Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coaching versus Therapy: Which Is Better?

 

TCMMasterySeal

I am not really an education junkie…

Okay, maybe I am a little bit of an education junkie, but my main motivation for learning, learning, learning is always to better serve my clients.

I am proud to announce that I have just received certification as a Mastery Coach in the Transformational Coaching Method through the Health Coach Institute. This means that I now have advanced skills for helping my clients to achieve the enduring mindset and habit changes that allow them to quickly achieve their health goals – quiet bellies and the energy and freedom to do the things they love doing, which of course leads to happier, more satisfying lives.

As a former psychologist, I am in the unique position of being able to compare the benefits of therapy and coaching. And for me, right now, I believe that coaching is the better way to go.

Therapy is still a very valuable pursuit – particularly if you are struggling with deep depression, really debilitating anxiety, or un-processed trauma.

But if your issues are more around health, stress, dissatisfaction with the way your life is going, coaching is the better choice. If you ever find yourself saying, “this can’t be the life I was meant to have,” then coaching is the better choice.

Why have I become such a big fan of coaching?

  • Results are faster!!!!
  • Change is coming from within and so the effects are much more likely to endure
  • The focus is shifted away from the negatives of the past
  • The focus is instead on creating the future that YOU want
  • Self-care becomes easy and natural
  • Self-esteem rises naturally as goals are reached
  • Self-esteem rises naturally as you become aware of your unique gifts
  • Health improves without a lot of fuss as self-care is prioritized
  • Weight loss happens naturally as self-care is prioritized
  • And did I say, results are faster!!!!

As I have shifted my professional life away from doing psychotherapy to health coaching, I see all of the above every day. And, because I had to be coached as part of my training, I have also personally experienced all of the above. Life is now filled with such wonderful possibility!

I have heard it said, “Therapy takes you from bad to good, coaching takes you from good to great.” Just think – no athlete achieves success without a great coach. But in life – our biggest endeavor ever – we all too often try to go it alone. In this insane food culture that we live in, that approach can literally shorten your life – or keep your bowels in an uproar…

Change all starts with one potentially life-saving conversation. Click here to learn more about what my new coaching skills can do for you.

In love and gratitude,

Barbara

Post-Vacation Detox

2014-08-05 08.35.59Mudslides in the evenings, green smoothies in the morning. Kind of sums up my split personality approach to eating while on my recent vacation. As many of you know, it is hard to “eat clean” while traveling. It may be reassuring to you to know that even health coaches struggle with the temptations and limited healthy food choices that are inherent in being away from home.

Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of IIN, talks about the 90/10 rule: eat clean 90% of the time and then treat yourself the other 10% of the time. I think I used up my entire 10% in seven days! It is hard not to reach for a deep-fried sweet sriracha wing when sitting with a group of four teenage boys. And the deep feeling of relaxation that I enjoy as I sip on a mudslide at the end of an evening, while holding a squid rig and listening to great music, is a once a year guilty pleasure. The meal that makes me truly hang my head in shame is the canned spaghetti and meatballs that we ate as emergency rations due to being on a sailboat with a broken refrigerator and a 14 hour return trip home.

Although I felt that I “ate like an American” for seven days, I am not being truly fair to myself. I hiked every day and took a yoga class every other day. My breakfasts were either homemade granola or the above-mentioned green smoothies. Lunches were salads for the most part, and whenever possible I tried to focus on lean protein and veggies at dinner – whether in a restaurant or home-cooked and re-heated on the boat.

As I think about my nutritional vacation, I am grateful for two things. My body handled the “not-so-healthy” foods like a trooper. I did not experience any unwanted gastro symptoms or experience the migraine or my low-level fibro-like muscle pain that used to be a regular part of my life. I attribute this to the fact that all of my healthy eating – the other 51 weeks of the year – has helped to “heal my gut”, making it less reactive to the foods that really aren’t so great for my body.

The other thing that I am grateful for is my organic garden. It is at the height or growing season and it was waiting for me when I got home to once again nourish my body. It has been giving me bok choy and collard greens for my morning smoothie, kale for lunch salads, and Swiss chard, string beans and zucchini for dinner. The greens also serve as the base for my afternoon green juices – the ultimate de-tox! Post-vacation I feel relaxed, renewed and re-energized as I get back into the swing of my professional life.

How about you? How are you doing in terms of eating healthy during vacation season? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.

 

My Morning Berries

blueberries, goji berries and chia seeds.

Blueberries, goji berries and chia seeds for tomorrow’s breakfast.

