Monthly Archives: July 2014

What’s Getting in The Way of Your Dreams?

photo credit: MartaZ* via photopin cc

photo credit: MartaZ* via photopin cc

Dreams.  We all have them.  Some of us go after them like a last minute shopper on Christmas Eve (determined and willing to pay any price to get what they want), while others put those dreams away in a tightly sealed box and hide them in the attic, thinking they’re not for us.  It’s not the right time or we don’t deserve them. This past weekend marked the one year anniversary of my last day at my corporate job, the day I ripped the tape off those dusty dreams.  I can’t believe it’s been a whole year but it made me think about the relationships we have with our deepest desires, our dreams.

Are you embarrassed by your dreams? Or do you boldly embrace them? Have you ever thought about why?

One year ago I took a major risk, gave my notice and walked out the door to start my own business in a field I had dreamed about for years.  I was excited but also terrified to actually take steps in a direction where I was in charge.

My husband was more than willing to support me in doing this and we’re very fortunate that financially we could pull this off. He was well aware of how poor a fit my desk job had become for me (to the point where it was affecting my health) and was happy to see me ready to do something that was more “me”.

When I say I was terrified, I’m not kidding.  Believing in myself, especially when it came to career was always a major issue for me.  In high school and college, I had periods where I really wanted to become a psychologist, a teacher, a family counselor and later, a business owner (my own coffee shop/cafe), a nutritionist and even a personal trainer.  Every time I started to investigate what it would take to make those things a reality, I got cold feet.  I was smart, I got good grades and was a hard worker but somewhere deep inside me I believed that I didn’t have what it would take to make those things happen for the long haul.  Sure, I went so far as to take a year of Elementary Ed classes in college, and even did a student teaching gig in a kindergarten class but when it came time to start the entry steps for the next part of the program, I froze and decided that the English degree I was passively working on in the background was going to have to be good enough.

I started to believe that I was “lazy” because I couldn’t follow through with any of the careers I wanted for myself.  I took jobs that I knew would never be a career because I in my heart I thought that a “career” just wasn’t meant to be for me.  I sealed up my dreams in a box and shipped them off! It was so much easier to work jobs that made me miserable than it was to risk failing at something that made me happy.  For almost a decade and a half I let this fear keep me stagnant and hold me back.  That makes me sad.

Instead of realizing that I had some fear around my abilities and a fear of failure, I punished myself for being lazy and not having ambition.  It wasn’t until relatively recently that I finally realized that I have plenty of ambition and I’m not the least bit lazy but I need to be in charge.  I can’t answer to someone else and thrive.  I had all these dreams, but I was afraid to take the risks to make them happen.  Eventually the risk of staying where I was became greater than the risk of making a big change.

Most things I’ve been doing in this past year to build and grow a business have also been terrifying.  My first sessions with each new client, every blog post, newsletter or program – all of it has put me out of my comfort zone at first.  I’m constantly putting myself on the line, being vulnerable, risking rejection and failure.  But while I take each step, sometimes holding my breath, I’m growing, gaining confidence and learning new skills.  I’m feeling more like me than I have in years and I feel like all the creativity I had in me as a child is coming to life again. For the first time since college, I am excited about what lies ahead for me as a career.  And could I still fail?  Sure.  But that’s less scary now that I see what going after my dreams has given to me.

The risk of not going after your dreams is that you will stifle your potential and create stories about who you are that aren’t true.

What dreams have you sealed up in a mental “box”?

What do you believe to be true about yourself that puts limits on your dreams?

What’s getting in the way of your dreams?

Is there a recurring theme in your life? Your jobs? Your relationships?

Do you keep coming up with excuses as to why you can’t or shouldn’t have the dreams you have?

Why do you think that is? What would it take for you to snip the tape off that box and let that dream breathe?

Long term, it’s way scarier to not go after what you want. My wish for you is that you’ll at least investigate your reasons for not going after what you want.  You deserve to be happy.  Don’t let a decade or more pass by before you take steps to make that happen.  When you find resistance coming up in regards to your dreams, ask yourself if those things are true?  You may find that they’re not!

 

 

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7 Days in the Diet of This Health Coach

One week's worth of food for this girl!

One week’s worth of food for this girl!

I’ve been getting a lot of emails from people asking what I eat so I thought it might be helpful to create a blog post out of it.  I don’t eat perfectly so I’m feeling a little shy about putting this out there (but really, who does??) but what’s pictured here is huge improvement from what I’ve eaten in the past.

