Wholeness from Perfection

I was once a person who strived for perfection. The perfect outfit, hair, attitude, humor, car…….honesty the list could go on. The very idea of being seen as someone who “had it all together” was my ideal feeling of acceptance. Full disclosure here, I felt undervalued and unappreciated if I didn’t uphold everyone else’s ideals of what “all” looked like. As if my identity rested in someones opinion and acceptance of me. It’s crazy how I once let this outside world determine my worth!

But God…………….

I am a woman of value, purpose, worth and love. I am equipped to handle my circumstances, mistakes and opportunities. I am capable of greatness beyond the limitations I think. Maybe you need to hear this today or maybe I need to read this a few times to remind myself of His plan and promises for my life. There are more reasons to cave than there are to crave the life that has already been perfectly carved and chiseled for me (you). But God………. with him ALL things are possible.

It took me a. long. time. to really believe that. I thought “all” meant just the religious or spiritual things and so my journey through life has allowed me to see that ALL means ALL!! All thoughts, all things, all actions, all opportunities all love, all all all!! What is your ALL? Moving from perfection to wholeness for me is like finding those missing keys that you tear the house apart for when they are exactly where you left them to begin with. In that place you keep overlooking or missing because you are too focused on the loss of them instead of the discovery of them.

It is only when I focused on the discovery of Wholeness that I released the idea or loss of being perfect!

Earlier today, when taking my son to work, we were discussing math (of all things) and of course I turned it into a life lesson. I mean, I am a mom so It just naturally comes with the territory I suppose or well, at least it does for me. So, he mentioned he just couldn’t get Algebra 2 because the process or method to get to the answer is so confusing. At first I thought, well then memorize the formula and you’ll master the process. But what I was really led to say is, the rules for solving the math problem don’t change, meaning the formula is the same. We get so caught up in the process of solving the equation we forget to just apply the rules or principle. He knows the answer because of the rules (formula) but spends so much time asking why the process is laid out that way and fails to see the simplicity of the question or math problem from the beginning.

Isn’t that just like life, we focus so much on the process or how we are “doing” the process we neglect to see the simplicity behind the principle or rule. Just follow the rule and the process will reveal itself. Kind of like working the problem backwards from the answer. Re-engineering life from the outcome can reveal a more simplified process or journey to reach the goal or dream you set out to achieve from the very beginning. Wholeness allows you to see that applying the principles you’ve learned along your journey will unfold the process so naturally and easily and can fulfill you on a soul level.

Raw Realities, Jackie

Diary of Decisions Day 1 of 90

I was listening to my 14 year old share his highs and lows, something we do at dinner every night. We each go around the table sharing what was a high for the day and what was a low. Some people call them thorns and roses. So anyway, on this particular night he shared something that really moved me and inspired me to take action, not the kind of action that only lasts for a short time but instead the driven and passionate step of action that really moves you to jump up and do it right that instant.

Before I go on, let me just start with a little disclaimer: this shared journey or “raw reality” will be unedited, raw and purely authentic. I get in my head too often about how perfected each conversation needs or I want it to be. The disclaimer: each and every Diary entry will be in its raw form, my pure thoughts, fully transparent and entirely from the heart.

On to the Diary of Decisions, as I mentioned above, the highs and lows sharing drove me to a decision I have been giving excuses to for almost a year. I don’t have the time, I don’t have the space, I don’t have the tools or proper equipment……..blah blah blah blah blah! You get the picture and I am certain many of us have all been there at multiple times in our lives for multiple “decisions”. This one really stuck………My 14 year old shared his high – “I am starting exercising to gain muscle and strength by the end of the year”. First of all how smart is he that he automatically acknowledges it will indeed take a year or so to accomplish this goal. Smart kid, I learned something in that very moment……….

1 . we set too high of expectations in too short of a period of time.

