Mending the fabric of the female health story.
Mending the fabric of the female health story.
The longer I am in the profession of helping women to improve their health, the more I am convinced that improving health boils down to awareness and consistency.
Before we can change anything about our health, we must be aware of the things we are doing to either nourish or deplete our health. But honestly we are living in such a frenetic time, most women are so busy, they are reacting to life with habits that don’t serve their health rather than choosing to respond to life in a healthy fashion. We absolutely must slow down to become more aware and be able to focus.
And there are lots of buzz words linked to awareness: mindfulness, consciousness, being present, staying awake. Whatever you want to call the practice of becoming more aware…awareness is the linchpin to improving our health.
And to help us better understand this topic of staying more present in our lives, I have invited back to the Grace & Grit Podcast my dear friend, Mary O’Malley.read more
I don’t know about you, but I grew up clinging to the myth that once a woman turned 40, life would be over (the black balloons at my mother’s 40th birthday made quite an impression apparently). And having turned 40 myself a week ago, I have to say my experience has taught me something quite different: Life is really stinking good at 40.
Unfortunately, our media culture cultivates a lot of fear around aging for a woman. Aging gracefully and optimistically, I believe, has a lot to do with the level of respect you have for your mind, body, and soul and I am a firm believer that the earlier we can start this conversation with our daughters and granddaughters, it is likely that we will save them from a lot of unnecessary pain and frustration has they grow older.read more
We are now a full month into 2017 and I am curious how you are doing with your intentions to take better care of yourself this year?
I know many women charged into the New Year vowing to themselves that this year would be different; this year they will put their self-care at the top of their to-do list. A few weeks in many of these same women are recognizing that making themselves a priority is not as easy as it sounds. It means you have to make time and room in your schedule for yourself.
Making time and making room in our schedule is no small task for most of us, life is really stinking full. So where do we start? How do we simplify and organize, so we can dedicate more time and energy to the things we say matter the most to us?
To help us confront these questions head-on, I have invited back to the Grace & Grit podcast, Evan Zislis, professional organizer extraordinaire to help us out.read more
Last week on the podcast I told you about the 1 thing you can remove from your diet to radically improve your health and happiness levels. That thing? Refined sugar.
This week on the podcast I talk about the 1 thing to ADD to your diet to dramatically improve your overall wellbeing. That thing? More vegetables.
If you don’t eat many veggies (a lot of people say they do, but they don’t) and you are looking for some inspiration, tips and tricks to eat more, check out this week’s podcast which is all about Veggie Power.read more
This is the time of year people are looking for the quick fixes that can unravel the damage they did over the past few months. And we are being honest about it, people are really looking for the quick fixes that will unravel not just a few months but years (even decades) of neglecting their health. If you know anything about the message and mission of Grace & Grit, you know I can’t stand the notion of quick fixes, mainly because habit change takes time (and quick fixes are short on time).
That being said, the body is an amazing organism and will respond quite quickly when shown a bit of TLC. When you purge from your diet the things that deplete you and replace those things with more of the stuff that nourishes you, you feel better, you look better, and you are motivated to keep doing better.
So in today’s podcast, I talk about the one thing that is toxic to everyone’s health and how to get it out of your diet for good. That thing is refined sugar.read more
A New Year is dawning, which for many women is a popular time to set or recommit to goals. Unfortunately, when it comes to health goals, many women are thinking too small…literally. Far too many health goals are based on aesthetics alone specifically, ones revolving around weight loss, which doesn’t create a ton of traction in the motivation department (at least not traction that extends beyond a few weeks).
In this week’s podcast, I dish out some “food for thought” when it comes to establishing health goals that are weighty enough to carry you all the way home to sublime health.read more
It may sound strange but a common thread I have witnessed (and personally experienced) with women who are trying to reclaim their health, is that they often struggle to allow happiness to enter fully into their life.
Women seem to be really good at sabotaging the “feel good” in their life in one of two ways:
1. They are more focused on doing than being; often maintaining schedules that are so busy, they simply do not have the time or awareness to feel happiness.
2. They have limiting beliefs around how much happiness they deserve, what is possible for their life, or even the belief that life must always be hard (and so it is).
Many women are especially good at robbing themselves of the joy of food when it comes to their efforts to improve their health.
