Archive for October, 2013

Hopkinton to Boston

When I decided to move to Boston in 2005, I told my friends “Some day I will run the Boston Marathon.”  That day has been set- 4/21/2014.

As a young kid, the Girl Scouts were a large part of my life.  In addition to selling cookies, earning badges and spending time with friends, the seeds were planted for self-confidence, courage, character, leadership and more.  These seeds are now strongly rooted and that is why I am running the 2014 Boston Marathon, thanks to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts.

The motto Boston Strong holds true in every sense.  With only a few hours before first pitch, the Red Sox could win their 3rd World Series in ten years this evening.  Big Papi and crew have exemplified what can happen when collapse happens, just one year later.  By running the 2014 Marathon, I will join tens of thousands of others showing the world what can happen when we are Boston Strong.

I recently wrote a post about dreams and visions.  It was my dream to run Boston.  For the month of November, I am turning that dream into a vision as I plan my fundraising strategy and training schedule.  Rather than inundate this blog with all things marathon related, I have also set up a new blog which will follow my journey from now through April 21, 2014.  If you would like to follow that journey, check out Hopkinton to Boston.

I encourage you to think about your dreams and visions.  This is a great time of year to recap the last 10 months and begin to look forward to 2014.

be well-


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You want me to try What?

Saturday afternoon we attended a kids Halloween party our friends were hosting.  This is clearly one of their favorite holidays based on their front lawn decor.

Not long after we arrived, I was offered some grasshoppers and bamboo worms.  Really, you want me to try these?  Sure, I’ll try just about anything once.



Some could say this was a “trick or treat” of sorts.  I will admit that the grasshopper was dry and crunchy, not a whole lot of flavor.  The bamboo worm was a little softer in texture and had much more flavor, BBQ in fact.  While I would not choose to try these delicacies on a regular basis, it was a great experience.  I’ve never had a real opportunity whether through world travels or otherwise to try such foods.

There are people from all over the world that eat insects like this as a source of protein.  More than 1,400 species of insect have been confirmed as safe to eat. That seems like a low number, considering that there are approximately 900,000 known insect species worldwide. But it doesn’t mean the rest are poisonous or even unpalatable. There just hasn’t been a concerted effort to test the bugs that aren’t already part of a traditional diet somewhere in the world.  In 2008, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization hosted a conference in Chiang Mai to discuss the benefits of eating insects, especially during humanitarian crises. They concluded that insects are easily accessible, can be seasoned to taste, and are so  full of nutrition they could serve as a vital food source to combat hunger in drought prone regions.

The next time you are at your friend’s party and not sure if it’s a trick or treat, take the treat.

be well-


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Are you a Dreamer or Visionary?

When we call someone a dreamer, it is rarely a compliment. We generally mean someone who is unfocused or lost in their own thoughts, and we expect that they are unlikely to do anything of value or to make any meaningful impact.  However, when we call someone a visionary, it is an entirely different matter. They are someone we see as ahead of their time, bold and adventurous. We expect them to do great things. The difference is they make things happen here in the real world.

Rather than waiting until December 31st to create your vision for 2014, do it NOW.  This can revolve around health/wellness, finances, career changes, personal relationships, anything you want to change in your life.  What is the hold up?

Writing your vision down allows you to have a reference point for the times you are distracted, discouraged, or unmotivated. It is literally like a track record.  There are going to be many times that you will have to revisit your vision and change things as your life endeavors change.

To create a vision of where you stand presently and where you want to be is a very powerful tool in helping to achieve anything.  I have used this tool with many clients to help me have a better understanding of their thought process without putting them on the spot.

Below are questions related to health/wellness.  Again, these questions can be structured to work in all areas of life.  I encourage you to take some time and fill this out, really letting some of the questions/answers sink in.  As you write your vision down, be detailed.  The more honest you are with the answers, the better understanding you have of what you want, who you want to be.

  1. Describe your vision of who you want to be and what health-promoting, life-giving behaviors you want to do consistently.
  2. Paint a picture-what does your vision look like?  What would you look, feel, and act like at your ideal?  What kind of person do you want to be when it comes to your health?
  3. How large is the gap between where you are today and your vision, realistic time frame?
  4. What strengths can you draw on to help you realize your vision?  What lessons from your life’s successes can be applied?
  5. What are some significant challenges you anticipate?  What concerns you most?
  6. By brainstorming, what are strategies that can help you achieve your vision?
  7. What people, resources, and environments can you find support?
  8. On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being highly confident and 0 being no confidence, how confident are you that you can close the gap and realize your goal?
  9. What is the first step for you toward this vision?

I understand that some of these questions are extremely personal and thought-provoking.  Allow yourself the opportunity to sit and think about them.  If you are looking to make changes and need help or support, I am available.

