Stop the Name Calling - It's Killing Your Marriage

One common characteristic of marriages that are floundering is the seemingly unavoidable obsession to classify, characterize and otherwise categorize your spouse. This can come in the form of assigning a character trait or giving your spouse a mental health diagnosis. Does this sound familiar?

  • I think they have ADD they can’t get anything done!
  • My spouse definitely has OCD – they are obsessed with doing certain things only one way
  • They are a narcissist – they always want it their own way!

Or sometimes we put on them a label because they did something once.

  • You didn’t tell me the whole truth so you’re a liar
  • You’re late … you’re always late
  • You forgot … you never remember anything

It is easy for us to fall into this trap. One human characteristic that has proven to be extraordinarily successful is our ability to look at something and to analyze it – this ability helps us to understand the world around us and make sense of how to relate to it. But when it comes to relationships it doesn’t work very well.

The simple reason for this is when we put a label on our spouse we cease to see them as a person and start relating to them by that label. We begin to look at everything they do as a confirmation of our label and create a filter through which we only see our spouse by that particular character flaw.

Nobody likes labels! When we put them on people (especially our spouse) it keeps us from asking sincere questions and connecting on deeper levels. It also triggers a defense mechanism in our partner that causes them to withdraw, attack or even worse put a label on you. They start thinking like this …

  • You’re always critical
  • You never listen
  • You’re putting me in a box
  • You never forgive

So what can be done? Here are four suggestions:

  1.  Resist the labeling: Step back and ask the question; “what is causing this behavior – what do they want or need that they are trying to get through acting like this?”
  2. Look at yourself: Am I doing anything that is creating this behavior? What part am I responsible for?
  3. Consider your standards: Have I set the bar of performance too high? We are all flawed human beings. Relationships need grace, mercy and a heavy dose of forgiveness to grow. If your standards are too high then you will become the relationship police in your home and that relationship is never satisfying.
  4. Talk openly and honestly with your spouse about what is bothering you. Ask them to help you understand why they are the way they are and really listen with your heart to their response. It could be that they are wounded in this area and really need your love and understanding to help them heal. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing if we became part of the healing process rather than deepening the wound?

If your relationship is suffering please reach out to us. We offer a free initial consultation. Just fill out this form and we will contact you to schedule your free consultation.

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Natural Remedies for the Top 5 Aliments

Headache, Insomnia, Digestion, and More

Grow Your Own Health

Claim Your  Free Book at End of Article

 Many Years ago, it used to be that the majority of people relied on natural remedies. But then that sort of got pushed aside and modern medicine took over. There’s no doubt that modern medicine has done a lot of good.

But it’s not without its downside. Sometimes people end up over-medicated for health issues that can be treated simply and effectively at home.  A great way to treat some of the common health problems that affect people is through the natural use of plants.

These plants don’t give you the same dangerous side effects that a lot of the medications prescribed today cause. Plus, it’s easier and a lot more cost effective to turn to nature when you need healing.

There are a lot of different plants that you can grow to naturally treat your ailments and some can be applied topically while others can be brewed into teas. You should make sure that you understand how much to use, because, just like medicines from the pharmacy, there are dosing guidelines you will need to follow when using plants to treat ailments.

Headaches

A good natural treatment for a headache is the bark of a willow tree. You can grow a willow tree with a cutting from a mature tree. One of the reasons that this is effective is because it contains salicin, which is comparable to what you’ll find in aspirin. It’s also a good treatment for anything that causes you to feel pain since it works like aspirin does.

One drawback is that people who experience a reaction to aspirin could also potentially have a reaction to willow bark. It should not be used by nursing mothers or given to ill children due to the same side effects that aspirin can cause.

Lavender is a flowering plant that looks beautiful in a garden but it’s also a natural treatment for headaches - even if those headaches are migraines. It’s the oil from the plant that gives relief from the pain. It can be applied directly to the skin or inhaled by boiling the plant and inhaling the oils as they’re released. Lavender is safe to use on the skin without having to dilute it.

Another plant that you can grow to treat headaches is peppermint. This plant is used by crushing the leaves and applying the mixture to the area of the body where you feel the pain. The oils are absorbed through the skin.

If you’ve ever had to deal with cluster headaches, you know how bad these can be. These headaches, which show up and then come back repeatedly over the course of several weeks can be difficult to treat with modern medicine because as soon as you stop the treatment, you can end up with rebound headaches.

One of the best natural remedies that you can plant indoors or outdoors to help with these types of headaches is cayenne pepper. This plant contains capsaicin, which is used to relieve pain. It can be applied directly to the skin. However, you should be extremely careful to keep any of the plant from touching your face. If the plant comes in contact with your eyes, it can cause painful burning.

A side effect of this plant when applied topically is a burning sensation that does go away after a few minutes. If you’re prone to skin allergies, this may not be the right remedy for you to use.  Thyme, when made into a tea can also be used to relieve the pain associated with headaches. Bay leaves are helpful in treating headaches as well.

Insomnia

 Doctors recommend that you get between six to eight hours of sleep every night. This is what’s best for your body. When you have insomnia, it can take a toll on your personal and professional life, plus prolonged bouts of insomnia can cause your health to suffer. Persistent insomnia can lead to sleep deprivation behavior, which can be dangerous.

Fortunately, there are plants that treat this ailment. Many of these plants have a sedative qualites to them, which help relax your mind and body. As a result, you end up with a good night’s sleep.

One of these helpful plants is the lemon balm plant. If you look closely at the leaves, you’ll see how they resemble the leaves if the mint plant. This is because lemon balm is in the same family of plants as the mint. Just like mint It can be taken as a tea.

One flowering plant, that’s actually labeled as a weed is evening primrose - commonly called primrose. It is effective in treating insomnia. The flowers of the plant are colorful and quite beautiful. It’s best to grow this plant with outdoor gardening rather than indoor gardening because it thrives outdoors.

Another plant that’s well-known to aid in helping to treat insomnia is woodruff. This plant has small white flowers and is a perennial. It has a sweet scent and grows best in shade rather than direct sunlight.

Passionflower is another plant that you can grow that’s used in the treatment of insomnia. The plant has medicinal properties that are used to produce calmness and a state of relaxation, which helps you get some sleep.

There are some plants that you can grow that work toward helping you to get a good night’s sleep. These are plants that you can use during your waking hours that won’t induce sleepiness so you’ll still be able to go about your day.

What one of these plants does is it relieves stress and tension which are the leading causes of insomnia other than reasons related to diseases. This plant is rosemary and it can be grown indoor or outside but it can grow to some substantial height. So what you might want to do if you’re into indoor gardening is to start the plant inside and then transfer it outside once it gains height.

Fevers, Colds and Coughs

There can be many different reasons for your body to develop a fever. The same stands true for a cough. Unless a doctor finds that the fever has a direct cause, the only thing you can really do for it is to treat the symptom, which is the fever itself.

For the common cold, there is no cure. All you can do when you catch a cold is to try your best alleviate the symptoms. Many of the over the counter remedies that are offered can sometimes make you feel worse because they make you feel fuzzy-headed or they’ll make you feel dizzy.

Instead of reaching for the mass-produced medication, you can grow what you need to treat a fever, a cough or the common cold. And because this is a natural method, you won’t have any of those annoying side effects that come with taking medication. To treat a fever, the bark of the willow tree is good for this. Just like it treats headaches, it can also reduce your fever.

Again, the reason for this is because the bark of the tree is like aspirin with the properties it contains. But another natural remedy you can use that you can grow yourself is sunflowers. These plants make a great addition to a garden because of their beauty and multi-purpose usefulness.

The seeds from the plant can be eaten and they contain helpful qualities like some of the B vitamins, folate and zinc. Plus, they fight against cancer cells. They’re hardy and easy to grow. It’s the leaves of the plant that can be use to make a tea that lowers fevers. Besides treating the fever, the sunflower is also helpful for reducing ailments such as a cough and a cold. So if you have a fever that’s associated with a cold, then you’re getting two-fold relief with one plant.

