Give a Hug- Get a Hug! ‘Tis the Season

The holiday season is in full swing, remember to take some time to care for yourself. The hustle and bustle can sometimes be stressful and it isn’t uncommon to feel a little down. I have found myself a few times on the brink of tears, and I don’t know why. When this happens, I don’t question the emotion but rather embrace it and use it as a reminder to take a breath and do something for me. Here are a few simple acts that may just help you enjoy the holiday, family and friends all the more, as well as giving a little gift to yourself.

  1. Hug a loved one! Your furry pet counts! Scientists have found that hugging releases oxytocin, the ‘feel good’ hormone, while it also decreases levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. Hug –hug- hug away.
  2. Take a restorative yoga class to help relax your muscles and reduce blood sugar levels.
  3. Don’t stress about your workout – 30minutes of supermarket shopping can burn between 100-150 calories!, not to mention calories burned with housecleaning.
  4. Take a power nap. Try one of the many YouTube guided mediations for 10-15 minutes. This way, you won’t over sleep and you will have a boost in energy for a couple hours.
  5. Drink water- with all the extra holiday ‘cheer’, we often forget to drink water ( seltzer counts) in between libations. It will restore your energy as well as help with keeping headaches away.
  6. Watch a 30-minute sitcom comedy and laugh! You will release tension and restore your energy.
  7. Breath!! When you start to feel frazzled try to move yourself away from the situation for a moment (bathroom break??)- then STOP- take 3 long deep breaths and tell yourself – ‘All Is Good- Let it Go”

Most of all – be mindful of the moment and be grateful for the love of the season.

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Sending lots of HUGS and well wishes to you and yours for a festive holiday and healthy 2017!

                                        Cheers!   Mary

 

**In January look for special discounts in my new Wellevate dispensary; along with other programs and services to help you achieve your best health and lifestyle.

 

Mindfulness: Happy Thanksgiving

Maybe start your Thanksgiving day with this verse, and everyday thereafter.  Blessings to you and yours for a day filled with gratitude and peace.

Waking up this morning, I smile.

Twenty-four brand new hours are

Before me. I vow to live fully in each

Moment and to look at all beings

With the eyes of compassion.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Be Well,

  Mary

Wellness Coaching: Self Acceptance

As an Am I Hungry Facilitator, I want to share this piece from founder, Michelle May. So Simple, but so true.  We can use this in so many aspects of our lives, beyond dieting.  We are almost always our worse enemies.

 

Self-Acceptance Step 1: Become Aware

By Michelle May, M.D.

“My yoga teacher said, “Whatever you practice, you get good at. If your habit is to compare, judge, and criticize yourself, then you’ll get better and better at it. You will strengthen your habit.”

That really resonated with me. I had subjected myself to 25 years of yo-yo dieting fueled by rejection of my Self.

Wishing I were somehow different and focusing on numbers like calories and pounds only distracted me from living my life fully. Unfortunately, many of us have been convinced that this is the only way, and that we somehow deserve a life focused on what we eat and what we look like instead of living our lives. We waste a tremendous amount of energy beating ourselves up—energy that could otherwise be poured into building relationships, accomplishing other meaningful goals, or simply enjoying life.

I am so over that.

Along my personal and professional journey, I’ve learned that self-acceptance breeds self-care. While it may seem counterintuitive, I also discovered that self-acceptance is the starting line for change. Now I choose to practice loving my Self gently, compassionately, mindfully, and persistently.”

 

Drop me line with your thoughts or awakenings.  If this sounds like you, maybe a little intervention would help.  Pick one small thing that you beat yourself up about and become aware, and how can you stop the vicious cycle that may be driving  you down. With you new found energy do something extraordinary- for you!

