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 ❤
We live in a funny society. We treasure slim, thin, skinny and we dole out mountains of processed snack, junk and fast foods. We sit around and watch television instead of getting up and walking to the park or grocery store.
In our society, it seems like it is a constant obsession to try to get fit yet all the time reverting back to the food and entertainment forms that are so prevalent. Every single family get together, every holiday, every celebration is centered on food and drink. Most of the time gluttonous food and drink!
So, when we start to become unhappy with the way we look (no one associates their illness or sluggishness with food) we start cutting calories. Every New Year the diet industry pulls out all the advertising plugs, because every New Year we resolve to lose all the weight we put on the years before. Diet pills, replacement shakes, artificial sweeteners, surgeries, magazines and fad diets. The problem is, these things all make our problem worse. We may lose weight quickly at first but we lose muscle at the same time and then gain back all fat, which is not so good.
Then we are minus the muscle and plus more fat.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, look to people who have successfully done it. You will notice that they did not use diet pills, meal replacement shakes or fad diets.
14 Proven ways to lose weight for good:
- Eat breakfast
- Eat all day long
- Drink more water
- Eat at home
- Eat whole foods
- Reduce stress
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Get moving
- Keep a journal
- Eat some good, high quality protein
- Take a vitamin supplement
- Eat more vegetables
- Give up the “c”‘s – cakes, cookies, candy & chips
- Do a kitchen makeover and get the unhealthy foods that tempt you out of your house.
What do you think of skipping the fad diets?
Throw away the diet pills! (You can throw away your sleeping pills at the same time! 2 for 1!) Start eating healthy!
If you want to lose weight, eat more green vegetables and less simple carbohydrates. Give up the “C”‘s – cakes, cookies, candy and chips! Once those are out of your house and your life you WILL lose weight.
This is what you get to eat:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- High quality protein
- Small amounts of healthy fat (coconut oil, avocado)
Quit going to McDonalds and Burger King .
Try these great tips, then come back and leave a comment (will probably take 24 hours) about how good you feel!
Be Well & Inspired!
Do you feel like your food is just sitting in your stomach for hours after you eat? Or is the opposite happening, and you are running to the bathroom before you have even finished your meal? You are not alone, and there are things you can do improve the situation. Here are ten steps to take now to get things moving properly through your gut:
- Food Combining – When foods are combined properly, they do not sit in your stomach and rot. That rotting food feeds the bad bacteria and yeast that everyone has residing in their digestive tract. To combine food, you eat protein with vegetables or grains with vegetables, never proteins & grains together. Also, fruits should be eaten alone on an empty stomach.
- Fermented Foods – These are naturally fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, etc., that, when eaten, will feed the good bacteria in your gut and balance your inner ecology.
- Enzymes and Probiotics – I suggest that everyone take digestive enzymes and probiotics to help with the digestion of their food and build up their immunity.
- Water – We all know we need to drink plenty of water. A little known Ayurvedic trick is to drink a glass of water 15 minutes before your meal. This will get your digestive juices flowing and your food will get digested better.
- 80/20 Rule – This rule is to eat until you are 80% full. That leaves 20% of the room left in your stomach for your digestion to work. No one likes that uncomfortable full feeling and your tummy will thank you if you stop just before you are full.
- Eat Loads of Fiber – Your body needs fiber to carry out toxins, excess hormones, and junk. Eating lots of water-soluble fiber, found in veggies, will ensure that you get plenty of fiber. Just don’t forget step #4! Drink lots of water, too, so that you don’t end up with bulky stool.
- Short Fasting Period – Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that you don’t eat for a day. What I am suggesting is that you take some time between meals. Give your system about 3 or 4 hours to let the food get assimilated. When your gut is constantly bombarded by food all day long, it gets confused and doesn’t work properly. Give it some time to work on that last meal before you head to the kitchen for a snack.
- Cut Sugar and White Carbohydrates – These foods will feed the bad guys in your gut. Avoid them for less gas and bloating – and you don’t want the insulin spike that comes with them either.
- Gluten – A large percentage of Americans are gluten intolerant and do not know it. Try going without and see if your digestion works any better.
- Bone Broth – The #1 most soothing and healing drink that you could ever ingest. Homemade bone broth contains all of the nutrients you need to heal your gut if it is leaky and also provides the minerals you need for strong bones. It’s a win-win, must-consume food!
