Stability, the spine, your health!

As a Personal Trainer and fitness instructor, I can just look at my clients and see in their stance the toll that emotional, mental and physical stress is taking on their physical bodies; the fatigue and muscular imbalances that hunch the shoulders over, compress the spinal column and constrict the breath and energy flow through the central organs.  Creating alignment and stability in our physical frame by developing core muscles that support our spinal column is foundational for any other body work we do.  What we don't see on the outside is how poor posture affects the functioning of our physiological and organ functioning and this is crucial to our overall health! 

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A spine that is lengthened, not compressed, is a more open channel for energy to flow thru, and each organ of the body has its natural position and place that is, to a large degree, maintained by correct alignment. Physiological and organ function depend greatly on a neutral and supported posture. This also affects our ability to fully breathe, because the diaphragm--the primary muscle responsible for breathing--is attached to the ribs, spine and hip flexor muscle. Rounded shoulders prevent the rib cage from being able to fully expand, which interferes with our breathing---this is very important to understand and can make all the difference in the world in your health!  

The very first thing I work with new clients on is their alignment and foot placement--the integrity of the entire frame begins at the foot!   So I analyze foot strike--do they strike heavily on the inside of the foot or outside, check knee-to-toes alignment--and how we can improve if needed--and then we work on getting strength and flexibility all throughout the foot and the ankle.  This is when we start working on achieving and maintaining neutral posture thru core strengthening:  The most important function of a neutral posture is to keep the body in an upright position and supporting the frame against the pull of gravity.  If there is dysfunction in the alignment, excess stress and weight is put on muscles and joints which can lead to a significant amount of pain and discomfort.  And if you've ever had this type of back pain you know what this is about!

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What is neutral posture?  The head centered over the shoulders, shoulders pressed down & back,  back pulled up out of the hips and chest lifted, knees slightly bent, a gentle pull-in of the belly-button to engage the abs, and feet stable on the floor with your body weight distributed between both feet.  Whether seated or standing, we always want to keep the back lifted, and not settling into the hips--it's as if a string is attached to the back top of the head pulling you towards the ceiling and another string is attached to the tail bone pulling you towards the floor.  Once you learn how to do this and start to practice it in everyday life, it doesn't take long to get to the point where it just occurs naturally without much thought.  And when carrying a heavy backpack, purse or briefcase on one side, the ability to keep the spine in alignment and supported is even more important to avoid imbalances leading to chronic pain.

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Its also amazing how much more confident people look when they walk into a room with a balanced upright posture!  Have you ever noticed that?  Body language is powerful and confidence attracts others to us, improving our ability to feel connected with our inner strength and more positively engaged with others. This is one lesson I learned from my mom as a young girl, being always taller than anyone else till I turned about 13 which made me want to hunch over.  And yes, my mom did make me walk across my room with books stacked on my head everyday--ha!  But she was right--Thanks Mom!

Become more aware of your posture during the day by hitting the pause button and checking in with your body! 

Let me help you find your perfect alignment and best health! We will have you walking taller, feeling stronger and living healthier in no time!  Contact me here

Be Well!  Carol   

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Protein Crazy!

It seems that everyone these days is concerned with protein--and no wonder with all the food and drink products being advertised and supplements hocked by so-called fitness "experts". Typical questions I get from clients and curiosity-seekers: "Am I getting enough? Doesn't protein help in losing weight?  I have to eat meat to get protein, right? Should I buy a protein powder?"

As if we really need to be concerned about not getting enough protein! Americans typically eat WAY more than they need, and especially in animal products and protein supplements. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a key role in how our bodies function, but despite all the hooplah about high-protein diets, our protein requirements are really not that much: only about a third of a gram per pound of body weight.  

"Protein should provide about 15% of an average healthy person’s daily calories. As a rule of thumb, people of both sexes and any size will do fine with about 60 grams of protein a day". 

If you are a meat-eater, about 6-12 ounces of meat per day for example, will more than fit the bill!  If you like eggs, one egg is 6 gms protein and two eggs gives you 1/4 of your daily protein needs! (This is not an estimate for professional athletes or bodybuilders, this is only for the average person who is reasonably active). If you are active and a regular exerciser, you will need a little more protein in your diet.  Very important for my girlfriends out there!: A woman’s risk of breast cancer goes up significantly the more animal protein they consume, so it’s recommended that women only have one serving of animal flesh per day, and one serving is about 5-6 ounces, or visually the size of your palm.  In fact, eating a high-meat diet is related to a much higher risk for many diseases in both males and females, especially heart disease and colon cancer. Excess dietary protein creates more uric acid which upsets ph balance, increases calcium loss in the urine, raises the risk for osteoporosis and kidney stones, and results in more inflammation throughout the body.  Joint pain?  Two things I look at first with a new Health Coaching client:  meat consumption and water intake. Dehydration affects the joints and nerves and will create and increase pain.  To avoid weight gain or to lose weight, you certainly don’t want to take in more protein than you need. Your body will use the protein it needs and actually just store any extra as fat!  