Chamomile is another plant that you can grow that’s helpful in reducing fevers. These flowering plants look like daisies but they’re not exactly the same. They’re very hardy and easy to grow. They can be grown indoors but also flourish outside. The plant can be taken in a tea form and is good for not only reducing fever but in the treatment of a cold as well.

When you have a cold, even though it’s not a serious ailment, it can make you feel pretty miserable. Sunflowers can be used to treat this and so can ginseng. This plant is associated with Chinese medicine and has a long history of helping to treat ailments.

These his plants trigger the immune system to battle the ailment. As a result people who use it end up not being down with a cold or cough for the same length of time as those who didn’t use ginseng.

One of the annoying symptoms that always seems to come along with getting a cold is all the congestion that just makes you feel miserable. You don’t have to put up with that if you grow your own medicinal plants. Peppermint is a natural decongestant that contains menthol, which is the ingredient you’ll see in many of the over the counter medications that are used to treat cold symptoms.

A surprising plant that’s effective for a cold is parsley. This plant helps to minimize the symptoms and it stimulates your immune system at the same time. While these plants can be grown outdoors, they are attractive to outdoor animals like rabbits so you’ll want to protect them. Besides treatment for colds, this plant is great for relieving the symptoms associated with UTIs.

There’s nothing as annoying as a cough that comes along with a cold. Even after the cold is long gone the cough will often stubbornly remain in place. That’s because your upper respiratory system has been irritated.  Fennel is a plant that belongs with the celery family and is effective for treating coughs. This plant needs a lot of sunlight. It can be grown indoors but is better suited for outside gardening. Not only will you find this plant useful for treating coughs, but it can be a tasty addition to meals as well.

Anise is a small growing plant that’s perfect for growing indoors. To use this plant to treat a cough, you would use the seeds. After mashing the seeds, you would let them steep as if you were making a tea. Drinking the liquid calms a cough.

Thyme is also successfully used for treating coughing. This is a sturdy plant that grows easily. It’s a perennial plant and can be made into a tea . The reason that this plant works so well is because it calms muscle spasms. When you cough, especially repeatedly, this is caused by smooth muscle spasms. The thyme relaxes those muscles so you don’t feel like you have to cough.

Constipation and Diarrhea

When you are struggling with constipation, it can make you feel absolutely miserable. It can cause bloating, stomach cramps and make you feel sluggish. What happens when you take over the counter medication to treat this ailment is the side effects can often swing you all the way to the other end of the spectrum and you end up with diarrhea.

It might surprise you to know that a very effective plant that you can grow to treat constipation is aloe vera. Although this plant is widely known for its topical uses, the latex of the plant is extremely effective in curing constipation. One plant that’s considered a weed but is effective to treat constipation is the dandelion. The root of the dandelion is a natural laxative that won’t give you those harsh side effects like you get with over the counter medications. 

To get the benefit from this plant, you would need to boil the root. Be careful, it doesn’t take much to be effective. You only need about a teaspoon for every cup of boiling water. Be sure you strain out the root parts before you  pour it into a cup. Mild cases are often resolved with one to two cups of the tea.

To treat diarrhea naturally, you need to make a tea from blackberry leaves. These are very hardy plants that can be grown indoors or out. You can also use the leaves from a raspberry plant if you prefer that over growing blackberries.

Treating Skin Ailments

You want to take care of your skin because it’s what keeps germs from entering your body. There are several types of skin ailments that can be effectively treated with the use of plants. If you burn yourself cooking in the kitchen or through some other task, you’ll want to use an aloe vera plant.

To treat the burn, you break one of the leaves of the plant and use the gel contained within to cover the burn. Lavender is another plant that, like aloe vera, can be effectively used to treat non-serious burns. Besides burns, there are other skin ailments that can cause you discomfort. For example, anyone who’s ever dealt with eczema knows how irritating it can be.

Dandelions can be used to treat this skin condition as well as peppermint. You would use the dandelion as a tea to treat eczema. The oil from a peppermint plant is applied topically to the affected area. The oil reduces the itching as well as the inflammation caused by the condition. The goldenrod flower has also been used to treat eczema.

Along with skin irritants like burns and eczema, you might battle fungal conditions. This is used topically to treat the fungal infection. Chamomile, when used as a bath can be used as an anti-fungal medication. Cloves are also good for treating fungal conditions.  Oregano leaves can also be used to treat fungal infections especially those that infect the toenails or fingernails. This plant can be grown indoor or outdoors also as well as a food spice.

If you are like me and chose to heal naturally "when possible" you will want to check out my Healing Juice Recipe book.  It is my FREE gift to you .  Simply tell me where to send it in the form below ( Name and email address)   and I will send it to your email box immediately. 

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Thanks for following Total Wellness Resource Center.  We strive to be your go-to source for information on how you can live a healthier and more fulfilled  life.   

 

5 Foods That Should Be On Your Grocery List

What Makes Them So Important?

 

“We are what we eat”, or so the saying goes. Different foods help our bodies to grow, to heal, and to keep the immune system running properly. More than that, they stop our bodies from falling apart: the absence of many different nutrients can lead to various physical ailments. It’s really important to eat healthily, so let’s look at five of the best fruits and vegetables to include in your diet.

  1. Broccoli: Green vegetables are widely considered among the healthiest foods we can eat, and broccoli is definitely one of the most nutrient-rich green vegetables. It’s a great source of vitamins C and K, as well as folate, vitamin B and fiber. In addition, it contains potassium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, protein and calcium.

Broccoli can assist in lowering cholesterol levels which improves cardiovascular health. It supports the body’s detoxification system, aids vitamin D uptake and may also reduce our chance of cancer.

2.   Blueberries: Blueberries have a low glycemic index (GI) which means they have a low impact on our blood sugar levels., so you won’t get a sugar rush from eating blueberries. Eating foods with a low glycemic index is also believed to reduce the risk of developing type-II diabetes as well as coronary heart disease.

Blueberries are also a very rich source of antioxidants, which are thought to help reduce the risk of developing cancer. They are a good source of vitamin K, manganese and vitamin C too, placing them high on the nutrient-density scale.

     3. Spinach: Spinach is one of the best green vegetables for your health. It contains a huge quantity of nutrients, and offers several specific health benefits.  Among the most concentrated nutrients are magnesium, folate, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, protein and zinc.

Spinach may help reduce the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, meaning it may help reduce our susceptibility to allergies. The vitamin K, magnesium and calcium content of spinach is good for maintaining healthy bones and there are also antioxidants in spinach that help remove harmful free radicals from the body.

     4. Peas: Green peas are another fantastic source of nutrients. They contain a huge range of nutrients in high quantities, including manganese, fiber, vitamin K and C, phosphorus, protein, copper, iron and zinc.

Peas can help to regulate blood sugar levels thanks to their fiber and protein content. Fiber and protein slow down the pace of digestion, which also means that carbohydrates are digested more slowly too. Peas are also known to reduce the chance of developing cardiovascular disease and to help protect against stomach cancer.

     5. Apples: Apples are a fantastic source of fiber which helps promote a healthy digestive system. This also aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels. They are also a great source of vitamin C. Although apples aren’t as nutrient-rich as some other fruits and vegetables, they are thought to have both anti-cancer and anti-asthma properties. In addition, they’re good for cardiovascular health.

You have many options to what you eat.  Make certain you are eating a balanced menu that feeds your body the nutrients you need to have a long and healthy life.  Check this recipe out for a delicious and healthy meal choice. .

Broccoli Spinach Salad

Total 10 mins

 Yield 2 servings

This tasty Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Ranch is the perfect blend of savory sweetness!

Ingredients

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 4 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2-4 TBSP dried cranberries
  • 2-4 TBSP roasted sunflower seeds (I used unsalted)
  • black pepper, to taste (optional)

POPPY SEED RANCH DRESSING:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of buttermilk (extra if desired)
  • 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp garlic powder, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Instructions ;

  1. Start with the dressing (skip if using premade)
  2. Ranch dressing always tastes it’s absolute best made ahead of time. Whisk and chill for a few hours before serving or make things simple by tossing it together the night before.
  3. Peel 1 clove of garlic, then smash and mince it into a paste.
  4. Season with salt.
  5. Combine salted garlic paste with remaining dressing ingredients and whisk well.
  6. Pop in the fridge to chill for a few hours for flavors to set.
  7. Wash + dry spinach.
  8. Combine with broccoli, blueberries, dried cranberries, avocado, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds.
  9. Toss with dressing and serve.
  10. Season with black pepper, to taste.

