My New Life With Beans

Did you ever sing the Bean “song” when you were a kid? You know… “Beans! Beans! Good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you FART!” OR “Beans! Beans! The magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you TOOT!”

Ham and Bean Soup with Spinach and Scallions

Beans are known for causing flatulance. According to a Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN who was quoted in an article on the “Eat This, Not That.” website “Beans make some people fart because they contain sugar molecules called oligosaccharides.” However, according to the article, some people don’t have enough alpha-galactosidase enzymes to break them down, which can cause gas and bloat.

I must be one of those people because I just couldn’t eat beans without terrible gas. TMI? Well, I am getting to the point. I tried everything…organic canned beans, then I started soaking and cooking my own beans, I used Espazote, I tried chewing more completely, etc. Nothing worked.

Then I tested my gut microbiome with a home test from Ixcela. Most of my metabolites were in a healthy, balanced range. However, two of my metabolites were out of balance. I was give some recommendations to bring these metabolites into balance. I made a few super easy adjustments to my lifestyle and diet and already I am noticing a difference in how I feel.

The biggest change… I can eat beans with ZERO repercussions, NONE!. No gas, no cramps…just pure enjoyment of baked beans, bean soup, etc. This is a game changer for me, because beans offer so many health benefits and nutrients that I really couldn’t enjoy before.

I have always believed in using health data to inform whenever possible. Studies are never 100% because people are not the same. It is important to figure out what YOUR body needs, not the statistically average “person”.

So I am now a believer AND a “Pro” for Ixcela. I highly recommend learning about the health of your gut and taking steps to helping it function at optimal state.

My clients can get a 10% discount on testing and subscriptions (optional). I will get a complete in-depth report on the results and then help my clients understand how to read the report and the recommendations, why certain recommendations were made, we can work on developing a plan to implement any changes that seem challenging, if there are any.

To order a test kit go to Ixcela and use my PRO code is MAEW33RR .

To learn more go to my Ixcela Page or contact me.

NOTE: Here is the recipe for the Ham and Bean soup? I used white beans instead of navy beans AND I added spinach and scallions before serving for brightness, color, and extra nutrients.

My Vape Store Experience

E-cigarette Toxic Aerosol

Last week, I stopped by a vape store to pick up some vaping “juice” so I could continue to conduct experiments on various products. When I walked in, I was greated by an overly aggressive, chain-vaping man in his thirties. There were 2 other men sitting at a vaping bar just hanging out vaping. The air was dense with a weird smell from the mixtures of the vaping aerosol. It was quite sad.

When I explained to the salesmen that I don’t personally vape but was purchasing this for education purposes, he actually thought I was teaching children HOW to vape and started to share some tips. When I corrected him, he became aggressive in his stance on how safe vaping was. I remained calm and just reiterated that it is not safe for teens and that the aerosol contains formaldehyde, VOC’s and particulates…any air quality meter can prove that.

He agreed it was not safe for teens, but for adults it was better than smoking. He knows because his doctor said he was healthy. I politely disagreed because of the breakdown of glycerin and propylene glycol into carcinogens and formaldehyde, but he “corrected” me that that only occurs when inhaled at high temps. He showed me how to inhale correctly so you don’t get those toxins and heavy metals.

This logic or lack of logic was not lost on me. I wanted to get mad that he was sharing this ridiculous lie with others, maybe even kids. However, I realized that he needed to grasp to these falsehoods in order to protect his personal addiction and his livelihood. It was his story and nothing I said would convince him otherwise. These are the lies that are being communicated to teens and people interested in vaping.

I also got to hear about his opinion on the vape bans and I didn’t have the energy to say or do anything other than smile. I just wanted out of there.

During my very short time there (like 5-10 minutes), he must have vaped at least 7 times. His constant need for nicotine could not be stopped even to help a customer that he knew did not vape.

When I got in my car, I felt disgusting. My lungs and throat felt like they were thick and coated. I had a headache and was nauseous. It took over an hour for me to feel better.

