Immune Boosters for the “Cold Season”

leaves-fall-colors-rainbowIt’s hard to ignore the signs of fall with a leaves changing here and there, Halloween decorations in the stores, and aisles of back-to-school supplies at Wal-Mart. Along with the cooler temps, high school football games, and the crunch of leaves under your feet, the fall brings one more thing with it…illness. It’s not necessarily that there are more germs in the fall, but our habits change and so do our immune systems. We typically spend more time indoors, kids are back in school amongst their friends, and holiday gatherings commence. With these changes to our lifestyles, our immune systems take a little bit of a hit. Let’s talk about how and what to do about it. (more…)

Changing Your Mind About Living Well: My Thoughts on Sustainable Lifestyle Changes

woman-jogger-jogging-sport

Last month, the media covered the story of Biggest Loser contest winners and their weight gain over the years after the show ended. Before I read the story, I was hopeful.

For once, I wanted to see the media cover what I’ve felt in my heart to be true for years after working with clients on their own wellness journeys.  I wanted the story to share that making long-term, sustainable change occurs not just with diet and exercise alone. But instead, the story talked about a lower metabolic rate that was contributed to by their weight-loss. What a letdown. Number one, a lower metabolic rate after weight loss is not new news. And number two, the “answer” was disappointing in that it lacked any true insight and illustrates the essence of why our health is failing here in the US and abroad. We’re not focusing on what really makes a difference.

The key for anyone taking on any sort of long-term health plan is the need to train your brain for healthier thinking about yourself and your life.

I tell all of my new clients that the work that we do is only based on roughly 10% food and nutrition education and the other 90% focuses on thoughts and habits. Information on healthy eating, albeit not all of it good, is free. Go online. Go to the library. Everywhere you turn, someone has a plan for you to live a healthier life.

Lack of information is not the problem. Even if you get overwhelmed by the barrage of information and have a case of “analysis paralysis,” the basics have not (and most likely will never) change. Eat more vegetables and fruits, stick with lean and clean proteins, know your good fats, and if you chose grains, make them whole. Oh yeah – and move more.

So if it’s not a lack of information, what is it? (more…)

Need Something Fast to Bring to that Potluck?

 

In full disclosure, I need to give all credit where credit is due. This recipe is straight from the webpage AHealthyLifeforMe.com. But it just sounds so yummy and so simple that I couldn’t help to to share it with you. It’s made up of a few ingredients and requires almost no cooking! Isn’t that the best?

Veggie trays are found at quite a few gatherings and potlucks but are usually accompanied by some not so healthy sides. So if you’re headed off to somewhere and need something quick to make, try this out! I’ll be making this for Easter Sunday along with a simple green salad.

Broccoli-Pesto-Dip-2Broccoli Pesto Dip

Ingredients

  • 3 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
  • 3 medium garlic cloves. peeled
  • 2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese

    Instructions
  1. Cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking.
  2. Add broccoli, garlic, the almonds, Parmesan cheese, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil while machine is running, once blended and ricotta cheese and pulse until smooth.

Imperfectly Authentic: When the Health Coach Needs Coaching

Authenticity QuoteLast night, I had a terrible night’s sleep. I woke up around 2 in the morning, moved to the couch because hearing my husband sleep was making me angry (sorry honey – I know it’s not your fault) and proceeded to toss and turn until close to 4AM. My shirt was annoying me and I felt it was making me hot so I took that off. The legs on my sweatpants were riding up to my knees and felt too tight around my calves. And my shins were extremely itchy to the point where I sprayed them with Benadryl spray to make it stop. Everything was annoying! It was too bright outside with the snow, the light coming from the kitchen nightlight was in my eyes, the humidifier was making too much noise, and my eight-year-old woke up with a bad dream.

The most frustrating part of all of this is that I really wanted to sleep. So very badly. Our schedule at work for today is very full so I knew that I was going to need to bring my A-game. Instead, things were looking like I was going to be bringing my “Three cups of coffee game”. As is the case when I find myself restless and unable to sleep, I know to check in and see if I can ask myself why. The closer I can get to understanding what is literally keeping me awake at night, the sooner I can usually find myself nodding off and getting back to sleep. (more…)

A “Type-A” Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving SQuareSure, I’ll host Thanksgiving.

Actually, saying it that way means that I was answering a question.  As in, “Will you host Thanksgiving?”

And that’s not really how it went.

It actually came out as, “Hey, I can host Thanksgiving.”

I grew up in a small family where my aunt hosted Thanksgiving in her home every year. While the last minute cooking was underway with gravy simmering and grandpa carving the turkey, my ten year old self was enjoying shrimp cocktail, black and green olives, mixed nuts and a cheese ball with crackers. Eight of us would then sit around her dining room table quietly enjoying a thoughtfully prepared Thanksgiving feast. I would sip cranberry ginger ale from a pewter wine glass and anxiously await the arrival of the next dish to scoop onto my plate.

After dinner, we would find ourselves in the living room while Kenny G lulled us into a turkey-induced nap. Upon waking up from our food comas, round two would be taking place with at least three different pies, coffee and vanilla ice cream.  And if I was lucky, after dessert was done, I would have birthday presents to open with my birthday falling toward the end of November. I did this every year for almost 25 years.

When I volunteered (sacrificed) myself to host Thanksgiving, it was for my father-in-law’s family. There would be around 35 people in attendance. A few years earlier, I had hosted a combined Thanksgiving and Christmas for my mother-in-law’s side with close to 70 people so I thought, “I got this.”

Gone were the relaxed, intimate holidays I had grown up with. This was a whole new ball-game- the kind with no referees, or rules, but still lots of yelling, cheering, booing and whistles.  It is here that I should mention that I am also a type-A introvert so clearly, this was a great plan. (more…)