November 28, 2012

Share The Love: Your Testimonial About Dillan

You were or are a client of mine.
You attended one of my workshops.
You had an amazing consultation with me and now you're working hard to create the finances to do some coaching work together.

You know me and your life has changed as a result of us working together in some way. Share the love so others can feel inspired and encouraged the take the leap, too.

thank you, Dillan

November 19, 2012

Counting Raisins

When I was in high school, I developed a serious eating disorder.

I've alluded to it here and there, but I've never really written about it--or shared it with any great detail.

Speaking with a prospective client the other night dug up some memories for me, particularly when he mentioned counting raisins. You might think it's silly. Or unnecessary. Or any number of things. But me? I got it. Because I once did the same thing.

What are the odds that he'd find someone to talk to who had the same exact experience? Maybe the odds are pretty good, I have no idea. But I can share how it affected me to sit across from someone who is so compelled and consumed by counting calories, that he's missing a lot of his precious life. And how I remember being in that same position. I remember being that stuck in something that felt so exhilarating ("hey! Look how good I am at this! I am so damn good at depriving my young developing body and mind of essential nutrients on a daily basis!") yet exhausting at the very same time.

I know that, for as good as I was at the game, I never got any damn medals for my meticulous calorie counting. There are no Eating Disorder Olympics, unfortunately. No awards doled out for how many days my weight stayed the same, the needle never budging from that precious and--extremely--important number over which it hovered. I got no Honorable Mention for the amount of time I managed to take to consume a bagel. A bagel. On average, they contain about 600 calories, give or take. To most people who are conscious of their nutrition in healthy ways, plain bagels wouldn't be considered an option, mostly because they are 600 calories of pure carbohydrates--nothing of real value unless I was running a 10K. But to my eating-disordered mind--bagels were on "the list" and believe me, I wasn't running any 10Ks. In fact, I had to quit my high school basketball team my Junior year because my weight dropped so low I couldn't hold my own against opposing teams. If you know me today, you would find this unimaginable--I am pretty stocky and incredibly fucking strong. And I had been that strong as a kid and teenager, too, but not when I starved myself to the point of losing all my lean muscle mass--you know, the kind that makes us strong and, ironically, burns the most calories.

Never knew this. Wish I had.

Instead, I allowed myself to fall down the rabbit hole of a sub-clinical (called thusly because I was never actually hospitalized for it) eating disorder. It was, in many ways, the opposite end of a scale I had been on as a kid. I maybe ate a bit too much sugar and sweet stuff than I needed to. I probably carried an extra 10-15 pounds I didn't need between the ages of 9 and 15, but it never was anything the Doctor spoke to my mom about. But let me tell you, he certainly spoke to her when I went from 165 pounds to a drastic 118. I can't tell you how long it took to lose that weight--I think a few months. I don't have much memory of that time. I just remember being very hungry, very tired, very confused and very angry. Nutrient deprivation will do that to you.

I remember starving myself most of the day and coming home late at night from hanging out with friends and standing in my pantry counting out raisins in my hand. Or bingeing on dry cereal right out of the box--never making the connection that the massive amount of late-night calories I consumed off-set the "great work" I did during each day.

None of it was rational or logical. None of it made sense. But it was my friend--it was the best friend I had when my life felt extremely lonely and challenging beyond what my teen brain could comprehend.

Many years later, I have conquered the obsession with calorie-counting. I eat and drink every day with no real clue about the calories I consume. I eat nutrient-dense, organic food as often as I can because it tastes good. I do it for my health. I still love sugar, and so I have to be mindful when I eat it--because it's also a friend I reach for in times of stress and confusion.

I am glad I struggled with that eating disorder--that compulsion to control my food when the rest of my life felt unmanageable. I am glad, so so glad, I know the visceral reality of that experience so that when clients talk to me about it, I can say with total honesty, "I get it. I really do."

But I am also glad I worked my ass off to end it. And I am glad that when I pour boiling water into my plain instant oatmeal--flavored now with a nice swirl of pure maple syrup and a pat of organic butter---that I don't have to count the raisins anymore.

November 17, 2012

Turkey 2-Bean Chili Recipe

If you read this post: Too Busy To Cook? Not An Option, you're here to get this damn good recipe.


