aromatherapy, Health and wellness, recipes, Skin Care, Uncategorized

Holiday Home Spa Night

Tis the season for being stressed; for many people I know, that is. Just recently, I was coaching one of my clients and she just sounded stressed over the phone. I could tell that she really needed a day off to herself, but trying to find a whole day was, in itself, stressful.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back, and relax…I’ve got you covered.

Maybe you don’t need a whole day to relax. Maybe you just need an hour for a relaxing spa bath? Can’t get an hour? Even just a half hour will help you feel more relaxed.

Are you ready?

First things first, clean your bathroom! You can’t relax in a cluttered, dirty space. Tidy up and give the bathtub a good scrub.

Next, whip up a homemade bath soak. Since it’s the season of everything peppermint, here is my favorite recipe for peppermint bath soak:

1 cup of powdered milk
½ cup of cornstarch
½ teaspoon of peppermint oil

Blend all ingredients above and mix with 2 cups of warm water before dumping into the tub.

Not a peppermint fan? That’s okay; how about almond and honey?

1 cup of powdered milk
¼ cup of honey
1 tablespoon of almond oil

Blend all ingredients and mix with 2 cups of warm water before dumping into the tub.

Okay, it’s the holidays, so I’m feeling generous. Here’s one more. How about lavender to help you sleep?

1 cup of powdered milk
¼ cup of dried lavender

This recipe is best mixed and put into a cheesecloth (you can get them at most cooking stores). Tie a string around the cheesecloth and let it hang under the running water while you fill up the tub. Think of it as a giant tea bag! Don’t have dried lavender? Use the peppermint recipe above and substitute the peppermint oil for ½ teaspoon of lavender oil.

Once the bathroom is all spic and span and you have a bath soak that you like, grab some fluffy towels, light some candles, put on some relaxing music, and head into the tub for a soak.

While you are soaking, indulge in a cup of warm herbal tea. Skip the alcohol. It won’t really relax you and if your bath is particularly warm, the alcohol might not be a good idea.

Once you get out of the tub, before you dry off, slather your body in a rich, thick body butter before drying off and jumping into some comfy PJs or sweats.

After you’re dressed, head to the kitchen and grab yourself a glass of cool water with some orange, lemon and mint in it. Rehydrate your body and relax with a good book or magazine.

As the holiday season gets closer, be sure to take time to get rest, eat well, and sneak in some exercise. It’s when you’re busiest and don’t have time for these things that you need them the most!

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

Karen

Are you ready for a fantastic 2016? Of course you are! Kick off the New Year with a FREE, personalized health consultation to help you reach your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. Consultations can be done in person, over the phone, by SKYPE, or by FaceTime, and while they are FREE, they do book up fast, so don’t delay, schedule yours NOW. Really…RIGHT NOW before you get busy…I’ll wait.

Just email me at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com or call me at 267-258-7338, to get going.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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baking, Holiday Baking, Uncategorized

Going Against the Grains

The holidays are upon us and I’ve got a sudden itch to get in the kitchen and start baking stuff. Of course, I’ve been trying to avoid white flour and white sugar, and, I’m aware of all the people out there with gluten sensitivities, so I want to bake items that can be enjoyed by everyone.

There are so many different types of flours and grains out there, and I find it very confusing. I thought it might be helpful for you (and for me) to have a breakdown of some of the different types of flours and grains that are available. Hope this helps make your holiday baking stress-free!

Wheat Flours
Wheat flours contain gluten so if you are baking for someone with Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you’ll want to steer clear of these four flours.

1. Whole wheat flour has a pronounced earthiness with raw-sugar overtones and a bit of bitterness similar to that of red wine or coffee. Whole wheat flour is great for hearty chewy breads, cookies, and brownies.
2. Whole wheat pastry flour is a more finely ground flour that tastes just regular whole wheat flour. It’s best used for tender crusts, cakes, and pancakes.
3. Graham flour is a coarsely ground flour from hard red wheat berries. It has a rustic taste with faint honey notes. It’s an excellent flour for crisp crackers and pie crusts.
4. Spelt is a terrific one-to-one substitute for all-purpose flour. It has a sweet and mild taste, reminiscent of toasted walnuts. Spelt flour can do anything that white flour can do, so if you’re trying to avoid the white stuff like I am, spelt is a great alternative.

