Tag Archives: lifestyle

I Am Doing The Best I Can

I am doing the best I can… I realized that the other day, as I was pulling my hair out about numerous events that seem to be spiraling out of control.  I had to remind myself that I am doing the best I can  in all areas of my life.  As a mother, a parent, a friend, a coworker, and a daughter…. 

It is 4pm on a Thursday and I get a notification from the school that my daughter has 3 unexcused absences from periods 4, 5, and 6.  I thought how can that be…she was here in her room doing her distance learning.  So, I go to ask her “why she has an absence from a class when I know she was doing her school work today”… and her answer.. “ I am so sorry, I fell asleep during periods 4, 5, and 6 today.  

I thought how in the world can this happen… And at the same time I thought… I am such a failure as a mom.  I am not sure if I was angry that she missed the classes or upset at myself.  I should have been more diligent with her that day.  I thought to myself… should I be constantly checking on her to make sure she is doing her school work.  

I went through this entire scenario of how I need to enforce additional rules for their distance learning.. And stewed over it the entire night, going back and forth on all the things I was going to enforce from now on… And then I had to remind myself that I was a teenager and I fell asleep in class… many times and that was in person class.  

And I also had to remind myself that, I have my own responsibilities that need to get completed during the day..  And I admit that when I get engrossed with phone calls, emails, conference calls, and zoom calls. I tend to forget that I have 2 teenagers at home doing distance learning.  I also can not constantly check on them, they need to be just as responsible as in school.

And we are all just doing the best we can…if falling asleep in class is the worst that happens right now… ohh well.  

In the last few months, I have realized  that I am doing the best I can.  I am not going to get stressed out about missing classes, running late to soccer practice, skipping church, etc… 

I can only handle so much.  I can only do so much.

I can not get everything done that I would like too.  I have really had to cut back and remind myself that little is better sometimes.  

I would love to be the friend that can be there for everyone right now… Instead I limit my time  and plan time for just me. 

I would love to be the granddaughter that calls my grandma once a week to check in… Instead I mail her a package every few weeks.   

I would love to make home cooked meals for my kids every night… Instead I plan one night so we get leftovers for a few.  And treat us to ordering out another night.  

I would love to have family movie night every friday night, where we all agree on the same movie, we eat popcorn, and no one argues… instead I am happy with one night every few weeks where at least one kid makes it through the entire movie.  And I do not fall asleep…

These are the things that I have learned, that I can manage… I would love to do it all, but I am doing the best that I can.   And I have really learned that..that is ok.  

-Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I know this post is coming a few days late, but better late than never, especially on an important topic like this. 2020 has been anything but a normal year and with that I feel like October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month didn’t get nearly the attention it typically does. But, I am here today to hopefully shed some light on the subject and show you the importance of FOOD and NUTRITION when it comes to fighting and preventing breast cancer and really, any cancer.

This month is very near and dear to my heart given my mom’s survival of Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer and her subsequent need for a double mastectomy to hopefully prevent breast cancer in her future because of her predisposition as a BRCA1 gene carrier. Praise God for miracles! 

Today I want to share about a cancer fighting diet! There are foods that have been proven to help fight against cancer, prevent it, and even cure it! The food we put into our bodies has such drastic effects on our health and wellbeing. Food can be and is a very powerful tool when it comes to our health! I fully believe that food is medicine!

A FEW BREAST CANCER STATISTICS:

  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2020, it’s estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to known gene mutations inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have up to a 72% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 69%. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8%; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.

Data via breastcancer.org

So, where does this leave us? It leaves us with a conviction to fight this horrible disease. Together as women, through education, empowerment, and self-care, I believe we can beat this. Today I want to focus on the power of food and how food can help us to combat this cancer and many others.

WHAT DOES FOOD HAVE TO DO WITH CANCER?

Cancer is really just abnormal cell growth. Inflammation is the underlying issue that precipitates cancerous tumor initiation, progression, and growth. Studies have found that 30-40% of all cancers can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and through dietary measures.