 

Be Well,

Mary

Mindfulness; Lifestyle Changes: Finding the Lighter Side

I am trying to find the lighter side of the past two days of forced shut down. I have just been dealing with a bout of vertigo for the past few days. Today and I am better, but not totally out of the woods. ( I had this about 7 years ago). My head was all a jumble and my body was fine- except I needed a bit of assistance from the walls and furniture to get to where I was going. It takes a lot for the brain to keep the body upright!! It is exhausting. It was a total shutdown and forced STOP!. Did I get the Christmas things down? no. Did I put the gardens to bed? no. Did I go to the two planned parties? no. Was I frustrated? yes. I did laugh thinking that the body has a way of taking care of itself. Maybe it was a time to notice that I have not totally put my feet back steadily on the ground since my whirlwind trip to SEAsia. I traveled by plane, train, bus, boat, tuk tuk, elephant and a water buffalo cart, time to just walk about my own yard. Don’t wait until your body says to stop, take a moment now and be mindful about your needs and what is important. Enjoy the season and do it in a mindful way- I think you will find it more enjoyable.

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Be Well,

      Mary

Mindfulness: What Does It Mean To Feel Good

Dear Friends,

I received this newsletter from a colleague and felt the need to share.  Her words are to the point, perfect.  Self care, self love, self acceptance does not mean being selfish.  It means acceptance of yourself at all levels, which allows you to be more genuine with others in your life. I hope you find this fulfilling.

What Does It Mean To Feel Good?
 
by Dr. Kate Siner
 
We hear the words “feel good” all the time. We even say them to ourselves. “ I just want to feel good” “I just want to feel better.” Or, maybe we say, “I just want to be happy.” One way or another we are saying the same thing. But, what is this “better” that we are reaching for? 

Overtime, I have come to realize that self-love is the key to “feeling good.” Self-love is based in self-acceptance and results in self-care. If you want to feel good, you must first be willing to accept every part of yourself, then love yourself including the parts that you do not like so much.  As a result you learn to care deeply for your self on every level. 

Self-Acceptance: Self-acceptance means being able to be on your own side regardless of where you find yourself emotionally, mentally, or even physically. For example, if you find yourself criticizing yourself, being negative about your progress, or saying the way that you are doing things is wrong, you are not on your own side. 

Self-Love: Self-love means that you are willing to maintain a loving state of being towards yourself at all times. For example, even if you do not like the way that you are acting or you did not get the results that you want you still know that you have value and are worthy of deep unconditional love. 

Self Care: Self-care is your ability to put self-love and self-acceptance into practice. Self-care is any and every act that affirms and honors the completeness of who you are. It is not about doing something that is supposed to be healthy as much as it is caring for yourself in the most basic and intrinsic ways. 

These three key ingredients create a level of health, fulfillment and ultimately success that is exceptional. They are dependent on each other and moving forward in one area propels you forward in another. 

Here are some steps you can take to create more of these primary components of fulfillment in your life. 

1.    Find the benefits of supposedly problematic parts of yourself. Every part of us has a purpose and value. Sometimes, we might wish that we did not get angry or feel hurt in a certain situation but if we learn to listen to why we are upset or acting the way that we are, we can start to see how that part has been beneficial even if we are ready to let it go moving forward.? 

2.    Practice loving others even if you do not like their behavior or beliefs. Loving someone does not mean tolerating bad behavior or having no boundaries. Loving someone includes boundaries and even getting upset when someone has wronged you. You do not need to let go of love if someone’s behavior conflicts with your beliefs about what is right and what is wrong. ? 

3.    Love yourself like you love others. There are some people like your children or your partner that you love despite their flaws. Pay attention to how and why you are able to do that and then apply those principles to yourself. ?
 
4.    Do what feels really good.  You might say, “If I always did what felt good, I would be fat, get nothing done, or some other association with indulgence. However, indulgence and feeling good are not always the same thing! Pay attention to how you to feel to learn what really makes your feel good and do more of it.
Take a moment to let the words settle in.  Make a choice on how you would like to pay attention to create some time to focus on the various aspects of your life.
Happy Spring!  Be Well,
                                             Mary
If you would like to take the next step in creating a balanced lifestyle, contact me for a complimentary session to discuss your goals.

Wellness Coaching: How the word ‘No’ affects us.