A couple days later, I spoke to someone at BreatheNH about this visit and she reported that their outreach people had experienced similar symptoms when visiting local vape shops.

I really felt bad for this man and others who vape. I could feel what they couldn’t. They can’t feel how these chemicals are affecting their body. Their body becomes bogged down by the overload of toxins, oils, and chemicals. At some point, the body won’t be able to do its job…it will become too much to handle. For some that may be months; for others, years. But it will happen.

Our lungs are not meant to breathe oil. Our body’s do not use chemicals to run all the biological processes that are needed to function. Our brains need nutrients, not chemicals. But this is a real addiction, one as strong as opioids and heroin.

So, as I leave this experience behind, I am sad. I am sad for this man who must lie to himself and others in order to sleep at night; whether he knows it or not. I feel bad because he will get sick and possibly die from his habit and addiction if he doesn’t quit. I feel bad for all the people he lies to. He has been lied to so some corporation can make a profit. They don’t care about him.

Yes, adults can do what they want…but children are being harmed and that’s not okay. This is why I advocate, educate and help those that want to quit.

Next time you see someone who is vaping, don’t judge or blame. Try to understand that they were tricked. Nicotine dependence can occur after only a few cigarettes/vapes AND in those who only occasionally use. They need help and our support and empathy, not judgement.

If you know someone who wants to quit, have them contact me or check out my website at http://www.kimberlysmanning.com.

Vitamin Vape Pen

Since I joined Boston Children’s Hospital and the New England PEHSU (Pediatric Environmental Health Speciality Unit), I have been doing research on vaping. For some upcoming educational events and presentations, I decided to purchase a few items to share with parents and the community.

Today I received my order from Amazon for a collagen vape pen. Check out my video to see what I learned.

the 411 on collagen vape pens

Winter’s Toll

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I hope you are enjoying the Holiday Season and the peacefulness of winter, nature’s time of rest and rejuvenation. It is truly a time of self-reflection, connection with love ones, holiday festivities, and the excitement of an upcoming new year with the opportunity to redefine one’s self.

But for many, December (or winter in general) can be a tough time emotionally and physically. I am reminded of this as my own energy is waning and my mental focus is harder to come by right now. The problem for many is that it is not usually just one thing that is affecting us. For me, chronic and annoying health conditions, not being able to exercise (because of said health conditions), lack of sunlight, being pulled in too many directions, and making poor food choices are all contributing this week. 
The most common reason people have a decrease in energy, focus, and positive moods? Lack of sunlight which can lead to a decrease in Vitamin D. Read more about Vitamin D deficiency.   Lack of sunlight can also lead many people to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). 

There are things we can do to improve how we feel. Below are strategies and resources to help you (or your loved ones) improve your health and overall wellbeing in these colder, darker winter month. Seek medical attention if your symptoms are severe or worrying you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you or someone you know, is suffering from depression (read symptoms of depression) or is not able to make progress, a mental health professional is the best first step. You can find one near you at Psychology Today

