Magic Potions, Pills and Powders

Lately I have been seeing *so* many people sign up for promises of weight loss and success that involve taking potions, pills and powders. I’ve tried many of them myself. What I found was they were generally expensive, unsustainable, and marginally effective. If they work for you, great! But I wonder, how are you learning to feed and care for your body long term? Is it just another quick fix? Another waste of your time and money? Are you misled by great advertising?

Do you suppose humans were meant to eat real, wholesome, nutritious foods? Or powder? Do you feel satisfied and energetic on powders and pills? How is your health? Can you stick with those programs year after year?

Again, I get it. I’ve been there. Now, I’m here. I’m here to say that I’m offering a program to you as a health coach that will teach you how to care for your body in a way that is *sustainable*. Maybe even kind of fun. With minimal time commitment. I’m here to support you in creating new habits. I’m here to turn your focus to health and self-love. I’m here to help your body remember how sweet life is, even with no added sugar (or artificial sweeteners).

No gimmicks, potions, pills, powders, boxed foods, crash diets, subscriptions, pyramid schemes, crushing workouts that leave you depleted….. none of that. Think ease, fun, and love.

Go to my Services page to learn more and get started on creating an optimal you. For a limited time, I am offering a full 4-week program for only $125 in exchange for your testimonials and feedback. I look forward to hearing from you!

What Is A Health Coach?

You may be wondering what a Health Coach is, exactly. Let me see if I can help clarify the value that comes along with hiring a Health Coach.

The words that come to mind are Teacher, Motivator, someone to hold your Vision of the healthiest version of you, and Accountability. In my case, it’s like hiring a Personal Trainer Plus!

Teaching is provided regarding diet, exercise, lifestyle and stress management.

Motivation is provided through creative new ideas that don’t resemble drudgery or deprivation (I’ve tried those several times and found them unsustainable!)

I will hold your highest Vision of your definition of healthy and remind you of it when you forget.

Accountability is what keeps you on track when you don’t want to be or you are struggling with a decision. It’s more of an “accountability training”, rather. First you are accountable to me via a quick daily check-in. If I don’t hear from you, I will be contacting you. It’s crucial to keep that communication open. I’m not here to judge; I’ve simply found that being accountable to someone else for my decisions makes it much more likely that they will be good ones. As time goes on, we take the training wheels off and you are accountable to yourself. For life.

As a Health Coach, we will discuss where you are NOW in your journey and define your GOALS. My job is to put on my detective hat and find the obstacles that stand in your way of reaching your goals. Through simple, actionable steps we will co-create a unique and specific plan just for you. No cookie-cutter menus and workouts here!

Once we’ve determined health coaching to be a good fit for you, I will establish a baseline of measurements and physical ability. You will have a plan for diet (no pills, powders, potions or Frankenfoods!), exercise (no gym required!) and stress management (who doesn’t need that?) for 4 weeks to start out with, and then we will repeat the initial tests to see how far you’ve come. In the Rhinelander, Wisconsin area, I will even come to you!

In between, we will have a daily check-in, weekly meetings to review exercise form and questions, and I am available to help you in your kitchen or your grocery store if that might benefit you.

So, how do you define healthy? Are you curious to see if a Health Coach might help you get there?

There are 9 more free Discovery Sessions available (1-1.5 hour consultation). If you want in, start by filling out this form: Pre-Enrollment Questionnaire

And book your Consultation here:

Schedule Appointment

The Gym

I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore. Going nowhere on a treadmill, elliptical machine, rower, or spin bike. Waiting for a weight lifting machine. People watching Constantly Negative News (isn’t that what CNN stands for?). I can’t. I’m done.

They have their place and a lot of people benefit, but I’ve become bored as hell with the gym scene. Give me the elements….. rain/snow/cold/hot…. give me my favorite music played too loud and dancing for a warmup 🙂 No worries about what anyone thinks. My dog joins me for nearly every workout. Usually during the week, I exercise 30-45 minutes which is about the time it would take me to drive to the gym and back. And, although I use kettlebells or dumbbells sometimes, most of the time I lift my body weight or a rock/log/sandbag/bucket.

It’s all so simple.

Research continues to show benefits to our well-being when it comes to being outdoors. 

