International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching

Congratulations to the 1,000+ health & wellness coaches who are the first in our country to become National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coaches. You have followed a standard of excellence in this growing field!

Struggling with Building Healthy Habits?

S

I know I need to do something about my health, but I just don’t know where to start.” “As soon as I have time, I’m going to exercise.” Sound familiar?  Let’s face it – everyone’s busy. How would you like a program where it’s all been figured out for you?  The Evergreen Wellness Program will help you develop better sleep, food, mood, and exercise habits to help you look and feel your best. Research shows healthy habits make us better contributors to our families, organizations, and society, too. You will learn how to:

  • Control food cravings and enjoy – yes, enjoy! – healthier foods
  • Get into great shape even if you can’t spend 10 hours a week in a gym
  • Sleep tight each night
  • Snap back after setbacks
  • Become a more energetic, more optimistic, more engaging version of yourself.


PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES, TOP EXECUTIVES AND SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS ALL UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING THEIR OWN COACH. A PERSONAL COACH CAN HELP YOU DEFINE YOUR GOALS, SEEK OUT THE BEST THAT IS IN YOU, AND CONTINUALLY CHALLENGE YOU TO SUCCEED AT YOUR KEY AIMS. POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY AND STRENGTHS-BASED COACHING OFFERS AN EVIDENCE-BASED FRAMEWORK AND A VALUABLE TOOLKIT OF INTERVENTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE IN SUCCESSFUL GOAL ATTAINMENT.

My holistic, entirely research-based coaching program is 6 weeks filled with great info, fun short videos, and lots of cool health-boosting activities. I’ll be by your side every step of the way with my special Premium Coaching Package that includes weekly or bi-weekly 30 minute coaching sessions to get – and keep – you on track. If your goal is to live a healthy lifestyle, you can’t afford not to try this program. Call 303-670-7863 or email me at suzanne@evergreenlifeandwellness.com for details and a 30 minute complimentary session to determine if this program is right for you.

What You Can Do Now To Promote Anti-Aging – Nutrition (Part Two)

In Part One of this series on anti-aging I explained how I am sharing my anti-aging practices focusing on the four big life areas where you can make small changes that will have a powerful impact. These four areas are nutrition, physical conditioning, the quality of your sleep and your emotional reserves.

In this article, we will be looking at the area of nutrition and anti-aging. Your diet is profoundly important and is the one area where you can make small changes and see almost immediate results in the way you look and feel. And when I use the term ‘diet’ I’m not talking about a traditional calorie restricted approach for weight loss. I’m also not talking about fad diets such as drinking nothing but green smoothies for a month and things like that. Yes, you may need to cut back on your daily calorie intake in order to lose extra pounds, but weight loss is not our primary focus here. When you begin to eat with anti-aging in mind, you will may be surprised to find unwanted pounds coming off quite naturally.

part2

What I want you to understand is that current research points to inflammation as the driver behind the development of many of the chronic diseases we have come to accept as an inevitable part of growing older, such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes and possibly even Alzheimer’s and cancer.  The right kind of nutrition can throw cold water on this damaging inflammatory fire. Plus, there is evidence the foods we eat can actually serve to turn off ‘bad genes’ and flip the switch to turn on ‘good genes!’ In effect, food is actually a powerful drug of sorts and one that has the capacity to dramatically change your health for the better.

So what is an anti-aging diet exactly? Well, turns out it’s really not that complicated. Certain foods have been proven to promote inflammation, such as excess sugar and alcohol as well as  highly processed foods such as white flour and ‘junk’ foods with their heavy loads of preservatives and artificial ingredients.  It goes without saying you should eliminate or greatly reduce your consumption of these foods. So what do you eat instead?

Here’s how to maintain a healthy and sustainable anti-aging diet:

One – Make fruits and vegetables the centerpiece of your nutritional plan. I’m not talking about fruit juice, but whole fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges, with healthy fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards prepared simply without pouring fatty or cheese based sauces over them.  If you can get fresh, seasonal organic fruits and vegetables, all the better but don’t let that stop you from adding these nutritional powerhouses to your plan.

Two – Consume moderate amounts of healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts in small portions.

Three – Add fish to your diet if it’s not already a part of it. Choose fish which has loads of life giving omega oils such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.

Four – Limit your consumption of red meat and avoid highly processed foods and sugar. For some people, red wine in moderation is fine and even advisable.

I guarantee if you begin to eat this way, especially if you are a heavy consumer of sugar and other highly processed foods, you will begin to feel better and have more energy almost immediately!

