Merry December!! I can't believe how time has flown this year. I sometimes just want to put the brakes on a bit so it doesn't seem like such a whirlwind. In my personal life, calming the winds is very important in my self care practice. If neglected I have been known to turn into, what we call in our house, Momzilla.
We all live busy lives! They are not the same kind of busy, but busy all the same. Some of us are work-a-holics, that don't ever take our vacation time and work late every day. Some us are busy with kids, living in the car as we drive them to their many different activities. Some of us are students with a heavy class schedule and a job on the side. It doesn't matter the type of busy we are. We all need to take time to unwind and relax a little.
Why is taking time to unwind and relax so important? How do we benefit from it?
There are more benefits, but just these three seal the deal for me. Yes, sometimes it is hard to make yourself find the time. But, our bodies are such a wonderful gift, why wouldn't we take time to take care of them? Some of my favorite ways to relax are so simple.
We are all here doing our best, but often times, we are trying to do too much and don't keep balance. Keeping our lives in balance helps us to function better, think clearly and feel happier. Self-care is part of that balance. I hope you take the time to find your way to unwind. As always, I would love to hear what you discover.
To your balanced health,
Next month I want to share my favorite reads and bath salt. See you then.
Last month, my blog post was all about self care and the importance of taking care of ourselves while we are taking care of those around us. Today I want to share with you a self care method that I enjoy. Foot Zone Therapy.
Without further ado, let me me introduce you to this cute lady.
This is Kathy. (an amazing lady!) Kathy is the owner of Mind Body and Sole and has been instructing for We Do Feet seminars since early 2002. In addition to being a certified Foot Zone professional, she is a certified Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner and self help instructor. She is also trained in The Body Code®, Radionics, The Energy Connection, and various other energy modalities.
During my last Foot Zone session, I visited with Kathy about questions you may want to know to understand Foot Zone Therapy and its benefits.
Rachel - "What is Foot Zone Therapy?"
Kathy -" Foot Zone Therapy is similar to acupressure and reflexology. It is a way of accessing the body using points on the foot; but it is a more accurate and complete map and methodology."
Rachel - " Where did Foot Zoning come from?"
Kathy - " It was developed by Dr. Charles Ersdal in Norway. Before he was a doctor, Charles was an executive in the shipping industry, but he had a stroke and became paralyzed in the left side. He had a friend who was a chiropractor who also performed reflexology who cured him in 2 years. Although, it healed Charles, reflexology did not help everyone, and he was interested in why this was. Charles wanted to learn more, so he went to the College of Natural Medicine. There, he learned everything could. During this time, he had a dream that the body needed to be worked as a whole and not just reflex points. He was shown the organs, spine and body systems on the entire foot. He woke up the next morning and drew the map he had seen in his dream and the order you would work on the foot. He called it "Zone Therapy." He later started treating people, teaching and opened up a clinic. There is still a clinic today..'
Rachel - " How does Foot Zoning work?"
Kathy - " Foot Zoning stimulates the signal on the foot and sends a message to the brain to balance and function the way it is supposed to. The Body is designed to heal itself, but gets overloaded by stress, toxins and diet. By stimulating it, it wakes up. It is not a light switch, but starts it out to return to homeostasis."
Rachel -" What are the benefits to a Foot Zone?"
Kathy - " Everyone is different, so it will affect people in different ways. Benefits that have been reported are : improved sleep, more energy, hormonal balance and strengthened immune system."
Rachel - " Who will benefit from Foot Zoning? How do I know if it is right for me?"
Kathy - " I don't know of anyone who wouldn't benefit. Who doesn't want to be balanced? I recommend coming to 6-10 sessions consecutively every two weeks or so. Depending on the person they can be even more spread out. After 6-10 sessions let your body tell you when you need another one."
Rachel - " Is this something we can learn to do for ourselves?"
Kathy - Absolutely! I am an instructor for We Do Feet. We believe every family needs a way to a help the body during times of stress and duress. The program is a 9 month program, 1 weekend for 9 months. You will learn the Zone, plus physical and emotional blocks you can feel on feet, business ethics. Everything you need to know.
Kathy was so great to answer my questions and I hope you learned as well. She is such a positive individual. I always enjoy our chats we have during sessions, and come away having learned something new. For me, Foot Zoning brings a feeling of renewal and relaxation. I also find it fascinating that she knows my aches, pains and ailments just by working on my feet. What could it do for you?
You are able to find more information about what Kathy does on her websitewww.mindbodyandsoleonline.com. She has great articles and posts, all for aiding you in living a balanced life. Isn't that what we all want? I do!!
