Create and Curate

It’s Time To Feel Great Again

July 1, 2020

I am a catastrophizer by training. My mother was a worst-case scenario mom; telling tales of terrifying accidents that befell children who didn’t follow the rules to make sure I was always prepared. Basically, I have spent my whole life training for Covid-19; however, NOTHING prepared me for the last 4 months.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

Before the quarantine, I used the power of my habits to keep me fit, productive, rested, hydrated, and to support my overall wellness. Then the world caught fire -- everything went out the window. In addition to the global pandemic, social unrest, and daily life filled with uncertainties, Bill and I downsized from 3000 square feet to1400 square feet in an incredibly stressful move.


The habits that glued my life together dissolved. Eating, drinking, sleeping and exercise all changed; stress was amplified, and I felt significantly less in control of my life.


Sound familiar? 


We are all ready to feel good again and the struggle to make that happen is real. 


The biggest challenges for most of us are:


Managing a healthy weight;

Dealing with stress;

Getting quality sleep;

Knowing what and how to eat; and

Understanding where to start.


This crazy time can be an opportunity to harness the power of disruption and use it as an agent for positive personal change.  If not now, when? 


Before we get too comfortable with the bad habits developed over past four months, we should each determine what we want from life and commit to getting it. We need to assess our daily habits and determine which are helping us get what we want, and which are hurting us. Aligning our habits with our goals is where change happens.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

Habits are powerful. Forty-three percent of what we do each day is mindless repetition. We don't think about what we are doing because habits are on autopilot. This makes now is a great time to turn mindless repetition into resilient wellness and feel great again.


If we can learn to instinctively to wash our hands like doctors, social distance, wear a mask, work from home, wait patiently in line to enter a store, not touch our faces, we can learn things that create abundant health and improve the quality of our lives.


The disruption in my life was amplified by resizing. It is easier to upsize into more space than downsize into less. The commotion in the world and my personal space was a slippery slope of excuses for not doing the very things that allow me to function at my best. Things like staying well hydrated, eating with intention, regular exercise, sound sleep, and practicing mindfulness.


So, I stepped off the hamster wheel and took back the forty-three percent of mindless repetition that I let slide, creating new habits to power up my life. I want to feel great, love my body and accomplish big things every day. My habits need to work with me, not trip me up.


The current state of affairs is not an excuse for doing less, it's an opportunity to do better. Are you ready to take back your forty-three percent and turn your habits into super powers? This is a unique opportunity in our lives to reboot and get what we want out of the life that we have. Are you ready?


I developed The Culinary Cure Master Class to empower individuals to own their wellness and use food as a tool for looking and feeling their best. Because feeling great is priceless and easy, once you know how to use your habits. 


Join me and create the habits you need for a lifetime of wellness and to feel great again.


Visit The Culinary Cure for the tools you need to nurture the wellness you want.


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Jumpstart Your Life After the Coronavirus With These Six Tips

May 10, 2020

In my wildest dreams, I never imagined living through a scenario with a virus turning the whole world upside down.


Everything was fine -- and then it wasn’t. No time to properly prepare for what was coming: stock the appropriate provisions; situate loved ones; or comprehend the consequences of life in quarantine.


A month in quarantine has been a crash course in life with less. We’ve learned we don’t really need all the bells, whistles and distractions that consume us every day. When all of that is removed, we find ourselves focused on the things that really matter -- family, health, community, and our basic needs.


Good-bye forever to the “old normal,” and welcome the “new normal.”  We can take the lessons learned from this crash course and use them to amplify the things that truly matter in our lives.


6 Tips to Start Now!


Prioritize time: If we have learned one thing during the Coronavirus it’s how to use FaceTime and Zoom. Suddenly, all those in-person meetings are being replaced by digital ones -- and it’s effective. Moving forward, be more selective and replace “time-sucking, unnecessary, in-person meetings” with digital ones. You can use the time you would have spent looking for parking on a project that really needs your attention.


Hydrate properly: Now that we are all working from home (WFH), we have an opportunity to create hydration habits that boost productivity and wellness. Most of us are walking around in a state of partial dehydration making us hangry and unfocused. Drinking more water is a free, easy and effective way to improve our productivity and mood. Start each day with 10 oz of room temperature or warm water. Drink 10 oz of water every hour for 10 hours each day. That’s it! Anyone can create this habit to help improve focus, curb cravings, and manage stress.


Essentials delivery plan: Being quarantined has changed the way we shop; no more mindlessly strolling the aisles figuring out what to have for dinner. We are planning meals, making lists, buying what we need or getting things delivered. This is the perfect time to create delivery plans to simplify your life and optimize your time. I have accounts for the things I use consistently; environmentally safe household cleaning products, non-toxic personal care items, healthy snacks and, most importantly, clean-crafted natural wine. I also pre-order from the organic farms that participate in our local farmers’ market. Office supplies, non-perishable groceries, specialty items – anything you use consistently -- should have an account and an establish a plan to get it delivered.


Detox your kitchen: At first, we all went crazy stockpiling, as if quarantine was going to be a full lock-down situation. Now we have an opportunity to use what we have and figure out just what we need moving forward. This is the perfect time to detox your kitchen and get rid of things that are expired and no longer serve you. Starting with the refrigerator, remove everything and clean the surfaces. Look at expiration dates; if it’s expired throw it out. Establish a plan for using the items going back into the fridge. Do the same thing in the pantry and spice cabinets. Dry and canned goods that are old, or should have never been purchased in the first place (sugary, processed or junk foods), can be donated to local food banks. Take it a step further and organize your cleaning products to make use of what’s already opened and dispose of things you will never use. Examine all your cookware. Old non-stick pans should be replaced with eco-friendly ones, plastic storage containers should be replaced with glass, and that collection of fast food containers you will never re-use should be placed in the recycle bin. Pretend you are moving when the quarantine is lifted -- dispose of things you don’t need, use, or for which there is no plan.


