Create and Curate

Do You Need a Kitchen Intervention?

April 12, 2018

Diets don’t work, willpower eludes you, and behavior patterns related to food do not support the life you want to live.

 

Sound familiar? You are not alone. The kitchen is the most important room in your home. You have to eat to live; and, in order to live well, you have to eat well. This should be a simple process learned as a child and practiced every single day until your last meal. Unfortunately, the landscape of nutrition has become increasingly complicated, and sorting through overwhelming volumes of conflicting information leaves most people confused. 

 

To make matters more challenging, the American medical system only provides minimal nutritional education in medical school. Most doctors still recommend outdated diets, or worse, use the food pyramid. New science is emerging about the importance of diet in preventing disease — especially the value of maintaining a healthy gut biome for optimum health.

 

The Standard American Diet (SAD) can be linked to diet-related diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dental disease, strokes, neurological diseases, and many types of cancer. Diet-related diseases kill more people than murder, war, terrorism, accidents, and all other diseases combined. Scary stuff, but you do not have to be a statistic; you can decide right now to improve your health one bite at a time.

 

No one is forcing you to eat food that is full of chemicals, sugar, and genetically modified ingredients.

 

The journey to optimum health is like Dorothy following the yellow brick road — know the route and stick to it. The way to create health and happiness can be found by taking control of what happens in you own kitchen. 

I love demystifying how simple it can be to harness the cumulative power of little everyday habits to significantly improve health over time. When I complete a Kitchen Intervention, someone develops a new relationship with food that it is not difficult or expensive, is filled with delicious things to eat, and can be done immediately.  Click your heels, wake up in your kitchen, and get excited to reboot your life starting at the end of your fork.

 

What is wrong with your kitchen, and how can it become the starting point to help you live your best life?

 

Most people’s kitchens are overflowing with things they think they need, but actually don’t. When was the last time you used a waffle maker or panini press? Drawers and cabinets get cluttered with items that do not serve your wellness goals, turning healthy meal prep into a dreaded task. This is a fancy way of saying, there is probably too much sh*t in your kitchen. 

 

A Kitchen Intervention is a transformative process that addresses the root cause of diet-related health problems. The biology of your health begins in your kitchen.

 

Making lifestyle changes, even little bitty ones, can become an internal battle of epic proportions. The very habits you have created over decades literally hold you hostage to behaviors that keep you in a health rut, or worse, can lead to disease. Diets don’t work because they are not sustainable, and restricting caloric intake is unpleasant. When optimum health becomes the goal, sleep improves, the body assumes a healthy weight, stress becomes manageable, and we feel better.

 

What creates lasting change is developing new patterns of behavior and structuring your environment to put health supporting habits on auto-pilot.

 

By eliminating ingredients that trigger food cravings, create inflammation in the body and cause disease, the body can begin to recalibrate by signaling its own natural appetite-control systems. The body knows how to self-regulate, but artificial, processed, GMO, sugary foods interfere with the way our gut works, sending thousands of confusing messages throughout the body and wreaking havoc on our health.

 

You can create a health supporting micro-climate in your own kitchen to help prevent lifestyle diseases.

 

 A Kitchen Intervention is the starting point for understanding the cost-benefit analysis of the food you eat and the habits that run your life. Your health the single biggest asset you have. If you want to eliminate avoidable life-style diseases, have abundant health and energy, and put more life into your years…start in your kitchen.

 

Mini Kitchen Intervention

Toss the toxic teflon pan and invest in a green, non-stick pan. 

Get rid of plastic containers, save glass bottles and jars to reuse, invest in glass storage containers. Plastics are bad for you and the planet.

Double down on removing expired foods from your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Toss what is expired - no exceptions.

Check the expiration date and sniff your spices. If the spice has no smell, it has no medicinal benefit. Toss and replace.

Use up your chemical cleaning sprays and replace with natural non-toxic ones.

Buy less, buy organic, and use all the fresh food you buy each week.

