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positive mindset

Meet Diane Babalas

sorta secret sisterhood logo
Diane Babalas practices something called Biogeometric integration—like acupuncture, another "dark magic" that will make you wonder how it really works ... and it does! https://youtu.be/Ep6bnRCXEho Check it out, then leave me a comment with your biggest aha! moment. (You can also email me your comment to keep it confidential.) The last 3 highlight reels are available if you missed them: me...
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Let’s get this party started!

Sorta Secret Sisterhood Logo
How is it already May 31?!? That means tomorrow is the start of our month-long anniversary celebration of community! (Catch up on the details of that if you missed them the first time around.) meet my tribe I'm so excited to be introducing some of the amazing members of my tribe of powerful, wise women to you and want to share a brief overview of the major events of the month that involve...
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Meet Tania Elfersy of The Wiser Woman

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From the moment I read one of her blog posts, I just knew that Tania had to be the first person to do a Q+A in the (Sorta) Secret Sisterhood Clubhouse! https://youtu.be/IOeWdNSgRW0 Check it out, then leave me a comment with your biggest aha! moment. (You can also email me your comment to keep it confidential.) If you're watching during the month of June 2019, don't forget to join our month-l...
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I believe…

daisy fence
Have you ever thought, "I need to do [something]," and the moment you go into the other room to do it, you don't remember what it was you meant to do? I do this. All. The. Time. And of course, it seems to get worse over time and there are all kinds of jokes about Mommy brain and meno brain. I once read an explanation of why this happens: our brains to some degree mirror the rooms in our h...
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Oooh! Aaah! Fabulous prizes!

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In scrolling through my calendar recently, I came across a few dates of note: May 2 is the 4th anniversary of when I officially established my practice although it's been five years since I started taking clients. June marks the 1st anniversary of the (Sorta) Secret Sisterhood. And on a personal note, July will mark 10 years since we moved to Ann Arbor: how is that even possible? Thi...
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What’s in a name?

Have you ever changed your name? My friend Audrey, a business coach for women entrepreneurs, has a podcast called Women Are the Journey, on which she talks to women about the entrepreneurial path (yup, I'm in there!) and also does solo segments called "Chew on this" about her own journey. If you identify as a woman and an entrepreneur, check out the podcast for a weekly dose of inspiration, ...
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Health coaching learnings … from Netflix?

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Helllp! I seem to have fallen into a Netflix trap, one that features crime dramas from the UK: first there was Shetland, then there was Hinterland, then Broadchurch, and now River, featuring the incomparable Stellan Skarsgård, who somehow conveys an incredibly wide range of emotion—all without moving a muscle of his face. One of the lines in River that popped out at me is an Orson Welles quote ...
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Advance? Retreat?

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ve probably come across my Kale + Kryptonite exercise, which is a tool I use with my clients to help them assess the nutritional status of their primary foods. I’ve mentioned before that the question of their relationship with time often gives them pause—another one that brings them up short is creativity. Maybe I should rephrase that: the idea that bus...
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Spring into health

snowdrops
Spring has sprung, the grass is riz.... My father used to recite the poem every year around this time. In Michigan, it's still blustery, and the the grass is not yet "riz"—and yet, the light is different, the sun (when we see it!) feels warmer, and Kermit and I see robins everywhere on our walks. Mother Nature wields the Spring wind like a broom around here—spring cleaning is definitely unde...
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Sorry, not sorry

not sorry
The American Socialist Party organized the first Women's Day in 1909, but it was in Soviet Russian that March 8 became a national holiday after women gained suffrage there in 1917. After that, it was celebrated mostly in communist countries and by the socialist movement until it was adopted by the feminist movement in 1967. It wasn't until 1975 that the United Nations celebrated March 8 as Interna...
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Life without roads

wilderness
I recently had a conversation with some much younger friends who were talking about what they see as one of the problems their generation faces: too many choices. Yes, this might be what someone else sees as a #firstworldproblem, and yet it really can be an issue: when you want to buy a chair and 27 pages of options pop up in response to your online search, are you possibly missing out on the p...
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What was I thinking?

spine
Every month in the (Sorta) Secret Sisterhood online community, I get to record a Q+A with an expert in her field—most often a health practitioner who works with women in perimenopause through some modality, from extremely conventional Western medicine to the truly alternative. My goal is to present women navigating their 40s and beyond with a buffet of resources from which they can choose: we d...
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Food porn fast

banned
'Fess up: did you binge watch the first season of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix? Because yeah, I did. And I read the book in 2015. I saw an article last month about how thrift shops and charities have seen a huge influx of stuff that no longer sparks joy in the original owners, and they're attributing this increase to the show, so I'd call that a win for Kondo and the country, not s...
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Thanks to my hive mind!

beehive
Thank you to everyone in my hive mind who chimed in on last week's post about independence and freedom! Here are just a few of your ideas; some came out of conversations, others from emails I received, and still others can be found in the comments left on the blog: Independence is situational; freedom is a state of being. Freedom feels flow-y (dare I say feminine?); independence feels m...
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When the POTUS is late for dinner

Barack Obama
A quick shout-out to those who filled out my Tell me about yourself survey—I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to help me out—and a request of those who haven't yet to do so: 100% anonymous, strictly market research, no commitment. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming! I was given Michelle Obama's book, Becoming, by a beloved mentor and fellow bookworm for my...
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What’s your value?

investment
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! It's the food. And it's more than the food. In less than 10 words, one of my very first clients summed up the essence of Integrative Nutrition®. And she did it using "and" instead of "but," so ...
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The struggle is real

staircase
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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New + improved?

