Connection

 

“Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel. A facet of that jewel. And in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not.”

-Fred Rogers

 A look back at Rogers’ memorable 2002 Dartmouth commencement address.

Letting Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.  She let go of the judgments.  She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.  She let go of the committee of indecision within her.  She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go.  She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.  She let go of all of the memories that held her back.  She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.  She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.  She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Poem by  Rev. Safire Rose

Network

Photography by Terri Pouliot

“You won’t always be a priority to others, and that’s why you have to be a priority to yourself. Learn to respect yourself, take care of yourself, and become your own support system. Your needs matter. Start meeting them. Don’t wait on others to choose you. Choose yourself, today!

-Marc and Angel

This NETWORK of trees I captured on Easter Sunday, spoke to me loud and clear about something I have struggled with lately.

Walking always brings me into my calm.  It helps me sort through thoughts and feelings like nothing else.

I’ve found it necessary to make some tough decisions lately and I don’t know about you; but getting out in nature always helps clarify cloudy issues.

This has been a slow blooming spring and not really much ‘color’ to the landscape yet.  The daffodils and early April blooms haven’t even shown their stuff yet.

photography by Terri Pouliot

Scanning the riverfront along the mighty Cuyahoga River for any signs of spring, left me disappointed at first.  Then I spotted it.  This magnificent tangled network of trees which appeared to be very much still growing! So many questions and if only the trees could talk they would divulge the secret as to how they ended up this way!

My thoughts turned immediately to the struggles I had anguished over this week and what can happen if we don’t learn to prioritize.  What a tangled mess we can become.  We find ourselves growing toward the ‘wrong’ sunlight and someone else’s priorities instead of our own.

Yes.  We won’t always be a priority to others. Sometimes, others won’t ‘choose us’.  And that’s okay.  But what is not okay, is when we don’t make ourselves a priority, or support our own needs.

We matter.   We deserve to take better care of ourselves and become our own support system.  Surrounding ourselves with the essentials to support our goals, dreams and best health is our responsibility.

 

‘Network’ by Terri Pouliot

Malleable

Photography by Terri Pouliot

Malleable.

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of malleable is the following:

1 : capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer or by the pressure of rollers
2 a : capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences
b : having a capacity for adaptive change

I have worn many ‘hats’ in my lifetime and one of those ‘hats’ was as a Certified Diamontologist and Certified Gemologist when I  enjoyed a career in Jewelry Sales (a career that was a result of following my curiosity and passion).

One precious metal that I have always found fascinating is platinum, due to its strength and malleability. While it may not be the strongest metal known to mankind, make no mistake about its strength! It is not only strong; but durable and pure, To be considered platinum, a piece must contain 95% or more of the metal, making it one of the purest precious metals you can buy.

When platinum is scratched, the platinum gets moved from one place on the piece of jewelry to another, and it develops something called a patina finish. This type of finish will make your jewelry look like an antique. Platinum’s metal can be moved back in place with polishing because it is not actually losing metal like white gold.

How cool is this!

Physically, platinum is heavy, soft, malleable (easy to work—only silver and gold are easier to shape), and ductile (easy to draw into wires) and has a fairly high melting point (~1770°C or 3220°F). Chemically, it’s often described as a noble metal because it is so unreactive. It doesn’t even react with oxygen in air so it doesn’t rust or tarnish. It’s also reasonably resistant to attack from acids.  Unreactive!  Now, this is  awesome!

….Now, I’ve said all this to create one thought for the day.

The ability to be strong, while at the same time, becoming malleable, may sound contradictory, but that’s exactly what Platinum does.

Just think how remarkable this is!

Strong, yet movable!

Like a mighty Oak tree who gets toppled due to its inability to sway with the wind, we, too, should strive to be strong, durable and yet movable.   A Willow tree adapts by moving with the wind rather than resisting!

When we are ‘scratched’ and marred due to outside forces; we must learn to have the rare ability to ‘move’ from one place to another with grace, ease and willingness.

Strength is cool. But when we add the ability to be ‘moved back’ into place with a just bit of ‘polishing’ without losing our ‘metal’ (spirit) is beyond amazing. I like to think of ‘Self-Care’ as polishing.