This episode explores some strategies to help women to embrace the joy of healthy food and to help them build a tolerance for happiness in their lives in general.read more
Many women have a tremendous amount of resistance around exercising regularly, and I think there are two primary reasons for this:
#1: The diet and fitness culture has made exercise VERY difficult to navigate
#2: Many women solely exercise as a way to maintain or lose weight.
What if you started viewing exercise as a way of respecting your body’s nutritional needs rather than as a way to force your body into submission?
This episode of the podcast introduces the reasons we should really be giving our body a healthy dose of movement nutrition every single day and offers strategies for conquering the resistance you may have around it.read more
I am currently in the throws of teaching a new program this year that is really geared towards helping women maintain a high level of self-care during the holidays, and it is really something I should have started years ago. I was compelled to start this program because, every year during the holidays, I see women struggling more than any other time of the year to maintain their health standards.
They start putting their own self-care on the back burner to keep up with the demands of the season.
They allow boundaries to be crossed and far too many compromises around their own health to be made.
They do it all by rationalizing that they will do better come Jan 1. But …
January 1 comes and women are exhausted and sick (literally), because of all of the negotiating they did around they holidays, so they fail to do better. It is a painful cycle to watch, and I have watch it for too many years. Every year I joke that I am going to take February off because people are so crabby and bitter and sick, and I really believe a lot of that stems from what has happened around the holidays.
So…At 6am, every day for 1 month, I have a small but mighty group of women showing up on a live coaching call with me because they have committed to not losing themselves within the pile of stress & consumption that shows up simultaneously with the joy and celebration of the holidays.
And I wanted to extend a bit of holiday support to you as well, so today I have invited back to the show, my friend and nutritionist extraordinaire, Sara Bradford to discuss some of the specific challenges that show up around this time of year and how we can navigate them more successfully.read more
A lot of women this time of year are starting to think about how they are going to address their health concerns in 2017. Get ready because everywhere you look for the next several weeks, you are going to see ads for diets and exercise programs promising to help you reach your goals in the quickest way possible with the least amount of effort.
Wouldn’t it be nice if getting healthy was as simple as just addressing food and exercise? But it’s not. Food and exercise are slivers of the health pie, but they do not, by any means, complete it.
Sometimes the very thing that is standing in the way of a woman doing what needs to be done to reclaim her health and happiness is the very thing she is most terrified of addressing.
These are often the mountains standing in the way of true health, and none of these mountains can be conquered with clean food and a better strength program… to summit these mountains a woman needs a heavy dose of courage… Courage to honor who she is, what she wants and the courage to take action around making it possible.
So, I have invited life coach Kate Swoboda, also known as Kate Courageous to the show today to help us dive deeper into the topic of courage.read more
When was the last time you were grateful for the miracle that is your body?
Most women I work with are at war with their body, and I think in large part that is a direct result of the way they are talking to themselves about their body. You have heard me say this before: RESPECT BREEDS HEALTH. And when you go out of your way to be grateful for all of the things your body is doing right, you are a heck of a lot more likely to treat your body in a loving and respectful way.
Along these same lines, women are often telling themselves how hard it is to get healthy, rather than focusing on what a privilege it is to care for themselves in a healthy way. What a luxury that you are able to choose high-quality foods, make time to exercise and drink clean water. For many people in the world, these things are simply not an option.
You are living at a time when you have a choice in the level of care you administer to your body. How awesome is that? What a privilege that truly is!
If you want to improve your health, start with being grateful (often and much) for all that your body is doing right.read more
I have been talking about inflammation with clients for more than a decade: what causes it, how to reduce it and how to prevent being in a chronic state of it.
Many women I work with tend not to believe in the power of inflammation until they clean up their diet enough and reduce other stressors in their life enough, that when they do something that insults the inside of their body, they feel the effects of inflammation in a very powerful way. The reality is a healthy body will be loud and clear about what is working for it and what isn’t. Unfortunately, most people are walking around in a chronic state of inflammation, so they have practically become de-sensitized to the messages that their body is trying to send them.
There is no arguing that the body is an incredible vessel that does some pretty remarkable things to keep you alive and healthy.
Cut your finger…your immune system rushes to the site to heal the wound and prevent infection
Get food poisoning? Your digestive track will do everything it can to heal you.
Overheat at the gym? Sweat comes to the rescue to cool you off!
These are all examples of healthy inflammatory responses. While all of this is awesome and helpful, research is starting to show us that our body’s healthy responses can actually backfire on us especially when we repeatedly injure the inside of our body.
