Too Busy

Sigh.

In the past few years, every time I have asked someone how they were doing the response I get most of the time is, “Good!  But busy!”

Is this response so we don’t have to talk about what is really going on in our lives?  The despair?  The depression?  The struggling relationship?  The stress?  The exhaustion?

As I’ve pondered on this for myself, I realized that I often answer the question, “How are you?” with the same response that people give me.  “Good. But busy.”

Hmmmm….. Perhaps I should be more specific:

I’m alive.  My foot is hurting.  My prayer life is improving.  My marriage is going well.  I am excited about getting new puppies.  I am stressed about my business.  I pooped today.

I think sometimes we shy away from telling the truth because we have fear about what others think, or we think they really don’t care how I’m doing.  Something to think about…

So, back to being too busy.  Do we fill up our time because we don’t want to miss out on anything?  Or we want our kids to have alllllll the experiences?  Or we don’t want to have a few moments alone with our thoughts because that could just be really bad?

I think our culture has an “illness of spirit” as Eugene Peterson says.  We don’t know how to rest anymore.  We have to DO. IT. ALL!

This summer, God called me to a season of rest.  And I didn’t like it one little bit.  I like to go and do and be!  I like to hike and wake-board and do all the fun summer things.  But God had other plans for me.  I injured my foot.  Twice.  Because he called me to rest, and I didn’t listen.  So, he forced me.  Sigh again.

2018-08-09 11.07.17And being in this place of rest has allowed me to do some self-evaluation about my life, my activities, my self-care, and how I can show up for God as my best self.  I have learned that there is a time for getting it done and a time for putting the enormous to-do list to the side and just take a nap.  My new mantra (and screen saver) says, “Persist when you need to.  Rest when you need to.”  It’s reminding me every day to listen to my body and God, and do what needs to be done.  Sometimes, rest is what needs to be done.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time for love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (NIV)

So, what season are you in?  Is God calling you to a season of rest from the busyness?  Or is God calling you to put down one thing so he can prepare you for another?  Or are you in a season of get it done?

Wherever you are, I invite you to take a few moments, a few breaths to just be with God – in this season.  Be here now.

 

What’s the What on Meal Planning?

So, I’ve had at least three conversations in the past week or so with clients about meal prepping.  Since this is a hot topic I thought I’d write about it!

Here’s the problems:

  • Time
  • Knowledge of what to do and how to do it
  • Actually pulling it off
  • Schedule changes
  • Picky eaters
  • Food spoiling before it gets eaten
  • Not liking to cook

People have told me about all these struggles and more during sessions.  And yes, meal planning does take time, energy, and follow through to be successful.  But, it will pay off in the end more than you might realize.

Here’s a few ideas to help you get started:

1. Understand why you want to meal prep

Why has this crossed your mind in the first place?  Are you trying to save money, eat healthier, or lose weight? What’s your purpose in putting forth the effort?

This might seem like an unrelated piece to the puzzle.  However, research has shown that if you don’t have a strong purpose behind your goal then you’re a whole lot less likely to follow through.  So, why are you wanting to meal prep?

 

2. Talk to your family (if applicable) about what meals they like

Getting the others in your household involved will help them to feel a sense of ownership on the choices (great for kids and husbands)!  This conversation also allows you to discuss the schedule for the upcoming week to see if there will be any conflicts around meal times.  Everyone is involved and everyone has a say.   This helps picky eaters too!

 

3. Make a plan

I do encourage you to plan on Thursday or Friday so that you will be able to have Saturday or Sunday to do the shopping and prepping.  Adjust this to meet your needs.  Perhaps, you’re off work on Mondays so that’s the day you want to do your shopping and prepping.  Whatever works! The important thing is to have a plan.

You might have heard the quote, “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail” (source unknown).  So make a plan and work your plan.

If you need help with ideas you can try a meal planning service like one of the following:

Forks Meal Planner – a plant based meal plan

emeals – a variety of meal plans available

Or visit my Pinterest recipe page for recipes I use in my planning

 

4. Shop and Prep

Do your grocery shopping!  And if there’s anything you need to prep – meaning chop, cook, put together… – before the busy week then do that before the craziness begins.  Be prepared.

This is also a time when you could possibly even double some recipes to put in the freezer for the future.

