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How to Banish a Grumpy Attitude

Do you feel as though happiness is just out of your reach? Do you often think that you would be happy if only you could lose weight, find the perfect someone or get a promotion? Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that the more pessimistic you are about finding true happiness, the more unlikely it is that you will actually be happy once you get what you want. Researchers believe that your ability to be happy relies more on your personality than on the events in your life. If you find that you are waiting for the perfect occasion to feel satisfied with your life, then these tips can help you overcome your pessimistic attitude so that you can start enjoying life today.

grumpy woman

Identify Negative Beliefs

It is important to uncover the beliefs that are keeping you from feeling happy on a daily basis. You may feel as though you are too short to be pretty, too uneducated to be respected at work or too ugly to be loved by a partner. These thoughts may cause you to feel as though you could be happy if only you could change that one aspect of yourself. Once you identify the beliefs that are preventing you from being happy, you can discover whether those thoughts are truly accurate. If not, then you can start changing those negative beliefs by thinking opposite thoughts that are positive.

Admit that You Won’t Be Happy

If you find yourself dwelling on the single event that you believe controls your happiness, you need to let it go. Your attitude toward life will not improve just because you get one thing that you want. Your entire perspective needs to shift if you want to find true happiness. Admit to yourself that you won’t actually be happy if you find true love, get a promotion or lose those extra pounds. Remind yourself that your happiness is based on your appreciation of life rather than a single event.


Studies show that laughter changes the way your body reacts to stress, and it can make you feel more relaxed and at peace. Rather than stewing about something that has gone wrong, find a way to laugh about it. Your stress levels will decrease, and you will feel better about the situation and how you have handled it.

Keep It to Yourself

If you are feeling grumpy and pessimistic, avoid sharing it with others. When you tell others about your negative feelings on a regular basis, you will start to think that your pessimistic thoughts are actually true. This can keep you from being truly happy with your life as a whole.

Your pessimism and grumpiness can be much more damaging that you might think. They can actually prevent you from enjoying your life, and they can keep you from finding satisfaction in your achievements. These tips will help you banish those negative thoughts and feelings so that you can experience happiness on a regular basis.
photo credit: via photopin (license)

Health Coaching Wellness

The Emotional Benefits of Gardening

If you are looking for new ways to live a happy, well-rounded life, then consider starting a garden. Gardening has many health benefits, and it can improve your emotional well-being. You don’t have to have an extensive garden in order to reap the benefits of gardening, and caring for just a few plants will help you to feel happier and more relaxed.

The Benefits of Ecotherapy

Ecotherapy is a new technique that encourages patients to combat anxiety and depression by spending time in nature, and research has shown that tending a garden can be extremely beneficial. When you spend time outside with plants, you are able to move past some of the man-made walls that seem to be everywhere you look. You can soak up sunshine, listen to the birds sing and feel the breeze. The positive effect can be multiplied when you bond with nature through plants. Gardening can make you feel safe, secure and grounded, and it allows you to enjoy something that people have been doing for thousands of years. As the plants grow and thrive, you also feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, and this sense of empowerment can continue into other aspects of your life.

Happy gardnerGetting Started

While it is best if you enjoy gardening while spending time outside, you can still reap its benefits no matter where you live. If you rent an apartment in the city, a small planter on your windowsill can provide you with the time you need to savor the leaves and the soil. You can also participate in a community garden, which will allow you to spend time with others while taking care of flowers, plants and vegetables. If you have a lawn or a yard, you can create a beautiful flowerbed or start a vegetable garden, and you can

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keep a planter filled with kitchen herbs that you can harvest and use as you cook. The most important thing is to spend some time focusing on the plants as you provide them with their basic needs.