A greater concern than "how much?" is "from where?" Meat sourced from factory farms that raise animals loaded with growth hormones and antibiotics, fed mostly GMO corn and soy,  and in an environment that fosters diseased and terribly stressed animals is not a healthy source. These also increasingly harbor salmonella outbreaks. Whenever possible, look at local sources of animal meat raised on sustainable farms concerned with the ethical treatment of their livestock. Otherwise, I'd say purchase the highest quality you can--which will be more expensive--but eat smaller amounts of meat, and start moving towards a more plant-based diet. Your health will be vastly improved and you will spend less on your food budget! 

If everyone were to adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet, I believe we could lower our healthcare costs by 70-80%” Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD

And then we get to the part where I tell you that veggies also have protein in them. And that it's possible for many, but not all, to get plenty from plant sources. Learning what works best for you is an experiment worth exploring!  Did you know that one cup of cooked lentils provides you with almost 18 grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber?  Lentils are also loaded with iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium and folate. In fact, plant foods are a great source to fill your protein needs. Including more plant sources of protein will also offer more a lot more health benefits including live enzymes, lots of antioxidants to fight free-radical damage, healthy gut bacteria, more fiber and loads of essential nutrients. There are lots of nutrient dense foods with a high protein content!

Just keep in mind, it’s always more important to eat a varied diet than to isolate and focus on any one nutrient. Whole Real Foods that you mostly prepare at home are wonderful nature packages with nutrients that all work synergistically to give your body exactly what it needs. 

if you're ready to really and finally reach your health and fitness goals--which includes learning how to eat super-nutritiously, how to cook and prepare delicious, quick and inexpensive meals, have a stronger body and more resilient immune system, and to create a healthier lifestyle in every way--contact me!  This is what I coach, teach and live everyday!  Check out my website: www.bestuwellness.com and the different programs and services I offer.  Then reach out!  I'd love to talk to you.   Be Well!  Carol

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Happy Spring Quinoa Salad! w/Herbed Avocado--Yuuumm!

Have I told you how much I LOVE cooking? And of course EATING too!   I sometimes have a health coaching client that doesn't really cook at all, and part of my job as their coach is to teach them how easy and healthy it is to prepare something luscious in a short amount of time!  There's something about using what you have in your own kitchen to create delicious, nourishing and beautiful meals that just makes you feel more satisfied, more in charge of your life and more able to meet your health goals. All of the ingredients in this gorgeous meal-in-a-bowl are clean, detoxifying and healing--and perfect for warm weather! Super shout-out to COOKIE + Kate for this adapted gem!

1. To cook the quinoa: In a saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup low-sodium veggie broth and 1 pat of butter or 1 Tbls olive oil.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, remove the pot from heat and let it rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt.

2. To toast the sunflower seeds: Pour the seeds into a small pan. Heat the seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and turning golden on the edges. Remove from heat.

3. To make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, mustard and honey until emulsified. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste.

4. To prepare the avocado: In a small bowl, combine the chunks of avocado, lemon or lime juice, chopped fresh herbs, minced garlic, coriander and sea salt. Mash with a fork until the mixture is blended and no longer chunky.

5.  Assemble the salads: Divide the arugula and quinoa between two large salad bowls. Drizzle lightly with vinaigrette (you will have leftover vinaigrette) and toss to coat. Divide the radishes and carrots between the two bowls, top with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, and add a big ol' dollop of herbed avocado. Serve!

We need a revolution. Cooking real food is a revolutionary act.* We have lost the means to care for ourselves. We have now raised the second generation of Americans who don’t know how to cook. The average child in America doesn’t know how to identify even the most basic vegetables and fruit; our kids don’t know where their food comes from or even that it grows on a farm
— Dr. Mark Hyman.

Dr Hyman was one of my professors at my Integrated Wellness and Nutrition School (IIN) He's the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.  Check out his article Why Cooking Can Save Your Life and you might get even more inspired!

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Be Well!   Carol (and Henry the Beast!) 

