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The Best Gift a Mom Can Give

relaxing oilsI often prescribe self-care to Mom’s. I post Facebook statuses ad nauseam instructing women to nurture and love themselves. I have even jokingly gone so far as to make someone confirm that they would with a yes ma’am. Yet, I still get the glazed over, yeah sure okay response from most women. Then recently, my husband was looking at my Valentine’s Day posts urging women to remember to love themselves for the holiday. He said to me so simply and brilliantly “explain why”. Hand to forehead moment, of course.
So, I get it. I’m a mom and in the course of the day you have to meet a lot of people’s needs; children, spouse, boss, co-workers, teachers, and on and on. You are like a well-oiled machine; you have to be to get everything done and to fit it all in 24 hours. Not to mention, the world around you tends to be a little more expecting of moms to get it all done for their family and a little less forgiving if they miss a beat. Usually, there is very little time left over to indulge in luxuries for yourself, and if there is, you are so high-wired the best you can do is a glass of wine at the end of the day. Does this sound at all familiar?
I’m going to explain to you why it is not only essential for you to put yourself at the top of your priority list, but why it selfish not to.
1. You teach the world how to treat you
Translation, if you are constantly putting yourself last, what are you teaching those around you? If you get frustrated that your family isn’t treating you as you’d expect them to, it could be what you taught them. Part of our job as parents is teaching our children how to get along in this world. We should be teaching them to honor their mothers, as is done in many other cultures, not expecting them to appreciate martyrdom. No one does. By teaching our daughters to honor their mothers, we teach them to love and respect themselves as well, and we teach our sons to take care of themselves and one day love and respect their future partners. Children model our behavior, showing them to nurture themselves sets them up for a lifetime of good mental and physical health. It’s actually selfish not to give your children this gift.

2. A good habit does not just happen after 20 years of pushing it aside
I’ll take care of myself when the kids get older, or when the kids move out, or when the kids have kids. The start date continues to get pushed back until it’s just you. The kids have their own families taking up their time now. What now? Why do you think empty nest syndrome hits so hard? Everyone thinks it’s easy to just start taking care of themselves when they need to, that it will naturally kick in. When you have told your mind and body for 20 or more years to ignore doing something, it doesn’t just start doing it with the flip of a switch.

This is actually a scenario that has become really personal. A family member unexpectedly lost her husband a few years ago. All of her children were long gone with families of their own. They all wanted to support her in any way they could. She resisted all of their efforts not wanting to be a burden. At the time, this woman was beautiful, healthy, and vibrant. She did yoga and ate well. However, not being prepared for the scenario of suddenly being alone, and not knowing what to do, she chose to give up. This same woman, just three short years later, lays bed-ridden barely speaking, with a tube in her nose to provide sustenance despite no medical problems. I can’t even think about this without tearing up. Many will dismiss this as an extreme case that can’t happen to them, but the truth is she was no different than most of us and you have no idea how you will respond until you are in the situation. We have no guarantees in life, but by practicing to take care of ourselves even just a little each day, we prepare ourselves to take care of ourselves when we really need to. Imagine how difficult it would be for your family to see you deteriorate when it’s totally preventable. Preventing this is an amazing gift to give your family.

3. You are freakin’ worth it
Sorry I didn’t mean to get vulgar there ;-), but think about you and your life, and the person you are, and the kindness and love that you give. Don’t you deserve to feel as amazing as you make everyone else feel? Besides that, how can you keep giving love if you aren’t replenishing it from within? Depending on others to provide you with the love and nurturing you need can be a dangerous game, and lead you to co-dependent, unhealthy relationships. Start showing yourself the kindness and love you deserve.

Great I’m convinced, how do I do it? For everyone it will be a little different. If you are still working on feeling worthy, I want you to spend a couple of minutes every day in the mirror making eye contact with yourself. Tell yourself out loud: I love you, you are amazing, you deserve everything you desire from this life, or whatever else comes to mind, but you get the idea. It may feel awkward at first. Have you ever heard the saying “fake it ‘til you make it”? That’s what you are going to do here. Just do it until it feels authentic, and you can really look yourself in the eyes, say these beautiful things and mean it.
Also find moments in your every day, to capture for yourself. Sit and relax with a cup of tea, stop at a favorite store, read a chapter or article, get a massage, whatever gives you enjoyment. Even if it’s only a few minutes each day, eventually you will get so good at this that you will start pursuing hobbies and activities that fulfill you without feeling the least bit guilty about it. As we have already covered, you should not feel guilty, you should feel proud of the lesson you are teaching.
If you have trouble with this, don’t feel bad, its hard work to break a bad habit, and its hard work to start a good habit. Get an accountability partner, someone who will check in on your progress without judgment, or work with a holistic wellness coach (make sure they use a holistic approach). A well trained wellness coach or adviser is trained to support you without judgment, give you individualized progressive goals, and give you the tough love you need to hold you accountable so you are successful. No more excuses, no more saying I don’t have enough time. There is always enough time for what’s important. Make this important. Let me get a “yes ma’am”!
Good.
Gotta go, if you need me I’ll be in the mirror.

relax, body, soul

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Why You and Your Family Can Live the Life You Dream Of

About six years ago, I made a professional transition from helping people in the human services industry to helping people in the wellness industry. I did this for a few main reasons:
1. I could see that so many of the people with physical and mental health disabilities had them due to lifestyle issues that could have been tweaked many years before, and would have prevented the challenges they were now experiencing. For many of them, they were only in their 40’s when these issues caught up with them. There tends to be a misconception that you have to eat bird food, and do Crossfit every day to enjoy a long healthy life, so people just ignore it and deal with the consequences later. When in reality, you can make small changes that fit into your own life, and enjoy positive results. I want to help people change that misconception, and drastically improve their lives.
2. As a woman and mom, and someone that knows and works with so many women and moms, I have experienced and seen the all too common tendency to put ourselves last on our “to do lists”. Even mentioning it, I get a lot of “yeah, yeah, yeah, alright, sure, when I get a chance. I know and have seen how important this is to our physical and mental health. I want to show women why they should take care of themselves every day, and support them in creating this new habit.
3. I am a mom, and a children’s dance, yoga, and martial arts teacher, so basically I spend a whole lot of time with kids. I adore children, and love the way their minds work. They haven’t absorbed the message that they are limited, and they know they can accomplish whatever they want. However, I also see the effects that their foods and products have on their mind and behavior sometimes instantaneously. I also know the research that predicts our children to have a shorter life span than we will due to the health challenges they are already starting to experience from their foods and products. I want to help children, and their families that support them, to give them a full, rich life they love.
4. Finally, I live in a beautiful country that in many areas has become discontent, unhappy, and even angry. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the next time you are in a mega-store take a look around, or better yet look around in the parking lot. I have worked in residential communities for people with mental health issues, where we made simple changes like going for a walk once a week, and improving the quality of food, and have actually watched an entire community of people experience less symptoms from their mental health issues, improved moods, and dare I say happiness. We live in a time where there is a pill for everything, which leads to needing a pill for something else. We don’t need pills (for everything), we need community, we need lifestyle balance, we need real foods, and fresh air. I have seen these things work to help a small community, and I know they can help larger communities. I want to show people how to live the life they deserve, and realize that they really do deserve it.
So from that, was born Kalusion, an entire family walking the talk, and teaching you to do it too. If you agree with what we do, spread the word, or better yet contact us, we love this stuff

!Family Valentine's Day Selfie

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January Wellness Chatter: 5 Strategies to Get on Track with Your Weight Loss Resolution

Kalusion’s Wellness Chatter is a free 20-30 minute tele-chat (or teleconference) on different topics related to natural and healthy living. This forum offers a recap of our previous chatter. Next time join us for the chat and get your questions answered. Check in at www.kalusion.com for more info and to register.
It’s that time of new beginnings, and for so many the goal becomes about weight loss. Not surprising after a holiday season of indulgences for so many of us. So what can we do to stay on track this year?

Strategy 1: Kick out the added sugars
Sugars are the root of many health problems. They create inflammation in the body, which wears down the immune system and leads to long term disorders such as auto-immune disorders, pre-diabetes, and diabetes.

What are sugars?
When I tell people to get rid of the extra sugar in their diet, I often hear I don’t eat a lot of sweets, I just drink three glasses of wine at night. Ahem, that’s sugar. Just because you don’t eat a pastry every day does not mean you are not eating sugars. Anything that your body immediately converts to sugar and spikes your blood sugar should be considered a sugar in your diet. This includes processed flours, alcohol, juice (eat the fruit instead), and processed foods that contain added sugar (they all do).

