Week 1: Getting started

Welcome! Congratulations, you have just made an extraordinary commitment to your health and wellness. 

Over the next 10 weeks we will work together to create the goals and pathways you set into existence for yourself and your life nutritionally, physically and emotionally. We will work in regards to your career, your relationships, your creativity, your spirituality, home environment, finances, home cooking, social life and overall happiness.

The next 10 weeks are yours to shine, you will be given a world of information and lifestyle strategies and of course I am here to back you up with personal situations that may arise and email support.

During these sessions you will determine what goals you want to achieve and I will provide you with the tools to formulate attainable action plans.  I will support you by providing guidance, encouragement and holding you accountable to your word. 

Since most of this program occurs outside of the modules and any emails, namely your everyday life, the results are really up to you.

You will be invited via Facebook to join our completely private and confidential Facebook group. The group will only contain members who are on your intake of the program.  This will help with accountability in the program and is a great place for us to all share our trials and triumphs. It may seem a bit much now to think about sharing with strangers, but trust me on this, it will make a world of difference in the long run. Plus, we are all here for the same thing, so lets do it together!

Remember, You have agreed to the confidentiality clause when signing up for the program so please maintain this at all times and be discreet about what you view and hear in the private Facebook page. I have found this a really great place for people to be able to truly open up, and for others to offer advice and support to each situation.

I will email you at the start of each module with pdf. files of each handout that we will be covering so you can download to your own device or print off to use at your own discretion.  Again, all of the materials are copyright so please don't spoil the fun.  You may wish to print each module off and create your own folder at home so that you have something tangible you can go back to on a regular basis if that is how you like to operate. 

You will also need a notebook, handbook, folder, something that you can write in.

Each module will be available to you throughout the 10 weeks, with passwords sent to you, but after that access to the online program will end.

It's going to be wonderful and I am so excited to have you on board.  You will not regret this experience! So lets get started!

TASK 1:

Please read and make the following agreement with yourself, some people like to tick off each bullet point, or simply sign beside it.

It may be an idea to print the agreement out and stick it somewhere you will see it daily.

I am committed to my own personal health and wellness.

With this commitment I give my word to:

  • Be Coachable
  • Be open to new foods, concepts and exercises
  • Follow through on the commitments I make
  • Eat nourishing foods according to the guidance of my Health Coach and program
  • Exercise according to the guidance of my Health Coach and program
  • Pause and play and laugh
  • Give gratitude in the relationships in my life
  • Develop a listening to my body’s wants and needs
  • Powerfully deal with the stressors in my life

Goals

You guessed it!

First up, we need to set some goals. Have a look at the video below to help you set your goals.  You will find the goals form below as well. 

Goals are what take us forward in life; they are the oxygen to our dreams. They are the first steps to every journey we take and are also our last. It’s very important that you realize the significance and importance of goal-setting and apply this knowledge in your life.

Begin with the end in mind. - Stephen Covey

TASK 2:

To help you clarify what health goals or concerns you want to address during your program, please take a few moments to fill in the following goals form and look back towards it every week. Please write three goals for each time period.

It’s important to write these down and accept them. You need a starting point and then something to focus on over time. If you are honest with yourself and write down your true goals you will be amazed at what is able to be achieved in just 10 weeks!

Goals can be anything from wanting to loose weight, or gain weight, to wanting to be more patient with your children or simply be able to have 30 minutes every day to relax for yourself. There are no limits, goals are so personal and so individual. Take your time to think about what you really want over the next 10 weeks, what really matters to you.

Id like you to remember to not stress too much about necessarily finding goals and filling out every part of the sheet. Many people find it easier to just set 3 goals for the next 4 weeks. We will re-address the goals throughout the program so again please do not beat yourself up if you are finding this difficult to start with.

Once you have written your goals, be it all of them or just a few, take a moment think about how it will feel to be able to tick off all of these, see yourself living the way you want to be living, smell your surroundings, taste the life, breathe it all in.

Your goals don't necessarily also have to be tangible, they could be values focused as well. So instead of saying for example, I want to be more active physically, you could set the goal of "I want to be more organised so that I have time to be more physically active" or if your goal is to move up the ladder in your career, which can be hard to put exact times on job opportunities you could set a goal like "I want to be more focused at work and efficient so when the opportunity arises I can back myself and my performance to take a new role or progressive step in the right direction"  

Right lets make a start on these goals!

