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spiritual practice

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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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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Normal vs. common | Learning in the loud moms’ corner

martial arts
I'm not much of a gym fan—I've flirted with them before, even had (always brief) love affairs with them, but I always return to working out at and from home. When we lived in California, it was easy to get enough exercise outdoors year round. When we moved to Michigan (before we had Kermit the Dog and the kids were younger), it got a bit more difficult. I needed to move more, my daughter was...
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Pet Lessons

Is it really possible that Spring has sprung in Michigan finally? This past winter really felt endless—more so than others for some reason. And yet, thanks to a new furbaby we acquired in October, I have spent at least an hour (sometimes two) outdoors every day. I joke that Kermit and I are even more reliable than the US Postal Service, whose unofficial creed—adapted from a poem and carved i...
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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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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 | 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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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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How do you come to the kitchen?

As I mentioned last week, 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. 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 second story I tell is titled, "How do you come to the kitchen?...
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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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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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“Getting” religion, getting spiritual

pixabay prayer flags
It's April 22 (Happy Earth Day!), and if you've been following along on the blog, you'll know that the past month has seen me on the West Coast, in the Midwest, and in New England. While my husband travels frequently—it's nothing for him to be gone for months at a time—I'm usually a homebody. And if I'm being honest, I have to admit that I tend to be that way because I adore routine, and travel...
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When the power goes out: on habit + ritual

pixabay candle
I once asked a native Michigander why, while rain and snow storms are common in Michigan and even tornadoes occasionally pass through, the city where we live—Ann Arbor—seems to largely go unscathed. I expected an explanation about geographical features or wind patterns, but instead he said, "Have you ever looked at a map of the city? We live in the middle of a big heart!" And indeed, if you til...
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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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“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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Baby Step #11 | SOLE Kitchen

Baby steps
This is the eleventh 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 ...
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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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Self-care + Happy Stockholders!

I wrote this for a wonderful networking group I am privileged to belong to—if you're an entrepreneur looking for a facilitated referral team, check out Caerusnet (and if there isn't one in your area, you can be trained as a facilitator and start your own)! Although the post is written for entrepreneurs, it's just as relevant for those of us who are overscheduled professionals, parents, employees.....
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Baby Step #10 | An attitude of gratitude

Baby steps
This is the tenth 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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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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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 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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What media messages do you ingest?

As an integrative nutrition health coach, I spend a lot of time working with clients to identify their ideal nutritional choices - the ones that nourish their bodies in a way that helps them reach their physical health goals, whether it's weight loss or getting some numbers in a better place. But we probably spend even more time working on their lifestyle choices - how to get an adequate amount o...
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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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On the edge of getting it right

I have an 11-year-old son and a husband, so (if you'll forgive a generalization) I watch a fair number of action movies. Okay, full disclosure: I kind of like them, too, and we've found that if there is a decent plot and a handsome male lead, even our 15-year-old daughter will watch them. Hey, as the teenager says, don't judge - it's not easy to find a movie that suits everyone's taste! Last nigh...
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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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Unplugged…on vacation in Montague, MI

Last weekend, my kids and I spent 24 hours "unplugged" at a fellow IIN student's lakeside cottage in Montague, MI. (Our kids were initially a bit weirded out by the fact that two "total strangers" would have the adult equivalent of a playdate/sleepover, but even they eventually admitted, "It wasn't as awkward as I thought it'd be....") For me, it was 24 hours of radical self-care: what a luxury...
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