If you’re concerned about prepping or cooking food and then it going bad before you eat it read this article about the shelf life of food.

 

5. Follow through with the plan

So, you’ve done all this work.  Now, make the plan work for you.  Follow through.  Don’t give in to the, “I’m too tired to cook,” or the kids (or husbands for that matter) begging for drive-thru food.  Just do it!

 

Eating at home is so much more healthy than eating out.  Even at expensive restaurants.  You never know exactly what ingredients they use and what they use to cook with.  If you are mindful of eating organic and non-GMO then good luck with finding a restaurant that is also mindful of that.  Eating at home on a regular basis sets you up for better health.  Your future self will thank you!

What tips do you have for meal planning?  How have you made it work for you? Comment below so we can share ideas!

 

The Power of Creativity

Have you ever said, “I’m not that creative.  I can’t paint, or sew, or draw, or decorate a house like Joanna Gaines.”  (Love her!!!)

Being creative doesn’t necessarily have to be about art.  Perhaps you’re really good at cooking, making a spreadsheet, dancing, or diapering a baby’s butt.  Or maybe you can put together an amazing outfit or pick out the perfect jewelry to compliment.  Or perhaps, you always know the right thing to say.  These things all require creativity.

So, even if, just for a moment, let’s say we all are creative.  In our own special ways.

Perhaps we can even view our gifts from God as creativity.  Here’s what God says about our gifts:

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”  Romans 12: 6-8 (NIV)

God gave us all unique and specific gifts.  And he’s asking us to use them.

So, lets draw this all back to our health.  How in the world can being creative help me be healthy?

Here’s how:

Do you ever notice that as adults we get serious?  And if you are in a place of depression or anxiety this probably really hits home.  There’s no time to laugh and have fun.  We have things to do, places to go, and people to annoy (I mean see).  We get serious about all the things.

Now, lets compare that with a child.  Children are naturally creative, imaginative little creatures.  They pretend.  They laugh.  They play.  AND, for the most part, they are happy, lighthearted, and frolicy.

So, what if we tried on a little play and creativity?  What if we added a moment of lightheartedness to our to do list?  What do you think might happen in our brain?

It’s going to chill out!  Stress is going to lessen.  Digestion is going to happen.  Smiles are going to occur.  And perhaps even laughter might escape our lips.  We might even allow ourselves to feel lighthearted.

Play and creativity is a crucial part of reducing stress.

PLUS, if we’re using the gifts God gave us we are fulfilling our purpose in life.  You probably know that people who feel like they have a purpose are much happier and fulfilled than people who don’t know what their purpose is.

So, get out there.  Do your thing.  Create.  And enjoy doing it!

 

 

 

 

 

Just Breathe

So, I’ve had a pretty emotional few days and wondered what in the world I was going to write about today because I’m still in an emotional roller coaster. I decided to just write what was on my mind:

Sometimes life sucks.

Something unexpected happens and pulls the rug out from under your feet. Or something not so pleasant happens that you know is going to happen and it still sucks.

So what are we to do?!?!

My advice is to just breathe.

Breathe in the breath of God.

In Genesis 2:7 it says,

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Without God’s breath this man would not have come alive. AND, it is the same today. Every single being comes to life with the breath of God.

Have you ever heard a baby take its first breath and cry? Guess what?!?! God did that! He breathed His breath into that little, precious miracle.

In addition, every single breath we take we are filling ourselves with the breath of God. Imagine that resurrection power entering our nostrils, traveling to the lungs, entering the blood stream, and what that power is capable of. 🤔

Johnny Diaz sings a song called, Just Breathe, that is such a good reminder for me.

Last week I posted a video on my Facebook page about anxiety. And in that video I discuss one way of breathing to help calm anxiety. And sometimes we could use to focus on the breath to just make it through the day- whether we have anxiety or not.

From a health perspective, breathing can calm the central nervous system allowing us to process the emotions instead of storing them inside our bodies as toxins. (I love talking about emotions and our bodies by the way! Perhaps a blog post topic for the future.) The less toxic we are the better our bodies function and the better we think and feel.

Yes, breathing can help with all that. Wowie! So, today, in the midst of the emotional struggle I’m going to focus on breathing. Breathing in the breath of God.

