Truth be told

Howdy yall! 😉

 

I hope wherever you are, Spring has sprung! Here in New Hampshire, things are melting slowly and steadily. The robins are singing, the grass can now be seen (even though it’s not green yet), and my ducks are thrilled to have worms, dirt and their pool back. 🙂

Some time back, I told you I’d share why I didn’t write for a while, a long while. There are many reasons I was unable to write, and there was also a reason I chose not to write. Truth be told, I was embarrassed to share with you what was going on. I know I shouldn’t be, but I was. As a Certified Health Coach, I want to encourage you. I want to share with you so you can avoid the mistakes I’ve made. I want you to trust me and know that while I’m not a doctor, I might be able to help you in some way. The way I was feeling on some days (physically), the negative self talk pattern I fell into, and the guilt for both of those,…..well, I lost my perspective.

I know I’m not perfect. I know YOU know I’m not perfect. I know, life is a journey, NOT a destination. Yet, I lost my perspective.

For now, I will share what I learned in the last year or so, and a little bit about what has evolved in our home, I can expand later.

 

My favorite highlights were that we hosted our oldest daughter’s bridal shower (our first daughter, child for that matter, to begin this part of their life’s journey).  Then, shortly after, we were attending and celebrating this same daughter’s college graduation! Then, we were blessed with welcoming our new son (in-law) into our family.   Woohoo! I cannot express the bursts of overwhelming joy and blessings we experienced in that whirlwind of a week. Yes, in one week we celebrated her graduation and hosted her wedding ….. in two different states!  We got to see family members that we had not seen in years! We gained a son! We watched and experienced God’s blessings as He joined two families together as one and created a new family as they said their vows.  Oh how my heart melts just thinking back to those moments. *sigh*

However, as life goes, there were also some “not-so-fun” moments in the last year or so.  I was officially diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, secondary to Lupus. Booooo!  Our then 15-year-old daughter, who has been eating a gluten-free diet for a few years now but was still experiencing some disturbing symptoms, was found to have several food sensitivities/intolerances.  Because being 15 isn’t challenging enough, we’ve had to remove corn, soy, dairy, and eggs from her diet. Again, boooooo! Definitely not fun, and definitely a challenge. But, we took it head on! 😉

Now, big question! “What did I learn through all of this?” Answer, “A LOT”! I mean, how could I go through all of that and not learn anything?!

While you may not be able to identify with my season of life right now, having a child get married, you might be able to identify with something else that I’ve experienced. Do you or someone you live with have food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances? Do you or someone you know have an autoimmune disorder? Do you ever get overwhelmed? Do you sometimes need someone to just come alongside you and tell you that everything is okay? Who doesn’t?

The reality is that you and I are all on our own journeys, but we can all benefit and learn from each other.

As we experienced our highs and our lows in all of this, I was reminded of one thing, over and over.

Perspective.

It’s all how we look at things.

I can choose to focus on all of the challenges we experienced, my surgery, the stress that came with it all……..

 

OR

 

I can choose to focus on all of the blessings that have come from learning to wait, learning how to plan a bridal shower and wedding, learning how to cook for someone who has food issues, learning what resources are available to both me, and you!

What are you facing today? What are you focusing on? What can you learn from my experiences and/or yours?

I will now fill my mug with something warm and comforting, I will get comfortable, and I will pray that whatever you’re going through, you will share it with others. Share your burdens.  Share your joys. Sharing your experiences with others can help you gain perspective. Sharing your experiences might help someone else and even bless you in the process!

Keepin’ it real,

Elena  🙂

Welcome to 2017!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  

I have missed y’all and I am honored to be here, to share my life experiences and be on this journey with you!