The root causes of cancer are often times complex and unknown, but possible causes include:

  • Poor diet
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Genetics
  • High stress levels
  • Poor digestion and nutrient absorption- Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Lack of physical activity

LET’S TALK ABOUT FOOD

In general, eating a plant based diet has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer. Strive to eat more whole foods instead of processed foods. Below is a list of some of the top cancer fighting foods that have been listed on many reputable sites and throughout research articles, etc.

LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES

We all know we should be eating more greens. Eating green vegetables is ingrained in us from a young age thanks to our mama’s. Well, looks like there is a good reason after all. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine, arugula, collard greens, etc. are all rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Vitamin A and Vitamin C (beta-carotene) are the most common vitamins found in leafy greens and contribute to their cancer fighting effects. “And the benefits keep coming; as natural sources of glucosinolates, they also contain antibacterial and antiviral properties, inactivate carcinogens, help reprogram cancer cells to die off, and prevent tumor formation and metastasis. These powerhouse chemicals are known to break down during the chewing and digestion process into biologically active compounds that prevent cancer cells growth, which are referred to as indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanate.” – Dr. Axe

CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES

Eat up those Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnip greens, broccoli, and cauliflower! The cancer preventing effect comes through the chewing of these vegetables, surprisingly. Cruciferous vegetables are chock full of all different kinds of antioxidants like glutathione, sulforaphanes and insoles. You can roast these vegetables, add them to stir-fry, eat raw with hummus, or add them to soup.

BRIGHT ORANGE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

The bright orange pigment in fruits and vegetables means they are radiating phytochemicals! The main phytochemical found in bright orange fruits and veggies is carotenoids. Carotenoids are derived from Vitamin A and include beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Beta-carotene in particular has been found to help fight cancers of the skin, eyes, and organs, along with promoting detoxification and liver health. Eat sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, pumpkin, squash, and carrots- just to name a few.

GARLIC

Bring on the stinky breath! Again, phytochemicals to the rescue. The phytochemicals found in garlic have been found to stop the formation of carcinogens such as nitrosamines from growing in the stomach and intestines. Nitrosamines enter our system when we eat nitrates, which are a common food preservative and are oftentimes found in deli meat, bacon, sausage, etc. Garlic can help fight against stomach, esophageal, colon, and breast cancers.

NUTS AND SEEDS

Because seeds and nuts are low in saturated fat, they are a great addition to a plant based diet. “Chia seeds and flaxseeds are two of the most nutrient-dense seeds in the world. They provide fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a range of important minerals. Hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also beneficial and full of healthy fatty acids, as are walnuts, brazil nuts and almonds. Their health benefits are best sprouted and can be used easily in smoothies, baked goods and with yogurt. Aim for two tablespoons daily.”- Dr. Axe. Flaxseed also contains a beneficial plant compound, lignin, which helps fight against cancer. Eating nuts and seeds has been shown to decrease the incidence rates of colorectal and breast cancers.

MUSHROOMS

Any kind of mushroom in the mushroom family has been linked to help immune health and fight against cancer. Reishi, cordyceps and maitake in particular can improve immune function and cell regeneration. If you aren’t into eating these funky fungi, you can find them in pill/capsule form and in some supplements!

TRADITIONAL TEAS

Tea contains many flavonoids, which are known for their antioxidants. Kaempferol, a flavonoid, has been shown to have a protective nature against cancer. “Researcher Margaret Gates, a doctoral candidate at Harvard’s School of Public Health, suggests that consuming between 10 milligrams and 12 milligrams daily of kaempferol — the amount found in four cups of tea –offers protection against ovarian cancer.”

Source via WebMD

FRESH HERBS AND SPICES

Turmeric in particular is a super-spice! Turmeric contains curcumin which is the main ingredient in curry powder. Turmeric is often used as a flavor/spice in Indian dishes. Turmeric can be added to rice, chicken, lentils, and vegetables. Turmeric and curcumin have been proven to fight against bladder, gastrointestinal, colon, and breast cancers. Turmeric mainly helps to prevent and decrease inflammation. Try adding 1 tsp. of turmeric into your daily meals. It can be added to eggs, a stir fry, or used in a chicken seasoning blend.

