The Empowered Mama's 5-Step Guide to feeling Nurtured, Fit & Confident...even in a Swimsuit

Why Health Coaching Will Change the World

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What it Means to Work With a Health Coach

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When we’re curious about learning something, we read a book. If we want a more serious study, maybe we sign up for a course. But, if we’re determined and know it’s time to truly master or overcome something, we call in for help.

When it comes to health, wellness, self-confidence, and transformation, that’s the time to call in the right health coach or counselor.

Years ago, I agreed to find a solution to my asthma and allergies in order to wean off taking so much medication while nursing our firstborn baby. I was also exhausted, caring for a newborn, and feeling pretty disconnected from my body. Let’s just say I was hiding out in big t-shirt and yoga pants on most days, anything to avoid accepting the new shape of my post-pregnancy body.

Not sure where to start, I did a lot of self-guided study to learn more and to facilitate my personal healing. I picked up books, studied some websites, and took a few courses. I made some progress.

I made enough progress to know I needed more help. When I still couldn’t sleep through the night without grasping for the inhaler, just before my newborn woke up to nurse for the third time that night, the sense of urgency hit me harder than before. I knew I had to say yes to more personalized guidance.

Now, let me be clear. I was already in the care of my doctor. However that care involved assessing the symptoms and prescribing new inhalers or pills. That was about as far as I got with my  traditional medical doctors. It was the steroid medicine I wanted to wean out of my life so my daughter didn’t have to share it through breast milk. I knew it was possible because I had already experienced a taste of that relief. And, doctor’s visits did little to nurture self-confidence or guide me through sustainably strengthening my body after pregnancy. That’s not really the doctor’s job after all.

My personal situation required more individualized attention from someone who had been there. I needed accountability and understanding.

When I found my coach practitioner, everything shifted. My life changed. And, so did my understanding of health and my body.

First, here is what didn’t help . . .

It didn’t help to stay in this place of hating my symptoms and fighting my body. The stress of being in battle with my body only worsened the symptoms.

The symptoms were merely a message about a larger issue.

Identifying the cause and doing the real work to uncover and release the stress came from personal attention and care.

Healing doesn’t happen alone. Too often we get in our own way.

That goes for most things. If you want to start a new home business, you want to do it as low cost as possible. You try to do everything yourself. You try to do the marketing, the scheduling, the bookkeeping, the customer service, the website development, the social media, etc. Before you know it, you are so busy doing everything you haven’t really done anything. At least not enough to make the impact you really want.

By the end of the day you know you don’t have the systems, education, or help to do it the way you need to be successful.

We understand, in this case, we have to accept guidance. We believe in the value of professors to give us the education we need in college. We hire business consultants and coaches. We learn to create a budget to delegate.

We hire people who have been there first.

It’s not a new concept to seek out mentors and guides. It’s something ingrained in us.

We did it as children. We learned from our parents how to be in the world.

In school we learned from our teachers.

In college we learned from professors.

In our jobs we learned from supervisors and co-workers.

As adults and as parents, we have learned to ask for help from friends, relatives, parents, and caregivers as we navigate the world of parenting and having a life.

When it comes to our health, it shouldn’t be much different.

We live in a culture where the options are often more limited for health and wellness. We look to the men and women in white coats to tell us what to do. We learn from our doctors what pills to take, what vaccinations we need, how many doctor’s appointments a year we should have, what our blood pressure should be, how much we weigh, how tall we are, etc.

We learn about our bodies through numbers and statistics.

We are then told to treat any ailments as something to cover up. You have a headache? Take a Tylenol. You have stomach ache? Take a Tums. You have an itch? Take this itch cream.

When my first daughter was just a baby, she started getting these rashes and yeast infections after starting solid foods. This was when I was only beginning to learn about nutrition and health.

I was nervous. I knew that rashes, like Eczema, were a sign of allergies and many children with Eczema also develop asthmatic symptoms. Here I was in the process of healing my body from asthma and allergies and watching my daughter develop the symptoms that might send her on the same path as me. I was new to the world of natural health and hadn’t quite figured out the nutrition program, breathing program, and relaxation techniques that dramatically shifted my health later on.

So, we took her to our doctor. There were no questions about her diet or her exposure to household toxins.

We were told, “It’s hot outside.” “This is a common rash for all kids.” “The yeast infection will only clear up with steroid cream.”

Maybe it was a common rash for all kids, but why was it so common here when it isn’t common for allergies to develop everywhere in the world? Even with all the research supporting the connection between gut health and allergies, why wasn’t this information discussed in our doctor’s visit?

We did give her the cream. It worked temporarily. But the rashes always returned. The cream only worked to treat the symptoms, not the cause.

