hope this outline helps just a bit.

Read your labels, educate yourself as best you can and try and make the best choices for you and your family. I’m here to help answer any questions you may have and if I don’t know the answer, we can research it together!