What Will It Take

There comes a time in any area of your life where you need to check yourself. Stop and evaluate what’s going on in your life and whether it’s working for you or not.  You’ll know it’s working for you by your surroundings, how you feel inside, and whether you are progressing in areas of your life.

This past year I’ve come across many check points where I’ve had to evaluate my life professionally, socially, within my marriage, and most importantly,  my relationship with myself. Realizing that none of them were full on in balance, it was clear it was time to invest in the real me.

Your core relationship with yourself will directly reflect in all areas of your life. And what that means is that if you are not hard core good with who you are, having self respect and self love, it will show up for you in all areas of your life.

A good friend of mine recently turned me on to a little project, well, we turned it into a project, called “THRIVE.”  I sat down and made a list of things that I wanted to do in my life, the changes needed for those things to take place, and most importantly, what would happen if changes were not made.   I thought long and hard about what I wanted in the areas of my life including professional, relationships with my family and friends, my health, and most importantly my relationship with myself.

Somewhere along my path I lost the sense of who I really was. I stopped focusing so much on the important things in my life like my business, health, fitness, and well being. I lost the joy in the things that brought me so much pleasure like cooking, training in the gym, girls’ night out, and writing. I was slowly spiraling further and further away from myself to the point that I didn’t even recognize who I was anymore.

When you get to a point where all the things that made you thrive  start to slip away from you, you are heading to a dangerous place.  If your relationship with your family, your friends, and your spouse start to suffer, it’s time. If your work starts to decline, it’s time. If your energy starts to diminish, if your appetite increases or decreases, if you are not exercising like you used to or doing activities that you once loved…..it’s time.

It’s time to get real about what life is really all about. We were not put here just to be a 9-5 workaholic who comes home at the end of the night, plops ourselves on the sofa with wine or a beer, and prays for the next weekend to come around. We are supposed to be joyful in all areas of our lives….including our chosen profession.

Whatever position you hold, you chose that position. Whatever your level of fitness, you chose that level. Whatever you eat, breathe, think, and feel….you chose them.  We are all responsible for where we are in our lives. Yet we sit around and make others responsible for how our lives turned out. Our parents did this to us, our ex did that to us, my boss this, my friend that.  Yet we seldom lay the responsibility for how our lives have turned out on our own shoulders.

Closing down my business of 8 years, Internal Cleansing Center, was an eye opening experience for me.  It taught me that if everything were to stay the same forever…..then everything would be the same forever.  As people, we are to grow. We are to constantly change. Be better. Be smarter. And if we don’t take that challenge on, opportunity will pass us by. This goes for our careers, relationships, and health as well. Just because something is fine today, doesn’t mean it will thrive tomorrow. We must be on call and alert at all times when something is of value to us.

When we are not being productive in our work, it’s time to take a seminar, work on a new project, network, or change something up. If our marriage or relationship with family member or friend has gone sour, we need to nurture that relationship and go over and beyond what you would do when you first initiated that  relationship. If we are struggling with energy, health issues, sleep problems, or anything that would indicate an imbalance in our well being, it’s time to look deeply into what is and is not working for us in our lives.  Is it food? Is it lack of exercise? Are you working too hard in one area and not enough in another? Where is the imbalance?

Once you have it narrowed down, you can start to clean things up.  Make a list of what it is that you want in your life, what  it would take for you to have it, and what would happen if you didn’t make the necessary changes to have these things in your life. You will see that you only get more of the same and the only one to blame…..is yourself.

Recently I’ve made some major changes in my life with my profession. I’ve gone back to school where I am studying to be a health and lifestyle coach. My former profession will always be a part of what I do and I will implement the skills and knowledge I have picked up along the way. But it was clear it was time to move on.  Relationships with my family, friends, and husband were not working for me. I was feeling less social. So I made the commitment to be more available to the important relationships in my life…nurturing them as they have done for me for so many years. And most importantly, I am learning to honor and respect myself more. Being ok with where I am in my life right now.  Not being so hard on myself. And working towards the goals that I am striving for.

I encourage you to look at your life from the outside in. What is it that works for you and does not work for you. Where are your strong points. What is it that you would like to achieve in your life and what would it take to get there. Be committed to yourself. Respect yourself enough to know that you are worth putting all the effort forth, making those changes, and living a life that you love to live.

Be Well!!