Control the input: Too much information is overwhelming! Too much news, too much social media, too many emails -- they all amplify stress. Create healthy boundaries with information to maintain balance. Schedule when and where you get your news. Pick your own trusted sources for news; be it NPR, the Associate Press, C-SPAN, Reuter’s, Fox, whichever news sources that stresses you the least. Be conscious of just how much time you spend listening to or watching the news and put a limit on it. Do the same with social media. Schedule times to check and respond to social media. Mindlessly scrolling the feed is a time suck -- and stress amplifier! DON’T DO IT!  Dedicate time on your email to removing your name from list serves. Now is a good time to edit email and get off lists that don’t bring value. We can never get back the time we spend deleting spam; better to spend valuable time getting off lists we never signed up for in the first place.


Fiercely guard the first and last hour of each day: Reserve this time for family, personal reflection, reading, prayer, conversation or the practice of being fully present. Prioritize this time as being essential for health and happiness. Keep it free from distractions such as cell phones, computers and other electronics. The first hour of each morning sets the tone for the day. Use the first hour for activities that align you with success. Create a positive mindset by making time for meditative thought, setting priorities, hydration, and movement. The last hour of each day sets up restorative rest and should be relaxing and stress free. Productive days depend on a good nights’ sleep. Use 2 hours out of 24 as time for intentional centering to help you accomplish your “big picture” goals and take care of your physical, mental and spiritual needs.


Quarantine isn’t optional, but you have endless options as to how you spend your time in quarantine. Maximize this unique time-out from the “rat race.” Pull back and take a big picture view of your life. Now is the time to break habits that do not serve you and create powerful habits that align with your goals. Value this time. Take control of the countless distractions that hijack your attention from things that really matter. Use this time to set yourself up with a life you love, that loves you back.

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Flattening the Curve on the Homefront

April 6, 2020

It would be so great if we could simply close our front doors and stay safe from the Coronavirus. Unfortunately, that isn't how things work, and we need to learn the most effective ways of keeping ourselves -- and our homes -- germ-free.


Social distancing, following stay-at-home orders and self-quarantine all have their own unique set of challenges; however, we also have real-life needs and concerns. There are good reasons for leaving the safety of our homes -- things like shopping for food and medication, getting outside for much-needed exercise and sun, taking care of pets, or helping loved ones. 


The problem with going outside is what we carry back into the house with us. Here are the necessary products and protocols we can use to navigate a germ-filled world.


Keep Hands Clean and Away from the Face

Hands spread germs. By keeping our hands clean and away from our faces, we dramatically reduce the risk of getting the Coronavirus.


Washing Hands with Soapy Water Is the Gold Standard for Removing Germs

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because hand washing reduces the amount of all types of germs and chemicals.

  • Wash hands after coming in contact with others or handling things from outside the home.
  • Wash hands after a cough, sneeze, touching the face, using the restroom, or leaving one place for another.
  • Wash hands immediately upon returning home.

Sanitize When You Can’t Wash with Soap and Water

Soap and water are actually more effective than alcohol-based hand sanitizers. If soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. Use hand sanitizers when you can't wash with soap and water.

Important Reminder -- Dry, cracked skin becomes vulnerable to all kinds of infections; so after you wash, apply some moisturizer to your hands to keep them from drying out. 

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)


Cleaning and Disinfecting in Our Homes are Two Very Different Things

Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface. Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.

The CDC recommends we all do a bit of both, even if nobody in our home is sick.


We should clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily, especially if anything or anyone has entered or exited our home. The CDC recommends daily disinfection for all frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, cell phones, keyboards, faucets, and toilet handles. Remember the surfaces in your car if you go out!

  • Clean surfaces removing any contaminants, dust, or debris. You can do this by wiping surfaces with soapy water or a cleaning spray before disinfecting.
  • Disinfect surfaces using chemicals to kill germs. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces (or remove bacteria) but kills germs, thereby, lowering the risk of spreading infection. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with disinfecting wipes or a disinfectant spray. Be sure to let disinfectant sit on surfaces for 20 seconds before wiping to make sure it has the proper amount of time to kill germs.

Try to wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and dispose of after use. Should you use a pair of reusable gloves, dedicated them to only cleaning and disinfecting surfaces for COVID-19 and NOT for other purposes. Clean your hands immediately after removing gloves.


 Important Reminder -- Many cleaning and disinfecting products can release chemicals that contribute to respiratory problems. Indoor air pollution is a contributing factor to respiratory diseases and allergies, including COPD, pneumonia, and asthma. We need to be smart with our chemical disinfectants to stay safe and limit environmental pollutants. The protocol of cleaning first, followed by disinfecting, can help manage the use of chemicals in our homes to keep us safe and well.


If we all follow these simple steps, we may just help shorten this pandemic.  So, remember:


Keep your hands away from your face;


Wash hands with soap and water when able, otherwise, use 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer; and 


Clean high-touch home surfaces before disinfecting.


Stay at home unless engaging in essential activity; 

And be sure to visit me at The Culinary Cure  for Quarantine Cooking Recipes, inspiration, and motivation to help you stay well during this challenging time.

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