Have you ever wondered, how some people get sick very often and are more prone to catching colds and flus while others are rarely sick? It’s all about the body’s immune system. The immune system is the first line of defense against an alien microorganism entering the body.
A healthy immune system reduces your chance of developing viral infections, the flu or colds and helps fight seasonal allergies. The benefits of boosting your immune system go beyond just warding off illness, it will increase your energy, productivity and enhance your mood and build resiliency in times of physical or emotional stress.
In my Immune Boosting workshop, I share several ways to improve your immune system, increase energy and help with productivity and weight loss. I’d like to share one of those ways. One of the best foods to eat that is packed with nutrition, vitamins and minerals, is bone broth soup. Bone broth is simple to make, it’s timeless, and it’s where we can go when we want to get back to the basics. Bone broth soup is loaded with amino acids like arginine, glutamine, and cysteine, have been shown to boost immunity in humans and animals (the soup is very healing for your dog or cat but please omit the onion which is toxic for animals). It helps fight inflammation, improve joint mobility and even help with weight loss. Bone broth soup improves the gut bacteria and that impacts all facets of your health. Why is this so? Because up to 80% of our immune system is located in our intestinal tract.
Here is a simple and easy recipe you can make and enjoy as a warm and hearty soup or use as a healthy culinary stock for your other recipes. The key to this recipe is the length of cooking time. Use a slow cooker/crock pot, set on low and allow this soup to cook for 24 hours.
_____________________________________ RECIPE _____________________________________
1 organic-free range chicken.
Choose organic / free range when you can. The quality of organic is important as the animal has been raised with no added hormones or antibiotics and is raised in better quality living conditions, its more humane and provides more nutrition as nature intended.
1 large onion, sliced in quarters
2-3 celery stalks, chopped in 2 parts
2-3 carrots, peel on and chopped in 2 parts
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 TBSP Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
3 TBSP Italian Seasoning Blend or other preferred spices and seasoning
1 TBSP Salt and Pepper each or to taste
12 cups water
Cook a roasting chicken in oven for 2-3 hours at 350 degrees, depending on size.
Cut away the breast and thigh meat and set aside, covered in fridge overnight.
Place the roasted chicken, carcass and all in the slow cooker/crock pot with all the ingredients. Cover with water and set on low. Cook for 24 hours.
Strain the broth using a colander to collect all the vegetables, spices and bones. Store the broth in glass bowls or mason jars. Enjoy the soup as a warmed broth or make a hearty chicken vegetable soup with the following preparation:
Place the broth in a large pot and place on low heat on stovetop. Add the roasted chicken meat you have reserved in fridge (roughly chopped into small chunks) and add any veggies or noodles you enjoy in your soup and cook until tender.
Makes 4 servings
*Please note: you can follow this recipe using beef bones as well. For larger quantities, double up on the recipe. Enjoy!
Peace, love and pear!
Humans are creatures of habit. Most of us like things to be orderly, familiar and to “make sense.” We get used to our routines, they can provide comfort and give a sense of control. What happens when a crisis occurs, and life doesn’t make sense, and everyone around us, including the media, begins speculating on grim outcomes? What if there are no immediate answers and we are faced with many unknowns, trying to cope with a new normal, even if for only a short period of time?
One of the most effective ways for overcoming overwhelm and frightening feelings of insecurity and loss of control is to settle into the space of unknowing with a gentle acceptance. Get to know it, honor it, accept it. Settle in to a mindfulness practice that keeps you grounded in the present moment, not worrying about what might happen in the future, because none of us truly knows the future. When we awaken to a greater force, one that forgoes our external experiences and relies on the resiliency and strength of who we truly are at our core, we can find compassion, faith, love and hopefulness.
Where to begin?
I hope you will share this article with those you love and care about who may be struggling. To find more articles on meditation, mindfulness, self-empowerment and building resiliency in difficult times, visit www.PeaceandPear.com . May each of us work towards spreading more peace, love and calm. Stay well.
Peace, love and pear!
Cultivating a practice of calm amidst the chaos of life. An everyday “accessible and portable” mindfulness practice to support you when difficult moments arise in your day.
Have you ever arrived at your destination only to realize you don’t remember the drive? Or what about having that pit in your stomach when you realize you just polished off a whole pizza in a matter of minutes and you weren’t even hungry but very frustrated. Maybe it’s being distracted and anxious with your to-do list spinning through your mind and not being able to focus on a conversation with your partner. What about that meeting where you became so frustrated, you were unable to control your responses.