 

 A Kitchen Intervention is a simple solution to a complex problem. Health is big business, but your health is your business, so take control of your kitchen today.

 

More information about Kitchen Interventions and creating a healthy life can be found at The Culinary Cure

You can always reach out me at kristen.coffield@theculinarycure.com


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Tips to Help You Make Tough Decisions

March 11, 2018

Life is filled with decisions. From the minute you wake up until you finally slip into the abyss of sleep, your brain is helping you to make choices that propel you forward, keep you safe, and bring you pleasure. This all works well, until you are confronted with a tough decision. I’m not talking about a next hour decision, like “Should I have a latte or an iced coffee?” I am talking about one of those big life decisions that can alter the foreseeable future; a next decade decision like “Should I get a cat?”

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

 

Our youngest daughter was recently confronted with a cat decision. It had been recommended, for various reasons, that she get a therapy pet. It was a big decision for us to agree to a grand-pet — we know how the pet story can end; kid gets a pet, all is fine, then the situation changes. It could be a great job some place with long hours, a new partner who is allergic to said pet, or the perfect apartment that doesn’t allow pets. It is always even odds that the grand-pet could end up living with us, so we had to be fully on board. 

 

Actually, a lot of things had to be right, before a cat could be introduced into our daughter’s life; the right living situation, roommates who were okay with a cat, a manageable schedule, and, most importantly, the right cat.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

 

Adopting a pet is a lot like dating. You need to be really clear about what you are looking for, meet the prospects, and not be swayed by a pretty face. Like dating, there are a lot of eligible pets available to be adopted into forever homes. Our daughter did her homework.  She was working with a reputable agency that matches kitties with good homes, she cleared things with her roommates, got the okay from her landlord, and consulted with us.  She was ready. 

 

Sometimes the fear of making the wrong choice or decision, completely derails our innate ability to know what is truly best for us. We become consumed with what if scenarios. Suddenly, up goes the stress level, down goes intuitive ability, and we become trapped in indecision. The longer it takes to make a decision, the more second guessing comes in to play.

 

Our daughter was across the country, excited to find her perfect feline soulmate, and completely paralyzed by the process. Every cat was adorable, needed a loving home, and seemed like it could be a good fit. We had to help her devise a plan for sorting through all the cuteness, beat decision fatigue, and find the “right” cat.

 

There are things that can make the decision-making process easier, less stressful and more expeditious. Great decisions are rarely made under pressure. Establishing your decision-making environment may be as important as the decision itself; so take the proper steps to make sure you create the best environment possible to give yourself the greatest opportunity to get the best outcome. 

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

Here are 5 things that can make the decision-making process more productive.

 

Be well rested. Important decisions deserve a relaxed and clear mind. Sometimes, you literally have to sleep on it.

Make important decisions early in the day. Make decisions early in the day before other activities demand your attention and focus.

Eat before deciding. Being hungry or thirsty (or “hangry”) will influence your ability to make a good decision. Be well fed and well hydrated before making decisions.

Don’t feel rushed or pressured by others. Never make a decision simply because you feel pressure to do so. That rarely ends well.

Give yourself a deadline for making a decision. It is important to give yourself a reasonable deadline for making important decisions. Too much time is as detrimental as feeling too rushed. Make a list of pros and cons, get advice from a trusted advisor, ask the right questions and go with your gut. 

 

By taking her time, not feeling rushed, making a list of each cat’s positive and negative traits, our daughter was able to make the right decision. “Mouse” is a little Russian Blue feline who has an easy going personality, lovely short fur, likes other cats and people, loves his new home and has stolen all of our hearts. This was a big decision and it has turned out really well for our daughter, Mouse and for us.

 

May all of your decisions be good ones.

Get more inspiration and motivation to live your best life at The Culinary Cure.


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Six Habits to Bulletproof Your Morning

January 11, 2018

I happen to be a morning person by intention. There is something inspiring about starting my day in the dark, and secret found-time that occurs before the sun rises; where the hours are slow and the day is filled with infinite possibilities. But to be honest, it wasn't always like this. There were years when I was literally dragging myself out of bed; and my first thought was “ I can’t wait for this day to be over, so I can go back to bed.” This is when I became dependent on caffeine. 

