Saturday, August 31, 2013

What if your body should NOT be the focus of your health?

TED Talk - Lissa Rankin
Lissa Rankin, MD is an OB/GYN physician, author, keynote speaker, consultant to health care visionaries, professional artist, and founder of the women's health and wellness community Discouraged by the broken, patriarchal health care system, she left her medical practice in 2007 only to realize that you can quit your job, but you can't quit your calling. This epiphany launched her on a journey of discovery that led her to become a leader in the field of mind/body medicine, which she blogs about at and is writing about in her third book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013). CONTINUE

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Zen Leader is Available!

Fairly new in the niche of audiobook narration, I have a total of six published audiobooks under my belt and, like children, I love each in their own special way.  But if I am allowed to have a favorite, I'd have to say that the honor goes to number 6 - The Zen Leader: 10 Ways to Go From Barely Managing to Leading Fearlessly, by Ginny Whitelaw.

In the roughly 60 days that I spent intimately with this book, I learned so much, refreshed in ways I hadn't realized I needed to and watched as some more pieces of the puzzle clicked into place.  My husband Randy is my editing partner and as he went through chapter by chapter he too recognized the potential impact of this book.  Randy has gone so far as to say it's one of the most important books he has read in his lifetime.  I would have to agree that it ranks right up there.

The really good news?  Well, that comes in two parts.

First of all, it's an easy listen.  Broken into 10 chapters, each one is easy to understand, with wonderful examples and simple exercises to practices on your own.  In fact, it goes beyond the book with references throughout to resources that are available on the author's website.

Secondly, it is available now!  Check it out at Here is an excerpt to get you started.I hope you will find a copy of The Zen Leader to read or listen to and that it will be as impactful for you as it has been in my life.

What other books have been important to you?  Why?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Supercharged Natural Heart Guard

One of the easiest ways to protect your heart is also one of the most powerful and natural. All it takes is a little omega-3 fish oil every day. The EPA and DHA omega-3s found in fish oil offer a whole host of heart health benefits and cardiovascular protection.

All-natural heart health protection.
Some of the most compelling evidence for the cardiovascular benefits of EPA and DHA omega-3s comes from three large placebo-controlled studies involving 32,000 participants. Participants who were given omega-3s daily experienced reductions in cardiovascular events of 19% to 45% compared to those who received the placebo. These findings suggest that intake of omega-3 fatty acids, whether from dietary sources or fish oil supplements, is recommended for all adults, especially those who have or are at risk for coronary heart disease.
Healthy triglyceride support.
Triglycerides are fats in the blood the body uses for energy. The problem comes when these fat levels are too high. High triglyceride levels increase your risk of heart disease, and can compound the bad effects of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Omega-3s have been shown to promote healthy triglyceride levels. Research studies have been so compelling, that in 2011 the American Heart Association issued a statement recommending daily EPA and DHA consumption for those with borderline or high fasting triglyceride levels.

Improved endothelial funtion.
From your heart to the smallest capillary, your entire circulatory system is lined with endothelial cells. These cells reduce friction as blood flows through your body, allowing blood to be pumped further with less effort. If these cells are not functioning properly, it can put unnecessary strain on your heart. EPA and DHA omega-3s have been shown to help improve endothelial function and reduce resting pulse rate.

Natural support for healthy inflammation levels.
Inflammation is the broad term for the body’s immune response to harmful stimuli (such as pathogens or irritants) or physical damage damage. Initially, it is beneficial, but inflammation can lead to more inflammation, and become selfperpetuating. Hyper-inflammation of this type is at the root of a whole host of health problems, including heart disease. More and more studies have shown that omega-3s aid the body by helping to reduce inflammation. “Omega-3 fatty acids may be both protective so that inflammation doesn’t go up, as well as therapeutic by helping inflammation go down,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University and lead author of a study printed in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

FROM: The Melaleuca Journal

Monday, August 19, 2013

Why "Go Outside and Play" Works

From: Kim - Real (& mostly) Balanced Ideas for Real Living
Yoga at the Ranch
Earlier this summer, our little group of yogis decided to move our practice outside following a shift from afternoon to morning yoga.  Why?  It just felt good.  And it continues to do so.  Something about the feel of the air, the sounds of the trees, birds, scents from the growies (plant and animal) keeps us coming back for more outdoor yoga.

Of course, when I stop to think about it, I remember all of the studies I've read that show evidence that being in nature changes us at a cellular level, improves our health - mind, body and soul.  Which studies you ask?  Well, the ones... out there..... that I've read.  I tend to read, retain what is important to me at the time and let the rest go, like names, publications, etc.  But in this age of Google, those very studies are at my (and your) fingertips.  In fact, that is what I did, just in case you asked.

In the land of Google, I quickly stumbled on an article from none other than Oprah on the Health Benefits of Nature.  It's a quick, easy read with some practical tips on how you can maximize your time amongst the bird and the bees and other growie things.