To your balanced health,
Interested in finding a Foot Zone Practitioner in your area? Click below
Life can be hectic! Some days you may feel like you should take up residence in your car since you practically live in it anyway commuting or driving kids around. Sometimes as you are driving around all day, you count getting in and out of the car as exercise. You may be so busy helping others that at the end of the day you wonder "did I even get around to brushing my teeth today?" You might grab eggos out of the freezer and consider it a well balanced meal, or you might go so long in-between hair appointments that the growth just looks like a melt, and when people ask if it is, you just smile.
I know that some of these examples may seem silly (even if they have happened. Let's just say it's good I carry gum with me). The point is, most of us tend to let our busy schedules run our lives, me included, that we don't take time to take care of ourselves. When this happens, it makes it harder for us to take good care of those we have kept ourselves so busy for. When we take care of ourselves, we have more energy to truly take care of our relationships and careers.
So, what does practicing self care really mean? Self care can be physical or emotional and each individual is unique, so you need to find what your needs are. Does a good run take care of some physical or emotional for you? How about a massage, a power packed smoothie, or a hot soak in the tub with a good book. Maybe a power nap is what you need, a good movie, or spending time in nature. Some of my favorites are: walks with friends so we can chat, relaxing massages, and playing the piano. It really is different for every person. You need to find what makes you happy.
Let's make a list (I love lists!)
How I can practice self care?
1. Find some time. I know, I know. If we are so busy, do we actually have time to make? I used to think that too until I actually took a few minutes and looked at my schedule. Guess what I found? TIME! Although I was feeling frantic, like I didn't have enough time for anything, I actually had plenty for what I needed. Find those minutes in your day - we all have them even if they might be tiny snippets of time, and pencil it in.
2. Listen to your body. What are 5 cues your body gives you when you need some self care? When I am feeling run down, stressed, irritable or a little lost I know I need to give myself some TLC.
3. Go your pace. As with everything, you don't want to go full force and burn out. Take it one step at a time.
4. Find support. This could come from a friend, spouse or even a coach. Talk and spend time with those that support you. Everyone needs support. As much as we would like to think we can do everything on our own - having support makes life better.
5. Don't ever feel selfish for practicing self care. As talked about earlier, we can't take care of those around us if we don't take care of ourselves first.
During the next few months I will be focusing on different ways to practice self care. Can't wait to share them with you.
Let's all make the step to start practicing self care to live a more healthy and balanced life.
A few months ago, I came home to find that our little dog, Steve, had been throwing up all day. I was a little concerned; but he tends to eat anything and everything so I figured he was just trying to get something out. That night, he woke us up every hour to use the bathroom yet nothing would happen when we let him outside. I called the vet the next day and he instructed me to just watch Steve; but if he were to get lethargic then we would need to bring him in. Wednesday seemed like a turn of events so I was relieved, but when Thursday came around he became a very lethargic little guy.
I took him in Thursday and they ran some tests. First, he was very dehydrated from not eating or drinking much. Second, he hadn't eaten any toy or odd object, but had pancreatitis. WHAT???? How did this happen? Steve isn't overweight, and gets exercise. From the outside, he looks like a happy, healthy little dog. So what caused the pancreatitis? The Vet explained that it is often times caused by too much fatty food. Although we don't feed him a ton, we have given him little snippets of bacon, hamburger and cheese. ( It is hard to pass up the cute eyes). Although it seemed like small amounts to us, his body reacted to the snacks in a way that wasn't beneficial to him.
With that in mind, how are we treating our bodies? Do we look healthy and strong on the outside, but on the inside it's a different story? I just want to share a few easy tips I use that will help our bodies stay strong inside and out.
1. Water! Keep your body hydrated. Try to get half your body weight, in ounces, each day. I carry around a 20 oz. bottle and just keep it filled. Not only is hydration good for skin and body by flushing toxins and keeping our energy up; but it can keep the snacking and cravings down. A lot of the time if we start craving snacks or feel hungry, we just need to drink. We are thirsty and our body is trying to let us know. Before reaching for the snack, reach for the water instead and see if that helps.
2. Healthy snacks. Snacking is not a bad thing. We do need a snack every once in a while during the day. Where we run into a snag are the snacks we choose. It takes a little preparation, which is tough sometimes, but we reap the benefits. Each week after I grocery shop, I set out all my veggies, wash and cut them, and put them into separate plastic bags. By having them prepared already, I don't even hesitate when choosing something to snack on. I reach for the veggies or fruit. I have a few times not cut them up right away and say I will get to it later, and that always ends up with me reaching for crackers, chips etc. (The easy way out) Try some raw veggies with some hummus or a healthier dip. Greek yogurt, low in sugar with some fruit and granola is another good snack. Maybe a handful of raw nuts is what you prefer. There are a lot a great, healthy choices for us.