In the next few weeks, I’ll be giving you some backstory as to why I haven’t written in a while. Let me assure you, it’s not because I didn’t want to. My desire was there, but ‘life happens’. I’m excited to be back at my keyboard and share my experiences that might help you understand where I’m coming from when I say, “it’s all about progress, NOT perfection”. And,…..I am hoping that my experiences will encourage and support you in your journey.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? In case you didn’t know, I don’t make those. BUT, …. There’s always a but huh?  I do use the beginning of the new year as a fresh start as I like things organized and sequential. So, every year, my husband and I sit down and go over the year that is ending and review things. We go over the goals we had set for the year, which include categories such as: family, health, personal goals, spiritual, physical, etc. and we make adjustments, give ourselves a little pat on the back (or a hand slap when necessary) and make new goals for the new year! In addition, I personally choose a word or phrase that will guide me as I make decisions. This year’s phrase is “kindness and purpose”. I want to be more thoughtful about my words to be sure that even when I need to give a little ‘tough love’, I’m kind about it, that sort of thing. Purpose, …. Well, I don’t want to waste time. I want to be sure there is a purpose for my actions, my words, my reason to purchase or purge something, and to help make the world around me a better place.

Whatever you do, or choose to call it, just remember, you’re not alone. And, when March rolls around, remember that even if you have made a few ‘oopsies’, you can still get back on track and give it another go! 🙂 It’s all about progress, NOT perfection. (Especially if you are looking to make some lasting changes.)

Praying you have a great day, and always,…..keepin’ it real, 

Elena 😉

A letter from me to YOU!

Today’s post is a letter I wrote to myself long ago that I thought I’d share with all of you.  I hope you’ll appreciate it for what it’s worth and perhaps take one little nugget of wisdom from it.

You should know that I wrote this to myself when I was really suffering with my fibromyalgia, feeling a little bloated, and really annoyed with my psoriasis.  I was already a Certified Health Coach and was feeling like a total failure for not having already “fixed” myself.  Since that time,….I’ve taken my own words to heart and seen wonderful results!

I pray that you will too!  😉

Dear Self,

What is a “diet”?

According to Miriam Webster, the definition of the word ‘diet’ is:

a :  food and drink regularly provided or consumed

b :  habitual nourishment

c :  the kind and amount of food prescribed for a person or animal for a special reason

d :  a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight <going on a diet>

I hope you’ll notice that it isn’t until “d” where you see anything about ‘reducing one’s weight’.

“You go Miriam!”  😉

To me, a diet is “a” through “c”.  So please keep that in mind as you read.

Now,….

How do you know if you are choosing the right “diet” for YOU?

As a Certified Holistic Health Coach, let me assure you,….NO doctor, NO health coach, NO fitness trainer, NO ONE can tell you what diet is best for you except YOU!

How can that be?!  There are thousands of testimonies all over the internet of people who have achieved amazing (and instant) results and they look like models! Accept yourself.

Well, YOU know YOUR body BEST!

Every ‘expert’ on the planet can give you their theory as to which diet will work best for you, and they can speak to their own experience, but NOT ONE OF THEM can tell you which would work best for you!

Now, that is not to say that they might be right in their advice, but really, you need to try for yourself and learn to listen to your body.

What works for one person does not always work for another; even if their situations seem ‘exactly’ the same.

Yes, that means I am saying:

… “in order to LOSE weight, it is NOT as simple as ‘you must burn more calories that you take in’”

… “milk is NOT bad for everyone”

… “some people should eat carbs, and plenty of them”

…”EAT FAT,….LOTS of GOOD fat!!”

That also means that I am saying, “DO NOT take ONLY my word for it”.

Do your homework!

Be willing to make the time and if needed, sacrifice,  to get to know your body.  It’s an investment worth making! Love yourself.

Each and every one of us was created uniquely and perfectly, in order for each one of us to be exactly who we are.

Therefore, it is IMPOSSIBLE for all of us to follow the exact same diet and be the best ‘we’ can be.

My job as a Health Coach is to help you find out what works best, for YOU!  I use a combination of research, education, and experience to formulate and listen to what will work best for YOU! I do NOT know everything nor will I claim to know everything. There are many other wonderful health coaches out there, and guess what?!  They don’t know everything either! (If they claim a “one size fits all”,…RUN!)

You were not born instantaneously.  You were created and crafted, slowly and perfectly over a nine-month period.  Then, you were introduced to a big, beautiful, imperfect world.  BANG!  The perfect environment for your body was changed and affected by everything around it.

Therefore, you must be willing to put in time and effort, and a lot of patience and perseverance in order to achieve the health/results you are looking for. Don’t compare yourself.