Remember a time when someone said ‘no’ to you.  Stop, think, what are you feeling?  If you are like most people, you dig your heels in and resist a little- or a lot.  It is a restriction and a change from your intentions or ways.  What if you self inflicted that restriction or ‘no’? Does it make it any easier?

I have chosen to go on a 10 day cleanse** after a very jubilant, excessive, lovely holiday season.  I enjoyed two weeks of extra bites and drinks that were out of my norm of moderation.  It was a change from my lifestyle and truthfully my body and foggy head were talking to me.  I’ve done this cleanse many times before ( no more than once a year, if that). Each time I surprise myself and how I approach, deal and experience it.  Usually there is a lot of anticipation, a lot of prep(mentally and physically) and planning.  I really don’t want to blow it once I commit and sometimes being over prepared is best.  This is ONLY a ten day program , where you are never hungry because you eat real food, but it is restrictive. The program says ‘no’ to caffeine, dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol and animal products- not all at once but gradually. Talking about ending the holiday regime- whew!.  Yet, it is ONLY ten days. The results are worth it.  I definitely feel more energized, rested and alive; not to mention the four pound bloat loss and the inch off my waist as a bonus.

I have realized the most difficult part of this program is that it says No, you cannot have….. Will I die? no.  I don’t have to do it their way and maybe I could just do a little cheat and get away with it.  I could sneak in my coffee, string cheese or a sip of wine.  But, who is watching or who cares?  Who is not following through on a well thought out intent with a goal in mind?  ME!

Changing ones’ behavior is so very difficult because it  usually involves some type of restriction or saying no to something that pleases you, or you think it will please you.  One of the very reasons dieting doesn’t work is because it is restrictive as well as many joys, and tastes that we love are taken away.  Most people do best by making small changes over an extended period of time so that it becomes a habit, not restrictive where choices are either good or bad.  Creating  a routine and a plan is the easiest, but also the hardest.  The power of self talk and finding the positivity and happiness in an action is what can carry you through.  I needed to talk myself through my habit of a small sweet after lunch, changing it for a pear or apple.  Of course it was not the same, but I was able to swap out for a choice that was full of nutrition and took care of my sweet craving and I was satisfied, and quite pleased with myself for following through.

The resistance to making a change to a healthier lifestyle becomes doable.  You can become in charge of your actions. You can start with self talk; No , I CHOOSE to walk the stairs instead of the elevator, No, I Choose to have berries instead of ice cream, No, I choose to stop at a yellow light ,take 3 breaths and slow down.  That ‘no’ becomes a choice, the struggle and intent become clearer.  Right now, I am looking forward to knowing this cleanse is a day away.  I’ll get back into most of my habits but have a kick start on being mindful around some of my challenges.  In reflection, it was a great choice, my clothes fit as they should, my drive for fats and sweets has diminished and my head is clear.  I was very aware of the ‘no’ and restriction and wanted to defy something at least once a day, especially when I lost track of why I was doing this in the first place.  I had a goal, I made the choice. Now, I am glad I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and focus on my next choices.  Mostly I’m feeling in charge of my choices, and thats a happy place to be.

BeWell,

  Mary

 

** The program I used was the Metagenics 10 Day  Clear Change  program.  If you would like further information, please contact me, or click on the link.

 

 

Mindfulness : Being Mindful Throughout the Holidays

 

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The holidays are once again upon us and it never ceases to amaze me that another year has passed. This is a wonderful time to be grateful and count our blessings by taking a moment now and then to stop and reflect.  Wouldn’t you like to have a holiday that didn’t leave you exhausted and depleted?  Maybe this will be the year.

Part of our exhaustion comes from eating foods that we don’t generally indulge in, and we use the excuse that it is the holidays so let is loose.  I am all about enjoying the foods that come around once in a while that are special. I love the homemade ethnic foods and the memories attached to them from my childhood, although many are a lot heavier and filling than I remember.  Note, fats are filling and satiating.  There are 9 calories per gram in fats compared to 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates and proteins, which means a little fatty food goes a long way.

