With my mind on my money and my money on my mind”. – Snoop Dogg
I couldn’t wait for my paycheck to come in so that I could swiftly tend to the balance. I was responsibly paying off everything that was due, but also, I needed a real picture of what my balance ACTUALLY was after paying things off. I felt frantic at times, I was constantly opening my accounts through the ever so easily accessible apps. I was obsessed.
The solution to my problem and my first step to take was to sit down and write up a budget. I had never learned how to make a budget, but an excel spreadsheet can make it easy to figure out. Budgets are like a road map that assign your money to a job.
So, I sat down, and I assigned my money to eight different categories:
Each category will have sub-categories where I will list the item and the total spent on that sub-category. I create a total for each category to use in the equation that will determine if I am spending above or below my incoming money. In one corner of the spreadsheet, I put my total income after taxes, the total of my listed expenses, and then I subtract my expenses from my income to determine what I have left over.
I recommend tending to your budget on the last Friday of every month. It has worked well for me as a good cue to remember it. Every month that you work on your budget you can add more and more details. Eventually it will be a streamlined process and it won’t take much effort at all. This is a healthy habit that will help deal with some of the anxiety that comes with finances.
The first time you fill in your budget, make it easy on yourself. List the things that you can think of and the approximate value you think it is, creating a few sub-categories under each category. Done! You did your first budget. Give yourself a pat on the back!
The second month that you tend to your budget you will want to add more accurate numbers. Scroll through your bank account statements and take exact amounts to add to your budget. You can even use a separate spreadsheet tab to tally up the totals in your sub-categories. You will also want to create a new tab for each month to see your progress.
At first it was hard for me to admit some of my spending and list detailed sub-categories. There were things that were “wants” such as eating out, or clothing purchases that had way higher totals than I anticipated, or there were small purchases I just didn’t think of, getting a car wash, or buying cleaning supplies. Once I assigned some of these expenses into the appropriate sub-category, I started recording my spending under each one. I was better able to see what I was spending my money on and establish “needs” vs. “wants”.
Perhaps by the third or fourth month of tending to your budget, you can begin highlighting areas where you can make a reduction in your spending. This step allows you to set money aside for things, such as saving up for a new gadget instead of impulsively buying $300 headphones. It allows you to be mindful of your extra spending, and to be conscious of your debts and savings. For some of your essential services and essential costs, while it may seem like you can’t make any reductions, it never hurts to pick up the phone and ask them how you can save some money. In fact, this is something you should aim to do often! I called up my home insurance company and was able to save $500 a year because I had agreed to some terms that I really didn’t need. When talking to these services, ask about requesting certain payment dates, a date that will flow with your budget better. This is also a great way to make your budget more predictable.
Once you have a handle on what money is coming in and out of your account, you can start to tackle your debts and savings. What kind of debt and savings do you have going for yourself? Do you need to create an action plan? Do you need help from a professional to analyze your situation and get some advice? There is a correct sequence to paying off debts and many different ways to save or invest your money, so doing some of your own research would be very beneficial.
If you could use a basic budget spreadsheet to get started, please send “Budget” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Becoming aware of your budget and your spending can be freeing.
If you’ve always got money on the mind and it’s negatively affecting you, it is time to take charge and start making your budget work for you!
Thanks for listening.
xo Coach Ro
Optimize YOU with Coach Rochelle
I just wanted to take a moment here to wish you and your family all of the best this holiday season, as we go into 2021.
I would like to express my thanks, for being a part of the Optimize YOU circle and training with me. I am honoured that you take the time to improve your health and well-being with my guidance.
To my girls that were on Team Optimize Hustlers (our running group), you guys rock! I had a blast training for that 5k and hearing about all of the success stories. I also did the run and got a PB for a 5k, and I even got my husband and puppy into it too 😊.
To my ladies that are crushing - not only their weights and their goals, but on their careers, their focus and their lives. You are a true inspiration, and you are living up to all of the motivational sayings I could come up with. Keep crushing.
My wish for everyone of you is that we continue to be ourselves and stronger than ever.
As I reflect on 2020… it was a wild year!
An UP was that I moved to an amazing new place and I get to grow and explore. I feel cheerful to connect, even if most of it is virtually. A DOWN is that I am forced to see my family only by video chat. The day that I can see more of my friends and family and give them a big hug is a day that I look forward to!
I have been challenged mentally and physically this year, but I learn to grow, accept and make new with what I am dealt. I am grateful for my husband and my circle that keeps me moving my feet forward.
I learned about functional movement, stretching, and pre/post natal training these last few months and I look forward to helping more clients with these techniques. I will continue to learn so that I can fulfill my goals and dreams of helping others.
