Two Dollars and a Dream- Creating Your Wealth

DREAM

Did you take a chance, but didn’t win the Powerball? Sorry to hear that, but the good news is you still have a chance at getting rich! All it takes is two dollars and a dream.  

May I present to you Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first self-made millionaire. She was the first woman in history to start with nothing and earn her own fortune. This inspiring woman dared to dream when all odds were against her, took a chance, and created her own wealth by turning her biggest struggle (hair loss) into her greatest success (a line of women’s hair care products).     

 

A DREAM DEFERRED 

We all have dreams in life.  They may change, take time to achieve, some may flourish, while others wither away. The dream for me was always to help people improve their well-being AND become rich, too, so I became a pharmacist.  I now realize my intentions were a bit materialistic, but don’t tell me you have never had a similar selfish dream of doing something great while making a lot of money.  Well, this dream turned out to be a classic example of how money won’t make you happy. I was working too much, constantly felt sick, stressed, and as a result neglected my health and relationships.  Sure I was making good money and I was sort of helping people, but was it worth my health and happiness? Was it really the dream I had in mind? (Please note: This is not at all meant to say that I do not have full respect and love for the profession of pharmacy)  Looking back on this time, I realize how I let my dreams wither away for a while and just settled.

 

REALIZING THE DREAM

Finally frustrated with how unfulfilled and unhappy I was, I decided to make a change. That change was to give myself permission to start dreaming again!  After working solely as a pharmacist for about a year, I realized I wanted to make a bigger impact on health and wellness by focusing more on prevention rather than treatment (which pharmacists are doing a lot more of these days, by the way).  I wanted to help people feel good about themselves inside and out, bring awareness to the connection between our diet and diseases, and prevent/minimize medication dependency.  More than that, I wanted to feel good about myself and stop neglecting my own health.

I underwent extensive training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a holistic health coach.  I did tons and tons of research to become an expert in my new found passion, and combined it with my PharmD knowledge. I became my first client, practicing what I was preaching by infusing positive changes into my own life. Not only did I heal my body of asthma, excess weight and stress— but I found my joy, my energy, and renewed my health.

Let me just tell you, in all honesty, this took A LOT of work, both internally and externally.  I had to deal with so many personal fears, limiting beliefs, overwhelm and anxiety, but I want you to know this: YOU are worth investing in. Your DREAM is worth investing in. These kinds of investments will help you create true wealth, no matter what odds are against you. Just take a look at how much Madam Walker had to overcome– poverty, racism, abuse, and much more, I’m sure.

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CREATING MY WEALTH 

Today I can say I have been able to not just lose weight, physically, but emotionally too. I’m not 100% where I want to be yet, but I am well on my way. (We’re all a work in progress, right?)  I’m still practicing pharmacy, but in a new and exciting setting of corporate wellness! I’m practicing as a health coach, too AND investing in myself a lot more. I get to do the thing that brings me joy everyday by helping clients successfully reach their health and wellness goals.  The dream took time to actualize, and continues to be a work in progress, but changed my perspective on the real meaning of being rich. I wasn’t after the money this time, I was after the improvement of my health and the value of my life.   Walking on this journey helped me to realize that THIS is what real wealth is all about.  It’s about impact and not at all about money.  It is a different kind of wealth–  the kind that enriches your life with purpose, passion and fulfillment. Money can’t buy health, precious moments, true friendships or a new life.

I don’t want my life to be defined by the abundance of my possessions, but rather by the richness of my works.

For me, finding fulfillment and true wealth in my life was about believing in the worth of my dream, making a career shift and taking time to invest in my personal health and relationships. What is it for you?  You don’t need to have it all figured, but you do need to be willing to invest in yourself.  You don’t need other people to believe in you for you to believe in yourself.

 

I know everyone was worked up about the Powerball and a little disappointed not to have won, but hey, you took a chance and gave it a try.  Now why not take a chance on yourself?

It’s true you only need $2 and a dream to stand a chance at winning, but those $2 come in a different kind of currency: faith and action. Today I hope you invest in renewing your faith and aspire to take meaningful action in achieving your dream.  Like Madam Walker, let us create our own rags to riches story.

 

So let’s go get rich! How will you start living a richer life today?

Health is Wealth,

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Eating Healthy while Eating Out

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eating healthy

We all know we should be “eating clean” and making better food choices as much as possible, but why is it so difficult to actually DO? If I am preparing my own meals at home, then it’s not much of a challenge at all. When I’m traveling, don’t have control over my food or there are too many options, however, that’s when I fall into poor eating habits. One of my biggest struggles with eating healthy was when it came to dining out.  This was especially difficult for me because I love love love trying new restaurants and different types of cuisines.

