Self-care isn’t Selfish

That’s right.  Self-care isn’t selfish.  In fact, not taking time for self care puts you in a position where you are not your best self.

Imagine this:

You’re tired.  You’ve been running ragged all week.  The kids (if you have them) have all kinds of practices, school, homework.  And then there’s breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.  And you’ve had to work too.  The boss wasn’t happy.  The co-worker stole your lunch.  The report is late. And then there’s the husband.  He want’s to go out for a lovely dinner date Friday night.  And all you can think about it curling up on the couch with a nice comfy blanket, the dog, a cup of hot tea, and a good book.  Quiet.

If you agree to go on that date are you showing up as your best self?  Or are you showing up as a stressed-out, worn out version?

Now, I’m all for a nice, lovely evening with the husband!  Don’t get me wrong.  But I’m also for taking care of myself along the way so that I can show up for that date as the best me there is!

If you’re in a rut or recently had a major set-back in life there are three things you can do to help get your life back.  Dr. Sean Stephenson, who wrote, Get off Your But, suggests three things:

1. Self-care.

Taking care of yourself puts you in a much better position to take care of others. Don’t take my word for it.  Try it out for yourself.  If it doesn’t work, then you can always go back to the other way.

2. Align yourself with your purpose.

What is your purpose in life? If you’re not sure, then perhaps it’s time to do some digging, pondering, and studying to figure that out.  I highly recommend the book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

3. Surround yourself with an empowered environment.

Who do you surround yourself with?  Are they people who lift you up, cheer you on, and encourage your progress?  Or are they people who tear you down?  You’ve probably heard it said that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with.  You get to choose who you surround yourself with.  Choose wisely.

Dr. Stephenson says that if you do these three things then you will be unstoppable.  One or two of them will provide a glimmer of hope but you’ll keep hitting a wall.  All three of them will produce results!

He also recommends that we make a list of all our self-care tasks.  Then at the end of the day rate ourselves on how well we did on taking care of ourselves.  How many self-care tasks did we do?  And how does that relate to how I showed up in my life for the day?

I invite you to take a look at your self-care tasks and routine.  I know personally that self-care is non-negotiable for me.  When I’m not taking care of myself I get extremely irritated and angry.  That is my sign that I haven’t done so well in the self-care avenue lately.

What are your worn-out signs?  And what are your favorite forms of self-care?  Comment below and let us know so we can expand our list of self-care tasks!

Paradigms

Paradigms are statements that we hold to be true.  Not absolute truth, but things we hold to be true.

Here are some dietary paradigms I learned from Health Coach Institute (where I received my training).

  1. There are as many “right” diets as there are people on the planet.
  2. What’s healthy for one person might not be healthy for YOU.
  3. The body has innate wisdom, beyond any book or authority.
  4. Your body is the ultimate dietary authority for every phase of your life.
  5. Your diet changes as YOU change.
  6. Your body is the most powerful, least expensive and BEST dietary experimentation lab in existence.
  7. Your RELATIONSHIP with food and your body impacts your health more powerfully than the food you eat.
  8. Nourishment is about much more than food.

 

So.  After reading through this list I have a few questions:

  • What do you agree with?  And why?
  • What do you disagree with?  And why?
  • What do you have a hard time believing?
  • What do you want to believe?

 

Comment below and let me know your thoughts.  And if you want to have a more detailed discussion then let’s set up a time to chat.  I’d be happy to discuss these with you further.

Eat the Rainbow

Eating a rainbow of colors can help differentiate the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body is getting to help you be healthier, stronger, and be able to fight off gunk better.  Here’s a list to get you started:

Red

Beets, Blood Oranges, Cherries, Cranberries, Pomegranates, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Apples, Red Onions, Red Peppers, Strawberries, Tomatoes

Yellow/Orange

Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cantaloupe, Lemons, Oranges, Papayas, Peaches, Pineapples, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Yellow Apples, Yellow Beets, Yellow Peppers, Yellow Tomatoes

Green

Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Cucumbers, Green Apples, Green Beans, Green Peas, Kiwi, Leeks, Limes, Zucchini

Purple & Blue

Blackberries, Black Olives, Blueberries, Concord Grapes, Eggplant, Elderberries, Purple Cabbage, Purple Carrots, Plums

White

Bananas, Cauliflower, Dates, Garlic, Jicama, Mushrooms, Onions, White Peaches

 

Comment below with what healthy foods would you add to this list?  Do you have a favorite color of foods that you tend to go to? Begin to take notice.

