Monday, September 30, 2013

Menopause Madness Monday

You may have experienced it already.  You may be in the middle of it.  You may be years away (but be warned... it's coming).  Menopause - the time of joy, relaxation and an exhilarated time of being continually calm, cool and collected... N-O-T!  While there are a few very blessed women (like my Mom) who never experience any symptoms (and by the way, Mom never had a cramp in her life and was in hard labor with me for all of three minutes... but did she pass these genes along to me?  No....... but I digress), many of us deal with the murderous mood swings, the discomfort and the dreaded "personal summers" and "power surges" that send us screaming to the nearest refrigerator to try and climb into the freezer section to get a break from feeling like we arere the Sunday roast in the oven!!!  I once described the feeling like this:  

Imagine it is the most desperately hot and humit day of summer on record in mid-Texas, and you are wearing a full-length faux fur coat as you walk over to your car that has been parked in the glare of the mid-day sun in a large blacktop parking lot.  You open the door and get in, quickly shutting the door so no heat escapes. You then BLAST the heat up as high as you can go and just sit there, watching the steering wheel melt. Yes, THIS is a HOT FLASH!!  Ladies, am I right, or am I right?

Well, I just saw this article recently in Prevention Magazine and thought it might help some of you just a little in alleviating those awful symptoms in a natural way.  It's entitled "14 Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes", and I think it's worth a look-see.  Hey, if even one of them helps you just a little, then my work here is done.

And did I ever mention that I've been through menopause THREE TIMES??!?!?  Yes. that is not a typo -- 1, 2, 3 times a lady (as Lionel Ritchie sang).  The first time was when I had my hysterectomy when I was 29.  I remember recovering at home, sitting on the couch feeling like my feet were in blocks of ice while I was drenched in sweat.  The second ever-so-lovely visit of the menopause monster came when I was in my late 40's and my phantom ovaries neglected to notify my pituitary gland that we had already bought a ticket to this merry-go-ground, so my body opted to go for it... again. But no, the ride wasn't completely over, much to my dismay.  A few years ago, while sitting at my computer, a series of personal summers decided to revisit me for a not-so-happy reunion.  I looked up, covered in perspiration (and ladies, I do not glow, I sweat.... like a drenched pig in a monsoon), and prayed, "God, really?  Seriously?  With all due respect, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!  What, is the third time the charm????"  I guess He felt it was one of my missions on earth to become a personal expert on hot flashes.  Sigh...

So... either click on the title of the article above, or click on this link:   

And remember... you are not a menopausal woman, you are a RED HOT MAMA!!!!!


Monday, September 23, 2013

My...My... My Monday

Isn't it interesting what the government will and won't allow in our food?  What they will allow to be done to it?  Some of it is very scary business.  So let's start off the week with a big "My... my... my!" (head shaking optional, but a good spin with the proper voice attitude)!!!  In a recent post on they had a VERY interesting article entitled "11 Banned Food Ingredients Still Allowed in the U.S".  I've posted the text here, but you can see the full article by surfing over to:

I recommend you read it over very carefully, then take a good look at the ingredients that are in your foods.  Start your week off by eating clean and cleaning out your frig/freezer/pantry of anything that is questionable, from banned food ingredients to that icky thing wrapped in aluminium or plastic waaaaayyyyy back there in the corner on the bottom shelf that is growing legs and about to become a new life form.  C'mon, you know what I'm talking about... ewwwwwwhhhhhh!!!!

Happy Monday and many blessings for a fantastic week,

Coach Linda

11 Banned Food Ingredients Still Allowed in the U.S.

1.        BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
Many chips, sausages and cereals contain butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene in their ingredient lists. The waxy substances act as preservatives, keeping foods from becoming rancid. While BHA and BHT have been “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. FDA, they remain controversial. Both substances may have some disease-fighting properties, but they’ve also been shown to raise cancer risks in animal tests, according to the U.S. National Toxicology Program. Both BHA and BHT are banned from foods in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and throughout Europe.