Here’s something more serious, though. I have a feeling that MANY people, especially women who are overweight, want nothing to do with going to a gym. They are hard on themselves and very self-conscious. What they want is to move through their bodies through their day with relative ease, for the long term, and feel okay about themselves when they look in the mirror. They want their clothes to fit. Right?? Am I right?? !

I will not be conducting my personal training in a gym. It’s unnecessary! I have a beautiful little room in town, or I can come to you at your home. We’ll keep it simple, light, and probably filled with some laughter. I want you to feel good about moving your body using functional exercises that humans were designed for.

Contact me if you want to meet and discuss how I can help!

This Is The Tough Stuff

It’s easy to talk about health, nutrition, and fitness. This is the tough stuff…

2016 was a year of loss. My sister died from breast cancer at 37 years of age, and my sweet, green-eyed cat disappeared a few months later. Now, I think I’m ok with death. I mean, I work in hospice. I have a healthy attitude about the end of life and beginning of “what’s next”. Beyond. I hold a curiosity about it all and know it’s the one truth we all share. So, when my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer that had metastasized and was untreatable, I was hoping she would simply not suffer and cross over with ease.

Around this time last year, Becky had one foot in this world and one in the other. She was fading in and out. With cancer in her bones, she was on IV opioids to keep her pain under control. Becky was a triplegic since the age of 9 months old when she had a brain hemorrhage, subsequent coma and was “never going to amount to anything”. She never walked a step in her life. She had the mentality of a child. But she did have love. She loved this world so much it was hard to leave! And despite her physical state, in her last weeks she would want to know how I was doing (or anyone visiting her). She showed so much love and concern over others. She hung on into June, actually. At her birthday party in May, about 50 people came to visit this girl that would never amount to anything. She taught a lot of people a lot of things about what’s really important.

Bompo was my soul cat. He would join me for walks and even took a couple of trips around the lake in the kayak in his striped pajamas with his Q-tip paws. He was a lover and an accomplished hunter. He was 9 years old and I thought I would have several more good years with him. He went out hunting one night in October and never returned. I’ve never been so deeply attached to a cat.

My reaction to pain is to stuff it deep down inside. I am the strong one. I feel the tide rising and put a lid on it. I know it’s fear, really. Fear of falling deep into a well of tears and drowning, maybe. Fear of “losing it”. So, when my sister was buried and I heard my mother sobbing, I jammed my emotions down as hard as I could. I can still feel her pain. The day after the burial I woke up unable to stand without help. Apparently the little bear tick I had been bit by a few weeks prior had taken a hold of me and knocked me down, hard. I don’t remember much of the next few months. It took a long time to be able to walk a mile without limping.

I guess it should be no surprise that I’ve developed breast pain to the degree that I’m concerned. In my learning, I read a book that said they have not seen a case of breast cancer that wasn’t in some way connected to unshed tears. And I had to stop listening to the book to stuff my feelings. I keep overly busy in general so that I don’t have to address the hard stuff. But I couldn’t ignore the pain any longer.

Recently I met with a healer to have a couple of stones blessed. Or so I thought. He directed me to sit down, pulled his chair right in front of me and looked me in the eyes. I put on my Warrior face so I wouldn’t break down in front of a crowd of people. He said I have to address my heart. Whoa….

Today I had a mammogram. It hurt. I left feeling sick to my stomach from the pain. I decided to go visit the humane society and sit among the felines, but they were closed. So I cried. I drove the the forest, got down on the ground and cried. I heard Crow greeting me and leaves rustling in the wind and I just let it all go. I laid my face on the moss and let Mother Earth catch my tears.

And then I laughed at myself. Imagine that! I cried, and I was ok. It stopped when it was supposed to. I felt relaxed and lighter in a way. I thanked the Creatures of the forest for supporting me. I thanked Becky and Bompo for being part of my life and teaching me that love never dies. I carry them in my heart and always will.

While I await the mammogram results, I will continue to love and nourish my body on all levels. I will continue to relish my time here and my journey, grateful for those who are here as well as those beyond.

Do You Have Enough Willpower?

Lately I’ve been observing a pattern. People who are overweight or obese will talk about things they “should” be doing.

Before I go any further, know that I did this for years. I “had no willpower” when it came to food. In 2010 when I tried an elimination diet to see if my irritable bowel symptoms would ease up (they went away)  I struggled. A lot. So I get it. Food held a strange power over me.