If you incorporate some or all of the tips, you will ease in to better digestion and the tummy troubles will disappear. 🙂
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
When you realize that your digestion is much less than optimal and you feel terrible, it is time to do something about it. I got to that point and started noticing that I had symptoms like gassiness, bloating, constipation, and sharp cramp-like pains that started happening a lot. I knew I needed a reliable way to find out WHY this was happening and, more importantly, WHAT was causing my discomfort. That’s when I found out about the Elimination Diet.
The Elimination Diet is an approach to figuring out which foods you are sensitive to so that you can eat mindfully and keep your digestive symptoms at bay. The gut is where the majority of your immune system is and is considered the “second brain” in your body, so it is important to keep it healthy and keep things running smoothly. In the elimination diet, you start by eliminating common culprits of digestive upset and common food allergens. You dial down your daily meals and snacks so that you are only eating real, nourishing foods that will not hurt your gut. In fact, you can begin to heal your gut with a proper elimination diet. The categories of food to eliminate are:
- Grains – The foundation of the Food Pyramid for decades, it has now been discovered that many people have a hard time digesting grains, including corn.
- Processed Foods – There are many toxic chemicals (like MSG, artificial colors, and flavorings) and other undesirable ingredients (like GMOs, trans fats, and HFCS) in processed food that can impede digestion and even cause disease.
- High Glycemic Foods – Large amounts of starches and added sugars can feed a bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and other gut dysbiosis problems.
- Gluten and Fructans – Found in many grains, gluten has been found to be one of the causes of leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases. Fructans are found in FODMAPS (short-chain carbohydrates) and can also feed those bad bugs in your gut.
- Unrefined Oils – These can cause inflammation throughout your body.
- Feedlot Meats and Dairy – Meats and dairy from the conventional food system are full of hormones, antibiotics, and even poisons such as arsenic.
- Eggs, Peanuts, and Shellfish – All are common food allergens.
- Gut Irritants – Caffeine and alcohol can wreak havoc on your gut. Avoid these while you are healing.
There is a 3/3 guideline for adding foods back into your diet:
“Do not conclude a food causes symptoms, unless symptoms occur within 3 days of eating the food and occur consistently on 3 separate occasions after eating it.”*
You will know, as you begin to add foods back in, what works and what doesn’t. I suggest starting slow; give the diet a few weeks to work, and start adding foods back in one at a time. If a food causes symptoms on 3 different occasions, you will know that you are sensitive to that food and to avoid it for a while and try again later. Eventually you will come up with a plan that your body will love. Everyone is different and finding your own unique way of eating to feel good will change your life.
*Heizer, W D., Southern, S, McGovern, S. The Role of Diet in Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Adults: A Narrative Review. JADA 2009; 109: 1204-1214
Not quite feeling confident enough to go it alone? Join us as we do an elimination diet together! Click here to find out more http://www.lifeoficoaching.com/11-day-detoxcleanse.html
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
I suffered from constipation the first forty years of my life, not knowing I was constipated.
Thankfully, I have been educated on HOW to build daily bowel movements into my daily routine. Now, it’s just part of my morning, and if I DON’T have one in the morning, my body just feels “off”!
Here are three simple tips that I learned:
WATER, WATER, WATER
Did you know that up to 75% of Americans are dehydrated? The problem is much more prevalent than most of us realize. Water is needed to help the food pass through the small and large intestine, along with the colon and rectum, as it can take up to 24 hours for food to pass from the mouth to the anus. In the intestine alone, one gallon of fluids is absorbed daily to help with digestion. In the colon alone, 5 to 10 pounds of fecal matter can be stored because of dehydration caused by lack of water.
Moving your body every day is key to daily bowel movements. What is the best kind of exercise to do? The one you will get done on a daily basis! You don’t have to do a ‘killer’ workout every day for it to be considered exercise; just get up and MOVE. Outside is ideal, but just get it done! Getting 20 to 30 minutes of continuous movement will help move your bowels. Exercise is even more important during long periods of sitting, such as commutes, trips, sedentary desk jobs, and screen time. Write it into your daily schedule and your daily bowel movement will follow closely behind!