We’ve all been there, and it can be startling when you catch yourself. These are classic examples of being distracted, frustrated, fearful and unaware of what is going on around you and within you in that moment. Our minds take flight, we lose touch with our body and soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened, labelling it as bad or good. We worry about what happened in the past or what might take place in the future. We're caught in a cycle of trying to control a situation.
Many of my programs and workshops center around body/mind awareness and creating space so we become less reactive and more active in making conscious choices. This allows us to lead ourselves and others with more insight, compassion and strategy. Practicing mindfulness or as I like to call it, “being present”, is an effective practice once it becomes familiar and routine for you to check in with yourself.
The STOP practice is just one of the mindfulness tools I teach that has helped my clients reduce stress, build resiliency in their ever day lives and manage teams more effectively. This is a great technique to practice whenever you’re feeling in distress or anger arising. It creates the space we need to observe and tame our feelings. It also allows the space to access the deeper resource within you, developing the emotional intelligence and psychological resilience and flexibility to help master more challenging moments.
S: The “S” literally means to just stop what you’re doing, allow yourself a moment to come to rest, pause and collect yourself.
T: The ‘T” stands for taking a conscious breath. Now that you’ve paused, take a few deep breaths, feeling the expansion of your belly as you breathe deeply. Bring your focus to your breath, even counting as you inhale and exhale can calm the brain and nervous system, allowing you to become more aware of how you are feeling and slow the cortisol flowing in your body. Bring your attention to your feet and feel the support of the ground as you breathe.
O: the “O” stands for observe the thoughts, feelings and physical responses happening in your body. Is your neck tense and your teeth clenched? Bring your awareness to those areas, breathing deeply and see if you can be in the situation without being ruled by it. Offer yourself and others in the room self-compassion. As you begin to feel more calm, open yourself up to the choices you have in terms of how to best move forward from here.
P: The “P” reminds you to proceed being more aware and intentionally setting the next step with strength, wisdom and the art of being present in the moment. Remind yourself you don’t always have to react in the moment and there often is more power in being mindful of all the opportunities to explore new ideas, thoughts and behaviors.
To be engaged in difficult conversations and life situations is a part of being human. Releasing the attachment to the outcome, knowing you have a strength to acknowledge and release your reactions, that is the practice of mindfulness in and of itself.
Know someone who could benefit from learning this powerful technique? Pass this article on. Interested in exploring meditation, mindfulness and healthy living programs for your or your staff? Contact me at Christine@PeaceandPear.com or visit www.PeaceandPear.com to learn more.
Humans are born with a strong love of sweet tastes. This is one of the reasons so many processed foods from chips to salad dressings, bread and pizza have sugar added to them. It reinforces our cravings, making us want even more! Sugar is highly addictive, activating our brain pathways similar to other addictive substances like drugs and many of us don’t realize how much we’re eating. We crave more and more because sugar triggers the reward system in our brain. Refined sugar is even more highly addictive and causes many health issues and weight gain.
In my Healthy Eating workshops I share 5 healthy alternatives to table sugar and corn syrup you can use to satisfy your sweet tooth. Use these all-natural sugars in moderation and you will reap the health benefits.
1. Raw Honey.
Raw honey has a flavor that satisfies your craving for sweets. Honey is made when bees chew on nectar and break it down into simple sugars. They deposit it into honeycombs and water evaporates out of it. It's loaded with natural enzymes, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Honey is also a natural antiseptic and can be applied to cuts and scrapes. It’s important to note that not all honey is equal and you should avoid labeling tricks. Most honey being sold in the market today is overly processed, heated and filtered, taking all the best health benefits away. Processed honey is clear while raw honey is thicker, often cloudy and has a honey comb or crust on top. Avoid cheap honey especially the ones that come in the little plastic bear jars. Make sure the label says raw honey. A little more expensive, but well worth the cost.
2. 100% real Maple Syrup.
Maple syrup is a healthy, natural product that comes straight from trees. It's made from the boiled sap of maple trees and has lots of healthy nutrients such as calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index (this tells your body how fast or slow to raise your blood sugar after eating it) than sugar. It also contains up to 54 different antioxidants.
3. Dates. Some people enjoy using date sugar, which is made from powdered dried/dehydrated dates. Date sugar has all of the dates’ nutritional value, including fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium. It’s not always easy to find date sugar so to make it even easier, just add chopped or mashed Medjool dates to any food you want to sweeten.