2.        Azodicarbonamide
This difficult-to-pronounce additive is primarily used in the foam that gives sneakers and yoga mats a pleasant feel. In the U.S., it’s also used to enhance texture of soft white breads, including hamburger buns at McDonald’s and Burger King. Azodicarbonamide is banned in Australia, the U.K. and European countries. What’s more, if you add azodicarbonamide to food in Singapore, you could face up to 15 years in prison and a nearly $500,000 fine. Why? Because it can interfere with respiratory health, causing allergic reactions and asthma in some people. To maintain easy breathing, be sure to choose baked goods that do not list azodicarbonamide as an ingredient.
3.        Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone and Recombinant Bovine Somatropin
To increase milk production in cows, many U.S. dairy farmers have turned to recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and recombinant bovine somatropin (rBST). The use of these synthetic hormones is not permitted in the European Union, Canada, and some other countries, due to human and animal health risks. According to the American Cancer Society, cows treated with rBGH tend to develop more udder infections (mastitis). These cows are given more antibiotics than cows not given rBGH, and this increased use of antibiotics might lead to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria which could pose a health concern for people. To dodge these controversial chemicals try buying milk labeled rBGH/rBST-free or organic milk.

4.        Potassium Bromate
This bread additive strengthens dough, reducing its baking time and saving manufacturers money by lowering production costs. Also called bromated flour, it is believed to disappear from foods during baking and therefore trace amounts are considered safe in U.S. foods. Potassium bromate has been banned in the EU, Canada, Peru, Nigeria, Brazil, South Korea and China. Researchers in Japan published a study showing that potassium bromate causes cancer in the thyroids, kidneys and other body parts of rats and mice. The U.S. FDA hasn’t banned potassium bromate, but it does advise moderate use only and proper labeling. Many small and large bakeries in the U.S. voluntarily avoid using potassium bromate, however, it's still found in many fast food buns and other products.

5.        Olestra
Olestra made its way into fat-free foods, including chips, crackers and fries in the U.S. in the late 1990s. Soon after, it was found to cause side effects, namely gas, cramps and anal leakage—another term for uncontrollable diarrhea. What’s more (in case you need more reasons to avoid it!), Olestra was also found to reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. Illegal in Canada and the United Kingdom, the faux-fat remains legal in the U.S. as long as companies warn consumers of its unappetizing complications on product packaging. To keep your digestive system comfortable and your waistline trim, snack on fruits, vegetables or a small amount of nuts. These nutrient-dense whole foods promote blood sugar and appetite control.

6.        Genetically Modified (GM) Canola Oil
In Europe, farmers cannot legally grow genetically modified canola crops. According to NPR, as of 2010, roughly 90% of canola plants in the U.S. are genetically modified varieties (GMO) that can resist two types of herbicides, glufosinate and glyphosate. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, this means “canola oil producers use a lot of pesticides on their crops.” Weil suspects that residues find their way into the finished product and recommends choosing organic or non-GMO, expeller-pressed brands of canola oil. He writes, “The lower-cost products sold in supermarkets have often been extracted with chemical solvents or high-speed presses that generate heat. Both methods alter the oil's fatty acid chemistry in undesirable ways.”

7.        Genetically Modified (GM) Corn
Ninety percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified (GM). Countries including France, Greece and Algeria don’t allow genetically modified corn to be sold. “The tricky part about avoiding GMOs is that, even though the vast majority of Americans are in favor of labeling GMOs, manufacturers are currently not required to do so,” said Jon McGoran, magazine editor and urban agriculture advocate in Pennsylvania. A June 2013 study published in the Organic Systems Journal found that pigs fed a combination of GM soy and corn suffer more frequent severe stomach inflammation and enlargement of the uterus than those who eat a non-GM diet. To avoid these risks, try purchasing corn from your local farmers’ market, and when buying processed foods opt for certified organic.

8.        Genetically Modified (GM) Soybeans
While genetically modified soybeans are banned in Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, and Luxembourg, more than 90% of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified. Even if you never eat edamame or tofu, soybeans and soy derivatives are found in countless common (and surprising) foods, including energy bars, butter substitutes, breads, crackers, deli meats, meat substitutes, vegetable oils and salad dressings. Dr. Joseph Mercola writes, “Animal studies have shown devastating effects from genetically engineered soy including allergies, sterility, birth defects…” To avoid genetically modified soy, choose organic edamame and avoid all non-organic foods that list soy, and soy flour as ingredients.

9.        Blue Dye No. 1
Though it’s been banned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, this food colorant is often found in U.S. ice cream, cereals, canned processed peas, packet soups, bottled food colorings, icings, and in the liquor blue curacao. Research has connected Blue No. 1, which is also called Brilliant Blue with allergies, hyperactivity, learning problems, aggressiveness and irritability in children. To ban it from your kitchen, keep an eye on ingredient lists. If you see Blue No. 1, move on.

