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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Success: Happiness from helping and making a good living

It's such a simple concept. Figure out what you love and then figure out how to make a living with it.
But I grew up in an era where women were barely accepted in the work force. That meant being a teacher or a nurse were kind of old fashioned. As women fought to contribute, use their strengths, and make a difference, they also fought to climb their way to the top.

Thirty two years after I graduated from a top level school for Hotel Administration, I'm still baffled at how I got so hung up on climbing a ladder I'd never really wanted to climb. How could it be possible?  I listened to the guidance of my most important ally -- my Dad.  And Dad knew the world, knew me, and surely he wouldn't steer me wrong.

He didn't. He tried to steer me to where he thought I'd make the most difference. He taught me about money management, accounting, and finance in his own way.  He taught me sales and marketing. And most of all, he taught me to keep on fighting even when there was no end in sight. He taught me to never give up.

What Dad missed was a clear way for me to use my natural talent and my business mindset. Neither of us knew that 30 years later our passion for fitness and holistic health would answer the cries for help. Neither of us realized that the country would be in desperate need.

As I built skills in business, I pursued my happy factor in outdoor recreation, fitness, and healthy living.

Today, it fits. The more I write about health, the more I love what I'm doing now.

Thank you Dad! See, had I not done all the other things, I'd never appreciate the passion I feel today. It would be a job, a focus, and I'd do well, but I would never have the humility, gratitude, and joy I feel today.

Here's the thing: We can do stuff well and hate it. We can love other things and be average. But when it all falls together, we can master a craft, continue to love it, nurture it, and build on it -- and enjoy a great living all at the same time.

Today --- I am there. I am at the place that I've dreamed of for decades. I recall saying to Dad some 25 years ago: Look, you love your career. You would not dream of doing anything else. It's as good for you, Dad, as you are for it.  That is the love I want to find in my work. Why should I have to settle when you never did?

Dad's answer:  Well, sure, but you need a job.  Get a job!

Well, that's how I came to be searching at 55 for a lifeline. The jobs came and went. Some were great, some not so hot. But always, there lurked around the corner a better place. A better me.

So when I tell you can "BE The BETTER YOU" I know what I'm talking about.

I've found it!  And I am here to lead others to their Happy Factor!  ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Healthy or Hasty? Living in the zone

My studies are going great. I'm often amazed at how easy it is to keep up with the courses. If I didn't enjoy this, I wouldn't do it, right?
But reality bites me where it counts.
We can not always eat at home. We can not always control this.

I spent 10 years caring for seriously ill people who could not care for themselves. What I found for sustenance at the hospital was caramel machiato's.   What is that? It's a wonderful blend of coffee, small amount of milk and a dash of caramel syrup.  It soothed my stomach, but gave me a slight lift.  And the caramel was just the touch of decadence that made me smile.

Food at the hospital was questionable. Sure they made hot meals and served them from a steam tray. But what the heck was in it and who the heck was serving it with what attitude? Most of the time, I went to a close by grocery store and ate from their deli. Still  -- the amount of salt in these institutional foods is always triple or higher what I normally consume. The foods at my favored deli were better than most, and they convinced me it was fresh from their store.  But it just food. It wasn't food loved with good energy.

Then there were the days when home care created food challenges.  At one point, I asked friends to do some shopping for me since they were coming over anyway.  I couldn't leave my husband alone and this was the best option. We ate what they brought: Boxed Mac and Cheese -- a higher caliber than Kraft, but still laden with salt and long syllable chemically sounding words. Other things that grew in boxes and frozen packaging.

What I learned at that moment was that we needed our friends more than we needed anything else. The people who offered to help, and then did so were supplying us with a needed energy. Call it Primary Food, if you like, but that emotional sustenance brought us back to reality.  We weren't alone.
It was awesome to have such great friends help us out.

Of course we covered their cost.

I reached out and asked for help. I learned that some people rise to help while others judge. And some offer help with no intention of lifting a finger. They just offer and are relieved when they hear: "Thanks, but your friendship is all we need."

There are those people who prove their friendship isn't exactly what I'd call mutual or supportive or even friendly.  After it was  all over, I was visiting a friend who underwent a lengthy illness. I'd said to her that her husband and I had similar challenges.  For whatever reason, this person told me that her husband handled it better than I did.

Why? Because I asked for help? Because I shared with our friends and coworkers what was going on? I regret never saying this to her. I regret not calling her out on such a rude comment. That comment pretty much ended the friendship. I've no clue why she said what she did. It was the third slam in 2 days and I was done.  Live and learn.