Here it was though. At an early age, the message we are told to teach our daughter is if “you have a symptom, you cover it up with x, y, and z.”

Luckily for our family, my practitioner and coach came into my life shortly after.

I shifted my thinking about symptoms. Here I was trying to heal my own body and seeing new symptoms in my daughter. The whole time I just wanted to find out how to make the symptoms go away.

But symptoms get covered up and come back. Or, they show up in new ways.

We can only hide them for so long before life forces us to face the reckoning of a body ignored.

A coach helps you ask the right questions. We started by asking:

“Why?”

“What is she eating?”

“What are we putting on her body in the soap?”

“How are the stress levels and the environment at home?”

We discovered, through a more curious approach, she was sensitive to different sugars and wheat products that showed up in even her organic baby snacks.

When we replaced those foods with more whole foods, her rashes CLEARED UP. No more cream.

It was amazing. And, it wasn’t amazing at the same time. At that point it seemed so obvious and simple.

Why wasn’t it brought up in the visit with our doctor?

It’s a hard road to go down, especially for doctors. It is a road in which you are asking patients to fundamentally shift the way they eat, think, and live. It’s a whole lifestyle makeover.

Doctors rarely have the specific resources, time, or even training to do that.

Their training focuses on sick care. In other words, they treat symptoms and sick people. It’s about disease control rather than disease prevention.

We are in a culture of sick care. Not preventative care.

This is why health coaches are so needed.

This is why health coaches are so powerful and so important.

Well-trained coaches and counselors offer a fresh perspective that’s truly needed.

They offer accountability.

They offer proven strategies tailored specifically to the individual.

They uphold body wisdom. 

They value nourishment, self-confidence, body love, health, sustainability, whole foods, love, acceptance, strength, and movement.

I look forward to a future in which doctors and coaches will always work together as many do now. Doctors can offer insight into the cause of the symptoms while having the resource of a health coach to support that patient in getting where they need to go.

It is rarely effective to simply tell someone “You need to eat healthier and exercise more” in a one-off doctor’s visit. It is only a VERY small piece of a much larger puzzle.

A health coach walks down the path with you. For my daughter, the changes were simpler. Her body was young, adapted quickly, and her immune system bounced back

A personal lifestyle shift to improve the health, well-being, and wellness of most adults requires more personal care, love, attention, and individualized guidance.

That’s what health coaching does.

It’s not about diet plans and exercise plans. Sure, there are tons of health coaches who do those. They have a role and can be important. Sometimes someone just needs a good diet plan.

But, for something truly transforming and sustainable, an approach that will empower a person with the tools for a life of self-care and personal awareness, that person needs a partner, friend, practitioner, counselor, coach, and teacher who is willing to open the doors that have been shut for too long. That coach is willing to guide and instruct and hold someone’s hand and love that person along the way.

Health coaching can change face of health care as more and more people experience the power of meaningful transformation. We will have healthier, confident, vibrant, thriving people spreading the message of health, self-confidence, vibrancy, and thriving to others.

We can transform this state of sick care into preventative care into care of the soul, the mind, and body.

The biggest mistake I made when I almost died

Life Calling You to Heal

Life Calling You to Heal

I was 14 years-old and realized I might not make it through the night.

I woke up in a hospital bed. In the corner of the room I heard whispers from my doctor and mom. He warned her I would not survive to morning without the proper care.

It wasn’t some big accident that put me in that bed. My body had given up. My lungs had lost the strength needed to pump air in and out. After struggling for air all day, sucking down puff after puff on my emergency inhaler, I realized the problem was bigger than that little device. I entered the hospital emergency room doors, opened my mouth to speak, and collapsed on the tiled floor.

Awake in the hospital bed, attached to tubes, breathing in the medicated air of a nebulizer, listening to my doctor deliver my death sentence, all I could think about was trying to breath.

I fought for a full breath to prove him wrong. I struggled for air to get out of that bed and away from that room. I felt the walls closing in. He suggested to have me air lifted to a larger hospital with the facilities to care for me. A salty tear dripped down my cheek into the corner of my lips. At that point, all I could think was “Why?”

“Why did God give me a body without the ability to breathe normally?” I thought if only I could finally breathe I could feel as strong as my peers. I could prove I wasn’t weak. I wouldn’t have to feel “less than.”

I had spent my whole life struggling for air. Since I could remember, in order to breathe, I needed medication. Visiting a new place, sleeping in an unfamiliar hotel room, sleeping over with friends, camping, playing sports I love; it all came with the condition that I take medication. And sometimes no amount of allergy or asthma medication could counter the itch, the wheeziness, the congestion, and the fatigue of those symptoms.