Notes

This recipe yields one extra-large personal salad or 2 smaller side salads.

This dressing works with both fresh and dried herbs, so absolutely use what fresh herbs you have on hand. I’ll include measurements for dried, which are a little stronger in flavor, so when using fresh you’ll simply increase the amount to taste. Enjoy!

 

 

        

Is Kale the True Superfood?

Or Is There More To The Story?

I am thrilled to learn from the latest research that there are 10 Superfoods Better for you Than Kale. Yippee - since I failed to ever become its fan.  And, yes, this made me an outsider because in the food world, the biggest celebrity of all has been kale.  In fact, I heard Kale referred to as the Lady Gaga of leafy greens.  Don’t get me wrong ...... it has its benefits but the brilliant marketing behind this leafy green has elevated it beyond its star quality - Here’s a report of the 10 leafy green cousins that researchers say pack a greater nutritional wallop:

Whole Story

Whole Story

(As reported by Eat This, Not That) 

Collard Greens:

A staple vegetable of Southern U.S. cuisine, collard greens also boast incredible cholesterol-lowering benefits — especially when steamed. A recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research compared the effectiveness of the prescription drug Cholestyramine to steamed collards. Incredibly, the collards improved the body’s cholesterol-blocking process by 13 percent more than the drug! Of course, that won’t do you any good if you insist on serving them with ham hocks….

Romaine Lettuce: 

Even more so than its cousin kale, the humble Romaine lettuce packs high levels of folic acid, a water-soluble form of Vitamin B that’s proven to boost male fertility. A study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility found supplemental folic acid to significantly increase sperm counts. Get the man in your life to start craving Caesar salads, and you may soon have a baby Julius on board. (Ladies, this green packs health benefits for you, too! Folate also plays a role in battling depression, so change out your kale for Romaine.

Parsley:

 Yes, that leafy garnish that sits on the side of your plate—the one they throw away after you eat the rest of your meal—is a quiet superfood, so packed with nutrients that even that one sprig can go a long way toward meeting your daily requirement for vitamin K. Moreover, research suggests the summer-y aroma and flavor of chopped parsley may help control your appetite. A study in the journal Flavourfound participants ate significantly less of a dish that smelled strongly of spice than a mildly scented version of the same food. Adding herbs, like parsley, creates the sensory illusion that you’re indulging in something rich—without adding any fat or calories to your plate.

Leaf lettuce:

The nutritional Clark Kent of the salad bar, this common and unsuspecting leafy green is ready to take its place among the superfoods for weight loss. Two generous cups of lettuce provides 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement for strong, healthy bones. A report from the Nurses’ Health Study suggests that women who eat a serving of lettuce every day cut the risk of hip fracture by 30 percent than when compared with eating just one serving a week.

Chicory:   

Chicory is a family of bitter greens, but its most well-known member is radicchio, the small red or purple leaf that comes in a head about the size of a softball. It’s one of the best dietary sources of polyphenols—powerful micronutrients that serve a role in preventing disease. A study in the Journal of Nutritionfound that people who consume 650 mg a day of polyphenols have a 30 percent chance at living longer than those who consume less than that. A cup of chicory leaves clocks in at about 235 mg , so consider adding a little leafy red into your leafy greens. 

Spinach:

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a 180 gram serving of boiled spinach provides 6.43 mg of iron, the muscle mineral—that’s more than a 6 oz hamburger patty! Recent research also suggest compounds in the leaf membranes called thylakoids may serve as a powerful appetite suppressant. A recently published long-term study at Lund University in Sweden found that having a drink containing thylakoids before breakfast could significantly reduce cravings and promote weight loss. On average, the women who took the extract lost 5.5 pounds more than the placebo group over the course of three months.

 

Beet greens:

Yes, the stuff they cut off and throw in the garbage before charging you an arm and a leg for “beet salad.” A scant cup of the bitter green serves up nearly 5 grams of fiber—that’s more than you’ll find in a bowl of Quaker oats! Researchers at the University of Leeds found that risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower for every 7 grams of fiber consumed. Try them in stir frys and eat to your heart’s content!

 

Chard:

Sounds like “burnt.” It’s not as fun a name to drop as, say, “broccolini,” but it might be your best defense against diabetes. Recent research has shown that these powerhouse leaves contain at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins–anti-inflammatory compounds that could offer protection from type 2 diabetes. Researchers from the University of East Anglia analyzed questionnaires and blood samples of about 2,000 people and found that those with the highest dietary intakes of anthocyanins had lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation.

 

Chinese Cabbage:

Taking the silver medal in the powerfood Olympics is Chinese cabbage, also called Napa or celery cabbage. Rich sources of highly-available calcium and iron, cruciferous vegetables like the cabbage have the powerful ability to “turn off” inflammation markers thought to promote heart disease. In a study of more than 1,000 Chinese women, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables (about 1.5 cups per day) had 13 percent less inflammation than those who ate the least.

Super Hero Watercress:

The top dog, the unrivaled champion, the chairman of the cutting board, watercress may also be the closest thing yet to a true anti-aging food. Gram for gram this mild-tasting and flowery-looking green contains four times more beta carotene than an apple, and a whopping 238 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin K per 100 grams—two compounds that keep skin dewy and youthful. The beauty food is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate), which research suggests can fight cancer. Results from an eight-week trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest daily supplementation of 85 grams of raw watercress (that’s about two cups) could reduce DMA damage linked to cancer by 17 percent. Exposure to heat may inactivate PEITC, so it’s best to enjoy watercress raw in salads, cold-pressed juices, and sandwiches.

This report is a great example how "Marketing" can skew the facts to benefit one's own interest.  Keep on track of the facts and sign up for our newsletter below. 

Summer is Here

Lose 5, 10, 15 Pounds .....Fast

Learn the secret of losing those last few pounds or simply how to kick start your journey to a healthier you.

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Have You Taken Your Beta Endorphines Today?

Exercise... Today's New  Prozac

 

"I love my morning endorphins with a dose of a healthy breakfast"

"I love my morning endorphins with a dose of a healthy breakfast"

Exercise, in general, can have many emotional benefits, but a good dose of cardio has the most powerful impact on your mental state. If you are a cardio enthusiast , you know the feeling – before your get your heart rate up you may have felt tired or stressed about certain life events, then after you are finished you feel fantastic!

Our minds are very powerful. Our minds control our thoughts, attitude, and actions, which can often influence our physical health. Of course, any form of cardio is great exercise for losing weight and building your cardiovascular health, but it also has benefits to the inner essence of our being. Here's how:

1) Decreases Stress

Stress is a mental state of mind. No matter how you may hate to admit it or believe it, you do cause your own stress. When you allow the situations in life to affect you internally, you have given power to that particular situation by feeling stress.

Cardio allows you to focus more on your breathing and your body movement. The deep breathing soothes the feelings of fear and/or anxiety that are associated with stress. Exercise is like a release button to the stress that accumulates in your body.

2) Increases Self-Esteem

When you are exercising on a regular basis, your self-esteem slowly starts to increase. You start to feel good about yourself, whether it is the weight loss, weight maintenance, or the health benefits that you receive.

As you have the energy and endurance to exercise, it gives you a sense of needing to take care of your body, so you are less likely to eat foods that are not good for you, or partake in any unhealthy behavior. You see the benefits that exercise gives you, and you have a sense of pride and respect for your body.

3) Increases Feeling of Freedom

Exercising is a great way to feel free – free from all the challenges and obstacles that life sometimes delivers. When you are focused on your exercise, there is a sense of freedom. You can go as hard or as light as you want, and no one and no thoughts can hinder this freedom.

You automatically feel a sense of release from the demanding career, , nagging responsibilities, and looming deadlines.  Even if for only a moment, you are free and in your own place of silence and calmness that is soothing to both your body and mind. Sometimes it takes physical activity to really quiet our minds – something that is not easy to achieve in modern society.