A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown. -Denis Waitley

be well-



Welcome hOMe

Last week I made a decision that I needed to immerse myself into a more consistent yoga practice.  I spend lots of time and energy on other people.  Now is the time to dedicate to me.

While I have great resources where I work, I also feel it is important for me to step away and create a separation from work and self-care.  That is why I committed to a year-long membership to a local studio.

With an increase in the number of yoga teachers and studios growing dramatically, there is an abundance to choose from.  I have sampled many of the studios around town.  All have their own unique elements that make them a perfect fit for particular yogis.  Some are known for their location, music selection, variety of styles offered, teacher trainings, instructor lists, workshop offerings or community involvement.

But when I walked into this new studio for the first time last night, I felt like I was hOMe. There is something special about its simplicity and softness.  The space is beautiful with exposed beams above, light-colored walls, finished hardwood floors.  From the moment the instructor walked into the room, her energy and passion was clear.  We chanted at the beginning of our practice to offer peace, compassion and healing.  The foundation of a community was being set.

I work in an industry where I often speak about self-care.  Lately I have felt like I’ve been living the mantra “do as I say, not as I do.”  Something needed to change and this is the exact change I needed.  I felt like I needed a yoga studio to call home.  I know there are many yogis who jump from studio to studio following one or two particular instructors.  And for them, that works.  But for me, I wanted one space that fit location, cost, class styles and time offerings, environment, community involvement, and variety of instructors.

Can you lay out your mat and strike a Downdog at any studio and feel great?  That depends on you and what it is you want.  When you begin looking for your home studio, think about what is important to you.  Seek and test out several studios.  Explore different styles such as vinyasa, hatha, yin, or restorative.  Every instructor has something to offer, allow yourself the opportunity to learn from them.

I feel at hOMe with the studio I chose, do you?

be well-


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Feed a cold, Starve a fever?

It’s one of the many pearls of wisdom passed down through the ages by our well-intentioned but unscientific mothers.

homemade chicken soup with celery, onion, bok choy, spinach

History believes that in 1574, dictionary writer John Withals wrote “Fasting is a great remedie of feuer.”  The rationale behind “feed a cold, starve a fever” may have been that eating food and drinking tonic helped the body generate warmth during a cold, while laying off the calories helped temper the inner heat during a fever.

Although a few small-scale studies have suggested that “feed a cold, starve a fever” loosely represents sound medical advice, Duke medical experts caution against putting too much faith in the adage.

“I think it was always pretty much dismissed as folklore,” says Denise Snyder, a nutrition scientist and clinical trials manager at the Duke University School of Nursing. “If you break it out and really think about it, there is some immune response if you eat less during a fever. But as a nutritionist, I certainly wouldn’t tell people to starve themselves.”  “Colds usually last longer than fevers,” Snyder says. “You need to be consuming food so you can fight it off — especially fruit and vegetable juices and warm broths.”

‘Tis the cold and flu season.  Here are a few tips to help keep illness at bay-

  • Frequently wash your hands, especially after shaking someone else’s
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Get plenty of sleep/rest
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies to build your immune system
  • Exercise daily
  • Keep your distance from those displaying symptoms of a cold of flu

Here’s to a healthy fall!

be well-


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a Rainbow of Health

Today marks the 25th National Coming Out Day.  Whether it’s for the first time ever or for the first time today, coming out and living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person or a supportive ally is an act of bravery and authenticity.

Fear of discrimination causes many LGBT people to avoid seeking health care and, when they do get treatment, studies have shown that LGBT people are often not treated with the respect that all patients deserve.  One of the keys to good healthcare is being open with your healthcare provider. Doctors, nurses, physician assistants, psychotherapists and other professionals treating you need to know about your sexual orientation and gender identity to give the best care possible. Yet surveys consistently show that many lesbian, gay and bisexual patients aren’t open about their sexual orientation with healthcare providers, and transgender patients often face unique challenges finding competent care.

Tips for Finding and Being Open with Healthcare Providers:

  • Ask for referrals. Ask friends or local LGBT centers for the names of LGBT-friendly healthcare providers. You can also check the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s Healthcare Provider Directory.
  • Inquire by phone. When you call to make an appointment, ask if the practice has any LGBT patients. If you’re nervous about asking, remember you don’t have to give your name during that initial call.
  • Bring a friend. If you’re uneasy about being open with your healthcare provider, consider asking a trusted friend to come with you.
  • Bring it up when you feel most comfortable. Ask your doctor for a few minutes to chat while you’re still fully clothed – maybe even before you’re in the exam room.
  • Know what to ask. Learn about the specific healthcare issues facing LGBT people.

