Home > Archive by category "bio-individuality"

bio-individuality

Scotland, self care, soul care … and social justice

Highland cottage
I'm "on holiday," as the people of the UK would say—spending two weeks touring Scotland. Diana Gabaldon's Jamie Fraser and Dougal MacKenzie might be involved—no sightings yet, but stay tuned. For that reason, this week's blog post is just a quick check-in and a link to an article on Rewire for which I was recently interviewed: it covers a lot of what I talk about with my clients, namely that se...
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I’m going on a trip….

empty suitcase
After years of staycations, 2018 is becoming the year of traveling for me—and I've been thinking about the learning that comes from not just the trips themselves but the packing that goes into them. My first two big trips this year were by car, which is always nice because you don't have to consider what you take as much as you do when you travel by plane. Packing for overseas travel is alto...
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Who are your VEEPs?

succulent, white space
Uh oh—am I really going to stray into politics on a health coaching blog? No, not entirely, but with the news focusing so much on the administration's attempt to rid the country of illegal immigrants and people starting to drop incendiary terms like "cleansing," I got to thinking about the concept on a more micro level. Cleanses and detoxes and decluttering are hot topics these days—and as t...
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Reclaim your flame

Reclaim Your Flame
The clubhouse doors are open at the (Sorta) Secret Sisterhood online membership site, and last week, I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Tania Elfersy of The Wiser Woman on a Zoom call with our members. We covered a lot of ground on the call—from the Roman empire to the present day, from feminism to mindfulness to unicorn cupcakes! What really resonates with me in talking with Tania...
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Who are you comparing yourself to?

generations
I recently walked the Dexter Ann Arbor 5K in 40:49 (beating last year's 52:12 by a long shot despite the pouring rain)—I had meant to run this year, but some troublesome arthritis got in the way. Afterwards, I asked a much younger colleague how she'd done, and she said, vaguely, "Oh, really well—much better than I'd hoped!" Later, I found out that she'd placed 2nd in the 25- to 29-year-old w...
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Everybody poops…

toilet paper
When I was studying to become a health coach, one of my favorite lectures was titled, "Does Your Poop Float?" I wish I could remember the lecturer's name, but it has escaped me. I just remember listening to it in the car with my then 8-year-old son, who actually asked me to play it again on a later trip. Because boys and scatology. One of my favorite podcasts is Healthy View Radio, hosted by th...
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I’ll have what she’s having…

Courage to Conquer
If you're about my age and you've seen When Harry Met Sally, there's at least one line that people of our generation all know: I'll have what she's having. It seems like every generation has a line or two like that, and even when we hear them out of context, it still makes us laugh. As a coach, I support women in their 40s and beyond in navigating the next stage of their lives with good heal...
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Are you in the (Sorta) Secret Sisterhood?

Sorta Secret Sisterhood Logo
Let's take a look at the business side of health coaching for a minute. As a business owner, I spend a fair amount of time networking, and in networking groups—as in business—it's vital to know who your "target market" is and to narrow your focus—your "niche"—down to a very specific group of people whom you serve. There are entire books written about the topic, whole classes and webinars dev...
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Dr. Seuss is in the house (and in the kitchen)!

journal
If you've followed me for a while, you know that in addition to being a health coach, I have a side hustle that used to be my full-time job and that I still adore—from a bit of a distance since I'm now a part-time contractor and mostly work from home. Last week, one of my colleagues celebrated her birthday, and our team decided to have breakfast in person rather than have our weekly phone check...
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The Elves began it….

lichen
I'm a walker—no matter what form of exercise I've done in the past—from running to aerobics to HIIT—I always come back to walking. It's as though there's a set point in physical activity like there is thought to be in weight. In my mind, there's always been something odd about driving to a gym to work out. Don't get me wrong: I've done it, and I think if you're going to the gym regularly, that'...
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#healthcoachvacation

Roadtrip 2018
When I was growing up, it seemed as though my vacations never lined up with those of my parents, who taught at a small liberal arts college. There may have been some outcry about this in the community because one year, the college switched which week it was on break ... and the public schools did, too, with the result that we were still off different weeks, just in reverse order! This March,...
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The secret’s out….

