Episode 24: Simple Stress Solvers; Meditation and Lavie Love

Kitchengate2k17: Officially over. Hello new kitchen!

Sucky Moment of the Week (5/5) The order for the studio’s water went awry, and Nicole hit her limit dealing with the fiasco all week. Inspired Action Customer service people are people, too. Even in frustrating situations, watch how and on whom you blow off your steam.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Ask Coach AWags Susan is obsessed with efficiency and getting. things. done. but wants to know: how do you turn that off and just relax?

Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Major Topic: Meditation You’ve heard it works, but are you willing to try it? We discuss the benefits of meditation, unraveling the mysterious misconceptions to reveal a simple solution to many common frustrations.

We love the lav.

Try This: Work a five-minute, seated meditation into your day for one week.

Nicole SHOUT out A renewed love of lavender oil has been giving Nicole a beautiful sense of ease.

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog: Time Unwasted
  • Want to know more about meditation?
    • Angela and Nicole show you how, here
    • Christopher, YogaSport teacher, tells about his journey
    • Oh and we’ve got the science for ya, too
  • Angela’s zen momma recipe for homemade, essential oil baby wipes 🙂
  • Need some of that lovely lavender in your life? Here’s where we get ours.
  • Looking for a way to put all the tips you hear on the Spark Podcast into action? Start creating the change you want to see in yourself with the Spark Online Program. Online and on your own time to fit your schedule, Spark provides tools and guidance to help you spark inspiration in your life, and we’re having a special Spring Cleaning Offer. Register online here: Spark Online using the code springcleaning for $50 (but hurry, the offer expires June 1, 2017!)

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

P.S. If you’re a before&after junkie like we are, enjoy these pictures of Angela’s kitchen pre- and post-Kitchengate2k17. Because, wow.

Time Unwasted

I was a meditation skeptic. I had heard of all the countless mental and physical benefits (and they did all sound amazing and like exactly what I wanted in my life), but I didn’t quite get it. “OK… Sitting with my eyes closed for 10 minutes? Yeah, that does sound super hard, not sure why I would do it.” No matter what I read or was told by friends and people I admire, a big red STOP sign always popped up in my brain when I heard the word: ~meeeeddditaaayyyytttioooonnnnn~.  Isn’t this just a huge waste of my time? I don’t understand.

Staying positive, clear, and motivated. I used to take my car up to the roof on lunch breaks to meditate.

Well, as it turns out, I didn’t need to understand. And neither do you. I forgot that thing from when I was little about trying new foods. Just three bites! That’s what my mom always expected of me. Three bites, and then, if I still didn’t like it, I didn’t have to eat it.

Now here’s where you might expect me to tell you all about how I tried my three bites and I loved it and have been meditating every day since. Sorry, but that’s not what happened. I tried it, and it sucked. Like, a lot. But I was determined at this point so I kept trying and trying until, very much to my doubting mind’s surprise, I started to see some very real results. A sense of calm and control began to appear in this frantic, emotion-driven mind of mine that, for so long, I had let control me and my actions. My mind slowed down. Where something would happen in my day to which I might typically respond impulsively or emotionally, I developed the ability to put some space between the action and reaction. To separate myself from the event or conversation or text or whatever and breathe in those rational thoughts. Mmmm. Aaaah.

Oh, but the actual act of meditating sucked. And it kind of STILL sucks! It’s not easy, but I believe in it, and I do it. Not every day, though I do envision a “perfectly healthy me” meditating every day… But we aren’t flippin’ perfect so, yeah, I meditate a few times a month when I feel like I really need it and more sometimes if I’m feeling real motivated.

I’m not going too much into the details here because what I’ve realized is that meditation is different for everyone. Everyone will bring something different to it and need something different from it, and, though that’s one of the great things about the practice, it does make it sort of hard to sell. But here’s what I would have told my former, skeptical self if I had the chance:

Will meditation waste your time? Ok, stop being a contrarian, first of all. Second, not only is it clearly NOT a waste of your time, as evidenced by the scientific documentation of the very real health benefits, but it’s actually the exact opposite. Meditation gives you time. Time you are probably wasting right now, worrying, brooding, replaying angry thoughts and complaints and judgments over and over in your head, just doing all this stuff that you know does not serve you mentally. Well, this is how you make your mind more efficient. Clear up the junk a little bit! It won’t make you perfect. You’ll always have “those” days and “those” moments; but those will be the days and the moments where you’ll see what you’ve learned brought to life. When you’ll be able to stop before you fall into the darkness, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward, into the light.


