Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Musings at 3500 feet

I don’t know if any book has moved me as much as the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. I have read it more than once and have watched the movie several times. I am fascinated with human relationships and the mother daughter relationship may be one of the most fascinating and complicated of all.

My daughter, Olivia – beautiful, magnificent, a fire tiger, and because of this she was given an extremely strong will, a determined spirit, a fiery temperament, and as sometimes only a mother can know, a heart of gold. If what I have heard is true, the Chinese, because of their one child only law, would rid themselves of their female babies. Boy babies being much more desirable because when they become men they take care of their parents in their elderly years, while the daughters go on to live and take care of their husbands families. And if the girl baby happened to be a Tiger year baby, well heaven help her, she was definitely “disposed” of. Tigers were known to be “disobedient” and there is no room in a Chinese household for a disobedient daughter.

Flying up to Portland, deep in my own thoughts, thinking of my own daughter. If we were characters in the Joy Luck Club, Olivia would definitely be Waverly. Strong, ferocious, determined. I like to think that perhaps I would have been June’s mother, kind, soft and gentle, but I’m afraid I fit the part of Auntie Lindo much better. A bit manipulative, but a mother who wants only the best for her daughter, to see her fulfill all of her dreams, of which thankfully she has many. When Waverly cries to her mother “nothing I do seems to please you”, I feel a sadness and a keen sense of my own responsibility as a parent, knowing that on occasion my own Olivia has been made to feel that same way. But my intentions have always been good – my intentions have always been to let her be a free spirit, to live a life like a tiger should and shine in her own blinding light.

I thought about our self-worth and how hard it seems to be for women (or at least my experience with women) to know their self-worth. Whether it be the art of homemaking, child rearing, or any career we choose, we are always fighting to be recognized for the work we do, for who we are. If a large paycheck doesn’t accompany it, it is sometimes regarded as insignificant.

In a society where everything and everyone wants it bigger, from our homes, our 8-seater SUV’s, super highways, our men, the Big Gulp, the Double-Double, the big screen TV, the largest computer monitor, etc., it seems the only thing we still want small is our women. And we comply, which by doing so, we are sacrificing our own self worth.

We torture ourselves with clothing that is too tight, plastic surgery to reduce our thighs and stomachs, we keep quiet when at times we want to scream out, we let "them" win at a board game, or tennis,
or. . . we wear black endlessly instead of celebrating ourselves in color. From taking the tiniest of portions (even if we are crazy hungry) so that someone else can have more, to taking the most uncomfortable chair in the room, the worst side of the bed, the cup with the chip, is this just part of our training as women, or do we really believe we are not as worthy?  It is not our true nature. If you observe little boys and girls, she is not such a push over, she will fight for equal time on the swing.

As I sit here in this cramped isle on my flight to Portland, jotting down notes on my airsickness bag, I’m noticing the large man seated next to me, who comfortably has legs spread wide open, has taken possession of the middle arm rest (there is only one, and it is also mine to use), his USA Today is spread across his air space and part of mine. I, on the other hand, sit with my knees forced together, both arms in my lap with my fingers clasped together. It is as if I am trying to disappear. Is this just being polite or am I doing what has been expected of us women for all of time? Stay quiet, stay small.

From the Joy Luck Club opening narration:
The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum. "This bird", boasted the market vendor, "was once a duck that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose. And now look, it is too beautiful to eat!" Then the woman and the swan sailed across an ocean many thousands of lei wide, stretching their necks toward America. On her journey, she cooed to the swan, "In America, I will have a daughter just like me. But over there, nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of her husbands belch. Over there, nobody will look down on her because I will make her speak only perfect American English. And over there, she will always be too full to swallow any sorrow. She will know my meaning because I will give her this swan, a creature that became more than what was hoped for." But when she arrived in the new country the immigration officials pulled the swan away from her, leaving the woman fluttering her arms and with only one swan feather for a memory. For a long time now, the women had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her; "This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

You've gained 10 more pounds???

This isn't my typical blog post, it's more of what they call a shameless plug. But I'm excited to add two new additions to my existing coaching programs; month-to-month health and wellness coaching, and my new hourly "Small Bites" coaching sessions. All programs are offered in person or remotely (meaning, you can stay in your pajamas!) and, there are no contracts or ongoing commitments required. Keep reading, there's a good recipe at the end :)

How would you like to have your very own Health Coach? Some people have their personal trainers, their yogi masters, their children's nannies ~ and many, are discovering the beauty and success of having their own personal health coach. It really does take a village. Health Coaches are trained to not only work with nutrition, and finding what works best for each individual, but also all other life areas, whether you need help with your career, relationship, personal development or have just kinda lost your mojo and need some help and support getting it back. You don't have to do this alone! 

Why wait ‘til after the holidays, when you’ve put on ten pounds, spent way too much money, and now are having a mini bout of depression, only to make those New Year’s resolutions once again? And with my brand of health coaching, we use intentions instead of resolutions. The problem with making resolutions is that they usually focus on the negative, areas in our life where we feel we have shortcomings, or where we have failed in the past. Focusing on the negative things in our life can only bring us more of the same. When we focus, commit to, and are clear about the positive things that we want to attract, that is when we are working with intentions.You can make simple changes to the way you eat, the way you think, and implement them now to get a jump start on one of your healthiest and happiest new years ever! My goal is to help you feel great, lose the extra weight, and get back to loving life (all this, without giving up your favorite things like wine and chocolate!)

For $49.00 per month (month to month, no contract necessary) you will receive monthly ongoing information, guidance, motivation, tips, suggestions, all via email, and 60 minutes/month of phone/Skype consulting. What do you have to lose? (maybe some weight, some aches & pains, some insecurities, some old beliefs that have been holding you back?)

Email me at and let’s schedule you in, or, this would also make a perfect holiday gift for a friend or loved one that you think would benefit from this opportunity. Visit ~ to learn about me and my services. I'm looking forward to getting healthy with you!

And also, my "Small Bites" coaching sessions are now available:

30 or 60 MINUTE "Small bites" COACHING SESSIONS

(One on One ongoing Coaching, as needed - no contracts or additional commitment)
Sometimes you just need a bit of guidance or are seeking some answers or some sound advice. These half hour or hour sessions (depending on what you need) are perfect for a motivational boost; to address some confusing questions or to to provide guidance where you feel you are needing it most. Whether you have nutritional, physical, emotional, spiritual or life satisfaction concerns, we can cover these and get you back on the path and able to pass "Go" again.
These sessions are all done by phone or Skype, so you can be anywhere in the world. Contact me and we can schedule a convenient time for us to connect. 
                        30-minute session $45.00        60-minute session $80.00

Healthy Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
5 mins
Total time
10 mins

Serves: 1
  8 ounces brewed coffee (or 1-2 shots of espresso)
  ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  3 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
  1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  ½ teaspoon vanilla
  2-3 drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
  sprinkle of cinnamon

1.       In a cup or sauce pan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin. Cook on medium heat
         on the stove top or microwave for 30-45 seconds.
2.     Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, spices and sweetener, place in a cup and use a frother to foam the milk. You can also use a blender - just process for 30 seconds or until foamy.
3.     Pour coffee into a large mug, add the foamy milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!