Posts tagged ‘wellness’

February 15, 2012

Wednesday Wellness::Granting yourself permission

by heatherkp

Do you really give yourself permission to do, be, feel who you are?  As I’ve been traversing the path of the Mondo Beyondo Big Dreams course I wrote myself the following permission slips…personal get out of jail free cards.  It’s liberating and maybe you would like to try it to?

I give myself permission to make mistakes.
I give myself permission to take it slow, take my time.
I give myself permission to be compassionate towards myself so I can do the same for others.
I give myself permission to accept my faults and be imperfect.
I give myself permission to be an explorer and try new things especially if I’m afraid.
I give myself permission to be sad and grieve.
I give myself permission to be self confident.
I give myself permission to be happy and silly and fun!
I give myself permission to love and be loved.
I give myself permission to listen to my intuition.
I give myself permission to follow my dreams even if they are not always clear.

“The gift of honor unwraps the gift of permission and together these two establish a place for you to stand in confidence in regards to the future unfolding before you.”- Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen (Mondo Beyondo)

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January 18, 2012

Wednesday Wellness::Unplug will you?

by heatherkp

This post was inspired by an interview I heard yesterday on NPR.  I can’t find a link to it but there’s been plenty of research about the science and befit of unplugging.  Certain college professors are challenging their students to hand in their cell phones and not check email or social media for a week and even some news broadcasters have taken the challenge (for news assignments or while on vacation).  All these devices are meant to make our lives easier, not to make us slaves to them.  I just don’t get it!  Here are a few of the benefits of trying to unplug a little on a daily, weekly or monthly (just do it sometime!) basis:

  • Giving your brain a rest.
  • Giving your eyes a rest.
  • Extra time, and who couldn’t use a bit of that!
  • More productivity (less continuous distractions).
  • More relaxed (De-stress).
  • Better focus.
  • My personal favorite~MORE CREATIVITY~ideas begin to flow more freely!

I do not personally have a smart phone.  I joke with friends and family that I have a stupid phone but secretly I’m glad to be able to have an excuse not to check social media even more frequently.  It’s bad enough that society has now made it acceptable for individuals to expect to be able to reach one another instantly.  I have a pet peve; when I’m hanging out with friends or family and they instantly stop having a conversation with the people they are with to respond to some text or call from someone elsewhere!  How RUDE!  How about relating with the people you are with first, then the one’s who are not physically present at a more appropriate time.  If you really need to answer or respond, politely excuse yourself and return to the conversation after you are done. This goes for business situations as well as personal ones and frankly if your company doesn’t have a policy of turning your ringers off in meetings maybe you should make it your personal policy.  And I’m not even going to mention laws about talking on the phone or texting while driving…Just. Don’t!  Okay, rant’s over…sorry!

I sometimes forget to even carry my phone with me and there have been a few times that this mistake caused others quite a bit of worry which I am truly sorry for but just 10 years ago if someone left to run errands and it took longer than expected people didn’t rush to the worst case scenario just because they couldn’t reach them instantly.  We need to learn to trust one an-others boundaries again and give people space!

Here are some of the ways I personally practice being unplugged for my own wellness.

I go without news/media at least 3 (up to 5) days a week, that goes for radio, TV and internet.

I try to go without my computer (checking email and social media) at least one day a week.

I don’t use my phone every day for texts or calls.  Some-days it can just wait!  Just ask my friends who might have tried to reach me:)

My cell phone is not in my bedroom at night, I have a separate battery powered (to minimize EMF’s) alarm clock.

No texting while driving and because I lived in a state that talking on the phone was illegal without a hands free device, I’ve adopted that habit to.

Do you unplug?  If so to what extreme, daily, weekly, part or totally unplugged?  If not, maybe you should give it a try and for goodness sakes have a little courtesy towards others when using all those devices okay?

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August 17, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Supportive Detox

by heatherkp
Cover of "The Fat Flush Plan"

Cover of The Fat Flush Plan

I’m still trying to play catch up after my couple of trips over the past month.  I feel like I should be doing a better job of blogging and getting back on track but I’m just not!  I am however in the midst (day 6 or 14) of doing a 2 week detox.   Let me back up and explain.  I think some form of detox is a good idea several times a year and I am way overdue for one. In addition to this I’ve had many days and nights of staying up too late, eating whatever I want, drinking a bit too much etc and I feel worn down and sluggish.  I’ve also been battling some digestive problems that I’ve developed this year so in order to get to the bottom of this I am kicking it off with a detox.

