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Gluten-Free Biscuits

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A few blogs ago I talked about the biggest mistake that people make when going gluten-free. In case you missed it, the mistake is relying too much on over-processed foods that are loaded with sugar and other non-natural ingredients.

The biggest complaint I hear from clients and friends that are gluten-free is that they miss bread and other baked goods so much! There are lots of gluten-free varieties of bread out there on the market, but, if you like to bake, you can also make your own! Or you can skip the bread…and make biscuits!

These biscuits are lovely and light and are the perfect complement to a bowl of thick, hearty chili, soup, or stew. They also make a fine side to your breakfast, and taste yummy with a little orange marmalade on them!

Enjoy! And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

Gluten-Free Biscuits

1/3 cup coconut flour

5 TBSP coconut oil or butter, melted

4 large eggs

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Mix flour, oil, eggs, and salt together. Add baking soda, then apple cider vinegar and mix again.

3. Drop rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet and press down to a disc shape.

4. Bake 11 – 13 minutes, or until cooked through. Cool 10 minutes before serving. 

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When the Health Coach Gets Sick

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An amazing thing happens when you become a Health Coach. Suddenly, everyone around you starts monitoring what you eat. God forbid you miss a workout, everyone gets on you for it. And don’t even try to sneak to the vending machine, or eat a donut at a staff meeting!

So, today, I got sick! Here’s a news flash, I’m a human being! Do you think doctors never get sick? Dentists never get a toothache? It happens! And it happened to me in a big way today!

I knew it was coming last night. I had a scratchy throat, and I kept repeating the mantra, “I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick,” but then I sneezed; TWICE, and I knew that was the beginning of the end. When I woke up this morning, I WAS SICK! Horribly sick! I went to work; big mistake! I made it for part of the morning and then promptly came home, parked myself on the coach, and started pumping myself full of liquids.

My co-workers were appalled! How I possibly be sick! I’m a Health Coach. I tell everyone else how to stay healthy! They looked at me as if I were an alien!

As a Health Coach, I am always so concerned about my clients. Are they getting what they need? Eating healthy? Taking care of themselves? Getting enough rest? It’s that last one that was my downfall. I am very good at telling other people to make sure they rest, but I’m terrible at doing it for myself. As I sat at my desk with the world’s worst headache, seriously, my eyeballs hurt, I emailed my brilliant marketing consultant to cancel a meeting for tonight, cleared off the calendar for Saturday, and came to the sad realization that my never-ending to-do list was going to get a little longer.

So what happens when the Health Coach gets sick? The same thing that happens when everybody else gets sick; you get forced to slow down and take care of yourself.

I hope all of you are staying well! Please remember to take care of yourself! And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Haven’t signed up yet for my monthly newsletter? Please do! Visit my website at http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and click on the newsletter link. You’ll get great health and wellness tips, recipes, and fun articles! Like the blog? Check me out LIVE every Friday night on http://www.dtmwickradio.com. YES,  even tonight I’ll be on there sharing health and wellness tips! 9 pm EST, don’t miss it!

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A Miraculous Morning

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Tell me if this sounds like you. The alarm goes off, you roll over and hit the snooze button once, then twice, then you fall back asleep only to wake up 10, 15, or 20 minutes later, freaking out because you’re going to be late for work. You throw on some clothes, run a comb through your hair, and try to find a matching pair of shoes. You hobble to the kitchen and grab a pop tart and a cup of coffee before literally running out the door to catch the bus.

Does this sounds like you? It used to be me.

The way your start your day is important, because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. You can start your day scattered, anxious, frustrated, tired, stressed, and pissed off, or, you can use these few simple tricks to start your day off feeling great.

1. Get up earlier. Don’t hate me for this one! Don’t get out of bed at the last possible second. The trick is to give yourself enough time to ease into the day. If you can’t bear the thought of waking up an hour, or even a half hour earlier, start with just 10 minutes. If you can, work your way up to a half hour or an hour. I’m going to show you what to do with it.

2. Open the shades as soon as you can and let the natural light come in. That natural light will help wake you up and will help you feel refreshed and ready to face the day. Natural light will do more for you than artificial light, so throw open those curtains and soak up the beginning of the day.

3. Start your day with a cup of hot water with lemon. Hot water with lemon will jump start your metabolism and clean out your system. You’ll feel refreshed and that’s one cup of water down from the eight cup count you should be striving to get during the day.

