How to Lose the Weight of Losing Weight

Hold on! Before you close the tab on this blog let me explain what I mean.

Do you ever get tired of hearing,”want to lose weight?” “How to lose weight”, “weightloss secrets”, “eat this and lose 20 pounds”….I could go on forever about all the ads and posts about losing weight. To be honest I’m tired of it!

Does anybody want to be HEALTHY?! Why does society and media put so much emphasis on LOSING WEIGHT? Yes, losing weight can sometimes be a life and death situation as obesity contributes to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and many other ailments BUT, what if we were to approach people in a way that would focus on their health in every aspect; mind, body and spirit.

Get off the Scale!

The first thing I tell people is to get rid of their scale for at least 2-3 months, I tell them to give it to a friend or give it to your significant other and have them hide it.

Have you ever heard a watched pot of water never boils? It’s sort of the same concept with jumping on the scale every week to see if you’ve lost weight, it can bring more discouragement then inspiration. If you want to have a true reflection of your results then get a measuring tape and track the following body parts on a weekly basis; bicep, chest, waist, hips, and calves.

You see, any workout program you start should have some type of resistance training which means toning & muscle strength depending on the amount of resistance/weight you use, you will either gain weight or stay the same and you will see no results on the scale. What will happen is you will begin to lose inches and usually your clothes will fit better.

Enough about that, I’ll leave that for a training blog.

Health & Vitality is the Bottom Line

For years weight loss has been the consistent marketing giant making millions of dollars off innocent people looking for an answer to their “weight” problems.

When I meet people for the first time or even those I’ve known a longtime, I don’t look at what’s in front of me. I don’t see the extra weight people carry, I don’t start thinking of what diet I could put them on & I certainly don’t sell or promote any weight loss programs. The first thing I want to do is to get to know you-YOUR story.

This is where true “coaching” comes in. If you care about people, you care about them, who are they? where do they come from? are they going through something difficult? Have they gone though trauma in their life? How do THEY see themselves? What are their favourite hobbies, what’s their favourite food? It’s seeing people as human, frail, insecure, scared of change, you know? Exactly like us.

It Starts in the MIND

The mind is a wonderful thing, God created our brains to think and to be creative. It also can serve as a limitless trail of unwanted thoughts & sadness. We have been given power over our minds and we do not need to let every little thought that pops itself in there to stay there, and we don’t have to allow every word or advertisement about weight loss deposit itself in our mind either.

When I met with my first client we met once a week for a month and I didn’t recommend a diet of any kind, I didn’t create a workout program, and I even didn’t take her weight or measurements. We simply met over tea & I got to learn about her more, who she is, where she comes from-HER story. I listened and didn’t say much, she had my complete attention. This is how coaching should be done.

“If you want people to value your leadership, you MUST values people”-John Maxwell. How true is this quote!

Giving people diet programs & even strict workout programs to lose weight before you even truly know them to me is not integrity, it’s strictly just a business to make money from people.

I don’t need to tell anyone who needs to lose weight that they need to lose weight, yes or no? We both know that is the case, however, no matter what program I put someone on, if the heart is broken & the spirit is crushed it will all be a TEMPORARY experience of heightened optimism that eventually will slow down & then eventually finish once a coach or personal trainer is out of the picture. A real goal is setting them up for success even after you are gone.

A great example is the gym, when a Personal Trainer meets with a client the first time (because it’s free)they get the client pumped up and excited after giving them the basics of using the gym and equipment. BUT if you want anymore advice or training it’s gonna cost you & BIG! So the client gets all excited makes themselves all these promises to get in shape and lose weight, and then one day, goes by, they miss , then 3 days, then 10 days and you get the point.

Why? because there was no emotional, or mindful connection with the staff at the gym and likely because they couldn’t afford the costs of a Personal Trainer. More than that though, it’s more likely the mindset of the person. No one has given them coaching on how they should change their mindset or the “how to.”

Speaking into someone’s life is an honour, if someone lets you in their world, consider yourself blessed, especially in the world we live in today. So many people are broken and do not trust anybody. Be careful with the things people share with you, it’s a huge responsibility. -just had to say that .

Size does NOT Measure someone’s Health

I have met unhealthy thin people and I have met unhealthy overweight people. I have also met healthy curvaceous women and healthy thin women. Yes, the two can coexist. Thanks to the breakdown of Body types we can learn that you can have curves and be healthy, you can be thin and healthy, and you can be tall without curves and be healthy. Bone structure, genes and your Biochemistry all have a part of how you look and respond to losing weight or getting into top shape as well what you eat and how many workouts you do, it’s a package deal. More on that another blog).

The key thing is, we need to STOP body shaming and putting pressure on people, especially women to “lose weight”, the ONLY weight a woman needs to lose in the beginning stages of getting healthy is the weight of society and they’re often times uneducated suggestions.

Getting healthy is a”one day at a time” experience. It’s about evolving as you age, as you go through life stages ie, pregnancy, menopause, health changes, unexpected/expected. It’s making small changes each week, each month and each year. It’s about making the changes necessary in your life in order that you may age strong and live with vitality while your here in this earth. It’s respecting the temple you’ve been given to live in temporarily. It’s teaching your children by example.

