Cause, Girl, I Am All Over The Place

Lately I have been feeling like who the heck should listen to me. The internal chatter, the ego, has been so loud that most of the time I would rather throw in the towel and call it a day. The ups and down got me thinking and, yes, sometimes doubting myself. I hope this is normal ebb and flow of life stuff.  The idea occurred to me that I am probably not the only one feeling this way.

A few years ago I was seeing Sarah Axtell, ND at Lakeside Natural Medicine. She ran some labs for me looking into my Thyroid, Adrenals, and Hormones (saliva can test for Progesterone, Testosterone, and Estrogen). She is a wonderful resource; I highly recommend her if you are looking for the same. Here are some of the tools in my toolbox she taught me that I’m dusting off.

SEED & OIL CYCLING:IMG_3282

  • Store seeds in fridge or freezer.
  • Make sure to use ground seeds;  if whole, a coffee grinder works great.
  • I’m trying to sync my cycle(I’m getting a head start- it hasn’t returned yet since my baby) with the moon phases.
  • Evening Primrose Oil is a GOOD source of Omega-6s.

MACA:

  • Increase Libido
  • Acts as anti-depressant
  • Regulates and normalizes menstrual cycle
  • Increases energy
  • Slip some to your man for an added testosterone boost/sperm count
  • Although it may help fertility, Maca is not recommended for use during pregnancy/nursing.

Here is Sarah Axtell’s overall endocrine tonic and natural energy booster smoothie recipe:

POWER SMOOTHIE

  • 1/2 C mixed berries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 C frozen spinach (or fresh or kale…)
  • 1-2 TB ground seeds (flax or sunflower)
  • 1-2TB maca powder
  • optional- Scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • optional- add matcha green tea for an added energy boost
  • 1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or coconut)

Blend and Enjoy!

It is important to remember your Thyroid, Adrenals, and Liver when working on Hormones. Here are some quick tips:

IMG_3283

Some of my TJ go-to’s!

  • You may have guessed it: dairy, grains, coffee, alcohol and sugar are the enemy.
  • Avoid conventional meat – hormones!
  • Quinoa is OK – it’s a seed
  • Small amounts of Stevia/Dates are OK – focus on keeping your blood sugar stable, which is also why you are should avoid carbs.
  • Green Tea is a great alternative to coffee. Improves estrogen metabolism.
  • Brazil nuts are a great source of Selenium – a Thyroid supporter.  5/day
  • Think healthy fats (Ghee is OK – no casein) and protein at every meal.
  • GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES

 

I hope revisiting this information will help steer me in the right direction.  I feel more in control when I can do small actionable steps, like what I put in my mouth. And maybe another weekend away…(!)

Steeping in course corrections,

Tori

 

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Progress is…

It is very apparent we live in a world full of information being thrown at us at every nanosecond. Most of it bounces off of us without knowing any difference but a lot of it is absorbed in some capacity. Chances are we don’t fully grasp the whole story or gain a full perspective of that information before we make a judgement or decision. Right or wrong, it is what it is.

I get it, we live in a world full of confusing information, especially related to our health. One day coffee is good for us and the next it’s bad. You hear you can live longer if you eat eggs but not too many because…you know…cholesterol (gasp!). And the list goes on…

Can I tell you a secret? I love when my clients come to me at a point when they are fully confused BECAUSE it means they are preparing to make a BIG change! I love what I do because I help give a different perspective and help re-frame thoughts. One of my favorite responses is: “I’ve never thought of it that way”. Music to my ears. Here’s my suggestion as we navigate through the perils of our world…

Do the best you can with as much information as you have

It’s not perfect…but with this mindset it can at least move you forward and forward movement is progress. Yes, progress. We are all a work-in-progress and that is a beautiful thing.

Steeping in Progress,

Megan

What is Failure?

Ah, fear and failure, not very glamorous topics.  But if you are like me you may be motivated, or stuck, by these two feelings. I was listening to a podcast recently (famous last words) and the topic of fears and failure came up.  He said, and I am paraphrasing- “Failure isn’t losing- It’s not being authentic.”

Failure is not going for it. Playing small.