If you find that you are feeling sad, angry or overwhelmed, step outside and take care of some plants. You may find that your time with nature helps you feel better and more relaxed.

photo credit: sea turtle via photopin cc
Health Coaching

The Freshman Fifteen: Avoiding College Weight Gain

For those who are unaware, “the freshman fifteen” is a term coined to describe a considerable weight gain for the majority of first year college students. Primarily liable is the increase in fast food and consumption of alcohol. However, some argue that stress is partly to blame. In any event, the weight gain is by no means a harmless part of college life, nor is it inescapable. Still, being away from home for the first time, it can be difficult to know how to manage healthy habits while juggling new responsibilities.

So, how can this problem be averted?

There are numerous proactive ways to prevent excessive weight gain during the freshman year of college. It merely requires some will power, personal responsibility and a little savvy about your diet.

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Emotional Eating

Countless people eat – or overeat, in response to stress, fear, depression, or other emotions. By avoiding food when emotions run high, a lot of empty calories might be eluded.

Pre-occupied Eating

It may seem harmless, but eating while studying or watching TV slows the brains signal of fullness. Studies has shown that people who eat while participating in other activities can eat twice as much as those who focus on their meals.

Skipping Meals

Obviously, when individuals skip meals, they are more likely to overdo it when they actually stop to eat something. Thus taking a few minutes to have a nutritious meal or snack can prevent a binge shortly thereafter. It can be tempting to opt for an extra half hour of sleep in lieu of breakfast, but doing so can be a hard habit to break. Even if it is just a bowl of cereal, a piece of fruit or a cup of yogurt, something healthy goes a long way in keeping you full, especially if it contains a significant amount of fiber.

Portion Sizes

When many young adults are away from home for the first time, they may not pay much attention to the amount of food being consumed during each meal, however at a restaurant or cafe’ the suggested serving size is often doubled or even tripled. This can can easily result in individuals taking in twice as much as they actually need. In many instances students can save calories and money by sharing an entree with a friend. Conversely, students may opt to request that half of the meal be packaged in a to-go container, so a later meal is already taken care of as well.


Some of the biggest mistakes in health and nutrition stem from a lack of knowledge. Take a nutrition class on campus or simply enroll in an online version. For most students, nutrition can be taken as an elective and virtually all health science programs require it as part of their curriculum.


It is always a good idea to read food labels, however they can be confusing. A good guideline is to avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar and sodium. Additionally, it is crucial to know that not all ingredients are easy to spot. For example, sugar can be listed as any number of terms, including: High-fructose corn syrup, glucose, corn sweetener, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, honey, lactose, fruit juice concentrate, malt syrup, maltodextrin, saccharose, sucrose, xylose, or treacle, just to name a few. This is another reason nutrition education is so vital.

Vending Machines

While these conveniences seem to make life easier, some of the most unhealthy foods are stored in vending machines. Not only is it difficult to know how fresh the product is, but the calories, fat, sugar, sodium and various preservatives can derail even the best diet intentions. Students can maintain healthier habits by keeping a variety of quick, healthy snacks available. These might include dried or fresh fruit, vegetable slices, whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheeses, yogurt, or sugar-free pudding snacks.

Liquid Calories

This is where things can become a little tricky in terms of calorie consumption. Drinks, including alcohol and specialty coffee drinks, that contain are high in sugar, calories and fat are often the culprit behind unexpected weight gain. This is because most people do not consider how many calories they are consuming when they drink these beverages. However, many cocktails and coffee drinks are equivalent to the calories and fat of an entire meal. To circumvent these excessive calories and fat, use skim milk in coffee drinks, opt for smaller sizes and when it comes to alcohol, add seltzer water and alternate lower calorie drinks between each alcoholic beverage.

Health Coaching Wellness

Weight Loss Can Improve More Than Your Waistline

It is common knowledge that physical fitness can improve health and wellness. In fact, diabetic patients who lose just 10 percent of their body mass, 25 pounds for a 250 pound individual, have experienced fewer negative symptoms and even a decreased need for insulin. Still, many people may not be aware of some of the other advantages of losing weight.

