Prepare For The Holidays? NOT!

IMG_0347Now that Halloween is over, the rest of the holidays will come sliding in at a speed to rival a tornado in the midwest. Hold on to your hats! 

When people ask me if I am ready for the holidays, I cringe; I've never met anyone who is ready. We cannot be "prepared for" the process of fitting a year's worth of cooking, baking, and visiting into two months! Using that phrase is setting yourself up to feel continually behind the eight ball. Let's change our words, maybe say that we plan to enjoy the holidays!

Thanksgiving is the first of the holidays we'll see here in the US and with it comes an overabundance of food, and family members attempting to out do their last year's offering with yet another take on Gramma's turkey dressing. Here's an idea. Let's go back to the days when it was simply a meal for sharing with friends and family - a celebration of the fall harvest. Make simpler offerings this year. A turkey roasted with plain bread stuffing. Gravy made from the pan drippings and no chemical additives like "Gravy Master." How about steamed fresh string beans to replace the high fat green bean casserole which I'm pretty sure wasn't at that first Thanksgiving... Use the Garlic Mashed Potato recipe I previously posted, or roast your potatoes in with the turkey and add some fall squash, turnips, and carrots. Think how much easier that will be with all the vegetables in the same pot as the turkey!

After so many years of making complicated meals, it might be difficult to make these changes, but at least try one or two that will give you more time to enjoy your family and friends, and maybe even guide everyone in a walk around the neighborhood after dinner! Making this holiday less stressful is your choice. Choose well, grasshopper!

Best of Health,

Kathi

There’s a National Chocolate Day!?

chocolate barToday I have included another recipe - this time for a healthy dessert. Now you'll be prepared for National Chocolate day...

This Chocolate Mousse is delicious! I made it just last week for a gathering of friends and there was none left; we ate every bit of it! This tasty treat, along with another, will be available for you to taste at my presentation on Fabulously Delicious Healthy Food, at the Cancer House of Hope in West Springfield on Wednesday Nov 4th. Come join the fun if you are in the area! There may be a video available afterwards, and if so, I will post a link for those who can't make it to this presentation. Unfortunately, since they haven't figured out the "Scotty Beam Me Up" thing yet, those who watch the presentation on video will not be able to enjoy the tasty treats, but the recipes are available for you to make them yourself!

Chocolate Mousse, from "The Cancer Survivors Guide."

This is a much more healthful version of the high fat, high calorie French delicacy. Chocolate contains important antioxidants that help the body fight off cancer and heart disease. AND, best of all, it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare!

Ingredients:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup nondairy milk (I use unsweetened almond or coconut)

2 - 12 ounce packages of silken tofu

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Raspberries (or your favorite berry)

Directions:

  1. Combine the chocolate chips and milk in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute. Let rest for 2 minutes. You can also cook the chips and milk in a double boiler over gently simmering water if you prefer not to use a microwave.
  2. Transfer the chip mixture to your blender, add tofu and vanilla, and process until smooth
  3. Pour into individual bowls and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (this can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days)
  4. Top with a couple of raspberries and serve.
  5. Yummmmm!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Coloring For Grown-ups!

The other day on my journey to teach Gentle Therapeutic Yoga, I was visited by a flock of turkeys - well actually, a family of them. I saw mom, dad, and several younger ones. Dad was attempting to cross the road and was nearly hit by the car in front of me. He stayed on the opposite side of the road after that scare, while mom and the children headed off into a nearby field. I'm sure he caught up with them eventually, unless the hawks decided he was small enough for them to carry off. I really love living in the country. The peace and quiet, the sound of the loons enjoying the lake on a summer evening, all the wildlife that is abundant in our beautiful Berkshires speaks to my soul. And when our souls or spirits are singing in harmony with nature, all those stress hormones begin leaving our body, improving our mood, lowering blood pressure, and protecting our brains! How cool is that!?

Most of us know that meditation is a good habit to start, and that a daily practice can help rid our bodies of stress hormones, but recent studies have shown that crafting and coloring can have the same effect. Knitting, sculpting, drawing, and other creative processes can put our mind, "in the zone," which causes the parasympathetic systems in our body to take over. Anxiety, depression, and grief are reduced, and most people find that time goes by much more quickly. So, find those old knitting needles that you stored in the attic. Get out that box of crayolas your grandkids play with and use them yourself! Have some "playtime" and reap the benefits for your body, mind, and soul.

