Getting Started… Again!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know I started a personal Holistic Health & Wellness Journey a couple of years ago. I’ve learned quite a bit since I began my journey, but I seem to have trouble with consistency.

You see, it’s really hard to change your lifestyle completely on your own. Who’s holding you accountable on days when your motivation is lacking? Who’s cheering you along when you feel like giving up?  How do convince yourself to keep going when your body is screaming at you to give in? Who’s celebrating with you when you push on?

Thankfully, I’ve found Team Beachbody! Being part of a team of like-minded people is the key component I’ve been missing. I know that having the support I need to achieve my goals is going to be a game-changer for me — and I can’t WAIT to see the results! I know that I can help others achieve their goals, too, by sharing my personal development and providing my support. As an Independent Beachbody Coach, I get to do just that!

My mission as a health and fitness coach is to inspire my clients to eat well, get active and be healthy. To help achieve this goal, I’m running a free Challenge group starting Monday, December 7, 2015. I invite you to join us! During this 90 day journey, we’ll track our progress, hold each other accountable, and motivate, inspire, and encourage each other to achieve amazing results.

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And as an added incentive, you’ll be able to participate in The Beachbody Challenge™ contest. All you have to do is log our workouts online at TeamBeachbody.com for a chance to win up to $1000 every day—and submit your “before” and “after” photos for a shot at the $100,000 Grand Prize. But the spots will fill quickly—and you don’t want to wait ’til the next group! When you’re ready, just visit my Web site at BeachBodyCoach.com/MrsKC and follow the Take The Beachbody Challenge banner to sign up. Or call or email me and I’ll walk you through the process.

Let’s do this together and make the magic happen. Here’s to our health and success!

Timeless Lessons from a Younger Me

The following is an excerpt from a piece in my Digital Time Capsule titled Holiday Thoughts. I wrote it on December 13, 2007 at the tender age of 22. It  was at a time much like the present: a new year danced before me, a blank canvas brim with possibilities simply awaiting my paintbrush. I came across it as I was updating my blog and I thought I would share it again. What a perfect reminder of how I really want to live my life:

1. Cherish every moment.  If you are always preparing for something – waiting for the “right” time to do something – stop!  The time is now.  THIS is your life.  Live it to the fullest.

2. Tell your friends and family you love them.  Make time to call – or even email if you must.  Don’t let the day to day get in the way of the people that truly matter to you.  Everyone has a busy life.  It’s nice to hear that you’re being thought of once in a while.

3. Don’t be afraid to let go – to grow – to learn – to take risks.  It’s not worth holding on to something if you are not happy.  The reality is that we all live life once.  Do it for yourself.

4. Never forget to kick back and have some fun.  Genuine, real, laugh-until-your-stomach-hurts-and-you-have-tears-streaming-down-your-bright-red-face fun!

5. Take initiative.  Work hard.  Be honest.  Take pride in everything you do.

6. Take credit when you do something well.  Congratulate yourself and be proud.

7. SMILE!  A lot.

8. Remember that everyone has problems in their lives.  And most of the time, there is someone out there worse off than you.  So, count your blessings and give back when you can – even if it’s just taking a few extra seconds to hold the door open for someone or letting that car cut in front of you on the highway.  You might be running late for work – that person cutting you off might be rushing to the hospital because his wife is in labor.

9. Take things in stride.  Let go of the little things.  Don’t gossip.  Try to be a little nicer – remember karma.

10. Every day is a chance at a new beginning – a fresh start.  Stick to your guns.  Stand up for what you believe in.  Don’t get taken advantage of – don’t take advantage of others.  Just be you.

If You’re Shopping Anyway…

I’m a little old school when it comes to certain things… I am grateful for technology and certainly utilize it daily, but honestly, I’d rather have the real thing. For me, handwritten letters, home-cooked meals and a live person on the other end of a phone call trump emails, microwaved dinners and automated Customer Service lines any day of the week. Typically, the same applies to shopping — I would rather shop at a store than online. But one of the things I have learned as a young wife and mother of three is that if I want to maintain my sanity, I have got to stay flexible. As you can imagine, with three children ages 3 and under, getting out of the house to do any type of household {read:boring} shopping is either A) a physical task worthy of qualifying for the Olympics, B) next to impossible {really, moms should have 4 arms} and C) simply not fun. My solution: online shopping WHENEVER possible.

