Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Not taking any chances..for fear of making a "MISTAKE"?

Have you found yourself not taking action on something that calls to you...for fear of making a mistake??? Maybe it's a class you've wanted to take, a career change, a relocation, having a child, not having a child...could be a million different options here.

Keith and I have been contemplating a huge decision for a long time. One of the resounding fears that would come up was "what if we make a mistake?'.

And then it hit me one day....so what! What does that mean to me if I make a mistake? What am I showing to the world if I think I cannot do anything unless I don't make mistakes. And..who the heck doesn't ever make mistakes?? I am not even sure I even believe in mistakes at this point because of all the juicy lessons that are created that only propel us more into our growth and evolution. One thing I know for sure.....I would feel like I had made a mistake if I never tried.

Sometimes getting clear about what is scarier, the thought of it not working out quite right, or not like expected, or the thought of living your life full of regret for not going for it and give life your best shot. Acknowledging that fear will be there......with any next big adventure (until it's perceived as excitement..instead) we can just learn to expect it's presence and see it for what it is...an opportunity to let it stop us, or enliven us.

What is your next adventure???

Thursday, February 19, 2015

One day something clicked! Self Love and Self Acceptance and what came from that...

Over the past, almost 2 years now, I've been doing some deep cleaning in my Self. It was 2013 when I chose to really dig deep and make some changes. Many great insights and, although challenging, I took steps in a new direction for my life. As things shifted in me, my ability to squash my desires or callings became less and less. Why did I even learn to squash them in the first place??? Well, we all have our reasons for doing what we do but it was time to ditch the old ways and just give myself and my life the best I could. The most recent step I've taken is in my choice to be a Holistic Lifestyle Coach. It is my passion to learn about, experience and share with others how to be healthy and vibrant in a Holistic (whole life) way.

As I embarked on this journey, I quickly became aware of some distracting habits that were hindering me. I once heard my own coach say, "owning your own business is the fastest way for personal growth." Geez! you ain't kiddin'!

I found myself on a mission to make all these things better about myself. Now, understand this, personal growth and development is a must and I love it. Something else was happening here. I was signing up for all these different challenges and had unfinished books everywhere (not that there's anything wrong with reading more than one at a time) and it got to the point where I was full of stuff to do and not doing any of it, and none of it was REALLY towards working on my new endeavor.  What had happened? I had stepped WAY out of my comfort zone and I was getting scared. Out of that I was looking for things to do to better myself and one day, after signing up for yet another thing....I was starting to crack. WHAT am I doing???  Truly...WHAT am I up to? It came over me one day.......I just felt this great opening and I said, " I just want to love and accept myself EXACTLY as I AM right here, right now even if I never ever change again." It was a realization I had never had in this way before. It felt so nice to relieve myself of so much pressure. Accept me, all of me, exactly the way I am right now. Wow.

There are caveats to this of course. To become healthy and whole (an ongoing journey), to become healthy and whole enough to get to this point...I had to do the personal growth and development to get here.

I took my dog out for a walk later that day. There's nothing like the love of a dog. Pure, perfect and joyful. As we were walking about and I was feeling this major relief it occurred to me that in order to totally love and accept me, there was one HUGE thing I needed to let myself admit to.

I .... WANT... TO ... MOVE.

I moved here to Arkansas in 2002 and have had a lot of great experiences here but I knew from the very beginning that it just didn't feel quite right for me here. Something has been amiss. The good part about moving somewhere that didn't feel like home,  is that it sent me on a journey to find home within myself. Not an easy task, but worth every bit of it. Anyone that knows me here, knows that I have wanted to move. But, not only was it part of me, it has been part of Keith and I as a couple. I met him when I first moved here. The interesting thing is, he and I both moved to Colorado the very same year! We did not know each other then obviously, but we were in the same state at the same time. We met each other right after we both had an experience of living somewhere different and had been greatly affected in a positive way! We shared this understanding of what it was like to go somewhere new and feel connected and inspired and influenced by the environment. From the very beginning, we always said, "let's go back!" "What if we just went back?"

Through the years here I was told many things...."Well, you just have to bloom where you're planted.....Wherever you go, there you are.....Why can't you just be here?"...And the messages about being grateful for what you have, of course, which I am.

I worked really hard to bloom here, to make sure I was really really grateful and to make sure that I just simply wasn't missing anything or just not doing something right, or good enough or whatever. I was afraid it was me and I was messing up somehow. I did  a lot of introspection and work to make this feeling go away.

Well, on this day, it arose again. Only this time, out of a great desire to fully accept me, I accepted this too. I have a desire to move somewhere else. Yes, I'm grateful, yes, I'm thankful, Yes, Keith and I have each other and that is amazing and YES...I also, have a desire to move. There! I said it! That is part of me and that is a truth inside me that no longer needs to be rationalized away. I am choosing to allow myself to say that with no harsh, critical judgment on me.