So let’s PUT OFF society’s standards when it come to our health & what we look like OR “should look like” and let’s start with self reflection, self appreciation right where we are, self love, education and understanding, compassion, and most of let’s start looking past the external and seek for deeper meaning of the internal to have longer lasting transformations.

Disclaimer: I do not encourage or support obesity. Obesity can lead to very dangerous sickness and disease and therefore can harm or even cause death.

If you are concerned about your health or feel you could be at risk for heart disease PLEASE speak to a General Practitioner as your first steps to wellness.

Me and my Olde English Bulldogge Tawnie

Stress, Sickness, Bloodwork & Miracles!

The Mind & Body Connection

Have you ever wondered why so many people today in our society suffer from so many digestive disorders with symptoms like bloating, nausea, abdominal pain, depression, anxiety& other ailments that leave people feeling frustrated with unanswered questions & diagnosis. Stomach and gastrointestinal issues if not taken care of sooner than later can show up later down the road as more serious conditions. Well, I consider myself to have just experienced and walked through some similar experiences and the end result has been interesting to say the least.

Personal Experience

The last 6-8 months I haven’t felt myself. My energy levels dropped significantly & in late September i started getting bloating that made me look six months pregnant. I was more irritable, anxious and more symptoms started to come and by the last three weeks I knew something was off, this wasn’t just perimenopause starting, this was something to do with my digestive system & stomach. Headaches, stomach pains, depression, anxiety, constipation, bloating, loss of appetite, fatigue & flatulence became a daily thing. This affected my energy so much that my workouts had taken a back seat. I just simply didn’t have the energy or “get up and go” I’ve had the last several years. Something was wrong.

Up until 3 weeks ago I had blocked out these symptoms and wrote it off as hormonal disturbances (which it still could be a part of it)and just lived with it until one of the symptoms raised concern; nausea. This nausea would come and go three times a day. I also had a cold just before Christmas Eve & I had the inability to also chew on the right side to recently find out it was a “failed” (cracked) root canal due to inappropriate treatment. This of course lead to infection.

All of this combined just sucked the life out of me. I wonder if you can relate at all?

The Connection

So, after forty eight years you get to learn your body and you begin to pick up on things so much faster & know when things aren’t right. You also should know by now that getting the proper tests and seeking medical care & holistic care are more important than your pride.

After the nausea hit that was the final straw, I decided to seek out professional guidance, not google😉, which I’m guilty of too.

I’m in the process as I write this to getting some answers and one of them turns out to be STRESS….back in October I had a significant loss, my fur baby Max had passed away under what seemed to be sudden circumstances(congestive heart failure). It was more traumatic than what I ever thought it could be, he was my first dog and I was the one who had to make a last minute decision under pressure(which I am glad I did as it turns out).

Your Brain on Drugs…..remember that Commercial?

There is something lurking in today’s society and can be just a dangerous as taking drugs if left unchecked for too long, it’s the effect of stress on our bodies, especially our organs and digestive system. Don’t get me wrong, our bodies need stress from time to time, and there is a good stress it’s the “eustress” like when your on a rollercoaster or performing in a play in front of hundreds of people. It’s when your pulse quickens and your hormones surge but there is no real threat or fear of danger. This stress is good because it affirms we are alive & we feel excitement about that.

Emotional stress that stays around for weeks or months, eg, the loss of a loved one, divorce, abuse or neglect, these types of stressors can weaken the immune system.

So as I did some personal research (which the doctor told me to do 😉) I‘m almost 100% sure this is where all my symptoms have come from-Stress & poor eating as I share later in the blog.

Check out this list of symptoms from emotional stress;

Low energy.

Headaches.

Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.

Aches, pains, and tense muscles.

Chest pain and rapid heartbeat.

Insomnia.

Frequent colds and infections.

Loss of sexual desire and/or ability

Now keep in mind, you don’t have to have all these symptoms to have stress. Depending on the “stressor” different people have different abilities to cope with stress, and typically those who have consistent good health habits like daily meditation, good nutrition, daily exercise & healthy relationships tend to recover better.

Elimination Process

Last week I made the decision to get help and my first appointment was some in depth blood work and a bacteria(H-Pylori) breathe urea test.

Might I suggest if you having any health concerns that you start with a doctors visit for requisition for blood work….CBC(complete blood count), B12, Vit D, Bilirubin(jaundice), alkaline testing, blood protein testing, etc etc.

Ignoring symptoms will not have them go away, remember, serious disease and illness’ do not happen over night, many(not all) of them CAN be prevented if detected and treated in time.

Well, I am happy to say that ALL the bloodwork in my results can back amazing! Even my B12 and blood protein(for the nay sayers of plant based😉❤️). All my counts are smack dab in the middle. So for transparency I thought I would share my resorts without you below.

So all the blood work so far is good as I wait on the breathe test which can take up to a month as it is shipped out to British Columbia.

The next step would have been an endoscopy but this is where the miracle from my title of this blog comes in.

After Max had passed away, my eating habits changed a lot. I’ve never had that many fries as I had in the last three months than I did the last 20 years! Potato chips, donuts & white bread made a home in my belly for the first time in years.

