Exercise, Metabolism, Uncategorized, Workout

Five Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism

Your metabolism often gets blamed for weight gain, especially as we age. While it is true that our metabolism tends to slow down as we age, what really tends to slow down is us.

We are usually much more sedentary as we get older, with many of us working desk jobs, and no longer chasing toddlers around.

There are some ways to fire up your metabolism, and here are 5 ways to do just that.

1. Don’t skip meals. One question I ask my health coaching clients who are trying to lose weight is, “Are you sure you are eating enough?” This is usually the time when they are asking for a refund, but stay with me here. When you skip meals your body goes into starvation mode, and that can slow your metabolism. Eating something about every 4 – 5 hours usually does the trick to keep your metabolism engine revving nicely.

 2. Eat protein at every meal. Protein is a key ingredient in stoking the metabolism fires. Go for about 3 – 5 ounces of lean protein. Think protein powder in a breakfast shake, a salad at lunch with grilled chicken or tofu for my vegetarian friends, have a serving of fish and lots of grilled veggies at dinner.

 3. Stay hydrated. Aim for about 64 ounces of water each day. Studies show that dehydration can depress the metabolic rate. Dehydration can also lead to other serious health problems, so be sure to drink up. If plain water doesn’t do it for you, try adding some fresh fruit to your water to jazz it up.

 4. Utilize the HIIT method. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it has been shown to burn more energy both during your workout and for the rest of the day. This means that you continue to experience benefits from your workout even after your workout is over. A fun way to utilize the HIIT method is to do it on the treadmill; here’s how. Walk for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph speed, then increase your speed to 4 mph for 60 seconds. Then go back down to 3.5 mph for 90 seconds; repeat the entire sequence five times and try to do the workout three times per week. Once it stops being challenging, increase the incline, the pace, or both.

 5. Work to build muscle. Muscle is denser than fat and uses more energy, which keeps your metabolism on the move. Build in strength training twice a week with weights, or, by using your own body weight for resistance (think pushups, planks, etc.). Training with weights at least twice a week can increase your resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That’s pretty spectacular!

 

There you go. Don’t skip meals, get your protein, stay hydrated, HIIT the treadmill, and work on building those Popeye muscles.

Interested in individual health coaching? Now is the time. Let’s finish the year strong. Visit me at www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and contact me for more information.

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

Karen

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food, fruit, Health and wellness, healthy eating, Uncategorized, vitamins

The Dynamic Dozen – 12 of the Best Fruits Around!

Hey Summer Lovers! Well, I’m assuming you love summer! I know I do! One of the best things about summer is the abundance of fruits and vegetables available.

Eating a variety of fruits (and vegetables for that matter) will help to ensure that you get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Here are the top 12 and the vitamins and benefits they provide:

Apples – Apples are packed with vitamin C and quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that helps bolster your immune system function and brain health.

Avocados – Yes, they are a fruit! They offer vitamins E,C, and K, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, lutein, and beta carotene. That’s a lot of vitamins packed into one package! Yes, they have fat, but it’s a healthy fat.

Blueberries – Blueberries contain vitamins C and K and loads of powerful antioxidants. Eating just one cup of blueberries a week will help crush cancer-causing free radicals and supports cardiovascular and mental health.

Cherries – Adding cherries to your diet can help reduce cholesterol and manage unhealthy inflammation. Cherries also contain loads of vitamin C and potassium.

Grapes – Not long ago, resveratrol pills were all the rage! Grapes are rich in resveratrol as well as manganese, potassium, and vitamins C,A,K, and B-complex.

Kiwi – Most people think of fish when they think of omega-3 fatty acids, but you can get a boost of those omega 3s by eating kiwi fruit! Kiwi is also rich in vitamins C,A,E, and K, iron, magnesium, and manganese.

Lemons – I happen to be a huge fan of lemons (and limes) and frequently start my morning with a cup of warm water with lemon. Lemons contain vitamins C and B-complex, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Papayas – Low in calories and high in vitamins, papaya contain some of the highest vitamin C content around. Most people think oranges or lemons, but papaya actually has much more. Papaya is also rich in vitamin A, B-complex, and potassium.

Pomegranates – Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and also contain heart-healthy compounds, as well as manganese for weight and cholesterol control.

Raspberries – Loaded with vitamin C, manganese, and fiber, raspberries have lots of anti-inflammatory benefits. Raspberries have also been known to help regulate blood sugar.

Strawberries – Strawberries are bursting with vitamin C ! Eating just two cups of strawberries per week can support mental sharpness as well as cardiovascular and blood pressure health.