Hearty Grains
Barley and rye are probably the most commonly-known flours (next to white flour) and boast a rich, malty flavor. Both have small amounts of gluten, so again, if gluten is not your friend, these will not be your friend either.

1. Barley flour has a caramelized nutty taste similar to that of browned butter. Barley flour can be used to make smooth and buttery cookies, cakes, quick breads, and crusts.
2. Rye flour is milled with the germ, bran, and endosperm, and then sifted. The taste echoes that of malted milk. The darker the flour the stronger the flavor, so it’s best to think about what you are baking when choosing your rye flour. Rye flour can be used for breads, crusts, cookies, scones, waffles, and pancakes; so as you can see, it’s a very versatile flour.
3. Oat flour has a milky, mild sweetness and is great for chewy muffins, cookies, scones, biscuits, pancakes, and waffles, and works best when it’s combined with other grains or white flour. If you are baking for someone with just a mild gluten sensitivity, mixing a little oat flour with your white flour might be okay (but you’ll want to check with them first).
4. Buckwheat flour is ground from fruit seeds related to sorrel and rhubarb. Buckwheat has a nutty taste that may make you think of mushrooms or red wine. When mixed with wheat flour, it can make amazing griddle foods like pancakes, crepes, and waffles.

Ancient Grains
Technically, these aren’t all that old, but they have been dubbed “ancient grains” recently; probably by all those marketing gurus out there. These grains can be used in baking when combined with other flours, such as wheat or white flour.

1. Amaranth is a fine, powdery grind from the seeds of a leafy plant. It has a distinct grassy taste that is an acquired taste for some. It’s great for making denser baked goods like muffins, cookies, cakes, pancakes, and waffles.
2. Quinoa is not just for salads and porridge, it can also be used for baking, again, when combined with other flours. It has a hint of toasted sesame that adds a rustic, hearty flavor to baked goods such as moist and chewy cookies, muffins, cakes, and quick breads.
3. Millet is a finely ground grain with a mild and sweet taste. It’s best used for more delicate baking like cakes and cakey cookies.

There you have it, your go-to grain guide for holiday baking! Hope it helps!

While we’re here, please allow me to take a moment to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. You can be sure when I count my blessings this year, I’ll be counting all of you twice!

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

Karen

Have you gotten your copy of Your Best Year Yet! Now’s the time! Snag your copy and get ready to follow along as I take you through 12 months of practical, easy-to-implement strategies to help you control your finances, cook more healthy foods, get out there and exercise, organize your life, and improve your relationships!

Get your copy today at www.amazon.com

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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Uncategorized

Tomorrow is Veterans Day

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. No, it’s not a day for deals on new mattresses or new cars, it is a day to honor the heroism of those who died serving their country.

As a veteran, this day holds special meaning for me; I know it is equally special to the other veterans that I know who have served their country and have been blessed to come home with their lives – many others have not been as fortunate.

Veterans Day has officially been named: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

I joined the Army while I was still in high school. I knew the implications of enlisting but never thought I would see a war in my lifetime, let alone be in one. When I was 19, just two short months after completing basic training, my reserve unit was called to duty in support of Operation Desert Storm. You can imagine how terrified I was at the prospect of leaving home for an undisclosed location and for an undefined length of time.

As terrified as I was to go off to war, I was also proud and honored to have the opportunity to serve my country. Each year, on Veterans Day, I am reminded of my service and the service of others. My fellow veterans and I swap stories about our experiences, and we mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters in arms who never returned home.

This year on Veterans Day, while you go about your day, please take a moment to stop and think of those that have fought to protect us. Do something to take part of the observation of the day; go to a parade, give a donation to a veterans’ group, or stop by a local VA hospital and drop off something for the patients and/or staff.

Don’t let the day go by as just another day. It’s an important day to all who served but should also be an important day for anyone and everyone who enjoys the freedoms of living here in the good old U.S. of A.

Remember, freedom isn’t free. Many people fought, and many people died, to ensure that we can enjoy the freedoms we so easily take for granted.

To all my fellow veterans, I tip my hat to you. Thank you for serving. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.

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

Interested in health coaching services? Ask about my veterans’ discounts. It is my pleasure to serve all who have served.

Karen

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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