Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Do You Really Want Your Life to Look Like?

Sounds like a simple question, doesn't it? But I've found that it isn't so simple.

Money and circumstances aside what is it that you really want for you. Your deepest desire. I'm in the midst of a 5 year program and as part of that program I was asked this question and I decided to really try to answer it. And I have to admit I'm finding it harder than I thought.

If I push aside the typical fluff answers and dig down deep and look for the authentic answer I find myself a little stumped but I'm working on it.

So how about you? What do you really want your life to look like?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Four Basic Food Groups

1. Tastes good but it's bad for you

2. Tastes bad but it's good for you

3. Used to be good for you but now it's bad

4. Eat it and it'll kill you!

Eating well can sometimes feel like such an up hill battle. Personally I like to stick to no label eating as much as possible. What is no label eating? Well, when was the last time you saw a food label on a plant?

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Last week I finished the exam for the Advanced Myoskeletal Alignment. It will take me a while to fully integrate what I've learned into my massage sessions because I have to think about the assessment series and some of the movements rather than having them flow freely when I need them - or should I say when a client needs them.

For that reason, I'll be extending sessions during the next month, free of charge to allow for any extra time I may use integrating these new movements. I guess that's a kind of special. If you are a massage therapist and haven't checked out Erik Dalton do yourself a favor and google him. I use the text books from the two courses I took as reference texts. I swear he is a myoskeletal magician because every time I open one of those books I come up with a new connection I missed previously.

I had a potential client call late last night - the phone rings in our home so we never miss late calls. She couldn't book at the local spa and it felt as though she was interviewing me for the job of delivering a relaxation massage. That didn't sit well with me.

The problem is that I'm not a relaxation massage practitioner and I don't apologize for that. The massages I provide are extremely relaxing but that's because a body in balance is more relaxed than one out of balance. My goal is never to simply provide an enjoyable massage for the hour and 15 minutes that a typical massage lasts. My goal is to leave the client more posturally balanced than they arrived. In that way they will continue to enjoy the feeling of a balanced body long after the enjoyment of the massage strokes begins to fade.

Erik Dalton teaches us that we should not simply chase the client's pain. I also in my heart know I will never be a therapist who chase's the client's money. That's why picking up the local spa's overflow is not my thing. I will also never retail any product that I don't believe in 150% and which I don't personally use.

I enjoy knowing my clients and being able to craft an individual massage for them. I have the most astounding bunch of regular clients and I feel honored to spend a small part of each month with them.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Move It!

Stand up, get out of your chair, take a short walk, take the stairs! Don't debate the merits of this form of exercise or that. Just make it a point to move and see how much better you feel. The body was designed to move, it craves it, needs it to operate properly. Give your body the movement it deserves.

Remember: Some is better than none- and for those of you who tend to over do everything - if some is good more is not necessarily better.

You can find out more about the benefits of exercise, presented in an entertaining way here.

I don't have a picture of a human moving so a picture of one of my best buds, Hutch will have to do. This little guy lives to move. That's a stick in his mouth not a cigar. He gave up cigars ages ago. <wink>

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Sweet It Is!

Lately I've been eating dessert almost every night. Only one serving and a small one at that but it leaves me satisfied and feeling undeprived. My choice is always a raw dessert. They're easy to make, the ingredients are natural and healthy and I never crave more than a single serving.

My favorite Raw recipe book is Jernnifer Cornbleet's "Raw Food Made Easy." The recipes are easy and only make a few portions. This week I'm loving Key Lime Tart. It's basically a raw shortbread crust filled with Key Lime Mousse.

I cut the recipe into at least 8 servings. I don't use agave nectar in the Mousse. I tend to use maple syrup and I cut the amount in half. I know it's not raw but I refuse to get caught up in needing to be 100% anything. I'm getting a serving of heart healthy nuts and the avocado provides some monounsaturated fat and it tastes sooooo good! What's not to like?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Addicted to Carrots?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone - usually female - say, "I just can't keep - cookies, chips, cakes, pies,  you fill in the blank - in the house. Once I get started on them I lose control and can't stop eating until they're gone."