BERRIES

Berries are some of the most antioxidant filled foods on this planet! Berries contain a plethora of the proanthocyanidin antioxidants, which are known to help reduce free radicals and the damage of free radicals. So many berries are included in this category too- blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, goji berries, and blackberries.

OTHER IMPORTANT SUPPLEMENTS

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that not only helps build strong bones through its ability to help absorb calcium, but it also can prevent cancer. A recent report by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) showed a link between increased vitamin D intake and reduced breast cancer risk. It found vitamin D to lower the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 50%. Researchers believe that Vitamin D helps prevent cancer by lowering and prohibiting the growth of cancerous cells. Vitamin D can be found in supplement form but you can also meet the recommended amount through sunshine, seafoods such as cod, shrimp, and salmon, and through eggs. The RDA of Vitamin D is 1,000 IU. By soaking up 10 minutes of sunshine each day, you can get approximately 5,000 IU’s of Vitamin D (with 40% of your body exposed).

PROBIOTICS

Remember how I mentioned our gut flora as a risk factor  at the beginning of this post? So many of us have (to some degree) leaky gut syndrome and suffer from inflammation in our gut which leads to negative health effects. “The human gut microbiota has a significant effect on many aspects of human physiology such as metabolism, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Imbalance of the microbiota has been implicated in many disorders including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, asthma, psychiatric illnesses, and cancers. As a kind of functional foods, probiotics have been shown to play a protective role against cancer development in animal models. Clinical application of probiotics indicated that some probiotic strains could diminish the incidence of postoperative inflammation in cancer patients. Chemotherapy or radiotherapy-related diarrhea was relieved in patients who were administered oral probiotics. By modulating intestinal microbiota and immune response, some strains of probiotics can be used as an adjuvant for cancer prevention or/and treatment.” – NCBI Pub Med

Food is medicine! What we eat and put into our bodies matters for our immediate and long-term health. Don’t underestimate the POWER of whole foods…it could be life or death. Eat well to BE WELL!

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

Why Oh Why

Girls, whenever you question WHY….Why is it like this… With upset in your voice, anguish in your heart and tears on your cheeks… STOP.  Stop and remember it is YOU who can make a change from feeling a MESS to feeling at PEACE.

Let’s just say you really did get pushed down the stairs.  You really were in a car accident.  You really did go through a devastating divorce.  BUT just because it really did happen to you, doesn’t mean it has to mold you, effect you, victimize you or keep you in a negative mind space or feeling a MESS.

As mush as you decide what to eat, where to shop, what to wear on any given day…. You also have the power to decide what to think & speak & how to respond to situations and what’s going on around you.

Years ago I was going to Survivors of Suicide support groups.  I lost a loved one and was eager to work through the pain and upset to a place of ‘joy in the sadness’.   I was on a mission to heal, a journey of releasing the trauma.  I was not going to let his depression become my depression.  I was determined to get on the other side of my grief.

During one of the meetings a woman was sharing.  She was sooooo mad at her dad.  Mad because he had taken his life and she was a MESS as a result of it.  She shared her story, her weight gain, her anger, her solitude & that her dad died 14 years ago.  She’d been coming to Survivors of Suicide meetings for 14 years!!!  I think my jaw may have dropped wide open right there, in that moment. I’d been coming for 2 months and I thought “I Will Not Be Here For One Year, Never Mind Fourteen.”

Do you see?  She kept going to the meetings, sharing her misery, talking about her upset, living IN that MESSY place.  The more she shared, the more support she got, the more drama she shared, the more it coddled her and brought her comfort and justified her anger.  Which, if that worked for her….all the power to her.  BUT, Did she know she had the power within herself to change the way she was thinking?  It could’ve changed in a conversation, in a decision, in a promise.

Next time you find yourself asking WHY, oh Why am I in this MESS?  Remember that you can make it new.

There is no reason to sit in it.

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

Why You Need An Accountability Partner

Why do you need an accountability partner?

Setting a health or fitness goal (or any goal for that matter) is a great thing but it comes with a lot of challenges and hard work. In order to achieve our well set out goals it takes perseverance, diligence, and commitment. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, working towards goals takes TIME and EFFORT. But there are ways we can set ourselves up for SUCCESS.