Recently I gave a workshop on healthy living to a group of office workers. At one point in my talk, I took a quick poll as to what each participant had for breakfast. Approximately 80% said that they picked up a breakfast sandwich on the way to work. If you fall into that camp, please know that you are not doing your gut bacteria any favors! The egg is great – a good source of protein, but the saturated fat from the meat and cheese and the refined carbohydrates in the roll offer little in the way of nutrients and when eaten regularly, carry some significant health risks. Yet, this is the way that most people fuel up their bodies to start their day.

I have written before about the fact that eating a healthy breakfast does not have to take up too much extra time in your morning:

If you have one takeaway from this blog, that is to try to include some produce in your breakfast. I once read an interview with a neuro-scientist who specialized in dementia. He said that the number one thing people should eat to prevent dementia is berries. Since I read that, I personally try to eat every berry I can get my hands on! Breakfast is a great time to try to get your berries in.

My trick is to set out my breakfast dish the night before. I put in some frozen organic blueberries, some goji berries (see, “Meet the Goji Berry“), and a tablespoon of chia seeds (see, “Chia Seeds“), and cover it all with a little water. The blueberries thaw, the goji berries soften, and the chia seeds swell up. I then warm up my oatmeal or amaranth porridge, then stir it into the berry/chia mix and add some hemp and/or ground flaxseed. Setting out the ingredients the night before allows me to enjoy the benefits of these super-nutritious foods without a nutrient loss through heating. This breakfast is a far cry from a fast food breakfast sandwich!

My morning berries (and seeds!) would be a good thing for you to try if you have IBS. With the exception of blackberries, most berries are low in FODMAPs so you can eat them without worrying that they are going to cause you to bloat up. Goji berries, to my knowledge, have not yet been tested for their FODMAP content, but my educated guess is that they should be low as they are not super-sweet. Chia seeds and ground flaxseed both play a very helpful role in stool formation. Starting your day off with these super-foods should please your friendly gut bacteria and help you to have a happy belly day!

 

Have You Heard About Oil Pulling?

Oil Pulling Selfie

Oil Pulling Selfie

When you become a happy health nut you find yourself trying things that in the past would have made you shake your head with total disbelief. For me, the wackiest thing I am now doing is “oil pulling.” Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice for oral health. It involves putting a small amount of oil (typically sesame or coconut) in your mouth and swishing it around for 10 to 15 minutes a day. The practice is thought to “pull” bacteria and other microorganisms out of your mouth. Proponents rave about a wide variety of benefits, ranging from the more believable healthier gums with whiter and stronger teeth, to the less believable claims that it treats almost every kind of human ailment.

Given the buzz about oil pulling and my long-standing lack of confidence in my flossing ability, I decided to give it a try. I chose coconut oil and was surprised by the pleasant, mild taste, as I generally dislike anything that has coconut in it. Although you are supposed to oil pull first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I didn’t see how that 10 to 15 minutes of not being able to talk was going to work in my household. Instead, I chose to oil pull during my shower, which has proven to work really well. The most important thing to remember about oil pulling is that you must never spit the oil down your drain as the oil will firm up again when cooled and clog your pipes.  The other thing to remember is if your jaw is getting tired, you are doing it too hard.  Just gently swish the oil around.

Although the scientist in me squirms at the lack of research on the subject, in my own “clinical study of one”, I cannot deny the results. Within days, my gums looked healthier. By the end of the first week, my green tea-stained teeth were noticeably whiter. Most dramatically, a tooth that was causing me such pain that I figured I was looking at a root canal has grown very quiet. If that last one due to the oil pulling I cannot say for sure, but my checkbook is very happy to not have to find the money for significant dental work.

I recently met a dental hygienist who stated that she wanted to do a clinical trial on the subject. She took one look at my mouth and said that she never would have known I was a mouth-breather as my gums no longer had the tell-tale signs. That’s a pretty good endorsement right there.

If you think that oil-pulling is for you, the following article is a good place to start:

 

Sign Up for My Free Digestive Health Teleclass!

Please share in my excitement as I announce my upcoming teleclass!  The topic is “Three Major Mistakes That Keep People Struggling with an Unhappy Belly”.  The class is free and will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST.  I would love to have you join me!

For more information on the class, click below:

  • Free Teleclass for Unhappy Bellies

 

Like what you read? Maybe it is time for you to take a step toward creating vibrant health for yourself. I will work side by side with you to achieve your health goals, whether that be having a trouble-free digestive system, reducing pain, losing weight, having more energy or getting better sleep. Get started today! Click here to sign up for your health breakthrough session.