Let your buddhi guide the way!

I have never been a regular meat eater. For most of my life, including my childhood, I avoided anything to do with meat (and that includes chicken, yes, chicken is meat). About four years ago, I gave it up completely. The only real way that I used to consume meat was if it was in something that someone prepared for me, or if I was out and there were very few options (I’ve learned a lot since then). When I started studying holistic nutrition, I learned that meat and meat products might not be the best thing for my body.

I also study Ayurveda which teaches that meat takes significantly more energy to digest than other foods. As a runner, who the heck needs slow digestion? I need all the energy I can get, and I don’t want anything I consume to get in the way of nutrient absorption.  Eating meat was an invitation to gut issues, inflammation, and frankly, it just made me a little queasy. Especially raw chicken!!! Plus, seriously people, your poop is irregular at best when you eat a lot of meat. Think pebbles or stones….or no poop at all. Ug. How awful. In Sanskit, we think of bowel function in terms of downward flow or downward prana (life-force). The Sanskit term for this is apana vayu. Whatever you call it, we all need downward flow and it should be easeful, not painful.

A friend told me about Forks Over Knives and it was meat-game OVER.  Thank you, Shannon!

Now I constantly hear arguments about the benefits of eating meat over a plant-based diet. I don’t want to argue. What you eat, what you purchase, support, and consume is your business. My choice is simply to not eat meat or support businesses that contribute to what I consider not healthy, not good for the environment, and certainly, NOT GOOD for the animals. I promote a plant-based lifestyle. I will not argue, but I will always support (as will you for YOU) what I believe to be good for me and my family physically, environmentally, and ethically. This is also what I teach in my classes. No one is required to do as I do, but I try my darnedest. And as Elizabeth, a member in one of my courses said to me, “let’s just agree to disagree”.  Yep, good deal. And thank you for that, Elizabeth. I like your style.

Not all the decisions I’ve made in this life have been good. Wow, now that’s an understatement and a topic for another blog post and a bottle of wine! Ask my family and friends. No, on second thought….please don’t.  Moving on… But this decision was a good one and I continue to be grateful every day for that decision. In making that decision, I was inspired by buddhi, the Sanskit term that roughly translates to “…our higher intelligence which has access to expanded awareness on one hand and the data from our lived experience on the other” (translation by Cate Stillman).

And this is the point I wanted to make in this blog post. Today we have SO much information available to us. We can hop on the internet and use Dr. Google (thanks to Wendy who says something like this) to find answers to all our questions. But what we find on the internet (or wherever) needs to be balanced by our instincts, our true motivations or aspirations, and what we believe to be true for us (me, my family, you, your family, your world).  I chat with people all the time who know exactly what they SHOULD do to be healthy, or happy, or satisfied, or fill-in-the-blank. But we are people. We are messy people and we are influenced by so many forces out there. Often, we make poor decisions that impact our health, our ethics, our jobs, our families, our safety, our environment.

At our family cottage up north, on the inside bathroom door, we have a poster of common-sense mottos and sayings (it’s seriously been there for 35 years and when you sit on the toilet, you can read and reread the litany of sayings. It’s quite entertaining). My favorite is TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS, THEY ARE ALWAYS RIGHT. So go with your gut. Sure, read up, do your research, listen to other people’s opinions, and then do what your gut tells you to do, if it is responsible and will make you whole. When you are out of alignment with your true self, and your deep wisdom, you will make poor decisions.  Let your buddhi guide the way. Namaste!


How to avoid decision fatigue

In moments of low motivation, high stress, or unexpected turmoil, it can be difficult to stay committed to goals and habit change. Good intentions go right down the drain when the sad, overworked, or stressed out brain takes over. In a moment, or in one bite, you’ve taken a turn toward the dark side of motivation and thrown caution to the wind.

How do we plan for these moments of low motivation and chaos so that we stay on track? It’s a matter of acting when motivations are high. For me, this means I need to look to my early mornings and weekends to proactively plan. I will give you two examples. The first is my running schedule. If I relied upon my afternoons or evenings to run, I would not be a runner.  Anyone who knows me, knows that around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, I begin walking into walls. I’m not necessarily tired, but I’ve used up most of my energy reserves – I’m ready to wind down. I can still get work done, but if I’ve left my run for later in the day when my motivation is low, and my brain energy is questionable, I will probably suffer decision fatigue that ultimately leads me to decide against it; it’s too hot, too late, too rainy, too cold, too boring, too much traffic, too little time, blah, blah, blah.