According to research, the two factors that effectively help people achieve the behavior change they desire are incentives and accountability.” Let’s dig into accountability because I know this is HUGE!

I’ve experienced it time and time again with my health coaching clients and personal training clients…when you have someone you know is going to ask you about a specific thing, you are more likely to do it and stick to it. You know someone is waiting to ask you and simply knowing that, pushes you to action. The reality is, none of us like to admit we were wrong or we didn’t do what we said we were going to do. This goes against human nature. But when we only tell ourselves we are going to do something and we don’t, it’s not as big of a deal because most of us don’t have the same respect for ourselves as we do other people, especially as women. If we tell ourselves only and don’t follow through, we are queens of telling ourselves it was because of x, y, or z. We can tend to do this with others too, but we are more likely to follow through because there is fire under our bottoms. 😉 The reality is, it’s hard for ANYONE to follow through and commit to any goal when they keep it to themselves and have no one to answer to except themself. We are human and we tend to naturally want to avoid hard things, even if the hard thing is a good thing, like a health/fitness goal.

So, how do we get around the barrier of ourselves if we really want to make changes in our lives and achieve our goals? Enter in an accountability partner.  Having an accountability partner or support group is KEY to your success of your health and fitness goals.

I recently read an article on Entreprenuer.com that says that it is in fact possible to increase one’s chances of succeeding in achieving their goals. In fact, it’s possible to increase that change to a 95% chance, which is HUGE! How?? Well, according to The American Society of Training and Development, people are 65% more likely to meet a goal once admitting it to another person. But if someone is a part of an on-going meeting or has an accountability partner that they regularly check in with, that success increases to 95%.

An accountability partner could be a friend, co-worker, family member or you could be a part of a support group or a group like Weight Watchers.

So, who’s holding you accountable??

P.S. If you are wanting to improve your morning routine and wake up earlier and lead more purposeful days, join me in my 12-week morning makeover program! Accountability will be a large part of this program so you can be sure to make lasting change and transform your morning and your day! Check it out and sign up here. We start TOMORROW so if you want in, sign up NOW!

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Certified Personal Trainer

Get Your Move On

Get your move on with exercise. You may love it or hate it but you likely know it’s good for your physical and mental health. Perhaps you, like many of us, struggle to find the time to exercise each day or even a few days a week. I’m here to tell you that it IS possible to find the time and you don’t need as much time as you probably think you do.  So, let’s get your move on!

There are so many people who think if you cannot commit a solid 45 minutes to an hour for exercise, then why do it at all?! Don’t buy into that all or nothing mentality. You can get a super EFFECTIVE workout while also being EFFICIENT with your time! I am talking 20-30 minutes. That’s it! 

In fact, research has shown that you no longer need to work-out in longer blocks (at least 10 minutes) for it to be effective and count towards your weekly goal of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. Mini exercise sessions such as a quick jog through the parking lot, doing squats throughout the day, or taking the stairs- it all adds up! Research also supports that small bouts of exercise throughout the day can provide many of the same benefits as a longer, continuous workout. These benefits include improvements in your cardiovascular health, weight loss, and even helping to promote long term adherence and consistency in an exercise program. Short and steady wins the race. It’s a great place to start especially if you are short on time or new to exercise. 

According to an article at Harvard Health, only 19% of women get the recommended amount of exercise each week here in America. So, how do we improve this? How can you improve this in your life? My answer- get your move on. Simply MOVE MORE! Take the stairs, park further at the grocery store, do core exercises while watching TV. Make the absolute best use of your time and I think you’ll be surprised how much movement you can actually get in a day. 

Here are 10 quick ways to get that burst of energy and movement into your day!

 

  1. Clean…vacuuming and mopping especially. 
  2. Walk around the work floor every hour.
  3. Do core exercises while watching TV.
  4. Play outside with your kiddos- play tag, frisbee, or kick a soccer ball
  5. Run up the stairs a few times.
  6. Do squats or lunges while cooking dinner.
  7. Start your day with 10 push-ups right when you get out of bed…it’ll help wake you up too!
  8. Park further away at the grocery store or Target.
  9. Get a standing desk and do squats and calf raises while you respond to emails.
  10. Go for a quick walk around the block post dinner with the family- quality time and movement time! Double win.
~Meghan 
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

Mornings Matter For Your Health & Wellness

Mornings can be tough. I don’t know about you but getting out of bed in the morning can be a STRUGGLE. I’ve never been a natural morning person. Developing a morning routine has taken years and years of practice, trial and error, and certain life circumstances to get me on board with being more of a morning person. I by no means am perfect and still struggle, BUT I’ve found a rhythm and routine where the pros definitely outweigh the cons. 