secret
Last night at the dinner table, my son asked how long it's been since the new Administration has been in the White House. More than a year, I said, thinking back to the Women's March in January 2017.... Based on a lot of conversations I've had with women over the past year—and even further back—I'm going to generalize and say that two themes stand out: Women are creatures of community—whet...
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White jeans … and apples and pears

apple
I lurk on a lot of Facebook pages and sites that claim to support us women over 40. I say "lurk" because I stopped posting comments and questions when I realized that the energy of these groups is almost without exception toxic. They are possibly the best example of the expression "Misery loves company." What are the advantages to being a woman at midlife? Ask that question and you're likely...
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Breakdown on the 110

pixabay anxiety
If you follow me on social media, you'll know that I was recently featured in an interview on my friend Audrey Groeschel's Women are Journey podcast—you can check it out on your favorite podcast app or catch it on Audrey's website. (I'm episode 16, and I want to encourage you to listen to all of the episodes—including the interviews, which are subtitled "The Story of the Shift," and the solo episo...
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Joint pain | On diet, physical therapy, and woo

turmeric anti-inflammatory pixabay spice
In response to my question about curve balls two weeks ago, Susan wrote, "I had pinching pain in my left hip which turned out to be early onset arthritis. At 42. I now understand, through physical therapy, how to stretch that joint and keep the pain somewhat at bay … however I was very surprised my body suddenly had pain moving in ways that used to be normal." Oh yeah, I thought. I had just sch...
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I can still get 3 hours….

pixabay insomnia
I'm one of those lucky people, blessed with the ability to fall asleep just about anywhere, anytime, even during a bus or train commute (yeah, sleeping on the Red Line in Chicago was probably not quite as safe as on the Boulder–Denver commuter bus). My husband says that it only adds insult to injury that I can also wake up without an alarm, whether it's exactly in time to get up for my daily 4a...
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My own personal summer

Sooo much wisdom (and a fair bit of humor!) in last week's conversation on the blog in response to my question about what (if any) curve ball/s your body suddenly sent your way when you turned 40ish? In this week's post, I'm going to poke a little bit at what Audrey described in her answer as "my Goddess, the hot flashes!" (BTW, check out Audrey's cool podcast, Women Are the Journey!) I clea...
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SOUL food | Loving

This is the final post in the SOUL food series—you can find the first one at SOUL food | Seasonal, the second at SOUL food | Organic, and the third at SOUL food | Unique. Relationships are one of the most important primary foods in our lives, and we rarely (if ever) think about our relationship with ourselves as one of them—and so it is perhaps the one we rarely tend to. I'm a podcast junkie...
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SOUL food | Unique

pixabay poppy
This is the third post in the SOUL food series—you can find the first one at SOUL food | Seasonal and the second at SOUL food | Organic. Integrative Nutrition® upholds that we are all bio-individual: what is food for me might be poison for you; what nourishes me might toxify you. This is true not only for the food we put in our mouths but for all the primary foods that nourish us (or don't), an...
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SOUL food | Organic

This is the second post in the SOUL food series—you can find the first one at SOUL food | Seasonal. "Organic" has a lot of meanings—perhaps the most familiar in today's world is its reference to foods grown without synthetic inputs (that's right, organic farmers can use pesticides and herbicides—but they cannot be synthetically derived) using farming methods that integrate cultural, biologica...
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SOUL food | Seasonal

fall
As I mentioned at the end of last year, my focus has been shifting from helping clients with their SOLE foods—the seasonal, organic, local, and ethical foods that I recommend underpin your eating choices, no matter where you fall on the spectrum between vegan and omnivore—to supporting them in the area of SOUL foods—all the other parts of our lives that nourish us...or don't. If you want to try...
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Unlimited do-overs

pixabay new year
It's pretty common for New Year's resolutions to dissolve just weeks into the new year, and as we approach the start of 2018, I have some thoughts on why that's so. Don't get me wrong: I definitely don't discourage setting resolutions—I am just interested in exploring why we have a hard time keeping them, and I've come up with some tips to make resolutions more keep-able. arbitrary or intentio...
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SOLE food | SOUL food

pixabay hearts
At the end of 2016, I shifted my health coaching practice from focusing almost entirely on secondary foods—what we put in our mouths—to primary foods—everything else in our lives that nourishes us (or doesn't). I also set a goal of blogging once a week rather than once a month (or so) and sending my post out by email to my list. It's been a year since then, and I'm happy to report I am one week...
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Do you really need another blender?

pixabay blender
My biz bestie, Holly Southerland of Waco Home Organizers, recently sent a note of encouragement to her email list about FOMO (fear of missing out) and doing a "digital detox" by unsubscribing from email lists and unfollowing on social media. You might laugh at her description of how we end up with three blenders—and you might just shed a secret tear because, um, you have three blenders yourself...
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My cat got eaten by a coyote…

pixabay conversation
As a "wellpreneur" who works with clients online and by phone/Skype as well as in person, I spend a fair amount of time marketing my services online, mostly through my own website and on social media platforms. I'm not an early adopter of social media, and Snapchat—which I have because my kids like to use it—still confuses the heck out of me. But I check in regularly on Facebook (which, I was d...
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Where are you hiding?