Imagell I

Kabocha Squash Pancakes

I have to say, I’m a stickler for routine. Especially when it comes to food. I have my basics that I stick to for breakfast….veggie omelets or oatmeal with protein powder. For lunch and dinner I stick with lots of salads, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, sweet potatoes, and the occasional serving of gluten free grain, like quinoa.

Occasionally you need to step out of the old and try something new. Spice it up a bit. Being surrounded with literally thousands of recipes…I’m a Pinterest Junkie…and having my fitness gal pals share their amazing recipes with me daily…can be quite tempting. Not only tempting, but necessary. Although we need consistency in our diets, we also need change. Our bodies will give us all sorts of signals that it’s time to move along and flirt with a new meal, a new diet entirely, or just add/subtract something minuscule.  The fact that there are so many diets out there, not only means that there is something for everyone, but that within each dietary plan, it can be tweaked to suite YOUR specific needs.

This breakfast came to me from a few sources. A couple of friends, and also some pins in Pinterest. It’s the perfect change up for a weekend breakfast or if you have the time, do it during the week….daily….like I have been the past couple of days **wink**

I tend to do really well on mostly a grain free diet. Definitely gluten free. And Dairy is completely out for me. So with a few tweaks and modifications, I finally found the pancake recipe that I’ve been looking for. Very similar to pumpkin pancakes, but a little more dense with the kabocha squash. It’s perfect if you follow a paleo diet, gluten free diet, or dairy free diet.

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Kabocha Squash Pancakes

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup kabocha squash peeled (I used my left over roasted squash)
  • 1 tbsp sifted coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • a dash of powdered ginger
  • dash of stevia
  • 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor until it forms a thick batter. If it’s a bit too thick for you, you can thin it out with a tbsp or two of almond/coconut milk or water (but the pancakes will need to cook longer due to moisture).

Distribute in a large pan or griddle to make 3 large pancakes. Cook for 4 minutes until the top forms a couple bubbles. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. (the Kabocha is dense, so these may take a little longer depending on your flame)

Cut into one to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

I had mine with a little bit of coconut manna and a cup of strawberries.

Super delicious. Low Carb. High Fiber. And most importantly, DELICIOUS!!!!

Nutritional Breakdown: Without Strawberries and Manna

Cal.    286

Fat       14

Carbs   17

Fiber     12

Sugar     5

Protein   25

With the strawberries and manna the entire meal comes to 390 calories.

This kept me full for several hours with no blood sugar fluctuations. So it’s now going to be a staple in my breakfast routine. Personally I like to make my food fresh daily, but if time is an issue for you….make up a larger batter so you have some to grab and go during the week.

What about you? Do you tend to eat the same thing from day to do or are you good about rotating and getting more variety?  Share your thoughts. And if you happen to have some good gluten and dairy free breakfast recipes you’d like to share, I’m taking orders.

Enjoy!!

Tracy Lynn

Keeping It Real

Close your eyes and think back to a time, and if it’s now…then just reflect on current events, when you felt your best.  When the day to day life issues didn’t seem to be much of an issue at all. When your energy was bountiful, your health peaked, and you had that glow about you that attracted all walks of life…..especially your own.

What’s passing through your mind? Does it tickle you inside to reflect back on that time or does it pain you because it is no longer in alignment with who you “really” are?  These are questions that have come up for me in my life in a big way recently. Who am I? Where do I belong? What am I supposed to be doing? And with whom should I be sharing this all with?  I believe that the questions come along several times in one’s lifetime. We all question who we really are and if we are on the right path. Professionally and personally, it comes up.

In the past several months I’ve had the questions come up for me daily. Professionally I closed down my business of 8 years as a colon hydrotherapist.  Being in holistic health and working with nutrition and digestion was right up my ally. Having been someone who had struggled with digestive issues, I loved that I was in the industry of helping others as I myself was being healed as well.   But alas, after all these years, it was time to close the doors and move forward into what I am now realizing is an adventure……a canvas for which I can paint any picture that I want.

If I look back at the time that I personally felt my best, it was when I first took on my business back in 2005. I had my own gig. I could make my own schedule. I was helping others. And I was making incredible money. All on my own. I felt so empowered. So strong. So committed. And in a really great place spiritually and emotionally.  Things were in alignment for me. I was happy!!