Healthiest Foods for Gut Health & What They do for You

Here’s a list of some of the healthiest foods for gut health and what they do for your body.

  • Blueberries – they help restore the central nervous system and flush out the liver
  • Celery – strengthens acid in the gut and provides mineral salts to the central nervous system
  • Sprouts – they’re high in zinc and selenium and they help strengthen the immune system
  • Asparagus – cleanses the liver and spleen and strengthens the pancreas
  • Spinach – helps create an alkaline environment and provides micro-nutrients for the nervous system
  • Cilantro- helps remove heavy metals
  • Parsley – helps remove copper and aluminum
  • Coconut Oil – it’s anti-viral and anti-inflammatory
  • Ginger – helps with nutrient assimilation
  • Raspberries – powerful anti-oxidants and helps remove free radicals from the body
  • Lettuce – stimulates peristaltic action in intestinal tract
  • Papayas – helps restore central nervous system and strengthens acid in the gut
  • Apricots – helps rebuild immune system and strengthens the blood
  • Pomegranates – helps detox blood and the lymphatic system
  • Grapefruit – full of bioflavonoids and calcium and helps flush out toxins
  • Kale – provides alkaloids that protect against viruses
  • Sweet Potatoes – helps to cleanse the liver
  • Cucumbers – helps strengthen adrenals and kidneys and flush neuro-toxins from the bloodstream
  • Fennel – anti-viral

 

When I was working on overcoming some food allergies I came across this list of foods.  It was recommended that I eat at least 3 of each of these a day and to make sure I eat almost all these foods each week.  They are listed in rough order of importance.

This is not an extensive list of the healthiest foods for your gut out there, but it is a great start!  What will you add into your diet this week to help boost your body functions?

Recipes for a Day of Healthy Eating

Ever just need someone to tell you what to eat?  Well, I’ve got a one day meal plan that not only tastes delicious, but also packs in great protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients!  Try out these recipes and let me know what you think!

Breakfast

5 Ingredient Quinoa Superfood Breakfast Bowl

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Lunch

Collard Green Veggie Wrap

with a side of apple slices

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Snack

No Bake Energy Bites

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Dinner

Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers

with Sweet Potato Wedges (leave out the sugar from this recipe)

ChunkyPortabellaBlackBeanBroccoliPatty  sweetpotwedges-306x1024.jpg

Even if you’re a meat eater, this vegetarian meal plan is still delicious.  I do encourage you to always choose organic, grass fed meat whenever possible if you choose to eat meat.  What are some of your favorite healthy recipes?

 

Recipes and pictures from:

https://tworaspberries.com/5-ingredient-quinoa-superfood-breakfast-bowl/

http://tastefulventure.com/collard-green-veggie-wraps-meal-prep/

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/

http://www.thekitchenwhisperer.net/2014/04/12/chunky-portabella-veggie-burgers/

https://bakerbynature.com/extra-crispy-sweet-potato-wedges/

 

 

Silver Linings

 

Take a little imaginary journey with me…

You walk out your front door to a blustery windy, downpour rainy day. Like sideways windy rain. You are nearly soaked by the time you get in your car. Deep breath! You drive slowly to the airport, avoiding -only barely- a collision from hydroplaning. Deep breath! You arrive to the ticket counter (late from the horrid rain) to hear you have less than 5 minutes to get to the gate. Running with your backpack bouncing on your back, shoes off through security, back on without tying, hope you didn’t forget anything, you make it to the gate just in time. Deep breath!

You settle in, buckle your seat-belt, watch the safety presentation, and close your eyes for a moment of peace or even a little nap. The airplane takes off in the pouring rain and as it climbs the turbulence is intense.  Will this morning ever calm down?