4) Decreases Depression

When you are moving your body and getting active, your brain automatically releases beta endorphins. Beta endorphins are neurotransmitters in the brain that are affected during depression. In depression, the neurotransmitters are not firing properly, and a feeling of overall wellness is decreased.

This is the reason why many feel an “exercise’ high” after a great workout. It is a complete feeling of peacefulness and happiness, as if all the problems of the day have actually disappeared.

So get started and get healthy......but first, check out this video from WebMD and find your target heart rate so you can get the most out o your exercise.

http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/prevention-15/heart-healthy/video-target-heart-rate-explained


If you have a great story on how exercise changed your life please submit your story  in  the commentbox below or email us at connect#totalwellnesscenter.net  Your feedback is very important to us.
 

 

5 Healthy Breakfast Tips

That Will Help You Lose Weight

breakfast.jpg

Start Your Day Out Right  

If you want to lose weight, or you just want to get healthy, then breakfast should be number one on your list. Even if you're exercising every day, you could be sabotaging your plans by skipping breakfast! And, if you do eat breakfast every day, you may be choosing the wrong foods. Here are 5 healthy breakfast tips to make that first meal of the day a healthy one.

  • Never Skip Breakfast: This is number one on the list of healthy breakfast tips for a very good reason! You may think you're shaving calories off your day by missing breakfast, but it just leaves you more likely to snack on unhealthy foods throughout the morning. Above this, breakfast kickstarts your metabolism, making your body work harder to burn off calories from the meals you eat through the rest of the day. Start with a combination of lean protein and simple carbs with a serving of fruit and you will be set until Lunch time.

 

  • Avoid Sugar: Many of us wrongly assume that all breakfast cereals are healthy. This is far from the truth: many of them are overloaded with sugar. This can lead to weight gain and energy spikes that will leave you feeling sleepy by lunch time. A simple trick to alleviating sweet attacks is to eat ½ an avocado with light salt…..this will leave you satisfied and the healthy fats are much better for you in the long run.

 

  • Don't Drink Too Much Juice: Although fruit juice is good for you, this doesn't mean that it's free from calories. The sugar in fruit juice can cause an energy spike, so stick to a small glass and drink water to hydrate you for the day. Drinking more water has the added benefit of helping you to feel fuller and avoid snacking.  If you choose Juice make certain it is fresh squeezed juice with added greens.  See my Juicing guide to get amazing healthy recipes.

 

  • Start your day like you are starting a race.  Think of breakfast as a kick-start fuel for your day, and start with healthy foods that'll give your body the nutrients you need to sustain energy.  This means avoiding processed or junk food that’ll leave you feeling sluggish at work. Processed foods are most foods that come from a box or can…….. Go Fresh

 

  •  Include A Few Superfoods: Superfoods are ingredients known to greatly decrease your risk of developing a range of diseases. Thankfully, many of these are perfect for breakfast. Here are a few top ingredients to get you going: oats, yogurt, veggies ( love Breakfast salads), berries, nuts and seeds. Even if you only have a handful of these ingredients, it's a good way to make sure you get something healthy into every day.

 

If all these healthy breakfast tips seem time consuming for your busy schedule, remember to plan ahead. If necessary, prepare your breakfast the night before to make it as easy as possible for you to stick to a healthy diet. Watch for my up and coming plan and prepare blog. 

 I am always looking for new healthy breakfast recipes so if you have one you’d like to share with our readers please submit it to connect@totalwellnesscenter.net and write Recipe in the subject line.  

 

As always , we love to hear from you so feel free to write us in the comment box below.  Have a healthy day.

 

 

 

 

 

The One Superfood That's Actually Worth The Money (According to Registered Dietitians)

We love playing around with superfoods in the kitchen, but it can get expensive. We asked registered dietitians to weigh in on their absolute favorite, so you can kick your collection off on the right note.

Article by Liz Moody

Turmeric

Photo: Stocksy

Photo: Stocksy

I think turmeric is worth it. I sprinkle it everywhere—in smoothies, teas, on roasted veggies and soups and marinades too. The mood benefits are insane (curcumin, the active ingredient, has been found as beneficial for mood disorders as Prozac), as are the anti-inflammatory, whole-body benefits. Black pepper also increases turmeric absorption, so i try to have a sprinkle of it wherever possible. Try to buy organic, and the whole root will be more nutritious than most shelf-stable powders. 

Carolyn Brown, R.D., founder of FoodTrainers

Cacao

I'm a big believer in sourcing the highest quality and unadulterated as well as sustainably and ethically sourced ingredients that provide the most bioavailable and absorbable nutrients, and this alone usually comes with a hefty price tag. It can be hard to factor quality today, though, with the explosion of superfood products and companies. If I'm being completely honest, though, the superfood that I use almost on a regular basis is cacao. There is nothing I crave more that provides me with the core minerals, mood-lifting, and energizing benefits, and for that result I will happily pay top dollar for both the fermented raw bean, or unprocessed raw bar that has been sweetened with unrefined sugars. 
 

Alle Weil, AADP, founder of Flora Ex Machina

Flaxseed

Photo: Stocksy

Photo: Stocksy

Flaxseeds are best absorbed when ground and provide many benefits to the diet. They are a great source of fiber and help things move along in the digestive tract. Flaxseeds are also are a great vegan source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are protective of the cardiovascular system by preventing and healing vascular damage related to inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of ground flaxseeds are not only limited to the cardiovascular system but assist the body in fighting free radicals, which lead to oxidative stress. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods helps to reduce the risk of certain cancers and diseases related to chronic inflammation. Flaxseeds are also a source of plant-based protein and are easily integrated into the diet. Throw them into a smoothie, top your oatmeal or yogurt with them, or add them to healthified baked goods or pancakes. 

Miranda Hammer, R.D., founder of Crunchy Radish

Spices

Spices! While spices aren't a solo superfood, collectively they are antioxidant superstars, and I try and incorporate them into everything. Remember, antioxidants are the "good guys" that scavenge dangerous free radicals that can otherwise cause damage on the cellular level. Plus they add a ton of delicious natural flavor to any given dish. If you can't take the heat, remember that spices don't have to actually be spicy. Think cinnamon, turmeric, basil, garlic powder, etc. I add cinnamon to my morning coffee, oatmeal, and smoothies. Garlic powder and turmeric are great in homemade soups, whole grain pastas, vegetable sides, and even omelets. The key is to make sure your spice cabinet is stocked and easily accessible, so you remember to use them!
 

Leah Silberman, R.D., founder of Tovita Nutrition

Collagen

I think purchasing superfoods is a wise investment into our health. When we place importance on consuming superfoods, naturally nutrient dense and full of health-boosting phytochemicals, we are really investing well into our health and prevention of diseases! If I could pick one in particular, I'd have to say collagen powder. It is incredibly rich in amino-acids that provide the body with many health-boosting benefits, and the powder dissolves so well into all kinds of foods it's virtually undetectable (unlike many other protein powders on the market).  
 

—Cristal Sczebel, CHN, founder of Nutritionist In The Kitch

Bone broth

Bone broth.jpg

Bone broth is truly a superfood, it has so many healing properties. While the bones are simmering, collagen, glycine, and glutamine all get released into the broth. The collagen in the broth helps your skin, hair, and nails look beautiful. It evens helps reduce cellulite and wrinkles! On top of that, the nutrients in bone broth help to heal your gut (which boosts your immune system since about 70 to 80 percent of your immune system lives in your gut!) and reduce inflammation.

Bone broth also contains a variety of different nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and iron that are bioavailable to your body. You know that expensive supplement glucosamine and chondroitin that's recommended for joint health? Well, bone broth is loaded with it. That doesn't even complete the list of benefits—bone broth can also help with sleep, detoxification, metabolism, and anxiety.

Drink a cup daily or add it to your soups, stews, or veggie dishes. If you're going to purchase bone broth only, purchase homemade batches, from a co-op or a quality meat market. Even better, it's very simple to make yourself (and far more affordable!). 

