Love what you do, you’ll feel better.

do-what-you-loveOne of the aspects of my coaching that is so important for my clients’ health, is to really look at their work and whether or not it makes them truly happy. Are they just collecting a paycheck and counting the seconds til Friday at 5:00pm? Are they always wishing they could make more money, move up in the company or have a nicer boss that valued their work? Are they binge eating from the vending machine at break time and then rushing home to veg in front of the TV or computer? The majority of us could say yes to all of these questions without hesitation. In today’s economy, we take what we can get, even if we have a first rate education. There is very little job security left in America and we all just do the best we can.

Still, knowing all of this, I vowed that after my kids were in school I would go back to work doing something that made me happy and would help people. It was scary and daunting to even think about. I never graduated from college, so I knew I’d have to go back to school in order to have a real chance at doing the work I wanted to do. Before my kids, I was working in a cancer treatment center as a secretary/receptionist. I had started out as the file clerk and over the years, worked my way up to the front desk. It was rewarding in it’s own way, but mostly it was stressful and depressing. It wasn’t how I wanted to spend the rest of my working days until retirement. There are many wonderful people that make it their life’s work, but it just wasn’t for me. Having a passion for health and nutrition made it easy to know what direction to go in. It took me a while to zone in on health coaching, but once I found it, I knew it was the perfect fit. Guiding clients to better health through nutritional education is what I was put on this earth to do. I light up when I talk about it at a party and my heart speeds up when a client, friend or family member texts me with a random nutrition question. I’m just that into it! That’s why I am so glad that part of what I do is to help people find happiness in their own work.

To clarify, I do not tell all of my clients to go in on Monday and quit their job. Ever. What I do is help them to see how their relationship with their job effects their health. From how stressed out they are, how valued they feel and how it effects their eating to how many times a year they are out sick. Sometimes this leads to them seeking out new employment and sometimes it helps them to see how they can make their current work a healthier place to be. Sometimes it’s can be as simple as a shift in how they view their work and other times they need to make some major changes in their work day to feel more fulfilled.

So today I’d like my readers to ask themselves, “Do I love what I do?”.

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Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to be Scary.

I’ve noticed that many of the nutritional posts floating around Facebook, Twitter (and the internet in general) seem to be based on creating fear in the readers.

“5 Foods to Never Eat For a Flat Stomach”

“5 Negative High Protein Diet Effects”

“Top 10 Worst  GMO Foods for Your GMO Foods List”

“4 Major Health Risks of Drinking Soda”

“Is Your Food Killing You? Super Foods to the Rescue!”

Now, are some of these worth reading? Sure. Are all of these worth reading on the same day during your lunch break? I’m going to say no.

The reason I became a health coach was to educate people about the best ways to become a healthier human being. Teaching people the best ways to boost their immune systems, adopt healthy lifestyle habits and to focus on filling their plates with pure unadulterated nutrients,  has always been my mission. So I feel that bombarding my readers with negative headline after negative headline, is not the best way for me to go about getting my message to the masses. It’s like only reading the crime log or obituaries when you read you daily news. You start to feel that everyone around you is a criminal or dropping like flies. Fear and negativity breeds more fear and negativity, so that eventually you just sort of check out of the game. You throw up your hands and say, “What’s the point?! Everything is bad for me, so I might as well just be eating Cheetos and drinking Mountain Dew with a Red Bull chaser!”. I have heard and read variations on this statement many times in the past few months. Sadly, it has become a common thought pattern.

I know that at some point I have been guilty of spreading some of these articles and memes on my own blog and Facebook pages, for that I am sorry. I have tried very hard to make it my goal to only write and or post positive, yet informative articles for the last few months. When I consider sharing a post, I ask myself a couple questions before I do.

-Is this sending a positive message?

-Is this going to add confusion to an already confusing topic?

-Is this really helping, or spreading fear?

-Do I agree with everything in this article, or just one point?

-Would I say this to a client or loved one?

-Will this turn someone off to the idea of getting healthy?

If I can’t give a solid yes or no answer to any of these questions, I don’t post it.

Also, it’s really, super, duper important to try my hardest to make sure that what I am posting is factual and not just opinion (unless I make it clear that it is in fact just my personal opinion). If I am passing my opinion off as fact, not so great.

My promise to you, dear readers, is to try not be one more voice contributing to the mass confusion in the world of nutrition. I also promise to keep my posts as clear and as positive as possible.