I think this post has become more about primary foods while caregiving. We must fill ourselves with the love, support, and nurturing that is essential to living. Isolation while caregiving is as deadly as toxic oysters. Hurtful comments by people you consider friends are as poisonous as canned foods gone bad.

People must play a difficult balancing act when suddenly forced to be a caregiver. One must guard against toxic people as much as one must guard against spoiled foods, chemical foods, and unsanitary kitchens.  Just because it is there doesn't mean it supports your needs.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Energy of Foods

Energy of food? Who ever came up with that went far beyond the nutrients.
As I study, I'm totally drawn to this concept. Consider this:
When you eat greens you feel happier and more energetic.  You can see it in others.
Meat and potato lovers often look kind of pasty and blah.
Veggie lovers always have a bit of a glow and a brightness.

The foods that we eat affect us more than most people know. Reach for an apple and you feel happier. It's a happy fruit. It grows on a tree. It grows upward! It reaches towards the sun.

One of our lectures was all about the Energy of Foods. i bought a book which I'll post later.  It's so fascinating.

Ok -- so this is a huge learning process. The best way to grow is to continually stretch out of our comfort zones. I've been somewhat isolated while running a home based business.  For me, the stretching will be continually reaching out to others, and talking with health businesses.  I know my mission. I know my vision.  To get where I see my future, I must take strides to move away from the past. Continuous effort, even if it's little steps every day.

So -- while at the writer's conference, I have an opportunity to share with hundreds of others!  It's going to be a multi purpose conference for me and my goal is to return home with 10 - 20 initial consultations scheduled or completed.  Some I might be able to do during breaks at the conference.

Cool to have fresh goals that are totally aligned with our lifestyles.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In the right place

This is the best thing I've ever done! All signs are a go. I talk with people and they say things like my friend Linda just did. As evidence, a doctor, a surgeon, and even family members have said: We need you to do this.

I don't personally know of a health coach in my home town of Snoqualmie, but there are many fitness instructors. And sure there are personal trainers, executive business coaches, life coaches and all that. But the world needs integrative health coaches in a huge way.

Why? People want to take control of their health more now than ever. And they are not getting the help they need. Not until now. There is a ripple effect moving through the world.

Insurance companies are dictating what doctors prescribe. Even when they don't, their time constraints do.

Doctors are trained to diagnose and prescribe medicine, and they are rarely trained in foods and nutrition. My doctor claims that a high protein diet is the way to go. He can quote scientific studies for all of his theories, but I can dig up opposing theories for every one.
And in some cases, I know by my own experience that his theories are just wrong.

Case in point: "Eat what you want" he told my husband as they discussed a recurrence of diverticulitis. A month later, we made a healthy snack bar loaded with health foods including nuts and seedS. Regardless of the doctor's insistence that there was nothing proven about nuts or seeds, my dear husband suddenly had severe attack.

Uh, yeah. That is the 4th time this doctor quoted some scientific research that we proved wrong within a couple weeks.

Same doc told my hubby that he may need a pacemaker to resolve problems with nausea, wooziness, and extreme fatigue because "perhaps your blood pressure is dropping too low". My intuition chimed like a loud gong! I suggested that perhaps if it's his blood pressure, maybe he didn't need medication for high blood pressure. Cured after 4 years of guessing games! All it took was thinking about the connections.

I am not writing to trash the medical profession. They do what they are supposed to do. I am writing to encourage people of all ages to tune into their own needs. The human body is intelligent. Listen to it. Ask yourself what the body needs to feel satisfied. It might be a bit of warm relationship and not that hot apple pie.

Docs are human too. They have great training in their specialty. But when it comes to healthy living, we need specialized training. Go to your doc when you are sick, sure.

Come to me when you want to live well. With over thirty years practical experience, university training in foods and nutrition, and now professional training in health coaching, I can help!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It started with the Gravity Bar

Anyone remember this funky metallic food stop on Capital Hill? Or the even smaller bar near the Pike Place Market?

I sure do. It was a revolution against fast food. It was the coolest, funkiest food bar ever.  The groan of juice extractors and pulverizers permeated the barren decor. Espresso shots were served with the freshest sandwiches, salads or desserts.

Fresh juices were the coolest thing. They went beyond!  It was with great joy that the Gravity Bar insisted on freshness.  100% of the menu items were created fresh to order so that every vitamin, mineral, and enzyme was retained in the food.

Just imagine: You walk in to this stark funky light restaurant filled with small tables rising from metal legs. All the chairs are really metal bar stools. The place hums, buzzes and groans.  As you sit to order an espresso you realize this place is just different!

