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Author Archive

Keep on, Keeping on…

If we pursue what we want to achieve every single day, we are doing something important for ourselves. Sounds simple enough, right? So then why aren’t you doing everything you can to pursue what you want to achieve each and every single day?

Many of us get stuck, we’re doing good and then all of a sudden we hit that wall. We find ourselves having a bad day, a bad week, a bad month and the first thing we lose site of is what we have been working so hard to achieve. Then we start using the excuse that we have to get ourselves out of our bad situation before we can get back to what we were trying to achieve. We end up relenting at the first road block. Once that happens, there’s no telling how long it will take for us to get back on track with our achievements.

What if instead of seeing a situation that doesn’t go as planned as being bad, we embrace it as a new opportunity to see things differently. You can still achieve everything you want to do and keep up with your daily pursuits, just maybe you need to approach it from a new perspective. The important thing is to keep going with it, day in and day out, be relentless, no matter how many more obstacles or walls are now in your way.

Knowing what I know now as my future self, I can look back at where I was 15 years ago—where some of you might very well be at this moment—and know that, at that time, I did everything I possibly could to be here now. There was nothing I wouldn’t learn about and try to improve my health. I not only did everything, but I then followed up with everything, and I was flexible with how I allowed myself to heal. I was relentless! Being here now, as that future self that I envisioned, I can now tell my old self, my then-self, “Wow, that was some ride! I’ve made lots of “mis-takes” along the way–mistakes that cost me a lot of time and money. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Because now I get to use those mistakes to keep others from making the same ones, therefore saving them time and money.” When you can get to this point where I’m at now and realize that every step had a lesson to be learned and you learned it, it’s an awesome place to be.

I trusted that no matter what it took for me to do it, I would be there to learn all those lessons. When your energy shifts to that realization of being there through all of it, the journey itself becomes that much easier and better for you. Now put yourself in that same place: as the future you: Each step you achieve and each lesson along the way is still going to take a lot of work, but you’ll soon realize that it will all be worth it. And the sooner you realize that, the faster the whole process will go. And it gets easier and easier. You’ll be relentless as you move forward to a more positive place in life and to better health.

I could never have imagined that my life would be so unimaginably better now than it seemed back then before I got cancer. But it is, so much better in so many ways. But those came with lessons, hard work, commitment, belief in possibilities and being relentless at learning those lessons! So work at achieving that better life for yourself everyday, even when you feel at your lowest, and trust what the end result will be: Your future self smiling at you in amazement, knowing how far you have come.

Are Your Symptoms Controlling Your Life?

What makes you decide to become healthier? Usually, you have to feel bad first in order to want to feel better. As Kevin says, “Most people don’t even realize how bad they’ve felt all along until they start feeling good.” So what’s the first step to feeling better? I like to start with recognizing your symptoms.

Start by taking a closer look at all your symptoms. See how many things you can come up with that bother you either everyday or even once in a while—allergies, stomach upset, a lingering pain from an old injury. When I first began my “healing” journey after I was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t believe all the symptoms that I had been ignoring all those years. All those things since childhood had been like speed bumps in my path showing me that I was living an unhealthy lifestyle and heading towards health issues. Each nagging symptom was like a little warning to be more careful about what I ate and how I took care of myself. But I didn’t listen because I didn’t even realize they were symptoms, I just thought it was normal to feel those things. I went to several doctors to help get rid of the symptoms. When they couldn’t help me, I actually thought it was “normal” and everyone had sinus problems, fatigue, headaches and so on?! No!!! We are meant to wake up in the morning, put our feet on the floor and say “I feel great and can’t wait to start my day.” If we’re not, then something is out of balance, something is creating those symptoms. It wasn’t until I started cleansing, detoxing, identifying and removing contributing factors that I was able to wake up and say I felt great! Believe it or not, when I did, in just 30 days, I was able to feel better than I had in my entire life.

