The Dangerous Dozen – Foods to Avoid When They’re Not Organic

istock_000004583633xsmall.jpgWhat’s a picture of a skull and crossbones doing on a Wellness blog?

Well, I hope you know me well enough by now to know I’m not big on scare tactics, and tend instead to focus on the things we CAN do to increase our wellness quotients…but today, I’d like to opt for providing a useful warning. It comes from a situation I faced this morning.

Today, I asked my new assistant to be sure to choose the organic produce when she did our grocery shopping. She had only been on the job an hour, wasn’t used to our shopping M.O. and had a question for me as I handed her the list of things I wanted her to get. “What if they don’t have organics for every item on the list?” she asked. “Should I get the conventionally grown instead, or skip the item all together?”

It just so happened I had two lists tucked into a cookbook that I’d put there a while back — lists of pesticide-ladened foods and those less likely to be as dangerous if not organic. They were given to me by a nutrition colleague, Gerry Tribble. I’ve pretty much committed them to memory, but it dawned on me that my assistant wasn’t the only one who could benefit from seeing the lists. I handed her the paper copies and made this one for you:

Researchers from a variety of backgrounds agree that these are the 12 most pesticide laden foods:

The Dangerous Dozen
Apples, Celery, Grapes (imported),
Peaches, Potatoes, Spinach,
Bell Peppers, Cherries, Nectarines,
Pears, Red Raspberries, Strawberries.

Avoid these foods when you cannot get them as Certified Organic*. I also avoid non-organic root veggies such as carrots and onions because the commercial pesticides leach into the soil and stick around for a long time.

Commercial pesticides are linked to disrupting nervous, mental and hormone functions. Chemical Pesticides can also increase the risk for developing leukemia, brain and soft tissue cancers.

Here’s a list of foods that are OK not to buy organic as few chemicals are
used during the growing process:

Few Chemicals Used During Growing Process
Asparagus, Bananas, Broccoli,
Citrus, Kiwi, Melons,
Papaya, Peas (sweet), Avocados,
Blueberries, Cauliflower, Grapes (Calif),
Mangos, Pineapples

by Gerri Tribble, N.D.

*As long as I’ve wandered on over to the “Certified Organic” territory, I thought I’d pass along a small tip. Organic.org has a useful article to help you make sense of organic labeling. Hope it, along with my lists, to make your grocery selection a bit easier this week.

Now off to eat some Organic pears and walnuts. How about you…what’s your healthy snack of choice today?

Time Out for Happiness

playing-monopoly.jpgWho knew family game night last night would lead to a blog post on the WellnessCoach blog? Not me. But I will use anything in front of me as a metaphor if I think it will help me shift and broaden my perspective on wellness. And today, I’m looking at a board game.

I believe the designers of Monopoly® were on to something when they put the “Free Parking” space on the game board. I think it was a subtle reminder to take time out and do nothing. A subtle reminder to heed the following quote in our daily lives:

“Now and then it’s good to pause
in the pursuit of happiness
and just be happy.”

– Guillaume Apollinaire

At least that’s how I’m thinking about the “Free Parking” space today.

And if you’d like to join me in this line of thinking, feel free to use this blog post as a “Free Parking” spot for yourself today. In your pursuit of happiness, your rush to read blogs, gather new information, and all matters you face, take a break.

Right here.

Right now.

Take one deep breath.

Close your eyes and just feel the joy of taking that breath.

Yes, just like that.

Take this one moment to be happy, right here, right now.

For this one breath.

Namaste

EARTH-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS Wellness Product Reviews: Part 4 of 4

earthglobe.jpgThanks for tuning in for the 4th post in this Wellness Product Review Series. We’ve now looked at products from the Detox Diet Front, the Fitness Front and, in the previous post about Acai Green Tea, from the Healthy Food & Beverage Front. Today, I report on products from another Front altogether.

If you’re a new reader, a scan of my posts will tell you that my view of Wellness encompasses a substantially large arena. My definition of Wellness includes paying attention to the quality of what we put into our bodies, minds, and spirits as well as what we put into the world around us.

