The holiday season, speciality days and birthdays are often associated with excess. Too much food, drink, spending – you name it, we tend to go to the max. That is probably why the Christmas season is also called the silly season. If you are trying to reduce waste and go the eco-friendly root, these can be incredibly challenging.

Shops and online marketing are geared up to get us in the mood, whether it be Valentine, Mother or Fathers Day or Christmas.  

However, as citizens of the planet, we are collectively faced with the need to change and rethink the old ways. This can be stressful if you don’t know where to start. 

To ease the stress and keep the fun of gift buying, here are some eco-friendly, low-waste, low-cost gift ideas for you to spoil your loved ones with.

There are some links to local providers here in South Africa, but there are bound to be like minded businesses in your area.

1. Teacher Gifts

These last few years have been exceptionally challenging for teachers worldwide (thanks pandemic!), and a year-end gift is not only a great idea but an opportunity to express our gratitude. But, as much as they appreciate it, I’m pretty sure they have rooms filled with mugs, pens, books etc., labelled “Best Teacher”.

Why not consider giving them a herb plant for their windowsill. Rosemary and Basil are hardy plants and easy to grow, not to mention great additions to many recipes.  

If you are wanting some of these edible gifts and all the things that go with it check out:

2. Co-worker Gifts

I have yet to know of someone who gets excited about year-end co-worker gifts. Of course, you usually have a limited budget and zero ideas about the person you must gift.  But these are exciting times, and things are happening in the world that affects everyone. Like reducing the number of plastic packets in the world.  

Reusable shopping bags are anything but boring. You can get highly creative here, and if you are handy with a crochet needle or sewing machine, you can go wild—flamboyant Flamingos on one, motorcycles on another, prickly pears for Sue in accounting – hehe. 

Hop on over to these stores for not just re-usable shoppers, but a shop full of plastic free, earth friendly goodies.

3. Foodie Gifts 

I know, this is where the herbs are supposed to go – right?  

People who love being in the kitchen and are trying to go low waste eco-friendly will tell you that a lot of waste and non-eco-ness can happen in the kitchen. A big one is buying veggies from chain stores. Some crops that are grown are not sustainable and are doing serious damage to the environment. The amount of ‘ugly’ produce that gets dumped even though there is nothing wrong with it is criminal. 

With that in mind, consider gifting a week/month supply of organic veggies from your local co-op or farm to table supplier. If you aren’t doing this for yourself already, you may be surprised at how reasonable the pricing is and how amazing it is to get fresh, organic veggies delivered to your doorstep with no unnecessary plastic or wrapping – Priceless! 

Our friends at Real Food Connection and Fresh Box have some awesome deals.

FRESH BOX have gone the extra step and built in food donations into their offering. For every fresh box you purchase you are helping feed an underprivileged child.  

4. Kids Gifts 

Kids grow up so quickly, and their tastes change just as fast. Before you spring for the latest and greatest, see if moms in the area are keen to do a swap. Most kids have an abundance of toys that have hardly been used or never, for that matter. They end up just lying at the back of the cupboard—a duplicate tea set, tractor, puzzle etc.  

There are also speciality stores that cater for plastic-free toys that can be kept as family heirlooms. 

Get thrifty and start looking around for sturdy, timeless gifts that your kids will appreciate and cherish, even when they’re adults.

These toy stores have no shortage of awesome gifts.

5. Gifts for Him 

Gone are the boring old days of giving soap-on-a-rope. So whether he shaves every day or is looking after a well-manicured beard, there are stunning options available for the men in your life.

Shop personal care essentials and accessories that won’t break the bank. Metal razor kits are not only trendy, but they also do away with disposable plastic razors, and we’re all about low-waste gifts that you can use for years and years.

For all of your plastic-free personal grooming needs, check out:

6. Gifts for Her 

If the lady in your life is an eco-warrior, you have no end of gifts you can get her. So why not purchase an online course she can access at any time. Courses that were previously only available in person and in other countries are now moving online rapidly.  

My friend Christina over at Natural Nerd has an amazing soap making course that you cannot miss out on.

