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The Cure for Breakfast

Breakfast is a tough meal to get together every day – so I make it up ahead of time, usually Sunday evening.  Here are three of my favorite breakfasts that can be made up to eat at home or take to the office.

Favorite Breakfast #1

This week I made 5 to-go containers of Greek yogurt with fresh and frozen fruits:   pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Then, when I open a container for breakfast, I sprinkle crushed almonds on top. It’s SO good. My friend Layla turned me on to it!

Favorite Breakfast #2

When I’m eating smoothies for breakfast, I do basically the same thing.  I make up small baggies for the week with all the fruit I’m going to dump into the blender in the morning so I don’t have to open up several large baggies of frozen fruit every morning.  I just open up one that has all the mixed berries in it that I’m going to blend. 

Favorite Breakfast #3

Another good breakfast also uses the meal kit idea.  I put a mix of whole grain cereals in meal-sized containers – enough for a week.  They’re portable and guarantee a yummy meal.   I keep a container of milk or rice milk in the refrigerator so I’m good to go.

If you’re challenged to eat breakfast every morning, try these fast breakfast ideas.

Do you have any fast, healthy breakfast ideas to share?  See the comment link below?  Go there and share.

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The Greatest Danger

Hey, Lena here from the Wellness Fast Lane.

To listen to the audio version of this message, click here.

“The greatest danger before you is this: you live in an age when people would package and standardize your life for you — steal it from you and sell it back to you at a price. That price is very high.

You have already been selected for this program. You have its credit cards and designer labels already expensively around you. In the months ahead, you will find yourselves working long hours, too exhausted for community life or even good friendships — too compromised to take a stand against the abuses of the system you serve. A great treadmill has been devised for you, and its operators do not care much if it wears you out or kills you. A system is in place to steal your life from you, if you will let it. Don’t let it.”

This is from a blog post by Granny D on CharityFocus.org.

One of the greatest wellness gifts we can give ourselves is thinking for ourselves.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably not trusted your own thinking for quite some time.

The last time you trusted yourself, things didn’t turn out so good.  In fact, you might of been dead wrong.  So now you’re reluctant to trust yourself at all.  Rather than take a chance  and LEARN to listen to yourself, you’d rather play it safe.

At least if you don’t listen to yourself, you can’t be wrong when the outcome is different than you expected.  That way, you can blame the Universe. Blame God. Blame the economy. Blame the President. Blame your family. Blame your friends. Blame your pastor. Blame your husband. Blame your wife. Anyone but you. That’s the easy way.

Will you LEARN to listen to yourself? (Because listening to yourself is a skill that’s learned over time.) Will you trust that if you tap into the Universe, you will get – NOT the outcome that you want – but rather, the outcome that’s the highest good for all involved?

Will you resist the temptation to follow the latest guru, fad, diet, system, program and simply follow yourself? I used to think that fancy programs would ‘save’ me and my business. Now I know that only I can ‘save’ me.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t educate yourself. This doesn’t mean that you don’t read what other people have to say about self improvement and development. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be a student of life. It DOES mean that you can feel comfortable taking what you KNOW feels right and feeling 100% confident in leaving the rest behind – because you have thought for yourself and you know it’s not for you.

I’ll give you an example:

When Deepak Chopra first became popular, I bought a bunch of his books and audio tapes.  Same thing with Wayne Dyer.  I even paid to see Wayne Dyer speak and I don’t pay to see ANYONE speak. 

I would sit and try my hardest to listen to each of them talk about being “an infinite part of infinite possibilities with limitless bounds” or “connecting to source to set my intention”. I thought something was really wrong with me when I found I couldn’t connect with messages from these gurus – these extremely gifted, spiritually dialed-in people.

I’ve since realized that Dyer and Chopra are great people with awesome messages – just not for me. I respect them as humans. I respect their contribution to the enlightenment of the world. I just can’t get jiggy with their message. That doesen’t make me a tenant of the lower rungs of spiritual development. It makes me me.

For so long, I struggled with learning to think for myself. Yes, me. Boy, I could tell you stories. And, sometimes I still struggle. If sharing my story this day on this blog helps even ONE person to trust themselves, then it’s worth baring my soul.

Here’s what I know: you will lead yourself to exactly where you think you need to be. The question is, where do you really, truly, in the quietness of your soul, think you need to be?

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Road Warrior Wellness

Hey, Lena here from the Wellness Fast Lane.

I just returned from a whirlwind, fun, high-exposure week-long speaking tour of the left-coast. I met some great people, met people I only knew online and ran into people I hadn’t seen in years.  All in all, I had a great time.