When my husband and I first moved to Portland,OR in 2013, we  were excited to experience the amazing food scene (especially brunch). We basically made it our hobby to dine out and try new foods. We still, however were eating healthy whenever we ate at home and continued working out. After several weeks of enjoying our new hobby together we noticed a standstill when it came to our fitness progress. Our love for eating out and attending many social events was not loving us back.  We learned that the saying “you can’t outwork a healthy diet” was all too true.

I chose to address this situation with a simple solution of simply not eating at all anymore.  But can I tell you how sad this made me feel!  Dining out is often a common way of celebrating, socializing and networking. I experienced major FOMO (fear of missing out), but I kept telling myself if I went out to eat I would not find anything healthy on the menu. On one occasion, I tried meeting friends at a restaurant but ate at home before going. Well that was awkward..just watching them eat was not a fun experience. Another time, I just ordered the house salad which was boring and did not fill me up. I proceeded to go home and stuff my face because I was still so hungry. Another fail! I’m pretty sure people were getting annoyed by my healthy eating obsession. I needed to find balance!

After much trial and error, and I wish I could say it happened over night but it didn’t, I created a plan & guidelines for myself to stick to whenever I dined out. They’ve helped me maintain balance so that I can enjoy new restaurants, celebrate with friends, and still try new, delicious cuisines guilt-free.

 

 

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ALWAYS LEAVE LEFTOVERS 

With my new strategy in place I can eat out and eat healthy but still enjoy foods I love. How I do this is by first, choosing healthy options from the menu. But what if I see something that sounds absolutely delicious or that I’ll never get a chance to try again? What if I really want pizza? Ok, in this case rather than deprive myself completely I will order that dish, enjoy it, but leave half of it!

Restaurants often serve super sized portions and we don’t even realize how much we are eating. We think we are enjoying a normal amount of food, but often the servings sizes are double and triple what they should be.  This is called portion distortion.  I leave half of my meal and it’s actually a treat because then I have left overs for the next day’s lunch or for my husband to enjoy.

 

SHARING IS CARING

Another option for enjoying great food without the guilt, is to share! Yes, share with your friends. This way you’re automatically having a smaller portion size.

 

DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO EAT & CHECK THE MENU IN ADVANCE

This is my biggest tip to you when it comes to eating healthy while dining out. If you can have a hand in deciding what restaurant to eat at, you stand a better chance at finding a place with somewhat healthier options on their menu. The good news is that nowadays more and more restaurants are including healthier meal options (and in some cases even the nutrition facts) onto their menus. I love Yelp! Try this app out when researching places to eat.  It’s an easy way to see food photos, read tips and reviews before showing up to a place. Whether you have a hand in choosing the restaurant or not, always try to take a peek at the menu beforehand and decide what you’ll be ordering in advance.

 

THINGS TO AVOID

The first thing to avoid is that warm, irresistible complimentary bread they bring to the table at most places.  I would advise don’t have any, but if we are being more realistic let’s settle on limiting yourself to just one piece.  If you’re like me, though, and lack a bit of control, just politely ask the bread not be served at your table altogether.

Something else I watch out for when dining out are those lovely adjectives that make the food sound oh so delicious. Words like crispy or smothered are red flags for me! I do my best to steer clear of anything fried or covered in any creamy, oil-based sauce. This includes salad dressings (ask for it on the side).

Sometimes I find the chef is willing to prepare a dish without oil or butter, or make it grilled instead of fried. You never know if you don’t ask. Which bring me to my next tip…

 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK

Just because there is seemingly nothing on the menu that meets my criteria for eating healthy, it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. There have been quite a few times where I ordered few of the side dishes and voilà, I had a complete meal.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for an alternative to those french fries.  More than likely, there is a salad or steamed veggie option available.

 

DON’T GO TO DINNER HANGRY

Ok remember this one and plan ahead! Do not ever go out to eat when you are full on hangry, because you never know how long the wait might be and add to that the length of time it takes for your food to get to your table. When you are super hungry, you’re less likely to think about portion control or make good food choices.

Speaking of good choices…

 

ALCOHOL WEAKENS YOUR WILLPOWER

Slow down on the cocktails. Not only are you drinking unnecessary calories and sugar, but alcohol diminishes your willpower. You’re more likely to make poor choices and eat more than you intended when under the influence.

 

 

More and more restaurants are becoming aware of the need for improved nutrition and are offering healthier options on their menu, making it easier for you and me to dine out stress-free.

Fast forward 2.5 years, my husband and I now live in North Carolina and are exploring a brand new food scene. I’m now much more comfortable with dining out and feel confident that I’ll be able to make healthy choices. I still, however, limit the amount of times I eat out to once or twice per week. This is what I have found the best balance with. I encourage you to find your own balance when it comes to living healthy and eating better. Try out the strategies that have helped my husband and I stay healthy without sacrificing our social life and love for good food.

eating healthy

 

So now you know my biggest obstacle when it comes to eating healthy,

WHAT IS YOURS? 