Is it easy?
Heck no. Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, and indulging only makes you crave it more. So getting started can be tough. Want to know how I do it? Ok, shameless plug here: I use my Sugar Buster Tea. I know, I know, I’m plugging my product, but guess what, it works. I made it to balance my system out and help with the cravings when I needed it, and I continue to use it now, most recently after Christmas to get rid of the cravings after devouring holiday cookies for a few days. The tea cleanses the liver, balances the blood sugar, reduces cravings, and fights symptoms of candida. It actually worked for me, and then I offered it to my friends, and it worked for them, so I started offering it to everyone. I have also created the Sugar Buster Body Oil to complement the tea for a total inside and out health kit. The body oil fights candida symptoms, and helps break addictions. My recommendation is to use the body oil daily after bathing, and to make the tea daily at a regular time or about 30-60 minutes prior to the time you usually crave sweets. I know that once the sugar monster starts screaming at me I often don’t want to do anything about it other than eat goodies even though the answer is right there. If I drink the tea prior, it doesn’t become an issue. Find Sugar Buster Tea and Oil here.

Sugar Buster Tea

Getting rid of the sugars is one of the best ways to see the difference you are making in your weight loss goal. After even a week of dropping sugars from your diet, you will notice less bloating in your body giving you a more streamlined appearance.

Do you have to do it all at once?
Of course not. As with any goal make smaller goals to reach that goal. This will help you see your successes and not give up on yourself.

Strategy 2: Detox
Cleanse your system of all the build-up of undesirables that may have collected. This is actually an easy one. Drink lemon water. It is best to drink warm or room temperature lemon water first thing in the morning to get maximum results. However, drinking lemon water any time throughout the day will offer you benefits. I have been making a glass jar of filtered water and lemon slices every day, and just drinking from it throughout the day. This is also a great way to see how much water you are taking in every day.

Strategy 3: Move for fun
We have all heard how important physical activity is for shedding weight. However, I may verge off path a little with my advice. I’m not going to tell you to do a certain amount of minutes of specific activities a number of times per week. So many people get turned off by physical activity because they make it into a chore. I suggest you do the things you enjoy doing. Go for a walk, a bike ride, play with the kids, work in the garden, dance around the living room. Essentially, do the things you enjoy then you will continue doing them without effort. You will find that if you don’t do it one day, you will actually miss your activity.

What if I don’t have time?
I know people that turn on the music while cleaning the house, and dance around. That’s two birds with one stone. Find ways to incorporate it into your daily routine: park at the back of parking lots, and walk, stretch at your desk, go for a walk on your lunch break. Sneaking in even just a couple of minutes many times throughout the day will add up and provide you so many benefits.

Strategy 4: Clean up your products
Products? Yes. Many people will clean up their diet, and find physical activity, and still struggle to see results. We can thank hormones for that. Doing the first three steps will help that endocrine system; however, the toxins we introduce to our bodies on a daily basis through our skin may undo all that hard work. Your skin is actually a more direct route to your body’s health. Consider when you eat, the food has to go through your entire digestive system before entering the blood stream. When you apply it to your skin it goes directly to your blood stream. Most of the products on the shelves contain toxins that disrupt your endocrine system, and throw your hormones out of balance. When reading the ingredients on your personal products you should be able to recognize and pronounce everything as you would when reading food labels. If you can’t, you may want to consider replacing that product when you finish it. Time for another shameless plug: Ava Anderson Non Toxic products have come to our home, and we are so pleased with them. They don’t just make claims about their ingredients; you can actually read the ingredients and see they are what they say. Plus the stuff actually works. I can go on and on about how great our Ava products work. Feel free to ask me, and I will. Check out Ava Anderson Non-Toxic products here.

Strategy 5: New beginnings are happening all the time
If you fall off track, you don’t have to wait until January 1, or Monday or next month to start again. Every moment is a new beginning, just pick up and start again. You are a wonderful person, and should never give up on yourself.

I’d love to hear your stories of triumph and struggle. Let me know how your journey is going.

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Et tu, Burt’s Bees. Why I Decided to Join the Ava Anderson Team.

