Exactly how full is your cup?

Exactly how full is your cup?

How do you see your cup, half empty or half full?

Consistently finding the glass half-empty—and the world as a difficult place— is a hallmark of negativity.

Research has found that a negative outlook can contribute to everything from depression to heart disease to lowered immune system function. It can affect sleep, weight maintenance, the quality of your relationships, your social life, and even your ability to hold a job.

Now imagine what it would feel like to approach life from a place of positivity, fun, connection, health, and possibility. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

6 Tips to Make a Positive Switch To help wipe out negativity, try one or more of the following action steps:

  1. Go complaint-free. Try going an hour without complaining and see the positive things in your life. Next, try a day, a week, and so on.
  2. Keep a gratitude journal. Each evening, list 10 or more things that you are grateful for.
  3. Give compliments freely. Notice the good in others. Praise every person you interact with.
  4. Find beauty everywhere in your world. Notice its gorgeousness.
  5. Share your good news. Studies show that sharing happy events brings even more happiness.
  6. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

Positive affirmations are also a great way to stay on the bright side. They are so powerful that I write them down and put them on my vision board to help remind me to celebrate my imperfections and to slow down, pay attention and enjoy life. I wrote a blog about making vision boards, check it out. It is a great way to see what you are working on daily. https://jfhealthcoach.com/your-guide-to-making-a-vision-board/

 

25 positive affirmations

 

  1. I surround myself with people who bring out the best in me.
  2. When things feel like they’re not adding up, I subtract. The less I need, the better I feel.
  3. I can do, feel and believe in a way that is true to me without having to justify myself.
  4. Breathing in I calm my body, breathing out I smile.
  5. I celebrate all that I have been, all that I am and all that I’m yet to be.
  6. I’m open and honest about what I feel, what I need and who I am.
  7. I give myself permission to ask for help. Asking for what I need isn’t a sign of inadequacy, but of self-awareness and courage to show vulnerability.
  8. I forgive my past self for having to learn.
  9. I’m choosing to focus on the opinions that I hold of myself rather than being deafened by the opinions of others.
  10. When I get overwhelmed with choices, I choose myself.
  11. Whatever I do today, I know it’s enough.
  12. I find joy in moving forward.
  13. I let go of unrealistic expectations and the need to prove my worth. I am worthy and of value just as I am.
  14. I’m committed to creating a life I love.
  15. Once I stop rushing through life, I realize how much life I have time for.
  16. I choose to shine, not to suffer.
  17. I acknowledge all the good that I have in my life because I know this is the foundation for all abundance.
  18. I make myself a priority in my own life.
  19. I can be there for others without leaving myself behind.
  20. Gratitude turns what I have into enough.
  21. I move through life with ease and grace.
  22. I am the curator of my life. I slowly cut things out until I’m left with what I love, what’s most important, what’s necessary and what makes me happy.
  23. I trust my gut and do what feels right for me.
  24. I can be authentic while still discovering who I am.
  25. I live a ‘want to’ life not a ‘have to’ life.

Come up with your own affirmations with these starters:

I am…

I choose to…

I am deserving of…

I am worthy of…

I give myself permission to…

Maintaining a positive outlook takes practice, and the more you do it, the easier it gets. The payoff—a happier, healthier life—is absolutely worth the effort.

Let me know how your positivity is going. I would love to hear from you. If you need more affirmations, I have tons!

Just contact me at jfhealthcoach.com

 

Boost your Winter Immune System

Boost your Winter Immune System

Winter is a confusing time for the environment and your immune system.

In my world, it has been cold with lots of rain and warm days mixed in. Today happens to be one of those beautiful warm days where the birds are chirping, and the sun is shining. It makes me feel like spring is here, but winter is not over yet!

Winter Sickness

We are in the thick of it with winter sickness and I am doing my best to keep my family (and everyone around me) on the healthy side.

The cold, winter weather has a significant impact on your health. Not only does it encourage people to stay indoors and spread their germs, but the dry air allows viruses to spread more easily.