To help us better understand the power of inflammation and how we can control it, I have invited a remarkable guest to the show, her name is Shelly Malone.read more
Let’s face it ladies, there are an awful lot of things that can go wrong with our lady parts. Nearly every single woman I have worked with over the course of the past 20 years has experienced some kind of challenge with pelvic health: be it pelvic pain, incontinence, prolapse, or a host of other “not so fun” conditions. If we are interested in expanding the conversation of what it really takes to be a health/fit woman, we cannot ignore the very important topic of pelvic health.
Health will not be found by avoiding the things that make us healthy. We need to find solutions to the problems including an open and honest conversation around pelvic health. And who better to include in this conversation, than someone who has been studying the issue for well over a decade?
Alison Gray is a registered physiotherapist with over 17 years experience, residing in Stratford, Ontario. Although she treats all musculoskeletal problems, she has focused on pelvic pain and dysfunction over the last 12 years.
If you are a woman, this episode is a must if you want to preserve and protect the health of your pelvis.read more
Most women will postpone taking action with improving their health, not because they are lazy or lack drive, but because they feel they need to be perfect in their efforts and they are OVERWELMED by the amount of information coming at them from the diet and fitness industry.
Hear this, sweet sister…
Improving your health isn’t about perfection or the latest “quick fix” strategy, it is about having awareness about the choices you are making in regards to your health, and making some different choices more consistently to create a better outcome.
What if I told you that there are a few things simple strategies you could start practicing today, to get started down the path to better health, that were simple to implement, sensible and sustainable? Would you want to know what they were?
Today’s podcast is all about why I created the FREE 7-day reboot program and why it is different from most challenges you will find when it comes to improving women’s health.read more
Living life in line with our values (the things we SAY are important to us) is going to first require subtracting things in our life that are underserving us, so we actually have the mental capacity & clarity to focus and give our best to the things we deem MOST important.
And that is precisely why I have invited, Evan Zislis, to be a guest on the show today. Evan is doing remarkable work in the world through his organization, Intentional Solutions, helping households, businesses, teachers and people in life transition to simplify and organize their life so they can focus on the things that matter most.
He is way more than a professional organizer, Evan helps people connect the dots between their stuff and the impact those things have on not just a personal but on a global scale.
Evan believes we have a responsibility to one another and the sustainability of life on this planet, by becoming more mindful of how we behave as consumers. That starts with needing less, buying quality, becoming innovative in how we re-use readily available materials.
Evan holds a master’s degree focused in experiential education and curriculum development, which has played a big role in helping him to develop easy to follow programs that create effective, long-lasting results. He is also a regular contributor to several major publications both on and off-line.
As if all that wasn’t awesome enough, the man has written a bestselling book titled, Clutter Free Revolution, which is actually how I found out about his work.read more
Eve Bernfeld and I have been dear friends since we were 10 years old. We have celebrated the highs and rumbled with the lows of life together. We have had the privilege of watching each other develop personally and professionally.
As a certified Alexander Technique teacher, Eve dishes out some incredible sight in this episode of the Grace & Grit Podcast about how to start changing your reactive mindset and physical habits that are causing you to waste precious time, money and energy. (I’ll give you a hint…she recommends we start by first stopping.)
If you have been struggling with trying to improve your health story but feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of all the things you could be doing along your journey, STOP and then start listening to this episode.read more
I am a firm believer that how you start your day is a pretty good indicator of how your day will roll.
A day that begins with intention, clarity, direction, and self-discipline will turn out much differently than a day that ignites with stress, fatigue, and frustration.
Look I get it…you are busy, and getting up 30 minutes to an hour earlier to set yourself straight feels like the hardest thing in the world. But…
What if a powerful morning routine was the gateway for creating the life and level of success you really crave?
Check out episode 39 for more insight on the getting the day started in a way that promotes productivity, creativity and drive.read more
Every single day I encounter women who are trying to take a giant leap towards a healthier life, rather than simply focusing on the small, seemingly insignificant choices they are making day in and day out. Big change starts most often starts with very small steps which, taken consistently accumulate over time, create radical transformation.
The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson speaks directly to this point. And in this episode of the Grace & Grit podcast, I summarize some of the most powerful lessons presented in this book.
