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parenting

the struggle is real

This month, I'm taking a look in the rearview mirror at 2018 and a peek ahead at the road ahead in 2019. I invite you to hop in and take some time to reflect on and forecast on your own life alongside me! 2 steps forward, 1 step back We're closing in on the two-year anniversary of the 2017 Women's March on Washington, and I've been considering what has changed—and what hasn't—for me as a woman i...
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My relationship with what?

clocks
This month, I'm taking a look in the rearview mirror at 2018 and a peek ahead at the road ahead in 2019. I invite you to hop in and take some time to reflect on and forecast on your own life alongside me! One of the standard introductory exercises for Integrative Nutrition® clients, the Circle of Life is a jumping off point for discussing primary foods and goal setting—many other coaching progr...
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Early birds, night owls, and soul care containers

early bird
I've always looked at my ability to wake up without an alarm as a superpower: whether it's for my usual wake-up time (ungodly early) or from a power nap or just in time for my stop on a bus or train commute (truly, the gods watched over me when I used to take the Red Line into Chicago for culinary school!), I wake up without an alarm. Imagine my dismay when I recently heard someone say that thi...
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I can hook you up … with some good bacteria!

fermented cabbage
"I fed my sourdough this morning." "What? What sourdough? Who's got sourdough? I want some!" "Liza got it for me." "Oh! That reminds me, Liza, can I get some more kefir grains?" "And, Liza, I need more kombucha SCOBY, I killed mine...again!" "Murderer. No SCOBY for you!" Yeah, that's more or less a word-for-word transcription of a conversation among some colleagues of mine yester...
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Oxymorons, their opposite … and hot breakfast

whole grain porridge
If you're a working mom ... ha, what is the opposite of an oxymoron? I mean, if an oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines two seemingly opposite ideas (living death, seriously funny, deafening silence) for greater effect, what's the opposite of that? "Working mom" really is the opposite—it's two words that are so similar in meaning that it's almost too redundant: all mothers work, whet...
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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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Happy Mother’s Day (just say no)

Ahhh, Spring. We wait for it with longing, especially here in Michigan, where it comes quite late and often teases us for a while before committing. And then, just as there's a huge wind storm every Fall that strips off the last leaves (along with a lot of branches), every Spring there's a day of downpours after which everything bursts into bloom (and the worms litter the pavement). That's n...
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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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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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Do your own (!@#$%) dishes!

pixabay drone camera
Why...was it always my responsibility to turn on the stove and begin to think about my family's food needs, even when I wasn't hungry? Why couldn't my husband get the dinner preparations started? Why did my family seem to be almost totally paralyzed when it came to preparing a meal? Why did they all wait in the kitchen, as though unable to set the table or pour a glass of water, until I came into ...
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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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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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SOLE food | Your nickel’s worth

pixabay farmers' market
This is the final post in the SOLE food series, in which we stepped away a bit from primary foods nutrition and focused 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—...
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SOLE food | Ethical

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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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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Happy Labor Day, Happy Birth-day

Labor Day weekend has come to represent a lot more than just a moment to honor the labor movement in the United States, so much so that we don't often pause to remember that's what the holiday is really about: a celebration of the victories achieved by organized labor in the late 19th century, many of which we take for granted—eight-hour work days, 5-day work weeks, restrictions on child labor, sa...
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A half-empty nest

pixabay nest
I've recently been going through an experience that in an odd way reminds me of what my daughter went through most of last year: encountering the inevitable questions. For her, it was "Where are you applying, and what are you going to study?" (And yes, I did my fair share of asking other teens I know despite the fact that I know a lot of them hate it.) For me, it's "When does K leave for col...
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Laundry loads and mental (over)load

pixabay tea towels
A few weeks ago, I was tickled by a comic strip in The Guardian about "mental load." Yes, it's sexist, and it generalizes (a lot), and yet, based on the engagement a friend got for posting it on Facebook, it must have resonated with a lot of women. In defense of the artist, she does attempt to offer a solution toward the end. And it got me thinking: in this age of overwhelm, we all carry a h...
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A summer of firsts and lasts

pixabay chair
This is turning into a summer of "lasts" at our house: one child's last summer before college and last day of work at a job held for three years already, the other's last summer before high school and last summer at camp. Each moment with them feels more precious as they hurtle toward independence. Perhaps because these "lasts" feel like such major seismic shifts, I also find there are new spac...
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Mind. Blown.

