Category Archives: Health Coaching

Happy New Year! Sort of…

Hi Everyone!

According to WordPress, I last posted 5 months ago, WTF, wow! How did that happen? Well, I decided to focus on my full-time job and my RCE Master Gardener Certification, and now that I am finished focusing the health & wellness blogosphere calls to me!

Quick Garden Update: The garden did OK this year, I expanded it and played around with some new things. But since I spent most of my Saturdays there this summer my garden looked like the shoemaker’s children – they have no shoes!

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Why Happy New Year? I have a birthday in November and I look at this as the beginning of a new year. While I still have my goals for January – which include my health coaching / personal training business and more writing, I like to take a look at what I have and see what tweaks need to be made in life.

Birthdays remind you that yes, though now a year older and hopefully wiser, you have the next year to look forward to. Take this time to evaluate your relationships, how you treat yourself and others and what really makes you tick. Finding happiness has more to do with looking inward than outward, it begins within you.

New Year, New You

Yeah Yeah Yeah… Who hasn’t heard that before? This New Year I decided to take a different approach to “New Year, New You.”

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Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This time of year you get so many tips on how to make your life better, maybe instead you can make someone else’s life better, stand up for what you believe in or look into a cause that resonates with you.

The last few weeks of 2014 saw a lot of heartache (Ferguson & Staten Island), a bit of “it’s about time!” (Cuba) and some backing down only to give in (The Interview). If you put all of these stories together you get the central theme of doing the right thing.

The protests over injustices in Ferguson and Staten Island, recognizing the plight of the Cuban people and Sony deciding to stand up to bullies and show The Interview all exemplify the beauty of standing up for values.

So in this year’s version of New Year, New You go out and do something you believe in, no matter how big or how small. Your heart will smile, I promise.

How I Survived the Summer BBQ Season

Summer’s almost over and another BBQ season has gone by. We had our own last week which was a great success. We had lots of people, lots of great food and lots of good talk.

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Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been pretty lucky this summer in terms of events and having food to enjoy. Most, if not all, of the hosts  had some sort of vegetarian/vegan option to eat. It’s also important to be a gracious guest and bring something, and for anyone with any kind of specific dietary requests it’s a bit of a no-brainer to bring a dish you like to eat. It’s also a great way to turn people on to new ways to see how yummy plant-based foods can be.

While I don’t have a photo of what I made for this summer’s BBQ I will share the recipe:

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Image Courtesy of Adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wheatberry Salad

3 Cups Sprouted Wheatberries
4 Cloves Garlic, Pressed
1 Tsp Salt
1 Red Onion, Chopped
1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped
3-4 Stalks Celery, Small Dice
2 Large Carrots, Shredded
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Chopped
3 Ripe Tomatoes, Chopped

Vinaigrette

1 1/2 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Oregano
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste

Soak wheatberries overnight. Rinse the wheatberries and cover in about 2 inches of water, add the garlic and the salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30 min. (If you cook without soaking it will take longer so keep an eye on them.) Drain the water with a sieve to keep the garlic in, let the wheatberries cool and combine with the veggies.

In a blender or large jar (if you are using an immersion blender)  combine vinaigrette ingredients and blend until well homogenized. Pour over salad and let marinade overnight.

You can play around with spices for the dressing, add chickpeas or navy beans and include a diced apple for even more crunch.

What was your favorite recipe for summer BBQs?

Listen to Your Inner Voice

Do you ever get that little voice inside your head telling you to do something? Sure you do, we all do – but do you listen to it? I mean actually pay attention and listen to what it has to say?

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Image courtesy of Mr Lightman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes we find it easy to ignore those inner voices, however, we know that what they have to say can have an impact on our day – heck even on our life. How often do we find ourselves ignoring that little voice to find out later on that if we had listened to it we could have avoided <insert crappy scenario here>?

So the next time you have a nagging little voice telling you what to do, stop and listen for a minute. It might actually make your day a little easier.

The Importance of Vacation

We all need a vacation, period, full-stop and whatever else you use to illustrate a point.

Maybe not all of us need to forget someone, in two weeks… but we certainly need the time to rest, regroup and regenerate.

Vacation is like sleep, when you sleep your body works it’s magic replenishing and doing all those things it can’t focus on while you are awake. Well when you are in vacation mode you (should) have less stress and anxiety, you know, no alarm clocks or crazy commute to deal with. It can also help your body take a break from the germy world of keyboards, airless offices, subways, trains, and in my case, hospitals.

Can’t afford to go anywhere, no biggie, staycations work just as well. Day trips to local parks or historic sites and cozy dinners at home sound pretty awesome too.

Why I Like to Compost

I can’t really take credit for starting our compost heaps, that was all Jared’s doing. Also his doing putting it in one of the garden beds, figure if we rotate that each year to a different bed we will have excellent results in that bed, and maybe a little extra gifts too.

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Main Compost Heap w/ Kabocha Squash

I have come to support it for a few reasons:

  • We have less food waste going into landfills
  • It adds rich nutrients to the soil
  • It recovers lost soil in the garden due to erosion
  • Best of all – seeds get spread around the garden so we have extra veggies growing

My very first year of planting I planted a ton of tomato seeds, very few if any germinated – that’s what I get for buying “survival seeds” on eBay… anyway the compost came to the rescue! We had several rogue tomatoes thanks to the compost. Right now we have a giant kabocha squash growing in our main heap that has about 4 – 5 squashes on it – most we have ever had!

We also have another squash growing in the garden proper, I don’t what variety yet but I have a feeling it’s another kabocha Yippee!!

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Unknown Squash

One cool project would be to spread the compost and see what comes up!

 

Mindfulness

You hear a lot about mindfulness but that can mean anything really.

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From our Hong Kong Honeymoon in 2007

Yes for some it can include a meditation practice, however mindfulness can come from other places as well. I think of mindfulness as an awareness, and having an awareness of what happens around you, what others feel around and what you project to the world.

I prefer to think of mindfulness as a sort of awareness. It makes understanding the basics a bit easier in my opinion. And the beauty of awareness boils down to the fact that we can have an awareness of so many things. Things happening around the world, injustices to people (and animals) and injustices we see right in our own backyards.

But before you have expanded your awareness to the rest of the world, I ask you to focus the awareness on yourself.