Contrast that with this so far never heard statement. "I just shouldn't keep them in the house. I know it. I opened the bag and couldn't stop eating. I can't tell you how bad I felt when my fingers hit the bottom of the bag and I realized that I had devoured an entire pound of .......BABY CARROTS!"   

HMMMMM! What's up doc?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grilled Veggies YUM!

If you are a woman of a certain age chances are I don't have to tell you how tough it can be to maintain your weight or heaven forbid !Lose weight! I'm happy to say that after a 3 year plateau - is that a record? My weight is slowly but surely dropping and I've lost inches even faster than I've been losing pounds.

I'd be less than totally honest if I said I'm indifferent to my new somewhat sleek physique. It pleases me but I can honestly say that my improving health and energy levels please me more.

Since we had beautiful weather today we fired up the fire pit tonight and I threw together my favorite side dish - grilled veggies.

First I slice and dice any and every veggie in the kitchen onto a large sheet of foil. The onions and orange peppers are hiding on the bottom of the pile.

Then I season them with whatever herbs and spices strike my fancy. Tonight I used a little garlic, and plenty of basil and margoram and a sprinkle of lemon juice. That white stuff is a little blob of coconut oil. There isn't enough research to recommend eating it in unlimited quantities but it really stands up to heat well and lends a sweet taste to whatever you prepare it with. Quick video about this this here.
Finally, put another piece of foil on top and roll the edges inward. Put it on the grill for about 15 minutes and voila, healthy belly filling goodness!

Serve it with 3 ounces of lean protein and if you're like me and can't get enough veggies - a salad and you won't be hungry when you leave the table. And of course don't forget dessert - yes there has to be dessert ! But that's another blog post.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Isometric Exercise and Stress Reduction

An Isometric contraction is a muscular contraction where the length of the muscle remains the same.  If you tried the muscle relaxation exercise I linked to in my last post you performed some isometric contractions.

There are a variety of exercise methods that utilize isometric movement. Most Barre or Ballet workouts depend, at least partially upon isometrics. T-Tapp isn't strictly a barre or ballet workout but it does have dance elements. I also believe that it delivers the biggest isometric bang for your buck.

It systematically works your entire body, always engaging several muscle groups at the same time. If you're envisioning a workout where you contract everything at once and hold still for 30 minutes you're wrong. T-Tapp uses specific alignment along with movement and isometric contraction to create resistance. Unlike weights, where the resistance comes from outside of the body, T-Tapp resistance comes from within your body. It keeps your mind busy too which also busts stress.

The end result of a T-Tapp workout - and to a lesser degreee other isometric workouts - is - at least for me - a sense of profound relaxation.

The isometric contraction forces the blood out of the muscle and when you release to contraction the blood rushes back in and that's when the sense of relaxation occurs. As you move through the workout and concentrate on one body area after the next your entire body relaxes and you're left with a sense of accomplishment and even a feeling of euphoria. I can honestly say that I've never experienced anything quite like it.

At the T-Tapp Site they allow you to try exercises before you purchase anything. Check it out and if you have questions feel free to ask.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mind, Body, Spirit at the Mt Washington - Take a deep breath

Today I had the privilege of speaking to a group of women attending the 21st Annual Women's Health Conference. Speaking at the conference has been a yearly event for me and I enjoy it more each year.

I mentioned my blog and when several participants expressed interest and admitted to the fact that I don't keep up with as well as I should. I told the group I would try harder so here I am.

One of the things I talked about was breath and how it can move you from an anxious state to a more relaxed state.

When you are anxious your sympathetic (fight and flight) nervous system is in control. If you can calm and slow your breathing you will automatically put your parasympathetic (rest and relax) system into control and break the stress cycle.

It's important to note that slowing our breath is the last thing on our mind when we're in a state of high anxiety. That's why it's important to practice slowing our breath regularly. After a time it becomes second nature.

Here's a great PDF that you can print. It explains deep breathing and also talks about progressive muscle relaxation. I touched on that today when I talked about the stress busting benefits of isometric exercise. I'll blog more about that the next time I check in.

Thanks again to all the wonderful women I met earlier today!