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FOMO

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Have y’all heard of this yet? FOMO – Fear of Missing Out! I asked myself, “fear of missing out on WHAT?” Last night was Saturday night, and do you know how I knew this? Because I was home cleaning my apartment and clipping coupons. Don’t judge; I clip coupons to send to our military troops!

I took a break (I was getting a cramp in my hand from holding the scissors) and I logged onto Facebook…big mistake! All my friends were posting about how much fun they were having, who they were hanging out with, tallying up their drink totals, and “checking in” at various bars, clubs, and other entertainment establishments. I looked over at the cat, he looked back at me, and we both sighed.

Here’s the thing though…I am over 21, an adult with a job and a car and the means to go out on Saturday night (if I really wanted to). The truth is I CHOSE to stay in last night. No wallowing for me.

When we learn to say no to things we are inevitably saying yes to something else. If I say no to going to a party, I’m saying yes to staying in and catching up on my work (and there’s plenty of it)! Am I missing out on something by saying no? Sure I am! But again, I’m saying yes to something else, and I choose to focus on that. 

Also, remember kids, that your friend who posts all her Saturday night antics about the posh places she’s visiting, the designer clothes, and fancy getaways will never post about the creditors calling her for back payment or the day her car got repossessed. What you see on Facebook is what other people WANT you to see, and it’s only a snapshot.

Before you send me hate mail, let me just clarify, I am not suggesting that you become a hermit and never go out and see your friends, I’m telling you that it’s okay to unplug, unwind, and step away from the outside world sometimes. And the best time to exercise this right is when it’s something that you really don’t want to do. If you don’t go to Sally’s best friend’s husband’s brother’s neighbor’s housewarming party, will you miss out on something? Maybe. But if it’s something you don’t want to do, don’t do it! You may miss out on some things, but if you replace that time with something more worthwhile, you’ll gain a whole lot more. 

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well.

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

Karen

Like the blog? You can also follow me on Twitter @caringcoaching, or check me out on The Huffington Post. Just go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-ann-kennedy

 

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The Last Diet You’ll Ever Need

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The Grapefruit Diet. Jenny Craig. Weight Watchers. The Cabbage Soup Diet. The Hot Dog and Ice Cream Diet.

STOP THE MADNESS!

Have you been on more than one diet…at a time? I have! I’ve tried them all and then some. I am now on a new diet and I’m confident that it is the last diet I will ever need, so I’m sharing it with all of you.

First off, I have completely changed my definition of “diet”. When I talk about my diet I am not talking about a regimented eating plan, I am talking about the way I eat every day. Diets don’t work because they are rooted in deprivation and making you feel bad. My new “diet” is essentially just my new way of eating.

Here’s the diet:

1. STOP EATING CRAP! Seriously, step away from the Devil Dogs and pick up a banana!

2. Eat when you’re hungry, stop eating when you’re full. Sound simple? Yes, it does, but it’s so hard to do. Practice mindful eating, that is, pay attention to how your body feels. If you feel like the button on your pants is going to pop off and knock someone’s eye out, you’ve eaten too much. Stop before you get to that point.

3. Don’t eat distracted. Turn off the TV, put down your iPhone, seriously, nothing is that critical, and focus on eating. Stop multitasking while you eat.

4. Focus on clean eating. Eat real food with ingredients you can pronounce. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either.

5. Be sure to treat yourself every so often. If you follow the 90/10 diet, you’re essentially eating healthy 90% of the time, and splurging on goodies 10% of the time. It’s okay to have a treat every now and again, but you can’t have a treat every day because then, they are no longer treats! Birthday cake is supposed to be a treat…not dinner on a random Tuesday night!

Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, stop eating crap, and treat yourself once in a while.

Take Care of Yourself, be Nice to Yourself and Be Well!

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

Karen

Want to get your diet, your body, and your life in shape? Contact me TODAY for your free health consultation, http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com

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Denial is not Just a River in Egypt!

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After months of debate with myself, I have finally made the decision to go gluten-free. I have known for several months that I needed to do it, but I was too busy visiting another state; the state of denial!

I had every excuse under the sun, “it will be too hard,” I’m a vegan; what will eat?” I felt bad every time I ate bread or pasta, but not bad enough! You see, that’s what happens when you decide to make a change, you have to feel bad enough, be uncomfortable enough, to make that change!

The decision became crystal clear this week when, after eating bread at breakfast, pasta at lunch, and a peanut butter sandwich at dinner, I felt more horrible than I could remember feeling in recent years. I spent a half hour of my one-hour karate class in the bathroom (TMI), and knew then that it was time to leave the state of denial and move to a new state; the state of ACTION!

Will it be easy to go gluten-free? Probably not! But I need only think about how crappy I felt the other day to remind myself that eating that muffin, bowl of pasta, piece of bread, or piece of cake is not worth it!