There will be trials, errors, progress, regression, and lesson learned.  DON’T GIVE UP!

The body was created with perfect balance and due to all of the toxic things you’ve put into your body, exposed your body to, and things that couldn’t be avoided,….it’s going to take even longer to retrieve that balance that is right for you.

There certainly is a time and place for you to seek assistance.  Whether you choose medical help or holistic help, or a combination of the two, do it for YOU!

A few reminders:

1)      Be patient and don’t give up!

2)      Don’t expect instant results; you didn’t get where you are overnight.

3)      Stay active; challenge yourself.

4)      Don’t expect anyone to “know it all”.

5)      Have an open mind; LISTEN.

6)      This may take longer than you had hoped; focus on “progress”, not “perfection”.

7)      Opinion does not equal fact. (and everyone has an opinion!)

8)      Commit to change, not a trend.

9)      Accept yourself for who you are; being skinny does NOT equal being healthy!

10)   Be patient and DON’T GIVE UP!

Love, Me

**So readers, if you are feeling unhappy with your own body image, a skin condition, a food allergy, a food intolerance, side effects of antibiotics or anything else, please know that there is NO judgment here and I’m happy to help.  🙂

This is a place where you can consider me a resource for honest advice, and facts…..and not confuse the two!  😉  And by the way,….I have yet to “fix” myself, but I have accepted myself,…a work in progress!  😉

Keepin’ it real,

Elena

2014 IS A HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

What a great gift to be able to begin a new year and a new adventure!

I mean really, isn’t every day a new adventure?

GERMANY-ZOO-BEAR

As with every new year, I see and hear about everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions, and I decide NOT to make one.

I’m more of a “goal setter” as oppose to a “resolution maker”.

I believe in always looking at situations and going with the “good, better, best” option choices.

So, in evaluating 2013 and deciding what went well, what I’d like to do better, and what are my best options,….I’ve come up with this “word picture” for my new year goal setting.

Wordle: 2014blogchoice

While it may appear a little chaotic, that’s sort of the point.

See, life isn’t always neat.  In fact, if you’ve had any experiences like I have, you can agree with me that life is actually quite messy.

But despite the mess and chaos, there is GOOD STUFF!  😉

And that is how I developed my thoughts into my word collage.

The roots to my life’s tree are:

INTENTIONAL

PURPOSEFUL

THOUGHTFUL

The branches on that tree that come from the roots are:

Parenting

Living

Learning

Sharing

Loving

Eating

Writing

The things that I hope to blossom from my branches are my words in action!

Like this…..

I want to focus this year on being INTENTIONAL, THOUGHTFUL, and PURPOSEFUL in all that I do and say.

I want my actions to reveal my heart and my faith in Jesus to be shown through my Parenting, Living, Learning, Sharing, Loving, Eating (stewardship of my body), and my Writing.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Faith in action is LOVE~ Love in action is SERVICE”.  Since I see my role here on earth as a servant of the Most High, and I love serving my family and friends, AND since I love writing and offering encouragement to others,…..I figured that my word collage summed it up pretty well!

As I was sharing my heart with my husband for the new year, and what I believe God has shown me and is asking of me,……we got into a great conversation about how my “word picture” is like a wrapping paper to the gift of life I’ve been given.

I hope you’ll find my focus this year an invaluable resource this year and you’ll share my blog with others.

Keepin’ it real,

smile ~Elena

Fall and Giving Thanks…..Part 1

give thanks 2

It’s that time again…..

The leaves have changed color, the air is cool and crisp, and I will get to see my college kiddos soon!  J

Fall is my all-time FAVORITE season!  Maybe it’s because I don’t really recall autumn breezes and scents like I have here in New England from my childhood.  I tease and tell my friends that growing up in South Texas, we had 2 seasons, HOT and HOTTER! 😉

After marrying the man of my dreams and moving in to the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire, I’ve come to appreciate all the seasons have to offer. Yes, including the snow.  Okay…..usually …. Okay ….. I try to.

I can’t lie,….the length of winter is what gets me.  By March 1, I’m ready for spring planting, spring colors, and FLIP FLOPS!

Anyway, let’s live in this moment and enjoy today. 🙂

So, what are the things I love most about fall?