What life events or struggles have you had that pulled the rug out from under you? Comment below so we can support, encourage, and pray for one another.

How can I up-level my healthy?

Being as healthy as you can be takes time, perseverance, and knowledge.  But it doesn’t have to be hard.

Here are 10 ideas for up-leveling your healthy:

  1. Poop every single day

    I know. I know.  Poop is so terrible to talk about.  But, it’s actually one of the most important things to help you stay healthy.  If you’re not pooping every day then it’s fermenting and rotting in your gut.  Then that ickiness gets absorbed into your blood stream.  Even ickier.

  2. Manage your stress

    Stress is the number one cause of ALL dis-ease.  Stress felt consistently can even alter how your genes are expressed causing sickness, disease, pain, weight gain, and sleeplessness.

  3. Eat organic

    Pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals put on our food sources cause our bodies to have a build up of toxins which cause tons of health issues.  Choose organic whenever possible or use the Dirty Dozen Clean Fifteen list.

  4. Pray and meditate

    Praying and meditating reduces stress.  Plus, the connection to God and learning to love and trust Him during life struggles will increase your faith.

  5. Get good sleep

    Your body detoxes while you sleep.  If you’re not sleeping enough you will likely wake up feeling foggy brained, irritable, and of course exhausted.  The left over toxins build up over time and cause more dis-ease in the body.

  6. Move your body

    Exercise does so much for not only your physical body but your emotional well being too!  Movement releases feel good endorphins that keep us happy and obviously help our muscles too!

  7. Play 

    As we age we play less and less.  We get more serious.  Play allows us to feel lighthearted and enjoy life more.

  8. Invest in your relationships

    Multiple researchers have found that happy, healthy people have around 3 to 5 strong relationships that are nourished often, or daily.  Cultivate relationships with people most important to you.

  9. Drink spring water

    Tap water contains a number of toxic chemicals that most filters can’t remove completely.  Spring water contains essential minerals and is what I recommend to my clients for safe drinking.

  10. Detox your body and home

    Getting rid of toxic chemicals and cleaning products in your home will do wonders for your health.  In addition, your body stores toxins and needs detoxing every so often.  Make sure you detox safely and with guidance if you’ve never done anything like that before.

 

These are a few ideas to up-level your healthy.  Know that creating new healthy habits takes time.  It doesn’t happen overnight and requires one step at a time.  What questions do you have about this list?  What would you add to this list?

Need ideas for implementing any or all of these tips?  Email me for suggestions.

 

 

Changes Are Coming

It’s been one year since Ignite Life Health and Wellness Coaching was officially opened, and I’ve learned so much along the way!

One thing that has been a struggle for me is honing in on exactly what I want to help people with.  And, I have finally discovered exactly that (or I am finally allowing myself to acknowledge it anyways).

When God spoke to me several years ago and told me He wanted me to encourage women with my story I was devastated.  I had been waiting for years and years for Him to tell me what it was He wanted me to do.  And I didn’t want to do THAT! – because my story isn’t pretty.  (It’s more than just my struggle with gut health, pain, anxiety, depression, perfectionism…)

BUT… I knew God would have His way – one way or another.  So, I started telling my story to a few people, and it turned out better than I had expected.  (And I’m sure I’ll be telling it to more people soon.)

Out of all this struggle and God’s call on my life I became a health and life coach.  AND I am still going to be a health and life coach.  AND I am going to be including more faith based information to help women create their bodies to be temples for the Holy Spirit.  This is important to me because my faith is the most important thing in my life.  I’m certainly not perfect, and I have much to learn.  That’s why I work on it daily with prayer, study, Bible reading, meditation…

I am motivated by God and my relationship with Him.  I am motivated by feeling like the decisions I make about my body and life are honoring the way God wants me to live.  I want to share the peace, love, and health that I have found – even in the midst of all my messiness.  I can’t explain it, but I sure can share it.

So, as I move forward I will be striving to allow the ebb and flow of change come – even as hard as change can be.  If I hold on too tightly with clenched fists then tension becomes so fierce I can’t even move.  And, as I am allowing my fists to relax – even the littlest bit – I am already feeling more peace and calm.

Be on the lookout for an updated logo and a new focus on posts and services.  I look forward to serving you in this new way.

With Peace and Love,

Carrie

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?