To be honest, what I eat changes constantly.  It depends on what mood I’m in, what’s on sale, what’s on season or sometimes, what’s convenient!  In an effort to inspire some ideas in others and to showcase my real person’s diet, flaws and all, I thought it would be fun to take a picture of everything I ate for a week.  This is how a health coach eats.   At least this one, on one particular week (two weeks ago actually – July 7 – 13 – it’s taken me that long to get all the pics off my phone and organized by day!).  I aim for eating 90% whole foods but give myself a little wiggle room for treats and convenience because I’ve learned that being too strict can set me up to fail.  I’ve gotten really good at listening to what my body is asking for and the result is that I’ve lost weight, have better digestion and my asthma is well controlled now.  All really good stuff.

Some things you may find amusing – we eat a lot of leftovers in an effort to not waste. Whatever comes in the CSA or I buy at the store – that stuff costs a lot of money.  So you’ll see that the same veggies might appear throughout the week.  Gotta use it all!  You’ll also notice I eat a lot of one-pot meals.  It’s sometimes easier for me just to throw a bunch of stuff together if i don’t know what I’m making!  As much as I love to cook, sometimes I don’t feel that creative and just toss things in and keep my fingers crossed that it turns out ok.  Most of the time it does and I’m grateful that I have a husband who thinks everything I cook is delicious.

I’d love to hear if you see anything here that surprises you.  What does a typical week of food look like in your household?  Are there foods you just have to eat everyday? Anything off limits?

 

Monday's eats!

Monday’s eats!

Monday
Breakfast – Black coffee (not pictured, apologies!) and a 20oz Beet, Watermelon, Celery & Hemp seed smoothie (with a bit of baby spinach).  Delicious and way sweeter than you’d expect.

Snack – Cashew Cookie Larabar (so tasty I ate it before I could snap a pic!)

Lunch – Leftover broccoli salad with a few brazil nuts (the salad had broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, raisins/cranberries, hazelnuts and a rice vinegar, homemade mayo, lemon juice dressing with honey.

Dinner – Wild Rice & Brown Rice mix, grilled chicken topped with an apple butter / mustard sauce (homemade apple butter i had in fridge + yellow mustard, onion powder, tarragon), grilled asparagus, grilled eggplant (nothing but olive oil, salt/pepper) and some kohlrabi greens & red onion sauteed in pasture butter.  All super yummy!

Tuesday's spread!

Tuesday’s spread!

Tuesday
Breakfast – same smoothie as monday plus black coffee + 1 tbsp coconut oil

Lunch – leftover grilled eggplant, kohlrabi greens, red onions,  with a dollop of the leftover apple butter mustard, 1 tbsp chia seeds and 1tbsp pumpkin seeds.

Snack – unsulphured 4 prunes

Dinner – Pan seared wild sea scallops with red potatoes, rapini (broccoli rabe) and garlic scapes.  lemon aioli on the side (basically just homemade olive oil mayo w/ lemon juice & zest & chives).  Raw kohlrabi sliced thin with extra virgin olive oil and hawaiian red sea salt

Wednesday

Wednesday

Wednesday
Breakfast – smoothie with watermelon, cucumber, celery, zucchini and sunflower seeds after barre.  Not as filling as the beet one (and it looked disgusting) but it wasn’t bad! Black coffee too, apologies I forgot to take a pic of the coffee again!

Lunch – leftovers from dinner on tuesday, 1 scallop, red potatoes, garlic scapes, broccoli rabe and kohlrabi with some lemon aioli.  I tossed the raw kohlrabi in when I heated it up and added a small handful of raw kale after (because my bowl looked too white!).

Snacks – Kind bar – almond/apricot in yogurt (this one basically is a candy bar. I’m not lying to myself.  But it’s so tasty!)

Dinner– big salad with romaine, arugula, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, steamed beets, balsamic vinaigrette (homemade) and tuna salad (tuna, celery, spices and homemade olive oil mayo).

Thursday

Thursday

Thursday
Breakfast – same smoothie as Wed, black coffee and some beet water (the leftover water from steaming beets – it was too pretty to toss out!).  I drank about 3/4 of what is in the picture.

Snack – banana

Lunch – salad with romaine, arugula, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, beets, balsamic vin and a big old dollop of cashew butter.  I only ate half of what is in this pic because I was running late for an appointment.

Dinner – sushi take out from You You in Nashua – seaweed salad, half a salmon pop roll (pan seared salmon, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo, tempura crunches), 1/2 cucumber roll (just cucumber inside), 3/4 rainbow roll (tuna, salmon & whitefish) and low sodium tamari.