4. Coconut Sugar.
Coconut sugar is made by boiling and dehydrating sap from a coconut palm tree. It tastes a lot like brown sugar, but it has fiber, iron, zinc and antioxidants.
Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener that is made from a South American plant. It is much sweeter than regular sugar so you need to use it sparingly. The best type is Green Leaf Stevia because it is hardly processed and very pure with no added chemicals. It’s important to mention that Stevia is not metabolized by the body like sugar and has no impact on blood sugar. For this reason, it is a great alternative for diabetics.
So now you know what alternatives there are to satisfy your sweet tooth and won’t derail your health or your weight loss efforts! Please help me spread the word about healthy sweeteners by sharing this article with your family, friends and coworkers. Want to learn more about healthy eating or my stress reduction and mindfulness programs to help you and your family create a healthier, less stressed-out life in 2020, visit PeaceandPear.com
Educate and Motivate.
Given the wealth of information available online now, employees often find themselves confused on what is really the right approach to their health. One size does not fit all and educating your team members to make better decisions, explore healthy options and listen to their bodies is key. That’s why education is at the root of any successful program. I’ve found a variety of different ways to educate that are effective, from lunch and learns to webinars to my unique Coach-on-Call program and wellness challenges; all providing small tidbits of daily education. The key with these programs is that the presenter is a lively, motivating speaker so attendees feel inspired to take action.
Enable and Empower Everyone.
Wellness doesn’t have to be complicated and I will ensure a seamless approach to your company’s wellness goals. Once we’ve begun to educate your teams on the mind/body connection, it’s important to make it easy for them to follow through on what they learned. For example, I’ve worked closely with cafeteria managers and HR staff to create a ‘Peace and Pear approved’ Green Bowl Program. Employees know that whatever meal was in the Green Bowl that day was a healthy and delicious lunch option. Even if your office doesn’t have a full cafeteria, we can incorporate healthy snack options in the vending machines. Something as simple as giving employees large water bottles and provide filtered water and lemons in the office to make morning lemon water, which energizes, detoxes and hydrates employees is a great start. This simple act alone can help employees stay hydrated, avoid the sugary waters and sodas in the vending machines and improve energy levels by up to 50 percent. Another option is to offer fruit for morning and afternoon snacks. Apples, pears and berries are low-glycemic and packed with antioxidants and fiber to fill everyone up.
Incentivize Your Team.
A little friendly competition goes a long way. Team-based wellness challenges with prizes help employees take what they’ve learned and motivate them to create healthy habits. Online wellness challenges can include multiple office locations or departments and build camaraderie company wide. Giving mindful prizes for participation is also effective to increase participation, especially for those individuals who are hesitant to participate.
Be Consistent in all Phases.
Finally, simply doing a one-off wellness event to check the boxes isn’t enough. Just like any new habit or change to routine, consistency is key. Planning out a full year of wellness in advance of the year keeps the program top of mind in the office. It also allows you the opportunity to provide different offerings, as not everything will appeal to everyone. Examples include offering a combination of lunch and learns, monthly newsletters, fitness classes, wellness challenges and even superfood smoothie and juicing classes. Running a good wellness program, with high engagement and sustained results can quickly become a full-time job. Outsourcing to a wellness focused company will not only save you time but also dollars.
To learn more about Christine's work and Peace and Pear’s corporate wellness programs, check out https://www.peaceandpear.com/corporate-coaching.html
1. Use existing staff to create and run a wellness program.
Asking a current employee who already has a full-time job to take on the extra burden and challenge of running an effective wellness program is a recipe for disaster. It may start off well, but eventually the lack of time and expertise to manage and administer a comprehensive wellness program becomes apparent. Onsite staff are expected to be behavior change experts and this only comes from real coach training and certifications. Wellness programs run by internal company staff typically have low participation rates and struggle to keep the program going long-term. Consider hiring a wellness professional who has the tools, resources, knowledge and experience to help your company create a comprehensive, well-planned, engaging program your employees will love participating in and watch your health care costs decrease significantly.
2. Expecting a static wellness portal to be a wellness program.
You can’t replace human interaction with a dashboard app and expect consistent, sustainable results. There’s no replacing a “live” class with demonstrations, instruction, engagement and accountability with an onsite wellness coach. A wellness coach is a professional accountability partner who mentors, educates, engages and helps to find healthy living solutions based on each employee’s needs.
