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.

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.

 

 

 

Tumeric Face Mask

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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

 

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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.

 

 

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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

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:

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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

 

Chill

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Recently, my daughter turned me onto the Chill App.  This app sends you a positive message every morning and sends reminders during the day to breathe, relax, take inventory of your emotions or stress, etc.

At first, I was not interested. The last thing I want are more reminders, alerts, and noises from my phone. However, she insisted. What teenager likes positive self-help stuff? So, I tried it. Besides, it would give us some common ground.

I have to say I REALLY like it. I love the quote every morning. I am finding the little IMG_5086reminders throughout the day to be exactly what I needed. They are not invasive or annoying. They are actually helping me. I hear the “ding” and think “oh, I should take a breath” or “am I tightening my shoulders or clenching my jaw?” or “is my mind obsessing over some thought or event?”

This application really can help you become more mindful and more aware of stress acting on the body.

If a high school student can find a benefit in it, maybe you can too.

Try it and let me know what you think?

Let’s make the world a better place, one simple moment at a time.

 

 

 

My Plate

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Trying to eat healthier and don’t know where to start? Try the “MyPlate Checklist Calculator” at www.choosemyplate.gov. You enter your information and it tells you how many servings you need in each food category.

Sometimes, I use the MyFitness App to help log what I eat when I need to get back on track and eat a more balanced diet.  Logging my food into categories helps me realize what I eat and I eat a lot of protein. I already know that but when I document and see the real data and impact of my choices, it’s harder to make excuses or deny the reality that I need to make some adjustments and be more mindful about my nutrition.

 

For some people eating more protein might be good.  I believe that one diet does not fit all. Some people function best as vegans, some NEED meat. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. Your diet needs may depend on body type, lifestyle, blood type, allergies & sensitivies, etc. Find what works for you. If you have a hard time figuring it out, hire a nutritionist or a health coach to help you.

No matter what your eating style is, we all need nutrients to help our body function properly.  Fueling our body is the #1 reason we eat…not taste, not emotion, not joy, not social…fuel and nutritional support for all the processes and functions that are occurring in our bodies. cell division, DNA replication, liver function, brain function, heart and lungs…you get the gist. Important stuff.

So get rid of the sugar, chemicals, and other processed foods and start feeling better.

Your body will thank you!

MyPlate Calculator

salad

Trying to eat healthier and don’t know where to start? Try the “MyPlate Checklist Calculator” at www.choosemyplate.gov. You enter your information and it tells you how cmp_slideshow_platemany servings you need in each food category. You can take that information to help you modify your diet, if needed.  There are actually a lot of good tools on this website.

 I use the MyFitness App to help log what I eat when I need to get back on track and eat a more balanced diet.  Just like everyone else, eating a healthy and balanced diet gets turned upside down sometimes with parties, eating out, and stress/emotional events. Logging my food into MyFitness App helps me and I realize that I eat a lot of protein, maybe too much. Truly, I know that but when I document it and see the real data, it’s harder to make excuses or deny the reality.  Can’t run away from facts.

For some people eating a lot of protein might be good.  I believe that one diet does not fit all. Some people function best as vegans, some NEED meat. Find what works for you.

No matter what your eating style is, we all need nutrients to help our body function properly.  Fueling our body is the #1 reason we eat…not taste, not emotion, not joy, not social…fuel and nutritional support for all the processes and functions that are occurring in our bodies. Cell division, DNA replication, liver function, brain function, heart and lungs…you get the gist. Important stuff. The taste and enjoyment and social aspects are just the icing on the cake…so to speak.

Back to the checklist. I KNOW I need to eat less protein because I have with every meal and I crave it. It fills me up, I enjoy it, and tastes good.  But I am not sure how much I should be having for my body. I also know that I need to eat MORE fruits and vegetables. No one was ever unhealthy from eating vegetables and Americans just don’t get enough, including me.

So this Checklist, really helped me understand how much protein I should be eating in a day to help reduce my saturated fat and guide me to eating more fruits and vegetables.

Next time, I reach for that Bell & Evans Chicken Tender as a snack, I will think about how much protein I have had or will have and maybe grab the apple or carrots instead. It’s a journey. This will take some time to incorporate…all change does take time.

Today, I consciously paid attention to the proteins I was eating and when I was craving them. Next step, I will make a plan and see what works. I am not far off but a little tweaking may be good.

The three S’s in SucceSS

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I have learned a lot from my coaching career, both from my class and from working with clients. One thing I learned is that success doesn’t always just happen. Besides hard work, it takes a positive attitude (the belief that you CAN do it and WILL do it),  flexible mindset (mistakes are learning opportunities from experiments) and what I am calling the 3S’s in SucceSS.  These are by no means the only factors in success but ones that coaching tends to highlight.

What are the three S’s?

STRENGTHS: : When you know your personal strengths, you can use those characteristics to help you overcome obstacles and make sure that you are being true to who you really are, not what others think you “should” be. For instance, choosing a field of study or career path is best when personal strengths and passions are taken into account.  To find your personal strengths, there are many assessments you can take. Here are a couple I have tried and liked.

Strengths Finder: Strengths Finder is a book that helps you identify your greatest strengths and then provides insights and actions based on those strengths. You can click on the Strengths Finder to go to the website and read more about it. You must order the book to take the FREE assessment. To order at amazon click HERE .

VIA Survey of Character Strengths: This FREE assessment analyzes 24 personal character strengths and provides you with a ranking of strengths based on your answers. This website also has other assessments relating to optimism and mental health.

MAPP Assessment: The MAPP assessment is a career assessment tool. I really like how they apply your personality and strengths to career options you might thrive in. This is how I found Health Educator years ago. I found the information so helpful, I paid for one of the reports and I did NOT regret it.

SUPPORTS: Your supports are those structures, people, things in your environment that you can rely on to help you overcome obstacles.  Supports can be your family, friends, co-worker, teacher, or neighbor. Supports can also be your calendar, phone, reminders or where you live, work, and play.  There are many factors in your life that affect your well-being both positively and negatively. It’s always a good idea to know all the good you have in your life that you can rely on for help. You are NOT alone.

STRATEGIES: Strategies are your game plan. Whether it be a strategy to overcome an obstacle or strategies for implementing a behavior change, having a well thought out plan of action can increase your chance of success. You write a business plan to start a business. You can also develop a plan and strategies to make changes to your lifestyle.

Coming soon….strategies for making changes in your life.

We feel happy and fulfilled when are basic human needs are being met. The need to be successful, accomplished, appreciated, and competent are important. Although different people surely have different levels of needs, don’t underestimate your basic human needs.

Feeling Words

Want to be successful, especially your wellness goals? Honor yourself, the good things in your life, be honest about what you need. Although you can learn from observing others and having role models, do not compare yourself to others. You have your own path that will lead you to your personal successes!

Bon Voyage!