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Changes I have made, yet to be made and current goals toward stress relief: A one year progress report!

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Welcome! This is the written recording of my journey to an overall healthier lifestyle. I will provide you lists of references and books that have helped me to get where I am today. You can see my grand victories, my funny adventures and my silly mistakes. I am one year into my transformation and have made many of all of those. From accomplishments, funny stories and silly mistakes. The theme of my journey is progress not perfection. I am not expecting perfection from myself. I am striving for overall progress; slow and easy continuous progress.

These are the changes I have made to date:
1. Cut out pork & red meats
2. 75% raw
3. No processed foods
4. No processed sugars
5. No gluten
6. No caffeine
7. No soda

After a while I noticed other things that I was doing that are also unhealthy. My hair color, nail polish, deodorant, clothing fabrics, body lotions, face creams all became noticeable. I am a holistic health coach so I am very aware of the things in my environment that I should stay away from. I will go into further detail with a blog on those things at a later date. I am currently working on the things that I just listed. Vanity is preventing immediate changes in everything. I am working toward it though.

1. I switched my deodorant to an enzyme deodorant however; I am not impressed. Especially during the hot summer in a silk dress. So, if anyone has deodorant suggestions I would love to hear them. I am also looking into making my own deodorant (as long as it’s effective!)
2. I have given up chemical-filled hair colors. There are still hair colors available for use.
3. I love breathable polyester for workouts. I should reevaluate that. I have a natural tendency toward “real” fabrics like cotton, wool, linen and silk. I love the new hemp products that are available.
4. I love EO’s (essential oils) and am currently taking a course to help me understand the MANY valuable uses of EO’s and how to make products myself.
5. I try to stay away from all chemical cleaners. (LOL to be honest that is not a struggle for me.) But I am learning how to make healthy, great smelling cleaning products with EO’s! I do not dry clean.
6. I have learned quite a bit about how herbs can be used to prevent illness, keep our colds/flus from getting as bad as they would without them, and they don’t have any of the negative consequences that some OTC medicines do. I’ve made some great cough syrups, ginger candies and herbal lip balm. And I’m looking forward to having a whole medicine cabinet full of these great, homemade items!

I have my hands full with the food changes and stress relief. I am going to commit to making gradual changes to the list of 6 above. I will make more of a committed effort next year. I believe that it is a mistake to take on more than what we can reasonably handle. Again it is important to be realistic with ourselves and practice slow growth and betterment. One to thing things at a time.

Now that a healthy lifestyle is comfortable and natural, my main goal is to eliminate stress. I will continue to add one new recipe a week to my cache and learn from all my new sources. My main focus will be to relieve stress with the following:

1. Pinpoint the things that cause stress in my life by daily journaling and then going back and highlighting anything stressful in my day.
2. Continuing daily exercise of 30-60 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes 3 times weekly strength training.
3. Praying and spending a minimum of 30 minutes daily quietly with God.
4. Practicing Reiki and other stress reducing activities. (I am signed up for 10 yoga sessions; we will see how that goes.)
5. 30 minutes minimum daily learning, reading and growing spiritually.
6. Very limited political news.
7. Very limited television.
8. 1/2 hour daily reading and talking extra time with my loved ones.
9. 2 nights of dancing a week with my fiance.
10. Nightly walk after dinner.
11. Community contribution and involvement through my volunteer work with animals and veterans.
12. Steps to reduce stress in my business by eliminating stressful associations and relying more on trusted and reliable people.
13. Eliminating superfluous household items, furniture and people in my life.

I know that I have a lot on my list. Who would have ever thought that eliminating stress in our lives would have so many opportunities!

-written by Karen Davis
http://www.HolisticWellnessForWomen.com

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Eating Healthy When You Are Crazy Busy

Eating Healthy When You Are Crazy Busy

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I wanted to share some tips with you for when you are really busy but still want to eat healthy, because it makes you feel GREAT to keep eating healthy, right?!

And we aren’t going to let “being busy” stop us from feeling great, right?!

Well, I have some tips for ya on what you can eat to stay healthy when you are busy!

Smoothies.

So fast, just pour some coconut water, rice milk or hemp milk into the blender, then throw in your fruits AND some veggies (spinach, cucumber, romaine lettuce, just to name a few).

Add some protein if you like (hemp seed or chia seed, or maybe a scoop of hemp protein powder) and some healthy fats (avocado, coconut milk. or the proteins I mentioned before which also have you covered on the healthy-fat front!).

For extra flavor, add some vanilla extract or dash of cinnamon.

Salads.

Chop up a bunch of lettuce – romaine or red leaf – and add some spinach. Pile on some other veggies – tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, sliced beets, bell peppers, onions…whatever you like.

