Health, Yoga

IMperfect(ions)

IMperfect(ion)

One of my greatest challenges as a yoga instructor is my personal practice. Sounds silly. When I was teaching, I taught 5 yoga classes a week. You would think a personal practice should be a piece of cake, right? Wrong. oh so very wrong. One of the biggest reasons I scaled-back on teaching was the decline of my personal practice. The busier my teaching schedule got the less “time” I left for my own personal practice. Teaching yoga is not a personal practice. It is a gift you give to another person, but it is not a gift you give to yourself.

Right now, I am transiting from full time yoga instructor and Fempreneuer to a 9-5er with two (growing) small businesses and a personal yoga practice.

Personal. Yoga. Practice.

I have taken a long time to think about my personal asana practice.  In a recent blog post by my friend, Lana said “Labeling the way I feel at this current moment is more of a question-I’m questioning myself. Introspection. Svadhyaya perhaps.  It’s possible I’m just in a “winter” of my life-a dip-there’s highs, lows.”  Her blog post resonated deeply with me. After teaching so many classes for so long, I am ready to go within.  I chose to scale back my teaching because my asana practice, and yogic education (which should be never ending) seemed stagnant.

Svadhyaya Practice on the balcony in the sunshine.

So, while I am not longer teaching I have consciously made the choice to dive head first back into my yoga practice. My yoga and asana practice has become more personal. I haven’t felt a connection to community classes in a while, so I stopped going. This has been challenging since my social life tends to revolve around yoga studios but it’s what I personally need right now. And lets face it, until the new salary kicks in, I can no longer afford to pay $18-$25 for a drop in class.

Each morning as Stella sleeps, I spend time in meditation and light asana on my sunny balcony. With all the changes I am facing, it’s time for me to look within. For me, self-reflection always comes on the mat. One thing that keeps coming us is IMperfect(tion).

In many ways I struggle as a yoga teacher and a wellness coach over my lack of perfection. It’s the Virgo in me to want to fit in to the perfect healthy yogini mold. I want my belly to be flat, my arms and legs long and lean and I want not to reach for the salty and sweet snacks when emotions run high. But I am human and not always perfect. Even though my clients are successful and my students deepen their practice, inside, sometimes I felt like a failure. Which was not easy for the Virgo in me to accept. Virgos are perfectionists.

The perfectionist in me also struggles on the mat. In almost each yoga class I have taught, I reminded my students “this is your time on your mat. Let go of judgement. Dive into yourself and love your practice.” Coming back into my personal practice is helping me, yet again let go of my IMperfect(ions).

et al

More curves in the road of life…..

Life is always interesting and ever changing. Change is one of those things that I have always thrived on. When I was younger, I would create change by simply packing my bags and starting fresh in a new city. The older you get,  it seems that the less geographically mobile you can be. I’m not sure how the Hubs would take it if he came home and I told him pack your bags, we’re moving to Santa Fe, NM.

We’re not moving to New Mexico.

But I do have some pretty big news. I just signed an offer letter to work at Rutgers University.  I am excited about it and angsty all at the same time. Excited because this job will give the Hubs and I more breathing room financially. Angsty because it has been 2 years since I have worked in a 9-5 job setting.

What does all of this mean for LBG, yoga and my INspired Life Wellness Coaching?  Well, not much is changing besides my schedule, really.  I have already paired down my yoga teaching schedule. I did this a couple of months ago to work on developing my own practice (that has had its highs and lows, but that’s another blog post entirely).  LBG is still going strong. We’re a new company and we have had our fair share of growing pains as all start ups do. Nancy and I continue to be focused, determined and INspired to bring the Living INside Out Manifesto and philosophy to the masses. We have lots of plans up our sleeves, but  you’ll all have to wait until they are properly brewed.

The biggest change will be the scheduling of my private clients. No more day time hours. I will only be able to work with people in the early morning and evening hours. It will be challenging, but in the long run I am happy with my decision. Over the past few weeks I have had a number of doula client inquiries. Unfortunately, this is the one thing that I will have to let go of for the time being. 9-5 jobs just don’t mesh well with labor and delivery.

Food, Health

Beer is Healthy, but GREENS are Better

Happy St. Patricks Day!! If you go on a bender today in celebration, try to make up for it tomorrow with a delicious green smoothie or freshly squeezed green juice!