3. Overly Complicated Programming. Simpler is Always Better.
To avoid failure, your wellness program should be easy to understand and follow. You need to remove all of the barriers to participation. The easier it is for your employees to engage, the more likely they will be to produce positive outcomes. Most of your employees probably spend more than 10 hours per day staring at a blue screen or their mobile devices. This leads to fatigue, stress and anxiety, lack of mobility and human interaction. Participating in activities that take them out of their normal routine creates a feeling of well-being and an opportunity to take a break and focus on feel-good healthy living techniques.
4. Failure to create a health promoting culture and environment with engagement and support of leadership team.
Many worksites initiate a corporate health and wellness program with limited leadership support. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a limitation on the effectiveness that the program will have. Companies with strong leadership support of the wellness program have leaders who participate in the program in very visible ways. They participate in campaigns, they participate in team challenges, they talk about the wellness program, they are involved in the evaluation and reports of the program and they personally believe in the benefits of having a healthy lifestyle. This can make all the difference in how an employee perceives the program and is encouraged to attend workshops, classes and challenges. Adopting healthy behaviors is actually fairly easy. The challenge is to maintain these healthy behaviors for the rest of your life. Worksites that can create health-promoting environments and a culture that supports healthy living will experience a variety of positive wellness outcomes including an increase in productivity and creativity and a decrease in sick days and employee burnout. The most effective programs use multiple streams of communication from the leadership team in the form of email, newsletters, website portal, tabletop tents, meeting announcements, staff meetings, text messaging, Facebook, new employee orientation and calendars. The more you talk about your wellness program, the more you change your culture and the outcomes for success!
5. Incentivizing the wrong things.
Gift cards, raffles, an extra vacation day or lunch on the company are incentives that employees love and are often motivated by. However, it’s important to offer these at appropriate times and not just for filling out surveys, logging on to a website to read a healthy living article or showing up for a biometric screening. These incentives offer real change when given after a behavioral or health challenge or series of workshops have been completed. It’s important to reward the consistent effort towards making real life, healthy changes. Consider also including the employees spouse or significant other in participating in the programs. Studies show participation increases as do the success rates of new healthy living techniques when the employee has support at home.
For more on Christine’s work, visit www.PeaceandPear.com
Here are the facts that many companies and executive teams choose to ignore or don’t fully understand about the current state of business:
A Gallup study performed in June of 2018 found 23 percent of the employees sampled felt burned out at work very often or always, while an additional 44 percent reported feeling burned out sometimes.
What’s the cost?
Job burnout accounts for an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion in health-care spending each year and has contributed to the development of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, high cholesterol and even death for those under the
age of 45.
Companies are facing an employee burnout crisis and there is a high cost to pay in absenteeism and turnover. Some of the causes that are impacting about two-thirds of the workforce include; feelings of unfair treatment at work, unreasonable deadlines, unmanageable workload, lack of support from managers (who are also suffering burnout) and the added stress from having to be accessible almost 24/7 with expectations to respond to emails and texts during off hours.
What steps can we take to fix this crisis?
When it comes to building a climate of well-being, employers need to look beyond just physical health to help employees feel recognized, valued and involved and create opportunities for growth and development, according to David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, director of APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence.
Despite the rise in corporate wellness programs, many employers are falling short in their efforts. Often times these wellness initiatives are an “add-on” to someone’s already overburdened work duties and not being executed consistently with solid workplace wellness programs.
The best strategies for sustainable, long-term benefits to combat high stress and burnout are holistic approaches developed and executed by a wellness professional. I’m not talking about another employee wellness program with blood pressure screenings, BMI testing and tracking, flu clinics, diet challenges and adding a new fitness class to the lineup that will be under-utilized by most employees. While those can serve a purpose as part of the equation, there is a bigger piece missing from many corporate wellness programs. Taking a more holistic approach that bridges the gap between mind and body allows employees and executives to find the connection between true wellness and engagement. Workshops on meditation, mindfulness, self-care and stress management will teach resilience, patience and emotional regulation, concentration, empathy, better communication and team-building skills, and the willingness and creativity to be a thought leader sharing new ideas and solutions. This all leads to a workforce that is healthier, less overwhelmed, more engaged, innovative and productive.