pixabay target
Time for a shout-out to all the guys: Happy Father's Day! Thank you to all the dads, dads-to-be, stepdads, grandfathers, foster fathers, AND all those who father and mentor us. Recently, in getting ready to issue an invitation to women, I went through the process of "segmenting" my email list—dividing it into different groups so that I can make my message relevant to each group. I was pleasa...
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Multitasking | To hack or not to hack?

pixabay hike
If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm a big fan of podcasts—I listen to a fair number of self-improvement, health, and entrepreneur/business related ones, and my all-time favorite for "general consumption" is definitely Jonathan Fields's Good Life Project. If you haven't listened yet, check it out for a weekly dose of inspiration. After commenting on words from our own field tha...
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Belly up to the [fill in the blank] bar

pixabay spinach
It's a gray early Sunday morning in Ann Arbor—even I sleep in most Sundays (sometimes even as late as 7am :) ), but today is my first 5K—nope, just walking—and that's a story for another day.... As spring slips away and summer comes into full swing, we're playing "the single parenting game" at my house—this happens annually for anywhere from 2–4 months at a time. You can read more about this in...
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Granola | GOOD 70s hippie food

pixabay hippies
Back in the 90s when I was working for a caterer in Boulder, CO, one of my coworkers also hailed from Vermont. The two of us would often talk about "back home." Jordan, a born story-teller, had spent some time following the Grateful Dead, and he would entertain the rest of the staff at lunch with his stories. One of Jordan's favorite routines was an impression of an old-timer from Vermont compl...
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Put your schedule on a diet | Authorization

Put Your Schedule on a Diet
First of all, Happy Mother's Day to everyone, because let's be real—whether you're female or male, whether you have borne children of your own or raised someone else's or been part of a village for anyone, young or old—you have mothered, and today's for you! And now back to our regularly scheduled programming, which is a continuation of the past few weeks' discussion of our overweight daytimers...
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Put your schedule on a diet | Delegation

Put Your Schedule on a Diet
If you've ever tried to lose weight, you've probably heard that healthy, sustainable weight loss is not something that happens quickly; after all, you didn't put on all those pounds overnight, right? Fasting, severe calorie restriction, cleanses, crazy workouts, and myriad other "quick fixes" can have a stunningly rapid effect ... and once you go back to "eating normally," you usually regain th...
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Do less better.

Today marks the beginning of a series of workshops my collaborator, Holly Southerland, and I are calling Month of Margin. The goal of the workshops is to help women create margin in their external and internal environments by a three-step process of decluttering, organizing, and improving efficiency. What is "margin?" Richard Swenson explains it mathematically as Margin = Power - Load. That's s...
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Are you cancelable?

pixabay calendar
When I was being certified as a health coach, I live-streamed the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's live events, which are weekend long extravaganzas of top speakers from the world of health and wellness. Once, I was surprised to see that one of the speakers lined up for the day was Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post fame. What could she possibly have to say about health and wellness? It...
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Are you reacting or responding?

pixabay kitchen sink
What do a rotisserie chicken and a kitchen sink have in common? It's been an interesting week for me—I don't know whether it's been a phase of the moon or some other sort of joke on the part of the Universe, but practically every day this week I faced a situation in which I had to work very hard to remind myself that what was required was a thoughtful response, not a knee-jerk reaction: there w...
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[Not so] secret sisterhoods

More than 2 million people reportedly participated in more than 670 marches in DC, across the country, and around the world yesterday. While not all the marchers were women—shout out to all the men who donned pink and joined in!—it was most likely the largest public display of sisterhood in my life so far. We came with our pink hats, our posters, and our pride, and we marched for a variety of r...
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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 Gene...
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A (video) taste of the Fl!p Your K!tchen™ project

Fl!p Your K!tchen cover
You can now order Fl!p Your K!tchen! More details about the book can be found on the blog. And check out this beautiful video created by Christian O'Grady and Victoria Zegler of FYT Productions and featuring some of the splendid photos of Chuk Nowak, the cookbook design by Sean McDonald, and "my" farmers, Tomm Becker of Sunseed Farm and Salomon Jost of Salomon Gardens. And now it's time to ....
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Guest Blogger | A Full Circle: The Conclusion from Growth to Ground

Part of my Fl!p Your K!tchen™ system encourages you to minimize the amount of food wasted in your household. There are plenty of ways to “flip” your ingredients, but if they’ve really passed the point of no return (points to you if you got the Andrew Lloyd Weber reference), don’t throw them out! Whether you live in an apartment or have a spacious lot, I encourage you to learn to compost. Today’s g...
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The buzz in the kitchen