 7. The Zero Waste Eco Warrior Starter Pack 

Many people simply aren’t aware of what’s available to them. They might be thinking of getting started with less plastic but aren’t sure how to go about it. Why not put together a pack of eco essentials that they might be hesitant to try or don’t even know to exist. This may not seem like a glamorous gift, but it is always fun to try new things. 

Consider a kit with: 

  • Bamboo toothbrush (bamboo sourced from sustainable crops and not packaged in a plastic bubble pack) 
  • Toothpaste pellets (no plastic tubes, chew the pellet, wet your toothbrush and brush) 
  • Bar soap (no plastic bottles, no plastic wrappers, and no strange ingredients)  
  • Soap bag (to collect all the left-over soap bits and use them to the very end – no waste!) 
  • Eco-Earbuds (made from renewable bamboo & cotton crops) 
  • Essential Oil blend (used instead of perfume or for health benefits) 
  • Face cloth (made from organic & sustainable cotton) 

To find your perfect comb0 try any of these stores:

8. Gifts for clients 

Before rushing off to purchase gimmicky gifts for your clients, consider donating to charities on their behalf and sending them a heartfelt card or email telling them about the charity and your decision. Or give them a list of charities they can choose from, and you donate on their behalf. 

The world has seen fires, floods, earthquakes and pandemics at unprecedented levels over the past few years. 

There is undoubtedly a need near you or somewhere in the world. 

Here is a list of charity organization in South Africa that you can choose from:

9. Gifts for the person that has everything 

We all have someone like this in our lives. They have everything they need or want and aren’t really keen on getting anything more. In this case, you want to give something, but that does not impose or clutter.  

Something edible is usually a good bet. They can either enjoy it themselves or share it with their loved ones. You could bake something or approach an artisanal supplier in your area. Homemade bread, condiments or desserts are so much better than store-bought. 

Or you could try almond butter toffees! 

 10. Gifts for Fur Babies 

Just like their human moms and dads, our pets feel the effect of our environmental woes. More than ever, our pets have to deal with diabetes, cancerobesity and skin conditions, to name a few. 

Before buying that cute plastic chew toy or stocking up on plastic poop bags, there are now a host of environmentally friendly, compostable options. In addition, many people are also starting to make healthy, wholesome snacks for your favourite animal. 

Let’s Wrap It All Up

We cannot talk about gifts and not talk about wrapping. Sometimes an option is staring you in the face like a beautifully illustrated dishcloth (see @terryangelosartor a t-shirt, but sometimes we need a little inspiration. Pinterest is probably the best place to go for this. I suggest typing in DIY Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap. I also suggest you have enough food and water nearby because this is a rabbit hole like no other. You could be lost for days!

Also, consider telling the person receiving the gift that your purpose is all about avoiding waste and adding value. If the gift is something they feel they won’t use, let them know they are welcome to pass it on to someone who will – no hard feelings.

The takeaway is this – yes, the gifts may not be flashy and ‘trendy’, but they come from the heart and count. They count because they do not harm; they come from the heart and have longevity.

Happy Gifting

Dawn

 

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You may have noticed a logo in my web page’s footer saying ‘The Ethical Move” and wondered what it’s all about. Well, instead of guessing, I thought I should take some time and tell you a little about it, as it is very important to me.

In their own words, The Ethical Move believe that:

“how we sell matters”

The Ethical Move is a group of people taking the first step in moving away from the manipulative selling techniques used in the digital world. As members, we pledge not to use particular selling and marketing techniques or to use them responsibly. The pledge focuses on seven primary elements. The folks at The Ethical Move have a pledge page explaining each element well: The Pledge.

But here is a summary in my own words…

Charm Pricing

Charm Pricing is when a seller tries to make an item seem cheaper by going a single/few digits under the higher amount. A great example is instead of saying something costs $100; they say $97.

As a member, we pledge not to use the number 9 in our pricing.