Our mornings truly set the tone for our entire day. Are your mornings marked by rushing and running out the door? Are you stressed out before your feet even hit the ground out of bed? Are you tired of being tired and overwhelmed and exhausted as you go through your days? When we start our morning, our day this way, it only lends to more stress, more unrest, more frustration. And this has a great impact on our health and wellness- physically and mentally. When we don’t start our mornings well, we typically grab a fast breakfast that may not be the most nutritious to fuel our bodies. Perhaps we drink too much caffeine and don’t start our day hydrating our dehydrated bodies with good ‘ol water. Maybe you’re already so stressed out from the morning madness that you make unhealthy choices the rest of the day. 

Our mornings matter! And it matters how we steward them because it affects every single aspect of our lives and overall health and wellness.In order to live a life of stewardship and simplicity, it starts with our morning! Your morning routine doesn’t need to be complicated or get you out of bed at 5 AM. It just needs to be CONSISTENT and PLANNED. A morning well spent brings a day of content. You don’t even need to work-out first thing if that really isn’t your jam and isn’t life giving for you. Perhaps the BEST way to spend your morning is catching up on dishes or laundry or sitting still and meditating/praying over your day. Whatever it is that will fuel you and fill you for the day, do that! 

When we begin our day making healthy choices, we will naturally continue those healthy decisions the remainder of the day. When you wake up feeling energized and rested, you will make your daily choices out of a place of peace and wellness versus making brash decisions rooted in immediate gratification and just trying to survive the next hour. 

I’m on a mission to help women reclaim their days by reclaiming their mornings. I so desire to see you live a life of wellness rooted in joy and peace. If this non-morning person can figure out a life-giving, grace-filled, morning routine, YOU can too! 

I want to invite you to join me for my BRAND NEW FREE 5-day workshop series called Mornings Well Designed. You can join here

Here is what we’ll cover:

 

  • Discover hidden time in your day so you can get all the things done you need to AND want to!
  • Learn how to steward your mornings well so you can BEST steward your home, body, and soul.
  • Find a flexible, sustainable, grace-filled morning routine that will serve you and your family in your unique lifestyle.
  • Leverage your mornings so your days go from rushed and ragged to productive and peaceful. 

 

Are you in?? We will begin the LIVE workshop TODAY, Monday Aug. 24 and continue each day this week. Join me for live trainings each day this week at 2 PM EST (if you cannot make it live that is ok. The videos will be saved and posted for you to watch when it is convenient for you). I hope you’ll join me on transforming your mornings! See you in class!

Sign Up Here: homebodysoul.lpages.co/mornings-well-designed-workshop

 

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

 

Building A Healthy Plate

Building yourself a healthy plate….Have you ever struggled with knowing how to put together a well-rounded, nutritionally balanced meal? Sometimes it’s easiest to just grab and go…am I right?! But then you likely find yourself reaching for the chips, candy, or some other snack within two hours of your last “meal” because it wasn’t nutritionally dense enough to hold you over. Today I want to guide you through building a healthy, nutritious, and satisfying plate. The goal should be to eat a well-rounded meal every 4 hours with maybe 1-2 healthy snacks per day. 

For each meal, your plate should contain each of the macronutrients which are protein, fat, and complex/healthy carbohydrates. It is also important to add in fiber to each meal to help slow digestion and to aid in blood sugar control. 

Let’s break it down…a healthy, well-balanced plate should consist of 50% vegetables, 25% lean protein, 25% complex, healthy carbohydrates, and 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat. This breakdown will ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck nutritionally and providing your body with proper fuel for energy. When we build our plates this way, not only are we fueling our bodies well, but we are also positively impacting our metabolisms to function optimally. 