Winter Strategies: start small and build

  1. Take Vitamin D
    • You can get vitamin D from food but many of us will need a supplement in the winter months. Not all supplements are created equal, Vitamin D is not readily absorbed in all it’s commercial forms. Look for a Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K combination. 
    • See your doctor and get tested to see how low your Vitamin D levels really are. 
    • Everlywell offers a home test kit for vitamin D levels. If you want to order one of Everlywell’s tests, contact me for a 15% discount code. Read more at Everlywell.com
  2. Get Outside
    • Nature is the best medicine. Getting fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for your health and well-being. Take a quick walk at lunch or park a little farther away when doing errands. 5 or 10 minutes here and there can add up. 
  3. Connect
    1. Don’t hibernate. We are social creatures; even introverts. Accept that invitation. Call a friend and family member. Meet for coffee, lunch, or dinner. Go see a movie with someone. Invite someone over for dinner. Take a class or workshop. At work, get up and go talk to that co-worker instead of sending an email.  We need connection. Feelings of isolation can increase depression and mood disorders. 
  4. Get Organized
    • Feeling frayed, unfocused, and unsuccessful can have detrimental affects. Use your calendar to make time for those things that are important to you. Set reminders. Make lists. Start your day by looking at your calendar and to-do list and picking the 3 most important things that must get done, anything else is icing on the cake. Do not rely on your memory. 
  5. Exercise
    • It is a fact, exercise boosts moods. Getting up and getting your heart pumping and blood moving is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. Although we should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, some is always better than none. Start small. Even 5-10 minutes here and there can add up and boost your mood. 
  6. Eat Smarter
  7. Enjoy a hobby
    • Doing something you enjoy and that disconnects you from work, your to do lists, and your thinking brain will help you feel happier and more relaxed. Paint, listen to music, cook, photograph, etc.
  8. Do Good
    • Helping others can help you feel better about yourself and boost your mood. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pantry. Volunteer with your local Council on Aging by checking in on homebound seniors. Donate food to a local pantry. Check your local government’s website for volunteer opportunities. Doing good feels good.
  9. Practice Gratitude
    • Making the switch from negative thoughts to positive thoughts can help boost mood. For example, instead of focusing on how much you can’t do or how cold you are, make a list of all the things you like and appreciate about winter. Make a list of all the good things in your life and really feel that gratitude. It’s a natural instinct to focus on our fears, dangers, and stressors but doing so too much can be detrimental. Choose love. Choose to focus on the benefits of whatever is causing an issue. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.

When we are cold or in a funk, it can be hard to get started.  Motivation may be lacking. But just get started no matter how small the action. Visualize yourself doing what you want to do, schedule it, and then make yourself do it.

The first step is the hardest.

Focus on the positive outcomes and find meaning in what you do every day.

 

 

 

What would you do if men had a curfew?

If men had a curfew

The other day I was sitting with a group of wonderful women and one of them posed the question…

“What would you do if men had a 9pm curfew?”

Such a simple question and yet so powerful. Just thinking about this brought about immediate physical and emotional changes. My stomach relaxed, my soul lightened, and I felt free. Wow! What would I do if I knew nothing bad would happen to me?

I would go for a walk at night

I would sleep with all the windows open

I would sleep outside

I would dress differently

I would do more things alone at night

I would park farther away

This simple question made me realize how much I live in fear of men. How much I tailor my life to avoid conflict, unwanted attention, and potential assault. I knew it to some extent but I hadn’t been really aware of how much I limit my life because of that fear. It’s like an invisible jail constructed of emotions.

“1 IN 4 GIRLS AND 1 IN 6 BOYS ARE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BEFORE AGE 18”

This is where that jail comes from; messages received as children and reinforced by people like the so called “First Lady” who tells women not to report assault with out evidence, but men assaulted by priests as children are readily believed and actions are taken.

THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE NOW.

What can we do? (because without having choices we continue to feel victimized)

  1. Believe and support victims
  2. Speak up/Speak out
  3. Ask the good men in our lives to speak up and join us
  4. Support groups such as PAVE (Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment) to help “shatter the silence of sexual violence”.

PAVE on Facebook

PAVE website

So, I ask you again…. What would you do if men had a 9pm curfew?

#Empowered

My purpose in life is to help empower women of all ages to be their best and most loved self. These girls are my inspiration! They are strong, beautiful, funny, charismatic, and empowered to take on the world. Hockey (and their parents) gave that to them.

These young women are champions on and off the ice. This is my tribute to them and all that they have taught me!

Tumeric Face Mask

phn-1333

Today I decided to try a “Tumeric Face Mask for Glowing Skin” that Dr Axe promoted in a newsletter. Here is my experience…

My skin is very sensitive so I like trying remedies that are all natural or that I can make at home.  The ingredients in this face mask are:

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powderphn-1334
  • ½ teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of organic, raw, local honey
  • ½ teaspoon milk or yogurt
  • [optional] 1 drop lemon essential oil or fresh lemon juice for additional skin brightening

 

phn-1335

 

What I like about this face mask is that it tastes good. So when it gets in my mouth, its not the end of the world.

