The answer is less.

Male Anna's Hummingbird in-flight in my front yard. Taken with Canon 1D Mark III, 300mm f/2.8L IS + 1.4 TC and EX580 flash ETTL Mode FEC 0, manual meter mode -2 stops to let the flash fill the frame, handheld. 50% crop.

Hello Friends,

Yes, it’s been months since you’ve heard from me, and here’s where I’ve been.

When I left San Rafael in October, 2014 I moved three times in 6 months. This past summer my body declared ENOUGH! Not surprisingly, I got sick.

And now, here come the holidays. Like moving, the holidays present challenges too. Let alone the world news can be soooo overwhelming these days, too.

When changes come at us quickly, we need internal space to process and rebalance our energy. I find I need  to balance activity with stillness, and disruptions with peace.

I confess, my move to LA last May was more emotional, exhausting and mysterious than anticipated. I thought the move would be exclusively fun, after all, my daughter was having a baby and we wanted to be there!

I’d hoped for a soft landing but got vertigo instead on my second week in our new place. The vertigo hit me while doing morning yoga (vomiting, room spinning type dizziness) and took me out of circulation for over a month. Vertigo is debilitating! One of the worst things I’ve ever faced—couldn’t exercise or read.

Exercise and reading are big rocks for me and without them my foundation slid fast.

Back pain became an issue and finally a depression hit me after worrying that the whole move was wrong.

Truthfully, I’m not an LA “kinda” girl. And setting up a household while dizzy was rough. Despite the arrival of our amazing Isabel, I wasn’t myself.IMG_0836

 

I’m not sure why, but the geography here, the busyness, even the new role of becoming a grandmother was overwhleming for me.

 

I’ve had to stay off the computer and avoid reading to heal the vertigo. I’ve learned about ear crystals and head exercises to restore my balance. I learned to sleep more upright and found myself tenderly doing nothing a large part of the time to heal.

I’ve watched more TV this year than in my whole life. Reality TV was eye opening and left me wondering how some people could do so much, like surviving in the Columbian jungle naked and afraid without food, while I was doing “nothing” on the sofa, and watching the clouds go by.

What have I learned? Well, that my fragile side needs a sense of home no matter where she is. She needs to make health a daily practice, especially when illness arrives.

…Illness often serves the purpose to slow us down, from the act of doing more to a state of being more. That being more means finding more of ourselves.

I realize now that I didn’t need to feel “bad” for needing half a year to do “nothing” to restore myself. In fact that’s exactly how my initial recovery from fibromyalgia began in 2007.  

Being with our thoughts and feelings isn’t doing “nothing”…it is something.

I’ve missed writing to you all. And I’m thankful to feel apart of this health seeking community.

How do you handle overwhelm? Please share here so we can all benefit together.

I’ll be starting a free weekly health call in January. Stay tuned.

Love and Happy Thanksgiving! Gwendolyn

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Hormonal Balance—If I had only known about progesterone…

IMG_0870Men/Women—Could you have a progesterone deficiency?

If I had only known about hormone balancing when growing up, I wouldn’t have; had years of painful periods, two pregnancies with raging nausea and vomiting, depression that started at age 12, fallen asleep in classrooms, used sugar to hype myself up, had babies with thrush, never drank cows milk and or developed fibroids, gone thru debilitating menopause, enduring procedures and poor sleep which ended up with fatigue and fibromyalgia at age 50.

 

If you suffer with any of the following: fatigue, sleeplessness, restless leg syndrome, cravings, ADD, ADHD, depression, weight issues, high cholesterol, menstrual cramps, infertility, have used birth control pills,  had miscarriages, morning sickness while pregnant, have diabetes and cancer running in your family, have fibroids or fibromyalgia … this is an important wake up for you.

Do NOT ignore these symptoms! I have seen progesterone relieve them all. My recovery began with hormone balancing.

Do not be mislead by information that came out in 2002 proporting that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) causes cancer. That study of 16,OOO women showed that synthetic hormones increased cancer—which is true, but not to be generalized toward bio-identical progesterone which prevents it.

Click here — to read more of what I have learned about this and see the video of expert Dr. Sangeeti Pati’s summary of what your doctor may not even know about hormones.

Dr. Sangeeta Pita, world expert, speaks on hormones

Progesterone is the first hormone to go as we age, but even teens can be low in progesterone resulting in attention disorders, acne, weight issues and PMS.

I like what Barbara Minton wrote about progesterone in Natural News in 2009—

Progesterone has a calming effect in the body. It builds bone, and is a natural diuretic and fat burner. It restores proper cellular oxygen levels, improves vascular tone, normalizes blood clotting, and prevents cyclical migraines and arterial plaque. Progesterone helps balance the actions of estrogen and acts with estrogen and testosterone to prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases. A low level of progesterone may results in irritability, anxiety, obsessive behaviors, weight gain, itching, bloating, sweating, digestive problems, flatulence, and loss of memory.

“Many women experience estrogen dominance, a term that does not mean an excess of estrogen. It means there is not enough progesterone. This condition is characterized by heavy bleeding that may include clots, unexplained weight gain, bloating, and an intestinal tract that feels like it is filled with concrete. Pre-menopausal women who are still producing an adequate amount of estrogen can often regain hormonal balance simply by buying a tube of progesterone cream… “

Progesterone deficiency following pregnancy is the culprit during post-partum depression. Instead of taking a synthetic anti-depressant that would provide a host of unpleasant side effects and would appear in breast milk, progesterone cream can be safely used after giving birth until a feeling of normalcy returns.”

Dr. Michael Platt, author of The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones, informs us that “hormones are chemical messengers that control every system in the body. The action of a hormone takes place when it reaches the nucleus of a cell. In order to reach the nucleus, a hormone has to attach to a hormone receptor site specific to that hormone… In the case of progesterone, depending on the type of cell, it will then enhance the particular function of that cell. For example, if it is a bone cell, progesterone will help to make new bone cells.”

Progesterone has receptor sites throughout the body in every organ. “Progesterone is one of the most important hormones. It is a hormone that is present, along with its receptor sites, in both sexes, from fetal life until death. A clear understanding of the various roles that progesterone plays, is necessary to differentiate between bio-identical progesterone and synthetic progestogens.

“Bio-identical progesterone is identical to the progesterone produced in the body. However, synthetic progestogens, found in birth control pills, hormonal IUD’s, and drugs like Provera are not… thereby they can never duplicate the action of natural progesterone.”

A healthy young man also produces progesterone from their testicles each day—about 5-15 mg. Why? Progesterone’s anti-inflammatory effect, nerve regeneration and insulin lowering abilities are needed by both sexes.

In the normal monthly female cycle, in response to ovulation, we see progesterone levels increase from 2-3 mg. per day to 22-25 mg. per day for days 12 to 14 just prior to menstruation. Progesterone is first made in the ovaries during pregnancy, then after 3 months by the placenta where levels climb to 400 mg per day to protect and neurologically grow the baby. Without enough progesterone a fertilized egg will often die by 10 weeks.

One client came to me after losing her baby at 10 weeks. Her history revealed signs of progesterone deficiency—a lifetime of heavy menstral cramps, PMS and she had acne as a teen. When prescribed daily progesterone and Vit D (her Vit D was off the chart low at 27!!) she conceived and carried the baby until full term. This is powerfully safe stuff.

While we may live to be one hundred, by middle age our progesterone dwindles year by year to none. However estrogen, which is made very well by our own fat cells, escalates. Shifts in environmental causes are also raising our estrogen levels. It is the ratio of progesterone to estrogen that tells the story. Some studies declare that a ratio of 600:1 in favor of progesterone feels healthiest.

Because there are many cream companies promoting products that contain only a few milligrams of progesterone per ounce (or in some cases none) or they use cream bases that are not purely absorbed, many formulations are unable to have any positive effect on biological levels.

With correct replacement therapy, progesterone becomes the dominant hormone and the symptoms of estrogen dominance that you see below begin to ease.

Progesterone deficiency or Estrogen dominance show up as:

aches and pains, acceleration of the aging process

allergies and sinus

anger and irritability

autoimmune disorders

bloating/weight gain due to water retention

breast tenderness and cancer

bruising

cervical dysplasia

constipation

depression

dry eyes

dizziness

early onset of menstration

fat gain

fatigue

fibrocystic breast

gallbladdar disease

hair loss

headaches, migraines

heart palpitations

hot flashes

hypoglycemia

increased appetite/cravings

infertility and miscarriage

insomnia

irregular periods

low libido

magnesium deficiency

memory loss

mood swings

muscle weakness

nausea

osteoporosis, premenopausal bone loss

polycystic ovaries

prostate cancer

skin problems/rashes/acne/itching

spotting

tiredness/chronic fatigue

uterine cancer, fibroids

water retention

zinc deficiency

It is essential to use enough progesterone, about 100-200mg/day, in 2 or 3 divided doses to overcome severe estrogen dominance. Many women use too little. Using only 20-40mg/day, common in over the counter preparations, may actually stimulate estrogen and makes things worse. It cost me about $100 dollars for a three month supply.

It’s complicated and working with a professional who checks your lab work, takes a hard look at your history, while you log your symptoms is what I recommend. 

If your symptoms are severe, like heavy continual menstration, debilitating hot flushes, or fibromyalgia, you may need up to 400mg/day. Normally men with estrogen dominant symptoms will benefit from 10-20mg/day of progesterone, but if a higher than normal amount of estrogen is present, it may take up to 100mg/day.

Please bear in mind that stress drops progesterone levels sharply, so puzzling symptoms can come back. You can increase the amount used over a stressful time,  unlike what I recently did when moving to LA and misplaced mine for a week, which resulted in several weeks of hot flashes, cravings and depression. 

Large meals may also drop progesterone levels, due to an increased clearance rate of the hormone. Dark, gloomy days and winter reduce progesterone levels, because of a reduction in vitamin D. Please have a vitamin D test done as lower levels reduce the benefits of progesterone.

As we get into our thirties issues such as depression, weight gain around the middle, decreased sex drive and anxiety can signal our need for progesterone [or the need to go live on a tropical island with abundant health food, rest, pleasure and love – which I am sure would work as well!!!]

Stress increases our cortisol levels which erodes our hormones. That’s why menopause and male andropause is arriving earlier than ever before. These used to start in our forties, but today we commonly see levels of progesterone declining in 30 year olds.

The good news here? Low progesterone is an easy correction that leads to feeling better than ever! It takes a few months to get maximum benefits, but there is nothing to lose in trying except that list of symptoms.

Love, Gwendolyn

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You can do this: Plan a Perfectly Healthy Day

hummingbird-1047-1680x1050Hello Everyone,

There were women that wanted to come on my self-care retreat this week that couldn’t. If you’re one of them, I want you to know there are other ways to kick start your way to wellness.

I understand that many of you get little time off from work and have too many family responsibilities to do a solo vacation or you don’t have the income to afford a health retreat. Some of you told me you feel too sick to travel.

Several of you even enrolled for this Self Care retreat with me, but your plans fell through with childcare, family and pet emergencies.

Don’t worry.

If you are thinking you are missing out, here is the truth. While five days of meditation, healthy food, yoga and nature’s beauty may get you off to a great start toward changing your standard lifestyle to one of wellness—the actual transformation that sustains your health always begins again when you get home.

You don’t have to come live with me for a week to jumpstart your life of wellness.

You do have to decide what wellness looks like in your life, keep the vision alive, check your lab work and work toward health one day at a time.

Create an ideal schedule. Dream it up!
This is how my self care retreats got started to begin with. I planned a perfect day and invited women into it.

First —Decide what time is best
for you to get up, to eat, and when,
where and how long to exercise. *(not exercising? See below)

1. Now, Preplan your home meals and decide
what amount of eating out works for you.

This is so important! Eating healthy is all about “the plan” to eat healthy.                                                                         Choose restaurants CAREFULLY, look on line at their menus first!

2. Shop once or twice a week for complete
meals (this keeps you out of the store of
temptation!)

Buy quality over quantity—go for fresh, green,
free range, gmo free, hormone free, grass fed
foods. And cook up several meals at once. A
pot of soup, prewashed salad fixings, a roast
chicken or casserole go a long way toward
comfort foods when unexpected time shortages
fall upon you.

3. Post your plan. And for heavens sake- put it
on your calendar! This is for your own
reminder. You’ve got to make yourself a
priority. Inform the people that you live or
work with that you will be doing a few things
differently and at specific times. Yep, tell them
you are making self care a priority this week. If
they really love you they’ll be supportive. If
they are used to using you (are you everyone’s
servant?), expect a back lash. Know that
attachments to the status quo must change and
change isn’t easy for any of us, but worth it for
everyone! Your self care will be a gift to them in
the end when you are in a better mood, have
more energy and stay healthy!

Don’t be afraid to begin again and again. Find a supportive community. Stay inspired with information. There are dozens of sites and shows that I watch to feel connected that keep me “re-inspired”. Making it through a whole week of self-care is a major cause for celebration. It may take months to accomplish a 24 hour day of self-care. It may take a year to accomplish a whole week.

You do have to be compassionate with yourself for we live in a culture that goes against eating, sleeping and living in a healthy way.

Right? Just look at the commercials on TV! Seems we can’t start our day without a prescription drug or two, a box of nutritionally dead cereal and a sugar filled mocha blended frappachino something!

People can actually trigger shame in us as we move towards health— saying we’re too uptight, becoming neurotic or over the edge. Remember that “misery loves company”. Friends and family may not like your adherence to a healthy lifestyle plan if it brings up their guilt for not having one.

There are lots of obstacles to overcome, bumps in the road, stops and starts, crashes, but eventually you’ll gain good habits and emotional strength. You’ll get to a place where others may be eating french fries in front of you, but you’ll want the arugula salad with pine nuts and avocado more!

Will you take the time to plan what a nourishing day would look like for you?

I’m encouraging you to give it your best shot and plan that perfect day template. Astonish yourself with how much you already know about what you need to feel great.

If you find moving toward wellness is completely beyond you, that months are rolling by and you never get started or your health takes a dive, I am here to support you with my programs and retreats, but honestly you may not need that!

Designing what an ideal healthy day looks like may be all you need to move into a life of wellness.

Love, Gwendolyn

* Dr. I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard professor and senior author of, “Leisure Time Physical Activity of Moderate to Vigorous Intensity And Mortality: A Large Pooled Cohort Analysis,”pub Nov, 2012, confirmed, according to her data, a middle-aged person who gets the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise — defined as the level of brisk walking — can expect a 1-to-7 return: seven extra minutes of life gained for each minute spent exercising. And a 1-14 min. return for strenuous exercise!

Dr. Lee’s paper drew on pooled data from six large studies that included more than 650,000 people followed over ten years, and showed that people who exercised at the recommended moderate level gained 3.4 years of life after age 40.

 

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Shift from the medical model to the self care

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Don’t do another thing without knowing your desire

hummingbirds-.jpg3We wouldn’t want to be a plane without steering…or be a bird without wings.

Who wants to do things without knowing they will be good for us?

Yes, you are ready to succeed. Join this free call March 26th, Thursday, at 1pm PST to learn how to use your feelings to land all that you want.

Call in to 760-569-0111 and use the code 247988#

 You can succeed  self care, life and love, when you know the feelings that make the next thought and action right for you, personally. And you will succeed when you use those feelings as guidance along the way.

Strange but it is the feeling you are going for, that feeling you want after reaching your end result. Just as we don’t lose weight just to see a number on a scale. It’s how we feel at that number that drives us.

Sometimes we go after a goal without knowing what is beneath it, or what is driving us. It could be anything, like a relationship, giving up sugar, trying to stop smoking or giving up that daily wine or too frequent pain pills. It could be going to bed on time or making more space for fun.

We may say we want health, happiness or to live longer—but what does that feel like? Is it vitality, peace or connection? or something else unnamed that you want to feel?

Here is the GRACE plan—that we will be discussing on the free call this Thursday.

Give: Give yourself time to identify 3 situations you’d like to change.

Receive: Get some help through conversation, journaling, counseling, or join our free call to help you to identify your core, desired feelings that drive your top desire/goal. This is big work and why we are having call to help you here. Join us this week, 1pm, PST , Thursday, March 26. Call 

Appreciate: Your core desired feelings need appreciation. These special feeling words are like rocket fuel for achieving your goals. Each of your steps, plans and actions needs to line up with them to keep the momentum and sustainable results coming.

Connect: Stay connected to your action steps with visuals, DVD’s, tapes or people that remind you of that feeling you are going after. Don’t neglect the feeling.

Express: Let your life become a complete expression of that feeling. Start to bring that feeling into your work, your family and your home. That feeling will make your goals with weight, food, self care and happiness totally achievable.

Sometimes we may actually accomplish our desired goal and end up feeling let down. We win the race only to find out it was the wrong race to enter. Suppressing your feelings ends up in DEPRESSION.

Have you ever joined a group to lose weight, bought the patch, joined a gym, restricted your food, read all the labels, and ended up feeling deprived? Yeah. It feels so hard, less than worth it . Makes you want to quit your plans toward the goal, or stop trying altogether.

Not to worry. We have all strived, only to end up disappointed or needing to start over again facing the very same hurdle. Why? We didn’t identify our feelings and use them as guidance. We ignored what we felt. We kept doing things that didn’t feel good!!!

What is it that you really want to feel? What are you going for? Certainly none of us wants to end up feeling deprived, frustrated and restricted.

Is it that you want confidence? love? maybe ease? Some inspiration, or freedom?  There are hundreds of core, desired feelings that drive us. And each of them is as different as we are.

NOW HEAR THIS!

If you identify the core feelings that would come from attaining success with your goals, you’ll have a road map of inner guidance for making those daily decisions that either make or break your success in the long run.

For example, if freedom and inspiration is a driver for you and you’re wanting to lose weight, then a diet that requires you to count calories, show up for weigh ins, and multiple weekly meetings is less likely to line up with your success long term than a plan that educates and celebrates the wonders of whole foods with a vast array of choices.

Naming your core desired feelings isn’t “woo woo”.  It’s intelligent.  It works toward your success.

If using the power of your desires is of interest to you, then this free call on Thursday is for YOU. Join myself and Ciel Ellis, Desire Map Facilitator, March 26, 1pm PST as we discuss this process.

Love, Gwendolyn

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Inspired Self Care From the Buffalos at Zion

Hello Everyone,IMG_2155

While I am here at Zion watching 60 buffalo roam around the prairie, I’ve noticed the ease at which they live. The routines of herding together at night, then traveling across the meadow midmorning, then back for some greens delivered at lunch time. They lounge all afternoon and the little ones play under their protection. Every now and then some of them have a skirmish that gets quickly resolved with a little head butting. But, overall they are so relaxed. Some of them even let birds sit on their backs.

I see people doing rigid workouts, weighed and measured meals with all sorts of restrictions. Some have done it for years without becoming happy or healthy. A forced exercise and unappealing food plan doesn’t create wellness. Self care from “I have to do this” feels like a heavy voice from a drill sergeant standing over us. It’s stressful.

Self care from inspiration feels more like a happy song in your heart. It’s comes from an “I do this because I love this” attitude. It is like meeting an old friend each day.

The 7 Day Self Care “Buffalo” Challenge

My week with the buffalo inspired a pattern for me that you can build on. These things may be old hat or new ventures for you. The key is to look for the inspiration factor. What are the joys to be gained if they become a daily part of your rhythm? (I am also sharing this on my Facebook page— Gwen Grace RN— where I will be sending lots of photos and ongoing encouragement for you.)
Day 1- Eat healthy Lay off the coffee, sugar and carbs. Day one may be rough, but in nature there are always periods where less is more. For buffalo there are no convenience stores on the prairie. They go for the green.

On Day 2 add Meditation for clarity I notice the buffalo spend time doing what appears to be nothing. They stand still and go off by themselves for bits of time. There is rarely a reason to rush.

On Day 3 add Yoga for flexibility. You can find a class on line, get a video or truck to your local studio. Stretching makes us stronger. It builds our reserves and moves energy from stuck places. You never know when you might need to jump a fence, or flee the scene. The buffalo are ready to do this.

On Day 4 add more Water Try drinking half your body weight in ounces of water. The water hole is a big deal here at Zion. The buffalo have both a lake and a huge pool that gets filled with fresh water every day. Water supports every vital activity.

On Day 5 add Sleep Calm down when the sun goes down. Cut back on electronic devices and shut them off an hour before bedtime – read or listen to music instead or talk to your sweetie (Don’t have one? They are out there somewhere and looking for you – so talk as if they were here). The last train to a good sleep leaves at 10 pm.

On Day 6 add Exercise Do it your way. Get out in nature and hike, bike, jog or swim. Get your heart rate up to break a sweat. Periodically the buffalo break into a run and kick up their heels. Find something that feels great when you do it.

On Day 7 – Connection Try journaling or some form of connection to your dreams, your desires, and create plans for a great day. A community of like minded individuals is so powerful. No buffalo’s make it alone.

I will be offering daily Facebook support during all of March and April to support these activities!
So, remember the buffalo and spring into action.

Love, Gwendolyn

P.S. And don’t forgot the free call to increase your commitment to feeling good, I’ll be hosting the call with Ciel Ellis, Certified Coach/Desire Map trainer on March 26th, at 1pm PST.
If the following questions speak to you, you’ll want to be on this call;

“Do you have trouble doing your daily self care?”

“Who wants to work in a job that sucks their life force?

“Who wants to be in relationships where they don’t feel nourished and honored?

“Who wants to feel bored in their own life?”

Not Ciel, and not me. And I’m pretty sure, not you.

To Join our free call March 26th, 1pm,
call 760-569-0111 and use the code 247988#

We’ll explore the Desire Map, which started out as a book, written by Danielle LaPorte. From there, it became the driver of over 500 book clubs around the world. What’s at the heart of it all? A commitment to feeling good.

Ciel is a remarkable coach using this program—an expert with tools that will rock your status quo.

Cynics would say that choosing to place your focus on feeling good is silly – maybe, even selfish.

But Ciel (and thousands of other Desire Mappers around the globe) know better. Because who wants to live a life that doesn’t feel good?

The Desire Map teaches you how to make better choices by making decisions based on your core desired feelings. And that boils down to living a life that feels GOOD to live.

“I’ve watched this book inspire major transformation in my own life and in the lives of many others. I believe in this material — I know that it works.… which is why, I took my passion for The Desire Map one step further, as an Official Licensed Facilitator of The Desire Map.” Woo!

On the call Ciel will explain how she guides others through the desire mapping process in workshops and you’ll see why I’ve invited Ciel to bring her work into the five day Self Care and Wellness retreat in Palm Desert, Sunday, May 17th thru the 22nd.

“I don’t believe we’re on this planet to live unfulfilled lives, or to let our potential go unrealized. I DO believe that we’re each here to design a life that feels good. It’d be my honor to support you in creating that.” —love, Ciel Ellis, www.cielellis.com

Ciel EllisCiel Ellis is a Certified Co-Active Coach and artist. She specializes in journal writing as a means to heal ourselves and capture the Delicious Life that we most want to live.

To Join our free call March 26th, 1pm, call 760-569-0111 and use the code 247988#

Why? Because how you feel about your life affects everything about your health, wellness and self care.

Feeling good at work, in your clothes, in your relationships, and in your heart isn’t woo-woo—it’s wellness.

love, Gwendolyn —now mark your calendars for this free call! March 26, Thursday at 1pm PST. We hope to record this for those unable to attend at this time.
P.S. For more information about the Desire Map Workshop and Self Care Retreat in Palm Desert May 17-22nd, 2015 click here.
This is something you won’t want to miss if you are seeking clarity, relaxation, plus a whole lot of sunshine and personal insights.

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Something Special is Happening…

Hummingbird_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_pto fulfill your desires. And it is going to feel good.

Do you know your desires? We need to know them to fulfill them. We can do this specifically when we get to know our Desire Map.

To increase your commitment to feeling good, I will be hosting a free call with Ciel Ellis, Certified Coach/Desire Map trainer on March 26th, at 1pm PST.

Join our free call March 26th, 1pm, call 760-569-0111 and use the code 247988# 

Why? Because how you feel about your life affects everything about your health, wellness and self care.

If the following questions speak to you, you’ll want to be on this call;

“Who wants to work in a job that sucks their life force?

Who wants to be in relationships where they don’t feel nourished and honored?

Who wants to feel bored in their own life?”

Not Ciel, and not me. And I’m pretty sure, not you.

We’ll explore the Desire Map, which started out as a book, written by Danielle LaPorte. From there, it became the driver of over 500 book clubs around the world. At the heart of it all? A commitment to feeling good.

Ciel is a remarkable coach using this program—an expert with tools that will rock your status quo.

Cynics would say that choosing to place your focus on feeling good is silly – maybe, even selfish.

But Ciel (and thousands of other Desire Mappers around the globe) know better. Because who wants to live a life that doesn’t feel good?

The Desire Map teaches you how to make better choices by making decisions based on your core desired feelings. And that boils down to living a life that feels GOOD to live.

“I’ve watched this book inspire major transformation in my own life and in the lives of many others. I believe in this material — I know that it works.… which is why, I took my passion for The Desire Map one step further, as an Official Licensed Facilitator of The Desire Map.”  Woo!

On the call Ciel will explain how she guides others through the desire mapping process in workshops and you’ll see why I’ve invited Ciel to bring her work into the Self Care and Wellness retreat in Palm Desert, Sunday, May 17th thru the 22nd.

“I don’t believe we’re on this planet to live unfulfilled lives, or to let our potential go unrealized. I DO believe that we’re each here to design a life that feels good.  It’d be my honor to support you in creating that.” —love, Ciel Ellis, www.cielellis.com

Ciel Ellis
Ciel Ellis is a Certified Co-Active Coach and artist. She specializes in journal writing as a means to heal ourselves and capture the Delicious Life that we most want to live.

 

 

 

Feeling good at work, in your clothes, in your relationships, and in your heart isn’t woo-woo—it’s wellness.

love, Gwendolyn —now mark your calendars for this free call! March 26, Thursday at 1pm PST. We hope to record this for those unable to attend at this time. P.S. For more information about the Desire Map Workshop in combination with the five days of sunshine and self care retreat in Palm Desert May 2015  click here. This is something you won’t want to miss if you are seeking clarity, relaxation, plus a whole lot of sunshine and personal insights.

As promised—here’s a picture of the latest hummingbird nest in the back yard in the orange tree. It has two tiny fuzzy creatures inside. Amazing.IMG_1030

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What are you waiting for?

Hummingbird-picture-2Dear Friends,

Waiting. Sometimes we do not even know we are doing it, or why, or how we are holding ourselves back by creating the “WAIT” time.

Here is a recent example from my own life. I was taking a shower and noticed I was using products a guest left behind. I wondered when the last drops of each would squeeze out so I could then buy what I wanted to be using.

Interesting. Who said I had to be the one to USE up someone else’s stuff? Yikes!

Was my “waste not, want not” attitude working for me or against me? I was feeling dismayed that it was taking so long to empty the heavily scented shampoos and kept using bigger globs each day to rush it along.

WELL—enough of this. Consciousness kicked in and I have tossed the darn stuff, and moved on TODAY.

It isn’t lost on me that this is how I used to handle my health. I meagerly worked out at home, when I really wanted to join a gym. I didn’t  eat what I really wanted while cooking what others did. I put the agenda of scarcity first and it didn’t serve me.  I wanted help but waited until I was ill to get the help I needed.

So, where are you waiting to be the person you really are? How and where does it show up in your life? 

Anything that brings your energy down is not working for you.

But if you are really conscious, a down feeling can propel you to look for what you really need—i.e. the thing that will bring your energy up.

“Healing is more than confronting the challenge of an illness. The wise approach is to realize that it’s a lifestyle,  requiring constant attention to the well-being of your mind, body and spirit. Of all the many factors that healing/living a healthy life require, becoming an empowered individual is the most important. That’s also the most difficult.” Caroline Myss

I admire Caroline Myss for linking individual power to being healthy. She even created a deck of empowerment cards that I used during my journey to wellness and still use on my retreats with women seeking greater health. Greater health only comes with greater power.

I love the four cards that got pulled during the self care retreat I hosted which ended yesterday. They really spoke to the client and they spoke to me.

Here is what each card said:

1. BECOME BETTER—Discover one thing that would make you better and more empowered at what you do and who you are, and make it a part of your routine. If this is difficult, identify why becoming “better” is something you wouldn’t want to do.

2. RECLAIM YOUR POWER—Note one reason why you give away power in your everyday life and then ask yourself if that situation is worth losing your peace of mind over.

3. TAKE STEPS TO GET HEALTHY—Think about one aspect of your physical health that you have been avoiding, and ask yourself why you’ve been doing that. Perhaps your diet needs to change or you need to exercise more. By the end of the day commit to one new step or identify why you’re choosing to sabotage your healing.

4. DARE TO BE CREATIVE—Think of all the creative ideas that come to you in one day. How many do you dismiss as trivial or unproductive? Healing requires impractical and daring creativity.  Your Goal: to observe how you respond to your own creative voice—are you receptive or self critical?

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Dare to Be Creative by Caroline Myss

Waiting serves us until the time is right. But when we know what we want to do or be, it’s time to go for it or be it.

Love, Gwendolyn

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The Top Ten Sources of Toxins That You CAN Do Something About

Are there everyday products in contact with you right now that are costing you future health and present energy?

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I’ll admit it. When one of my health mentors told me we are exposed to over 500 toxins before we ever walk out the door each morning I dreaded even looking at her list of what those toxins were.

So I didn’t. I took the “ostrich puts her head in the sand” approach. I’ll admit. I’d rather put my nose in the pink Caliandra blossoms and watch the hummingbirds float in and out than to read product labels.IMG_1895

However, I kept thinking about “the list” as I saw healthier products advertised. Was it time to switch out many things I had taken for granted as OK?

When I saw the “healthy” brand of deodorant without aluminum at Sephora I bought it. When I was sent information about toothpaste without fluoride I bought that, too. It was a weird flavor (fennel) but I got used to it. I now like both products. Switching brought relief. 

With those two changes heading me in the right direction I now feel ready to work through the whole list and share what was given to me four months ago with a few of my own updates.

If you feel as overwhelmed as I did, I understand. It is creepy to think about things in our house, food and water that can harm us, that accumulate in our bodies, that hurt our children and dampen our vibrancy. It’s 2015—shouldn’t the producers of all these products sold, the FDA and the EPA ensure that they are safe enough to sell?

Folks, we aren’t there yet. But we can make a difference with each purchase we make. We have to be our own advocates.

Now that I’ve read the list, which you can read below, the best way I can embrace all the changes without going compulsively crazy is to do one area each month. It might be more efficient to take a week and “just do it” as Nike says, but I don’t want to get obsessed with this. If you have the bandwidth and time for a clean sweep in your life of all these harmful things—I applaud you. Go for it!

An area a month is what my process is going to be. As you will read on you’ll see there are ten major areas of toxic influences upon us. It is worth printing if you plan to take action. Toxins affect every organ in the body, including skin. Illness is expensive. I’ve been told eliminating these could save my thyroid, improve my hormones and keep me off medications.

What is your process going to be? If you find products that fall into the “wonderful” category please email their names to me. I’ll share them at the end of the year and we can all help each other!

#1 – Household Cleaners

Common toxic chemicals found in our homes do make their way into us, and our children. They are:

Formaldehyde – Found in furniture polishers, car cleaners, disinfectants, rug and upholstery cleaners, and toilet bowl cleaners.

Ethylbenzene – Found in bathroom tub and tile cleaners, floor and furniture polish, laundry starch preparations, and rug upholstery cleaners.

Petroleum Distillates (Petrochemicals) – Found in furniture polish and cleaners, lubricating oils, pet flea and tick products and collars, petroleum products, floor and furniture polish, dishwasher cleaners, aerosol sprays, and laundry detergents.

Chlorine – Found in dish washing detergent, laundry detergent, kitchen and all purpose cleaners.
Note: Any substances containing chlorine, when mixed with ammonia, toilet bowl cleaners, or vinegar, will produce deadly toxic fumes (chloramines or chlorine gas).

Benzene – Used as optical brighteners (in surface cleaners, laundry and dish washing detergents, surface polishers) and found in general performance sealants (PVAC, butyl, vinyl, etc.), laundry starch preparations, lubricating

oils, scatter rugs, bath mats, and bath sets.
Butyl Cellosolve – Found in window cleaners and other all-purpose-cleaning products.

Phenol – Found in disinfectants, antibacterial, antiseptics, hard surface cleaners, paint and varnish removers, and synthetic resin and rubber adhesives.

Biggest Offenders:

Dish washing Detergents, Floor and Furniture Polishes, Antibacterial Cleaners and Soaps, Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners

Solutions:

“Clean House, Clean Planet: Cleaning Your House Pennies a Day-The Safe Nontoxic Way” – Book by Karen Logan. http://www.greenhome.com/green-products-home/non-toxic-cleaning.html

#2 – Material Contents (Carpets, Furniture, Appliances/Flame Retardants)

Carpets -Some of the major chemicals released from new carpets and furniture are formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and xylene. The carpet fibers themselves, the rubber backing, the glues, dyes, fungicides, and stain resistant treatments all outgas these chemicals for up to three years after installation. However be careful with really old carpets, as they can be an infestation for molds and other allergy-causing agents. Carpets are always the dirtiest places in our homes, even when they look clean.

Furniture -Even furniture made of pressed laminated wood—which is used to make both inexpensive and expensive furniture—contains formaldehyde, which is extremely poisonous.

These chemicals are also harmful because they—like the toxins from cleaning products—make their way into the dust you and your children breathe.

Appliances/Flame Retardants – A new study showed flame retardants are present in the body of almost everyone in the U.S., and they are known to be a possible cause of hormonal, neurological, liver, and other health problems.

On average, the largest contributors of flame-retardants were:

Computers Vehicle seats (cloth was much higher than leather)
T.V.s (regardless of age or type) Sleeping pillows & mattresses (Worst: Polyurethane foams)

Safer Resources:
Green Building Supply (carpets, pads cleaners, finishes, paint, air systems, sealers, etc.). Or, visit them online: www.greenbuildingsupply.com.

Additional resources (make sure to ask each vendor for their healthiest lines and question the contents): Shaw Carpets (ask for No-VOC line) – www.shawfloors.com
Eco By Design – www.ecobydesign.com/shop/carpet/
Natural Home – www.naturalhomeproducts.com

Nirvana Safe Haven – www.nontoxic.com

#3 – Water

People still believe today that drinking tap water from faucets and water fountains is safe because it has been treated with certain chemicals that kill bacteria, parasites, and other harmful organisms. Here’s the truth: these very same chemicals that protect us from such microorganisms are ironically linked to more dangerous diseases. Unlike the water in places like Mexico and third world countries, our water’s supply doesn’t hold nearly as many dangerous microorganisms that cause illnesses.

We do face a new challenge, however. In water, there are two major chemicals added that qualify as majors threats and must be eliminated. These two chemicals are chlorine and fluoride.

Solutions:

Healthy toothpaste (without fluoride) House filtration, Individual carbon filters, Kangen Water Home Systems, Distillation Shower carbon systems

Bottled water. This water is better than tap, but remember it is tainted by the plastic container. Stay away from “natural” spring water because you don’t know what you’re really getting.

Safer Resources:

Virgin Pacific Whole House Water Filtration Systems: www.virginpacificwater.com www.waterfiltercomparisons.net/WaterFilter_Comparison.cfm American Water

Technologies – www.awatertech.com
Advanced Water Filters – www.advancedwaterfilters.com

Barbara Hubbard is Gwen’s Water resource- 760-272-6672

#4 – Mold

Without question, the most widespread and under-diagnosed neurotoxic illness is caused by mold. Mold itself has become widespread because the modern way of constructing buildings tends to create an environment favorable to mold growth.

Tips:

• House humidity levels must be under 50°.

• If your basement gets wet, you have mold (where there is water there is mold).

• Most mold is not seen.

• 25% of the population is sensitive to the biotoxin that mold produces.

• Toxic indoor molds and the molds responsible for neurotoxic illness are not outside mold.

• Biotoxic illness is not a mold allergy. Some of the first symptoms of biotoxic illness are morning stiffness, brain fog, fatigue, sleep disturbances, digestive issues, and trouble seeing at night.

Home Depot sells test kits that you place your home to send off for results.

Safer Resources:

Green Building Supplies – Mold free drywall, air systems online: www.greenbuildingsupply.com.

IAQSource.com – Air Systems and ERV’s (fresh air systems)
ChronicNeurotoxins.com – A great resource to learn more about mold.
“Mold Warriors,” a book by Dr. Shoemaker – a great resource! You can find it at: www.moldwarriors.com. Concrobium – A great product to clean up mold. – http://www.concrobium.com/
RGF Environmental Group – Mold control in HVAC and home – www.rgf.com

#5 – Pesticides

One of the leading causes of toxic encephalopathy, and only now being understood for its epigenetic effects on human health. A systematic review of pesticides on human health showed consistent pesticide links to serious illnesses such as cancer, reproductive problems, and neurological diseases, among others. The study also shows that children are particularly vulnerable to pesticides. (http://www.beyondpesticides.org/news/daily_news_ar- chive/2004/04_26_04.htm)

Facts:

• A Harvard Study showed even low levels of pesticides have a 70% higher incidence of Parkinson’s.
• Journal of American Medicine found 70% increase of Parkinson’s in those who use pesticides in their home.