1)      The smells.  Mmmmm…..cinnamon, pumpkin bread, wood stoves burning, and apple cider.

2)      The comfort foods.  Warm and stick-to-your ribs kind of foods.

3)      Shopping.  I get so excited to shop for everyone I love! Four of our 8 children have fall birthdays, and then there’s Christmas with two more children’s birthdays to follow.

4)      Snuggle time!  Our family loves to gather around the fireplace on a cool evening and hang out together.

5)      The spirit.  People are generally pretty happy.  Whether it’s because they didn’t like the summer heat or that they’re excited for the snow to come.  And of course,….Thanksgiving is upon us!

My all-time-favorite holiday is Thanksgiving!

I love cooking!  And I love cooking for LOTS of people!

If you read the calendar in my kitchen, you’ll see in BIG letters,…..”Full house=full heart”.

Now, cooking a feast like the one I’m preparing has it’s challenges.

Last year was our first year to have a gluten-free Thanksgiving.

This year, well, this year, will be gluten-free for sure, but it will be my first grain-free Thanksgiving!

Despite the fact that I will really have to work at making my Grandmother’s “famous” Dressing grain-free, I have a lot to be thankful for!   Wait, what’s that?  You don’t know what “dressing” is?   Well, that’s what folks from the South (that’s me!) call “stuffing”.  No offense to stuffing, or y’all from the North, but, I like dressing better.  Besides, I’d like to think I’m “dressing” up my meal, not, “stuffing” my waist line. 😉

So, I’m off to work on my recipes!

I hope y’all haven’t forgotten about the bundle sale going on right now, it’s only available for a limited time!  *If you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about,…..here ya go!

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buy-now-button-RED

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Keepin’ it real,

Elena  🙂

The ULTIMATE Opportunity!

I am so excited to share with you today, The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle!

By the way, this bundle has more than just books!  So don’t stop reading yet!!!   This bundle has offers you won’t find anywhere else!

Grab your cup of coffee (or your kombucha) and pull up a seat!   I’ve got something to share with you and y’all are going to love it!

ultimate-bundles-homepage

Are you an ebook fanatic?  (Then THIS is perfect for YOU!)

Are you the kind of person who is very careful about how and where you spend your money?  (Then THIS is perfect for YOU!)

Do you ever wonder why things have to cost so much and if you could do it for less?  (Then THIS is perfect for YOU!)

Do you find yourself thinking, “How do they do that”?  (Then THIS is perfect for YOU!)

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is more than just a virtual pile of books for pennies on the dollar! Although, truth be told, ebooks are easy to store, inexpensive, easy to transport  (laptop, tablet, iPhone, kindle….), they’re eco-friendly, and did you know that you can give them as gifts?!   Oh yeah baby!!

This bundle is full of information, yummy recipes, tips and solutions, creativity, discounts and deals, FREEBIES and offers the perfect opportunity to jump start your holiday season with healthy living!

You will get a FREE conference, 86 ebooks, AND $150 in FREE bonuses!!! 

ALL FOR JUST $29.97!!!!!

 

Hello!!!???!!

Where else can you get a deal like that!?!

Now, you may be thinking,…. “86 ebooks?! Who needs 86 ebooks?”  Well, you might not right now, but remember, you can give them away or just tuck them away.  I don’t know about you, but over the years, my life has changed more than I can count.

So while you may not need them all right now, it sure would be nice to have it if you need it!  😉

Take a look!

1 HL skin care  1 HL real whole food  1 HL meal pre  1 HL allergy free      1 HL health concerns  1 HL healthy lifestyle

1 HL natural health  1 HL green

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE DEAL!!

buy now

Not only will you save money upon purchase, but you will save money for years to come!

With priceless information about sustainability, natural health, kids, fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle, you just can’t go wrong!

Let’s face it…..

There are a lot of things in life we cannot control.  We’d like to think we can, but the truth is, we can’t.

But, we CAN do one thing, take responsibility.  As we take responsibility for our own health, for the health of those we love and care about, we can feel good at the end of the day about doing our best.

As I have gone through the journey of life and learning to live with psoriasis, acne, gluten intolerances, weight issues,….I’ve learned one thing.