The Circle of life

Next up is the importance of what is really going on in your life. This project can be a huge eye opener and may really help you find a new perspective on your life. You can asses your priorities and use this activity to help figure out what areas of your life you are struggling to find true happiness in, asses why this is happening, and of course make plans and strategies to find balance and happiness in each area.

Some people walk away from this exercise baffled at their results. It's not often that we take a step back from our life to asses it this way. So make sure you are in a calm state of mind and situation when you fill this out. Take a deep breath and most importantly be completely honest with yourself. There are no wrong or right answers. This is why you are here - to find some balance in life and in order to find that balance, we need to be honest.  There is no one watching, you don't have to share this with anyone, but if you want to take this seriously and really find some results then make sure you are not kidding yourself with your answers.

TASK 3

Please click on the heading below, 'The circle of Life' to open in a new page your circle of life to complete with instructions.

The Circle of Life

1. Place a dot on the line in each category to indicate how satisfied you are with each area. Place a dot at the centre of the circle to indicate dissatisfaction or on the periphery to indicate satisfaction. Most people fall somewhere in between. (see example)

2. Connect the dots to see your circle of life. 

Here is a video to help explain the Circle of life more

This can be quite eye opening and shocking for some!

Oh, and don't worry, not many people have a perfect circle!

Next up we need to identify the imbalances. This example above shows that creativity is waning a bit, a long with health and physical activity. So, first of all this person needs to work out what is their creative outlet. It may be writing, painting, drawing, dancing, building etc. Whatever is special to you and makes you feel creative is the answer. Then we need to asses when you will have time in your life to fit this in. You will notice that if you make time to do this, then the joy from doing something creative will save you time in other areas e.g over eating or arguing with your partner, because you you will feel so much fulfillment from the creative section of your life that the others will just fall out the window.

It's also eye opening just to see where you have been lagging and maybe not been aware of. The idea is to find balance in all sectors. This is going to be a constant battle for life. Nobody can just fly along with constant balance, it's important to be aware that it will always be something that you have to keep in the back of your mind. Life changes, health change, circumstances change and therefore your circle of life changes, but now you have the tool to pull yourself back into balance in the other areas of your life.

TASK 4:

If you are ready, please discuss your circle of life findings within your private facebook group. You may be able to give people ideas in each aspect where your finding fulfillment and others will give you ideas in areas where you are struggling. Now, believe it or not you will have all found this program in your own time, and in your own ways because the universe wanted you to, so it is more than likely that a lot of you are suffering from the same life situations, so go on, be brave and share.  Now, its time to become excited. The aim of this course is to have your 'shape of life' turning into a beautiful 'circle of life' over the next 10 weeks.

Put this in the back of your mind and next time you are feeling 'bored' remember all of the segments that you want to find fulfillment from and work on moving that dot out further.  Instead of heading to the pantry to fill the void, stop and think for a moment. "Am I actually hungry right now?" Perhaps now is a good time to focus on something that needs to be addressed from your circle of life.

Maybe you should head out into the garden if you love it so much, and if you are too exhausted to actually garden then just lay down right there on the grass, or sit amongst your beautiful growing nest and lap it up. Be proud of it, or discover some small changes you want to make in the garden and break them down into 'chunks' so to avoid overwhelm! Slowly start the transformation, without thinking of it as such a huge job. 'Chunking' is such a  great way to break things down and deal with them in smaller stages.The aim here is to discover small changes you can make over time. I am not suggesting you go out and break in an entire 4000m of land, but maybe there is one bank that could do with some weeding, or some lawn that needs mowing (there's your exercise in for the day as well)

If something in your circle of life suggested finding more 'you' time, then now is your chance to go and run a bath with some lavender oil, or go and paint your toe nails, go exfoliate, read your book (or in many cases, go to the library and get a book!) indulge in your favourite magazine, watch your children sleep, massage those aching joints, go for a walk, listen to a podcast or some music you have been wanting to listen to for ages. If you only end up getting 10 minutes to yourself - hey its better than nothing right? And you didn't just finish of a packet of tim tams for no good reason!

TASK 5:

This week your homework (ahhh homework!! yes, that's right, this is your time to shine!) is to experiment with different methods of cooking vegetables. Every night - that's 7 nights (or lunchtimes, or breakfasts) you need to use a different vegetable or a different method of cooking that vegetable. I want pictures of these on your private group in Facebook, or emailed to me!..there are always giveaways for the "best varied vegetable week." 