Half of your plate should be full of colorful vegetables that span all the colors of the rainbow…think kale, spinach, carrots, bell peppers, purple cabbage, squash…just to name a few. Vegetables have many benefits for our health- they can help in reducing inflammation, they are full of antioxidants, and they provide important vitamins and minerals. 

Now, let’s walk through some examples of the other components on your plate. 

Here are some examples of Lean Proteins: Aim for 20-30 grams of protein at each meal and 10 grams of protein with snacks. Remember, you want 25% of your plate to be lean protein. 

  • Grilled or baked chicken thighs or breasts (preferably without skin)
  • Ground turkey or roasted turkey
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Steak
  • Pork
  • Seafood

Here are some examples of Healthy, Complex Carbohydrates: Our goal is 25% of our plate to be made up of these.

  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa/Chickpea Pasta

Here are some examples of Healthy Fats: Aim to include 1-2 tablespoons per meal. This can also include the oils you are cooking with. 

  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Salad Dressing
  • Coconut Oil
  • Nuts

Here are some examples of Fiber: Try to get in your fiber with the 50% vegetables on your plate. 

  • Avocado
  • Berries
  • Chia Seeds
  • Beans/Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts

Along with building a healthy plate, it’s important to have some healthy snacks in mind as well. Here are some snack ideas that incorporate protein, healthy fat, and fiber and will keep you feeling full and provide you with energy and great nutrition. 

  • Greek yogurt with berries and flax/chia seeds
  • String cheese with cut up veggies and hummus
  • Apple and peanut/nut butter
  • Nut and seed mix with various nuts, pumpkin seeds, and some dried fruit

Here are two example meals using this ‘build a healthy plate’ formula. 

 

LUNCH CHOPPED SALAD + CHICKEN

Cut up a combination of colorful, fresh vegetables and leafy greens. Top the salad with slices of roasted turkey or chicken, avocado and a simple Extra Virgin Olive Oil vinaigrette.

DINNER ROASTED SALMON + BROCCOLI

Cook a piece of salmon (skin-side down) at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes (or until cooked to your liking). Meanwhile, sauté broccoli with garlic and coconut oil in a pan. Squeeze ½ a lemon over the top and serve alongside ¼ to ½ cup of quinoa.

Blessings.,

Meghan Meredith

HomeBodySoul, Founder

Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Certified Personal Trainer
Connect with us @homebodysoul

Why You Need A Health Coach

Perhaps you’ve heard of a ‘health coach’ but are still not quite sure what that means. There are coaches for virtually everything nowadays. So, what makes a health coach unique and different from the rest? Today I hope to answer all of your questions regarding health coaching and hopefully inspire you to work with one. There are SO many benefits! Even as a health coach myself, I’d love to work with one because we can all use the accountability and insight from another trained health expert. 

What is a health coach?

A health coach is a trained professional who has received a certification and education to help clients set and achieve health goals through personalized guidance. Health coaches may have expertise in physiological sciences, psychology, and some even have a nutrition background too. A health coach coaches and provides guidance, mentorship, and accountability so that you are more likely to achieve your goals and stick to them. Working with a health coach can help you identify the areas that are holding you back, tackle barriers to success, and make changes so that you can succeed. While a health coach can help design and implement health and wellness programs, there are also legal/ethical and professional responsibilities and scope of practices that fall outside of a health coach and will need to be referred to the correct professional. 

What is the goal of health coaching?

The goal of health coaching is to come alongside individuals and help them plan and execute their health and wellness goals. An individual’s health/wellness goals can and should be unique to them and their circumstances. For example, it may focus more on cultivating healthy relationships through boundaries, working through attitudes around food, developing healthier mindsets, or building a plan to make healthier eating and exercise more manageable with your schedule. Health and wellness coaching goes far beyond examining someone’s diet and exercise. Oftentimes as the coaching relationship develops, people’s goals transform into managing stress, healthy sleep, and navigating relationships. The main goal is to help each person identify their unique values and priorities that will encourage them to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle through behavior modification. 

Does it work? What can I gain by working with a health coach?