Sarah Mowery is the Podcast Marketing Editor for the Spark – Inspire Your Life Podcast and an avid podcast listener. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Sarah enjoys writing, playing outside, going to concerts, and anything else she can list here that will make you think she’s cool. Sarah is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and a member of the teaching and assisting teams at YogaSport in Dallas.

The DL on GF

Hey y’all!  So here it is, my long-promised blog post on some ideas for going gluten free. I haven’t (knowingly) eaten gluten since 2008!.  Was it a challenge at first? OMG YES it was.  I come from an Italian family where cookies, pasta, and bread were (and still are) everyday staples.  But, with some commitment, discipline, and knowledge, you can take control of your health, your energy, and your body in no time.  

Here’s the down low on gluten-free; some of the things I’ve learned in my years of eating gluten free, including tips on how you can work this into your life if you so choose.

  • First, what is gluten?: it’s basically a name for the proteins that occur in wheat. It can occur in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains, as well as the foods comprising those ingredients or ingredients derived from them. Gluten intolerance is found in people who can’t process these proteins.
  • Know where the hidden gluten is. Research gluten-free foods and know where the “hidden” gluten is. Common yet surprising sources can include:
    • Soy sauce
    • Salad dressings
    • Demi-glaze
    • Cereal
    • Chocolate bars
    • Beer
    • Food coloring
    • Sauces
  • Cut out processed foods. Eat fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and other whole foods. The more REAL foods you eat, the less gluten you’ll tend to find in your diet.
  • Substitute certain common ingredients for gluten-free options. For example, corn starch can be substituted for flour when you want to thicken a sauce.  Coconut, almond, rice, and all kinds of non-wheat flours can be exchanged for flour when you bake.  Wrap your taco in lettuce instead of a flour tortilla (you will feel less bloated too!). Use gluten free Tamari instead of regular soy sauce, zucchini “noodles” instead of regular pasta, and put all of your sandwich contents on lettuce instead of bread.
  • Call ahead for gluten-free meals at special events. People are usually happy to accommodate if you just make the effort to call ahead and let them know of your circumstances.
  • Always have food you can eat with you. Keep on-the-go options at hand in case you’re out and in need of a quick, convenient snack fix and do not have healthy options available. Many meal bars and snack companies have great options. My husband and I love Lara and Kind bars (Affiliate links are our favorite flavors).  Always keep a good stash of nuts and fruit with you. They are healthy and quick!
  • Reach Out.  Having a food intolerance or limitation can feel isolating.  Reach out to a nutrition counselor, friend, or online to find people to help you with this lifestyle change. There are tons of great blogs, social media accounts, and websites that are dedicated to the subject of eating gluten free. You are not alone!
  • Be thankful. I know that sometimes having a food intolerance can feel like a curse. I get it. I have been there. But, if you shift your perspective and realize that 1. you are healthy and 2. there is a free, non-medication-based solution, you can celebrate it.  And honestly, you will be healthier because of it.  Before I had a gluten intolerance, I would get a cookie at almost every lunch, a pastry every time I went into Starbucks, and never said no to cake at a wedding. I can’t imagine what my health (and weight) would be like without the discipline that my gluten intolerance has gifted me.

If you have any questions or would like to reach out, please email me at angela@angelawagnercoaching.com.  G-Luck! 🙂

Episode 23: Listen to Your Body + The Deal With Gluten

Gluten free. It’s what works for Angela; find what works for you!

Ask Coach AWags Laura wants to hear more about Angela’s gluten-free diet and get some tips on how to stick to it.

Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Sucky Moment of the Week (5+/5) It’s a #SuckyMomentThrowback to when Angela first discovered her gluten intolerance. Inspired Action Take control of your health. If something seems wrong, listen to your body and take action.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Major Topic: Gluten-Free Eating Angela shares what she’s learned in her years of gluten-free eating.

Try This: For one week, remove one thing from your diet that you think may be aggravating your stomach or causing any sort of adverse health effect.

Nicole SHOUT out Never underestimate the value of a good neighbor, like Nicole’s who closed Vic’s and her garage doors when they’d accidentally been left open.