The best way to start recognizing the root of your symptoms is to take a piece of paper and list out all the things you feel. Then rate each symptom on a scale of 1-10. The next step, is to discover what is causing those symptoms. What are you putting into your body and how do you feel immediately after, 2 hours later, 24 hours later or even three days later? Now seal it in an envelope and put it away. Once you start listing this stuff out, you might already start seeing the root of your health problems from a physical perspective (there’s a whole other aspect relating to emotional root causes, but today we’re just focusing on the physical). But perhaps you think you eat good, live healthy, have a “normal” amount of stress at work and at home and have a “normal amount” of allergies. Normal? There’s no such thing! What’s your normal is not my normal or another person’s. What one person is sensitive to, another one isn’t. What may seem like it’s overall healthy according to ads, media or what we learned in school may not be right for a specific person.

The important thing is to remove the word normal from your thinking and see what applies specifically to you and you alone. Maybe you are eating healthy enough, but your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients you need from it. Maybe you aren’t cut out to work 10 hours per day like your job demands. Maybe you have low energy and need more rest than your lifestyle allows. So many things can factor in to our individual symptoms and underlying causes. If you’ve read my book, Choose To Live, then you already know what my daily work schedule and diet was like on Wall Street. It was crazy to say the least! How I functioned in that life was going against my natural ability to be healthy.

Taking care of ourselves starts with recognizing when something is wrong. Be sensitive to how you feel. Check in and see what’s not right. Even try different things to see if something changes for the better or worse. Maybe you thought that knee pain was something you had to live with until you switched from jogging to yoga. Or maybe you noticed your hay fever disappeared that time you gave up sugar and gluten or started juicing. You really never know what’s causing those symptoms until you try something different. If you’re interested in how to do this and transform your health on your own through my step by step Jumpstart Home-study system (all my checklists are included in the Home-study), you can check it out here.

It’s amazing what happens when you start paying attention to your symptoms and making changes to your diet and lifestyle. You may notice that you don’t need two or more cups of coffee to stay awake. You won’t be sneezing and blowing your nose as soon as the first blooms appear in the Fall or Spring.

After you’ve made the changes for a month or so, do another symptom checklist and pull out the envelope with the first checklist and compare them. You’ll likely be surprised that some have disappeared and others have improved. Get use to not being normal! It’s all about you and how you feel, pay attention to that. So go ahead and free yourself from your symptoms so you can get back in control of your health.

What do your symptoms feel like?

Finding Joy

When was the last time you took a good hard look at the joy in your life? Joy is easy to take for granted. We can easily forget how important it is for both our emotional and physical well-being. We need it just as we need any other basic necessity in life. Think how much harder things are when you can’t find joy in anything.

If you are suffering from a health issue or significant stress losing all sight of joy can happen pretty easily. You are so use to feeling so lousy, fearful or overwhelmed that it’s as if you become immune to things like joy. That’s when it’s most crucial to give yourself a regular dose of joy. Think of it as a healthy prescription! Simply remind yourself to find joy each day, the same way you remind yourself to take your vitamins. Eating healthy and exercise will definitely help in making you feel more joyful, but you may need some extra help in really experiencing joy.

Finding joy doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult. But for some us, it’s the absolute last thing we are looking for when our health and/or personal life aren’t going well. We allow ourselves to get stuck feeling miserable and see only the negative energy all around us. Think of the last time you had a really good day where you enjoyed yourself. If you’re really having trouble thinking of when that was, then you may need to try a little harder to bring some joy back into your life.

Intuitively, you already know where to find joy, you just have to ask for it. So start paying attention to those things in your daily life that can bring you some joy: how something tastes, something your child says, sunshine, music, a funny movie, dancing or Youtube videos of babies laughing. Initially, your joy level may be low, like a one on a scale of one to ten. But the next time, it might be higher, like a three out of ten. Before you know it, the sensation of that joy will become greater and greater. Who knows, you may even get to the point where you will be jumping for joy!

Once you start seeking out more joy, you’ll notice that it starts finding you more easily as well. Every day, there are so many simple moments filled with joyful pleasures. Embrace them and let yourself feel their positive energy. Once you do, you’ll start focusing on more of the good in your life thus creating more joy.

Where did you find joy in your life today?

Staying on Course While Traveling

One of the great things about summer is going on vacation. I know that’s one of my favorite parts of summer! And one question I get asked is, “How do I keep up with my juicing and eating habits while traveling?”