I had tried a 2 week diet eliminating gluten and wheat from my my menu but it wasn’t a long enough period to come to any conclusions.  This time I’m following the Fat Flush Plan (book) in order to give my liver, digestive system and lymph system a chance to restore and heal before I come to any further conclusions about food intolerance.  One of the reasons I choose this plan is that I am a meat eater and this plan allows for meat and eggs (but no dairy or wheat/gluten or other carbs) and I don’t think I’d last 3 days on a raw food detox so I wanted to do something that I knew I had a good chance of succeeding at. I also knew that this detox would be so much easier and more fun while there are so many fresh local veggies and fruit in season.  Let me say that so far it’s been a challenge beyond what I was expecting!  I’m not complaining because I know it’s going to be worth it in the end.  I was really worn down and had low energy levels for the first few days but started to round the bend on about day 4.  I honestly still feel very deprived of calories, energy and some of the things I love to eat.  Cutting the carbs and sugar (except 2 servings of fruit a day) completely has been so hard for me.  What can I say, I LOVE FOOD!  I’m a pretty healthy person and quite diciplined but this diet is showing me I still have a lot of room for improvement.

So pardon my absence from regular posting as I try to regain my strength, composure and sense of purpose.  I’ve had a very intense summer with a lot of “food for thought” on my plate, I’m busy digesting it all as I go through this supportive detox.

There are so many different detox plans, have you ever done a detox diet that you recommend?

July 13, 2011

Wednesday Wellness:: PowerBalls

by heatherkp

I think I tweeted about this last week and now I’m finally getting around to posting the recipe!

In my quest to eat almost Gluten Free I have been experimenting with recipe creations.  I love almost all the flavors of Lara Bars and a friend of mine shared a recipe creation she made in her quest to recreate something similar.  I decided to give it a go and have made a couple variations on this.  I call them Power Balls because I don’t make them into bars, just small little nibble sized bites.  Here you go, please experiment and let me know what you think!

Power Balls

10 Dates, pitted

2 Tbsp protein powder (I used vanilla flavored Spiru-Tein)

6 Brazil nuts (or similar quantity of other nuts- pistachios, walnuts, pecans, cashews or almonds)

6 Figs (dried)

6 Apricots (dried)

2 Tbsp dried shredded coconut

1 tsp flaxseed oil

1 Tbsp flaxseeds (optional)

1 Tbs Almond meal (or oatmeal would work)

Combine all ingredients in bowl of a food processor and process by pulsing until mixture begins to hold together.  The motor will warm the ingredients up and it should be soft enough to form a ball.  Taste and adjust proportions of wet to dry as needed.  Using a cookie or small ice scream scoop, scoop out individual balls and place in small paper cups or on a flat layer to store (at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or in the refrigerator).

The great thing about this recipe is that there are endless variations!  In my last batch I used dried apples instead of the apricots and added a little cinnamon.  You can also make them chocolate flavored by eliminating the apricots and adding some cocoa powder, you will need more dates in this case.  These make a great healthy snack and are full of powerful antioxidants and super foods (nuts, flax etc.)  Enjoy and be Powerful!

June 29, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Risk and Fearlessness

by heatherkp

I’m taking a quick jaunt back into my Wednesday Wellness series to share a few thoughts on Wellness and fear, fear of Risk to be more specific.

I’ve been taking on a lot of “new” lately which requires a healthy dose of fearlessness.  I’ve always thought of myself as pretty adaptable to change, that is until the last several years.

Somewhere along the lines in my corporate design job and suburban lifestyle I got a little too comfortable (in my opinion). 

Then the unthinkable happened (loosing my job).  This was the thing I was most afraid of (but secretly wished for as well!).  Afterwards I decided not to rush myself into anything which was a good choice in hindsight but…

I spent the better part of last year practically paralized by fear of the unknown. 

I was unwilling to make a decision about what I wanted to do next because I was so afraid of not doing it perfectly, failing, not being happy with my new choices, not pleasing those around me etc…I’m sure you can probably relate right?  I can’t say I was exactly aware that I was paralized by fear but somewhere along the lines when I decided I’d had enough and set my intention on Clarity things slowly began to change for me.  I started to move towards risk and allow a little bit of fearlessness to creep into my routines.

What I’m coming to realize now is that it’s healthy and rewarding to invite risk into your life but the consequences may totally upset your balance for awhile.  I’m learning to live within this new state of unknown.  It is not always easy, sometimes I feel like I can’t get a deep breath, sometimes I am just exhausted and sometimes I need a day with a book or time at the pool to totally recharge and feel that deeper sense of calm inside me.

The big risk of deciding to start my own business in a field that I was formerly almost unfamiliar with didn’t feel so much like a leap off a cliff but now that I’m falling (into grace) I can look up and see how far I’ve come and that I have my parachute attached.  Somewhere inside myself I know how to do this, it came so much easier when I was younger but I’m learning to take on risk and to be more fearless by taking baby steps each day.

I’m taking more risks in my art, trying new techniques and approaches and being less judgmental of my own work.

I’m pushing myself to talk about my business in front of strangers on a regular weekly basis!

