New Website – follow me there!

Hi All! Since starting this blog a lot has changed. I healed from my chronic headaches! I got stronger emotionally and spiritually as well! I studied life coaching at the Southwest Institute for Healing Arts and holistic health coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I am seeing clients guiding them to health and happiness.

I’ve been debating on what to do with this blog. I don’t want to close it just yet, I will likely post here time to time, but from now on I won’t be updating it regularly. I will be blogging over on my website from now on. If interested, please follow me there! You can follow me on Facebook as well. If you are interested in my health coaching services or want to learn more about me, also visit my website.

Thank you for reading!

Love & support

I was listening to a video from Tim Van Orden whom I have so much respect for. He said, “Information doesn’t change behavior. Feelings change behavior.” Which made me think. He is so right. There is so much information out there, yet it doesn’t necessary mean that we will change our behavior. We may, but if there is too much fear holding us back we may never make the first step. Many have to feel desperate enough in their situation to step out of their comfort zone and to make a change. Most people need to feel motivated and inspired seeing the possibilities and seeing the new life. Most people need to feel gradually better as taking their steps forwards. But most of all, I truly believe that all of us need to feel love and to feel loved to change our behavior. To feel loved by others and to feel loved by ourselves. Love is a driving force in my opinion. Love is a true support-system. This is one of the reasons I am so excited to be a health coach: to be there for my clients as a support system, to provide a space to open up and a listening ear that hears their feelings, to always show unconditional love, to teach tools to love themselves as they make positive changes and to follow their journey towards their dream. Love and support is something we all need and deserve. Love and support, I believe, will make us feel comfortable, inspired and strong enough to take steps forwards, to keep going no matter what, and to reach our dreams.

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February Gratitude

February was a short month and following the good old tradition it is time for February Gratitude:

  1. My article appearing on TinyBuddha
  2. My sociological observations at a diner in Utica, NY
  3. The beautiful sunset views from our window
  4. A wonderful 20-miler and some awesome runs in general
  5. Visiting the National Distance Running Hall of Fame
  6. New running shoes for a super bargain price (seriously, more than 50% off!)
  7. Opening my health coaching website and being ready to see clients
  8. My amazing peer coach!
  9. The Lego movie – everything is awesome!
  10. The deer around town – still funny to watch them
  11. Connecting with wonderful classmates
  12. More and more likes on my Facebook page
  13. Butterflies in my stomach as preparing for the IIN Conference
  14. Trying jicama for the first time – and omg, I am in love!
  15. Alkalizing water bottles!
  16. The arrival of my new business cards
  17. Working on an awesome, inspiring, multi-cultural, whole-food recipe book with some amazing people
  18. Valentine’s Day Flowers
  19. February 16th (long story)
  20. A little red bear (even a longer story)
  21. Catching up with a friend from college
  22. Traveling to NYC
  23. Catching up with two IIN friends pre-conference
  24. Running in Central Park
  25. 5 Rhythms in NYC

and much more…

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A Need for Change: Observing the Health & Healthcare Crisis…

Today as my partner had to go out of town for work, I decided to take advantage and join him. The plan was the discover a new town while he is at his meetings. Unfortunately it was not the nicest day. It ended up starting to rain – pour – and I was looking for a warm shelter. Not having an cafes in the area, I ended up walking into a diner. I am not talking about Deny’s or another chain diner, but a good old, real American diner, a hole in a the wall tiny corner spot. As a traveler I love walking into tiny local joints to observe people, to listen into conversations and to learn about the culture. Diners especially can bring interesting stories.

Today I got to observe the health, healthcare and food crisis in America… Now as a health coach perhaps I should have said something, list 20 documentaries and websites, tell stories and hand out my card (f*ck, yea, smart self-marketing), but I decided to put my researcher mask on (my previous career was in social research): just sit and observe.

There was Joanie (I am changing all the names), the chatty and obese waitress. I observed as between serving and washing dishes she kept shoving food into her mouth. She even ate from someone’s left-over probably without even realizing it. I found out that she has a torn tendon in her shoulder likely from bowling as she has been a bowler for 25 years. It is getting more and more difficult for her, she is using lighter bowls and as she is ‘aging’ (and gaining weight, I am guessing) it is more and more difficult for her to move. Next week she is going in for stomach surgery for a problem I have no information on. While finishing off a slice of pie she explain how she has to watch her sugar because she is diabetic. I don’t think she realized that she was eating a pie full of sugar!

And then there was Laura, the other waitress, very outspoken with a deep voice from smoking. Yeap, she is a smoker – only 1 or  2 packs a day she said. Her husband on the other hand is smoking 3 – 4 packs a day, sometimes more. He had a heart attack before and is suffering from lung cancer. He gets chest pains and they have to call the ambulance several times a week due to his extreme chest pains. He is not willing to quit smoking. Laura thinks it would be enough to cut down to 1-2 pack a day because he only gets pain after the second pack…

I must mention Johnny as well. Johnny has been going to this dinner for over 40 years. Every day. He was sitting there drinking coffee after coffee. (“Can someone pour another cup of coffee to Johnny?”, screamed Joanie into my ears.) He was scratching lottery tickets at the same pace as he was drinking his coffee. Then he ordered a large mac ‘n cheese, not even being half-way through with it he proceeded asking for a hot pocket as well.

