Willpower Begins the Journey But Discipline Helps You Stay on the Path!

It’s been some time since my last post and the many reasons fill my head now as just excuses. But time is of the essence, it’s fleeting, and there are just 24 hours in a day. The business is flourishing, and I’m writing curriculum which takes the place of writing about my health challenges…practices. Time is incremental when I look at the health of both us…myself and my husband. My health is like a rollercoaster lately running the gamut of hills and valleys – sunny days and cloudy disparity. While my husband turned his willpower into the discipline he needed to stay on the path.

Willpower, is it a power of wills? Is it a will of power? Do you have control of your will? Dictionary. com says willpower is the control of one’s impulses and will. Well, what it doesn’t say is that my husband has an abundance of it when he finally makes up his mind to do or not do something. Dictionary.com says this about discipline. It’s a training, activity or a regimen that develops or improves a skill. Well, this explains a lot of why the two nouns go together. You have to possess the willpower to discipline yourself so you can improve your life or a part of your life.

Starting Point

So what’s the point of talking about willpower and discipline?  You see, back in January of 2017 my husband had bilateral pulmonary embolisms, his left leg had a blood clot from his ankle to his groin. The doctors at the hospital told us how lucky he was because normally they don’t give this diagnoses to men over 50 – they find it in an autopsy. So, yes, he was lucky,  but I liked to think that he was blessed.

Over the last year and a half, we changed diets, we changed lifestyle and we changed our health outlook. My husband spent only 6 months on the meds and with my research help and finding the right naturopath he transitioned to supplements. But he had a strange inflammation issue in his left leg that would worsen if he moved or sat still. Nothing would work long term. Diuretics (prescription and natural) only work when you’re taking them, they don’t address the cause of the inflammation. So back to the research I went.

About three months ago, my research took me to a place I never thought about, but wow it’s changed our lives. Health research more precise alternative health research is my forte, in being a holistic life coach. I had exhausted every avenue I knew but I was coming up short on answers. I remember it was about 2 a.m. one morning back in March,  I laid it all out on my desk before God and asked God to direct me. I got an answer three days later when my husband was talking to our friend who’s a doctor. “Have you looked into the lymph system?” I had never thought about that. I was thinking food allergies, side effects of the meds, scar tissue from the damaged veins,  wrong exercises, not enough exercising, etc.

The lymph system

We have more lymph fluid in our bodies than we do blood. And the lymph nodes in our abdomen area control the lymph movement in our legs. The lymph nodes in our neck control the lymph movement in our chest and arms. (Organic Lifestyle Magazine) This is fascinating stuff to me, and I’m talking about it constantly to my husband but, as is his usual,  he just wants the cliff notes. To make a long story shorter, I found a lymph cleanse for my husband to do. I used my knowledge of intermittent fasting and combined a raw, plant-based, high-fat, low-carb, low protein, alkaline plan to help my husband lose the inflammation.

First Three Week Regimen

A gallon of Cranberry Cayenne Flush

He also ate one huge salad every day made with alkaline veggies especially the red ones: beets, red cabbage, red carrots (nightshades excluded because they cause inflammation). I make salad dressings for him with avocado oil, garlic, cucumbers, ginger, blackberries, lemon juice, avocados and Himalayan salt.

The calorie count during this the first two weeks was 300 and 400 calories every day.

During the third week, we added a veggie smoothie to his huge salad. It was filled with full-fat coconut milk (no gums added), kale, carrots, beets, celery, avocado, cucumbers, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries (I would alternate the fruit for him), maca powder, our favorite raw vegan protein powder (Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend has no sugar, soy, or grains in it, it’s raw and it’s our favorite) and some water.

Fourth week and Onward

We added raw organic nuts but only the high fat, low carb, and low protein varieties: macadamias, pecans, and walnuts. We also added coconut oil fat bombs. I make my own with coconut oil, coconut butter, sunflower butter, maca powder, and carob (recipe below) which my husband calls fudge chunks because of their texture. Coconut Mama has a pretty good recipe that I started with and then started tweaking to make my own recipe with ingredients we can eat.

And he continues this plan now at the 8-week mark.