Black Friday
Full disclosure: if you love Black Friday, this post is likely to piss you off—maybe read it anyway? america, the privileged Last weekend when I was grocery shopping, I discovered that the label on my favorite brand of canned tomatoes had been redesigned ... again, for the second time in a year, I think! Same brand, same tomatoes, new label. It reminded me that in the early nineties, I shared...
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Come up to the lab…

microscope
If your mind immediately filled in that blank with "and see what's on the slab," you're proof that campy movies never die. THAT one has been entertaining college students since I was 10 years old. And what place, you might be thinking, does The Rocky Horror Picture Show have in a blog post on health, especially a post that ought to be focusing on either how to create a healthy Thanksgiving meal...
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Yes, I am.

This week, I'd like to revisit last week's post, Full stop. Why? Because I can and because it sparked a lot of responses, not just a couple in the blog comment section but a lot more than usual as responses to my email. One woman wrote, "I almost feel like we have to WHISPER this—so no one overhears!" Another explored whether our physical environment and the company we keep limit our ab...
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Full stop.

On the anniversary of the breaking of the Harvey Weinstein story and the explosion of the #metoo movement, I've been reminded time and again of the fact that women still don't get the respect we deserve—nor do we honor ourselves very often. We don't make it a habit to celebrate ourselves, our strengths, and our accomplishments, perhaps because we still carry with us the idea that it would be se...
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Every board of directors has one….

board room
"Dressed in a navy suit, Dr. Blasey Ford maintained her composure throughout the hearing...." Oh yeah, here we go again. Really, New York Times?!? Let's ignore the fact that Dr. Blasey Ford's suit has exactly zero to do with the content of the hearings and less than zero with what the takeaways are. (Unless we're in the fashion industry? Unless we get a description of what the nominee was...
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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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Velcro + Teflon | What’s new + good?

brain positive thinking
Like many health coaches, I offer a free initial consultation—I call mine a YOURstory session (like HIStory, but we live in a world where "gendering" has become a frowned-upon practice, so....) In this session, in which we explore your health history from a holistic perspective, the first question I ask—"What's new and good?"—often causes some surprise, and it's really meant to put you in a mor...
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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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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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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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Whine + cheese | What’s the payoff?

wine and cheese
Very often, when I encounter a deeply-entrenched, clearly unhealthy habit in a client, I get curious about the payoff: every habit, according to research in this area, brings with it a reward, a hit of pleasure hormones. That's ridiculous, you might think. What possible payoff is there in a habit that doesn't support your health? Well, I guess you could ask any smoker that question.... Havin...
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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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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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“Can we tawk?”

I once introduced myself in a networking group by saying that I support women who believe the only way out of their overwhelm involves a plane ticket, a wad of cash, and a change of identity. All the women in the room laughed and/or cheered; most of the men looked at me blankly. The more I work with women my age (I just hit 53), the more I realize how rarely we have productive conversations—wit...
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Confidence Junkie | Q+A with Melissa Brode

One of the best parts of being a health coach is meeting other coaches doing their work in the world. Last fall, I met Melissa Brode of Fuel Wellness, and I just know that her wisdom will touch many of your lives! We put together a quick Q+A for you, and I encourage you to check out the resources Melissa mentions and her own work! [LB] You call yourself a confidence junkie-say more about what t...
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Why should I clear my (virtual) plate?

I recently had the honor of interviewing the lovely Dr. Fiona Lovely of the Not Your Mother's Menopause podcast and Facebook community. We talked a lot about bringing peace to busy women in what can be a stressful time in our lives, and we took a crack at making hormones make sense! You can listen to the interview here: please note that there is a lead of about 1:15 before the recording beg...
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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 few of my favorite things | Podcasts

Vacation ends soon—I'm slipping in another quickie post before I run out to enjoy the end of it! If you've been following me for a while, you know that I'm a big fan of podcasts. I listen to them when I'm driving, when I'm walking, when I'm cleaning house, and over the past few years, I've settled on a few favorites, which I thought I'd share with you. (Click on the title to go to each podca...
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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 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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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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Life and love in La La Land

pixabay Los Angeles
This week finds me back in Los Angeles, where we lived for four years before moving to Michigan.  It's odd to be back. I can't say I've missed driving here, and as the traffic stretches for miles around us, I'm mildly entertained by visions of the opening scene of La La Land, but alas...it's just traffic. I'm not a huge fan of Southern California for many reasons, but I have one unbreakable ...
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Life: rewind, fast forward, or play?

pixabay old age
Have you ever noticed how when you're paying attention, you see "coincidences" everywhere? Last week, I had two acquaintances, both of whom have colored their hair for years, start conversations about how they were considering letting their hair go gray. It is a momentous, agonizing decision for them. Full disclosure: I went gray at 35 and never even considered coloring—maybe because I'm too ch...
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Month of Margin

Are you... Overwhelmed by the clutter in your pantry, closet, or home office? Feeling like you don’t have time to take care of your home the way you want to? Busy taking care of others’ needs? Struggling with finding time to take care of yourself? Feeling like your life has no “breathing room” or margin? Unsure how to start creating time and space to do these things? Start...
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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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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 Gene...
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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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Baby Step #8 | I get to…

Baby steps
This is the eighth 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 ne...
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