Holiday News

holiday wellness coaching photo
Scene from my latest health and wellness office hours visit at HQ Raleigh

Hello Friends!

 

Thanks for keeping up with happenings here on the blog. It’s been a blast talking and writing with you all. Please keep your questions and comments coming – it only serves to make the blog and business better!

 

Wanted to let you know about a few cool things going on in recent months:

-The folks at Somewhere did a feature article about my work and business. They are an awesome crew.

-I offer health and wellness office hours for the smart & motivated entrepreneurs at HQ Raleigh. It has been an amazing group of people to get to know, and we’ve addressed many diverse issues to bring better health to members.

I am available for speaking engagements about goal-setting, healthy habits, and staying healthy at home and at work. I love the power of speaking with groups about these issues, and it is so much fun!

-I’ve been teaching vinyasa yoga for private and corporate clients around the Triangle area. It’s been such a gift to watch the students grow together and to stretch in ways they never thought possible.
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Beat the winter blues

 

healthy during winter photo
Winter Sunrise photo by Ryan McGuire courtesy of imcreater.com

Hellllooooo Winter.

I spent all of last weekend huddled inside my house because of the freezing temps and some work deadlines. While I enjoyed and needed this break, after 2 days, I was ready to re-enter the world again. The only problem? Even though my brain was ready to get moving, my body was NOT having it. I felt tired and lazy in a way I haven’t felt in a long time…well actually…in a way I hadn’t felt since last winter! We all know it’s true….

It’s hard to be active and exercise during the winter.

No one wants to be out in the cold.  I learned the hard way this week that the winter wind is that much worse when you’re going 10 mph on the bike, and even more importantly, it can be downright dangerous to run or bike in icy conditions. Then there’s that whole daylight savings thing…it’s dark when many of us leave work, which puts a damper on post-work outdoor time.

But it’s not just the weather that’s holding us back. Our body’s seasonal clock and attitudes can dampen our motivation, too.

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Turn Distress into Eustress

 

turn distress into eustress photo
Photo by Wellington Sanipe via unsplash.com

Yes, yes, yes, stress is important, nay, necessary for survival. Despite being a biological system critical for our health and wellbeing, however, the human stress response is a rather blunt instrument. We have the same surge of adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine each time we encounter a stresser, whether it be an injury, a verbal attack, exercise, or anxiety about a future event. Even though these very different situations require different responses, our body’s chemistry treats them essentially equally.
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Wiggle your way to health

What do Erik Carlson and Jason Derulo have in common?

Well, not much. But they do share an appreciation of a good wiggle.

 

Today, I’m not talking about rap or insects, I’m actually talking about the random movement generator used in computer algorithms and robotics.

Okay stick with me, this actually does relate to your health.
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Stay motivated after the honeymoon phase: keeping with your healthy habits

bike health goals
Me and my new Torch bike helmet on a beautiful fall day

Day 1. Riding my bike to work this morning was a dream. Cool breeze, the rush of speeding down hills, and I made it to work in half the time of my usual commute. This just might be the new favorite part of my day. I found myself telling anyone who would listen – “This is the best thing ever…Couldn’t imagine my life without it.”

Day 60. Okay. A little less fun now. I’m sleepy, I’m wearing gloves, and I am now bargaining with myself: do I work harder so I go faster, or do I slow down so there is less wind resistance? I still love riding my bike to work, but it’s definitely lost that luster and shiny new feeling that caused a surge of adrenaline every time I rode.

Day 1 was totally the honeymoon phase. The new joy of riding sustained me through sore legs, sweltering afternoons, and car-dodging that is a part of any active commute. By Day 60, me and my bike have a comfortable routine. He’s good to me, and I to him. I still fill up my tires with care, give him an appreciative pat when we arrive at our destination safely, but I’m not energized and excited to get on the bike every morning.

This transition from the honeymoon phase of excitement to the normal day-to-day is the case with most things in life because our brains are wired to like new. New things are more stimulating for our brains and produce a bigger response – for good or bad. Over time, our body becomes used to what we are doing, and we lose some of that excitement and motivation to keep on going.

It’s so important to stick with health habits and routines through this lull in the relationship though, because after the lull comes the true signs of a sustainable and lasting relationship. After the lull, these habits become so ingrained that they become our default, and thus, take a lot less energy and motivation to actually do day after day, week after week. So how do you stay motivated to stick with your health routines and habits as you leave the honeymoon phase?
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Carrot Quinoa Muffin Recipe

carrot quinoa muffin recipe

Is it a good or a bad sign that these carrot quinoa muffins were the highlight of our weekend trip to New York City? I’m going to say a very good sign. We had an amazing weekend visiting friends, attending an awesome, dance-filled wedding, walking all over lower Manhattan, eating great food, and drinking delicious coffee. Quite a lot to fit in to 72 hours. Luckily, on our first morning in town, we were able to take a relaxing morning with my friend Jess to make breakfast together.

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How to Enjoy Cooking

enjoy cooking at home photo

I mentioned in last week’s newsletter that I had an interesting conversation with friends where we realized that half of us really enjoy cooking – we find it to be a meditative, relaxing process – while the other half feel that cooking is tiring, difficult, and simply not worth the time. What I realized after that conversation, though, was that I haven’t always loved cooking like I do now.  Long ago, I was a slow, inefficient cook that was cooking out of need, rather than pleasure.

 

But as with any new skill, learning to enjoy cooking takes time. It takes a little more brain space until your muscle memory can kick in and you can relax into a flow as a you cook. Similar again to any other skill you’re learning, the important thing is to not give up before you reach the other side. Because once you do, cooking can be a refuge and a way to relax. In my opinion, cooking (and enjoying cooking) is one of the best skills to have because Americans who cook spend almost 60 minutes per day preparing food! Imagine how great it would be if you LOVED those 60 minutes instead of dreading them – it would be an extra hour of your day that is full of happiness, an extra 7 hours per week, and 364 hours per year.  In a day and age where every second counts….that’s a lot of time spent doing something you enjoy.  Continue reading…


Quick ways to choose a healthier snack

choose a healthier snack photo
Snack choices at a restaurant I visited in Bogota, Colombia last summer

 

Do you often find yourself staring at a product display, trying to find the healthy choice among 10 or 20 foods that seem exactly the same? It can be tough to figure out which product best aligns with your needs and health routine, especially since every product proudly displays why they are the best choice.

When you find yourself faced with too many product choices, but no leads on which one best aligns with your healthy habits and goals, here are some quick and easy ways to choose a healthier snack.

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