2. We don’t clearly define “why” we are making the decision.

3. We allow others ideas of how it should unfold deter us from even starting.

4. He declared it right away, there were no “I think” or “I want to”. Just straight up…..”I am”.

I asked him a few questions like, what time or day are you doing your exercises, and what types of exercises are you going to do, and lastly we talked about nutrition to support his workouts. As a Holistic Nutriton Health Coach I thought for sure he would be all ears and ready to take notes. Ummmmm. big fat nope, so I did the next best thing. I pulled out my P90X dvd and played the very first intro for it. I am a genius, it went over all of it and it didn’t come from me. Sometimes even WE need that 3rd party validation to get the information to sink in and take hold of us. He watched, he asked a few questions and then processed his thoughts. He is an inward processor so new changes take a few hours to allow him to develop the plan of attack that best fits his personality. Like I said, smart kid!

Back to my decision, like I said I have been allowing excuses for quite some time and honestly it gets old to keep hearing the same sh!% come out of my mouth about the same damn thing. Just take action I kept telling myself. Well I certainly did!

Dear Diary, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 I started my Core Four training for the next 90 days. Pray for me people I know it will be hard, I will be sore and probably not able to walk up a flight of stairs. I have to remind myself to take it slow and steady and to just keep going. So here is my plan –

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A. HYDRATION – Increased my water intake to 1/2 to 3/4 body weight, added MSM for extra absorption, and spun in a vortex for enhanced molecular structure.

B. NUTRITION – Meal planned for 7 days on each Friday, with a shopping trip on Sunday. Prep ingredients for the week. My focus is tone and definition with some small added muscle gain so my 80/20 meals will support this. I’ll share those as I go on.

C. SLEEP – Bed by 9:00p.m., 5 out of the 7 nights, and up by  5:30a.m. I’m older so apparently I have been needing more sleep.

D. EXERCISE – I’m am learning new methods for an almost 50 year old body. As I continue to move I will focus on different parts of the body for the best results. For starters it’s mostly plyometrics and static contractions with a few weights.

Now, adjustments will be made along the way and so I am extremely happy with my decision to take action and I look forward to the results. Mostly though, I look forward to sharing my next high and low………..

Find your purpose!     Burn the ships!   Take action!

What do you need to take action on? I’d love to support you, add to the comments section below

Decision maker, Jackie

 

Release, Reframe and Reset

It was an ordinary Friday, one that speaks of resting, preparing and playful episodes of jam sessions and craft classes. We woke late, took our sweet time getting to our morning jobs and breakfast.

We had a plan for the day a mission of sorts to go out and conquer fun. I spent the week pinning ideas, making lists, and choosing favorites and was overly excited to share with the kids what I had planned.  We wrapped up the morning just in time to gather our things for the day and head out into adventure.

The very moment we closed the doors and started on our way to load up, I panicked. the spontaneous adventure had me full of anxiety, I was desperately trying to be light and airy with excitement for the fun we would have. I was none of that, I was stressed, anxious and uncertain about the plans we had. I don’t know if it was me trying to be spontaneous with a bit of preparation or prepared with some added spontaneity. Either way I was a mess. I never let them see it but inside I was wrecked.

And then it hit me, release, reframe and reset. I kept playing those words in my head, release and rest, messaging I had learned from my coaching classes. As a certified holistic health coach, the tools were right there, in my head and tucked away in my heart. I said them over and over until I felt myself calm and settled. 

We started on our way, joy emanating from within and had the best fun we’d had in months! If it weren’t for the reframing of my mind, the day could’ve and certainly would’ve been a train wreck affecting not just me but my kids as well.

What you think matters, what you say matters, how you feel matters and your choice to overcome it matters. YOU MATTER!!

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Release……………Reframe…………….Reset

Injoy, J

Omegas are the new Carrots

There’s a good reason for the common belief that carrots are good for your eyes. Carotenoids, the pigments that give carrots their orange hue, accumulate in the eyes, where they protect against UV light. But, there’s a new kid on the block when it comes to supporting healthy vision – omega-3 fatty acids.