I am changing my dietary habits to reflect changes in my body (I’ve gone almost totally gluten free).

I’m re-trying things I use to love doing but somewhere along the lines stopped doing (swimming, tennis, bike riding).

I’m attending ART Camp (this is a bucket list item).

I’m growing food for myself (in a community garden plot).

I’m letting my grip on money become a little less rigid.  It will be there when I need it but I also need to enjoy the present, not in an extravagant way but I’m also no longer going to deprive myself of certain things-BALANCE.

That last word, that’s what it’s all about.  Striking a new balance between risk and easy…

What are you afraid of, what risks would you take if you knew you would not fail?  Living in fear is not living well!

March 30, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Kindness Counts!

by heatherkp

PS...Bonus Be KIND, and I mean to everyone (yeah, I’m still working on this one so that’s why it didn’t make it to this years list…maybe it will by next year!).

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not. -Samuel Johnson


There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. -Dalai Lama

Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.-Joseph Joubert

When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.– Dalai Lama

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. – Amelia Earhart

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.– Lao Tzu

The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.– Julia Alvarez

You’ve probably noticed that I love quotes, I collect them and I found so  many great quotes directly relating to KINDNESS.  Makes you wonder what so many great writers, philosophers and spiritual leaders know, it must be something important this thing called kindness.

Many a movie and catch phrase have been coined around the idea that Kindness counts, and Paying It Forward and I think people sometimes become jaded and just think these phrases are cliche.  Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness and happiness and what they really mean to the world.  Perhaps there are those out there that feel pursuing happiness or random acts of kindness don’t really mean anything or make any difference to the greater world.

How SAD is that?  Haven’t you ever had a really crappy day and someone just gave you the most genuine smile, held a door for you or gave you a small compliment that really changed your attitude (for a moment or even for the rest of the day)?  I think we’ve all experienced the power of kindness to uplift us and make us feel happier.

Kindness towards others should be secondary only to Self-Kindness. Lately, I’ve been practicing the art of boredom and this is an act of self kindness for me because I don’t usually allow myself time to “be lazy” or JUST BE.  Being honest and facing our own fears can be an act of the highest kindness towards ourselves.  I love what Brooke says about how kindness effects our daily relationships.  Acts of self kindness directly impact our wellness and once we begin by being kind to ourselves other acts of kindness will follow.  I hope you will consider how your kind actions effects your overall wellness.

What was the last random act of kindness you did for yourself?

Kindness is not without its rocks ahead. People are apt to put it down to an easy temper and seldom recognize it as the secret striving of a generous nature; whilst, on the other hand, the ill-natured get credit for all the evil they refrain from. Honore De Balzac

Okay, so now that we are on week 12 of my Wednesday Wellness posts I’m thinking I will be extending this feature.  I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s got me thinking of all the ways we can each bring wellness into our lives.  I’ve got lots more ideas up my sleeve so I’ll be sharing additional wellness tips from time to time but not weekly.  I do hope you’ve enjoyed this feature too!

March 23, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::You Don’t Owe Me For This!

by heatherkp

Eliminate Debt!

A few years ago a friend of mine turned me on to Dave Ramsey podcasts and I would sit at my job (designing carpets-pushing pixels as I use to say) and listen.  All these people  would call in with their crazy stories of debt (I’m mean honestly people?  Some of it was really good for a laugh!) and then there would be the excited calls to announce “I’m DEBT FREE!”.  I’d get a thrill hearing those calls and wished to be right there with them, especially since I was really close.

Well, in 2009 I got there, I paid off my car and my college loan (after 10 years) and it felt so great (but NO I didn’t call Dave)!  I wasn’t using credit cards and had learned some valuable lessons about interest rates and late fees in my early years after college when the thrill of having credit was new and felt so grown up!  I quickly learned there was nothing mature about owing people for stuff you couldn’t afford and most likely didn’t need to begin with.  I made a switch from using a typical credit card to using an American Express or my debit card which forced me to live within my limts (some people still can’t use either of these and remain disciplined enough to stay within their limits).

Today, I am so incredibly grateful that I don’t have the debt that so many Americans are saddled with.  I also don’t own my own home, which I want to one day but we (my husband and I) made a conscious decision NOT to burden ourselves with a mortgage we felt was extending us beyond what felt comfortable.  Thank goodness we didn’t take that on 5, 4 or even 3 years ago.

When was faced with making a decision about leaving my corporate job over a year ago one of the reasons I was able to say no to a job I didn’t love doing anymore was having no debt.  The other was having a little nest egg saved away (that’s another story for another post).  Today, as I begin a new career doing something I feel very passionate about I am so grateful for the lessons I learned from listening to Dave and his callers.  Some people don’t like his personality or his approach and I’m generally not a conservative person but I think a little fiscal conservation goes a LONG way!  In more recent years there are a lot of other financial planners giving out similar advice and we’ve all seen the damage that living beyond our means can cause.  It’s something each person must decide for themselves but it certainly gives you a sense of FREEDOM when you don’t owe anybody anything!