The loss of a business, much like the loss of a relationship, can be devastating. Especially if you worked for yourself.  But there is always a silver lining. What I’m learning is that when one door closes….don’t look back. Keep it shut. Because through the next door is a greater, more abundant, and exhilarating experience yet to be had.  I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. And that if you are going through a tough time….just be with it. Instead of resisting and fighting it, embrace it.  Tap into all your resources to make it more of an adventure.

These days you hear so many people saying that things are “hard….difficult….stressed….strained….challenging.” And because those are the main words in our vocabulary, you wind up getting more “hard, difficult, stressed, strained, and challenging” situations arise for you. More than likely, if you open yourself up to the possibilities of what those upsets can bring for you, you’ll get to the end of that dark tunnel a lot faster. You may even learn a few things along the way.

I am a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It’s a program that I’ve wanted to enroll in for more than five years.  I just simply felt a pull in that direction for a long time. I loved what I was doing, but I felt that something was missing in my life.  Lifestyle and nutritional health coaching was more in line with who I really was/am. After all, working with my clients, that’s practically what I was doing anyway. It feels so good to have a conversation with someone and really get to the core of what is causing them health issues, stress, or other lifestyle interference and then be able to truly help them. There is nothing more rewarding than making a difference in someone’s life. Because that process is what has made a difference in my life.

I have to admit that when I closed the doors, I fell into victim mode. Even though I was in school, I wondered daily what was next. How will I go on without my “routine?” How will I contribute without a paycheck? How will I start over? Who am I and who will I become?  And I was scared.  But then I realized, through my conversations with some of the other students at IIN and my immediate friends as well, that if they are not currently going through a transition, at some point they most definitely were. And transitions can be hard. Whether it’s taking on a new job or the loss of an old one or whether it’s getting in or out of a relationship….we all tend to question if we are doing the right thing or wonder what might become of us.

We all have a mission in life.  But our missions change. What and who we were 10 years ago may not be in alignment with what and who we are today. The closing of my business was a sad thing. But it’s a blessing as well. It will allow me to focus and commit 100% on my schooling,  my personal development, and the start of what’s to come. And trust me…it’s gonna be big.

I fully believe that life’s challenges and hardships are not brought upon us to make us miserable. They are here for us to learn and grow from and to offer us an opportunity to live a life that we love. By learning to appreciate these upsets, that spark inside of you gets reignited and the flame starts to burn again….giving you that fire in your belly.

I’m looking forward to the next step in my life. I’m looking forward to working with clients in a new light in a way that can really help enhance their health and wellbeing.  I’m proud of all the years that I put into my former business. A lot of hard work, a lot of laughs, tears, and a lot of amazing people have crossed my path. And I’m so grateful.  I now see that it was more of a stepping stone to the next phase of my life.  Taking each day as it comes, focusing on my own health and wellness, zeroing in on school and my new business, and keeping that fire alive in my belly is my main focus for now. Keeping it real, living day to day, and loving the blessing of future opportunity.

Learn from the past. Adjust. And move on into the future.

To Your Health!!

Tracy Lynn

Just Breathe

Are you stressed about being stressed? Do you wake up in the morning already stressed even though you haven’t even gotten out of bed yet? Is your mind racing day and night preventing you from getting a proper night’s sleep. Do the things in life, whether it’s your life or someone else’s, have you on constant high alert?

Are you experiencing anxiety, restlessness, digestive disturbances, relationship battles, trouble focusing, pain in the body, fatigue—so tired, yet you still can’t get to or stay asleep?

Ya, me too. Particularly the lack of sleep and chronic digestive issues. For me, it goes way back to having had chronic IBS-C in my early 20s up until now, having even gotten worse. With all that I have tried, I’ve discovered that diet and fitness are no longer the answer. Lifestyle, the very thing we are addicted to, is what needs a little fixing.

What I know is that when you don’t feel well on a physical level, you will do anything–ANYTHING–to feel better. I know that has always been my approach. Attack what’s causing the problem. I always thought the next step was to eliminate more foods from my plan. Increase my exercise or change the workout routine entirely. I would do cleanse after cleanse all in the name of getting rid of that “bad feeling.”

Over the years, I’ve taken more supplements, more herbs, and more superfoods than anyone should possibly consume. I’ve done more colon hydrotherapy sessions than the average person thinking “this is the one—this is the session that is going to “fix me”—-wrong again. All it ever truly did was leave me feeling “empty Inside.”