Next time, we’ll focus on your body and how physical conditioning (yes, the dreaded word ‘exercise’) can stave off the effects of aging.  I’m not going to advocate going to the gym for hours of cardio a week, though.  I’m all about making sustainable changes that will last over time, so that’s the view we’ll come from.

I’d love to hear  your thoughts on nutrition, as well as how you are doing in the comments below!

Bon appetit!

What You Can Do Now to Prevent Untimely Aging Later (Part 1 of 5)

When you think of anti-aging, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Many people think of cosmetics of some kind such as wrinkle creams, skin masks, and even makeup or plastic surgery to hide the effects getting older has on our skin.   Although many of these cosmetic formulas are over hyped as ‘miracle’ cures for the inevitable, some are actually excellent products and do deliver what they promise in terms of making skin smoother and somewhat younger looking.

But the kind of anti-aging I’m referring to has little to do with smearing on expensive creams or going under the surgeon’s knife and everything to do with actually greatly slowing and, in some cases, reversing the aging process on various organ systems by working from the inside, not just on surface appearances. Aging is, of course, inevitable.  The onset of chronic disease, loss of energy, muscle weakness, fatigue and other ailments the majority of people have come to accept as a normal consequence of getting older, however, are definitely not inevitable.

part1

Anti-aging medicine and longevity studies are complex specialties all their own and it’s hard to figure out with all the chatter out there what to think about this vitamin or that enzyme, much less what you should do to start an anti-aging regimen of your own. I’ve found that my own clients want advice on a few powerful, practical things they can do on their own to slow the aging process and keep them in the best mental and physical shape possible. And they want advice that has been tested and not just the latest fad.

Of course, the best anti-aging findings are of great importance to me personally, so lately I’ve been doing some research to uncover the best practices to bring into my own life. And now I’m sharing these suggestions with my clients and with you, my readers. In this article and others to follow, we will be looking, based on my research, at four big areas of your life where small but significant changes can make a huge impact. These areas are:

One: nutrition – with an emphasis on reducing inflammation in your body.

Two: physical conditioning – muscle strength, body flexibility and cardiovascular conditioning.

Three: the quality of your sleep.

Four: your emotional reserve – the ability to bounce back from an unsettling event and the ability to keep your stress under control.

 

And please know this. You don’t have to incorporate everything at once. Just implementing one or two suggestions every couple of weeks can have a profound effect on your well-being and get you started on an anti-aging regimen that will serve you well in the years to come. I’m excited to have you join me on this journey!

What’s Your Payoff?

Happy 2017!  The new year can be an exciting time because it means a blank canvas – a chance to create our lives in a new way.  For lots of us, it also signifies the beginning of a change we wish to make, which is where the New Year’s resolution typically comes in.

Clients usually come to coaching seeking change –  they may feel stuck in their work or personal life, and aren’t sure what steps to take next.  They may have identified habits that are getting in the way of them living as fully as they would like to, or had some type of wake-up call in the form of a health scare or relationship upheaval, and realize that the time has come to face their reality.

Change is difficult, and maintaining those changes can be even trickier.  What’s the saying?  “Anyone can lose 10 pounds.  I’ve done it hundreds of times.”  Ouch.

timeforchange

What’s the deal?  If we say we want to make a change, and know that it’s good for us over the long haul, why is it so darn hard?  What about the determination and discipline we seem to have in other parts of our lives?  How can we be so successful in our work or other undertakings and struggle so miserably when it comes to changing something seemingly as simple as a habit?

Here’s some food for thought.  If the payoff you get from continuing your bad habit feels better to you, on some level, than the benefit you might get from changing, it’s going to be an uphill struggle.

Let’s say you want to stop smoking.  You know you need to; your family doctor has been on you for years, you know the risks, you want to be around for your children.  You have all the information and  every reason to stop.  And yet, every time you make the attempt, with the best of intentions and all your resolve, you end up in the same place – smoking.  Your abstinence may last a few days or a few months but sooner or later you slide back.  What kind of payoff could you possibly be getting from that?

Maybe you’ve stayed in a relationship that is no longer healthy for you, you know it’s time to move on, but you never do.  What if the doctor has told you you’re a candidate for Type II diabetes and the time to lose weight and make changes in your eating habits is now.  Your well-being, your health is at risk.  You decide to make changes starting tomorrow but before the week is out you’re slipping back into old eating patterns.

In any of these examples, the pain and discomfort of change seems to outweigh the difficulties associated with continuing the habit.

