Simple Changes to Increase Wellness


It’s too easy to become a human doing, instead of a human being. Our busy schedules demand we run on full throttle 24 / 7. Our bodies and minds are not geared to run this modern marathon of busy!

The trick is to find a balance between responsibilities, our family life, and ourselves. Often, we feel we don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish “everything” that needs to be done. Our deadlines are unreasonable, but have become “normal”.

Most of the time, my choices lean heavily towards others instead of myself. My son needs something, so I sacrifice myself to give him what he needs. Or, my disabled husband is having a bad day, so I drop what I’m doing to ease his issues to minimize the impact on our family. All of these things take away from the balance in my life.

The balance between these items comes from a foundation of self care. I cannot stress this enough. Think about this. . .if you are not taking care of yourself, how can you take care of others? What happens when we run our of energy or patience or time? What happens to our bodies, minds, or sense of self? Simply put, we become broken, sick, or die.

When we take time for self care in the chaotic expanse of our daily lives, we are able to handle stress better, look after our children easier, and have enough time in the day.

Challenge for those who choose to accept. . .Every time life seems over-whelming, take a look at how you cope with the situation. Think about possible small changes that would help to deal with stress or life situations.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Tips for Self Care


Self care is the foundation of fitness and wellness. Both are part of self care.

Some tip ideas. . .

  1. Take 5+ minutes a day to still your mind.
  2. Walk a little further each day.
  3. Turn off the television by 9 pm.
  4. Go to the park.
  5. Eat less Fast Food.
  6. Decrease sugar intake.
  7. Replace food with a walk or meditation to cope with stress.
  8. Get enough sleep (6 to 8 hours per night).

Challenge for those who accept. . .Try one or more of the items listed above, and notice the small changes in your life. . .

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Fitness From A Different Direction


Fitness affects all aspects of our lives!

Exercise permeates every aspect of our lives, whether it is walking through a parking lot to the grocery store or going to the gym. Our bodies are made to move, and we have moved into an era of cubicles and video games. Our entertainment is sedentary.

So, what do we do?

We start with small changes. These changes add up, and make bigger changes possible. One simple change could be parking further out in a parking lot and walking further get into the store. Another possibility is becoming aware of what foods we are eating, and making one small change in our consumption.

What if no one else wants to do this in the family?

This isn’t about them! This is about you! This is for your well being, health, and over-all wellness. We may interact with other people, but we are responsible for our own health and well being. The question becomes, do you love yourself enough to take care of yourself?

“It’s not easy!”

This depends on your attitude towards yourself and preconceived ideas about fitness. Fitness is easy! It is simply eating nutritious food, moving your body to burn calories, and taking some “quiet” time. The only challenge may be finding a supportive group of friends and/or family to encourage these small changes.

Challenge to those who accept. . .Become aware of your daily routine, and figure out some small changes that can improve your fitness / wellness.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Fitness is a Lifestyle. . .

copyright Karen Ulvestad

Fitness is a Lifestyle. . .just like Addiction is a Lifestyle. It takes the same amount of time to put on clean blue jeans, as it does torn ones. It comes down to our choices. Some of these choices are automatic or habits.

Fitness is a form of self-care. We are caring for our body, mental well being, and perceptions of self. We become strong, caring individuals that are able to bring our innate gifts to our families, work place, and the world.

True fitness begins in our kitchen. The saying “we are what we eat” is true. Our food is our fuel for our body, and poor quality fuel creates issues in the body. It cannot run at optimal performance, and we experience increased illness / disease.

The next part of fitness is getting up and moving. If we are out-of-shape, it may take baby steps to walk around the block or take the flight of stairs without being “winded”. This part takes determination, focus, and belief.

The last piece is finding yourself. This could be meditation, writing a journal, or simply a walk in nature. It requires finding that quiet space within, and self-acceptance. This may be the hardest part with our busy Lifestyles.

Challenge to those who accept. . .Take 15 minutes everyday to find your quiet space within. 

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

Food is Energy


Food is energy for our bodies. What we put in shows in our energy levels, health, and feelings. Our level of wellness is directly reflected by our food choices.

Processed foods are high in sodium (salt), refined sugar (usually sugar beet), and chemicals. It’s best to read the label on all processed foods purchased. The items listed at the top are the biggest part of the product.

Raw foods are wholesome, and contain more nutrients than processed. The differences here depend on whether the food is organic, conventional, or GMO. The tomatoes above are organic, and sold at the local Farmer’s Market every summer.

GMO produce tends to have the highest amounts of pesticides, and some have been modified to carry pesticide substances in their genetic make-up.

Conventional produce uses traditional fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals are usually on the surface of the food.

Organic produce uses organic methods of fertilizer and pest control. The use of chemical mixtures is not used on the food.

Challenge for those who choose to – Document the types of foods you eat for a week. Look at the list of foods, and decide if you want to change.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Note –
Definition – A pesticide is usually a neurotoxin, and kills bugs though stopping their nervous system. These neurotoxins affect good insects and wildlife too.

It Takes Belief


To change, we must believe we can change. Every fiber of our being needs to be on-board for change, especially when it is a major lifestyle change!

The biggest yet littlest way to change is to start with one small item. It could be walking 20 minutes a day more than normal, or drinking one less mocha per day. These small changes add up in the long run. The idea is to increase good habits, and decrease bad ones.

Simple change ideas are eliminate processed sugar; eat more fresh fruit; stop eating fast food; eat unprocessed food (meat, cheese, yogurt, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, etc.).

Challenge to those who chose to accept – Quit one small negative habit and add one small positive habit. There will not be an immediate change, but over time the changes become noticeable.

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach

All or Nothing?


Often, we approach changing with absolutes. There is nothing in the world that is truly black and white, except in the world of art.

Do you want to change? Lose weight? Eat better? Get in shape? Something else. . .

Extra weight seems to be one of the biggest changes most people wish to make in their lives. The hardest part is the time and effort it takes to lose the weight. At some point, it may even seem like a futile undertaking.

The biggest question to ask is how long did it take to gain all this extra weight?

The next question needs to be what am I willing to do to lose the extra weight?

The thing to remember is that the extra weight is fat stores. Fat stores are unused calories that were consumed, not burned through activity, and turned into storage as fat to be used another day. Each pound of fat contains 3500 calories of fuel for the body to burn through activities.

So, weight loss is a total lifestyle change. It requires good nutrition, proper amount of caloric intake, physical activity (walking, fitness program, gardening, etc.), and belief.

Are you ready to commit to your health and well being?

To Wellness for All. . .Karen

Fitness & Wellness Coach