Countdowns

The “Get It Now Before This Deal Expires” Deal. You get so worried you will miss out that you rearrange your entire (sometimes limited) budget to get the deal in time – only to find that it’s still running a week/month later. Countdowns in itself is not an unfair practice, but unscrupulous parties can abuse it to create that ‘knot in the stomach’ feeling of missing out.

Yes, there are instances where an offer is limited. For example, as I prepare my online courses, I will also be running them for a limited time each year which means there will be a cut-off.

The difference – the cut off is genuine, and you will know upfront when and how often the course is running. If you cannot afford it or don’t have time for it now, you can always sign up when it runs again.

False Scarcity

False Scarcity often ties in with No.2 (countdowns) and can get you anxious. As a solopreneur, I honestly can only accommodate so many seats at a live venue or for the online course. I prefer to interact directly with my class, and there are limits.

If a course is fully automated or the offer is electronic, there is often no need to create this pressure.

Lead Magnets

Lead Magnets is a difficult one. The deal is this: I give you something free in exchange for your email address. Without it, many businesses would be dead in the water. Email lists are how we grow our client base and keep them informed. So really, it isn’t ‘free’ in the true sense of the word.

The problem is when you make this trade and then get inundated with emails, sales and promotions that may or may not include content you even signed up for.

Not all of us are marketing guru’s, and it can be difficult for someone like myself to know how much is enough and if we are still adding value – which is our primary intention.

The responsible thing to do is make sure your subscribers know they can unsubscribe at any point – no hard feelings. Their information is not sold or farmed out for profit, and you stick to what you said you would.

Bait and Switch

This one drives me crazy. You get told to take a quiz, and you will receive something personalized – or something like that.

But all you get is sales pitches and buy this to get that nonsense! I want to think I cannot be hooked by Bait & Switch, but (sigh) it still happens.

All I can say to marketers that use this – enough already!!

Woke Washing

This one is a particularly nasty element to marketing nowadays. I battled to write this paragraph without ranting. So I decided to quote directly from The Ethical Move:

Woke washing is the appropriation of ethical and progressive values with the intent to leverage image and increase sales, when behind closed doors, the actions and words don’t match the reality (when a brand donates to BLM while exploiting BIPOC in their supply chain).

– The Ethical Move

As members, we pledge to be transparent and honest about our actions and words.

Secret Recipe

Secret Recipe is something I often refer to as the Silver Bullet Solution. Unfortunately, it happens a lot in the health and wellness industry and can be very frustrating seeing a continuous stream of the same rhetoric: ‘You will get these miraculous results if you eat this and do that!’

I’m not saying some of these ‘secret recipes’ don’t work. What I am saying is that they will not work for everyone. If it did not work for you, then it isn’t your fault, and there isn’t something wrong with you. Even if a million people had success, they do not live your life, have your DNA or deal with what you deal with. You are unique and not a statistic.

There is also more than one solution to anything, and more often than not, there is no hack or shortcut.

What do we do about it?

So there you have it. Honestly, there isn’t much you can do other than educate yourself and your family around these tactics. But, as a blogger, business owner, entrepreneur or anyone with influence, you can perhaps do what I am…

I promise to uphold these values and apply them responsibly. I am grateful to have guidelines like these and honestly hope others will do the same.

Dawn

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Bruce Lipton is a Stem Cell Biologist with a focus on Epigenetics. With a bio like that, you would be forgiven for thinking you needed a science or biology degree to read any of his books. At least, that’s what I had felt before reading The Biology of Belief. You know the type. You dare not read unless you have access to Google to help you decipher the words, let alone the concepts.

Pleasant Surprise

Technical jargon was, surprisingly, not the case – it ended up being a fascinating read with a ton of “oh, so that’s what that means” moments in it. Nevertheless, it was fascinating, and the author is quite comical in his portrayal of scientific information. His approach went a long way in helping the subject matter be less intimidating.

Bridging The Gap

I would say that the author bridged scientific esoterica and everyday application very well. I found the book inspired me to stop reading and do a little independent research as I went along. Some of the information was a bit contrary to my own beliefs. But, the author does state that his views aren’t the most popular (from the very beginning).