First off, when I travel, I typically bring 2 days worth of juice and smoothies with me and pack it in a soft pack cooler because it’s so much easier for me to bring it than it is for me to try to get it once I’m there. And with that said, what I typically do before I go on a trip is I find out where there is a Whole Foods or health food store and see if they have a juice bar where I can get green juice and wheatgrass. I also will ask the hotel if they will make me smoothies (I’ll give them the ingredients if they don’t have them on hand).  Most of them have a high powered blender so that they can make smoothies. And finally if none of that is going to work out, I find a local store that carries organic ingredients, do a little shopping and bring a travel blender and a peeler, and I make my smoothies myself when I get there. And since hotels don’t typically have juicers, I bring the powdered greens and just drink that throughout the day.  

So whenever I travel, I set myself up to win by making sure that I take care of myself. And if a place nearby has the wheatgrass and the juice, then I look at my schedule to see if I’m going to have time to go and get it. And if I’m not going to have time to go and get it, then I just make sure I bring my own. At the very least, you can always be drinking the powdered greens wherever you go throughout the day.

If juice and smoothies aren’t going to be available for the morning (because the morning is typically the toughest!), I ask the hotels ahead of time, or wherever it is that I’m staying, to make vegetables for breakfast. They can do steamed veggies or even cut up avocados and tomatoes. Oh and I ask if they will put a refrigerator in the room, because I have a special diet for health reasons.

Now all this is based on the way that I eat. But the way that you eat if you were traveling, is based on your individual health circumstances. I just happen to be a little bit more prepared when it comes to that for obvious reasons. I do my best to really do as many greens as possible. Some other options are to bring some pre-made quinoa, salmon burgers and a good quality vegan protein powder. 

I have also found that most places are very accommodating, even on cruises. 

I do my best to stick with things that are easy and already made up, so that when I’m traveling, I’m not tempted to have things that I don’t necessarily want to have. And I find that it’s like that most of the time if I have food available, even if I’m just going out for the day. I want to be eating from a health perspective so I do so much better preparing ahead of time than just trying to wing it while I’m already out there. For example, if I arrive someplace and I say, “Well, I’ll just see if I can figure something out.” I don’t do as well as when I bring some of it with me.  This is especially important at the beginning stages of healing.

And as soon as I’m back home, that’s it! I’m right back to my juicing, wheatgrass, smoothies and huge salads. However, if you’re on vacation, make sure that you’re enjoying your vacation, too! And if you could do a little bit of the extra work ahead of time and have your smoothie or your fresh green juice ready to travel with you, then why not?!

Get Uncomfortable with Yourself

Yep, you heard me right, it’s time to get uncomfortable with yourself! Why? Because when most of us try to tell ourselves what is good about ourselves, we just get downright uncomfortable. Believe it or not, most of us find it easier and more comfortable to beat ourselves up instead.

One of the fastest ways to shift out of beat up mode is to replace the negative tape that is playing in our head with one that is more empowering.

A way to do that is to instead regularly list your good qualities, the things you could be proud of, even if it’s things you wouldn’t normally say to yourself and certainly wouldn’t say them out loud. It seems so simple, but how often do you say something nice about yourself? I usually tell my clients to list 20 of these qualities. How many can you come up with about yourself off the top of your head? It isn’t so easy, is it? In fact, it’s probably downright uncomfortable, right? But there are probably some that come to mind: loving, reliable, smart, dependable, creative, sense of humor. Now try digging in deeper and finding what other ones you can find…maybe generous, kind, caring, magnetic, inspirational, powerful?  

I can’t emphasize enough how important this is for all of us. Maybe the first ten qualities will be easy to come up with, maybe only the first five, or maybe you can get all the way up to 16 with no problems. But once you come up with them, they’ll be an important tool to help improve your self image and create those “feel good” feelings. Maybe you’re struggling with keeping to your diet, maybe with stress at work, maybe you’ll just be having a long, exhausting day. Then, your tendency will be to beat yourself up, get stuck in negative thoughts, decide not to workout, decide to cheat a little on your diet, or yell at your kids just because they were annoying you.

Now think of the potential all those wonderful qualities have! They can remind you of all the things you are and can be in that moment, instead of just tired, angry, hungry, cranky, stressed. They will be your arsenal when you need it, and when you repeat them to yourself on a regular basis, the feeling becomes more of a norm for you and creates a more solid, happier foundation.