Fl!p Your K!tchen cover
Seventeen years ago, I spent Labor Day in labor: Happy 17th Birthday to my firstborn! This year, I'm spending Labor Day weekend on the final revision of Fl!p Your K!tchen. If my third "child" turns out anywhere near as smart, funny, and beautiful as my first, I will consider it time well spent! Just now, the buzz in my head is probably due to an overdose of caffeine, but I wanted to share with ...
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Eat Drink Man Woman | Of kitchens, frog farming, video games, and upset cards

Long before he really made a splash as the director of blockbusters such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee made two of my all-time favorite food movies, Eat Drink Man Woman and The Wedding Banquet.  If you plan to check them out, make sure you have LOTS of good Chinese food on hand. Sorry, takeout won't really cut it, but you can find some simple recipes for heal...
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Baby Step #7 | Cure the sugar blues

Baby steps
This is the seventh 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 n...
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Share the love!

Fl!p Your K!tchen cover
FL!P YOUR K!TCHEN How to cook 21 meals a week from scratch (without spending your life in the kitchen) Cookbook, cooking class, and time management tool all in one, Fl!p Your K!tchen creates a system by which you can easily put three made completely from scratch meals a day on your table and in your lunchbox. Discover how to establish and cook from a whole foods pantry…and why you should b...
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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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“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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Fl!p Your K!tchen | Cookbook now available for pre-order!

Fl!p Your K!tchen cover
Drum Roll, please! The Fl!p Your K!tchen cookbook is now available for preorder - at a special price! Part cookbook, part cooking class, part time management coach, Fl!p Your K!tchen will teach you how you can – and why you might want to – cook and eat at home on a regular basis. Visit the pre-order page! Cover design by Sean McDonald | Photo by Chuk Nowak
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What pneumonia taught me

Being sick in the summer can be truly awful. But my recent bout with pneumonia (the walking variety) this summer was oddly...not awful? It was, instead, very instructive. Back up to the beginning of this year, when my husband walked in on me in the middle of a very bizarre practice - oil pulling. I usually manage to do this in the wee hours of the morning, when nobody is around, but he happened t...
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Absence makes the self care fonder

My husband travels to China on a regular basis - not only does he teach and write about Chinese literature, art history, and visual culture, he still has family in Hunan Province, so when he goes home, it's for an extended stay that combines guest speaking, research, and visiting family. Of course I hold it over his head that at this point, he owes me approximately 24 months of vacation, which ...
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Beat the Sugar Blues Workshop

Do you suffer from the sugar blues? Do you constantly crave sweets? Find out how you can control your sugar cravings without feeling deprived! Join me for a workshop hosted by A2 Martial Arts. Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 6pm-7pm 1952 S. Industrial Hwy. | Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Let us know you’re coming, or register and prepay below. simplyhealthcoaching.lizabaker@gmail.com caron@a2martialarts.com...
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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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Guest Post: Learning to Cook and Eat All Over Again

I'm delighted to welcome my first guest blogger - a high school friend who shares her recent (ongoing) experience with a drastic lifestyle/diet change. Love Kellie's can-do attitude - she gives way more than the 110% she gives herself credit for! By Kellie Peters Up until early December of 2014, I spent Sunday evenings preparing my work-week of breakfasts and lunches by simply counting out 5 lim...
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Why eat off the grid?

There are plenty of documentaries and books out there about health and its relationship to our food system, and of course, some are better researched and better made/written than others. My favorites tend to be the ones that manage to give a balanced view of an issue rather than veering into polemic, those that avoid self-indulgence and self-righteousness on the part of the creator in favor of pro...
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How the Scrinch found Christmas

My family and coworkers would agree - I'm something of a cross between Scrooge and the Grinch. (Scrinch?) Every year, I grumble about the impending holidays ... and every year, the holiday frenzy seems to come earlier. And every year, I shut down the holiday music at work idea, much to the dismay of a Christmas-loving colleague who (due to a passion for crafting) can tell you on any given day out ...
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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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What my father left me

A love of language... The legacy of Russian for Everybody (the version for Americans): I'm always amazed when I meet people who studied Russian in the 1970s - 1990s: without exception, they used his book, and they always exclaim, "You're HIS daughter?!?" ...and a passion for truly awful puns There was one about transporting gulls across state lines for immoral porpoises, and another one about t...
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Letters from camp

Our son, who just turned 11, was born two months early - luckily, he avoided many of the "insults of prematurity" (what an odd phrase that is!) and suffered mainly from bouts of asthma, which he has since outgrown. The effect on his parents, however, has been longer-lasting. We have struggled for years with our (in)ability to allow him space to try activities in which he might just get injur...
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