After getting a cold, a root canal infection, and horrible gastritis issues for the last few weeks I knew I had to take responsibility for my part and that was changing my eating habits back to where I left off.

So within only one week of going on an anti-inflammatory diet, adding a probiotic daily, Betaine Hydrochloride acid that aids in digestion after taking the Home stomach acid test (I realized that I also do not have a high enough acidity in my stomach for proper digestion) my symptoms have all but gone away!

Now that I am eating healthy again those acid levels could change I will perform the test again in four weeks.

Prayer & Gods faithfulness

As a woman of faith you would think the first thing I would do is pray, well, I didn’t, I have a habit of taking matters into my own hands. And of course it can bite us in the butt after a while. It’s so much easier I know to put our trust in God and pray for results, but God has also given us the wisdom and free will to make the changes we need to in our lives to help ourselves, He is the coach in the corner cheering us on.

BUT never think He is not in the healing business still. God does heal & I can’t answer why sometimes prayer doesn’t work or the healing doesn’t come, I’ve been there too, I just know He is loving & has our best interests at heart 100% of the time. The other thing I do know is that when we make bad choices we have to live by the consequences, for me that meant my health.

I have no doubt though that when I reached out in prayer last week while having nausea, I haven’t had any symptoms since then. True story!

You see, God works with us when we work with Him. God did not create us as robots, how much love can I get from a robot? No, it’s like a dance with a partner, you take one step then the other takes the next step, HOWEVER, there has to always be a “lead”, and that’s God. So I did my part and He did His.

Compassionate Advice

I’ll leave this here and you can take it or leave it.

When it comes to your health only YOU, are in charge. Nobody else, not even your closet companion can yell you what’s wrong with you, you probably wouldn’t listen anyways, right?

You only get once chance to make the right decisions and putting off any health concerns you may have out of fear or pride, will only hurt you in the end, and potentially others.

If you are suffering from any ailments or symptoms you’ve never had before, NEVER, underestimate them or slough it off. The first thing I suggest is to make an appointment “in person” with a professional, whether a GP, a Registered Nutritionist or Holistic Practitioner(not you-tubers unless they are registered or certified).

Ask for bloodwork, this also goes for people who are changing their nutritional diet, ALWAYS make sure whatever diet you are choosing that YOU are getting the correct amount of nutrients for your body. Feeling good is not always an accurate “marker”. We are not all the same. My B12 and blood protein is perfect on a plant based diet but yours may not be.

Also, make the decisions according to your personal make up; exercise levels, genetics, body type, allergies, age gender, and doctors advice. Then empower yourself to make personal choices, try out different foods & workouts, know that one type doesn’t fit all, again, I can’t stress this enough but what works for one person may not work for everyone!

Final Words……

Alright, back to stress, please please include some self care in your life no matter what age you are. Self care is not just for us older folks, the earlier you start, the more you are prone to stick with it throughout your life, and listen your gonna need to know healthy coping mechanisms.

Meditate and exercise either cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes daily every day or resistance training 3-5 days a week, eat whole foods from the earth as much as possible. Build healthy relationships & deal with the toxic ones in a healthy and respectful way; cutting people off or not talking to them is NOT healthy(I’m changing that too). Whether relationships are bad or good, talking things out and practicing forgiveness ALWAYS does us better. It doesn’t mean we have to be a part of their lives, it simply is about putting boundaries. (Still learning here 💁🏼‍♀️).

I pray you have a blessed 2020 my friend and may your dreams and visions come to pass, if not this year, keep working on it!

Warm Carrot & Ginger Soup

Cold Rainy Days call for Earthy Warming Soup!

It was one of those, throw on your snuggly warm slippers and sweats & watch TV, be lazy and of course, make homemade soup kind of days.

I ran some errands like shopping (it’s all I do with three teenage boys & my husband in the house), at one of my favourite new health food stores, aka Healthy Planet, No Frills was also on the list, and then I checked the mailbox for the first time in a week, it’s mostly junk anyways, agree?

After being outside in the awful wet cold rain I decided it’s a great day for soup, and so the journey began.

Detoxing, Gut issues

After the holidays how many of you do a detox?💁🏼‍♀️ that’s me, only this year I didn’t eat much because of a cold I somehow caught on Christmas Eve…great timing right? Anyways, it’s always something I do right before the New Year, you know some cleaning up of loose ends (lol did you catch that?).

Alright let’s move on, so I shared in a previous blog of some newly discovered sensitivities to certain foods & decided that this soup recipe had to be gluten friendly & anti-inflammatory, so after a little research, I found one (recipe)Anti-Inflammatory Carrot, Turmeric & Ginger Soup , thank you Simply Quinoa!

I knew that if I were going to ease the bloat and gas 🥴, this soup had all the winning ingredients, and speaking of ingredients, have you ever done your research on the benefits of Turmeric ?, if not, it’s time you have. It’s a root plant from the ginger family with some pretty incredible claims from treating cancer to preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. Check it out!

Other great ingredients like Ginger and garlic have amazing benefits as well and are good for digestive concerns. One of my top favourite soups is Butternut squash so of course this recipe HAD to have some in it and besides that’s what makes this soup earthy.