 

Ingredients:                      

¼ cup olive oil                                                  

1 lemon zested and juiced                              

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard                              

½ teaspoon local honey                            

Dash sea salt                                              

Lots of freshly ground black  pepper            

½ cup quinoa, rinsed under running water in a fine mesh colander

2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 cups arugula

2 radishes, sliced into super thin strips or rounds

3 carrots, peeled and then sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Lemon vinaigrette

¼ cup olive oil

1 lemon (preferably organic), zested and juiced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon honey

Dash sea salt

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Herbed avocado

1 large avocado, diced

¼ cup olive oil                                                  

1 lemon zested and juiced                              

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard                              

2 cloves garlic minced

Dash sea salt                                              

Lots of freshly ground black  pepper            

 

The season of Brotherly & Sisterly Love--join me!

The Holidays can be wonderful and joyous times to be together and count our many blessings, but they also bring their own stressors:  family "togetherness" tension, the exhaustion of over-scheduled calendars, increased financial stress, guilt and remorse about the expectations of others, and deep sadness and grief that is overwhelming for some around us.  As we go about our daily work and social interactions, let's keep our eyes open to see those who need comfort, whetherencouraging words, a family meal, a handwritten note, a kind and knowing look ("I see you") or maybe a big hug.  In being present and open to the needs of others--not expecting to receive, but to give--the season becomes more magical and meaningful! 

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The Winter Season is always a reminder to slow down, and take the time to create space for quiet reflection, restoration, awareness of breath, focusing on gratefulness and the honoring of the true needs of our body, soul and spirit.  If you're in Nashville, join me for a special candle-lit Bodyworks Winter Solstice Mat Class on Thursday December 15th, 6-7pm at the Shelby Park Nature Center. Call to reserve your spot: 615.862.8539,  space is limited!  We'll have some healthy nibbles and raise a glass to the season--after workout, of course!.... In lieu of a class fee, please bring nicely used warm coats, scarfs and gloves for our homeless brothers and sisters! I would love to connect with you--Feel free to reach out and contact me here   Be Well!--Carol

It's here! My Holiday Thriving Tips

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Here it comes-- my favorite time of the year!   We keep things simple around here, basking in the time we can just spend together and enjoying family meals, maybe a movie or two and walks in the park.  With all three of my kids being grown ups now and living in different places, the most cherished gift is just having them all home!  A few years ago, we decided not to do gifts anymore, just invest in a little better wine and ample healthy food stuffs, maybe catch the Nutcracker performance-- and I can't tell you how much this has lowered our pre and post-holiday stress!  But stress can come in many forms;  maybe it’s the fear of weight gain, or too little  margin time in the schedule for self-care like exercise, gift-giving financial strains, or too much partying and not enough sleep.  For some, it comes in feeling lonely and isolated without friends or family nearby. All of these can take a toll on us emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

With all the glitter and the hustle-bustle, it’s easy to get so caught up in keeping up that we forget that everything important in life starts with taking care of our health - so we can feel good, enjoy the time we spend with others and have the energy we need for work and play. Adding extra weight over the holidays was something I used to battle until I learned some mindfulness strategies to put that behind me once and for all!   Food has a lot to do with this of course, but there are several other issues that impact our health and well-being.  I began to look at what was important to me about this time of year, and how well I was taking care of myself, body and soul. Here are some of the things I put into practice then that are just second nature now! 

Holiday Thriving Tips:

Put people first. If the purpose of being together to make real connection, then people should be the centerpiece of the season, not food.  Don’t get me wrong, delicious food is essential, but set your intention on putting people first and really enjoy them. This is guaranteed to cut a lot of unnecessary calories!

Fill up your tank. If you’ll eat a mini-meal that’s healthy and filling before a party, you’ll be less likely to over-eat those creamy dips, cheese and crackers, and meatballs covered in sauce. Going to a party when you’re starved, just like the grocery store, is never a good idea! 

Plan your Resistance.  Think beforehand how you’ll handle all the suggestions to load your plate up again, or what to say to people like your Aunt Kate who thinks you really need one more piece of pie. You’ll feel a lot more prepared to stand your ground.  At the same time, let yourself  have a desert or treat, but limit it to ONE and slowly enjoy every delicious bite!   Do you really crave certain foods, like sweets or salty crunch?  Contact me and I'll send you my Best U article on cravings, what they mean and how you can turn a negative into a positive reaction!

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Bring your own. Prepare one or two healthy, flavor-filled side dishes that you love to eat and take them to your next get-together.  Your host will be happy for the extra food and you’ll get to practice your culinary skills!