I created this process a while back when I was having trouble sleeping. When I have too many thoughts, ideas and to-do’s in my head, running through my list of qualities calms my brain down. It’s reassuring and relaxing and helps me get back to sleep. Trust me, listing your potential qualities at first might be uncomfortable, but isn’t learning, growing, healing and evolving all about getting uncomfortable?! You’re getting uncomfortable so you can change those comfortable habits that aren’t serving you, and that are downright hurting you, into ones that elevate you.

Just as important as making a list is going back and reviewing those qualities again and again. I find it’s a great thing to do just before falling asleep and as soon as you wake up, maybe even as part of your meditation routine. As you regularly repeat this to yourself, you may notice that something will start to shift within you.  It’s super important that each one of those qualities feels really easy for you to say. You need to be able to know those qualities and grab them willingly and proudly next time your instinct is to beat yourself up. So for example, you can start to catch yourself every time you say, “I’m so disorganized” and immediately replace it with “I’m very creative” or “I’m very generous”.  If you keep doing this again and again, you’ll notice that in time, you’ll stop saying “I’m so disorganized” and you’ll start feeling confident in your creativity. Eventually, you’ll be able to get rid of all that damaging language. And soon, that uncomfortable feeling will become the new more comfortable you.

Think it over and discover for yourself what good qualities you have. You will more than likely even surprise yourself with a few of them. So what are your 20 qualities?

Are You Focusing on Change or the Results?

 Doesn’t Spring Cleaning Your Body and Mind sound good? It really is the best approach to eating and living healthy. And I’m talking about more than just the food you eat. It’s also about the mindset that you approach each day with.
It’s amazing how much you can heal yourself by changing to a simpler and cleaner way of eating. And the nutrient benefits for your body are tremendous. Of course, an even bigger component than the food is your mental commitment to it long term. If your mental approach to it is one of being frustrated and stressed and weighed down by doing it, it means you have to work even harder because of the type of negative energy you are bringing to it. Now if you just keep your mind as simple and clean as your diet, think of how much more positive energy you will bring to it.
What you eat and how you think about eating it, affect each other dramatically. You may already have all the healthy foods around you, but what happens when you let yourself think you need something else to eat because you’re tired or stressed. We all have those moments! And when we want that familiar and comforting thing, it begins to feel like we don’t even have a choice in the matter. We ignore those vegetables we have in the refrigerator or that we brought with us while on the run and instead reach for our kid’s favorite snack, grab something from the nearest vending machine or even make a late night dash to the grocery store just to satisfy our craving.
One evening I was in a rush to leave the house for an appointment and realized I didn’t have time to wait for the dinner my family was preparing. So I had two choices, right? I could grab something quick— but it wouldn’t help me feel the way I wanted to feel—or I could get all the greens in that I wanted to.  I thought, “I could really use some more greens today.” At that moment, I chose to take a couple of extra minutes and put together something that was simple and clean. I made a quick salad (which I always keep washed and in the fridge) and added in the roasted vegetables I already had prepped in the refrigerator (which I also always keep on hand), mixed the two together and took that with me. And it also allowed my mind to stay simple and clean because I then didn’t have to worry for the rest of the evening about things like, what am I going to find to eat here or “I shouldn’t have had that.”
The best approach to have is to remember to keep your perspective as simple and clean as the foods you are eating. Remember to tell yourself that if you eat more vegetables and green juices, you can feel even better. Also plan it all out, have all the food you need on hand and then simply just do it. When you see that broccoli in the fridge, don’t think, “This won’t satisfy me!” Believe me, broccoli is amazing when you approach it with the right energy. Simply change your mindset! Remind yourself that when you eat that piece of broccoli, you are not going to have to work as hard to be healthy and you won’t regret it afterwards. Each time you do that, there’s a compounding effect.  Now, see how amazing that broccoli feels to eat!
A simple and clean approach is the best way to make your food and life easier. And by making your life easier, you’re making your choices easier. As we all know, it’s much “harder” to be sick. There’s missed work, missed school, missed time with family and friends, the to-do list get’s backed up and it’s not fun to be unhealthy! Then you have to work so much harder just to be well again. So just take a look at the healthier food you are buying and say to yourself, “This is going to make my life easier!” This way when you buy the healthier item, you’re already in the mindset to eat it, even when you are struggling with a bad day and overwhelming cravings.
Now, what simple and clean choices are you going to make today?

