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Why Self-Care? November 29, 2016

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Health, self-care.
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Self What?

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care lately. Have you?  For many people the stresses of the recent national election have been somewhat overwhelming. If you are pleased with the outcome, then maybe you should skip this post unless, of course, you’re stressed about something else.. But if you have been feeling worried, hopeless, angry, frustrated, or  overwhelmed then maybe you should read on.

Negative feelings have an impact on your quality of life

Negative feelings can sap your energy and have a big impact on the quality of your life. It can put a damper on your outlook for the future as well as your enjoyment of your day to day life. It can also affect your health–and not in a good way. So what’s the answer? I recommend something called radical self-care.

What is radical self-care?  Simply put, it is making a firm commitment to do those things for yourself that nourish and revive you. It’s a promise you make to yourself to do something for yourself each and every day. What that something  is  will be different for every person. Here are some examples (because I know you need them)

  •  10 minutes of meditation in the morning
  • playing board games with the kids
  • getting a massage
  • turning off the nightly news and spend that time with a book
  • watching a movie
  • taking vitamins every day
  • changing your diet in the way that you have been wanting to for a long time
  • avoiding toxic people
  • asking for what you want (really? OMG)

Why is it ‘radical?’

Where does the word ‘radical’ fit in? Well, the sad thing is that it’s quite radical in our society to put yourself first with the intention of nourishing or taking care of your own needs. We have a vibe in our society that if you engage in self-care you are one of those weird new-age types who lives in la-la land. We’re all about doing and doing and doing–but not for ourselves. And being radical about self-care–that is not letting anything get in the way of nourishing ourselves, well, that’s downright un-American. I offer you that maybe there’s a more useful way to look at self-care.

How much good can you do when you are depleted?

Why self-care then? Well, why not? How much good are you when you’re depleted, exhausted, sick, and stressed out? You can’t bring anything to others if your own well is dry. Plus, you deserve it…really. You don’t need a reason except that it’s good for you and you want to feel better that you do right now.

I’m going to be posting on this topic until I get it out of my system. Hope you’ll see fit to join me.

Do something to nourish yourself today–and tomorrow and the day after that. I’ll be back…

Reboot! April 15, 2013

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Health.
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15day

I am in day 10 of a 15-day juice fast. Never thought I would do this but then again I never thought I would do the HCG plan either and I did.

Why Juice?

Why am I doing the juice thing? There are a couple of reasons—or maybe more than a couple. First, I was sick with a bad cold or a designer cold, as I like to call it, three times this winter. That shows me that my immune system is not where it needs to be. Second, I think spring is a very good time for a de-tox. Get rid of the comfort food residue from over the winter when it’s really really fun to eat. Comfort food for me usually means something with sugar or other high carbs. I don’t know about you but those are not the best things for my body. And third, it never hurts to lose a little weight. (Can’t believe I put that one third).

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead

Let me tell you where this all came from. It all started about six months ago when my tango teacher, Lori, told me about a documentary film called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by an Australian filmmaker named Joe Cross. I was prepared to be very depressed by the film thinking it was a terrible story of someone’s health gone wrong. Instead I found it very uplifting. It’s Joe’s personal story of how he had an auto-immune condition that was keeping him on numerous medications without much success. He decided to go on a juice fast to see if he could heal his body.

The film documents his journey as well as two others who became inspired by what he accomplished. You can watch the movie in its entirety on YouTube with this link:  Fat Sick and Nearly Dead  He achieved amazing success and has made it a personal mission to help others do what he did to become more healthy. He calls it the ‘Reboot.’

A Reboot Community

So, on to my experience. I joined a 15-day Reboot group which is offered by a trained health coach working with Joe. I love this because there are conference calls and a message board so I can share and learn what others are doing. I also have access to the health coach for questions as they come up.

Gotta Get a Juicer

Next I had to get a juicer. First I bought a NutriBullet which was great except that it’s not a juicer. It is basically a high-powered blender. So back it went and I ended getting the juicer that Joe recommends which is a Breville (available on Amazon—where else?)

Mucho Fruits and Veggies

On to getting the fruits and veggies. One thing about this is that it is not an inexpensive venture. To buy the fruits and vegetables I needed for the first 5 days cost around $100. I am buying mostly but not all organic. Why juice if you’re going to put pesticides back in your body? Here is a list of the dirty dozen—fruits and veggies that you should buy organic if you want to avoid eating pesticides. Also on the list is the ‘clean 15’ which show the least amount of pesticides when tested. http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/.

