Tag Archives: lifecoaching

Go Nuts with this Recipe!

I go nuts over walnuts.  That’s probably why temptation got the best of me while shopping @Costco before Christmas when I spotted this Kentucky bourbon cake.  I discovered that the topping was what I loved — a mixture of nuts, chocolate, and sugar.

So I decided to tweak my temptation in a healthy way by using this original recipe to substitute one for the other.

Sauté walnuts in a 1/2 – 1 T. coconut oil (amount of oil depends on amount of walnuts).

While sautéing, sprinkle the following: cocoa powder, stevia, and cinnamon (and any other  spice that’s appealing to you!).

Remove from heat after coated and rest on paper towels until cooled. Store in airtight container.

It’s not just about deleting something from your daily intake; it’s about substituting something healthier!

Unless you’re allergic to walnuts, find ways to incorporate them into your diet.  They contain fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and Omega-3 fats (the healthy kind!). Use on salads, greek yogurt, or eat a few as a snack.

If you’d like clean recipes, visit Amazon.com and order my gluten and dairy free cookbook to get you started (Recipes Unveiled by Shirene Gentry).

Remember:  Simple.  Easy.  Clean. In 2017!

This is Hope Unveiled!



Why the Ball Drops on Your Intentions

Ever wonder why you have great intentions at the new year and THEN the ball drops? You just need to be a little “S.M.A.R.T” – er.

This formula will help you get on track in any area of your life as you contemplate changes for the new year

S. = Specific

Be specific with what you want during the new year. Most of the time, the ball drops because you are too general with your intentions.

If you want to find balance, then be specific with scheduling. “For an hour a day, I will use 15 minutes to workout, 15 minutes to have quality conversation with someone I love, 15 minutes to decompress after a stressful day, or 15 minutes to have quiet time.”

For weight loss, be specific: “I want to lose 10 pounds.”

M. = Measurable

What tool will you use to measure your progress? A planner? A scale? An iPad? An app?

A. = Achievable

Many times a goal isn’t reached because it’s too big. Start with what IS achievable.  If you have no exercise routine at all, then just start with scheduling time for what you DO have.

R. = Reward

Most S.M.A.R.T. models utilize this as the “realistic” component.  I will insert “REWARD” here as a means to positively reinforce a new behavior.  The best incentive is to reward yourself weekly for having met a goal for just that week. Mind you, not with unhealthy food if your goal is to eat better or lose weight!

T. = Time

Give yourself a timetable for reaching your goal.  If you don’t, it’s easy for the goal to be dropped as fast as the new year’s ball.






In that order, that’s my personal progression of late.

Time for honesty.  The ONLY reason I left the comfort of my warm house on a rainy, cold January day is this:  my new workout clothes from @Calvin Klein.  That’s it.  I decided to use gift money on something that would give me a REASON for action.

How about you?

Do you feel guilty that you’ve eaten too much?

Do you dread the idea of working out?

Take on the mindset of replacement / substitutes.  Replace the bad food with choices that take the place of what you’re deleting. Another post this week will elaborate on this concept.

Replace your old workout wear with something new, fresh, and bright.

If you need a jumpstart on food, fashion, and fitness – all grounded in faith – you may want to head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my book Change Unveiled.  Gather with friends and talk about these topics.

Remember:  It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, it matters where you’re going!

This is Hope Unveiled!


Anxious Living: “I” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y.


If you have been following this series of blogs for stress management, you have already understood that there are many techniques to buffer your stress level.  I highly recommend that some of these “tools” be used daily when stress level is relatively low in order that they will already be an ingrained habit when challenges get ramped up.

The second “I” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y. stands for two concepts: INHALE and INTERPRET.


Stress can localize in your body.  Have you ever been to the doctor or dentist with pain only to discover that there was no medical issue associated with the discomfort? Stress and its “sidekick” of cortisol can flood your system to point that you either feel pain, have rapid breathing, or even feel panic.

Whether or not you actually feel any bodily symptoms, get in the habit of deep breathing.  That’s right.  Wherever you are.  On the spot.  Close your eyes, breath in through your nose for 5-7 seconds and breath out for the same length of time. Do this 4 or 5 times to literally slow down your body’s internal rhythms.


See the above photo? What do you see?  What you think or conceptualize based on the limited view may be skewed with what actually IS. You may quickly draw conclusions without all the facts. And then what you do with those facts that you believe to be true can “mushroom” internally without merit.