Eat fresh, frozen or preserved produce as often as possible, drink lots of water, sleep as much as you can and exercise lots! Xoxo

 

 

Rosebud

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This afternoon I am introducing my taste buds to sweet rosebud tea. I was given a small sample of this lovely organic tea by my friend Figen at Fig Botanicals in Somerville, NJ. First of all, can I just say, WOW?! The entire first floor of my house smells like I just got a surprise delivery of fresh roses and it’s not even my birthday! Secondly, how did I wait this long to drink rosebud tea?!! I feel like a pretty, pretty princess lounging in her boudoir or a fine lady enjoying a lavish high tea with her high society chums. In reality, I’m listening to ‘Dinosaur Train’ playing in the next room while typing a blog post. Hey, at least I’ve got some awesome tea to drink! I’m actually enjoying it iced today, since it’s so warm and humid.

Not only is sweet rosebud tea sensationally aromatic, it is said to aid in mental clarity. I could sure use that right now with everything I’ve got going on in my life. Couldn’t you?

And the winner is…

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Congratulations to Alyson Jacko, for winning the Pamper Yourself Basket!! Thanks so much to all of my readers for entering my second big giveaway. I truly appreciate all of your comments, questions and support. Of course, a big thank you and shout out to Fig Botanicals for putting together such an amazing prize. I hope that you all find  some simple ways of pampering yourselves this week. Xoxo

Yay, another giveaway!!

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In honor of reaching (and now passing) 100 “likes” on Facebook, I am running another fantastic giveaway! I love my readers and I want to show it with this lovely basket of goodies from Fig Bontanicals in Somerville, NJ. The owner, Figen, has put together a basket of tea, soap, bath tea and salts, body oil, a candle and some dried jasmine flowers to relax and rejuvenate you. The giveaway will start this evening and end at the end of the day Sunday, May 4th.

So, if you like Enlightened Nourishment and relaxation, go to my Facebook page or click on the link below,for a chance to win this awesome gift from me to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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How to beat inflammation naturally.

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This post is dedicated to one of my Facebook readers, Alyson, that suggested I write about inflammation and foods that help reduce its effect on our bodies.

First of all, there are two kinds of inflammation that take place inside of us. One is acute inflammation which shows up as redness, heat, soreness and swelling. Acute inflammation is your body’s response to harmful stimuli, damaged cells or irritants. It can be easily confused with an infection, but it is actually your body trying to correct the disturbance by flooding the area with blood. It is the way in which we attempt to heal ourselves. The other type of inflammation is called chronic inflammation. It is described as constant healing and destruction of local cells. It may take months or even years for chronic inflammation to take it’s toll on your health, but if chronic inflammation is left unchecked, it leads to a plethora of serious and potentially deadly diseases.

Some diseases and conditions caused by chronic inflammation are:

-Inflammatory Bowel Disease

-Vasculitis

-Sarcoidosis

-Asthma

-Celiac Disease

-Autoimmune Diseases

-Alzheimer’s Disease

-Heart Disease

-Cancer

-Rheumatoid Arthritis

So, how do we reduce inflammation and it’s long term effects? There are many foods and a few supplements that are readily available to most of us.

I’ll start with common spices that you probably already have in your cabinet. Ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper and cloves are all fantastic in reducing inflammation. Try to include them in your cooking daily for noticed improvement. I’m particularly fond of cinnamon, turmeric and ginger when allergy season comes around. Allergies are after all, inflammation caused by your body’s reaction to foreign substances. So, I make sure to add cinnamon to my coffee, yogurt and my kid’s oatmeal and pb&j sandwiches all year long. Although turmeric is bright in color and used in many Indian dishes, the flavor is mild enough, that I use it in many of my favorite dishes. I’ve even added it to smoothies without my kids knowing the difference. Ginger is wonderful for digestive issues as well as sore throat.

Other foods that are wonderful for their anti-inflammatory properties are: Fish, dark leafy greens, nuts (almonds and walnuts), beets, garlic, onion, high quality olive oil, berries and tart cherries. Sounds pretty good, huh? I would say out of all of these foods, fish is my number one pick to fight inflammation. They are high in healthy omega-3 fats that are so vital to your body’s well being. If you truly can’t stomach the smell or taste of fish, you might try fish oil capsules. I recommend a high quality fish oil, such as Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. They are easy to take and don’t have an aftertaste. If you are vegetarian, but still want a great source of omega-3 fats, I recommend chia seeds. They are high in omega-3, fiber, protein, calcium and iron. You can buy a big bag of them at Costco for a fraction of the regular price! Another incredibly important element to add to your diet to reduce inflammation is WATER. Drinking lots of fresh water everyday is nothing but good for your body.

Vitamins and minerals that are great for reducing inflammation are: Vitamin C (200 mg),Vitamin E (400 IU) and Selenium (200 mcg).

