GRATITUDE IN MOTION: An Amazing True Story of Hope, Determination, AND the Everyday Heroes Around Us
Colleen Kelly Alexander, with Jenna Glatzer
“Colleen is a personal inspiration of mine. Her guts, grit and determination alone are enough to embolden anyone who hears her speak. But it is Colleen's great humanity and humility in the face of her challenges that should inspire us all.” —Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
"I always said running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring belief not only in oneself but life's possibilities. Colleen brought that message to life and had me thinking of my own possibilities. Colleen's message isn't about how far we can run but how much we can endure just to be part of the running community."—Bart Yasso, Retired Chief Running Officer of Runner's World
“Colleen Kelly Alexander is a living embodiment of resiliency, grace, and gratitude--even in the face of some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Read this remarkable memoir. It will lift up your heart with thankfulness and inspiration, just as Colleen has inspired countless everyday heroes who strive to make this world a better place.” —Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cros
“GRATITIUDE IN MOTION is a powerful story of the triumph of one determined and inspiring soul. Colleen Kelly Alexander's vision to 'bring about more humanity and understanding' despite monumental obstacles gives hope to us all. Her story is the gift that the world needs so desperately right now.” —Kate Cumbo, PhD, Director of Programs, PeaceJam Foundation
It was a beautiful fall day in Connecticut when Colleen Alexander, a lifelong competitive athlete, rode her bike home from work, having just learned her job with the nonprofit PeaceJam was secure. She had survived a diagnosis of lupus and brain surgery that almost took her life, and was married at last to the love of her life, Sean. Life was good as she met the eyes of a truck driver rolling up to the stop sign beside her. He didn't stop.
The truck hit Colleen, running over her lower body with front and back tires and dragging her across the pavement. As she bled out in the street, nearby strangers surrounded. A former EMT herself, Colleen knew she had to stay awake. "I've just been reconnected with my soulmate," she told the medic. "We want to have a baby. I can't die now. Please don't let me die." Colleen spent five weeks in a coma and had 29 surgeries. But she survived, and despite losing her job and suffering from PTSD, she began to focus on all the heroes who saved her life. Determined to find a way to make something positive from her pain, she decided she'd run again. She would dedicate her race medals to her heroes, including the multitude of medical staff that aided in her survival.
Since the trauma, Colleen has run 50 races and completed 40 triathlons, including 4 half-Ironman events (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, 13.1-mile run). She is now a spokesperson for the Red Cross, and shares her incredible inspirational story to encourage others to take that first step forward.
Colleen Kelly Alexander is a lifelong athlete and motivational speaker. With her indomitable spirit and amazing story of survival, Colleen teaches others how to aim higher, be stronger, and use adversity as a catalyst to make themselves and the world better. She was the executive director of the Common Ground Youth Center in Vermont for eight years, and a regional program manager for PeaceJam, where Nobel Peace Prize laureates mentor youth. She has also worked for, volunteered for, and is heavily involved with the Red Cross. She lives in a New England coastal town with her husband and their three dogs and cat. Find out more at Colleenkellyalexander.com, Facebook/ColleenKellyA or on Twitter @ColleenKellyAl.
Jenna Glatzer (www.jennaglatzer.com) is the author or ghost- writer of twenty-nine books, including Celine Dion’s authorized biography and The Marilyn Monroe Treasures. She and her daughter live in New York.
Important Notes Include:
- PROFESSIONAL SPEAKER: Colleen Alexander was an established public speaker before her trauma, and continues to speak on topics ranging from personal empowerment and mindset to medical issues like dealing with a major trauma and PTSD to athletics.
- Tie-In with Author Speaking Engagements for the Red Cross. Colleen is a spokesperson for the Red Cross and is on the Red Cross Board of Directors in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. January is National Blood Donor Month.
- This April, she will be racing the National Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, DC.
Finding Your Center: 4 Pointers to Aligning Your Energies
When you’re trying to improve your health and achieve a greater balance in your life, it’s easy to overlook your energy. After all, it’s something that doesn’t get discussed as often as diet or exercise. There’s a tendency for people to focus on the physical side of life even when they would benefit by taking better care of their mind and their energy. The good news is that it takes just a few simple practices to get your energy aligned and have a sense of peace, no matter how stressful your life may be. Here are four ways to align your energy.
Never discount the power of your imagination. Your thoughts often become your reality, and that’s what makes visualization such a useful tool. Visualization is a common practice among people who need to perform in high-pressure situations, such as elite athletes.
To use visualization to your advantage, you simply need to clear your mind of other thoughts and envision yourself achieving something you want. It’s important that you paint a vivid picture in your mind of yourself doing this. When you focus completely on a goal and see yourself accomplishing it, that helps you keep track of what’s important in your life.