Make a plate. Instead of grazing at the hors d'oeuvres table, just go ahead and make a plate so you can have a better measure of what and how much you’re actually eating. Nutritional              psychologists tell us that using smaller plates and bowls actually  help us eat less.

Embrace a plant-based diet.  Making fiber-filled veggies more of a centerpiece of your diet, with much smaller portions of meat and other foods, will help you get through the holiday season without the usual weight gain and bloat - and strengthen your immune system with all those antioxidants to stave off sickness. You'll also have a lot more energy and feel like going to that exercise class!

Drink one, chase one. For every glass of wine or alcohol you drink, drink one large glass of water. This will both fill you up and help you track how much you're drinking, because calories count, whether they’re in food or liquids. Water is always the most important drink to put in your body, and not getting enough hampers your metabolism and immune system.

Prioritize sleep.  Settling in for that good night’s sleep is crucial for your body's restoration, rejuvenation and repair. If you want a kickin’ metabolism, balanced hormones, and less age lines on your face, sleep should be your best friend!  If you or someone you love has sleep issues, check out this amazing  Fresh Air segment on why sleep is crucial and how you can get your healthy share!

                                                                                                                 

Reach out!  Not wanting to appear needy can stop us                                                                                                                           from making wonderful connections with others at a                                                                                                                           time of year when it's easy to feel like an outsider.                                                                                                                                  Just remember, we are here for each other and                                                                                                                                         everyone has had  to reach outside their comfort                                                                                                                                     zones at different times in their lives. And maybe you                                                                                                                           can be the "connector' for someone else who needs a                                                                                                                             friend.  Just keep your eyes, ears and heart open!

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Share the season of brotherly love with yourself first.  Be compassionate and kind to YOU.  Practice self-care by starting the day with 10 minutes of mini-trampolining, a walk outside, stretching while deep-breathing, a green smoothie - just a few ideas that can help set the tone for your day. And then 3 to 4 days a week, pencil yourself in your calendar: take a yoga class, get in a workout at the gym or a hike in the park, or give yourself the present of a massage. These are reminders that you and your health are important, and this is what changes our mindset to create a healthier life. When you feel better, you enjoy others more - and isn’t that what we want to do over the holidays and all year round?

Want more tips like these? Sign up for my                                                                                                                                            bestUwellness Monthly Newsletter at the                                                                                                                                          bottom of this page,  and start living your best life!

Best U Specials!

Want a gift that keeps on giving?   For a limited time I have great special prices on all my Holistic Health and Nutrition programs which helps make it easier than ever to get thru the holidays without the weight gain and with a brand new healthy attitude going into 2018!  $75 off my 6-month to Your Best U! program, $25 off my 90-day Energy Recharge program and $25 on my 5-week Detox Divas/Dudes Program.  If you're looking for a Personal Trainer in Nashville, right now is the best time to get started with me--$75 discount on a package of 10 sessions.  And any of these would make awesome gifts for someone you love, I can even send a wrapped up gift certificate to your special one!

Needing some healthy inspiration in your work place?  I love doing speaking engagements and have some awesome content to keep people healthier and happier in the work place!   Contact me, I'd love to help you be your Best U!

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Be Well!--Carol (and  Rob, Savannah, Dillon, Drew and Henry!)

Something Better = Something Different

Change or die.  There really is no alternative.  At the cellular level, we're changing all the time: cells die and they reproduce, with no awareness on our part. My goodness, in one year you'll have a completely different skin!  In much the same way the world keeps turning, although so slowly we can’t perceive it and we of course we can’t control it.  Change happens - and we can either go with the flow,or resist at our own peril.

But what about the changes we can control, the "how we think, feel, what we say and do" changes, the ones that either bring life or death to our relationships, physical health, community and workplace?  These are the really tough changes, and they can be painful - although perhaps not as painful as staying stuck in a place that isn't working for us anymore.  Discomfort can be a great catalyst.

Making these changes takes willpower, persistence, patience, in fact everything our culture is not a big fan of.  This is America! The land of convenience, immediate gratification, plastic surgery, Prozac, “lose 10 pounds in 10 days," and instant celebrity.  It’s easy to get lulled into laziness, an attitude that derails our health, sabotages our marriages and other relationships, and puts our careers and goals on the slow boat to China.  

