This morning's breakfast of fluffy Paleo Pancakes was a fun little endeavor and happily, I'm still full hours later. The best part is, no carb crash! Everybody loves pakcakes, but needing a nap after breakfast is never good when there's a whole day ahead of us. The secret weapon? Coconut flour (thanks, Mom!).
Coconut flour is a great substitute for grain flours, providing much more protein and fiber. It also contains less carbohydrate than an equal amount of grain/wheat flour, but requires much less content in recipes than grain flour (note these pancakes use just 1/2 cup of flour), therefore drastically cutting carb content even more. Coconut flour is great for those with grain or gluten sensitivities or those who lean toward a grain free diet, being recently popularized as "Paleo".
Coconut flour acts differently than grain flour, so they can't be interchanged in recipes without lots of adjustments, but as with any baking recipe, stick to it and you'll be good! The texture of these pancakes is different than that of a conventional pancake, and make sure you are using coconut flour that hasn't been exposed to moisture. Have an open mind, and enjoy!
(makes about 8 small cakes)
4 eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk of choice (I prefer coconut milk)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey or pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional, but yummy!)
dash of cloves (optional)
dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
fat of choice for skillet frying (I prefer coconut oil, butter, or olive oil)
(If nuts or fruit are desired, either fold in 1/4 cup before frying or add to top when serving.)
Pre-heat skillet (I prefer cast iron) to medium-low. In small mixing bowl bowl, beat room temperature eggs for a couple minutes until very frothy (the secret to "fluffy"). Beat in milk, vanilla, and honey (or maple syrup) until combined. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk or fork together flour, spices (if desired), baking soda, and salt. Whisk egg mixture into dry flour mixture until combined and not lumpy. Batter will be very thick, sort of like muffin or brownie batter, and not like regular cake or pancake batter. Add fat to skillet, and add batter by less than 1/4 cup dollups to skillet. Trust me, keep them small! These do not hold like conventional pancakes, so keeping them small makes them easier to flip and helps them cook more uniformly. Cook for a few minutes on each side, and be very careful when flipping. When they're brown on both sides and spring back in the middle when tapped, they're done. These are best topped with real, grass-fed butter (or coconut oil) and real maple syrup. Chopped nuts, berries, or bananas would be great on top, too!
Television commercials never cease to amaze me. This morning, yet again, I accidentally came upon a TV commercial that's screaming for rebuttal. This one, for Special K Protein Shakes. I guess I didn't learn my lesson after yesterday's blog post!
So, the scene: A lovely young woman in her car with a Special K shake in hand, stopped in front of a person in a cupcake suit who's trying to tempt her with a pretty looking pink cupcake in hand. She grips and sips on her Special K shake, staring back at him as if to say, "I don't need you anymore, evil cupcake." Then, a voice babbles something about the "Protein Effect" (Special K's newest marketing angle).
Yes, these shakes do have 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber as claimed. That's great for keeping you full and less easily tempted by a pretty pink cupcake (if the person in the cupcake suit doesn't scare you off first). However, the commercial fails to mention that the shakes also contain a whopping 18 grams of sugar. That's more sugar than the fiber and protein content combined! 18 grams is equal to 4.5 teaspoons or 1.5 tablespoons. If you had one of these shakes daily for a month, you'd ingest almost THREE CUPS of sugar. See my blog, "Sugar 101: Everything You Need to Know" for a crash course on why 18 grams of sugar is unacceptable in a drink or snack being marketed as good for you. In fact, why not note the full ingredient list for the milk chocolate flavored Special K Protein Shake:
"WATER, PROTEIN BLEND (WATER, NONFAT MILK, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE), SUGAR, MALTODEXTRIN, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF POLYDEXTROSE, CANOLA OIL, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, GELLAN GUM, CELLULOSE GUM, SOY LECITHIN, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, POTASSIUM CITRATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), SALT, POTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, CARRAGEENAN, SUCRALOSE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, VITAMIN E ACETATE, VITAMIN K1, ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN D3, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, VITAMIN B12, ZINC SULFATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FERRIC PYROPHOSPHATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), MANGANESE SULFATE, THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), POTASSIUM IODIDE, FOLIC ACID, BIOTIN, CHROMIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM MOLYBDATE, SODIUM SELENITE. SWEETENED WITH NUTRITIVE SWEETENERS AND NONNUTRITIVE SWEETENERS."