Watermelons – I could eat my body weight in watermelon during the warm summer months! Not only is it loaded with vitamins A,C,B-1,B-6, lutein and beta-carotene, watermelons are great thirst-quenchers and can help stave off dehydration.

Are you incorporating these amazing fruits in your diet? If not, here are some ways to sneak in more of these vitamin powerhouses:

  • Add some strawberries and blueberries to nonfat Greek yogurt and low-fat granola for a tasty parfait
  • Whip up a salad with watermelon and feta cheese and serve over a crunchy green like romaine lettuce or a tangy green like arugula
  • Make a quick dessert by spreading graham crackers with a smear of Greek yogurt or cream cheese and a smear of smashed raspberries. Top with crushed pistachio nuts for a fancy dessert or accompaniment to a cheese tray
  • Save the calories, skip the cheesecake and fill hallowed out strawberries with your favorite cheesecake filling. Cut the bottoms off strawberries so they sit upright on a serving platter or plate.
  • Never underestimate the tasty treat that is avocado toast. Just mash some avocado and spread it on whole wheat, spelt, or other hearty bread. The toppings are absolutely endless!

There you have it. Now, get out there and make a run to your nearest produce place and stock up.

Are you in need of personal health coaching? Are you looking for a partner that can help you reach your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals? Visit me at http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com to find out what personalized health coaching can do for you!

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

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 www.amazon.com.

 

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recipes, Uncategorized, vegan

Fried “Chicken”

I have this “nugget” button hanging on the back of my backpack; it’s been there for years!

I know I’ve mentioned before that I don’t eat meat, in fact, I follow a mostly vegan diet, but I try not to be “preachy” about it.

Would I like it if everyone stopped eating meat? Of course! But I’m not the veggie police and so if people choose to eat meat, that’s their business.

But as a non-meat eater, I’m always looking for clever recipes to banish food boredom. I mean, there are only so many salads a girl can eat!

I found this recipe for fried “chicken” years ago. I don’t remember where I got it from, but I copied it from somewhere and I use it pretty often. I even use it when I have company and my carnivore friends have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Serve it with a side of baked beans, some corn, and a pan of cornbread for a summer BBQ style dinner, or make a big batch and slice it up on top of your salad for a quick lunch or quick weekday dinner.

Enjoy!

Fried “Chicken”

1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 cups of white flour
¼ cup of nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons of yellow mustard
½ cup of water
2 tablespoons of baking powder
3 ½ cups of vegetable oil
1 pound of fake chicken (I like Morningstar Farms or Gardein)

1. Mix together the salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, flour and yeast in a big bowl.
2. In a separate bowl mix the mustard with the water.
3. Add 1/3 cup of the flour to the mustard mix and stir.
4. Combine the baking powder and the spice mix from step one with the remainder of the flour and mix.
5. Dip chunks of the “chicken” into the mustard batter, then drop into the flour and spice mixture to coat.
6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry until crispy and golden brown, turning as needed.

Want a little kick with your “chicken?” Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the mustard and water mix. That’s some kickin “chicken” there!

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

Karen

Still haven’t gotten your FREE health consultation? Get in now before spring and summer! Email me at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com to get in on the action. Or visit my website, www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com. My mission is to be your partner in helping you reach your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. Don’t wait – email me today!

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 www.amazon.com.

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gluten free, recipes, Uncategorized, vegan

Mexican “Beef” and Beans

I love Mexican food! I never met a guacamole I didn’t like, and I’ve been known to eat my body weight in rice and beans!

My friends and I from my last job always hit up this great Mexican place in Philly for lunch, and I’ve been fortunate to find another fabulous Mexican restaurant here at the beach.

Since money is tight, I don’t go out to eat very much. Also, I find that since I don’t eat meat, my choices can be a little limited when I dine out.

Over the weekend, I was really in the mood for Mexican food. After a quick trip to the grocery store, and just a few short minutes in the kitchen, I whipped up this amazing dish.

I hope you’ll try it, and I hope you enjoy it! If you make it, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought.

Mexican “Beef” and Beans

1 package of veggie crumbles (I use the Gardein version)
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 can of light kidney beans, drained and rinsed (you can also use dark kidneys, or even black beans)
2 cups of brown rice
2 teaspoons of olive oil
Dash of hot sauce (optional)
Topping choices – Guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips, (optional)

1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Cook the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
2. Add the veggie crumbles and cook per the package directions.
3. Add in the kidney beans and about a half a cup of water and cook until beans are heated through.
4. Add a little splash of hot sauce (if desired).
5. Cook brown rice (I usually just toss mine in the microwave; follow the package directions).
6. Assemble dish by putting a layer of brown rice on the bottom. Top with the “beef” and bean mixture and top with topping of your choice. As you can see, I used a whopping serving of guacamole.

