Box of Dreams…

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Have you ever wished for something or had a dream about doing something and wondered if it would ever happen or come true? Everyone has dreams and aspirations, but unfortunately not everyone puts forth the effort to make them happen. What most people don’t realize is that in order for any dream to come true, you must take action. You can hope all you want, but unless you take the necessary steps to move forward, you most likely won’t get anywhere and will probably be left feeling drained and unfulfilled.

Maybe one of your dreams is to get a new job, but have you taken the time to update your resume and send it out? If not, what are you waiting for? If one of your dreams is to change careers, you can take action by going back to school to learn something else that interests you. It may take some time, but the end result will move you in a new direction. How about your health? Are you interested in losing weight and becoming healthier? Instead of talking about it, you need to make a plan and commit to it. One place to start is to ditch the junk food and sugar-filled drinks and start buying more wholesome foods. You can also look for healthy recipes to make and find some sort of exercise you like, whether it is walking, swimming, basketball or tennis. Whatever it is, just do it and do it frequently.

walking
walking

Many people are in the same boat and get stuck in those rapids of life, instead of taking action to move themselves forward. In the book, Spiritual Economics, author Eric Butterworth, mentions the Quaker says, “When you pray, move your feet.”¹ In other words, you can hope and pray, but you also need to take steps to get you moving on the path to your goals and dreams. If you don’t, most likely you will feel frustrated and disappointed. David J. Schwartz, in his book, The Magic of Thinking Big,” tells us, “A good idea if not acted upon, produces terrible psychological pain. But a good idea acted upon brings enormous mental satisfaction. Actions feed and strengthen confidence; inaction in all forms feed fear.”² Now those are some words of wisdom we can all use.

A few years ago, I was invited to a friends home for a dinner party along with a few other ladies. After we ate, my friend who is a life coach, gave each of us a box that looked like a book that opened, along with a few pieces of paper and a pen.

box of dreams

She asked us to take a few minutes to write down a few dreams we would like to see happen in our lives along with the date of the get together and place them in the box. While she didn’t really say why, I believe the idea was for us to examine where we were in our life with where we wanted to go. Anyway— It took me a little time to ponder what I wanted to record, but finally I came up with a few ideas.

When I got home, I took my box and put it on a book shelf in my office, where it blended in with the other books and I forgot about it.

box of dreams on shelf
box of dreams on shelf

Fast forward 3-1/2 years later…

I recently was decluttering my office space and low and behold, there was the box on the shelf just where I had placed it. As I opened the box and read one of the notes, I smiled and felt a warm feeling come over me.

box of dreams with note
box of dreams with note

I had been thinking of taking some nutrition classes and after the dinner party, I decided to take action and enrolled the next week at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®, (IIN) to become a certified health coach. At that time, I had no idea that IIN also offered a Launch Your Dream Book program, which I enrolled in after I graduated as a certified health coach.  While this may all sound easy and straight-forward, let me assure you the process was not easy. Writing a book can be scary and over-whelming, which is one of the reasons it took me some time to complete it. I had to keep pushing myself forward to push through the fear of it all.

I am happy to say that with some strong determination and many action steps, I completed the task and made my dream true.

Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living

The final result is a simple guide that anyone can follow for healthy eating and living. You can find my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, on Amazon. If you would like to take a quick preview, you can grab a FREE Chapter here.

How are you doing with your goals and dreams? Make sure you take that first step and keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Butterworth, Eric. Spiritual Economics. Unity Books, 2001. Page 21. Print

²Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Magic of Thinking Big. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Magic Of Thinking Big. pg. 6

 

 

Curiosity Killed The Cat?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a dog person rather than a cat person. It’s not that I think cats are bad, or hate them, it’s just they are different than dogs. Dogs get excited when they see you, like attention, enjoy being loved up and are known as “Man’s best friend.”

Cats on the other-hand can be fickle, temperamental and often like to keep to themselves. They also can be mischievous and can get into their fair-share of trouble. Reminds me of the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat!”

If you haven’t heard that one, it is an old proverb that reminds us of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation.¹ While it is often good in many situations to mind your business, truth be told…sometimes it is necessary to question things or try different ways of doing something. Maybe cats are on to something? After all—how can we make progress, or get ahead, if we don’t question how things are done or why certain circumstances exist? We need to be inquisitive sometimes. That’s how we got to the moon, can visit all kinds of places on an airplane, typewriters became a thing of the past and why there are fewer and fewer land-lines installed. Yes—indeed curiosity can be a good thing!

With the obesity epidemic on the rise and countless people who have health issues related to their diets and nutrition, it is time we all become a little more curious. We need to start to question why people are getting sick and why it is that more than half of the population is over weight. What is going on? That is a difficult question to answer, as it involves problems created on many levels involving the food supply and food system, from industrialization, big business and lobbyists for farmers and drug companies influencing our government. If you look back in time however, especially the last 50 years or so, it is easy to see how our food has changed and that is a big part of the problem. Society today eats more processed foods containing artificial ingredients and preservatives than real, wholesome foods. Many people don’t know the difference either and that is scary and sad.