The menu includes categories you've never seen the likes.  Sure there's your normal Espresso, but back in the 80's, Espresso drinks were completely uncommon.  Fruit Juice came from a bottle or a can. And no one drank vegetable juices unless it was a V8, again from a can. This place was different.

Perhaps its an idea whose time has returned with a vengeance.  Farm Fresh? Organic? Buy Local? Raw Foods?  Reboot Your Life?  This is not new to me, but after 10 years of challenging situations, I'd fallen off this path. For me, it's like coming home!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fun Group Study Session tonight

The internet is bring students together from all over. Some of us in the Sept. 2011 Institute for Integrative Nutrition decided to form a FB Business Study group. The first meet was tonight.
It was fun, but scattered.  That's how they go.
I'm really looking forward to connecting with more students and alumni to build on my dreams.

It's definitely the right way to go.  Building a health coaching business is a dream I've held for years.

I scored on a LinkedIn connection today too. A contact gave me an idea or ten.  His offer was an idea where I do a series of three articles on his MTB camps.

It's coming together. I must keep faith.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Alanon 101

Yep -- I can sit here and think I'm turning things over, but am I really?
If I do nothing, nothing happens. If I take step after step after giant leap after step, and still get nothing, does that mean I'm doing nothing?
If I expect others to get results and see them doing nothing, aren't I really just mad at myself for getting no results? I can justify my annoyance, but the truth is, I'm just annoyed that I'm doing stuff and getting nothing for it.

I should retitle this to Keeping the Focus on Myself
Alanon 101.

New Life brings up old fears

This is so prevalent.  As soon as I felt solid confidence a couple things happened to blow it up ... for a moment.  Changing careers is not exactly easy, but this is not totally new.

A glance. A moment of silence.  A quizzical look or blank stare as i explained to close friends how my decision to become a health coach just makes total sense.  I told them that long before I became a technical writer, I was totally engrossed in healing arts, healthy living, and all things health and fitness. And now, I have a way to pull it all together and build the lifestyle I really want.

As a health coach and a health writer, I can make a difference by helping others, sharing what I know, and serving to build a healthier planet.  It's not about fanaticism. It's not about a diet. It's about customized programs helping us baby boomers find ways to feel great as we age.  Too many people are suffering, whether quietly or not.

Too many people are complaining that they feel like crap because they are just getting older.  My self doubt  turns to rational reason and super confidence when I realize how many people are buying that load of malarkey!  When I hear a 40 or 50 something whine about old age, I chuckle in amazement.  Usually, it's their own choices that got them there.

Well, I'm here to help where I can, when I can.

I am not trying to be a Harvard Graduated Medical doctor. In fact, in the last 3 years, I'm the one that found answers the MD's had no clue about.   Then again, I'm armed with knowledge, experience and recent research.  And a hell of a lot of common sense and intuition.

My husband's been sick for 8 years of our 8 year marriage. I've been quietly begging him to eat differently, exercise, and get enough sleep.  FINALLY -- something caused him to jump in with both feet.
I didn't like that his doctor put him on meds all the time, but never cross checked symptoms with the meds.
When he told us that my spouse might need a pacemaker because his blood pressure could be dropping too low,  I connected the dots.

I said: "Doctor, can I ask you a question?" and he nodded.  I asked: "Doctor, if his blood pressure dropping too low causes his near passing out state, wouldn't taking him off high blood pressure meds make sense?"  Can I say: DUH?  From the day he'd been put on HBP meds, he'd been complaining of nausea and cramping and wooziness.  Not one, but 4 gastroenterologists, a sleep doctor, an ENT and 2 general practitioners didn't make this connection.

My holistic approach to healthy living is the same holistic approach I use in project management and customer relationship management.  The high level view and strategy must drill down to details -- and intuitively, I can connect dots.

I solved nagging problems with my feet much in the same way. New orthotics fixed one foot, but damaged the other.  Nearly a $1000 later, the doctor still hadn't fixed the problem and I was tired of pain.  I tossed out the orthotics, and that healed the left foot. I noticed my foot was at a funny angle when I slept with a knee pillow.  Toss the knee pillow, feet are level against each other, and there is no more pain.

My health coaching practice not only teaches healthful choices, but advocates the power of listening to your own body.  Not your head and your old thinking.  Just tune in, ask your body what it needs.

:) Fears emerge, but I'm staring them down today.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Join me on a fun journey

Here's a little reminder.
If you are interested in health ...
If you are passionate about helping others feel great...
If you want to learn about foods, nutrition, and healthy living...