In my hospital bed, getting prepped for the helicopter ride, I asked what a kid has to have done wrong to go through that. It really struck me hardest when they pulled the oxygen mask away to transfer me to the helicopter oxygen. That brief moment without the assisted air, I felt the temptation to slip away. I tasted my first sip of death, what it would be like to let life choke away the air and no longer struggle for daily breath.

Awake again in a new hospital room, a new city, and surrounded by new doctors and breathing therapists, a new conversation took place in the corner of the room. I listened to them prep my mom on the list of new inhalers and steroid pills I would have to take. I heard the message that I would likely have to take some of these steroid inhalers for the rest of my life. I felt my belly heave as I sobbed at the hopelessness of ever really getting to breathe symptom free. Why was this happening?

It was then that I more intensely hated my symptoms than ever before. I declared war. How could I numb, hide, and get them out of my body?

my body wanted peace not war

That was my first mistake. I started a war when what my body wanted was peace.

Life was calling me to heal. But, I wasn’t ready for the message.

Fast forward a couple years. In a slightly more mature body, I dabbled in a few practices to feel better. Deep down, I felt this pull to connect with something inside on a more profound level. I still wasn’t quite ready for what that meant. But, I had heard of the benefits of yoga on asthma and congestion. So, in my room, alone, with an old book I found in a bookstore, I attempted a solo yoga practice.

I lit candles, I read about the breathing exercises, and I did my best to breathe as directed. Each gunky, clogged breath I felt fueled a fire of hatred for my symptoms even more. When I didn’t get the results I wanted right out of the gate, I resigned my solo yoga practice a number of times.

The truth was, while I had the mind to try a more natural approach, I was still trying to naturally fix myself and kill the symptoms. I still saw the body as an enemy. 

Thankfully, life never gave up on me. I would be called in a much bigger way to finally say Yes to the deeper healing that had to take place.

In my mid-20s, pregnant with my first baby, it was now the life urging me to get my sh*t together. How could I fight my body on this when it housed and nourished another life?

I had to get over myself and my self-pity around “Why me?,” or pure ignorance of “I’ll just take this medication and that’s just how it will be forever.” But, even with the medication I felt miserable. In the end, it only numbed a larger issue arising in my immune system.

If I didn’t answer’s life’s and my body’s call sooner or later, it was going to come pounding on the door with a much larger health problem one day. As a new mom, that wasn’t an option. 

Answer life's call

That’s where my  journey began. It was a big trip too. I had to point a big ass magnifying glass on my life, my habits, my stress, my diet, my self-care, and eat my humble soup a number of times. I made mistakes.

But, the biggest one of all was trying to do it alone. From my secret self-hatred, to my many failed attempts at a solo-yoga practice, I had to accept some guidance. Google wasn’t going to heal me on this one either.

My beacon of light was my first practitioner. As a guide, a mentor, a teacher, a healer, and someone who had been there, he held the space for me I needed to step into the breathing exercises to heal my congestion. Then, when the next step of healing called me to learn more about nutrition, I sought my guide and coach there. When I was called to dig deeper into the unraveling of stressors and triggers, I received guidance again. Each time I said “yes” to help and healing, my body opened up, my breathing cleared, and I got the feedback that this was the right path. 

And you know . . . the solutions were always in front of me. There wasn’t some big magic pill to swallow or demons to excise. Life has a way of leaving little clues here and there. When I was willing, I asked my guide to help me uncover them in big ways.

This week, I am teaching the method that was a part of my healing journey and how I finally stepped out of the fog of severe allergies and asthma into the joyful life of abundant breath and energy. You can get access to that through the free video training series here. Or, click the picture below.

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Thank you for following my story. I’d love to hear more about yours? Has life ever called you in a big way? Please share!

 

Naturally Clear Congestion With These Exercises

Breathe easier without congestion








 

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Congestion ruled my life for over 25 years. I walked around with a blocked nose, constantly mouth breathing, and frustratingly foggy. I remember one birthday, I actually blew out the candles and wished for a new nose that could breathe!

Naturally Relieve Your Congestion

It took a while for my wish to come true, but it did. Pregnancy changed my whole perspective on how I wanted to manage my symptoms. The steroid nose sprays, inhalers, decongestants, and allergy pills just weren’t going to work for me anymore.

Looking for  “natural solutions” to allergies is quite a thing on the Internet. You can get all kinds of answers! Drink apple cider vinegar, get in touch with nature, try this essential oil, eat these foods, don’t eat these foods, allergy proof your home, and so on.

The thing is, many of those solutions, while wonderful, only compliment an even larger strategy to strengthen the immune system to quit overreacting to so many allergens. Part of that strategy involves becoming more mindful of how you’re breathing.