10.      Yellow Dye No. 5
Also called tartrazine, is a food colorant banned in Finland and Norway and available widely in the U.S.. “Six of the 11 studies on Yellow Number 5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell’s genetic material with the potential to mutate healthy DNA,” say Jayson and Mira Calton. These effects can have serious complications, such as causing growth abnormalities. In research published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2010, tartrazine was administered to organ tissue in male rats. The researchers found that the artificial dye negatively affects markers of disease in vital organs, such as kidneys and livers -- at low and high doses. Common sources include cheese-flavored crackers and chips, colorful cereals, butterscotch pudding, yellow sports drinks macaroni and cheese mixes.

11.      Yellow No. 6

Also called Sunset Yellow, Yellow No. 6, is the third most widely used food coloring in the U.S. found in Fruity Cheerios, Trix, some Eggo waffle products, and some Kraft macaroni and cheese dinners. While it enhances the color of many American cheeses, cheese-flavored pasta mixes, candy, cereals and carbonated drinks, it may also contribute to some serious health problems. Finland and Norway banned Yellow No. 6 after lab studies showed a link between the additive and tumors in the adrenal glands and kidneys of animals. To avoid these risks, look for foods free of artificial additives. Foods and drinks colored with tumeric, a natural spice with anti-inflammatory properties, are a safer bet.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wild Woman Wednesday

Wild women... watch their words.  I know I've written about this before, but it's always worth another visit.  Recently one of my dearest friends found herself in two separate situations where another woman felt it was perfectly appropriate to verbally dump all over my friend, to vent and yell and be controlling and altogether inappropriate,  just plan rude/crude.  Mean girls grow up and become mean women, it seems on occasion. 

You may be having a really lousy day - fine.  You may be going through all kinds of hurt and pain that no one else knows about - fine.  The job, the hubs, the significant other, the lack of one, the kids, the lack of kids, the dog or cat or WHATEVER could be working your last nerve.  No one is asking you to pretend to not be hurting or upset or grieving or PMSing or menopausing.... I'm not saying put on a plastic princess Barbie smile mask and go all kinds of la-dee-dah like you've just had a quaalude bagel with two shots and a beer to wash it down. 

You feel yuck - baby, feel it! Sit with it, do what you need to do... but it doesn't give you license to verbally snipe at someone and shoot them square in the face with your bad 'tude.  Sticks and stones may break the bones, but words can break the heart!  You have no right to dump on another person.  Give a sister a stinkin' break!!!!  You go off like a loaded bomb and she is the innocent victim of your terroristic tongue tantrum, left with stinging shrapnel wounds, bleeding... because you couldn't hold your tongue, your temper or your 'tude. 

And another thing while I'm on a roll here... If you have something to say, grow a good solid big set of ovaries, pull up your big girl panties and have the courage to sit with me and communicate your grievances or concerns instead of hiding behind your passive-aggressive petticoats.  I had that happen to me yesterday in a meeting - instead of voicing her opinion/disagreement with me, which would have been more than appropriate, another woman got all snarky/smarmy and "what-ev-ah" and put on her best martyr face like I had shot her dog... and she was all "oh, that's okay, I'm fine... really.. it's okay..."  Be true to yourself and your voice, women, but have the gumption to speak your mind intelligently, calmly and with respect.

Please... if you are hurting... I am truly sorry and I hope you have a good friend with whom you could share your pain... or a therapist... maybe a walk or just a few minutes of healing deep breathing could take the edge off if just for a moment.  And yes, sometimes there ain't nuthin' like a good cry to cleanse the soul.  Ain't NO shame in that.  But don't be a mean girl and take it out on someone else.  Don't dump a mouthful of manure on an unsuspecting bystander.  Take the higher road...

With gentle love and kind blessings,
Coach Linda Bush

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday Madness

One of my favorite websites has done it again.  Eat This, Not That! has given us an outRAGEous list of the craziest food creations out there in the world of eateries.  Now as you know, I believe in eating mindfully and intentionally - and if my intention includes satisfying the occasional (and I do mean occasional as in once or twice a year) craving for a cheeseburger, then so be it.  I build my calorie budget around it, I have my cheeseburger and life is good and my body doesn't explode or automatically gain 20 pounds overnight.  'Nuff said.

