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20 January 2010 2 Comments

Using Criticism as a Positive, Part 1

Using Criticism as a Positive, Part 1

This is Part One of a three part series supporting your ability to use criticism as a positive. I start with general comments, then move into specific actions you can take inside yourself to keep yourself present and your energy intact if you encounter criticism.

Criticism Can Indicate:TreeTunnel

  • Commitment
  • Passion for change
  • Involvement or investment

Criticism differs owing to the intent with which it is given.

Positive criticism is the same as constructive feedback. The intent is to assist or improve the person, concept, work, or project toward which it is directed. Positive criticism is offered in a spirit of contribution.

Neutral criticism is offered without intention to either help or hurt. It’s just factual commentary.

Destructive criticism carries an intention to tear down or diminish whatever is being criticized. The energy behind destructive criticism makes it toxic.

From an energy perspective, positive criticism is offered with caring energy, often fueled by interest and investment. Neutral criticism lacks strong investment. It may be habitual on the part of the person commenting, or be presented to stimulate conversation. Destructive criticism almost always carries the energy of the issues that drive an individual to dish it out.

The way we receive or use criticism is the most important factor as to how we are impacted by it. What we make of it matters more than how it is delivered. The more solidly we are able to accept ourselves, recognize our strengths, and maintain the energies associated with self love the easier it is to use criticism to our benefit.

If we have trouble accepting constructive or neutral feedback, personal work is in order. We cannot control everyone who has an opinion that differs from our own, but we can control how we respond.

I will share tips on dealing with criticism and share about what it can be used for in Part Two.

Can you think of any more positive motivations someone may have for making a criticism? If so, please share a comment.

15 December 2009 2 Comments

Healthful (“Healthy”) Holiday Treats

Healthful (“Healthy”) Holiday Treats

Are you eating things you don’t want in your body “because” it’s the holidays?

FlyingGirlDuring the holiday season a high percentage of my clients, especially those with allergies, express frustration about getting caught in the “sugar traps” lurking at the office, gifts they cannot eat, or time spent making preparing foods that literally make them ill. When these clients have checked in with friends and relatives, many have been surprised to discover that the people they were trying to please by cooking or receiving these treats also preferred healthy choices. They too were doing what they felt was expected.

When we feel great joyfulness follows. Feeling sluggish, heavy, or burdened by food does little to promote real holiday cheer.

Check in with your loved ones. They may be pleased to support you in feeling good, creating new traditions that leave you feeling your best through the dark days of the year when nutrition makes even more of a difference.

Here are some strategies to bring about healthful holidays:

  • Bring healthful snacks to parties or the office to make sure you have something you can enjoy.
  • Identify and buy healthful foods you like BETTER than the sugar traps so you do not feel deprived.
  • Pay close attention to whether the pleasure of eating a food is worth the results of eating it.
  • Eat slowly with full attention to prolong pleasure instead of spacing out and eating twice as much in the same amount of time without noticing it.
  • Ask for support with holiday eating ahead of the holidays.
  • Let your loved ones know you feel cared about when they support your real needs.
  • Let people know what works for you BEFORE they give you something you’d rather not eat.
  • Provide simple alternatives within their comfort zone by talking candidly and finding out what they enjoy too.
  • Switch to healthful food gifts to others.

Festive choices with excellent food value:

  • Quality sheep and goat cheeses (digest much better than cow)
  • Smoked salmon
  • Sushi
  • Spiced nuts (easy to make with real maple syrup instead of sugar)
  • Dried cranberries (preferably juice sweetened)
  • Dried cherries
  • Big, soft dates stuffed with raw walnuts or almonds, and maybe a tiny sliver of crystallized ginger (these make wonderful gifts)
  • Pomegranates (jewel-like and lovely)
  • Persimmons (look like ornaments!)
  • Clementines (those soft, tiny oranges)
  • Hot ginger tea with Stevia or honey and lemon

What are YOUR favorite healthful holiday foods? Please share ideas and gluten-free recipes!


27 October 2009 1 Comment

Think of Your Body as a Pet

Think of Your Body as a Pet

Years of experience helping people to learn what and how to eat have shown me that we people tend to expect our bodies to respond differently than animals do to what we eat and drink. This expectation is not a conscious belief but a way of living.

DogYou probably know exactly what gives your dog gas, your horse a bellyache, or makes your cat’s coat dull instead of shiny. For a fun change of perspective, try on thinking of your body as a pet.

Extend the care and intelligence your pets enjoy to your own body. This exercise increases objectivity. Your body IS an animal in your care! Thinking this way makes it easier to step away from cravings, habits, and emotional impulses that drive so much of our eating.

We know the basics for care, but it feels different to do them if you are thinking of your body as a pet. The same things you do for your pet will keep You healthy:

  • Walk your body regularly. It needs to get out and move.
  • Pay attention to the way it reacts to what you feed it
  • Plan to have available a supply of the food it needs
  • Pay attention to body cues that rest is needed
  • Make sure it has fresh water
  • Give it love
  • Give it the kindness of touch or massage
  • Notice when it wants to play