From Las Vegas to Denver to Seattle to Phoenix, I learned a bit about maintaining my wellness lifestyle on the road – and I realized just how far I had come on my wellness journey.

A brief story…

Verne Harnish is a well-known management consulting guru – he owns a company named Gazelles.  Awhile back, he sent out a newsletter that explained why it seems that as soon as you go on vacation, you come down with a cold – or when busy people retire, that’s when they’re diagnosed with cancer – or some other horrible disease.

Although Verne does a much better job of explaining this than I can, essentially he said, that people run around with their adrenaline fired up all day, every day. Then when they take a vacation or relax, the adrenaline subsides and all the symptoms that the adrenaline was masking comes to the surface in the form of a cold or other nastiness.

I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me – not cancer thankfully, but I’ve gone on vacation and by day 2 or 3, I’ve had a case of the sniffles or a sore throat. 

I never understood why this was so – and now I do.

But, something has changed. This past week when I was away, I didn’t get sick at all. Not once did I feel ill.

And, it’s because I’m slowly changing how I live my day-to-day life at home and as a result, I don’t get sick on the road.

I am careful about not “running on adrenaline”. When I’m stressed I take time to feel my feelings and then process them.  For me, skipping straight to processing is a source of stress. I have finally given myself the permission to feel sad, mad, boiling anger, repulsed, hurt and injured. I don’t dwell there, but I give myself a reasonable amount of time with these feelings. Many people don’t like the idea of ‘timing’ their feelings, but I know what’s best for me and I know how much time I’ll need…I know the difference in myself when I’m feeling my feelings versus wallowing in self pity. I’m famous for telling my friends, “I’m going to allow myself to feel like this for the next 24 hours/week/over the weekend and then I’m going to do what I need to do to move on and get over it.” 

I also have reaffirmed my vow that I will never do anything I don’t want to do.  Sure, there are some things that I don’t LIKE doing, but I don’t do anything I don’t WANT to do. Ever. Does that make me a bit spoiled? Maybe, but I work hard, I’m a good person and I deserve to do only things that bring me joy. In this way, I am not regretful or mournful about how I spend my time – because it’s a choice.

I’ve bumped up my supplementation. I take B-complex for stress, vitamin C to boost my immunity and kapha tea to balance my energy.

I’m also getting out more, engaging in different stimulating activities, reading fiction (as opposed to self-help or non-fiction only) and meditating.

And, while on the road, I bump up the number of hours of sleep I get (pretty hard to do!), I eat salads and veggies whenever I can, I don’t indulge in “airport food” and instead carry raw nuts, dried fruit and water and I make sure to see the sights at least once (this means walking!)

All these things make life more sweet and less stressed for me. Taking that trip has helped me to see that I *am* taking better care of myself. It’s a journey for sure and I’m not where I want to be, but that just means there’s still more to learn!

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Know Thy(my)self…

Hey, Lena here from the Wellness Fast Lane.

One of the things I’m noticing as I walk this road to wellness – and all that comes with it – is that the more I know myself the closer I can get to my wellness goals.

It is in the times when I forget myself that I fall short of the mark.

For example, I know that I cannot do back-to-back public presentations. So, if I have a public presentation on Wednesday, I really, really will not be at my best if I do another presentation on Thursday.  At least a day needs to be pass between presentations before I am able to be on my game again.

The exception to this seems to be when I’m away at a conference. And, that’s because I think I stay in ‘work’ mode while I’m there and when  get a chance to go home, swtching back and forth between ‘worlds’ is a taxing transition for me.

I know this about myself and I act accordingly (most times).

I know that I have the tendency to get really excited about an idea at first and then not follow through because of lack of time and/or waning interest.  So, I’ve developed an “evalutation Friday” date with myself. Whenever a new opportunity presents itself, I let the person know that I’ll get back to them on Friday. I jot the details of the offer down and every Friday I sit down and evaluate my opportunities for the week. Some I accept and others I don’t. This environment (as Cheryl would say) makes sure that I don’t agree to things that I’m not genuinely psyched about.

I know this about myself and I act accordingly (most times).

I NEVER do anything I don’t wanna. Period. I might not LIKE doing everything I do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to do it.  I used to get punished when I was a child about this attitude. I would actually tell my mother, “Mami, go ahead and punish me now because I’m not doin’ it.”  To this day she still tells me that I was the meanest kid she ever met. :) (You have to know my Mom to appreciate this comment.)

This is a blessing and a curse because most times things I don’t wanna do includes exercise. Yikes!