Add some protein. Choose pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, cooked organic chicken breast, kidney beans, sprouts, a hard-boiled egg, or salmon or tuna.

Make a quick dressing with stone-ground mustard, olive oil, and a couple sprays of Bragg’s Amino Acids (or just a bit of sea salt if you don’t have Bragg’s or can’t find it). Toss it all together and eat.

If you chop the veggies in bulk you can make a couple salads at a time, don’t add the dressing to them yet, and they usually last a couple days.

Know where you can get healthy take-out.

This could be from a nearby restaurant (I love my local Vietnamese restaurant and it’s really close and inexpensive) or you could find a place like Gourmet Any Day in Amesbury, MA, which I recently explored and am now in love with!! They prepare healthy food to go. I stopped by this afternoon and picked up a couple dishes to tide me over the next few days. They have many dairy & gluten-free dishes. Their portions will keep you on track but you can also get a medium or large size meal if you want to have extra leftovers.

No, it’s not quite as cheap as buying and preparing it yourself, but if you are a busy person (OR you just don’t enjoy cooking) and would just spend the money on junky fast food or pizza delivery, then it’s a much better value.

It’s always the small habits that add up. Don’t let yourself fall back into old habits that cause you to not feel so great!

I’d love to hear from you, too:  what do you like to eat when you are really busy?

Be well,

Karen ❤

Your Wellness Warrior

http://www.lifeoficoaching.com

How to eat healthy with less time in your kitchen!

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Are you eating real, whole food as much as you’d like?

I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.

It saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.

STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP 

I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes and meals for the upcoming week. I create a list based on what I will have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners. I use a weekly shopping list as my guide and then I’m off to the store!

If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my meal plans come in! I have done all the work for you! They are broken down into the recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need!

STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD

When I get home from the store I keep out the items I plan to use for my meal prep. I pull up my meal plans and get to washing and cooking!  Throughout the week, I typically have a protein shake for breakfast, but I find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go.

I generally prepare big batches of veggies.  I start with washing the greens, then set aside to dry and move onto slicing, dicing, and dividing veggies into containers for use in cooking and salads.

When a recipe calls for sautéed chicken or lean protein, I cook it in big batches in my biggest pan or crock pot! That way, I am only prepping chicken and/or lean meat once for all the recipes!  I store the extra chicken in the freezer for use later.

STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES

To keep it simple, I make a large salad in advance and then add the extras when I’m ready to eat it.  If I’m taking it to go, I divide it into containers or use as leftovers.

For dinners, I typically make two favorite main dishes, which allows me to prepare and freeze in advance making it easy for during the week.

STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY! 

After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in containers and place it in the fridge! That way, I have delicious, fresh, whole foods for all meals during the week in minutes.

If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you!!! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things. A great place to get a jumpstart is with my meal plans, which provide weekly shopping lists and quick & easy recipes, along with simple steps to prep and store for the week.

Have a great week!

Karen 🙂

How Does Food Affect Your Mood?

How does food affect your mood?

Did you know that food has vibrations that allow it to create change in our bodies on a cellular level?  Food that is alive and from the earth will energize and invigorate you, while processed, pre-packaged, dead food will leave you feeling lethargic and uninspired, like a light that has fizzled out.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

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Dark green leafy vegetables are full of chlorophyll, which is basically liquid sunshine. It is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy.  When we consume raw dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard, we fill our body with the equivalent of the plant’s life blood – the very thing that allows a seed to flourish and take form.

Chemically, the blood of the plant, chlorophyll, is very similar to our blood and, when consumed, it helps us to oxygenate and breathe life into every cell.  Pretty cool, huh? Chlorophyll is also extremely cleansing and detoxifying.

Here are some other high vibrational foods for you to try:

  •  Tree Fruits – try apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, avocados, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and olives.
  •  Non-green veggies
  • Raw Cacao – chocolate in its pure form has over 1,200 phytonutrients. It contains nutrients like magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese.  It also contains phenylethylamine, which are the feel good characteristics, and theobromine which dilates the cardiovascular system to allow all the benefits to come in.
  •  Goji Berries – packed with antioxidants, which can help minimize free radical damage to our cells.
  •  Cultured and Fermented Foods –a great source of probiotics, which will help your digestion stay on track.

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I firmly believe in the old saying, “You are what you eat.”  Junk in = feeling like junk, and rich, living, nutrient-dense food = much happier body and mind.  Don’t just take my word for it.  We’ve all tried the junk in, junk out experiment, so don’t you think it’s time to rock your body and mind with some fresh and fabulous food? By eating food that vibrates at a higher frequency, we increase our life-force energy and feel more radiant inside and out.

Thanks for reading!

Karen!

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