Monthly Archives: October 2011

So much sugar, it is scary


Halloween can be a terrifying time for anyone who is trying to eat healthier.  Candy, chocolate, sugar, AHHH!  And it’s everywhere.  There are literal piles and piles and piles of bags of candy in grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores.  To me, this is the real terror of Halloween.
So, if you’re trying to eat healthier and have weight loss goals to achieve, how can you safely navigate the Halloween season?  Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you to stay on track.
1. Don’t buy it.  If your neighborhood participates in Trick-or-Treat, consider handing out something other than candy.  Little apples from your local orchard, small toys like spider rings or novelty erasers or temporary tattoos, even stickers or pencils are a great and useful alternative to candy.  If it’s not in your house then you won’t eat it.  Also, by not buying or handing out candy, you’re doing your part to cut down on the unhealthy sugar tsumani that overtakes us this time of year.
2. Buy only as much as you need.  If you absolutely MUST have candy in the house to give away, only buy a small amount.  When you’ve given it all away, it’s gone and you’re done.  Sometimes it can be hard to guess how many Trick-or-Treaters you’ll receive at your door, so underestimate. Do what you can to ensure that at the end of the night, the candy is gone from your possession.
3. Flex your willpower muscle.  If you cannot avoid having any candy around, this is an opportunity for you to strengthen that muscle we all have – the one that helps us make healthy choices.  Studies have shown that willpower is something we all have, and it can be strengthened and developed just like a muscle.  Resist the urge to indulge and you’ll be stronger for it, and the next time you’re tempted it will be even easier to say no.
4. If you’re having trouble resisting, eat one small morsel.  If you simply have to have a few kernels of candy corn on Halloween, or if a Bit-O-Honey is an October tradition, allow yourself a tiny bit to avoid feeling deprived.  I am NOT advocating a full-scale candy gorge!  I’m saying have only five candy corn kernels or one square of a candy bar to satisfy a one time a year candy itch, but only if you can be satisfied with a small taste.  If you know that one nibble will send you down a sugary rabbit hole of overeating, DO NOT DO IT AT ALL.
5. Find a candy buy back program.  They are popping up everywhere!  Dentists are offering to buy back candy and giving out money, toothbrushes and other items in exchange for teeth rotting, insulin spiking candy.  Usually done per pound, kids and adults alike can turn in their Halloween hauls for good stuff.
So, as we roll into Halloween weekend, please know that none of us is under an unbreakable candy spell.  Halloween can be about costumes, friends, fun, and fright and not about wrecking your healthy habits.
Speaking of costumes, what are you dressing as this year?

Take time to make time


I really believe that the single biggest obstacle in getting healthier, eating better, or starting a workout routine is time.  It’s not intention because there are really very few people out there who are not interested in getting healthier and making daily improvements.  It’s really finding the time that is the key.
We’re all busy.  All of us are.  Between jobs, significant others, kids, extended family, housework, errand running, friends, and having a wee bit of fun now and again, I’m willing to bet that you could take a poll of the average man/woman on the street and if asked if they have enough hours in the day, most would say no.  There are too many things going on and too many obligations and too many people pulling us in different directions everyday.
Fulfilling all these commitments and running around like beheaded chickens does not make us happier.  All it’s doing is making us a sicker, heavier, and more depressed nation and hopefully if you’re here you’re interested in changing that in yourself.
I know it’s terribly easy to be sedentary and not pay attention to what we eat or how we value each hour in the day.  It’s time to stop being a slave to your calendar and your busy schedule and it’s high time to start finding the minutes and hours in the day to devote to healthier living. Make it a priority. (Aren’t there some song lyrics out there that say, “You’ve got to find some time and devote it to you.”? Great advice!)
So, I have a little assignment for you!  (Have you ever read a blog that gives homework assignments?!)  Think about everything you have going on in your life right now.  Think about all your commitments and all the different directions that they pull you.  Now answer these questions:

  • Are you genuinely happy with your life the way it stands now?
  • Do you feel great and have plenty of energy throughout the day?
  • What commitments do you have that you feel are weighing you down?
  • What is standing in your way of meeting your health goals?
  • Where in your day can you find 30 minutes for yourself?

I think you can see where I”m going with this.  It’s time to take time to make time for YOU.  Do something healthy for yourself – join a gym and plan to use your membership everyday, take a walk during your lunch hour, prepare tomorrow’s lunch so you’re not tempted to go out and eat something that will work against you, take an evening power walk with your dog and/or favorite person, sit quietly without distractions and meditate.  Something.  Anything.
Just find 30 minutes to do something for yourself.
Where are you going to start?

Food Day 2011

I couldn’t have timed the beginning of my site any better.  Food Day is Monday!
We’re facing a food crisis in the United States and it’s taking several forms, ranging from the utterly sad state of school lunches, the number of Americans going to bed each night hungry, big agriculture taking over small farms, or the Standard American Diet’s utter lack of whole, natural, humane, and healthy foods.  I am positively thrilled that this movement has begun and hopefully year after year it will only get bigger and more influential.
Getting informed about all kinds of issues surrounding food is essential and I plan to make food activism a small part of what I present on this site.  Each and every thought, feeling, movement and cell in our body is a product of the food we’ve consumed over our lifetime.  I cannot think of a sentiment more powerful than that.  What we eat is that important and momentous over who we are and our quality of life, and therefore educating ourselves about the quality of our food supply, and ensuring all of us have affordable access to high quality, healthy food is fundamental.  This is why Food Day is such a huge deal!
There are many aspects to food activism and to Food Day.  Check out their 6 Principles to see which of those six principles resonates with you.  Which one most affects your life?  Where can you get involved in your community to help bring better food to all our tables?  There are also Food Day events going on all over the country on Monday.  Which one will you attend?


And here we stand.
Welcome to First Comes Health!  I am very excited to introduce this site because I just know it’s the start of something great for me and for anyone who reads along.  I have a lot in store for you, fine readers, and I can’t wait to share with you everything I know about healthy living, food, wellness, fitness and more.
Like the quote says, when starting something, no matter how large the endeavor, you just have to begin exactly where you are.  So here I am, a holistic health coach in Pittsburgh, PA USA and I’m going to start something big here.  I’m a teacher at heart and I have a lot to teach.  I am also ready to learn from you and your experiences.
For you, it might be time to make that change you’ve been wanting to make — the one that will make you healthier, fitter, feel better, give you more energy, enjoy your life more.
If you’ve been looking for the right time to start, it’s now.  If you’ve been waiting to be in the right place, you are.  If you are looking for some help and support, you’ve found it.
Let’s start our adventures together.  Today.