Michael Pollan, in his book, Food Rules an eater’s manual, tells us, “Not to eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”² Now there’s something to contemplate and something for us all to consider. Wow! I can just imagine my great grandma walking into a grocery store today. Talk about curiosity! There are literally thousands and thousands of food products to choose from. Some of our great grandmothers would be more than curious. Some of these old ladies would probably freak-out and get their bloomers all in a bunch with all of the changes and selections!

But seriously…there is so much available today they probably would be dumb-founded by the sight of it all. Just imagine if they went to buy a few simple items and found all this strange stuff lurking in the many grocery store isles like, Kraft Singles, Gogurt, or something called Hot Pockets. I mean, think about it? Kraft Singles aren’t even cheese. It’s a man-made item, which is supposed to resemble and look like the real thing. “It’s actually a pasteurized prepared cheese product that is individually wrapped in plastic. It can’t even be referred to as cheese because of an FDA rule that states that it must be at least 51 percent real cheese.”³ Yikes! I thought cheese was a dairy product and you needed a cow, or a goat to produce it?

Yogurt in a tube is another strange and somewhat ridiculous thing. It not only is loaded with sugar, it’s available in some weird flavors and promotes putting some plastic packaging in your mouth. What happened to eating with a spoon anyway and who wants yogurt that tastes like bubble gum? That sounds disgusting, at least to me!

Oh and the Hot Pockets! Austin Powers may have made them popular, but Great Grandma would probably be thinking she is buying something to help her iron her clothes with a name like that, instead of some sort of processed bread product. They’re actually processed pizza bites that are loaded with corn syrup, imitation butter, cheese and a whole bunch of other stuff. What is L-Cysteine hydrochloride anyway? I don’t know either. Make sure you read the food label before buying this one item.

In my new book, Wholey Cow A simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little bit about the importance of reading food labels and taking care of your health. We all need to pay more attention to them and notice more what we are eating. Make sure you look at the number of ingredients and notice what they are. If the list is long you may want to look for a similar item with fewer ingredients, as there is less of a chance of eating a bunch of preservatives or food additives.  If the list contains a lot of ingredients with hard to pronounce words, you’re probably better off not buying the product. You can look for something that has more natural ingredients, or opt for something else altogether, like an apple, banana, or some carrots.

Now there’s a thought! Let’s all try and get a little more back to the basics and be more like the cat when we choose our food because if we don’t, our lack of curiosity just might kill us.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹”Curiosity Killed the Cat.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Apr. 2017. Web. 25 May 2017.

²Pollen, Michael. Food Rules and Eaters Manual. New York: Penguin, 2011. Print.

³”The Dirty Truth About Kraft Singles You Might Not Want to Know.” Spoon University. N.p., 23 July 2015. Web. 30 May 2017.

8 Ways To Overhaul Your Diet

With the New Year upon us, many people are ready to make a change to their diet. If you have been frustrated with your weight or have health problems, you might be eating the wrong foods. Many people eat too many processed foods and sugary snacks, which can cause weight gain and make you sick. People often look for a quick fix for a growing waste line or a medical problem. What is really needed is a life-style change incorporating healthy eating habits.

Following are 8 Ways to Overhaul Your Diet:

  1. Eat Breakfast

    Breakfast is thought to be the most important meal of the day, according to many nutrition experts. After a long night’s sleep, eating breakfast gets the body going and gives you energy for the day ahead.  It is ironic that breakfast is the most skipped meal. Both children and adults are guilty of missing this important meal. Many of you feel rushed in the morning and don’t necessarily give yourself  the time to grab something to eat before you head out the door. Do yourself a favor and take a little time to eat something healthy. Breakfast doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated. Try mixing a few healthful ingredients together to make a smoothie. Maybe try a banana, handful of spinach and some protein powder. Use whatever fruit and vegetables you like. The are many possibilities. If you are in a rush, grab a banana and yogurt. If you have a little time, make yourself some eggs. Try adding in some healthy vegetables and maybe some left over chicken or ham. Again—you have many options. The point is to eat something healthy preferably with protein and vegetables.
  2. Pre-plan Your Meals

    When it comes to cooking, it is important to pre-plan your meals. Make a list of some meals you would like to make. If you want to try something new, find some recipes you would like to try. You can use one of your favorite cookbooks, or search Pinterest. Make a grocery list of any ingredients you will need for the recipes you choose as well as any other items you may need. Once you have your groceries, you can prepare some items ahead to make things easier. Chop vegetables in advance for salads, snacking, stir-fries, etc. If you are making a dish with chicken, you can cook a few extra chicken breasts to have on hand for salads, or another meal such as chicken fajitas. Pre-planning saves time, gives you a set plan for meals and allows you to eat healthier. By planning ahead, you will be less likely to visit that local restaurant for a greasy burger and fries.
  3. Replace Bad Oils With Good Oils