Re-Readable (I know that’s not a proper word, but it works)

Biology of Belief is the kind of book you may need to read more than once. The author introduces several alternate theories and points of view which may be applicable at different stages of an individual’s journey. Being a researcher himself, the author readily refers to established researchers and his own as he covers various topics and logically presents the information.

Belief Systems

The title is a very concise summary of the book: how our belief systems affect our physical body. We experience this more acutely with things like stress or dislike for a situation or person, TThe The telltale knot in the stomach, tension headache or something to that effect. These are all genuine and physically prevalent manifestations that we are all too familiar with.

What Can You Learn From A Single Cell

Dr Lipton took those ‘feelings’ one step further and looked at single cells and their reactions to various natural and perceived influences.

He puts forward some compelling results from studies and tests, and from there, it isn’t a giant leap to realize how the reaction of the single cell is remarkable. Multiply it by the approximate 30 trillion cells (that’s 30 with 12 zeros behind it!), and it’s downright hard to ignore.

There were many, and I mean many, light bulb moments for me during this book. I have read a few ‘science-y’ books, but this one was an absolute pleasure. No dozing off and maybe two Google searches the first time I read it.

Lipton’s Work

Dr Lipton has several YouTube videos and talks available on the internet. I’ll be honest; I find his written work better than the spoken because he delves into intense and intellectual content in his videos and interviews. I prefer to read and metabolize at my own pace. However, this is, of course, a personal choice, and you may find his visual work engaging, so I would still encourage you to check it out.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Dawn

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Documents on a desktop with a banner reading Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss across it

If you think this will be anything like SALT FAT ACID HEAT by Samin Nosrat, then you are in for a bit of a shock. As amazing and excited Chef Samin makes us about food, Michael Moss will flip that on its head and make you seriously rethink your mainstream food choices.  Michael Moss is a multi-award-winning investigative journalist who as a result of a series of events, decided to take a deep dive into what’s in our food. The reporting and subsequent book (Salt, Sugar, Fat) have since become a staple read in the Health and Wellness community, and for a good reason.

Like a movie

The book was exceptionally well researched and reads like a punch-in-your-face Hollywood movie script. Having said that, I would not classify this as an ‘enjoyable’ read. The information left me feeling very uncomfortable. Like the feeling you have after watching an excellent thriller, there may have even been a few audible gasps while I was reading.

Who are they?

I appreciated that he put names and actions to those we often refer to as ‘they’. By ‘they’, I mean the people we refer to when we say things like: They are just in it for the money, or they are a ruthless bunch. We know they exist. From our side of the table, though, we get the distinct feeling that our best interests are not involved in their decision making.

Pulling back the curtain

Getting the curtain pulled back and giving us a glimpse is a rare occasion. If, like me, you have been on a journey around food and health, you know that what he speaks about illustrates a genuine and current problem in the world today. There are very few people on the planet who are not affected by these companies and people. This may make you feel intensely resentful toward these companies and those working there.

The real problem

By now, you can guess that the book may not be telling us what we ‘want’ to hear. Everything isn’t sunshine and roses in the land of food supply and may leave you enraged. But having said this, I would urge you to consider it on a more personal level. I have had family members and friends who have worked for some of the companies mentioned in the book. On a person to person level, I know they aren’t bad people. Neither did working for the company suddenly make them bad people. They do not wake up and head to work with malicious intent. The author points this out about many of the executives he met with. He is reasonable and measured when assessing where the real problem lies. It’s the system as a whole that needs to be overhauled.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Everything in that system needs to be shaken up. From the soil, our food comes from to what we choose to put on our plates. Upsetting as the information may be – as enormous as the task ahead is – there is still hope. The fact that Michael Moss can get this information to us is a massive step in making changes to that broken system.

You cannot fix what you don’t know about.
You cannot make changes if you don’t know where to start.

My biggest takeaway is that the change starts with you and me. The small things like where and who we choose to buy our food from will ultimately have a compounded impact. Knowing more and using information like this empowers us.

