Monthly Archives: April 2014

Ask the Health Coach: Kids and Dairy

1 a practical health coachThe question was, “What about guidelines for kids and dairy?” I totally apologize for not being able to just rattle off an answer, but when it comes to nutrition and diet, there are people far smarter and more educated than I who can’t land. I recommend that if you only visit and read one of the sites below, make it the first one.

I want to applaud you for wanting to take such an active role in your child’s nutrition. So many people are happy to just go along. Taking a part can take time and cause you some angst … It’s a big responsibility when we are making dietary choices for our children. Read, read, read! It is my personal belief that dairy is unnecessary, and sometimes harmful.

There are a lot of articles and a study that reviews the findings of much research that show no good reason to encourage including dairy. Many children are either allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant and they thrive without it. Having said that, there is another side to the discussion and you need to consider both sides before you make a decision. The USDA pyramid gives dairy its own food group and has strict guidelines for the amount of dairy a child should have. Many physicians and pediatricians encourage parents to feed a certain amount of dairy. What is a health conscious parent to do?

  1. You could simply follow the USDA guidelines.
  2. You could read and research and come to your own decision.
  3. You could ask your physician.

For me, the first and third options just won’t work. I have read a lot about food, politics and lobbying and I believe that the American Dairy Association, among a long list of dairy organizations, are those responsible for giving our government and our physicians the ‘facts.’ Anyone who disagrees tends to be labeled an outsider or kook. The USDA was founded to support agriculture. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that it became responsible for setting dietary guidelines. Seems a bit like the foxes keeping an eye on the chickens. Here are some places to start on your search for your answer:

There’s a movie titled ‘Milk’ that presents a fair argument. If I recall correctly, it doesn’t lean too far in either direction. It is available on Amazon Prime and Netflix (I think). Google search any one of these names/organizations along with the word ‘dairy’ and you should find some pretty interesting information.

Dr. Marion Nestle (Food and Politics)

Dr. Andrew Weil

Weston-Price Foundation

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Dr. Neal Barnard

Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Dr. David Katz

Dr. Mark Hyman

Good luck with your search. I truly hope that you find an answer that fills you with confidence and that just feels right for you and your children.

As always, if you would like help sorting things our along your journey, please give me a call (816-808-9405) or send me an email (

Blessings, Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
simplifying healthy lifestyle choices


I Blew Right By My Deadline. Oops!

Well, I missed Monday’s scheduled blog. I was busy planning, shopping and preparing food. I kind of got crazy and was really into it. For those of you that know me, you know food prep and cooking are not my favorite activities, but I was having a great time.

When I next looked at the time it was 8:00PM and I was beat. A good beat! A satisfied beat! A lovely beat!

I have a batch of brown rice (frozen in ½ cup servings), an organic free range chicken broiled a golden brown and smothered in garlic, and a rich, brown chicken gravy to add a delicious moisture to the perfectly cooked white meat. I’ve got a batch of spaghetti sauce simmered with chickpeas and fennel to give it a ‘meaty’ texture, a pineapple is cut and frozen for smoothies and grapes are frozen for snacking. I have a mix of chopped onions, kale and mushrooms to sauté with some frozen broccoli for duck egg breakfast scrambles (thank you, Lauren!), and I’ve got Trader Joe’s Wasabi Wow trail mix measured by the ¼ cup and put in small containers for good-food emergencies on the road. There’s a papaya ripening in a bag on the counter and my new batch of kombucha is bottled and ready to go. Whew!

After all of that, I took the pups and went for a nice walk with my neighbors after dinner. It was a stunningly beautiful evening. I am truly blessed!

1 LATESo, I missed getting the blog done on schedule. Do you care if I’m a day late? Did your day come to a crashing halt? I didn’t think so.

Here’s what I know: This is a perfect example of self-care. I was inspired to prepare nourishing, delicious food. I set aside several scheduled tasks and allowed myself the freedom to just go with the flow. And, what are the consequences of going with the flow? Was anyone harmed? Did I let anyone down? I don’t think so because here I am with the perfect example of what I wrote about in my recent post about stress. Ha!

