A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Changing Your Life. I Changed.

A funny thing happened on the way to changing your life. I changed. I grew. I became focused. What I could not see I can now see. My value increased. My confidence grew. 

I was serving you. I was listening intently and present with you. I asked you provocative questions. I was able to see the genius in you and understand your needs, wants and big dreams. I helped you face and conquer obstacles, real and imagined. I called bullshit when you needed it and held you accountable. I cautioned you when I was turning up the heat with my questions, and gave you space to decompress and walk at your own pace when the heat was too much for you. You made changes by baby steps and sometimes changed exponentially. Our powerful, life-changing coaching sessions were invaluable to you because they made your dreams come true.

And in giving you access to the possibility of making your dreams come true, I came to realize just how valuable my service is to you. I am naturally empathic and good at listening for understanding. I'm dependable. My word is my bond. I am intuitive and brave. I'm a risk taker. My superpower is my ability to understand ugly, be present with pain, feel frustration, accept anger and face fear. My father told me once, do what you love and do what you are good at. I'm good at what I do and I love the powerful practice I have created because I'm a secret and critical ingredient in your next big thing.

Although I am an RN with many years of education in top colleges, professional training and credentials of competency, I've been charging less than many nurses make for a service I provide you that is priceless. That's my fault and you got more than you paid for. Good for you!

My changes did not happen easily or overnight. They've slowly and steadily simmered and occasionally have come to a boil. I've invested a lot of time and money into learning to serve you. I've practiced my coaching and received powerful coaching to help me grow. I've attended expensive conferences and sacrificed time with my family. I've read incessantly and surrounded myself with smart, talented, professional coaches. Still, it took you, my clients and patients, to help me see through your eyes what I could not see myself. I am valuable.

As the Zanders say in their book, The Art of Possibility, "It's all invented." The secret to life is inventing what feels better. Valuable feels better.

Love,

Coach Joyce

Why I Love To Wish You A Happy Birthday

I haven't always loved birthdays because I was born without one. Well, not one of my own. I'm not a twin but I was born on my brother's 5th birthday. He didn't want a baby sister. He wanted a fire truck. He was robbed! So was I. Once my mother made me a doll cake, you know with the Barbie doll in the middle and the dress was the cake. That was cool. But it wasn't enough. It was a consolation gift. I was still pissed. I wanted my OWN birthday!

Birthdays started to become more important to me as I realized I could have a birthday and that landing smack on my brother's date didn't mean my birthday was cut in half. A simple mindset shift was all it took, though it took me years to figure that out. Now it's kind of cool to tell people that we are such regular ovulators in my family. Sometimes I relapse and need to remind myself because the old mindset never goes away... it sits there lurking, waiting for a weak moment to attack my confidence. 

Maybe that why today wishing YOU a Happy Birthday has become part of my routine. I click that button and I feel better. Why? Honestly, I don't even know many of the people I send wishes to but the idea of letting you know I noticed makes ME feel good. I really want you to have a wonderful day even if I don't know you. I want to give you this acknowledgement of an important milestone in your life. I want to document that WE have made it another trip around the sun. Both of us. Saying Happy Birthday to you has created a "we" moment. 

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. The youngest of my five kids was 7. My husband had moved out years ago and had no idea of my struggles, nor did he provide any help, financial or otherwise, to supporting me and the kids. My birthdays were suddenly gone. And so were the birthdays of my kids because in my mind I wouldn't be there to celebrate and acknowledge them. It was a dark time.

That's when I realized I needed another mindset shift. No matter what the doctors were saying, no matter what the chemo and surgery did to my body and mind, no matter what the financial and physical burden I carried, I needed to live. I had kids! It was hard because there were powerful physical reminders to challenge my decision to BELIEVE against what seemed so obvious, that I was going to die. 

So here I am, 14 years after my cancer diagnosis, getting ready to celebrate another birthday. This is a big one because I'm turning 66 and you all know what that means! In the meantime I have learned how to ice skate, play hockey, be a hockey coach, teach hockey and play like a kid; I've learn how to be a health coach and transformative coach and I am saving lives by thinking differently as a nurse, PREVENTING disease instead of just managing it; I save lives! I have learned to keep growing myself, keep learning, keep living and BELIEVE in the miracle of the body and miracle of POSSIBILITY. I have grandchildren and so much love in my life that I had no idea was possible. 