Have you ever tried Fennel? Believe it or not this recipe is the very first time I cooked with it. I love it, I think of licorice when I smell it. Not even sure if I could taste it in the soup but it has to be in there for some flavour.

Chopping, Blending & Stolen Bread

One thing I used to hate about cooking was all the chopping involved, but lately I’m not sure if it’s a part of aging but I actually enjoy chopping up veggies & slicing and dicing. Crazy right? I thought so too.:)

Be aware there is a lot of rough chopping in this recipe between the 3 cups of carrots and the 1 cup of butternut squash, you’ve got your work cut out for you(I did it again, puns are fun🙃), I suppose if you have a really good knifec, it won’t be as hard. I need some Heinkel knives(next Christmas present).

If you do not own a Vitamix blender I don’t know what to say except that if you ever have the money to invest in one, I highly suggest it. I’ve had mine now over 8 years and it still works like a charm! Not all green drinks are the same, trust me, you would like how a vitamix blends green drinks, but what I love is the option for making soup, yep, it cooks soup! pretty cool eh? It’s takes only 5-7 minutes and you have fresh piping hot soup.

So, what goes with fresh homemade soup? That’s right! BREAD! So of course when I was out picking up some groceries I picked up two fresh baked sticks of bread(sourdough preferably, but whatever your heart desires). Well, after I finished the soup to the point of simmering I went to set the table and the bread was no where to be found!! Two loaves -GONE!!

How can anyone have soup without fresh bread?!?! The culprits, it tunes out was two teenage boys living in my house. Side note: Quick question for y’all, do any of you hide food from your teenagers or is it just us? Well, having the bread 🥖 disappear and no dipping for the soup, it may start to happen more often.

A Win for the Soup!

Well, Soup was a success, for my husband and I that is. The boys, not so much. I guess the bread was enough or perhaps it was the colour🤷🏼‍♀️ but for us it was delicious! Seriously, if your looking for a great soup (30 minutes from start to finish)that is hearty & healthy and gentle on the belly, this is for you. If your detoxing it’s safe and great for your digestive system.

As you celebrate New Years Eve tomorrow with friends & family…

BE safe & Enjoy!

May 2020 be a great year of blessings, physically, spiritually and emotionally!

Adapting & Balancing Personal Nutritional Needs

The Freedom to Choose

As some may know, three years ago I decided to stop eating meat and dairy. My choices were primarily health reasons and animal welfare & our planet. I knew that I would get kickback from people and that’s ok because one thing we need to realize sooner than later is that food choices are exactly that, a choice. If people disagree based on their passion, the great thing is you can write your own blog about your beliefs or choices.

Nutritional choices are also not about being right or wrong, it’s about a journey of learning about our bodies and what works for us, and not necessarily will it always work for others, it’s freedom of choice and respecting each other’s choices.

Media & Persuasion

Now, if you have Netflix or access to the internet you will see an argument for every diet out there today, from Keto to Vegan to Paleo. I will be the first to say that many documentaries will glorify their cause & hammer the opponent that doesn’t agree, and they ALL do it.

This is where we as the consumer and people should make our own personal decisions based on either experience or scientific knowledge that’s been proven, which many diets have not been around long enough or studied enough to backup their claims.

Chemistry & Hormones

As we all know, age is a process that has no bias and with it comes many many transformations, especially for women. For me, this past year and half I started perimenopause: still getting your period but all the symptoms of menopause: when you stop getting your period. Up until 47 (a year ago), I felt like a vibrant, energetic & healthy thirty-something year old. Seriously, I wish I had of bottled it all back then so I could take it now.

It turns out hormones can change everything from the hair growing on your chin & falling out in your head, to your biochemistry and digestive system issues.

Back to the Drawing Board

Lo and behold after recent systemic issues like bloating, stomach pain, nausea and headaches I’ve come to realize after research and personal trial and error my body can no longer digest lentils, beans or legumes, the sad truth is that that’s where a lot of my protein has come from over the years since going plant based. It’s the oligosaccharides, sugars(complex carbs)that don’t digest anymore.

I had a naturopath suggest I take a probiotic or other digestive enzyme to help aid in digestion but I can’t reason eating one thing to support another, although I do think taking a daily probiotic is great for you.

I will be getting some bloodwork done & urine tests to rule out any other possible health concerns but besides coffee and gluten being a huge problem for my digestive system, some things I used to eat just can’t be digested anymore.

After much thought and trial and error the last 3-4 months, especially after experiencing recently horrible systemic issues I’ve decided to include wild salt water seafood(tuna,wild salmon, trout) to my nutrition. 

Labels…blah blah blah

One thing I decided from the get go was that I would never get caught up in the “label trap”, you know, vegan, plant based, keto, paleo, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc etc . One way of eating for the rest of your life is impossible! Don’t believe me, wait till you approach 50! You’ll see, your biochemistry will change and so therefore your nutritional requirements will too.

Labels are like religions, it separates people & causes a lot of useless arguments. Hey! If what your eating is working for you, fantastic! my hope for everyone is that they will be healthy & live a life of vitality and if what your eating is doing that for you….why wouldn’t you eat it?

Moving Forward

I’m so excited to find my balance at this age now as I approach my 50’s it’s more important to me to find that balance and to enjoy those golden years with VITALITY!