The internet makes shopping so much easier these days. Instead of loading up my minivan and buckling kids in car seats and driving from store to store… I can shop with my fingertips right at my screen during lunch time, nap time or even while the kids are occupied at play time. My purchases are delivered straight to my door, too. And the deals you will find just can’t be beat! Here are a few quick tips for maximizing your savings when shopping online:

  1. Always start with Ebates.
    Whenever I begin a new online shopping trip, I start with Ebates.com. It is so easy to save a few dollars by starting here first. With Ebates you earn cash back on qualifying purchases and they send you a “Big Fat Payment” once some of your savings accrue. All you have to do is click through their website before you make your purchase. That’s it! 
  2. Check the item(s) and the store(s). 
    For instance, let’s say you were shopping for a new Name Brand printer and you typically purchase office supplies at Store A. Make to sure to search Ebates for both Store A and Name Brand printers, that way you will quickly be able to see if Store B, Store M or Store Z has a better deal.
  3. Install the Ebates Cash Back Button on your Toolbar.
    A few times I have found myself shopping without realizing it {a pitfall of online shopping, I suppose} and only after completing my purchase did I remember I could have saved with Ebates. Since I added this little guy, I’ve been able to prevent that from happening several more times! If you’re on a page that qualifies for savings, Ebates will give you a heads up.
  4. Look for discount or coupon codes.
    Once you have added the item(s) you want to your shopping cart, do one last search for any additional coupon or discount codes that may apply. Make sure to look on the store website’s for savings or check out a site like my tried and true, RetailMeNot.com.

And that’s it! It doesn’t have to take a lot of work to save a little money. Just a little time and effort and the savings will start to stack up.

Are you an online shopper? Do you use sites like Ebates or RetailMeNot?
How do you save money?

A Different Kind of Doctor – Week 28

Since the beginning of the year I have been learning how to live a more holistic, simplistic and natural way of life. Knowing that healing begins on the inside, I decided to start the journey by addressing what was most obviously unhealthy in my life – with my diet and exercise. First, I began my learning about and incorporating more organic, clean, whole foods into my diet. Then, I began looking into specific foods to help with my specific health issues. One day, my mom drove past a sign with the number for a clinic of natural medicine and she passed on the information to me. Weeks later, I finally called and scheduled a consultation with a naturopathic doctor. At the initial meeting, she did a physical (and emotional) exam; we discussed my concerns, my treatment goals and a planned course of action. She explained how naturopathic doctors treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. She described how certain foods can harm your body, while nutrients from other foods can heal your body. She also talked about using food to help manage your moods and emotions. After a thorough discussion about my symptoms, she recommended some steps I could take immediately. These included beginning some vitamin supplements, making some drastic changes to my diet according to my blood type (including adding healthy protein, fruits and vegetables to my menu while eliminating soda, sugar, processed foods, cow’s dairy and red meat) and a homeopathic remedy.

I was able to make most of the dietary changes without too much trouble and started the supplements and remedy as suggested. At my follow-up visit about 3 weeks later, my doctor was impressed with some signs of internal improvement she could see from a second physical exam. It has now been about 5 weeks since I started this new regimen. It really is a lifestyle change – learning how to feed your body instead of your emotions or inner child – and some days are better than others. I can’t be sure if it is the vitamins, the food, the homeopathic remedy, or any combination of these and other steps that I’ve been taking to improve my health and happiness, but most days I feel like something is working. I feel myself getting stronger, feeling healthier and more hopeful, excited, and happy. I have days that I’m not so strong. Days I feel like giving up or just screaming at the world. But I know I didn’t get like this overnight and that I won’t achieve the level of success I desire overnight. Slowly but surely, though…one day at a time, I am becoming more the person I am meant to be.