“So when you play it safe & small and you are aren’t authentic, you’re a failure. And you get the chance every day to prove yourself.”  I don’t know about you but that hit me. Am I being authentic in my day to day life? Am I speaking my truth in my relationships? Do I share what’s on my mind or shy away from how I really feel? Am I seeking validation  (especially in this social media likes/followers/fans world)? Do I stuff down bigger dreams because they would be too risky? Do I avoid conversations, opportunities, creative outlets because of criticism? Oh criticism- that’s a big one.

Geared more towards wellness: Is there a class or group you would like to join but you are afraid because you may not know anyone? Won’t know what you are doing? Maybe you would like to change you the way you eat but don’t think that your family will support you.

Hello fear.

Having fear, being fearless, and in my case, learning to fearless. Curiosity and fear go hand in hand. It’s good to be curious! Its time to be curious. It’s how we grow and learn and try new things. To live authentically, your truth, you have to stop worrying about what makes others happy. This is something I will have to sit with for awhile. Heck, actually get my journal out again and stop thinking that it would be a good idea to get my journal out again.

I don’t want to play my life safe, or small, or inauthentic. And if you are already apart of our readership I would bet you don’t either. Its time to lean into that curiosity and feel the excitement fear sometimes squashes.

Tony Robbins says something pretty funny every morning on his way to his cold ice water bath.

“You’re working for me, Bitch.”

This would have been a good title lol. Yes, he says that to himself every morning. His body might be saying you don’t have to go in the bath today, you did yesterday. No body will know. OR- I worked out yesterday I don’t have to today. Nobody will know if I eat ______. I know you know what I am talking about. I dare you to say the same when that little voice of doubt creeps in.

Let’s make a decision to try to be our authentic self. Sign up for that class. Start eating in a way that makes you feel good. Reach out to that person who inspires you. You get to decide each and every day.


 

My partner here at Steeped started a private Facebook group reFOCUS |reCHARGE yesterday. If you need accountability to help you reFOCUS on what is important and reCHARGE your desire to achieve your goals, I encourage you to join, it’s not too late! You can check out Steeped In Wellness on Facebook, please comment if you would like in.

Steeping in not playing small,

Tori

**If you would like to hear more of that podcast, I highly recommend subscribing to Tim Ferris (hubba hubba). This was episode #256 with advisor to Olympians Michael Gervais.

 

 

Don’t Let Yourself Get Stuck

Every now and then I go back and revisit my notes and books from my health coaching school, IIN, to stay inspired in my journey. I need to be reignited. I opened my book right to this exercise; AH, perfect. A letter to myself. I thought if it helped me, I would share it with you. Take time to create the space you need to do it.  I need this kind of moment to set my intentions, to listen more carefully, and act in a more loving way.

Just begin.

Come back to it. Come back to it again and again. For me, once the thoughts start flowing, they build upon themselves after a good walk. Here is my start~

Dearest body of mine,

After careful thought and consideration, I hereby promise to

  • Accept you and be grateful for you the way you are
  • Fuel you with nourishing foods
  • Realize that laughter, play, and rest help you feel good
  • Exercise regularly and appropriately for my body by adding movement everyday
  • Understand that my unexpressed emotions and thoughts affect you
  • Listen to the messages you are sending me when you are tired or sick
  • Accept that I have the power to heal you
  • Realize that you deserve to be healthy
  • Cultivate a wardrobe that projects an image I am proud of
  • Nurture my relationships
  • Follow through on the little ideas that I keep in the back of my mind
  • Express gratitude to those in my life
  • Honor you as the temple of my soul

I love you so much,

X                                

Its a start!

We will always be working on our health, our wellness. Its our journey. The real question is:

What are you going to do with your health???

 

Steeping in Metta (loving kindness)

Tori

 

 

Sunny Side Up

As a teen and into my twenties, I had a different perspective about sun tanning than I do now into my *ahem* thirties. Interesting how life is like that. That feeling of invincibility in our young years sure was exciting but as a mother of two with responsibilities (whaaaa…wha), life is different. I recently provided a webinar about sun safety to some of my clients and I thought I would share some of the highlights. Since we (at least in Wisconsin) are among the longest days of the summer here, time outside is mandatory. Which means, protecting our skin is also mandatory. Here are some answers to some of your burning – haha see what I did there?? – questions.

Skin Health Colin Nora

How much unprotected sun exposure do you need to get enough Vitamin D?