I encourage you to talk with naturopaths, holistic specialists and have tests done periodically as you go through different stages of life to make sure your getting optimal nutrition.

Optimal Nutrition;

It’s the difference between “being” and “living”.

A Rekindling, A Fresh Start

Can you feel it?

Not sure if it’s just me lately but I feel there is a shift coming for many people in 2020.

Those of us who started something weeks ago, months ago, or even years ago….however long it’s been, whatever your task, whatever your purpose, GREAT or small….I believe that this is the year that all those tearful prayers, dark battles & physical demands are going to bare a vineyard of sweet fruit!

I am a spiritually grounded woman (still in the sanctification process I must add😉),and so all that I look for around and in me must make sense spiritually & deep down I feel God telling me that those dreams, ambitions and purposes I thought had died are going to resurrect & come to life. I’ve already seen & experienced it; in my marriage, in my soul, & in those amazing people around me who I call friend, family, brother or sister.

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

There is only one way you will know that you are in the right place at the right time and that’s having your eyes fixed on our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Let’s face it, many who will read this will admit to themselves that they’ve been let down by the church in one way or another, they had expectations that left them downcast or broken. Maybe it wasn’t even the church itself or the leadership, maybe it was a member of the church or someone you called brother or sister or perhaps it could even be a spouse, a child, or a parent.

Let me encourage your sweet soul today, no man, no woman, no experience(bad or good)can ever remove you from the love of God or His plans for you. Romans 8:35 God still has you in the palms of His hands

There is something called “healing” that MUST take place in your heart & soul before you can move forward to fulfilling your dreams & God given purpose, in fact it’s something Jesus told us we needed to do before He could use us. Matthew 6:14,15 Forgiveness is healing.

Time to Move Forward

How many times a day do you rehash the negative experiences in your life? Either things others have done to you or perhaps maybe something you have done to someone else. Regardless of what it is, it’s time to STOP! Don’t waste another minute going over the negative emotions attached to that traumatic experience you had. It’s OVER! It’s New year, a new beginning, behold all old things are passed away & behold all things are become new.

Today is a NEW DAY! It’s the “present” 🎁 you have been given. You are alive!

What happened to you is done, don’t let it rob you of anymore of the precious minutes and hours you have left to live. If we don’t let go we can’t move forward my friend. I’ve been in the depths of depression and I can honestly say that there were times I let my mind wonder too long in the pits of life & what has been done to me & I got stuck.

My friend, it won’t move you forward, it will keep you bound, STUCK, held back & hopeless.

I want to be sensitive to your pain and say that pain is pain, no matter what we may say is worse than another, our pain is individual and it hurts. My heart goes out to you, even now maybe someone is facing a horrible situation with a child, perhaps a divorce, maybe an illness, I am sorry, truly. I know you CAN make it through, God loves you more than any human being, there is no other love like His, He wants to be your comfort, your friend, your confident, your strength, your joy.

JOY in the MORNING

January 1st, 2020 you will have a choice to make, you can say to yourself, (put your name here) “—————-” we’ve been here to long now and we have a purpose and dreams to fulfill, so let’s get up, get dressed, shake off all these cobwebs & move FORWARD…..OR you can wake up & just sit and stay in the same place you’ve been the last several years, months, days & decide that your PAIN is worth more than your PURPOSE. Ive always been a firm believer that there is PURPOSE in PAIN, but there comes a time you have to let the pain go so that your purpose can be fulfilled.

You can decide that even though God has given you many gifts to use for His creation and glory, you will squander it & keep it hidden under a rock.

I suggest that you wake up January 1st determines to have a renewed JOY…renewed PURPOSE…renewed FAITH…renewed HOPE…and a renewed STRENGTH.

It’s time to breathe again! It’s time to raise your hands and worship the Father in Heaven again with your whole heart. Live in the now! Who is promised tomorrow? Not one of us….life is precious dear soul.

Let 2020 be the year for rebirths, unveiling, purpose, rekindling, new birth, vision….& GROWTH!

Psalm 30:11 you have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. 

Gratitude

What is Gratitude?

Just what is gratitude and why does it seem to be more and more the centre of conversations when talking about health & wellness.

Gratitude ….the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

So it seems by the definition that more and more people are finding that the practice of being thankful & showing appreciation has so many health benefits.

Benefits of the practice of Gratitude

Who would have ever guessed that being thankful in our lives for so many reasons would actually help make us better as an individual, better employees, experience deeper more meaningful relationships & ultimately have a more positive outlook on life.

Here are some of the scientific findings of what happens when people practiced gratitude;

  • Better nights sleep
  • Increase in self-esteem
  • Mental stability/well being
  • New relationships & restoration of broken relationships
  • Better nutrition
  • More energy
  • Less irritability & more compassion & understanding for other
  • Less envy & jealousy of others
  • Counteract depression & suicidal thoughts
  • Better cardiovascular health

There are more but can you BELIEVE it! This is a pretty long list of great benefits just for being THANKFUL!

If you ask me this is the cheapest therapy there is out there today.

Putting it into Practice

When I first researched this a few months ago & discovered all the benefits, I started practicing right away. Was it easy? It’s not that it’s easy or hard, the challenge is, it’s just not in our human nature to do such a thing.