2 lbs fresh ground dark turkey meat
3 Tbs olive oil--split into 2 Tbs and 1 Tbs
1 large carrot, coined
1 medium onion, diced
1 can Eden brand adzuki beans
1 can Eden brand black beans
1 large can organic diced tomatoes
1 medium red pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced

this is about what I did but you can mess around with these amounts:

2 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 Tbs sea salt

In a deep pot, brown turkey meat in 2 Tbs olive oil until almost no pink appears.

As that's browning, in a separate saute pan over med-low heat, cook onion in remaining olive oil until it's soft and clear. Add red pepper and carrot and cook until softened. Add these to the pot with the browned turkey meat and add remaining ingredients.

Simmer over med-low heat for 35 minutes. Serve over a grain of your choice or not, or with sour cream or cheese melted over the top.

Damn right.

Too Busy To Cook? Not An Option For Me

"As God is my witness, I will never go hungry again!" -Scarlett O'Hara

Say what you will about this iconic scene in an iconic film (it's ok. We can say the film and the book it's based on is extremely racist, among many things) but I really identified with Scarlett this past week or so.

Here's the play-by-play:

After my surgery in August, I came home and got to sit around and twiddle my thumbs. A lot. Lots of thumbs. Lots of sun. Lots of spending time with friends.

And then, the party was over. Time to get back to business which, for me, included a huge soar in business combined with part-time grad school AND some other side gigs that make my heart happy. READ: booked schedule. No time to shop, no time to eat (3 night meetings in one week) and no time--no time--to cook. This, my dear readers, is not an option.

About mid-week, I found myself facing this plate (brace yourselves):

that's canned tuna and frozen spinach (warmed-up)

You know what that's called? Pathetic. Yep. Pathetic.

That's what happens when I don't make time to prepare real food for myself. And guess what else was happening? I was shoving anything I could find into my face because I was starving (real food has the nutrients we need, so technically I was starving myself while also being ravenously hungry) which led to two realities:

1) I was gaining weight
2) I was pissing away a lot of my hard-earned money on a fraction of the food I could make myself

When I peeked into a pot of chili in a store and heard myself say aloud, "I could make that. And better, too." I knew it was time.

You might have thought the canned tuna on a plate would be the rock bottom. It was damn close.

So, I woke up bright and early today and prioritized work that needed to get done, emails that needed to be answered, friends who I had plans to see (love love) and, most of all, cooking myself some damn food for the week. I did some simple math for a recipe which you can find right here: TURKEY 2-BEAN CHILI. About 8 oz of it at a cafe or another locale cost me ~$5.00-$7.00. The last place literally made me cry. About 5 oz of broth, a few pieces of meat and some corn. $5.39 I can't get back.

Here's the breakdown of my meal:


2 lbs fresh dark ground turkey meat: $11.00
1 can organic diced tomatoes: $2.69
1 can black beans: $2.39
1 can adzuki beans: $2.39 (the Eden brand costs a bit more, for good reason. Their cans are safer and they add kombu to their beans, adding to their nutrient density)
1 onion: $ .67
1 carrot: $ .28
$19.42 divided by about 9-10 servings is------------ $2.15 per serving.

This is why being too busy to cook isn't an option for me.

The sheer savings of money, alone, is good incentive to say nothing of the pleasure I derived from taking charge of my damn health today AND filling the house with incredible smells and some damn fine food, if I do say so myself.

That panicked feeling of grasping for crap? No more of that, thanks.

November 15, 2012

Trans* Awareness Week

This is my new reflection in the mirror each morning.

Today, I chose to capture it...and share it.

But then, I took it down from facebook almost immediately upon posting it. For all of my life, I have been hiding my chest---because I was a woman, and it's illegal to walk around topless in America.

I also was hiding because I hated my body. I hated it. And I didn't think there would ever come a day when I didn't hate it.

But that day happened. And many more have happened, since.

Since I decided to identity as transgender, my life has become unrecognizable--and thusly, so has my relationship to my body and its image. In many ways, my sense of reality has changed so much I often feel like I'm being filmed for another Matrix sequel, or being Punked by Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher.

I walk around with my head held high, my shoulders even higher and I don't have one negative thought about my body. I work out more, I eat better and I love people more--from a place of inner peace and balance that I had never known before.