Greens are everywhere – power greens, supergreens, fresh greens, wheatgrass shots …but what are you supposed to do with them? Greens can be a little bit overwhelming when you’re first trying to incorporate them into your diet. People always ask me how to add them and what to do to make them taste good. The first thing I look to when answering this question is myBlendtech!

Adding greens to your favorite fruit smoothie is a fabulous way to get the power packed nutrients that greens offer. If you didn’t read Lauren’s post, 10 Reasons to Eat Your Greens, go dot it now! Now I know, the color that greens turn smoothies can be a bit off putting. Most of us aren’t used to drinking something that looks like toxic sludge or worse, something bright green *gasp!* – it looks like slime, not food!! Well, it is food…and it’s food that’s great for you. My simple advice, get over it! And if you just can’t get over it, do what my boyfriend Stephen does, drink it with your eyes closed.

Ok, so now you’re going to take the green smoothie plunge, but you’re not sure how. Well, it’s super easy! You can start by adding fresh greens to your smoothie or a super greens supplement. If you’re adding fresh greens, the ratio for a green smoothie should be 60% fruit and 40% greens (collard, spinach, mustard, kale, or swiss, green or red chard). You really can’t make a mistake, more fruit, less greens and add your favorite liquid and blend. I often use coconut water or just plain water. Sometimes I use fruit juice, but this does up the calorie content of the smoothie. I also like to add my own nutritional boosts to the smoothie like maca powder, acai (pronounced ah-sa-eeee, which is available in the freezer section at Whole Foods or your local health foods store. I usually choose the sugar free acai), flax oil, hemp seeds or almonds. You can add a little honey or agave for sweetness.

You can find a number of fabulous supergreens in Whole Foods or your favorite health foods store. They range from froze wheatgrass shots to powdered supplements. When buying supergreens supplements it’s important to choose organic. Supergreens are super concentrated which means, if they’re not organic, you’re also going to get super concentrated pesticides- yuck!! I use Green Magma Barley Grass Juice Powder or Pure Synergy.

There really isn’t a specific green smoothie recipe to follow, it’s kind of like a stew, a little of this and a little of that to suit your tastes. Just experiment and see what works for you!.

Terra’s Favorite Green Smoothie

1/2 c. Diced Mango

1/2 c. Diced pineapple

Handful of fresh baby spinach

Coconut water

1 Frozen Wheatgrass Shot

1 tbsp of Green Magma Barley Grass Juice Powder

Put it all in the blender and blend! This smoothie will come out electric green with a sweet tang because of the mango and pineapple. It’s my favorite!!

More Life...

Freshen Up Your Life: Getting Clear About Your Intentions

Sometimes during a change of season you can start to feel stagnant or discouraged. As summer winds down you may begin feel like you’re spinning your wheels but not moving forward. At these times in your life you need to remember to slow down and look from a different vantage point. The energy of the seasons are changing and so should your perspective. Gaining perspective from a different view enables you to get clear about your intentions and goals.

If you don’t know if you need a different perspective, ask yourself the following questions:

~ Do I know what my goals and intentions are?
~ Have I started working on these goals?
~ Am I satisfied with my progress?
~ Am I moving the right direction?
~ Have I achieved something that I am satisfied with?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, it’s time to put everything in perspective and more forward with competence, flair and confidence. Get fresh about your life!! When you feel frustrated and stagnant remind yourself of a few things:

~ You are unique, fresh and exciting!
~ Breathe and take things in stride, one step at a time!
~ Small changes are lasting changes!
~ Visualize and be clear about your intentions, see your end goal as your reality and work towards it with confidence!
~ Fuel your body with positive energy and fresh wholesome foods!
~ Take time to yourself.
~ Know that you can achieve anything!
~ What you believe, you receive!

The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become. ~ W.E.B. Du Bois

Happy Solstice Everyone!!

Health, More Life...

Video Killed the Health Coach Star….

Radio Star, Health Coach Star. either works 😉 what it boils down to is this…. I think the television is making me lazy and stupid. If not lazy and stupid, it’s simply zapping my inspiration, creativity and motivation!

