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SOUL food

Meet Melea Alexander

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I've been intrigued by Traditional Chinese Medicine ever since college, when I was a Chinese major (yup, that really was my first field of study!), and I've always wanted to try acupuncture. After meeting Melea Alexander and hearing her speak about her work, I just knew it was going to finally happen! Here are some highlights of our hour-long Q+A from the (Sorta) Secret Sisterhood. https://www....
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Let’s get this party started!

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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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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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#healthcoachvacation 2019

Once again, our family's Spring Breaks didn't align this year—and we did manage to have some fun anyway! After last year's epic fishing adventure, my son and I decided to leave the dog home with Dad—they had their own adventure, by all accounts—and flew to Arizona to visit dear friends/former neighbors there. We absolutely wallowed in good company and delicious food (homemade pasta! European cr...
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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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Sweeten it, naturally

sugar
I recently conducted a survey of my virtual community to learn more about you, and one of the requests that came up most frequently in response to my question about what you want more information on was how to kick the sugar habit—which can become increasingly desirable if you have realized that sugar is a major trigger for hot flashes. I wrote about the why and how extensively in a blog post t...
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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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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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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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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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New (School) Year’s Resolutions?

It's Labor Day weekend, and we've made another circle around the sun: as hard as it is to believe, I have two sophomores now: one in high school, one in college. And the new school year still feels like the start of a new year with new clothes, new school supplies, new haircuts ... and often new goals. Many working mothers I know greet September with a joy that's on a par with the despair th...
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Gordon Lightfoot: coincidence or miracle?

car radio
When I was growing up, we didn't have a television (no, I'm not THAT old—my parents just chose not to have one!) so we listened to the radio a lot. Some of my earliest memories are about being really terrorized by CBS Radio Mystery Theater. I also remember hearing certain songs on the radio. Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was one of them, and it seemed to spend an inord...
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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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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?

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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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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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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 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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April’s FREE health coaching webinar is on Wednesday!

Just a quick heads up: April’s FREE health coaching webinar is going to introduce you to what I call the DR/EAM process—a way to stop playing best supporting actress in everyone else’s lives and star in your own (life) movie! Register to get details of April event and notices of upcoming webinars. If you can’t make the live event, a replay/recording is always posted after the fact.
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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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Joint pain | On diet, physical therapy, and woo

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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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“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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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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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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SOUL food | Unique

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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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