I'm thinking of drawing and then coloring these mushrooms I found in my yard - pretty colorful, huh?

mushrooms on stump

Best of Health,

Kathi

Cold Weather Fix With EFT

The Autumn Equinox has come and gone, the leaves on the trees are doing their brilliant redesign, and colder weather has arrived in the Berkshires. I have already started wearing my fleece lined jeans.

While I do love the colors and the brisk air in the fall, I do not like the idea of heading into winter. In my classes this week, that was a topic of conversation, and most of us are not looking forward to winter. Being the Pollyanna that I am, it made me think of things that we can do to help ourselves enjoy the colder weather more, and be less stressed by it. The result of that thinking is a new video I've added to my YouTube channel.

EFT - Tapping is something I not only recommend and teach, but use myself on a regular basis. So, I have created a tapping routine for enjoying the cold! I plan to use it this winter and hope you will, as well!

A Round of Honey For Everyone!

September is National Honey month. Interesting - I wonder if that means my honey, Ned, or the honey I put in my tea?

purple flowersDid you know that honey can help you beat seasonal allergies? Yes, indeed. I have tested it out with many clients, family, and friends, and it works every time! One tablespoon of LOCAL honey a day keeps sniffling and sneezing away! The reason it works is that local honey is made by local bees who visit all the flowers in your neighborhood. Eating the honey is the same as getting allergy shots - you acclimate yourself to the pollen from those plants and flowers a little bit at a time, so that after six months, your symptoms disappear. How cool is that!? Just make sure the honey you buy is local and you'll be good to go by spring.

If you want more help with allergies, back pain, weight loss or any other health issue, contact me HERE for your very own personalized coaching program!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Cold Weather Eating Habits

Shoulder Bridge updatedI plan to keep this body that I have been blessed with in good shape, and in keeping with that thought, I'll be moving into my fall eating pattern soon. Yogic traditions recommend eating seasonally, as that aligns our body with nature, and is the way to better health. I am one of those who eats seasonally, mostly because my body recognizes this is what it needs. I absolutely LOVE leafy greens and fresh beans, strawberries, etc. in the summer, but as fall brings in the colder weather I begin to crave more root vegetables and heartier soups and stews. Breakfast changes from yogurt with fruit and nuts to oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Since oatmeal is much less expensive than goat yogurt, I'll be saving a little cash as well!

Here’s a favorite recipe for a fall veggie – Enjoy!

Best of Health,

Kathi

What Is Energy Healing?

Energy Healing is on the rise - partly due to people wanting a non- invasive, non-addictive, non-chemical solution for their aches and pains, but also because so many people see results. The ancient methods, treatments, and traditional herbal medicines that have been in use for thousands of years work very well when combined with our new technological advances for testing and repairing.

Modern medicine however, is designed to treat symptoms. You have to already be sick before a solution can be found. With energy medicine, distortions or blocks in your energy field, that eventually show up in your body as an ache, pain, or disease, can be discovered earlier. A skilled energy healer can sense blockages in your energy field before they show up as symptoms in your physical body. Those ancient shamans really knew what they were doing! An energy healer accesses the unified field, or source, or divine matrix, to help you heal your own energetic body.

Those of you who have been with me for a while know I believe very strongly that every body is different and there is no cookie cutter solution for any illness or pain. Therefore, I believe the best approach is to use any and all solutions available to us to find the one(s) that work best for our own body. When we are ill, we all deserve to have access to any and all effective treatments. East and West working together can more effectively heal our body, mind, and spirit. Include modern medicine, energy medicine, acupuncture, Ayurveda, homeopathic medicines, along with good nutrition and exercise in your health plan!

Want to try an energy healing session? Here’s a link to my Healing Touch (Reiki) page.

There are many simple energy healing techniques that you can use on a regular basis to improve your mood, or increase your energy when you feel tired in the middle of the day, and balance your chakra system.

Here's one to try for yourself with me right now:

Technology Not Making Life Easier?!