MIRACLES happen every day and I want your birthday to be that special. When I wish you a Happy Birthday I am wishing you MIRACLES, POSSIBILITY and at least one simple MINDSET SHIFT that will change your life for the best.

No matter what day your birthday lands on (but hopefully not on mine) Happy Birthday!

Love, Coach Joyce

TotalWellCoach.com

Asking For Help For A Friend

Who do you know that needs life-changing coaching, support, guidance and accountability from a Master Transformative Coach and Behavioral Nutrition Expert? Let me tell you about this Coach and why it's a good idea to hire her and refer your friends to her.

In her own life she doesn't quit. She never, never, never gives up. She's strong and compassionate, wise and insightful. She survived divorce, twice. She survived miscarriages and heartbreaks. She raised, educated and supported five children without help from their father or family. She survived breast cancer. Having literally given birth to a hockey team, she bravely stepped on to the right side of the glass, to get in the game, to play hockey in her 50s and 60s, and she's still going strong. She then went on to develop the skills to found her own hockey school where she taught thousands of children and adults how to have fun with exercise through hockey and skating. And now at 65 years old she is teaching hockey skating to her grandchildren who she affectionately calls her "second line."

She could do many other things with her experience and skills as a nurse and coach to make money, but she has chosen a financially challenging and noble path. Her mission is to help people experience their best health and most fulfilling lives. She teaches people how to prevent disease. She coaches people to help them build confidence, change their mindset and see the world through a new lens that helps them move forward to achieve their personal goals. She demonstrates the power of creating habits and how these small, consistent, persistence steps impact everything to do with overall health and life satisfaction. She leads by example and demonstrates every day of her life that people can continue to learn, grow, change and level up throughout their lives. 

She is one of the most positive people you will ever meet and faces every challenge as an opportunity to level up and elevate her skills as a parent, a coach, a nurse, a hockey skater and a player in this game of life.

Her dream is simple, to be debt free in a modest lifestyle to be able to continue helping others for the rest of her life. And by the way, she has a lot of colleagues who have similar stories and struggles with great skills who want nothing more than to help people. 

You probably recognize that the talented Coach I'm writing about here is me, but I'm not bragging and I'm not asking for help for me. I'm asking for a friend! I'm asking for help for YOUR friend who I don't know yet and who I won't meet unless you connect us; the one who YOU KNOW that needs my help, whose life will change immensely for the better with a small investment in himself or herself as he or she works with me to make changes that will pay enormous dividends in their health and the quality of their life for many, many years to come.

So here it is. The BIG ASK! Get ready. 

Will you tell him or her about me? Because, you know what? Together, we can help more people. 

Love,

Coach Joyce

When Competence is Challenged

You are very good at a job or skill (not perfect, remember no one is perfect) and you KNOW you are good. The sure-footed feeling is intoxicating. You've worked hard to get to this level and you're never fully satisfied because getting better at what you do is what makes it so damn fun. You level up because it's your game. You are the master and have no fear!

Suddenly you feel your competence challenged and the rug is pulled out from under. You don't know what hit you or what you hit. Now what?

First, look for the lesson. It's not about your skill. You know who you are and what you do.

Next, look for what you're missing? What part of you is responding like a hurt child and where the hell did that come from? You just got punched in the gut and it surprised you. So what. "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see." You just learned something and maybe next time you'll see it coming.

Lastly, look for the opportunity. This is YOUR game. Your hands are on the steering wheel. Nothing has changed about your skills, your character or your drive and you just had one of life's pop quizzes. Did you pass? 

Stay focused on where you are going and what you need.

That's it. Simple. Easy-peasy. Stay confident. Stay strong. Make the mindset shift. Look for the lesson. Look for what's missing. Look for the opportunity. Level up. 

Dietary Fat & Cognitive Performance: Can a High-Fat Diet Be Bad for the Brain?

Dietary Fat & Cognitive Performance: Can a High-Fat Diet Be Bad for the Brain?

