What is a simple health hack you recommend?
Swap the table salt you use for 100% pure sea salt. My favorite is celtic sea salt which is harvested off the coast of Brittany, France using wooden rakes and then air dried in the sun to preserve the enzymes, trace minerals, and life giving properties. We get absorbable trace minerals from food, ideally through vegetables that absorb them through the soil, but our soil is so depleted now from factory farming practices that most children and adults are deficient in all minerals, including trace minerals (there are approximately 75 trace minerals). From 1950-2000, soil levels here in the United States contain 79% less trace minerals! Trace minerals, which are vital minerals that we only need in very small amounts, are essential for building cells in our bodies. They are responsible for mitochondria health which in turn effects our energy levels and how fast we age, tendon, muscle, and tissue repair, heart function, blood building, wound healing, quality sleep, and so much more. Celtic sea salt and other pure sea salts such as himalayan salt, provide trace minerals in an absorbable form. Pure sea salt also has been shown to lower blood pressure and it provides a mellow salt taste with less overall sodium than processed table salt. Be sure to read labels as some packaged sea salts also contain anti-caking agents and fillers which you don't want.
What is the difference between a health coach and a life coach?
I have never worked with a life coach so if you are one, feel free to chime in, but I assume there isn't much of a difference because you can’t be a happy, inspired, vibrant, energetic person without consuming a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep and exercise, and having a healthy mind body connection. Its all related. For me, as a health coach, food is the gateway. When we start paying attention to what we put in our bodies and how we feel physically as a result, we begin to notice other things such as our emotions and how we feel about all kinds of things from how creative and productive we are, our home environment, jobs, relationships, and finances, to name a few.. When I work with clients the first few sessions deal very specifically in food and supplements but from there we cover all aspects of a persons life, touching on food/physical health as needed; it is awesome, I continue to be amazed at the transformations that occur. In life coaching, I assume, the "gateway" or starting point is different, perhaps in the realm of career or relationships.
Do you drink? What do you think of alcohol?
I don’t get asked if I drink very often but I know people wonder if I do... If I am feeling good, experiencing balanced health, I might have about a half of a glass of wine per week but very often none at all, once in a while a glass per week. I enjoy a few sips of a good cabernet but but beyond that I don’t really want it because I know its not good for me and I love to feel great/normal after not feeling this way for so many years! If I am having mast cell reactions or feeling off in any way I do not drink (invest in a large YETI insulated tumbler and fill it with tea when going to friends houses). In terms of general health, balance is the name of the game. A few drinks on the weekend is probably okay if you are relaxed and socializing/connecting with friends and family as this contributes to overall health and wellbeing also, but beyond that, its not the healthiest choice. If you feel like you need or want alcoholic beverages every day I encourage you to look at why, sometimes its just a habit and other times its a sign that something in your day to day needs to shift.
Do/did you allow your children to eat sugar/junk food?
Yes, in an 80/20 sense or perhaps 90/10. Mostly healthy, unprocessed real food but with some snacks in the mix to round things out has been how it has worked. They have always been very balanced eaters and they appreciate good quality food, and by allowing some treats they don’t crave or have to have junk food when they are around it; we really do want what we can’t have! I always used to find most of my sons Halloween and Easter candy untouched in a drawer in their rooms, it just didn't interest them all that much whereas I think if it was "forbidden" they might have a different relationship to it. I certainly look for healthier snack options such as organic, gluten free, non-GMO and high fructose corn syrup free cookies, ice cream, high quality dark chocolate, and chips and popcorn made with healthier oils but some grocery store snacks do enter the mix too. Need a fast and healthy cookie recipe? See below...
What can enhance quality of life when you are dealing with a chronic illness?
I’ll mention two and these apply to those with balanced heath as well…
The first is stay in the moment, practice mindfulness. It always shocks my clients when in the midst of dealing with all things life and chronic illness they realize that in the specific moment we are discuss this, they are okay. Right now, in whatever is happening with you, family stuff, finances, health, daily stress etc… how are you? Focus in on your body and breathe. you actually might notice pain or physical discomfort, or an emotion that needs to be felt and that is okay, just acknowledge it and help yourself as needed. In most circumstances despite these things, we really are okay. Coming back to this place often throughout the day through meditation, conscious breathing, or simply focusing on what you are doing, turning off the thoughts, and just being, is a game changer.
The second, and it sounds so cliche, is to practice gratitude or appreciation. When you focus on the negative its easy to stay there; not a fun place to be! Shifting your mindset to what is going well moves you from a negative place to a positive place. You may even feel a shift in your being when you state something you are thankful for. There are most likely some things that are going right in life and its good to focus on those good things each day.
What products are you liking these day?
Cauliflower crackers! These are so good! I had not had a cracker or anything along the lines of a cracker in over a year because with mast cell activation, the almond flour crackers I used to eat by Simple Mills cause me to react (its nuts, no pun intended). I recently found these in our newly upgraded and enlarged health food market, Nature's Market, here in Manchester, and they are really good! I may have to try the cauliflower pretzels next!
Topical CBD cream for a shoulder injury. The brand I use is from Sagely Naturals. It contains no THC (no psychoactive side effects at all) and is made from organic, non-GMO hemp. A fabulous anti-inflammatory and I sleep very well when I use it. Check out their products if you have any kind of pain, anxiety/nervousness, want calm focus, or to improve sleep, and more.
Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies:
1 cup organic unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar free sweetener such as monk fruit, xylitol, or erythritol, a little more if you like a sweeter taste
In a mixing bowl, add peanut butter and heat for a minute in the microwave to bring to a more mixable consistency, add sweetener and mix well. Add egg and mix well. Drop by cookie scoopfuls or tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet and press these down with a wet fork into a crisscross pattern. bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.