Drink up? Hm. No, thanks! My loves, Special K Protein Shakes are a processed food that the body was never intended to ingest or digest. Your body needs and wants food from nature, not from a laboratory.
TV commercials are created for the single purpose of getting you to comply with an agenda, whether it's buying a product or believing an idea, with truth and integrity NOT being part of the formula. Marketing is a powerful tool and we, especially children, fall victim to its manipulation every single day, everywhere we go. TV, radio, the internet, billboards, endorsed products/toys, movie and TV product placements, intentional supermarket layout and neuromarketing are constantly fed, most often covertly, into the psyche. The average child watches 10,000 food advertisements per year on television but they're never for REAL, healthy food. How can 10,000 views not affect the thinking of a child when repetition is the key to learning? Marketers study child psychology in order to be able to most effectively get children to nag their parents into buying products. There is actually a form of measurement in the marketing industry called the "nag factor". I couldn't make this stuff up!
I cannot stress enough the need for muting commercials! We use the DVR in my house so we can skip right over them. When I forget to press fast forward, I see the idiocy of marketing and then I end up here blogging about it, but only because I truly love you. :)
So, when you need a pick me up, don't believe the hype. Instead of trading that cupcake for a Special K shake, go for celery or an apple with natural peanut or almond butter, mixed seeds and nuts, chopped vegetables with humus, or berries with plain yogurt - all of which provide a serious protein and fiber boost! Is it easier to grab a ready-made shake on the go? Sure it is. But, can't we all find 2 to 5 extra minutes to make a better investment in our health? You betcha!
I watch very little television. The bit that I do watch is almost exclusively DVR'd so that I can fast forward through the commercials. I loathe television commercials to the point that it's a house rule that if they're on, they're muted. Today, I was reminded why!
I woke this morning and decided to watch a recorded snippet of Deepak Chopra talking about meditation. About 10 minutes in, I had to make a pit stop (hence, my need for meditation) and therefore didn't fast forward the commercials. As I came back to the TV, I was greeted by one of the most outrageous commercials I've ever seen. I laughed. I pondered. And then, I was simply disgusted, but I'm glad I didn't miss this one because it reminded me just how important my mission to spread wellness really is.
Walgreen's latest marketing campaign aims to make you think that you're crazy if you use nutrition to battle a cold. Yes, they've stooped to the lowest of the low, bashing good wellness practices and insulting our intelligence at the same time. Ouch.
The scene: A slightly overweight woman is standing at her kitchen counter, looking sickly in her bathrobe, wiping her runny nose. On the counter in front of her are several healthful ingredients, ideal for treating illness, that she is reluctantly dumping into a blender, such as kale (my favorite food!), ginger root, lemon, raw egg yolk, sardines, garlic, cayenne pepper sauce, onion, and some orange liquid (presumably orange juice, hopefully fresh squeezed!). As she's looking disgusted at adding ingredients to her concoction, a script plays in the background, spoken by a cheerful male voice (sounding much like the adorable John Corbett):
"When you're sick, seems everyone and their brother has a home remedy to try. But Walgreen's knows that you need advice from an expert. [Scene then pans to the same but now healthy woman, dressed nicely at Walgreen's, talking to a Pharmacist with a box in hand and looking so very comforted.] That's why our pharmacists are trained to know just what you should take for your symptoms. They're here and ready to help. Before you try anything TOO CRAZY. [Scene pans back to woman looking sickly, now smelling the finished blender concoction and dumping the lumpy mix into a glass. She obviously doesn't have a Vitamix. Woman is so disgusted that she puts her glass down, giving up on that "craziness".] You can stop by today for the service you trust, at the corner of Happy and Healthy."
Translation: If you choose natural healing over chemical drugs, you're crazy. Walgreen's lies at the corner of "Happy and Healthy"? Keyword: LIES. Seriously, friends. Walgreen's wants you to skip the nutrient dense smoothie and head to the pharmacy for a drug that will mask your symptoms but do absolutely nothing to heal you or promote your good health in general, leaving you more susceptible to colds in the future and needing a detox to get all those drugs out of your liver! This is not conducive to "Happy and Healthy"; it's conducive to staying sick and unhappy while Walgreen's thanks you for your money.