I found the book to be really well researched and written. Salt, Sugar & Fat is worthwhile getting your hands on, and, to get back to Chef Samin, no, it will not put you off her food. Instead, it will encourage you to learn more about what she shares, which is getting back to wholesome, straight from nature, home-cooked food.

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a table set with plate, cutlery and napkin

I recently read an article where a nutritionist/personal trainer gave an account of what she ate in a day. Then, a dietitian weighed in on the food choices. The dietitian seemed happy with the overall account but could not help note that tweaks could have been made. I found the article to be both interesting and annoying, and it led me to think of Dietary Omnism.

Curiosity gets the better of us…

It was interesting because, as a society, we seem to have an overwhelming curiosity about how everyone else is eating or doing things. And, yes, it’s natural to want to know more and be curious if our objective is to learn. THAT’S O.K! It’s a human reaction. The problem happens when we think we can become the other person, obsessed with being like that person. When we reach a point that we override what we know does or doesn’t work for us or become overly judgmental about others who do not do the same.

Be curious, not judgmental

It was annoying because it was a well-balanced diet by all accounts. We were also only getting a tiny snapshot of the trainers’ overall life. Yet, it had to be nit-picked and ‘some improvement’ could have been made. Now, this is not about dietitians VS nutritionists; it is about how it seems acceptable to weigh in on each other’s diets/lives without considering a bigger picture. While adding dairy for additional calcium was a valid suggestion, it’s not the only source of calcium available. Let’s be honest – no one – yes, no one – eats perfectly every day.

Like so many of us, we scour the internet, magazines and various social media for cues and hints about our dietary needs and, of course, we compare. It’s this comparison that I find the most annoying and damaging. It plants seeds of doubt and insecurity about our lifestyle, food, and exercise choices. We get caught in what seems to be an eternal loop of feeling like ‘not enough, ‘must do more, or ‘I can’t do this on my own.

Wait, aren’t you a Health Coach?

At this point, you are probably thinking, isn’t that precisely what you do? Aren’t you a Health Coach?

Yes, I’m a Health Coach, and no, that’s not quite what I do. I am diet neutral, and my focus is not on telling you what you must or must not eat; my focus is on finding what works for you in the space you are in. Many factors influence diet and lifestyle choices and if you can accommodate the latest and greatest trends, go for it. Telling a cash strapped client that a healthy diet isn’t complete unless it has chia and hemp seeds in it, well – not going to happen. Likewise, telling someone who gags at eating broccoli they have to suck it up isn’t going to help either.

Knowledge is power, and understanding the pros and cons of food and lifestyle choices is far more helpful in finding a sustainable and natural way of living. They teach a man to fish proverb is what we’re going for here.

What’s Omnism got to do with it?

Omnism in its simplest form is:
The belief that there is no true religion or beliefs, but that there is truth in all religion and belief.

I believe this applies to diets as well. The number of diets and ways to eat in the world today is staggering. The onslaught of campaigns for these different ways is relentless. From my experimentation with diets and lifestyle choices, I have found Dietary Omnism to be the best way to learn from it all. With each experience, I have discovered elements that work for me and others that don’t. So I drop what doesn’t and keep what does.

Dietary Omnism

As health coaches, we are taught about bio-individuality and what works for one may not for another. When we work with that as a base, it sets you up for greater success. Granted, it’s not a quick fix. But, it is the one that gets you to a place where you don’t panic on receipt of a dinner invitation or when you have to travel.

Our diets and lifestyles should empower us to do more – not less, and that is the ultimate goal.

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The Culture Code

One of my favourite books I have read over the last few years is The Culture Code, An Ingenious Way To Understand Why People Around The World Live And Buy As They Do – Coltaire Rapaille.

Coltaire Rapaille has spent decades studying cultures and consumer behaviour as a cultural anthropologist and marketing expert. The author shares some phenomenal insights about familiar products and how they got so familiar. Coltaire’s insights have been massively beneficial to companies around the world. But, this glimpse into what happens behind the marketing and sales scenes has profoundly affected me as an individual.