I also feel grateful as I reflect on the past, that we have new technologies available to us that let us socialize virtually, and do all sorts of things from our finger tips.
Going into 2021, I feel a sense of excitement for all of the things that are to come.
I feel passion again for the environment and I work towards making better choices. I look forward to further supporting eco-friendly products and businesses. I wish that we continue to make the environment the centre stage. That we can make choices now so that our environment can be better, cleaner, and healthier.
I also fully support the third 'E' which is equality for all humans and animals alike.
The world is changing, and I am changing too… sometimes I feel like the song from the Grinch. Faith Hill has such a beautiful voice!
Overall, I am grateful for my health and yours. Let us keep moving forward.
Thank-you for trusting me, cheers to 2021!
xoxo Coach Rochelle
#health #coachrochelle #OptimizeYou #balance #grateful #bringon2021
Your Environment Matters...
It is more influential than you may think to be mindful of the surrounding toxins in your life - they are all around us. Whether it be the humans you spend time with, the cleaning products you use in your house or the products you put onto - and therefore into - your body.
Toxins disturb the human body's homeostasis (state of balance). Toxins interfere with the way our hormones communicate and increase the amount of free-radical formation within our cells. As you may know - our cells are our foundation. But I also believe our hormones are too - they are the base of so many of our body’s functions.
Below I have provided some important areas in your life to be aware of to help reduce your body’s toxic load.
1. Detox your household cleaners:
If you’re using chemical cleaning products in your home, it is likely that you’re absorbing them and breathing in toxic-air for much longer than you may think. Using pure household cleaners results in clean air - but yet, still a clean home.
Switching your dish soap, laundry detergent & dryer sheets, household cleaners, and fragrances throughout the house is as important as using clean skincare products.
Have plants and grow them! They help purify the air you live in and breathe in. And the joy of watching these guys grow is truly gratifying. I recently read that having plants in your home can also help reduce humidity levels. Plants have been shown to help reduce stress and improve mood and negative emotions. Exposure to fresh, clean air, improves psychological well-being, enhances spirituality , can improve sleep, boosts creativity and lifts energy levels.
Although there are many different aspects to detoxing, our skin has a big impact on this as it is the largest organ of the human body. Detoxing through the skin can be experienced through sweating, acne and skin breakouts. Our skin doesn’t just help us detox but it also absorbs what we put onto (and into) it. This consists of: makeup, deodorant, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, face wash, moisturizer, sunscreen and toothpaste to name some basics. Women - this also includes feminine hygiene products!!
Putting toxic products on and into our skin can lead to a number of issues. Toxins can contribute to many issues including hormone imbalances and disruptions, acne, tiredness and sluggishness. I believe it is just as important to be aware of the products you're using on your body as much as you should be aware of the food you’re putting into your body to feed your cells.
If you only choose 1 product to detox in your life, choose your deodorant! Based on what I have learned I think it’s extremely important to change your deodorant to something that allows your armpit to perspire/eliminate. By wearing antiperspirant deodorant we are not only halting the detoxification process that happens largely through our armpit glands and pores, but we are also encouraging retoxing! There are a lot of glands around the armpit and chest area, so allowing your body to release the toxins through this area is critical. Some people can be sensitive to the baking soda that is used in some natural deodorants - so try a couple of different ones and find what works for you.
Another way you can encourage the release of toxins through the skin is to dry brush before you shower and also wet brush while in the shower.
Water, water, water - drink lots of it. You can spice up your water in so many ways - lemon water or infusing it with different fruits, veggies and herbs. It’s so nutritious for your skin and helpful in the detox process.
Detoxing our bodies is super important for me and I could go on for a while, but this is my summary based on personal-care products. I’ll definitely be posting an entire blog about detoxing your body in the future - so stay tuned.
4. Surround yourself with Non-Toxic People:
Who are you surrounding yourself with? Do you enjoy their company or do you find them ‘exhausting’ or ‘draining’?
Over the last couple of years I have learned the importance of being surrounded by people who love you, expand you, accept you and support you. These are the kind of people that will lift you up when you need it, and encourage you to be your authentic self. They will inspire you and motivate you throughout your life. They are your cheerleaders. You need to find your tribe. I encourage you to do this.
Ending a toxic relationship with a friend is hard as hell - I’ve done it (after about a year of indirect consideration). But it was only for my best interest. Sometimes people change and take different paths, and that’s okay. Removing yourself from toxic relationships will allow you to have more good energy and time to invest in YOU.
Be happy & stay whole.