Things like this keep me motivated on my mission to help people navigate through media and marketing manipulation and to steer themselves to lasting wellness. Here's what Walgreen's doesn't want you to know (or believe) about the healthful ingredients in their commercial that can heal your body, boost your natural immunity, and increase your lifespan:
Kale: Second most nutrient dense food on earth. Full of fiber to cleanse your gut, antioxidant vitamins to fight disease, minerals such as iron and calcium to build strong bodies, vitamin K (for blood, bone, and cell health) and essential omega-3 fatty acids (for heart and brain health and to fight inflammation). Excellent for the lungs.
Ginger: Powerful anti-inflammatory, immune booster, promotes healthy sweating to detox during colds and flu, cancer fighter, boosts gastro-intestinal health and powerful fighter of motion sickness.
Garlic: Powerful antioxidant and natural antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, assists in normalizing blood pressure and blood cholesterol.
Lemon: Alkalizing (creates an alkaline state in the body, vital to good health), high in vitamin C and flavonoids to fight colds and flu, liver cleanser, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer.
Onion: Antibacterial, promotes cardiovascular health, high in vitamin C to boost immunity, B vitamins for energy, high in potassium for multiple health benefits, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer.
Cayenne Pepper: Promotes circulatory health, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, clears mucous, anti-inflammatory, promotes detoxification.
Egg yolk: Nutrient dense! B vitmains for energy and immune boosting, calcium and magnesium, antioxidants, selenium, zinc (cold fighter!), lecithin to counteract the cholesterol, and more!
Sardine: Promote heart and bone health, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, second highest B12 content of any food, high in vitamin D for numerous health benefits, rich in selenium, high in calcium.
Smoothies are a great way to create a nutrient dense health boost, but adding all the above ingredients together, as the woman in the Walgreen's commercial did, will surely turn off a lot of newbies (a great way for Walgreen's to keep people coming back for more drugs!). So, try adding a few of those ingredients to a smoothie with lots of berries or other colorful fruit. See my KaleBerry smoothie recipe for starters. You'll love it; I promise.
As a health coach, my advice is to add any of these health promoting foods to your diet anywhere you can sneak them in. I also advise that you not take health advice from a television commercial, and most definitely not from a drug store. Even better still, MUTE the commercials!
Cheers to your health.
Smoothies are one of my favorite things, not only because they're delicious and easy, but also because they're a powerhouse of nutrition and a great way to get greens into kids (and adults) who wouldn't normally eat them! This KaleBerry smoothie is one that I make more often than any other for my family. With the right balance of ingredients, the taste of the kale (which I happen to love!) is virtually undetectable by even the most critical tongue.
Kale happens to be the second most nutrient dense food in the WORLD (and my favorite vegetable)! It's chock full of antioxidant vitamins, minerals (lots of iron and calcium), fiber, amino acids, and the ever important omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. It's readily available at supermarkets, and definitely abundant at farmer's markets (my personal preference) where you'll get the freshest crop and therefore the highest nutrient content. It can be bought in bulk at a more than reasonable price at farmer's markets and can be frozen for year round use.
Berries, like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, also rank very high in nutrition content, being one of the top ten nutrient dense foods on earth. They're loaded with powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals, dietary fiber, and minerals. Berries also have the lowest carbohydrate content of all fresh fruits. They're commonly available at supermarkets and farmer's markets, and, just like kale, berries can be bought in bulk and frozen for year round use. Frozen berries are also available year round in supermarkets, being a great choice because they're picked at peak ripeness and then quickly frozen, preserving nutrient content. For the best price and quality, I prefer Trader Joe's organic frozen fruit. Nature's Promise and Cascadian Farms also market organic frozen fruits which are a little more expensive, but still very good.
I tend not to measure my smoothies by methods other than handfuls, palmfuls, and pinches, even when following recipes that call for it. I prefer to throw things together quickly and experiment with different ingredients each time I make something. The ingredients for this smoothie are pretty basic, and at the bottom of the recipe you'll see suggestions for adding a little flair if you prefer, which I alwasy do. Enjoy!