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog: The DL on GF
  • Read more here about why gluten intolerance is on the rise.
  • Looking for a way to put all the tips you hear on the Spark Podcast into action? Start creating the change you want to see in yourself with the Spark Online Program. Online and on your own time to fit your schedule, Spark provides tools and guidance to help you spark inspiration in your life, and we’re having a special Spring Cleaning Offer. Register online here: Spark Online using the code springcleaning for $50 (but hurry, the offer expires June 1, 2017!)

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

Snapshot from Nicole’s sweet gender reveal party for baby girl. Notice Shiner’s BABY PINK bandana!

Episode 22: Baby Talk, Cat Naps, and Trying the Silly Thing

Angela’s new decor sparks inspiration and smiles.

Psst… FYI, this post contains affiliate links. Carry on!

Sucky Moment of the Week (4/5) Nicole’s pregnancy is teaching her the meaning of the word “tired”. Inspired Action A new understanding and empathy for others who experience what she’s experiencing, and developing the compassion for herself to just slow down and take the nap.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Angela SHOUT out to Peri, who came over to burn sage and clear the negative energy from the space, and introduced Angela to reiki.

Peri conducts a sage ceremony in Angela’s house.

Try This: Be a YES. Try something that sounds a little silly, “out there”, or uncomfortable to you and allow yourself to open up to something new.

Ask Coach AWags Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog: Sage Advce
  • Learn more about Saging here and here, and get some of your own tools here
  • Looking for a way to put all the tips you hear on the Spark Podcast into action? Start creating the change you want to see in yourself with the Spark Online Program. Online and on your own time to fit your schedule, Spark provides tools and guidance to help you spark inspiration in your life, and we’re having a special Spring Cleaning Offer. Register online here: Spark Online using the code springcleaning for $50 (but hurry, the offer expires June 1, 2017!)

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

Sage Advice

On the podcast this week, Angela talked about her recent foray into saging, which is a ritual used to cleanse a space of negative energies. If that sounds a little “out there” to you, you’re not alone. As we talked about in the episode, Angela was skeptical at first. But we can find so much value in taking that step out of our comfort zone into the unknown, the unusual, the wild and crazy, the weird, the silly, the magical… you get it.

As we settle into the routines that make our lives functional, we are presented with fewer and fewer opportunities to learn new things about ourselves. Not that those opportunities aren’t there – they totally are! – it’s just that they don’t come to you like maybe they used to. We have to seek them out.

So, if you get to choose your own adventure, why not get a little silly with it? Angela’s takeaway from her sage ceremony was the value of trying something that feels a little out there for you, and just seeing how it feels. You already knew this horrible pun was coming but oh boy what sage advice! Try something this week that feels a little strange to you. That you always discounted or scoffed at. Just say YES, despite all the voices in your head giving you reasons to say no. Because why not? You have nothing to lose and literally no one knows what to gain. That’s all the fun of it! And if you need ideas, maybe start with a sage ceremony 😉

Episode 21: Marie Barrese; Happy Mother’s Day!

Marie, Angela, and Baby Zoe on Mother’s Day.

Psst… FYI, this post contains affiliate links. Carry on!

Sucky Moment of the Week (2/5) Our special guest (and Angela’s mamma!), Marie was disappointed when she got to her health club to find that her Zumba class was cancelled. Inspired Action When the unexpected gets in the way of your plans, make the most of a sucky situation and do the next best thing.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Major Topic: Healthy Eating Marie draws on her 11 of experience as a Weight Watchers leader to share some useful tips and tricks for healthy eating and sticking to your health and nutrition goals.

Ask Coach AWags Mariana is looking for tips for entrepreneurs on how to stay organized and schedule their time. Luckily for our listeners, Marie is the ultimate task master.

Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Nicole and the fam.

Try This: Batch your days. Plan out what you need to get done, and group tasks that go together. Use your new batched schedule for the whole week and see if it makes a difference in your time.

Spark SHOUT out To our awesome Moms on this Mother’s Day, and every day. We love you!

From the Episode:

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.

Nicole’s chores checklist keeps her household on point!

Dear Mom,

My mom and me trying on vintage hats.

I’m writing this now because I procrastinated (a quality I definitely didn’t get from Dad) and missed the deadline to send in something for Angela and Nicole to read about you on the podcast. Well, no one is surprised, but I wasn’t going to miss this chance to publicly shout my love from the virtual rooftops just because of that, and I write the blogs 🙂 so here we are!