Attitude. Mindset. Thoughts. World View. These are the interior spaces where change is born or buried, and only we are responsible for our lives and the thoughts that create them.  Trying to change other people is really exhausting, isn't it?  And usually fruitless,  so why not shift our energy toward higher purposes?  Like creating a life we really want to live!   Key insights from the blending of psychology and neurosciences show that by choosing the thoughts we hang on to and the ones we let go of, we can establish permanent new thought patterns, transforming our lives from the inside-out: emotionally, spiritually and physically.  Good news, you're not stuck!  Through the power of intention, or mindfulness, the glass half-empty can really become a glass half-full! 

Habitual thought patterns are like the tire tracks in a muddy road.  The mind naturally slips into them, and it takes focused effort to steer one’s mental energy in a different direction.  Those tire tracks are your default position-- I have mine, we all do. They're the culmination of our family of origin, our past experiences, our social environment and present circumstances.  But don’t we really want a new and better framework from which we see ourselves and the world?  Without changing something, that just won't happen - we can make the choice to speak life to ourselves and to others, and to act in ways that bring renewed vitality and joy into our own lives and the world around us--we can all be life-changers, starting with our own lives!

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So what’s your first step?  Make a decision.  Decide to live intentionally, not haphazardly, and take aim at something! What kind of person do you want to be, what characteristics or virtues do you admire, how healthy do you want your body and life to be?  Go ahead and write your thoughts and goals down, tape pictures and inspiring words on the fridge or your bathroom mirror, and refocus your mind on being the person you want to be.  Visualizing the changes you want to make can help you see yourself walk them out.  Just like a professional athlete getting ready for a big event, you're getting ready to WIN!  Refocus your mind on those thoughts every day and commit to act and speak in ways that re-affirm your intentions.  

Next step?  Don’t procrastinate any more-- just do it, and now!  To arrive at something better, you have to do something different.... And that will involve action.  It's impossible to learn any new skill or develop new habits without consistent effort daily.  And we're talking about small changes,  small decisions, and all adding up over time - not huge leaps all at once!  Experience tells us that doesn't work long-term. Real change takes time.  If we want to change the path we're on,  we have to steer in a different direction and keep our hands on the wheel!

Your WILL creates the right ACTIONS,  leading to your best RESULT.

You may already know that change can be threatening to others who have found solace in the old you-- and then there’s always the struggle against the tide of culture!  So be prepared for resistance, and decide on the front end how you want to handle it.  Don't expect an easy ride--there will be bumps and a few unexpected curves, and you just might run off the side of the road at times. That's ok!  Give yourself grace when that happens, but get right back on your determined path, and never let yourself lose sight of where you're headed!  Just as your muscles can’t get any stronger without the stress of resistance, your willpower won’t get any stronger unless you exercise it!  Instead of telling yourself I won’'t  or I can’t  try this:  I WILL  make better choices in what I eat, I WILL make time for exercise this week, I WILL be a better friend, a more loving spouse, a more effective employee, a more compelling leader.  It's a pattern that will become your new habit.  What are your "I Will's" ?  Declare it! Do it! See it!

I’m always ready for change in areas of my life, and if you’re reading this I’ll bet you are too.  I think together, we can create something much different and much better, in our own lives and the world!

Would you share this today with a friend that may need some encouragement?  Maybe they're in a place where they have given up trying and just need to know ALL things are POSSIBLE!

Be Well- Carol  


I am here to be part of your Front Row Cheering Section!  I truly believe Holistic Health Coaching is the missing link in most people’s efforts to create successful long lasting changes to their health and their quality of life overall.  I am ready to be your Coach, your Mentor, your Accountability Partner, and your Cheerleader!  Contact me today!  Find out more about my services on my website  and sign up for my e-newsletter at the bottom of this page, chock full of fresh inspiration for your Best You!

The Brain, The Gut and Hippocrates

Current research reveals that gut health is critical to our overall health, and that unhealthy gut flora leads to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and other autoimmune diseases. Finding ways of supporting intestinal health and restoring the integrity of the gut is becoming one of modern healthcare’s new frontiers.  

Read More

It's More Than Skin Deep

In my makeup and hair freelance business, I see a lot of skin! And honestly it seems skin is getting worse over time for a lot of  young people. When I start talking with them about their skin care routine, I find that they are using harsh products on their skin and/or are using prescriptions meds, and I see them putting lots of junk in their mouths. It’s so important to look inside first at what's going on to find a cause, not just treat the symptoms. The body always strives towards healing, unless we put barriers in the way. Skin and digestive issues are intricately connected and once I guide my clients in making some dietary and lifestyle changes, skin clears up and looks younger and fresher. Your best age-defying product is REAL FOOD rich with live enzymes and antioxidants—think PLANTS!  These skin tips from friend Annamarie Gianni, maker of my favorite essential oil skin care lines,  are terrific.

