As a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, I want to see you succeed in the mastery of your wellbeing. That means health and wellness for you in all things mind, body and spirit. The fundamentals of wellbeing are the same for all of us. What we do to get there, is different for each of us. My hope for you is that you find some new healthy habits that you are willing to stick with for the long term. Although you might start looking pretty good…the real prize is your health and wellness.
How to Achieve your Goals in 7 Steps:
© Health Inspires.
Did you choose to walk with your spouse or a friend or even by yourself last night as part of yesterday's Daily Victory? Choose it tonight, either again, or for the first time.
Walking with a friend or your spouse gives you that social and emotional connection that we all need in the form of support, joy and happiness. Going solo gives you quiet and energizing time and clarity. Ahhhhh!
Either way, it makes you feel good and promotes a positive mental mood boost. That blood flow to the brain and through your veins does more for you than you can ever imagine.
Plan on closing your kitchen by 7 pm tonight.
Many of us tend to do our best “mindless eating” after dinner when the pantry calls our name. Decide in that moment not to respond to that call.
Read a book instead, clean out your sock drawer or go for a walk with your spouse (we vote for this one!).
Inspirational quotes can make us feel good. No matter what your spiritual practice, the purpose of inspirational quotes are, well…to inspire. Here are a few of my favorites and how they apply in everyday life.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. - Proverbs 23:7
Whatever you can or dream, you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be yours. - Mark 11:24
The importance of living in the present and focusing on what you want (and not on what you do not want), is good practice. What you focus on expands. Focusing on and using your gifts and strengths will help keep you in the right frame of mind. Knowing what makes you feel good, and that which provides you with good energy, lets you know you are on the right track. All of this starts with how you think, how you process your world…as you think, so shall you be.
Positive actions and outcomes come from positive energy and emotions; and the way we think controls much of how we feel. Focus your thoughts on ideas that inspire you, and visualize those desires in the present moment as if they are true now. Picture yourself as though you already are what it is that you want to be, say it in the present tense and write it in the present tense. Like anything else in life that you want to be good at, it takes practice, practice, practice. Visualize everyday, and think of what it is you want for yourself in this life. As he thinks in his heart, so is he. - Proverbs 23:7 and... Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be yours. - Mark 11:24
What we focus on expands. For example, if you want to lose a few pounds and you focus on how bad you feel, or that you feel fat; then that is what it expands. It will be almost impossible to lose the weight when you are thinking this way; you will continue to eat way you are eating and feel bad about it. Instead, focus on the weight you want to be, and on how good you feel in your clothes, how you have that extra energy that puts the bounce back in your step; picture yourself feeling slim and looking slim and feeling great! Of course, you will need to eat more of the right foods (fruits and vegetables,) and less of the less healthy foods (packaged and processed foods, white breads, crackers, and too much of anything). Yet, in the right frame of mind, it will be easier to take the steps in the direction of your dreams. Focus on what you want.
Focus on the good in your life and not on all of life’s problems. This premise has been spoken from many spiritual leaders, psychologists, and philosophers through all times. Carl Jung, a 20th century psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, says in so many words that we should focus on what is working in our lives and not on what is not working. Most of life’s problems are not solvable. By focusing on what is working in our lives opens our minds to opportunities and possibilities that we otherwise would not see. It expands our horizon. This has been clinically proven. What we think about expands.
Von Goethe’s quote reminds us to focus on an idea that gives us excitement and energy! Just one simple idea that is your idea, will spark your imagination, and fuel your energy and creativity through your very heart and soul. It is your authentic self shining through and that in which you came into this world with. The desire is already in you, and when you tap into it, you will be inspired. To be inspired means you are in spirit.
Just begin it! It will strengthen you, make you feel amazing, give you purpose, and open your mind to all opportunities and possibilities. It only takes one idea. As you know, with God, all things are possible.
Live Healthy. Dream Big. Be Bold.
As part of the mad dash to solve “what's for dinner”, and oh by the way, “we need milk”; I run to Whole Foods to pick up 4 items 1) Milk 2) Chobani yogurt 3) Fruit 4) Rotisserie Chicken (sound familiar?) Hmmm….there is no Chobani yogurt at (this) Whole Foods.
At that point, I am looking for another yogurt option to replace my typical 6 oz - 4 pack Chobani blueberry yogurt purchase. (My default is Chobani based on a few considerations such as 1) The taste and texture is good 2) It does not have much added sugar by comparison 3) My kids like it and will eat it.)
I am selecting based on price and value, and so I compromise. With all yogurts considered and based on my criteria, I decide on the more reasonably priced Stoneyfield Greek style yogurt, vanilla flavored, 0% fat in the 16 oz. container. I thought I could spoon that on top of my fruit in the morning and add it to smoothies for my kids. I also thought that a change will taste good.
