Crown Point, IN

September 28, 2023

Why You Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

“Who ate all these chips?!” You look around and, alas, not even a dog to blame. Oops. It’s not your fault.  If you’ve had this experience—r

September 21, 2023

Harvesting the Balance of Autumn

September 23rd ushers in the autumn equinox, a time when day and night are in perfect balance. It also opens the official season of cozy sweaters, pum

September 14, 2023

More Brain-Boosting Foods

Last week I shared a list of brain-boosting foods with the promise of more to come. Here are some additional foods that you may choose to include in y

September 7, 2023

Ten Brain-Boosting Foods

Thank you for the many recommendations of farm stands with tasty corn on the cob. Mr. Non-Compliant happened to be in the vicinity of VanDerGriends Fa

August 31, 2023

Mr. Non-Compliant’s Unwavering Passion for…Corn

Mr. Non-Compliant LOVES corn on the cob. Since the corn season is rather brief, I do my best to oblige him with this indulgence. And as my dear cousin

August 24, 2023

Tips for a Sluggish Thyroid

Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions about the little gland known as the thyroid. It seems to be underperforming for many of you. Hypothyroid

August 17, 2023

Healthy Anytime Toast

Since my encounter with bar food last week, I’ve been focused on eating more plants. I came across this idea to enjoy “toast” and get more veggi

August 10, 2023

Confessions from The Antler

What does one eat when in a bar? Bar food, of course. The bar options: The Brown Bear vs. The Antler: Horniest Bar Around (There were deer heads with

August 3, 2023

6 Ways to Enjoy a Staycation at Home

August. Already. Is summer slipping by too quickly? Feel as though you’ve not experienced enough lazy days? Can’t manage to get away for one reaso

July 26, 2023

The Wonder of Apricots

When I think about the abundant fruits of summer, apricots make the list. Although some of you may not be fans, I ask that you consider giving this da

A Safari, One Thing, and a Surprise Recipe

I often compare our health journey with being on safari.

Now, this is only a guess since I have never been on safari. What my wild imagination leads me to believe is that being on safari is so expansive, it must be a challenge to know where to begin; like figuring out how to improve our health.

There is SO MUCH! Here’s the good news…

Over the past year I’ve been developing a program for people who want to:

• Feel healthy and amazing in their bodies
• Lose weight while not sacrificing the foods they love
• Stop overeating and start having a love affair with food again

As I’m in the last phases of market research for this program, and because YOU have chosen to be a part of this community, I am offering you a very special opportunity.

In exchange for allowing me to interview you about your most desired health transformation, I’m offering you a 30-minute complimentary coaching call.

As a THANK YOU for your time in helping me with market research (yes, I’m talking to YOU!), I’ll be gifting you with laser-focused, specialized coaching on your specific area of health transformation.

We’re all in this together, and we’ll make a great team! CLICK HERE to schedule our call!!

We will spend a total of 50 minutes together, and you’ll leave the call with a clear path to gaining the health goals you desire most. You’ll know exactly where to begin on your “health safari!”

When you know the ONE THING you can do to make the most progress in the least amount of time, you will feel more at peace with where you are right NOW.

I’m excited to speak with you SOON! CLICK HERE to book your call today!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe using Beyond Meat meat substitute that is so tasty, my Mr. Non-Compliant never knew it wasn’t ground beef! I’ve made it for several of my Kitchen Coaching classes and it’s gotten rave reviews. You can find Beyond Meat products in many local grocery stores.

Veggie Protein Stir Fry

• Fresh or frozen vegetables cut in similar size pieces (red sweet pepper, carrots, broccoli, etc., the more colorful the better)
• 1-2 cloves minced or pressed garlic
• Lawry’s Seasoned Salt or your favorite seasoning, to taste
• Extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat the pan
• One package of Beyond Meat, The Beyond Burger

Sauté your choice of vegetables in extra virgin olive oil. Once the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes, add the garlic and The Beyond Burger. Break apart the “burgers” so they are in crumbles and mix with the vegetables. Cook for another 5 minutes. Season to taste. Enjoy as is, or top pasta, brown rice, or make a lettuce wrap with some Romaine lettuce leaves. The quantity of vegetables and Beyond Burgers you use will depend on how many people you’re feeding. One package of The Beyond Burger has two patties (2 servings), each containing 20 grams of plant protein, no soy or gluten.