The truth is, it doesn’t take much sun exposure for the body to produce vitamin D. The limit of unprotected sun exposure is recommended for no more than 10-15 minutes of exposure to the arms, legs, abdomen and back, 2-3 times a week followed by good sun protection. That amount of exposure is all that is needed. Any more exposure isn’t a benefit and your body starts disposing it to avoid an overload of the vitamin at which point your sun exposure is giving you nothing but sun damage without any of the presumed benefit.

hand with sun.jpg

How does SPF protect me?

Sunscreen can be confusing, there are many options and ingredients to pick from. There are two types – UVA & UVB that can damage the skin and increase risk of skin cancer. It’s important to know that sunscreens vary in their ability to protect again UVA/UVB.

SPF is a measure of the sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. SPF theoretically prevents reddening to the skin from sunlight 15 times longer – so SPF 15 would be about 5 hours if it would take 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red. Each person’s skin is different so each person should pick the SPF that makes sense for them.

What are the active ingredients in my sunscreen and how to do they protect me?

Active sunscreen ingredients fall into two main types – chemical and physical. Chemical ingredients such as avobenzone or benzophenone work by absorbing UV, reducing the penetration into the skin. Physical ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide stay on top of the skin and deflect US rays.

It essential for your sunscreen to offer broad spectrum protection. Which means it offers both UVA & UVB protection. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper which causes wrinkles, sagging and signs of aging in the skin.

Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • No sunscreen should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours with reapplication.
  • Water resistant and sweat resistant indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes when you are swimming or sweating. No sunscreen is fully waterproof or sweat proof. You still need to reapply often.
  • Keep in mind that the dangerous days aren’t just the ones that are hot and sunny. Up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate clouds. You can really get burned on those overcast days when you’re not thinking about the sun.
  • Cover up what you can. Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection, so make the most of it with tightly woven or knit, dark- or bright-colored fabrics, which offer the best defense. Look for UV-absorbing clothing with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) rating.
  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM

Steeping in Skin Health,

Megan

 

Resource: SkinCancer.Org

 

About Last Weekend…

If you are one of those people that can’t seem to lose the weight, that are super good and on point during the week but maybe let loose (a little or a lot) on the weekends – this one is for you. I wrote post a few weeks ago and never sent it because something else came up and I thought that the opportunity had passed. Then it occurred to me that, NO, it hasn’t passed. This situation keeps rearing it’s head in my direction in one form or another. Sometimes I am too focused on the trees and miss the forest. That’s a saying right?  So here you have it, my post from a few weeks ago.

 

Oh man, last weekend. For the second time since my baby was born, my husband and I made it out. I had friends in town and we were going to meet up for drinks and It. Was. Fun. It’s always so nice when you can catch right back up like no time has past. But as a new mom with a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, I definitely over did it! And I had to work the next morning – how did I used to do this – ALL THE TIME?  The next night we had an impressively loud thunderstorm which woke our older son, oh maybe 8 times throughout the night.

There you have it, the perfect storm.

That weekend was Easter. A holiday full of all my triggers. My triggers being all the candy and pastries; pretty much all the sweets had be in my mouth. Without the sleep I needed to have the energy I needed; I grabbed at anything and everything. I had gorged myself on breakfast sausages and Kringle because I hadn’t planned an appropriate snack for myself between church and my in-laws. By Sunday afternoon I was a zombie. I counted the minutes ‘til I could just shut my eyes.

Mom-ing is hard.

I had a Doctor appointment the following day and I heard, “We are going to need your weight and blood pressure…” Ugh, I wasn’t expecting to get on the scale. There it was, all my mistakes from the weekend in a neat tidy number. Right then and there I had to decide. Beat myself up? Or accept what was (those dang Cadbury eggs were good) and move on.

I chose grace.

I knew once I got back on track it would all even itself out.

It’s so important to not just throw in the towel, shrug your shoulders, and say why bother. Because it does. Those couple pounds turn into something more and your self esteem becomes a little less.   It’s so fun to celebrate all the good things in life. Lately, it’s friends’ new homes, babies, birthdays, or good weather. When you stop and realize that weekends are approximately 8 out of 30 days in your month, or a whooping QUARTER of the month, you realize it adds up. That’s a lot of time to be willy nilly. Prepare yourself and be patient.