Now for the not so fun part. Foods to avoid or limit: Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, white flour, omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable oils), dairy, MSG and trans fats. For some people, avoiding gluten is also key to reducing inflammation. It has been shown to hugely reduce the symptoms of people suffering from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and respiratory ailments.

So there you have it, Alyson. I hope this was helpful to you and the rest of my readers. If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to ask them here or on my Facebook page.

 

Simple Sweet and Savory Springtime Salad

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I  am so crazy glad that spring is finally here. I’m choosing to celebrate the new season by devouring as many delicious leafy greens and asparagus as I possibly can. I invite you to join me in this salad filled celebration, by sharing this very simple recipe. It takes about 20 minutes to whip up and is far more filling than you’d think. Try it (or a variation on it) this weekend!

 

1 cup- uncooked quinoa

1 cup- beef broth (or chicken or vegetable)

1 cup- water

4 or 5- handfuls of chopped kale

1- handful of fresh young asparagus spears (washed and trimmed and cut in to 2 inch long pieces)

1- apple (any variety chopped in to cubes)

a drizzle of sesame oil

a sprinkling of tamari (soy sauce)

 

Instructions: Cook quinoa as per instructions substituting the broth for one of the cups of water. Should cook up in exactly 15 minutes. While that’s happening, put the chopped kale and asparagus in a large bowl. Add the sesame oil and tamari and lightly massage the greens til they are completely coated. When the quinoa is finished, poor it on top of the veggies and mix so that the kale softens. Lastly add the chopped apple and mix again. That’s it, enjoy!

Loving the Lemon Verbena!

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If you’ve never sipped a lovely cup of lemon verbena tea, here’s a little nudge from your friendly neighborhood health coach. Lemon verbena is well known for it’s amazing sedative properties. It not only helps to encourage relaxation for your mind and spirit, but for your body as well. It does wonders for women suffering from the symptoms of PMS including cramps, indigestion and mood swings (ladies, you know the ones). Lemon verbena leaves are also a blessing if you suffer from chronic digestive distress such as IBS, Celiac Disease and even Crohn’s Disease. It soothes the digestive tract, just as it soothes our stressed out minds. It has a light refreshing lemony flavor which is wonderful in the spring and summer months and you can drink it hot or iced.

<Just like with any herbal tea, if you are pregnant or nursing it is wise to consult with your doctor or midwife before drinking.>

Not Your Average Jersey Diner

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Here’s another post I’ve been meaning to write for a while, but never seemed to have the time. Well, with Spring Break here and no new module to work on, now is the time.

A little while back I was invited to join my friend, her mom and sister for a late lunch. They decided to give me my first (and certainly not last) taste of a unique Jersey diner that they had fallen in love with. I know, unique and diner don’t really seem to go together do they? The Americana Diner in East Windsor, NJ however is just that. Most diners are so cookie cutter with their burgers, salads, soups and huge shiny desserts when you walk in the door. Instead of that over the top dessert case, this is what you see when you are waiting to be seated.

 

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Yep, that’s a display case of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not kidding. I all but rubbed my eyes in disbelief. It is the perfect introduction to this amazing eatery. The menu boasts grass-fed beef, free range chicken and locally sourced produce when available. There are so many healthy options to add to your meal that if there wasn’t a sign outside saying it was a diner, you’d never believe it. From roasted beet salad to cauliflower mac and cheese for the kids. I had a the Napa Valley Burger without a bun and a side of Garlic Mushrooms in Truffle Oil. Though I only had water with my meal, there are fresh squeezed juices available. Oh yes, for the non-gluten intolerant, there is a fresh baked loaf of bread and real butter delivered to the table to start the meal. It’s really quite lovely.

The bottom line is that this is definitely a place that I would recommend to my clients as a healthy dining out option. So please, if you are from New Jersey or planning a trip here in the future, make time to enjoy a refreshingly unique meal at The Americana Diner. You won’t regret it.

 

Homemade Pink Limeade

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I always seem to stumble upon nummy, refreshing drinks when I least expect it. This was a total stumble upon moment.

About a week or two ago (I’ve been thinking of posting this for a while, but lost track of time.), I was making my morning cup of hot water with lime juice and I took a little detour. The first odd turn was deciding to pour the hot water into a tall mason jar (to make it more portable) instead of my usual coffee mug. After adding the lime juice, I of course realized that the glass jar would be WAY to hot to handle, so I decided to add a couple handfuls of frozen cranberries to try to cool it off a bit. As I stirred and watched the pretty little red ribbons of color snake their way down the glass, I knew there was only one thing to do. So, I added about a teaspoon of maple syrup and Voila! Homemade pink limeade! Yes, I had to let it cool for a while before I could enjoy it, but it was worth the wait. What a great springtime refresher!