Being someone who’s all about health and wellness, and with a background in sales, I’m often approached by direct-selling companies about representing their products. I’ve been asked to represent supplements, ketones, CDB oil, cosmetics, essential oils etc. I am actually a doTERRA rep, but since statistically, one in three people you know is a doTERRA rep, you don’t need to buy from me. (You can if you want. Click here). While I found most of those products good, they didn’t get me fired up the way Beautycounter does.
For years, I was like many people (maybe you), and went to great lengths and expense to buy organic, natural and local foods, while at the same time, buying whatever hair and skin products were on sale. So, while was downing my organic kale green smoothie, I was allowing all kinds of toxins into my body through my skin and hair. Sound familiar?
I first heard of Beautycounter from a couple of gals with whom I went to college. I knew they were both passionate about health and wellness, so I became interested. After a bit of research, I found out that this is an awesome company!
First of all, Beautycounter is a B-Corp. B-Corps are companies which meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Beautycounter discloses every ingredient in every product they sell and has a Never List, of over 1,500 toxic or potentially toxic ingredients that will never be found in their products.
I think what hooked me though, is Beautycounter’s commitment to advocacy and education. If you know me, you know I’m a bit of a political junkie, so anyone who’s willing to go to Washington and advocate for health and wellness is a star in my book! Beautycounter actually advocates for stricter regulations in the beauty and cosmetics industry. Have you ever heard of a company lobbying for more regulations in its own industry?
Oh, and their products are wonderful.
I encourage you to check out Beautycounter. Let me know if you’d like to try it out. You don’t have to host a party (though you can if you want) or become a rep too (again, you can if you want). Just try putting some safer products on your body, and your family’s bodies. Don’t counteract all that healthy food & yoga with toxic cosmetics.
Beautycounter products make great gifts too. Last day to order for Christmas delivery is December 17.
I wish you a joyous holiday season!
“You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.”
~Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Former New York State Senator
In the current climate of fake news, political discourse, he saids-she saids, what’s a healthy diet and what’s killing us, how much water do we need to drink, whether humans are designed to be omnivores or plant-eaters etc., the line between facts and opinions has blurred. And in some ways, that’s not a bad thing. We all have strong opinions about many subjects and that’s great. It’s great that we can express our opinions and that we can argue over them, whether on Facebook or at the holiday dinner table.
Where we go wrong though (and have been doing for millennia, BTW), is in expressing our opinions as fact. Wouldn’t it be a nicer world, if we all expressed our beliefs as what they actually are – our beliefs? I’ve been trying to do that. And it’s not easy for me, because I’m a confirmed know-it-all. But, I’m trying. When I catch myself expressing my opinion as fact, I try to back up and re-word. Instead of stating “x and y result in z,” I temper it. “In my experience x and y result in z.”
Imagine if religious and political leaders throughout history had done that? Imagine if early Christians said, “In my experience with Jesus, he is the son of God, but if you just think he’s a community organizer, that’s cool.” Imagine if vegans said, “I feel wonderful eating a plant-based diet, but if you feel better eating some animal flesh, please at least be sure to source it responsibly.” Imagine if Paleo dieters said, “Wow, look at Rich Roll. He’s a world class athlete, thriving on a vegan diet. Good for him.” Imagine if people could look at Colin Kaepernick and others who have taken a knee, and thought, “Gee, I’d never do that; I respect the flag too much, but I see that they are expressing their rights as Americans, and thank God we have those rights.”
I’ve been eating a ketogenic diet for about three weeks and it has been amazing for me. I have great energy and focus, my emotional eating has disappeared, I’m working out hard, I’ve lost seven pounds and I feel awesome. Needless to say, I’m sold. At Thanksgiving dinner, my mom was asking me about it, and I started telling her about how when we go into ketosis, our body burns ketones and fat, instead of the steady stream of glucose we burn, when we eat lots of carbs. I explained how this is how our bodies are meant to work and used the analogy of burning high-test fuel versus regular. I believe all this to be true. But, it popped into my head that many people don’t agree with this theory. Sure, there’s science to back it up, but there’s also science to back up it not being true. So, I ended with, “at least that’s been my experience.” Now, my mom wasn’t arguing or disagreeing with me at all. She was listening with interest. But, I felt like so much less of a pushy know-it-all, by ending my story that way. I’m sure she didn’t even notice.
So, I’m practicing not expressing my beliefs as fact. It’s not easy. But, it makes me a little softer, a little gentler. Imagine if the whole world tried it.
I’m not sure if what I’m experiencing is a midlife crisis. It’s not what I usually think of as one. I don’t want to buy a sports car or date a 20 year-old or neglect my adult duties of parenting and working.