4. Read something inspiring. You may need to know the weather and the traffic, but starting your day with negative will not start you off on a positive note. Be honest, do you really want to start your day hearing about how many people were shot overnight, how many houses burned down, or the latest political scandal? How much nicer would it be to start your day reading an amazing, inspiring story? Choose something that will lift you up, not bring you down.

5. If you like to write, try writing morning pages. Get yourself a nice journal and spend some time plotting out your day. Write down what your hopes are for the day. What do you want to accomplish? What are your plans to have fun for the day? Think of at least one thing you can do today for someone else to brighten their day. Pencil in some time to do something nice for yourself.

6. Stretch. Light stretching in the morning will get your blood flowing, wake you up, and help you feel more energized and ready to take on the day. If you can, stretch in the sunlight, put on some lovely music, and make this time of your day sacred.

If your day consists of running from one meeting to another, answering calls, answering emails, answering texts, dodging annoying co-workers, fighting traffic, picking up kids, driving the carpool, etc., etc., etc., you NEED this time in the morning to relax. TAKE IT! You’ll feel so much better about the rest of your day.

Namaste! And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out. 

Karen  

Want more healthy living tips? Visit my website at http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and click on the newsletter link to receive my monthly newsletter. It’s chock full of recipes, food facts, and health and beauty tips to help you be your very best!

 

 

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Why You’re Doing Gluten Free All Wrong – And How to do it Right!

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Gluten free has become the “sexy” diet. People are jumping on the bandwagon of gluten free eating without doing the necessary research to find out if it’s truly right for them!

First off, unless you have Celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, you may be causing more harm than good. I am not advocating for any particular diet, I am just asking people to do, what I always ask them to do, and that is, be educated!

If you are following a gluten free diet for weight loss, please understand that you may or may not experience weight loss. Giving up gluten alone will likely not shed the pounds.

So what is the biggest gluten free mistake???

People rely too much on commercial, manufactured gluten free products. Now, I am not bashing these products. There are a lot of amazing companies out there like Enjoy Life, Udi’s Gluten Free, and Glutino, that make fabulous products. But gluten free products are still processed and can promote sharp increases in blood sugar and insulin (the fat-storage hormone).

Some gluten free products contain ingredients that are high on the glycemic index, meaning that they convert to sugar quickly in the body. This can lead to spikes and crashes in your energy levels, and, can lead to increased hunger! This can lead to weight gain, not weight loss! And commercial gluten free products can still contain ingredients like corn, sugar, and soy.

I always encourage people to eat real, whole foods, with ingredients that they can pronounce. Whether you eat a gluten free diet or not, this principle is still the same. That’s not to say that you need to spend your life eating nothing but fruits and vegetables, but it does mean paying attention to food labels and knowing what you are eating.

Below are some tips to help you shop and eat smarter:

1. When you select a gluten free product, try to stick with those that are low in sugar, and eat them in moderation. Treats should be just that…TREATS…you should not be relying on packaged foods (gluten free or otherwise) as your main source of food. Indulge periodically but keep the packaged stuff to a minimum.

2. Make your own baked goods. Opt for almond or coconut flours that are naturally gluten free. Invest in some gluten free cookbooks. If you are truly gluten free in your home, cooking at home will help you avoid cross contamination. Learn to make some really fabulous gluten free dishes that you can enjoy at home. And learn enough dishes that you can swap them in and out to avoid boredom!

3. Get to know your gluten free companies! Research them on the web, write to them, CALL THEM! These companies exist because they want to provide products to people who need them. Ask them about their practices, learn about their manufacturing processes. How do they ensure their products are completely gluten free? Become an educated consumer!

Not sure if you have a gluten intolerance? An elimination diet may help! I can help you work through the elimination diet process and help you discover other food allergies and sensitivities that you may have. Visit my website at http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com to get started today!

And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen   

 

 

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Deconstructing Cravings

 

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Whether it’s salt, sugar, or fat, we all have cravings from time-to-time, and cravings often come about because there is something the body feels it is missing. Cravings can sometimes be caused by:

1. Stress – Stressful job. Bad relationship. Whatever it is, sometimes it’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you!Try to sort out what’s troubling you. Journaling can sometimes help.

2. Dehydration – When you feel a craving coming on, drink a glass of water before you reach for that candy bar or bag of chips. Often we confuse thirst and hunger, and we reach for food when what we really need is to rehydrate.

3. The seasons – Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. Spring is when we reach for lots of healthy fruits and salads, in summer, we crave things that cool us off, fall brings a craving for ground foods like squash, onions, and nuts, and winter is all about comfort foods!