The article is based on a book by an MD and a naturopath who share the physiological effects of being outdoors - which include a healthier immune system and get this, a perception that exercise is easier!  The article gives 5 easy ways to spend time in nature.

 It doesn't seem as common these days to hear a parent speak those words imprinted on my brain from childhood, "Go outside and play."  This is likely due to an understandably increased fear of what could happen to your child in the neighborhood these days.  Back in the 60's & 70's our playground was all up and down the block and our parents stood on the porch and yelled through the neighborhood when they wanted us to come home.  We got plenty of outdoor time. We got dirty even.

Today, with our busy indoor-centric lives, we need to help ourselves and our children experience more of what nature offers us so that we and they can be healthier human beings- mind, body and soul.
I am grateful to be surrounded by people who remind me to take a time out and I am thankful to be near my grandchildren so I can spend precious outside time with them as well.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Plenty of nature around in all directions
City of Rifle, Colorado off in the distance

Some of the "growies"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Are Your Health Efforts Fear-Based or Celebration-Based?

What’s the point?

by Frank Forencich on August 10, 2013

Note: a version of this essay was originally published in Paleo magazine, August 2013

"As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body."
Lewis Thomas,The Medusa and the Snail

You just never know where the insights are going to come from.

A few years ago, some friends and I attended a big health and fitness conference with some notable speakers on all the typical subjects. We sat in the back of the auditorium, watching and listening as a line-up of distinguished authorities drilled down into the fine-grained details of nutritional biochemistry, biomechanics and training. Their presentations were detailed in the extreme, all the way down to the molecular level. Some even went quantum.

When the presentations concluded for the day, we were somewhat the worse for wear. Out in the lobby, as we struggled to put the avalanche of information into perspective, one of my friends just shook his head and quipped, “You’re still gonna die.”

We laughed, but his comment stuck with me. His point, of course, was that no matter how sophisticated and powerful our knowledge might be, our bodies are still subject to the ultimate constraints of physics and biology. We may know every last detail of nutrition, biomechanics and training, but we’re still living smack in the center of the human predicament. We can analyze, measure and study until we’re blue in the face, but we are still vulnerable, fragile organisms living in a highly dynamic, fundamentally impermanent world. No matter how hard we train, no matter how perfect our diets, “we’re still gonna die.”

Which brings us to the paradox and delusions of the modern health and fitness industry. That is, we put so much energy into analyzing our workouts, weighing our food and micro-managing every detail of our lives, we have to wonder what exactly it is that we’re trying to do. Are we trying to celebrate life in all its mystery and insecurity, through vigorous physical movement? Or are we trying to escape from our earthly predicament? Are we going towards something or away from something?

When we look at the magazine rack, the popular health and fitness industry now comes across like one vast, fear-based effort to protect and defend ourselves from the impermanence of the world. We hear preposterous claims about “turning back the clock” and “age-proofing” our skin and bodies. We read about “injury proofing,” and “stress proofing” as if we might somehow insulate ourselves from the realities of biology. But this effort is destined to fail: When we try to death-proof our bodies, we simultaneously take ourselves out of the natural flow of life. In other words, death-proofing actually becomes a form of “life-proofing.”

If we read between the lines, today’s health and fitness conversation has a tinge of desperation to it: “If we just eat enough kale, do the right number of squats, run the right number of miles, take the right supplements and put the right substances on our skin, then we won’t have to face the unpleasant realities of aging and death.” Of course, this neurotic flight from aging and death is most prominent in the glossy health and fitness press, where “before and after” spreads hold out preposterous promises of infinite sex appeal and immortality. But we also see it in the Paleo community, with its relentless drilling down on biochemistry and fine-grained analysis of every molecule that goes into our bodies. Some have even taken to calling it “paleorexia,” an obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with food, diets and the promise of perfect, eternal health/immortality.

Don’t get me wrong. A Paleo-style, real-food diet surely makes sense for our health and vitality, and will probably extend our “health span” as well as our life span. But no level of dietary perfection will insulate us from the ravages of time and the cumulative traumas of life. Even the most vigorous wild animals, living in pristine natural conditions, eating perfect food and moving their bodies in perfectly natural ways, eventually loose their vigor and perish. Are we really expecting something more?

No matter how sophisticated our knowledge, there are certain inevitablities that we cannot escape: Our bodies are always being injured in daily activity–cancer cells are proliferating, mutations are being generated, pathogens are constantly attacking our tissue. Cellular repair mechanisms and immune defenses keep most of this damage in check, but the fact remains: we are constantly falling apart, always on the cusp, always poised precariously between life and death.

So what is health? Is it the ability to insulate ourselves from the flux and flow of life? Is our goal to become impervious to the natural biological decay that takes place in every organism on earth? If that’s the case then we are clearly on the wrong path. Maybe we need to re-evaluate our vision. Maybe it’s time to suspend our war on injury, aging and death. Maybe it’s time to look squarely at the impermanence of our incredible, beautiful, fragile and highly temporary lives.