If you are looking for insight on how to improve your habits without the agony of having to completely renovating your life overnight, you don’t want to miss this episode.read more
I have long believed that successful people tend to ask for help often and much. I meet a lot of women who think hiring a health coach is a sign of weakness (like they should be able to figure it out themselves). Personally, I think asking for help in the areas we are struggling with is courageous and smart…if what you are doing hasn’t been working…asking for help makes a tremendous amount of sense! I have had coaches and mentors for as long as I can remember…I have hired personal trainers, life coaches, business coaches, movement teachers and health coaches. In fact, that is how I came to cross paths with my guest today, Sheri Lynn.
I have known Sheri for well over a decade. Not only was she my own health coach, but she became a professional mentor to me as well. I learned so much from this woman! We have a long history, and I have deep respect for her. It may sound harsh but I have had a bit of a love/hate relationship with her specifically because she is such a remarkable teacher…meaning she holds your hand when you’re having a hard time getting up, and she has no problem holding your feet to the fire when you need a kick in the ass.read more
As a chiropractor, Doctor Margaret Durnan works hard to provide high-quality evidence-based management of musculoskeletal problems as well as advice for healthy living. She approaches rehabilitation through a holistic approach involving nutrition and lifestyle changes. Margaret is a devoted student of the Ido Portal method and has found her training with the method to be game changing in her Chiropractic approach…as well as life changing on a physical and personal level.
In addition to her Chiropractic qualification she holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Chiropractic and is currently studying her Masters in International Public Health through the University of Sydney.
To say I have a lot of love and respect for this woman, is an understatement. She is absolutely a woman who exemplifies grace & grit and I invited her to the show so she could her unique perspective as a chiropractor and generally as someone who goes to great lengths to take great care of herself so she can give her best to the things she cares about.read more
It’s very common for a new client ask (if not beg) at some point along their journey with me, “Courtney! Just tell me what to eat and I will eat it.”
To which I always say, “No, because I would be doing you a massive disservice.”
My job as a health coach is not to dictate which specific foods you can and cannot eat, my job is to educate you about the nutritional value of the foods you are choosing (and other lifestyle choices you are making) and help you become acutely aware of the physiological response your body is having to those choices.
When you pay attention to what your choices are and the consequences of those choices, you can connect the dots to what ails you more easily and, hopefully…after a face plant or 10…you will start making better choices, more consistently; and THAT is how a transformation is hatched!read more
Quitting is tempting. It is easy. It is liberating…for a moment.
No one ever does it on a GOOD day.
Nope. You do it on the days that struggle seeps into your flow, and insecurity whispers lies that you will never arrive at your destination. You start to question everything and, worst of all, you fail to remember why started traveling down this road to begin with.
It is on those days that you would do anything for a little more GRIT to keep going, silence the fear, and reclaim your flow.
IT is on the hard days that courage is called out of her lair and reigns supreme…IF you unleash her.read more
In part two of this interview with Irene Lyon, we dive deeper into WHY it is so important to heal the nervous system in order to optimize health. In this episode, Irene explains what the Vagus nerve is, and how our early childhood experiences can impact the proper development of that nerve. Irene also dishes out advice for those wondering what simple strategies they can start implementing to heal and better care for their nervous system.read more
I have been working with women to improve their health story now for nearly 20 years, and the longer I am at this, the more I believe that focusing on nutrient dense food and regular movement is actually the EASY part of getting healthy. When clients sign up to work with me, they are under the impression that I am going to have them do MORE to create the change they are seeking, so you can imagine their surprise when I ask them to do LESS. And why less…because most people are coming to work with me in stressed out state that is on hyper-drive. Stressing out their system MORE with less food and more exercise is not a great starting place to create positive and sustainable change. So the I am at this health coaching business, the more I have come to appreciate the incredible power of slowing down and HEALING before we ask more from our bodies.
So…I am ridiculously excited about today’s guest. Her name is Irene Lyon and she helps people to heal and honor their nervous systems, so they can create real, sustainable change and, ultimately get the most out of every aspect of their life.
Irene has loads of education to back-up her work, which includes: degrees in exercise physiology and biomedical science. She is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.read more
It doesn’t matter why you think you can’t. You absolutely CAN.
This is not just health coaching—it’s a personalized road map to the prime of your life. It’s coaching that will make today feel like the best days of your life are ahead of you, no matter where you’re at right now.