So next, JUICES!

I can see this post is getting a little long so stay tuned tomorrow or the next day for THE REST OF THE STORY….

–Amara

More About HCG June 21, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Health.
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I promised to write more about my experiences while on the HCG diet. So here goes. If you read my post from last week, you’ll be a bit familiar with what the HCG diet is. If you didn’t and you’re not, then page back to June 13 and have look.

Let’s start with the good stuff.

  • Weight loss (and detox) while on HCG is fast…I lost 20 pounds in 35 days. Many people lose about a pound a day but my body doesn’t care for that and loses about .6 a day—still not bad. Also, your body re-shapes itself in very pleasing ways.
  • The doctor that I was working with, Dr Sherrill Sellman, http://www.whatwomenmustknow.com/, is a naturopathic doctor who stresses eating in a healthy way. Her directive: eat only organic vegetables and animal protein that does not contain antibiotics. The result of this is that I felt that I was giving my body a great gift each day that I was on Phase 2 (the 500 calorie phase). I felt great physically and still do.
  • When you’re eating only 500 calories a day it’s not necessary to agonize over what you’re going to eat. It’s all prescribed: 4 oz of protein, 1 cup of a vegetable(not just any vegetable), and 1 fruit—twice a day. That’s it. Easy as pie—though no pie is allowed on this plan!
  • You know going in that you’ll only be on it a short time. The usual length is 23 days and can be up to 40 days but no longer than that. There is an end. If you haven’t lost enough weight in that time you can do another round after you’ve completed maintenance.
  • Other nice benefits that I experienced were sleeping extremely well, a lowering of blood pressure (which was not high to start with), an improvement in my skin, and a total loss of 18 inches. All things to celebrate.

There are some annoyances/challenges in following the diet—a small price to pay but they are there.

  • Because you’re eating organics and such small portions you have to spend a whole lot more time cooking. No takeout or frozen dinners available. I never anticipated that eating 500 calories would take so darn much time in the kitchen.
  • You have to measure and divide your food which is time-consuming and tedious. 100 grams of protein—hmm—I got out my postal scale to measure that.
  • While on the diet you are not allowed to use any lotions on your skin. That’s because there is fat in lotions and moisturizers and adding any fat at all to your system can result in reduced or low weight loss. Believe me, when you are eating 500 calories a day, you are not thrilled by no weight loss. I even had to wash my hair with rubber gloves on so that the hair conditioner did not get on my skin. And my hands were so dry I thought they’d start to bleed—but no hand lotion allowed. And the day that I went to the hairdresser to get my hair colored resulted in a diminished weight loss for 2 days in a row. There’s very little wiggle room in following the plan—particularly for women.
  • Lots of people say they just have tons of energy while on phase 2. I did not experience tons of energy until I had been on the diet for about 20 days. Several of my friends who’ve done the diet had similar experiences. The first three weeks I had a hard time getting through my ballroom dance lesson but by the end I was easily doing that and more. I attribute that to the de-toxing aspect of the diet.

So there you have it. Was it worth it? Would I do it again? Absolutely… It’s a journey worth taking.

Time to say “Enough” March 21, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching.
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DSC_0138If you read this blog regularly you will know that I post on the average of once a week—on Sundays. And being a regular reader you will also notice that I did not post last week and am later than usual on this post. (probably should have kept this to myself—now I have just raised expectations..oh well.)

The reason for this untimely interruption? I have been sick…not just a little sick but well and truly sick. Sick enough that the last week of my life is but a muzzy blur. (I love the word ‘muzzy.’ It’s almost worth the illness to be able to use it. Almost.)

Is there anything good about being sick?

So what good is being sick? Well, it was great for having to cancel every coaching appointment I had last week because no one would want to listen to my croaking voice or hear me cough continuously. That wasn’t so good.

It was great for getting me to concentrate on extreme self-care. Is it time for that cough medicine yet? Can I take a Tylenol or should I go with the echinacea?

It was also great for digging deep into my taxes. I suddenly realized I made some money last year and when one is self-employed that means Uncle Sam wants a fair portion of it. So I am on a mission to exclude no rightful deduction this year. In the course of my journey this week, I learned that for the past several years I have been overlooking a chunk of deductions that were rightfully mine to take. So I am highly motivated.