Britni Thomas, R.D., of Nutritional Weight & Wellness

Chia seeds

A great source of omega-3 fatty acid ALA (the plant-based form), these tiny seeds are also packed with filling fiber and even provide some calcium and protein. They’re great for adding staying power to oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies. Because they absorb so much water and easily form a gel, they’re also useful as an egg substitute or binding agent in baked goods or as a simple way to thicken sauces and beverages.
 

—Jessica Cording, R.D., founder of Jessica Cording Nutrition

One Day of Clean Eating - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and 2 healthy snacks all under 1500 calories

Breakfast

Egg roll ups with mango 

  • 3 whole cage free eggs
  • 5 Egg whites
  • 3 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt
  • 1 peeled, seeded, and diced mango 
  • 3 diced green onions (white part)
  • 1 oz  shredded cheddar cheese ( optional) 
  • 4TBS chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder 
  • Himalayan pink sea salt
  • Black pepper 
  • Corn tortillas

Place 2-3 Eggs & 5 Egg Whites in a medium bowl and mix together with a fork, add greek yogurt, cumin, onion powder.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in 1/2 of the diced mango along with chopped green onions into egg mixture. Heat a nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Stir in eggs and cook until scrambled, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. 

Slightly Toast the tortillas in a skillet over med-high heat for about a minute, or until heated. Transfer to a plate. Divide eggs among the tortillas, roll, and top with cilantro, 1/2 mango, and a spoonful of greek yogurt if desired.

Snack

  • 1 slice Ezekiel toast with 1 tbsp. peanut or almond butter (Ezekeil is not gluten free, so avoid it if you are going gluten free)
  • ½ banana

Lunch

Avocado Chicken Salad

  • 1/2 Avocado, sliced
  • 4 oz. grilled chicken
  • 1 cup arugula 
  • 1/4 shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 shredded jicama
  • 1/4  peeled and diced  cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil & balsamic vinegar
  • Mix ingredients in medium sized bowl and serve.

May be served on cucumber slices.

Snack  

  • 1 medium apple and handful raw almonds

Dinner  

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl  

Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets - 4-6 oz each 

Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp liquid Amino (braggs) 
  • 2 Tbsp rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sherry
  • 1½ tsp honey
  • 1½ tsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

The bowl

  • 1 cup of cooked brown Jasmine
  • 2 cups fresh greens (I use arugula but spinach is great) 
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh edamame, shelled 
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, (white and green parts)

Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside. In a small pan over medium heat combine liquid amino, rice vinegar, sherry and honey. While mixture is heating,  in a separate small bowl whisk together cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch mixture to amino mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to stir frequently until sauce reaches desired thickness (about 2-3 min.) Place salmon fillets (skin side down) on prepared baking sheet, brush on sauce . Reserving any unused teriyaki sauce to drizzle over finished bowl. Place salmon in oven and cook for approx. 12- 15 min.  You can remove skin if desired after cooked. To assemble bowls, heat up cooked rice and divide between bowls. Top with salmon, greens, carrot, edamame, avocado, sesame seeds, and green onions. Drizzle any remaining teriyaki sauce over bowl if desired.

Salmon Recipe  inspired by Simply Healthy Kitchen

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Clean Eating Course 101

From diet books and recipes to your Instagram feed, the clean eating trend seems to be everywhere lately. Read on to find out what it's all about and if it's really worth trying.

Defining Clean Eating

Maybe a new raw cafe has sprung up in your neighborhood, or you read about Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Either way, eating "clean" is gaining traction — but what does it actually mean, and how is it good for the body?

Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things (for instance, fewer calories or more protein), the idea is more about being mindful of the food's pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.

What Counts as Processed Foods?

First, let's start with the definition of processed food. "Processing" includes:

Additions of any kind — everything from salt, sugar, and fat to aid flavor and mouthfeel, to preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly, to the vitamins enriching everything from beverages to breakfast cereal. 
Changing the form of the natural food — for instance, removing the bran and germ from whole grains to create refined bread, mashing apples into applesauce, or stir-frying veggies.
Foods with components manufactured in a lab. (You probably don't need clarification on this one, but if the ingredient list has stuff you can't recognize or pronounce, that's a pretty solid indication that it's not natural).

In that light, processed food includes everything from a hot dog (where do we even begin?) to jarred organic pasta sauce and instant oatmeal. And yes, changing the form of natural food includes cooking as well, so even your steamed broccoli is technically processed, albeit minimally.

So why, exactly, is processing so bad — especially if it's something as simple as adding heat?

Why Is Processed Food Bad?

In two words: It's not. Or rather, not categorically.

"Processing is not always bad," says Jessica Fanzo, assistant professor of nutrition at Columbia University. "Often processing removes toxins or bacteria, or allows for us to eat certain types of foods in off-season due to freezing or canning." (Pasteurized milk, anyone?) Processing "can also include altering the consistency or taste of food to make it more appealing," Fanzo adds. So that delicious post-workout kale-celery-spinach- banana smoothie  you had? Enjoy that virtuous feeling knowing that you were likely able to down that giant amount of greens because your treat was somewhat processed.

Still, even though pasteurized milk, kale smoothies, and instant oatmeal are all processed, that doesn't make them on par with doughnuts and Diet Coke.

"The key is to avoid foods that are 'ultra-processed,'" says Fanzo — basically, anything food-product-like or ready-to-heat."

The Problem with Ultra-Processed Foods

As you can probably guess, the health problems associated with ultra-processed food are numerous. Foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to cancer and infertility; highly processed foods are stripped of nutrients needed for overall health; and heavily modified food tends to have additives that overstimulate the production of dopamine, the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, perpetuating a negative cycle of constant junk food cravings.

However, there's added reason for pause when reaching for the Pop-Tart.

In a 2011 article published in the Journal of the World Public Health Nutrition Association, Carlos Monteiro, professor at the Department of Nutrition of the School of Public Health at the University of Sao Paulo, argues that having ultra-processed foods touted in a way that makes it seem good for you — less sodium! no trans fats! vitamin-enriched! — actually causes more damage to our collective understanding of healthy eating than we may realize. Considering the increasing abundance of "healthfully" enhanced products in the grocery aisles (or perhaps even your refrigerator), Monteiro may be on to something.

The Perks of Clean Eating

Thanks to extensive research that has linked eating whole foods with good health, "we do know that largely plant-based diets are healthy," says Fanzo. Multiple studies have shown that diets heavy on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, there's research linking diets high in fruits and veggies to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair — as if you needed more motivation.

Clean eating.jpg

How to Eat Clean

Unprocessed foods include:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Dried legumes
  • Nuts
  • Farm-fresh eggs

Minimally processed foods include:

  • Unrefined grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta, popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed
  • Hormone-free dairy
  • Oils

Pesticide-free organic food is preferable to avoid consuming added hormones or chemicals. It's also important to note that eating clean doesn't give you free reign to eat endless quantities. They may be healthy, but they still have calories!

"You always have to think about portion size," says Marissa Lippert, RD, owner of Nourish Kitchen + Table, a seasonally influenced cafe in New York City. "I always encourage people to think of their plate in terms of fifths: three-fifths should be fruits and vegetables, one-fifth should be protein, and one-fifth healthy carbs."

How to Shop Clean

Realistically, eating clean doesn't mean you need to eat everything raw and straight from the ground. It means choosing minimally processed foods with few ingredients on the label, if it has a label at all.

If you're shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, that's always a good start, says Lippert.

When perusing the main aisles for packaged foods, ask yourself: Where did this food or its ingredients come from? How much has it been processed or handled? The ingredient label should be short, and all ingredients should be recognizable. Scan for easy-to-avoid additives like artificial coloring and flavors.

How to Cook Clean

Cooking does alter your food, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"While it's true that some nutrients are lost during cooking, like vitamin C, other nutrients are increased when foods are cooked, like lycopene, so it's best to eat a wide variety of foods, in both their raw and cooked forms," says EA Stewart, RD, who blogs at The Spicy RD.

When cooking food, "the focus should be on maintaining the integrity of what you are consuming and avoiding high-fat cooking methods such as deep-frying or stewing in animal or vegetable fats," says Miranda Hammer, a New York City registered dietitian and author of food blog The Crunchy Radish.