Yes! I believe health coaching absolutely works and is the missing piece to so many people’s health journeys. The accountability in and of itself can make a drastic difference in helping someone succeed and stick to their goals.  

It works because the partnership and support of a health coach empowers individuals to know and understand their health status and how to practice effective self-management and how to make lasting behavior change.

What does a typical health coaching session look like?

First – I always like to get to know my clients and find out about their overall lifestyle. This is just a conversation to get to know one another and find out about their likes, dislikes, work, family/home life, current and past health concerns, etc. This is our initial opportunity to connect and for the health coach to build trust and rapport with the client. After getting to know one another, we then delve into your health and wellness goals and what you would like to work towards and achieve. 

Knowing more about the client (i.e. past successes/failures, attitudes and beliefs about health and fitness, readiness for change, personal interests, etc.), we will work together to establish SMART Goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Creating SMART goals is an effective method for cultivating both short and long term goals and turning your ideas and aspirations into reality.

During each session, your health coach will also be able to filter down and explain all of the information overload that is out there in regards to health and wellness. Your health coach is your expert sounding board that you can ask your questions and find out what you really need to focus on instead of following all of the information and tips you find online. A health coach will help you take that information overload and figure out what is best and most important for you; we bridge the gap between basic information that can be found virtually anywhere and knowledge and science-based implementation. 

After our initial session, follow-up sessions entail checking in on your SMART Goals and actions steps we discussed previously as well as discussing barriers, set-backs, successes, and potentially new goals once other goals have been set in place and achieved.

I hope you have a clear understanding of the role of a health coach now and how working with one can be beneficial to your health journey. If you are interested in working with me, you can email me at hello@homebodysoul.com to schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation. 

Note: Be sure that your health coach is nationally accredited by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches. If they aren’t nationally certified yet (like myself), you can also look here to see if their program is listed as an accredited, reputable program.

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

Dreams Of Growing Old With Someone

Dreams of growing old with someone I felt was the love of my life- catapulted me into a 2 decade marriage.  At a young age, I had no idea how little I knew and I had no understanding of what intimate, long lasting love was in a marriage.  I only knew that I wanted him to be the axis of my life.  He was everything I wanted to build my life around and so I did.

We were quickly blessed with a sweet little boy, and somehow, I now had 2 people to devote my time and love towards.  As the years went by, the deep love between my former spouse and I quickly turned to lies and hurt.  So many mistakes were made and we managed to devastate our little boy time and again.  As the marriage began to fade at a rapid pace, God gave us an unexpected miracle of a little girl.  Her existence became known only one day after an agreement for a divorce. We struggled even more to hold our marriage together, to give our children the opportunity of a family.  Our lives were impacted by military combat, frequent absences of their father and we were a lonely military family, away from our loved ones.  There was no village to help and rarely time together as husband and wife.

The years continued to go by and our children were our only joy. We managed to create a team effort, absent of real intimacy, void of trust.  We built a lovely home, strong careers and we ran a regimented home that kept the ship more than afloat.  As the years passed, I longed for another child, and I still deeply loved my husband.  And, so, one morning I learned I was pregnant and my entire life felt completely right again.

And then it wasn’t.

The marriage continued to break apart and was put back together time and again; more combat deployments and a diagnosis of Autism with our youngest son. We picked ourselves up from the many pains and crisis’ over the years, packed our belongings and departed the military life after 20 years.  We needed normalcy and time as a family.

Two short years later, it ended in divorce.  Abruptly.  And we waged an emotional war on each other that I can clearly see now is shameful and did detrimental harm to our children.  It eroded our emotional health, finances and family relationships.  We embedded distrust, anger and hatred in our family.

Fast forward 4 years, we have just begun to be civil and really try and co parent our last remaining child that lives at home.  Are we friends?  I wouldn’t go that far. But, I would say that we are doing everything right in the best interest of our children, and our grandchildren.  We face the challenges that all of our children are dealing with because of their traumas and because we were too consumed by our own pain to think clearly.  Some of those traumas were from the military life we had together and others from the turbulent divorce.

