Conscious Living Blog – The Conscious Health Coach
Lisa Story is a Certified health coach Lisa Story shares healthy recipes and lifestyle tips on her blog to help you live a balanced healthy and happy life. She will help you come & embrace a new vitality.
In my coaching practice, I speak with women suffering from low energy, aches, pains, inflammation, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, migraines, hormonal issues, digestive issues, stubborn weight gain, depression, anxiety, side effects from taking multiple prescriptions for different ailments…and sadly this list is not exhaustive.
These women come seeking nutritional guidance, health or lifestyle education and emotional support. Unfortunately, too often I hear versions of the following sentiments…
“I’ll be ready to focus on my health in a few months. I’m JUST too busy right now to focus on myself.”
“When my daughter graduates from high school next year, then I can focus on my own health.”
“After I finish this important project I’m dealing with at work, then I can focus on me.”
“I’m just too busy volunteering and working to cook healthy foods and exercise.”
“I’ve got to care for my sick mom or dad right now.”
It breaks my heart every time I hear a woman speak these words AND I understand the mindset.
Part of my role as a Health Coach is to keep reminding clients that taking care of themselves daily is non-negotiable. And, make no mistake…I remind myself of this everyday as well!
Procrastinating on your self-care isn’t something you can afford to do. Not today…not any day. The stakes are simply too high.
We ALL have important lives. Families to tend to. Partners and friends to connect with and love. People to serve in some capacity. Work to create. Fun to be had.
We can do it ALL so much more effectively when we invest time and energy every single day into caring for ourselves SO we can then CARE for and TEND to others or meaningful work.
Might I go out on the proverbial limb and declare that it is NOT convenient to struggle through the day feeling: tired, heavy, foggy in the brain, achy and hurting, constipated, bloated, anxious, depressed, congested or sick.
And, it’s certainly NOT convenient to be running to various doctors and specialists getting more prescriptions to take, or constantly ordering more supplements and products to compensate for a lack of self-care.
Sacrificing our own health, our own bodies isn’t necessary to be a loving and caring woman.
This week in the spirit of Mother’s Day let’s ‘mother’ ourselves!
What’s the most important action you can take to nurture or nourish yourself?
Or…what do you know for sure is one habit you’ve been engaged in that’s sabotaging your RADIANCE?
Keep your nurturing simple…add one habit or action and release one that isn’t serving. Let go of all or nothing thinking. Let go of perfection.
Self-care and nourishing ourselves is uplifting. You are worthy of your own time and attention. ALWAYS!
Americans eat at least one meal a day in the car or at their desk. Our
modern day busy, and technology-filled lives invite near constant multi-tasking.
to a Harvard study done in 2013, eating while watching TV increased food intake
by at least 50%. The same is likely true for eating while driving or working,
surfing the internet or scrolling through social media.
this state of distracted busyness, it becomes all too easy to ignore the body
and its true hunger signals which then leads to low blood sugar. When we finally
do eat, it’s from a place of depletion and distraction. Have you ever felt
“hangry”?! Eating while distracted or on the run results in faster
consumption, eating poorer quality foods and unconsciously eating
MORE. This creates problems from both a human connection AND health
is this so important? Women are suffering in record numbers from digestive
related issues, weight concerns, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression and
other stress-related challenges.
simple habit of bringing mindful attention to meals has been scientifically
proven to improve digestion, reduce stress, improve cortisol levels and support
us in eating less. It’s one of the most basic ways we can improve our
Practicing Mindful Eating
Begin by tracking how many meals or snacks each day are eaten while doing other
activities. Get curious and notice without judgment.
Pick one meal a day to practice without any electronic or driving
Begin your meal with a few centering breaths in through the nose and out the
mouth. Take a moment of silence or gratitude to come into presence.
Enjoy every flavor and texture by taking small bites and chewing your food. The
first step of digestion is the smell, the visual savoring that triggers the
brain to send a signal to release digestive enzymes and begin breaking down the
food in your mouth.
when you feel satisfied. Not full or stuffed. The objective is to fill your
stomach to 80% and then allow the body time to register that you’re actually
mindful eating practice will help you to reduce overeating, improve digestion,
improve sleep and cortisol balance, and even lose weight if that’s a goal. Not
to mention, you’ll bring meals back to the table, enjoy the flavors and aromas
of your food more and hopefully find yourself connecting with others.
it’s the beginning of a new year, new month or simply a Monday morning, the
promise of personal or professional improvement is an exciting and hopeful
time. Setting goals or making resolutions energize our intentions and jazz us
up to create positive change in our lives.
goals and resolutions are accomplished by creating habits that support us.