4. Hormones – And no, I don’t just mean PMS! Men can experience hormonal cravings as well from fluctuating testosterone levels. Hormonal shifts such as menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and those fluctuating testosterone levels (in men) or estrogen levels (in women) may cause unique cravings.

5. Lack of nutrients- Sometimes our cravings are a sign that we are lacking certain nutrients. Be sure you are eating a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals.

So, what do our cravings mean? Below, I’ll help you deconstruct your cravings and give you some healthier alternatives. Enjoy!

Sweet/Sugar Cravings: Sugar cravings are sometimes the result of low blood sugar, or the need to reduce stress. For some, sugar cravings come from eating too much meat or too much salt! Adding in some whole grains like brown rice or root vegetables sometimes helps. And fruit is ALWAYS a good snack for those times when you need something sweet.

Salty Food Cravings: When you are craving salty foods it may be a mineral deficiency. But, If you have that crunchy, salty 3 pm snack attack, ask yourself if you’re angry. Sometimes anger, a stressful day at work, or a fight with your boss, can cause you to want something crunchy. Try some raw veggies and hummus or sweet potato chips; a much healthier alternative to that bag of Doritos.

Spicy Cravings: Are your feet and/or hands cold? Do you feel like you’re in a rut? Spicy foods make us think of warmth and excitement! The good news is that some research has shown that spicy food can help rev up your metabolism. Try a spicy soup, pasta with marinara sauce, or some spicy Mexican or Thai food. Spicy food will get your circulation and your spirits going!

Creamy and Cold Food Cravings: These cravings are all about wanting comfort, especially if you are depressed. It is no accident that you see the stereotypical brokenhearted woman diving into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. This is the perfect time to find comfort with good friends, get a hug from someone you love, or pop in a comedy DVD to help you laugh. If you truly need a food item to cheer you up, try a creamy, cold protein smoothie, or a scoop of frozen yogurt.

Chocolate Cravings: For some, chocolate actually IS pure love! Most chocolate addicts are addicted to the theobromine in chocolate that makes us feel like we are in love! And women with PMS usually crave chocolate due to its high magnesium content. So go ahead and indulge…a little! Try to stick to a good-quality dark chocolate, and enjoy in moderation.

Want to know more about YOUR individual cravings? Schedule your free “Healthiest Hour of Your Life” consultation. Evening, weekend, and phone consultations are available. Contact me today at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com to get started on your journey to health and wellness!

And until next time…veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen  

Through unique individual, group, and corporate programs, it is my mission to be your partner in helping you reach your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. Want to know more? Visit my website at http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com.  

Like the blog? Sign up now for my monthly newsletter! Just click the newsletter link from my site, and don’t miss out!

 

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Slowing Down in a Speeded Up World

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We are all so busy today! There is hardly a minute to stop, breathe, and enjoy some quiet time. We are bombarded with advertising and messaging everywhere we turn. And we are more addicted to our electronic devices than ever before!

But it’s so important to slow down and relax from time to time; to collect our thoughts, and to enjoy our lives. We work so hard to pay for a car that we are too busy to drive, and a home that we are never in, because we are working so hard. Anyone else see the sad irony in that sentence?

Slowing down is a conscious effort. Below, are a few ways to help you get started.

1. Don’t take anything for granted. This week, there are still hundreds of thousands of people in my area without power or heat from an ice storm that rolled in. I feel awful for these folks, and the lesson I learned while watching the newscasts was not take anything in my life for granted. When you start to be grateful for everything you have, all the wonders of nature, the beauty of your family, the comfort of your friends, life begins to look differently. And forcing yourself to admire the beauty of the trees, the wave of the ocean, and the smell of the air is an easy way to slow down in small increments throughout your day.

2. Set your own pace. It’s okay not to keep up with the Joneses, or the Browns, or the Smiths, or whoever else is out there running at the speed of light. And it’s not only okay, but necessary, to tell others when they are pushing you. Your life is meant to be lived in your way. It’s not up to someone else to tell you what you “should” be doing, how much you “should” be earning, what kind of car you “should” be driving. Set your own pace and stick to it. And if your current pace is frantic; keep reading!