It’s imperative that the top leadership supports a culture of wellness in the workplace in order for change to occur. Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of employees with senior managers who show support through involvement and commitment to well-being initiatives, said their organization helps employees develop a healthy lifestyle, compared with just 11 percent who work in an organization without that leadership support, according to APA's 2016 Work and Well-Being Survey.
Where to begin?
The embrace of an employee wellness program addressing the whole person, mind and body, is a significant paradigm shift in the business world, one that is growing stronger with more evolved leaders and companies bringing a spirit of innovation to their workforce. Giving the same energy and care to employees as they do to their core products and services will lead to a flourishing and thriving company that is profitable and able to keep and recruit top talent. Hiring a professional wellness and transformational coach to build a solid program of workshops and classes centered around the mind and the body will support and empower the leaders and employees to fulfill their highest business, personal and social potential through mindset and behavior change as part of the company’s culture and growth.
The bottom line:
Burnout interferes with everyone’s ability to perform well; it increases rigid thinking, and decreases the ability to think accurately, flexibly, with innovation and creatively. Is it time you took a look at your company’s culture and rethink your corporate wellness goals?
Read more at www.PeaceandPear.com. Follow Peace and Pear on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
Contact me to learn more about my custom programs, classes and workshops.
1. Set your intentions for the day with affirmations. Before getting out of bed, take a couple minutes and verbalize out loud or to yourself how you want this day to go. I like to say it out loud. I think it has more impact when you hear your own voice setting your intentions (your family or your dog may find some inspiration as well!). Set your intention for how the work day will go, how your latest report or speech will be received, even how well your kids will behave at the dinner table that evening. Keep it positive. Your intention is for only good to come from this day.
2. Visualization. Taking a few minutes each morning to visualize how you want your life to flow, will make it more likely to become a reality. You’ve probably heard the phrase: you can’t get what you want, until you know what you want. This is why visualization is so important. Think of how your dream life would feel, the people who would be a part of it, the surroundings, the work and your daily routine. Set this in your memory and take a few minutes to focus on this every morning. Worst case scenario? It puts a smile on your face and elevates your mood. Want to make this exercise even more powerful? Write it down!
3. Walk in Nature. Want to kick start your metabolism? A brisk walk in the morning before work will kick start your metabolism but it also gets those happy endorphins going. There is something very soothing and grounding when getting back to nature. We spend most of our hours indoors, so take a few minutes first thing in the morning and walk the neighborhood. Your health will thank you!
4. Meditation. I’ve found that I can usually carve out a few minutes in the early morning for meditation rather than waiting until the end of the day when there seem to be too many tasks to accomplish before bed. Meditation often frightens people or they think it’s too hard to do. In reality, just sitting for 5-10 minutes and focusing on your breath will quiet the mind and help you reap the rewards of meditation. When you find thoughts and problems entering your mind while sitting quietly, observe them and then let them go. Refocus on your breath again until your mind quiets down. I teach people in my workshops that there isn’t one right way to do it. The purpose of meditation is to give your mind a break and to relax and focus inward. Just sitting quietly for a few minutes provides enough benefit. *Need a little divine guidance? I help people one-on-one learn different meditation styles. I would be honored to help you. Click here to set up a complimentary 30 minute call to discuss how I can help you learn how to ease anxiety, stress and cultivate more joy in your life with a regular meditation practice.
5. Offer Gratitude. It’s hard to be angry, upset, depressed or out of sorts when you start thinking of all the good things that are happening in your life. We all have at least one or two things to be grateful for, so try focusing on these gifts rather than what you are lacking. It can be as simple as being thankful for your comfortable bed and a good night sleep, your family or pets you share your life with, the sunshine, the fun little outfit you picked out to wear today or maybe something we take for granted here in America as having the ability to wake up to a hot shower with running water. Whatever it is, and however bad you may be feeling about life that moment, try to find the gratitude in one little thing and say a big thank you.