In all, the dish took me less than 10 minutes to make! The recipe yielded enough for almost a week of meals and I switched up the toppings throughout the week to make it a little different each time.

There you have it!

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

Karen

Are you a busy professional? Stressed out? No time to cook? No time to exercise? No time to take care of yourself or your family? STOP…I can help! Email me today at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com for your free health consultation. I work with busy professionals who are trying to take care of themselves and their families. I change people’s lives by introducing them to little changes that yield BIG results. Don’t delay, reach out today!

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 www.amazon.com.

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dessert, recipes, Uncategorized, vegan

Strawberry Mango Crisp

Sunday is Valentine’s Day. I don’t normally celebrate, but this year, I’ll be hanging out with a group of friends on Saturday night.

We’ll be together celebrating friendship, fellowship, and of course – FOOD!

I wanted to bring a fresh, healthy dessert to the party; one that had tons of flavor, and was colorful and fun to share. I could have gone the chocolate-covered-strawberry route (I mean, who doesn’t love those) but I decided I needed to elevate my V-Day dessert game.

Behold! Strawberry mango crisp. This colorful, fun, and VEGAN dessert is easy to make, easy to transport, and enjoyed by all. Serve warm with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream, or mango sorbet (to keep it vegan).

Enjoy!

Strawberry Mango Crisp

For the fruit mix:

1 quart of strawberries cut in quarters
2 cups of diced mango
¼ cup of sugar
¼ cup of flour

For the topping:

1 cup of flour
½ cup of rolled oats
1 cup of brown sugar
½ cup (or one stick) of margarine

– Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
– Mix the ingredients for the fruit mix together in a large bowl
– Spread fruit mix evenly in a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside
– Mix the dry ingredients for the topping together in a medium bowl.
– Cut in the margarine until the dry mix resembles small peas.
– Spread dry mix evenly over fruit mix.
– Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until it bubbles
– Serve with ice cream, mango or coconut sorbet, non-dairy ice cream, or whipped cream

Here’s sending lots of love to all of you on Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re single, dating, married, or, “it’s complicated,” take the time to show some love to all the people in your life.

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

Karen

Want more recipes like this? Head on over to my website, www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com, and sign up for my monthly newsletter. While you’re there, click on the recipe tab as well and see what’s there.

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 www.amazon.com.

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recipes, Uncategorized

Healthy Valentine Eats

Valentine’s Day is coming up pretty quick and millions of people will go out to restaurants to celebrate the day.

I am not a fan of dining out on big holidays. I find that everything is overpriced and the whole experience feels rushed. I find that the food and service are not nearly as good on those hectic days as the kitchen tries to keep up with the mad rush of orders and the servers try to keep up with the mad rush of diners.

I’m a fan of staying in and enjoying decadent (but healthy) food at home. And yes, you can have a delicious and healthy Valentine’s Day. Don’t believe me? I’m about to take you through a whole day of healthy eats. Make these recipes for you and your sweetie, or you and your friends, or just you!

Breakfast

Start the day off on a good note, by eating a healthy breakfast. Many people will skip breakfast to “save up” their calories for the big dinner out. Don’t fall into that trap. Try this instead:

Cranberry Oatmeal

1 serving of oatmeal (I use old fashioned oats and cook it in the microwave according to the package directions)
¼ cup of whole cranberry sauce
¼ cup of walnuts
Brown sugar to taste

1. Make the oatmeal per the package instructions
2. Stir in brown sugar
3. Top with cranberry sauce and walnuts
4. Enjoy!

Lunch

Who wants to spend Valentine’s Day in the kitchen? Here’s a fantastic and flavorful salad you can whip up in a jiffy, giving you more time to snuggle with your sweetie.

Arugula and Salmon Salad

2 bags of arugula
2 bunches of asparagus
Salmon (I usually go with about a half pound per person); to save time, I usually just buy it already grilled from the supermarket
1 small jar of pesto

1. Put the arugula in a bowl and dress it with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
2. Boil asparagus until cooked, but don’t overcook it
3. Assemble the salad by topping the arugula with the asparagus, and the asparagus with the salmon and then the pesto over the top.
4. Mix and serve

This salad is terrific with a little loaf of French bread. And hey, since it’s Valentine’s Day; how about a glass of red wine as well?

Dinner

Dinner is typically the star of the show on Valentine’s Day, but again, you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen, so here’s an easy dinner you can put together quickly. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s basically a one-dish meal, so you don’t have to time a bunch of dishes and make sure they come out at the same time, and, you don’t have to do a lot of dishes. Plus, this recipe is vegan, so while you are showing love to your sweetie, you can show some love to the animals too!