What most people don’t realize is that the digestive system, specifically your colon runs right through the emotional center of your body. This is why when we get stressed out, we feel it in our guts sometimes in the form of diarrhea, constipation, or other IBS related symptoms. The longer the stress continues, the more GI upsets will continue. The longer it continues, the more we will feel the fatigue and disconnect from our bodies.

Your digestive system, from beginning to end, is your gateway to health. It’s where your immune system resides. It’s where you breakdown and absorb nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. And it’s where you eliminate toxins and waste.  It’s an intricate system. When taken proper care of, it is hearty, strong, and resilient and it can handle day to day stresses. But if neglected and abused, it can lead to a plethora of disturbances that can truly interfere with your quality of life.

Think of your digestive system as your body’s inner skin. The skin you wear on the outside of your body is actually protection for what’s on the inside. It holds us together and protects us from outside invaders. It breathes for us. It insulates us keeping our inner body temperature within homeostasis—nice and balanced.

The digestive system, when kept in tact, does the same thing. It absorbs, digests, and eliminates efficiently and in a timely manner. There are no signs of distress. There is no bloating, constipation, leaky gut, candida, or dysbiosis that would ultimately lead to other health related issues within the body. The gut is strong and you are healthy.

Now we know in today’s world that there is a huge emphasis on eating healthy, exercising, and living a balanced lifestyle. This relates to those who are already doing “everything they can” to be healthy. You’re following the groups on Facebook for inspiration. You’ve got your Pinterest Boards all set up with recipes. You’re meeting with your trainer or Paleo coach 4 times a week. You’re measuring this and macroing that. You’re taking your probiotics, coconut oil, L-Glutamine, and supplements all at the scheduled time of day. And you are eating according to your body type, goals, and health conditions. So why the heck are you not feeling any better? Why are you not losing weight? Why, after 20 years on this plan, are you still constipated, bloated, fatigued, and loading up on energy supplements to get you through the day.

YOU’RE EXHAUSTED!!! Not now because you are probably on your 4th cup of coffee or chugging your 5 hour energy drink. But that jittery body of yours that absolutely must have all those stimulants to make it through the day is absolutely EXHAUSTED.

It stinks. I’ve been there. I am still there. There isn’t a thing out there that I haven’t tried that I haven’t said “This Is It–I’m soooo going to feel better.” It works for a little bit. And then it stops.

Why? Why does it stop? If it was working, why does it have to stop? I was feeling so much better. Because the one thing that needed to change, that over the course of your lifetime you refused to change, still needs to change. YOU!!

I’ve learned a lot over the course of my time as a colon hydrotherapist. A LOT about nutrition, cleansing, diet, fitness, health, wellness, and balance. I know this stuff. I really know this stuff. And I apply it to my life. I eat a clean diet. I exercise daily.  But the one thing I haven’t gotten the grip on completely is the balance. And for me, the balance comes in the form of stress reduction.

A little bit of stress is normal. It’s part of life. And it actually is healthy. In exercise, stress on the body helps to increase muscle mass and burn fat. In life or death situations it can propel you to safety. But chronic stress, day to day mismanagement of stress, will have your cortisol levels constantly elevated at all the wrong times. …like at 2 am when you should be in deep sleep.  Chronic stress causes migraines, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Dysbiosis,  and Leaky Gut Syndrome. Even if you are eating the most pristine diet and have eliminated everything your naturopath has said is on your food allergy list….if you are chronically stressed, your gut simply will not heal.

Taken together, it’s a lifestyle entirely that needs to change. I’m learning the hard way. But I’m learning. I will always be that gal that eats clean, is a foodie at heart, sweats it at the gym, lives a clean lifestyle, and I will always be someone who invests my time in the latest and greatest nutritional and fitness plans out there. The lifestyle change, coming in the form of more meditation, relaxation, and deep breathing are the only things at this point that I plan on changing. Just 5 minutes a day can make all the difference in your health. It reduces cortisol and brings a full sense of well being. It reduces your appetite. It helps you sleep better at night. And most importantly, it helps you get in touch with yourself by reducing anxiety.

So today, before you go ahead and start your next cleanse, changing your diet, increasing your cardio and weight lifting routine…..try the simple act of sitting quietly, putting on some soft music, and just doing some nice deep breathing. You may see that this was just what the doctor ordered.

To Your Health!!

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