The best part about these exercises I’m teaching in today’s post is you experience clearer breathing almost immediately. Breath retraining is one of the most powerful tools in my whole Feel Free to Breathe program.

Naturally Cleared my congestion and had energy

I learned to naturally clear my congestion and ended up with energy for what matters most. Congestion equals foggy brain, moodiness, irritability, anxiety, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. So it not only affects you’re overall quality of life, it impairs your ability to be fully present for the people that matter most. It affects your performance at work and at home. It’s a fuzzy way to go through life.

If congestion is something that affects you at any point in the year, try some of these simple exercises in the video daily for a while. Even if you are only slightly congested, learn more about why breathing more optimally again will greatly benefit your overall health.

Ready for more focused lessons on the powerful lifestyle shifts to empower you this allergy season? Sign up for the free video training series to get 3 short videos on how to quickly relieve your symptoms naturally and step into your allergy free lifestyle. Sign up below:








 

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*As always, be sure to use all materials here and anywhere on the Internet for your education. They are not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. Please do not stop taking any medication without seeing your doctor. Make sure to visit the Website Disclaimer and Privacy Policy before using this site or its materials. Thanks!

Thank You Body for the Feedback I needed

Thank You Body Feel Free to Breathe

Thank You Body Feel Free to Breathe

Everyday I have committed to beginning the day with thoughts of gratitude.

Today, I’m watching pollen dance through the air, floating from one grassy spot to another. I’m able to sit comfortably outside as the wind blows the scent of spring every which way. I’m ecstatic about running up the property without keeling over at the top! That’s a big deal for me!

All of that means so much after spending most of my life dreading spring time, blooming flowers, pollen, dust, and even sitting in the grass. Allergies and asthma ruled what I could enjoy throughout the year. As a lover of the outdoors, I had a pretty strained relationship with being outdoors!

I’m grateful today for the amazing progress and growth my body has made these past few years. I’m grateful for each breath and for the opportunity to enjoy these outdoor moments with my baby girls. I know my body is always changing and evolving and I’m on this ride for the long haul.

I’m even grateful for having suffered from severe asthma and allergies! It’s true! Without that experience, I may never have stepped into this world of nutrition and movement. I may never have confronted the stress in my life. Without those symptoms that were so obvious and so in-my-face, I’m not sure I would have committed to adjusting my lifestyle in a way that has been so enriching and has paid off BIG TIME.

I thank my family for inspiring me to do my best, thank the beautiful spring season, and thank my body for giving me the feedback I needed to get my butt in gear.

That’s today’s gratitude.

What are you thankful for today?

(P.S. If you are also touched by allergies or breathing problems and interested in natural solutions, join the free video training online NOW while it’s still up and I will walk you through the program I teach and that helped me to overcome my symptoms for good.)








 

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Why Allergies and Asthma Saved My Life

Be free to be outside without fear of allergens

Asthma and allergies saved my life.

I like to say that I’m really grateful for having suffered from asthma and allergies for over 25 years. You wouldn’t have caught me saying this back when I suffered from the symptoms. At that time, I focused on the symptoms and the best way to cover them up and make them go away.

Learning the deeper cause for the symptoms changed my perception.

When the body’s in pain, it’s super tempting to disembody. To survive the hurt, the mind finds way to numb the body, or to quiet the symptoms. Unfortunately, when it comes to numbing, you don’t get to pick and choose. Numbing to pain means also numbing to pleasure, joy, creativity, and love. It’s a mental shot of anesthesia all around.

Numbing has it’s purpose and place. It’s an effective way to cope. It’s important when we need it for what we need it.

We also need to feel our bodies to learn the needs of our bodies.

Symptoms are a way for your body to speak to you. It’s the megaphone message of “PAY ATTENTION!” “SOMETHING’S GOING ON!” 

Unfortunately, our body (and our immune system) doesn’t come with a great vocabulary in the sense that we might like. It gets one way to give you the message: by delivering you good feelings or not so good symptoms.

Here’s where I become grateful for having suffered from years of severe breathing problems. Allergies and asthma both interfere with breathing. That’s a pretty big deal. Breathing is life. Oxygen means you live. You could go some days without food. You could get by for a little while without water. HOW LONG CAN YOU GO WITHOUT BREATHING?

When a condition literally takes your breath away, it’s pretty dang obvious. That’s not a symptom you get to ignore. You either deal with it by masking the symptoms and staying the course. Or, you learn how to strengthen the immune system from overreacting to the world’s allergens.

It took a shift in my life to get serious about making the commitment to learning how to fearlessly breathe allergy and asthma free. I became a mom and it became a non-negotiable to find a better solution that didn’t require feeding a bunch of medicine into my body (and as a consequence my daughter’s body).