Let’s be honest, we as humans can be pretty selfish & often entitled. There are many times I just take things for granted, example; there is food in my fridge, or, I am able to see, touch, smell hear and taste….who would think that our five senses are something to be grateful for? Right?!(sarcasm:)

How & where do we start?

The best times to practice gratitude are first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. It’s like resetting your grateful clock every day, morning and night.

Being grateful for at least three different things each day is a great start. If we can’t think of at least three, we’re in deep waters & perhaps grabbing a friend or loved one to coach you is a great idea.

You can speak these three things out loud & even better, you can write them down, this is now your chance to purchase that fancy dollar store journal.

A tangible thing you can do to practice gratitude is to volunteer. This is a HUGE one for me, I was practising gratitude for years and didn’t even realize it. Serving others freely with no strings attached or recognition is a great way to show gratitude because it not only blesses you, it’s a two way street of blessing others as well.

When to Start

NOW! There’s no better time. I started back in June & I will admit it’s definitely not consistent as much as I would like it to be, but I’m definitely better than I was. I’m more cognitive of my behaviour as well & I am not moved as much by the actions of others. It just really humbled you & keeps you grounded.

Final thoughts

Have you ever been going through a storm in your life and thought this can’t get any worse?, then all of a sudden you find yourself having this inner conversation in your head; “somebody else is going through worse than me, so I need to stop worrying & be THANKFUL for what I have, it could be worse! Did you know that is GRATITUDE? It sure is, gratitude also puts things into perspective and builds an appreciation for what we have in this moment, in the bad times and the good times.

So before you grab your phone first thing tomorrow morning when you wake up, try practicing gratitude by thinking of, then speaking out loud three things you are GRATEFUL for!

Letting Pain – Propel you to YOUR Purpose

Why?

Have you ever asked yourself, “why have I gone through all this pain in my life?” It’s a question I have often asked myself over the years, probably since I was a child if I were to be honest.

PAIN is something we all experience, it may be different experiences with different degrees of pain, however, pain is pain & the bigger picture is to figure out the why so that we can begin to live our lives to its fullest potential and stop letting our past pain control so much of our future.

The Source of our Pain

Growing up I spent much of my life grounded and confined to my room. If I had to break it down by percentage I would say between the ages of 4-13, I spent approximately 70% of my time alone, isolated and feeling rejected.

For years I often wondered to myself what I had done to deserve such isolation & what made me such a nuisance to my family. To this day I still haven’t figured it out and out of respect for my parents I won’t assume anything.

That isolation however over the years came with several side effects including social phobias, anxiety, low self-esteem and the need to be seen and heard in destructive patterns later on in life leading to promiscuity, alcohol abuse, & self-identity issues as a teen as well as into adulthood, affecting life long decisions in regards to careers, marriage & other relationships.

Heavy Baggage

It’s easy for anyone to sit back and say to themselves, wow, I have a lot of baggage I’m carrying from my life. For some it can be heavy as early as their first 5 years of life as a child to be carrying an insurmountable load of baggage sadly.

So how do we accept our pain for what it is & move forward from the pain of the past to live our best life? the biggest question to ask ourselves is; who do we become because of it? Well, this is where the word PROPEL comes into my post today. This morning as I was meditating on who I’ve become over the years, I thought of three words; PAIN -PROPEL & PURPOSE. I believe I have finally come to the resolution & the acceptance of my pain being the propeller to my purpose in this life.

Letting Go!

From the beginning of time, pain was a part of the human race. It’s often hard for us to conceive that a loving God would allow destruction & pain to enter our world, however, freewill was the very first act of love God gave mankind. With that freedom man chose the path that led to pain & suffering for the course of the human race.

If I were to be honest I have pointed my finger at God for my pain and suffering at certain times in my life, even as recent as several months ago. Thankfully by His grace and mercy He is not affected by our wayward thoughts & feelings.

Through struggle, conflict, betrayal & rejection, I have chosen to meditate & pray my way through the pain of the past & I have taken much personal inventory over the last couple of years especially & I’ve decided to allow the pain in my life to propel me to my purpose.

Purpose in the Pain

Strength Just like gaining muscular strength by repetition & weight, painful experiences strengthens us. Pain will either help you find your strength or lose it.

Perseverance….the ability to endure the storms of life & not allow fear to over take your mind affecting how you handle tragedy & trials.

Maturity …pain will choose for us how quickly we mature or we also have the choice to revert & remain stunted in our development.

Wisdom…without pain we learn that we would never embrace hope or faith.

Humility …pain helps us to relate to others who are hurting. It keeps us from becoming unresponsive to the pain others suffer around us.

The Need for a Saviour….yes, pain will force us to our knees in search of God & putting our trust in the One who truly can save us and give us life! My darkest moments in life propelled me to find the light, the truth & the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The Ultimate Purpose?

So what is my purpose?, the purpose from all the pain?, simply, it is to be like Jesus to the world. It is to love the “unlovable”, to feed the hungry, to be a living sacrifice in every area, to be a loving mom, to be a loving wife, a loving friend, a loving coworker, a loving stranger….etc.