If you’d like to try a special sample kit from Annmarie, click here. It’s only $10 and you get a free $10 coupon for your first purchase—sweet deal! I especially love the Anti-Aging Facial Oil and the Aloe Herb Facial Cleanser -makes my skin feel amazing!

Great skin treatment tip!  Try adding organic raw apple cider vinegar to your treatment routine! It has antibacterial and pH balancing properties, and helps to detoxify the skin and balance oil production. Add ¼ cup to a full glass of water, and drink it in the morning (this is also great for acid reflux!) Then, in the morning or evening, dip a cotton pad in a mix of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water, and smoosh all over the face, avoiding the eye area. You can also spot-treat any of your spots with the vinegar dipped in a Q-tip. 

Ferment It! Getting more fermented foods into our bellies is essential for good gut health, and great for our complexions! You can purchase a a high-quality organic product but why not try making your own for the thrill of it?  Although the process does take a few weeks, so you may want to purchase some while you're waiting. Learn more from my friends at Wild Fermentation. Here's a great recipe, the ginger really makes it zippy!

Ginger Carrot Saurkraut

  • 1 and 1/2 medium green cabbage, chopped finely
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 1-2 TBS grated fresh ginger, depending how gingery you want it
  • 1 1/2 TBS unrefined sea salt

Directions:

  1. Carefully clean all equipment to be used. You can pour boiling water into glass jars or place dry jars in oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes to sterilize. Place lids and utensils into a large glass bowl and pour boiling water over them (be careful!)
  2. Shred cabbage in food processor or cut by hand into thin shreds with a sharp knife. Place into a large glass bowl. Save a couple of the big outer leaves to cover kraut in the end.
  3. Shred carrots and add to cabbage, along with grated ginger. Sprinkle with sea salt and mix well.
  4. Pack mixture into large glass jar or crock. Press firmly down to release juices and remove any air pockets. Cover the mixture with a couple of outer cabbage leaves and place airtight lid on jar that is fitted with an airlock. Cover to block out light.

If after 24 hours, the liquid that is released does not cover the top of the kraut, make a brine (see recipe below) and pour it over the kraut until it is covered. Allow to sit, covered except for the airlock, for 4-6 weeks. Store in a glass jar in the fridge after it is done. 

NOTE: If you need a bit of extra brine in your kraut, simply mix 1 tablespoon of unrefined sea salt in one quart of water. Mix until salt is completely dissolved. Pour over kraut until liquid is above the level of the kraut.


How can I serve you? See more updated information about my Health & Nutrition Coaching Programs, Personal Training Services, or my Workshops & Retreats!

Be Well - Carol

GMO's and You

Are you sick of hearing about GMO's?  Is it just too much to worry about when there are so many other things going on in your life that you need to manage? Or maybe it's too confusing to understand, and especially with industry-paid-for ads and spokespeople (which can run the gamut between CEO's to researchers to science journalists, to politicians to everyday farmers) are telling you, "No worries, everything's fine, it's all safe, those other people are just crazy environmentalists!"  I get it. Seriously, between clients, classes, workshops, managing a home and family, and paying bills, it's hard for me to manage it all and still handle the informational overload every day to keep up with holistic health and fitness knowledge for my clients.  I am so grateful for sources that can help me understand difficult topics in a short amount of time, so today I present so today I present this short piece from Lisa Van, the 5-minute Molecular Biologist, . In 5 minutes you'll know WHY you should be concerned and HOW to be more proactive in your own kitchen to start a healthier life.

From my extensive research and political activism on this issue, I believe this is one of the most important topics of our time that is affecting the health of our soil, our food supply, and our families. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of monied interests in support of GMO's and influencing our national policy, so it’s important to not only make our opinions known but also to make the changes in our own households, using our consumer power.   

Most of my clients have digestive issues and gut problems. In fact, it's epidemic. If you have discomfort when you eat, problems in your elimination (diarrhea or constipation), skin problems, and low-energy, I will almost guarantee you that a change in your way of eating IS absolutely essential. If you work with me as your Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach we'll take a look at where your energy (food and drink) comes from FIRST, and then we look at all the other lifestyle factors. Eliminating GMO foods is at the top of the change list.  Need to know what those foods/food ingredients are? Click here for your free Quick Start Guide: How to Shop if You’re Avoiding GMOs.