Friday

Friday

Friday
Breakfast – Apple Pie Larabar and I treated myself to an ice coffee with cream and sugar after barre class.

Lunch – finished the salad I didn’t finish on wed (see Wed pic for the salad), also added a half cup of black beluga lentils (cooked with a bay leaf and a little hawaiian red sea salt).

Snack – 1/2 cup of bubbies raw sauerkraut, 4 brazil nuts and 3 prunes.

Dinner – random “shepherd’s pie” concoction – sweet potatoes/cauliflower topping with butter, chives & salt/pepper, filling was grass fed beef, collards, zucchini, peas and onions from our CSA share (with some tomato paste, worcestershire, tamari, oregano, sage, salt/pepper).

After dinner snack – 6 pieces of 85% dark chocolate from Green & Blacks

Saturday

Saturday

Saturday
Breakfast – 2 fried eggs cooked in pasture butter with zucchini, kohlrabi, onions and beluga lentils (cooked the day before). A little garlic, smoked paprika, ras al hanout (a moroccan spice blend) & sea salt. I’m a big believer in that almost any dinner can be fried up with some eggs for breakfast! I also had 25-30 green grapes and 2 cups of coffee with cream and sugar (only one pictured). Also pictured – a jar of homemade sriracha sauce.  I used to be addicted to the store bought stuff and then I felt bad about all the preservatives it was putting in my body (considering how cautious i am about other foods with preservatives, why the heck would i douse food with it almost daily??).  Here’s the recipe I used.  Came out very good and because it’s fermented it will last forever! I think I made this batch 6 months ago and it’s still delicious.  It goes on almost every egg breakfast concoction I make.

Dinner – chicken breast baked with dijon & herbs, organic cornmeal polenta w/ pasture butter, collard greens & onions with uncured ham steak (and a little maple syrup/cider vinegar/chicken broth – that’s what I cooked the collards in).

Yup, that’s right, I only ate two meals on Saturday. That’s pretty typical for me.  John and I both tend to eat two big meals on the weekends, occasionally with a snack.  We stay up late & sleep late and this works for us. This saturday I was home working on my laptop most of the day and the only movement I got was some restorative yoga so two meals of this size was more than enough food.  But it’s definitely not for everyone.

Sunday

Sunday

Sunday
BreakfastChocolate Oat Smoothie (with cucumber/celery, was running low on greens!) & Black coffee after barre class.

Snack – kind bar – caramel sea salt (like these ones too – only a few grams of sugar)

Lunch – leftover shepherd’s pie.

Dinner – Green bean, carrot, zucchini and tomato salad with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, onion powder, lemon juice, chickpeas, green olives and salt/pepper and some of the polenta from Saturday night.

After dinner snack – 6 pieces of Green & Blacks milk chocolate almond bar.

Free 31 Page eBook – Healthy Eating Shouldn’t Be a Workout!

This 31 page ebook is yours for free with sign up of my newsletter!

This 31 page ebook is yours for free with sign up of my newsletter!

I’m giving away a Free 31 page ebook called Healthy Eating Shouldn’t Be a Workout:  Real Life Strategies to Take the Confusion Out of Healthy Living.  I launched it today and I’m really excited about it!  I know it’s kind of a weird thing to write a blog post about but I want to make sure as many people get access to it as possible and sharing it here is a great way to do that.

This is a great free resource for anyone who wants to take charge of their health and is willing to put in just a little effort to do it. It’s full of tried and true strategies for eating well, recipes, snack and meal ideas, ways you can save money when adopting a new lifestyle and so much more!  Everything in this book is something I know works because these are the things I have come back to day after day after years of trying to lose weight, eat more intuitively and take better care of my body.  Why do I come back to them?  Because these are things that work.  These strategies keep me moving forward and enable me to get back on track quickly when I take a detour.

I know we’re hit with so much health and wellness “noise” today that it has become hard to know who to listen to.  One minute we’re told something is good for us, the next it’s bad.  It’s really confusing knowing if what you are doing is helping or harming your health.  My goal with this ebook is to take some of that stress away for you, especially if you are a beginner in making changes.  I know just how overwhelming it can be!

If you want to feel your best, you need to eat your best.  And this free guide can help you figure out how you can make that happen.  If you don’t want eating well to feel like a workout, it doesn’t have to! How do you get it?  Just click on the photo at the top of this page and follow instructions or click here.

If you sign up for it, I’d love to know what you think!

 

 

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad - Light, tangy and crunchy!

German Potato Salad – Light, tangy and crunchy!