Not long ago one of my trusted products was on sale, my Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm.  I was happy to see it, and stocked right up.  However, shortly after the purchase I came down with a serious case of chapped, peeling lips, and had to stop using it.  Usually my BB helps, but I decided to take a break, and heal my lips with some salve.  Once they were better I resumed my BB to find that the problem started again.  Could it be, my lip balm was causing this reaction?  Had something in my chemistry changed?  Why was this happening?

After a couple of trials with the same results, I had discontinued using my lip balm when I happened to be discussing my experience with another health coach who is a provider of toxin-free products.  She let me know that Burt’s Bees had been bought by Clorox, and has since changed many of the product formulas.  I was so disappointed.

I have to admit that while I do always read ingredients on new products I want to try, I generally don’t re-read the labels of old favorites.  Clearly, I can no longer take these things for granted. My general experience has been that many of the products claiming non-toxic, organic, or natural status, always have some unpleasant, toxic additive, and yet they charge two and three times more than the others.  Out of frustration, I began making many of my own products, which I have been doing for quite some time now.   I have taken classes, and been trained on herbs and oils, and still have been through many trials and errors to find the formulas that work for my family and me, and am quite happy with them.  As a matter of fact, that is why we began offering many of our oils, salves, and more for sale, as others expressed interest in having an alternative as well, but didn’t want to spend the time making them or even going through the trial and error.

While I continue to have great success making my own products, there are a couple of things I have not been able to do for myself.  The first is shampoo.  I have been through some serious trials with shampoo, and no-poo that left my hair looking like poo-poo.  Not to mention, my poor daughter’s curls were demolished.  I finally waved the white flag, and realized that shampoo is something best left to someone else in my case.  The other product that I don’t even want to attempt is cosmetics.  For those two reasons alone, I began searching for an outside alternative, and hope I have found it.  I have begun using the Ava Anderson products as a supplement to my own.  So far, we are all really happy, and my daughter’s curls have bounced back.  With our success, I decided to become a consultant so that these healthy products are available to anyone else that may be struggling with finding clean, toxin-free products for themselves and their families.  I still offer my own products, and am always coming up with more every day.  In addition, I am available to train others to make products for their own families.  However, I am well aware that not everyone is big on the DIY thing, or just doesn’t have time for it.  So, this is for you.

Check out my Ava Anderson website here.  You can order directly online, or you can host an informative presentation for an opportunity to get some freebies.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.  I hope you enjoy trying out this line as much as I have, and I commend you for taking care of your health!

avaConsultantGreen

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Leftover Turkey turned Thai

It’s almost time for the most delicious holiday of the year.  As we gather with friends and families with gratitude filled hearts, take a moment to just be in the present moment and really enjoy yourself.  When it’s all over, and you’re looking for something different to do with your leftovers, I’ve got your recipe covered here.

Kalusion’s Thai Turkey (not hot)

one red onion cut in half moons
cut Broccoli
2 or 3 cups Leftover dark turkey meat
3 -4 Tbs Peanut butter
1 can Coconut milk add ½ can water
1 Tbs Green curry powder

Sauté onions in skillet until soft and brown. Add broccoli and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, and let simmer over medium heat until reaching desired consistency.

Serve over rice. For some extra flavor I like to saute rice with olive oil, Himalayan pink salt, and peas.

Enjoy!

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Healthy AND Cool Halloween Trick or Treating

Every year I struggle with what to hand out for Halloween. So, recently I posted the following thread on Facebook to see what kinds of suggestions were out there.
“In early October, I find myself thinking about Halloween treats. The health coach in me doesn’t want to hand out the usual awful candies, the kid in me doesn’t want to hand out pennies or apples, and the accountant in me doesn’t want to break the bank with organic treats that kids may toss. What do you hand out for Halloween?”
I was really inspired by the suggestions that followed. Some ideas were raisins, chocolates, trinkets such as pencils and fake spiders, fruit snacks, pretzels, and microwave popcorn.
My household is not a big raisin loving group, but we do love Craisins. Yes, Craisins have added sugar, but compared to all the strange forms of sugar in traditional candies there’s really no contest. Chocolates are a great suggestion, and chocolate containing 70% cocoa or more is actually very good. However, that can get a little costly, so I’m saving that for me. The trinkets are a really great idea. We save them from year to year with our Halloween stuff, so when we pull them out they’re like new toys all over again. We love fake spiders and snakes all over the house. I emphasize the word fake. Fruit snacks are a great idea, but you have to read the ingredients. Fruit snacks containing corn syrup and dyes are just as bad as most of the candies, and let’s not even talk about the gelatin. Here is more information on fruit snacks. However, good quality fruit snacks such as YumEarth make the grade. I found some good deals on pretzels, and think that is a good option unless you have a bunch of paleo goblins running around your neighborhood. I’m avoiding microwave popcorn being I just won’t eat anything out of a microwave. More here on the danger of microwaved food.
Ultimately, it has to work for you and your family, and it should be fun to hand out. Why should kids get all the fun? I’ve put together some of our favorites on our astore. Check them out here.
What are some other favorites of yours? I’d love to hear about them.YumEarth