You see, our pain identifies with the pain Jesus suffered for us. There was no greater pain and suffering than that which He experienced and for what?, all for us to be able to have a purpose in our pain in this life.

He knew we would suffer in, remember at the beginning of my post?, the “free will” He gave us was the ultimate factor in our fate all because He decided not to make us robots and force us to love Him. What kind of love would it be if we forced others to love us?

His purpose in His pain was to bring the world the gift of salvation & a hope that will live beyond our life here on this earth.

So I leave this with you today, do not let your pain lie dormant & useless. Do not allow it to make you bitter. Do not let it rob you of peace and joy.

Choose today to let your Pain Propel you to YOUR Purpose!

James 1:2-4, discover the purpose behind your pain. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ might I suggest saying this prayer below & opening your heart to the One who can teach you how to live a life of purpose despite the pain you have experienced.

Prayer,

Dear Jesus, I do not understand in this moment what I am doing or even saying but I trust by faith that you will hear these words and open my eyes of understanding and show yourself to me. I choose to allow you to become Lord over my life & even though I cannot see you or touch you, I choose to believe by faith that you are the way, the truth and the life and that no person comes to God the Father except through you.

Please forgive me of any sin that has separated me from you & make me clean this day. Renew my mind and spirit I pray.

I ask that you lead me to people of faith & that you will order my steps from this day forward.

I give you my pain and ask that you will make it my purpose in this life & that hope, faith and love will be my foundation form this moment forward.

I pray all these things in Jesus precious name! Amen!

If you prayed this prayer and would like to share with someone please feel free to contact me.

God truly loves you!

Women, Aging & ABs

Photo credit: Billie Cedillos

Do I have To!

Sometimes it can seem like a daunting task trying to flatten and shape our abdominals right? Or is it just me -no way!

If I were honest it’s one of those “do I have to” workouts that I put off as much as possible.

Let’s admit it, it’s a lot of effort for little gain especially after your 40’s!

ABs made in the Kitchen, yes & no!

We’ve all heard that ABs are made in the kitchen and there is definitely some truth to that, however, as women enter their late 30’s-50’s, there’s a lot more to take into consideration.

Thanks(but no thanks)to estrogen levels dropping during peri menopause and menopause, the body fat from hips and thighs begin to transport to the abdomen.

Good fat vs Bad fat

Do keep in mind that no matter how many crunches, mountain climbers or reverse curls you do or how much you tweak your nutrition, we will forever have some what of a pooch which is just subcutaneous fat which we all need some.

The fat that is concerning is the belly fat that we gain over 2-5 pounds below the abdominal wall which is called visceral fat & this typically lies deeper in the abdomen; this fat is not good as it can cause inflammation in the body and eventually contributing to more serious conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

What now? Good habits vs Hormones

So, what do we do? As hormones starts to change? Start here;

•drink plenty of water

•choose whole foods like veggies, whole grains, fruits)

•do cardio at least 3x a week for 30 minutes or longer OR do HiiT interval training, I do high intensity intervals in my treadmill 3-4 days/week for 10-15 minutes total

•incorporate resistance training 3-5 days/week if you haven’t already, this spikes your metabolism & tones and defines, especially important during the menopause stage.

•get a good nights rest

•practice meditation

•include a wide variety of abdominal exercises, not all AB exercises have to be crunches

One day at a Time

Don’t let this list stress you out, that is the LAST thing a mindful coach wants to do, instead I want you to look at it like this, one small change makes for consistency. This is key to any thing new we start in life. If we put too much pressure or expectation on ourselves, we will almost always end up quitting.

Rome was not built in a day & neither can ABs or a healthy lifestyle

Remember to love yourself for where you are in this moment & take one day at a time on your journey of being your best & most of all, ENJOY THE RIDE!

Passion, Pain & Purpose …New Beginnings

Have you ever heard that saying; “good things come to those that wait?” Well, I do believe that saying is true to a point…..it has indeed taken over 25+ years to get here today; so I’ve definitely waited, however, in the “waiting” it’s important to be “doing”, what exactly do I mean by that? Continue reading….

Conception

While living in Mississauga, Ontario at 22 years of age & on my own, I realized there had to be more to life. I felt unfulfilled & wanted a challenge. I was working as a personal trainer & aerobics instructor at the YMCA at the time. A year prior to that I began my own healthy lifestyle by going vegetarian, giving up smoking, eating all the carbs after midnight, and drinking (quite a lot) & of course this lifestyle included an exercise program.

Picture above: 24 years old…3 years of adapting a healthy lifestyle.

Passion & Purpose

When I had decided to work at the YMCA & quite my waitressing job at a five & dime truck stop, I knew that wherever I would plant my roots it would always be in the health and fitness industry. I was going to change peoples lives one person at a time, I had a vision of getting people healthy & teaching them how to enjoy their lives and beat the odds (or at least try)of disease & a mediocre life.

Purpose on Hold….

Shortly after working for the YMCA & finding my “passion & purpose” I got bad news about my father, he had had his very first stroke at 51 years of age. My heart broke, that strong willed, independent & hard working man became vulnerable and lost his greatest passion in life after 35 years; becoming an owner/operator of his own trucking business for a large company, Phillip Environmental.