On that note, today I’m turning my attention to Earth-Friendly cleaning products that will bring wellness to your outer world and in so doing will contribute to your overall wellbeing.

As a reminder, here is the key to the rating system I use:
☺ ☺ ☺ = Great product. I’m using it and love it. Go get it. (Or make it:)
☺ ☺ = Good product. I’m using it/own it. You might want to try it.
☺ = It has merit, but I’m not personally using it. Use with caution.
☹ = Don’t bother.

REVIEW FROM THE EARTH-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS FRONT:

While the non-toxic carpet cleaning methods used by our Stanley Steemer guy are wonderful, I don’t call him every time a tomato-sauce- ladened plate dumps on the carpet or a glass of red wine gets knocked over. Here’s what I use when I’ve had one of those days:

Folex® Instant Carpet Spot Remover

folex.jpgProduct Description: “Folex is a Water Based Non-Ionic Surfactant. Water Based means that it uses water to wash the stain away, for safety, and virtually residue free cleaning. Unlike soap, solvents, or oil based cleaners that can be smelly, toxic, flammable, leave a sticky residue, or damage the carpet backing. Folex is also: Non-Flammable, contains no solvents of any kind; Odor-Free, no unpleasant chemicals; and CFC and Petroleum Free.” [Folex Website Description]

Price: $7.99 (At Safeway. And I see Home and Beyond sells it for $6.88)

WellnessCoach Assessment:
I’m not sure there is much more to say, so I’ll re-iterate: Water-based, Non-toxic, Non-flamable, Odor-free, CFC and Petroleum-free. Plus it really works, which is probably why it’s been around 30 years.

My Personal Experience:
I swear that my housekeeper’s cleaning concoction (a solution of baking soda, vinegar, and water) cleans most things around my home and office. But it just doesn’t do the trick for getting stains and spots out of white or light-colored carpet. That’s a job for Folex (and no, I don’t get paid for the promotion, I jut believe in the stuff.) I’m extremely sensitive to fumes, toxic cleaners, etc., and I think the earth just might be too. So when I use this, we both win:)

Overall Rating: ☺ ☺☺

Earth-Friendly Products you Probably Have on Hand:

– A solution of vinegar and water will clean mirrors and glass
– Vingar, baking soda and water clean most cleanable surfaces
– Salt and vinegar clean copper pots and other things copper-made
– Line a glass baking dish with aluminum foil, sprinkle in baking soda, set your sterling silver jewelry or utensils in the dish, pour boiling water over the top an voilka – clean and shiny and a smiling earth.

What tips do you have? Please share!

P.S. A big winter thank you to the folks over at the Liz Strauss Open Mic night. They don’t know it but they helped keep me on track tonight. Thanks to Liz, Tim, Eric, Erik, Glenda , Karen , Suzie and Brooke

For the Love of Tea – A Wellness Product Review

green-tea.jpgWelcome back for the next installment in my Wellness Product Review Series. Last week, I reported from the Fitness Front with a review of the Yoga to the Rescue DVD. Today, I’m reporting in with a short snippet from the Healthy Food and Beverage Front. (Just a moment while I take a sip of tea here…. Ahh.)

Okay, here’s a reminder of the rating system I use in this series:

Rating key:
☺ ☺ ☺ = Great product. I’m using it and love it.
☺ ☺ = Good product. I’m using it. For now.
☺ = It has merit, but I’m not personally using it. Use with caution.
☹ = Don’t bother.

REVIEW FROM THE FOOD & BEVERAGE FRONT:
If you’re a green tea lover, and also keen on getting an extra share of super antioxidants from acai (ah-sigh-ee), this just might be your new favorite tea.