 

So what changed? How did I go from hitting the snooze button to hitting the gym at 5am?  I changed my habits.

 

Habits are incredibly important tools that can be used to help us create and curate the lives we want to live. We often go through life on autopilot; not paying attention to habitual behavior, or understanding how to harness the power of behavior patterns to achieve different outcomes. Your habits are either helping you or hurting you. As we age, our bodies and brains need more help to do their thing. Remember when you used to be able to eat and drink anything you wanted and never gained a pound?  You didn't need to go to the gym to stay fit and trim? Our metabolisms change, our lives get busier, and we develop detrimental habits that can sabotage health, wellness and happiness goals. One day you wake up and wonder WTF happened.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

What happened is that we forgot to be the masters of our own destiny.  At any time we can decide to change that, and take back control of how we are living. 

 

I didn't particularly like the way my story was going, so I took a long look at the things in my life that I could control. “This is just the way things are” had to become “this is the way things can be.” I needed to set some new priorities and harness the power generated by putting goals into words — and asking the universe for a little help. Where were my habits in all of this? Were there little patterns of daily behavior holding me back because I simply wasn't paying attention to them?  There were many things in my environment that I could not change; however, I could change certain habits, and by doing so could make every day a little better than the day before. This is how I became an intentional early riser, made my physical health a priority, and started a process of transformation that literally changed the course of my life.

 

How you start your day sets everything in motion for the way the day will turn out

 

Being intentional about what you want to accomplish in your day is the first step toward harnessing the power of a morning routine. Here are 5 simple things you can do to make every morning the catalyst for productivity and happiness.

 

Set your day in motion the night before.  

       Lay out your clothes for the next day, prep your breakfast, lemon water 

       and vitamins, and create a priorities list. People who write down their 

       intentions have a higher success rate of accomplishing them than 

       people who don’t. 

 

2.    Get off your gadgets and other electronics an hour before you 

      want to fall asleep.

      We live in a world of distractions, and putting healthy boundaries on 

       the worst offenders will give you a competitive edge. Your phone, 

       computer, and television all light up the neurons in your brain, making      

       it harder to get your brain the detoxifying rest essential for productivity.

 

3.    Start every day by taking a few moments for gratitude and some 

      form of meditation, prayer or journaling.

      This simple practice sets up conscious and subconscious expectations 

       to help you have an amazing day.

 

4.    Rehydrate after the fast that occurs during sleep.

      Start your day with warm lemon water. 

       8oz of warm water with the juice from half a fresh lemon will help to 

       rehydrate your body, aid digestion, prevent oxidation, stimulate your 

       metabolism, and supply you with healthy doses of vitamin C and 

       potassium.

 

5.    Make exercise a non-negotiable activity.

      The thing that fit people and out-of-shape people have in common is 

       regular exercise is NOT their favorite thing. But fit people regularly 

       exercise anyway. Exercise can jump start your day with feel-good 

       endorphins, and will give you a great sense of accomplishment. 

       Working out first thing in the morning also avoids the conflicts that 

       often arise with trying to exercise later in the day.

 

6.    Stay off technology and social media for an hour after waking.

       Nothing will derail your high-productivity waking hours faster than 

       getting sucked into low-priority social media or checking your email. 

       Optimize your morning with a strict policy for making sure your first 

       hours are focused on gratitude, exercise, and some form of 

       mindfulness. 

      Do not confuse being busy with being productive.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

Make this year great by using the power of routine to start each day with intention and purpose.

 

Be committed to the mindset that your new patterns of behavior will make you more focused, productive and happy.

 

Hold yourself accountable to doing these 6 simple things every day until they become your new habits. You can start tonight and proactively change the rest of your tomorrows.

 

Be sure to visit me at The Culinary Cure to learn strategies for living an inspired and healthy life.

 


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