Do you need a Renovation of your body and soul?  Do you need to clean your insides out and at the same time clean up the thoughts in your head that keep you captive to an unhealthy lifestyle? Then contact me! My Detox Divas (and Dudes!) Program will not only create healthy physical changes, but mental and emotional too.  I guarantee you’ll be not only energized but revived! See what my clients have to say! Contact me for my next start-up group date, or to work one-on-one with me!

Be Well - Carol

Time For A Revolution!

There are two things I can always count on as a new year arrives: more clients at the gym and more people dieting. Angst over body shape and size, fueled by trying to live up to impossible standards, gets worse as we start thinking about trying once again to create change and avoid the same old disappointments. The nagging fears about weight and the I’m-not-quite-ready-for-prime-time thinking follows us past midnight on December 31st, no matter how we try to party it away. We may think we’re hiding our insecurities, but if we’re a parent (or an adult who has kids watching and listening to them) the kids are not only picking up our body-image angst, but also dealing with their own stress; not only about their own bodies, but social, academic and athletic performance. And as anxiety increases, self-control decreases, as well as overall health and well-being. Just look around, it’s not hard to see.

Americans spend 42 billion a year on dieting and diet-related products, more than the federal government spends on education. This doesn’t even include what we spend on fitness products.  What we don’t realize is by our words and actions, we encourage children as young as 8 to buy into the tragedy of measuring self-worth by the numbers on the scale and their ability to be “perfect”. 

The results have been an explosion of eating disorders in every segment of the population, but especially teenagers and young adults, accompanied by poor self-esteem, shame, fatigue, self-mutilation, mental disorders and disease. If you’re my age, you grew up in a time when kids and families ate well, got plenty of exercise, were healthier and more content, and obesity was a rarity. And noone was on a diet. 

We have allowed food manufacturers and advertisers to usurp our responsibility to take charge over our buying and eating choices, which means we eat and cook less real food. So many of us today think that a processed muffin or Frappuccino is a real breakfast, chicken nuggets and fries are a meat-and-veggie combo, and a Lean Cuisine is the perfect low-calorie dinner. Faced by an onslaught of processed foods over the last 3-4 decades, we’ve seen our waistlines expand and the rates of all major diseases dramatically increase - and we know there’s a direct connection.  

Processed foods are sweetened, salted and chemicalized to appeal to our taste buds, so we’ll want to eat them compulsively. Your health is not the food manufacturer’s bottom line, money is. And these foods are very cheap to manufacture! Real food, with real flavors and natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber is much more satisfying, healing and strengthening, so we need and eat less. Try not buying junk food for a week and you’ll see your food bill go down. In a nut shell, REAL is always be the best choice.

According to cross-cultural studies, Americans are the world’s most anxious eaters. We worry more about food and derive less pleasure from eating than any other people on the planet.  We’re also fatter and sicker than any other developed nation. For others, the French or Italians for instance, eating is about pleasure, not fear or obsession. As a nation and people, we’ve forgotten when food was good for us and we approached the dinner table with hunger and thankfulness. 

It’s time for a change, time to push back against the media which saturates our minds and homes with images of unattainable thinness and “perfection”, courtesy of digital manipulation. It’s foolishness to strive for the “image” because that’s choosing to embrace the ”unreal” for ourselves and our families. Americans spent more than 11 billion on plastic surgery last year, and that’s mostly elective surgery for non-health reasons. That’s crazy. What’s the message this emphasis on fake and perfectionism sends to the next generation?

What about embracing uniqueness, fulfillment and gratitude? Not just in eating, but in every part of who we really are. Why do we try to beat ourselves up with exercise formats that are exhausting and unsafe, and are designed for professional athletes? 

There is no magic bullet! It’s time to approach the table and the rest of our lives with a reality check, and to commit to a life that is healthy, real and lasting - not fake and temporary. Together, we can teach the next generation to be not only wiser than us, but healthier and stronger in every way.

Time
Time to start a revolution! 
Be well,
Carol

Do you need a Renovation of your body and soul?  Do you need to clean your insides out and at the same time clean up the thoughts in your head that keep you captive to an unhealthy lifestyle? Then contact me! My Detox Divas (and Dudes!) Program will not only create healthy physical changes, but mental and emotional too.  I guarantee you’ll be not only energized but revived! See what my clients have to say!  
My next start-up date for this unique way of detoxing is February 1st, with early bird pricing till January 22nd.  Space is limited, so act quickly! 

My Best Tips To Stay Healthy This Winter

1. Keep your hands clean, with good old fashioned soap and hot water. Anti-bacterial products contain toxic ingredients like triclosan, and studies show that this chemical penetrates the skin and causes hormone disruption. Most health care professionals argue that for the general population there aren’t any benefits. Due to public response, many manufacturers are quietly removing this ingredient from their products, so check the label and see what you're using!