Bon Appétit!

Celebrate Your Progress

We are nearly eight weeks into 2018. This means that if you began a “new you” program of any kind on New Year’s Day, you’ve been at it for a good amount of time.

Where are you today? I don’t mean geographically. I mean, where are you with whatever ideals, goals, plans, and resolutions that you made January 1? Have you made progress? Are you stuck? Has the fun of doing something new worn off? Are you moving along at a good pace?

Where are you today?

February can be a challenge for most of us. We may not be as excited as we wish we were about our new endeavors. Perhaps we think we SHOULD be making more progress or that there is such a small amount of improvement, it doesn’t matter.

It does matter. Everything matters. Every tiny bit of improvement you make adds up over time and leads to massive success! Congratulations for being here!

One of my goals this year is to meditate daily. When I look at my meditation tracker, the daily part did not happen. In fact, my focus on this habit has not been consistent at all. OOPS!

Here’s the good news: I have meditated more in the last two months than I probably did all last year. That is success and I feel as though I am making progress. Not only that, I am also practicing avoiding the SHOULDS. This means having the mindset that I look forward to meditating, instead of I SHOULD do this because it helps me focus, slows me down, and allows me to connect with the Divine. I’m experiencing more of “I feel like” instead of “I have to.” Progress. Slow. Progress.

In the world of food, it could go something like this: perhaps you are practicing eating more greens. You had a spinach salad almost everyday in January and now, you are growing weary of spinach salad. It feels like a SHOULD. Well, in a way it is because we should eat lots of vegetables for all the reasons you know to be true. Let’s face it; most of us know what we need to do—what we should do—to be healthier. Why don’t we do it? It is easier to revert back to our old habits when we get busy or stressed. Then it feels too hard to move forward. Hence, the vicious cycle. Lose the weight; gain the weight; rinse and repeat.

Today, think about whatever it is that you felt excited about doing January 1, 2018. Reflect on what you have been working on and what it is you’re doing that makes you feel good. Maybe you worked out twice a week as opposed to never. Maybe you have been cutting back on the cookies or the beer. Maybe you are simply noticing that you feel a bit more energy when you eat that spinach salad. Whatever it is, celebrate your success in some way that makes you smile. If there is more you would like to accomplish, make note of it and post it where you see it daily. Let’s move forward together and be a little bit better than we were last year!

“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”–James Bryant Conant

Connecting Body, Mind and Soul

Welcome to Lent, a time of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. For those of you who participate in this mystery, you’ll probably relate to some of my thoughts. For those of you who are not as familiar, hopefully you’ll learn something of interest today.

The forty days of Lent offer time to prepare for Easter, and springtime. It is representative of the forty days Jesus spent in the desert prior to his earthly ministry. Before he could go out and do the work, he had to go within. What a great lesson. How many times do we seek important answers to life outside ourselves, when the answers lie deep within the silence of our hearts?

When I think of fasting, I think of giving up ice cream or chocolate or meat on Fridays. I remember as a kid I’d give up green beans because I hated them. That never went over well. I’d get the “mom eye-roll” and was told that I could do better. Of course, I was missing the point entirely. Sometimes I still do.

I like to follow Matthew Kelly’s advice for Lent. He says we shouldn’t give up chocolate. Sweet! Instead, he suggests doing something that is life-changing; something that leads us to follow our dreams and become “the-very-best-version-of-ourselves.” This is awesome whether you are a Lent participant or not. Figure out what you could do between now and Easter that helps you be better than you are today. Boom!

Here are some ideas that may lead to your own unique plan. Oh, and like I suggest when you are practicing healthier food and fitness habits, choose only ONE thing in each category that will truly make a difference. Too many things distract us and don’t stick long term.