The flip side is, I’m never resentful while I’m doing something and any task that I do is always done with positive energy to usher in a positive outcome.

I know this about myself and I act accordingly (most times).

I tell people all the time, “If you don’t want to know the truth, don’t ask me.” I will tell someone the truth no matter what. I’m known for this and, in fact, many people choose to work with my company because of it.

One of my favorite people in the world, Roy Williams, has a saying that I learned while taking a class within the hallowed halls of the Wizard Academy: “The risk of insult is the price of clarity”.  And, it’s so true. I remember vividly the moment Roy’s words tiptoed into my consciousness. I have never been the same.

All my life, I always wondered why people didn’t like my “straight talk”. And, in 10 seconds, Roy told me why.

I know this about myself and I act accordingly (most times).

The more I know myself, the better I am and wending my way toward wellness, because wellness isn’t just about physical strength.

It’s also very much about mental clarity and emotional fortitude.  And, the better I know myself, the stronger my mind gets. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.

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Don't Should On Yourself…

Hey, Lena here from the Wellness Fast Lane.

Tony Robbins has a saying: “We need to stop ‘shoulding’ all over ourselves.” He’s right.

A very dear and close friend – my twin flame friend – is going through a tough time right now. There are a lot of things up in the air for her and let’s just say things are a bit haywire to put it mildly.

I’ve been sending her lots of love and light and I’ve also lovingly had several supportive conversations with her to help her work through a few things.

I find that when I  help my friends, I always learn something.

Here’s what helping her has taught me:

In speaking with her, she kept saying things like “I should be over it by now” and “shouldn’t I be feeling better”?

My answer was an emphatic, “No!”

First, shoulding is bad. Call it a judgment or whatever. It just is. It sets us up for failure because no matter which way we go with it, we never quite measure up to our shoulds. I know I never measure up to mine :)

Second, things are what they are. If you know me, you know that I have a favorite saying: “It is what it is.”  Things aren’t what they could be, they aren’t what they should be. They just ARE.

So, how does this help me on my wellness journey? I’m not sure…other than recognizing that there is an art to being in the moment and dealing with things (notice I didn’t say accepting things) as they really, truly are. Not how they SHOULD be.

It’s easy to be in the moment when we’re on a tropical beach looking at a golden sunset. It’s not so easy when your life feels like it’s imploding. And, that’s where the work comes in…

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Keeping Balance in Perspective

Hey, Lena here from the ‘Wellness Fast Lane’ again… 

On my path to wellness nirvana, I hear/read/see/eavesdrop on a lot of conversations that have to do with balance.

I find that it stresses me the heck out!

The five areas of your life…the six quadrants of your world….the seven components of a well-lived life.

Blah, blah, blah….

I’m sorry but my world doesn’t come segemented into bits and pieces like a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Sometimes my personal life edges over into my professional life and vice versa….and there are other grey areas.

Now, I know what these experts mean when they say these things, but I guess what really stresses me out is when they tell me that all my areas have to get equal attention or I’m some kind of colossal loser.

Well, you know what? The more I focus on embodying wellness, the more I realize that there are going to be certain areas of my McDonald’s Happy meal that are going to get more attention than others — sometimes I’m going to like the fries more and sometimes I’m going to like the toy more. Deal.

And, you know what else? That’s what makes me SANE.

I don’t say that to say it’s healthy to work all the time and get no physical activity but, sometimes you’re just going to have to work for months at a time on a work project and everything else takes a backseat. Sometimes your parents will get sick and you just focus on them for however long it takes and everyone else can go scratch.

I think the healthy attitude comes into play when it’s a conscious choice and when you set limits. Saying to yourself, “I’m going to work on this really diligently for 6 months and then I’m moving on.”

Is it just me or are your ‘life lines’ blurry, too?

P.S. It’s probably horrible that I just used a McDonald’s Happy Meal analogy on a wellness blog, but hey, I made my point, right?

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Greenwashing – The Latest in Slick Corporate 'Wellness' Marketing

Hello mis Ville vecinos (my Ville neighbors)! It’s Lena, your guest blogger from the wellness fast lane (sort of). 

Ya know, it’s hard enough to stick to my wellness journey – especially at the beginning – but, the greenwashing ads are slick and if I were a weak-minded person, they would really be a total distraction and detour.

Greenwashing is a relatively new term that describes how companies try to make their products and services appear more earth-friendly or ‘green’ than they actually are. Burns my shorts, it does.