The time between using the word transgender and embodying it, as I define it for myself, was really hard. It was really scary to live in that in-between place of saying one thing but not really connecting with it. The body image didn't match the mental one. I wasn't sure it ever would. There was a lot of "faking it until I made it".

But now, I don't have to fake anything. In fact, there is very little about me that doesn't feel aligned and confident and proud. There are many days where that feeling is unsettling. I can't quite explain how it feels to have lived my whole life frustrated, annoyed, encumbered and generally confused by the reflection I saw in the mirror each day and to now wake up and feel only peace and joy! Joy? Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I wouldn't have hateful, bitter thoughts when I passed by a mirror or store window. Never did I think I would want to take pictures of myself topless and post them on facebook. And never did I think I'd feel disappointed that I took it down--that I wasn't brave enough to leave it up. I guess I just figured that other people don't post pictures of themselves half naked (well, some people do, but that's why I stopped using Myspace) so I shouldn't, either.

So many people have been extremely supportive and wonderful, even as they go about their cisgendered existence---not understanding on any level what it feels like to be me. The gender and sex of their bodies make sense and they feel ok. They don't get my experience, I don't get theirs but we don't have to. We just agree to have our relative experiences.

It feels confusing but at the same time very liberating that I no longer compare my identity to theirs, feeling like I'm wrong or broken in some way because I take hormones and had surgery to look a way that feels right and good. Because, honestly? If that's what it took for me to wake up feeling more confident, centered and proud and be able to bring more grace and peace to my working relationships and friendships---so be it. The old me: full of anger, fear, self-loathing and bitterness certainly wasn't making the progress and having the incredible positive impact I've had since taking on this transition.

This is what being trans* means for me. This is what it looks like. This is what it feels like.

It feels wonderful to be me.

November 13, 2012

Cleansing Cabbage Salad

So Halloween has come and gone. And I stuck to my goal to not have one piece of candy corn for yet another year!

Feels so good.

I did have a few pieces of candy at a party I attended. I went as a Mormon missionary. It was a timely costume on the eve of our national presidential election.

In general, though, my cravings for sugar and crap food have dramatically changed since my surgery in August and the shifts I've made in my life for the past 6 months or so. On a daily basis, I wake up excited for the life I've created for myself---literally a life of my own making. When I'm doing my talks, I often share with the attendees that if they don't love their lives, it will show up in their food choices. I can truly attest to this happening for me more than once in my life, but especially now.

In general, I eat whatever I want every day. And that does include sugar and meat and wheat--all of those things in moderate amounts that feel right and good for me. I have never succeeded with total elimination of anything in my life. Just doesn't feel balanced or sustainable for me.

Even though I didn't eat a ton of sugar for Halloween, because I eat seasonally my diet is becoming more full of rich, salty, fatty foods associated with fall and winter and less of the raw, light foods associated with spring and summer. It's appropriate for this time of year. But my skin is also having a bit of a hard time due to my hormone regimen, so I need to keep things in check nutritionally to help it out as much as I can. That's why I made this raw cabbage salad the other day. The raw greens (yep, cabbage counts as a green), carrots and apple provided essential raw insoluble fiber. Because humans can't digest insoluble fiber, it increases bulk and eases movement of waste through the intestines and colon. That makes for a happy me. Cabbage is really dense in other nutrients, despite its light color (usually the darker the green, the better) so I'm a happy camper all-around.

Cleansing Cabbage Salad

3-4 cups cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, shredded
2 apples, diced or shredded


3 Tb vinegar (I was wary use apple cider but it was all I had so I made the jump. Turned out ok. Try it with white or rice vinegar, too)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame seeds (I used Gomasio)
2 tsp soy sauce (I use wheat-free Tamari)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine shredded ingredients in a large bowl.

Add dressing as needed to individual servings (keeps the salad fresher, longer).

I feel best when I'm balancing meals like the rich tastiness of a burger made of ethically- raised local beef and raw, crunchy vegetables and fruits. As we move into a time of more dense, rich foods made from animal products (meat, butter, cheese, etc.) and cooked vegetables in soups and stews, remember to add in some raw stuff from time to time, once a day or so, to keep things moving along. To keep the balance in check.

Unless, of course, you're a raw vegan. ;)

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