Archive for May, 2011

Bringing Joy

May 26th, 2011

I just returned from a wonderful road trip from Des Moines to Boulder, Colorado. The occasion was to celebrate my friend Robin’s birthday and as part of our itinerary we made a stop to see Brigitte Mars. Brigitte is a well-known herbalist and author of over a dozen books on topics ranging from raw foods to herbal tea to sexuality, and she does private health consultations from her home in Boulder.

Well, let me tell you the time with Brigitte was worth the entire trip itself. In her YouTube® videos and the times I have seen her speak publicly, she comes across as knowledgeable yet sincere and compassionate. In person Brigitte is even more impressive, and you just know she is 100% engaged and passionate about her work. She’s a fountain of information, which she delivers in a no-nonsense fashion. After the session I was even more of a fan than I was before, and so I took the time to drop her a note after our return to thank her for the work she does. Well, guess what? That very same day I myself got a note—from someone I have never met—commenting to me on my work! My supporter, Steffanie, is a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) where I went to school, and she was writing to comment about the client coaching session that appears on the Fork in the Road website. She said, in part:

“I saw that you had video taped an intake session and because we are just working on this at school, I put a link to your page on the IIN (internal) Forums because there are lots of scared students not feeling confident. Your session is wonderful and such a blessing to all of us who are wanting to know how to ‘do it right.’ Thanks for adding that to your website, it was very thoughtful.”

So I’ve been thinking today about feedback and how little effort it actually takes to say something sincere to someone that can have so much value and meaning. And when I say it holds meaning to give a compliment or say thank you, I mean really for both parties: the giver and the receiver. As much as I got joy from hearing from Steffanie, I got equal joy from telling Brigitte what an honor it is to be a part of her circle.

I hope you are inspired after reading this to reach out—in whatever way fits for you—to express appreciation to someone else. I promise you’ll bring two parties (one being you) joy in the process.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

I Sure Ain’t No Betty Crocker

May 17th, 2011

Photo Courtesy of PhotoBucket: jadco123

The following blog was written by Sarah H., a recent client of Fork in the Road. Sarah is a periodic guest blogger here on the site, and she has promised to document her progress—and setbacks—for the benefit of our followers. Sarah’s vital stats: 29 years-old, married to Stephen, who is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Two daughters, Avery (2 1/2 years) and Ainsley (24 weeks!). Previous eating style: 80-90% organic, high dairy and healthier than average (slightly…on some days). Health/lifestyle goals: Provide a well-balanced diet for a picky toddler, add variety to the family table, develop food preparation skills and improve the quality of meals consumed.

In my first blog post here at Fork in the Road, I talked about how quickly New Year resolutions get pushed aside. Of course, most people, including myself, chalk the lack of success to losing motivation. I have been experiencing my own sort of derailment—not at all related to motivation. With my two girls, now 2½ and 6 months-old, I feel like I never sit down. Well, I don’t just feel like it, I truly don’t sit down much at all. Planning meals and preparing shopping lists on top of my already heavy to-do list has been difficult. I truly want to feed my family the healthiest diet I can. My problem is time! This is an easy excuse. Everyone is “too busy” for everything. But honestly, I can’t do everything in one day. My challenge is deciding what I can do and what I should leave for another day. My choices: make healthy meals: leave the living room in its obstacle-course state; bathe the girls: let dishes become crusty; take a shower: use back up disposable diapers instead of cloth; take the girls outside to play so they will sleep later: clean up the house while they make more messes. So what’s a mom to do?

I don’t know yet. I just know I’m glad I am not signed onto a diet. Instead, I’m committed to improving my family’s way of life. Perhaps I just need to cut myself some slack? The more I think about this the more I realize that there isn’t a box that needs checked when it comes to working with Sheree. Every bit of change that is for the better should be embraced as success. Whatever changes I make now will serve as a strong foundation for the years to come. I’m told that kids get a little easier after they hit age four. So maybe by then I will be able to make a “real” dinner instead of serving meals that resemble crudités (which I realize is not all that bad, but it doesn’t make me feel like Betty Crocker). In my next Skype meeting with Sheree I am going to ask her—again—for some advice. Her suggestions and easy recipes do help…I just sometimes need to be reminded and encouraged. This is why Sheree asks her clients to make six month commitments. These things take time.

Now I must get back to a sick toddler and a teething baby. My motivation to improve our diet is stronger than ever. After all, sugar, carbs and dairy are probably contributing to our persistent bouts of illness.

Here is a recipe Sheree gave me last time we met. I just found it again. It’s truly a five-minute thing and we all love it.



1 head cauliflower            florets chopped into bite-sized pieces

2-4 tablespoons               nutritional yeast

1-2 teaspoons                 garlic powder

1 teaspoon                      sea salt

2 teaspoons                    extra virgin olive oil

Splash                            water

To taste                          black pepper

Put all ingredients into a gallon size zip lock bag (or a reusable Tupperware-type container) and shake until cauliflower is thoroughly coated with mixture.


Seeing the Gifts

May 8th, 2011

It’s 2:00 p.m. on a weekday and I am at home, having a glass of wine.  I’m not imbibing today to celebrate, but rater to medicate.  This is an attempt at physical pain relief.  My back “went out” three days ago and even after two chiropractor appointments, a variety of herbs and countless Epsom salt baths it still hurts like hell every time I so much as breathe too deeply.

Up until yesterday I was reasonably ambulatory.  I was able to go “out and about,” although with obvious stiffness and effort.  When people asked me what happened I told them the truth: that in one week I managed to get thrown off the treadmill, went to two ambitious yoga classes (after not having been to class in, um, a really long time), and then I wore high heels to an event where I ended up walking literally for miles. (The last time I wore heels for longer than the length of a cocktail reception was in 2009.)  But there’s more to it than all that, as there usually is, and while I am still processing it (Lord knows I’ve had plenty of time for processing), I did look up “back” ailments in Louise Hay’s delightful book, Heal Your Body. Here’s what Louise had to say:

Lower back: Fear of money.  Lack of financial support.

Well, yes,  I did pay a (whopping!) tax bill recently.  Oh, and $2800 in car repairs.  Oh, and the dental work I need done…yes, I just found out it’s not covered by my insurance.  Yea, OK, so maybe that fits.  But during this time of semi-immobility, I am learning something that I guess is one of those life lesson/reminder things. And since I can’t go do the things I really want to do (of course it’s a fabulous day out and of course I have herbs and peppers that are begging to be transplanted), I’ll document them here so that maybe I can remember them beyond this period of convalescence.  My observations:

It’s humbling to have to leave a dirty Kleenex on the floor until someone comes to visit and can pick it up for you.  It’s embarrassing to cry out in front of people when you extract yourself from a chair.  It sucks to ask your neighbor to go pick up cat food and then have to send her back out again for toilet paper.  But oh, it is fabulous to feel loved and cared for by others.  To sense and to see demonstrations of benevolence and to be the recipient.  From the cat-food buying neighbor to Reiki-giving friends to the dear, dear man who is on his way home early from the Kentucky Derby “because I want to be there for you and with you.”

I am still feeling a significant amount of physical pain (the organic cab I have been sipping through a straw just isn’t delivering for me), but I am buoyed and encouraged and I can see the gifts that accompany the muscle spasms.  In between the painful moments I feel grateful.  I am appreciative that my condition is not permanent.  Thankful for the glimpse and reminder of how valuable mobility and good health really is.  Grateful to know love.  I guess it could be worse.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: