Remember to Breathe

Remeber to Breathe

In class Monday… I learned much about anti-inflammatory lifestyles. It always pleases me to learn more, be reminded of what I do know and inspired to share the knowledge with others.

There are two kinds of inflammation, one that you feel when you hurt yourself or feel pain from within your body, and the other you do not feel because it is silent inside your body.

What causes inflammation…free radicals. Free radicals are highly charge molecules with an unpaired electron… looking for a mate by charging around inside your body like a ping pong ball. When they find an electron on another molecule, they take it and that molecule dies.

We all experience inflammation in our daily lives through: stress, breathing, foods we eat, beverages we drink, exercise and basically living.

Now, it is not time to give up on living… that would be silly! We can address inflammation by making changes to our lifestyle, what we eat, drink, exercise and reducing stress.

There are many excellent foods that help reduce inflammation and refined, processed and manufactured foods are NOT it. Eating more vegetables, some fruit and quality fats such as a quality extra virgin olive oil ARE very beneficial to reducing inflammation. Eating foods that are fresh, clean and toxin free is a great place to begin.

If you eat processed, refined, manufactured foods… try crowding them out by adding in some fresh vegetables and fruit… over time you will be eating more foods that benefit your body.

It is the antioxidants in food that reduce inflammation by giving the free radicals their missing electron, how do you know if you are getting enough antioxidants to address the level of inflammation in your body? Well you don’t.

That is why taking a high quality, pharmaceutical grade vitamin (not found on store shelves) is insurance for the gaps you may have in your diet. Vitamins are not a replacement for eating real food, just an insurance plan for your body.

On a final note, I would like to remind everyone to remember to breathe deeply, this is one effective way to reduce and manage stress. Here is a short, one minute technique, twice a day or when stressed.

Breathe out your air… push it out… breathe in for count of 4… hold for count of 7…. push out breath for count of 8… repeat this cycle 4 times. That’s it! One minute twice a day… because you are worth it!

The picture of the flowers I took on my morning run… they stopped me in my tracks with their beauty and I remembered to breathe and captured them to share with you 🙂

If you have any comments or questions… I would love to hear from you!

Have a great day, be inspired or inspire someone !

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Spring Flowers!

Spring Flowers!

While out on my morning run, I stopped to enjoy the lovely spring flowers! It was early morning and a peaceful hush was upon me and the sea wall had a few others enjoying the tranquility.

I could not help but admire how nature provides the flowers with what they need to grow every year. Reminds me of how our bodies will keep us healthy, it is just a matter of feeding it what it needs, not what the mind desires. Sometimes flowers and people need a little extra help, from someone who is experienced and trained in promoting optimal health.

How is your health this Spring? If you need a boost… leave me a note here, or visit me on Facebook.

Be inspired… or inspire someone today!


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Salad Season, Where’s the Mead?

Salad Season, Where's the Mead?

Salad season is here… well at least it was yesterday! I enjoyed this yummy spinach, goat cheese, hazelnut salad at Spinnakers in Victoria BC. Have you been there? Lovely atmosphere with good food, handcrafted beers and lovely selection of organic teas.

Anyway, I was on the search for some mead… yes, the old style beverage made from honey and fermented to a tasty beverage. Usually Spinnakers makes their own mead, but the one they had available was imported from the USA… it was organic and although it was not locally made, it was tasty and went well with the salad.

You may be asking, why was Carmen looking for mead? Well you see, I am attending a pioneer women’s weekend in July… and everything needs to be a close resemblance to the mid 1800’s as possible, and I understand mead was more popular than water back then! So… there you have it… do you have any good leads for mead?

I have a good lead for salads :)… check this out

Have a super day and be inspired or inspire someone!
Carmen xo

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Hot Towel Scrub

Hot Towel Scrub

During my training as a Health Coach… I have applied a new to me practice of hot towel scrubbing. At first, I will admit it was somewhat intimidating… and I wondered what this could do for me, but now I hot towel scrub at least once every day! If you are interested to know… the benefits of hot towel scrubbing your body are many.

– relieves stress and calms the mind
– stimulates circulation and opens the pores to release toxins
– activates the lymphatic system, especially when you scrub your underarms and groin areas
– permits excess fat, cellulite, mucus and toxins to discharge to the surface rather than gathering around deeper vital organs
– provides energy in the morning and relaxation before bed
– creates the space for a person to develop a loving relationship with their body, this is super for those with body image issues
– hot towel scrubbing feels great and releases your sparkle inside and out!