Fast forward to 2017 and it’s easy for me to pass up baked goods, sugary drinks and even conventional pizza. I don’t even feel deprived a little bit. I’m not better than anyone else. So again I hear folks talking about what they should be doing…. folks who are obese and facing some pretty serious health problems. Where is the disconnect? If you know that what you are putting in your body is not helping you, and it’s difficult for you to move through your day, why on earth would you do that?

It got me thinking. How is it easy for me to say no to these things now? I don’t feel deprived in any way. I crave Sockeye salmon and giant salads. Sweet potatoes are *amazing*. A Granny Smith apple or fresh berries are plenty sweet, and for an indulgence I look to dark chocolate with a glass of Pinot Noir. I’m not at all deprived. I feel quite good. My energy level continues to rise. I move through my day with ease. Yet, I used to eat the whole damn pan of brownies if there was one.  I could demolish a bag of chips no prob. I hated the “taste” of water.

You know what I think the real issue is?? I think it’s not a lack of willpower. I think it’s a lack of self-love. That can take a long time to cultivate! And it’s not easy after decades of being so hard on yourself.

So here’s the thing. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are amazing. How do you want to feel? How do you want your children see you talking to yourself in front of the mirror? Why do you suppose it’s so hard to realize that you were created in perfection, and your dear body has been trying to do the right thing all along?

Be nice to you. Be nice like you would to a dear friend. Love your curves. Nourish yourself. Live optimally.

Breast Health

June 2016, my sister died at 37 years of age from inflammatory breast cancer. It was an awful thing to watch progress until it finally overtook her. Now, she had several risk factors and our lifestyles were pretty much opposite. I had been experiencing some breast soreness for years, mostly around my period. It would subside with the onset and return a few weeks later. Because of this, I wasn’t too worried. In recent months, this has changed. The pain is less but continues and has gone from an ache to a bit more sharp, sometimes shooting and accompanied by itching. Ok, now it has my attention.

As of this writing, I had been working for 2 months on getting on my husband’s insurance. 2 weeks ago I was in pain and stressed out over it, so I went in for a thermography. Here are the results. In the breast, blues and greens are good. Of course under them will be red. There is some “suspicious activity” and now that I am insured (finally) I do have a checkup scheduled later this month. In the meantime, I will be proactive.

Sunday I will begin a cleanse/detox, utilizing some Gerson therapy and various breast health resources. Here’s my plan (shooting for a 3-week juice fast).

Nutrition: For breakfast, lunch and dinner I will be consuming juice. Carrots, celery, cucumber, apple, beet, lemon and ginger.  All organic, of course! I picked up my trusty Champion juicer for $50 on Facebook last summer. It’s a workhorse. Juicing floods the body with nutrients and is very easy to digest.  Along with juice, I will have herbal tea, spring water and my beloved organic, freshly roasted coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplementation:
1. Greens powder
2. Berry powder
3. Herbal D-Tox
4. Wormwood blend
5. Soil-based probiotic
6. Iodine
7. Systemic enzymes
8. Vitamin C
9. Vitamin D
10. CBD oil
11. Frankincense oil topical and sublingual
12. Thyme oil topical and sublingual

 

Detoxification:
1. Daily coffee enemas with Bulletproof coffee – this is something I implemented last summer when I had an acute Lyme infection. I continued them generally once a week and I’m always amazed what a great pain reliever they are. Especially for my headaches! I set up a little sanctuary in my bathroom and listen to a 10 minute guided meditation while it works its magic. Coffee enemas are fantastic for upregulation of glutiathione, which is one of our body’s intrinsic detoxification pathways.
2. Epsom salt baths – probably 3x/week. Great way to get magnesium (and relaxation). A few drops of lavender essential oil in the water a fine addition.
3. Dry brushing for lymphatic health.

Long ago I ditched toxic skin care from my life with the exception of deodorant. I will continue to search for a natural option that works – don’t be afraid to tell me if what I’m doing isn’t working though! Ha!

Also, drinking out of plastic or styrofoam as well as “nuking” my food are things of the past. I wash my hair with baking soda, rinse with apple cider vinegar and essential oils, wash everything else with Dr. Bronner’s soap and use natural makeup.

 

 

 

Exercise:
For a few weeks, I will replace my obstacle course training with yoga, walking with trekking poles (move more lymph that way) and dance.  Movement is important! My intention is to do it in a gentle, joyous manner. Feeling revitalized is the goal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s my start! I will journal and share as I go. If the pain turns out to be nothing of concern, I figure a few weeks worth of spring cleaning won’t hurt.  This is a fine time of year (still plenty of snow and cold) to take things a little easier, and while I juggle 15-hour days away from home I will do what I can. I will have to learn to say no to some things and keep my priorities in order.