3. Unplug. I believe in truth in advertising, so I will tell you upfront, that I would positively lose my mind if I didn’t have my phone or my iPad. It’s worse now since I started a business. I feel like I have to “put myself out there,” in order to market my business and tell people I exist. But even I recognize that at some point, I need to step away from the electronics. Try powering down at least an hour before bed; two if you can manage it. Turn off the TV on a sunny Saturday and go for a walk, and demand there be no texting at the dinner table when you’ve gathered with your family. Recently I heard of a new phenomenon called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Researchers say it’s one of the reasons why we obsessively check our email, and Facebook pages. I’d like to think that when you are overly “plugged in” that you are experiencing a different type of FOMO, and that is, fear of missing out on REAL LIFE! Instead of reading everyone’s check ins at the zoo or the park with their kids, grab your own brood and head out. The goal is to create memories, not status updates!

4. Stop over scheduling. Some days I look at my calendar and think, “Who am I kidding?” It would take one of those little time shifter things like in the Harry Potter movies to get to all the places and do all the things I’ve planned to do in the course of one day. Recently, I had an epiphany that running from one thing to another, working until midnight every night, and scheduling myself to within an inch of my life is actually making me LESS productive! It’s forcing my mind to have to switch gears quickly, not giving me enough time to think through things. Not getting enough rest means that I’m not at my best, and that doesn’t serve me or the people depending on me very effectively. And, I’ve find that I do my best thinking when I’ve allowed my brain time to rest and regroup. Take a hard look at your schedule and see what you can live without. Coco Chanel, one of the icons of fashion, had advice for all the women out there, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror, and take off one piece of jewelry.” My advice to all of you? “Every week, remove one – two things from your schedule.” Can your neighbor drive the kids to soccer practice? Can you group one or two errands together so you aren’t running all over town? Do you really have to walk your sister’s dogs every afternoon? You know there are services that do that now!

Relax, slow down, breathe, and just every now and then, veg in, AND, veg out!

Karen

Like the blog? Sign up for my monthly newsletter. It’s full of tips, recipes, and helpful health and wellness information. Just visit my website, http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and click on the newsletter link!

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Happy, Healthy Hearts

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It’s February, and t’s American Heart Month. It’s so important to take care of your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. While exercise and living a tobacco-free life is crucial, it’s important to note that 25% of heart attacks happen in people who don’t smoke and who have healthy cholesterol levels. There are so many things you can do to help keep your ticker healthy, including adding in some of the following foods.

Berries and Citrus Fruits – Fruit-eaters have been shown to have a lower risk for heart disease. Aim to get three different types of fruit each day. You can include favorites like berries, mangoes, and oranges. Can’t get good, fresh fruit in February? Get some frozen varieties to incorporate into smoothies!

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – EVOO contains antioxidants that combat inflammation and help bring down LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Use it in salad dressings or drizzle over sauteed veggies.

Dark Chocolate – You can thank me for this tidbit! An ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day has been shown to provide health benefits. Cocoa flavanols are the key. Be sure to stick to good quality dark chocolate (we’re not talking Snickers bars here!) Look for chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Want an extra boost? Pair your dark chocolate with berries for a really powerful antioxidant punch!

Fish Oil – Fish has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and sudden death. Eating low-mercury fish such as wild salmon, herring, sardines, or sole, 2 – 3 times a week is best. If you don’t eat that much fish in a week, aim to get 1,000 mg daily of fish oil through a high-quality fish oil supplement.

Wine – You can thank me again here! Studies show that drinking alcohol (in moderation, of course) boosts HDL, or “good” cholestoral. Red wine is especially desirable because it contains resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Stick to just one drink a day for women, and two drinks a day for men.

Walnuts – An ounce of walnuts a day will provide you with antioxidant phenols that can improve blood vessel function almost immediately!Toss some crushed walnuts in your morning oatmeal or bake them into my world’s easiest cookie recipe!* Look below!

World’s Easiest Cookie Recipe

These cookies are a staple in my house! I make them almost weekly and they are a huge hit with my family and friends. It’s so easy! Mash up one banana and mix with 1 cup of oatmeal! That’s it! That’s the base. From there, you can add anything you like. Walnuts, as mentioned above, honey to sweeten, a little vanilla, some vegan chocolate chips, craisins, raisins, or a scoop of peanut butter. The possibilities are ENDLESS! Bake your cookies at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a WELL-GREASED cookie sheet. ENJOY!

And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Like the blog? Did you know that you can listen to the blog LIVE every Friday night at 9 pm EST? That’s right! Just go to http://www.dtmwickedradio.com, click on the show icon, and listen and chat. Each week I share great healthy living tips, recipes, and strategies to help you live better and feel better. Check me out!

 

 

 

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