Now, with all these fantastic benefits I am sure you are wondering how to go about the hot towel scrubbing process! You may even be thinking that you could just do it while in the shower or tub… NOT so. The benefits above are best achieved when you fill a sink with hot water and stand in front of it. Body scrubbing can be done before or after a bath/shower or anytime during the day.

All you need is a sink, hot water and a medium to large size cotton washcloth.

Hot Towel Scrub Process:
– fill the sink with hot water
– place the towel into the water to get it soaked
– wring out the towel
– scrub your body from head to toe
– scrub until you notice your skin becoming warm and pink
– reheat the towel in the hot water often
– for added effect you can set an environment that relaxes or awakens you, such as listening to music, lighting candles, shutting the door to reduce interruptions 🙂

Hot towel scrubbing has impacted me in such a positive way that I had to share it with you!

If you try hot towel scrubbing for a week, let me know how you like it.

Be inspired, or inspire someone today!


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Fridge Ninja!

Fridge Ninja!

One of my recent school assignments was to take a photo of my fridge and pantry… as a “before” picture.

Good thing the fridge ninja was at my house in January! It made it easier to take a candid picture and post it for the rest of the students to see. Although I would like to have gone shopping and filled it with more food… that’s the joy of being candid! LOL

What would your fridge and pantry pictures look like if you opened it right now and snapped a photo? Does it inspire you to eat what is inside of it? Or??

What do you use to store your food, plastic, glass, other?? Personally, I am switching over to using mason jars now that I found the BPA free lids at Canadian Tire! 🙂

Anyway, have a super day… remember to inspire someone, or be inspired!


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Adding Knowledge!

Adding Knowledge!

A few years ago… right after completing a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Management degree… I started training to be a health and lifestyle coach. After all, I found there is a direct relation between conflict and health… Now I am increasing my holistic health coaching practice to include the teachings of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. This is an online training that fits well into my already very busy life 🙂

So far, I am thrilled with what I am learning… you may ask why? Well… I am happy to say the school teaches a bio-individual practice… that is no one way of eating is right for everyone! That is… one persons food could be another person’s poison. It is great to learn about so many methodologies and expand on my ability to help others to help themselves!

The road to health is not only based on food and exercise… but something a lot more influential to ones health… Primary Foods… these are foods that feed our soul, not something we eat off of a plate, they are our relationships, career, exercise and spirituality.

I have decided a good way to help me process and integrate what I am learning is to write about it… so here I go… blogging will be one of my places to share my journey… another will be at my Facebook page, Carmen Barclay Inspired Living… please feel free to visit often and ask questions!

Be inspired and inspired others!

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Yam Sockeye Salmon Quinoa Muffins

Yam Sockeye Salmon Quinoa Muffins

Guest Writter: Ingy Bloodsworth

1 cup cooked quinoa (I used red + white-precooked …see*)
1 6-8oz yam steamed + mashed
1 large carrot steamed + mashed
1 8 oz. jar sockeye canned
3 large eggs
1/4 cup red onion minced
2 large tbsp. quinoa flour
1 tbsp. psyllium
Himalayan Pink Salt
Fresh ground Pepper
Few shakes tabasco
1 tbsp. chopped jalapeno canned
½ tsp. dried basil
Shake some garlic powder
½ stock celery chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Oil Muffin pans really GOOD
Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with a spoon, until everything is combined. Squish them together into small balls with your hands.
Bake: 25 min. 350 Degrees
Makes: 12 small muffins OR Pan FRY these.. may need more flour.

*When I COOK QUINOA, in the TOP PART of a double boiler, I put in:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 stalk celery chopped
1 large carrot julienned finely + then chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt & pepper shakes
Cook on burner. Stir until sautéed . THEN mix in:
1 cup quinoa (1/2 red + 1/2 white)
2 cups water
Set this top part of double boiler over the pot filled with water… Cover & Cook until done… Look for the little tails of the quinoa.
Dump out on a cool cookie pan to cool the quinoa. Then it can be stored in the freezer in packages to use later.
NEXT: I’ll try exchanging the fish with chicken or ham OR Lean ground meat.
Enjoy!!! Curious what your changes will be … Let me know, okay?

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Breaking Through a Challenge!

Breaking Through a Challenge!

1. Find your motivation – identify your WHY, why do you want to reach this goal, why is it important to you? Write it down so you can revisit your why which will help keep you focused

2. Create your vision – use pictures, write it out, imagine how you will feel once you have reached your goal, continue with your personal development. Read your goals out loud before you go to bed and when you wake up, this helps set your subconscious mind into motion

3. Create your blue print or road map – every new toy or piece of equipment comes with an instruction manual there is no reason why you cannot have one to reach your goal

4. Embrace your challenges – never give up, we all have challenges to test how committed we are to reaching our goal, meet your challenges with strength and resolve to get through them to reach your end game

5. Have faith – whatever your belief system, remember to keep the faith

6. Unwavering commitment to succeed – know in your mind that you have already reached your goal, you own it, you can feel it and what it is like to be at your goal

7. Have FUN!

What are you waiting for? If you were to live out the rest of your life the way it is today, would you be happy?