  • A bite of triple cream cheese is decadent and fat laden, so a little goes a long way.  Swiss cheeses and harder tangy cheeses have less fat so you can have a bit more, still savor them.
  • The trick is to remember that eating real foods; roasted veggies, wholesome soups, pomegranates and pears which are all carbohydrates are different than eating  cookies, cheesecake, fudge and candies which are also carbohydrates that have very little nutritional value and depress your immune system.
  • The same goes for protein, shrimp, fish, scallops, herring, hummus are protein sources that will not fill you up and will offer some excellent nutritional value over mini hot dogs, chicken wings, sausage or deli meats which offer little in the way of nutritional value.
  •  The same goes for drinks.  Egg nog is fabulous, but a little goes a long way so make sure it is a good one and worth every sip. I still remember a friend who made her egg nog from scratch- now that was a real treat!

Please enjoy those foods if those are what you really want, but pay attention.  Notice how hungry you are, or not.  Decide that you would rather enjoy the foods around you and not leave feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. Eat one bite at a time, let it sit on your tongue, roll it around your month, notice texture and flavor.   You will really taste the food and find you will be satisfied a lot sooner.  Take a break and sit for a moment to experience the experience.  Eat what you enjoy and leave the rest behind, the clean plate rule is not necessary.

Be sure to up your water intake, add at least a half hour of movement in your day- a walk, vacuuming , taking the stairs, washing windows- it all counts. And get some rest- a hot tub, a bit of meditation , a restorative yoga class an entertaining movie or sitting by a fire, go to bed by 9pm!  It will help keep colds and flu at bay.  Keep treats as treats for you and the little ones.  For children, keeping the sugar intake down is central to staying even keeled and focusing on some simple meals can go a long way; try scrambled eggs with salsa, whole grain bread and a baked apple, it will  only takes moments.    Another key factor is keeping to their sleep schedule.

The holidays are about connecting with others, being social and sharing.  Take time to really listen and engage in conversations during social events. Appreciate the surroundings, the efforts that were made and how you are connecting with the situation.  The holidays come around every year and just maybe with a little mindfulness you will be able to still fit in your clothes comfortably this January and you may reflect on some good memories and fun events rather than being glad it is over, until next year.

Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Be Well,   Mary

 

Look for my next newsletter coming soon with a special discount for December.  

 

 

 

Lifestyle: Your True Health

I came across this very inspirational description of true health and I was compelled  to share it.  I could not rewrite this into my own words therefore I am passing this on.  This struck a chord with me and what I am striving to convey to those around me in my life and in my work .  We have a choice.

This is from a newsletter written by Doran Libshtein.

“Total health or wholeness is the ability to realize our full potential in every area of life. We need to be done with a compartmentalized approach to health. We need to approach health in an expanded and integrated manner. The expanded definition of Health is to be fully functioning, have healthy relationships, healthy careers, and healthy finances. All these areas are essential in the creation of a healthy and long life.”  

 Doran Libshtein works with world expert on total health, Dr Prudence Hall and she states; ” that the entire practice of medicine in the western world is based on the treatment of diseases, once they have occurred. It is assumed that once those diseases or symptoms are treated, the patient will be restored to “health.” But how do we know what health is? Is it simply the absence of disease? What does “Health” actually look like? And we need to know this, because if we don’t know our destination, it is going to be very hard to get there.” 

Dr Hall’s definition for true health is: “Unbridled energy, complete absence of disease, a beautiful strong body, balanced blissful emotions, self knowledge, a passion for life, advanced longevity.” 

Therefore, true health is not just a lack of disease. True Health is the whole package; it is the physical body, as well as the emotional, and spiritual aspects of each person, with the goal of achieving nothing short of pure radiance.