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Saving Money

losing weight can have multiple negative effectsIndividuals who have a healthy body weight typically enjoy lower healthcare costs. This is not because there is a conspiracy against less healthy people. It is simple mathematics: healthy people do not need to visit a physician as often and usually do not have as many prescriptions as overweight or obese people. A person who is within a few pounds of his ideal weight may only see his doctor for his annual physical.Another way that losing weight can save money is by lowering the cost of grocery bills. Health conscious people do not

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buy as many packaged or processed foods, which are high in sodium and fat, as well as price. But groceries are not the only items that cost more when a person is overweight. Everything from the price of a plane ticket to the cost of a new outfit reflects a substantial difference. Some airlines go as far as requiring overweight passengers to purchase an additional ticket, which is not only expensive, but also humiliating.

More Energy

Countless individuals complain of excessive fatigue or malaise. However, many do not realize the amount of strain extra weight can place on the body. For better perspective, consider that a military knapsack typically weighs between 50 and 100 pounds. So an overweight person can be carrying the equivalent of a military knapsack, 24 hours a day. Not only does the excess weight feel heavy, but it is often awkwardly distributed, causing joints to be misaligned subsequently leading to poor balance and pain.

Lower Risk of Chronic Disease

Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s disease are more prevalent in individuals who are overweight or obese. Though the exact reasons for the link to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer are not clear, heart disease, stroke and diabetes have long been known for their association with weight and diet.

Mental Sharpness

More and more, researchers are finding links between obesity and memory problems. After losing weight, many individuals report feeling more focused on everyday tasks and fewer episodes of short-term memory loss. While science has yet to explain the reason for the mental impairment among the obese, it is becoming clear that the effects can be reversed once some of the weight is lost.

Increased Libido

Although simply being overweight does not necessarily cause sexual dysfunction, the co-morbidities associated with it have a significant impact. Problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes affect blood flow, which hinders men’s ability to perform. Similarly, women often experience decreased desire as a result.There are countless reasons to lose weight and become healthy. But healthy does not mean conforming to the unrealistic standard that everyone should look like a fashion model or actor. Healthy simply means that a person has found a balance of physical activity and proper nutrition. Too often, people give up on trying to lose any weight because they feel overwhelmed. But any positive step, no matter how small, can make a huge difference in the quality of your life.

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Anti-Obesity Coaching for Children and Adolescents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a startling 35.7% of adults and approximately 17% of youths aged 2-19 in the U.S. are obese. Alarming in and of itself, this frightening epidemic is showing no signs of decreasing in the foreseeable future. While society is not helpless to curb this trend, it is crucial that each individual takes responsibility for his role in the escalation of this terrible plague. Still, in a culture that places more value on standardized testing than on physical fitness and nutrition education, there has been a severe lack of attention to this matter. However, recently government leaders have begun to take action in efforts to reverse this dangerous trend.

childhood obesityWhile it is important to have the support of school officials and policy makers, the most significant factor in changing these statistics remains in parental responsibility. Parents must encourage physical activity and incorporate healthy snacks and meals into children’s routines. To accomplish this, it will most likely be necessary for parents to re-evaluate their own habits, but leading by example may actually do more for the cause than any other action.

There are numerous ways for parents to get their children involved in healthier lifestyles.

Plan Outdoor Activities

Though everyone seems to be busier

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and have more obligations these days, there are usually one or two days out of the week when there is some available down time. Parents can use this time to plan family ball games, bicycle trips or simple nature walks. The activity is not as important as the idea of being active.

Healthy Dining

After a long day at work many parents resort to fast food as a quick way to solve the dinner conundrum. However, with a little planning, healthy meals can be just

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as quick and more cost effective. By making casseroles and soups ahead and freezing them for later, a nutritious home-cooked meal can be as close as the microwave.