No matter how you identify yourself, it is extremely important to take charge of your own health.  Below are a list of resources:

“Never be bullied into silence.  Never allow yourself to be made a victim.  Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”- Harvey Feinstein

be well-


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Better late than never

I can’t believe we are almost a week into the new month, and I haven’t posted my goal for October.  However, I have been putting it into practice; journaling.

In the last few years, I have been a much more active writer.  There are many reasons I journal, including stress reduction, story telling, and much more.  Below is a short exert from a piece I wrote a few days ago:

I was once told “you can take the girl out of the small town but you can never take the small town out of the girl.”  That statement was never more apparent than today.  I flew home to take part in my sister’s birthday celebration this weekend.  And today included much of what I love about growing up in small town Wisconsin.  It included: an early morning yoga class with an old friend, food prep for tomorrow’s party, a trail walk with my sister, a surprise lunch with my niece at her school, running errands, a cat-nap, time with my niece and nephew after school, attending an old family friend’s art show and dinner with mom and dad.  There is something special about coming home and getting back in touch with the roots that grow so strong.  It is hard to believe that I have been out of the house sixteen years.  So much has changed, yet even more remains the same.

100 Benefits of Journaling


Stress reduction:

  • Reduces the scatter in your life
  • Increases focus
  • Brings stability
  • Offers a deeper level of learning, order, action and release
  • Holds thoughts still so they can be changed and integrated
  • Processes your stuff in a natural and appropriate way
  • Releases pent-up thoughts and emotions
  • Empowers
  • Disentangles thoughts and ideas
  • Bridges inner thinking with outer events
  • Detaches and lets go of the past
  • Allows you to re-experience the past with today’s adult mind


  • Heals relationships
  • Heals the past
  • Dignifies all events
  • Is honest, trusting, non-judgmental
  • Strengthens your sense of yourself
  • Balances and harmonizes
  • Recalls and reconstructs past events
  • Acts as your own counselor
  • Integrates peaks and valleys in life
  • Soothes troubled memories
  • Sees yourself as a larger, important, whole and connected being
  • Leverages therapy sessions for better and faster results
  • Reveals and tracks patterns and cycles

Know yourself and
your truth better:

  • Builds self confidence and self knowledge
  • Records the past
  • Brings out natural beauty and wisdom
  • Helps you feel better about yourself
  • Helps you identify your values
  • Reads your own mind
  • Aids in connecting causes to effects
  • Reveals the depths of who you are
  • Reveals outward expression of yet unformed inner impulses
  • Creates mystery
  • Clarifies thoughts, feelings and behavior
  • Reveals your greater potential
  • Shifts you to the observer, recorder, counselor level
  • Reveals your processes – how you think, learn, create and use intuition
  • Creates awareness of beliefs and options so you can change them
  • Self-discovery
  • Reveals different aspects of self
  • Helps you see yourself as an individual
  • Connects you to the bigger picture
  • Is a close, intimate, accepting, trusting, caring, honest, non-judgmental, perfect friend
  • Accesses the unconscious, subconscious and super consciousness
  • Finds the missing pieces and the unsaid
  • Helps rid you of the masks you wear
  • Helps solve the mysteries of life
  • Finds more meaning in life


Personal growth:

  • Enables you to live life to the fullest
  • Is fun, playful and sometimes humorous
  • Expresses and creates
  • Plants seeds
  • Starts the sorting and grouping process
  • Integrates life experiences and learnings
  • Moves you towards wholeness and growth, to who you really are
  • Creates more results in life
  • Explores your spirituality
  • Focuses and clarifies your desires and needs
  • Enhances self expression
  • Enhances career and community
  • Allows freedom of expression
  • Offers progressive inner momentum to static unrelated events
  • Exercises your mental muscles
  • Improves congruency and integrity
  • Enhances breakthroughs
  • Unfolds the writer in you
  • Maximizes time and business efficiency
  • Explores night dreams, day dreams and fantasies
  • Measures and tracks what is important

Easier problem solving:

  • Eases decision making
  • Offers new perspectives
  • Brings things together
  • Shows relationships and wholeness instead of separation

It’s flexible and easy:

  • Can be applied to clarify any issue in your life
  • Takes so little time to stop, pay attention and listen to yourself
  • Meets your needs, style, processing methods
  • Caters to left and right brained people
  • Has no rules – messiness, typos, poor writing are all OK
  • Is often self-starting and motivating and supplies its own energy

Enhances intuition and

  • Improves self trust
  • Awakens the inner voice
  • Directs intention and discernment
  • Provides insights
  • Improves sensitivity
  • Interprets your symbols and dreams
  • Increases memory of events

Captures your life story:

  • Teaches you how to write stories
  • Soothes troubled memories
  • Captures family and personal story
  • Stimulates personal growth
  • Improves family unity

I encourage you to sit down with pen and paper and just see where it leads you.

be well-

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