When cooking, opt for flash-cook methods such as stir-frying and ones without additives like steaming. For fruits and veggies, raw is best, but steaming is a close second in terms of preserving nutritional value and keeping the food's natural integrity.

The Paleo Lifestyle

The Paleo diet, which promotes eating only foods as our ancestors did during the Paleolithic era, is similar to a clean diet in that they both advocate whole foods. However, the Paleo diet limits food to pre-Industrial Revolution, meaning it prohibits all grains (not just refined ones), legumes, and dairy products, which clean eating does not.

While there are many personal testimonials that Paleo works, some experts are skeptical. "I don't think we need to all eat meat," says Fanzo. Moreover, "banishing major food groups makes no sense from a physiologic point of view. It sets a person up for failure and rebounding weight."

The Whole 9 Lifestyle and Whole 30

Founded in 2009 by a couple in Texas, the Whole 9 lifestyle is based on nine principles that contribute to a balanced life. Nutrition is one of the core factors, and the lifestyle's eating recommendation is one of whole foods, like meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts, and seeds.

If you're new to Whole 9, it kicks off with a 30-day detox called Whole 30, in which whole foods are eaten but all alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, and dairy are eliminated to "push the reset button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you've been making."

Experts like Fanzo see the elimination of entire food groups (as with the Paleo diet) as problematic. For some people, though, a short cut-off may help them get in the right "healthy eating" mind-set.

"If a brief, up to one week abstinence from certain foods — not all foods! — helps people get in the right mind-set to eat healthier, and they don't have any medical conditions, then I think this is fine from a health and nutrition standpoint," says Stewart. "However I don't think it is necessary, and in many cases it sets people up for an 'all or nothing' approach to their diets."

To receive the latest information on "Clean Eating" sign up for our newsletter.  We love to hear from you so feel free to drop us a line in the comment box below.

Be Healthy,

Total Wellness Resource Center 

Original article was published in Fitness Magazine . Author : Joselyn Voo

From Rescue Dog to Guide Dog - Part 4

Buddy Flunks Doggy Day Care

You would think that a dog who was picked up off the streets would have a certain swag and street smarts - you know; a confident air that says I’ve seen it all and I’m top dog around here! But that’s not Buddy. We were told by Brian from “Way of the Dog” that we needed to take Buddy to the Dog Parks about 60 times and help him get socialized.

Buddy is a BIG 90 pound fearsome looking dog who, when people see him coming down the sidewalk, grab little fluffy and run. Buddy looks like that enormous bald guy in the prison yard bench pressing 1000 pound weights with a swastika tattooed on his forehead,. NOBODY messes with that guy! So naturally what I expect when Buddy steps foot into the Dog Park is the sea of K9s parting like he was a four footed Moses.

Wrong! A group of runt dogs greeted Buddy at the gate and Buddy turned tail and ran. It was embarrassing. So we took Buddy to the doggy day care center where they have a meticulous way of socializing dogs by introducing them into the pack. Buddy just about leaped out of his skin when those fifty sets of noses poked and prodded him of like he was a kielbasa at an encased meat convention. The sweet young manager of the facility politely turned to us and said; “I guess Buddy doesn’t like the environment”. In other words get your insecure piece of dog fur out of here. My dog flunked Doggy Day Care!

Me:        Buddy flunked Doggy Day Care

Brian:    So take him to the Dog Parks

Me:        You don’t understand, he’s like the nerd that all the bullies pick on and steal his lunch money

Brian:    Then you need to protect him

Me:        Ugh?

Brian:    Yeah, you need to be the pack leader that comes to his rescue so that he feels safe enough to interact with the other dogs

Me:        Me a pack leader? How do I do that?

Brian:    If you see another dog getting aggressive step in a give them a whack with the leash in your hand.

Me:        Won’t the owners mind?

Brian:    If they’re not paying attention to their dogs then they're idiots … so whack their dog. (Brian doesn’t mess around when it comes to dog training)

Brian explained that Dogs get aggressive when they are insecure so if we wanted to keep Buddy from getting into some bad habits (like ripping the throat out of the neighbor’s dog) then we need to make sure he knows he’s got back up. Kind of like Starsky and Hutch. (Note here – this is a reference to very old TV buddy cop drama) One of them won't go blasting into the drug dealers den unless he knows he's got the other one watching his back.

So once again, to help Buddy become the Guide Dog he was meant to be, we need to step up and learn something new; like how to become his bodyguard. Funny – I thought it was going to be the other way around. But somehow I think if we can pull this off he may just be that dog I want at my side when I encounter a scary person in a dark alley. Because we’ve got each other’s backs.

Please subscribe to the Total Wellness Resource Center's weekly newsletter so that you never miss one of Buddy's Blogs as well as all the other powerful information we share on Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Career Coaching, Spiritual Growth and Marriage and Relationship Insights. 

Alone – In a Relationship

The Principle of New Beginnings

The first step toward breaking free from the habits and patterns of the past is to believe you can. I know this statement may seem blatantly obvious and it would be easy to gloss over it looking for some deeper wisdom but I strongly encourage you to pause and reflect on this principle. Or as Henry Ford said:

Have you ever been thwarted in a goal that you firmly believed you could accomplish? When I say believe I don’t mean that you mouthed some words or half-heartedly put yourself to it. What I mean by belief is that deep in your soul you knew that you could do it. It was never a matter of if but only when. Those of us that bring this kind of belief to a challenge will overcome any obstacle to realize our vision. That belief is the fertile soil from which dreams germinate, sprout, and produce lasting fruit.

So the first attitude on our way to a richer, fuller and more satisfying relationship is the ability to believe you can obtain that relationship. But that’s not so easy – right? You may have had years of discouragement and you see before you a mountain of obstacles. The inertia of the past may be holding you down to the point that you feel powerless to believe your circumstances can change. I know what you are feeling – I have been there myself. This is how we get stuck. When we feel helpless and hopeless we perpetuate our circumstances and remain in our misery.

What I am asking you to do is put aside all the reasons you can’t have the relationship you desire and create a space for the possibility that your life can be different. At this point you don’t need to ask how change will happen, only that the potential for change is possible. Robert F. Kennedy quoted George Bernard Shaw in his 1968 speech and expresses this exact principle.

Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?
— Robert F. Kennedy

Can you say why not? Can you suspend your disbelief and become open to the prospect of change. History is filled with examples of those who were able to apply their creative energies to something that had yet to be experienced; only dreamed.  In fact I dare say that no great work or accomplishment has ever come about without someone daring to dream it first.

But with that dream comes what can best be described as the death of that dream. These are all the reasons why your dream cannot come true. Here are a few …

  • I have tried and nothing works
  • My spouse is never going to change
  • I’m tired and don’t have the strength to make things change
  • I don’t know what to do
  • I can’t see how things could be different

If these (and I’m sure there are others) become our focus they will be the death of any new possibility and strangle the initial stages of change before there is a chance to grow. So I ask you to change those negative affirmations and replace them with new inspiring ones.   

  • Today is a new day with new possibilities
  • My spouse in no impediment to my happiness
  • I have unlimited energy to do whatever I need to do
  • Wisdom will come to me when I need it
  • I am not a prisoner to my present limited understanding

Some of you may be saying; “What will that do for me … none of those things are true” In reality they can be truer than the limited, narrow and restricted thinking that comes through negative thinking. In the end we will achieve what we conceive.  What you focus on will ultimately determine your destiny.

I am not saying that positive affirmations are all you need to achieve your dreams. But until you put aside your self-limiting beliefs you will not be able to learn the skills and strategies that will move you forward. It’s just that simple. Nothing escapes the black hole of self-limiting beliefs.

I have more to say on this very important principle so I am collecting all seven principles into an exciting new format which will be available around March 1st. So keep in touch and get ready for the exhilarating news!  

From Rescue Dog to Guide Dog: Part 3

Learning the Language of Buddy

The first thing we noticed about Brian at “Way of the Dog” was that he was strangely unconcerned about training Buddy. We had brought to him a 90 pound, out of control, dog so that he could learn obedience (or at least not destroy our home) and Brian tells us obedience training is highly over rated. So I gave him a skeptical look and said;

Me: “At least I would like him to come when I call”.