His dream came to an abrupt end & my passion for something in life was just beginning.

More bad news

Shortly after the sad news about my father, I was in shock & sadness to find out my mom had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Life was changing quickly & I realized more how important it was for me to keep my focus & to take care of my own health. Staying healthy & focused gave me the ability to help my loved ones who needed me for the first time.

I decided a year later to leave Mississauga & go live with my mother & help her through the next stage of her life and recovery from so much trauma.

Some 10 years later in October of 2003 I lost my dad. After several strokes, a prosthesis, and an infection he sadly lost his battle with heart disease. One of the hardest times in my life; I was a daddy’s girl & he was the only rock I had when I needed one. (Miss you dad).

Labour First THAN Delivery

Years later, after marriage, children & a new found faith in Jesus Christ plus lots of mountain top & valley experiences & learning to become my BEST through it all; I am ready to help others & coach them to become the BEST version of themselves, MIND BODY & SPIRIT

Don’t get me wrong, my marriage & my children are my greatest purpose & passion, however, I believe there is an individual purpose & passion inside all of us apart from our loved ones.

What I have learned the most is that anything worth value in our lives comes with sacrifice & a lot of hard work. The mountains & valleys in life are the very things needed for us to grow & develop, I often think of life’s greatest blessings unto that of the birth of my children, I needn’t explain it to the mothers reading this as you would agree that that final PUSH, that final drop of sweat & PAIN is the greatest pathway to our greatest blessing, our children.

And so it is with our PURPOSE and PASSIONS in life.

New Beginnings….On my Own

Thus, the birth of BE UR BEST ON THE GO, a Health & Fitness business delivering all your needs to become the BEST version of you!

Registered & now a sole proprietor, I have the responsibility to change lives & help others adapt to a healthy lifestyle & learn to love themselves enough to prioritize their health; One day at a time!

BE UR BEST at any age! You are WORTH it!

Thai Coconut Curry Squash Soup

 

Butternut Squash; Thai Coconut Curry Soup

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Fall is on the horizon

Many things about this time of year appeal to me, but nothing more than homemade soups. I am always on a mission of creating a new recipe for a delicious, satisfying and visually appealing soup.

There are many soup recipes out there and anyone who knows me understands that I never ever follow a recipe(unless I’m baking :)). I don’t like being put in a box when it coms to cooking, this is where each individuals creativity can be unleashed!

Thailand and it’s amazing flavours

Ahan Thai is the national cuisine of Thailand, balance, detail, and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs. 

Thai food is known for demonstrating “intricacy; attention to detail; texture; colour; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavour”, as well as care being given to the food’s appearance, smell and context.  This is perhaps why I like to add Thai infusion to many of my recipes.

Butternut Squash

A few weeks ago I decided to make a butternut squash soup which I have made numerous times, however, I thought I would put a Thai twist on it and I’m so happy I did.Butternut squash is a wonderful vegetable. It is versatile and can used in many different ways. Soups, stir fry, steamed, baked, desserts are just a few to mention. Butternut squash instructions.

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Thai Coconut Curry Soup Recipe

Not sure why on a hot day in summer I felt like making this soup but I had a couple cans of organic coconut milk in my cupboard and a 2 week old butternut squash and I thought, what the heck, lets make a warming flavourful soup tonight.

One of my favourite spices is curry, in fact if blood types are correct(I’m type O-), curry is supposed to be a great spice for you. Curry  tumeric and many other spices of the east are very beneficial and used for many medicinal purposes.

I did not use any other recipe for this soup. This is all from scratch and I will try my best to give exact measurements(Sorry I don’t measure & I made this soup 3 weeks ago). The best thing to do when cooking is add a little bit of ingredient at a time and taste it as you go especially when adding spices.

OK, so here it is below, oh, and don’t forget! the best side to a delicious soup is of course fresh bread, my go to is sour dough. 🙂

Recipe Serves 4-5 (When chopping ingredients, do not be picky as you will be blending all these ingredients in a blender once boiled.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash 1-2 lbs (peeled, cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil OR coconut oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 green pepper(chopped)
  • 1 medium onion(chopped)
  • 1 leek (chopped) be sure to clean really well inside leaves. How to clean and slice leeks
  • 2-3 cloves garlic OR 2 tablespoons jar chopped garlic
  • sea salt/ground pepper to flavour
  • 1 teaspoon curry(of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 1/2 can (400 ml) organic coconut milk
  • 2-3 small fresh basil leaves(Thai sweet basil or asian basil is best)
  • 2 cups low sodium veggie broth

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan sauté peppers, onions & garlic in olive oil on low until translucent.
  2. Add 2 cups of veggie broth and rest of ingredients EXCEPT the coconut milk.
  3. Once squash is firm & tender(not mushy) you can use your blender(vitamix), magic bullet, etc…and carefully add all ingredients(you made need to do two separate portions at a time. Blend until smooth.
  4. Place soup mixture into a soup pot and bring to boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Once boiled, turn down to a simmer for 15  minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk at this stage and continue to simmer for another 15-30 minutes to absorb all flavours.

Serve with fresh basil leaves on top and with your favourite bread of choice & enjoy!