Source

Before I started living with Stephen, I never watched television. Now I find my ass on the couch at a minimum of 4 hours per day. Holy crap, that is sickening! Granted, I am not necessarily watching TV during those hours (usually obsessing over sites like WeddingBee, StylemePretty and OnceWed…but I am on my computer for at least that amount…while sitting on the couch, in front of a television that is ON.
How the hell did this happen? And why did it take me over a year to realize this? Who knows. The important thing is I realize that the television is making me lazy and stupid. Add that to the challenge – less tv. I am going to have to actually work in my office or at the dining room table. Sirius or NPR will be more stimulating. And maybe I’ll find my voice and ability to blog and write again and let my creative juices flow again…
One can only hope.
Inspiration

Slow Down, Be Thankful, Enjoy the Moment

Who doesn’t feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day? I regularly try to pack 36 into 24. Often we rush through the day, running here and there, and end up exhausted. I have definitely been guilty of this in the past few weeks. Somehow these days full of duties, obligations and busyness have begun to build up and become our lives. We’ve come to believe that being productive and crossing things off our to-do list is the ultimate goal.

The truth is, life on Earth is a brief gift, and our time is too precious to be used like this. The ultimate goal isn’t to cross things off our to-do list, but to savor every moment of life. If we want our lives to be balanced and healthy, we need to lessen our load and increase our down time. This means planning less in a day, prioritizing those things that make our hearts sing and de-prioritizing those things that are not imperative.

If we must accomplish many things each day, we can still change the quality with which we do things. How can we transmute that sprint to the train into something delicious instead of the usual gripping and tightening experience? Today, instead of waiting in frustration at Staples for my print job, I treated myself to a sushi dinner. I found ease and enjoyment in the midst of stress. Taking time to enjoy my dinner was one way today I attempted to cultivate the art of going slowly.

Take a few moments before you climb out of bed in the morning to remember your dreams and to think about what you want from the day. Give thanks for all that you have. Leave your watch on the bedside table. Take the scenic route. Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. Check email only twice a day. Don’t pack your schedule so tightly that there’s no time for a short walk. Light candles before you start to cook dinner. Enjoy a glass of wine. Add one moment here and there for slowness; it can be done simply and will have a profound effect on your well-being.

What are you thankful for and how are you going to try to slow down as we move towards the Holiday Season at light speed?

Health, Inspiration

Play More, Eat Less


Remember when you were a child and you got so wrapped up in playing, imagining or creating that you didn’t want to stop when it was time to eat? Do you remember leaving your meal half-finshed to run off and continue playing? Children innately understand that food is secondary to what is most nutritious and primary in life: fun and play.

As adults we seem to have lost our instinct to prioritize play. In our busy world, with its emphasis on work and responsibility, to be healthy and balanced we must work on more than just our bodies; we must feed our hearts, minds and spirits.

Have you noticed that when your body, mind and spirit are engaged in a creative project or happy relationship, your reliance on food seems to decrease? Likewise, when you are unsatisfied with your relationship, your job or other areas of your life, you may depend on food to cheer, soothe or numb you. When your life is out of balance, no amount of food can feed you where you truly need nourishment. The food that we eat is very important for health and balance, but what really feeds us—a full and fulfilling life –doesn’t come on a plate.

What is fun for you? What makes you light up? What excites you? Make time for it this week. Even if you don’t have much free time for fun, try approaching a “serious” activity with an attitude of play. This can greatly reduce stress and anxiety and bring more pleasure to your day. Take your focus off food, try adding more fun into your life and watch the magic unfold!!

Health

Glamorous Hydration!!

There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it…you need to drink water to stay fit and healthy. It’s estimated that up to 70% of our body is made up of water! Our blood is mostly water and our muscles and brains contain lots of water. We need water to assimilate vitamins and nutrients into our body, to transport oxygen to nourish our cells, to remove waste and to protect our organs and joints! Without water our bodies cannot function properly. Water is also in our lymph (nodes and fluids) so the amount of water in our body directly affects our immune system. If you want to boost your immunity, stay hydrated!

Oftentimes we don’t realize that the symptoms we’re feeling are the result of dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration can include chronic joint and muscle pain, lower back pain, headaches and even constipation. If there is a strong odor or color to your urine it’s a big indication that we’re not giving our body enough water! Our bodies needed the water long before we started to feel thirsty.

For years people have followed the old adage that one should have 8, 16oz glasses of water per day. This may seem like a lot. For some it may be too much, for others too little, it all depends on the person. Size and activity levels should be taken into account. We lose water through every day activity including urination, sweating and even respiration. The more active you are, the more water you will lose, therefore the more water you need to take in!