I am finally willing to take a chance on myself. After many years of ground work, I am ready to step out there and take steps towards a dream we've both had. I am willing to face the fear, I am willing to go find out what it's all about. And not just that, I am willing to create it. : ) Finally.


SKIN Health and .....7 steps to get you started on your beauty path!



Having healthy, clear skin is something that was once just a dream for me. Starting in about 6th grade I had issues with breakouts on my skin. Probably some of it back then was due to "bangs" and hairspray, but even so, some gals didn't have the issues I had. This went on and on and on even into my early to mid-twenties. I had sensitive skin, on top of the hormonal changes that come with adolescence and also the standard american diet, even though I thought ate healthy at times, my knowledge back then was minimal. One summer I was visiting a dear friend in Austin, Tx and my skin was so broke out, her mom let me try her topical anti-biotic. It was that bad. When someone offers you their own prescription medicine to help your skin, that is a sign your skin is really broken out. I tried it that night and my skin looked a lot better the next morning. So...when I arrived back home my dad ordered the prescription for me. This kept my skin clear. There were times I didn't have the prescription for whatever reason and I would break out again. It was all over my face, it was painful and it was embarrassing. I remember praying that if God would clear up my skin I would never do anything bad again. : ) Well, that didn't happen! I must have faltered on my end. 

I moved to Colorado when I was 23 and the dry air was really, really good for my skin. For the first time ever....I was having good results. A few things were happening...the dry air helped a lot, I had started to use natural skin care, AND I had taken a sabbatical from imbibing any alcohol. First lessons in what you put on your skin and what you put in your body..makes a difference.  I did use natural things prior, or, I had begun to. I would go to the Natural Health store and try different things but I didn't really have a change until I moved to Colorado and made some of the other changes as well. I worked for Origins Cosmetics and started gettin' my learn on.

A couple of years later when I moved to Little Rock, I began to have issues again. Here the air is very humid and I had started to imbibe once again and was having issues. Now a new friend shares her Pro-Activ with me. This helps, so I use the peroxide serum for a while to keep things clear. Still not addressing the underlying cause yet.

Shortly after that is when I started training and working as a colon hydro-therapist. The beginning of my diving into digestive health, nutrition, and my own experiences of figuring out what works for me.

Nutrition, hydration, elimination processes of the body, exercise..all of it. But, here's the trick....what works for one, may not work for another. When I was eating mostly raw fruits and vegetables, and really low protein and saturated fat, my skin was not good at all! Surprising isn't it?? While fruits and vegetables are a huge part of my diet now, I am also an advocate for proteins and fats from pastured animals, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, etc. Ratios for each person are individual and something everyone needs to try on for themselves and see what works.

My skin now stays clear and healthy. If something is out of balance with me, it will show up in my skin..along with other things, but I can definitely see what's happening inside me by looking at my skin.

Here is how I care for my skin...

1. Good clean water. Filter on the tap and we keep 5 gallon containers of reverse osmosis water for drinking. Add a tiny pinch of celtic sea salt to put minerals back in. Keep your water with you however and whenever you can and you will remember to drink it.

2. Warm lemon water in the morning to start your day and if you follow that with coffee or tea, make sure they are organic. Too much coffee or tea will be dehydrating so make sure to know your limits. Always opt for organic, especially with coffee as it is one of the mostly highly sprayed crops with herbicides and pesticides. White, green and some herbal teas can be great for healthy skin!

3. For me, my diet consists of organic meats from a local farm, organic unrefined fats, yes, saturated also, fruits and vegetables and some nuts and seeds. This is my primary focus and this keeps me stable, healthy and feeling good. I am human so obviously there is no perfection here. Traveling, eating out and gluten free treats do have a place in my life and I know how to get myself back in balance if I get out of balance. The gelatin from real bone broth is amazing for collagen production in our skin.

4. Exercise and sweating is a must!  Dry brushing your skin before will help move the lymphatic fluid and get it ready to push wastes out. Elimination of bodily wastes feels great physically and mentally as well. Overall, each habit affects everything.

5. Organic, natural skin care. I love beauty practices and make up but for me it is mineral and plant based. What we put on our skin, we absorb and take in to our body. This is something I feel strongly about and is definitely part of my routine.

6. Facials at home and at the spa. You can do your own facials at home and of course, if you can go to the spa, treat yourself and let the professionals massage the lymph and ease the stress. You will see an immediate change! I would suggest a spa that uses Eminence Organic Skin Care and the Eminence massage techniques.