Allow me to back up and set the stage:
Fast forward, I open the container the next morning. I look at the label and ingredients to see what they list as a serving size, how much protein, how many calories and there it is! Boom! SUGAR! So much added sugar! So disappointing. The serving size of 1 cup, more than I would eat on top of fruit anyway, is 200 calories packed with 28 grams of sugar. What a bummer. I expect sugar in the obvious treats such as ice cream, and not in my healthier foods. Not a good choice for yogurt.
What you can do:
In closing, when buying yogurt, the very best choice would be plain yogurt. With plain yogurt you can add your own honey or fruit to sweeten to your taste. However, yogurt doesn’t need to be sweet. It can be used in place of sour cream, or in recipes that include colorful vegetables. Brands such as Frage have two compartments; one side is plain yogurt, and the other side has sweetened fruit or honey. You can add the sweet to the plain, and try out your taste. Your goal is the less sugar the better.
Recent studies are quick to compare sugar’s affect on the brain to heroin, nicotine and alcohol use. The word ADDICTION is being used to describe the CRAVINGS one may have with sugar consumption, as opposed to the softer and more descriptive word as I see it, HABIT. The word "habit" seems to offer the opportunity for us to take responsibility for our behaviors. It implies we can change if we are willing and able by creating strategies to help ourselves walk away from the habit of consuming too much sugar whether it be in the form of soda, cake or cookies, or in the less obvious processed foods like spaghetti sauce and crackers.
Calling sugar an "addictive" substance is alarming. My concern is this allows for a sense of defeat, validation for it, and excuses to continue caving to the craving and hitting the Oreos, or fill in your blank for whatever food or drink drives this example for you, and then, possibly the remorse of wishing you didn't.
I want to acknowledge that your cravings are real. I am not denying that you may feel out of control sometimes. In return, I would ask that you acknowledge that you know what to do to break this cycle. There are suggested action steps below to help. In addition, I offer the idea that if you lay off the sugar for a few days, your cravings will subside.
Whether you believe sugar is addictive or not will be dictated by a few factors, and two are most significant:
1) Your past experiences with sugar
Your feelings are unique and built upon your life experiences. If you associate drinking a soda with happy childhood memory that made you feel good; like going to the park with your dad, then your neurotransmitters, or your "happy chemicals" have built those connections. Coke will play on that memory in their ads, and seeing a Coke for the sake of this example, will be your cue and you will find yourself wanting a Coke.
2) Your present consumption of sugar both measured in quantity and frequency
If you have created the vicious cycle for yourself consuming sugar laden processed food, then you know it tastes good, it makes you happy, and then you crave it again. Sugar is in more than the obvious foods such as in kids breakfast cereal, soda, candy, cakes or cookies. It can be less obvious and in most processed foods such as spaghetti sauce, crackers, sugary "yogurts", trail mix, added to dried fruits, granola bars, and then starches such as white bread, pasta and so on, break down into sugar. The list goes on.
When you consume sugar (a class of molecules called carbohydrates), your taste receptors are activated and the signal goes to the brain and activates the brain’s reward system. Dopamine is a part of this reward system and associated with our food cues. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and important chemical in your brain that is released when you consume sugar, and connects to the receptors on your brain.
With a bite of sugary food, your brain says Yummy! Yippee! Do I want to do that again? YES!!!!!!! Reward. It is interesting to note that dopamine is also released with sexual behavior, socializing and with drug use. It makes us feel good! Some studies show, for example, that the more sex you have, the more you will want. That makes sense with what we know about dopamine. Experience, once again, being a significant piece of the puzzle.
The reason studies are suggesting that sugar has addictive qualities is that dopamine is also released with heroin, nicotine or alcohol. Although with drugs, the dopamine release goes into overdrive and the response is much more violent and volatile than with sugar and creating addiction and out of control behaviors and subtle cues that make an addict go searching for more drugs; sugar is the one "food" that science has found to be associated with dopamine release with the consistent reward response.
Compare sugar to the consumption of a healthy balanced meal. The healthy meal may increase dopamine levels at first, but it will balance out over time which explains a little about why we get bored with the same foods. If you rarely eat sugar or do not eat much at a time, the affect of dopamine is like eating that balanced meal.
However, if you consume sugar often or in large quantities, you are creating the desire to have more because with sugar consumption, the dopamine levels do not balance out and it continues to feel rewarding. Because sugar is in so many processed foods, you may be consuming more sugar than you think and that keeps the vicious sugar craving cycle alive and well. With more sugar consumption, we are essentially developing a tolerance to it, and want more and more and more. Those are those cravings that you just cannot seem to escape!
Action steps to break your sugar cravings:
1) Know what you are eating
3) Get plenty of rest. Studies indicate that sleep deprivation helps us hold onto extra weight
Know that if you can get one day under your belt without consuming any added sugars, you are well on your way. That is one more day than yesterday. Do it again on day two, and then three. After that, you will already have the hang of it. If you feel a sweet tooth coming on, choose what you will have and limit the amount. You have full control when you know that you do.