What I am finding is that many people are starting to wake up and realize that prevention is truly the best way to take care of one’s health. With prevention you may just slide right past the diseases others have as obstacles.  Wake up and take a moment to ask yourself – am I using all my inner and outer resources to take really great care of the being I am?  If not- what can you do differently? Start small, but be consistent.  Need assistance, give me a call.  It is an ongoing process, there is never an ending to getting to the next level of feeling great. I hope this has left a small impact on you to empower yourself with the knowledge and motivation to find your True Health.

Be Well, Mary

Lifestyle Changes: Refresh, Renew, Rebuild

Thinking about springtime and watching the snow melt away and seeing the green re-appear always  brings about a sense of rebirth.  I was looking at my website and noticed my sub title Refresh, Renew, Rebuild.  There was a reason  I choose those words years ago as a representation of how I wanted to present my practice to others and wanted to portray a sense of hope and new beginning.  What comes to mind when you think of Refresh?  I think of spring cleaning, removing clutter, opening the windows for fresh air, switching things up, getting outside and listening to the birds chirp.  Renew?  I think of becoming invigorated and revitalized. Do something to perk you up and make you feel good.  Change up your workout- get out of the gym and onto a bike or take a run outdoors, do an early morning outdoor bootcamp.  Try some new foods- dandelion greens, brussel sprout salad, grilled asparagus some underutilized fish such as skate or catfish. There are some pretty interesting food stuffs out there that might just seem a bit different but may be very tasty with a new recipe.  Rebuild?  Maybe it is picking up a project you never quite finished, or followed through on something you always wanted to do.  Take up a hobby. Reach out to make a new friend, or reconnect with old friends . Learn a new language, try paddle boarding or kayaking, start a veggie garden in your yard or in a container.

When we want to make self improvements, it isn’t always about giving something up.  It really can be about adding on and expanding. If you decided to update a few items of clothing, donate them to a thrift store to help others and replace them with something that makes you glow.  You may want to renew your body with loosing a few pounds, or toning up after a sedentary winter, but don’t hold back feeling good in a new pair of jeans until you change your body, do it now. If you wanted to start eating better and don’t know how- check out an interesting recipe from a magazine like Healthy Eating, you can’t go wrong. If meditation or stress reduction is on the rebuild part of your list, start with one minute.  Just one minute, to stop, take 8-9 long, slow ,mindful breaths and there you are meditating. Take time to notice, do and reflect.  Little by little, step by step you will be feeling refreshed, renewed and on your way to rebuilding a better self.

Of course it goes without saying- a little support from your nutritional coach can’t hurt either!

Be Well,

 Mary

 

Mindfulness: Be Mindful of Joy Around You, plus a gift for you!

Greetings to you and yours during this holiday season.  We get so very caught up in the frenzy of the season that sometimes we forget what it is all about.  Put away the wallet and the credit cards for a little bit and just stop and feel the excitement of the moment.  Even if your external environment is running full speed ahead you can encompass a little internal quiet  and really feel the joy of the season,  just stop and notice.  Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in the present moment. Give a smile and receive a smile, watch the faces of children with their wonderment. It is why giving is so special.

I recently was talking to a neighbor who was discussing the ‘giving’ syndrome that has come to be.  Either you are expected to only give what is on ‘the list’, or buy a gift card.  No real surprises, no real creativity, no real giving from the heart.  Is there anything better than watching someone open a gift from you that you took special time to pick out, wrap and give to them and then watch them open it?  The next time you give a gift to someone which is truly a gift-  sit back and take in the sensation and feelings you get at the joy the person gets from the gift.  Mindfulness allows you to deliberately pay attention, without judgement in the present moment. It allows you to feel your thoughts and sensations right then and there.  So many of those moments are priceless.

My hope for you is that you get many unexpected loving gifts- from your friends and family, from nature and your surroundings. Wishing you a wonderful holiday filled with joy, health and happiness.

Happy Holidays,

Be well, Mary

My gift to you-  Greetings to you and yours! From Dec 20th through Jan 17th you can take 15% off your purchase of all your favorite Metagenics products. Happiness and health to you and yours. Be sure to enter  SPECIAL2013 in the coupon box on check out.  You can order at https://yourchoice4wellness.mymetagenics.com