I also have super sensitive skin and I am hoping this concoction will not irritate my skin. Otherwise, I will have to go into repair mode to reduce the reactivity.

 

 

phn-1336

 

So, I left it on for 15 minutes. It was easy to rinse off.  So is my skin brighter or “glowing”?

How the heck am I supposed to tell when all I can see is orange?

I got orange stain around my mouth and forehead, mostly.  My face no longer matches my neck.  It’s like a self-tanner gone bad.

 

So what did I learn? 

  1. Tumeric stains, even on a well-exfoliated face.
  2. Never do a test on your face when you have a meeting
  3. Never do a test on your face when you are planning on recording video.
  4. Do a test run on an inconspicuous area first.
  5. I have sensitive skin to even kitchen ingredients.

 

I hope this wears off fast. I have a workshop on Saturday…oh, the explaining I will have to do.

My advice: don’t do this face mask UNLESS you want an orange tan. Then go for it!

Have a great weekend!

Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hockey Mom T

Years ago I created a hockey mom design for t-shirts. I all but forgot about it until I got an email from Spreadshirt.com that someone had ordered one.

This design brings back memories of our youth hockey days:

  • spending 5-7 days/week in rinks
  • hanging out with my hockey family
  • driving insane distances for Jordan to play a game, tournaments, competitions, and camps
  • equipment
  • skates sharpened
  • tape, tape, tape

The design was created from a photo of Jordan when she was about 10. The silhouette hides this fact. So really when I see this design, it reminds me of her in her younger days and how those experiences prepared her for the prep and college world of women’s hockey.

So I decided to update the products availble on Spreadshirt.com that have my design. I hope I did it correctly.

If you are a hockey mom or know one who is fabulous and keeps it all together, check out the t-shirt.

We are definitely a special breed!

Here’s to you!

powered by Spreadshirt

powered by Spreadshirt

Create yours now:  Hockey Mom

The Reset

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Decisions. Decisions. Chocolate or Fruit?

“RESET” has been a theme lately for me and I think it may be a key to making progress on our goals. Here’s why…

I recently started going to the gym every morning at 5am. It turns out to be a great time for me because I am already an early riser and go to bed early. I get my exercise in before the kids get up and the exercise does not cut into my work time. When I exercise in the morning, I have more energy, I make better eating choices, I can think more clearly, I am focused, and I am more efficient. I am happier!

Getting up so early in the morning can be daunting when you just want to stay cuddled up in a warm bed. So, I focus on how it will make me feel and how productive and happy I will be. I also focus on the social aspect of it.  There are a bunch of other people who routinely hit the gym at 5am too.  Even though I do not talk to anyone, they become motivators for me. I know they will be there and if they can get themselves out of bed to workout, so can I. I know that I am not alone in this crazy endeavor. They are my support, even if they do not know it.

Coupled with my early gym activity is the fact that I joined Weight Watchers to help me RESET my eating habits. WW works for me because its flexible and the focus is on healthy eating/good decisions.  For me to eating healthy, I need to plan and prepare – something I often help my clients work on. Also, logging what I eat keeps me more mindful about what I am putting in my body. I don’t really believe in dieting, I believe in eating a balanced diet. So when I get stuck on the cycle of eating too much sugar or eating mindlessly or because I am bored. The WW plan helps me get that behavior on track while maintaining some balance too.

When the weekend comes, it is easy to go off the rails (sometimes I just need/want to) but I make that decision consciously. Most weekends I don’t want to write down what I am eating and I want to sleep in. So I do just that but I still try to make choices with intention instead of with self-indulgence. Life is about balance. You can be healthy and enjoy life. They are not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to be gluttonous to be happy.

So Monday is my reset day. When the weekend has gone to the birds and I am bloated and feeling lazy. I know that on Monday, I will wake up early, go to the gym, and eat a sensible breakfast and lunch. If I can make good decisions early in the day, I have a better chance of continuing those healthy behaviors and feeling physically and mentally wonderful! It doesn’t always work but tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day to reset.

