Archive for November, 2011

Appreciate your beautiful programming

Words of wisdom

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Begin where you are and keep moving forward

Almost all of us have a distorted image of our body, thanks to that tricky mind’s eye and often due to the importance our culture places on outward appearance and the onslaught of media images of airbrushed models and celebrities. On a daily basis, we talk to ourselves in ways we would never speak to another. Imagine speaking to a child the way you speak to yourself about your body. It would devastate and squelch a child. It affects you similarly, causing stress and emotional pain in your body, which can make improving your health or losing weight even more difficult.

Think of all the intelligence, creativity and time you spend on improving, altering and judging your appearance. Who would you be and what could you accomplish if your valuable resources weren’t used this way? Constant emphasis on the external makes us discount the great presence and intelligence that is housed by the body. It makes us forget the magic of our internal rhythms and fail to acknowledge the beautiful bodies we have.

The body you have right now is incredible! It never misses a heartbeat, it maintains homeostasis and it miraculously digests whatever you put in it. It is your instrument for expressing your creativity, intelligence and love. By focusing on the 1% you don’t like or wish were different, you may be ignoring the remaining 99% about your body that is beautiful, unique and delightful.

What would your life be like if you were simply at peace with the body you have? You may wish to make your body healthier and stronger, but could you do that out of love and respect for your body instead of the opposite? Could you begin to treat yourself with kindness, to limit the negative self-talk and to reconnect with your inner wisdom? Take a minute to imagine what that would feel like. It would mean celebrating your body rather than punishing it. It would mean nourishing your body rather than depriving it. It would mean a chance to watch your body flourish when treated with care and respect.

Here’s to you flourishing!

Mad respect for you and your journey,

It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this blog post to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it. – SH


For the first time in 30 years, I’m alone on Thanksgiving. Leading up to today, I was in complete disbelief that Thanksgiving was approaching. The whole 80-degrees and sunny-in-November thing threw me for a loop. Just the other day, Brian sent me a picture of three inches of snow on our deck in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, I was down here in Arizona laying poolside. Odd. (But I’m not going to lie – I love pool time in November!)

And while 2011 has been one adventurous, life-changing, year (we’ll save that recap for the end of December), today is all about gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness. So that is why treating Thanksgiving like any other day off, to be in Arizona rather than Minnesota and/or Wisconsin, is so very odd for me.

So. very. odd.

And not necessarily in a bad way. It’s just different. On this one day, the whole country is slowed down to give thanks, share gratitude, and gather with loved ones. This ONE day.

This one day should be every day.

EVERY DAY we should give thanks, share gratitude, and gather with loved ones. (That’s not to say that Thanksgiving Day isn’t important, because truth be told, today I promised myself I will be home with my family for every other Thanksgiving moving forward. In fact, Brian and I just made plans to kick off my Christmas trip home with a Thanksgiving Feast the night I arrive. I’m so looking forward to it!)

But back to the idea of giving thanks, sharing gratitude, and gathering with loved ones on a daily basis. We should do that. And it shouldn’t require a national holiday for us to slow down and do so.

Every day should have some Thanksgiving in it. Seriously!!! Let’s celebrate every. day. EVERY. DAY. Call it Thanksliving.


Think about that for a few minutes.




As for myself, at some point, every day, I pause to think about what I’m grateful for, for what’s going well in my life. And the more often and more deeply I reflect on this, the more abundant my life becomes. You’ve heard the saying, “You become what you think about most of the time.” I believe I’m beginning to see the truth behind those words.

Sharing my gratitude and gathering with loved ones in the spirit of Thanksgiving Thanksliving does not – YET – happen on a daily basis in my life. But it is definitely moving in that direction. And I can feel how absolutely full of life and love every day will be as I crowd out the busy-work with acts of Thanksgiving Thanksliving.

My cup runneth over.
(Funny how those childhood Sunday School lessons come back from time to time.)

And, with that, I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving! I’m ever so grateful for your friendship and love.

P.S. I simply must, must, must publicly acknowledge Kim B. for introducing me to the term “Thanky G”. So very fun! It was the original title of this post until I came across Thanksliving.

P.P.S. Special thanks to Kenzie B. for introducing me to the term Thanksliving. I’m obsessed!

How do you celebrate Thanksliving?

Easy as pie

I’ve just begun learning about the raw food lifestyle while studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It’s interesting. And what I like about it most is that while I’ve been transitioning from eating fast-food/junk-food meals three times a day to learning to eat like a normal person should, I’ve unknowingly been doing a lot of the things new-to-raw-food-people do. I started grocery shopping at farmers markets, I’ve switched a lot of what I eat to organic foods, I’m thinking of food as enjoyable nutrition instead of something to fill me up – literally and figuratively.

Long story short, all of this lead me to connect with Glen Colello, an owner of a raw food cafe in Connecticut and a graduate of IIN. Turns out, Glen and company make raw food pies for the holidays! Take a look:

Raw food pie from Catch A Healthy Habit

Does that not look just like the most amazingly delicious pie ever? Could you just imagine bringing that to the family on Thanksgiving! It’s so pretty! And the best part is that it’s made only with high-quality, organic, raw ingredients! I’m in heaven!!!