Have fun with this, have your kids join in, get your husband or friends involved. Always wish you knew how to steam something? It's so easy, and now you have the task set to make it happen - lets see you do it and find out how easy and awesome it is as well.

Remember this program will pick up pace as we get going. The idea is not to overwhelm you from the start, so be sure to participate in all of the tasks so that gradually things change for you.  Read things properly and make sure you are taking it all onboard.

VEGETABLE COOKING

It all seems so basic, but often people have these tiny questions about the different ways to cook vegetables. The following information breaks down the different ways to cook vegetables, how they will benefit you and certain dishes and will inspire you to try some new ways of cooking.

Steaming

Steaming is one way to prepare simple, clean-tasting vegetables. Steaming takes 5-10 minutes for green leafy vegetables, and 10-25 minutes for roots. All you need is a steaming basket and a pot with a lid, filled with about 2 inches of water.

Steamers come in a variety of forms. The stainless steel fold-up variety fits inside a pot to keep the vegetables above water. Some pots are specifically made with holes in the bottom for steaming over another pot of water. To steam vegetables, simply follow these steps:

Im a little tea pot short and stout, here is my handle...."oh wait..Im a steamer!"

Im a little tea pot short and stout, here is my handle...."oh wait..Im a steamer!"

  1. Wash vegetables
  2. Chop vegetables (the smaller the size, the faster they will cook)
  3. Bring water to a boil
  4. Place vegetables in a steaming basket over water and cover
  5. Steam until they become bright in color or have reached desired texture
  6. Remove vegetables from pot and run under cool water 

Some ways to add variety to steamed vegetables:

  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil or toasted sesame oil to every 2 cups of greens
  • Add 2 bay leaves or 1 teaspoon cumin seeds to the water
  • Sprinkle greens with toasted pumpkin, sesame, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, or walnuts
  • Sprinkle greens with fresh herbs: mint, dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, scallions
  • Use tamari soy sauce or umeboshi vinegar to add extra flavor
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them to add some zing

Blanching

Blanching, or quick boiling, is another way to prepare vegetables quickly and "cleanly." Blanching helps to break down the fiber of raw vegetables more so than steaming, which may aid digestion. Blanching vegetables also removes the raw flavor and brightens up their color. To blanch vegetables, simply follow these steps:

 1.     Bring water to a boil

2.    Add a pinch of salt

3.    Wash and chop the vegetables

4.    Drop the vegetables into the water and lower the heat

5.    Cook until they become bright

6.     Rinse with cool water to prevent further cooking

For softer vegetables, let them cook longer.

Remember, for steaming and blanching, the size and density of the vegetable will determine the cooking time. Harder vegetables like roots take the longest. Green leafy vegetables, such as collards and bok choy, take less time.

Any vegetables may be steamed or blanched. These two cooking methods are especially good when you want to "get to know" a new vegetable. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables. Pay attention to colors, textures, and flavors!

Stir-Frying

Stir-frying is another quick and nutritious way to prepare vegetables. You can stir-fry any kind of vegetable in oil or in water. Softer vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, bok choy, thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms, and onions will only take a few minutes to cook.

Before you start, have all of the vegetables rinsed and cut into pieces—thinner slices and smaller pieces will cook faster and more evenly.

If you choose to use oil, heat a wok or a frying pan and add a small amount of oil (like peanut, sesame, or coconut oil). If you are making a small amount of vegetables, brushing the wok or pan with oil is usually enough. Start with the harder vegetables like roots. Add one variety at a time and cook them until they become shiny before adding the next ones. Sprinkling a pinch of sea salt over the vegetables draws just enough moisture to prevent sticking and will bring out the flavor. You may also sprinkle water over your vegetables to gain extra steam and heat.

If you choose to sauté with water, add one inch of water to your wok or pan, and bring to boil. Add thinly sliced vegetables, cover, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

At the end of cooking you can make a nice sauce, thickened with arrowroot or kuzu, and seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, or garlic. 

Here are some great colorful and tasty combinations for stir- frying:

  • Onions, carrots, and snow peas
  • Chinese cabbage, mung bean sprouts, and scallions
  • Leeks, carrots, and red peppers
  • Onions, mushrooms, and zucchini with dried basil
  • Pumpkin and spinach with garlic

Variations:

  •  Add tofu, tempeh, or meat for added protein
  •   Add cooked grains to the vegetables toward the end for impromptu "fried rice" 

Baking

 Many vegetables taste delicious when baked. Baking brings out the very essence of the vegetables, especially pumpkins and root vegetables. Place vegetables in a baking pan, roast for 45-60 minutes at about 400 degrees.