 

Health & Happiness, 

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Will You Rock Your Resolutions This Year?

new year's resolutions

Well it’s finally here, a brand spanking new year! Hello 2016! Have you declared your New Year’s resolutions like so many of us do? At the start of the year, I bet you’re determined to get it right this time.  You may know what your goal is and where you would like to go, but feel absolutely lost as to how you will get there so a few months down the road you toss your resolutions aside and give up.  You wouldn’t start driving to a destination without having directions right? So why do that when it comes to your goals? Here’s the thing about goals and resolutions, you can’t just expect to accomplish them without having a real plan. 

If you are like most Americans, at least one of your resolutions may have to do with losing weight or getting healthy and fit.  This is a great resolution, by the way, but the problem lies in the likelihood that you’ll fail at reaching this goal.  I was floored to read that only 8% of us will be successful at reaching our resolutions by the end of the year. That number makes me feel like I am destined for failure, right?! What makes it even more discouraging is knowing that this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve failed at reaching a goal I set for myself so why would this time be any different than my previous attempts? It’s also discouraging to hear others make negative comments about how resolutions are silly or how we are destined to fail at reaching these new goals.  

After feeling bad about myself for a bit, I picked my head up and had an internal talk. This year, I told myself, I will be in that 8%. I will be successful at reaching all my resolutions for 2016.  

Just imagine..

what if you actually achieved exactly what you say you want to achieve this year?

 

What if you were in the 8% too? Here’s to us & to being in the 8%!

That’s why I wanted to share something incredibly valuable with you today. These are my success tips for rocking our resolutions this year.

MAKE A PLAN AND WRITE IT DOWN

It’s not enough to simply have resolutions and dreams, you need a S.M.A.R.T. goal and a plan! Write down your resolutions, set a deadline, and map out an action plan. Writing down a goal makes it real and more achievable. Next decide what small steps you need to take over time to achieve this larger goal. Post all this where you are likely to see it daily, like your refrigerator or bathroom mirror.

Reminding yourself of what you want and how you’ll get there keeps you motivated and makes you more likely to succeed.

 

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FIND THE RIGHT RESOURCES

Having the right tools and skills in your goal-getting arsenal combined with a desire to achieve will set you up for success. You already have the desire because it’s what triggered you to set your resolutions in the first place. Now you need the right resources! Become an expert in what it is you are trying to improve, change, or create. Books have always been a great help for me, as well as support from online communities (think facebook groups!). And whatever you might need a little more help in, there’s an app for that.  For health and wellness related resolutions, check out apps like MyFitnessPal, Lark, and Fooducate (there are endless others out there). Podcasts and YouTube videos can also provide a lot of great personal development and knowledge on a broad range of topics.  Immersing ourselves in the right mindset and community makes a world of a difference when it comes to conquering goals and sticking to a plan.  

 

MAKE IT A DAILY HABIT

The biggest reason people fail at accomplishing their resolutions is because they lose motivation. The only way to stay motivated is to motivate yourself daily. Set smaller, daily goals for yourself, as well as larger milestones. Accomplishing these smaller steps makes the bigger, overall goal feel more achievable and less overwhelming.

Remembering your goals, continuously progressing toward reaching them, surrounding yourself with positive support, and strengthening your self-confidence must become DAILY habits if you want to WIN this year.

 

 

REVIEW AND READJUST

Over the next 12 months, we will come across obstacles and circumstances that are just out of our control. Please remember that although you can’t control the circumstances, you can control your reaction. It’s easy to quit and walk away the minute things get difficult and uncomfortable, but what if this time instead of walking away we decide to try, try, and try again? If you get off track, forgive yourself.  This is easier said than done, but I’ve learned that forgiveness has allowed me to turn a setback into a comeback many times.

If you’re original plan just isn’t working with your life at the moment, take a step back from the situation, reevaluate your reasons for setting a specific goal, review your action plan, readjust and refocus as needed. These are your dreams, your intentions and your resolutions so change them as you please! The journey toward reaching a goal is often more important than the goal itself and you are in the driver’s seat so enjoy the ride.

Enjoy that journey, learn from it, find strength in it, and be confident that there’s a huge prize waiting for you at the end of it.

 

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Good luck in keeping your New Year’s resolutions. Remember to take it one small step at  time toward reaching your goal.  Make a plan and plan to stick to it.  Find the right resources, make it a daily habit, review and readjust as needed.  

Let’s make 2016 the best year yet and be in that 8% together! 


 

P.S.–

If you need a little help to keep your resolution or improve your health and wellness, I would love to guide you on this journey.  As you know I offer free short-term group sessions periodically throughout the year and free 30-minute discovery calls. I invite you to join me for a chat to see how we can work together to accomplish your resolutions this year.

 

Believing in you,

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