The preschool kids I work with are disappearing left and right from colds and the flu, my daughters are experiencing the same thing in their elementary school and our neighbor friends are all sick…It’s that time of the year!

Healing Herbs

Herbs are an inexpensive and natural way to boost your immune system PLUS you get the added benefits of relaxation, sleep, and stress reduction.

I’m taking a series of herbal classes right now. It’s so much fun and I am learning so much. I want to share with you one of the herbal medicines I’ve learned to make, Elderberry Syrup.

The elderberry plant has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years, and today, many studies haven shown it safely fights off upper respiratory infections, influenza symptoms and boosts immunity.

My whole family has been taking it and for the most part, loving it.

Boost your Winter Immune System with Elderberry Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh or ¾ cup dried elderberries

3 cups water

1 tsp cinnamon or ½ cinnamon stick

2 Tbsp fresh sliced ginger

1 tsp cloves

1 cup raw honey

Directions:

Place elderberries, water, cinnamon, and cloves in a pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Remove from heat and using a mesh sieve or cheesecloth, strain out mixture. Transfer liquid to a jar and add honey.

Keep in the fridge sealed.

How to take:

Take 1-3 tsp a day as a preventative

If sick, take 1 tablespoon up to 4 times daily

Extra tips to boost immune:

Take cold showers. It builds immunity along with many other health benefits. (I have been doing this and it is invigorating!)

Exercise outside. Keep the body moving, get in that fresh air and Vitamin D.

Eat extra amounts of citrus. Get in that vitamin C.

How are these winter days going for you?

Cheers to your health!

Your Guide to making a Vision Board

Your Guide to making a Vision Board

A vision board is a great motivational and therapeutic way to set goals and bring them to fruition.

By creating a simple collection of images, notes and ideas you can create a powerful visualization of what you want in your life. Then, place it in a noticeable place that so you are inspired and reminded every day of what you are working on in your life.

Here’s how to get started

Making a vision board is a fun activity to do with friends and children. It is also a great way to inspire others by sharing your visions. So, play some of your most inspiring music, gather your friends or family and start designing your vision board today.

Making your Vision Board:

Gather your Supplies. You will need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue, push pins or tape
  • Fun markers, pens, paint, glitter glue
  • Post-it-notes, colorful paper and fun magazines
  • A background

Start with your Background. Use a piece of cardboard, poster board or cork board. Be creative. Any and all will work just fine. I have even seen someone use a big picture frame and hang it on their wall. It can be a big, medium or small vision board.

Find your Images and Content. Magazines are great for finding pictures and words that represent who you are and who you strive to be, where you are going and the goals you are working on.

Posted notes or colorful paper are used to write out your intentions, goals and motivational quotes.

Some folks will just use magazines, and some simply write out their visions. You can always do both. This is where your creativity comes in.

You may want to personalize it even more by adding a picture of yourself.

Placing Your Vision Board:

Placement is crucial to your success. You want your vision board to be located somewhere inspirational and in a spot that is related to the goals you want to achieve.

For example, if your goals are to eat healthier or lose weight, you may want to put it on the refrigerator (then read my Mindful Eating article Here). If your goals are business related, place it in your office. Relationship goals? Hang your board in your bedroom.

Taking Action:

Making the vision board is the fun part, but don’t forget to take action and continue to dream, move forward and stay positive.

Changing Your Vision Board:

For me, it is important to re-evaluate my vision board and switch it up if it isn’t aligning in my life anymore. I probably change mine about 4 times a year!

You can leave blank spots so that you can add to it, use push pins so you can easily add to or take away your creations.

Have fun visioning!

Let me know how it goes. I would love to hear from you!

The Practice of Mindful Eating: 5 Ways to Control Your Eating Habits

Mindful Eating

When is the last time you slowed down long enough to really take a look at the food on your plate? What you eat and how you eat can be the difference between powering through your day or running out of steam by lunch time. Once you learn the practice of mindful eating, not only will your eating habits improve, but so will your life.

It has been proven that regular, healthy eating habits make us feel better, live longer, increase our energy and improve our mood. So why are we so mindless when it comes to eating?

Be Mindful of What You are Eating

Most of us eat without thinking. We snack throughout the day. We scarf down whatever food we can grab because we are too busy to care what we eat, then move on to the next thing in our life. But, when you are
more mindful of your eating and actually pay attention to what you eat and how you eat it, you are more apt to eat less, eat healthier and feel better.

I am guilty too. There are days when I have to remind myself to sit down and enjoy a meal or snack. Other people may eat compulsively all day long. Either way, it is important to be mindful of what we are eating and how we are eating.

Food is nourishment for our bodies. It provides us with the energy we need to stay active as well as the nutrients we need to stay healthy and feel better

Be Mindful of How you are Eating

By slowing down at mealtime, we can learn to eat mindfully to become more conscious of what we are consuming.

Taking the time to savor the appearance, smell, texture and taste of our food can actually lead to eating less and being more satisfied.

With practice you can transform your relationship with food. You can learn to view eating as an act of self-love.

Mindful Eating: 5 Ways to Gain Control of Your Eating Habits

Be thankful for your food. Before each meal, take a moment be thankful for your food. Think about where food comes from, how it nourishes our body and how lucky we are to have such an abundance of food available to us.

Eat with all five senses. Before you take a bite of food, take a moment to appreciate how it looks. Breathe in the aroma, and as you take a bite, feel the texture and the sensation as it moves through your body.

Wait out your craving. When you long for a certain food, sit with it for a minute. Pay attention to the emotions you are having. Watch the craving rise, then let it go. Grab some water or tea and if you are still having that craving, choose a small portion and be done.

Choose acceptance. If you do overeat, don’t punish yourself. Accept it, get back on track and move on. It is a practice and you can restart your commitment at any time.

Be flexible. Every day is different. Allow yourself to eat what nourishes you that particular day. Switch up your routine rather than getting stuck in a food rut.

 Try this Vibrant Kale Salad!

2 bunches of Kale or a 1 big bag chopped into bite size pieces

1 yellow or red bell pepper

2 or 3 beets steamed and chopped

2 carrots shredded

¼ cup Balsamic dressing

Walnuts chopped (as many as you desire)

Salt and pepper to taste

This salad is colorful with lots of flavors to help you practice eating with all 5 senses.

Pay attention to the wonders on your plate. Happy eating!  

Maintain Healthy Habits while Traveling

Maintain Healthy Habits while Traveling

Whenever I traveled with my family I would lose focus and neglect to maintain my normal healthy habits. I put everybody’s needs first and mine last. I want traveling to be successful and when I am off, it effects the whole family.

Our family recently went to Disney World in our RV and camped for a week. I decided before we left that I was going to be awake, aware and ready for this trip.

Lack of self-care was NOT going to be the missing ingredient.

Follow these tips to maintain healthy habits while traveling:

  • Wake up early and enjoy a few quiet minutes to yourself. (good time for having gratitude and getting focused for the day)
  • Wash your face. Make sure to take the soap you love. It is a good time to inhale and wake up with a fresh start. (It’s the little things)
  • Exercise. Whether its squats, sit ups, jumping rope or running, all you need to do is get your heart rate up. It may not be your regular workout, but it is better than nothing! (Suggest that your family do a fun challenge for the week of a certain amount of sit ups and push-ups daily that you all agree on)
  • Pack healthy food and water. Healthy foods that travel well include carrots, nuts and apples. I made avocado sandwiches with tofu and cucumber. (They were delicious)
  • Cook your meals. If you do go out, look for the healthiest plate the restaurant has to offer. Restaurants are getting better about having healthy options.
  • Relax in the evening and get ready for the next day by preparing for what is up and coming.
  • Don’t forget to recap all your favorite parts of the day and be grateful!  My family plays a game called Rose, Thorn and Bud.  You go around and each family member shares their favorite part of the day (Rose), the worst part of the day (Thorn) and what you are looking forward to (Bud). It is a great way to connect with your family.