There will always be outside forces that erode, scratch, and put pressure on us. Learning to ‘go with the flow’ and having the capacity for adaptive change is a survival skill.

Getting strong is admirable. Maintaining strength takes work. Learning to become malleable in the process is practically a super power

Something to think about!

Balance

Ritchie Ledges / Virginia Kendall Ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Balance.

How is it that massive sandstone boulders, such as this one photographed at Ritchie Ledges within the Cuyahoga National Park, can remain balanced with seemingly little to keep it from tumbling?

And yet, as is evident throughout these trails, this rock’s demise will eventually involve a plunge below among the hemlock needles and sand sediment.

Who are we to believe we are such skilled magicians able to juggle work, family, friends and all of life’s distractions without one of them falling?

We cannot.

We are like the rock….it’s just a matter of time.

This is an essential part of health and wellness that is often overlooked.

Balance. So many distractions that pull us away from what is truly important.

Of course we need to work. But we should not neglect the people we care about. They deserve our time and energies.

Learning to decompress during our down time will keep us from falling victim to health issues and other tensions.

I share many effective ways to bring cortisol levels down, raise the ‘bliss’ hormones (oxytocin), and raise energy levels.

Balance is so much more than just moderation. Life harmony contains as many layers as the sandstone rocks shown in this photograph.

Learning to address the whole and not just one portion is needful for stability in life. And not just stability; but a sense of true peace and contentment.

 

Photography by Terri Kern Pouliot

 

Welcome!

Welcome!

If this is your first visit to this page;  I am so pleased to have you here!

Here is what you can expect:

My mission is to provide you with evidence-based and scientifically backed resources to help achieve optimal health and vitality.

This will include nutritional education, as well as exercise information. Anti-Aging strategies (aging gracefully!), in addition to self-care essentials, will also be showcased.

I am working on several exciting projects currently and this is the spot where those ventures will be announced. Stay tuned!

If you have been following my work over the years, you have  witnessed subtle growth and transformation.  That is exactly as it should be.  Personal growth is about adapting and flowing.  Always learning.  Recreating.   The opposite of growth, is of course, stagnation.  Not a pretty picture.

All one needs to do is look to nature.  The seasons each have their unique beauty and distinct characteristics.  Winter is always followed by Spring.  And so, goes our lives.  Being mindful of those subtle changes provides joy and fullness.  Never forcing.  Ever embracing.  Respecting.

It’s a beautiful work in progress. Discovering practical ways to embrace those changes that are inevitable.  Aging with gracefulness and living an inspired life.

As always; I am very transparent and open. I hope you will feel free to open up conversation or pose any questions you may have.

My life is dedicated to serving others and influencing and educating in how we can live a life of vitality and fullness.

I’m listening!

Terri

 

No Gym? No Worries!

 

Can’t get to the Gym?

No problem! There may be many reasons why a ‘Gym’ setting is not the ideal place to exercise.

Compromised immune system. Many health issues create a weakened immune system making it necessary to avoid as many germs as possible. Clients who are going through chemotherapy are warned to avoid as much physical contact as possible to avoid germs.

Preference to a ‘private’ setting while exercising. Many people prefer a place of solitude, as opposed to a social spot, like a gym, to exercise

Time. We are all time crunched these days, but for some, time is a major player when it comes to fitting in exercise. The gym may not be convenient during the time needed to exercise.

Intimidation. So many people experience a feeling of intimidation regarding a gym setting, especially when new to exercise. A gym can be scary for new exercisers.

-Introverted. There are many people who prefer a more private setting for exercise. ( I totally get it!)

Equipment. Many people prefer to work with equipment that only they use. This also falls under the necessity of remaining as germ-free as possible. Having your own set of resistance bands, weights, and other equipment means less exposure to germs.

Less Stress. Exercising at home, under the careful guidance of a Fitness Professional, can lead the way to a lifetime of enjoyable exercise. Once the proper form, basic exercises, and fundamentals are taught; a client can exercise when it is convenient for them. As a professional, keeping a support system in place is essential. After all, it is not our intent to keep you depending on us. The idea is to coach, mentor and teach you what you need to know so you can enjoy a more active lifestyle.