Is there something in your life that you are denying? Is there something you feel strongly that you need to do? You could do what I did and wait until it’s so uncomfortable that you have no choice but to make a change, or, you can be proactive in your life and decide to make the changes in your life that you know will benefit you.

Some people need that “rock bottom” moment before they make a move, and if that’s you, than at least you can recognize it. But if you can make changes now, DO IT! Trust me, in six months you’ll wish you had started today!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well!

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

Karen

On a gluten-free diet? Struggle with your weight? Living with high blood pressure, diabetes, or any other health issue? Health coaching can help put you on the path to wellness! Contact me TODAY for a FREE health consultation, karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com. Evening, weekend, and phone consultations are available, but sessions fill up FAST, so don’t miss out, get yours today!

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The Three Things You Must Stop Doing

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Do you want to be happier? Stupid question? I’m guessing that right about now you’re rolling your eyes at me. OF COURSE YOU WANT TO BE HAPPIER! That’s like asking someone if they want more money…you’re rolling your eyes at me again; aren’t you?

If you want to be happier, here are three things that you must give up TODAY! Trust me on this.

1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Do you get a little nauseous when you look at your friend’s Facebook posts about their fabulous vacations, perfect kids, and adoring spouse that always cleans the kitchen? If you find yourself feeling jealous of your friends nearly perfect lives, keep this in mind, no one’s life is perfect and you are only seeing what your friends want you to see. You have no idea what’s really going on in someone’s life. While you are coveting what you believe someone else has, someone else is coveting what they believe you have.

A sure fire way to be happy is to be grateful for what you already have in your life. Gratitude is a gateway to happiness. And trust me when I say this, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. No matter how crappy things may seem, make it habit to write down three things you are grateful for every day…EVERY DAY… even if the only thing you have to be grateful for is the fact that you woke up in the morning!

2. Stop holding a grudge. People are jerks. Yeah, I know, what a news flash! Here’s the thing, forgiving someone does not mean that you condone what they’ve done, it means that you are smart enough to let go and preserve your peace of mind. One of my favorite quotes says, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Powerful. Why let someone else dictate your happiness? If someone has done something to wrong you either address it or forget it…or address it and then forget it. Stop seething over it. You’re not hurting the other person, you’re only hurting yourself, your happiness, and your peace of mind.

3.Stop worrying about everything under the sun.  This one is tough for most people; it was tough for me. I am by nature a worrywart. I worry about everything, at least I did, until the point where I literally started to worry myself sick. If you read my earlier post about sawing the sawdust you know that worrying is unproductive and unhealthy. When you are faced with an issue the only thing to do is to deal with it head on. Here’s how I do it…

Write down EXACTLY what the problem is, not what you perceive the problem to be, but the actual problem. Then, write down all the possible solutions to the problem. And then, let’s go one step further, write down all the possible consequences including; what’s the worst thing that can happen? Asking yourself that last question is key, “what is the worst thing that can happen?” It sounds counter intuitive to get all doomsday about it but once you know what you’re dealing with then you can pick the right course of action, make a plan, and then get to work. Worrying solves nothing, it only robs you of your happiness.

Happiness is a choice, it’s also something you have to actively engage in. If you want to be happy, then be happy!

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Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well!

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

Karen

Want to get on your own personal path to happiness? Contact me today for a free health consultation! http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com!

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Fitting Out

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I got beat up a lot as a kid. I was “the poor kid,” the “awkward kid,” the “shy kid,” and I never fit in.

I wasn’t a “jock,” I wasn’t a “geek,” I wasn’t “popular;” There wasn’t a single group in school that I fit in with.

As I got older, I was determined to find a way to fit in. I started to conform to whatever the popular kids were doing. I saved my money and bought the clothes that they bought, hung around in the same spots they hung around in; I even picked up their vernacular.

After years of trying to fit in, eventually, I realized that I didn’t even know who I was. It got so bad that if someone asked me what I liked I couldn’t come up with an answer because the truth was…I DIDN’T KNOW! How sad is that?

I was miserable!

Then, one day, and I’m not even sure when it happened, I threw up my hands and thought, screw it, it’s too exhausting trying to conform. I’m just going to start being me and if people like me, great, and if they don’t, well, they could just get lost!

That light bulb moment wasn’t the end of the road for me though. I still struggled often with the feeling of not fitting in. I always felt like I was on the fringe and always felt like I was way too different to be part of any group…then it happened!

I’ve always been interested in health and fitness, and I enrolled in school at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school. Through my studies I was introduced to a concept called “fitting out.”

Fitting out really means honoring your authentic self, being who you really are, and NOT conforming. For me it meant not “going along to get along” and not trying to fit somebody else’s definition of “normal.”