Brian: “He doesn’t come?”

Me: “He runs the other way”

Brian: “That’s because he’s smart, and frankly there’s nothing good that is going to happen when you call him”

Me: (this time I gave him by cynical look) Ugh?

While we were talking, Buddy is engaged in playing with a Black Lab in the yard and has absolutely no interest in this adult conversation. Brian (still sitting) turns to Buddy, gives him a whistle and a shout and Buddy runs obediently to Brian. He gives Buddy a good ruff petting and then pushes him away. Buddy goes back to playing with the other dog and I sit there wondering what just happened.

Brian explains that Buddy doesn’t want to come because whenever I call him it’s because I want him to do something he doesn’t want to do – so naturally he’s going to run the other way. It would be like if the dentist called me up and asked me to visit him at his office … I’m not going because I know it’s going to hurt! (Sorry for all you painless dentists out there) I need to create a new expectation with Buddy that when I call it means PARTY TIME! And even if I occasionally call him because … let’s say a Mack Truck is about to flatten him in the street, he won’t associate those few unpleasant times because ordinarily when I call him it means ...

Break out your dancing shoes 'cause we’re going to have fun, fun, fun!

I guess this is what Brian means by calling his training, “Way of the Dog”. We need to think like a dog so that we’re communicating with him in his language rather than making him try to understand our language. After all we’re the intelligent ones … right?

So in Brian’s training there is a hierarchy of needs that must be met in order for us to get the “perfect” dog.

  1. Basic needs
  2. Socialization with other dogs
  3. Relationship with owners
  4. Communication: Speaking the language of the dog
  5. Training: Having the dog do what you ask him to do

During Buddy’s Adventure we’re going to walk through these steps. Did I say walk? No, we’re going to stumble through these steps because I am finding that dog language is more difficult than people language - and I totally bombed French class. (The teacher said I spoke French like Jacques Clouseau of Pink Panther fame. Here’s a classic example; and no, our dog does not bite!

Next week: Buddy is taught to socialize

or

Buddy learns to post on Doggie Face Book

New "Limited Time Offer" Buddy Program

2017 Eat  Healthy - Get Fit  

Our exciting new  "2017 Eat Healthy - Get Fit" Program is built on a foundation of science based nutrition and  the proven "buddy system"  that allows you and a friend to achieve individual health goals while working along side a personal Wellness and Nutrition Coach.  

Studies over the years have shown that when 2 people or more team up to lose weight and get fit together they are more successful than individuals who go it alone. A study from Indiana University showed that the 12-month drop-out rate for "buddies" participating in a fitness program was just 6 percent, compared to 43 percent among individuals who tried doing it in their own.  

Are you ready to  live your New Year's resolution and get fit ?  Then grab a friend and  lets get started.  

Limited Time Offer

Buy one - 

and get the second one FREE!

Jump Start Program includes:

  • Nutrition Profile Evaluation & Wellness Assessment  through personal computer log-in portal with Total Wellness. 
  • One-hour Initial Consultation via skype 
  • Individual goal setting with detailed action strategy and measurable.
  • Personalized Meal plan
  • 4-week grocery list
  • Food accountability journaling 
  • Daily motivational emails or texts
  • 2 weekly 30-minute Coaching Sessions via skype or phone 
  • Unlimited access to coach via text or email.
  • Access to original healthy  recipes 
  • Final Success Review with move forward action plan.

Offer Ends February 4h

Alone – In a Relationship

How Did I Get Here?

When we find ourselves in a difficult relationship one of the questions we tend to ask is; “how did I get here?”

Nobody starts a relationship with the expectation that, somewhere down the road, we’re going to end up feeling isolated, unloved and alone. So if that was not our intention how did it happen? Let me give you a few of the detours we take that lead down the road to an unfulfilling relationship.

It all centers around the fact we are reproducing the only kind of relationship we know.

I tell my clients that we will only deal with the past when the past gets in the way of our future. Unfortunately this is almost always the case. We learn our relationship skills from those who modeled relationships to us. How our parents resolved conflict, created a safe and secure environment and met our emotional, physical and spiritual needs will become the model we think of as “normal”.

I can hear some of you saying; “Wait a minute! I hated the way I grew up and I am doing everything I can to do it differently”. I acknowledge your efforts and support your intentions but changing the dysfunctional relational patterns of the past requires more than just recognizing what did not work; it requires the ability to put new healthy patterns in place. In order for true change to happen we must implement lifestyle changes that will feel awkward, totally unnatural and difficult to consistently apply. Here are some of the areas that we often struggle in:

How was conflict managed in your home?

Were criticism, contempt, defensiveness or stonewalling used when disagreements arose? Was there a “win at all cost” mentality? Or were you like many of us never privy to the arguments that happened behind closed doors. Few of us learned how to express anger or our complaints in a healthy way so naturally we find it difficult to do it in our relationships.

How was love and comfort expressed?

Did you feel loved and cherished in your home or did you feel like you were on the outside looking in? Conversely, were you smothered and used as an emotional support system for one or both of your parents. Not experiencing healthy love and comfort in our home leaves us with a deficit that is extremely hard to fill, especially by an unaware spouse.

How was communication handled?

Was information communicated directly or did it come through channels. If someone was angry or upset did you hear it from them or did it come at you via third parties. If we or our partner is unused to direct communication then we may feel threatened or frightened by their frankness and it may be difficult for us feel connected.  

What were the expectations for each family member?

What was expected of each member in your home? These expectation are often transferred to your new relationships without even a conscious thought that your spouse may have a different set of expectations. 

If you and your spouse are not in agreement in these areas then you are bound to feel misunderstood and alone. We create such strong and deeply held beliefs that when our partner shares a contrary view we can’t accept it, much less understand it. If we are ever going to have healthy, satisfying relationships we need to understand what those relationships look like.

After all, a sure way to become utterly lost is to redouble your effort after you have lost sight of your goal.  And that is what a lot of us do when we’re in unhappy relationships. We try desperately to make changes in ways that are just as dysfunctional as what we are trying to change. The real change needs to happen in us before we can hope to see a significant change in our relationship.

I have often had clients recount to me a litany of failed and dysfunctional relationships as if there was some grand conspiracy to make sure that they would never find happiness. I always listen patiently. (Okay, sometimes I get a wee bit impatient) But I do understand that there is deep pain and sadness when we feel disconnected, alone and hopeless. Eventually we get around to the inevitable question. What do all these relationships have in common? At this point my client has a very hard time answering that question but eventually (with some prodding) the light comes on and they say – it’s me. Yes, I say in my wisest and most compassionate tone, it is you. So what do you want to do about that?

We are at the center of our lives for good or for bad so if we’re ever going to experience something different we’re going to need to see what we are doing in order to create something new. And that my friends is why we look at the past and ask the above questions.

If you are having difficulty with knowing what healthy relationships look like I have a suggestion. Read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 3-10 and 1 Corinthians 13) and especially study the life of Jesus Christ. For in his example we find the highest, truest, and most worthy example of how we are to interact with one another. Or as the Apostle Paul said so well:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:5-11 NIV

As always if ever we can help you on your journey to find joy we're here to help.

Resuce Dog to Guide Dog: Part 2

Buddy Meets “Way of the Dog”

For those who are just joining us on this journey with Buddy  he is our 90 plus pound bundle of K9 energy who was rescued from wondering the streets of Southern California and chosen by Cheri to become her service dog.

Buddy has many of the qualities to become a great service dog. These are:

Intelligence

Willing to please

Endurance

Size

Lack of aggression

But he is like a raw gemstone that needs to be cut and polished to show off its innate beauty. And just like people’s strengths come with corresponding weaknesses so Buddy’s attributes had some rough edges.

Intelligence: Because Buddy is highly intelligent he is naturally looking for ways to get what he wants and needs from us, often in inconvenient ways. He also gets bored easily and LOOK OUT WHEN A ROTTIE/SHEPHERD GETS BORED!