This concept is trickier to handle.  Why?  Because each person listens to that negative “mental tape recorder” that plays over and over again.  Ann Bradford’s statement (see above) is only half right.  Not only do you need to pay attention to what you tell yourself, but you also need to challenge the negative statement(s) with truth.  

When you’re under a time of stress, be careful how you interpret it.  Here are some examples:

  • “This is the worst thing that could happen.”
    • Use this: “I never thought I’d be challenged with this, but I know I can lean in and will be okay” (see yesterday’s blog about “leaning in”).
  • “Everyone else is smarter than I am.”
    • Use this: “There are a lot of smart people in my class.  They have their strengths, I have mine.” *Notice: “Everyone” is replaced with a more realistic category.
  • “I am in pain.  I must have a terrible disease.”
    • Use this:  “I’m feeling discomfort.  I need to go to the doctor for an examination.”  Notice that there is no evidence to support the fact you have a terrible disease.
  • “It’s time for a routine exam. I know there wasn’t anything wrong last time, but the doctor will probably find something this time.”
    • Use this:  “It’s time for a routine exam.  We’ll see what the results are this year.”

Many times, your thoughts are so automatic, you never even question them.  We call these “ANTS” (Automatic Negative Thoughts).  The goal for a healthy mindset is twofold:

  1.  Pay attention to the beliefs you take for granted inside your mind.  They either put you in a “good” or “bad” place emotionally.  If you land in a bad place, it creates MORE stress.  Therefore, you need to pay attention and challenge the statements!
  2. If you’re already in a time of stress, be careful how you are dealing with it emotionally.  Implement the Positivity Ratio of >3 to 1. Let the “1” stand for the negative event.  Now find at least 3 positive things that are currently going on in your life to balance out the “1.”

Here’s an example for using the Positivity Ratio:

This is based on my own caregiving experience from years ago……

“1” : Caregiving was an extremely challenging time in my life.

“>3”:  What I learned:

To be proactive. To encourage someone else. To have my own legal, financial, and health matters taken care of, regardless of health in the moment. I’m capable of handling more than I realized.

You have the choice about the takeaways you have for everyday life as well as challenging times.  Work hard at interpreting it correctly, filtered with truth.

Step outside the window of your mind and view the bigger picture that is grounded in truth.  You’ll be glad you did.

This is Hope Unveiled!



Anxious Living: Burdened by Worry

What’s the difference between young adults and their parents?  For the former, they carry backpacks half their body weight, while those carried by the latter are invisible. Regardless of age, every person can carry too much.

Let’s make some distinctions.

First, fear can be a positive thing.  It signals our sympathetic nervous system that something is wrong.  It can motivate us to get our of harm’s way.

Fear can become a problem when it leads to anxiety and you are afraid of things that aren’t real, or when the feeling of fear is out of proportion to the real danger present.

Anxiety is more akin to worry, and can be aroused by a number of factors: medical conditions (lack of sleep or a blood sugar imbalance); role modeling from parents; trauma; lifestyle.

Another distinction is that fear can be looked at as imminent, while anxiety can be completely anticipatory.

From neurobiological and faith stances, here are life coaching tools for dealing with anxious worry:


What triggers your worry? Write it down! Notice the situation, the people, the feelings.  Discuss with a life coach or professional.

Worry Box: write down what you’re worried about on a small sheet of paper.  Worry worry worry for 15 minutes.  That’s right.  Then when 15 minutes is up, put the “worry sheet” in the box and be done with it.  Your brain will naturally drift to another topic.

Before going to sleep at night, journal your specific worries with a pen and paper.  Don’t use your laptop, as blue light from devices interferes with sleep quality (cease usage at least 1.5 hours before going to bed).


“Cast your burden on the Lord….” (Psalm 55:22).

Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost devotion for today states that God doesn’t lift our worrisome burdens because He wants to see if we will give it back to Him.

Why? He desires that you live intentionally and take responsibility for your faith journey.  And how you manage worry is also an integral part of your spiritual life.

Here is a formula I’ve developed based on Chambers’ devotion:

  1. Release
  2. Roll back
  3. Relish

Release the worry through prayer.  This is what “casting your burden” looks like.  It requires action on your part.

Roll back and hand over the worry to Him.  This is the implication of this verse.  When you do this, it leads to item #3….

Relish His presence.  You have now invited Him into the everyday details that weigh you down, visible or invisible.

Hand over the backpack of worry.  You were never meant to carry it.


**This blog post is not a substitute for anxiety disorders or phobias.  Please seek professional counseling. You don’t have to keep living under the burden of anxiety. You have options.

This is HopeUnveiled.