Acai Green Tea by The Republic of Tea®

republic-of-tea.jpgProduct Description: “Acai berry is one of the most nutritious fruits in the world. For centuries, inhabitants of the amazon rainforest have gathered these berries from the acaizeiro palm tree for their powerful health benefits. This deep purple fruit has the rich flavors of concord grape and ripe blueberries…Green tea has been revered for centuries in the Far East for its health-enhancing properties.” Republic of Tea®

Price: $9.50 U.S. for 50 Tea Bags

WellnessCoach Assessment:
Acai, a “superfruit”, is rich in the antioxidants known as polyphenols. So is green tea. Putting the two together was brilliant on the part of the Republic of Tea (and no, I’m not paid to endorse them:) You’ll find tons of research that shows these polyphenols will help guard the body against the harmful molecules known as free radicals (which can cause heart disease, premature aging, and certain forms of cancer.)

My Personal Experience:
I’ve been drinking this tea fairly consistently since I got it last month — say an average of 2-3 cups a day. I like the flavor – a bit tart and a bit sweet. I don’t use a sweetener in it, but I don’t use one in any tea. It tastes heartier than straight green tea, and if you’ve ever had straight acai juice, you know what I mean. (If not, you can buy straight acai juice at the health food store and test it out…and let me know what you think.)

Anyway, since I’m a plain-green-tea lover by nature and don’t always want the addition of the acai flavor, I stick to straight green tea in the morning and sip this tea throughout the day. I like that this Acai Green Tea gives me a double dose of antioxidants, so I plan on keeping it in my weekly tea regime for now.

Overall Rating: ☺ ☺

Stay tuned: next in the series, I’ll review an environmentally-friendly cleaning product your carpet and spills shouldn’t be without. I know I said I’d do it this time, but cold weather blew in and a mug of the tea was calling my name…you know how it is:)

Got Wellness Products You Recommend? Add a comment and share!

WELLNESS PRODUCT REVIEWS: Part 1 of 4 Reviewed: The Fast Track Detox Diet

product-review-series.jpgThis is the first in a series of four posts where I’ll give you my review of a Wellness product, book or approach that’s recently come my way. I’ve tested, tried or read and reviewed each one thoroughly, and I’ll give you my professional and/or personal experience with one product per post.
Rating key:
☺ ☺ ☺ = Great product. I’m using it and love it. Go get it.
☺ ☺ = Good product. I’m using it/own it. You might want to try it.
☺ = It has merit, but I’m not personally using it. Use with caution.
☹ = Don’t bother.

1. Review From the Nutrition Front:

detox-diet.jpgDetox Diet & Book: The Fast Track Detox Diet
by Ann Louise Gittleman, PH.d., C.N.S.

Book & Detox Diet Description: “Gittleman’s easy-to-follow program includes seven days of adding healing foods to your diet to prepare for the detox process; a one-day fast featuring her spiced Miracle Juice, designed to stave off hunger and flush out toxins; and three days of eating healthy foods to seal in the result of the fast…” (From the book’s back cover.)

Price: $12.95 U.S.

WellnessCoach Special Note: My clients know my stance on fasting, diets for weight loss, and toxins in food and the environment, but I haven’t really come out with my opinion here on the blog before…so here it is:

Eating organic and using personal and home-care products that are toxin-free is critical; nutrition education and exercise are critical components of the weight-loss story; but weight loss is a much bigger conversation than just diet and exercise; a Blood-Type approach to nutrition is important; fasting is such a loaded topic that I don’t keep it in my Nutrition Educator or personal vocabulary; and the real key to weight loss is getting to and dealing with the issues that are at the heart of the matter for each individual.

But…
That said, I agreed to review this book for a number of reasons. First, it appears its main focus is detoxification, not just weight loss. Next, in nutrition school I was a big fan of Ann Louise Gittleman’s 1997 book, Your Body Knows Best. I liked the introduction to her blood type-based approach to nutrition and individual metabolic considerations. So I wanted to see if the same thread of her nutritional expertise was apparent in this new book.

Also, several new clients asked my opinion on the Fast Track Detox Diet book, and I like to keep up with current nutritional literature in the mass market, so I bought a copy. Then in early January, in her Slim People in Progress blog, Denise Wakeman asked if anyone had experience with the Detox Diet or the book. I commented back and said I’d get to reviewing it. So Denise, this one’s also for you and your readers☺

WellnessCoach Assessment:
Nutrition expert Ann Louise Gittleman does a phenomenal job spelling out the harm that pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic additives, and pollution in the environment bring to our health. She makes a strong case for the need to internally cleanse ourselves regularly with an age-old tradition of a detox fast, but one that is also based on sound nutritional principles.

