Have you ever wondered what it really takes to get healthy and feel amazing?
There are so many diet books out there telling you what to eat and magazines telling you to “Do this and you’ll look 10 years younger” or “Do that and you’ll experience rocket fuel energy.” With so much information, it can be overwhelming and confusing to separate fact from fad.
During my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, through my own life experience, and through my coaching, I’ve discovered that our health isn’t just about what we eat. It’s about so much more than that. It’s about how our body works as a whole. It’s about how our lifestyle impacts our health. It’s about our quality of living. How happy are you? How well-rounded is your life? What’s falling off the metaphorical plate?
I want to take a minute today to break down for you really simply what it takes to look good, feel great, and get to a place of optimal health.
Here are the top 5 things you need to know and do to kickstart your health and feel amazing:
These are just a few of the components of living a healthy life, but they’re up there on the list of the best things you can do for yourself and your health.
This Thursday, June 1st my good friend, colleague and Holistic Fitness Coach Stacey Stone and I kick off our next 28-day Total Body Reset. We base this on my Keepin' It Real program, a clean eating program and it's for people just like you...who are looking for change and want to figure out a realistic program that works within your busy lifestyle. We even chat about how to eat out, socialize and entertain and still stay on the program, perfect for your summer schedule!
Over the course of 4 weeks, we’ll cover all of the above topics in more depth, as well as other key factors of living a healthy life and thriving in today’s world. In just 28 days you will change the way you eat, think, move and feel about yourself and then you can truly enjoy the rest of your summer!
Don't wait...you won't regret it REGISTER FOR THE 28-DAY PROGRAM starting June 1st today.
Love the sound of the program but the dates don't work? You always have the option of working with me 1-1.
One of the questions I ask my clients and one that often stumps them is “What brings you joy”?
Sounds simple, right? The answer I hear most frequently is “spending time with or doing something with....my kids, my husband, my family, my friends”.
Now, let me re-phrase the question…”What brings YOU joy, excluding anybody else?" Not so easy!!
As women, we have a tendency to deflect away from ourselves ALL the time. For example, if the kids have been dragging their feet all day and you have a whole bunch of errands to run…it ruins your day and you become stressed. If hubby had a bad day at work and comes home and vents…you do everything you can to make him feel better, but you take on his stress too.
Invariably your whole day is focused on what everyone else needs and if their energy is off or negative in some way, you take on the responsibility to “fix” it. We always think “what can I do to make them feel better?” Sound familiar?
Trust me, I know how it feels because I’ve been there and done that too! As women it’s in our DNA to nurture others and it’s not something I look to change in myself or anyone else, but what is necessary for a healthy, vibrant life is finding that balance of helping others but also nurturing ourselves.
One of the many ways we can do that is by injecting a little bit of joy into our everyday life. Think of how powerful this one single task is. If you know what brings you joy and you don’t need anyone else to implement those things, you can choose at any moment to bring joy into your day. So if you’re having a crappy day, YOU have the power to turn it around. Changing your stress level, balancing out your mood and showing the universe that you care about yourself, by just one simple act of bringing yourself joy.
I’d like you all to take a few minutes and start the thought process of what brings you joy, don't forget the important twist...it's only to involve you and feel free to share in the comments below…you may just inspire someone to feel joy in a way they hadn’t yet thought of.
To get the ball rolling here are a few of mine (my list keeps growing!!LOL):
~ Time in nature and even more specifically for me, around water. I’ve known for a long time, how much I LOVE to be in nature. My heart rate slows, I breathe deeper, my body relaxes and my mind calms down. Not only is it necessary for my health and wellbeing, but I find myself smiling…you know the kind of smile that affects your whole face, not just your lips? It totally brings me joy, especially to be around, on or under the water!
~ A cup of tea and a great book. Well, the tea thing could definitely be a reminder of my English roots and connecting me to that feeling of home. But I feel like it’s almost the sense of decadence to take time in my busy day to sit in a cozy chair with my tea and a great book that brings me joy. In fact I just started reading “The Universe Has Your Back” by Gabby Bernstein and it’s tempting to sit and read all day!!!
