End in Sight

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My March Challenge will soon be finished. It hasn’t all been easy, or even fun. There have been days when I have been excited to workout and there have been others when I’ve just wanted to veg out in front of the TV. I suppose that’s how it goes with exercise. I can say, that even on the days where I’ve had no ambition at all to move, I did anyway. When I am challenged to do something, I can pretty much guarantee that I will accomplish my goal. So, with only 3 days left in the month, I know without a doubt that I can do this. I hope that in some way, I inspired even 1 person to attempt this challenge with me and that they too have pushed through to this point.

In case you were wondering, I stopped with the Facebook selfies a while back due to the fact that life happens. I got too busy to remember to take the photo, post the photo and change the photo daily. Plus, I decided to concentrate more on the actual activity rather than how I looked preforming that activity. It kept me honest for the first few days, but after a while, I didn’t need the photos to get me moving.

This weekend is going to be jam packed with crazy, so I have no doubt that I will get my exercise in with ease. I will check in on the 31st to wrap things up and take some physical inventory. See you soon!!

2 Weeks of Awesome!

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First off, I need to wish everyone a very happy Pi Day! One of my favorite days of the year. I am not a great lover of math, but is does give us all a fantastic reason to bake or patronize our favorite local bakery. Being a health coach in training has taught me that life is about being good to yourself and not expecting perfection. So, if on occasion we are tempted by some fine pastries or other baked goodies, I say enjoy! Just make sure that the treats are well made and well worth the splurge.

Secondly, I am very proud to say that I have enjoyed 2 full weeks of daily exercise in one form or another. Yes, I said enjoyed! I didn’t think it was possible for me to look forward to physical activity, but I now find myself wondering how I’ll get my body moving each day and it’s not stressful. It’s… fun. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are. Dancing, light saber fights, weight training while doing homework and watching TV. Also, I’ve come to think of fast walking at the mall as “speed dating” for shopaholics. So far there is nothing I don’t like about my March Challenge! I spend time with my husband and kids as we exercise together and I can see us getting stronger and healthier every day.

*If you are a fan of my facebook page, you can keep up with my daily exercise photos.*

Nori Roll-ups!

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Yep, I’m still trying to tackle this thing called wheat free living. My newest wonderful experiment in sandwiches with no bread, is the nori roll-up. It’s simple, just take some flat toasted nori sheets, meant for sushi and fill ’em up with whatever you like to eat for lunch! Turkey, avocado, hummus, greens, cheese, hard boiled egg, tuna… whatever floats your boat! They are a little crunchy on the outside and if you love the taste of sushi, you’re going to love these. You don’t even need a rolling mat. Just do it freestyle.

What would you put int your nori roll-up?

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Rising to the Challenge.

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It has been over a week now since I started my March Challenge and I have to say, I’m so glad that I decided to do this. It has been much easier than I thought it would be to move my body every day. It feels good to know that I am doing something very positive for myself and my family. My body is getting stronger and I’m able to do more. Furthermore, my kids are going to have a positive roll model in more than just how to have a healthy diet. My husband is strong, but since we’ve had kids and “settled down”, he gets very little exercise. As I exercise more, it encourages him to be more active too. It’s an all around YAY!

The one thing about this challenge that isn’t happening the way I thought or hoped it would, is that I haven’t been following my schedule. It started out great, but within a few days, when and where flew out the window. I’ve still exercised in some way every day, just not how I planned. Maybe that just doesn’t work for me. Maybe as long as I have an arsenal of fitness possibilities in my closet, it doesn’t matter which one I pull out each day. Maybe flexibility is key for my continued progress. I know, that’s a lot of maybes. So what if this weekend, instead of the Saturday dance party and Sunday yoga, I took walks around town each day with my family? Exercise happened and I spent quality time with my men. Sounds good to me.

Do you keep a tight schedule or just let exercise happen the way it needs to? What works for you?

The final step…

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The final step in my preparation for my March challenge is to find and build a good support system. Who will be there to make sure that I am staying on track and reaching the goals of my personal challenge? Everyone needs some kind of support to reach their goals. Whether it be from a friend, spouse, website, book or organization, support pushes us ahead when we just don’t feel like going further.

My support system will be made up of a little of everything:

1. My husband has decided to take the fitness challenge with me. WooHoo!

2. My friend with the YMCA guest passes is letting me join her there once a week. 🙂

3. I have all of you to answer to if I falter.

4. I am reading the book “Hot Sweaty Mamas” which is a great source of inspiration for me.

 

So, my challenge officially starts tomorrow. I’m a little nervous and a lot excited to see if I can make it a whole month with daily exercise. Are you ready to start your personal March Challenge?

Take a good look.

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I’ve learned quite a bit about myself in these past few months. Some good, some not as good. It’s all part of the process, learning our strengths and weaknesses.

Some positive things:

I can handle a much bigger work load than I ever thought possible.

I absolutely 100% love my chosen profession of being a health coach.

I am highly adaptive to an ever changing life.

I have surrounded myself with the most supportive and loving people any human could hope for.

Some not so positive things:

My psyche kind of crumbles when my home is in disarray.

My focus on school and my career have definitely taken it’s toll on my parenting skills.

I wasn’t as healthy as I thought I was going in to this certification course.

As cool as I thought I was with my past, it can still pop up and throw me in to a tail spin.

 

If life is a journey, my passport has been decorated with lots of brightly colored stamps lately. What’s your passport look like?

 

New and Good

One of the first questions that we are taught to ask while training to become a health coach is, “So, what’s new and good with you?”. It starts the conversation off on a positive note. It gets the client thinking about accomplishments and blessings in their life, as apposed to all the things that they feel are dragging them down. Though I’m not one to follow a script while meeting a new client, this question feels like a great way to start a coaching session.