LOTS OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES
Changing your diet to incorporate 50% to 75% fresh fruits and veggies will radically change your daily elimination habits, as they add fiber to your diet. When planning meals, plan your veggies and fruits first, and then add the carbs and protein. For instance, at lunch, fill your plate with a beautiful, BIG salad as the “mattress” for the rest of your meal. Experiment with a new veggie or fruit frequently. Eat seasonally and experience the most nutrition for your body. Look for local farmers’ markets to buy the fresh and local produce. And, of course, organic is best if it is an option.
Incorporate these three tips into your daily routine and your body will be a well-oiled machine in no time! Oh yes, and speaking of oil, one more tip: 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil right off the spoon will lube your system like a well-tuned motor! You will be feeling lighter, more energetic, and less bloated in no time at all!
Be well & Inpsired,
Your Wellness Warrior
Yes, you probably want to start singing the jingle from the commercial: Ch-ch-ch-chia (pet). And yes, you can eat this seed! Who would have thought it was so healthy back in the day? This recipe is so easy to make it’s almost too good to be true.
Scrumptious Chia Pudding
- 1 cup coconut, almond, or hemp milk
- 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 banana
- ½ cup blueberries (frozen are OK)
- Handful of almonds or walnuts, if desired
- Cinnamon, to taste
Mix all the ingredients together and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Stir after a few minutes, as the chia is “gelling” into a pudding-like consistency. Let it sit in the refrigerator about 20 minutes or until ready to eat.
Makes 1-2 servings
If you find the pudding too thick, you can add more milk or a little water. If you find the pudding too thin, add more chia or any of the other ingredients to make it thicker. You really can’t go wrong with chia pudding, which is why I love making it so much!
Now, let’s talk about the health benefits of chia.
It is a superfood, for sure! According to Dr. Andrew Weil, chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and provides fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
Another great benefit of chia seeds is that they are good for travel. Pack them in your suitcase and have them readily available to make chia pudding for breakfast or a snack in your hotel room. You can also pack travel size containers of almond milk (if checking luggage), as well as nuts and just pick up fresh fruit in your destination city.
Soon you will be singing ch-ch-ch-chia right along with me! Enjoy!
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, you would have no doubt heard about the amazingness of juicing. But did you also know that a juice elixir can also be a healthy and safe way to lose weight? When drunk in complement to an existing weight-loss plan, juicing provides a high level of quality nutrition, which will assist in weight-loss. Read on to find out how.
- Easy Digestion
One of the best benefits of juicing fresh fruit and vegetables is that drinking them (as opposed to eating them) makes them really easy for your body to digest. If you are to juice say a couple of tomatoes, celery, cucumber, spinach, and carrot, you will make a delicious and easy to drink fresh vegetable cocktail that will provide a huge amount of nutritional benefits to your body. If you were to actually consume those same vegetables raw, from a plate, in one sitting, you would find the process to be quite difficult. It would take a lot of effort to eat and digest the same quantity of food. But by juicing those vegetables, you get to drink in one glass a dense quantity of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients really easily.
- Reduction in Cravings
When you drink a glass of freshly made vegetable or green juice, you are loading every cell of your body with detoxifying minerals. By drinking your veggies and fruit, you are giving your body all the amazing nutrients that it needs to heal, stay healthy, and reduce the risk of illness. In turn, you will also find that you experience a reduction in cravings, particularly for sweets or processed foods. This is because you are feeding your body all that it needs. Your body won’t be sending messages to your brain that make you crave particular foods that contain certain minerals or vitamins that you might otherwise lacking. It is in this way that you will start to lose weight, often quite quickly. You simply won’t be eating the bad foods that make you gain weight, and you won’t feel like you are even depriving yourself of these foods like you might if dieting.
- Tasty Fuel
It is also handy to know that green juices taste great! You can make your juice really flavorful by adding in lemon, mint or ginger to really add a tasty punch to your juice. You will enjoy the flavors of the juice so much that you will choose to make a juice rather than eat another less healthy snack food. It is also worth noting that juice you make at home on your own is a much better option than that which is store bought. Fresh juice made with a base of vegetables is going to contain much more nutrition than the kind that comes from a carton. Even fresh, store-bought juices will often have sugars and other additives as well as preservatives added to the juice. This kind of juice means you are drinking a lot of unnecessary calories. On the other hand, a homemade vegetable and fruit juice delivers nothing but goodness that is healthy fuel for your body.
