Tag Archives: healthy lifestyle

Craving Something Unhealthy?

Well, I was too! I wasn’t craving the worst thing, Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable Soup, but there are things on the ingredient list that just don’t work for me. The corn is most likely GMO which is a controversial subject, but I choose to err on the side of caution and avoid it when possible. And the pasta is made with wheat which I try my best to avoid because it causes me grief, and eggs (probably not pastured and who knows what the chickens ate) and sugar which shouldn’t be necessary to cut the acidity of the tomatoes because there are carrots in the soup.

All of which left me in the lurch so I started checking around and found Amy’s Organic Fat Free Vegetable Soup which was delicious once I added a squirt of olive oil, but pricey at around $3.60/can. That can was enough for one nice-sized bowl and I definitely bought it, then found it for a around $2.50 online through Walmart.

One day a few weeks ago I was walking through the grocery store and spotted a package of mixed veggies. That’s something I hadn’t looked at or purchased in years, but the picture got my attention because it is exactly what’s in Campbell’s or Amy’s vegetable soup. The light bulb came on! I checked out the ingredients on Amy’s can and knew that with a can of tomatoes and a few spices I could duplicate the veggie soup of my craving! And, it works! Here’s how:

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1/3 bag of frozen organic corn*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen edamame*
  • 1/2 bag of frozen spinach
  • 1-2T reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • Dehydrated onion flakes, celery salt, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today's lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Delicious, and lots of it! The bowl in the front was today’s lunch served with some watermelon slices. YUM!

Using a large pot, put all of the ingredients together along with 1 1/2 tomato cans of water. Heat it all up and then simmer for a couple of hours.
I like extra corn and wanted a bit of protein thrown in. Use organic when possible and practical. You can use onions, garlic and celery, I just didn’t happen to have any on hand when I put mine together.
The second time I made it I cleaned out the bits and pieces of veggies in my freezer and added some okra, peas and kale. Play with it and enjoy!

So, the moral of the story is, you don’t have to pay a fortune for a healthy version, nor does it have to be difficult to create. I’d love the challenge of finding healthy alternatives for you. Visit my website http://www.nancyoglesby.com and click on Contact Me.

Bon Apetite!

 

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17 Healthy Choices: 1 Simple Change

1 SIMPLE CHANGE LOGODoes getting healthy seem overwhelming? Do you think you’re going to have to give up everything you love? Change your entire life?

It doesn’t have to be that way! Instead of worrying about changing your lifestyle completely, pick one thing to change and just make one simple change every month or two. In a year you’ll have made six or twelve … TWELVE healthy changes.

It’s not all about food and exercise either. Good health begins with building a satisfying life. Here are some ideas:

  1. If you add in a salad a day, it will be a big deal to your heart, eyes, skin, immune system, basically everything. Make it a healthy, veggie and nut rich salad, topped with a dressing made from healthy oils and spices and you have added powerful prevention to your life!
  2. You can add in meditation. Just five minutes of meditation a day can bring a reduction in stress!
  3. Work on improving your relationships through discussion and reading. There are a lot of books available on how to build healthy relationships. Pick one to read and implement some of the strategies. Not enough? Link up with a great counselor. It often helps to have a neutral party to support you while you navigate through the issues.
  4. Begin a search for a spiritual home. Studies show over and over that people with a fulfilling spiritual life are healthier.
  5. Step out and meet new people. There are several opportunities from church groups, meetup.com, support groups and special interest groups.
  6. Volunteer to serve others and you’ll have the opportunity to build new friendships.
  7. Try exercising three times a week. Start slow and build up. Often people start out too fast and burn out really quickly. Try for three times of gentle exercise while you build the habit and add in sessions and/or intensity as you get stronger.
  8. Take a class, learn a language, join a book club, explore your community!
  9. Add in more fruits and vegetables.
  10. Take a healthy living class. Check your local library events.
  11. Switch a trip to the vending machine for raw walnuts and a mini box of raisins … Just one simple change will add up to better health in no time!
  12. Drink a bottle of water in place of one of the sodas or cups of coffee you drink. After that’s easy, replace another.
  13. Visit stores with a healthy mission and spend time looking at the food. What’s different? Read the labels and learn about healthy options.
  14. Buy grass fed, grass finished beef or pastured, non-GMO fed chicken. Taste the difference.
  15. Take an exercise class or an aquatic exercise class. Most centers have a try-before-you-buy option. Often you can pay for a day at a time. Give it a try!
  16. Flood your body with 30 fruits and veggies by ordering and taking Juice Plus+. As Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” (And from the number of people who suffered from a very nasty flu this winter, I’m thankful for that ounce of prevention!) You can order it on my website. I recommend starting with the basic Garden and Orchard Blends. Cost runs approximately $44/month.
  17. Sign up for a SoulCollage® class where you will learn how to connect with your inner wisdom through the use of book and magazine images, scissors and glue. For more information visit SoulCollage

Make one simple change every month or two and by the end of a year you’ll feel better, look better and will have set yourself up for a higher quality of life long term. You can choose to feel energetic, healthy and happy. Following the one simple change formula will get you there.

