Do You Eat To Nourish Yourself or Is It More Complicated?

So just exactly what is it that you are seeking as you eat that next bowl of pasta, that next ice cream sundae, that next peanut bar, that next piece of cheesecake? Do you really think you will get that fulfillment, for lack of a better word, out of something you put in your mouth? The sad fact is you most likely won’t. Other, non-eating, behaviors are the ones that will scratch that itch.

Is it just a bad habit, this eating and seeking something beyond nourishment that we’ve learned from this rush rush society, in which no one seems to have any time to connect?

So often we seem to eat for entertainment, or enjoyment, or even boredom. We eat, even stuff ourselves, when we aren’t truly hungry, but looking, searching for something to calm that longing. Maybe it’s time to investigate that longing, or desire. What is lacking in your life and what are you filling with food that could be more appropriately filled by something else? Do you have any sense of that? Does that speak to you, or simply fall on deaf ears? For some of you, nothing is lacking and you are not eating for emotional reasons. For others, you are, and are not even in tune with it yet. Still others, and you know who you are, you’ve been eating for emotional reasons for years, with full knowledge of this behavior.

Your boyfriend breaks up with you, and you hit the grocery store, and by three kinds of ice cream, 3 kinds of cookies and comfort food for an army. You then go home, with the concrete plan to assuage your feelings of abandonment by eating cookies and ice cream. Or perhaps you got passed over at your job, and you know the person who got promoted is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Again, you seek solace in food. Likewise, you are fighting with a sibling, or a good friend, and can’t even figure out how the damn thing started. Food is your friend, waiting to provide comfort, as long as you seek it. The house you really wanted to buy after four years of searching got purchased right out from underneath you. Food is there. You’re pregnant after five years of trying. A celebration with your spouse at your favorite restaraunt sounds perfect. You are sales person of the year in your division, and a trip to the Bahamas with your spouse is your reward, complete with reservations at a five star hotel, with fine dining included.

Food is used to provide comfort when you are sad, anxious, distressed, or angry. Food is something you can control in a way you can’t control other life events. But it’s complicated, because it’s also used to celebrate in joyous occasions. Food is used in every culture, on the planet, as part of our rituals. Food plays a role in engagement parties, weddings, graduations, baby showers, sweet sixteen parties, birthday parties, retirement parties, Christmas parties, Hannukah parties, and Thanksgiving. The list goes on! We never cease to find reasons to celebrate. Eating occasions are everywhere!

So what type of emotional reasons do you eat for? Try to be specific. Can you remember a specific time when you ate, or overate, or consumed foods you wouldn’t have, had you not felt overwrought with emotion? What emotions seem to be triggers for you? Are there several, or just two, or three. Again, the more specific you can be about it, the better handle you’ll have on it, and the more likely you’ll be to be able to watch out for those behaviors to rear their ugly heads, under particular circumstances.

This investigative work could really help you out. You are changing your eating regimen, and when life hands you something you really have to grapple with, you need to know exactly where your Achilles’ heel is. If you know your weakness, you can set a plan in place to handle any obstacle, so you don’t get weigh laid from your new eating lifestyle. Preparation really helps perseverance!

For those of you still having trouble grasping this, let’s look at it from another vantage point. Do any emotions cause you to actually lose your appetite? We are all individual and different things affect us in different ways. For one person, the thought of a feared object, say spiders, or maybe flying, could cause them to first blanch, and then completely lose their appetite. For someone else, it could be some vulgar talk at the table. Just simply not for them. Their appetite is gone for the time being, and their meal spoiled. Given enough time, and the right circumstances, their appetite will resume, to be sure. For another person, illness or the change of season could bring on poor appetite. For me, the one sure fire way I will lose my appetite is when I first fall in love. Food just tastes how I imagine cardboard would taste. No flavor whatsoever and absolutely not of any interest to me! I literally have to get away from the person to eat, and sleep, so I won’t get sick! Go figure! But this is the flip side of eating for emotional reasons. It kind of conveys the picture in a sneaky way, for those who aren’t quite in tune with eating for emotional reasons.

If this has still all alluded you, please watch yourself, and your eating, with specific plans to notice what seems to precede episodes of overeating, or eating the wrong foods. Then specifically ask yourself, “Was I feeling sad?” Lonely? Distressed? Anxious? Angry? Bored? Fatigued? These questions will hopefully give you some insights, as to how you are using food, and what you hope to accomplish, by eating various foods. As you notice connections, please keep tabs in writing, so you can review it overtime.