Each day you do not take Action, you put your dreams on hold!

Go ahead, reach your Goals, Live Life and Love It!

Inspire Yourself, Inspire Someone!
Happy New Year!

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Holiday & Winter Survival Tips!

Holiday & Winter Survival Tips!

Start by putting the Smack-down on Stress! Do you have a lot of family responsibilities, is shopping something you must get done before everything you want to buy from the store is gone? Do you have a huge to-do list, are you feeling over extended? All of these can make the holidays a challenging time. It’s understandable why some people get a little grinchy and reach for comfort foods or drinks.

Can you simplify your expectations? Does your house really need to look like it just came out of a magazine? Do you need to host a 7-course formal dinner? Could you delegate more or hold a pot-luck, or order takeout?

How about avoiding the crammed parking lots and malls and shop on-line. If your family agrees, skip shopping and donate to a charity instead.

Remember to breath… deep breaths, fill your lungs with oxygen and hold for 30 seconds. Be mindful of your feelings and if things get a little crazy, retreat to the bathroom for a breather.

Kick your ego to the curb and ask for “help”… Accept the outcome, not everyone will do it the same as you… And that may be OK!

Start your day with a brisk walk or run. It can be more fun with a friend!

Eat a healthy breakfast made of real, vibrant foods (hint: green smoothy).

Keep a daily gratitude journal, list ten things you are grateful for, ten things you did right yesterday and name some intentions for your day.

Book a massage and show up!

Listen to music that is uplifting and makes you smile. Watch funny movies or shows that make you laugh.

Say “No” in a kind and firm way to anything that is not in your scope or focus.

Ensure you get a good night sleep (8 hours if possible).

Be prepared with a party plan, knowing how you’re going to handle food and beverages will help you have more control and less guilt. Arrange a ride home if you are planning on drinking, less stress and more time to enjoy the company.

Don’t let yourself get too hungry or all the willpower goes out the window. Facing a bonanza of food temptations at dinner? Eat a Protein Snack or drink some lemon water an hour before your meal.

Look after your body. Planning on indulging in a few wintery beverages? Take some milk thistle, so your liver is ready to handle whatever you throw at it. Going to eat a big meal, take some digestive enzymes and ensure you chew, chew, chew your food… Slow down and enjoy your meal, put your utensils down between bites. Had a little too much of everything, including stress? Take some high grade pro-biotics.

Be kind to yourself and enjoy the holidays and winter months!


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Goal Setters

Goal Setters

Are you a goal setter? If so, you know it is coming to that time of year to review your annual goals and start thinking about goals for the New Year.

When we make time to review our goals on a regular basis, we see if we have hit the goal… or if we fell short.

I like setting goals with a buddy… the reason is because of the built in accountability factor, as well as a trusted confidant and friendly support system. I was raised in a family that did not set goals on a conscious level, at least not when I was around.

The relationship between goal setting buddies is special, something to be respected and honoured, it is not a place for co-dependancy, guilt or judgement.

The buddy goal setting system is meant to give each other mutual support, a chance to listen and ask open questions that inspire learning, understanding of self and enhance the ability to succeed in reaching goals.

We use a method known as the SMART method:
S – specify a goal
M- measurable, how much, how far, how long, how many etc?
A- action, what actions do you need to take to reach your goal?
R- realistic, can you do it? Are you 90% sure you can do it?
T- time, when will the goal be realized? Set a time to complete the goal.

Using the SMART method has helped us to focus on one goal at a time and if we do not make a goal, it is not the end of the world… it is an opportunity to re-adjust the goal or dump it.

Goal setting has been an unexpected way to learn about myself and to get a dose of reality and understand how high or low I set my expectations. For this I give thanks, I believe weekly goal setting has helped temper my ideas to fit my abilities.

I love this quote by Dr. Denis Waitley “failure is the fertilizer of success”, for me it takes the sting out of the many goals I have missed… and adds a feeling of deep appreciation for the ones I have attained.

The goals that have challenged me, have been the ones that have changed me. Don’t fear change… everything we desire is on the other side of fear.

For a list of open questions leave me a comment and tell me where to send them.

As always, thanks for reading!
Be inspired, or inspire someone today!

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