Remind yourself to be present, breath and remember where you are and what you are doing. Smile, be grateful and maintain your healthy habits.

Be your own friend, be gentle with yourself and remember, everyone is better when YOU are good. It takes work and effort to have a successful family trip! It takes practice.

Let me know how your next trip goes with your family and give me feedback on what works best for you and how you maintain your healthy habits when traveling.

 

 

 

 

Gratitude, let me count the ways! 5 Amazing Ways to show Gratitude

Gratitude, let me count the ways! 5 Amazing Ways to show Gratitude

Gratitude is magical. The more we are thankful, the more joy we feel and the more joy we feel, the more present we are. If we just look up and around, outside from our life for a minute, there is so much to appreciate.

No matter what, we always have something to be thankful for!

Even if we are having a rough time in our life, there are gifts in that. Rough times are an opportunity to become more aware of ourselves and to grow from our life situations.

Being grateful is a practice and a good habit to get into.

Every complaint that we have, we could turn around and have gratitude for. For example, “my house is always a wreck and all I do is clean, but my kids are just so messy” or “I am so thankful to have a roof over my head and I’m super thankful my kids are well and having fun with their toys.” This is just an example of how we can turn our complaints into gratitude.

Here are a few ways to show gratitude on a daily basis:

~Step outside, look up and down and all around. Most likely you will see something that pleases your eyes. Use your senses, be quiet and inhale a couple of breaths of gratitude. Take notice of the sounds around you and how the air feels in your nostrils. If you find something that you appreciate, simply say, thank you.

~After a meditation take time to think of things you are thankful for and say thank you. I tend to do a practice where I take 3 breaths and then quickly say 3 things I am thankful for and then take 3 more breaths. (If you do not meditate, you can do the 3 breaths practice)

~Have a gratitude journal in your house. I use this as a great dinner activity with my family. We share what we are grateful for then take the time to write it down. There is something powerful about writing things down!

~Grab a big jar, call it your gratitude jar and whenever you are thankful for something, take a piece of paper and write it down and just stick in the jar. Pretty cool to look at a year later.

~At night as you get ready to go to sleep, you can reflect back on the day and just count all the things you are thankful for and simply say, thank you!

We have so much to be thankful for! It is just a matter of slowing down and taking the time to notice. And remember that the more we are grateful, the more joy we have and the more joy we have, the more present we are.

Nameste’

I would love to hear your thoughts on the practice of gratefulness and some things that you are doing to be thankful!

Contact me: jenny@jfhealthcoach.com

How do I find the drive to exercise?

How do I find the drive to exercise?

Like most people these days, I am super busy. My husband and I live a full life that includes work, running a household with two small children and much more. We are constantly busy. It would be easy to skip exercise, but the truth is, we are so much better off when we make the effort. So how do I find the drive to exercise?

Truth be told, it is an effort, but it’s worth it!

My latest goal is to get to the pool to swim twice a week early morning before work. In order to make that happen, I have to use all 10 of these helpful tips.

10 tips to help you find the drive to exercise!

  1. Focus on one goal. Life is often super busy. Pick one thing and stick with it, then move on to another once you have that goal down.
  2. Make a plan and prepare to achieve that goal. Time management and getting organized is big in this department.
  3. Post your goal. Put it where you can see it, like a mantra.
  4. Tell a friend or family member. This helps with accountability.
  5. Get excited and find inspiration. Find people who have achieved what you are looking to achieve. Read about it in magazines or on the internet.
  6. Set a date to get started. It builds anticipation.
  7. Start small. You want to make sure you can be successful.
  8. Focus on the benefits and not how hard it will be.
  9. Know that exercise ebbs and flows. If you get in a rut, just wait it out, it won’t be permanent.
  10. Keep thinking positively. We are here to do our best and practice life! And remember we are on a journey to a healthy goal. Then another…

Motivation is a mindset. It is a matter of telling ourselves that what we are setting out to do, will be worth it! Whether it is to find the drive to exercise, eat better or spend more time outdoor, we will gain something from our actions. We have to tell ourselves ALL the benefits and talk ourselves into why we need to accomplish a goal and that it IS worth our time. Its like being our own coach!

