Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Directions, Let's Celebrate!

When I first started this blog several years ago, my intent was to document my weight loss/health journey progress and post some delicious, healthy recipes.

I wanted mostly, though, to show that eating...and living...healthy can be fun!

Now, I want to re-direct this blog to not just focus on healthy eating, but on focusing on the overall joy in life no matter what our circumstances or state of health.

In 2008, my husband and I first learned of Law of Attraction and the Abraham-Hicks teachings. We bought some CDs and DVDs and listened for awhile, and quite frankly...just didn't get it.'

Nothing in our circumstances was changing, and I was depressed and unhappy much of the time.

Fast-forward to November 2013. By some synchronistic turn of events, I found a closed Facebook group called Law of Attraction Results. I joined the group, (not really understanding how I could join it when it's closed), and was amazed at the results people were experiencing in their lives when they chose to be clear in their intentions, let go, and just be happy in the moment.

There also were many free resources (ibooks, youtubes) that I took advantage of.

Little by little, bit by bit, I started feeling better even though our outer circumstances were less than ideal. At some point in this blog, I will go into that, but right now I just don't want to focus on it.

The focal point of our days became listening to an Abraham-Hicks financial well being meditation on youtube at the beginning and end of each day, and listening to other Abraham-Hicks youtubes in between.

Another focal point for me became viewing the beautiful sunsets each evening from our third-story extended stay motel window.

Some days, I still lose my way. We moved in with friends to save money, and I no longer have my beautiful view or much private time to listen to the youtubes.

However, I recently was gifted with a copy of Go To ELF!, which is a fantastic book that gives a fictionalized account of people using the Law of Attraction in their lives, with wonderful results.

ELF stands for Eternal Life Force, or what Abraham would call the Inner Being, and I've discovered that I can have an inner conversation with the ELF, or my IB, at any time, and receive guidance and comfort.

That's all I'm going to share for today, but I plan to really commit this time to blogging and sharing at least several times a week, as I continually celebrate new directions in my life and focus on making my life fun!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 As some of you know, I've had digestive problems for years. And years. I thought going 100% gluten free in 2012 would resolve the problem, but it didn't.

 I thought other grains like rice and even quinoa, which are hard to digest, might be a contributing factor, so I went on the Paleo Diet, where I ate a lot of beef, bacon, chicken, and vegetables. I also started juicing every day.

Nothing changed much.

Finally, last summer, I had to go to the emergency room due to extreme nausea and constipation. I thought maybe I had an intestinal blockage. X-rays showed I didn't, but there was no diagnosis.

I continued to be sick all fall and winter. There were days at a time, sometimes three, sometimes as many as five, where all I could eat was a banana, and take a few sips of filtered water. I was so nauseated that I could barely get out of bed, my stomach was hugely bloated and inflamed, and I was so constipated that even an enema would not resolve the problem.

So I did the only thing left to do. I prayed for guidance about the problem. And the answer to what was causing my problem was revealed to me.

But first...

I'm not exactly sure when I first fell in love with cows, but I suspect it might have been during visits to my maternal grandparents' place in North Mississippi when I was about 3 or 4.

I have faint yet comfortingly vivid memories of my mother taking me out into the fields, showing me how to chew on sassafras root (a bitter taste that I still love), and being surrounded by quiet, open space, love, and cows.

Or maybe it was the time, thirty years ago now, that I drove from Memphis to Denver. I stopped in Kansas to visit the chalk caves, and found myself out in the middle of nowhere, all alone in the universe except for an enormous blue sky and a group of cows crossing the road.

The wonder of both of those experiences is still with me.

It felt heavenly.

The cows in the photo above were taken in Cheatham County, TN, in 2008. They belong to a friend who raises black Angus.

We also had cows a few houses down from our place in Ashland City, big fat red cows, and there were more big, fat, red cows across the street from me when I lived in North Mississippi as an adult. While I was scared to get too close to them, I cherished their solid, gentle presence so close to my home.

I loved to listen to them in the evening, at dusk, as they made their way back "home".

As much as I love cows, I've also enjoyed eating beef all of my life. My favorite meal has always been steak, and ground beef has been a dietary staple. Easy to cook with, inexpensive, endless ways to prepare it.

As I learned more about nutrition, I began buying grass-fed beef whenever possible, preferably local. Still, the more I walked down the path of studying nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and the more I evolved spiritually, the more I felt that eating these beautiful, gentle creatures...cows...was not for me anymore.

But...doctor and nutritionist visits over the years had shown that I needed "high levels of protein". When I expressed the desire to be a vegetarian or vegan, I was told, "Maybe someday...but now you need meat, especially beef."