Try baking any variety of the vegetables below:

Green leafy vegetables:

  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Chards: Swiss chard, red charda and rainbow chard
  • Beet greens
  • Watercress
  • Parsley
  • Dark lettuce

Roots and Pumpkins:

  • Carrot
  • Parsnip
  • Turnip
  • Celery root
  • Butternut pumpkin
  • Sweet potato/Kumara
  • White potato

Fat burners:

  • Dakion radish
  • Leek
  • Scallion
  • Turnip
  • Onion
  • Celery

Other Vegetables

  • Brocolli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts

Water

Last but by NO MEANS LEAST. We need to talk about water.  

Water homework: You need to drink more. Whatever you are drinking at the moment. Up it by 3 glasses per day. The best way to do this is to think every time you head to the kitchen to boil the jug to make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, have a glass of water while the jug is boiling - you may even find you were just thirsty for water rather than tired for a caffeine hit.

Also every time you head to the kitchen for food - grab a glass of water first. See if you really were hungry.  Drinking fresh water has been known to cure diseases, to aid the sick, and to help depression, anxiety and feelings of overwhelm.

That covers, herbal tea, lemon and water, tap or bottled water.

IT DOES NOT COVER: coffee, tea, alcohol of any sort or fizzy drinks.

Did you know that your body is made up of between 60-75% water? It’s no surprise that how much you drink can affect your health. Too much water could result in mineral imbalances, while too little could cause dehydration, headaches or fatigue. So, how much should you drink? Bio-individuality applies not only to food but also to the amount of water our bodies need to function properly. On average, men should ingest about 3 liters (13 cups) and women about 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water each day. In order to satisfy individual needs, various lifestyle factors need to be taken into consideration. For example, the water content in fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables may increase hydration in the body.

Water intake should be increased in the following situations:

  • Hot/humid temperature
  • High altitude (above 8,200 feet)
  • High exercise level
  • Illness of fever, diarrhea, vomiting
  • Infections of the bladder or urinary tract
  • Pregnancy/breast feeding
  • Increased alcohol intake

What is the best type of water to consume?

There are many types of water including tap, bottled, filtered, distilled, and alkaline ionized water. Consumption generally depends on cost and availability, as not everybody has access to the best sources of water.

  • Tap water, although the most readily available, may not always be the safest option. Some cities have very good purification systems, while others leave traces of cholination by-products, lead and sometimes bacteria. Research your city’s Consumer Confidence Report distributed every year by the Environmental Protection Agency to see if additional home purification is warranted.
  • Water filters can help to remove contaminants when environmental toxins pose a threat to water systems. It is important to know which contaminants are present in your water in order to choose the right filter.
  • Distillation, a process consisting of boiling water, has also been found to remove impurities and toxins. However, some believe the naturally occurring minerals in non-distilled water are beneficial to health. 
  • Bottled water has become a popular option for individuals without access to safe tap water; however, there are growing concerns about chemicals from the plastic seeping into the water, as well as the effects that the increasing number of bottles is having on the environment.
  • Water ionizers are gaining more recognition for their ability to create alkaline ionized water through electrolysis, which may have certain health benefits.

Okay, that's our starting point this week. A lot for you to think about and take some action with.

I don't want to overwhelm you this week, I really just want you focusing on your tasks and on listening to your body a bit more. Working out what works for you and what doesn't, watching what is going onto your plate and thinking about the areas of your life you would like to spend more time on.

A quick re-cap of this week:

Focusing on:

  • Adding in much more drinking water
  • Completing your goals list
  • Filling out your circle of life, and then taking a moment to absorb it all!
  • Cooking vegetables in different ways
  • Making sure you keep each other up to speed on the group forum.

Please remember you are more than welcome to email me with any feedback. Any trials, triumphs and tribulations. I want to hear it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.  I only want the best for you, and I want your journey to be amazing as well.

Here's to health and happiness

x Jess

This weeks files to open/save are below. You should have already opened them all above, this is just to keep things concise and check you haven't missed anything. The idea is you print these off or save and refer to later on if you need to, so you always have your 'tools' to work with.

Goals

Circle of Life

Vegetable Cooking

Water