Want Your Kids to Eat Healthier?

Have you already made the switch to eating a healthier diet? Fantastic! Now, what about getting your kids on board as well? Not only can that be challenging, it can seem like an outright battle at times. It’s our gluten-free, no-dairy breakfast vs. their cherished bowl of sugar puffs! So what’s the best way to face that challenge?

There are plenty of ways to gently assimilate your kids into healthy eating habits. The main problem is getting it past their taste buds! That’s why a slow and easy approach might be better than just replacing everything they are used to—no matter how tempting that is for you! An all or nothing approach might work for you, but you can’t expect your kids to handle it in the same way.

One way to introduce your kids to healthier habits is by educating them. Let them know that you would like to enlist their support for eating healthier. Once they understand that you need to make this change in your life and that it’s important for you, they may be more supportive and try to help in whatever way they can. Of course, they can help you best by not having in the house any of those foods that would tempt you. Let them know how much it would mean to you to have healthier alternatives in the house. Obviously, it won’t be exactly the same foods they love but explain to them that you’ll find good replacements that they’ll like too.  It will take some getting used to, but the important thing is that you can face that challenge together.

You can also remind them that these changes will make them feel better. It’s important that they know what your body is going through and why you need to make these changes, whether it’s because of cancer or another illness or a health scare. You don’t need to overwhelm them with information or scare them about what the food they are eating is doing to them. Simply try educating them about what they are putting into their body and what changes they will be able to see. Have them make a list of anything at all that might be bothering them, whether it’s colds, headaches, congestion, fatigue, anxiety or acne.  They may start to notice that they feel better as well with some of the changes.  If they can start making the connection now between the foods they are eating and how it is making them feel, they’ll be more likely to want to stick with those changes.

Another gentle approach is to slowly start substituting their regular foods. A good place to start might be with milk. Try blending coconut or almond milk into their regular milk. Maybe at first you replace 15% of the milk, then 30% and then 60%. Before you know it, they’ve already become used to the new taste! Then there are all those breakfast foods they love so much. Most of those things— like cereals, bagels and waffles—can also be found gluten-free. And what kid doesn’t love pasta! Well, try giving them gluten free pasta or quinoa with their old favorite toppings, just to get them used to it.

The other big thing in our house is smoothies.  It’s a great way to get lots of nutrients into them and they taste great.  My girls drink smoothies for breakfast.  They love them.  Kelsey didn’t at first, now she asks for it if I wind up having to skip a day or two.  They feel better when they have them.  Their energy is more balanced, they’re calmer and think more clearly during the day. That’s especially huge for a teenager. I didn’t even tell them at first what was in them.  You can start with a more fruit based smoothie with coconut milk, cucumber, vegan protein powder and fruit.  After they are used to it, keep adding in more of the veggies and even a greens powder then start reducing the fruit. Fruit has a lot of sugar in it, which can raise their blood sugar and then they’ll crash later.  You can swap out beef meatballs with organic turkey meatballs, do a stir-fry with organic free-range chicken or even try a quinoa recipe.  There are many options to do it in a way that they can still enjoy.  These are just a couple of ways to have them start eating healthier.

The key is to make it fun for them, get them involved and let your kids know that they can still have their favorite foods. Most important is that they still have their familiar meals. Little by little, your kids will be getting healthier without feeling like they’ve been ambushed into it. And you can feel good that you and your family are being healthy together!

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda…

Wow, we are already knee deep into February! It seems as if just yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s Day! I wanted to check in with you to see how your New Year’s resolutions are going? Did you make any?  If so, what was the promise you made?

“I’ll give up sugar this year.”

“I’ll do yoga every day.”

“I want to start making more time for me.”

They all sound great, right? Now that we are seven weeks into 2014, do you find yourself saying…

“I haven’t been eating sugar but I did have some cake this week.”

“IF I worked out more, I would feel even better.”

“I CAN’T find enough time for myself since I started this promotion.”

Notice something important? Is it the resolution that isn’t working for you or is it simply how you are looking at it?