Not pictured here: regular massages and hearty laughter 🙂

Any thoughts, suggestions, or encouragement? Post below!

Resources: The Gerson Therapy

http://www.drnorthrup.com/breast-cancer-keep-breasts-healthy-cancer-free/

Breast Cancer Alternatives Facebook Group

 

 

 

 

Full Moon Reflections

 

Full moon 2/10/2017

crunch, crunch, crunch….
the sound of my snowshoes on the packed trail
no headlamps needed tonight
the brilliant full moon bathes the forest’s snow-covered blanket in her light
calm
conifers stretch to the heavens and cast their shadow as we walk in silence
i wish everyone would have this experience
the sweet scent of the lowlands
the moon
crisp, clean air
i pause to drink it all in
fill your lungs, fill your soul….

Fixed My Scale Today

From a Facebook post 2/19/2016:

I stepped on the scale yesterday for the first time in a long time. Despite staying active on a regular basis and strictly eating no sugars or grains since 1/31/15, I’m up in weight. I beat myself up a bit over it and contemplated drastic methods to lose the 10# I would like to be down by the end of April when race season starts. And then the whole thing makes me a little angry. Do I look unhealthy in my profile pic taken a week ago?? Don’t I *feel* strong and capable? And happy?! What about the 7″ of bloated belly that disappeared? And the pants that fit now…

So to the scale I say: You will never again have so much control over my life or my feelings towards myself. I am stronger of mind and body than ever before. I am capable and curvy. Energetic and yet peaceful within. I love my life and who I have become. I will focus on my fitness goals and I will get there by being kind to my amazing body and nourishing it with real foods.

Today I “fixed” the scale once and for all.

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First Ride of 2016

Bike in SnowSpring is here early for me in 2016, thanks to Schwalbe’s Winter studded 700×40 tires. Today the temps were in the upper 20’s, so I decided to try them out for the first time.

This year I am training using the Primal Endurance/Maffetone method, which means keeping my heart rate at or below MAF (maximum aerobic function). For me, that tops out at 139 beats per minute. I have my Garmin set to beep when I go above that heart rate and let me tell you, it translates to s l o w.  I rode 14 miles with a 15mph headwind for the majority of it. My average speed was a ridiculously slow 9.8mph. Let’s just say that I have a lot of room for improvement this year 🙂

T18feb16_1emperature-wise I was plenty warm, except for my toes. I was wearing thick wool socks in a mountain bike shoe with a neoprene cover. I will be looking for a better setup, because the toes were uncomfortably cold. Other than that, 3 layers on top – base, mid and windbreaker were great. On the bottom, bike shorts, running pants and ski pants over were perfect. I wore a balaclava on my head and Swix ski gloves.

18feb16_4To review the tires, they were excellent! On hard-packed, icy roads I felt confident. No problems on clear pavement, even up over 20mph. Felt steady on descents with random patches of ice. Got a little squirrely in the loose stuff. All in all I’m very happy with them and just to get out on the bike 2 months earlier than usual is well worth the money.

Other stats for my personal record keeping:
Bike at 30#
Studded tires at 40psi
Rider at 134.5#, well-rested, HRV 61 this morning, fueled by eggs and greens
Hit the 150’s on the hills

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How to Travel Without Throwing Your Health Plan Out The Window!

trip food

Today I am packing for 5 days away from home including air travel, which I very rarely do. This is no reason for me to throw away good nutrition or exercise!

Each day I will seek out a large salad. No dressing required – just a pile of vegetables with some meat. I never have trouble finding something like that.

In my carry-on luggage I will have the following: Packets of tuna, Epic bars, beef jerky, olives, walnuts, macadamias, baby carrots and Granny Smith apples.

I will continue my yoga practice which is easily done in a hotel room. And, I’m bringing running shoes to get out for some brisk walk/jog action. It’s supposed to be in the mid-70’s outside during the day, and today in Rhinelander the windchill has us at -16 as of this writing. I am hoping to get out in a t-shirt and capris to soak up some sun! Willow would like to be in my carry-on as well. She has to stay home and help Steve take care of the kitties, though.