Let me hear from you on FB our comment on my blog. I want to know if you are going to try this for a few days and if you find it is working for you. I can offer suggestions if you like. Another option is to call or e-mail me to schedule a coaching session if you would like help finding your way to conquer your cravings. Go to my Inspiring Services page and fill in your contact information.
“We need dirt,” he said. “What? Why do we need dirt?” I asked. My 13 year old son replied, “We need dirt for our backyard so I can make (bicycle) jumps.” Ohhhhh….I thought as I now understood where he was coming from. I then said, “Sure, we can look at that.”
Although I decided to make the calls and investigate bringing in dirt, I was mostly thinking, “That’s my guy…keeps my hopping, never a dull moment, and man… that child likes to spend some money!…On dirt this time! I think I will try and discourage him.” There I am…the supportive mom.
A couple of weeks roll by and he mentions it again. My husband and son go outside to look at the greenbelt behind our house. It is full of trees and needs to be cleaned out. They were discussing and designing where the dirt should go. I am still thinking… “Really…dirt?”
One of the things I consistently teach is that we have everything we need right now to take the next step in the direction we want to go. We allow inevitable challenges and obstacles to become the reasons of why we don’t finish something (yet) and accomplish little or nothing. Many times these “obstacles” are nothing more than a thought we allowed ourselves to think. A reason or excuse of why we haven’t done something. That happens sometimes, doesn’t it?
Rather than waiting on dirt, waiting on me to visit Home Depot and asking for the dirt guy list of numbers, calling the dirt people, getting the estimate on dirt, who is delivering it? Really? I really do not want to spend my money on dirt.
In the meantime, my son and his friend got to work. With our shovel, ax, hoe and their desire for and willingness to work to create bike ramps; they cleared a path in the greenbelt. They collected sticks and branches that had fallen from trees and piled them horizontally in one nice stack until it reached a reasonable height for a ramp. They found a piece of plywood and angled that plywood on that pile of branches. In another spot, about 15 feet in front of that, they found some large stones (probably from my garden), and used a smaller piece of plywood to create the first and smaller ramp.
I was so proud of them. They used the resources they had, worked for what they wanted and created some jumps! Free! Complete! Now they can enjoy their jumps and feel amazing for making it happen; the reward for their efforts. Not to mention, saving the mother her time and money.
Imagination. Creation. Accomplishment. Achievement. Success. These things can be measured in many ways. Some of those measures are not what you would normally think of. Those measures are that you kept your commitment to yourself, you stayed the course, you created your reality and did not allow something you made up in your head, a thought, keep you from doing what you wanted to do.
You know what you need to do. Take that step, then the next, and the next. Take one day at a time, and get one in a row, then two and so on. Control what you can and understand that you can’t always control outside factors, yet you can control what you do to move forward. Most importantly you can control your thoughts. You may have heard the saying that if you believe that you can’t, then you are right. Stay peaceful, stay on track, take a deep breath and look at your choices when a challenge arises. What will you choose? Chip away. You can. Build your ramps. Those will take you where you want to go.
The real you is waiting. You know you are in there! You know how good it feels when you are doing your best, feeling purposeful and when everything is clicking in your life. Keep that feeling, self awareness, joy, happiness and connectedness by practicing these 5 ACTIONS to the REAL YOU.
Take time to stay in love, in kindness, in prayer, in gratitude and on your path. We all benefit from this.
I heard a Pepsi commercial this week on the radio. The marketing hook was Pepsi with “real sugar”. I was afraid of this. With the hype and awareness around high fructose corn syrup, manufacturers are now using sugar (cane sugar/sucrose) again and promoting it as a good thing. HFCS, is a liquid sweetener, easy and less expensive for manufacturers to use in their sweetened beverages and processed foods. It seems we are switching back to sugar in many products. Although I would agree that cane sugar is the lesser evil; added sugar is added sugar and the the real message stays the same…LIMIT YOUR INTAKE OF ALL ADDED SUGARS.
For informational purposes only, I wanted to share a description of many sugars on the market today. Some may be better choices than others as some may be a more natural sugar, less processed or contain trace minerals. However, keep in mind that you are not consuming sugar for nutritional value.
THESE ARE ADDED SUGARS. Consider the better argument that because some sweeteners are sweeter than others, you might use less of it…and that is a good thing. They also may wreak less havoc on your blood sugar as well. My overarching advice is to limit sugar and know how much you are consuming.
Types of Sugar:
My passion and purpose is helping people reach their full potential and master their wellbeing.
Disclosure: Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before beginning any diet or exercise program and ask whether you are healthy enough to engage in a diet and exercise program. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider concerning your overall health and wellness, including your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. It is your choice to follow the suggestions, opinions and advice given by a Health Inspires wellness coach.