2016

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Taking small steps towards your goals

This is the time of year when we tend to entertain the idea of resolutions that will begin January 1 and take us into the rest of our lives. Don't take that to mean that I don't support looking into the future with healthful goals in mind--but I know from experience that it is the crafting of the fine print of those goals that will set us up for successful achievement or a sense of overwhelm and challenge that will thwart our best intention.

Resolutions tend to be a broad stroke approach to a desired outcome, whereas small step goals are specific daily behaviors that allow for success to be experienced. As opposed to "I am going to get into shape in 2010", two small goals would be created such as "I will eat a mixed and colorful salad for lunch twice per week", and "I will walk after work, for 15 minutes, three times per week"; these two goals may seem insignificant and not likely to lead to measurable success, but these small-step goals are actually the first steps towards lifetime success. Imagine a client who eats a packaged sandwich from the cafeteria most days, and who does not engage in routine physical activity--committing to these two small-step goals will invite immediate and pleasant success, thereby creating the platform upon which more challenging goals will be considered in the future. "Getting into shape" is a goal that will take months to realize, while tracking daily behaviors of adding in healthful foods and routine body movement are measurable and realistic goals that can be modified every couple of weeks, as success becomes the familiar response to behavior change commitment.

What small steps will you be taking that will lead to your optimal health and well-being?

Mindful Cooking

A friend, her husband, and I had a conversation the other day about mindfulness while cooking; how cooking could become a meditation -- a calming, grounding, gratifying experience -- if you allow it.

3 hours last night in the kitchen, and the many more hours to be spent there today in preparation for a family gathering on Thanksgiving, has provided me the opportunity to do just that: cultivate a mindfulness while enjoying the art of creating healthful, delicious, and hand-made dishes, infused with love and gratitude.  My senses are stimulated by the savory aromas, the gorgeous orange and yellow of the citrus and deep red of the cranberries, the sweet tang of the fresh squeezed juice; my mind is soothed by the rhythm of stirring, adding, tasting...

The love and gratitude I am blessed to feel will be shared amongst my family and our friends with each splendid morsel. This unhurried pace that is so nurturing to me will permeate our feast.

Not all meals are prepared with mindfulness. Life, at least my life, does not always provide these circumstances in which I can enjoy mindful cooking.

Does yours?

National Wellness Institute Acknowledgement

I am proud and pleased to share that I have been acknowledged by the National Wellness Institute, Division of Academic Accreditation, as a Certified Wellness Practitioner. The application included a 1500 word essay documenting my professional commitment and expertise, as well as three professional recommendations for the award. This certification states that I have "met standards set by the National Wellness Institute for the development of an individual's competence to practice as a Health Promotion/Wellness Practitioner". That's me!

Enjoy The Holidays: Eat Well, Eat Smart

Do you think of the holidays as a food free-for-all time? Is it possible to enjoy, yet survive, holiday eating? Can you maintain your commitment to optimal health through the holidays?

YES! With a little forethought and awareness, you can eat well, eat smart, and enjoy the holidays. These sensible tips are my (early) holiday gift to you.

Remember the basics:

  • Eat 5 small meals per day. This approach to food is recommended to maintain efficient metabolism and minimize hunger, allowing for healthful food decision making. You know what happens when you become ravenous—you will eat any and all food put in front of you!
  • Choose from the plant foods. The carbohydrates from whole grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruit are filling. They will take up room in your stomach, perhaps diminishing the chances of choosing high fat or processed foods. Not to mention the many physical health benefits of eating plant foods, such as antioxidant, fiber, mineral, and vitamin properties.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water can be filling, which may diminish hunger and allow for healthful food decision making. You can dilute juice drinks with water, to lower the amount of sugar and calories you take in. If you are partying, I recommend alternating water with alcoholic beverages to prevent overdoing the alcohol as well as to decrease the amount of simple carbohydrate and calorie taken in (and minimize the morning after headache…).

And HERE they are, Holiday Survival Skills:

  • Nibble on a healthy fat, 10 minutes prior to sitting down to a meal or leaving for a party--this will activate the brain's satiation hormone. Examples are 1 ounce of nuts, ¼ avocado, a half-container of yogurt, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter; the richness of the fat, as well as the time it takes to digest, will displace the feeling of hunger and allow for healthful food choices later.
  • Plan ahead to balance your food intake for the day. If you are going to a party in the evening, choose well for your two earlier small meals and small in-between-meal snacks. If you have had an indulgent family holiday breakfast, eat lean and light for the remainder of the day.
  • State a positive affirmation prior to arriving at the party or family dinner. Consider “I will honor my commitment to my health and eat mindfully and healthfully” or ”I intend to enjoy small tastes of my favorite foods”. Positive affirmations are very powerful and will influence the outcome of your choices.
  • Arrive with a success strategy, which will allow you the permission to splurge, but to do so with intention and awareness. Know ahead that you will likely be enticed to eat rich foods: casseroles, cheeses and meats, dips, cocktails and wine, and tantalizing desserts, to name a few. Repeat your positive affirmation statement! Eat with confidence!
  • There is no need to deprive yourself! You might however, cruise the buffet table before taking a plate, and decide what will go on your plate--enhance the opportunity for choosing wisely. Use a small plate, and take small tastes of several well-chosen foods.
  • Select what you eat wisely. Combine protein and carbohydrates, such as veggies, bean salad, grain casserole, cheese, smoked fish, and chicken skewers from the buffet table. Eat these foods prior to considering desserts.
  • Bring a healthy dish to share--you know you'll have at least one healthful dish to choose from!
  • Egg nog and punch or any beverage with alcohol, when consumed sensibly, are perfectly reasonable holiday choices. If you have 2 generous portions of egg nog however, you might consider modifying the food choices you make later in the evening, or better yet, have a couple of small sips of egg nog, eat well at the party, and enjoy a glass of red wine with your meal!
  • Move away from the buffet table. This will minimize the temptation to keep nibbling. Keep in mind this formula: standing + talking + laughing + nibbling = overeating.
  • Sit down to eat. Eat slowly. Savor each bite.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes before selecting dessert. This strategy will allow time for your brain to catch up with your stomach. You might get lucky and realize that you are not hungry for dessert! If you do have dessert, take a small piece(s) of whatever you choose, and eat it slowly, savoring the flavor.
  • Be prepared with a cheerful retort or two when the hostess or your mother tries to give you seconds: “What a fabulous meal, I am so satisfied”… or “Thank you, I am taking a break to make more room”…
  • Brush your teeth! After you have eaten slowly, and have enjoyed each bite on your small plate, excuse yourself to the bathroom. You will change the flora of your mouth and feel less inclined to eat more food. This works!
  • If it is in your house, it will end up in your mouth! Do yourself a favor and leave the goodies to be enjoyed at the party, restaurant, or someone else’s house.
  • Cultivate a mindful practice to balance holiday activity and stress. Find alternative self-soothing techniques such as intentional relaxation or regular physical activity.

Time management, productivity and Lance Brown’s perspective

I just got off the phone with Lance, my web guy extraordinaire. We discussed, among other topics, my feeling stressed about not having published a blog in over two weeks.  Excuses are not difficult: travel to Florida twice in two months, preparing three new PowerPoint presentations for upcoming workshops, working 2 half-days per week in my husband's office, adjusting to the early dark evenings, exercise, cooking, blah blah blah... As a super-organized person, I have been attempting to develop a "schedule" for writing: Monday, blog; Tuesday, submit an article to an online magazine; Wednesday, connect with other relevant bloggers; and on and on. It turns out that creativity does not respond well to being scheduled--at least for me. In my waiting for a pattern to establish itself, I have become stressed about being behind and now so much time has passed!

I'd like to thank Lance for motivating me through explanation, reasoning, and kind support. He knows his stuff.

If you've been waiting for a blog post or my next newsletter, I thank you. And you won't be waiting much longer...

Robin Recommends…THINK LOCAL FIRST

THINK LOCAL FIRSTSBC_Decal_5inStaticCling_PROOF Nevada County Foothills
EAT. SHOP. GROW. GIVE. LIVE.

Services: The THINK LOCAL FIRST program is creating local living economies throughout the Western Nevada County, working to ensure that economic power resides locally, sustaining healthy community life and environmental quality as well as long-term economic prosperity. Through celebratory events, marketing of local independent business, networking, local buying guides and coupon books, and other educational efforts, THINK LOCAL FIRST seeks to foster support for the business and people that make the communities of Western Nevada County special and strong and grounded in personal and community relationships.

The purpose of THINK LOCAL FIRST Nevada County Foothills, is to increase public awareness, through public education, of the benefits of Thinking Local First in the following areas: Retail, Agriculture, Arts and Music, Community Capital, Energy, Land Use, Manufacturing and Waste Management. This is accomplished by organizing and facilitating a network of locally owned, independent businesses in the Western Nevada County Foothills, encouraging community membership, publishing stories and ads in different publications, radio and TV public service announcements, promoting events, speaking at events and information booths at various events. The founders of THINK LOCAL FIRST envision a just and sustainable global economy comprised of local living economies that enhance community life and natural systems, and promote social fairness and economic vitality.

Robin's Thoughts: THINK LOCAL FIRST Nevada County Foothills is a collaborative effort of local business and community leaders to support the success of businesses within our own community. The mission of creating a sustainable business structure that encourages local dollars to be spent on community businesses and professional services demonstrates forward action that will lead to a thriving Nevada County business culture.

Included in the benefits of joining THINK LOCAL FIRST, is the discount you will be offered by member merchants. When you see the THINK LOCAL FIRST logo in the window of a business, simply present your membership card -- and enjoy the discount, as well as knowing that you are supporting local Nevada County businesses.

Contact Info

Web: http://localfirstfoothills.org
Email: various board member emails are available on the website.


“Robin brings dedication, focus, passion, and intellect to whatever endeavor she is pursuing. She does not just talk about good health, she practices it thoroughly every day of her life. When she talks to clients about healthy lifestyle choices, they are able to see the effects of healthy choices by observing the woman in front of them!”
Arthur S., Client

recipe link
nowhearthis
mindful more
more...balancedlife
more...quietingbusybrain
more...real food
justmove
Blog Categories