Did you know that some people eat specific foods to put themselves in a specific state? They will eat pasta, or something heavy to calm down, and sugary foods to temporarily pep themselves up? Do you do this? Are you sure? Please watch your behavior, and record it over the course of the next month, to look for clues to ascertain whether you too use food in such a fashion.

Don’t forget that next forkful is unlikely to satisfy your deep seated desires. Working with a health coach may help you ferret out what would create more balance and less longing in your life. For the time being, I hope these clues will prove to be helpful to you, as you embark on your journey to solve what motivates your eating!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LCC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

WHY Do You Want to Lose Weight?

So it’s the New Year, and you’ve decided to lose a few pounds. How are you going to do that? What exactly is your strategy? What has worked in the past? What has failed? Just exactly why did it fail? Can you re-double your efforts, and use that strategy again, or is it bound for trouble with a capital “T?” What else can you try?

Have you done any recent research on weight loss? As you likely know, nutrition is a fledgling science, with plenty of conflict regarding what’s the best way to go. If you find yourself feeling too confused to follow anything in particular, I recommend getting back to basics, and following three things you know in the bottom of your gut, that you should change, in order to eat in a manner that you believe would be consistent with healthier practices. Then follow those three guidelines, when grocery shopping, and as you prepare, and eat every meal.

How will this attempt be any different than all the rest? How are you going to stand out from the rest of the pack? I don’t mean to blow your mind, or burst your bubble, but only 5% of those attempting to change addictive behaviors, such as smoking, heroin usage, drinking, compulsive spending, gambling, over eating, or eating too much of the wrong stuff, fail. Sorry to say, but these are just the facts!

Are you ready to make a life long commitment to changing your lifestyle, or are you just bargaining for a little bit more time? If you are just prolonging the inevitable, the same problems will be staring you in the face next year, and you are likely to make the same resolution next year. All I can say to that is B-O-R-I-N-G. Don’t you want to make this year’s resolution a game changer?

What do you say? Is it time to make this problem vanish from your worry plate? If it is, then you are in for some hard work, and will have to make many long term changes. Most likely, one of the biggest changes will be about your attitude toward making these changes. Instead of focusing on feeling deprived, you will have to begin to ponder and think about what you will get in return. For each of us, it will a little bit different.

I guess it gets down to WHY you want to lose weight. What is really crucial to you? What’s in it for you? Generally, when you get in touch with your “WHY?” things get a little easier, and the tough tend to get going.

So let’s figure out your WHY! Do you want to look better? Are you into feeling better? Do you want to suffer with less disease? Live a bit longer? Get through more of your bucket list, before you move on to whatever after life exists in the cosmos? Do you want to move more, ’til the end of your days? Be less of a burden to others? Do you want to give back to the next generation? Do you want to spend more quality time with your loved ones? Do you want more fun, and less suffering? Are you trying to make a significant contribution to your field, before your time runs out? Do you want to run more? Ski more? Bike more? Fly fish more? Surf more? Explore more? Travel to the ends of the earth? What’s your thing?

You need to get in touch with your WHY, so that when you are in the thick of it, and temptation strikes, you can pull your WHY out of the back of your pocket, and look at it straight on. You’ll need to ask, “Is it worth it to give up this now, for that later?” Then you have a fighting chance at turning down the same old foods that got you in this mess in the first place!

Really and truly, if you know WHY you are doing this, you are more likely to be successful. So take some time right now to write down three of the top reasons you want to pursue this path. Then really think about the three options and rank order them in terms of importance. Write them out on a separate piece of paper, in the rank order, with the most important reason first. Now commit this reason to memory, and put the other paper, or document, somewhere safe, where you can refer to it, when necessary.

Without taking the time to really examine your WHY, failure is inevitable! So do your homework! It’s worth it, and so are you!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks,LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks.
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

Couldn’t Have Been Prouder of My Boys On Christmas 2015

As we approached the stairs, from the second floor, in my little brick, on Christmas morning in Cleveland, Ohio, the chatter my boys were engaging in would warm the heart of any twin parent, or parent of children close in age. Jarvie and Giles were explaining some things to me that were important for me to know, before we began opening our Christmas presents, which was going to happen momentarily!

Giles told me excitedly, “Mommy, we have decided that any gift, whether it says Jarvie, or Giles on it, is something we are going to share.

Jarvie added, “Mommy, it doesn’t matter what the package says on it. We can open any package, because we are going to share everything. So if it says Giles, I can still open it, and if it says Jarvie on it, Giles can still open it.

Giles went on to say, “Christmas is about family and sharing and the time you spend together, and not about gifts, so we have decided to share everything!”