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By Bronwyn Storoschuk, ND

As human life expectancy continues to increase, there is also an increased risk for cognitive impairment over the course of a longer life.1 Brain health and cognitive performance have received a lot of recent attention by researchers in order to understand, and develop, strategies that will reduce the risk for cognitive decline.2 Furthermore, greater importance is being placed on “healthspan” versus “lifespan,” and there is an increased demand to find ways to optimize overall health, including brain health and cognitive performance. 

In the past few years, more scientific interest on the influence of nutrition on brain health and function has emerged, especially as dietary fats have regained popularity among consumers.2 It has been well-documented that a ketogenic dietcan have profound benefits on the brain and cognitive function; however, there is also evidence that suggests consuming a high-fat diet increases the risk of cognitive decline and may impair brain performance.2,3 To clear some of the confusion, it is important to differentiate between the different types of fats and the potential mechanisms that may explain impairment in cognitive function.  

As far back as 1990, animal studies showed that diets high in saturated fats caused significant impairments in learning and memory.4 The results from subsequent human studies showed similar findings. Research showed that high-fat diets, containing mostly omega-6 fatty acids and saturated fats, were associated with worse performance on cognitive tasks.5 In addition, diets that contained mostly saturated fats and transfats have been associated with an increased risk of brain disorders.6 It has also been determined that high-fat diets with elevated amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol may impair intellectual function, along with increased risk for other health concerns.7 As most Americans follow a “Standard American Diet,” which contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fats, and trans fats and low omega-3 fatty acids, it is not surprising that rates of cognitive decline are increasing in the US.2,8

In the United States, the major sources of saturated fats come from:9

  • Fatty cuts of meat

  • Pastries and baked goods

  • Cheese

  • Milk

  • Margarine

  • Salad dressings

  • Mayonnaise

  • Butter

The major sources of trans fats, which are primarily industrially produced from vegetable oils, are found in:10

  • Baked goods like cakes and cookies

  • Crackers 

  • Margarine

  • Fried foods 

  • Potato chips

  • Popcorn  

  • Shortening

Omega-6 fatty acids are found in many commonly used plant oils including canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean, corn, and cotton seed oil.11 In the Standard American Diet the consumption of vegetable oils is significant; thus omega-6 fatty acid consumption has become much higher than omega-3 fatty acid intake.11 The suggested dietary intake of omega-6:omega-3 ratio is around 1-4:1; however, most Americans consume these fats within the range of a 10:1 to 20:1 ratio.11 Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential, meaning the human body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them, and they must be eaten to provide benefits, once consumed, they are metabolized into arachidonic acid, which at excessive levels is proinflammatory.11 In recent years, research has attempted to determine the biological mechanisms behind the detrimental cognitive effects associated with a high-fat diet. The major proposed mechanisms include insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and inflammation.2

Insulin resistance 

Although insulin is usually discussed in relation to carbohydrate intake, consumption of both saturated and trans fats have been studied to impair insulin sensitivity.12 In addition, data have shown diets high in saturated fats are associated with increased total body weight and abdominal obesity, which also contribute to insulin resistance.13Overall, it has been found that cognitive performance declines as whole body insulin resistance increases.10

It is important to consider that the Standard American Diet is also comprised of large amounts of refined sugars and refined grains.2 Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates also leads to insulin resistance, the greatest effects of which are seen when high sugar intake is combined with excessive caloric intake—often found in conjunction with a high-fat diet.14 So although specific fats can induce insulin resistance, this combination is more detrimental and very common in the US population.2

Oxidative stress

It has been observed that a high-fat diet, primarily composed of increased intakes of saturated fats and omega-6 fats, raises the levels of free radicals in tissues and the brain.11,15 Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species (ROS), contribute to oxidative stress and lead to cellular damage.16 Chronically high levels of oxidative stress are known to lead to cognitive decline.16 Research has shown that high-fat diet-induced oxidative stress also leads to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays an important role in the survival, and growth, of brain cells and may explain some of the impairment in cognitive performance.2,17 Interestingly, data from preclinical studies indicate vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, is associated with better cognitive performance.18,19 While these findings still need to be confirmed in human studies, this information suggests that oxidative stress is involved in cognitive impairment and may be an outcome of a high-fat diet.2

Moreover, high-fat diets, specifically the fats included in the Standard American Diet, commonly lack essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which may further limit the body’s ability to effectively combat the increased levels of oxidative stress resulting from this high-fat diet.20