But, something is shifting in me. There’s an underlying discontent; a need for something more. I’m feeling this, despite having a very happy life. Maybe it’s because I’m in my 50s and single. Maybe it’s simply because I’m in my 50s. (I mean, really, how did that happen??) It could be the regret I feel for staying in a bad marriage for years too long. Or the regret for not doing better at marriage. Maybe it’s because my life isn’t how I envisioned it would be at this point. Being the only parent to a teenager and living in Wisconsin was certainly not the scenario I pictured 30 years ago. But, I do honestly love my life, so why this feeling?
Then, there’s the realization of mortality. I lost my father and my ex-husband within nine months. My best friend lost both her in-laws in a very short period of time. Another best friend lost her best friend to a stroke – in her late 40s. I could go on. Am I just at the age when people are going to start dying more often?
Wikipedia defines Existential Crisis as, “a moment at which an individual questions if their life has meaning, purpose, or value. It may be commonly, but not necessarily, tied to depression or inevitably negative speculations on purpose in life…”
That’s not quite how I’m feeling either. I’m not despairing or even depressed. I’m more curious. For me, the questions are, “How can my life have more meaning? What is my purpose? What am I here to do? How can I make a difference?” When I look at it that way, it’s more of an opportunity than a crisis.
Apparently, what I am experiencing is not uncommon for women my age. And it is not a negative experience. It is an invitation to step into the next phase of life, the wisdom years.
Dr. Christiane Northrup, in her book, The Wisdom of Menopause, describes this time as “the Renaissance of your life.” She goes on to say,
“It’s as simple as this: our brains are changing. A woman’s thoughts, her ability to focus, and the amount of fuel going to the intuitive centers in the temporal lobes of her brain all are plugged into, and affected by, the circuits being rewired.”
We may be considering a career change (check), or leaving an unfulfilling marriage (check), or be done raising children (I came late to the parenting party, so I’m still in the thick of it, and happy to be there!)
These changes find many of us in our 40s, 50s and 60s looking for our next purpose. Our next dharma. We’re asking ourselves, “What now?”
For many, it’s an outward movement. It’s getting involved in community, doing volunteer work, politics, activism. Many women much older than me participated in Women’s Marches in the past couple of years, for the first time, taking an active role in shaping our future. And many brought along their daughters and granddaughters, thereby helping to create a much more aware and active younger generation.
For some, it is a more inward turning. As so many educated Generation X women have long identified with being agnostic or atheist, many find themselves searching for a deeper spiritual connection.
As I am re-vamping and re-creating my coaching course, I’m seeing that dharma, or life purpose, has to be part of it. It can’t not be. Physical health and easeful living are the necessary first step. As I’ve said to many clients, you can’t change the world, if you feel like crap. And, for me, there has to be more. That’s part of my dharma. To help my clients to find theirs.
So, I’d love to do a little crowd-sourcing. How does this resonate with you? Would you like to be coached towards finding your greater purpose in life? Do you have an inkling what it is, but don’t know how to make it a reality? Or is the crisis for you, that you don’t have any idea what it is? Or, is the whole idea of life-purpose a brand new concept for you? Please comment below and let me know.
Summer is winding down. September is here. To me, September has always been kind of like a new year. I know most people with school aged kids can relate, but even when I didn’t have a kid, I felt this. Summer is full of outward, hot, high-energy activities. In Ayurvedic terms, it’s Pitta time of year. Strong, fun energy. Lots going on. We’re often out of our regular routines, but we handle it well with Pitta’s fiery energy behind it.
Then fall comes along. School starts, vacationing winds down, we naturally feel a pull to get back to our routines. This is because fall is Vata season, the time of year we need grounding and routine the most. Vata energy can be very scattered. (think of fall leaves being blown around in the street). We need to pull our scattered energies in, in the fall. And, like the new year, it’s a good time to make a plan, set a goal, think about what might need tweaking, or full-on revamping in our lives. It’s a good time to look at areas of our life that are stuck and get them unstuck.
While stuckness and scatteredness may seem like opposites (and in many ways they are), they can be like two sides of the same coin. When we are scattered in our thinking or our routine, we lack the focus needed to make changes or reach goals. So, staying un-scattered can help us get un-stuck.
Why do we get stuck in the first place? And why do so many of us choose to stay stuck? I don’t have an answer to that, but there’s evidence of it all around us. So many people stay in jobs or relationships that, at best, don’t inspire them and at worst, suck the life out of them. People berate themselves for their bad habits – overeating, drinking too much, spending too much, self-medicating in myriad ways. Yet, they keep doing what they’ve been doing. Why? Why do so many people choose to stay in a situation or cycle that is familiar, knowing that they are passing up the possible job, experience, relationship, (fill in the blank) of a lifetime?