~ Fresh flowers. I don’t mean an expensive bouquet or anything formal, for me at least. It’s the feeling of walking into a room, seeing those cute flowers in that small vase/jug, some tulips in the spring or my favorite Gerbera Daisies will always bring a massive smile to my face and joy to my heart. Take a look in your garden or your local farmers market for something that brings a smile to your face.
~ Music. When was the last time you turned on your favorite tunes and just danced around the room not caring who’s watching? Music ignites my soul…lifts my spirits when I’m down and carries me higher when I’m feeling great. I make a point of bringing joy into my life every day in this conscious way.
As you can see most of the things that bring me joy are free and to me that’s an important factor because I want to be able to inject that bit of joy at ANY time EVERY SINGLE DAY, but then there are a few exceptions that I’d also like to share that are worth every penny…
~ Pampering. Whether it’s a mani-pedi, a new haircut or a fantastic massage. I urge you though to not just go through the motions…be present, understand and be grateful for these treats that might bring you joy.
If you’re in the NJ area, check out my client Ellen at Perfectly Kneaded Massage in Glen Rock, she’s offering specials for Mother’s Day and is a pre-natal specialist for you almost new mums. Click HERE for more info.
~ What you’re wearing. Dress every day to bring yourself joy. I know for me I’m always drawn to color and pattern in my clothes, even more so since moving to the US Virgin Islands!! I’ve even noticed recently that my jewelry choices are changing…I was recently introduced to the wonderful Anne Woodman, a beautiful woman inside and out and she designs (Happy) jewelry that brings me so much joy!
Check out the pic above of one of my latest earring additions (available in a whole bunch of great colors for summer) , makes me smile and everyone around me smile every time I wear them.
Anne has graciously offered a 10% discount from her beautiful line, she works in both silver and gold, just use the PROMO CODE: KARIN . SHOP HERE
What are you going to do today to inject a little joy into your life? Don't forget to share with us in the comments below...I'm always looking for new ways to experience joy.
Wait a minute...you get down??? YES, I get down at times, just because I'm a Health Coach that doesn't make me a superhuman. Life hits me full force in the face sometimes, just like all of you. What makes me get back on track and relatively quickly is what makes the difference. My bounce back time gets quicker each and every time I practice these 3 tips that I'm about to share with you and it's these tips and the central ROCK of my life - self-care - that makes all the difference.
Before I share these tips however, I'd like you to think for a minute about the challenges you've faced in your life and the fact that you're here to tell the story, therefore your success rate for getting through tough stuff is 100%. I didn't say it was easy, I didn't say you're not battered or bruised...but you're here today.
The key thing to remember is that we only get to control one thing in our lives, and that's us. So understanding that life is always going to get in way, stress is always going to come at us from a number of different directions, it's imperative that we create a game plan for how we're going to handle it. That being said..these are my 3 go-to tips when I'm feeling down.
1. Look at what you're eating. My guess is, that if you're going through something challenging then you're having a hard time making nourishing food choices, right? In fact, it tends to be the opposite, that's when we reach for sugar laden cookies, comfort foods (often what mum made - like we're trying to get a virtual hug!) wine, cheesy things or fried foods.
What we're actually trying to do is numb ourselves to the sensation that we're feeling. So we STUFF it down, literally with food! Emotional eating is something that just about everyone on the planet can relate to and that's why it's #1 on my list. So, how do we change it? First, try to really think about what you're feeling and where it's coming from...I like to use this F.L.A.B. acronym:
F - frustrated
L - lonely
A - angry
B - bored
Honor your feelings, they matter!!! YOU MATTER!!!
Then start to nourish yourself with healthier choices, they will help switch your brain from that emotional eating place to a more logical place and you'll start to be able to breathe and see the light.
Sugar is one of the toughest ones so I've included here 5 recipes to help you kick your sugar addiction. Just CLICK HERE to download.