It’s easier than ever to get overwhelmed and feel like you have a million different things running through your head. You probably spend your day receiving emails, text messages, phone calls and emails, and perhaps your to-do list is a mile long. When you feel like you’re being pulled in different directions it can leave you unbalanced and out of sync.
Meditation is the perfect practice to help you stay in the present moment instead of getting stuck in past or future worries. Although there are different types of meditations you can do, the easiest option is to just spend time clearing your head. Focus on yourself breathing in and out, and if any thoughts come to mind, let them go. Meditating is particularly useful in periods of considerable stress. It can also help to look into learning the chakra chart so you can focus your energies on the areas that need it most.
One of the reasons you may get out of alignment is because you’ve fallen into a routine. It’s easy to feel like something’s missing when you’re following the same basic pattern every day of going to work, relaxing at home and repeating ad nauseam. Self-reflection can help you fix that.
This practice is exactly what it sounds like—you’re reflecting on your life, and this can mean that you look back on your life or that you look forward to the future, or both. One good way to self-reflect is to write down some of the things you’re grateful for in life. You should also write what you would like to accomplish moving forward, as goals can keep you on the right track.
An affirmation is a positive phrase to tell yourself as encouragement. As simple as it sounds, positive self-talk can be very useful in building and maintaining a positive mindset. For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be something that’s meaningful to you.
For example, let’s say that your goal this year is to make exercise a regular part of your life. Your affirmation for that could be “I love working out,” and you would tell yourself this before and during a workout. You don’t need to say it out loud, although you can if you want to. As you say this to yourself, it reinforces a love for exercise inside of you.
All it takes is a little focus and determination to better align your energy. Give the practices above a try, and you may find that your life is mo
Mediterranean Diet May Help Protect Older Adults from Becoming Frail
An analysis of published studies indicates that following the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of frailty in older individuals. The findings, which are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggest that a diet emphasizing primarily plant-based foods—such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts—may help keep people healthy and independent as they age.
Frailty is common among older people and its prevalence is increasing as the population ages. Frail older adults may often feel low in energy and have weight loss and weak muscle strength. They are more likely to suffer from numerous health concerns, including falls, fractures, hospitalization, nursing home placement, disability, dementia, and premature death. Frailty is also associated with a lower quality of life.
Nutrition is thought to play a crucial role in developing frailty, a team led by Kate Walters, PhD and Gotaro Kojima, MD, of University College London, in the UK, looked to see if following a healthy diet might decrease one’s risk of frailty.
The researchers analyzed evidence from all published studies examining associations between adherence to a Mediterranean diet and development of frailty in older individuals. Their analysis included 5789 people in four studies in France, Spain, Italy, and China.
“We found the evidence was very consistent that older people who follow a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of becoming frail,” said Dr. Walters. “People who followed a Mediterranean diet the most were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a nearly four-year period compared with those who followed it the least.”
The investigators noted that the Mediterranean diet may help older individuals maintain muscle strength, activity, weight, and energy levels, according to their findings. “Our study supports the growing body of evidence on the potential health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, in our case for potentially helping older people to stay well as they age,” said Dr. Kojima.
Although older people who followed a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of becoming frail, it’s unclear whether other characteristics of the people who followed this diet may have helped to protect them. “While the studies we included adjusted for many of the major factors that could be associated—for example, their age, gender, social class, smoking, alcohol, how much they exercised, and how many health conditions they had—there may be other factors that were not measured and we could not account for,” said Dr. Walters. “We now need large studies that look at whether increasing how much you follow a Mediterranean diet will reduce your risk of becoming frail.”
The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Members of the media may sign up for embargoed news or to request a copy of any study please contact:
Full Citation: “Adherence of Mediterranean diet reduces incident frailty risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Gotaro Kojima, Christina Avgerinou, Steve Iliffe, and Kate Walters. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; Published Online: January 11, 2018 (DOI: 10.1111/jgs.15251).
URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/jgs.15251
About the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS)
Included in more than 9,000 library collections around the world, JAGS is the go-to journal for clinical aging research. We provide a diverse, interprofessional community of healthcare professionals with the latest insights on geriatrics education, clinical practice, and public policy—all supporting the high-quality, person-centered care essential to our well-being as we age.
Our rigorous peer-review process ensures that we bring healthcare professionals, older adults, and caregivers research with the potential to impact public policy and geriatrics care today—and tomorrow. Since the publication of our first edition in 1953, JAGS has remained one of the oldest and most impactful journals dedicated exclusively to gerontology and geriatrics. For more information, please visit http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/jgs.
Wiley, a global research and learning company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 210 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.
Healthful Facts: 5 Ways You Can Take Control of Your Body
People have ignored their health for all sorts of reasons. For example, some simply were just too busy to worry about their health, but that is changing. More and more people understand how important it is to stay on top of their health. Taking control of your health is not too hard though it does require a bit of an investment on your part.