I’m sure there are loads of them – please feel free to share your most annoying via the comments. Here are mine in decending order on the intellectual assault scale:

3) Clorox – There’s a commercial that shows a really caring father who, after having is first child – has stopped being Messy Marvin and cleaned up his act. The wife says she can’t believe the change in him. She’s smiling and beaming at the incredulity of it all. Hubby is there with his cleaning rag and rubber gloves, wiping off all the kids toys and putting them in a bucket with Clorox and water to be sanitized. They bounce in clips of the baby with his toys in his mouth to prove that kids put everything in their mouths. My question is: If you have to wear HUGE YELLOW LATEX GLOVES to use the product, how safe can toys wash in this corrosive substance be for your kid (who’s going to put those same toys in his mouth)???

2) S.C. Johnson – This commercial actually features the company’s Chairman & CEO telling you that they are doing everything they can to make sure products like Windex and Pledge are not harmful to the environment and our families. To add insult to injury, he then goes on to state that his father – the company founder – got rid of CFC’s in their products years before they were mandated to do so.  That gives him the ‘credibility cloud’ to float on for the rest of the commercial. Then the commercial goes on to show really studious-looking scientists in lab coats in a greenhouse (talk about subliminal) supposedly taking herbal specimens from plants and herbs.  Are you kidding me??? I don’t care WHAT you do to these products – short of not making them anymore or totally changing how they are produced and their ingredients – they’ll never be good for us or the environment. Period.

1) Whole wheat white bread. All I have to say is I’m really leery of shortcuts. Really leery. Yes, white whole wheat boasts the same high levels of fiber, minerals and vitamins as red whole wheat (traditional wheat).  But, what they’re not telling you is that although products made with the new whole wheat white flour may technically 100% whole grain (just sporting a lighter look):

  • Extra dough conditioners might be added to give this ‘new’ bread the same soft, squishy feel that most people like about traditional white bread. I don’t know about you but I don’t need extra dough anything.
  • Many people say that whole wheat white bread tastes sweeter than traditional whole wheat bread. You can thank extra doses of high fructose corn syrup for that.
  • And then there’s the science…the phytochemical component. That’s fancy talk for – you know how traditional whole wheat bread helps your body fight cancer and provides antioxidants and other good things to help your body? Ummm….not so much with whole wheat white.

Bottomline: Most shortcuts to wellness usually stink. And, as my Aunt Agnes says, “This rat stinks loud.”

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Hello from the Wellness Fast Lane

Hello esteemed members of The Ville!  It’s Lena – your new guest blogger.

I’ll be guest blogging here on a frequent, yet infrequent, basis. That’s fancy talk for – I don’t have a schedule and I’ll be posting about my journey whenever I feel like it.  I believe in flexible structure (more on that in another post) so, this arrangement works for me. :)

So, here’s why I’ll be guest blogging on The Ville Blog:

Lately, I’ve been feeling really stifled. Stifled because I’ve wanted to write/share/vent about my wellness journey and what I’ve learned about personal development.

But, I am a social media consultant and strategist for high-strung high-growth businesses (you know, blogging, podcasting and all that ‘stuff’) and the kinds of things I want to write about don’t really fit too well on my guest blogging spot at Lipsticking, or my Entrepreneur.com blog.

So, Cheryl and I decided that it would be a good thing for me to do here – on the The Ville blog.

As I mentioned, I’m an entrepreneur and about a year ago, I contacted Cheryl for coaching. She was warm, welcoming, funny, real and totally non-judgemental. I liked her immediately. What’s not to like??? That was a year ago. At the time, I committed intellectually to wellness.  Now, I’m prepared to commit emotionally and spiritually. Yes, it took me that long. As Cheryl so lovingly says, “There’s work to do there.”

In order for me to build the caliber of business I wanted to build and live the life I want to live, I need to be healthy so I could ‘go the distance’ – literally and figuratively. And, let’s face it, when someone is at the front of the room giving you advice on how to grow your business, you want them to look the part. It’s not always a nice fact of life to face but, as I always say: It is what it is.

I’m not perfect, but I’m committed. The whole point of me blogging here is to share my challenges, ideas, thoughts and wins with you. Some thoughts will be nice – some not so nice. This is really a bit of therapy of sorts for me.  And, as I heal myself and move toward a wellness lifestyle, I hope you learn something along the way as well.

So, this is me – warts and all – groping my way toward a happy, healthy wellness lifestyle all while heading up a growing business and living in NY (for the time being…more on that later). Let’s see what happens. 

Hopefully I’ll get a warm welcome from all The Ville residents. A girl needs all the support she can get :)

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