In all the years I’ve assessed detox diets, I can say I haven’t seen one so thoroughly presented, nor one that covers the myriad of issues (body/mind/spirit) that are involved in the world of detoxification diets. The plan even includes: a plan for journal entries for the emotional level along with breathing exercises; recommended pro-biotics; different approaches for those with different goals; supplements for each approach; cosmetics to avoid; recipes; resources and contact info for detox diet supplies; visualization tools to use; and Bach Flower remedies to include.

My Opinion in a Nutshell
So, how do I put this together with the Special Note I wrote in the block quote above, where I say I’m not a proponent of fasts? This way:

– Above all else, if you choose to fast, engage a licensed health practitioner to supervise any fast you undertake. In my view, this goes for everyone, not just those who have health challenges, are elderly, or have compromised immune systems.

– If you think you want to use the plan in this book, give your health practitioner a copy of the book to read thoroughly so both of you are familiar with the approach. Be sure you have read it thoroughly as well.

– If the decision you make together is for you to follow the plan, schedule regular sessions with your practitioner during the entire process. Stay in touch throughout.

– If you do go forward, don’t skip any of the steps outlined in the book, unless your practitioner specifies that you do. The prequel to the fast is a critical component and so are the recommended protocols for supplements, fiber, pro-biotics and recommended amounts of water to drink.

– Consider having a Detox Diet buddy that is going through the same process, so you have additional support. This person also needs to get health supervision.

– Go Organic for as much of this approach as is possible if you are going to do this.

– Skip Path A – the Fastest Track – and Opt for Path B, The Cheater’s Path, (I wouldn’t have called it that…I’d have called it the we’re-all-human Path…but hey, it’ not my book). Again, your practitioner’s advice is vital. I just don’t see a need for the “fastest” anything.

– If you review the whole book and decide to skip the whole Detox Diet (my vote), there is strong merit in doing the Emotional Detox component (chapter 7) on its own.

Overall Rating:
Note: The book itself is thorough, well presented, and comprehensive. As I said though, I’m not a fan of fasting or diets and this didn’t change my mind. Does contain other useful information though.

My Personal Experience:
Well, as you now know, I’m not a proponent of fasting, so you won’t see a personal report of my own fasting experience here, because I don’t do fasts. But you do have my assessment of the book’s approach from a Nutrition Educator’s view, and that’s what I can offer.

I will also say that I’m a strong proponent of doing what we can to keep harmful toxins at bay, whenever possible. I live by my own advice to clients and yes, I: Take a Blood-Type approach to my own eating plan and approach to supplements; drink lots of pure water; eat all organic at home and as often as possible when eating out; avoid toxic cleaning and personal-care products; and engage in regular “Emotional Detox” work by using the Gremlin-Taming® method (designed by Rick Carson, author of Taming Your Gremlin®).

A Bloggy Note:
This review was initially going to be a short list of Wellness Tools for you to try, without my own bias. My thanks goes to blog guru, Chris Garrett, for the advice he gave in his January 21st post that bloggers should marry their expertise with personal experience. As you can see, I’ve taken his advice to heart…and I had fun doing so. I’ll be doing 3 more of these reviews i this series, and I’m bound to do more over time. Stay tuned.

Happy Holidays, Winter Solstice and New Year

winter-snowflake.jpgDecember 22nd marks the 2007 Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and that means Winter is officially upon us where I am at this shortest day of the year.

It’s also the day when I know we are heading toward more daylight and somehow that always lifts my spirits.

