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Primary Food

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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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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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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#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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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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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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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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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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Goodbye, Hello: New Year, New Practice

winter
As I get older, I feel the pull of the seasons more and more strongly, and the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 feel more true each year: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...." Winter is a time for nourishing, slow-cooked soups and stews featuring lots of root vegetables, for conserving our energy (read: naps!), and for turning inward, reflecting on the ...
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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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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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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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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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FREE workshop: Eating for Energy

Does winter have you d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g? What would life be like with abundant energy and vitality? What foods have the power to increase your energy? What else contributes to boundless vitality? Photo © Ellen O'Malley McGee, 2013 Join me for a free workshop on boosting your energy naturally through nutrition! Monday, February 9, 2015 7pm - 8pm Hosted by A2 Martial Arts 1952 S. Industrial Hwy....
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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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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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Learning to speak a new (love) language

I recently finished reading Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages, a book that is delightful in its simplicity and yet has the potential to be profoundly life-changing. (And as a former language instructor, I immediately appreciated his concept!) Chapman's premise about creating "love that lasts" is that every one of us speaks one of five basic love "languages" - Words of Affirmation, Quality Time,...
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