Willing to please: Buddy is highly social and constantly wants our attention. This can become very, very trying. Ever had a 90 pound dog who all he wants to do is sit on you?

Endurance: Buddy has seemingly boundless energy which is great for our 10 mile hikes. The downside is if he doesn’t get the exercise he needs he becomes a 90 pounds bullet speeding through the house knocking over anything or anyone in his path.  Or he becomes JAWS and chews whatever he can get a hold of.

Size: Well that speaks for its self – great for feeling safe walking down the street but hard to control when he gets a full head of steam.

Lack of aggression: Buddy is a scared-e-cat. Yes, for all his bad ass dog looks he’d rather run than fight. This is a problem when we’re on walks and he sees something that he thinks is dangerous (like a blowing leaf or kids playing soccer)

Let’s face it we’re over our heads in the dog training department. Although Cheri worked with Clifton, a highly trained Guide Dog, for over two years the training that got him to that place was done long before she and Clifton became partners. We don’t know the first thing about how to make Buddy into a Service Dog. So we began our search for the right trainer.

Our first encounter was with a delightful lady who came to our house for a couple of hours. She soon had Buddy sitting and staying and other tricks. We were very impressed. But when she left all the issues that made living with Buddy so hard were still there. Buddy is so intelligent that he can learn just about any trick in minutes but what we need is a way to relate to him that goes far beyond treats and puts Cheri in the position of innate authority. In other words, we need to become the pack leader and our authority needed to be there with or without treats in our hands.

That brought us to Brian Lee and “Way of the Dog”.(see the link below for more information) Brian is a no-nonsense dog trainer who tells it like it is. Our first meeting with Brian went something like this.

Us: We can’t seem to control Buddy. Everything we do just gets him more riled up.

Brian: (looking at Buddy and then looking at us) That’s because Buddy owns you and is basically having a party at your expense. He’s the ultimate “party animal” taking belly shots off you.

If you know me you know I had to have this explained since I’m not acquainted with barroom behavior. What he meant was Buddy was in control and having a great time. We were the miserable dutiful servants cleaning up after his messes.

Brian explained that until we understood Buddy’s mentality and he saw us as his leaders we were never going to have the dog we wanted.

So we went to a dog trainer to get trained! Now my counselor “Spidey Sense” was alerted. Maybe this is not all about Buddy – Maybe we’ve got to go deeper in who we are if we are ever going to help Buddy experience his full potential. What we’re heading into is not just a course in dog training but in revealing the weaknesses in our own personality. Dogs like Buddy are acutely sensitive to us and they know when we’re authentic and when we’re putting on a show. In a lot of ways training Buddy will be like putting a mirror up to myself and seeing who I truly am. He is the ultimate litmus test to see if I can become the leader he needs me to be which will have an impact on every other area of my life.

Stay tuned for more of “Buddy’s (and our) Story”

Alone – In a Relationship

lonely 1.jpg
Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the greatest poverty of all
— Mother Teresa

Every relationship goes through tough times where one or both partners feel isolated and disconnected from each other. We are complicated creatures and the ability to fit our lives together for any length of time will inevitably produce conflict. If that conflict is not handled well (and it usually isn’t) it will create hurt feelings. Those hurt feelings can turn to resentment and then grow into long standing bitterness. If this pattern continues the couple will gradually feel increasingly distant and loneliness will set in. Many times the externals of the marriage remain in place; the house is maintained, the kids are cared for and life goes on “normally” but without feelings of intimacy, affection or mutual admiration. What is left is a shell of a marriage with nothing inside.

Sometimes one partner will wake up and try to reconnect - trying to get the other to realize that there’s a problem. Occasionally it works and there is re-connection but often the efforts to communicate their unhappiness falls upon deaf ears and a hard heart. So the “enlightened” partner begins a series of attempts to convince their mate that the Status Que is not acceptable. These new attempts also usually end in failure. At this point the attempt to express their unhappiness is redoubled which is then fended off with even greater defensiveness or outright denial. At this point the slow downward death spiral of the relationship begins until there is neither the willingness nor the energy to resurrect the lifeless marriage. The marriage either ends in divorce court or it continues on zombie-like until physical death mercifully comes calling and liberates them from their unhappy union.

If this sounds depressing - well it is. But it is a reality. Studies show that 20% of marriages have one or more partners feeling isolated, disconnected and alone. Some are in the beginning stages of isolation and some have been experiencing aloneness for a long, long time. The good news is there is hope for creating a better outcome than the one described above. The challenge is most who find themselves in this kind of relationship end up making the chasm larger through their desperate and ineffective efforts to influence their spouse. What they end up doing is pushing them further away and making themselves and their partner more miserable in the process.

So I submit that there is a better way to reconnect in your marriage.

In the coming weeks our Marriage Monday blog will be devoted to sharing seven principles for effectively working on your relationship – even if your partner doesn’t want to. If your marriage is doing well right now these principles will help you develop a more intimate relationship and preemptively guard against isolation, disconnection and aloneness. I often tell my marriage counseling clients my goal is that someday, when you are very old and in a nursing home and they are wheeling you both down the corridors you two will be holding hands.

Join us on this journey as we discover ways to develop greater connection and intimacy in our marriages and overcome those inevitable times of disconnection. 

Rescue Dog to Guide Dog: Part 1

The story of Buddy's amazing Journey

When I first met my wife, Cheri, I would not have known she had  a serious vision impairment if it weren't for the big yellow dog (AKA Clifton) proudly sitting at her side wearing his uniform (guiding harness). As Cheri explains it , Clifton was her confidence rolled up in a fur ball.  Although Cheri was extremely independent Clifton helped her navigate through life's obstacles. I too quickly fell in love with him but sadly just a few years later Clifton fell ill and was forced to retire. Losing Clifton was a big blow to Cheri as he was not only her friend, companion, and often entertainment but she had become reliant on him for most of her mobility.  After losing Clifton we came to the sad realization it would be at least a year (if then) before she would be paired with a new partner who would meet her rigorous demands of ten mile hikes and insanely fast walking.  To give you an idea of why the process is so long many guide dogs are bread in a test tube and genetically engineered to have all the characteristics of a perfect service dog. They are then groomed for two years to exact standards of obedience and deportment and taught how to perform flawlessly in most any situation. Once a dog is matched with its new partner that team spends a month at the training school working from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM to ensure that they become a perfect unit.  Net cost for a fully trained guide dog - $65,000.

So we decided to think “outside the box” - way outside the box. 

Meanwhile Cheri started working on a "Get Healthy - Adopt a Pet" project for our business, Total Wellness Resource Center.  The idea was to cross market with a local rescue, “Whiskers and Tails " in Palos Verdes, CA and give back to the community.  I can only describe this project as, "putting a kid in a candy store". in fact, I am not sure 24 hours passed before Cheri saw a photo of Buddy on the rescue's website and it was love at first sight. 

Then along came Buddy.

In Cheri's mind Buddy had exactly what it would take to be her next partner which included size, personality, temperament and energy level. But he was a street wondering, untrained rescue dog - not a highly trained service dog.  If you know Cheri then you know there was no point arguing - with in 24 hours I had a new 90 lb. roommate.  Don't get me wrong, Buddy is a beautiful dog (mix of Rottweiler and "we think"! Shepard)  but he had untamed boundless energy and had been living on the streets fending for himself for - nobody knows how long; with absolutely no training. 

So with all that said, we want to invite you on this journey with us.  The journey of Buddy's transformation. We have had him for about five weeks and the training has begun. We have seen signs of brilliance and times when we’ve honestly wondered what we got ourselves into. But we can see that he has a good heart and takes great joy in pleasing us. There are millennia of man/dog interaction bread into Buddy’s DNA so that he experiences his greatest fulfillment when he is working seamlessly as our helper. Our job is to help him become what he was created to become. (If that sounds familiar it’s also the vision of Total Wellness Resource Center but we focus on humans)

This time of training for both Buddy and us will be the content for our up and coming "Selfless Saturday" Blogs. Please follow along with us as we learn more about Buddy’s world and how he begins to learn how to be Cheri's new "confidence in a fur ball" Guide Dog.