As you can see he doesn’t eat much only about 600 – 800 calories a day. He cut out all sugar even high sugar fruits and veggies. He doesn’t eat any grains. He eats all raw veggies, nothing steamed. He drinks a gallon of lemon water daily. He walks about 3 miles a day and does about 50 squats a day (squats are great at getting our lymph fluid moving). He also spends time on his spinning bike when it’s raining out.

2-month stats:

  • 50 pounds lost
  • Down 4 pant sizes
  • Lost 6 inches off his waist
  • Demeanor changed, he’s calmer and happier
  • Tons more energy
  • He’s got laser focus now
  • He doesn’t get overheated anymore. He had an issue since he was a teenager (he was a runner and very fit then) where he would overheat when the temps rose above 70. It was 87 degrees a couple of weeks ago and he was fine, even had on a long sleeve shirt.
  • His recovery time from hikes and workouts is getting shorter and shorter. As a landscape photographer, he hikes all over the place on different types of terrain. His first hike of the season was last week where the grade was steep at 19%. Yes, he was sore and what used to take 3 – 4 days to recover only took 24 hours.

This plan is a cleanse that will clean up your lymph system and your whole body. It will balance your hormones. It will reset you on a health journey by cleaning out the toxins that not only clogged your arteries but your life. This plan is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t have the willpower to start and the discipline to say “NO” to food that’s sitting right in front of you or all around you at your office and social gatherings then it’s not for you. It’s not for everyone. But, if you are at the end of your rope, and you need to make a change that’s going to save the quality of your life, then you may want to take a look at some of the links I’ve posted above.

My husband’s willpower led him to say yes to this journey but it’s his discipline that keeps getting stronger every time he says “NO” to food that’s not right for him.

He can say yes to these!

carob-fat-fudge-e1528995792940.jpg

Carob Fat Fudge

  • 1/2 cup each coconut oil, coconut butter, and sunbutter (no sugar or salt)
  • 1/4 cup carob powder or raw cacao (cocoa and cacao have caffeine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 10 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 Tablespoon organic maca powder

Melt the coconut oil and butters in a small saucepan over very low heat. You only want to melt it without boiling it. Stirring till melted. When totally melted, immediately remove from heat. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to cool. Then add the vanilla, almond extract, and stevia. Whisk till blended. While whisking, add in the carob powder, salt, and maca powder. Whisk until smooth and incorporated. Pour into a 2-cup glass measuring cup for easy pouring. Pour into small candy molds or a mini muffin pan with paper liners. Only pour to about 1/4 to 1/3 full. Refrigerate about two hours to set. Remove from molds or pan (I removed the paper liners.) These can be stored on the counter or in the fridge. Makes 20 pieces of fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April – A Month of Saying “YES!”

This month I’ve been saying yes to basically all the things that once held me back…all the things that I once feared or thought I feared. April – a month of saying “YES” has changed me to the extent of what I’ve said “YES” to. These changes I dreamed about but couldn’t fathom doing because they were just too big for me to tackle now that they’re done, I realize they were holding me back.

I decided to say “YES” to anything that was in my best interest, that didn’t go against my value system, and that which I deemed wasn’t dangerous. I’ve been able to overcome my fears in this process. My “YES” moments have led me to different challenges and helped me to see my little plot of the world in a different light.

During April, I’ve said “YES” to highway driving, roads with roundabouts, and even rush hour traffic. I’ve said “YES” to fitness challenges (100 squats and 100 crunches a day). I’ve said “YES” to adventure planning with my husband (he always planned where we’d go, but has wanted me to take the lead here). I’ve said “YES” to new health routines, including 4 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in my daily diet. Refraining from eating any grains and sugar. I know I’ve talked about this before but coming from a sugar addict, this is still a constant issue for me. I’ve said yes to completing a book in 3 months. Now I’m working on a chapter every couple of days. I’ve also said “YES” to gaining more students and clients. My red hair is back because I said “YES” to a color option.

During my time of saying “YES”, I’ve been able to experience new ideas and new approaches to life. The one “YES” of planning our Adventure Sunday’s led me to this blog post because I saw a chain that cordoned off a portion of our hike and loved it’s rusted out appearance, yet tough strength that showed it was still useful. It showed me that even though life has kicked me around a bit, and I may have some battle scars, I, too have a lot of use left in me.

Saying “YES” to 100 squats and 100 crunches a day has shown me that I’m stronger than I think I am. It’s like I tell my students. “You are smarter than you think you are!”