Here are some oldie but goodie tips:

  • Sleep – I have to be rested to make good life choices.IMG_9493
  • Get moving – once I get a good workout in I’m less tempted to stray course.
  • Add protein – helps with sugar cravings and keeps you fuller longer.
  • Plan ahead – I gorged myself on breakfast sausages and kringle between breakfast/church/ in-laws on Easter. I know myself and I know I need a substantial snack to make it through.
  • Put the scale away for a bit

You can think you want to be thinner or healthier or whatever your goal is, but it isn’t until you think about how you want to FEEL. I want to feel good the next day. I have things to do!

Little people I want to show the world too. Projects that need attention. My days of recovering on the couch don’t even appeal to me anymore.

So whether it’s Easter, or like this weekend with Cinco de Mayo, or The Kentucky Derby, let’s choose to make smarter decisions AND have fun. If you need help, let us know! We are all in this together.

Steeping in the weekend!

Tori

 

15 Minutes

As we all are currently experiencing, this time of year can be stressful. With a to-do list longer than Santa’s naughty list, taking time out for yourself can sound overwhelming and probably completely out of the question. I totally get it, I’m there too but hear me out. I recently attended an essential oil class on gratitude. Taking time out for yourself to regroup, recenter and refocus on why you are making these extra efforts is truly important – “True giving has to include receiving or will result in burnout”. If the doing, receiving, and giving is one sided, life isn’t balanced and something will give way – potentially your health, relationships, or even your sanity. It probably seems overwhelming to think about adding one more to-do on your list but to give a little perspective, 15 minutes to dedicate solely to yourself on a daily basis could potentially solve all the world’s problems. Or, maybe just give you tcolin-treehe balance you that may be craving at the moment.

OK, so you’re going to commit, now what? What to do? Read a book, take a walk, sip some tea, page through a magazine, take a nap, zone out on Pinterest, research some new recipes, call a friend, journal, breathe. Don’t those all sound so relaxing – just reading through the list has helped calm me down.

Give yourself permission to make time for yourself this season. Comment below & share your ideas on how you will spend your 15 minutes a day!

Steeping in the Moments,

Megan

I Feel Awful!

 

On Sunday, our neighborhood had Trick or Treating. Which means kids, costumes, chaos! We had fun trooping around collecting the coveted candy. My kids are still on the fence with the ringing the doorbell/receiving candy connection but I know the inevitable is soon to come. Luckily my kids have pretty much forgot about the enticing candy hidden away on the top shelf of the cabinet but for the last three days, I have been struggling with the ever present sugar that has suddenly appeared in my house. I wish I had more self-control but sure enough, I gave in on the goods. I had my fair share and then some and felt awful on Sunday night, and the next day, the following day still. It hit me like a ton of bricks – SUGAR! I coach people all of the time who are addicted to sugar. I can appreciate and commiserate with the hangover of guilt and nausea that binging brought on. I don’t normally crave sugar but I do have cravings which are usually salty so I get it. But I feel sugar is dangerously different. The instant appeal it has on your tongue and the immediate desire for more is raging. I can feel the affects it has on me and sadly see the affects it has on my children immediately. The headache, fatigue, poor decision making skills, no motivation, and the list goes on!
candy-corn

I had enough and the candy has got to go! I have been thinking about this holiday and wondering how to make a new healthy tradition for my family. Every year we are going to fight an uphill battle with candy and sugar so starting this year – things are going to change! Here are a few ideas I have looked into to reduce or eliminate the sugar in your houses after the ghouls and goblins have left for the year:

  • Switch Witch: So apparently this has been featured on Shark Tank but the concept can be pretty easy. The day after Halloween, a witch comes to collect the candy and trades the candy for a toy, DVD, etc. that is JUST as appealing and fun.
  • Send it to the Troops: There are many organizations that are collecting the candy to send to the troops overseas to thank them for their service. Here are a few I have seen:
  • Dentists want to buy your candy! Apparently this is VERY common as we got a flier at my son’s school of a dentist offering cash money. He was then sending it to the troops as well. Ask around, you may be able to find a dentist who participates in the Buy Back Program
  • Throw it away – GASP! I know it’s very wasteful but consider the alternative.

Steeping through the holidays,

Megan

What it’s All About

The other day, I was driving home with my kids in tow. Every day is different dependent mostly on the moods of the kids. It’s a tough time of day for all of us so keeping the environment joyful and lightening the mood is my main objective. I usual try for a sing-a-long, BINGO is a favorite – a rousing game of “Eye Spy” – another favorite or just talking about the plan for the afternoon but this trip was a little different. As my 4-year-old grows day by day, so does his inquisitive manner. Always asking those dreamy, autumn-1655915_960_720thoughtful questions expecting nothing short than a perfectly thought-out answer. I am always very careful with my responses – nothing too generalized, an opportunity to teach, nothing too advanced, apathetic to his understanding.