We get a choice about how we look at things. In this case I could have looked at this as a lapse and lack of self-discipline. I could call myself names like loser, lazy, unfocused … blah, blah, blah.

Or, I can choose to congratulate myself for listening to my intuition and following my heart. I can be grateful for the blessings of wonderful food prepared for the future and because I chose self-love and blessings I am experiencing profound happiness knowing I will be nourished and energized all week.

I am definitely going with the gratitude and happiness!

What can you do to practice a little self-love? What would give you that sense of gratitude and happiness? Maybe it’s curling up on a Sunday morning, while the rest of the family heads off to church, and taking a couple of hours just for yourself. It could be skipping a soccer game to sit in the quiet enjoyment of a latte at Starbucks. You could let the kitchen remain a disaster and take a walk on a lovely spring evening. Instead of mopping the floor or vacuuming and dusting, meet a friend for lunch on Saturday.

Can you see that a big part of creating a healthy lifestyle depends on self-care. It’s critical that you learn to listen to your body for nutritional cues and equally critical that you tune into your heart for your emotional needs as well.

Follow your heart. Listen to what you really need. What do you need to do this week?
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
simplifying healthy lifestyle changes

Do you know someone who could benefit from being given permission to take a breather now and then? If so, forward the link to this blog. It might be the nudge that convinces them they deserve a little time to do what nourishes their body, mind and spirit.

As always, I am happy to support you on your journey. Visit my website and contact me to schedule your Strategy Session.

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices




7 Ways to Take Out a Killer!

1 7 WAYS TO TAKE OUT KILLERStress is a killer. It’s that simple. It might seem like you have no options, but the reality is that you do. With that in mind, let’s look at how to discern how you can best reduce the stress in your life. We’ll start out easy and move into the more challenging areas:

  1. Exercise. This is basic. Exercise reduces the stress load by burning it off.
  2. Eat nourishing foods. The healthier your diet, the better equipped your body is to cope with stress.
  3. Get enough sleep. If you’re overworked and running from one thing to another, make a list of what you need to get handled the next day right before you go to bed. Chances are you will quit waking up in the middle of the night with a long to-do list running through your brain.
  4. Drink water. Water flushes the toxins from your body. Stress creates more toxins. Drink water.
  5. Meditate. If you don’t know how, check out what’s available on YouTube or at your local library. If you want a more personal approach, find a teacher who will help you.
  6. Slow down. Make a list of all that you do and rank everything on it by A) How much you enjoy it, and B) How much it stresses you out.
      1. Next, find solutions for some of the stressors. If you can’t see your way to solutions, ask for help. Often we’re too close to see what actually can be done. Even if the suggestions aren’t workable, one might be the seed of your eventual solution.
      2. Take the least enjoyable and most stressful item off of your plate. Often we find that our jobs fit that description and while it would be great if we could just walk away, that isn’t always practical, but we can look at ways to make our job more enjoyable and/or less stressful. We can also plan our exit which often gives us a bit more control and a sense that things will improve. In the meantime, take the next item that fits the criteria off your plate.
      3. Journaling is a great way to identify what you like about your current situation and what you don’t. Then you can journal about what you think you’d like to be doing. Somewhere in the middle you’ll find what you next step can be. That is exactly how I became a health coach.
      4. Use this exercise regularly to find the stress-causing factors in your life. They do change, you know.

    A word about taking something off your plate … ladies. Women have a tendency to say yes far too often, feeling it’s their job to take care of everything and everyone. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, “But, if I don’t do it, it won’t get done!”
    So what? Unless it’s a matter of life and limb, or something so important that you couldn’t stand it if it didn’t get done, let it go. You do know that volunteer coordinators know exactly who will say yes the easiest, and who will say yes if approached in a certain way and that they go to the easiest people first? Don’t be that person!
    Volunteering is wonderful! It’s amazing! It’s a gift to the giver and the receiver! Unless it’s just too much. So, volunteer when it’s the best fit for your life. Do not overcrowd your plate or you will pay the price down the road with chronic illness and potentially early death. Yikes!