KaleBerry Smoothie Recipe
Yeild: 4 servings
(all organic highly recommended)
2 large kale leaves, or 1 handful of chopped kale**
1 heaping handful of blueberries**
1 heaping handful of strawberries**
1 heaping handful of raspberries** (these best mask the kale flavor)
enough water (unsweetened rice or almond milk work nicely, too) to cover about 3/4 of blender ingredients
**More can be added once blending has commenced, depending on what will fit in your blender and what consistency you like. The more the merrier!
Purslane is a hardy, annual succulent plant that is viewed here in the United States as a common pesky weed. Much to our surprise, it’s actually packed with nutrition and commonly eaten all over the world. I first came across Purslane when helping my mother weed her vegetable garden many years ago. She found a bunch growing in a raised bed and delightfully exclaimed that it was “Purslane”, having been taught about the plant when she was a child by her father, my grandfather, who was an avid outdoorsman and forestry major in college.
Purslane can be identified by its sprawling, pinkish red stems and succulent clusters of bright green leaves that are paddle shaped and not more than one inch long. It grows along the ground but will grow upward sometimes if surrounded by other plants that are taking up its elbow room. Purslane is well tolerant of drought and poor soil conditions. This explains why it absolutely THRIVES in my well cared for and watered organic vegetable garden, without ever having been invited!
Purslane is unique and wonderful in that it contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant, providing both ALA and EPA. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins A, B, and C, and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. (Note: you want to consume calcium foods that naturally contain magnesium, which aids in calcium absorption. This is nature’s innate wisdom at work.) Purslane is clearly not a “pesky” weed worthy of pulling and discarding. I happily munch on sprigs of it while I garden, fresh picked!
Purslane has a crunchy texture and a very mild flavor with a hint of sweet/sour/tang. All parts of the plant, stems, leaves, and seeds, are edible and can be used in the same way that one would use any other leafy vegetable. Purslane can be added to raw salads, sautéed in a stir fry, or blended into a smoothie for picky eaters. In Greece, it’s sautéed in olive oil with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, and oregano. Give it a try!
I often encounter people who say that they can't afford organic foods. This is certainly an understandable view considering the state of the economy and the high cost of food. However, I strongly feel that we can't afford NOT to go organic. There's no doubt that organically grown foods are healthier for people and the planet than conventional foods, and they taste better to boot! They can also be surprisingly affordable. I'd like to offer some simple suggestions for incorporating organic foods into our budgets, but first, a conversation about what's perceived as "affordable" is, in my opinion, even more important than offering suggestions on how to save money.
It's really about priorities. We often think we can't afford something, but if that something is important enough to us we find a way to make it work, don't we? I had a friend who used a $300 Coach wallet and often stated that she couldn't afford organic food because she had a family to feed. She found a way to pay for that $300 wallet because it was something that she wanted. I see this scenario all the time. We ALL spend money on things that we don't actually need. I have plenty of earrings that I don't need myself! Taking a good, hard look at our priorities is a good start to balancing our budgets.
Our health should be our number one priority. I always say that it's important to think of going organic as an investment in our own long term health, and also in the health of the plant. Are we really willing to pay LESS for something that's been sprayed with deadly neurotoxins and hormone disruptors countless times? Genetically Modified Foods, irradiated produce, artificially dyed fruits and vegetables; that's conventional food in a nutshell. Unbelievable! We're so disconnected form our food sources that most of us don't even know how or where our food is produced, what was sprayed on or injected into it, who touched it, how long ago it grew, and so on.... That's scary! We must love ourselves and care for the environment more than that or we're seriously doomed. We deserve better. Our kids and grand kids deserve better. This is so far beyond an issue of simple affordability, but once we start to care, economics can take care of the rest.
Economic principles tell us that the more produce and the more we buy something, the more affordable it becomes as prices go down due to more volume sold. If we continue to believe that organics aren't affordable and steer clear of them, the less we'll see of organics! The market is controlled by us, the consumers. Our dollar is our vote, and that's a fact. If we continue to buy organics, they'll become mainstream and we'll all be better off in the long run.
Below are a few suggestions to help us start eating more organic foods affordably so that we can create positive change in the food system for our health and the health of our children and their children....
1) Many big name grocery stores now offer their own store brands of organic foods that are more affordable than name brand organics and are often comparable in price to name brand non-organic foods (Nature's Promise, 365, and Full Circle brands, for example).