It’s amazing how easy it is to tell ourselves what we did wrong, what we failed to do. Yet, how many of us remember what we DID do. You started a new goal, right? Instead of throwing in the towel after your first slip-up, why not tell yourself: “Wow! Two whole weeks without sugar! That felt great! Let’s see how long I can go this time and see if I can avoid that birthday cake next time.” Now having told yourself that, I think the odds of you continuing with that goal rather than just giving up are pretty good, don’t you?

It’s as simple as acknowledging what we DID do rather than just what we didn’t do. These are what I call our WINS. Your wins are all the positive things you are doing to change your habits and lifestyle. And it all starts with the way you are thinking and feeling about them.

So often we end up phrasing things with: “I did accomplish X,Y,Z, BUT I didn’t…” It’s so important in those moments for us to, instead, just make the statement and leave out all the could have, would have, should have’s.

“I exercised yesterday, BUT I didn’t today.”  can become:

“I exercised yesterday and I WILL exercise again this week.”

Do you hear the difference? Which one of those sentences actually makes you most likely to work out again? Which one is more empowering?

So…no buts. Period! 

Be encouraged by the accomplishments you are making. And most importantly, pay attention to the words you are using when talking about them. The words themselves, even when you are trying to use them positively, can have negative energy. Think about the way you’re saying things from an energetic standpoint. Stick with the positive statement and be aware of the If and But statements – just leave them out of it!

When we beat ourselves up, we drain our energy, lower our immune system and deplete the feel good hormones.  That’s when resolutions can be detrimental to your health.

Focus on what you’re actually accomplishing without bringing in the words that will trip you up and prevent you from feeling good about it. So just rate how your self-talk sounds on a scale of 1-10.  Say each phrase, first the way you would normally say it and then from a more empowered standpoint.  How does it feel?  Does it pull your energy down or up?  Is it healing or hurting you?

Here’s the other thing, I don’t believe in waiting until January to make “resolutions” or changes.  Just decide and set the ball in motion.  Decide on one step and do it consistently. If you dropped off from your commitment, recommit.  It’s that simple.  

Believe me, just as important as acting on that new year’s goal is the way you think about it. So why not make today the first day of the rest of your life?

So what are you doing to accomplish your goals?  What language will you use to support yourself?  Oh and we’d love to hear from you so don’t forget to share your comments below!

Healthy Holiday Tips on Eating & Entertaining

So you’re on vacation and eating out at restaurants every night. Or your family is in town for the holidays and you have to cook for them. Or maybe you were asked to a dinner party. These scenarios can seem like bigger obstacles than they really are. Do you resign yourself to giving up your healthy eating habits to eat “normal people’s” food or do you force those normal people to eat like you?

You want to be healthy, but you can’t stop living your life, right? It’s all about making the best choices for you in that situation.  So if it means saying “No” to certain foods when those are the only choices available, then say “No” and see what happens. See how good you feel about yourself the next day.  I’m all about making good choices and not beating yourself up.  If you do eat something that you know is not a good choice for you, then be in gratitude for that experience and forget about it.  DO NOT beat yourself up about it.

So what if you are the odd one out and choose to say “No”? If the majority is eating “normal food”, it can seem like a hard choice to decide what to eat.  Below are some tips to help you get past all that.

My first main tip for entertaining is to always make sure that you’re taken care of first and that you have everything that’s healthy and a good choice for you to eat.  Please do not make the mistake of eating something that’s going to harm you because you feel badly about telling someone.  You can explain that you have a health issue that you are working to resolve and you need to avoid it.  If you’re just beginning on this journey, you might want to opt-out of having the actual holiday at your home to take some of the pressure off.

Some examples of things you can try are appetizers like guacamole or hummus with vegetables, maybe even some gluten-free/grain-free crab cakes as a real treat.  Then for dinner make a huge beautiful salad and tons of veggies as the main part and center of the meal. You can add a piece of fish or quinoa to go with them.  You could even make gluten free pasta if you ‘re not in the health crisis phase.

Second, you can take care of what everybody else will eat. You can order their dishes from a restaurant or deli, someplace that’s not tempting for you.  Also don’t order things you love!  That will help to make your temptations less tempting.   Or you can make more of what you’ll be eating – maybe your company will be open to eating it.  I’ve discovered that our families are more and more open to our way of eating.  Some are even dealing with different diets as well, including gluten free.