- Filling Snack or Dessert
Another amazing thing about juicing is that by drinking a freshly made juice, your appetite shuts off. This is because your body (which is amazing at knowing just what it needs!) is getting all that it is looking for. You will feel satisfied and satiated, much more than you would by eating empty calories in junk food. Your body will feel revitalized, not sluggish or heavy, and instead of searching for more food even after you have just eaten something, you will find that you don’t really want or need anything more.
- It is not a fad diet
Once you start making juicing a regular part of your lifestyle, and start to experience all the health benefits and begin losing weight without a struggle, you will realize that incorporating fresh juicing into your life is definitely not a diet fad. Unlike regimented diets that are difficult to follow and which can often make you gain weight, juicing works in such a remarkable way that you will want to include juicing in your life forever. Unlike fad diets, you will never feel deprived or hungry. Not only that, but other aspects of your health will also improve. You might notice your skin is clearer, your eyes are brighter, and your nails and hair grow more quickly. You will also have more energy and you will start to feel amazing. Juicing will seriously become a way of life you will want to follow forever!
- You invest in your health
In order to start juicing regularly, you will need to invest in a juicer, which initially will mean setting aside a bit of money. You might feel like this is an expense you don’t want to have, but by making that purchase, you are committing to your health and weight loss. It gives you a reason to stick to the concept of juicing for long enough that you will start to notice the difference in how you feel. It is also an investment in your health and well-being, so not only does juicing help you to lose weight, but it will save you money in medical fees in the future.
- Fun and Variety
In order to lose weight and to stay motivated, life needs to be fun, right? Juicing is the ideal way to bring this into your life. As you start to get into juicing, you will find it great fun making new combinations of fruit and vegetables cocktails. You will make all kinds of unique and interesting drinks, and you will find that you never get bored from the endless variety of beverages that you can make for yourself and others. You will also want to share these drinks with others, which will also mean getting encouragement and support from those around you as you continue your weight-loss goals. Support is super important when it comes to making, and sticking to, healthy changes in your life.
Really, juicing is a fabulously fun, easy, and healthy way to shed those unwanted pounds without any struggle or deprivation. You have got nothing to lose by starting to make green juicing a regular part of your lifestyle. To get you started, here is a delicious and easy juice to kick-start your weight-loss:
Trim and Delicious Green Juice
½ beetroot (peeled)
1 rib celery
1-inch piece of ginger
Run the vegetables through your juicer and enjoy!
Please visit my website for more great recipes http://www.lifeoficoaching.com
Be well & Inspired,
Your Wellness Warrior
Can I tell you something?
There’s something that I didn’t realize when I first started working one-on-one with people who want to make their health and wellness a priority, people who are sick of feeling less than amazing, and people who are confused about who to listen to for advice.
Here it is: Most of us already know what we need to be doing
to improve our health!
There is a lot of information (and mis-information) when it comes to the foods we eat. Just look at the variety of books in the ‘diet’ or ‘health’ section of your local bookstore. But when it comes down to it, we still know the basic things we should be doing to improve our health.
In fact, when I ask my clients “What are three things you think you could be doing, to improve your health?” I get similar answers each time:
- Be more active
- Stop eating _______ or stop drinking ________ (or stop smoking!)
- Eat more vegetables.
We intuitively know how to make ourselves well. But when it comes to following through… That’s where we fall apart. I know!! I have done it, too. I still do it. I might be a health coach, but I’m still human! I eat chips, I drink wine, and sometimes I don’t eat as well as I know I can.
For the next week, I’d like you to think about the obstacles that are stopping you from living your healthiest life. Think about it, journal about it, reflect on it.
What obstacles are standing in your way? Maybe you work long hours and cooking a healthy meal seems too time-consuming, or maybe you feel that the price of healthy food is too high. Perhaps you will discover that you aren’t sure if you really deserve to feel amazing.
Your job for the next week is to simply think, reflect, and journal on these obstacles. Knowing your obstacles, habits, and patterns will help you figure out how to work around them!
I would love to hear your comments below. Tell me what is stopping you! Let’s work it out together!
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
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?
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.
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.
Be well & Inspired,