Safer Resources:

Green Building Supply

#6 – Food
Pesticides & Herbicides

An estimated 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the U.S. every year.1 These chemicals are used on our food and even in our homes. From these sources, they go directly into our bodies, where they once again
bio accumulate to cause diseases later in life with unknown origins. Most of the pesticides & herbicides in food are found in meat.

Safer Resources:

The key is to eat organic: meat and dairy are the most important foods to buy organic. That means organic foods grown and raised without the use of any man-made chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, steroids, hormones etc.).

For delivery of 100% Green Grass fed and finished (never grain) organic beef straight to your home: www.beyondorganicmilk.com

Steroids, Growth Hormones, and Antibiotics

Added to the bioaccumulation of pesticides and herbicides in the meat that we eat, we must consider the steroids, hormones, and antibiotics added as well. The steroids and hormones are used for meat growth and added to milk cows to increase milk production.

Man-Made Fats and Rancid Oils

Man-made fats—better known as trans fats— include hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils and margarine, which have been used to extend the shelf life of foods and replace natural fats that were thought to be the cause of the battle of the bulge. Rancid oils include vegetable oils (i.e. canola, corn, cottonseed, soybean, and safflower oils) and are used in almost every product on the market today because they’re cheap. Because of the way the fatty acids are bonded in vegetable oils, they are very sensitive to heat and light. Therefore, upon processing, these oils go rancid very quickly even before they make their way into your kitchen.

Solutions:

Avoid turning good fats into rancid fats by taking the following precautions. High Heat: Use only coconut butter, coconut oil, and grape seed oil.

Medium Heat: Use olive oil. It will turn rancid when heated above 120° F. If it smokes, it has already turned rancid. Butter is also a good option, but if it starts to brown then it has become rancid.

Baking: Butter, coconut butter, expeller-pressed sunflower or safflower, and olive oil can be used in baking if temperature is under 325 degrees. In a hotter oven, use butter, olive oil, or coconut butter.

No Heat Oils: Cold-pressed oils, flax oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, hemp seed oil, almond oil, and walnut oil. These oils all have very fragile fatty acid bonds and should be used cold on salads, over cool foods, or smoothies.

Cookware

Let’s begin with Teflon. A Teflon pan heated at a regular cooking temperature has been shown to release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses.2 These gases are all emitted from PFOA, which is a known inorganic substance that won’t break down into

Development problems; risks of liver, pancreatic, testicular and mammary gland tumors; altered thyroid hormone regulation, damage to the immune system, and reproductive problems and birth defects.

Aluminum pans hold a similar problem. It’s no secret by now that aluminum cookware is being linked to neuro- logical conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, osteoporosis, extreme nervousness, anemia, head- ache, decreased liver and kidney function, forgetfulness, speech disturbances, and memory loss. The scientific research at this time is not sure how much aluminum it takes to cause these disorders, but it is clear that the accumulation of aluminum over time in brain tissue is a causative factor in neurological conditions.

Because everyone’s genetic susceptibility is different, it’s important to eliminate such cookware.Stainless steel, enameled or well-seasoned cast iron and porcelain cookware are best. Earth Easy recommends Fagor America cook ware. http://eartheasy.com/blog/2009/01/healthy-cookware/

#7 – Amalgams

Studies indicate that the more amalgam fillings are present in your mouth, the more mercury you will have in your organs, including the brain, kidneys, heart, and liver. Mercury is the 3rd most toxic element on the planet. Amalgam fillings are the number #1 adult source of mercury. Many feel that mercury from amalgam fillings is the number 1 cause of unexplained illness.

WARNING! Do not remove amalgam fillings without a proper protocol! You will need a biological dentist. Visit www.iaomt.org

Facts:

• Silver fillings leach mercury for the lifetime of the filling. Newborns have the same proportion of mercury that their mothers have in their mouths and bodies.
• The number of amalgams is proportional to the amount of mercury in your brain. • Most countries have bans on amalgam fillings but not the United States

#8 – Vaccines & Medications

Medications are supposed to help us right? Well, when I worked in hospice I actually saw some patients get well after we eliminated their medications. Medications can be life saving, but most are meant for short term use, not long term solutions.

Vaccines, although credited for saving the lives of children, are responsible for the majority of unexplainable child- hood diseases on the rise today.

Facts:

• Vaccines are a temporary immunity, which alter your immune system for life.
• Vaccines stimulate your body’s emergency immune reaction (TH2) that leads to hyper immunity, such as an

increase in allergies, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.
• Common ingredients in vaccines are antifreeze, aluminum, mercury, borax, MSG, animal organ tissues and blood,

aborted human fetal tissue, human viruses, animal viruses, foreign DNA….the list goes on.
• The flu shot still contains 12-25 mcg of mercury
• Studies show that flu shots increase Alzheimer’s by ten times.
• You still have a right not to vaccinate. Know your state laws for religious or philosophical rights.

Resources:

The best resource for information on vaccines: www.marytocco.com. Another good resource: www.nvic.org. also Dr. Mercola has a web site with great interviews on this topic.

#9 – Plastics

We are the first generation to be introduced to the new chemical onslaught from plastics. In so many ways, plastics have made our lives easier and in some cases even saved them, but not without consequence. Our bodies take in 210 mcg/day of a cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting chemicals called phthalates. Phthalates are found in every soft and flexible plastic we use. From plastic-wraps over our foods to the plastic soda and water bottles we drink from.3

Phthalates are used in plastics to make them more flexible, and science is not clear on what level of exposure is harmful since this chemical is so new. Only a person’s body knows its own limits for this cancer-causing toxin.

Note on Safer Plastics:

If you turn a plastic container or bottle over, you will find a number ranging from 1 to 7. This numbering system was originally developed by the Society of The Plastics Industry (SPI) to classify plastics for recycling purposes. The system can be a little confusing because the higher the number on the plastic does not designate a safer bottle or product, however the numbers can help us select plastics that are somewhat safer.