    Calories are often hidden in unhealthy oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil and others. Try replacing these unhealthy oils with olive oil or coconut oil. These oils are anti-inflammatory and contain healthy antioxidants. Update your pantry with these healthy oils.
  4. Replace Crackers & Chips With Nuts & Seeds

    Processed foods, including crackers and chips, are often loaded with chemicals and preservatives. Although they may taste good, many have addicting properties that keep you eating and wanting more. Try replacing some of these snack foods with nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain good fats your body craves. They also contain protein and fiber, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals your body needs. If you are looking for something crunchy to eat, snack on almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds. Nuts and seeds fill you up and give you extended energy. Enjoy 1 to 2 handfuls.
  5. Watch Out For Condiments

    While many people love condiments, many are loaded with sugar and chemicals. Ketchup and mustard seem to go hand in hand with a burger and fries, but when is the last time you looked at the ingredient list? Many people slather on the ketchup, not knowing they are consuming a large dose of sugar. Ketchup is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, which essentially is sugar and is horrible for your body. Other condiments including sauces and dressings are also loaded with sugars and preservatives. Manufacturers often mask sugar in the ingredient list by  using other names such as high fructose corn syrup, maltose, molasses, dextrin, fructose, dextrose, dextran, barley malt, evaporated can juice, rice syrup, sucrose and the list goes on. When choosing condiments, be selective and use sparingly.
  6. Make Your Own Dressings

    As I mentioned, many dressings contain sugar and other chemicals. If you like eating salad, you might want to consider making your own dressing. Many people like vinegar and oil, but there are many other options. You can make a healthy dressing using olive oil, lemon and your favorite herbs. Check out Pinterest for some healthy dressing choices. If you are eating out, ask for your salad dressing on the side. That way you can add the amount of dressing to your salad you like. Some restaurants have healthier dressing selections. Ask in advance what your options are.
  7. Look For 5 Ingredients or Less When Buying  Processed Foods—

    Consumers are often swayed into buying processed foods products because they are convenient, tasty and easy to prepare. Many processed foods however, are loaded with sugar and fat and contain a variety of chemicals and preservatives. Most processed foods also have a long ingredient list. If you are looking to overhaul your diet, look for products that have 5 ingredients or less. For example, you would be better off choosing a bag of Tostito’s over a bag of Dorito’s. Tostito’s contain 3 ingredients, whereas a bag of Dorito’s has a long list and many of the ingredients are long and hard to pronounce. Who know’s what they really are? A better idea is choose more whole foods. Many whole foods come with out an ingredient list, as they are made by Mother Nature. Fill your refrigerator and pantry with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, meat and good oils.
  8. Eat More Good Fat

    Although low-fat foods are popular, they aren’t all healthy. Fat plays a big part in how a food tastes. Low fat foods often have added sugar or other chemicals added to them to make them taste better. Opt instead for healthy fats found in assortment of whole foods. Add avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and a variety of fish to your diet for a healthy dose of fat.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Break Your Routine And Incorporate A Real Change…

It is hard to believe that fall is upon us.

fall-autumn-red-season-medium

I hope you enjoyed the summer, while it was here. I know I did. I do like the fall season however, and always enjoy the beautiful fall colors and the cooler, brisk mornings. While fall typically signifies change, many of us like routine and may have a hard time adapting to new things. While routine can be good because it makes us feel safe and comfortable, it can also, at times, makes us feel stuck.

In fact, in the article, “Creating The Greatest Ideal of Yourself, author, Dr. Joe Dispenza, says, “if you repeatedly think and act in identical ways on a daily basis, your brain will become molded into a specific hardwired pattern that will support the same level of mind. It’s ironic. Most people routinely think the same thoughts, perform the same actions, and secretly expect something different to show up in their lives. If however, you were to sincerely think about a greater ideal of yourself before you started your day, you would begin to make your brain fire in new sequences, patterns, and combinations.”¹ That is why he recommends doing something that breaks your routine. It can be as simple as taking a different route on your routine, morning walk. You might just see something different that sparks a new idea. You could also take a different route to work, to the gym, or the grocery store. Maybe you could try a new food item, such as a different vegetable, or prepare it in a new way. The possibilities are endless, but the point is to change it up and stimulate your brain!

vegetables-vegetable-basket-harvest-garden-medium

Speaking of changing it up, fall is a great time to try out some new recipes. Many people are inside more and may have more time to experiment with some new foods. Why not pull out one of your cookbooks and dust it off?

cookbook

You might just find a new recipe you love. You can also search Pinterest, or another food site. There are literally thousands of recipes to choose from. Find something that appeals to you and incorporates a healthy dose of vegetables, or some other fall favorite.

You can also invite over some family, or friends to share your dish. Who knows? It just might inspire you to keep going and keep experimenting with healthy food and that is a good thing!

Source:

¹ Dispenza, Dr. Joe. Creating The Greatest Ideal of Yourself. Dr Joe Dispenza website.
http://www.drjoedispenza.com/index.php?page_id=creating_greatest_ideal

Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. Make sure you follow my blog for some new recipe ideas.