There are… a lot of reasons I love you. You’re my mom, is one, obviously. But more than that, you are a strong, totally unique, inspiring woman. Growing up, I thought that I would hate seeing myself “turn into my mother.” But as I’ve gotten older, I see the “Betsey” showing up in the adult Sarah, and it makes me proud to know that you’re in there in such high concentration. So many of your qualities and values are ones I strive to emulate, and the lessons you taught me from when I was little inform how I live my life.

My mom holding a Big Daddy Bar.

Great, now I’m crying. Thanks a lot, mom, it’s all your fault!!! LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!! Thought I’d throw that in here for ya since I never really did the whole angsty teen thing. OK, now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I’m talking about.

You taught me to love my neighbor. To look for the best in people and always offer what help I can to those in need, even if it’s just a conversation and a smile, or sometimes a questionable ride to Church’s Chicken. To be tolerant and accepting of everyone, no matter their background or circumstance or appearance. To be brave enough to stand up for what is right, even if it isn’t popular. Your tolerance and caring for others is a huge inspiration to me, and was the best example for Katie and me growing up.

My mom and me behind Al Roker.

You taught me the meaning of unconditional love. You always told me that there was nothing I could do that would make you stop loving me (though there has been some sibling debate over whether you’d still love one of us if we killed the other and Katie claims you took her side on that one but I’m willing to overlook it). But you also taught me the difference between a parent and a friend, the importance of tough love, and the power of the sentence, “I’m not mad, just disappointed.”

You always believed in me and encouraged me, through several musical instruments, sports, activities, and hobbies, and told me that you’d support me no matter what I ended up pursuing in life. You let me know that, though an A is certainly preferable to a B, you’d be proud of my best, whatever that was.

You taught me the joy (and sometimes pain ) of sentimental value. That if you’re going to be particular about the way something is done, you better have a good way to do it yourself. Especially when bagging groceries, loading the dishwasher, and assembling custom arts & crafts and/or tool kits. That you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. That girls can do anything boys can do. To treat others how I would want to be treated, and to be kind to my little sister, because she’d be my best friend one day. And that a seat belt is never optional.

My parents being the most adorable ever.

You are smart, weird, beautiful, adorable, hilarious, kind, tolerant, goofy, wonderful, surprising, and inspiring. You packed envy-inducing, gourmet lunches for me all throughout high school and still do whenever you send me back to Dallas from a visit home. You made me a Sacagawea costume complete with a baby papoose for a parade when I was 10 and then found it in your heart to keep loving me after I was a total high-maintenance diva and told you I didn’t want your papoose because it wasn’t cool. You literally saved children from dying in car crashes as a career.

In short, you are the best. I love you. Happy Mothers Day.

I am not your sea anenome enemy,

Sarah


Sarah Mowery is the Podcast Marketing Editor for the Spark – Inspire Your Life Podcast and an avid podcast listener. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Sarah enjoys writing, playing outside, going to concerts, and anything else she can list here that will make you think she’s cool. Sarah is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and a member of the teaching and assisting teams at YogaSport in Dallas.

A Day in the Life of My iPhone

I’ve been particularly fascinated (or, perhaps, perturbed) by my reliance on my iPhone. As I wrote last week, my use of the device has turned from one of function to one of automaticity and compulsion, and I don’t like it. It makes me feel like I don’t have control over my impulses. Like my impulses – and notifications – are controlling me.

This week on the podcast, Angela and Nicole introduced the idea of monitoring, a useful strategy when trying to quit a bad habit or encourage one you’re trying to develop. I knew this would be a great way for me to get a clear picture of how I really use my phone, so I decided to record every time I used my phone for an entire day. For the purposes of the post, my “day” comprises the 12 hours after I woke up at 7:30.

I watched a woman throw this phone on the ground and stomp on it at a music festival. That’s one way to stop depending on a device!

For 12 hours I recorded every single time I opened my phone, whether it was for some legitimate reason, just to look at the time, or even if I just thought about getting on it but then decided against it. If you want to get into the nitty gritty details, there are screenshots below of my cell phone use log, but here’s the reader’s digest version:

DISCLAIMER: I deleted Snapchat from my phone last week, otherwise I would have opened my phone waaaaaaayyy more frequently than I did. I had a problem.