2. Move your body. This was a tough change for me, as someone that was an athlete and personal trainer for many years, my go to was to sweat it out! Then, after a life altering car accident and 5 herniated discs I had to rethink what movement meant to me. Sometimes less is more.
I'm still discovering different things that work and am recently doing ELDOA a spine decompression workout, that my good friend and colleague Stacey Stone has introduced to my life and even more recently the wondrous QiGong.
The key...ask your body what it needs...if you're stressed, chances are that your body is tight and holding onto emotions, would you benefit more from something like QiGong that gets your Qi flowing and helps you feel unstuck? Or a yoga class that focuses on breathing and chest opening? Just because you've always moved in a certain way, doesn't mean that's all you can do. Your body will thank you for your kindness and understanding with a sense of well-being and decreasing inflammation.
3. Find Support. The first place to look is within yourself. Are you being kind? Are you nurturing yourself? Or are you beating yourself up? We are all our own worst critic, an unfortunate human characteristic, but you can also make a shift to becoming your inner champion.
Firstly, don't beat yourself up for something you haven't learned yet. Going through life, doesn't mean that we automatically have all the tools to deal with whatever comes our way. I certainly didn't have them when I had my car accident, I had to learn new ways to do MANY things. Keep in mind that we're always striving for PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION.
Secondly, reach out, ask for help. Do you have a friend or family member who's non-judgmental and will give you what you need? If not, let me fill the gap. I help people everyday who are overwhelmed by life, are feeling stuck and don't know how to set up their self-care routine so that the system is in place when they need it. I offer a free, no obligation 30-min strategy session to see which of my programs and which level of support is right for you and your needs.
CLICK HERE TO SET UP YOUR STRATEGY SESSION TODAY
I hope that you find my 3 tips useful, they are my go to when things aren't going great and it's this system that gets me back on track each and every time life comes my way.
Boy, this is something I used to struggle with and I still have to be aware of it from time to time, I would constantly put things off, saying I'd start next week...until I realized that it was because I was afraid that I wouldn't be perfect or the project I was working on wouldn't be perfect, so it was just easier to not start! Can you relate?
If any of the following sound familiar, you too could be on the quest for perfection.
What do all of the above have in common? These are all things that can lead to that horrible, uncomfortable feeling of being stuck. You know what I’m talking about, feeling like you’re just watching your life go by, but not participating. Where you logically know what you have to do, but can’t seem to get unstuck enough to put it into action.
You are not alone!!
I know for sure that over my life I’ve experienced this and so many of clients are feeling this way when we start to work together. I think typically as women, we put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything and be everything for everyone, but only if we do it with perfection does that make us good enough! I know for me, this started back in my childhood and some was the expectation from my parents but much of that feeling was self-imposed. I wanted to make everyone happy, I wanted to make everyone like me and that meant being perfect!
Do any of these sound familiar?
“Why start? I know I won’t get everything done.”
“It’s a crazy week, next week will be better.”
“Whatever I do, it’s never good enough.”
“Guess I’ll try this diet, the others haven’t worked!”
“I know I need to eat better and exercise, but how? I have no time now!!”
What you may not realize is that often, these feelings are coming from us striving for perfection…So, where do we go from here? Firstly I want you all to understand that perfection just isn’t realistic…it’s such an unfair expectation to put upon ourselves or anyone else for that matter. We are all works in progress and need to practice compassion with ourselves as we’re on that journey.
I find that a great way to look at it is, to imagine what you’d say to a child who is coloring a picture, but isn’t able to keep within the lines…do you chastise them? NO we don’t, most of us are going to turn around to that child and say “Hey, great job…you did your best and I love it!!”. Such a different conversation than the one that we typically have with ourselves in our head! Yet, we deserve the same compassion that we so easily give to others.
That being said, I’d like you all to start striving for PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Allow yourself time and space to learn new skills, because don’t forget it’s not fair to beat ourselves up for something we haven’t yet learned how to do.