We have found that a good estimate is to divide your weight by half to give you the number of ounces of water your body needs. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70oz (around 8 glasses). The water equation is complicated by variables! For ever 20 minutes you exercise you should add another 8oz. If you’re having an adult alcoholic beverage, you should have at least equal the amount of water (hangover prevention!). If you live in a hot, dry climate, add another two glasses!

Up to 20% of your water intake will come from the foods you eat. The rest must come from the beverages you drink. If your head is spinning trying to figure out the perfect amount… take a breath. Better yet, take a sip of your water and relax! We have a few tips that will help you up your water intake without even realizing your doing it!

~ Ditch the soda pop and energy drinks. While carbonated beverages and energy drinks contain water, they also contain high levels of caffeine, sugar and sodium. Not only are these drinks packed with empty calories that we don’t need, but the high levels of caffeine causes dehydration! If you drink a caffeinated beverage, tack on another 2 glasses of water to make up for it!

~ Give it a kick! Spice up your water with a hint of flavor. Flavored waters are all the rage these days. We say, “why waste the money when you can make your own?” Fill up a pitcher with water and add orange, mint, cucumber, lemon or lime to give it a kick! Experiment with favor combinations! One of my favorites is orange and clove!

~ Switch out your java for herbal tea.
I know this one may be tough for you die hard coffee drinkers….but again with the caffeine! There are so many great herbal tea flavor options out there. You can drink it hot with a lemon or steep the tea and pour it over ice! Just be sure that the herbal tea you choose isn’t a diuretic! Diuretics trick your body into thinking you have more water than we need…thus resulting in the need to drink more water!!

~ Add some bubbly and feel like a rock star! Try sparkling water with a splash of juice (my favorite is pomegranate) with a twist of lime. This is a delicious bubbly daytime cocktail that will make you feel like a rock star!

~ Get funky with some sexy style! Seriously, ditch the plastic water bottles. They’re bad for the environment and how sexy is BPA? You got it, it’s not! BPA has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals and has been linked to diabetes in humans! But we still drink out of it? Preposterous! Shell out the $30 to buy a new Sigg bottle or other BPA free reusable bottle. I personally have a collection of Sigg bottles to choose from depending on my outfit and mood! You can even go to Café Press and design your own!

~ Get glamorous!!!!!!!!! If you are anything like 3 Healthy Chicks, you have cabinets filled with amazing stem ware. Beautiful wine goblets, snappy martini glasses and frosty pint glasses lifted from your favorite college joint. Who says they have to be filled with wine, vodka or beer? They’re fabulous glasses and there’s no reason for them to be collecting dust in your china cabinet! Dust off that hand painted (non-toxic!) martini glass and have some H2O on the rocks with a twist of lime and sprig of mint! Hell, put on your favorite Jersey Girl, Joan Rivers style sunglasses and embrace the healthy rock star that you are.

Cocktails before noon? Definitely!

Advocacy, Health

The Health Care Debate…

“In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties”
~ Henri Fredric Amiel

When you say the words “Integrative Health” or “Integrative Nutrition” most people don’t have a clue what you mean. American’s today are used to going to their health care practitioner only when something has already gone wrong. And most are seeking a quick result in pill form or an easy access cure. They want one answer. This philosophy, which has been promulgated by the traditionalist training of the medical community and the boom of the pharmaceutical industry is reason number one the United States is in a health crisis. This health crisis and the current healthcare debate is plastered all over the news. Democrats and Republicans alike are duking it out over what the answer should be. Everywhere you turn there’s talk of insurance, money, Medicare, pharmaceutical companies. Big Healthcare, big dollars, small results.

Please don’t be mistaken, we are indeed in a health crisis. A vast number of families in the United States can’t afford health care, yet we are the unhealthiest First World nation in the world! The United States ranks 29th globally in infant mortality – tied with Poland and Slovakia (we were 12th in 1960). Sixty percent of adult deaths are attributable to chronic disease. Chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, and certain preventable cancers like prostate, colon and often breast and ovarian. Our nation is being crippled by chronic disease. Over 46 million citizens are uninsured or under insured. Health insurance premiums rise four times as fast as our pay rates. More than half the bankruptcies in the United States are from medical bills. 66%, SIXTY-SIX percent of US citizens are overweight or obese. Obesity in children has doubled in the past 30 years and tripled in adolescents! (this information was obtained from a presentation given by Dr. Theresa Kennedy).