2) Farmer's Markets are great places for local foods and are very, very affordable compared to grocery stores. Much of the stuff is seasonal but there are winter markets around, too! You can easily make friends with farmers to learn their methods of producing. Many aren't certified organic simply because they don't want to spend the large sum on certification, but still use organic/sustainable farming methods and are usually amazing stewards of the land. Plus there's the added bonus of buying LOCAL foods.
3) Joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a great way to get organic and local foods as well, and is surprisingly affordable! One pays a sum of money to a local farm, and in return gets a portion of the farmer's yeild, usually in a weekly delivery. Again, getting to know the farmer is important, and creating a CSA relationship helps keep local farmers in business and keeps healthy foods on your table. www.LocalHarvest.org is a great resource for finding CSAs and Farmer's Markets.
4) Growing your own food is easier than you might think! Start a garden, grow in containers on a sunny porch, or go for the easiest method - bag gardening! For those who are unfamiliar with bag gardening, all you need is a couple bags of garden soil at a couple bucks each, and six packs of vegetable plants for not much more than that. All supplies (and free advice) are available at your local farm, garden center, or home improvement store. Simply lay the bags down in a sunny spot, slice holes in the top, and plant the veggie plants right into the holes in the bag, according the the planting instructions that came with the veggie plants. Voilà, instant garden! Bags can stay put and be reused year after year as long as you supplement with a little organic fertilizer and/or compost.
Here's to our health!!!
Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 13th, so remember to set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to sleep on Saturday, the 12th. This is the adjustment period where we lose one hour of sleep, so try going to sleep an hour earlier a few days ahead of time so that you can adjust quickly for Monday morning! A diet rich in the broad spectrum of B vitamins will also help you wake with more energy. Foods high in B vitamins include lentils, bananas, oats, wheat bran, leafy greens, avocadoes, and nuts. However, a high quality B-complex supplement can cover all the B bases during a health maintenance and/or adjustment period. Raw (unheated), whole food supplements are always recommended and can be found in your local health food or vitamin store.
Intentional Chocolate is a conscious company making amazing chocolates that are blessed by master meditators - some who have trained with the Dalai Lama - to hold the following intention: “Whoever consumes this chocolate will manifest optimal health in body and mind. Whoever consumes this chocolate will experience an increased sense of energy and well-being." They started making these chocolates in 2007 and clinical evidence has shown that those who ate one serving per day experienced decreased stress, increased energy, greater calmness, enhanced focus, and better general well-being. I'm not kidding! Evidence validating the power of intention is strong, so consider giving a conscious gift of delicious good wishes to a loved one on this Valentine's Day (or any day!); bless them with some Intentional Chocolate!
A main focus of ancient Ayurvedic living is the idea of eating with the seasons, with the understanding that nature provides the antidote to the extreme of each season. For example, during the hot summer months, nature provides us with fresh fruits and vegetables to cool us down. During the winter, nature provides fatty nuts to insulate us from the cold. If you crave warm comfort foods in the winter, it's simply because your body is craving warmth during the coldest time of year. Your body knows that it needs, so have fun answering its calls! Warming foods for winter time include soups, stews, root vegetables, winter squashes, and spices like ginger, cayenne, curry, cinnamon, turmeric, and cumin. Let food be thy medicine. Experiment with warming foods and enjoy the coziness!
Oh, yes, it's that time of year again! Resolutions abound, and most of us have a laundry list of things that we'd like to improve (or ignore!) or projects that we'd like to start. New Year's Resolutions are opportunistic ways for us to jump on the bandwagon of making up for the things we think we should have done, or to make amends with what we think we did "wrong" over the last year. This creates a period of motivation and excitement, only to leave us guilt ridden and ashamed when our resolutions get thrown into the same heaping pile of failure as prior years' efforts.
How many of us actually make and commit to a resolution successfully for twelve full months, and beyond? It may help us all to understand that the New Year's Resolution is more of a dirty set-up than a personal motivator! Let's make one blanket-resolution to stop making resolutions, and instead make the commitment to identify and understand our wants and needs and then make small steps to improve our lives daily.