But what about mood?

I have also been giving a lot of thought to one of my favorite subjects—mood. How does one maintain a positive mood in the face of feeling like some totally uninvited guest is metaphorically (or perhaps literally) kicking one’s butt?

I have noticed that my mood is directly related to how much I can line up behind decisions that I have made or states of being that are currently in play for me.

So, it’s helpful to immerse myself in doing my taxes even when I feel like crap because I am doing something that brings me value (and a bit of vindictive joy as well.)

Do you spend time second-guessing yourself?

But have you ever noticed how often you fail to really mentally and emotionally get behind (or align) to decisions that you make? Ever notice how often you second-guess yourself or feel regret about what you are doing in the present moment?

I noticed that about my food choices this week. Since I was sick I was trying to do the best for my body and eating good food was on my list of concerns. But what is good food? Should I eat no dairy or wheat because they are mucous producing? Should I cut out sugar (because it’s the villain)? What about artificial sweeteners? And then there’s fat content and the whole grain issue to consider….arrgh!!

I suddenly realized that there was not one food that I had access to that did not come with some negative message about its healthfulness attached. Then I got to thinking about the effect on my ‘self’ all these negative messages are probably having.

Just stop!

And I said ENOUGH! In my typical whimsical fashion I decided that if every food was bad for me, I could just as easily decide that every food is good for me. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I am consciously avoiding any dialogue about a food being ‘bad for me.’ Instead I focus on saying yes to each food I elect to eat. Yes, Mr.  Popsicle, you are so good for me.

Some advice I hope you’ll use

And here’s my advice to you….Focus on your own set of nasty little gremlins. Maybe it’s something about how you spend your spare time or what kind of a parent you are or your lack of commitment to housework or how much you are willing to stretch your personal boundaries for others or, or, or….You get the idea. Whatever your poison is, just say no— actually just say yes! Yes to affirming that you are doing the right thing, making the right decision, being the right person. Refuse to stop polluting your thoughts— and your mood with the idea that something is wrong.

It’s revolutionary, I know. But I can tell you —it feels pretty damn good…

–Amara

Staying Alive–I Mean Young February 23, 2009

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in My Life as I See It, Personal Observations.
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Amara's Monkey Slippers pic by Larry ThomasI have the very good fortune to be 61 years old and look ten to fifteen years younger than my chronological age. I say this, not to boast but as reference to an oft-repeated assessment by other people. Some of the illusion, I have to admit, can be attributed to hair color and some to genetics. However, yesterday I received a note on Facebook (what an invention, that) from a high school classmate who had discovered me. She was asking if I was the same ‘Ann Bertorelli’ that she had gone to school with in the 60’s. I replied that of course I was the same one—how many Ann Bertorelli’s did she think there were? Her response was that she would never have recognized me if we met me somewhere.

That got me thinking. Is it just the hair color and the good genes? Nope, I don’t think so. I think there is a little more to it than that. Since there is always interest in finding out the secret to (relative) youth—witness the practice of asking the newly-made octogenarian that very question—I thought it might make a helpful blog entry. So, what’s my “secret?”

Here goes, in no particular order…

  1. I take lots of vitamins and have since my early thirties. (not just randomly, I have a health professional who advises me.)

  2. I learn new things often.

  3. I take care of my teeth and skin. (Oh alright, I could floss more often)

  4. I hang out with younger people.

  5. I am interested and interesting.

  6. I read a lot.

  7. I meditate and pray every day.

  8. I keep trying to make myself better in as many ways as I can think of.

  9. I dance.(Ballroom Latin)

  10. I don’t listen to negativity anymore than I have to. I seldom watch the evening news or engage in depressing conversations ad nauseum.

  11. I refuse to call myself old or even think of myself as old—I am wise.

  12. I don’t discuss ailments, medications, or surgeries unless I see no way out of it or need advice that I can’t get any other way.

  13. I use my creativity in the ways that appeal to me—and I do that often.

  14. I work hard to drop my judgments of others—a never-ending project.

  15. I talk to angels. www.graceintime.com

So there’s my short list. I’m sure that I could think of more but those are the ones that sprang to mind. Maybe I’ll write a book on the subject—or maybe not. Life is just full of possibilites.

–Amara