My best guess is that they do it because it’s easier. It’s less scary. It’s less risky.
We all know someone who doesn’t stay stuck. That person who finds herself in a mediocre to shitty situation and says, “Fuck this. I’m out.” And makes the change. And we all say, “Wow. What a badass.” We’re all impressed as hell. But, do we do then go out and do the same? Often, the answer is no. I have been both. I’ve been the badass and the stay-stucker. And let me tell, you, the badass is way better. Even if the change you make, turns out to be a less than stellar choice, it’s way better than wondering what life might had brought, had we taken that chance on the scary, but tempting opportunity.
I am not advocating doing all sorts of crazy things without thinking anything through. I’m talking about making conscious choices to step out of our comfort zones and do things that are uncomfortable and maybe a little bit scary. As one of my favorite yoga teachers always says, “if you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not evolving.” As Brian Whetten says in the book Yes, Yes, Hell No, (I’m paraphrasing), if your intuition says yes and your voice of reason says yes, but your fear says “run away screaming,” that’s your sign that you should go for it.
So, as we get back into our fall routines, I invite you to think about where you may be stuck. And where might you take a small (or big) chance and get unstuck? You probably already know if you are a natural risk-taker. I am; I score very high on the risk-taking scale on all the personality tests. I got divorced when I was not in a financial position to do so. I left a secure career to do contract work for an online start up. I packed up my kid and my cat and moved across the country six weeks after the thought first entered my head. But, I’ve also been stuck. I stayed in a bad marriage and a soul-sucking career for years longer than I should have. Why? Because the thought of making change was overwhelming. And while it was tough and scary when I finally made the changes, it was worth it. Has everything been roses since I made those changes? Not at all. I struggled financially for a long time. I took on all responsibility for raising my daughter on my own. The job with the online company didn’t turn out to be as great as I thought. But, I have never wished that I didn’t make the changes or take the chances. They’ve made me who I am today.
If you’re not a natural risk-taker, I don’t recommend you get divorced, quit your job and move across country all at once. Start smaller. Maybe it’s time to commit to getting healthier, make an exit strategy from the job that doesn’t fulfill you. Go on that date you’ve been avoiding.
Make September the month to get unstuck. Make a goal to unstick one area of your life by the time the holidays roll around. Let me know how it goes.
If you are trying to incorporate Ayurvedic daily habits into your life, or trying to lose weight, or just want better overall health and energy, summer is a great to to start the habit of eating an earlier, lighter dinner.
Let’s first review why eating an earlier lighter dinner is so essential to optimum health.
- Our digestion is strongest mid-day. Ayurveda has known this for thousands of years, and modern science is finally acknowledging it as well. In the evenings, our digestive system just doesn’t work as well.
- We want our food to be completely digested by the time we go to bed. Sleep is the time we should be metabolizing nutrients, not digesting dinner.
- We get better quality sleep when our bellies are not full, which, in turn, gives us better energy the next day.
If you’re used to eating a later, larger dinner, making the switch can be challenging. You might find yourself resistant to making this change. That’s normal. We’ve been making dinner our biggest meal of the day since the industrial revolution, so we’ve got a few generations of habit to break. My advice would be to give it a try. Make small, incremental changes, and see how you feel. As the quality of your sleep improves, and your weight balances and you feel better overall, you may find that you want to keep doing it.
Summer is a great time to start. When it’s hot, our appetites are naturally smaller and we have an abundance of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables at our disposal. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Melon & prosciutto ( a classic! )
- Steamed artichoke with butter & lemon
- Nectarines & salami
- Salad – any kind
- Corn on the cob
- Kohlrabi lobster. This idea came from my friend Jess. Lightly grill slices of kohlrabi and serve with drawn butter & lemon. Yum!
- Grilled fruit. Yes, it’s a thing. Lightly grill just-ripe peaches, nectarines, melon. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Gazpacho. Those garden tomatoes will be ripening soon!
- Zucchini noodles with pesto
It’s easier in the summer to move away from the protein + starch + vegetable model. You can easily leave out one or two.
If you’re experimenting with intermittent fasting, summer is a great time to go down to two meals a day. Have you first meal between 9-11 am, and your second around 4. Then you’re free to go out an enjoy the summer evenings!
Remember, you don’t have to do this every day. And you don’t have to do it perfectly. Make it fit into your life in a way that seems easy and do-able.