If you don’t have the tools yet, reach out to find support from someone who can help teach them to you…sometimes that’s a family member, a friend or a coach like me, who’s going to provide you with a safe, non-judgmental space to learn how to be you in this kinder more compassionate life.
If you’d like to learn more about striving for PROGRESS not PERFECTION, check out my Keepin’ it Real 28-day program. I designed this program for people like you, who feel stuck and don’t know where to start. Imagine changing the way you eat, feel, look and think in just 28 days.
You see, successfully living a healthy lifestyle is all about moderation. Knowing that you can have certain foods from time to time and most importantly not mentally beat yourself up for having them! Discovering how to live in this place of NON-PERFECTION and being OK with it.
I'd like to find out more about Keepin' It Real in my life.
Spring has officially sprung. A time of year to clear out after winter hibernation. So I just wanted to share a few ideas that might make you look at your spring cleaning differently this year.
1. Let’s start with your home, as it’s what we generally think of first when looking at spring-cleaning. As we all know, in order to do a great job cleaning, first we have to tidy and for many that in and of itself is an overwhelming task.
Where to start?
What to get rid of?
What to keep?
For this task my simple tip is from the Marie Kundo book “ The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. You ONLY keep things that bring you joy. It's amazing how this simple mind shift changes everything. My husband and I employed this tactic when selling up home and moving to St. Croix. LIBERATING is the word that comes to mind. Give it a try, you won't ever look back!
Obviously there are some cases where we need to hang on to practical things…the iron for instance, certainly does not bring me joy, but is a necessary piece of equipment. However, when it comes to “stuff” around the home and in our closets, take a close look and get ready to feel the difference when your surroundings reflect what truly brings you joy.
2. Another area of the home that is so often forgotten is our make-up and personal care drawer/cupboard. Did you know that all of our products have a life expectancy written on them? Take a careful look…there’s a little icon that looks like a moisturizer pot with the lid open, with markings that say 6M or 12M for example. That stands for 6 months or 12 months and that’s the time frame where that product will continue to perform at the level expected.
Be aware that if that product contains toxins, as so many of our personal care products do, those toxic ingredients tend to become even more toxic over time. I like to use the “Skin Deep” database found at : http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ to check the ingredients in my products. Check out things like your moisturizer, shampoo, body wash and make-up and if you’d like a safer option…my go to brand, where I don’t even need to look at ingredients anymore because they do all the hard work for me is Beautycounter. Click HERE to shop or feel free to ask for more information on how to make safer choices.
3. Cleaning out emotions that are no longer serving you.
In this world where we tend to be so busy and as women more often than not, that means taking care of everyone else before we can even consider ourselves, something we need to spend a little time thinking about is our emotional health and wellbeing.
When someone asks how you're doing, is your standard answer either “fine” or “good” quickly followed by “how are you”? It is so much easier to deflect rather than get real and think about how we really are.
The truth is, and I see it everyday in my coaching practice, if we get really honest…so many of us are walking around angry and resentful. Why? I like to think of it this way, (probably the Brit in me, coming out) if we pour cups of tea from the same teapot, all day, every day we end up with no more tea in the pot. We're the teapot and everyone that we give to, are the tea cups…we only have so much tea and then we need to fill up our pot. Unfortunately, we have a habit of trying to keep pouring and pouring for others and not re-filling for ourselves, which in turn leads to us feeling angry and resentful.
So how do we spring clean this area of our lives? I know for many of you, you have no idea how to change or what to do differently and the vicious circle just keeps on repeating and you just keep feeling more and more depleted.
I have 2 suggestions:
A. Firstly, learning to set boundaries is crucial. Easier said than done, I realize, but a new habit that is necessary in order to function without these emotions building up. How do you go about that? Simply, start to listen to your immediate gut feeling. You know that one that screams silently “OMG!!!! ONE MORE THING I HAVE TO DO!!! We all have it, we all know what it sounds like and then we want to please everyone and say “yes, of course” anyway. I want you to start using these phrases and find others that work authentically for you to start setting boundaries:
B. Secondly, we have to learn to let go of those emotions (before we burst!!) and a good way to do that is to cleanse the body and according to Chinese medicine we cleanse the liver and gallbladder in the spring, those organs happen to be the ones that hold onto, you’ve guessed it…anger and resentment!!