How to Make Affirmations Actually Work!

We’ve all heard about the importance of goal-setting, writing/speaking affirmations and/or creating visions for our future and most of us have probably sat down with pen and paper to set some goals or put together a vision board at one time or another. Having goals and dreams is supposed to make them happen and for some people that’s true … They set a goal, write it down or put pictures of it on a vision board and before long they’ve achieved it.

For me, it doesn’t quite work that way. I often set goals. I’ve even gone through the process of reading my goals every morning. Unfortunately, I usually end up with an argument raging in my head. I have a powerful inner critic!

Let’s say one of my goals is to have a home on the water, and I read that goal every day. The first few days I can visualize the house, the water, the breeze and the beautiful smell of the ocean. It’s lovely!

After a few days I can still visualize but as the days progress I start to pick apart everything in the vision and a new, internal narrative starts up along these lines:

“Well, come on now, do you really think you can afford that house? I mean really, look at all that glass and teak! Who are you kidding? And the ocean? Seriously? Even though your little house in Kansas is paid for, you know darned well that a house on the ocean is not a house-for-house trade, so what the heck miracle is going to drop into your lap to make this possible because nothing you’re doing is going to create that level of income sweetie.”

Hmmm. All of a sudden my vision board and goal-setting is getting burdensome. I’m not going to sit around and listen to that inner critic harangue me every day so I quit reading my goals.

I’ve been going to Unity for several years and have heard about the process of creating affirmations and denials, but I never really understood how to make them effective until this weekend when I learned (Thank you, Reverend Jan Stromseth!) how to use my vision to write a denial. At that moment it all became clear. Finally a way to put the inner critic to good use!

Once you give voice to your inner critic, he or she quiets down and the argument raging in your head evaporates! Here’s how to get this down on paper and out of your head:

Determine what area you want to focus on. Let’s work with food for our example.

  1. What is the current situation
    I love the convenience and taste of fast/junk food even while I know that it’s really bad for me.
  2. What is your vision in this area:
    I would love to never again be tempted by junk food
  3. Now, write an affirmation that supports the vision:
    pilaf nourish networkIt is with ease and grace that I only choose foods that support my health. I crave real, whole foods that nourish my body, mind and spirit. I easily plan for healthy meals and snacks by utilizing planning strategies including developing a list of easily prepared/purchased healthy foods from the places in which I’m likely to find myself.
  4. Rewrite #2, your vision:
    1 fast foodI would love to never again be tempted by junk food
  5. What keeps this from happening? What are the obstacles?
    When I’m tired or hungry, and pass a fast food place I just want to stop
    I think about how good an order of French fries or potato chips tastes
    Fast food is easy and when I don’t plan well and I’m tired, I pull right in.
  6. Write a denial statement
    I release any desire for the taste of junk/fast food. I release the idea that fast food is the answer when I’m tired or haven’t planned well.
  7. READ #6 AND IMMEDIATELY READ #3
  8. Take a deep breath and thing: Does that feel true? If yes, great! If no, then take a deep breath in, inhaling wholeness and health; exhale out any doubt. Repeat three times then repeat steps 7 and 8. If it doesn’t work after the first time, try a few more times. Sometimes our doubts are pretty deep and it might take a bit of exhaling to get rid of them all!

I hope this process helps you as much as it’s helped me!

Namasté
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Changes™

I am offering a 10-Day Sugar Detox Group Program beginning February 23rd, 2015. We’ll have a first Prep & Planning call on February 21st at 1:00PM. For more information or to register, click here.

I adapted this from an exercise that is found in the Prayer Chaplain Training Manual at Unity Church of Overland Park. What a gift!

Big Impact: Minimal Effort

Anyone who knows me knows that I rarely eat a food that’s been artificially flavored, chemically preserved or enhanced or overly processed. I eat organic eggs, chicken and wild caught seafood. I feel good about that, but in thinking further, I realize that my choices have a greater impact on the planet and on its people.

its-a-wonderful-life-bellThen I began to wonder what that impact really was. I could surmise some of it, but I truly don’t know … How can anyone, really? Jimmy Stewart’s character in “It’s a Wonderful Life” didn’t have a clue how the world would be changed without him. That’s true for each of us and it got me thinking about the effect of human action or inaction and how each impacts the universe.

If we tried to think of the effect of each choice, from turning on the water to wash our face to our decision about whether or not to have children, we’d not get out of bed, but we could, just for a moment, think about how we are connected.

Simple things like plumbing and soap connect us in myriad ways. Consider the elements required to make the soap, the pipes and connections and the systems required to bring the water into your house. Each piece has people and resources attached to it: faucetchemists, engineers, salespeople, factory workers, miners, advertising execs and graphic designers, actors to sell the soap in commercials, cameramen, distributors, delivery drivers, shippers, shelf stockers, store managers, customer service workers, cashiers. And there’s waste treatment and garbage on the back side with all of it’s equipment, machinery and people. There’s the water itself and where it’s coming from and how using it impacts its source. Then there’s the energy required for all of these things … all so that you can get up and wash your face.