However... whoever invented these unbelievable creations make Dr. Frankenstein look like a saint.  Even "Big Frankie" himself wouldn't eat these concoctions!  With soaring calories (upwards to 2,800 calories -- yes, 2,800 calories -- almost two days' worth) -- in one dessert), unfriendly fats, and treacherous trans fats meals (and I say that loosely) are flat out dangerous.  

So without further adieu, swing over to this article:  and check out what NOT to eat!


Coach Linda Bush

Friday, September 13, 2013

Find Out Friday

Wild women READ!  Yes we do... voraciously, with zest and well.  Today is a very simple and brief post, but the results could be beyond profound.  It could expand your horizons and possibly change your world.  Tell us, WHAT ARE YOU READING?!?!?!  On this FIND OUT FRIDAY, we want to ask you to email me privately at, or comment here.  What are you reading (or have read) that you are loving, that made a difference in your life, that rocked you every which way but loose?  

Having trouble answering?  Think about this age old question -- if you only had three books to take with you on a deserted desert island (hey, if Ginger could carry five trunks with her on the S.S Minnow to Gilligan's Island for a lousy three-hour tour, you can bring books), what three books would you bring?  And on a completely unrelated note, I love Ginger because, like me, she did NOT know how to pack small... after all, a girl's gotta have the right shoes!

Anyway, let's share the wealth - what are you reading, wild women?

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,

Coach Linda

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Take Care Thursday

Ragweed - it's nothing to sneeze at!
While I can’t wait for the leaves to begin turning and to enjoy the cooler weather and colors of my beloved Autumn, I know this means for many of you that ragweed allergies will cause a great amount of suffering.  I just found a wonderful article from Organic Gardening on “9 Fall Foods to Fight Your Fall Allergies”. Here is the link:

They also had another good article on fending off illness with herbs.  Here’s the link to that one:

So as you begin to start thinking about the transition into the fall, make a note of these recipes and ingredients and exercise your prevention muscles.  Then go buy a pumpkin and play in the leaves!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Target Trimmer Tuesday

There are 105 days until Christmas.  Now before you start throwing candy canes at me (and that especially means you, Renee), here’s the reason I’m mentioning this date.  105 days from now, what will you like to have accomplished?  Put yourself mentally into Christmas morning before all the craziness.  It’s quiet and you have a few moments of reflection.  As you think back to what has transpired since September 10th, 2013, look at what has happened and what you have done.  Now, c’mon back to today.  How will you make those achievements happen?  What do you need to do to put feet to those plans and goals?  In terms of health and wellness, what health goals would you like to attain?  Drop a few pounds?  Tone up a bit?  Lose some body fat?  Gain muscle?  Lower your cholesterol?  Blood pressure?  What can you begin TODAY, what plan of action must be set into place NOW?  For example, let’s say you’d like to drop 15 pounds by Christmas.  That’s only one little pound a week, a very manageable and safe goal.  One pound is 3,500 calories.  If you can create a deficit of 500 calories a day through a combination of eliminating a few hundred calories in your food intake and burning a few hundred more calories off, you will lose one pound a week.  Here are 20 ways to burn 300 calories outdoors:

  •   Frisbee: 80 minutes
  •   Volleyball (non-competitive): 80 minutes
  •   Archery (non-hunting): 69 minutes
  •   Horseback riding: 60 minutes
  •   Walking (3.5 mph): 60 minutes
  •   Planting seedlings, shrubs: 60 minutes
  •   Planting trees: 54 minutes
  •   Badminton: 54 minutes
  •   Weeding: 52 minutes
  •   Hopscotch: 49 minutes
  •   Skateboarding: 48 minutes
  •   Playing with kids (vigorous): 48 minutes
  •   Golf (carrying clubs): 44 minutes
  •   Horse grooming: 40 minutes
  •   Cross-country hiking: 40 minutes
  •   Rollerblading: 35 minutes
  •   Tennis: 35 minutes
  •   Biking 12-14 mph: 30 minutes
  •   Running 10-minute mile: 24 minutes
  •   Jumping rope: 24 minutes

Then all you have to do is drop 200 calories from your food intake.  Here’s a couple of websites and a few ideas that will assist you:

  •   Switch from regular cream cheese to light
  •   Hold the mayo on your next sandwich
  •   Order grilled chicken rather than fried
  •   Try baked potato fries instead of french fries
  •   Substitute a light dressing on your salad for one high in fat – even salad bars can be fattening!
  •   Forget the cheese on your next burger
  •   Wrap up half your next restaurant meal for leftovers
  •   Use a sugar substitute instead of real sugar
  •   Try egg beaters instead of eggs in a recipe
  •   Try mixing your soda, half regular and half diet
  •   Choose a bag of light popcorn over chips when you want a sweet snack, pick fruit over candy
  •   Pour salsa on your baked potato instead of butter or sour cream
  •   Use fat free half & half in coffee and baking

So start making those plans and goals, begin today and give yourself a holiday gift of a fitter and healthier YOU!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Mourning

There are times in life when we will experience some type of loss.  Perhaps your little baby boy or girl is beginning their first day of school today and you have a mixed bag of emotions as you stand with them at the bus stop.  You may have been disappointed at the loss of a promotion or assignment.  You may be going through the loss of a friendship or romantic relationship/marriage.  Maybe you are losing the battle to some health issue, or just getting older and dealing with the loss of youth.  There may be a dream that has died, or a failure which has left you in the rubble.  From death to the loss of joy/hope, it leaves an ache, possibly pain so devastating you can barely breath… wordless prayers that run down your face without ceasing… the numbness that one only feels when all passes and you are left with an empty shell that once was your heart.

Big or small, your pain is your pain.  What is your coping mechanism?  Do you anesthetize your soul with drink or too much medication? Too much or not enough eating?  Shop yourself into debt? Do you sit in front of the television like a couch zombie?  Find yourself aimlessly roaming around, losing things, wanting only to pull the covers over your head in a sleep suicide escape? 

In this dark valley of your soul, there is no shame in what you are feeling, nor in getting help.  We need to have the courage to ask for help, or simply find a way to sit with the pain, as it washes over us like a tsunami.  Know that each wave will get a little smaller in time and a little bit further apart.  Again, if it doesn’t, seek out professional assistance, please. 

If it is within your power to rectify the loss, or build a new dream, or repair a relationship, give it all you’ve got.  If might not work out, but there will be the satisfaction of knowing you did everything within your power.  Find your support in caring friends who will be there for you, strengthen you, and hold you when you cannot bear it.

And sometimes, it just means waking up and putting one foot in front of the other, taking one breath at a time, and going on when it feels impossible.

And always, always… pray.  Ask for wisdom, guidance, peace, restoration, understanding, the ability to get through that next breathe.  Psalm 30:5 says “… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  Weep your tears, cry yourself to sleep… then, strong wild woman, lift your head and seek your joy in the morning.  Give yourself permission to leave the graveyard of your past, and take a baby step towards towards a new day.  You can do it, and you are never alone.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wild Woman Wednesday

Cape May Sunset in August  - Copyright @2013 Coach Linda Bush
Hi all!  I’m back from vacation where I took some time to do Pilates on the beach, watched a few sunsets, wrote, took some photographs, did some journaling and saw some sites in beautiful Cape May, NJ.  It was a very relaxing, laid back vacation – not the usual “run everywhere, do everything, cram all the fun in because we’re on VACATION!!!” kind of vacation that leaves you more tired and worn out than before you left home!  I even lost a few pounds, because I became more aware of my portions and eating – my day was slower and more intentional, so I didn’t think I was hungry just because other folks were having lunch, or the clock said it was supposed to be the conventional time to eat.  I discovered I really didn’t always need as much food as I normally eat.  Now the goal is to maintain that sensibility having entered back into my little hamster wheel of life schedule!

And speaking of goals… (nice segue, yes?)

As we kiss goodbye the summer of 2013 and look with excitement and happy expectation to my very favorite season, Autumn, it’s a good time to revisit your 2013 goals.  How are you doing?  Take some time this week to look over these areas of your life:
  1. Spiritual
  2. Financial
  3. Health
  4.  Family/Friends/Relationships
  5.  Spouse/Significant Other/Romance
  6. Personal Growth & Learning
  7. Fun, Leisure & Recreation
  8. Career/Education

What’s going on in these areas for you?  Do you have specific set goals for some or all of these areas?  

Three months from today, on December 4th, if you were to turn around and look back, what would you like to say you had achieved?  What steps did you take?

It’s your wild and crazy life, Wild Women, and if you don’t aim for something specific, you will hit what you aim for – nothing specific.  Exercise your create your life dream muscles this week.  It’s also a great time to consider some life coaching to help put feet to those dreams – contact me today and let’s get started!