Here’s the beauty of those (very scary) symptoms. That suffering was an invitation to a better way of taking care of myself. Without those very obvious symptoms, that invitation may have gone unnoticed. I would never have felt the urgency to commit to making changes for my daughter and may have continued on a path of poor habits. That path had a higher chance of leading to more serious illness.

Any symptom in the body is a sign of something. When it comes to allergies and asthma, it means something’s wonky in the immune system. Your body’s attacking pretty harmless allergens and sending you into a fit of misery at the same time.

The challenge is this: Can you stay in the body and feel what needs to be felt? Can you give the symptoms a chance to say what needs to be said? 

It took me years to listen. Maybe you can cut that time in half.

Not only do I say with conviction that allergies and asthma saved my life, I’m overjoyed by where that experience led me. 

The great thing about this kind of personal journey is that the body never just heals in parts. The whole package transforms. Rarely does someone have only allergies. Life’s stress shows up in headaches, moodiness, poor digestion, acne, rash, brain fog, depression, anxiety, and much more. Slowly, you empower yourself to lift the weight of that suffering. The experience of that journey is worth the effort!

Now, if you COULD talk to your body, what do you think it’d be saying?

PS: Sign up and jump in the free video training now to learn the program that helped me overcome my symptoms for good. XOXO








 

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Are too many women loving on their bodies?

Women Confident Step Into Your Queen

Crow abigail

What does “love your body” mean to you.

There was some fire around this topic on Facebook this week. Someone (who I love and shall remain anonymous) shared these thoughts:

“I wonder…if my FB friends who frequently post stuff about overcoming negative body image were to friend my FB friends posting about their struggles to beat back cancer and other serious illness, if the stuff about loving-my-tummy-as-it-is would get out of the way of the FB newsfeed updates on how my friend battling cancer is doing today.” 

Think anyone was offended?

Some mutual friends who are also clients of mine did message me almost immediately. They felt directly targeted by the message. They felt angry. They felt ashamed for caring about their body image.

There were some women who openly stated that, even in the face of cancer, battling with loving their bodies was the hardest. 

Some (all women again) agreed with the post. They’d rather see fewer “love-my-tummy-as-it-is” and recipe posts and more “meaningful” issues being discussed on Facebook.

What do you think? I can tell you it got my pot boiling a bit. I stewed on it for a while.

Because the message of loving your body means so much more than loving on your shapely curves. Loving the body in its pain and suffering is pretty freakin’ hard! It’s so tempting to numb and disembody.

Loving the body also means confidence. It means not having to apologize for the package you bring to the world. It means not having to shrink away and accommodate everyone else because you’re afraid to offend them with your weight or presence.
When we live in a world that already encourages it’s women to be small, to nurture everyone else, to make way for the husband’s career, to assume responsibility for “putting thoughts’ into men’s heads, and to “man up” if we want to work in a “man’s world,” LOVING OUR BODIES is more important than ever.
It’s not superficial. It’s not shallow. It doesn’t make you a bad person. Imagine if more women were this empowered, confident, and unapologetic. What if, in the face of pain, hardship, disease, and (gasp!) weight gain, more women could fully step into their badass QUEEN selves and own what they have?

Women Confident Step Into Your Queen

Confident people uplift others. Confident people do not bully. Confident women have a power so potent, imagine if more of that juju was unleashed on the world.

And, confidence feels really damn good. It actually triggers the relaxation response in the body which is the optimal state for pretty much everything. Relaxation allows you to slow down. It means happy hormones coursing through body. It promotes better digestion, pain relief, a stronger immune system, and more effective nutrient absorption and calorie burn. Why wouldn’t we want that for each other and ourselves?

I call it “Claiming Your Queen.” That’s why I even put together a whole blueprint to claiming your queen. (You can download the blueprint here.) It really matters. A Queen radiates confidence, cares for her body, feels nourished, claims abundance, and gets a lot of cool shit done. She’s fearless when she needs to be but not afraid to get vulnerable. She starts her dream business, works her dream job, raises her family with confidence, and doesn’t apologize for her wants, needs, and desires. This is the empowered woman we should uplift, no matter her journey, whether it’s cancer, body pain, or weight gain.

Or we could just stick to the old body shaming, you’re shallow for loving your body approach too.

That’s my 2 cents?
What do you think?

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If you ever feel congested, you’ll want to read this

allergens may not be the problem

If you’ve ever felt head throbbing, total nose blocking, brain foggy congestion, stop here. Stay a while. I’ll (try to) keep it short and sweet; but, I think you’re going to like this.