A New View on Nutrition – Week 27

                A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I still don’t have a clue what foods I “should” be eating in order to be healthy. Yes, I know fruits and vegetables… but, to be honest, I don’t really like all that many. Yet, I insisted that I needed to change my diet in order to maintain a healthy, balanced life. Knowing that I need to eat healthy but not being sure exactly what “healthy” means for me, I thought about what I hope to achieve by changing my eating habits. I decided that what I really want to work on are all the symptoms that prompted me to begin this Holistic Challenge in the first place. So I began researching which foods and other natural methods are recommended for each of my particular complaints. I am hoping that combined with trying some other natural suggestions, changing my eating habits will begin to have a positive effect and relieve or ease the following symptoms:

            • Migraines
            • Anxiety/Depression
            • Acne
            • Unwanted hair growth
            • Stained teeth, unhealthy gums
            • Eczema and dry skin, frizzy hair
            • Stomach/GI issues (constipation, diarrhea, irregularity)
            • Anger/irritability/mood swings
            • Pregnancy symptoms – nausea, heartburn
            • Back pain
            • Fatigue, lack of energy
            • Poor appetite and sleep quality
            • Low libido
            • Low attention span

(Yes, I know we’re getting pretty personal here… but c’mon, we’re all human. And really, isn’t that the fun of an online journal anyway – talking about all the nitty gritty details of life with a certain degree of anonymity?)

I started by looking up which foods were best to consume for folks dealing with the above listed symptoms.

Chronic Headaches/Migraines

[  Water

Alternatives*: unsweetened herbal tea or decaf coffee and fat-free or 1% milk
Water rich foods: watermelon, berries, cucumber, melon, soups, oatmeal, tomatoes* and lettuce

[  Salmon

[  Eggs*

[  Olive and canola oils

[  Lean beef*

[  Whole grain fortified cereal

[  Mushrooms

[  Broccoli

[  Spinach

[  Sweet potatoes

[  White potatoes

[  Swiss chard

[  Fresh amaranth

[  Quinoa

[  Almonds*

[  Sunflower seeds, other seeds and legumes

[  Bananas*

[  Avocados

[  Dried apricots

[  Brown rice

[  Whole grains

[  Plain fat-free Greek yogurt*

[  Sesame seeds

*Conflicting opinions argue some foods, such as these, may actually trigger headaches instead of relieving them.

Other Natural Alternatives

[  Practice stress management and relaxation techniques

[  Get plenty of sleep

[  Exercise and stretch daily

[  Pay attention to your body’s alignment (while working, standing, sleeping, etc)

[  Explore manipulative therapies (chiropractor, acupuncture, Reiki, Feldenkrais, the Alexander Technique, a personal trainer, etc)

[  Avoid caffeine, alcohol, dairy, sugar and processed foods.

[  Stay hydrated.

Depression/Anxiety

[  Water

[  Whole grains & seaweed

[  Potatoes

[  Blueberries

[  Acai berries

[  Almonds

[  Pure dark chocolate

[  Maca root (powder)

[  Cheese

[  Peanut butter

[  Nuts

[  Sesame seeds  

[  Oats

[  Milk

[  Poultry

[  Bananas

Other Natural Alternatives

[  Herbal supplements such as kava and passionflower

[  Avoid processed foods, refined grain, sugar, caffeine and alcohol

[  Meditate

[  Exercise

Acne

[  Water

[  Salmon, mackerel and sardines

[  Walnuts, beans, flaxseed oil

[  Nuts

[  Avocado

[  Red grapes

[  Fennel

[  Artichoke

[  Brown rice

[  Garlic

[  Broccoli

[  Alfalfa sprouts

[  Green and herbal tea (burdock root, dandelion greens, milk thistle and red clover)

Other Natural Alternatives

[  Practice relaxation and stress management techniques

[  Stay hydrated

[  May need to avoid dairy

[  Supplement** with apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice

[  Green food supplements** (chlorophyll, spirulina and barley greens)

[  Tea tree or jojoba oil and/or oil cleansing

[  Baking soda, milk of magnesia, aloe applied to skin

[  Herbal steam facial

**Always consult with your health practitioner before using herbs and supplements. 

Unwanted hair growth (Hirsutism)

[  Black cohosh**

[  Saw palmetto**

[  Spearmint and green tea

[  Romaine lettuce

[  Onions

[  Tomatoes

[  Whole grains

[  Potatoes

[  Cinnamon

[  Crimini mushrooms

[  Apricots

[  Sunflower seeds

[  Licorice root

[  Wheat germ

[  Tuna

[  Barley

[  Skinless Chicken

**Always consult with your health practitioner before using herbs and supplements. 

Other Natural Alternatives

[  Plucking

[  Shaving

[  Body Sugaring (Natural Wax)