So, go ahead and get that elephant off your back and begin to live DEBT FREE!

February 23, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Natural and non-toxic

by heatherkp
The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

Image via Wikipedia

Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products in your home.

I do this and I think you should too.  Maybe you don’t care what I think but if your reading this, maybe you do, just a little.

Nasty Stuff-Chlorine, Formaldehyde, Chloroform, Lye,  Hydrochloric Acid, Ammonia , Phthalates, Parabens, Petroleum Distillates, VOC’s…these are the worst offenders causing a whole spectrum of health problems that you probably don’t want to know about but should.  I don’t have kids but I care deeply about how and what I surround myself with and if I had children I’d probably be even more fanatical about this topic (I’ve been known to buy bleach on occasion and use products that may contain Lye and maybe a hint of Ammonia-I’m not perfect, I confess!).

Now that I listed the Nasty why the HECK would you want to use toxic products?  Hello?

From my experience there are 2 reasons people haven’t already made the switch to non-toxic:

1.) They think that toxic means cleaner…!*@#???=healthier (please refer to the Nasty above, does that seem healthy to you?).

2.) They think natural means more $$

Seriously, do you want to have anything with a skull and crossbones in your house (and I’m not talking about your sense of fashion or your funky taste in art)?

I don’t and sense I’m not paid to endorse any products here (or anywhere) I’m not going to.  I’m sure you know how to use a search engine of your liking to find the ton of websites, books and blogs out there that already give you the specifics about what to look for and how to make your own-it’s easy and cheap (so you can eliminate #2 from your excuses now). 

As for #1, there are a lot of germaphobes out there and I’m not one of them.  I’m very healthy, I don’t get sick often (neither does my husband) and I spend a lot of time in my home (I work from home) so something must be working for us.  If this is your excuse for not using natural cleaners than I urge you to do a little research and give some products a try, you just might find that they smell better, don’t require using heavy duty plastic gloves to apply and work just as well as the toxic avengers!

One note of warning, so-called “green” cleaners are a big area of revenue for business but not all products are created equally.  Some “green” products are nothing more than the same old toxic cleaners diluted and with “essential oils” added.  Beware, read up and be a smart consumer (read the ingredients).   Seriously, it’s not that much work and you and your family are worth it.

Your life is worth living well so don’t pollute it when all your trying to do is clean it up a little!

PS.  For those of you who are lucky enough to hire cleaning help, supply them with the cleaners you want them to use in your home and make sure they are using them:)

January 26, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Exercise for Mind & Body

by heatherkp

What kind of exercise makes you feel good?  Do you love to take walks, dance, practice yoga, run, spin, lift weights?  I know that when I get regular exercise I feel better physically and mentally and I’m so much more creative.  When I’m stuck creatively I find that taking a quick walk can spur on the creative ideas.

Exercise is really as vital to my mental health as physical.  When I’m getting regular and routine exercise I’m a more happy person and I don’t tend to dwell on or over-analyze negative thoughts.  Without exercise I tend to get sucked into that downward mental spiral.

Nia Jam (photo courtesy Suzannah Weiss http://www.SuzWorks.org)

My absolute favorite forms of exercise are dance, walking and yoga.  I practice this particular form of dance called Nia which incorporates different forms of dance as well as martial arts and yoga.  I love it and try to practice in a class once a week (it’s a little hard to find classes where I live) and once a week via DVD.  I also practice yoga 2-3 times a week and try to take as many walks (2-3 at least 30 min each).  When I get a minimum of this much exercise I feel pretty good.  I’ll often add in some weight lifting and stretching if I really want an energy burst or feel like I need it.

Why do you exercise, does it keep you inspired, de~stressed or energized?  What is your favorite type of exercise?

January 19, 2011

Wednesday Wellness::Sleep Well

by heatherkp

Do you get enough sleep?  Being well and feeling well literally begins with getting a good night sleep.  I know that I generally need 7-8 hours of sleep a night to feel my best.  I am not really able to sleep in past 7 or 8 so this means I have to get to bed by 11 or 12 at the latest.  We each have to listen to our internal clocks to determine the right amount of sleep and the optimal time for sleep.

I know the practice of napping is something some people swear by but I’ve never been able to nap.  I’m just not a napper, wish I was!  So that means I need to get that sleep at night because once I’m up, I’m up.

There are so many fascinating studies that illustrate all the ways in which sleep is important for us.  Lack of sleep and fatigue can lead to stress, weight gain, depression, anxiety, heart and other health problems (especially with sleep disorders) and it can be downright dangerous (as in driving and falling asleep etc).