What else could I say but, “Amen! or Bravo! or I love you boys?” All I can tell you is that, as I marched down those stairs, my heart was bursting with pride!

This stance completely alleviated any fears I had about any perceived indiscretions on my part, regarding the balance or fairness of the gifts provided! Sweet relief! What a gift this was on Christmas morning! Never forget, not all gifts come with a bow!

As my boys opened their Hot Wheels remote control cars, from my friend, Charrise in Virginia, they exclaimed “Awesome,” in unison! As they opened their Growing Crystals, and Tegu wooden, magnetic blocks, they related, “We are the luckiest boys in the world,” and “We have the best presents on the block!”

It was truly a lovely experience watching them get along and rip through their gifts squealing with delight!

To their credit, I must tell you, they followed the guidelines about sharing, they set out initially to the tee, throughout the gift opening, as well as, all day long, while they played with all of their newly prized toys! Truly spectacular!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Boys are nearly 6

Imagination is a Great Creative Tool

Tonight, I was hanging out with Jarvie and he told me that he thought imagination was one of our greatest tools!

With a very big smile on his face Jarvie explained, “If you need to construct something, you “imaginate” it first, and then just make it! So literally, imagination is your greatest tool!”

I told him, “I will try to remember that, when I need to create something in the future!”

I just love these little conversations with my young son. They warm my heart! I will really miss it, when he stops saying things like “imaginate!”

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Boys are still 5!

Jarvie Will Cherish It Forever!

Early last Fall, I visited my sons’ school, University School or “US,” as it is typically called. I met with their teachers, and other parents of boys in their class. The teachers took that opportunity to have me write a personal letter to both of my sons, who just so happen to be in the very same classroom! The teachers explained the method to their madness. Since the boys are in kindergarten, their teachers are interested in any activity, which promotes curiosity about reading. The letter was just one vehicle to that end.

Jarvie came across this note with its accompanying drawing of a rainbow At Christmas time and asked me to read it to him. I pointed to the rainbow and the words beneath it which read, “You are just as magnificent as a rainbow!” The next part read, “Dear Jarvie, I had the chance to come to your school on Founder’s day. Mr. Rein, your Head Master, spoke to us first. The teachers have been telling me all good things about you at school. You’re in kindergarten, and you are on your way! Mommy is so proud of you dear! So much love, Mama”

When I finished reading, I handed Jarvie the letter, which Jarvie held out in front of me and asked, “Mama did you make this yourself?”

To which I replied, “Yes!”

He queried further, “All by yourself?”

I nodded my head to reply affirmatively once again.

Jarvie then took the letter and pressed it against his heart and said, “Mama, I will cherish this forever!”

As if that weren’t enough, he then said, “Mama, I don’t really know what cherish means, but I will cherish it forever!”

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Boys are 5, but getting ever closer to 6 these days!

The Holidays got Me

Everyone says I am so good at holding back and exerting will power! But it’s not true. I got it together after a two week break after Thanksgiving and then took a break again at Christmas, just three days! You see I am really just as human as the next person!

What I’ve come to realize is that each time I fall off, someone offers me something. This time it was eggnog. Whether it happens at the time of the offering or not is irrelevant. Just the kind heartedness of the offering gets me straight in the heart and makes me buckle in the knees! It’s my weakness. I have to develop a plan or strategy for handling these situations again in the moment and later after the moment has passed. I think I need to try to say something like, “Thank-you that is so kind, but I am after something bigger than pumpkin pie [cheese cake or eggnog or whatever]!” This way, I have acknowledged their true kindness and thoughtfulness directed toward me, but have firmly stated my position and desire for something far more dear to me than any temporary experience that any food could render in my mouth. Then later, I can restate, to myself, the importance of staying the course and not diverting for a momentary experience, which in the end will leave me flat, or better yet deflated, as I will then be off course from my true objective, which is feeling better, looking better, and having a more lively life, with less illness.

What concerns me about my current Christmas lapse is that I will have another break, when I have my total knee replacement, at Euclid Hospital with Peter Brooks, MD of the Cleveland Clinic. Obviously, while in the hospital they aren’t going to stick to my regimen and afterward I will be reliant on others to procure my food for me, so it’s going to be rough for awhile. The hospital stay is 2 – 4 days and it’s between 1 week and 6 weeks, before I will be driving again. I swear it’s going to be on the short side for me! It has to be. I’ve got grocery shopping, physical therapy, and boys to take to and from school, not to mention to after school activities! So I want to get back on Mark Hyman’s detox diet, as soon as possible. I need to lose as much as possible in the next month, before my surgery. Maybe if I put my nose to the grind stone, I can lose as much as 15 pounds. That would be great for my weight loss plan and good for healing and recovery after my surgery, as I will be in a state of anti inflammation, as opposed to an inflammatory state, which slows healing. Not to mention the fact that another 15 pounds off the old body frame would be a great relief to my back and my knees as well!