In doing the squats and the crunches, I’ve decided to continue with formal workouts and do alternating days of upper and lower body with a day of stretching on Friday. Working out like this has helped me lose some inches and a few pounds. It’s also given me tons more energy.

The ACV (apple cider vinegar) addition to my diet has helped my digestion 100%. I am no longer hooked to taking baking soda and water every night and I kinda like the taste.

My new “YESes” for this last full week of April include

  • no devices after 7 p.m. and before 8 a.m.
  • going for a reflective walk after my morning workout,
  • reinstating my yearlong book reading list.
  • going for after dinner walks with my husband
  • taking 3 photos a day of my life

We each have many ways we can say “YES” to life, “YES” to happiness, and “YES” to overcoming fear. What are some areas you’ve said “YES” which in the past your immediate response was no? I’d love to hear your ideas or questions as I’m going to continue saying “YES” into May and June. And who knows maybe the rest of the year.

Cleansing Choices

Sorry I’ve been absent for a while. I’m focusing on getting more clients before the end of the month. As some of you know my full-time job is coming to an end February 28th. So far I’ve gained 11 more clients I have 9 more spots open and would like to fill those before the end of the month.

This brings me to one of my topics for today. Spending time working in a field that is clearly bringing you more stress than it’s worth. Yes, I know we all need to pay bills and support our families but when our jobs are costing us our health and wellbeing and we’re not able to enjoy our families then we need to be searching for positions that bring us joy, fulfillment, and stimulate our minds.

My husband started a new job a couple of weeks ago and his words here “I no longer feel the need to munch all day because I’m not bored.” He figured out that when he’s bored he munches on unhealthy carb snacks. Now he only eats one meal a day without the need for snacking. His health is so much better and he’s able to spend more time with me instead of just sleeping. He’s also got more energy to work out.

Have you ever had that exhilarating feeling of being challenged by your job, loving every minute of it, and being so calmed by it as well? Those are facets of knowing that you were meant for this job or career. Think back to a time when you were in a job you clearly knew was not for you. Now think about your health and wellness during that time. Did you have the energy to workout, to play with your kids, to enjoy a weekend without dreading Monday? Probably not.

We spend over half our lives working and if we’re not working in an industry or at a job that is meaningful to us we’re wasting our lives on something that we have all the power to change. So where do we go from here?

I’ll use myself as an example.

I got my college degree late in life (49 years old). It was still one of the best things I did. I proved that I could succeed, and it opened my life up to endless possibilities of what I can accomplish. When I started college, I didn’t know that I wanted a double Bachelor of Science degree in Health & Wellness and Nutrition. My friends told me I was crazy for taking classes like Anatomy Physiology and Chemistry altogether. But I loved it. It’s motivating to hear your instructor tell you that only a handful of students ace his class. I was one of that handful. That moment alone changed my esteem, my confidence, and my outlook on life.

After college I became a certified holistic life coach and an alternative health therapy researcher, helping people through tough areas in their lives by looking at their whole life and decisions made along the way. I started a blog, writing about the challenges we all face in life: weight loss, wellness, health, mindfulness, and joy. I became a tutor for students with learning challenges. I loved being a tutor and still, love it today. But I wanted to contribute more to our family (my husband and I ), so I took a job as an inside sales rep for an educational technology organization. I saw it as a dream job because the pay was great, but I knew at the 4-month mark that the job wasn’t for me. I stuck it out and here I am four years later regretting that I did.

 

You see my whole goal in life has always been to stand in the gap. It’s something my father taught me as a young child. Standing in the gap means different things to different people. To me, it meant that I learned how to help people who not only asked for help but those people who society tosses aside as inconsequential to the whole makeup of society. My job has always been about making the yearly sales quota, but never about meeting people where they are and helping them grow beyond the benchmark had they set for themselves.

 

Because I stayed in a job that was clearly not for me, the stress of it all gave me a serious autoimmune disease. I gained 50 pounds because I was stress eating and depressed all the time. I used to think how much happier I was when I worked for myself even though I wasn’t making as much money. I couldn’t sleep, I had no time to do the things I always loved. But hey, I was making money. I was stressed and sick. I dreaded all five days of the week I had to work. But my weekends were spent being sick. Yes, I had the capability of working from home. That was a perk. But you know what? If sales aren’t your thing, then don’t do it. I set myself up for failure because I saw $$$ instead of working from my whole life goals.