Yes, health is a noble pursuit. With just a little more education, training and behavioral change, we could save millions of people from immense amounts of suffering. We could help reduce the levels of diabetes, heart disease, depression and neurological disorders. But let’s not delude ourselves; aging, illness, injury and death are part of who we are. Life is a package deal, one that includes loss, injury, disease and suffering. Rather of fleeing from it, perhaps we’d do better to embrace it in its entirety. Once we give up our attachment, we can live life more completely, in total health.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pilates for Beginners - Total Body Workout

Cassey takes you through a Pilates workout for beginners. You will work your abs, your legs, and your arms. Principles such as proper breathing, posture, and form are explained in a very detailed manner, so this is also a great exercise video for people trying to understand Pilates basics.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I had "the" thought this week. Oh no!

FROM: Kim -Real (& mostly) Balanced Ideas for Real Living

I had a check up this week at the doctor's office and faced the scale. I long ago gave up watching the scale, preferring instead to monitor how I feel, how I perform and how my clothes fit. But due to some concerns that have come up over the last year in conjunction with thyroid meds (and some sudden weight gain) my doctor has had me paranoid about my weight in the last year, so I've been watching it.


Though I have been paying attention to my nutrition and exercise along with other lifestyle and thyroid med changes, despite the fact that my TSH has gone super low (I "should" be losing weight) I am stuck at the same spot I was a year ago. Not within 1 or 2 pounds, THE SAME EXACT SPOT.

And I had the thought.

The one I counsel all my clients and students against.

The one I had given up claim to long ago.

"Why should I keep on trying, nothing I do is making a bit of difference?"

Yep, that one.


And that is what happens when you focus on the scale.

I responded by doing a *headstand, and another, and another..... because I can.

And that is what consistent effort and developing core strength will do for you, even if you don't lose weight.

I am grateful that though hormones and stuff are a little whacked out in my body, I still have great strength, good relationships and the ability to do just about whatever I want to do. I am really not suffering or feeling majorly ill in any way. So what's to complain about?

And certainly, if I stopped my efforts at eating well, exercising and taking care of myself, I would have far more problems than just a few extra pounds (okay, maybe more than a few.)

So there is my pep talk, and yours too if it applies. Step away from the bon-bons.

*Please note: I do not advocate doing headstands as it is a very risky pose for the neck and spine. I, in fact, use a yoga chair so there is no actual pressure on my head and neck. Safety first!

Image courtesy of

Thursday, August 8, 2013

4 BIG, FAT Myths About Strength Training

It is important for everyone to build muscle through strength training, but there are a few persistent myths that hold some people back. Don’t be fooled. Get the facts!


Building muscle makes women bulky.
Women’s natural testosterone levels prevent them from developing muscles at the rate men do. Unless women purposefully try to build bulk, they will not get bulky. They’ll get toned, lean definition—and who wouldn’t want that?


I can only work one muscle at a time so it will take a long time to reach my goal.
Compound movements like squats use multiple muscle groups and can give you a total body workout in a short period of time.


I have to have a gym membership to have access to weights.
Resistance builds muscles. Many people use weights at the gym to obtain resistance, but there are plenty of ways to build muscle at home. Do exercises that use your own body weight like push-ups and sit-ups, use resistance bands, or make your own “weights” using sandbags or milk jugs filled with water.


I will hurt myself.
Injuries come from poor form whether you’re running, doing yoga, or lifting weights. As with any new exercise you are unfamiliar with, consult a trainer on proper form and it’s unlikely you’ll hurt yourself.

Have any other myth buster facts about strength training? We would love to hear them in the comments.

SOURCE: The Melaleuca Journal

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hair Loss Can Be a Good Indicator of What's Going On With Your Health

Here's a quick video from Dr. Alan Christianson and actress Gina Lee Nolin about what your hair loss may mean for your health. You can find a lot more helpful information at Dr. C's website,
Thank you Kim: Real (& mostly) Balanced Ideas for Real Living  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Masterminds 4 Wellness

A new program is taking root in the Roaring Fork Valley to help individuals that want support and accountability along with helpful information in reaching their goals. Join us as Facilitators Peter & Susanna Goldstein and Rita Marsh share insights into how and why this program was developed and how it will benefit you. Click on Roaring Fork Wellness Podcast, Episode 7 or check out the following links.

Masterminds 4 Wellness Website:
RF Wellness Website:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

World Breastfeeding Week

Do you believe in helping our community's mom's feel safe and accepted while breastfeeding? WE NEED YOUR HELP PROMOTING SATURDAY'S BIG LATCH ON EVENT. This global event is a part of celebrating World Breastfeeding Week. 

What we've learned during our promotion of this event is that there is definitely discomfort among our own in Garfield County (which caught us by surprise) when it comes to supporting breastfeeding. The local press has ignored and ridiculed the very concept of it.

Please share the link below and encourage anyone who is interested to join us.


The Big Latch On Garfield County Committee
Sponsored in part by Roaring Fork Wellness