7. Plenty of rest. It's called Beauty Sleep for a reason. We all know we can see it in our appearance when we do not get enough rest. We rest and repair when we sleep. Make sure to make this a priority.

Make yourself feel like a Beauty Queen!!

This is my bestie...of 23 years! She owns Hygeia Holistics and will blend me my very own herbal teas for my health and beauty. How blessed am I?? Very!




Monday, February 16, 2015

Can't Do Gluten, But You Want Brownies.....We Got Ya!

Yep, That's Bacon
So, you don't do all that great with grains in your belly.  Maybe it's makes you physically ill (Crohn's, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Severe Histamine Reaction, etc.)? Whatever the case, it shouldn't keep you from enjoying a nice dessert treat while the rest of the world IS...
On Valentine's Day we had a little bit of a sweet-tooth and made a couple of different desserts.  The first was this fantastic concoction that includes:  Chocolate, Bacon, and Butter!!! The hat-trick some would say...Anyway, we had to give this one a shot.  It's the Flourless Mocha-Bacon Brownies from the Practical Paleo cookbook.
Gluten doesn't seem to be something that affects everyone, but if it does affect you, it's nice to be able to have a nice grain-free treat.  And, that's what we have here in this recipe.  Sure, you could buy a boxed version of this at the store, or maybe close to it minus the bacon, but it's fun making something from scratch every now and again. 
Jami spearheaded this operation; I was cooking something else at the same time.  I helped at the end, crumbling bacon and licking spoons. 

Ingredients Needed:
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons very strong coffee
2 tablespoons fine coffee grinds
2 slices baked bacon, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the melted dark chocolate, butter or oil, pure maple syrup, and eggs in a mixing bowl.  Slowly sift in the cocoa powder to the wet ingredients and whisk evenly.  Then, add the strong coffee and the grinds.  Stir until well combined.  Fill a pan with the batter and top with the chopped bacon pieces.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes.  When done, you could garnish with sifted cocoa powder on top if you'd like.
We spiced things up by using dark chocolate that had some spicy chili pepper in it.  
This is a pretty easy, fun and delicious treat to make in the kitchen.  2 Forks Up!
We had a little coconut milk cream with this brownie




Sunday, February 8, 2015

This Soup Will Literally Slap You In the Face It's So Good!

Creamy Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

Fellas, you have to believe me here, this is a homerun.  You want to make the lady of the house happy, right? Run to the store immediately, grab these ingredients below, come back home, and cook this.  You can't go wrong! Ladies, kick up your feet, and let your man cook this up.
But ladies, if you feel compelled to cook this yourself, I'm not gonna hold you back.....It's too good for that.  This is some seriously Good Eats.
Ok, here we go with the ingredients... By the way, Special Thanks to the Everyday Maven for the idea to cook this up.  She's over at www.everydaymaven.com
I followed this ingredient list pretty close, but I added more carrots and celery.  Also, we crumbled Wellshire Farms Dry Rubbed Bacon on top as a delicious garnish.  You can't go wrong with that.

Creamy Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon kosher salt 
¾ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¾ pound uncooked Hot Italian Chicken Sausage (or Pork), crumbled
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ⅛” rounds
2 medium stalks celery, cut into ⅛” half-moons
8 cups chicken broth or stock 
1 dried bay leaf
1 head Lacinato Kale, stems removed, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
1 13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk

I tossed olive oil in my dutch oven and cooked the garlic and onions until the onions became translucent.  Then, I added the meat and spices and cooked for about 7 minutes.  Next, I added the broth, celery, and carrots and put it on boil for a bit.  After the carrots soften, I pulled the kale off the stems, cut it into bite-size pieces, and placed them in the soup to cook for a few minutes.  Lastly, I added the can of coconut milk to make the soup creamy.  At this point, I turned the heat to low and eventually off.  The milk melts and blends quickly.  
A great recipe, easy to make and delicious!
Really, it took me and hour or so with prep and cook time.
Have fun eating good, nutritious food.

Jami and Keith


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Morning MAGIC...Intention and Creation

I LOVE this photo! Ok, so it doesn't necessarily depict a morning sunrise but it DOES depict Intention. Do you set aside a bit of time in the morning to get quiet, get tuned in to what you would like to bring about in your day? What you need to focus on, what you need to act on in order to achieve your desired results? Setting the tone for the day in the morning is one of the most potent pieces of being intentional and creative in your life. Before you check your email, or any other social media network or television, or other worldly distraction......take some time to tune in by writing, meditation, speaking creative and supportive statements to yourself. Sound crazy?? Give it a shot. Do it for at least a couple of weeks, then leave it off your plan and see the difference.