  • Most people I talk with have way more than they need. I’ve seen this idea presented in a number of ways and I’m jumping on board here. Choose one item a day. At the end of our desert time, you’ll have forty clothing items, books, household goods, food pantry donations, dollars, whatever, to give to your favorite organization that needs it more than you. Creative almsgiving. When we give, we open ourselves up to receive—and I don’t mean more stuff!
  • Instead of fasting from chocolate, would it do you good to stay off social media and have meaningful conversations with your friends and family face-to-face? We’re planning to connect with friends (in person!) we haven’t seen for a time because “life gets in the way.” If the news makes you crazy, what if you spend some time in quiet solitude each morning? Is mindless TV taking you away from reading a book of interest or pursuing your dream to learn a new skill? Fast in a way that serves your soul, and it will benefit your entire being.
  • Since our bodies are made to move, what if you used your exercise time to pray or mediate or feel gratitude, simultaneously? The time you spend on the treadmill or track gives you a bigger bang for your buck when you use it in a special way. I often think about my friends who are battling illness and offer up any physical discomfort I feel, for them. I know it’s not even close to what they are going through, yet it’s a form of prayer. How many people do you know that would LOVE to be able to go for a walk, but they are too ill to get out of bed? (I’m grateful I overcame the flu bug and feel alive again!)

Living in a way that leads to fulfilling our dreams is what God, our Creator, Spirit, a Higher Power, calls us to do. What can YOU do for the next forty days that will be life-changing in some way?

 “We can become so preoccupied with what we have and what we do that we lose sight of who we are and who we are becoming.” –Matthew Kelly, “Perfectly Yourself”

Fat Tuesday, St. Valentine and Lent

In the midst of this extremely cold and snowy February comes the arrival of not one, but two feasting frenzy opportunities.

Next week we will celebrate Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday. Celebrations occur  and rich foods are traditionally eaten (yes, yet another excuse to stray), before the Christian Lenten fast that begins on Ash Wednesday, AND Valentine’s Day this year. The last time this occurred was in 1945. Now, the double holiday may present a bit of a quandary for those who follow the rules of fasting for the beginning of Lent. Catholics typically eat only one full meal and abstain from meat. This means surf without the turf—did I get that right? Anyway, no steak with your sweetheart is what that means.

Seems a bit unfair to St. Valentine, so the Church recommends this solution: do double celebrating on February 13. It’s a two-fer! In case any of you Catholics missed the fine print, we are advised to celebrate our love for our sweetheart on Fat Tuesday and move into our fasting as we begin our Lenten journey with the Lord on Wednesday. Those of you who follow another religion may be able to split up your caloric intake—and have your surf AND turf. (Please don’t be offended if you have special rules that I neglect to mention. I’m doing well to get these straight!)

The Paczki, (POHNCH-kee), is the traditional Polish donut that is eaten to celebrate Fat Tuesday and–SURPRISE—is not the healthiest of foods. One of these offers somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 calories and about 20 fat grams, give or take–just ask My Fitness Pal. If you decide to indulge, it had better be AMAZING!

One year I had the fun of being in New Orleans during Mardi Gras celebrations, which occur for about two weeks before Lent begins. New Orleans is the American city most known for its “Carnival” and parties. There were lots of parades, costumes, beads, delicious food, and celebrating. No, I did not do anything crazy to get those beads! The people on the floats throw them like Hoosiers throw candy. It’s all big fun. Fat Tuesday has been a legal holiday in Louisiana since 1875. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season leading up to Easter, which is April 1 this year. No fooling.

And in case you’ve wondered, Easter Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after March 21, but calculations vary. This is the reason the date for Easter varies from year to year. Ash Wednesday is 46 days before Easter to allow for 40 weekdays of fasting and penance, which is a very good thing if you overindulged on the Paczki.

However you celebrate next week, remember to eat a few extra vegetables. It won’t hurt!  

You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.” –Jodi Picoult, “My Sister’s Keeper”