Today, I want to talk to you a little bit about health and wellness. It’s a new year and like almost everyone else I know, detox, exercise, and hopes to lose some weight have been on the brain all month. I understand, after the holidays I felt as chubby as a little piglet and in need of a reset!
I had developed a few unhealthy habits—drinking vanilla soy chai lattes everyday (delish by the way…just sayin’), eating out every meal while on vacation, and just mindless eating while stressed. Stress eating is no joke. You see, my brain is like Soul Cycle, a thousand ideas a second, nonstop thinking, trying to give meaning to everything, analyzing the past and thinking of strategies for the future…. This can be exciting (I LOVE exploring new ideas!) and exhausting (my vision is often greater than my capacity). Hence, it can also be stressful and before you know it, I’ve inhaled a pain au chocolat and brownie with that swanky soy chai latte (and I wasn’t even hungry!) Pfff!
Over the past year I thought I learned to manage all the stress relatively well—speak slowly, articulate well, a lovely smile on the lips, and exude grace. Bravo Martine! Meanwhile, my jeans no longer fit! Pfff! And inside, I just didn’t feel well. Changing unhealthy habits is hard. Sigh. BUT, health behaviors can always be improved! Learning techniques and setting goals has helped me make a few changes and stay on course. Making healthy lifestyle changes can be a challenge, and maintaining them over time can be quite difficult. But there’s always hope!
Enter Wellness Coaching. I think people generally want to be well. We all pretty much want to be in control of our health, feel better, and have more energy. But, there’s often a huge gap between wanting to be well and the reality of living with the consequences of stress, not exercising regularly, and just not having enough time to recharge one’s batteries. Well, there’s a coach to help with that. As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m now a wellness coach. It’s awesome because I truly believe health coaching has the potential to be a transformational force in healthcare as health coaching involves helping people to take better care of their health. What’s also exciting is that health and wellness coaches address the whole person. We’re not limited to helping clients improve only diet and exercise (like getting back into your jeans!). We also look at what it means to thrive physically and mentally, and optimize health and overall wellbeing. They say the difference between wellness coaching and personal training is that personal training is exercise for your body, while coaching is exercise for your brain! Exciting!
Have you tried working with a wellness coach? Want to give it a whirl? As I work towards completing my coaching certification, I would like to offer health and wellness coaching services, pro-bono, to 2-3 of my followers. If you’re interested, you would have to commit to a 3-month coaching relationship, meeting (likely by phone) once a week for about 30 minutes. Interested? If so, let me know. I’d love to work with you to help you develop your own wellness vision and a strategy to reach your goals!
You can leave a brief message for me below about your health/wellness goals or send me an email via the “Contact Me” link.
And now, here’s a recipe for a highly flavorful and satisfying dish involving chickpeas that are slowly simmered with garlic, ginger, lemon and coconut milk.
Coconut Braised Chickpeas with Greens and Sun Dried-Tomatoes
Adapted from Rouxbe
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
1 yellow onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned (I used dried. If packed in oil, you must drain them first)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
chili flakes, to taste
1 can (2 cups cooked) chickpeas
1/2 pound greens, chopped (or use baby kale or baby spinach)
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
salt, to taste,
freshly ground black pepper
cilantro, to garnish
If you want to avoid the oil, which I often do, you can dry-sauté the onion in a bit of water or vegetable stock. If not, in a deep sauté pan over medium heat add the oil, followed by the onions and a good pinch of salt. Let the onions sweat for about 10 minutes or until translucent. Once soft, add the garlic and ginger and let cook for another minute or so. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, and chili flakes. Let cook for another minute or so.
Next, add the chickpeas and stir to coat in the tomato mixture, allowing them to have a little color. This should only take a few minutes. Once the chickpeas are heated through, turn the heat down slightly and start to add the greens, a handful at a time. Once the first bunch of greens has started to wilt, add in the next handful and continue until all of the greens have been added.
To finish the dish, add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Stir to combine and then add the ground ginger, if using, and a bit of the reserved lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. Add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper as needed. If necessary, add a little water of vegetable broth to thin out the consistency if you find the coconut milk to rich.
Once everything has heated through, serve immediately. Note, after long the greens will start to lose their color and won’t look as vibrant. Serve with farro, brown rice or any grain of your choice. Garnish each plate with a healthy serving of fresh cilantro and enjoy!