2. Make water your main drink. Dehydration is the start of many illnesses and diseases.  Nothing is water, except water! And drinking ½ your body weight in ounces is a good goal to have. It also fills you up, gives you energy (especially with fresh squeezed lemon juice), helps with digestion and metabolism, strengthens your immune system and keeps your skin looking good!

3. Avoid eating processed foods and refined sugars. At the very least, cut way back. It’s no wonder that most people get sick around Valentines, Halloween and Christmas. People tend to eat more sugary and processed foods due to holiday activities. Sugar lowers our immunity, and we know conclusively that it is largely to blame for the epidemic of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, as well as obesity. Focus on naturally sweet veggies and fruits instead. A good rule of thumb to follow when choosing foods: if it isn’t a whole food, avoid eating it regularly. Load up on real, whole foods (and plenty raw) for snacks and meals alike.

4. Consume plenty of healthy oils and fats. Real, organic butter (grass-fed and raw is a recommended), ghee, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oils, coconut oils, flax seed oil. As well as healthy animal fats from organic, grass-fed sources and pasture-raised eggs. Supplement with fish oil daily and cod liver oil for Vitamin D.

5. Avoid vegetable oils and trans fats. These are in all processed foods, and include vegetable shortening, margarine and fake butter spreads, soybean, cottonseed, canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, and peanut oil - which are rancid, contain too many Omega 6s, and have inflammatory and hormonal disrupting properties. Read labels before you buy!

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” - Michael Pollan

6. The healthiest food is going to be what you prepare on your own at home, so increase these opportunities. Eat when hungry, stop when full. Become intuitive about what foods make you feel and operate at your best. Eat plenty of veggies and low-sugar fruits, like lemons, limes, grapefruit, and organic (frozen this time of year) berries. See the Clean 15/Dirty Dozen  list for how to spend food dollars wisely, and what is most important to purchase organic. Especially eat those in season in your local area. Vegetables and fruits are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which help thwart the development of disease and illness.

7. Drink bone broths. A lack of minerals is a big reason for illness and disease. Bone broths made from the bones of healthy animals and birds on pasture are full of easily-digested and essential nutrients which can help you stay healthy, such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, amino acids, and glucosamine (for bone health), and gelatin (muscles, metabolism, weight, skin, digestion, hair, fingernails, joint health).  Experiment with different types of sea salts in cooking! Here’s my favorite and easiest Bone Broth recipe, and I would definitely recommend grass-fed beef.

8. Eat real, fermented foods like home-made yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. Be certain to take a good probiotic each day, especially if you are lacking fermented foods. 

9. Watch your intake of alcoholic beverages, which tend to increase during holiday months. Excessive alcohol has a negative effect on  your appetite, blood sugar, blood pressure and cardiovascular function, metabolic processes, and weight.

10. Make sure you are getting adequate rest and not over-extending yourself. Learn to say “no.” Stay home on a night where you might normally go out and rest, relax, and catch up. Have a family night. Go to bed by 10 p.m and get up early! You will be in tune with your circadian rhythms and be much healthier for it.

11. Set aside time for some regular exercise, and getting outdoors. In the colder months people tend to go to health clubs more, but indoor environments aren’t necessarily healthy, so bundle up and go for a walk, hike, or bike ride. At work, avoid sitting for long periods of time. Get up every 30 minutes and move around, or set up a standing desk!

12. Set aside time for contemplation, prayer, stress reduction, and relaxation.  Whether that is a hot bath, a massage, tai chi, yoga, stretching or meditation, make sure you give yourself this time to recharge.  Even 2-3 minutes of deep breathing everyday can reduce stress levels, improve focus, energy and metabolism.

13. If you do experience cold or flu symptoms, load up on probiotics, foods with healthy fats, and everything else mentioned above. Take time to pamper yourself, rest, and put off things that aren’t necessary so you can get back to a state of health quicker and easier.

14. Avoid taking pharmaceutical drugs and antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. These rarely help your body to heal sooner, are over-prescribed, and actually cause nutrient depletion and lowered immune system function by wiping out friendly bacteria that are vital to health.

Heres the deal! If you maintain a schedule of eating real food, most that you prepare yourself, avoid processed foods and beverages, take proper supplementation when needed, obtain moderate activity, exercise, rest, and relaxation, you will notice an improvement in your health. My hope is that you will have more energy, feel more productive, and fortify your immune system. 

Be Well! 

Carol