First, let me say: I have felt your pain. Years of severe allergies and asthma meant it didn’t matter what season it was, I never really breathed clearly. I’m talking total nose blockage pretty much everyday. Nasal voice just became my voice. The first time I heard my voice after I had learned to clear ALL the congestion, I was like “Whoa! Who is that chick??”

whoa who is that chick

You know what it’s like. It’s more than just a stuffy nose. Physically, everything from the neck up just feels disconnected. You might experience splitting headaches on some days, mucus pouring out of your nose, and itchy everything (eyes, throat, nostrils, and even ears!). Food doesn’t always taste, like at all. That means the sweeter and saltier the better because at least then you can taste what you’re eating.

food doesn't always taste

On top of the physical symptoms, everything else feels harder than it should. Brain fog becomes the norm with coffee as an everyday staple. You find it hard to focus on just one thing and can’t figure out why you have 50 tabs open on your computer and you still can’t get one thing completely finished. Who knew congestion led to ADHD-like behavior?

But we both know that the reason it really stinks is because of how it interferes with everything else that truly matters. It makes it scary to go outside and play with your kids when you’re constantly worried about potential allergens. It amplifies the sleep deprivation you feel from having kids in the first place. It makes it hard to get out of bed. You want to connect more with your loved ones, but you’re throbbing head makes you a bit of a grumpy Gus. So people just assume you’re grumpy. Sinus blockage really drains you and robs you of the energy you deserve to have for more important matters.

sinus blockage

Here’s the thing about sinuses: if there’s congestion, it’s really a sign of a deeper issue. That’s one reason so many of the solutions offered are temporary and not as sustainable as you would like. What you really want is a solution that will mean you don’t need to cough up any more cash for pills, drops, shots, inhalers, etc.

I’m also going to guess that you probably don’t want some extreme diet solution either? Maybe you’ve tried that (I did!), and it didn’t quite go like you’d hoped. 

Congestion is a sign of a deeper issue, usually with the immune system. There are a lot of suggested solutions out there. You want one that is sustainable.

A sustainable solution is one that you step into freely. You don’t feel forced by a bossy health coach, you aren’t acting out of fear from a conversation you had with your doctor, and you feel empowered. It’s your body and your life. If that new diet you’re trying makes you hate life a little, it’s not going to work. Trust me.

In a sustainable solution, you’re not trying to “fix” yourself. You’re here to learn “why” your body’s experiencing the symptom. Your symptoms are your barometer for areas of your life you may need to address.

sustainable solutionStart with curiosity. Ask

  1. When did I start experiencing congestion?
  2. When during the day am I the most congested?
  3. What did I eat just before I felt the most congested?
  4. When do I feel the best? The most clear?
  5. What’s going on with me when I feel the best? When I feel the most congested?
  6. Am I stressed? What does it look when I’m stressed? How do I feel?

Sit down a minute and really ask these questions of yourself. Write it, type it, tap it into your phone, whatever you do to take notes. Usually these factors are connected when it come to something going on and your symptoms:

  1. Stress! Living with ongoing, daily, low level stress doesn’t feel very good to your body. It’s a lot of work! Your body has to push out all this cortisol and insulin. The heart has to pump faster. Digestion gets turned off to favor the arms and legs to fight of flight. Your little buggies in your tummy that work hard to keep you healthy are fighting a little war in there to deal with all that stress. The body actually thinks it is under attack! So, no wonder it starts attacking something as innocent as plant pollen. That attack can show up as serious nasal congestion.

  2. What you eat: Common foods that can trigger allergy-like symptoms are sugar, wheat, and dairy. I’m not saying to cut it all and eat only salads for the rest of your life. Just be a little curious. Often we crave what’s causing us problems, and if you’re often hankering for sugar and flour products, it’s worth being a little curious. What would happen if you EXPERIMENTED with weaning off some of those foods for a bit?

  3. How you breathe: This might seem a little silly considering congestion makes it pretty darn hard to breathe. But, if you’re not suffering a cold and the congestion is ongoing, it’s time to check how your’e breathing. The volume of air, how you take it in, the rhythm, and how relaxed you are does matter. Breathing is one things we don’t think about too much. It’s no accident that so many alternative practices really emphasize connecting with your breath. This is something I go into in detail in the free ebook series Feel Free to Breathe. Grab one and go breathe. :)

The one thing not to do: Stress about the symptoms. I could go on and on about why stress matters, but you’d probably get more from the guidance in the Feel Free to Breathe eBook than from hearing me rant.

I will tell you when I stopped trying to fix myself with perfect diets, which stressed me out, and got in touch with why I was stressed, everything cleared in a way that was sustainable and authentic. I can breathe now and I’m not looking to jump off this lifestyle anytime soon.

I’d love to invite you to jump on the bandwagon with me. It’s a good one. Tap in your name and email below and I’ll send you the 3 videos to beginning to breathe free and clear for good.