My walking regimen will be severely disrupted too. However, in the long run, the total knee replacement should make it easier to get around. So it will be awhile until I can put everything together and get back to walking 5 times a week and dieting the way I have in the past and want to in the future. I guess I need to see how much I can take off in the next month. It’s really time to hit it!

Anybody else struggle with lapses and relapses? What techniques do you use to avoid them? Have you developed a plan? Do you know what your triggers are? Why not take a minute right now and write out what your triggers are and how you might handle them better next time.

If it helps to work these things out with a coach, send an email or make a phone call today to hire a health coach to help you succeed in situations, in which you have tried and failed in the past. Health coaches can help you to WOOP it!

Whooping it refers to 1) considering your wish (W) perhaps weighing your ideal weight, 2) determining the best outcome (O) of reaching your wish, such as leading a vibrant life and interacting more fully with your kids or grandkids, 3) generating a list of possible obstacles (O) to attaining your wish, such as going out to eat with friends, sitting down to a family feast, attending a wedding, going on a cruise, and 4) developing a plan (P) to overcome any obstacle, such as carrying an alternate meal, carrying appropriate salad dressing, developing a polite way to say “No!” to those, who encourage you to stray from your intended purpose.

You can try the WOOP it technique on your own, with a friend or significant other, or you can hire a health coach to do it with you! WOOPing it is one method of trying to beat lapses and relapses, before they bite you in the butt!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap into Action!

Vocabulary Acquisition and Self Expression

Last night, on Christmas night, we were unable to join our family gathering, owing to sickness and went out for a bit of traditional Chinese food, at Jackie Chan’s. On our way over, Gilie asked “Mom, what does alchemy mean?” After briefly explaining, he went on the ask, “and what is deconstruction?” Now if that doesn’t just beat all! The boy is only 5! Words like that simply flew right over my head, without a second thought at his age, but he hears them, learns them or inquires and then not only claims them as his, but spits them out at a later appropriate time! His vocabulary blows my mind!

Giles vocabulary is not only interesting, but fun, as he surprises and delights continually with his choice of words in day to day life!

Today when we were having tickle fights in bed in the early morning, he decided to try to blow in my ear. As we trussled this was Not an easy feat. When he succeeded he whispered, “Jackpot!” His mind is just quicker than mine. Consequently, I frequently find his brief utterances to be laugh out loud funny! He made four or five of these remarks one to three and each one caused me to burst into laughter. Alas, I have forgotten the rest and cannot share them with you!

I swear the boy is going to be a writer of some sort! His use of similes start one month after he began talking when he said, “I am freezing like an ice cube!” His speech is just so colorful, quick witted and efficient. It is really something to marvel at in such a young child.

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
Single Mom by Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

The boys are 5 now

My Darling Son Loves to Protect His Mother

As many of you know, I had major back surgery on the spring of 2015 and face total knee replacement in January of 2016. Trust me I have had my share of bumps and bruises along the way. My son, Jarvie, takes it on as his job to point out all the cracks and unlevel areas that we traverse in our daily walks or hikes, as we journey from here to there, as a family. Although I don’t find this entirely necessary, I play along, because fact that he even cares to do this, warms my heart. He is really good at this and rarely misses noticing an area that could pose a risk. He really is quite the care taker. Thank goodness for caring little boys! Don’t think I don’t realize how lucky I am to have a boy like this at my side!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Boys are 5, soon to be 6 years old!

Diversity and the Human Microbiome

The human microbiome covers every inch of the body, inside and out. Space creates a unique environment which is non-conducive to bacteria. Scientists have thus discovered that astronauts in space, with an ever growing reduction in diversity in the human microbiome, get sick overtime.

Whitmond (2015) explains some environments that are too squeaky clean just aren’t good for us. We were meant to live in a symbiotic relationship with a wildly diverse array of microorganisms covering our skin, and inside our the length of our gastrointestinal system and with in our urogential and respiratory systems. In fact, it is important for babies, prior to the first year of life, to have exposure to many different microorganisms in order to improve the overall functioning of their immunity. Continued exposure to these same organisms is important throughout the life span.

Some have referred to the combination of humans and the micro-organisms that co-exist on and within humans as a super organism. Others have begun to call it an eco system. The more diverse the super organism, or eco system, the healthier it is.

