Changes I have made, yet to be made and current goals toward stress relief: A one year progress report!
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
Well, I am sure at one time or another we have all found ourselves on the drive thru line, starving, and craving some food that will provide a solution to that crazy grumbling sound in our bellies. So, we go for something quick and fast. It also doesn’t help that each town has at least one to two, or even more fast food joints to offer some quick, yet unhealthy, options for us. How do we avoid this? How can we avoid being that hungry, craving, cranky, and in a need of a fast fix person who has lost all control for healthy determination? Well, it is much simpler than you’d think.
The real fast food, before corporations built these multi-million dollar unhealthy options for us, was good old-fashioned fruits and veggies. Imagine that! Fruits and veggies should always be the number one option, and they are sold everywhere we turn as well, although they don’t usually have a drive thru. So, if it is about convenience then we need to prepare ahead of time. If we pack snacks and quick foods to go in our purse or brief case then we will always have a fast food option that aligns with having a healthy determination.
I suggest packing apples, bananas, oranges, and even some healthy homemade trail mix! Trail mix is my favorite go to snack when I’m on the go. I put some nuts, raisins, and dried fruit like cranberries in a little Ziploc back or plastic Tupperware container. It is always there and it doesn’t fail me. It also quick to prepare and if I make a bunch of it I can take little servings for a couple days so it lasts.
The best way to avoid fast food joints while on the go is to always make sure you have a fast food option in your purse.
Be Well & Inspired,
Karen ~ Your Wellness Warrior ❤
It’s coming. You can feel it. You’re trying desperately to will it away, but, inevitably the clock strikes 3:00pm. Suddenly, you are exhausted. The thought of striking the letters on the computer keyboard seems like a daunting task, not to mention you can barely keep your eyes open.
‘Argh!’ you think to yourself. When this happened yesterday, you swore it wouldn’t happen again. As you walk to the café to get a cup of coffee, you wonder how to avoid this midday slump tomorrow. Here’s the good news: there are steps you can take to energize your body throughout the day and avoid this desperate feeling.
The best place to start is with breakfast. Before we even talk about what to eat, let’s recognize that it’s important TO EAT breakfast. Your body has been in a state of rest, relaxation, and recharging for several hours. It needs fuel in the form of carbohydrates and protein to get going in the morning. Instead of processed cereal and milk, why not go for oatmeal with almonds and blueberries? Or prepare a couple of hardboiled eggs that you can grab-n-go in a hurry. Pair them with a brown rice cake with almond butter and jelly and you’re starting your day off on the right foot.
It’s also important to remember to drink water throughout the day. Dehydration is certain to cause sleepiness and fatigue. Imagine that a few glasses of water could be the difference between your 3pm exhaustion and vitality.
Don’t forget to put some thought into your snacks. You want to be sure to stay away from excess fats and sugars, which are in candy bars and most packaged food. The fatty foods will make you feel lethargic and the sugars will provide an initial spike, but then you’ll feel the afternoon slump as you come down from the sugar high. Take a few minutes at home to prepare trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Goji berries, and Incan berries. For sweetness, you can add some cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life brand because their products are free of common allergens).
The midday madness doesn’t have to continue. You can control how your body feels by nourishing it with healthy food (and water) throughout the day.
Have a great day!
Cravings happen even to the healthiest of us, and especially during the holiday season. Often, when a craving hits in the afternoon or the evening after dinner, we get the urge to snack. Snacking can be a bad habit to get into, because the snacks we choose are often junky, un-nutritious, and high in calories, sugar, or fat.
The trick to snacking without piling on the pounds is to find healthy alternatives to the regular snacks you might normally reach for.
Usually, when we get a craving it is for either something sweet (chocolate!), savory (potato chips!), creamy (ice cream!), or crunchy (crisps!). Obviously, my examples are foods you shouldn’t eat all the time if you want to be trim and healthy. But that doesn’t mean you have to fight your cravings for the rest of your life. Instead, you just need to substitute.
Next time you get a craving for something sweet, why not try:
- fresh, whole fruit
- apples and almond butter
- dried fruit
- green smoothies
- banana “ice cream” (peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or raisins ,and serve)
- dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
- organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips
For your savory cravings, try these healthy alternatives:
- pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets, and lotus root
- tabouli, hummus
- steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
- freshly made salsa or guacamole
- Sauerkraut (will also knock your sweet craving right out!)
- salted edamame
Your creamy cravings can be met by eating:
- rice pudding
- dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
- puréed soups
- puddings made with silken tofu, avocado, or mashed banana
- mashed sweet potatoes
- coconut milk
Finally, don‘t cave and reach for the Pringles, when you can eat these crunchy (but still healthy) snacks:
- frozen grapes
- rice cakes
- light popcorn or plain popcorn (use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan)
- carrots (particularly the sweet, organic baby carrots)
- celery and nut butter
- raw, unsalted nuts like cashews, almonds, and walnuts
Don’t fight your craving. Instead, listen to what it is your body wants specifically and choose the healthier option that will be good to your waistline.
Have a great holiday and happy healthy eating 🙂