In the smoking example above, more than one factor could be at play.  Maybe you’ve relied on smoking to keep your weight under control over the years.  You’ve heard stories about significant weight gain from some who’ve stopped, and you’re not sure you want to chance that.  You may be at a point where the relationship you’re  in no longer feels right for you.  Still, the idea of having to put yourself out there in the dating world, or risk being alone, doesn’t sound all that great either.  A hoped-for job promotion may create anxiety about losing the camaraderie of your band of work colleague so you end up turning it down.

You get the idea.

Let’s face it.  When we’ve indulged in a habit for a long time – maybe even years – it’s because we have been getting some type of benefit from it.  It’s going to be hard to make a change unless we can begin to see more benefit in the new behavior, the change we are trying to make.  It’s just easier to keep doing what we’ve always done.  When we are able to begin more of a long-term view of the benefits to be gained, it’s going to be easier for us to make the effort.   We might think:  “Yes, I may end up gaining a few pounds if I stop smoking, but I’ll be healthier over the long haul, and have more energy to exercise.  I can always lose the weight and I’ll feel so much better!

There is a quote by Anais Nin that speaks to this:  “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

The next time you find yourself frustrated or struggling in some way with a habit you’re trying to change, stop and ask yourself:  What’s my payoff for staying where I am?  What am I getting out of this behavior that I am afraid to lose?  Asking that question, and listening for the answer, could be the key that unlocks the door to the beginning of real change.

Feel free to comment below with any thoughts you have – I’ll be sure to respond.

Wishing you your best year yet!

Back to Basics

So……how was your summer?  Are you ready for fall?  I know I am – it’s my favorite season, especially here in Colorado.  The air is crisp, the Aspens turn gold, and every day seems to have a clear blue sky.

By now, most of us have heard that 40 is the new 30, or that gray is the new black, or strong is the new thin (or whatever……)  Lately, I’ve been hearing that September is the new January because we associate it with back to school, a new season, new possibilities, and so forth.  Maybe so, but metaphor aside, I do love September and it does feel like a time for gearing up for new things.

Because of that, I thought it might be a good time to revisit those foundational pieces that allow us to function at our optimum.  Our bodies are beautiful machines that need to be cared for regularly if we want to live a quality life.  In doing so, we not only feel better, we look better, our thinking is clearer, our energy levels are higher, and we perform better.  Our immune systems are strengthened so we’re not at the mercy of every cold or bug that comes our way.  One of the best ways to live a rich and pleasurable life is to take our health seriously.

Fall is a great time for running outdoors!

Fall is a great time for running outdoors!

Here are my basics:

Exercise.   Physical activity is at the top of the list when it comes to looking and feeling your best.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes (or 2-1/2 hours) of cardiovascular exercise at moderate intensity every week.  Brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming all qualify.   Add in two sessions of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups, and you’re good to go and be in great shape for years to come.  Don’t forget to stretch, which becomes increasingly important as we age.

Fresh, healthy food in as close to its natural state as possible.  Fruits and vegetables in season, lean proteins (think mainly chicken, fish, lean meats. There are wonderful vegetarian alternatives these days.)  Lean cheeses, yogurt and whole grains round it out.  Read ingredients and avoid processed foods with added sugar or salt.  A good rule of thumb:  If it comes in a box, don’t eat it.  If you want your machine to function at its peak, the fuel you give it is key.

Mood.  There’s a reason gratitude has become such a popular topic in recent years.  It’s an instant mood booster.  So are our positive and connected relationships with others, having a sense of meaning, being of service, commitment to goals, and exercise such as brisk walking.   Why is it important?  Research shows a sense of happiness – or well-being – provides a wealth of benefits:  improved health and immune function, better relationships, more meaningful work and (even!) higher income.  Happiness is not just a result of how we live, it is also an inner resource that can afford us better outcomes in all areas of our life.

Hydrate.  Water is your best bet when it comes to staying hydrated.  It increases energy and reduces feelings of tiredness.  It flushes out toxins so it keeps your skin glowy.  It reduces hunger, aids in digestion and helps you focus more clearly (your brain is mainly comprised of water!) And it’s free!  Drink up!

There are more basics to cover, which I will do next time in Part 2.  For now, making a commitment to increase your awareness and action in even one of these areas is going to make a significant difference in how healthy you feel, how you look and how you live.

I love to hear from you so if you feel the urge to share what’s making a difference for you in how well you live, feel free to post a comment on my blog and I’ll respond!

Enjoy those feelings of fall in the air!