3. Get those ZZZZZZZ's. Sleep, something we all want more of right? We all know it is important for us to get the amount we need to function at our best mentally and physically. When we don't get enough, it affects the choices we make. We feel tired so to boost our energy we reach for the caffeine or the sugar. Getting less sleep can also affect our weight. When we don't get enough sleep our hunger hormones that tell us when we are hungry or full are affected. Ghrelin signals our brain when it's time to eat. When we are sleep deprived our body makes more. (not a good thing) Leptin signals our brain that we are full. When sleep is not sufficient, the leptin levels fall and it signals our brain we need to eat more food. ( again, not a good thing)
4. Make a plan. This one is especially helpful to me. I need a plan! Winging it doesn't work real great for me. I function much better during the week and make better choices to benefit my family and me if I have a plan. What will my dinners be? Do I have the ingredients? What about my snacks? When am I fitting in my exercise? I have to admit, when I don't have a plan, my kids end up getting breakfast for dinner (And not the hearty nice breakfast, I'm talking cereal), I will go all day without exercising because I keep thinking of what time will be the best to get it done. You get the point. Planning is a good thing.
These are just a few tips that work well with me. Try them out, or even find some new habits to try for yourself. Let’s keep our bodies balanced inside and out.
This will be a quick post. I wanted to let you know of a challenge I am starting today called the 10-10-10 challenge. What this means, is for 10 days you do 10 minutes of yoga, and write down 10 things you are grateful for.
Head on over to my Facebook page for more information and for the link to day one :) Healthy Evolution with Rachel Kendell. Hope to see you there.
Today I want to share with you a recipe for my go to post workout smoothie. I love all types of smoothies, but this one tastes great, keeps me full and helps me recover. ( It also doesn't wreak havoc on my gut like the fibrous fruit/veggie smoothies do after a workout ). TMI?? That's what my daughter would tell me, but hey, just passing on personal experience that may help you as well ;)
1 cup nut milk of your choice ( I have been using cashew lately )
1 Tbsp cacao
1Tbsp fresh ground peanut butter ( I go to my local grocers to fresh grind )
1 frozen banana
1 tsp of raw honey
1/2 scoop protein powder ( I use sprouted brown rice protein powder from znaturalfoods.com. No added sweeteners, just natural goodness )
a pinch a Himalayan pink salt
Throw it all in a blender, mix and enjoy!
Here are some other add-ins that I sometimes throw in for an extra boost:
- Pea Protein powder mixed with the brown rice - doing half and half. This way you get all those awesome amino acids
- Spinach or kale ( great benefits in spinach and Kale, but does make for an interesting color. I won't tell you what my kids say it looks like )
- Coconut oil
- Chia seeds
Try some of these, or try some of your own. I would love to hear from you if you find a combination you love.
To your health and wellness,
Summer Veggie Potage. Yum!! This is an easy way to use up those lovely veggies that we end up having so much of in our gardens, or that we buy at the store and just run out of ideas of how to use them. Look at the variety. I will post the recipe below, but experiment with it and see what seasonings you like.
Here's to Summer!
Chop: 1 leek, 1 green pepper, 1 onion, 1 tomato
Grate: 1 medium zucchini, 1 medium yellow squash, 2 carrots
Chop: parsley, basil, chives, dill (on these I grab a handful. It's totally preference on how much you want to use)
Seasonings: 4 cups chicken broth, pepper and salt. (I only use salt, not much of a pepper fan.)
Sauté: leek, green pepper and onion. When they are soft add everything else to the pot. Cook until mushy, then put in food processor or blender and puree. Serve.
Around February, a friend of mine asked me to do a triathlon with her in July. I wasn't so sure because the only thing I really had been doing was running. The extent of my swimming experience were my lessons taken while younger, and my biking was just riding around town. I said O.K., I'll do it. WHAT???????
After my few first times of going swimming, which ended up with me crying at home afterwards that I was going to drown, I decided to find an instructor. Best thing I ever did! My first lesson, I thought my form would be fixed or maybe we would work on a better kick; but I was wrong. The first and most important thing we worked on and continue to work on is breathing. Since that first day, every time I get in the pool I do 15 bobs for the breathing practice. It has helped me relax into swimming a bit more and swim much farther. I started out not being able to make it 25 meters, and just about a month ago finished my first sprint triathlon. (still training for the July triathlon and only sometimes cursing my friends name)
So let's talk about breathing.
Breathing is a natural function in our bodies. We do it every day without even thinking; but are we getting the most out of our breathing? Most of you have already heard this at one point, but think back to watching a baby or child breathe. They naturally breathe deeply, filling their entire abdomen and expanding the diaphragm. As we get older and start having more responsibilities, mental stresses, illnesses and experiences in our life, we tend to breathe more from our chest and we don't get enough air. What are the benefits of getting enough air ( other than we continue living, of course ) Let's make a list.