So, what’s new and good with me? Everyone in my little family is relatively healthy and happy. I have completed the first quarter of my health coach certification. I recently quit my part time job in order to spend more time with my family in New York and concentrate more on my future career. My family and circle of friends is filled with smart, talented, hilarious and incredibly creative people that enrich my life daily.

What’s new and good with this blog? Well, the look is new and I think that’s good. This theme is a bit more simple and sleek looking than what it was previously. The other thing that I’m getting pretty excited about, is that I am planning to do a weekly vlog. I will be answering your questions (one or two a week) relating to nutrition and general health concerns. So, if you have a question for me, please e-mail it to enlightenednourishment@gmail.com. If I don’t answer your question here, I will respond by e-mail. Please limit your questions to health and nutrition. I can’t tell you if that mole looks weird or why your friend has daddy issues. See disclaimer below.

*I’m not a doctor (or a certified health coach yet), but I do know bucket loads of information related to these topics. The answers I give to your questions will be meant as suggestions or opinion only and are not to replace a doctor’s treatment.*

That’s it for today, kids. Can’t wait to hear from you and start vlogging. See you soon!!

“Oh! I like kale!”

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Getting your kids in to the kitchen to help you cook/wash vegetables/create new recipes, is the best way to get them to enjoy trying new foods. Juni, who refuses all things green, knowingly ate kale twice today. All I did differently was to let him add the greens in to the blender for our afternoon smoothie. Then tonight, when it appeared on his plate, he gobbled it all up without blinking an eye. He said, “What is it, Mama?”. I said, “It’s Kale, honey.” He said, “Oh! I like Kale!”. That’s it. No big drama. No wailing about how he doesn’t like green.

When kids touch the ingredients of the foods that they’ll be eating, it opens a door for them. They are part of the process. They have power over how much goes in to the dish or how clean the veggies get. They get to smell the raw produce, feel the texture of the grains between their fingers. See what color the beets will turn their hands, just from touching the surface after it’s peeled. It’s like they’ve stepped in to a science lab and they get to set up the experiments. The stuff we do everyday, it’s all new and cool to them.

There is a great gift to sharing time cooking with our children. A little bit each day is all it takes to raise kids that not only love cooking, but hopefully have a healthy relationship with food. Not to mention that it’s 10 minutes that you get to spend with them that doesn’t involve playing trains/princesses/secret agents/whatever it is they just begged you to play for the 17th time today.

The Religion of Food

Being a student again is amazing. I love being in a program that is so well rounded. I will be learning over a hundred different nutritional theories as well as learning how to become an effective certified health coach. It’s only been a little over two weeks and I feel like I’ve already learned so much. Most recently I’ve learned that to be a good health coach, one needs to just get over themselves.

The goal of a health coach is to guide the client in finding their best way of nourishing themselves. Each individual has their own needs nutritionally. They may have a history or family history of heart disease, diabetes, anemia, cancer, hypertension or thyroid issues to name a few. Ethnic background plays an important roll as well. So to guide someone in the direction of your own personal nutritional beliefs is misguided and potentially harmful to your client. The goal is to listen to the person in front of you and encourage them to listen to themselves to reach the best version of themselves. Not another version of you.

I’ve been witnessing several heated debates in the online discussion groups for my fellow classmates. One person will bring up a topic such as: How anyone can advise a client to get their protein from an animal source, when it is so clearly wrong and cruel to do so? Yes, this is a topic that is going to ruffle some feathers. Yes, there are people that have gone from meat eater to vegetarian and back again (myself included). For the most part though, people (especially health nuts like myself) have uber strong opinions on what is the best way to eat. However, forcing these opinions onto others won’t work as a health coach. If the goal is to turn everyone on the planet in to a vegan raw food-ist, you might want to consider a new career. The same goes for any other heart felt nutritional belief. It’s not about you anymore, it’s about that one person in front of you that is absolutely desperate to be healthy. That’s what we are signing on for.

The other day I was discussing this with a couple of friends and the connection was made that nutrition is like a religion to many people. They think they have the one true way of eating and everyone else just hasn’t found the “Truth” yet. Not to get too down on organized religion, but there have been a lot of wars and death in the name of “I’m right, you’re wrong”. The key is to respect the views of others and maybe try to find a common ground if possible. Get down off your veggie crate or stack of porter house steaks and try to look outside yourself and into the eyes of the person in front of you.

Back To School

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Today I started my new journey to become a certified health coach. I’ve finally begun my online courses at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. They have started us out nice and easy as to not scare us away with a heavy work load all at once, but we’ve been assured that very soon we will very busy little health nuts. We’ve been advised that we should consider ourselves to be entering medical school. Tell friends and family that they won’t be seeing as much of us and that we won’t have as much free time for social engagements as we use to. This is both scary and exciting to think about. This has been my dream for so long that I do want to go all in. Now, I just need the courage and stamina to get it done and come out the other side ready to inspire others.

Last week I created a daily schedule for myself so that I can stay on track and get everything done. Cooking, child rearing, car pooling, studying, exercise, meditation and yes, the occasional social engagement. Today got off to a bit of a rocky start as just at the beginning of it I learned that a dear friend’s mother passed away. It threw me. I lost my footing for a couple of hours as I have known and loved this family for 20 years. As I did eventually get back to my tightly made schedule, she and my friend remained constantly in my thoughts. I was able to get a large chunk of this week’s module done and have determined how much time I will need to dedicate to the remaining assignment.

Other than mourning my friend’s loss, I am feeling pretty solid about today. To all the children and adults going back to school this fall I say, stay focused. There will always be outside forces that can easily knock you off course. Just remember what your goal is. My goal is to graduate a year from now with more nutritional knowledge and a greater ability to guide others to a longer, happier life.