Resolutions are often a set-up because most are unrealistic. If we don’t normally go to the gym, and then simply resolve to do so in the New Year, we’ve skipped important steps in creating a place in our lives to make going to the gym actually possible. We must also establish if we really even want to go to the gym in the first place, or if we’d be better off with another form of movement or exercise. If we’d be happier running outside, or hiking, then why would we sign up for a gym? Because others do so? If we regularly eat sweets or unhealthy foods, or if we smoke or indulge in other behaviors that harm us, like unhealthy relationships; we can’t cut them off cold-turkey because there may be a component that we have failed to consider: mental or physical addiction. Old habits die hard, whether they’re things that we do or things that we don’t do.
Add unrealistic expectations or goals to the fact that many resolutions are made in a negative form to begin with, or from the standpoint of what we must deprive ourselves of, and you've got a recipe for failure (and a brownie binge or two!). If we resolve to not eat sweets or unhealthy foods, to not smoke, to not curse, to not blah blah blah, we're starting off in the negative. Rather, we can create goals with the concept of "adding in/crowing out", which was a major component of my own Integrative Nutrition training. This basically means that rather than taking away something perceived as bad and saying that we can’t have such, which creates feelings of failure and guilt when we inevitably “cheat”, we can add in more of what we want or feel good about in order to crowd out that which we want less of. If we want to clean up a habit of cursing (a popular resolution!), we can have a "word of the week" initiative where we learn and practice a new, creative, and expressive word each week, which would then be incorporated into our vocabulary to crowd out the curse words. Doesn’t that sound like it would be more effective and productive than simply saying, “I’m not going to curse anymore”? If we just decide not to curse, without thinking of what we’ll replace the curses with, we’ll be, well… s**t out of luck (pun clearly intended). Furthermore, if we want to eat fewer sweets, we can think of healthier options to add into our diets to crowd out the sweets, like a handful of fresh blueberries, plump dates, or 30 minutes of kissing! Yes, kissing! We don't always crave sugar just because we need sugary foods!
Why do we actually do the things we do that we then resolve to stop doing? Why do we not do what we know we want to do or need to do? The answer is often that we're not feeling fulfilled. We may indulge in brownies because we need some sweet comfort which then creates a sugar addiction in the body and a vicious craving cycle! Brownies taste good and they fulfill a need in the moment that's not being fulfilled elsewhere either by food or other areas of life. We can identify patterns of hindrance by paying close attention to our habits and cravings, when we do or have them, and how we feel prior to, while, and after we do or have them. Keeping a journal may help. We must identify what’s really behind our daily habits and cravings, because they’re often indirect. Patterns can be broken once they've been clearly identified and understood.
Most importantly, we must give plenty of honest thought to what we truly want in the New Year and beyond. In the spirit of staying positive, let's think about what we want to do, and of course, what is doable for us; not what we can’t or shouldn’t do or what’s unrealistic for us. How many of us know in our hearts what we want on a deep level, as opposed to what we think we should want or do, or what others (including the media) influence us to want or to do? We may have been conditioned by parents, education, media, religion, friends, and/or coworkers to maintain ideals that are in direct opposition to our true selves. Think of the doctor who wanted to be a reporter but attended medical school because she was expected to do so. My heart goes out to the over-worked corporate executive who is trying to catch up to that bigger house or faster car while his love and natural talent for painting is desperately seeking at least 15 minutes of fame.
We can start by making a list of everything we want now or have always wanted, in all areas of our life: joyful activities, career, personal relationships, diet and physical health, spirituality, whatever. Then, we can narrow down those few things that we want to manifest the most immediately, and write down one action step that we can realistically take to move us one step closer to each goal. Then, write steps two, three, four, and so on. Procrastinators and/or those who are struggling with feelings of insecurity must remember that they deserve and are worthy of health and happiness, and making deadlines for each action step may help to complete steps to then transition to the next steps.
Identifying what we truly want and need, and then making it happen can be accomplished with the right attention and attitude. Of course, support is a necessity and to deny that is to deny what we are by nature: social creatures who thrive on positive reinforcement! As a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, I work with people to help them identify and reach their own specific health goals by creating customized health and wellness programs. I work as a mentor and resource who thrives on the success of my clients. There’s nothing we can’t do, and nothing that we can’t have if we are willing to go for it! So, exit unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions, and enter long term self-awareness and success!
Here’s to your health and wellness in the New Year and thereafter!