Inflammation

Studies show high-fat diets composed primarily of saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids have been associated with significantly increased levels of inflammation both systemically and in the brain.2The brain is very sensitive to levels of inflammation, as inflammatory mediators can easily cross the blood-brain barrier.2 In one animal study, a diet comprised of 60% saturated fat showed significantly increased levels of inflammatory mediators, reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, and highly reactive cells in the brain. As inflammatory mediators increased, significant impairment in cognitive performance was observed.21

Fats & cognition  

It is clear that all fats are not created equally. For instance, a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been found to support cognitive processes.11Accordingly, diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are associated with enhanced memory and learning and may play a role in supporting healthy cognition.24-25 The most important omega-3 fatty acids for brain health are EPA and DHA.26 However, it can be challenging to get the appropriate intake of EPA and DHA by diet alone, especially when looking to enhance cognitive performance.26 Also, it is important to note that a low intake of total fat, less than 20% of caloric intake, has been studied to impair cognitive performance due to an inadequate intake of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, all of which are necessary to support cognition and general health.10

Regardless of what diet is followed, when fat is consumed, it is very important to choose the right fats. Brain function is impacted by insulin resistance and is sensitive to oxidative stress and inflammation, all of which are increased on a high-fat diet.2 However, this does not mean that all types of fats are bad, as it is well-documented that omega-3 fatty acids support  cognition, and fat, in general, is required for optimal brain health.24

This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare professional for advice on medical issues.

References:

  1. Suthers K et al. Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2003;58(3):S179-186.

  2. Freeman L et al. Nutr Neurosci. 2014;17(6):241–251.

  3. Hernandez A et al. Front Aging Neurosci. 2018;10:391.

  4. Greenwood CE et al. Behav Neural Biol. 1990;53:74–87.

  5. Kalmijn S et al. Ann Neurol. 1997;42:776–782.

  6. Luchsinger JA et al. Arch Neurol. 2002;59:1258–1263.

  7. Requejo AM et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003;57(Suppl 1):S54–57.

  8. Simopoulos AP. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002;56:365–379.

  9. Subar AF et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998;98:537–547.

  10. Dhaka V et al. J Food Sci Technol. 2011;48(5):534–541.

  11. Patterson E et al. J Nutr Metab. 2012;2012:539426.

  12. Ghafoorunissa G. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17:212–215.

  13. Frankenberg A et al. Eur J Nutr. 2017;56(1):431–443.

  14. Macdonald I. Eur J Nutr. 2016;55(Suppl 2):17–23. 

  15. Beltowski J et al. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2000;51:883–896.

  16. Zhu X et al. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007;64:2202.

  17. Bathina S et al. Arch Med Sci. 2015;11(6):1164–1178.

  18. Lockrow J et al. Exp Neurol. 2009;216:278–289.

  19. Wu A et al. Eur J Neurosci. 2004;19:1699–1707.

  20. Greenwood CE et al. Neurobiol Aging. 2005;26(Suppl 1):42–45.

  21. Pistell P et al. J Neuroimmunol. 2010;219(1-2):25–32.

  22. Simopoulos AP. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002;21(6):495-505.

  23. Uranga RM et al. J Neurochem. 2010;114:344–361.

  24. Schaefer EJ et al. Archives of Neurology. 2006;63(11):1545–1550.

  25. Freeman MP et al. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2006;67(12):1954–1967.

  26. Swanson D et al. Adv Nutr. 2012;3(1):1–7.

Bronwyn Storoschuk, ND 
Bronwyn Storoschuk, ND is a board-certified naturopathic doctor trained at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Prior to attaining her ND, Dr. Storoschuk completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Kinesiology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She currently works in private practice in Toronto, Ontario. One of her practices is located within an integrative fertility clinic, where she provides naturopathic care to individuals undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART). Dr. Storoschuk integrates evidence-based medicine with the understanding of the body’s natural physiology and innate healing wisdom. She is passionate about empowering women to take control of their hormonal health and has a clinical focus in hormone balance, reproductive health, and fertility. 

Dr. Storoschuk is a paid consultant and guest writer for Metagenics.

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Top 10 Gifts of Health for the Holidays!

Top 10 Gifts of Health for the Holidays!

Top 10 Gifts of Health for the Holidays