You May Get Angry

I highlighted something significant on just about every other page in the first chapter. By the second chapter, I realized that I should read the book or colour in all the pages. I found myself vacillating between shock, outrage and some profound “aha” moments. We all know that companies invest greatly in understanding the human psyche. They leverage this knowledge for profit and gain. When you begin to comprehend the intensity behind these studies, you cannot help at first feeling a little manipulated and outraged, which is exactly how I felt at the beginning of the book.

Look Past The Words

Once I moved past my anger and applied a more pragmatic mindset, I appreciated the life lessons. What makes Coltaire Rapaille so successful is his ability to move past the façade of words and hear what we really mean. He calls this the code or, more specifically, The Culture Code. He defines this code as: “the unconscious meaning we apply to any given thing” (pg. 5). An example of this is his study into the American culture around toilet paper, which he sums up to be: INDEPENDENCE. He then illustrates how this was used as a very effective marketing tool.

Awareness is Key

Coltaire Rapaille very adeptly takes you through his process to these conclusions. Especially for some of our favourite products (and imprints) like cars, makeup, cheese, love, alcohol, being overweight or pretty and many more. Some of the codes are astonishing at first and, in some instances, seem too primal to be real. However, once you have that awareness, you begin looking objectively at yourself and those around you. You notice that he is, in fact, scarily accurate in his assessments.

Knowledge is Power

I think how this translates into personal revelations and understandings will differ from person to person. It won’t be easy to read this book and not have a new perspective on the world around you. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. My only advice would be to set aside your emotive reactions and focus on the reality of the information. Commerce is commerce, and people are people. As groups, we tend to follow the crowd and often don’t see the need to disrupt the status quo. However, as an individual, you have the choice to empower yourself with knowledge and awareness. Armed with newfound information, you then have a choice as to how much and how the world and people around you influence you.

Personal Belief System

As a result of this book, I took some time to reassess my choices. Here in South Africa, there are some very dominant brands. As my quest for finding healthy, reliable and earth-friendly products grew, so did my scrutiny into brands. It changed my shopping habits considerably, but I couldn’t help but wonder how their marketing strategies influenced me.

This was when I realised that this book also speaks to our personal belief systems. We all have them and use them to filter our daily experiences, whether we are conscious of this or not. In my blog – Why You Should Have a Personal Philosophy, I speak about this in more depth. Understanding self goes a long way in helping us make better choices.

Happy Reading,

Dawn

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New Year – new goals? As we approach the end of one year and look to the next, it’s often the time where we start taking stock of the year and planning for the coming year. If you didn’t achieve your goals, there would inevitably be feelings of failure, followed by a quick justification. That’s IF you are being nice to yourself.

For many, the previous years’ unattained goals can turn into a mini-internal tirade about being undisciplined, weak, or much worse. (We tend to be harsher on ourselves than we are with others). Another reaction, one I got good at, is numbing out. You just stop – stop caring, stop trying, stop planning and simply exist.

Yes, maybe you need to give yourself a little nudge now and then, but perhaps you need to reconsider your goal-setting ways and look at things differently. There are many articles you can read online about setting realistic expectations, reassessing, creating dream boards etc. but have you ever considered focusing on setting intentions?

Setting Goals vs Setting Intentions 

There is a difference. Many of us tend to overreach with goals. If this weren’t the case, there wouldn’t be books, articles, and a gazillion posts on Pinterest about how to set realistic and attainable goals. Goals are great and necessary, but it is a skill and something you need to learn to do. When we set goals, we tend to channel our inner Rick Astley and think we are ‘never gonna’ (those of you born pre 2000 will know what I’m talking about), and the lyrics go a bit like this–

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you … 

The thing is… you are gonna! You are gonna have challenges; you are gonna have ups and downs, and, sometimes, you are gonna need to abort your goals and desert them. Instead of seeing it as a failure, take some time to reflect. Consider first if the goal was unrealistic, and if it wasn’t, what influences were at play?