Suddenly, everything is calm. You glance out the window and the sunshine is so bright you have to squinch your eyes. It is so beautiful!! Above the clouds, above the storm, things are calm, smooth, easy, and beautiful. Thinking back, you may not have noticed the magnitude of this moment – this beauty – if it hadn’t been for the storm.

Doesn’t life often feel that way? Sometimes the storms of life are long, arduous, and depressing. Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. And sometimes it seems as if the storms will never end.

Yet, the sun still shines- above the clouds, above the storms of life. There’s always a silver lining. Sometimes, that silver lining is hard to find, and if we look for the good it will appear- one way or another. One thing I do to help me see the silver linings of every day is to keep a gratitude journal. Gratitude doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s something I have to practice or I lose it. Kind of like flexibility. Join me in this practice:  What can you be grateful for today? What is your silver lining today?

Who I am.

Wanna know a bit more about me?  I recently took the Gallup Strengths Finder 2.0 online test. I thought I would share what I discovered.

I really didn’t find my results surprising.  However, it is really helpful to know your strengths so you can focus your efforts on what you’re good at doing.

Here are my top 5 strengths:

#1 LEARNER

“People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.”

I am definitely a life-long learner.  My husband often gets frustrated because I’m always wanting to go, try, and learn new things instead of keep going with what I know.  It’s just in my nature to learn, and I have an intense deep desire to do so. Bring on the self-help books!

#2 INPUT

“People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.”

I think this goes right along with being a learner.  And yes, I do store away little tidbits of info – like the names of the different kinds of columns in the Greek era.  Haha!! Or that the area of your entire digestive system is the size of a tennis court.

#3 EMPATHY

“People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.”

Me being an empath is super great for my clients!  I am compassionate, understanding, a great listener, and can guide you where you want to go.  On the other hand, being an empath is challenging for my personal self.  I often take on the feelings of others as if they were my own, large groups of people overwhelm me, and I cry at Folgers Coffee commercials.  Haha!

#4 CONNECTEDNESS

“People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.”

I definitely believe in divine intervention, and that God puts people in certain places at certain times.  My faith is strong and I use it to guide me daily.  I also believe the best about everybody.

#5 ACHIEVER

“People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.”

Earlier in my life I would’ve called this part of myself perfectionism (my friends called it over-achiever).  While I’ve had much counseling on being a perfectionist, I feel like that part of me has dwindled away almost completely (not totally though! Ha!).  If I have an assignment or a task that needs accomplished you can bet your little tush it’s going to get finished.

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So, why learn about your strengths?

Learning about your strengths can give you an idea of where to focus your talents.  If you’re a construction worker, then you’re not going to focus your time on trying to be the best cake maker out there.  It’s not relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.  In the same way, we have the opportunity to focus on our strengths as related to our goals and possibly outsource the other tasks to someone else.

Yes, perhaps a construction worker needs a cake for a daughter’s birthday.  But, there are a ton of places that bake amazing cakes.  And if the construction worker doesn’t have time to bake a cake, then outsourcing that task to someone who’s talents include baking cakes could be a time-saving, energy-saving, stress-reducing choice.

Same with us.  If it’s not in our bag of tricks, it drains us, or we don’t have the time (Let’s face it, we could all use more time, right?!?!) then perhaps outsourcing parts of what we need to do would not only benefit us, it also allows others to share their amazing strengths with us.

What is something in your life you could use a little help with?

 

10 Benefits of Detoxing

Maybe you’re thinking, “What is all this talk about detoxing?  And why in the world would I even consider it?”

Well, detoxing is actually an amazing experience that can leave you feeling lighter, tighter, and soooo amazing.  Here’s 10 benefits you can experience in less than 14 days:

10. Reducing or eliminating auto-immune symptoms.  

Do you struggle with an auto-immune disease that your doctors can’t seem to get a grip on?  Have they suggested a detox?  If not, this is a great one to try because it’s gentle on the body and very effective.  If you have auto-immune symptoms you are likely very toxic.  So, a detox would be amazing for your organs and digestion!