pixaby hiding
Explaining what I do as a health coach can be difficult: while the profession is certainly growing, it's still an alien concept for many. In my workshops, I often like to explain my work using stories, which seem to make more sense than a lot of theory and explanation, so for the rest of this month, it's story time! The first story I tell is titled, "Where are you hiding?" Without reveali...
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SOLE food | Organic

pixabay organic tomato
This month, we’re stepping away a bit from primary foods nutrition and focusing again on secondary foods, the ones we put in our mouths. As you find your way on your health journey, getting your food choices sorted can be what Charles Duhigg calls a keystone habit in his book The Power of Habit: a keystone habit is one that not only creates a desired change—it also has a cascade of other good habi...
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SOLE food | Seasonal

pixabay carrots
This month, we're stepping away a bit from primary foods nutrition and focusing again on secondary foods, the ones we put in our mouths. As you find your way on your health journey, getting your food choices sorted can be what Charles Duhigg calls a keystone habit in his book The Power of Habit: a keystone habit is one that not only creates a desired change—it also has a cascade of other good habi...
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I know I should be….

pixabay yes no
I spend a lot of time talking to people about their health goals and their primary and secondary food choices. And one of their most frequent comments is, "I know what I should be doing, but I just can't seem to do it." This past week during one of my walks, I listened to an interview with Gretchen Rubin, author of The Four Tendencies. It's easy to roll our eyes and think, "Oh no, another way t...
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A still, small voice

pixabay quiet
We have a freshman in college, and as most freshman parents, we attended a parent orientation when we dropped our daughter off in August. The auditorium was packed with parents, some with students in tow, and across the front of the room were arrayed about a dozen staff members of the college. It turned out that they were representatives of each division of the college—campus safety, counseling...
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A few of my favorite things | Books

Last week's post on the podcasts I recommend generated quite a few replies, one of the more common being, "But what if I don't listen to podcasts?" I don't find much time to read except for 10–15 minutes in the morning over a cup of coffee before anyone else is up—and I still find that I can make it through quite a few books if I am really intentional about treating that reading time as a non-n...
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Guest Post | From Ow to Wow, Overwhelm to Wonder

Look, look—another guest post! This one comes from Linda Joy Stone, OMD, L.Ac., with whom I connected on Daocloud, which I describe as social media for practitioners and answer-seekers in the realm of alternative medicine. Linda Joy agreed to take on the topic of overwhelm from her perspective as a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Akashic Acupuncture. (And I think I will adopt her ...
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A way forward | Getting past nonstarters

I mentioned a few weeks ago that at my house, we're going through a Hamilton phase, and I can't help but view the current debates about health care as just one example of how little has changed in politics: [HAMILTON] James Madison won’t talk to me, that’s a nonstarter. [WASHINGTON] Winning was easy, young man. Governing’s harder. [HAMILTON] They’re being intransigent. [WASHINGTON] You h...
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Happy Half Birthday, 2017!

It's 4th of July weekend, which means (yikes!) we're half way through the year. Whattt? I was thinking that in some ways, this weekend is like what kids call their "half birthday"—a concept I was not familiar with as a child but is apparently "a thing" now? Some families even celebrate the day that is six months between birthdays with half a cake! The Revolutionary era is a hot topic of conv...
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Dear Wonder Woman…

pixabay comic books
Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? It’s definitely been a hot topic of conversation at my house this summer, and it’s getting rave reviews from a lot of critics. My own impression was that this movie made sense and was extremely enjoyable even as someone who did not grow up on comic books or TV shows based on them—something previous superhero movies have utterly failed to do for me. The name “W...
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Are you cancelable? (Part 2)

pixabay pedicure
In a post from February (Are you cancelable?), I wrote about how we often let our self-care appointments slide off our calendar: those things—some big, some small—that we tend to think are less important than other people's demands on our time are the first to be cancelled, postponed, or just simply forgotten. Another comment I made in that post was that even when an initial consultation with a...
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Mixed Metaphors | Stories of the resistance

I learned one of my favorite mixed metaphors from a fellow coach who said, "I view my job as leading a horse to water, then teaching it how to fish." (My son, who is completely obsessed with fishing, would likely take this on as a real challenge—and knowing him, that horse would not only learn how to fish but learn to love it.) As a coach, I take a more metaphorical view: I can lead you to w...
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Baby Step #12 | Celebrate (yourself)