6. Read or listen to inspirational quotes or book. Find your inspirational authors and listen to them regularly for motivation while in the shower, making breakfast or driving to work. Need some suggestions? Check some of these great people whose works can be found on youtube for free: Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle
and Cheryl Richardson. You can also check out my book, The Wisdom of You, A Transformational Journey to Creating an Extraordinary Life. In my new book I share my own personal struggles and the tools and techniques I used to face life’s challenges and rise strong. These powerful tools will help you reconnect with your greatest self and find your power, passion and purpose, improve your relationships and ultimately take control of your life. You can download a free chapter and learn more on my website at www.PeaceandPear.com
7. Eat a good breakfast. It really is the most important meal and sets the tone for the day. Take the extra few minutes and make a healthy smoothie or egg scramble to get your day started right. So many of us are in the habit of grabbing a quick bagel, muffin or highly processed, sugar-laden protein bars and these foods are hijacking your day. Foods loaded with sugar, simple carbohydrates and artificial ingredients will leave you feeling tired and hungry in a very short time. This leads to brain fogginess, moodiness, weight gain and fatigue. See below for a healthy breakfast recipe to kick-start your day.
Try and make as many of these actions, if not all a part of your morning ritual and you will begin to see results within one short week. If you continue beyond that first week, they will become habits, helping you create a happier, healthier, more balanced life. I’ve seen amazing results from practicing these simple strategies, how about you? I would love to hear about your daily rituals and if this article has helped you.
P.S... The new Self-Care Gift Box is now available and we've included free shipping for a limited time! This unique gift box is curated especially for you or to give as a gift for someone you care about. It is filled with beautiful self-care products that will feed your soul. Developed and written by transformational coach, Christine Porter, each product is designed to take you on a journey of self-discovery with help and guidance in creating your best life. Makes a thoughtful, heart-felt gift. Give as a holiday, birthday or mother's day gift or for someone who needs a gentle reminder to slow down and practice more
self-care. Check it out here.
P.S.S... need a little extra inspiration? Check out my Peace and Pear Facebook page on Tuesday nights at 7pm (EDT) where I host live workshops and mini retreats to feed your soul. You can watch past episodes also on Peace and Pear's YouTube channel.
Peace, love and pear!
Christine Porter, CHHP, AADP
Board-Certified Wellness and Transformational Coach
Founder of Peace and Pear: A Mindfulness Company Creating Products and Programs to Feed Your Soul
Ever have one of those really long weeks that seems like it may never end? I’ve had this feeling for the past week now. It seems like no matter what I do, I can’t get ahead of the workload, find time for myself or make all those healthy meals I was planning to make.
I haven’t totally fallen overboard. I’m not eating at fast food restaurants, making mashed potatoes out of box (oh there were years where this was my “go to” side dish) or binging on donuts, bagels and candy bars. But I haven’t been juicing as much or eating many veggies and I’ve started snacking on chips and salsa and sugary granola bars. Canned tuna has crept in as a main dinner staple. I’m frequenting the sushi bar and gluten free pizza has been on my plate more than I’d like as I struggle to get a quick lunch.
I’m starting to feel the fatigue and my sugar and gluten cravings are starting to kick in. Where’s the veggies? Where’s the clean eating I’ve been following for years? I’ve allowed a crazy work schedule to take over my life.
The less attention I pay to nutrition and the more I don’t cook at home and start buying even the so called “healthy foods” at the store, the IFLC syndrome kicks in (also known as: I Feel Like Crap). The more I eat like this, the more I begin to crave the sugary, high-carb foods that packed the pounds on years ago. As a wellness coach, I know this. So what gives?
Life has become a little off balance, much like the days when I worked in the high pressure, fast paced advertising industry. I remember I kept a steady diet of coffee, sugar, packaged foods, sandwiches and donuts, leftover from the early morning office meeting, to get me through. Oh and lots of wine and cheese happy hours with colleagues as we decompressed from our long, pressure-cooker days.
Those were really long days. There was a lot of stress. There was great anxiety over aggressive deadlines and a general feeling of dread that hovered over my days as I sometimes struggled to keep up and be creative. Ever felt like that? It’s uncomfortable and if you live with that feeling long enough, you begin to pick up bad habits like I did and start emotional eating to help ease the stress and frustration. And we all know that doesn’t work.
I’ve left much of that behind but we all have great intentions and we all have lives that sometimes get in the way of what we think we should do and what we can do.
There is always that delicate balance. And while we can’t always control the “little things” that hijack our days, we can pay attention to these events and try for “better” the next day.
Remember, your most precious asset is you. Take good care of it.
Meditation and Mindfulness have become regular practices that have helped me get my life more in balance, reduce my anxiety and build more resiliency. I also strive to sleep 8 hours a night and am very mindful of my emotions and triggers that can set me off in a downward spiral. I’m also aware that what I put in my mouth to eat is important. My eating habits are a part of what affects my mood, my anxiety levels and the amount of resiliency I have in any given moment.