Just ask Dr. John Paul SanGiovanni, an accomplished eye health researcher at the National Institutes of Health. He was recently interviewed about omega-3s and their role in supporting eye health, and to celebrate Healthy Vision Month, we’re sharing some of his insights.

Omega-3s and Your Eyes

The omega-3s DHA and EPA are both important for eye health, specifically, the health of the retina. You can thank your retinas for translating light into visual images that allow you to see. (That’s where all those rods and cones you studied in high school live.)

DHA’s main job is structural: it helps maintain healthy cell membranes. EPA’s role is functional: it helps cells communicate with each other. EPA is also used to make important antioxidants. That’s critical, because the delicate retina is particularly prone to free radical damage.

According to Dr. SanGiovanni, DHA is highly concentrated in the retina, just like carotenoids. In fact, there is more DHA in the retina than any other tissue of the body! That gives us a good indication of how important DHA is to eye health.

Eat More Omega-3s, See Better

Dr. SanGiovanni points to studies going back over twenty years showing that people with higher levels of DHA enjoy better vision. Later research, which looked at intake (in other words, how much DHA and EPA you consume) rather than status (in other words, the level of these fats measured in your blood) has found over and over again that the more rich in EPA and DHA that food you eat is, the more likely you are to have healthy vision.

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Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, which means your body needs them but does not make them on its own. As a result, you need them to get them from your diet or from supplements.

Yet just as most people don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables daily, they’re also lacking in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, according to a recent study, 90 percent of Americans do not get enough omega-3s in their diet.

How to Get More Omega-3s

Most people know EPA and DHA are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, cod, and mackerel, and that’s a good place to start. But you can also get them from algae, which is not only vegetarian, but also a sustainable resource.

The Juice Plus+ Omega Blend capsules contain omega-3s derived from algae, rounded out with a broad array of other omega fatty acids — 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 — from plant-based sources such as pomegranate seeds, sea buckthorn berries, raspberry seeds, tomato seeds and safflower seeds. Just like the other Juice Plus+ Blends, the Omega Blend bridges the gap between what you should eat, and what you do eat, every day.

What’s your favorite way to get enough omega-3s? Share in the comments below!

Road Trip Yahoo!!!

In an ideal world, we would all take plenty of time to plan, purchase, and prepare a cornucopia of healthy snacks any time we took the family on a road trip. But life doesn’t always cooperate with our lofty intentions. And so, unless you are a preternaturally organized person, you will inevitably find yourself mid-road trip at a convenience store, looking for a healthy snack for yourself, your partner, or your kids. What are your best options?

Most convenience stores do have some healthy offerings; the main challenge is avoiding all the less-than-healthy temptations, especially if you’ve got a kid in tow. I know I need to keep my five-year-old’s attention away from the candy aisle whenever we go into one of these places.

Going in with a plan can help, whether you’re negotiating with your child or your inner child. Before you open the store door, decide what kinds of foods you’re going to look for. You could even try to make it a game or a treasure hunt.

Low-Hanging Fruit:
As soon as you enter the store, check the counter for fresh fruit. Are there apples or bananas? Don’t worry about the fact that the fruit is wildly overpriced compared to what you’d pay in a grocery store. The mission right now is not to save a few bucks.

Mix and Match:
Is there a refrigerated area with pre-cut fruit or veggies? These are sometimes packaged in trays with hummus, cheese, nuts, or a hard-boiled egg. Oftentimes you can buy these items separately and combine them until you’ve created a pretty healthy meal.

Go Nuts.
A bag of nuts is always a good snack option. Nuts have protein and healthy fats, and they provide the satisfying crunch you might get from chips. Raw nuts are preferable to roasted, because roasting can damage the healthy fats and create a harmful substance called acrylamide. But if roasted nuts are your only option, they’re still better than almost everything else you’ll find in a convenience store!

It’s All Greek.
If you’re lucky, you’ll find some plain Greek yogurt, which is high in protein, in the dairy section. The plain part is important, because conventional single-serving yogurts have almost as much sugar as a 12-ounce soda! I carry a little bottle of liquid stevia (a zero-calorie, low-glycemic natural sweetener) in my purse at all times so I can sweeten just about anything without adding any sugar. My daughter loves the taste.

Drink It Up.
Water’s always a good option, and if you drink  Plant milk, it’s almost always available. Plant Milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, and it has some protein, too. Bottled tea or coffee might seem like a good idea if you also need a little energy boost, but it’s almost always heavily sweetened, so check the label. You’re better off getting a cup of joe that’s been brewed in the store so you can control how much, if any, sugar you put into it.

What’s your go-to healthy(ish) convenience store snack?

Massive Meal Plan Upgrade

How sick of the excuses are you? Really, I’m just OVER IT!!!!!! We could use a meal plan upgrade, change comes from change, it’s time to make one and that time is NOW!!!!

Seriously, how many times do you keep telling yourself………tomorrow or next week or after my birthday or or or……honestly are you going to get serious or not??!!

Now, I’m not certainly trying to be harsh, damn it we need a swift kick in the patootie, am I right or am I right? Anyway the event begins June 18th, that’s next Monday. We need to time to plan, shop and prep items for this. So, click here to join and for the @$$ kicking good time!! Oh, this has nothing to do with the weight but everything to do with feeling “good” and losing the brain fog, sleepiness and so on. Don’t be surprised however, if the weight starts falling off little by little. That should not be your primary objective but a sure outcome when making these changes.

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Raw Joy, Jackie

8 HEALTH BENEFITS OF PLANT-BASED DIETS

The earth is covered in plants that provide living creatures with food to keep us healthy and medicine for when we are sick. It makes sense that plants are an essential part of any healthy way of eating. Even in the harshest conditions, plant life, in some form, has been a part of traditional diets.

By shifting plant foods to the core of your diet, you are making great strides for your health whether or not you choose to go entirely plant-based. Instead of getting caught up in labels, focus on including more plant-based foods in your diet.

 

Here are several great bene ts of a diet relying mostly on plant foods:

1| Body Mass Index (BMI): Individuals following a plant-based diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are more likely to have a healthy BMI and less likely to be overweight.1,2

2| Risk of Chronic Disease: Plant-based diets reduce the risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. In fact, those who follow plant-based diets are more likely to have improved insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels.2,3

3| Toxic Load: Meat, dairy, and farm-raised sh may contain hormones, steroids, and other toxic residue from their feed and processing. Although a better choice, wild sh can still be contaminated with heavy metals, like mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which may disrupt our hormones. Consuming organic produce and reducing consumption of animal foods can help limit exposure to these toxins.

4| Money: Individuals who follow a plant-based diet may save about $750 per year on grocery costs. Whole grains, beans, and in-season produce are economical and incredibly nourishing.4

5| Animal Welfare: To meet the demand for animal foods, animals are often raised under poor conditions and crowded together in con ned animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Supporting humane farms – or not purchasing meat at all – is a way to place your vote against animal cruelty.

 

6| The Planet: The demand for animal products is a major cause of deforestation as land is cleared to make room for animals. In fact, nearly 30% of the earth’s land area is used to raise livestock.5 Farm animals are also a major contributor of greenhouse gases, which are linked to global warming.

7| Resources: Plant-based foods require less energy, space, and water than animal foods and are less taxing on our resources. Producing one kilogram of animal protein uses 100 times more water than the same amount of protein from grains.6

8| Longevity: Plant foods are high in antioxidant compounds like vitamin C, selenium, and vitamin E. These compounds assist in reducing oxidative stress in the body, which decreases disease risk and supports healthful aging.7 Some of the world’s longest-living people live in the Mediterranean and Asia. Both areas have traditional diets focused on plant-based diets.

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Juggling or Balancing

Juggling is a balancing act or wait may be it’s the other way around. Balancing is a Juggling act? Hmmmm. let’s see if I can make this make sense, to me silly, I’m sure you have EVERYTHING TOGETHER PERFECTLY, MWHAHAHAHAHA. And…….we all woke up!!