Of course, I haven’t yet *made* my own raw food pie…but if it tastes anywhere NEAR as good as it looks I’ll be happy!

Here’s a link to a basic raw food pie recipe I found: How to Make a Raw Food Pie

And, here’s another link to some more raw food pie pics: Google Search of Raw Food Pies

Happy raw-food-exploring everyone!

Much love,


Grooves and boundaries, baby!

Ever get thrown off your groove? You know, when everything is sailing along just fabulously, and then something shifts, throws you off kilter for a bit and then another things shifts and does more of the same until you’re totally thrown off your groove?

Skip to the two-minute mark, “You threw off my groove!” Best. line. ever.

Of course unlike Emperor Kuzco, we can’t throw people out castle windows when they throw off our groove. But what we can do is establish boundaries, groove-enabling boundaries.

My groove was recently thrown off by a seemingly small change in my work schedule. Six of my seven shifts have remained right on point, but for the past two or three weeks one shift has been chaotically floating around and throwing off my entire groove – finances, class schedule, business development, grocery shopping, time outside, when I ate, and what I ate. All were affected. These weeks have nutritionally been my worst since I made the move to Arizona in May. I found myself picking up Starbucks mochas and Twix peanut butter candy bars from the gas station after work, eating meals at work, staying up until 5:00 a.m. working on business development activities and listening to class lectures, and not getting outside. My groove was off.

So I made a decision to ask for help. This time, from my managers. I asked to update my availability to nights and weekends only; thereby, transitioning that chaotic day shift back into an evening shift. We’ll see how it goes over. Regardless, just the act of updating and submitting my availability was so freeing and uplifting.

Creating boundaries is freeing.

Who knew?

And best of all? I’m getting my groove back! True, I was up until 5:00 a.m. last night/this morning, but I’m no longer living on mochas and candy bars! And, most importantly, I’ve been making the time to get outside and enjoy the Arizona sun and 73-degree weather.

Grooves and boundaries, baby! Grooves. and. boundaries.

Are you in your groove, baby?

Asking for help is NOT being bothersome

While at a bootcamp in Las Vegas for Juice Plus in January 2010, our team leader Loren Slocum made the statement, “How you play games is how you do life. How you do anything in life is how you do everything.”

Flash forward to Saturday night. Nine hours into my shift, the general manager rightfully called me out for not asking for help. And when I say he called me out, I mean he really called me out. Not in a mean or unprofessional manner, but in a way that I understood I had better learn from what had just happened and work on asking for help.

And I stayed up until 5:00 a.m. thinking about how I can ask for help at work, and more importantly, WHY it is so hard for me to ask for help. I came up with some solutions to the first part easily enough; however, what struck me most is the idea I had that asking for help amounted to bothering people.

I didn’t want to be a bother to my coworkers, or anyone else for that matter. I wanted to be one of the best at my workplace. Just as I had been one of the best in high school and in college. But what had not asking for help cost me? How had I not been asking for help in other areas of my life? And WHY is it so hard for me to ask for help?!?

In high school, not asking for help cost me a spot on the varsity tennis team. I was too embarrassed to fail and to make mistakes in front of others, that instead of asking for help from my teammates and coach, I envied those who were playing better than me and made excuses as to why I couldn’t possibly play at their level. Eventually, I quit the team. I wouldn’t get out of my own way.

In college, I did the same thing. Never asking for help from my parents, boyfriend (now husband), roommates, advisors, or anyone else, I transferred universities six times in five years and changed my major countless times. Instead of asking for help in determining my major and/or my university, I spent years not have a career path and would start and quit program after program. It was beyond frustrating – and depressing.

But I hadn’t yet learned my lesson.

As I moved into the professional work force, I unknowingly continued on with my I-don’t-ask-for-help-attitude. In fact, looking back, that attitude cost me my employment more than once. Every time another family member was diagnosed with cancer, I would change jobs. Since 2005, that’s amounted to three job changes. It was like clockwork up until Saturday.

And then Darren had that very direct conversation with me. And that might just make him the best boss I’ve ever had. With my oldest cousin having been diagnosed with cancer just last week – meaning that for the first time cancer is in “my generation” of the family tree – Darren’s conversation could not have come at a better time.

It’s time to start asking for help.

So, I’m starting with the little things. I’ve begun asking my co-workers for help when I’m in the weeds. I’m getting better at letting my managers know if things are less-than-stellar at any of my tables. And yes, even asking for these little things is awkward; however, the results are absolutely rewarding and have created win-win situations. I ask for help, my tables get taken care of really well, and others start asking for help when they need it. Full circle, baby!

Some of the bigger things I’ll be asking for help on will include:

It IS time to start asking for help. After all, how you do anything is how you do everything. Who knew that one conversation talking-to could have so much power?

How will you ask for help today?