 

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I Eat Chocolate to Cope With Motherhood

DarkChocolateGoodies

DarkChocolateGoodies

Sometimes motherhood is stressful. To deal with that stress, sometimes I eat chocolate.

Don’t judge me yet.

Motherhood is an interesting blend of feeling overly busy while not feeling like you’re getting much done. 

Oftentimes motherhood is tension. It’s this lingering feeling that whatever you’re doing in the moment, you better pick up the pace because in 5 seconds you’ll be soothing a crying baby, getting 50 requests for 50 different snacks, or getting pulled into the bathroom to wipe someone’s butt.

Even if none of those things happen in 5 seconds, you’re always pretty sure something’s going to go down. Motherhood lacks flow. Whether it’s putting away the dishes, tapping out an email, trying to eat, or even hoping to wipe your own butt in peace, you’re always slightly tiptoeing on those egg shells until the little ones sound the “Mom!” alarm.

hiding in pantry

Sometimes I hide in the pantry . . . where I eat chocolate. 

Does that make me a bad mom? Or a bad health coach? Trust me, I ask myself those questions, daily!

It does make me human enough to understand that sometimes coping with food can feel totally necessary and can sometimes be a beautiful thing.

Here’s how it usually goes down:

The other day we did the usual morning scramble before Wednesday story time. The events that unraveled before and during story time totally deserved some anti-stress chocolate time.

Story time is this coveted hour at the library in which moms can talk and kiddos can get social time.

However, that’s not always how it plays out. Often it means moms struggle to carry on more than 2 minutes of conversation while toddlers run wild to the stories of an extremely patient librarian capturing the brief attention of 15 little monsters.

The truth is, when their kids are in the room, moms make terrible conversation. We rarely make eye contact, we sway back and forth like crazy people, and we will probably cut you off 50 different times to wipe a snotty nose, tell the older sibling to share, or chase the baby who just found an opening for an escape.

We still fight for our precious time to unite every week at the library.

That means I’m just as motivated as my toddler to get to the library. However, for her, time stands still. One hour means the same as five minutes or even one week. It’s totally reasonable to her to burn through 50 different clothing options just 10 minutes before it’s time to go. Tension rises each time I suggest a new outfit, biting my tongue, hoping it meets this mysterious toddler fashion standard so we can move on with life. The hearts on her undies don’t match the polka dots on her t-shirt . . . her baby sister is wearing pants so she wants pants . . . except mama has on a dress so she also needs a dress . . . this dress is too tight . . . that dress is not a shirt and she wants to wear a shirt . . . aaaaaaand so on.

The fashion crisis continues until she settles that simply going naked is the only option. I never in my previous life imagined I would have to use my speech and debate skills to talk a 3 year old out of going naked to the library.

Finally, we’re ready to get in the car until . . . the baby pooped. all. over. her. clothes.

By the time we’re driving to the library, I’m hungry but sucking down a mug of coffee, and I’m doubting my authority as a mother. 

The stress piles on. I can say that the experience of motherhood has tested the endurance of my patience more than any other time in my life. It’s a stress you can feel all over. On top of that stress creep in moments of self-doubt and guilt about “Am I screwing up my kids?” “Am I a fraud?” “Shouldn’t I be loving this more?”

In all that angst, the only moment that makes sense at the time is a quiet five minutes in the pantry with a square of chocolate.

Is it an appropriate way to cope? There is certainly a lot of taboo around emotional eating and coping with sugar. It seems like a big no-no to find comfort in food.

But in that moment, I don’t give a hoot. I’m human, you’re human, and we sometimes cope with food. We were designed to love and enjoy food, it was sort of important to our survival. As babies, we cried and our mama took us to her breast (or maybe bottle) and both soothed and nourished us at the same time. Why should it be any different as adults.

On top of all that mom guilt I can say I refuse to pile on food guilt. Because I may be a health coach who eats chocolate to cope with mommy stress, but I’m a health coach that knows and has witnessed how food guilt leads to food deprivation and food bingeing, usually on sugar. 

I sit on my little stool in my pantry fully aware that I”m coping using a piece of chocolate. And it tastes so good.

Will it always be that way? Maybe, maybe not. Who am I to know. I know what it is for what it is now and I’m good with that.

What do you think? What’s your take on eating to de-stress?

reading with dark chocolate

 

And, don’t go away empty handed. Tap in your name and email below and I’ll send you some free goodies.

 

 

Movement Monday: Push-up Sequence from Beginner to Advanced

Movement Monday!

I made a promise last week to do a movement focused post each Monday and here I am following through with post #2. Not bad, right?