I don’t write down everything I eat ALL the time; just when I am struggling to get back on track. Each one of us is unique and may have a different solution to our reset plan. That’s great. The key is to have a reset plan for whatever behavior sends you off the rails.

Another reset for me is my schedule. What works for me is to sit down every morning and determine what is most important to get done that day. I look at my schedule for the week and fill in when I can work, when can I walk the dogs, when can I have meetings, etc. Sometimes I just go on autopilot and miss some things that are important to me OR I spin my wheels. This morning ritual is good to keep me on track and get me back on track when I have skipped it one too many times.

Never think failure.

This is life and it’s messy.  That’s the fun!

Just have a personal reset plan.

 

Note from Kim:

If you need help developing your own reset plan, email me to schedule a conversation so I can learn a little more about you and what you want to do. 

March is Healthy Nutrition Month

 

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The Transition and Progress of March
I think of March as a month of transition. You know…”In like a lion. Out like a lamb”.

BUT, transitions are hard for many people. The status quo is comfortable but life is rarely still and stagnant. The only constant in life is change, whether we like it or not. If for nothing else, we age and for that reason alone, we change. What worked for us at 18, may not work for us at 40. This is scary and frustrating for many but it can be fun too. We can reinvent ourselves. We can try new things that may suit us better in our current stage.

Instead of thinking of life-changing events as scary and difficult, look for the joy in it. This something new and maybe actually be something BETTER.

I think that’s the draw for New Years Resolutions. The new year gives each of us an opportunity to redefine our future and to create a fresh start, if we choose to do so.

For those of you who made New Years Resolutions, how are are they going so far?  What have you learned? What went well? What did not go well? What obstacles got in your way? What supports could be put in place to overcome those obstacles in the future? What did you like? What did you NOT like? There is no failure! Only learning opportunities. Each time we learn, we are making progress. So reflect on your experiences and appreciate them for what they are…steps forward and an important part of personal growth.

Sharing for Clarity and Empowerment: Please comment below, talk to a friend, or write your answers in a journal. 

#1 New Years Resolution: Eating Healthier
According to the Statistic Brain website, the number one resolution people make is to eat healthier/lose weight.  (click here for more resolutions statistics)

In my experience, the reason people fail to implement healthier eating habits, or lose weight, is because they go for an all or nothing approach. Unfortunately, when we do this, most of us will feel deprived because we haven’t adjusted to our “new” lifestyle. In order to make long-term and sustainable change, we need to do a little at a time, learn from those experiences, and apply what we learned to harder and more challenging changes.

Starter Tips for eating healthier

 #1 Sugar Elimination

One of the first steps a person can take when deciding to improve their diet is to minimize or eliminate sugar. I might suggest minimizing first, then eliminating as progress is made physically and mentally.  For example, use half the sugar you normally would in your coffee for a few weeks then reduce again and again until you can drink your coffee with no sugar. It may take time but remember there is no rush if you want to do it right.

 #2 Better Prepared Foods

Another first step is to reduce the amount of processed food you eat or replace with healthier versions. No matter what, it is always best to cook your own food. However, this is another thing that is not meant to be done overnight. You have to adjust your tastebuds and find the replacement products you like best. I recommend replacing one food item each time you go to the grocery store. You can use apps such as:

shopwell logo

 

ShopWell: This app gives you healthy eating suggestions based on your preferences. For example, if you are gluten intolerant, it will give suggestions on foods you can eat. http://www.shopwell.com

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Fooducate: This app will tell rate the quality of your food based on the ingredients and give you suggestions for improvement. In addition, you can use it to track what you are eating. http://www.fooducate.com

 

Stay tuned, I am working on a sugar elimination program to help you jump start your healthy eating lifestyle. If you think you are interested in learning more, please sign up at this link below.

Yes, I want to know more about your Sugar Elimination Program

If you find that you need more support and more help, please contact me to discuss coaching options. Email: kimberlysmanning@icloud.com