The fact of life is that there will always be something, but how do you deal with that something is what knocks you off course or simply creates a detour. Having goals are great, and I’m not saying you should do away with them, but it isn’t as simple as making a list. The building blocks of a goal are intentions. Intentions are the secret sauce.

How Does This Work in Real Life, You Ask? 

Since health and wellness is my focus, let’s use lunch at work as an example. You want to stop buying lunch at work every day because you want to eat healthier meals, save money, eat less junk food and, as a bonus extra, reduce your environmental footprint by using less plastic. One could argue that these are both goals and intentions, you intend to do all of this, and technically yes, you do, but goals are results-based, whereas intentions are action-based.

The Goals:

make your lunch every day
eat healthier
save money
use less plastic

The Intentions:

So, you know what you want to achieve; the question is how you intend on achieving them –

What are your intentions?
Simple, you say, I will get up 30 minutes earlier and make my lunch. Or I’ll make a bigger dinner and dish up the extra for lunch the next day. Or I will meal prep on Sundays and make my lunches for the week.

One and all great strategies – BUT. What are you going to do when you only get to bed at midnight, and you cannot get yourself to get up at 5:30 and make lunch? Or, what if you ate out with clients the night before and there is nothing to set aside for lunch the next day? Or you spend your Sunday sorting out the burst geyser?

The Beauty of Intentions
When things are going wrong, goals can seem or feel like a world away and unattainable. The more challenges we face, the more distant the goal can seem until we eventually give up. Intentions are about the journey; they focus on the spirit of your goal. Not making your lunches due to an unavoidable circumstance in no way undermines your intentions.

Your intentions remain and can be attained in other ways. So today, you managed to take an apple and top it up with something small from the local health store. You also managed to eat at the health store. You honoured your intentions of eating healthier, using less plastic by not doing take away and saving some money by taking an apple to supplement your meal.

Progression  

Another benefit of intentions is progression. When we focus less on a single goal and more on our intentions, we can’t help ourselves; we progress. Each day, we reaffirm our intentions and commit to them, and before we know it, we are getting through an entire week of keeping to the spirit of our intentions. Then two weeks, a month and dare I say, a year!

 Long term consistency trumps short term intensity
– Bruce Lee  

We generally set goals because something must change. Whether that means moving to a new home or eating a healthier diet, it will inevitably boil down to giving up or doing more of something. Change is challenging and very uncomfortable for most of us, which is another reason why setting intentions can be so effective. It’s a consistent effort toward a more significant cause; it’s not all or nothing and torturous lists. While I love lists, I just don’t see this as helping, which is why a few years ago, I changed strategy. I still have lists, but they are far more thought out, and nothing like that time I was clearing out a cupboard and found a list of goals I made in 2005 only to realise it was the same as that year’s list. Talk about soul-destroying.

Going Forward  

James Clear writes about goals being set by winners and losers. In his book Atomic Habits, he correctly points out that goals are merely a destination. It is the small things you do on a daily basis that add up. His focus is on the process rather than the goal. This is an excellent next step once you have figured out your intentions. To help you with setting and keeping your intentions I have created two free resources, see the links below.

Dawn

Resource Alert


Setting Intentions Workbook

&

Living With Intentions Journal

If you are wanting to start setting intentions and/or keep a journal, follow the link below to sign up or log in to access
these documents and many more.
(PS: you are welcome to unsubscribe once you’ve done the download, no hard feelings)


Setting Intentions Journal and Workbook

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Person holding an ipad with the text What is a Nutrichologist?

If you just searched for what a Nutrichologist is, and all you could find is this site, you are definitely wondering what this new fandangle Nutrichologist is.

The short answer is… I made it up. Actually, my partner John made it up after hearing me say for the 100th time, “I can’t keep telling people I’m a nutritionist that works on the principles of health and eating psychology coaching!”

Added to this, I love what I do and can’t get enough of it, so more studies are on the horizon… how do I encapsulate all of that? Somehow John has this uncanny ability with words and very casually looked over at me one day and said Nutrichologist. Ta-da, there it was; after months of saying I’m a Culinary Nutritionist, Eating Psychology Health Coach, and Integrative Nutrition Coach, I could say Nutrichologist!