Why would you choose movement over exercise? :

Well, why do we exercise in the first place? We usually exercise because we just don’t move enough as it is. Our culture demands that we sit . . . a lot. You get in your car to go to work, sit at your desk to get work done, sit to eat lunch, get back in the car to go home, sit for dinner, and sit on the couch and relax after an exhausting day of work. We sit to work and to chill out! So, to make up for our cultural shift to sitting more and moving less, guidelines have to be set for when we will get up and move, usually in high impact ways, to make up for the lack of exercise. We have to schedule in time to move in an already busy schedule! 

Now, let’s rewind a little. Once upon a time, I am certain, you probably moved a LOT more. Maybe when you were a kid? It wasn’t planned, measured, or coached at you by a personal trainer. You just knew movement was awesome and you played when possible (when you weren’t later being coaxed into sitting at a desk in school . . . ). Your body really appreciated it and probably experienced a lot less pain, soreness, and tightness.

Believe it or not, your internal health appreciates that regular movement even more. Choosing to move more will impact immunity, digestion, breathing, allergies, metabolism, and overall ENERGY!!

Remember how much fun you used to have? How often does that happen in your day now? Can you imagine a day where you actually moved at least 70-80 percent of your waking hours? What would that look like?

When you prioritize specific daily movement, you begin to reprogram your body to crave and perform more movement more naturally. It starts with becoming a conscious mover.

One area of the body that gets super neglected in our desk culture is what’s up top: the arms, chest, back, and even neck. Who has a tight neck? That’s my problem area. It can feel as stiff as a 2 X 4 sometimes. It cracks when I move it side to side. Basically, I store a lot of stress in the neck.

On the computer we hold our arms in an unnatural position to type. They get the occasional break to reach over and grab the coffee mug parked nearby. But, overall, they don’t do much.

If you have kids, you probably carry them from time to time. How do you carry them? Do you lean back and use your back? Do you thrust your ribs out to carry them on your side? Or, can you hold their entire weight in just your arms? That’s a fun challenge to start right now.

We do the movements in the day that allow us to get from point A to B. We don’t have to swing through or climb trees to get a banana. We walk over and pluck one off the kitchen counter. Easy and awesome . . . just not for the whole body.

You have to be a little more conscious of doing things for the arms. Push-ups are hands down my favorite and most promoted movement when it comes to the arms. The main reason: push-ups can be done almost anywhere (as long as you’re not too embarrassed). You don’t need a special bar to hang from, no weights are required, and you can start at ANY LEVEL.

Give this push-up sequence a whirl. Right now. Don’t wait, it’s MOVEMENT MONDAY!

And don’t miss out on anything, put your name and email here and we’ll stay connected:

 

Gluten Free Morning Muffins with Coconut Flour

muffins held


muffins held

Just posted these awesome, major food filled muffins to FamilyCookingClass.com. There really is some serious FOOD in these muffins! Baking with the toddler, it was a process of grabbing everything that looked pretty and sounded good.

This is what you’re looking at to make these: Blueberries, an apple, two carrots, half a banana, walnuts, coconut flour, almond flour, pastured eggs, coconut oil, and coconut milk.

That’s a complete breakfast! Here are just a few reasons to try these right now:

The Protein=Feel full and satisfied longer, stay focused. 

The Fat=Yummy mouth feel and BRAIN FOOD!

The Fruit=Natural sugars, lots of vitamins, best defense against colds, yummy!

These are still evolving and I would love some ideas from you. In the interest of creating the best possible, gluten free option, whole food based baked goods (that don’t require freaky flours), what would you add/takeaway. And, what would call these instead of Morning Muffins?

Full Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup of blueberries

2 large carrots

1 apple

1/2 banana

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup almond flour

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 Tbs melted coconut oil

4 pastured eggs

OPTIONAL: 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup

Directions: (Preheat oven to 350)

shredded carrot and apple

  1. Chop and place the carrots and apples in a blender and blend until shredded. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

  2. In the blender add the banana, coconut flour, almond flour, coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and eggs. Blend until all mixed in.

muffin batter
3. Pour the blended mixture in with the shredded ingredients. Mix well.

  1. Add the blueberries and walnuts and stir everything together.

  2. Divide the batter into muffin cups and bake at 350 about 30 minutes or until a toothpick can be cleanly  removed.finished muffins pan

  3. Let cool and enjoy! Store in an airtight container.

 

 

 

Let me know if you try the recipe. What would you change or add?

If you want to snag some printable cookbooks to use at home with kiddos, you can get some (totally free) here: COOKBOOKS

Oh, and in case you haven’t gotten the message yet, make sure you are in on this month’s GIVEAWAY! Over $400 value of really amazing products that had a profound impact on my personal growth and health . . . you really will want to check it out: Giveaway info.

 

muffin stack 2

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