Baby steps
This is the final installment of a 12-part series titled “Baby Steps.” On the first of each month, I post 1 tiny step toward better health that you can take every day for that month— without trying. Soon that tiny step will be part of your daily routine, and you won’t even remember you never did it before. The next month, add the next baby step. By the end of 2016, you’ll have accumulated 12 new h...
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Fill Your Plate | Feed Your Life

One of the fundamental principles of integrative nutrition health coaching is that we are not only nourished (or toxified) by the food we put in our mouths—our secondary foods; we are equally (perhaps even more so) nourished or toxified by our primary foods: the relationships, work, physical activity, spiritual practice, sleep habits, etc. that we choose to embrace. I love the work of Genee...
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“Harry was Voldemort, and Voldemort was Harry”

Good Life Project Logo
I’ll be honest: my candidate was out of the running after the primaries, which may be one reason that I’ve been feeling a bit detached from the aftermath of the election. Not apathetic, but detached. I did vote my conscience, and I did not “cast a protest vote” nor “throw my vote away.” You will read this sentence based on your own reality, which will give you your own interpretation of it. And...
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Q + A with Su Hansen | Where does your soul want to go?

As a health coach, I love meeting colleagues who not only can serve as a resource for my clients but also challenge and inspire me in my own work. Personal and spiritual guide Su Hansen is just such a person, whether she's talking about the Enneagram, her move from traditional therapy to the role of a guide, or why people in relationships should treat each other like foreign exchange students! I h...
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Q + A with Carl Gunderson

Loved sitting down for a chat with my friend Carl Gunderson of Simply Holistic Fitness today! Carl is a member of the Caerusnet referral group I am part of and is a holistic personal trainer with so much wisdom to share, it was hard to fit it all in—I think we managed to cover just a small portion of his story, philosophies, and practices. I hope you'll enjoy the conversation—if you live in the gr...
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Supper + Support | Spring 2017 series open for registration

supper + support
do you need a new cooking/eating + life style? Have you decided (or have you been told) that you need to change your cooking + eating style – eat more healthfully, eliminate sugar, gluten, dairy, or some other food? Are there other lifestyle choices you want to make? Do you need support to make the shift/s happen? supper + support offers a group experience that includes: Health ...
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Baby Step #9 | Try on a new eating style!

Baby steps
This is the ninth of a 12-part series titled “Baby Steps.” On the first of each month, I post 1 tiny step toward better health that you can take every day for that month – practically without trying. Soon, that tiny step will be part of your daily routine, and you won’t even remember you never did it before. The next month, add the next baby step. By the end of 2016, you’ll have accumulated 12 new...
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Supper + Support | Fall 2016

supper + support
do you need to develop a new cooking + eating style? Have you decided (or have you been told) that you need to change your cooking + eating style – eat more healthfully, eliminate sugar, gluten, dairy, or some other food? Do you need support to make that change happen? supper + support offers a group experience that includes: Health coaching: nutrition information to help you disco...
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Ask us anything | The recording

Yesterday, I had the extreme pleasure of sharing an hour on the phone with Andrea Catherine Bachman of Grounded Here, LLC. We had a great conversation about who we are, how we came to our respective practices, and how our work shares many similarities - I hope you'll take the time to listen! You can listen to the recording here:
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15 Ways to Make Life Simple Again

“It’s complicated….” Just about everything feels complicated these days, … and there’s a great excuse for not taking action, which causes us even more (di)stress. How to make life simple The greatest gift we can give ourselves when we start to feel this paralysis is determine what we can exert some control over and what we have no control over – because stressing about the latter is t...
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Baby Step #5 | Try sea salt

Baby steps
This is the fifth of a 12-part series titled “Baby Steps.” On the first of each month, I’ll post 1 tiny step toward better health that you can take every day for that month – practically without trying. Soon, that tiny step will be part of your daily routine, and you won’t even remember you never did it before. The next month, add the next baby step. By the end of 2016, you’ll have accumulated 12 ...
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How I learned to meditate

About five years ago, I switched from a conventional primary care physician to an integrative medicine physician. My hope was that when I brought up alternative therapies such as massage and chiropractic (and nutrition!), I wouldn’t get a blank stare or an immediate scolding. What I got was so much more…. My new primary care physician spent an hour with me during my first visit, and we t...
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Health coaching…in a client’s words

If you've ever been curious about what it's like to work with a health coach, here's an awesome peek into a (star) client's side of the health coaching equation! I wasn't really sure what I signed up for when I agreed to join a health coaching pilot program. I had no idea what a health coach was, but I went in with an open mind expecting to learn more about healthy eating, portions, calories in /...
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Everyday Power Blog | Five things to (not) do first thing in the morning

