What’s your dream?

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Dreams get a bad rap, in every day life. We’re much more concerned with schedules, deadlines, and quantifiable results. Dreams are seen as whimsical realities, a dual world that only exists in the clouds.

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What are the dreams you’re too scared to voice, that lie somewhere in between consciousness, subconsciousness, and unconsciousness? What are the birthday-cake-candle wishes you whisper to yourself?

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I’m not saying schedules and accountability aren’t important, too- because they are. In order to make a dream a reality, you need to pair it with good old fashioned WORK. But- the core of a dream is a wild, fantastic, untamable place. And too often, we don’t explore that wilderness enough. 
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We’re too scared of getting our hopes up, of picturing a future that couldn’t possibly exist. Dreams hold enormous power. When you start voicing your dreams and treating them as you would any other important project in your life, magic can happen.

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Trevor and I started a dream board two years ago in DC. Like many things I scoff at first and then come to love (epsom salt baths, kefir, leaving DC) it was all Trevor’s idea. We got a bulletin board and a bunch of pins, and put up the following dreams:

  • Get married
  • Buy used car
  • Graduate from Institute for Integrative Nutrition
  • Have babies
  • Pay off school bills
  • Build dream house

The dream board sat there for a while. I’d tuck it under the bed when guests came, embarrassed. Afraid I had to explain my dreams to someone who wouldn’t believe in them. But then, we started accomplishing a few of those dreams. We created a “success” column and started moving pins over. And it felt good.

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No, it felt amazing. It was empowering. It made me want to voice more dreams, and to be a little crazier with them. “Save 10k emergency fund,” “Get a health coach client,” “Write 100th blog post,” “Become yoga certified,” all went on the board. We’d come back to it every few months, bring a few goals over to the success column, write a few more. We added photos of dream houses, quotes about being brave and believing in ourselves.

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We became more specific with our goals. We talked (and blogged!) about them with other people. I didn’t hide the dream board under the bed when guests came over. People didn’t laugh- and I started to believe that these crazy dreams could really become something tangible. That we could live in that dual world, do good work that helps others, raise happy tiny humans in a house we build in a state we love.

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These dreams still scare me- as big dreams should. Every time I start really doubting them though, I check out that success column on my board, and it gives me energy. I can’t wait to look back on it in 10, 20, 50 years and see everything that we’ve accomplished, and how our dreams have evolved.

So…what are YOUR dreams? And, if you’re not ready to voice them out loud (and some people say you shouldn’t at first!), start a dream board, and see where it leads you.

 

 

Four Ways to Fight the Flu

I’ve been sick as a dog this past week!

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Not that dog- she’s pretty happy and healthy.

It’s November 10th and we’re in the thick of flu season. Coworkers are falling like flies around us- myself included.

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Make sure you’ve got your best defenses up with these natural remedies:

Get your Z’s! 

You’ve heard it before- here’s why it’s important. When you sleep, your immune system lets out cytokines, or certain proteins. You need more cytokines when you’re sick to help fight infection, so you need to up your sleep. Even just a 20 minute nap during the day can give your body a protein boost.

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Amp up your veggie game

You’re looking to get vitamins A, C, and zinc into your diet. Reach for sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, citrus fruits, bell peppers, cauliflower, beans, chickpeas, kale, cashews, and almonds.

Fight stress

Stress can wreak havoc on our physical and mental wellness. Sleep loss, upset stomach, headaches, nausea, depression, muscle pains, and over/under eating can all be symptoms of stress. This is a great time of year to take up yoga or meditation, learn a breathing exercise, work on your fitness routine, or schedule more time to hang out with friends -even if they’re just the furry kind.

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Try not to fight stress with other crutches- alcohol, junk food, TV. These may provide temporary relief but only add to your stress in the long run.

Lay off the sugar

I know you don’t want to hear it- the holidays are just around the corner! Hot cocoa, candy canes, cakes, pie, truffles, COOKIES.

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I don’t want to hear it either. Anyone who knows me knows I have a pretty big sweet tooth. But sugar can cause serious wreckage to your immune system. Here’s why:

“Sugar has been shown to inhibit the immune system by preventing movement of white blood cells, your immune cells, to the area of infection. Sugar also prevents a particular type of white blood cell from eating up viruses and other bugs to manage infection.” -Today Integrative Health + Wellenss.

Limit your sweets- they should really be an occasional treat, not an every day guarantee. Keeping a food journal or using an app like Lift is a great way to keep tabs on your cravings. Many recipes can be modified to use half the sugar recommended and still be delicious, or you can try subbing in natural sweeteners like bananas, raw honey, or berries.

What are your go-to tricks for staying healthy during the colder months? Leave a comment below.

My first client

I have a client! (Insert stadium crowd cheers here.) I graduated from IIN in July, but I’ve been dragging my feet about finding health coach clients for a while. I wanted to have my website perfect, my coaching materials organized, more practice under my belt…I wanted to feel ready.

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An opportunity presented itself recently that I couldn’t pass up, so I took on my first client. It’s been a couple weeks so far, and here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Lose the script! You’re going to alienate your client if you work too much off your prepared agenda.
  • Listen more, talk less.
  • Start with goals for the client, but be flexible. If they want to take on more, go with that. If they need to slow down another week, that’s cool too.
  • You don’t have to take on a completely different persona when you run meetings or write your emails. They chose to work with you for a reason- don’t change your voice in order to prove you’re professional.
  • Check-ins between sessions are appreciated, even if it’s just a quick email or shared Pinterest board.

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  • Test the homemade granola bars BEFORE you send them to a client. As delicious as toasted coconut peanut butter flax seed bars may sound…they’re really, really not.
  • Just because the client does most of the legwork doesn’t mean your work as a coach isn’t valuable. Having someone hold you responsible for your actions is a big part of the puzzle. And supplementing that with tips and recipes is just icing on the (carrot) cake.
  • You don’t have to use up the whole 50 minute session- if you can both cover the ground you need to in 30, go with that.
  • This kind of work lights me up from the inside out.

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Snack Attack: “Bacon” Coconut Chips

I’ve  been making this recipe for about 3 years now. It’s an easy snack I can throw in my lunch bag that cures my 3:00 craving for something sweet and salty. It tastes like candied bacon (but with more crunch), and it’s pretty healthy to boot! Let’s get to it.

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“Bacon” Coconut Chips

(Recipe from Fettle Vegan)

ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (bigger chunks work best.)
  • 2 TB liquid smoke*
  • 1 TB Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 TB maple syrup
  • 1 TB water
  • Heavy dash of chili powder (optional- but packs a punch!)

*Liquid smoke may not be an ingredient you’ve used or even heard of before, but it’s 100% natural. It’s basically smoke passed through a tube from a chamber filled with chicory wood chips to a condenser. Baking meets science!

Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl.

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Transfer to baking sheets (try not to overcrowd them.) Pop ’em in the oven and give them a stir every 5 minutes or so.

KEY NOTE: do not leave the kitchen during this process! You will forget about them and they will burn. Be patient- these chips are worth it. 

Once they’re golden brown and crispy, take them out and let cool 5-10 minutes. Store in a ziplock or air-tight container, and get snacking!

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Yes I’m still snacking, and no, you can’t have any.