I'm sure you've guessed by now what was revealed in the answer to my prayer this winter. What was causing my severe digestive problems that were leaving me incapacitated for days at a time, and leaving me wondering whether I would be able to hold down a job, and pursue my passion, health and wellness coaching?

Beef. The answer was beef. So, I stopped eating it. It's been six weeks now since I've had beef, and I have not had one single digestive problem. My life suddenly feels calm, less stressed, and less worried.

And, I finally feel in alignment with my true self. I still eat small amounts of chicken, and some pork, as I transition into a vegetarian lifestyle, with vegan being the next step, and then finally going fully raw.

Listening to myself, I feel it's best to take it slowly, as I discover new flavors, new ways of eating, and new ways of being. (Side note: the more vegan/raw meals I eat, the more I rediscover tastes that had been dulled for years. Even colors seem brighter!)

 I'm not kidding myself that I'm saving cows, nor am I going to "hate on" people who still eat beef, especially since my husband still enjoys his burgers and steaks.

It's just that...

It's wonderful to feel good, and it's wonderful to have finally learned to listen to myself and how to meet my own needs through eating...and not eating...what's right for me.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January Newsletter

Greetings, Everyone! It's with great enthusiasm that I send out this first newsletter of 2014!

Many exciting changes are happening in my life. In August, my husband, Steve, and I moved back to the Nashville area. We are enjoying reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, as well as visiting some of our favorite spots like Leiper's Fork and Radnor Lake whenever we can. We also enjoyed spending the Sunday before Christmas and the Sunday before New Year's with our dear friends at Unity of Music City in Old Hickory. As always the music is amazing, Rev. Denise's messages are inspiring, and love is in the air there!

One of the most exciting changes is that I will be partnering with Connie Jackson, a top food truck owner and caterer, to bring a healthy, home delivery meal service to the Nashville area. Connie's business is called, Your Dish Is Our Command.

We can customize meals to Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian. This is great for busy families as well as people recuperating from surgery, seniors, and really anyone who wants to eat healthier.

I also am continuing to offer one-on-one and group health coaching services, and will be offering teleclasses and workshops throughout the year, so stay tuned.

Hopefully you will enjoy this newsletter, but if you decide you no longer wish to hear from me, place "unsubscribe" in the subject life and write me back! No hard feelings, I will remove you from the list.

If you'd like to schedule a confidential health history consultation to find tune your healthy, email or call me at 847=312=5594...I look forward to hearing from you. And please tell all your friends about me!

-- January
True life is lived when tiny changes occur.
-Leo Tolstoy
New Year, New You
A lot of people begin the New Year by making resolutions. We’ve all been there. We take a vow to lose weight, exercise more or spend more time with our family. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions?
Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:
1. Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom mirror or the dashboard of your car.
2. Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night? Are you stressed at your job and feel too tired to exercise after work?  If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.
3. Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.
4. Share your resolutions with friends and family. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go to the gym more, have a friend call you two or three times a week to check on you or invite them to join you.
5. Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose weight and you lose 1 pound a week, pamper yourself with a massage.
Big changes do not require big leaps. Permanent change is more likely to happen gradually than through one big restrictive plan. Allow yourself to climb the ladder one rung at a time.
Happy New Year!

Food Focus: Sea Vegetables
In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.
Recipe of the Month: Mighty Miso Soup
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 4-5 servings
4-5 cups spring water
1-2 inch strip of wakame, rinsed and soaked 5 minutes
 in 1 cup of water until softened
1-2 cups thinly sliced vegetables of your choice (see notes)
2-3 teaspoons barley miso
2 scallions, finely chopped
1.   Chop soaked wakame.
2.   Discard soaking water or use on houseplants for a boost of minerals.
3.   Place water and wakame in a soup pot and bring to a boil.
4.  Add root vegetables first and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until tender.
5.  Add leafy vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
6.  Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from pot and dissolve miso into it. Return it to the pot.
7.  Reduce heat to very low; do not boil or simmer miso broth.
8.  Allow soup to cook 2-3 minutes.
9.  Garnish with scallions and serve.
Any combination of vegetables can be used in miso soup. Here are some classic combinations:
• onion-daikon: cleansing
• onion-carrot-shiitake mushroom-kale: mildly sweet
• onion-winter squash-cabbage: great in wintertime
• leek-corn-broccoli: great in summertime
• Add cooked grains at the start of making the soup. They will become nice and soft.
• Add a tablespoon of uncooked quinoa or millet at the beginning and let it cook with vegetables for 20 minutes.
• Add cubed tofu toward the end.
• Add bean sprouts toward the end.
• Season with 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice for an interesting twist.
• If using dry shiitake mushrooms, let them soak for 20 minutes, slice and add at the beginning.
Forward to a Friend
It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.

Interested in eating and living healthier? Ask me about a free health history conultation!