So now that you know where the name came from, let’s break it all down, and the best way to explain Nutrichologist is to ask you a few questions…

Do you know what you need to do every day to maintain your health and wellness?

If your answer is an unequivocal yes, then message me… I have questions.

If your answer is anything between yes (with a slight hesitation) to heck no, I’m just winging it, then welcome, you are with your people.

Through the years and my studies, I have seen some giants in the health and wellness industry do 180° turns on what they believed as absolute truths. Let’s go bigger; many of the premises for what we have as institutionalised health guidelines are being disproved or ‘edited’. These are people and organisations with some serious credentials that go into studies and details you and I will most likely never fully comprehend… yet… they get it wrong; oops, change their findings?

So, whenever I hear someone say something is THE way to go, I cannot help but wonder what its shelf life will be?

How many things in the name of health and wellness have you tried in your lifetime?

We all want to eat better, live more consciously, and adopt a healthier approach to life in general. We buy books, listen to podcasts, and try different programs but still find it challenging to figure out what we need to do on a day-to-day basis. Some things work, and others we have no idea, but there must be some benefit…right?

I get it. That was me many years back. There was a success (often short-lived), and there was a whole lot of unpleasantness (let’s face it, some of those miracle products/practices aren’t for the faint-hearted). Ultimately, I always felt I wasn’t quite getting the big picture.

The more I learnt, the less I seemed to know, and none of it empowered me to eat and live intuitively. But this isn’t just about me; look around, look at the world. We have so much evidence and knowledge. Yet year on year, lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes keeps rising and affecting our children more and more.

Dawn, that’s pretty gloomy! Is there even any point in trying?

ABSOLUTELY. And by absolutely, I don’t mean that I have a miracle answer or even a fantastic offer. No, real life isn’t that glamorous, it may have glamorous moments (tiara on standby), and we need to celebrate those moments. But the reality is this:

  • Anything worthwhile takes work and effort.
  • The answer is not out there; it is where you are now.
  • There is no silver bullet or single solution.

I need at least 100 points for my cliché badge, but, cliché or not, it’s all true. After all my studies, life experiences, and lessons, I realised a few things. These things that I have learned and continue to learn (because life is incredible that way) lie at the heart of Nutrichologist.

Now for the truth bombs…

  • Living and being healthy is profoundly personal and varied, and there are no guarantees. It also looks different from person to person. Period!

In a world where we are bombarded with snapshots of near-perfect people, quick solutions, and instant everything, our own lives can seem less than in comparison. As individuals, we know it’s not realistic, but it doesn’t stop us from secretly trying.

  • Our perceptions and reality are often very different.

Life is about ups and downs, ebb, and flow. Even in the crappiest moments of our lives, something can bring us joy. You can look over at your partner wearing their unsexy hobo-esque sleepwear and still see what you love about them. You can be healthy without ever having a smoothie or going on a juice cleanse.

  • YOU are unique – find what works for you.

We are all different, and no two people on the planet are the same, which is why we have soooo many different dietary principles and plans. Many things influence what, why, how, and when we eat and live. Circumstances change which means adapting ways of doing and thinking.

What does Nutrichologist do then?

  • Guide
    Your journey is deeply personal and, as mentioned, influenced by many factors. Nutrichologist helps you navigate these many influences through exploration, discussion, and experimentation.
  • Practical Nutrition
    Information does not always translate into doing. Sharing nutritional information is a part of the Nutrichologist experience, however applying the knowledge using cooking classes, challenges, and discussions is key.
  • Experiment
    There is no handbook; the way to find what works for you is through trial and error, focusing on experimentation and exploration. This also means all are welcome and without judgement.

The goal is for you to find your way to being confident and comfortable with your food and lifestyle choices, to help you create your unique user manual and to know how to adapt it without getting overwhelmed.

It is finding your inner guru and learning to trust the one true specialist that knows you inside and out – YOU!

So, join me as we live, learn and laugh through the lenses of mind, body, and nutrition.

Dawn

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