Taylor Wilkinson, RHN
Expressions of our
Are you in tune with your body and aware of what it’s trying to communicate to you? When your body’s in need, are you there to nourish it or know what it’s even asking for?
These are just a couple bits of information that I’m going to enlighten you on. You’ll want to keep reading!
It is very important to be in tune with your body, keep it fueled properly, functioning optimally and nourishing it to its fullest so your best life can be lived. But let me warn you, patience is a virtue. If you ignore what your body is trying to say, chances are likely the signs and symptoms may emerge more severe. Any damage or imbalances that have been constructed take time, and so does the mending process.
Below are some explanations of common signs and symptoms that individuals experience regularly. My hopes are to help you connect the dots and cultivate more awareness and comfort.
Low energy & strength, dizziness, cravings for red meat, ice, or other unusual foods
These expressions could be a good indicator to get your iron levels checked. Low iron is very common in women, as many go through menstruation and experience loss of blood. Iron contributes to energy production and the formation of hemoglobin (the oxygen-transporter in the blood). Alongside low iron, nausea and dizziness can also be linked to inadequate protein consumption. If you chose to supplement, be mindful that every individual has a different iron tolerance - some have weak stomachs on an iron supplement. Some iron-rich foods include: legumes, kale, broccoli, spinach and nuts - especially cashews and almonds.
Muscle spasms & cravings for chocolate
A good hint you may be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is a pretty important mineral that’s involved in many processes throughout the body. Foods that are high in magnesium include: green leafy vegetables, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and legumes. A supplementary form of magnesium can be a good option too. Keep in mind there are many different forms of this mineral as a supplement, so make sure to do your research and know which is the correct form you need.
Premature aging (lines and wrinkles), frequently ill, dry, brittle or dull hair, thin nails, eczema
Your body could be craving protein!! Protein is the main building block to the cells in our body, and after water is the largest component of the body. It’s a large component to the formation of hair, skin and nails as well. Quantity as well as quality are big when considering your protein ingestion. It also doesn’t have to be a meat source - but if it is, make sure you know what’s in your meat or where it’s coming from. You can obtain plant-protein from foods like quinoa, lentils/beans, cruciferous vegetables and more. Try a smoothie with fruits, spinach or kale and adding a powdered protein or collagen supplement. This tasty treat is a great way to absorb lots of nutrients, especially when on-the-go.
Eczema, psoriasis, irregular menstrual period, skin imbalances, poor memory
Look into consuming more healthy fats in your diet. These healthy fats must be consumed in food and/or supplemental form as the body cannot construct them, which makes them very important. It’s also very important to know the difference between ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’.
**If you don’t have a gallbladder talk to your physician before considering adding extra fats into your diet.
Fats (aka lipids) are involved in a LOT more body processes and functions then you may think. They are crucial for our hormones, our nervous system and are a component of our cell membranes. Some of my go-to healthy fat consumptions include; good quality olive oil - comes in a dark glass container to prevent going rancid, avocado, nuts, salmon, cashew/nut butter, and quality eggs.
Food for Thought
Are you fueling yourself with foods that constantly result in stomach aches, bloating, smelly farts, sleepiness, sluggishness the next day/morning, low energy, bad mood?
Maybe it’s time to consider reducing or eliminating some of those foods. Actually, I encourage you to do so! Why fuel your body with gunk that results in you feeling exactly that way when you could be igniting yourself with lively foods that leave you strong, healthy and feeling GOOD. Do yourself a favour and listen to your body - it’s in constant communication with you. You won’t regret it - and you’ll end up feeling much better in the end.
About 5 years ago I started producing incredibly deep, painful acne on my face. It took me about 4 years until I even started to see results, why? Because I wasn’t in tune with my body and I had no idea what the signals it was sending me meant. I wanted a quick fix and tried many ways to relieve my pain; a strong face wash, a different birth control pill and different creams to topically zap the zits away - these are just a few of the poor methods I chose to turn to.
It wasn’t until I started school to become a holistic practitioner that I started to be more receptive to my body’s messages and what it was trying to express from the inside out. Honestly, I had no idea there was even a connection between what I put in my body and how it feels - but let me tell you, it 100% does!
I also worked alongside other practitioners who helped me greatly along the way, becoming more understanding of what my body needed. It’s truly because of my prolonged health journey that I share my insight on the connections between signs & symptoms and how to understand it all.
This information is to be used as an educated guide and is acknowledging nutritional imbalances. It should not be used for diagnostic purposes or taken as medical advice. However, I hope my words have resonated with you.
Be happy & stay whole.
Taylor Wilkinson, RHN