For your purposes, plastics with the numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are your best bet. Avoid plastics with numbers 3, 6, and 7.

Solutions:
Use glass for most of your storage. To minimize the big effects of plastic leaching, don’t place hot foods in Tupperware containers or plastic bags. Let the food cool down before storing. Fatty and acidic foods should never be stored in plastic containers. Also, prolonged refrigeration storage in plastic isn’t a good idea. Instead, you’re better off with leaving food on a glass plate or bowl and using Saran wrap over it to minimize contact (preferably so that the plastic isn’t touching the food at all).

To store your food you can also use mason jars. If you don’t want to purchase these, just clean out emptied glass jars and reuse them for storage. That way you’ll save money on containers and reduce waste.

Don’t stress over sandwich bags and short-term plastic storage. If you make sandwiches in the morning to eat for lunch, putting them in little plastic bags won’t place your food at much risk. You can find good baggies from www.naturalvalue.com or at natural foods stores.

Drinking filtered water instead of bottled water is a good solution. However, bottled water would be better than tap water when away from home. Remember to avoid plastics with numbers 3, 6 and 7. BPA free does not mean that is necessarily safe.

Stainless steel and glass bottles are the best two alternatives for your water. To easily save money, you can buy a glass bottle of iced tea (or any other beverage in a good glass bottle from gas stations or supermarkets) and reuse the bottle for water once emptied.

#10 – Toxic Beauty (Personal Care Products)

In today’s age, the problem with all of the recent personal care products (soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, etc.) is that there are over 125 ingredients formulated that are suspected of carcinogenic activities. Out of the 125, we’ve picked five that are in practically every personal care product used today.

1. Diethanolamine (DEA) is found in over 600 home and personal care products such as soaps, lotions, cosmetics, bubble baths, laundry and dish washing detergents, and more. DEA is used to provide a rich lather in shampoos and keeps a good consistency in lotions and creams.

2. Propylene Glycol is a substance used in antifreeze solutions and hydraulic fluids as a powerful solvent. Ironically enough, it is also found in childhood vaccinations, cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, and even processed foods (including pet foods). Propylene Glycol helps products retain moisture, and when used on your skin, helps it stay soft and moist. That’s why it is found in most baby wipes and skin lotions.

3. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is perhaps the most common of the three chemicals and by no means any less toxic. SLS is used as a surfactant to break down the surface tension of water. Therefore it will break up grease and is used in concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and carwash detergents. Un- fortunately, the same degreaser is being used in practically every soap, shampoo, and toothpaste on the market today.

4. Phthalates are dangerous chemicals found in plastics that cause endocrine disruption and cancer.

Phthalates are also found in baby care products. A study testing the urine of 163 infants between two and twenty five months of age found 80% of the infants had at least 7 phthalate metabolites in their urine.
All infants in the study had detectable levels of at least one phthalate metabolite. Almost all of the mothers had used baby wipes and over half of the mothers had used baby shampoo on their infants within 24 hours of the urine collection.

5. Nanotechnology is an emerging technology that involves manipulation of materials at the scale of atoms and molecules. To give you an idea of how small a nanometer is, a human hair is 80,000 nanometers in diameter. This technology is entirely unregulated and almost no testing has been done for its health effects. Nanotechnology is of a concern because it is now being used in virtually all personal care products from make-up to toothpaste and perfume. Unless you call the companies that manufacture your personal care products and ask if they use nanotechnology, there is no way of knowing if those products contain nanoparticles. Companies are not required to test nanoparticles or label them.

Safer Resources:

Below is a list of recommended companies that sell safe hygiene products. You can also visit www.cosmeticsdatabase.com to look-up your favorite product. PLEASE NOTE: You want your product to score 0-2, and ALWAYS look at the product’s detailed page. The detailed page should display all the ingredients in your product and is basing the score of all (not just 1) ingredients!

The Body Deli has plant based organic products that smell great. http://www.thebodydeli.com

Aubrey Organics – www.aubrey-organics.com
Lavera – www.lavera.com
Logona – http://www.logona.co.uk/
Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc – www.gabrielcosmeticsinc.com

References:

1 Pesticide Action Network North America [PANNA]: Chemical Trespass—Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability.
2 Teflon– Tuberose.com Information for Transformation
3 Nick Marynissen. “Toxic Teens” http://www.vistamagonline.com/articles/page.php?tp=3&p=1&id=22&s=toxic_teens Accessed: March 2, 2006.

 

I know this is a bundle of information.

Take the time you need and get the help you need to make the changes you want to make.

Make life work for you and let’s support each other with our findings. I love to hear your thoughts about this. It helps me stay on track.

Love, Gwendolyn

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What does that craving mean?

IMG_0877Transitions bring up emotions. Excitement, panic, despair, fulfillment, celebration, sadness and confusion can swirl from one to another and come seconds apart from each other.

I am certainly feeling all of this in the newness of settling into Palm Desert. While it was fun to relax my routines during the move and over the holidays I noticed old cravings starting to control what I was choosing to eat. Did I really want to eat the Ben and Jerry’s brownie fudge ice cream that my son left in the freezer? No, honestly it tasted way too sweet and processed.  After years of better eating I knew better.

So why was I craving it?

Transitions are destabilizing and can suck up energy even in the joy of a new year.  A longing has come for a way to simplify my life to make room for new people, new friends and more time with family.

That all sounds good, so why the cravings?

Transitions can turn us inside where the unresolved lurks. In a world that gives us encouragement to do less than meditate, explore or talk about our feelings, the discomfort can result in cravings for sweet, salty, buttery, sour and creamy things to soothe ourselves.

So are the cravings all in our head? Or are those cravings the body’s intelligence asking for something we need?

I think they are both.

Before you dismiss cravings as a spiritual deficit or indulge them with junk food or end up with guilt for wanting junk food, take a minute to look at the chart at the bottom of this page and think about what you may actually need.

They say a craving will usually subside in 15 minutes if you do not give into it. Start with a glass of water and see if that satisfies you. If not, take the craving more seriously and make sure you are eating the things you really need.

Next time you run into a craving, nurture it wisely and enjoy your food.

Remember it is not what you eat 5% of the time that makes or breaks you. It is what you eat 95% of the time.

Love, Gwendolyn

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