In time, you can get back to creating dishes for others.  A perfect example of this was this past Easter when some of Kevin’s family and my family came and stayed for the weekend—16 people!  Kevin and I made a whole meal that was gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar free.  It included crab cakes, sweat potato burgers, fish, organic Turkey, quinoa, tons of veggies and salads. Once again I made sure to have things that we eat.  They all raved about the meal.  We announced at the end of the meal that it was gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar free.  They never missed it and were amazed.  Most people can’t tell the difference!

Third is to eat a lot before the company arrives or before you leave to visit someone else.  Having a huge veggie based, vegan, protein smoothie before the doorbell rings is a great way to fill yourself and squash those cravings before they happen.

Fourth, if you’re really tempted, ask yourself, “Is it really worth it?”  Is it something that you can have at another time?  Another tip is to ask someone else, who is fully supportive of you eating healthy to help you out.  Ask them if it’s so fantastic and amazing, a “once in a lifetime”, just can’t miss it treat that you absolutely have to try.  It’s very rare that I get a resounding yes.  This way you won’t feel like you’re missing out on something, you could always have it at another time. I think you’ll find quickly that there’s not much that you’ll miss.  It’s harder in the beginning but I assure you that it gets easier and easier over time.  Now, it doesn’t even phase me and I don’t feel the cravings to eat what others are eating!

Fifth, if I’m bringing food to someone else’s house, I still make what I can eat. For example, I’ll always ask if I can bring a salad.  Sometimes we make gluten free/grain-free crab cakes or a fish dish (see delicious recipe below).

Sixth, for a quick and even unexpected visitor, you can make gluten free/grain free pasta with homemade sauce that you keep in the freezer with a large salad.  Always have lots of salad staples on hand. If you are able to eat meat, you can keep organic, grass fed turkey meatballs in the freezer too. And you know what? Coconut flour and almond flour are great replacements for flour, just adjust quantities as necessary. Coconut sugar can be used sparingly instead of most sugars, providing you are not in a health crisis.

So you see, I no longer have any concerns about entertaining or eating differently from everyone else and I hope these tips help you to do the same.

Remember, we need to make our care the highest priority if we’re going to be healthy enough to take good care of everyone else!  Once we do, we can concentrate our energy on entertaining others or being a good guest without feeling lousy or deprived and instead feeling great and fulfilled in the process.  Then you can party on and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

We’d love to hear from you and connect, so please leave your comments below :)

Are You Putting Yourself Last?

Can you remember the last time you had a day all to yourself? Between our kids, families, work obligations and now with the holidays, this may be harder than it seems. But think about it. What would you do if you had a day to treat yourself in the best possible way? That’s right, a ME day.

I bet if you gave yourself a ME day, you would make more of an effort to take care of yourself. You would have the time and focus to just concentrate on what you need and treat yourself in the best possible way. When you look at it that way, ME days are more essential than you think! Our bodies, brains and souls need time to rejuvenate and recharge.

What’s stopping you from having one? Is it because you put everyone else first and neglect yourself? Think about how little time it would take if you could catch up on some sleep, cook a good healthy meal for yourself, go for a massage and just relax. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?!

Okay, but there’s no one to watch the kids or you have that deadline at work or your in-laws are visiting. We can get real cranky and even sick if we don’t take that time for ourselves, and that serves no one. One thing I hear again and again from people with health issues and especially cancer is that they are exhausted and most often have been taking care of everyone else and putting themselves last. A million BUTS can come up when instead of saying “I Can’t”, we can simply say “HOW can I”? How can I make time for myself with all these things going on? How much do I deserve a ME day or even a few ME hours? Think of how much more energy and love you will have to give if your tank is full instead of running on empty. Try answering those questions and see how amazed you are with what you CAN come up with!
YOU are just as important as all those other things going on in your life. In fact, you’re health is more important because if you’re sick, NOTHING will get done. One of the most important things I tell my clients is to think about the emergency instructions we receive when we are flying on a commercial airline. “Put the oxygen mask on yourself first”. If you don’t, you may pass out before you have a chance to put it on your child. We have so much more to give, when we have a full tank.
So how would you spend a ME day or even a few ME hours? And how soon can you create that for yourself? Let these questions take priority, because the results are just as essential for everyone’s well-being as taking care of everyone else first.

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