Reasons getting deeper breaths is good:
1. Increases our energy and circulation - getting more oxygen helps our muscles be able to do the work they need.
2. Decreases stress and anxiety - When we feel stressed, we tend to take short shallow breathes. By deeper breathing our heart rate slow and we can calm our emotions.
3. Helps with flexibility and muscle tension
4. Improves mental outlook - Taking deep breaths can release endorphins so we can feel calmer and more positive.
5. Helps detoxify the body - Toxins such as carbon dioxide and others build up in our bodies over time. Our lymphatic system depends breathing and movement to flush those toxins. One of the things I have been told in swimming is that when I am feeling out of breath, to breathe out real strong, a burst, to get that carbon dioxide out so I can oxygenate.
These are only a few benefits of practicing deeper more mindful breathing, but even though only a few, they can really benefit each and every one of us. Making a conscious effort each day to practice deep breathing, expanding our belly instead of our chest, will help us to eventually breathe more effectively naturally. Find a quiet place, and each day set aside some time to practice. Breathe in 5 counts and out 5 counts for 5 minutes. Or, find an app that helps you focus while you practice. My son has an app that goes off every so often to remind him to take a few deep breathes wherever he is during the day, and he has really liked it. Find what works best for you; but find it. Why pass up an easy way to increase our health and well being?
Enjoy your deep breathing moments!
Movement. We do it every day. We move to get out of bed, go to the car, eat etc... but the movement I want to talk about today is exercise ( it sounds less daunting when called movement.). How much do we need, what kind is best?
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, it recommended that the average adult " Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity" or a mix of the two. It is also recommended we do strength training at least twice a week. ( recommendations from mayoclinic.org)
I am sure many already are getting your movement/activity in every week -way to go!!
The question I want to pose today is ... Are you loving your exercising? Or are you simply getting it done because you have been told its good for you, or so you can check it off a list? Although getting some kind of exercise as opposed to none is good, how much more of a benefit would we get if we loved the way we chose to exercise, and went in with an excited positive attitude?
Here is my story:
I have always loved to exercise! I have found over the years that I am not real thrilled about stationary anything ( I do most my exercise outdoors), or doing the same form of activity all the time - I get bored! (I rarely do the same thing two days in a row). Running and walking, with a little yoga have been my constants; but this year I added biking and swimming. I do enjoy all the above listed activities, but my all time favorite is dancing.
For years, I was a competitive Irish dancer. November of 2015 was my last competition. Although I knew I would miss it, I also knew it was time for a different focus. I decided I wanted to learn ballet. I emailed my daughters ballet school, and explained that Yes, I know I am quite a bit older than everyone at the school, but would they allow me to learn ballet from the beginning? They got right back to me and let me know that I was very welcome to join classes. I was very excited! My first day of class, I walked in and noticed I was a little taller than most my class. ( I am only 5'2" myself). I walked to the barre and asked the little girl next to me how old she was. Her reply? "Nine". That explained a lot. I just thought to myself, oh well, I want to learn. Because of previous dance experience, the instructors did move me up to my current class, made up of mostly eighth graders. And I am LOVING it. I look forward to every class and know I am getting more flexible, learning to use my core for balance, and move beautifully across the floor. My point?????
Do What you Love!
By finding ways to get your movement, in ways you enjoy, your mind and body will thank you. It won't be a dreaded drudgery, and a time where you find every excuse of why you just can't exercise. You will begin to look forward to it. Remember, we are all different. Just because one person can run 30 miles on a Saturday, doesn't mean that's the right path for you to take. Don't ever compare. It doesn't matter your age, size or anything! You find what works for you and own it.
Try experimenting with new forms of activity that you haven't previously done. Think back to what you completely enjoyed when you were younger. Be creative. Why not love your exercise time and look forward to it? You deserve it. You deserve the better sleep, more relaxed, feeling great you. We need the movement to keep our bodies healthy. We have been blessed with these awesome bodies so lets take care of them. Whether you want to call it exercise, movement or activity, it all does the same thing - keeps us balanced and healthy.
I would love to hear the ways you love to move.
I try to get out at least five times a week to exercise. lately, I have been spending a lot of time in the pool learning to swim better, and out biking. Last Monday however, I was running low on time. I immediately went to an app I have on my phone and have used quite a bit in the past. I remembered how much I like it, and the great workout you can get while still in your own home. The app is POP SUGAR ACTIVE (I will post a picture below of the button). I love how I can choose what I want to work on, and find a workout that is perfect for what I want and need.
The workout I chose last Monday was a full body Plyo strength training workout. Phew!!!! I was beat when I finished, and felt like I just got a great balanced workout of strength and cardio. Another bonus was that I didn't have to leave home. There are so many ways to fit movement into our lives. I would love to know if any of you try the app, and what you think.
Wife, mom and Health Coach. Lover of life and learning. (and my dog Steve)