  • I opened my phone 49 times in the 12 hours I was monitoring. Honestly not as bad as I’d expected.
  • 11 categories emerged in my frequent phone use for this day, descending order of frequency: Texting, Time, Mindless (opening for basically no reason), Music, Checking (just to check), Practical Function (flashlight, alarm, etc.), Look Up (recipe, weather, directions, etc.), Leisure (reading an article, looking at pictures, etc.), Settings, Email, and Camera.
  • The most common reasons I opened my phone were: Texting (20.4%), checking what time it was (16.3%), and mindlessly clicking the home button for no reason whatsoever (14.3%)
  • Interestingly, I opened my phone “just to check” exactly as many times as I did for music-related reasons (both 12.2% of my phone usage), like putting on music, changing the song, turning up the volume, etc.
  • I also categorized my phone use based on “who” was in control of my actions each time I opened my phone. Any time I opened my phone for an actual, functional reason that came to my mind without being prompted by a notification, that was controlled by Me (55.1%). When I randomly opened the home button “just to check” or for basically no reason at all or to read a text I already read, that was controlled by Habit (26.5%). And when I opened the phone in response to a notification or alarm or other prompt from within the phone, the Phone was in control (18.4%). So, good! I was pleased to see that most of my phone use was, in fact, for a legitimate reason and controlled by me. However, it’s worth noting that checking to see what time it was accounted for 30% of all the times I was in control of the click.

Takeaways:

  • I need to get a watch.
  • Checking just to check is my brain looking for its instant gratification fix. I was surprised by how often I would open my phone for the sole purpose of “checking” something. Checking Instagram, checking my email, checking my text messages – even when there was no notification of anything new coming in. This is driven purely by habit and is the behavior I want to eradicate. Even when I have no real reason to look at my phone, my brain remembers that, hey!, we can get some of that fun approval and satisfaction we like so much if we just open up Instagram and see if anyone else has liked that picture, so let’s just take a hit real quick. Go see if anyone texted you, maybe you missed one! No. Why. Stop.
  • Phone use begets more phone use. I would often open up my phone for no reason, realize it, and put it down, but then suddenly remember something I wanted to do with it, like send a text or set an alarm. The less frequently I use my phone, the less I will “need” to use it.
  • Monitoring has the instant benefit of making me hyper aware. When I had to track my phone use, I thought twice before picking it up. This strategy makes our habits less automatic, and brings a new element of mindfulness into something over which we’d like to have more control.


Sarah Mowery is the Podcast Marketing Editor for the Spark – Inspire Your Life Podcast and an avid podcast listener. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Sarah enjoys writing, playing outside, going to concerts, and anything else she can list here that will make you think she’s cool. Sarah is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and a member of the teaching and assisting teams at YogaSport in Dallas.

Episode 20: Tracking Progress, Plastic Gold, and Helpful Friends

Happy 1st birthday (and first brownie!!) to adorable Baby Zoe!

Psst… FYI, this post contains affiliate links. Carry on!

Sucky Moment of the Week (5+/5) Things have gotten heated with the contractor who took on Angela’s kitchen remodel, and, well, you know what they say about heat and kitchens… Inspired Action Do as much homework and preparation as you can before making a major decision, but know that you can only control and prepare for so much.

Send in your sucky moments to podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com with any questions or inspired actions – you might be featured on the podcast!

Angela SHOUT out to her friend and neighbor, Jessica, who has had her back through Kitchengate 2k17 with her expert knowledge and support and been a great example of how, when times get tough, you’ll see who is really there for you.

Angela’s pile of plastic gold

Ask Coach AWags Ashley is looking for tips on how to follow through when starting something new in life, and we delve into the strategy of monitoring.

Send in your questions on anything from life to love to diet and exercise (like yoga!) and beyond at podcast@angelawagnercoaching.com to be featured on the podcast.

Try This: Collect all those old gift cards that have been cluttering up your wallet, purse, bag pockets, and junk drawers, and USE THEM!

From the Episode:

  • On the Blog: A Day in the Life of My iPhone
  • Gretchen Rubin gives us some more insight into the strategy of monitoring in her blog post and video
  • Curious about digital fitness trackers? Angela uses the Fitbit Blaze, while Nicole prefers the Pebble, but there are tons of other options out there.
  • Check out Angela’s online coaching program, Spark! Spark is a five-week program designed to help you get clear on what you want to create in your life and get inspired to make it happen. Online and on your own time to fit your schedule, Spark provides tools and guidance to help you spark inspiration in your life. Register online here: Spark Online

Connect with us:

If this episode sparked something in you, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher, leave us a rating and review on iTunes (how to do that here!), and tell your friends about us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or good old-fashioned word of mouth! Thanks for visiting.