So, if you find that you’re holding onto emotions that are preventing you from reaching your happiness potential, join me to cleanse. It is truly a mind, body, spirit journey that will lead to more energy, less anger, weight loss, better sleep and a more confident and happier you!!
I’ve developed a new seasonal cleanse, inspired by my move to St. Croix. I want you all to get a taste of the clean air, fresh food and cool vibes of the island that wraps you up in the sense of wellbeing and pure happiness. The next group cleanse starts 4/20/17, right after Easter and before Mother's Day. What a perfect gift to yourself! Get more info on The St. Croix Cleanse HERE.
Spring is time for renewal and change…I’m here to support you wherever you are in your life journey to create the life you’re craving. Set up a 30-min free strategy session to figure out which of my programs is the best fit for you and your needs.
Why is the gluten free diet and gluten free foods all the rage?
Thinking about starting a gluten free diet? Before you do, it's important to understand what gluten is and how it affects your body. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. So essentially any product made with flour has gluten. There are many other foods that contain it, including soy sauce! It is everywhere.
WHY IS THIS RELEVANT NOW? My theory is, that when our grandparents were growing up, wheat was wheat, untouched, unprocessed and not genetically modified. The wheat that is used today just doesn’t resemble the wheat that our bodies recognize anymore, so we don’t know how to digest it. We can have reactions from very minimal abdominal swelling, bloating and gas to full blown Celiac Disease.
Let me tell you a little bit about my personal gluten story and also my observations with my clients in New Jersey. About 3-4 years ago, I began to realize that I was having digestive issues. They started slowly over the period of several years. After eating I was bloated. My stomach distended and I had horrendous gas pains. At the time, I was a personal trainer and very in tune with my body and eating habits. Gluten seemed like the “buzz” word of the minute, so I decided to give up gluten and see what happened. My whole life changed from that moment on! I am not joking! Now, please keep in mind, I was eating the 100% whole wheat bread and pasta. I was not eating junky food. My symptoms disappeared within a couple of days. Then of course you have to test your theory and reintroduce the old foods, right? What a mistake!
Starting a gluten free diet doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself. I love food and I love to cook. I eat real food, you know the stuff that actually comes from nature the way it was intended. I eat New Jersey local, seasonal and organic foods and I do not find it difficult at all to live without gluten. I do need to point out that at least 90% of my clients find that they do not tolerate gluten once they start to minimize or eliminate it.
If you would like to sit and chat about starting a gluten free diet and intolerances, please set-up your FREE 50 minute consultation TODAY! I will support you on every step of your journey.
So many people commit to huge New Year’s resolutions that are nearly impossible to achieve. Then, they end up not reaching their goals. One suggestion I have for you is to make your New Year’s resolution ACHIEVABLE this year.
When you do achieve your goals, you will be so much healthier.
Here are four perfect resolutions that are totally achievable:
#1. Hydrate with more water
Did you notice when you drink more water you feel better? Water helps your body to run better and will even help you to lose weight. Water will help give you a beautiful, youthful glow too. Make sure that you don’t just chug it all at once. Grab a water bottle and keep it with you throughout the day. This will make it that much easier to achieve your goal, and it will be so beneficial for your entire body.
#2. Crowd out unhealthy foods
Unhealthy foods that are filled with sugar and toxins do our bodies no good. Instead of just eating because you have a sweet tooth craving or because something looks delicious, eat because you want to nourish your body. If you eat foods that will give you energy and help you to feel better, you’ll be on track for a healthier New Year. So, start 2017 by eating whole foods that nourish and benefit your body.