[  Threading

[  Avoid dairy

Stained teeth, unhealthy gums

[  Pineapples

[  Ginger

[  Carrots

[  Basil

[  Cheese

[  Sesame seeds

[  Skitaki mushrooms

[  Onions

[  Salmon

[  Broccoli

Other Natural Alternatives

[  Avoid coffee, tea & colas

Eczema and dry skin, frizzy hair

[  Salmon

[  Watercress

[  Apples

[  Sweet potatoes

[  Fish roe

[  Carrots

[  Turmeric

[  Red wine

[  Broccoli

[  Red grapes

[  Cherries

[  Citrus fruits

[  Raspberries

Other Natural Alternatives

[  Eliminate food allergens from your diet (can include dairy, corn, eggs, shellfish, wheat (gluten), citrus fruit & food additives and preservatives)

Stomach/GI issues (constipation, diarrhea, irregularity)

[  Water

[  Oat bran

[  Cabbage juice

[  Carrots

[  Lettuce

[  Pears

[  Yogurt

[  Fennel seeds

[  Flaxseed

[  Peppermint

Other Natural Alternatives

[  Eat smaller meals

[  Eat slowly

[  Exercise

[  Practice deep breathing & relaxation techniques

[  Take a hot bath or apply a heating pad or hot compress

[  Drink between meals instead of with them

With each new symptom I researched, I started to realize what this “holistic” journey actually is — an active and conscious process of changing each and every aspect of the way I live. This is more than changing what or how I eat, sleep and work out. It is developing an awareness of the self down to the very core. Physically, this means learning how my body works; it’s discovering what is lacking, where I am overindulging and how to use my strengths to my advantage. I am not any particular symptom; I am a whole person: a body, a mind and a spirit unified. This means there is no special food or fitness routine or relaxation technique that is going to help me with any individual symptom. No. Instead, I need to pay attention to what is going on with me as an entire being and then respond accordingly. Looking up these foods is great, but looking into why they are good for me is even better. I soon began to notice a link between the foods that were being recommended and their particular nutrients and vitamins. I also noted a pattern in the additional suggestions being mentioned for each symptom. Relaxation techniques, yoga and meditation, focusing on hobbies and positivity were all recommended. And one word in particular kept repeating in my search results: stress. While I recognized that I was picking up on a pattern, what I didn’t realize was that I was about to stumble upon a whole new part of my holistic journey…

DISCLAIMER: For informational purposes only. Always consult your health professional before making any lifestyle changes. 

Sources

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.

If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.

If children live with encouragement, they learn to be confident.

If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

If children live with sharing, they learn to be generous.

If children live with honesty, they learn to be truthful.

If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn to be respectful.

If children live with security, they learn to have faith.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.

Author Unknown

Day by Day – Week 21

For the first time in my life I feel like I’m starting to learn what stability feels like. I’ve only caught a glimpse, mind you – but so far, I think I like it. 🙂 Excitement and joy about this latest pregnancy have begun replacing the anxiety and doubt I first felt upon learning I was expecting again. As I grow spiritually, I’m watching in wonderment as my family grows physically. My toddler is acting more like a preschooler and my infant will no doubt soon be toddling!

This past month I have learned how to start letting go both as a mom (I didn’t think I’d have to start this early!!) and as a woman. Letting go of my past — the hurts, injustices, anger, sadness, bitterness, pain and hatred… Letting go of what I can’t control — other people’s thoughts, words and behaviors, circumstances that are out of my hands or beyond my comprehension and life’s obstacles that are inevitably hurled into each of our paths… Letting go of my unrealistic expectations, negative thinking patterns and pessimistic attitude. Letting go of what and how I think things “should” be and accepting things for what they are.

Letting go leaves my hands open to hold on to the more important things in life. Instead of cluttering my life with all that life-defeating nonsense, I am learning to embrace and hang on to my dreams, aspirations, goals and ambitions in life. My hands are free to help others and give what I have back to those who gave to me, and then some. Letting go allows me to hug my husband closer, play with my children more and make good things happen.

No day is perfect, but each is better than the last. I am not where I want to be, but I do thank God that I am not where I used to be. Day by day, I am getting stronger.