Oh how I savor August! There is still time to squeeze in more summer fun, yet the hint of a schedule is on the horizon. Believe me, I love the sunny days of summer filled with the perfect combination of downtime and outdoor activities. Nevertheless, with an active family to manage, I look forward to the somewhat predictable routine of fall. One of the things I look forward to most is more family dinners. We try to eat as a family in the summer; however, it tends to be a bit more challenging to get all six of us around a table. While doing research on fostering healthy relationships with children, imagine my excitement when I came across the book "The Family Dinner" which concentrates on "great ways to connect with your kids, one meal at a time". This book is packed with useful information from conversation starters that will make any table full of laughter and intrigue to delicious and uncomplicated recipes. Author Laurie David summarizes that numerous studies found "family meals have more to do with adolescents' self-esteem, confidence, and other positive outcomes than do income levels, after-school activities, family structure (one parent or two), or regular attendance at church". Keep in mind that family dinners do not have to be full sit down meals involving every family member. Some may be quick meals at the kitchen island connecting before everyone goes off in his/her direction. Discover what works for you and your family and cherish the memories in the making!
Summer is in full force, and the living is easy! Do you notice in summertime how everything seems promising? The plants are in full bloom and the sun feels glorious on your skin. The longer days give you boundless energy, making you feel like it is possible to achieve all your desires and dreams. Why not harness this energy, ride the wave of summer and try something new?
Throughout the year we live at an intense pace (physical, emotional and mental), and we often get stuck in routine, either for the sake of efficiency or out of fear of unfamiliar territory. The lack of variety in doing the same things over and over stagnates not only our minds, but also our bodies and hearts. Are you hesitant to break your routine? Fear and excitement have the same physiological expression in our bodies; it is our mind that classifies the feeling as either positive or negative. So the next time you consider a change in routine and your mind says "scary!" see if you can re-frame it as "exciting!".
What is something you have never done before or that you have wanted to do for a long time? Whatever adventure calls to you, use the summer to make it happen and enjoy your life. Increasing new experiences and excitement in your life can decrease your dependence on artificial stimulants like caffeine and sugar, leading to more vibrant health. Watch out for improvements in physical well-being, mental acuity and motivation, plus a whole lot of fun!
Above is what an Embody Love Movement adult workshop looks like. Fifteen adult women present, vulnerable, compassionate and kind ---kind to themselves and kind to each other. Many of the body shaming messages that these women have internalized were difficult to share and these strong women supported one another. We all can change the way we speak to ourselves and each other from negative to positive. Identifying our internal messages is critical as we have the influence to affect the next generation with the way we speak to ourselves and others (see image of a young girls workshop).
Please join us at our next workshop on Tuesday, November 14th for adult women. Workshops are available for ages 7-11, 12-18 and adults. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the greatest things you can do for your health is connect with other people. Make a batch of BHW's all-time favorite granola and share it with a friend, family member, teacher, co-worker or neighbor. Make a batch for yourself too!
3 cups rolled oats
1 1⁄4 cup raw almonds
1⁄2 cup sunflower seeds
3⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
11⁄2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix oats, almonds, sunflower seeds and coconut in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the brown rice syrup, olive oil, vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the combined liquids over the oat mixture and toss to coat evenly. Spread in a thin layer on two sheet trays. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once at the 15-minute mark. Remove granola from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before adding the cranberries. Be creative and mix in other nutrient dense options like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or different dried fruits. Serve with almond milk or greek yogurt.
I don't know about you, but lately I have been TIRED! I decided to take some time to pay attention to why I am so tired to help me get to the root of it. From my exploration, I realize I am fatigued because I am stressed and disconnected - disconnected from myself. I am craving some time to "just be".
With so much going on in everyday life it is hard to take a moment to slow down and take care of one's self. This is one of the first things I talk about with my clients as it is difficult to do for most. We are wired to do things for others and we can get stuck in a constant state of "doing" versus "being". When we lose sight of ourselves, stress can present itself in many unhealthy ways (i.e. food cravings, mood swings, fatigue). I inherently believe healthy living starts with the individual, which leads to a ripple effect for everyone the individual spends time with; therefore, it is important to practice self care.
Self care comes in many forms and the first step is to make a commitment to YOU. Be Healthy Within's tenets of healthy living are ways in which we all can implement self-care: enjoy nutrient-dense food, exercise, cultivate personal connections, develop work/life satisfaction and make time for oneself. Self-care may be as straightforward as adding a new healthy food to the daily routine, taking a moment to enjoy nature or carving out some time to just be. This morning, I decided to mix up my rushed routine a little bit and skip a non-mandatory activity. As I took time to "just be", I sat down, ate my breakfast and was presented with the beautiful image below. The simple shape of the berry in the form of a heart was the message I needed to feel recharged and reconnected with myself. Bonus, I even gathered motivation to write my first blog post :-).
What are ways that you practice self-care? Feel free to share in the comments box below and enjoy one of my favorite, nutrient-dense meals.
Vanilla Chia Pudding
2/3 cup chia seeds
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
Combine ingredients in glass bowl with lid. Shake to combine ingredients thoroughly. Place in fridge overnight. Scoop out a bowl and add your favorite berries, almonds and sprinkle some cinnamon on top!
This is so easy to have ready to go! Chia seeds are a great source of omega 3’s and are high in protein and fiber.
Be Healthy Within Blog
Hi, I'm Carolyn, a health coach, clinical counselor and mother of four. I believe healthy living starts with the individual, which creates a ripple effect for others.