And if you want to do it at a reasonable cost, with friends and support, but from your home --

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition just may be the solution you've been seeking. Why?
Rich with information, quality education, experts, celebrity star nutrition experts

Andrew Weil, MD is a world renowned expert on medicinal herbs, mind-body interactions and healing systems. He founded the Program In Integrative Medicine in Arizona, and you've probably seen many of his best-selling books. Dr. Weil is a big part of this program and has provided many guest lectures. In fact, he will be speaking at a live conference in November.

It's totally exciting to hook up with so many health passionate people from across the world. Teh webinars provide a place to talk. The online forum is active and alive. Many create study groups right in their home towns. Many others use Skype to create online discussion groups. But if you don't want to work in a group, you have everything you need to work this on your own.

If you are interested, you should jump into this right away. There is a scholarship available for you. There are payment plans as well. So check it out! Talk to me. And join me on this journey. I would be happy to help you get rolling, and delighted to have you study with me.

This coupon is only available until 10/1/2011 --- so act fast

Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Friends and Family $500 Tuition Scholarship

This Friends and family scholarship award is a gift from ___________________, a student currently enrolled at Integrative Nutrition, and it is good for application towards tuition in the Health Coach Training Program.

To claim your scholarship, call (877) 730-5444 or email and mention that your friend or family member gifted you this scholarship.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Energy of Foods

Hi friends,

I read something that just fascinated me last night. The 'Energy of Food' takes the concept of You Are What You Eat to a whole new dimension. The author talked about how people started to resemble the nature of the foods they eat. This goes so far beyond anything I've read. It makes sense though.

If this is true, then it also goes beyond what my Yoga master always said. Aadil was dead set against eating any animal. He never gave reason other than non violence. I ate zero red meat for some 25 years. I wanted a lower fat protein source. In addition, my thinking was that the adrenaline that went into the animal's blood stream as they died could not be good for me.

For all those years, I ate primarily white protein and produce with a minimal amount of carbs. Then I met and married a gourmet chef and everything changed. Over a 10 year period, I slowly packed on some 20 pounds. Part due to the stress of caregiving for chronically ill loved ones, part due to things outside my control, and mainly due to enjoying some wonderfully prepared foods both at home and at restaurants.

Finally, I had enough. I started cutting out sugar and bread, then desserts. But the foods I added and how I changed my lifestyle is what makes the bigger difference. As I sat with dear friends for lunch yesterday, I noticed that I just didn't want these things. They had sandwiches -- I wanted salad. They had wine -- I ordered tea. They wanted desert -- I was happy with one spoonful of my husband's. We've been juicing. We've been eating primarily produce for the past 3 months. I've lost 20 pounds in 3 - 4 months, but the thing is, I FEEL GREAT. The foods I cut out just don't appeal to me. They don't taste right.

Reading this concept about the Energy of Foods makes me ponder. The author says:
Rooty vegetables grown underground keep you emotionally grounded, lower your anxiety or lower keyed.
Foods that grow at the ground level, like squash, can help you stay centered.
And my favorite, foods that reach upward towards the sun and contain a lot of chlorophyll give you a lift. (make you happier) And he continues to say that he observed people seem to take on the physical nature of the foods they ate. People who eat a lot of beef and dairy start to look like cows? Well as funny as it sounds, it just may be true. Look at the obesity rate in the United States. All I know is I tend to feel a heck of a lot lighter with out beef or dairy. And I always lose weight.

I am so excited about this health coaching program. Here's why: The teaching resonates with everything i've experienced or practiced since a chile. It fits with the teachings from my parents and my grandmother. My Mom's mother was a health fanatic, so she said.

Anyway...I'm happy to talk with any of you about your health concerns. I'm looking for people who want to feel better, want to put the time into it, and are serious about it. I'll help those who really want help. There is no overnight success. There is only change.

The program is designed to lead individuals to explore what works best for them. We will go through every diet on the planet -- learn all about them, and never tell anyone that they can only eat one way. That's just ridiculous.

So my clients will never be told they have to eat only one way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Interested in Health Coaching? Want to help?

Most of my friends are compassionate souls who truly like to help others when they can. I'm like that too. We like to help.

I have two areas where I need help.

The first is easy. If I've ever inspired you to take better care of yourself, I'd love it if you'd write a quick statement about it. Whether by example, insight, or advice, if you feel I've helped you, and you'd be willing to write a testimonial, I'd love to use it on my website and marketing materials.