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Back to School Recipe – Eggplant Pesto Pizza Pie

This is a simple throw together for a busy back to school night.

Ingredients
Onion
Eggplant
Basil
Spinach
Pine nuts
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Sliced tomatoes
Feta (Bulgarian)
Naan bread

1. Dice and sauté onions, add diced eggplant and cook until soft
2. While the onions and eggplant are cooking, make a simple pesto. I prefer using the bullet to grind it all down quickly. Place in the bullet spinach, basil (and any other herbs of choice i.e. oregano, cilantro, etc), pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. I must admit I don’t use exact measurements here. I just throw it together, and it comes out awesome every time.
3. Finally put it all together. Put Naan bread on a cookie sheet (you can toast it in the oven before adding ingredients for about 5 min – depending on preference). Add a layer of pesto, top with sliced tomatoes, crumbled feta (we prefer the Bulgarian kind), and finally the eggplant and onion mixture.
4. Bake at 375 for about 10 min

This takes about 30 minutes in all, and is phenomenal! Enjoy!

(Sorry, there’s no picture yet. We ate it too fast 🙂

If you want more information on the Bullet in our astore click here.

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4 Steps for the Best Day, and Life – Part IV

To recap: in Step 1 we woke up like a cat, in Step 2 we were oil pulling, in Step 3 we cleansed with lemon water.  Now we move on to the final, and potentially most challenging step.

Pet Hamster Holding A Blank  SignStep 4. Get out of the zone
Is that right? Get out, not in? Yes, that’s right. I’m referring to the comfort zone. We long to be in our comfort zone. No unexpected surprises, everything going according to plan, master of our routine. The problem with the comfort zone is it’s a lot like being on a hamster wheel. You will spin around furiously, but you never move forward. Our successes lie outside of our comfort zone. However, if we’re used to being in that zone day after day, when an opportunity comes along that requires leaving that comfortable place we may be reluctant to take it. I’m sure you can think of at least one time you passed up an opportunity because you were afraid to take the leap.

My challenge to you is to find a small way to leave your comfort zone each day. It could be taking a class you have always wanted to try, experimenting with a new food, or going for a drive and intentionally getting lost. Getting yourself used to being slightly uncomfortable each day will help you build a “discomfort tolerance”. So, when you find yourself in a similar situation to the one before, you may not be so quick to pass it up.

Get Out of Your Comfortzone: The Excercise Book for your Personal Growth

 

As with any practice, you will build up to the level you want to achieve.  Perhaps on your first day: you stretch quickly before hopping out of bed, you swoosh a small amount of oil for a few minutes, you forget the lemon water, and you challenge yourself by wearing funky socks.  That’s a success.   Always appreciate what you have accomplished, and silence any negative self-talk. Now get out there and have the best day, and life.

 

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4 Steps for the Best Day and Life – Part III

Now that you’ve woken up like a cat in Part I and pulled all the bad bacteria from your mouth and digestive system with coconut oil in Part II, we move on to the third step to starting our day in the best possible way.

Step 3. Lemon water
I often hear people talking about doing a cleanse. There are so many out there, but the most basic and effective cleanse is a glass of lemon water. The water can be warm or room 053_3000x2561_all-free-download.com_7935271temperature (just not cold), and squeeze the juice of half a lemon in it. Drink it about 15 – 30 minutes before eating breakfast for best results.

Drinking a glass of lemon water every morning will help to cleanse and detox your system, boost your immunity, clear up skin problems, fight wrinkles (woo hoo), help with weight loss, and so much more. Plus it’s tasty.

Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice Press

Stay tuned for Step 4.