So, there you have it, we all think the other one has all there sh**t together and they don’t drop the balls or plates they’re spinning or tossing. Yeah, I’d like to toss some balls right about now. Let’s just get some real dose of raw truth mkay………………………………………..

On paper, I look like one of those women who has and does it all. I have a sweet marriage, 5 pretty awesome kids, a Business I love that enables me to work from anywhere (even my pocket), hobbies that interest me, good health, a house that keeps us warm and dry, great friends, and a supportive community. Oh, and we home-school. When I write it all out, I have a fairly impressive-sounding life.

People sometimes ask me how I balance it all, and my response is always the same. First, I try not to spit while I laugh in their face, and then I say, “I don’t.”

That’s not false modesty. I really don’t balance it all — not even close, in fact.

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I’m not sure that the idea of balance has any place in a life with children at all. The notion that  the various parts of my life could ever equally and evenly mesh on any kind of a regular basis is laughable. I mean, there are certainly some things I do (or should do) to keep it all running as smoothly as possible. But as any parent knows, “as smoothly as possible” can still be a very bumpy ride. Let’s throw in some chickens, quail and dogs into the mix while we are talking.

Whether you work or stay home, have kids in school or not, life as a parent is full and busy. But I think in terms of juggling rather than balancing. It’s constant movement, constant bouncing from one thing to another, constant attention shifting while trying to stay focused. Up, down, around and around, the balls are always flying somewhat haphazardly, being caught just in time to for me to let go and look for the next one falling.

Looking at the list I described, I basically have nine main balls in my life: marriage, parenting, home-schooling, work, hobbies, health, the house, friendships, and community involvement. I love every one of those things—they are all important to me in various ways. Even my hobbies, which may seem superfluous, are really about self-care, which is absolutely vital. That ball affects all of the others when it gets dropped.

And it does get dropped. They all get dropped. There are balls dropping everywhere, all the time, it seems. Some of it is my own doing, of course. I mean, I did choose most of these things. But none of those parts of my life is expendable.

If I put down the health ball, that’s going to have a detrimental effect on my ability to juggle the rest. If I quit home-schooling, I’d just pick up a different kids’ school ball, so that wouldn’t help a whole lot. Obviously, my marriage and kids need to be kept aloft; that’s non-negotiable. Work is a necessity as well as personally fulfilling, so that’s also non-negotiable. The house gets dropped a lot, and that’s OK (but also not, because a clean house makes juggling so much easier). The community ball can get dropped — and does sometimes — but I want to keep that one, especially as an example to my kids. My friendship ball gets dropped, too, but I refuse to set it down on purpose. It gives me the energy to keep juggling.

So, nine it is. And one or more hit the ground practically every day. But you know what? That’s OK because I looked up the world record for juggling nine balls. Want to guess what it is?

55 seconds. That’s right. A professional juggler can’t successfully juggle nine balls for even a single minute. Ha!

So if you feel like you are constantly dropping balls in your life, like it’s impossible to keep everything balanced or running smoothly for longer than a minute, don’t fret. That’s the nature of life as a parent. In fact, it’s even more complex than I’ve made it sound. Each child you add to your life changes the weight, size, and shape of the other balls in your life. Each relationship, each work project, each community activity, each school commitment is another ball being thrown in and out of the loop. You constantly have to adjust. That’s just part of what it takes to juggle.

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The key is to learn to enjoy juggling for the skill and feat that it is. Don’t strive for perfection; even professional jugglers don’t juggle perfectly forever. Do your best to keep all the balls in the air, but know that some will get dropped. Just pick them up, and see if you can go a little longer next time before one falls.

And remember, if you’ve juggled it all for longer than 55 seconds, you’re doing better than the pros. Keep on keepin’ on, Mamas.

Live a Juicy Life, Jackie

Stress + Pressure = Stressure

There are two types of stress: positive and negative.