  7. Get out and get moving! On the flip side is the stress from a lack of outside stimulation. For some people going to work is the only outside activity they have. This can be incredibly stressful as well. Research shows that people who are connected to others, who have healthy social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer.
    1. It can be challenging to find friends when you are on your own, either without children or with grown children. Kids make it easy: Parents tend to congregate where there kids are, and conversations strike up organically. What can you do when you’re not at that stage of your life?
    2. Try out new churches. If you find one that resonates, join some of the classes or groups that they offer or volunteer to help out.
    3. Volunteer at an animal shelter, library, hospital or performance venue.
    4. Join library book clubs.
    5. Take classes (fitness, art, dance) through your local park district or college.
    6. Check out for groups with similar interests. There are some very active groups that hike, walk, bike, kayak, visit theaters, concerts, symphonies, go to wine tastings, restaurants … the list is endless!
      Always remember that it takes time and courage to form friendships. Relax and enjoy the activities that you’ve chosen and when you meet someone you think might be a friend outside of the class, consider inviting them to meet for coffee. Over time, friendships will begin to form.

Whatever your first step is in reducing the impact of stress on your body, I urge you to begin today, right now, like immediately. This is important stuff and it will impact your health for years to come.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from a Strategy Session, in person or over the phone, just visit my website at

Thinking peaceful thoughts!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
simplifying healthy lifestyle changes



My First Ever Product Review!

1 Trader Joes SpaghettiTrader Giotto’s Organic Tomato Basil Marinara

Ingredients: Organic tomato puree (water, organic tomato paste), organic tomatoes, organic basil, organic soybean oil, salt, organic onion, organic garlic powder, organic oregano, organic garlic

Net wt 25 oz. (1 lb 9 oz) 709g

Price in Kansas City on April 2, 2014 $2.29

What I love about it:

  • No sugar added … NONE!
  • Everything except the salt is organic
  • Every ingredient is something you can find in my kitchen
  • Taste. It truly tastes as if it simmered on my stove all day.
  • Its usefulness in making tasty dishes like chicken cacciatore and spaghetti and as a base in my chili and some of my soups.
  • Price. Really, $2.29 and it’s all organic!
  • It comes in Mason jars and they make great iced tea glasses in the summer. (You can make sun tea right in the jar. No pitcher necessary.)

I hate to cook. It’s true. That’s why I teach a class called Cooking … Fast, Easy, Healthy and I consider it my job to find shortcuts that are not only good for your health, but tasty as well. It helps when they’re cost effective too.

Finding a product like this adds variety into my menu because if I don’t have to spend time preparing a delicious marinara I can spend it making a fabulous mushroom risotto!

So, what’s for dinner? I think I’ll have chicken cacciatore served over brown rice and quinoa fusilli with a fresh, green salad lightly dressed in olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil, onion, salt and pepper. Bon Appetit!

I know that not all of you have access to a Trader Joe’s and I’d be happy to ship you some except that I don’t think it would be very cost effective after the shipping costs are added, so instead, read the ingredients on the sauces available to you and when you find one that’s to your standards, try it out. I’d love to hear from you about the brands that you find. Let’s share!

Here is the link to my meatless, yet very meaty tasting, spaghetti sauce!

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Kick Your Soda Habit to the Curb with These Tips

You want to kick the soda habit but so far you haven’t had any luck. You know that the reasons are many and range from the acid in diet soda attacking your teeth in a manner consistent with methamphetamines to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer and that research is linking soda pop to obesity, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.

Let’s see if a step-by-step approach will do the trick.

First you need to determine if you like drinking soda pop for the fizz, the sweetness or both. If it’s for the fizz, you can solve it by drinking one of the many varieties of sparkling water. I’m talking about the sparkling water that is water and maybe flavor if necessary. There’s lemon, lime, grapefruit, cranberry, orange, etc. They have no added chemicals, no sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Side note: Did you know that Coca Cola saw their first decline in sales in decades? Not to worry. They’ve entered into the lucrative sparkling water category that’s primarily been led by La Croix and Canada Dry.