New Growth

How does this translate to you and your life? Are you in a position that is clearly not for you? Do you see no way out? These are questions only you can answer.

The first place you should take a look at in changing your life is to find out what your whole life goal is and work off that. If helping people is something that moves you, try volunteering at hospitals, schools, food banks, or in your place of worship. (My love of tutoring came from when I volunteered at my sons’ school almost 23 years ago.)

If helping animals brings you joy, volunteer at a pet shelter or start a dog walking business.

Start out small. I started my tutoring business while I was in college, I worked and continue to work with one of the many tutoring platforms online. I started with one student, now I have 9 students on a regular basis and even during the summer months because I offer enrichment classes (art, math, cooking, reading/writing) that school districts don’t have the money to offer anymore.

Let’s bring this all together. What does all this have to do with the 50 Day Cleanse and Glimpses of My Life?

Here’s the second topic for today. A 50 day cleanse can’t change the amount of stress we deal with but it can help you in dealing with that stress. And sometimes this cleanse will add some stress to your life. Especially if you’re making two different menus, one for you and one for your family. Which is why I am changing several points about this cleanse even the name to help fit our busy lives and make it easier to follow through with. (I must confess, I got to the 21-day mark and I just could not take it anymore, it’s too restrictive for my lifestyle.)

This new and improved cleanse has nothing to do with a certain number of days. It’s about having choices. We see these cleanses and challenges with a number in them as “I only have to make it X amount of days then I can go back to how I was before.” Cleansing Choices, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to set your own number of days, make the choices you want to add to your lifestyle and puts the power to change your life back in your hands. If you don’t want to be vegan, you don’t have to. If you’d rather not be raw, you can skip it. If you only want to water fast for one to three days, that’s fine. There are no set guidelines for Cleansing Choices. I’ve made the plan easier to follow by giving you cleansing options. Because life is all about the choices we make not about following someone else’s choices. You’ll have the opportunity to pick from a list of cleansing options that fit your lifestyle. Whether you want to pick one or multiple, it’s your choice because it’s your life and you know what you can handle.

Let’s turn the page and make Cleansing Choices that resonate with each and every one of us.

It’s our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

~J.K. Rowling

 

 

Being Ready For What Comes Next

So it’s January and I’m again following the 50 Day Cleanse. I’m on day 16 of it. I’ve lost another 6 pounds. I’ve eliminated the calluses and dry skin from my feet and hands. I can smell and taste so much better. I’m no longer tied to taking digestive enzymes and probiotics to aid my digestion. My craving for sugar and even sweet fruits are all gone. Now I eat for the sake of nourishment instead of feeding a craving. I’m still making yummy foods and smoothies (Working on a raw food smoothie book right now). I also am finding out that my countenance or rather my control grows stronger by the day. If you’re following my progress on our Facebook group, then you know what I’m talking about. The plan gets easier when we work the plan. I am not so much concerned with making sure everyday I eat in a set window of time. I eat during a four or five-hour window, but it all depends on when I’m hungry enough for that window to begin. And I never eat after 6 pm. But what does it mean to be ready for what’s next?

Being ready for what comes next means different things to different people. To me it’s making peace to whatever may come my way. I have a favorite quote up on my office wall. It’s from a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, Dag Hammarskjold.

For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be yes.

I love this quote because it resonates with what I’ve been thinking and praying about. Living in gratitude is more that just being thankful for all we’ve got and experiences we’ve had. It means being thankful for what comes next. Being ready for the next surprise, being open to the next adventure, accepting the next challenge, saying “YES” to something that would normally get a “NO!” These are ways of accepting what comes next. It could mean a job loss, it could mean learning through a new trial in life. To me this quote also means you’re not going to sit and let life pass you by. You’re going to get uncomfortable for a while. It’s in our uncomfortableness where we grow the most.

This 50 Day Cleanse has much to do with expanding our thinking, moving into a new mindset, and a new healthy lifestyle. Yes, it takes courage, control, change, overcoming, and vision. But through all this you will gain a better, healthier version of yourself.

Are you ready for what comes next?