Whitmond notes that scientists agree that the diversity of this micro-organism alters the human system at a cellular level, actually turning on and off the expression of certain genes, which leads to the expression of disease or wellness, depending on the variability found within this super organism. Some scientists contend that the use of antibiotics can permenently change the microbiome and render it susceptible to certain health conditions that it would not have otherwise been susceptible to.

So avoid antibiotics and anti inflammatory medications when you can, eat your whole foods and avoid chemicalized, junk food and don’t be too hygienic! For example, don’t scrub daily with Hibiclens, like a surgeon. This robs you of bio-diversity in the microbiome of the skin and just isn’t how we were meant to live. Remember there is a healthy symbiotic relationship between the bacteria or micro organisms on our skin. Both need each one! Eat naturally. Your body was not meant to injest foods with words we can’t even pronounce, including preservatives, artificial sweetners, saturated fats, thickeners or food coloring, and the like. Stick to whole foods and for goodness sakes get your pots and pans out and cook at home, where you have more control over just exactly what is in your food! Living in this fashion will positively affect your microbiome and yield both immediate and long term positive outcomes. The on going diversity of your microbiome is vital concerning your overall health and wellness.

Don’t forget that the converse is true and behaviors consistent with reducing biodiversity of the microbiome are also ones which are consistent with reduced health and frank illness and disease overtime. Whitmond expounds that dysbiosis, or overgrowth of various bacterial, fungi and viruses, occurs when the ecology of the microbiome is disrupted. Illnesses to be concerned about as a result of dysbiosis include allergy, inflammation and autoimmune disease, as well as, other chronic health conditions. Be wary of what goes on your skin and what you take into your body, through eating, respiration or other means, as these are agents that can either promote or reduce biodiversity of the human microbiome.

What can you do today to change your lifestyle to make it more consistent with biodiversity of your microbiome? Write these down and put them somewhere convenient, where you are sure to bump into the several times daily, to help support your attempt to improve your life and create wellness and vitality!

Remember it’s all up to you! With this knowledge, you can create the lifestyle you want! Seems simple enough to me, but you decide. The choice is health and wellness or disease! If you want to be supported through your journey, pick up the phone or send an email to a health coach today! At Buidling Better Bodies Rocks, we are creating better bodies one day at a time!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
Single Mother by Choice of Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!

A Word of Caution About the Gut Micro-biome

Well, I successfully got back on Mark Hyman’s detox diet. Yea!
It wasn’t easy! It took a couple of weeks and several failed attempts. I have been back on for a week now and never gain weight when I was off the diet. I lost a pound during the last week! So it’s the real deal and I am primed to lose the next thirty pounds.

Interestingly, on this diet, going off the diet and back on is not a complete win win. It’s the gut micro-biota or micro-biome that loses out. The gut micro-biome refers to the totality of genetic information from the microorganisms in the gut. Did you know that 70% – 80% of your immune system is located in your gut? The way we eat, literally turns genes off and on, which then leads to the expression of wellness or disease. By following Mark Hyman’s detox diet, you can literally get healthy, due to the change you create in your gut micro-biome.

When you take antibiotics for an infection, you kill the good bacterial or micro-biota in your gut, which ironically leaves you vulnerable to further infection and disease. It is then necessary to build up those organisms again with a probiotic. Be wary of antibiotics and take them sparingly. When you can, it’s best to not interfere with Mother Nature’s plan. Simply said, we were clearly not meant to pop antibiotics at the first sign of illness. When possible, avoid the use of antibiotics and instead allow your body to handle the illness the old fashioned way. It just might save you further illness and disease in the future. Never forget that eating junk and taking antibiotics changes or body at the genetic level.

So now you know that Mom’s advice to eat more fruits and vegetables and stay away from processed foods can lead to having a more vibrant and healthy life. Now that is some serious food for thought! After you’ve chewed on that thought for awhile, I suggest you write out three ideas about changes in your eating regimen that you would like to commit to, in order to improve the overall quality of your life. Aren’t you worth it? Go ahead create that list!

While you are at it, consider hiring a health coach to help you through your journey. We all need a bit of help every now and then. It’s just too darn easy to give up when the going gets tough! People often try to make a change, but get lost along the way. Having a coach can make all the difference!

I find that having a coach at my side helps me to work more vigorously toward my goals. The coach helps me to stay committed to my goals for longer and ultimately realize my life objectives! Doesn’t everybody need a little accountability to keep them on the straight and narrow? That is one of the things a coach can do for you! If you want to progress at a faster rate, you know what to do. Pick up that phone, hire a coach and invest in yourself today! You deserve to be your very best!

Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach at Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio

Leap Into Action!