“Mom”, I heard from the backseat as I always do, sometimes for a reason – most times to just say the word. I swear, if I had a dollar for every time I heard my name…. Any who, “Mom” he says – “What do you do when you are at work?”. Wow, very impressed. When I heard this question, I immediately started my auto-reply response and then I thought for a moment, hmmm – that response isn’t going to make sense for him and I am going to lose him and his attention (which for any 4-year-old is literally seconds). It’s difficult getting his attention and keeping it but I really wanted to ensure he knew what I did everyday that I spent away from him. I paused for a nanosecond to carefully form my words and this is what came out: “I help people become happier and healthier”. I looked up into the rear view mirror to monitor his response, and for a moment in time, he thought.

I love making positive impacts on my children, like any other parent, especially when they notice and reference me doing something healthy for myself. Although this conversation was brief and potentially not very impactful to him, it made me really happy. It also gave me a good reason to reflect on what I do, and why I do it. I love what I do and I love to talk about it – really! And although I’m not a very “talky” person, I could talk about my job…A LOT!

I understand that Health Coaching leaves-1698874_960_720is something that everyone isn’t necessarily familiar with. The complexity and diversity of coaching lies in the individual, each session is different, each person is different. We are all working toward something unique and health coaching is just that…unique. An explanation of “what” coaching is is brief but the “why” means so much more.

Because it may be something that isn’t as familiar as say a trip to the grocery store or a visit to the dentist, we are inviting everyone who is interested to learn more to schedule a complimentary introductory session. In this session, you will learn about us and we will learn about you, we will talk about the process of coaching and what to expect in the journey of working together. The introductory sessions can be scheduled on the phone or, if you are in the Milwaukee Area in person. If you are interested in health coaching and what it could do for you, feel free to reach out via email SteepedInWellness@gmail.com or via Facebook. We would love to hear from you!

Steeped In Wellness,

Meganmaple-leaf-422582_960_720

Update on my Journey

I am two weeks into my Whole30 journey. I have been trying to figure out how to describe my journey thus far. To sum it up, I would say I have been near optimal with compliance of the program. As a reminder, I started this journey for health reasons. I am motivated and ready to figure out once and for all what is causing this issue. Here is my journey so far…

KISS
My 6th grade Social Studies teacher taught me the acronym KISS – it has stuck with me all of these years. Keep it Simple Stupid. Complexity isn’t needed. I have found a lot of foods that work well for this. Frozen fish such as salmon, tilapia or shrimp are a good protein and are quick in the oven or on the stovetop. A little seasoning with a lemon slice and you are golden. I also prep my veggies ahead of time and just warm them up when I am ready to eat them. Sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, Brussels sprouts are all easy to do this.

salmon

Family Ties
I am the main chef in the family – I wouldn’t want it any other way. I try very hard to not be a short-order cook though. Although they aren’t on my meal plan, I tend to incorporate a lot of what I’m eating into their menus or vice versa. What I mean by this is if we are having tacos, we would have the same ground turkey but I enjoy mine on a lettuce wrap and they can have their shells. Same goes with spaghetti – I just make mine with zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti squash but use the same sauce and protein.

On the Run
This past week, I was challenged with a lot of travel for work. I wasn’t in the office as much as I usually am so I had to pack my breakfast, lunch and snacks accordingly. A few of my favorite go-to quick bites are Lara bars (only a few are Whole30 compliant), medjool dates, plantain chips, Justin’s individual almond butter packs, and hard boiled eggs. All are filling, easy and I look forward to eating them!

dates

Although there will eventually be an end for the me with the Whole30, I am focusing on sustainability. What practices from this journey can I keep in my life that contribute to my over health? The answer to that is everything above. I will continue to focus on simplicity, streamline the food making process and find foods that work best for each situation. Each person’s journey is different. We are all starting and ending at different points. What works for me, doesn’t necessarily work for you – and that’s ok. We are here to support you through your journeys. Reach out to us  for me information on how we can do just that! Thanks for being part of my journey!

Steeping in MY journey,

Megan