If you can find the drive to exercise, it will bring more balance to your life.  It is amazing how it will also spiral into other areas of your life as well.

Let me know how I can support you with some tools to help you achieve your next goal!

Contact me:  jenny@jfhealthcoach.com

Fear: Don’t let fear guide you in the wrong direction!

Fear: Don’t let fear guide you in the wrong direction!

Fear is just doing what it is supposed to do, to protect you and keep you  safe. But fear is tricky. It has its place for good and logical reasons, but you have to make sure you don’t let that fear guide you in the wrong direction.

If you are not paying attention, you will realize that fear is actually holding you back from living.

We fear many things:

  • trying new things
  • being made fun of
  • getting hurt emotionally or physically
  • speaking up and being your truest self.

I have started talking to my fear, that’s right, I say, “thank you fear, but I am going to need you to hop in the back seat, I’m driving right now!” I have found that the more I talk to it and acknowledge it, the less fear I feel.

Saying YES is my new motto!

For example, my friend asked me to do a mountain bike race with her. I finally said yes, even though it scared me. That is coming up in two weeks and the voice in my head wants to fill me with all kinds of thoughts like, you are not in good enough shape, you are going to hold people up and what if you wreck? I keep telling myself to stay present, that it will all be alright,  just relax and have FUN with it! I will do my best to be present, have fun, feel my body and use less of my mind during this race. Wish me luck!

Fear and excitement have the same chemical release in our bodies. When doing something new, try to replace those scared thoughts with excitement instead. Simply being conscious of this practice can lead to a mindset that can guide you in your future. Healthy fear mixed with excitement is good!

Can you think of something that challenges you or stretches you?

What can you say YES to Today?

Leave a me comment, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Time to Boost your Immune System!

Time to Boost your Immune System!

Yesterday, I was riding my bike in the woods and realized that in the last couple of weeks I had gotten hit with a cold and then a stomach bug. I thought, “Wow! I just got hit hard!” With the seasons changing and all of the kids back at school under one roof, it is no surprise my body is telling me “it’s time to boost your immune system“.

My next thought was, “What can I do for myself?” I decided to start taking some action steps, so I can get my body strong again before winter.

5 Tips to boost your immune system…

#1. Get outside and exercise. Grab some of that fresh air.

#2. Get adequate sleep. It helps to turn off screens about a half hour before you go to sleep. They are so stimulating. Settle the mind with a book and a cup of warm tea. Stay away from caffeine late in the day.

#3. Try to minimize your stress level. Stress can cause your immune to break down. Finding quiet time with some simple breathing in your day will be a game changer.

#4. Eat extra amounts of veggies that are high in vitamin C. Lots of vegetables have vitamin C. Broccoli and spinach are good examples. Red bell peppers are packed full of vitamins. One way to get veggies into your system is to drink them. Smoothies can taste so good. Here is a smoothie I love to drink!

Boost your Immune System with this Delicious Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie

1 cup of dairy free milk

2 cups of spinach

1 cup of blueberries

½ of an avocado

2 TBSP Cocoa powder

(Add a protein powder) optional

#5. Eat extra amounts of citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit and tangerines. They are also high in Vitamin C. Something I like to do, is slice up some different citrus fruits and plop them into a big jar of water and just sip it all day. It is super refreshing and good for you!

I am ready to get back on track, are you?

Let me know how I can help you get on track for the cold season.

Email me here jenny@jfhealthcoach.com