So many people are waking up in a frenzy to the alarm clock, rushing to do this and do that, and get here or there on time ...without even taking a moment for themselves. What do we discover when we offer ourselves a gift of a little time in the morning? Well, the list is endless. A sense of reconnection, grounding, calm, serenity, having more of a choice in our reactions throughout the day, actually visualizing/visioning and being part of the creation of your life...and from there, life is so much more enjoyable.

The morning time is potent with possibility!!! I've been doing morning time since I was 17 and if I don't get it for some reason, I can tell the difference in my day. It's a rare occasion that that happens. Even while traveling, I pack my journal, books, any pictures I am using at that time..I have my notes of statements that I read and speak...it is truly Powerful. I let these things run their course. Depending on what is happening in my life and what I feel I need, I switch things up. Different visual aids, different statements, books, even a particular looking journal for a period of time. Whatever you can tune in to that takes you from the core of your being into vitality and the desire to create...do that!

I call it my Morning Magic. Would you like to try it? Go for it! It can be as little as 5 minutes to start with. Smaller chunks are easier to chew. Let it grow as needed and desired. : )

Leave a comment and let us know how it goes.

Friday, January 30, 2015

You Believed, You Put in the Work, Accomplished the Goal...Now What?

You keep going, that's what.  You keep setting goals, you have fun, and in this process you be the happiest, healthiest YOU.  You use your mind to create a way of life that makes you the best version of yourself for the world.  
The Power of the mind is an extraordinary thing.  We can have desires/goals, set out a plan, take action, and ultimately accomplish the goal we want.  In Claude Bristol's classic, "The Magic of Believing", he says, "Whatever the task, if it is begun with the belief that you can do it, it will be done perfectly".  He further states, "It is the starting force or generating power that leads to accomplishment."  Belief in yourself can be hard for some people.  That's where the genius of group challenges and accountability partners come into play.  Nutrition Challenges and Fitness Challenges are excellent springboards to propel people into healthy habits, the problem that I see on a consistent basis is that these habits are temporary.  People can use this amazing power of belief and self-will for a 30 or even 90 day challenge, but time shows people normally fall back into their habitual unhealthy ways.
Life is busy, things come up, and they fall back into convenient ways, yada, yada, yada...
This is a time in history where health and wellness is BOOMING! Everywhere you turn there's healthy this or that.....It's up to you to decipher the real from the fluff. But really, being healthy is not "weird" anymore.  Organic fruits and vegetables are easier to find.  Local healthy meat options are being offered by local farms.  People are starting to listen to the education on why it's important to invest in quality, healthy nutrition for them and their children. 
For the people who can't stay consistent with their healthy lifestyle it really boils down to the fact that maybe they are not completely bought in yet.  Maybe they aren't ready to put in the hard work.  Maybe they aren't ready to give up the Coldstone Creamery.  Maybe they still think it cost too much to eat healthy.
Whatever the case, they haven't totally bought in.  This isn't passing any kind of judgement.  I've seen it.  People work out with me for a while, get a solid program, know what they have to do, do it for a little bit, and then fall off the rocket ship to "feel good town".  This happens, I get it.  They contact me, say they have been inconsistent, and need a kick in the ass.  I'm happy to help, it's what I love to do.  But at some point, like Magic, this new healthier lifestyle has to set in place.  And the only way this happens will be thru consistent ACTION.  You eating right, moving your body on a daily basis, getting enough rest, managing stress levels, and taking care of yourself spiritually and emotionally.  These are the things that need to be done.  It's the "work" we have to put in.   
This is not witch-doctor talk, this is fact.  This is what we have to do to feel the best we possibly can.  And that's what we all want, to feel good.  And to do it by methods that are legal and won't kill us in the process.  We have to develop new habits, new healthier habits that we do on a consistent basis.  But here's the kicker:  these new healthy habits HAVE TO BE THINGS WE ENJOY/THINGS WE LOVE TO DO.  We can all find these things.....We have lots of healthy options these days, I mentioned that earlier (foods, exercises, sports, recreational activities, etc.).  And the cool thing is, you probably have a friend or friends already doing some of these things.  
Eventually, this WILL become your lifestyle.  You will be able to create your own healthy lifestyle that works for you.  This will be your NORM and you will be able to afford the occasional party nights at the Coldstone Creamery or local watering hole without intense guilt and personal criticisms. 
BUT, as for now, if you're having a hard time in consistency with your healthy efforts, know 1st of all, you aren't alone.  Figure out what it is that's blocking you.  Seek out a Certified Personal Trainer or Certified Lifestyle Coach, a friend, or someone to help if you need it and get yourself on the road to consistent, lasting Health and quality habits that truly make you your happiest. 

And as always, we are happy to assist:
keith@mackperformancefitness.com

jami@mackperformancefitness.com

Contact us anytime about issues you may have with YOUR health and wellness

Better Health means Happier Self!!!!!