And then there’s my diet. You all know I’m a fruit and vegetable super freak. I try to eat as healthy as possible as often as possible which normally means I’ll have homemade soup or salad for lunch….or both. If you’ve ever seen me march into the office in the morning, you’ll see my arms loaded down with a days’ worth of stuff, most importantly, an entire days’ worth of food. My smoothie is contained in my smoothie cup and a quart mason jar for later, I have a thermos of soup, and a container with salad. If I’m working late or have coaching sessions after work, I’ll have more soup and/or salad for my dinner.  It’s a big deal and it’s a lot of food.  If I had to make my food or create a days’ worth of food during the day, especially on a week day, forget it! Instead, I set aside a couple of hours on weekends to make large batches of soup, cut veggies, grind seeds, and in general, get my kitchen in order including filling my freezer with plenty of food for the week. In the morning, when my motivation is high, I get everything organized and off I go.  I have this routine DOWN!!!!  It’s a habit. In fact, much of my life is a ritual. My husband just gets out of the way because he knows nothing gets between me and my smoothie and morning routine.

Decision fatigue. It’s a thing; a real thing. And it exists just to mess with us and throw us off our game. So next weekend, set aside two hours to shop, cut, batch, cook, freeze, and store the various parts of your meals. If it’s not your meals that are your problem, state the problem, decide when your motivation is high, and get prepping. Tonight before I go to bed, my running clothes, shoes and socks will be placed by the front door, my mason jar is by the sink ready to be filled with water first thing so I remember to drink, and my food is packed and ready to go.

Act when your motivation is high to make sure that things are in place for when motivation is low. Research tells us that low motivation rules, so plan to do this every day – every week. Avoid decision fatigue! When is your motivation high? Make your plan now!

Do you struggle with decision fatigue? Does life have a habit of tripping you up, causing you to veer away from your desired destination?  Sign up for a free health strategy session here and enjoy an hour of laser focused coaching on your biggest challenge or question and you’ll walk away with a few next-steps to uplevel your life.




Intermittent Fasting and Food Exploration Workshop Series

Join this 4-week on-line workshop series – June 13, 20, 27, and July 11 from 6-7:00 p.m. (we will not meet the week of the 4th of July). The workshop is designed to guide you into better health through Intermittent Fasting and Food Exploration and is back by popular demand. All sessions will be live on-line. Each session will be recorded and made available the following day.

Cost is only $50 for the entire series. Learn about what is best for your body and how to incorporate easy strategies that will help you feel better, more aligned with the desired YOU, and as an added bonus, drop those pesky pounds that seem to stick around after the new year. This session will include tips on how to eat locally or regionally for optimal health and strategies for avoiding the traps of the Standard American Diet.

This session would not be complete without discussions on topics of acid reflux, elimination, energy, and sleep and the ways in which the foods we eat impact everything in our lives.

To get in on this workshop, you can complete the registration form below and use this easy PayPal link for payment. I’ll  see you June 13!

Healthy Living Retreat in Northern Michigan

Be a part of this peaceful, relaxing, and nourishing Northern Michigan Retreat experience ~ Aug 10/11/12. The location is Central Lake at Yoga North. Rooms are shared by two people. Each room includes two beds and a private bathroom. Retreat includes two nights lodging, 4 plant-based meals, plenty of yoga, and downtime for you to enjoy the local area. Enjoy SUP, hiking, yoga, and plant-based lifestyle workshops to learn more about the benefits of this lifestyle including hands-on cooking and demonstrations. All sessions are optional.

  • We begin on Friday evening between 5 – 7:00 p.m. with a light plant-based meal and a quieting yin yoga practice.
  • Saturday morning will include a yoga flow at dawn, hiking in the woods, and play followed by a plant-based lifestyle discussion and demonstration which will lead into a delicious plant-based brunch at 10:00.
  • Saturday afternoon is free time for you to enjoy the area. You might choose to use one of the stand-up paddle boards, swim, hike, or just chill and reflect. A mid-day yoga flow will be offered that will add a little zip to your day.
  • Saturday afternoon will also offer a discussion on self-care practices inspired by the principles of Yoga and Ayurveda. You’ll like this and won’t want to miss it.
  • Saturday evening will include another light, delicious plant-based meal made from local ingredients from the farmers market. The rest of the evening is up to you, but you might consider joining the group for reflection, story-telling, and deep-listening followed by a restorative yoga practice.
  • Sunday morning, you may choose to join in a morning yoga flow followed by brunch between 8-9:00 with the remaining time open. Check-out is noon.
  • Early bird price is $250 until June 1. After June 1, $299. We have space for 20 and several spots are already reserved so don’t wait.  Sign up below and click here to make your payment.
  • For those who wish to arrive on Thursday evening or stay Sunday evening to extend your stay in beautiful Northern Michigan, your rooms will be available for the affordable price of $25 per night.
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