Discipline, Integrity, and Discomfort

I set my alarm for 5:15 AM as I glanced over at my dresser to make sure that I had everything that I needed in the morning.  

Check! It was all there.  

My pants, socks, sports bra, long-sleeve shirt and quarter-zip pullover were neatly folded waiting to be put on for my morning run. I crawled into bed a bit earlier than normal, pulling the covers up and checking the alarm just one more time.  

I had a running date.   

A friend had been inquiring on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in joining her on morning runs a few days per week. The distance, pace, and frequency aligned with what I was looking for and so with that, I sent a message. “I’m in.”  (more…)

Picking the Big Things First

“How important is it that I eat only organic vegetables? And what about chia seeds? I’ve heard that those are good for you. Oh, and what about bone broth?”

These represent the types of questions that I hear while visiting with my inquisitive clients.

I love these types of questions; I really do. It is a privilege to support such an engaged group of people seeking answers among the information that is swirling around out there in the world of nutrition science. While the questions themselves will vary from client to client, the aim remains the same – to seek better health by obtaining the newest and best information out there so that life can be lived full of vitality and energy, free from distress and disease.

Like many of my clients, I have spent many hours pouring over health publications and journals looking for the “real” answers to some of these same types of questions. There is always is something new to learn whether from a colleague, another health professional, or a vetted publication. A word-to-the-wise – information may always have some bias, even if it’s from a very well credentialed source. Always stay curious.

While one perspective could be that access to all this information is great, it can cause a persistent case of analysis paralysis. That means not doing anything because you’re uncertain of what information to adhere too. But don’t be dismayed! There is some consistency in all of the opinions and studies out there that anyone can implement at any time to begin working towards better health.

Here is some general consensus about what you can do to live a healthier life. Remember, these are the BIG things to do that will go a long way towards improved health. (more…)

The Place of In-between

The month of August has always felt a bit melancholy to me. Always a fan of school and the fall,  I relish the cooler days and the rhythm of life that September brings. But this year, after a major health scare, every day feels a bit more poignant if it isn’t well spent.

Being present to life in the moment is a gift that we can all too often take for granted. Instead of focusing on what we have, we look to the “someday.” The truth is we may not get that someday, especially if we’re not taking full advantage of the moments that we have to make changes NOW.

When it comes to eating well and moving more, many clients create timelines around upcoming events and dates that they’re anticipating -certainly understandable as we are a very social and food-oriented culture. If you’ve got a big vacation coming up, you wait until you return. If you have a busy social month, you may wait until it’s over.  But, if you’re always waiting for time to pass to fit health into your life, it may not happen. You have to make it work.

So, this August, while summer is still in full effect and you’re in the in-between – wait no more! Seize the day and do some stuff that’ll have you feeling better mentally and physically before September starts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1) Check out a local farmers’ market and grab some fresh, organic produce. There is truly something special about locally grown vegetables – from the way that they taste to knowing that they were grown by people that really care about what they’re doing.
2) Try a new-to-you outdoor activity. Have you been wanting to try paddleboarding? How about blowing off some dust on that bicycle of yours? Find a trail you’ve never been on before for a hike or kayak down a local river. There are so many options!
3) NOW is the time get some vitamin D and boy does it feel good when you do. Head outside in short-sleeves and shorts to get some sun on that skin. 10 minutes will help to boost your vitamin D and give you that happy, summer feeling!
4) Eat outdoors. Have you ever noticed that when your body is a bit warmer, you feel a little less like eating a lot of food? If you’re feeling a bit warm, vegetables and lighter fare may feel like exactly what you need.
5) Don’t wait to get started. Sometimes, we may treat the entirety of summer as one big vacation. While I can appreciate the idea of wanting to go with the flow and relax, we may be a bit too disconnected from healthy eating as cookouts and camping reign supreme. Be sure to stay focused on lean and clean proteins along with fresh vegetables all summer long. And with all of the sweet fruits in season, swap out sugar-laden treats with “nature’s candy.”

As I say quite often, our health is the ultimate expression of all of the choices that we make. And the best time to make those choices is now.

525,600 Minutes: A Season of Health

Recently on Facebook, I asked a question of my followers, “How many minutes per day do you use towards being healthy?” And while this online community is normally active, engaged, and vocal, there were two responses. One was a dear friend of mine that is super passionate about all-things health that replied with 4 hours. For her, that is not an exaggeration or a brag – just her truth as she truly does pursue living her best life. And  the other, a dear client, responded with an uncertain, “60 minutes?”
Both of these great women are passionate about living healthy lives and do so in very different ways. And I can guarantee you that if I sat down for tea with my friend that replied with, “60 minutes,” that she would recognize that she spends a lot more time on her health than she thinks. She most likely spends that same 4 hours but with a different set of activities that are contributing to her health and well-being.
I was curious about my own time investment and I wanted for others to have the same curiosity. Over the last month, I’ve upped my self-care game and it’s definitely changed how I’ve been spending my time and so I posed the question as an opportunity for others to reflect on how many or how few minutes they spend. Usually, fewer responses mean, “I’m not doing as well as I like so let’s either ignore or not respond to this post.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You TOO can be adding more minutes per day to your wellness plan.

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How $15 a Month Changed My Husband’s Eating Habits

“Well, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” I said to my friend as she was putting her shoes on getting ready to leave my house.

“No, but you can drown ‘em,” she retorted in frustration.

My eyes dropped and I shrugged my shoulders with uncertainty. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what to tell you.”

The last few hours had just been spent together commiserating as stay-at-home-moms watching our toddlers wobble around and suck on blocks while their slightly older siblings were experiencing three-year-old preschool.

On my friend’s heart today was her husband’s upcoming birthday, making him yet another year closer to the age that his dad passed of a heart attack at 39.

The two of us had been on a bit of a fitness kick lately. We were both feeling well, eating well, and enjoying the rewards of regular exercise. Her husband…not so much.

With an expanding waistline came the expanding fear of premature death. Of course, she knew that there was no certainty around this, but his inaction felt like he was taking no responsibility for himself or his health. And worse yet in her mind, the potential outcome for his family should his health catch up with him.

At that time, I couldn’t relate. My husband’s weight and health were stable. Or so I thought. (more…)