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When I was a kid everyone had a vegetable garden in their back yard. It was an economic necessity for our family of eight kids, as it was for many families of the time. Every spring one of us kids would lose our boots, stuck deep in the mud of last year's garden. Kids and mud – so compatible! Gardening for me today is less about economic necessity and more about health: physical and mental. Taste is also a motivator. One of the positive outcomes of the pandemic is the return to nature and a simpler life. Maybe we knew subconsciously what was good for us and would keep us together mentally. Getting our hands dirty offers unlimited benefits and rewards.

After a long period of struggle and adjustment, many of my clients found that working remotely allowed them a better work/life balance and more time for self-care. Now, many are being asked to return to worksites and of course there's resistance. We don't want to give up these newfound benefits. But the reality is, most people need their jobs, so here's what I suggest, whether working from home or onsite.

Clutter is stuck energy. When you clear clutter you release the flow of feel-good energy. You know what I'm talking about. Consider a big mess of food and dishes from dinner versus the feeling of a clean kitchen counter. Ahh, relief.

But we're not talking about cleanliness here so much as stuff. We cram it in drawers, on desks, in pantries and closets to the point we can't find anything and we don't even know what we have.

Have you lost your "mojo" as a result of the pandemic? You are not alone! When life throws us curve balls, we tend to drop one of the most important components of health, movement. The reality is that motivation often leaves us when we need it most but you can choose to accept that it is missing, complain and deal with the effects of a complacent mind/body or you can stand up, dust yourself off and get back in the game. Here are some strategies for you to try:

Curious about incorporating the benefits of more plants? You're not alone. In recent years, there's been a massive movement towards meatless meals, and for good reason - this dietary pattern is linked to reduced risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. Plus, with food costs rising, adopting more plants is a surefire way to save on your monthly bills.

But rest assured, plant-based eating isn't all-or-nothing. You can reap the rewards without completely ditching animal products. By simply shifting your focus to eating more plants, you're already supporting your wellbeing. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Here's some easy ideas to get you started.

It's common to choose certain times of the year to create a fresh start but the most common times are the new year, springtime, and fall. Each of those times represents an opportunity to start something. If you are wanting to eat better, lose weight, get moving more, increase your ability to manage stress or improve your health and energy levels, then I hope this blog will be helpful in preparing you for success.

It is probable that most people have experienced adverse trauma and other stressors in the past year. Becoming more resilient gets one through a difficult time; resilience is the ability to cope with adversity and to use life challenges to build strength. It is like working out in the gym, it takes time to build our resiliency muscle; a psychological attribute that allows us to maintain our sense of self in spite of stressors. 

Resilience is a set of traits that allows one to move forward when life gets hard, you aren't born with them, you must learn and earn them. In the words of Glennon Doyle, "we can do hard things!" It is important to focus on cultivating resilience. How do we become more resilient?

The holiday season can be a cause of weight gain, stress, seasonal 'blues' and overscheduled calendars, so this year, give yourself the gift of fitness! A general recommendation is to incorporate activities that celebrate the season; social gatherings with friends that involve something other than the usual overindulgence of food and drink.

You can enjoy the celebrations AND maintain a healthy focus. You can adjust your exercise program by reducing the number of days or by scheduling shorter bouts of exercise throughout the day. However it is recommended that every adult get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. (ACSM).

Most holiday challenges or 'stressors' are predictable because we feed into the pattern year after year. Are you ready for a change?  You can create new possibilities by following these THREE strategies to welcome the 'new'. 

The key to implementing a better strategy to manage the holiday season is to practice it beforehand, and not fall into the pattern of managing crisis or putting out fires.

The holiday season is the most wonderful season of the year but does this mean that we are eating everything we lay our eyes on? How do we set healthy and mindful "boundaries" around food, what and how much? Here are some questions to consider which are really more about a mind shift then nutritional advice.

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