Habits are actions consciously and repeatedly taken over and over until they
become engrained in us by repetition. Positive habits keep us focused and lead
to the success desired. Negative habits are actions we take that move us
further away from our goals. For example, if the goal is to become stronger and
more fit, but you find yourself spending every morning scrolling through social
media rather than beginning the day exercising…you may be unwittingly
following the steps outlined here, you’ll set yourself up for success anytime
you have a new dream, goal or resolution:
Reflect. In the place of newfound
desire and excitement most people forget to reflect on what led them to the
current state they seek to shift. Ask yourself, what habits or actions have led
you to where you are now? What needs to change? This very important step of
reflection holds the key to understanding what will help you successfully
accomplish goals and what may hold you back.
Identify the feeling. How do you want to feel?
The truth is that while we have important goals, what we’re really after is HOW
we will FEEL when we accomplish the goal.
Know your WHY. WHY do you want to FEEL this way? Longevity, travel, energy to play with kids
or grandkids, a sense of pride or accomplishment, deeper relationships? Our
heartfelt why or desire is what keeps us motivated when we need it the most.
Choose your goals or make
resolutions. Keep it simple. Any more
than 1-3 will invite overwhelm.
Act as IF. Step into the identity of
someone who’s already embodying the goal you have. Imagine what habits they
have or actions they take that connects them to achieving the goal.
Take small steps. Establish a few easy
habits that will lead you closer to your desired outcome. Break down the goal
into do-able actions.
Keep going. When life happens and gets
in the way of your actions or habits, take a deep breath and keep going. A
common misstep is to wait until the next week, month or even year to start
over. Remember you’re human. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”. This type
of thinking leads to the graveyard of dreams and desires.
goals leads to feelings of pride and satisfaction. Be willing to get
uncomfortable as you challenge yourself to grow in new ways. Growth is what
keeps us energized and motivated. Now, et going…you can do it!
There are several factors that impact the health of your hair: age, hormones, genetics and daily diet.
The nourishment you receive from food each day will impact how you age, the balance of your hormones and can even keep genetic markers predisposing you to certain age-related or health challenges turned off.
Each strand of hair is made up of cells containing protein. This protein is called keratin and the amino acids found in the keratin need plenty of vitamins and minerals along with healthy blood circulation to thrive.
If you want strong, shiny and healthy hair be sure to consume the following foods:
Animal proteins such as: fish, chicken, turkey, eggs and vegetarian sources such as: legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds will keep your hair strong and growing at a healthy rate. Without enough protein in the diet, hair can become weak, dry and more prone to breakage.
Citrus fruits high in vitamin C such as: lemons, grapefruits, oranges, blueberries and strawberries promote hair growth and support the body in absorbing iron which is essential for a healthy head of hair.
Iron-rich foods including lentils, broccoli and dark, leafy greens like kale or spinach will help the hair stay strong.
Omega-3 fats will keep the scalp and hair follicles hydrated and lush. Excellent sources include: salmon, sardines, anchovies, avocados, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds.
Vitamin A dense options like pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes and apricots will condition and nourish the scalp.
High copper foods such as shiitake mushrooms or spirulina will help hair to retain its natural color and slow premature dulling or graying.
Circulation boosting spices like cinnamon and cayenne pepper will get blood flowing to the scalp.
The foods and beverages listed below should be avoided whenever possible or kept to a minimum:
Fish high in mercury such as: swordfish, mackerel and tuna can lead to hair loss.
Diet soda contributes to thinning and loss of hair.
Refined sugar and starchy grains will prevent the absorption of protein which is essential to keeping hair strong.
Alcohol will dehydrate your hair which can lead to unwanted breakage and thinning. Also, it prevents the body from absorbing zinc, a very important mineral for your hair.
Keep in mind that the health of your hair is reflective of your internal landscape. As the adage goes, you are what you eat. Just like the rest of your body, the hair responds favorably to a whole-foods diet that is rich in nutrients and one that is low in processed, convenience foods.
This has been the most popular question I’ve received since the news that Starbuck’s (and other companies) in California were ordered to begin placing a cancer warning label on their coffee drinks.
So, let’s get a little clarity and perspective on the matter!
Knowledge is power.
The concern with the coffee is that roasted coffee beans contain high levels of acrylamide in them (otherwise known as acrylic acid and a carcinogen…something that is toxic to the body).
When it comes to coffee…lighter roasts have less acrylamide, certain types of beans may have less, and espresso-style may have more.
If you suffer from energy issues, adrenal issues, sleep issues or anxiety you may want to stay off coffee for these reasons alone.
If not, then choose a high-quality coffee and be sure to add a healthy oil or fat such as ghee, grass-fed butter or coconut oil to your coffee to slow the rate the caffeine enters your bloodstream leaving you with a clean slow source of energy vs. a jolt. Then sweeten with natural sweeteners (raw local honey, pure maple syrup, coconut palm sugar or stevia) and use raw milk or non-dairy milks to add creaminess if you can’t tolerate dairy.
There have definitely been some studies that show coffee can be useful, but it is important to know your body.
One final note to keep in mind…ANY food that is fried, roasted or baked at a high temperature (cookies, chips, French fries, doughnuts, crackers, meats) will contain acrylamide.
As always, enjoying fresh whole foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables will keep you vibrant and filled with vitality.