Alternative Snacks

When left to their own devices, children will choose unhealthy, easily accessible foods to fill the gap between meals. This unhealthy snacking can be thwarted by having a selection of raw fruits and vegetables or nuts pre-packaged. A platter of carrot stick and fat-free dressing takes mere minutes to prepare and offers much more sustainability than a bag of greasy potato chips.

Monitor Electronics

This does not mean parents need to be the “internet police,” but setting guidelines about how long children can be on the internet, play video games or watch television helps them find healthier ways to spend their time. This can also be used as a reward system; for example if little Billy keeps his room clean all week, he may play his video games an additional 30 minutes on Saturday.

These are some creative ways to intervene in children’s lives and help them make healthy choices. The lessons learned early will remain through adulthood and help them lead longer, healthier lives. The gift of health is the greatest thing a parent can give a child.

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ADHD Coaching

In 2010 it was estimated that 5.2 million children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17 have ADHD. However, not all of the individuals who have ADHD are children, it is now recognized that many adults suffer from its symptoms, as well. Still, the people affected by this condition are not always prepared for the challenges that it can present.

child with adhdUnfortunately, an ADHD diagnosis does not come with an instruction manual. However, there are professional ADHD coaches who can offer a different perspective on life with this condition. ADHD coaches are trained in practices and principles that are most helpful to individuals who have ADHD, as well as those who love and care for them. The techniques utilized by ADHD coaches are tactical rather than psychological, because the focus of the ADHD coach is to develop more productive ways to accomplish things. By addressing time management and the individual’s focus on tasks, the coach encourages the individual to be more aware of his habits and how to achieve more effective ones.

Since individuals with ADHD tend to become overwhelmed the magnitude of projects, coaches work with them to break down the whole task into smaller, more manageable parts. By using this approach, an individual is more likely to stay focused and complete his project. Coaches also work to teach clients how to identify and understand their individual needs and set goals accordingly.

Individuals with ADHD have considerable difficulty maintaining focus and seeing projects through to completion. But, throughout the process, the coach will offer guidance and support, as well as helpful feedback and suggestions to help his client stay on the right path. Eventually, the client will learn the skills necessary to hold himself accountable and internally remind himself to stay on track. Until that happens, the coach serves to provide those reminders.

Not everyone will gain the most benefit from coaching. An individual must be fully committed to the hard work and time it takes to see true and lasting progress. Simply hiring a coach does not guarantee results. Moreover, it is important to remember that the coach is merely a source of encouragement and support, he is not an on-call personal therapist. Additionally, he can make suggestions based on observations, but he will not be able to tell an individual what to do and when to do it. Therefore, it is crucial that individuals understand what is involved and what is expected before beginning this journey.

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Coaches Help Keep Resolutions

New Year’s is an excellent time to reflect on the past year and anticipate

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the wonder of the coming year. During this special time, a vast majority of the population makes some sort of New Year’s resolution. The idea is that with the coming of the New Year, it is possible to start anew. Thus overwhelming tasks, such as losing weight, quitting smoking or taking control of finances can seem firmly within reach, after all, there is a whole year to work on it.

Unfortunately, for many, New Year’s merely serves as a reminder of unfinished tasks and failed attempts to change for the better. As the calendar page turns to reveal a new year, an individual may think back over the previous year and feel defeated if he did not accomplish all of the goals he set for himself.

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He may not be able to focus on the accomplishments and positive things that transpired; instead he may have a negative mind-set, only concentrating on his failures and disappointments.

coaching helps keep resolutionsCountless individuals wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing, particularly as they begin to obsess over factors that contributed to previous failures. For these individuals, each year begins with a new, vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy, in which the letdowns compound into a belief that no goal is attainable and any future attempts will be equally fruitless and therefore futile. At this juncture, a life coach can offer the positive support and encouragement needed to not only stop this cycle of negativity lingering from past discontent, but also to suggest new ways to approach keeping a New Year’s resolution.