How do you feel about mornings? Yes, please – the earlier, the better! Meh – I can survive them when I have to. Please don’t make me morning. If you talk to me, I will kill you. If you answered “1,” then save yourself some time and skip this post. I know you – you rise with (before?) the sun without an alarm, you smile before you get out of bed, you’re at the gym door when it open...
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Introducing: Supper + Support

supper + support
Do you need to develop a new cooking and eating style? • Have you decided (or have you been told) that you need to change your cooking + eating style – eat more healthfully, eliminate sugar, gluten, dairy, or some other food? • Does the primary cook at your house need support to make that change happen? Supper + Support offers you a group experience that includes: • Health coaching: nutrit...
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Baby Step #3 | Eat more kale

Baby steps
This is the third of a 12-part series titled “Baby Steps.” On the first of each month, I’ll post 1 tiny step toward better health that you can take every day for that month – practically without trying. Soon, that tiny step will be part of your daily routine, and you won’t even remember you never did it before. The next month, add the next baby step. By the end of 2016, you’ll have accumulated 12 ...
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“But I’m not the cook…” | Supper + Support

When I was studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I often envied my single, childless classmates: as we were introduced to a large number of dietary theories - from veganism to the meat-centric Atkins plan, from high carb to low carb, from high-protein to low protein, etc. - the institute's staff frequently reminded us that no one theory was right for everyone and that we should expe...
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Health is a journey – be sure to carry a map!

Before I work with a client, we have what I call a YOURstory session (like a history, but a little less gendered and a bit more personal!), an opportunity to reflect on their health - past, present, and future. One question I ask during this session seems to throw a lot of people: "At what point in your life did you feel best, and why do you think that is/was so?" For some, it's difficult because...
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Are you settling?

Are you in tune with your life's purpose - the big why of your presence on this planet at this particular time and place? Do you know what you are meant to do with this one precious life of yours? And more importantly, are you making each decision based on whether your choice helps or hinders living your life in alignment with that purpose? I often marvel that it took me almost 50 years to figu...
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Physical Activity: Find Your Why

As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I work with my clients to understand that our Primary Foods® (career, relationships, physical activity, spiritual practice, etc.) are just as important to our health and well-being as our secondary food – the nourishment we put in our mouths. Considering physical activity a type of nourishment is often one of the easier stretches for clients – after all, ...
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How do you come to the table?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea that we show up at the table much the way we show up in the rest of our lives, and it is nowhere more evident than when I watch my kids eat. While both are good (i.e., not excessively picky) eaters compared to most of their peers, they definitely have their preferences, likes, and dislikes. One approaches new foods with an enthusiastic attitude: “I’ll try ...
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New workshop: Spring into Healthy Eating + Positive Energy

I'm thrilled to be offering a new workshop in collaboration with Hands of Light Energy Healer Lucinda Kurtz from 11am-6pm on Sunday, May 3 - it promises to be a energizing and light-filled experience! Join us for a revitalizing day of healthful food and an opportunity to release old patterns that no longer serve you. Launch yourself on a new course of action by learning the basics of food selec...
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My take on going gluten-free

Full disclosure: I am not gluten-free, but I have given it up for extended periods of time - the advice below is not meant to replace proper diagnosis and treatment by your primary care provider; rather, it is based on my observations and experiments with being gluten-free and helping others to do so. Gluten is a hot topic in the nutrition field these days - you'll hear opinions ranging from "Eve...
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Ready to invest in your health and happiness in 2015?

Investing in our health and happiness is NOT a luxury - it's a vital tool in reaching our best health and achieving our highest goals - really thriving instead of just surviving each day and finding time to fulfill our purpose on this planet. If you're feeling overwhelmed because you spend all your time caring for others or just managing to stay on top of your crazy schedule, you may feel that yo...
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Find Your Balance Webinar!

Simply: Health Coaching is going virtual: If you missed the in-person Find Your Balance workshop in September, here's your chance to experience it for FREE online from the comfort of your own home! How round is your circle? Do you have trouble finding time to do everything you want to do in your life or even in your day? Do you set goals for yourself that you don’t reach? Are you dreading mak...
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The wonder of boys, girls, and bio-individuality

One of the principles of integrative nutrition is the theory of bio-individuality: each of us is unique, and therefore our needs for primary foods (career, spirituality, physical activity, relationships) and secondary foods (what we put in our mouths) also vary. One person's food is another one's poison - in terms of bio-individuality, that means that one person might thrive on a vegetarian diet,...
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