The flaw in our system lies in its “curative” nature coupled with the fact that it’s driven by corporate profit and greed. Health in this country is addressed when something goes wrong. People don’t pay attention to what they put in their body or what their body interacts with. We don’t have a health care system; we have a SICK care system. We need to change to a preventative system. Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. It’s not merely the absence of disease. And this is one of our fundamental rights as human beings and as citizens of the United States.

I will say that again, it is a fundamental right for us to live in a state of complete physical, mental and social well being!!

There is hope.

Seven months ago, President Barack Obama requested the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to investigate the health crisis. On February 26th the Committee held a hearing. That hearing directly addressed integrative, yes Integrative Care: a Pathway to a Healthier Nation. Esteemed doctors including Dr. Oz, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Andrew Weil testified. Words that each of highlighted were integrative health, and health Coach. Click here to watch the Senate hearing.

I remember watching this video on the Senate’s website days after the hearing was held. I was elated and invigorated knowing that our elected officials were learning about integrative health. I thought back to one of my first days at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition when founder, Joshua Rosenthal said we were on the cusp of something great, that we were creating a health revolution. I believed him, I still do, but I was worried about the rest of the United States. I have seen many people simply roll their eyes when topics like positivity, primary foods, organic produce, environmental toxicity, GMOs and hormones in beef come up. They either don’t care or don’t believe me or are in denial.

Even though the Senate seems at least open to “alternative” ideas such as health coaches, history makes it obvious that change is not going to happen swiftly. The health care debate raging now is the same one that raged through the 1990s when President Bill Clinton was in office. The only difference is the stakes. They’re higher now, Americans are sicker.

I am not posting this blog to seem downtrodden about our Government, its process and the action or inaction it takes. In the words of Mike Adams, the Health Ranger we need a “popular health care revolt; people marching in the streets, setting fire to packets of aspartame.” While I think the Health Ranger may be on to something, lets start a health revolution with our own health first. We are the first step in health reform. You are in charge of your own health. A healthy life starts with the choices you make daily, make them good ones! If you are unsure of how to make positive choices to improve your health, reach out to a health coach to help guide the way for you.

Health

Health Coach?

As many of you may know I’m a graduates of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Board certified Holistic Health Counselors. That sounds very healthy and impressive, but what is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and what exactly is a Board certified Health Counselor?

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is the only nutrition school in the world that integrates all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods.

There are big differences between a traditional dietitian or nutritionist and Holistic Health Counselors. While nutrition is an extremely large component to Holistic Health Counseling, it is not the only aspect. Integrative nutrition and holistic health embraces as philosophy and a practical approach to well-being, that food is a secondary source of nourishment, while relationships, career, spirituality, and exercise are primary nourishments that sustain us more deeply.

Founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Joshua Rosenthal states, “You can eat all the broccoli in the world and still be unhappy and unhealthy because other aspects of your life aren’t balanced. When you are satisfied with your career, in a loving relationship, have a spiritual practice, and exercise on a regular basis, you will be more likely to make better decisions about the foods you eat.”

One of the most important aspects of holistic health counseling that I embrace the concept of bioindividuality. I strongly believe that no one diet works for everyone. I take a yogic view to our counseling practice, in that we believe balance is the key to health and happiness. In my practice, Sprouting Wellness I assist clients in taking small, but proactive steps to create lasting changes.

As your Holistic Health Counselor I will work one on one with you to:

~ Set and accomplish goals
~ Explore new foods
~ Understand and reduce cravings
~ Increase your energy
~ Feel better in your body
~ Improve personal relationships
~ Follow your bliss!
~ Learn to love the life you live~

Imagine what your life would be like if you had clear thinking, energy and excitement every day! When was the last time you talked with someone about your health, or that of your child, and received the personal attention you deserve? It’s rare for anyone to get an hour to work on their nutrition and goals with a trained professional. As a Holistic Health Counselor, I’m here to create a supportive environment while we explore what really works for you.

Email me today at terra@sproutingwellness.com to schedule your free health consultation and to find out more about taking small steps to lasting change.