Stress is a normal reaction to exciting events like falling in love, getting a new job, or buying a home. Stress is also a hardwired survival technique built into your body as a means of protection. When triggers arise, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) signals the “ ght or ight response,” which mobilizes you to take action and avoid danger.

The issue is that your body doesn’t know the difference between a bear chasing you and work-related anxiety.

Your body’s stress response is perfectly healthy when there’s a real emergency (like a bear chase), but if your body is constantly getting stress signals for everyday issues (such as work-related anxiety), you’ll burn out over time.

Read on for the three stages of the stress response.

1. THE ALARM STAGE

When your body goes into panic mode, your SNS is activated to protect you from stress and your brain triggers the adrenal glands to secrete glucocorticoid hormones, like cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline). The rest of your body is then alerted to these symptoms, equipping you with emergency fuel and energy in reaction to your panic.

As stress levels rise, many physiological changes occur in the body.

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2. THE ADAPTIVE/RESISTANCE STAGE

After the initial stress response, your body attempts to return to homeostasis (its stable state). But when your stress reactions are too strong or triggered too often, your body will remain on high alert. As a result of this constant stress, your body builds up a resistance and tolerance to coexist with continuous stressors. This extended release of stress hormones has adverse effects on your body, lowering your immunity defenses and making you more susceptible to illness.

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3. THE EXHAUSTION STAGE (sounds all too familiar)

When the body continues to function in this wired state (never fully returning to the rest state), your emergency resources are depleted and your body starts to shut down. This nal burnout stage represents your body’s inability to cope with continuously high demands. After all, it’s not natural to constantly feel like you’re being chased by a bear.

Below is an illustration of all three stages.

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BREAKING THE DESTRUCTIVE CYCLE OF STRESS

Just as the sympathetic nervous system turns on the “ ght or ight response,” the parasympathetic nervous system turns it off. The parasympathetic nervous system helps the body conserve energy and rest. The ability to go from “ ght or ight” to “rest and digest” is critical for your well-being.

Unfortunately, a return to relaxation doesn’t occur promptly for most people in today’s fast-paced society. While we’re all running around in panic mode from our everyday worries, chronic stress is disrupting the natural balance required for optimal health, speeding up the aging process, and increasing the body’s susceptibility to illness.2 Finding ways to activate the relaxation response is vital.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 7.18.51 PM.pngTECHNIQUES TO REDUCE STRESS

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Wow!!!!! That’s a lot of information. If you do nothing just remember this, breathe 7 breaths in, hold for 4 seconds and exhale with force. This alone will minimize the stress responders and alleviate your overall stress feelings thus promoting a more relaxed feeling of calmness.

Live a JUICY Life, Jackie

Happy National Cherry Month!

Cherries are one of my very favorite fruits. In fact, I anxiously await the harvest of the sweet fruits every May. Not only are cherries exceptionally delicious, but both sweet and sour cherries are good for you too.

One cup of fresh, pitted sour cherries provides:

  • 40% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A (as beta carotene), necessary for healthy vision, immune strength, and the integrity of skin and mucous membranes
  • 26% of the DV for vitamin C
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 77 calories

One cup of fresh, pitted sweet cherries provides:

  • 18% of the DV for vitamin C, which aids immune function and is needed for connective tissue health
  • 10% of the DV for potassium, an electrolyte that maintains fluid balance in cells and is critical to a healthy heart
  • 3 grams of fiber, which is necessary for normal elimination and helps reduce the risk of heart disease
  • 97 calories

Another rarer variety of cherry is the acerola cherry, grown in Texas and Florida. Juice Plus+ uses acerola cherries in Juice Plus+ Orchard Blend because of its phenomenal vitamin C content. A single cherry provides 134% of the DV!

Ready to get mixing with cherries? Here’s a tasty smoothie recipe, using frozen cherries and my favorite Vegan Protein shake mix!

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Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie

Creates 1 serving

Ingredients

Instructions

Blend and enjoy!

 

Do you have a favorite cherry shake recipe? Share in the comments below!

Live a Juicy Life, Jackie