I make the Winter Solstice a private celebration each year with a mug of tea, my favorite pen and my journal. I use a series of questions once put forth to me in a workshop by cultural anthropologist and author, Angeles Arrien, to review the lap that I just traveled around the sun this year. As I’ve done for years, here’s what I’ll be contemplating tomorrow:

Year in Review
as asked by Angeles Arrien

A. This last year
In Myself, My Relationships, My Work, and My Community:
1. Where have I been strengthened this year?
2. What has softened in me this year?
3. What has deepened (integrated or fallen into place) this year?
4. What has opened (what’s new, what have I learned, where am I being stretched) in my nature this year?

Regardless of where you are in the world, or what holiday you celebrate, I wish you much peace and many “sacred moments” today, this season, next year and beyond.

What held meaning for you this last year? Let us know in a comment!

P.S. I also want to point out that new little icon over on the lower end of the right sidebar, under Tools for the Journey…the blue one that says RoadID. It will take you to a site that showcases a product I have fallen in love with. It’s an ID bracelet (comes in many cool colors, too) that you can wear while running or outdoors. The vital information you have engraved on the tag could save your life if you got stranded or hurt. But wait, there’s more…

You can alternatively engrave your 2008 goals on the bracelet, and wear it to remind yourself to keep on track. But here’s the thing…

Who are you???
I am not the originator of this idea by any means. I have to thank the person who mentioned it in his blog recently. And here is the embarrassing part. I can not for the life of me remember who that was. And I even went and bought 6 of the ID’s using his $1 off gift, and then became an affiliate.

So, yes, head to the site and check out the ID tags. Get some for yourself and your friends…you could be saving lives, or the life of your business. But if you know who also mentioned this in their blog recently, or if it is you, please let me know. I am grateful for your tip and owe you major blog link love.

The 20th Tip for Happy and Stress-Free Holidays

look-closely.jpgThe first 19 tips for a Relaxing Holiday Season were wonderfully presented today by Edward Mills, in the Evolving Times Blog. I’d like to add the 20th tip here.

Just Notice
Yes, this is the tip I offer you this season…Just Notice. Simple words, challenging to remember. The method? Glad you asked…

Try this:

Throughout the day, take time to be present to the moment before you.

First, ask yourself: “What do I notice here?”

Then check within yourself and with all that’s around you by asking:

How is my breathing?
Are my shoulders tensed?
Am I grinding my teeth?
What is literally right in front of me?

And the big question:

What about this haven’t I noticed before? (I was instructed in a workshop once to ask myself this question while looking at a $1 bill for 15 solid minutes, where all we did was to notice something on the bill that we hadn’t noticed before. It was quite illuminating.)

Make no judgments about what you notice, just notice it. Examples: “I see a desktop with 10 stacks of paper, an over-flowing in-box, I don’t think I’m breathing, there is a holiday card from a dear colleague and my clock says 3pm.” or “I see a table of gift wrap, a sink full of dishes, my breathing is shallow, my shoulders are hunched and tight, I see small flecks of glitter on the card my niece made, and I never noticed the way the light comes in through the shutters in the afternoon.”

Then take a deep breath and continue with what you are doing.

I can guarantee that if you “just notice” and omit the judgments (“Oh, this place is a mess and I am way behind”), and simply answer the questions above, the “just noticing” will go a long way toward keeping you focused on the heart-centered present…which is all the holiday present you might really need:)

What tips do you have for stress-free holidays? Let us know!

Seven Sacred Attitudes® –Living in the Richness of the Moment During the Holidays and New Year

3207cvr.jpgThe holidays and a new year bring many opportunities to “live in the richness of the moment”, as I call itor to “live consciously” as Leo Babauta says in his ZenHabits post today. But most of those opportunities for conscious and rich living will go unnoticed if we stress out, multi-task and rush around getting everything “just right” for our celebrations and year-end business obligations.

To reclaim the richness of those moments, I’ve found It’s helpful to adopt the 4-step practice I call, Stop…Breath…Notice…Choose.™ And though I’d love to teach it to you in a coaching program or a Sacred Attitudes workshop next year, the holidays are already underway and I’ll bet you’d like to start reclaiming those moments right this minute. Good news is, you now can!