Well, technology is wonderful, when it works, but when it doesn't, it can be frustrating - IF You Let It Get To You! Tech glitches prevented me from publishing last week's newsletter. I didn't let it get to me, but I have to say that I have only recently mastered that skill. Even now, sometimes life's little glitches still get to me, but I am much better at taking them with a grain of salt these days. My own, "aha" moment came when I realized that I was working on several things at the same time and not getting ANY of them done. In fact, I was often forgetting what I went into a room for, because I would get into that room and see something that I'd started and not finished earlier, and auto pilot would have me start back on that task. Yikes! Time for a break!

Most of us have been consummate multi-taskers for much of our lives, but now that we know all this multi-tasking can cause Chronic Fatigue, Adrenal Depletion and more, we realize we have to take better care of our mind and body.

Here are some simple ways to begin to listen to our bodies, reconnect, and tune in with what's going on in the present moment. Remember - put your own oxygen mask on before you help someone with theirs!

  • Meditation is essential for the health of our mind and body. AND Meditation can be as simple as spending ten minutes each morning in silent prayer. Or, you can learn meditation techniques that help to clear your mind; then set aside 20 minutes each morning for your meditation practice. I cannot stress enough how important meditation is to our well being.
  • Journal your thoughts daily. Sitting down with pen and notebook and asking yourself - How Do I Feel Today? The answers will come and you will feel better after they are out of your mind and onto the paper.
  • Playtime is just as important as an adult, as it was when we were kids - maybe more so. Children naturally laugh at least 70% more than adults. Let's change that statistic. Find time to dance, sing, walk on a beach or in the woods, play catch with your dog, do any activity that brings you joy and makes you smile and/or laugh. Laughter reduces the stress hormones coursing through your body, so make time for some fun!

The concept of, "me time," is not an easy one to grasp. BUT, when we embrace the fact that we can't control everything, we begin to know the freedom of not having to try to control everything in our life. Be open to infinite possibilities, and life becomes more exciting, fun, and laughable!

Here's a quick eye massage that will help you get started on your, "me time!"

Best of Health,

Kathi

Is it just me or are meetings getting longer and longer?!

Or, maybe it's just that I am so used to moving all day that I find it difficult to sit for long periods.

Well, whatever the reason you may be having pain when sitting for long periods, here's a simple tip that will help you feel better right away!

Enjoy YOUR next meeting!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

My daughter was home over the weekend. We had such a great time. I love when she is around!

sun over waterWhen she arrived, she emptied out a bag with some items she had purchased for the weekend that include one of the most highly poisonous sunscreens on the market! I couldn't believe it! How do these companies get away with continuing to sell this stuff?! OK, I will try not to rant here, but it won't be easy for me.

I see the latest information when it becomes available, but I often forget that most other people aren't on e-mail lists from medical or government studies, so it's not as common knowledge as it should be.

First, we CANNOT trust the FDA! OK - I know I said I'd try not to rant so I'll stop there.

Secondly, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) takes all the latest studies into consideration when making it's ratings. They use solid, scientific information, not someone with an agenda's blog post. Take a look at the EWG's explanation of their sunscreen ratings.

Here's the bottom line:

Retinyl palmitate (a form of Vitamin A) has been shown in studies to increase the development of skin cancer tumors. The studies were done on animals, most of them more than five years ago. German and Norwegian authorities issued a caution against using retinyl palmitate in sunscreens in 2010 and 2012, based on these studies, and they also instituted regulations for reduced amounts allowed in skin care products. The FDA agreed that this was something that needed more study, and human trials, back in 2010. OK, so why has the FDA not done those studies and released new regulations? A good question, and one I will not speculate on because I promised not to rant. In addition, most of the commercial sunscreens include other toxic chemicals along with retinyl pamlate.

There are safe sunscreens available and when we all start buying those, instead of Coppertone, then the larger companies will jump on the bandwagon.

Alba Botanical and Aubrey Organics are available most places and they each make four good sunscreens.Ava Anderson founded her business on making safe cosmetics and other products for our homes and her sunscreens are also non-toxic. I'm sure you can find a representative in your area. If not, feel free to contact Ned's cousin who sells Ava Anderson products.

Enjoy the summer!

Kathi

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