Everyone is unique. An exercise program can be designed to fit your unique goals, situation and personal likes (and dislikes!)

Introducing a client to the enjoyable world of exercise and movement is a thing of beauty! Newly found energy, purpose, and enjoyment are natural by products of an active lifestyle.

How I Cut Carbs on the Weekend

 

Cutting Carbs.

The truth be known, I couldn’t tell you the last time I had Pizza. Not because I’m cutting carbs. Not because I’m on a diet. Not because I’m working toward fitting into those ‘skinny’ jeans. Nope, none of those. Pizza makes me feel horrible. Sluggish. Lethargic. Yucky. I’ve learned a long time ago to stay away from foods (refined carbohydrates) that don’t provide my body with the energy and vibrancy it deserves. Everyone is different.

Cut carbohydrates? No. Unless you are getting ready to compete in a physique competition; you should never cut carbohydrates out of your diet.  Ask anyone who has done so for any length of time, and they will tell you about the brain fog, irritability, lack of energy and other side effects of carbohydrate deprivation.

They are necessary for (glucose) energy, healthy brain function and fiber, just to name a few of the essentials

The key is to choose the right type of carbohydrates.

The healthiest sources of carbohydrates—unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans—promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients.

Unhealthier sources of carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

A few healthy options include:

-Whole grains
-Steel Cut or Old Fashioned Oats
-Beans
-Whole fruit instead of fruit juice
-Quinoa

Don’t be confused about carbohydrates, but keep in mind that it’s more important to eat carbohydrates from healthy foods than to follow a strict diet limiting or counting the number of grams of carbohydrates consumed.

Keeping a Food Diary is the perfect way to find out which foods make you feel good and which foods create negative effects.  Recording what you eat during the day can help you determine which foods to eliminate from your diet.  A pattern will begin to emerge that correlates between food and mood.  Pay attention.

Convenience Over Health

 

Weighing the benefits of Convenience over Health.

We live in a fast-paced society and there’s no evidence that it will be slowing down any time in the near future.

Americans are consuming more and more of their daily calories from full-service and fast food restaurants. The trend toward increased consumption of eating our meals away from home has led to a whole host of health issues.

Most people don’t desire unhealthy foods, but lack knowledge when it comes to making choices in dining out. That, and the fact that we have no control over ingredients and/or quality when choosing restaurant meals over home cooked.

Rotisserie Chicken

Prepared food consumption is also rising. Most super markets have expanded their take out / deli sections due to rising demand. It’s easier to pick up a Rotisserie Chicken with that gallon of milk, especially after a long work day, than to go home and prepare a meal. But what is the sacrifice?

It’s our health.

Making smarter choices when dining out is not impossible, if you have some basic knowledge and aren’t afraid to voice your preparation preferences to your waiter/waitress. Most places will accommodate and if not; find some place that will comply.

Our relationship between diet and disease can be better armed with knowledge.

It’s not about deprivation but making better choices. Our health and body composition respond to our dietary choices.

Food source matters for long term health.

Thanksgiving Travel Swag

2015-11-23 01.02.25

Many of us will be traveling over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Here are a few things to stash in your bag to keep the Holiday healthier.

  • Quality shoes for walking / exercising.
  • Bottled water.  Flying is extremely dehydrating.  Keeping the body adequately hydrated with water is essential
  • Resistance Bands are ideal for travel.  They pack easily, come in a variety of strengths and can make stretching and resistance training a breeze in any size room.
  • Healthy Snacks.  This eliminates the need for unhealthy choices.  Organic nuts, seeds, and fruit are portable and provide quality protein / fats / carbohydrates
  • Dry Shampoo.  I’ve recently discovered Living Proof Perfect Hair Day.   It is available in travel sizes.
  • A good hat.  Love my #NYStrength hat!
  • A good attitude.  One of the busiest travel days of the year requires patience and a good mindset
  • A smile.  Stress levels are high during the Holidays.  Share smiles with strangers.
  • Layers.  If you are traveling from one climate to another, it is good to be prepared.
  • Journal.  It takes very little room.  Record your thoughts, insights, what you are grateful for.