If you drink soda for the sweetness you might want to try eating fruit. An ice cold serving of fresh pineapple or crunchy apple would be so good for you!

1 kombucha fizzIf you’re like me, it’s both sweet and fizz. I solved my habit by making a delicious combo of 2 ounces of 100% cherry or pomegranate juice, 2 ounces of kombucha* and 12 ounces of sparkling water**. It’s sweet, tart and fizzy and I absolutely love it! This combo is really good for you too. You’re adding in water, fruit juice and tons of nutrition and probiotics from the kombucha. The trifecta!

We’re on a journey and sometimes the choices we have to make are difficult. For a lot of my clients and students it seems that giving up their Diet Coke is one of the hardest. The juice/kombucha/sparkling water approach seems to work for many of them. I hope it works for you.

*Kombucha is fermented green tea. It has 40 calories per 8 ounces. The brand I like best is G.T.’s and it can be found at Whole Foods and Hy-Vee. It’s cheaper at Whole Foods. Its health benefits are made possible because of its probiotics and variety of enzymes and organic acids. Loaded with B vitamins, kombucha has been around for 2000 years and is credited with curing/preventing cancer and arthritis. It’s known to build the immune system, detoxify the body and aid in digestion. Bet you can’t say that about your soda pop!

**I use the SodaStream Soda Maker. I LOVE it!

If you’d like more information, or would like to begin brewing your own kombucha, visit my website and contact me for more information.

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Show Your Body Some Love

1 body loveWe hear a lot about body image and how celebrities and the media distort every image we see. As they talk about it we see attempts to reverse the perfection modelling that accosts us every minute of every day.

Unfortunately, even as some try to negotiate for more reality, the distortion to reality images are probably in the neighborhood of a million to one … if not higher.

I can think of a couple of ways to take a stand for reality:

1)     Watch British television. Most of the shows I’ve watched do NOT glamorize their characters. I’ve watched all of the episodes of Doc Martin and Midsomer Murders. The characters are every bit as flawed as you and I. I’ve seen red chins, splotches, less-than-flat tummies and actual thighs. Arms jiggle and hair droops. Check them out on Acorn TV, Netflix or Hulu.

2)     Most importantly, close your eyes and focus on how grateful you are for the mysteries that your body holds; the things it can do! You have cells that do amazing things, nervous, muscular, circulatory, digestive, respiratory, excretory and skeletal systems that are miraculous.

If you want to get up and cross the room, most of us just get up and cross the room. Scratch an itch? We don’t think much about that do we? We don’t think about the timing we’ll need to contract the right muscle at the right time or the order in which the muscles will be used. We don’t even need to be aware of our thoughts … we just get up and cross the room.

Whether it’s digesting our food, absorbing nutrients, filtering toxins, breathing in fresh air and exhaling carbon dioxide, sitting, standing, dancing, learning or sleeping … Our bodies are miracles that allow us to navigate our day.

It was a beautiful Spring weekend in Kansas City and many of us spent time outdoors doing yard work, walking our dogs, gardening, washing the car, playing ball or enjoying a picnic with friends. Whatever you were doing, it was your body that made it possible.

There are so many reasons to be grateful for, and love your body!

Another word I hear a lot is gratitude. 1 body love 2Seeing it can make you turn away thinking, “I practice gratitude often, so I don’t need to think about that now.” Maybe you do need to think about it if you spend a lot of time badmouthing your body.

Do you hear yourself? Often we don’t. “My hair is too thin.” “My skin is too pale.” “My skin is too dark.” “My teeth are crooked.” “My thighs are too bulgy.” “My feet are disgusting.” “My stomach sticks out.” “I’m fat.” “My hair is too thick.” “My arms are hairy.” “I have too many freckles.” “My breasts are too small.” “My breasts are too big.” “My fingers are too short.” “My hands look like man hands.” “My hands are effeminate.” “I have absolutely no chest hair.” “I look like a bear.”