#3. Move more
Most people think of a New Year’s resolution as heading to the gym every morning. Although this is a great goal, it can sometimes be unachievable with your schedule. You do not need to head to the gym to move more. In fact, if you sit all day it's a very good idea to go for a walk on your lunch break, or stand up and move in between breaks. Make moving fun in 2017. You will feel so much better!
#4. Let go of negative thinking
Every person has thoughts that creep into their head. Sometimes we can become more judgmental and critical of others in our head, or even put ourselves down. In 2017 make it a goal of yours to stop the negative thinking. This will help you to be an overall happier person and will even help you to become healthier.
When you are thinking of your goals for 2017, I recommend that you start with an achievable goal that will really help you become a happier and healthier you!
I hope that these four suggestions help!
If you feel like you need guidance to help you reach your health resolutions, shoot me an email and we can schedule a FREE 60-minute session together.
Calling all single moms, including those whose kids are grown! (Old habits die hard!)
Which hat are you wearing today?
Or should I ask, how many hats are you wearing today??
It’s a reality and one I can absolutely relate to, whether you have the support from the other parent or not. As a single parent we adopt this syndrome that I call “Superhero Syndrome”. We feel like we have to do it all, and guess what, for most of us, we actually do, do it all. If you're not a single mom, but know one, please feel free to forward this blog.
My children were 11 and 13 when I went through my divorce, heading into some challenging years for any parent, years when the kids are going to test their boundaries, and for us as parents to let them know just how far they can go.
During the years that followed, my focus was totally on my kids, making sure that they were unconditionally loved, felt safe and secure. Always knowing that they would have a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs. I worked hard constantly to make sure that I was successful in doing that for them and I’ll NEVER regret it.
Add to that, being at every after school event, every game making sure that they felt supported constantly. Trust me, I wanted to be there, no one was twisting my arm. However, there is cost that I and many other single moms pay for doing that. The cost to me, along with being totally exhausted, was that I lost “me” along the way. Completely, totally, utterly lost me.
The truth be told, I don’t know that I’d ever really found myself even prior to that. I certainly had never lived authentically! I was always authentic with others but not with myself! I always paid more attention to pleasing others, making sure that they were happy and trying to live up to their expectations than listening to what my gut was telling me or figuring out what I really wanted or what made me happy. Can you relate...?
I was on that hamster wheel of life, just putting one foot in front of the other, never considering the fact that I could step off.
Fast forward 13 years…after MANY other major life transitions…
Here I am today...
living on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Living with 100% authenticity, with peace and joy EVERY single day! With my thriving Health Coaching practice I get to live my passion every day and that’s to help you step off that hamster wheel of life and watch you soar too.
Together we can create the life you’re craving and although you probably don’t even know what that looks like yet, with all of the tools I’ve learned we will get there together!
I've created a group, a Personal Renewal Group (PRG) , just for you...just for single moms, because unless you've been through it it's really hard to understand what it can feel like. My goal is to create our tribe, so feel free to invite other single moms...
Simple...you deserve it!!!
Oh, and by the way, when we take care of our own wellbeing, guess what behavior you're teaching your kids? Yep, that they deserve to take care of themselves too!!
As a care giver it's hard to keep giving when we're running on empty...come on, it's time to fill up your tank, so that you can continue to be the best parent that you're striving to be.
I understand that sometimes it's hard to commit, especially when we aren't in the habit of making ourselves the focus. If you have ANY questions or concerns about the group, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email. Let's make 2017, your year!!
Above all, don't be shy, if your gut is telling you "WOW, I really wish I could do this, BUT..." reach out today. Life is short, let's get you to a place to enjoy it as soon as we can.
Above all else, please know that no matter where you are in life, you're not alone. There is always support somewhere. One of the many lessons that I had to learn was to ask for help and to trust that when I asked in the right places, I received it unconditionally.
If you'd like to learn more about the Personal Renewal Group (PRG) click here.
If you'd like to explore working one on one with me and would like to do a FREE Consultation click here.