Finding a coach who has knowledge about successfully triumphing over a specific hurdle can unlock the potential hidden behind all of the self doubt and delusion plaguing countless people. Therefore, someone who has attempted to quit smoking or lose weight on her own numerous times, only to fail, can indeed find the path to victory, simply by finding the perfect coach to show her the way.

Unlike the support of friends or family,

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who despite their best efforts can only offer opinions, a life coach has fought this battle many times on behalf of others and may have even experienced the same issue himself before using his insight and passion to help others. For many life coaches, career coaches and health coaches, a personal struggle led them to help others avoid the difficulty experienced in overcoming these challenges. Moreover, a coach has is unique in that there is no bias or personal motive tied to the assistance offered. As a professional mentor, his only intention is to drive the success of his client. He seeks no personal gain and feels accomplished only when his client has realized her goal. In a world of individuals who only desire self-promotion, this level of support can seem like a foreign concept, but lacking such strong encouragement is perhaps part of the reason of what causes so many to be unsuccessful.

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Health Coaching and Eating For Well-Being

Meet Caspar Poyck, with whom I have eaten with.  He is an amazing man with a passion for well-being and balanced eating.

What is your definition of a health coach?

A health coach inspires and motivates the healthiest and happiest YOU to the foreground.  By sharing insights, experience and education and exploring what your goals for health, balance and happiness are, a coach gives you tools and keeps you motivated to stay on-track to fulfilling these goals.

Why did you become a health coach?

I have always had a fascination with the connection between the body and the mind. In 2003, I changed my life-style from being a stressed-out network television producer to enjoying my life as a holistic therapist in Ojai.  While studying clinical hypnotherapy, I chose to work as a whole food, organic chef for some of California’s most prominent yoga retreats and self-development groups.  During this time, I noticed the profound connections between our emotional and mental attitudes and the way our body functions.  This led me to researching biological mechanisms and how they relate to stress, perception etc.  I love helping people release their daily worries, (re)discover the value of a good meal shared and nourishing the body, mind and soul with healthy food.

What is unique about your coaching practice?

Consciously Culinary is the first coaching modality that uses the inherent neurological connection between eating and psychological well-being.  We work on stress management, anxiety relief, attention deficit problems, allergy management, weight-loss etc. Methods range from cooking as art therapy to walking sessions for exercise, breath and cognitive work to EFT and hypnotherapy for stress release and retraining improved behaviors and conditioning.

Who is your ideal client?

My clients range from foundations like The Joyful Heart Foundation (abuse survivors) and The Foundation for Living Beauty (breast cancer survivors) to people on my 3-day retreats to share eating, cooking and wellness experiences to those looking to manage anxiety, food intolerance and weight.

When is it time for a person to start working with a health coach?

As soon as we become aware there is room to improve the way we eat, when we eat and what we eat. When the day comes we decide we want to get more satisfaction out of our time with friends and family.When we are ready to let go of stress, anxiety, tension or worries. The day has come to call a coach and live a lighter and happier life!

About Caspar Poyck:

Caspar Poyck is a whole foods, organic chef with a catering company in Ojai, CA called Consciously Culinary.

He is also a certified hypnotherapist and uses this to uncover and heal sub-conscious patterns and assessments around self-image, emotional eating, mindless eating etc.  Even WHY we feel drawn to certain foods often has a fascinating story to tell!

Combining the two; Caspar teaches 3-day cooking, eating and yoga retreats, is a keynote speaker and takes on private clients and helps them in their home-kitchen, renewing the relationship to food. This is done in a combination of coaching, walking therapy and cooking classes to effectively implement the changes.  Caspar believes in food, nutrition and making time for the “real-things” in life. We need to Eat, Drink, Breathe and Sleep to survive……let’s do them well !

All this said, it is important to enjoy, have fun and appreciate.

The Consciously Culinary motto is: Be Healthy and Celebrate the Way You Eat; Without Dogma or Hang-ups.