STOP!!! Reread the list above. Make your own list of all the things you can do (Which is pretty much everything!) and take a minute to say, “Thank you!”

Being grateful for what your body can currently do can lead you to think about what you want it to be able to do for years to come. And, that kind of thinking might just lead you to make some lifestyle choices that will support your body for years to come.

You know the saying about giving? You get back so much more than you give? It is so true of your body! Show that body of yours some gratitude by giving it more of what it wants … Whole, nutritious food and a bit of movement. The reward will be years and years of better health allowing you to do the things you love for much longer.

That’s some major getting back so show your body some love and gratitude!

With Blessings,
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Changes

If you enjoy reading my blog, how about sharing it with friends who might also be interested? And, if you enjoy reading the blog, think the ideas are good, but just don’t seem to make them happen in your life? You might be a perfect candidate for the coaching process. Contact me to schedule a FREE Strategy Session by visiting my website Fill out the appropriate form and when I receive it I’ll contact you to set up a time to talk. The session is done over the phone, lasts about 45 minutes and you will definitely have one or two strategies when the call is over. (I do not hard sell the coaching process!)


Here’s Permission to Play With Your Food!

1 PLAYLet’s go back to food for a bit. It can be a lot of fun to experiment with foods you’ve never tried. By doing a bit of research online you’ll find recipes and suggestions on how best to prepare the food. By reading the recommendations you’ll have a greater likelihood of creating a successful dish.

According to Nutrition Source*, a publication of the Harvard School of Public Health research the results of the most effective type of studies, randomized, placebo-controlled trials, haven’t supported taking single antioxidants (vitamin c, e and/or beta-carotene among others). Results tend to be negative rather than positive in their use to prevent cancer, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

As I’ve discussed with students and clients, the reductionist thinking that has been leading the charge in nutritional science for decades is coming under attack for ignoring nature’s delivery systems … the foods themselves. Taking beta-carotene out of the carrot or sweet potato doesn’t work as well, if at all, and in some cases is harmful.

Each fruit and vegetable has its own unique system of delivery and science is showing that the body often doesn’t know what to do with nutrients when they’re in a form other than that which nature provided. By adding in new foods, you’re adding in unique delivery systems increasing the likelihood of getting the nourishment you need. So, not only will you be adding new flavors to your menu, you’ll be adding a whole different package of nutrients!

Over the weekend a friend asked me what I thought about Black Rice. I didn’t remember ever hearing about it and so today, when I saw it at Trader Joe’s I purchased a bag. (For those of you without access, you can buy it on Amazon here.) After giving it a rinse, I just cooked it following the directions on the package. Mine took a bit longer to cook than indicated, but when it was done I was transported! It was almost creamy, a beautiful purple and tasted delicious. It has the perfect bit of crunch. I ate it with a sprinkle of salt and it was really good.

I think it would be a bit too creamy to use for pilaf, but will probably be great as a warm or cold whole grain cereal. I’ll be trying that tomorrow morning!

I looked up the nutritional information and wasn’t surprised to find out that it’s loaded with nutrients. Whenever a whole food is dark in color, chances are that it’s a healthier choice than its paler version. Black rice is no exception. It contains a large amount of anthocyanins, reducing the risk of heart attacks by preventing the buildup of plaque. Anthocyanins are also better at controlling cholesterol levels than any other food supplement**.

Black rice is a nutritional powerhouse! I recommend adding it to your diet. If you have kids, they’re bound to love it. It turns a dark purple when cooked. What kid doesn’t like dark purple food? (By the way, that’s why kids love green smoothies … they’re green!)

So, try something new. Look it up and learn about all of its glorious benefits. You won’t be sorry!

Bon Voyage!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Do you enjoy reading the blog, think the ideas are good, but just don’t seem to make them happen in your life? You might be a perfect candidate for the coaching process. Contact me to schedule a FREE Strategy Session by visiting my website Fill out the appropriate form and when I receive it I’ll contact you to set up a time to talk. The session is done over the phone, lasts about 45 minutes and you will definitely have one or two strategies when the call is over.

*Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health
**Natural News