Potatoes have a bad reputation.  They’ll make you fat.  They’re a nightshade vegetable. They’ll raise your blood sugar.  They’re a white simple carbohydrate so we shouldn’t eat them.  I turn up my nose at all of that.  Potatoes are the bomb!!

They’re an amazing source of potassium, vitamin B6, copper, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B3 and fiber and these are all things we need more of.  Due to the high amount of processed food people in America eat, most don’t get enough potassium in their diet and this can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Sadly, when people eat potatoes the most common way they eat them is fried, as in french fries and potato chips.  It’s not the potatoes fault we choose these horrendous versions of them. Poor potatoes.

But if you keep the skin on (organic and well scrubbed), pair potatoes with protein and eat a moderate serving of them in a non-deep fried version, they can be part of a healthy diet.  Potatoes are a whole food. A single ingredient.  From the earth.  These are all good things.  I’d much rather see people eating potatoes they made at home, than purchasing processed white hamburger rolls, pasta, white rice etc.  Please don’t put the potato in the same category as these white simple carbs.  It’s really all about making good choices.  If you’re going to eat a huge helping of potato salad and have two hot dogs on white rolls – yeah, you’re going to have a massive blood sugar spike and feel like crap (especially after you top it all with a bowl of ice cream).  But if you have a moderate serving of potato salad, with some grilled chicken or a burger on a portobello mushroom cap (and with some veggies), you’re going going to fare much better (even if you do have a little ice cream later).  It’s actually pretty simple.  Just eat smartly and you can enjoy potatoes for a good dose of potassium and fiber.

My love for the potato grows strong this time of the year because it’s cookout season and that means lots of opportunities for it’s appearance in cold salads.  While a creamy, mayo or buttermilk drenched salad is delicious occasionally (especially if there are delicious herbs and veggies in there), sometimes my stomach churns at the thought of yet another overly mayonnaised potato salad.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of mayo (the homemade kind) but come on, sometimes it seems like some recipes are just potatoes and mayo.  That’s ridiculous.  That is not a recipe.  That is phoning it in.  Driving to the store and buying premade pasta salad would actually take more effort. When I feel mayo-ed out, I turn to German Potato Salad to change things up.

This isn’t a fancy recipe and you don’t need much to make it, some yukon or red potatoes, vinegar, oil and then some herbs or veggies.  Maybe some mustard (and bacon if you are feeling it).  You probably have all the ingredients already in your kitchen.  So for those times when you just might dump the whole bowl of mayo salads over the head of their maker, you can smile and hand them this instead.

Steam the potatoes in a colander for a less crumbly result.

Steam the potatoes in a colander for a less crumbly result.

Add lots of crunchy veggies and some vinegar, oil & mustard.

Add lots of crunchy veggies and some vinegar, oil & mustard.

Add some salt and pepper and give a good stir and you're ready to eat.

Add some salt and pepper and give a good stir and you’re ready to eat.

Ingredients
2 – 2.5 lbs Medium sized Organic Red Potatoes (or Yukon Gold)
3 scallions, sliced thinly
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
a big handful of fresh organic parsley, chopped (or 2 tbsp dried)
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp white vinegar*
1 tsp dijon or whole grain mustard
1 tsp salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Wash the potatoes well, cut them in half and boil in a pot of salted water for 15 minutes (until they give slightly with a fork). When they are mostly tender, drain the water and put the potatoes in a colander, then put the colander back over the pot you boiled them in and cover the potatoes with a clean dish towel.  Let them steam for 15 minutes.  Finishing them off this way instead of boiling for longer time prevents that overly mushy crumbly thing that happens to potatoes when you stir them a lot.

After the potatoes are done steaming, cut each potato half into quarters (depending on the size of your potatoes) and toss into a big bowl.  Add the scallions, parsley and celery to the bowl, then add the vinegars, oils, mustard, salt and pepper and give a good stir.  Serve at room temperature or chill for at least two hours to give the flavors time to develop.  If the salad seems too dry when you are ready to eat it (potatoes are thirsty buggers), add a couple tablespoons of water or chicken broth or a little more oil and vinegar. Serve with whatever amazing bbq you’ve got going on and don’t forget to invite me over!

Makes 4 – 6 good sized servings

*I didn’t put the gluten free tag on this because it contains white vinegar.  Most celiacs and gluten sensitive people tolerate white vinegar just fine but for the very sensitive, it could be an issue since it is made from grain, including rye or wheat.  The distillation process breaks down the gluten proteins so that the product is virtually “gluten free” from a testing standpoint (under 20 parts per million) but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe for everyone.  Complicated stuff!
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