When I find myself searching for a quick meal at the store, I ask myself; how will this make me feel? If it doesn’t fuel me, it most likely will deplete me. This is the fine art of making the food/mood connection.
I don’t beat myself up anymore when I have a bad day of eating or even if it lasts a couple of days. But I try to be more conscious of this and make adjustments to my schedule and put myself first again. This isn’t being selfish, it’s a form of self-care. This is taking care of yourself so you can be of service to those you love and care about. If you are depleted, there isn’t much left to give anyone, let alone yourself. That’s when things start to fall apart and we spiral into self-destructive thoughts and habits.
So what are some simple steps we all can do to make better food choices when in a pinch? Making larger batches of food and having left over’s for the week is a life saver. I love the concept of cooking once and eating twice. Or more! My grandmother was an expert at this. She always had leftovers and most of the time could make another 2 or 3 quick meals out of last night’s dinner.
Now when I grill dinner for family and friends, I try to add additional protein and veggies to the recipe so I have leftovers to add to my salads for the week. This helps me eliminate frequent trips to the store to get “less than healthy” packaged salads with sugary, carb loaded salad dressings. Making smoothies ahead of time and storing in mason jars and freezing helps on those frantic mornings when you need a quick grab-and-go breakfast. Or having hard-boiled eggs on hand. What about a delicious twist on an old classic, oatmeal. Now I'm talking about real oatmeal you have to cook in a pot, not the little packets you add water to or microwave. Those instant oatmeal packets are full of quick oats with little fiber and a whole lot of sugar added. Real steel cut oatmeal is a great breakfast option you can make the night before in large batches and enjoy all week. Add chia seeds, nuts and berries to add extra nutrition and fiber. When we don’t have convenient foods on-hand on busy mornings, we usually make bad choices and end up grabbing a bagel or going through a drive thru window. We also tend to overeat throughout the day when we skip breakfast.
Bottom line, I wasn’t prepared as much as I normally would be this past couple of weeks due to travel and a busy work schedule. But I’m not going to beat myself up. I’m going to do better starting today and go shopping so I can prepare for the upcoming week! It takes a little bit of planning but in the long run I feel and look better. That’s my goal for today. How about you? What little changes can you make to keep on a healthy eating path?
P.S. Need some extra inspiration in the "taking care of myself" department? The new Self-Care Gift Box is available now! This unique self-care gift box is curated especially for you. It is filled with beautiful self-care products that will feed your soul. Developed and written by
transformational coach, Christine Porter, each product is designed to take you on a journey of self-discovery with help and guidance in creating your best life. It also makes a thoughtful, heart-felt gift this upcoming holiday season. Oh, did I mention I’m offering free shipping for a limited time? Take a peek inside here.
Peace, love and pear!
Recently, I ran a workshop with a group of amazing people. Everyone was so engaged, inspired, supportive and eager to improve their health, eating habits and mindset as well as to learn ways to create lasting changes in their lives so they could go from surviving to thriving.
I always get inspired and “fueled up” when I get a chance to conduct these workshops and coaching classes. I feel energized and really fulfilled knowing I am sharing knowledge that can be life changing.
What fuels us is the substance of true living. It’s our positive thoughts, the healthy foods we eat, our feelings of being needed and supported, having a deep sense of purpose and passion that should be our fuel of choice. Yet many of us struggle to find this fuel and can end up running out of gas feeling depleted and sick or worse just numb and tired.
Just as it’s important to eat real, whole foods and avoid sugar and chemicals, it’s also important to nurture your emotional side. Very early on in my wellness coaching career, I discovered the relevance of the concept of primary and secondary foods. It’s pretty simple concept but a very powerful one that I do most of my teaching around.
All the things that we eat and put on our bodies (and that’s a biggie because our skin is our largest organ), is considered, surprisingly, secondary foods. Just as important, if not more in my opinion are our primary foods.
Primary foods are all the things that fuel us emotionally and spiritually. Think about your career or your job. Do you enjoy it? Is it fulfilling? Do you look forward to your days? Or do you dread getting out of bed in the morning? What about your relationships with family and friends? Are you feeling supported or depleted? Are you in a chronic state of giving? Are the kids taking all your time and there’s nothing left for you? Do you have a spiritual practice of quiet meditation, sitting calmly perhaps or just carving a little downtime for yourself? Are you comfortable with your finances or are you in a perpetual state of needing to make more money? Have you taken a little time and created a budget that can help you achieve your goals and alleviate the unnecessary spending?