Recently, my former spouse gave me the courtesy of letting me know he is remarrying.  I was grateful because it gave me the chance to brace myself for impact with our children.  His courtesy was an opportunity for me to see that our family is moving on in healthy ways and we can help our children prepare for more changes.  I know my children will struggle with this, but it is my prayer and hope that they will see that we are still a family.  It will take more time for them to accept the finality of the divorce; that the last shred of hope is absolutely gone.  Four years is but a drop in the bucket compared to 25 years.

I hope my children’s father finds in his new marriage all that we lacked in ours.  I want that for him; to see him happy and to grow old with a wonderful person by his side.  I can only hope that our children will embrace their father’s new life and that they know in their hearts that he does love them.  And that, his “moving on” from the marriage he shared with me is not about “moving on” from his relationship with our children.

I hated to love him after the marriage fell apart.  And, it felt good to love to hate him for so long.  But now, I feel peace and contentment in what we had, what was lost and what we have since found as civil people that deeply love the children we were given.  From our teenage marriage and ongoing brokenness, we created two sons, a daughter and were given the blessings of a daughter in law and 3 grandsons.

I’ll forever be grateful for the good times we shared and for the years we tried to give it our best.  We were teenagers when we married and we taught each other so much about life.  But, my most amazing lesson is that through so much devastation, former partners can find common ground when you share a deep love for the same people.

I’ll always have many regrets.  And, there was a phase where I swore I regretted the entire marriage.  But, since the dust has settled and there is a mutual effort of building trust and respect, I now remember that there were good times.  And, we did do some things right.  We made beautiful children that still deserve both of their parents involvement and support.  And if that means that our family grows through remarriage, then that’s what it means.  I think there is never too many people to love our children and grandchildren.

So, the dream of growing old is different now.  There is no sitting on the porch swing next to my children’s father, grey haired with our grandbabies at our feet.  But, I do dream of more laughter and smiles, and our children taking the next step forward in healing after all they have been through in their lives.

– Carmen 
Not Just Nearly Learn happiness, But Really Learn happiness

Finding Peace That Will Last

Finding peace that will last…
I kept picking up my phone. I would open my text messages and read through the last few conversations. I opened Facebook and scrolled through the 2 or 3 new posts that had popped up. I set my phone down and picked it back up a few minutes later to check Instagram, then iMessage again, and then Facebook. The process continued with shorter and shorter intermissions. I knew I couldn’t get what I needed from any of those sources, but persistently I kept checking to see if they would soften the discontentment I felt.
Many times we can find ourselves searching for answers and fulfillment from trivial sources. The trap of looking to ease our boredom or aching in social media, shallow communication, exercise, or other external source threatens to leave us with a gaping hole that is ever-widening. Maybe, like me, you have tried running off your anxiety or suppressing the pressures of life with coffee dates and meme banter. These things, and the countless others we can reach for, can certainly pacify us but they are unable to fully satisfy. When used incorrectly they just add noise to the chaotic rumblings of our needs, wants, responsibilities and the demands placed on us.
We need a peace that can sustain us, outlast the uncertainties that come up in life, and override the chaos.  Finding peace like that is not an easy task. Lasting peace can’t be manufactured. It can’t be uncovered in a self-help book. Peace like that only comes from within us. Deeply rooted in our identity, a peace that persists can only be found when our value isn’t rooted in our failures or accomplishments, or anyone else’s for that matter.
It is through my faith in Christ, that I have found it possible to have that unfailing peace. He provides stability that I am unable to conjure on my own. No matter how many self-care tips I have tried, He has succeeded where I have failed. When I have found myself anxious and searching for security, I have begun self-assessing.
1, Where am I placing my worth and value?
2. Why isn’t that person or thing able to carry the weight of my self-perception?
3. What areas do I need to use self-control and mindfulness to place my worth and value in a lasting source?
I always come back to the familiar conclusion that my value was being placed in something or someone other than Christ. It is in those times that variability of my own performance or my lack of control over someone else creates undue stress and anxiety. These stress are quickly eliminated when I shift from controlling the things I was never meant to. Instead of trying to control people, I use self-control to challenge my perceptions. Instead of trying to control situations, I use mindfulness and intentionally choose to trust God’s plan and purposes. It is hard, but when I engage in the process it produces lasting peace.
Shon W