Spinach Lasagna

½ pound of lasagna noodles
2 10-ounce packaged of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound of soft tofu
1 pound of firm tofu
1 tablespoon of sugar
¼ cup of soy milk
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
2 teaspoons of salt
1 quart of tomato sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside
3. Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside
4. Place the two types of tofu, sugar, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the spinach
5. Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with a thin layer of the tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles. Follow with half of the tofu filling. Continue in the same order ending with a layer of noodles topped with a layer of tomato sauce
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes

And of course…you need dessert!

Dessert

You can always go with the classic, chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate and berries is a powerhouse combo. Besides tasting delicious, it’s a relatively healthy treat as well. Serve the berries as the prelude to another amazing chocolate dish:

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

1 ¼ pounds of silken tofu
¾ cup of semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1. In a blender, puree the tofu until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and blend thoroughly.
2. Pour mousse into dessert bowls and let chill
3. Top with fresh berries

There you have it! A whole day of healthy Valentine’s Day recipes to get your appetite (and maybe your motor) running!

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

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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health, healthy living, Uncategorized

Poor, Fat People

I was at the grocery store the other day, stocking up in preparation for the big storm. Side note – I hope all of you on the East coast fared well in the storm!

The line to check out was long, as one might imagine, and in line in front of me was a very overweight woman in an electronic scooter checking out. In her cart were multiple bottles of soda, bags of non-brand-name chips, snack cakes, family-sized packs of cookies, a few loaves of white bread, and boxes of, once again, non-brand-name macaroni and cheese. To be sure, there wasn’t a vegetable or piece of fruit in sight.

The guy in line behind me was clearly in a hurry (as evidenced by the fact that he kept butting up against me with his cart). I’ve had the flu for over a week and was already rundown and tired, so every little thing was annoying me more than it would on an average day.

I could hear the man sighing loudly, watched as he stomped around and rolled his eyes, and heard him muttering under his breath. I heard a few phrases like, “fat ass,” and, “eat another cookie.” Part of me wanted to turn around and confront him, but the bigger part of me just wanted to try to get out of the store and get home and back on the couch.

When the woman finished with her order, she pulled out her state welfare card, payed for her order, and scooted on her way. The man muttered the last comment, “figures,” and proceeded to move his cart up, hitting me again. I angrily pushed the cart back toward him and asked him to “back up,” as I started to unload the few groceries I had onto the belt. The truth was, while I didn’t have a lot of things to buy, I was praying as I swiped my debit card that I’d have enough to cover my order.

I’ve heard snarky comments like this guy’s before. “If people are poor they should be skinny,” “Clearly, he’s not that poor, he looks like he’s eating pretty well,” “The state doesn’t need to pay for her food, she’s so fat, she just needs to eat less.” It’s just so unnecessary, and so wrong.

While I agree that you can eat somewhat healthfully on a budget (I teach this to people as part of my health coaching practice) junk food is cheap. I can tell you that cheap soda pop, Pop Tarts, and off-brand cereal is a lot cheaper than organic juice, spelt bread, and organic granola.

We shouldn’t be asking why “health food” is so expensive, but instead, asking why junk food is so cheap! It’s a problem when a hamburger at a fast food joint costs $1.00 and a salad costs $6.00!

Comments like “He’s not that poor, he looks like he’s eating pretty well,” just speak to the problem. A lot of people who live under the poverty line rely on cheap, packaged foods to survive. They’re shopping for foods, based not on their health benefits or calorie counts, but to get the most amount of food for the least amount of money. They are shopping for bulk and price, not for health.

If we desire a return to health, it’s not going to be found in a pill or an exercise video, or a packaged diet shake. For a return to health we need a return to real food. We need to stop shaming people and judging people. We need to stop feeding our kids crap in school cafeterias. We need to educate people on basic health and nutrition, teach them how to shop on a budget, help them understand the mechanics of food, and yes, work to make healthy food available and affordable.

That’s why I’ve been working hard on the development of a community program aimed to address these issues and then some. I hope to roll the program out in the fall to YMCAs, community centers, schools, and churches across the country to help people who need help. Stay tuned for more.

I know that some of you may disagree with this post, I know some of you may be offended, and that’s okay; everyone is entitled to their opinion on things. But I think most of you can agree that the systems we have in place aren’t working, in fact, we are failing our families at almost every level.

If you’re in need of health and wellness information, please feel free to reach out to me at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com. I promise I’ll answer your questions and do my best to help you if you need it.Or visit my website, www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com for some quick information at a glance.

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

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 www.amazon.com.

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