Pete was sitting on the end of the table nibbling on some fries, then as the lunch menu was up asking for a small bowl of mac’n’cheese with bread and butter on the side. Then he asked for 2 hamburgers to go with it. And a diet coke. And a Snickers bar…

Linda walked in to buy some lottery tickets. She didn’t win and walked out. She was back in 5 minutes for more. Then she left. Then she came back for more. “I am just waiting for my bus anyways.”, she mentioned. She did this five or six times. She bought countless lottery tickets. She didn’t buy any food. She was complaining that she can’t afford to eat more than a meal a day…

Donnie ate two burgers with some fries and was discussing that it is so much better than Burger King but more expensive. Then he went into a deep discussion on burger comparing every chain food restaurant on the plant.

I could go on with stories. The two ladies leaving as I was walking in who clearly finished several plates of eggs, sausages and pancakes with cups and cups of coffee. The man complaining his burger wasn’t big enough and asked for more. The third waitress who kept complaining how tired and hungry she was yet she was also snacking constantly on mac’n’cheese, candy bars and pies. I should not mention the cleanliness of the place. It had a character for sure, but hygiene not so much. Half of the discussion was on food (like burgers and mac’n’cheese) and health problem (of course not in relation to each other). The other half was on TV shows that made me completely lost as I don’t watch TV ever.

Living on no-quality food without any nutrients, never seeing vegetables, overeating but being undernourished, not exercising, feeling over-worked, being unenergetic and tired, smoking and drinking, vegging out on the couch in front of the TV, scratching lottery tickets hoping for some luck, being unhealthy and so on – yeap, it was right there in my face.

As I was sitting there sipping my tea (the least toxic item in the entire place), writing in my journal, listening in, observing and occasionally engaging in their conversation I couldn’t help to think: this needs to change!

You may wonder why I didn’t intrude and give a speech on whole foods… It wasn’t my place at the time. When I went inside, my goal was to quietly journal. I ended up observing. I learned a lot watching this crisis in my face. I didn’t want to advertise myself either… I did ‘accidentally’ leave a few health and recipes brochures I happened to have with me. Small seed like that count too.

But now I feel even motivated and happy to be part of the change that is much needed in our world! I am here to take care of me and help others to take care of themselves. I am here to educate, to inspired, to listen, to guide, to support and to love.

I am here to be part of this change. Are you with me?

We can change the world. We can change our lives.

Yes, YOU can change your life and the life of those around you.

If you need guidance, support and love along the way, if you are looking for a health coach, you can always contact me for a free health consultation or sign-up for my services. Or if you want to be a health coach yourself, you can also contact me, I can let tell you about my experiences at IIN and help you to get special discounts.

5 Ways to Exercise in the Winter

Maybe this is not a completely timely post as many places are already moving into Spring, yet if you live in the Northern part of the planet, like Canada or the Midwest or Northern-Europe, like Norway (and so on) you may have to wait several (many) more months to get decent temperatures. In the summer we are excited to get out for walks, hikes, and bike rides. But in the winter time we tend to slow down and for many exercise seems less exciting. But what are the ways to get some exercise in the winter:

1. Join the gym. It is time to try out all sorts of group classes, hire a personal trainer, jump into the pool, start a strength training program and use all the indoor exercise machines. There are so many possibilities, you can really mix it up.

2. Workout at home using workout videos. If you don’t have fitness DVDs, don’t worry there are so many free workouts videos on youtube, including pilates, HIIT, Tabata, yoga, zumba, belly dancingaerobicsindoor walking and more.

3. Shovel. This is not my favorite one. In fact, I am super happy to live in a complex that I do not need to shovel. However, it can really be a big workout, especially when you get a foot of snow.

4. Winter sports. There are so many winter sports you can pick from: skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, snow-showing or simply getting out an building a snowman (ok, that is not a sport). Embrace winter.

5. Do the same as you would in the summer. Yeap, you’ve heard me. I continue my running despite the winter, in sub-zero and snow, I am out there running. I still walk outside and when I was living in Holland I used to bike in the snow. No excuses, just do it.

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Benefits of Strawberries

I am probably not the only one who had her fair share of chocolate covered strawberries this Valentine’s “Season”.

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This is not a bad thing considering that strawberries have some amazing health benefits:

  • They lower the chance of cardiovascular disease due to their high contents of flavonoids.
  • They reduce inflammation as they lower blood levels of C-reactive protein
  • They promote bone health due to their potassium content
  • They build strong nails and hair because they are filled with biotin
  • They aid digestion because of their high-fiber content
  • They aid weight loss because they contain nitrate that promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body

They are not only healthy but they taste amazing too. And let’s just forget about all the chocolate they were covered with the past days, shall we?!

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