I DON’T have to live with it, and neither do you!

Don’t give up!

That’s how I ended up going to school to be a Certified Holistic Health Coach.  I wanted more than just to help myself, I want to help others.

Just like you.   🙂

So, here’s the deal.

Check out this amazing deal, I mean really look over the bookshelves, and I guarantee you won’t be sorry.  But don’t take too long to decide to take advantage of this deal, because it doesn’t last long!

AND,….don’t forget about the bonuses!!

bonus offers

The sale runs only from November 4 – November 9!

Have questions? We’ve created a very detailed FAQ page with information about how downloads work, how to store your ebooks safely, how bonus offer redemption works, and much more. We’ve even added videos tutorials to talk you through some of the technical aspects step-by-step!

The fine print is also important. You can see that here.

Keepin’ it real,

Elena   😉

 

**If you run into any problems at all when purchasing, please let me know.  There are many of us involved in this and the system can get bogged down.  😉  Thanks!

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission for each sale purchased through my links which allows me to keep this site running and offer giveaways. Thank you for your support of this site!

A book review and GIVEAWAY!

Happy Weekend Y’all!

Recently I read one of the greatest nutrition resource books!  It is sensible, easy-to-read, practical, adaptable, and humorous.

The title would make you think that A) You have to be a woman to want to read it, and B) You have to be interested in losing weight.  But I’m here to tell you that it is not the case!

The title, Trim and Healthy Mama, simply tells you about the authors.  They are both trim and healthy Mamas!  😉  They talk about their journeys with food and share a wealth of information.  (www.trimhealthymama.com)

Here’s an excerpt:

One Size Does Not Fit All

This Trim Healthy Mama approach is fluid. It moulds easily to all personalities. It’s not only for

women who are able to resist junk food and naturally have a lot of will power. You don’t have to

be a scratch cook or a granola mom. In fact, if food is your weakness, that’s okay. If you’re the

indulgent type, it’s a good thing, because many of the meals we want you to eat are designed

to be just that—indulgent.

We want to help you customize your own way of eating that works for you and your family.

We don’t agree with stringent food programs you can never vary. As sisters, we have very different

personalities. Our households run differently, and while our core eating philosophy is the

same, we’re not identical twins when it comes to food.

I love that!

My philosophy on food has always been to find balance for yourself.

What works for one person just might be the death of another!

Research!  Seriously, do the work!  Don’t depend on Jenny Craig, Vegetarians, or anyone else to do the research for you and just assume it’s going to work for you.  (And then get upset when it doesn’t!)

Read.  Dig. Search.

It’s your body.  You know it best.  Listen to it!

Here’s another tidbit from the book:

A carb conscious approach to food, rather than a constant low-carb diet, is crucial to long

term health because most of us cannot constantly live on a very low-carb diet and remain

healthy. It is not long before glycogen (stored glucose in the liver and muscles) becomes

depleted and stays that way. This can lead to a lack of energy. Also, long term, very low-carb

diets can sometimes lead to other complications like a more sluggish thyroid and metabolism.

This is why our plan works. We promote an inclusive diet, rather than an exclusive one. It

includes all three essential macronutrients—fats proteins and carbs, even certain amounts of

starchy carbs. We can enjoy all three and stay slim.

Well I don’t know about you, but they got me at “inclusive”.

I don’t like feeling deprived.

I like feeling healthy!

And I’d like to add, SKINNY does NOT equal HEALTHY!

In addition,….

This book contains some FABULOUS recipes!

It accommodates food intolerances and offers resources.  The recipes include everything from breakfast eggs, smoothies, muffins, bread in a mug, meatloaf, spicy chicken wings, and cheeseburger pie to chocolate nut slab, macaroons, and peanut butter chocolate cookies!

And this weekend,…..I have the honor of being able to give all of you the chance to win a copy of Trim and Healthy Mama!!

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me one activity you do that makes you feel healthy.  Maybe it’s walking, biking, hiking, crossfit,……just tell me one thing.

That’s it!

One lucky person will be chosen on Sunday evening and the winner will be announced on Monday, November 4!

Keepin’ it real,

Elena 😉