More importantly, are you living in a state of chronic stress and fear that’s keeping you uptight, sleepless and overeating to relieve anxiety?
All of us have experienced times in our lives that feel out of balance. It’s important to remember we are all a constant work in progress. But the primary foods of life; our relationships, finances, spirituality, career and hobbies are some of the most important things in our life that either keep us healthy, motivated and feeling fulfilled, or they make us miserable, unhealthy and stuck in bad habits and negative thought-patterns.
Stress and depression are a huge detriment to our health and are becoming an epidemic in our society. Not to mention it’s a crappy way to live on a regular basis.
There was a time in my life where I experienced all of these symptoms. I was working all the time trying to make more money because it never seemed enough. I became a workaholic and found most of my enjoyment in running myself into the ground. I treated my body like a machine and I was lonely, tired, stressed, unhappy, overweight and fatigued. My family was feeling the same as they began mimicking my behaviors. Can you relate to this? I hope not, but if you do, you are joining the ranks of millions of Americans caught up in the race of life. But I remember the day when I started thinking, is this all there is? What if I did a little work on myself and tried to change my mindset? What if there is something to the mind/body connection and trying to live a more inspired life. If I really changed my eating patterns, would my moods improve? Could I go from surviving to thriving? Maybe it was time to try something different. Maybe it was time to think differently so I could expect a different outcome.
One of the first things I did was take an inventory of my life. I really looked at what was not serving me well in my life. I began looking at what I wanted and how I could feel more fulfilled. And not just with more “things to buy,” or finding happiness in the bottom of a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream pint! Yes, there is a brief moment of bliss from that, but then, I must confess I am a recovering sugar addict. But the sugar rush is so fleeting and left me with this guilt feeling and really tight jeans!
Years ago, I went on a little 4-day retreat that was life changing. I spent some time quietly journaling, hiking, learning how to meditate and be more mindful. I practiced gentle yoga daily and learned how to eat a healthier diet of lean proteins and veggies. I also cut out processed foods and limited my sugar. What happened next was amazing! I had more energy. My mindset shifted and I started thinking of ways to take this new-found self-care program home with me and incorporate it into my daily life. Even for just a few minutes each day, I began practicing meditation and mindfulness and I began paying attention to my thoughts, feelings and actions. Even around dinner time; I limited my take-out food choices and began cooking some simple and healthy meals. I also realized it was time to go back to school and follow my passion to become a wellness and transformational coach. That led to a new career in which I began writing books. In my new book, The Wisdom of You; A Transformational Journey to Creating an Extraordinary Life, I share my own personal journey and the tools and techniques I learned so that you too can begin your journey to feeling, thinking and looking your best.
It’s a horrible to feel physically or emotionally stuck and I know how this can impact the quality of your daily life. Sluggish, foggy, grumpy and tired are what come to mind when I think about how I was feeling. Many of my clients feel this way also. But constantly waiting for the "right time" to change keeps us stuck. Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith and just go for it!
No more waiting, join me today! Each Tuesday night, at 7pm (EDT), I host a Facebook Live program at Facebook.com/PeaceandPear. I cover a variety of topics from healthy living, self-care, meditation and mindfulness tools and techniques, to self-empowerment and more! It’s fun, it’s educational, it’s thought-provoking and it can be life changing. These episodes are free so stop by and check it out. It’s free transformational coaching that promises to be one of the best hours you will spend on yourself. It’s like a mini retreat for the Soul. You can also watch past episodes at Peace and Pear's YouTube channel.
I’m also giving away more free stuff to jump start your transformation in creating your best life. Log on to my website and sign up to download a free chapter of my new book, The Wisdom of You; A Transformational Journey to Creating an Extraordinary Life. You will automatically receive my free newsletter with tips and recipes, inspirational quotes and self-care reminders. It will also give you information on the upcoming Facebook live episodes so you can mark your calendar and join me live.
While I gave up some things along the way and have had some struggles on my journey, I kept at it. I tried not to berate or judge myself and gave myself permission to just be human and to recognize I am trying my best. Years of living with some bad habits, overworking, feeling rushed and stressed became a normal way to live. It is only natural to realize, it will take some time to make major life shifts and reduce these bad habits.
No more punishing our selves, trust in the process and put one foot in front of the other right now.
Peace, love and pear!