I can’t say that the feeling of not belonging is totally gone. Every now and then I still feel like the oddball, but then I remind myself that when I’m not fitting in, that’s a GOOD THING! When I’m being the real me, that is the highest expression of self there is. And it’s in the moments when I am being the authentic me that I feel the best about myself!

I urge you to get in touch with the real you. Be who you were meant to be! When everyone is wearing green, where blue; when everyone is chowing down on burgers, eat a salad; when everyone is glued to the TV, read a book! You were not meant to be a carbon copy of someone else, you were meant to be YOU!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well…and until next time…veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Love the blog? Listen to me Friday nights at 9 pm EST on dtmwickedradio.com, follow me on Twitter @caringcoaching, or subscribe to my monthly newsletter, just go to http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com. and click on the newsletter link. Thanks for reading!

 

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Awesome Amaranth

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If you haven’t yet discovered Amaranth, now is the time to give it a try. Amaranth is nutty, peppery, and naturally gluten free! It is also an excellent source of the amino acid lysine, making it a complete protein, which is great for vegans and vegetarians looking to bump up their protein intake.

Amaranth is rich in fiber, calcium, iron, and magnesium, so there’s no reason not to give it a try!

Amaranth is very absorbent so when cooking it, you’ll need about 5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of the grain. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and then simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Amaranth is quite versatile, as it can be used as the base for a sweet or savory dish. Try mixing your cooked amaranth with sauteed vegetables (mushrooms are excellent) or make it a sweet breakfast dish by adding coconut milk, nuts, or fruit.

You can also get amaranth flour, which is great for gluten-free baking.

Ready to give amaranth a whirl? Of course you are! Check out the recipe below to get you started.

AMARANTH CORN CAKES

1 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup amaranth flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 TBSP olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers

1 tsp minced garlic

2 TBSP white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground pepper

Coconut oil (for frying)

1. Combine cornmeal and flour in a large bowl.

2. Bring veggie broth to boil and pour the broth over the flour mixture. Stir and set aside; the consistency will be thick.

3. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, peppers and garlic until softened.

4. Stir in vinegar and seasonings.

5. Fold vegetable mixture into amaranth mixture. In a hot skillet with a little of the coconut oil, scoop batter into mounds, flatten slightly, and brown on both sides. 

6. Drain off extra oil on paper towels.

Enjoy!

Already an amaranth fan? Reply to this post and tell me how you use amaranth in your cooking!

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

Karen

Want more recipes? Sign up for my monthly newsletter! Just go to http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and click on the newsletter button.

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Your Eulogy or Your Resume

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I spent the past weekend in New York at a conference with my fellow classmates from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I was so energized and amazed to be in the presence of these amazing people that are working to live out their dream of making the world a healthier place.

Among the speakers were Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of IIN, Deepak Chopra, Walter Willet, and Arianna Huffington, just to name a few. They were all incredible and each brought a unique perspective to the weekend. 

I had never heard Arianna Huffington speak before, but I must say, she was absolutely amazing. With humor, compassion, and a large dose of down-to-Earth realism, she told it like it is!

One thing she said that really stuck with me was about our eulogies; what people would say about us when we die. She remarked that when people pass, their eulogy is not about the work that they did (their resume) it is about the kind of person they were. THIS HIT HOME! We spend so much time at work, climbing the corporate ladder, working to move up so we can get…you guessed it…more work, that we don’t get to enjoy our lives!

Now I realize that we all have to work. We need to make a living, we need to pay our bills, feed our families, and give something to society; but do we have to do all of this at the expense of our health and our relationships? I did, for a long time. I spent so much time building my career that I tore down my marriage. I spent so much time trying “keep up with the Joneses” that I was no longer keeping up with my friends and family. I was focusing on all the wrong things!

When I die, and obviously, that’s going to happen at some point. I don’t want people to go to my funeral and say, “Karen was the best damn HR Director I ever met,” or, “Karen spent more time in the office than anyone else!” I want people to say that I was caring, and loving, and nice, and funny, and compassionate. I want them to say that I always looked out for others, was never too busy to help out a friend, was a good listener, and I had a kind heart. 

But then I realized that my audio wasn’t matching my video, meaning, that I was saying this is what I wanted, but all my actions were saying something else.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t work hard, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a career you are proud of, but I am urging you to think about what (if anything) you are giving up for your success. I recently read that the average amount of time parents spend in meaningful conversation with their kids is 3 1/2 minutes per week…PER WEEK!!!!! That’s about 30 seconds a day! Is the corner office really worth that?

What will people say about you in your eulogy? What do you WANT them to say? Here’s a novel idea; go get a piece of paper and write your eulogy. Seriously. Write down what you want someone to say about you and then, go out there and start living a life that reflects that. In other words, make sure your audio matches your video!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time, veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Want to design the fit and happy life you’ve always dreamed of! I can help! Contact me TODAY at http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com to get your FREE health consultation and get started on the path to a healthier, happier life!

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