9. Losing weight and inches

We will be taking out all sugars and caffeine out of our diet for 14 days (you can do this!  I’m here to help!).  See, fat doesn’t cause us to be fat.  Sugar causes us to be fat.  Taking sugar out of the diet – even for just a short time – can help us shed pounds, inches, and feel lighter.

8. Reducing headaches and joint pain

Sometimes a build-up of toxins can cause pain and headaches.  Our bodies are designed to process and eliminate toxins.  However, when we overload our body with toxins it can’t process them quick enough.  So, the body stores the toxins to deal with later in our joints, muscles, and organs.  As you can imagine this causes pain and decreased efficiency of our body.

7. Reduce or eliminate heartburn

Belching, feeling gassy, or having heartburn after meals is often a sign of digestive upset.  Taking some time to detox will help your digestion work better creating less gas and bubbles in your tummy.

6.  Think clearer

Ever feel like your brain is foggy and you can’t remember anything?  Actually detoxing your digestive system can eliminate this fogginess and help you think clearer.

5. Take control of sinus and allergy symptoms

Certain foods can cause inflammation in our bodies and sometimes even cause sensitivities or allergic reactions.  We’ll be taking out the most common food allergens to reduce these symptoms and allow you to test and see if your body has any adverse reactions or sensitivities to any food.  In addition, we’ll be filling our bodies with nutrient-dense foods, like fruits and veggies, to reinvigorate the gut.

4. Eliminate food cravings

Our bodies desire balance.  When we eat too much of one kind of food it will begin to crave it or crave the opposite of it.  For example, if we eat too much salty food our bodies will crave sweet food to balance it out.  Then when we eat sweet food our bodies ride the blood sugar roller coaster – sugar high to sugar low.  Then we crave more sugar.  It’s tricky to balance it out.  This cleanse will help you eliminate those cravings and help create more balance in your diet.

3. Double your energy

Ever get that foggy headed, super sleepy feeling around 2, 3, 4:00? Sometimes the food we eat actually causes us to lose energy and get sleepy.  Our bodies are telling us to take a nap (and most of the time we can’t lay down in the office for a snooze). So, taking control of our food intake can give us an abundance of energy.

2. Reduce or even eliminate anxiety and mood swings

Sometimes, negative emotions can be increased simply by the food we eat.  Eliminating common trouble foods will help you reduce or eliminate anxiety helping you take control of your emotions.  Who doesn’t want less anxiety!?!?

1. Feel amazing

You will be amazed at how good you will feel on this cleanse.  If there are ANY symptoms, emotions, pain, or moods you want to get rid of – then detoxing is on your to-do list!  During a cleanse, we give our digestive tract a vacation from the stress of hard to process foods.  I’ve had clients tell me they felt the best they had in years after detoxing!  Why wait to feel better?!?!

 

If you’re interested in learning more about detoxing or about the specific 14 Day Reset Cleanse I offer let me know!  Let’s help you feel better today!

I am willing.

Imagine this:

You’re a young girl, engaged to the man of your dreams, life is amazing, and then…. you get pregnant.  And it’s not his.

Stop for just a moment and imagine what you would be feeling, what you would be saying, what you would be hearing….

This probably wouldn’t be the highlight moment of your life.

Your soon to be husband would probably leave you, your family might disown you, and your friends – well – no longer friends.  Life is all of a sudden not so amazing.

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But for Mary all was well.  But not because of her.  Because God.

God sent an angel to Joseph to let him know to go through with the wedding, and Mary hadn’t been cheating on him.   Mary’s family was excited and she gained more friends and support than she could’ve ever imagined.

We’ve probably heard the story of the virgin birth a bazillion times.  Yet, something new popped out for me this year.

So, in Luke chapter one, an angel comes to visit Mary to tell her she’s going to have a baby.  And not just any baby, but the son of God.  And it’s not going to be Joseph’s.  Here’s the part that jumped out at me:  She says, “I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.”  (Luke 1: 38 NLV)

“Let it happen to me as you have said.”