Each action; infinite connections …

So, that impact I’m trying to figure out is almost impossible because without a Jimmy Stewart moment, there’s no way for me to see the impact of each choice. However, as responsible, thinking adults, we can try to envision the impact of some of our choices:

By choosing to eat food that is organic, untreated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers, not fed hormones and antibiotics, we might just save a family farmer, or reduce the cancer incidence due to the carcinogens found in those chemicals. We’ll help to reduce healthcare costs and increase productivity.

The farm workers who pick the crops will be healthier and so will their children because the workers won’t return home with pesticides on their hands and clothing … one of those families might give birth to a child who goes on to become a physician or teacher, instead of a person with physical or mental challenges.

As for water, we can use less by turning it on and off responsibly, using water-saving devices, landscaping with tolerant plants and being aware that water does not flow from a never-ending source. It is finite.

What else? We can buy from companies that treat their employees fairly, with dignity and respect: Talk about long-term benefits!

How will all of this thinking change my habits? I admit to being aware before but I put my blinders on when I went shopping. That changes today. I will quit shopping at Wal-Mart and set a timer when I water my plants. I will use the dishwasher rather than hand wash and make sure that my clothes washer loads are full. I already have water saving devices.

While I was looking for images I came across a photo (copyrighted) of migrant workers with their faces in the strawberry and tomato plants. Many had kerchiefs over their nose and mouth, but that’s not much of a filter for chemical dust. I will picture them when I look at the price of conventional vs. organic strawberries and opt for the long term value. Buying more organic produce will mean that I’ll have to choose less expensive alternatives in other areas. Beans and rice anyone? (A fabulously healthy option that tastes great!)

Choices with impacts unknown … our day is full of them. Take a minute, once in awhile, to think about the seemingly simple things that are actually complex and how our connections create our world. We can impact the world with our choices. We can be cognizant or turn a blind eye. It’s our choice.

Better health and weight loss aren’t just about eliminating junk food and exercising, they’re also about self esteem.  Making compassionate choices just makes a person feel good about themselves!

Blessings,
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach
simplifying healthy lifestyle changes
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Get Happy! (The Practical Health Coach says, “It’s way easier to be healthy when you’re happy.”)

It’s hard to be healthy if you’re unhappy. Motivation is harder, discipline is harder, well, life is harder. The last thing we want when we’re down is to challenge ourselves.

I’ve never been a miserable person, but today I’m a happy kind of person. It began when I decided to start my day with positivity. I’d love to take credit, but credit goes to a book that seemed to jump off the shelf at Borders one day about 8 years ago: Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. The book seemed to be screaming at me a lot of the time, but it started the habit that changed my life.

Mr. Gitomer suggests that we spend a bit of time reading positive, inspirational things every day for 10-15 minutes. When I read empowering messages I must make notes or write about what I’m experiencing in the moment. That is what led to my journaling habit.

There are a lot of people telling us to journal, begin a gratitude practice, change our thinking and change our minds, but for me, at that time, the whole thing seemed so new and fresh and I felt at home with the idea of reading motivational material daily. I am so grateful that I did, and you will be too.

It’s important to learn ways to raise your happiness level. Jeffrey Gitomer’s book is one way. Another is Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage. In this book, Mr. Achor talks about how putting positivity first improves intelligence, creativity, productivity and energy. He calls this the Happiness Advantage and during one of my favorite TED talks he outlined a simple process designed to achieve results in 21 days. (Watch the video. It could be the best twelve minutes of your life!)

Every day list three things you’re grateful for, journal on a positive experience that occurred in the last 24 hours, exercise, meditate, and perform an act of kindness such as sending a positive email praising or thanking someone in your social, family or work network.

I can attest to most the suggestions as I regularly journal and most days there is a lot of gratitude. I also exercise gently every morning, and meditate on many days. Wouldn’t you like to get happier? Who wouldn’t?

It’s easy to effect a change toward a better, more focused brain! For more information, I recommend one, or both of the books above. (At the very least, watch the video.)

Blessings,
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach
simplifying healthy lifestyle changes™

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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:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2012/11/30/is-dairy-healthy-or-not

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/07/got-milk-you-dont-need-it/

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy-amount.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/07fat.html?_r=1&hp http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/vegdiets/health-concerns-about-dairy-products

http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/child_nutrition/health_kit/ChildNutrition_DGA.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15741380 https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=A04

http://www.foodpolitics.com/2010/11/lets-ask-marion-nestle-could-the-usda-get-any-cheesier/

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 (nancy@healthworkskc.com)

Blessings, Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
simplifying healthy lifestyle choices
http://www.healthworkskc.com

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