Announcing the arrival of my e-book! Yes, after a successful year in paperback, Seven Sacred Attitudes has morphed into its new form. For those traveling a path of personal growth and development and wanting to live more meaningful lives, here’s the e-book no “traveler” should be without: Seven Sacred Attitudes®: How to Live in the Richness of the Moment.

I am honored that wellness expert, Dr. Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., endorsed the book by saying:

“Erica Ross-Krieger’s words are wise, sensible and compelling. From the very first page, her profound Seven Sacred Attitudes will become an important part of your life. It is with admiration and acclaim that I recommend this must-read book to everyone desirous of adopting attitudes that heal.”

— Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.
Author of Love is Letting Go of Fear
Founder, Center for Attitudinal Healing

A few notes about the e-book:
With compelling stories and thought-provoking questions this e-book will encourage you to open your heart and explore your attitudes toward life. Learning the 4-step process to cultivate the Seven Sacred Attitudes will help you lead a more joyful, meaningful life. Discovering more about the attitudes will be a juicy journey. The Sacred Attitudes are:

* Use Inner Wisdom
* Accept What’s So
* Go Slow
* Do Less
* Show Up
* Trust the Process
* Be With the Questions

Each essay, fable, and story in Seven Sacred Attitudes illustrates one of the Sacred Attitudes, revealing that every step, every breath, along life’s path presents an opportunity to deepen your learning. Questions help you examine—and cultivate—energy-giving attitudes for personal growth and a rewarding life.

So, enjoy the e-book and join me in the practice of reclaiming each moment, so we can fully enjoy the season and cultivate the richness of the New Year.

P.S. Here are a few more endorsements of the e-book and mega-thanks for giving me the chance to share my good news:

“This engaging life manual teaches you to rely on Sacred Attitudes to nurture your inner wisdom, cultivate serenity, and allow happiness to emerge. Following Erica Ross-Krieger’s simple daily process of ‘Stop, Breathe, Notice, and Choose’ will help you focus on the heart-centered present.”

— Roger Jahnke, O.M.D.
Author of The Healer Within and The Healing Promise of Qi

“As you contemplate the delicious gems inside Seven Sacred Attitudes, you will find Erica Ross-Krieger has accomplished two marvelous things: first, she reveals the Heart of a true Teacher; and second, she gives us a new model for being with ourselves, coaching others, and making our lives full and meaningful.”

— Craig Carr, CPCC, PCC

Founder, Coaching Elements, Inc.
Senior Trainer, Coaches Training Institute

Seven Sacred Attitudes is a compelling and inspirational book. Who can resist finding out what the Seven Sacred Attitudes are and how we can use them for healing our lives?”

— Angeles Arrien, Ph.D., Author of The Four-Fold Way and Signs of Life

About the Author

What will you do continuously?

In his Zen Habits blog yesterday, author Leo Babauta wrote a delicious post called Faith in Humanity: How to Bring People Closer, and Restore Kindness. As others who inspire me have done before, he wrote of the simple acts of kindness and “paying it forward” that help make this world a better place. In the past, I’ve responded to the idea of “paying it forward” with great enthusiasm for a day or two. I’ve anonymously paid bridge tolls for cars behind me, put money in expiring meters and volunteered my time.

But somehow, after a day or two, I forget. This time, I have an idea for keeping the idea alive. Leo offered his e-book for free to the first 30 people to comment to his post, and a link to those who wrote about the post in their blogs (like this one) and mentioned how they would “pay it forward.” I think the best way I can “pay Leo forward” is to offer this idea to my readers:

I’ll be posting a yellow stickie on my mirror as soon as I’m done with this post. It will say: “How will you spread kindness today?”

I hope you’ll do the same. It will remind us to consciously look for ways to “pay it forward” every day…not just for a few days. Thanks for the nudge, Leo.

Your Wellness Manifesto – Don’t Wait for the New Year!

megaphone.jpgI’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. That doesn’t mean I’m not a goal-setter, it’s just that I’d rather develop new habits (personal and professional) one day at a time, keep assessing progress throughout the year, and make course corrections as I go. I encourage my clients to do the same.