Did you catch that?  She didn’t freak out, fuss, argue, complain, or throw a fit.  She said, “I am willing.”  How many times has life thrown us a curve ball and we’ve just said, “I am willing.”  I’m pretty sure I’ve never said that.  HA!

Yet, I’m also pretty sure that when that curve ball is from God, if we choose to go with the flow and allow God to do his thing, then all will be well (not meaning perfect, but well).

Mary had her baby.  Not at home with a midwife, but in a barn far from home with Joseph (who was probably freaking out, right?!?!).  And the baby was perfect – literally.  All was well.

I’m willing to learn a lesson from Mary this year.  When God tugs at my heart, or calls me to a higher purpose, perhaps next time I’ll go willingly, knowing the one who hung the stars is working on my behalf.

I encourage you to open the Christmas story again for yourself this year.  Perhaps something new might pop out at you too!

Merry Christmas!

With peace and love,

Carrie

If you need encouragement this Christmas season, reach out!  To me, to someone you love, a friend.  Don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today.

 

Simplify

Life is complicated.

Jobs are complicated.  Relationships are complicated.  The internet/cable service is complicated.  Politics are complicated. Religion is complicated.

So, how are we to live a simple, yet fulfilling life in the midst of all this complication.  (I’m not talking about a simple, boring life!  I’m talking about a simple, abundant life!)

Good question!

Here are 5 tips for simplifying life to create space for fulfillment and abundance.

1.Declutter

Your external environment is a direct correlation to your mental state.  If you live, work, or play in a place full of clutter you are likely going to be stressed and anxious.  Your life will not feel simple.  It will feel complicated and messy.  Take 5-10 minutes a day to pick up, clean up, get rid of, or organize.  Breaking it down into chunks will help remove the feeling of overwhelm.  I might also recommend  de-cluttering your schedule as well.  What are activities or events that drain you?   What can you let go of?  Fill your calendar with things that nourish and fulfill you instead of clutter.

2. Meditate/Pray

Take a few minutes a day to clear your mind and just breathe.  This can be a prayerful time too!  There have been abundant studies to show that taking time daily to meditate/pray makes you more productive, more compassionate, less anxious, happier, and focused.  Who doesn’t want that in their life?!?! In addition,  it helps you to feel more grounded so you can make better choices to simplify your life.  Opening your mind and heart in prayer can also give you guidance so you can take the next step forward.

3. Take a walk

There are soooo many reasons to get outside in nature.  We all know the benefits of  exercise.  And, so many of us think exercise has to be complicated to be beneficial.  Actually, it doesn’t.  You don’t have to do zumba, pilates, rock climbing, or surfing (But if those bring you joy, then by all means go for it)!  We just need to move our body in a way that feels good for us.  Taking a walk is easy on the joints, gets us outside, works our heart muscle, and gives us time to think or enjoy the company of a friend.  Simplify your exercise routine to help create a simpler life.

4. Take a day (or a week) off

You have vacation days.  You have sick days.  You are allowed to use those!  Take a day (or week) for you!  Send the kids to school, the spouse to work, and lay in your pj’s all day, binge a Netflix series, get a massage, take a bath, or whatever!  Simplify by using this time to fill your cup.  When we do all the things all day,  everyday we become depleted, sick, and life feels complicated because we don’t  have any energy or patience left.  Take some time for you to renew and rejuvenate.

5. Don’t expect so much from yourself

Of course, do your best.  And do your best at a few things.  You don’t have to do all the things.  God created the entire universe in 6 days.  He didn’t do it all in one day.   And you don’t have to either.  This is one thing near and dear to my heart because it’s a struggle I’m having right now, actually.  And I recently read a book called  The 12 Week Year.  It has opened my eyes to the tasks that are most important in achieving my goals.  AND it has helped me make a step by step plan to reach my goals.  AND I’ve taken several things off the to-do list because of it.  I highly recommend this book if you’re someone who has big goals, a large to-do list, and overwhelm.  Whether you read it or not, simplify by removing items from your to- do list (or get help doing them).

Remember:  life is short.  Do what’s important in the long run!  Simplify now so you have more space/time/sanity later.

For more help on simplifying your life email Carrie at needahealthcoach@gmail.com