The second gets a bit more involved. I need to gather health histories. It's a simple deal - a conversation about your health, your goals, your challenges....I ask questions or you fill out a form.

This gives me an opportunity to practice listening to you, and gives you a chance to experience the beginning of a health coaching session.

If you'd like to participate in this program with me, now's your chance to jump in and experience what health coaching is all about.

And since no one likes to go it alone, I am hoping that some of you would be interested in joining me on this path. If you want to become a health coach yourself, I would love to have you come along for what appears to be the best year of my life. Want to become a health coach with me, then let me know so I can get you a nice $500 scholarship.

The Beginning of the Road

Hi everyone.

Pick your niche, they keep saying. And for the past 3 years, I've tried to bridge this dam but just recently came upon the solution. I am and have always been passionate about healthy living, health, nutrition, and fitness. Well...until now, I was blind. There is a way to make this happen. Its been right there all along.

I know what I want: My Writer's Life will be focused on writing for the health market. That may include medical, but it's more about writing for people like you and me. People who just want to feel better, live better, and make their lives more fulfilling.

Beyond my writing business is a growing healthy coaching business. My intention is to build a strong practice that includes workshops, e books, one on one coaching, and study groups.

Let me back up a bit here. Why am I qualified to do this? I used to wonder that myself. It's kind of like: How do you know what you know?

I've devoted some 35 years to living healthfully. My story began when as a teen, I nearly drowned in negativity, violence, and using alcohol and drugs to escape the pain. I will always remember the day I got a powerful message: "God did not create you to sit here and drink and drug your life away. I have bigger plans for you" Yeah, it sounds corny, but it happened. I got that message while coming down from some high. That was in 1974 ...

Since then, my life studies always bring me back to this place of knowing my passion, my place, and my mission. It's also why the corporate world has never quite fit. I've worked in technology, medical supplies, aerospace, insurance, and even beverage distribution. I've always been the outsider, never quite feeling at home in these places. But talk about fitness, health or lifestyle management and I light up like an electric circuit.

I've managed a health club, taught and practiced yoga for nearly twenty years, maintained a routine fitness program for longer than that, and I've studied foods, nutrition, and health maintenance since I was a teen. I've studied massage and alternate healing, neurolinguistic psychology, have published articles on health and self care, and enjoyed the gift of caring for elders. And most recently, I've nurtured and helped an ill spouse back to reasonable health after an 8 year run of nasty gastrointestinal problems made worse by wrong meds and bad doctors.

If you are like me, you make the most of forced changes. I truly believe that many of us are blessed with opportunities to change when we learn to slow down, listen to our hearts, and ask in meditation or prayer for direction.

That is how I came to find the IIN program. It came to me when I was ready! The program itself has been around since 1992, but only recently did they create this distance learning program. And it's affordable!

I just finished my first health coaching session. As you may know, I just began formal studies from the best nutrition school in the world. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition teaches people like you and me to become health coaches and more. It's the kind of program I wish I'd found in 1985.

I knew my purpose then. I'd been awakened by my survival from what might have been a fatal skiing accident. I was in awesome shape and was an expert skier. I'm blessed that I survived at all, but I stood up and looked around knowing that things must change. I'd fallen some 900 yards, pounded against rock hard moguls as I cartwheeled downhill in an uncontrollable free fall, and finally shot through some trees, and eventually stood up to look around and wonder if I was alive.

As I recovered, I searched for the core, the root of my being. I needed to know why I survived and what would make my life meaningful. The core thread of all my soul searching always came back with: Help others build their self esteem through exercise, recreation, and healthy living practices. Help others live a balanced, healthy life. Lead others to live well and be well.

Like many others, I don't like science. Until now, I couldn't figure out how to do what I knew I was meant to do. I took jobs that met my skills but not my passions. I chased after success, but never found fulfillment.

I did a job matching profile through an online resource. I ended up with a short list of best suited careers.
The program was good except I didn't have the happy path, only the titles and no help identifying affordable training. I had no motive to return to school for 4 years when I knew the formal programs weren't working for me. But the hot list kept calling me back. The hot items for me:

Holistic Health Coach
Writer or Copy Writer
Human Development (which for me means Empowerment)
Public Relations

Here I am, several years later. It's my time to pull it all together. It works. It fits like a glove!

It's simple. The older I am the more I want to make a difference. If I died tomorrow knowing my best contribution was writing a how to guide for a server failover, or making sure a project was completed on time and on budget, I'd die without meeting my purpose.

So I begin Month ONE with great enthusiasm. I hope you'll join me as I go forward into this exciting new career.