Wellness Manifesto
One of the tools I use to assess my overall wellness is a “living” document that I call a “Wellness Manifesto” – my clients have caught on and love the idea, so it’s the heart of this post today. A Wellness Manifesto is a written declaration of activities (and non-activities) that support wellbeing as you define it, declared in the present tense. I say that the document is “living” because you continue to refine it and revisit it on an on-going basis, not just at the New Year.

What Does the Manifesto Contain?

The Manifesto’s key components are: The Current Date, The Next Review Date, Your Wellness Intention, Keywords (words used frequently in the intention and/or those that you used that hold lots of juice for you) and 3 Habits to Strengthen.

Frequency
I suggest revisiting your Wellness Manifesto quarterly and reading it aloud to at least one other person. Since I did so in September, my own Wellness Manifesto is already in good shape for the holidays.

Focuses Your Intention
When I glance at the Wellness Manifesto document each day, I’m reminded of my Wellness intentions. For example, I’m reminded that, in keeping with my Manifesto, I want to look back a week after Thanksgiving land say, “How wonderful it was to eat well, enjoy the gathering of friends and family, and get some exercise that day.” I’m just more likely to act accordingly if I write the Manifesto “as if” things I intend to do have already taken place. It doesn’t guarantee anything…it just helps me put my attention on what I want regarding my wellness.

Example of a Wellness Manifesto
Look through the following example of a simple Wellness Manifesto that I revised in September. Notice it is written in present tense as if these things are already firmly in place as I write it. Notice the keywords are really the top values I’m declaring to be of importance right now. Looking at this list each day (as well as having announced and read the Manifesto to my coach In September) supports the 3 habits I want to strengthen during this time.

Date: September 1, 2007

Next Review Date (three months): December 1, 2007
*************************

Wellness Manifesto of: Erica Ross-Kriegeer

I experience wellness in body, mind and spirit. I rise early in the morning so I can enjoy the quiet hours before the active day begins. I use the time to meditate, stretch, write a few words of gratitude in my journal and identify my priorities for my business. In this way, I am more focused and prepared for the full day ahead. I focus on relaxation during the holidays, build restful “time-outs” into my workday, spend time outdoors daily and also clear time to spend with family and friends. I take time to truly savor the healthy food I put into my body and know that when I do so I’m caring for the vehicle that let’s me do the work I love to do in the world.

Keywords:
Quiet
Priorities
Focused
Relaxation
Body, Mind, Spirit
Healthy Food
Savor
Enjoy Friends & Family
Exercise

3 Habits to Strengthen:
Rising at 6am
Daily time outdoors
Business Priorities set each day

A Gentle Yet Powerful Reminder
I don’t suggest using the Wellness Manifesto to give yourself a hard time – I figure Life can be hard enough as it is some days. Just use it to keep your eye on what’s important.

For instance, let’s say you’re currently working on developing the habit of getting up a half-hour earlier than you used to (like I am). You can keep your manifesto by your nightstand and your alarm clock. On the manifesto will be a few keywords that you want to emphasize in your life right now – words that could include: quiet time, priorities, and focus. You might glance at the document before bed, taking a minute to imagine those qualities as already present in your life.

When the alarm goes off in the morning, and you’re tempted to hit the snooze button one more time (or turn it off and go back to sleep) just glance at the manifesto again. Ask yourself if those qualities of  quiet time, priorities, and focus are important?

If so, glancing at that list might just be all you need to get going and further solidify your habit of getting up earlier. If not, and you choose not to get up, don’t beat yourself up about it later on. Just re-group and course-correct. Maybe 15 minutes earlier is a better target for a while. Maybe getting to bed earlier is where you really need to focus. Just revisit the manifesto, revise it, declare it to someone again, and gently get back in the saddle.

Your Turn
I invite you to use the example above as a guide to create your own Wellness Manifesto and put it into place before the winter holidays this year.

It could just be one of the best gifts you give yourself.

What will your Wellness Manifesto say? Send a comment and let us know.

Oh…and do you see how you could do a Wellness Manifesto for your business? (Another topic for another post:)