One of the easiest things you can do is learn what is healthy and what is not. You can take better control of your health if you know what is good for you and what might not be. Talk to a health consultant, and make sure you look up information online to further your education.
Knowing what is healthy is one thing, but you also have to make sure you motivate yourself to take action by sticking to specific diets or exercise regimes. You could talk to a dietitian and a fitness trainer to help motivate you if you have trouble doing this step on your own. You can also read a few self-help books, which work for some people.
People who wait to the last minute to seek medical attention hardly put any thought into where they will go for help. You need to value choice, and look for a care center that truly cares for you. For example, you may want to look for a personal dentist such as Smile Makers Dental rather than the closest one to your house. Knowing that the dentist provides trustworthy care is one major step in the right direction.
Some people may be having a hard time letting go of unhealthy habits. This is normal, but you have to make sure that you have a support system. There are support groups for people having all sorts of issues such as overeating or smoking. Admitting to yourself you have a lack of control is important, and it’s yet another step in the right direction.
You need make some new friends on this journey of yours that will help focus you and push you. Taking full control of your health is not always easy, so you are going to need friends who care about health as much as you do. Now, those who already have health enthusiast friends may skip this step, but those who do not try to make friends.
There you go, now you know five ways to take control of your health once and for all. Be sure to talk to health care specialists about additional ways you can make this change.
Meghan Belnap / Blogger, Researcher and Freelance Writer
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
INTRODUCING THE TRAIN IT RIGHT
8 WEEK CHALLENGE!
What better way to start off the New Year then with a new routine on the way to a new you!
Who is this program for? Non competition prep clients that are looking for a lifestyle change, new routine and an individualized program that they can do on their own, any time, any where.
What do you get? 2-Week training Split that will be updated every 2 weeks when you check in with me via email, weekly calendar overview of program, designated sets & reps for each exercise, individualized nutrition plan, individualized cardio, and access to the Train It Right private client Facebook page.
To sign up simply email me at: email@example.com with Subject line: 8 week challenge
Healthiest McDonald's Menu Combos That You Can Make Yourself
Despite being known as a fast food restaurant chain, Mcdonalds does have items that are lower in calories on their menu. And depending on the meal you choose to order, there are several different ways to enjoy a full meal without busting your calorie or macro count for the day. These orders can come in at under 500 calories. On the catch side you just have to manipulate the order yourself.
Try making some of the following combos at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Fruit & Maple Oatmeal: 310 calories
Apple Slices: 15 calories
Coffee: 0 calories (no cream or sugar)
Total: 325 calories
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: 150 calories
Coffee: 0 calories (no cream or sugar)
Hash Browns: 150 calories
Total 300 calories
Egg McMuffin: 290 calories
Hash Browns: 150 calories
Coffee: 0 calories (no cream or sugar)
Total: 440 calories
Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese or tortilla strips): 260 calories
Fruities (Mandarin orange): 35 calories
Total: 295 calories
Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich: 380 calories
Side Salad: (no dressing) 20 calories
Water: 0 calories
Total: 400 calories
Hamburger: 250 calories
Kids Fries: 110 Calories
Small Diet Soda
Total: 360 calories
Cheeseburger: 300 calories
Side Salad: 20 calories
Total: 320 calories
Hamburger: 250 calories
Side Salad: 20 calories
Total 270 calories
Happy do it yourself Mcdonalds creating! Let me know how it goes!
Joel Bushby introduces natural, safe and effective body transformation training techniques.
“The passion for helping others was triggered in me about five years ago and the success I got from my endeavors were spectacular,” says Joel Bushby about his early stints as a fitness coach. “I am happy to have played a role in many life-changing stories. My TNT process has helped in positively impacting people’s lives every day and naturally.”
In a recent interview, The Natural Transformer has shared his views, business goals and important steps needed to become a Pro Natural body builder. According to Joel Bushby, at one stage of his life, winning body building and fitness competitions were a priority and he competed and won several of them. However, now the priorities have changed. His goal is to help others achieve success in winning competitions, Pro Cards and even in other areas of their life.
Joel Bushby has some valuable advice for body builders. He urges them to be patient and consistent in their efforts. Having tried nearly every bodybuilding program available, he states from his experience that everyone has to discover a program that best suits their body type. It must also be congruent to the muscle groups they want to focus on.
At the same time, Joel also stresses on the relevance of nutrition in every aspect of fitness regardless of whether the focus is on muscle growth or weight loss. He says that meal timing is important for gaining muscle and so is protein intake.
Joel Bushby aims at impacting people’s life every day and has an impressive client list. His training processes and advice has helped many people achieve their fitness goals.
The reputed fitness and transformation expert is of the opinion that any transition from spring/summer months to winter season does not require any dramatic changes in exercise routines. Joel lives in Queensland, Australia which has a tropical and sunny weather all year round. This makes it easy for him to maintain the workout routine regardless of the change in season.
Joel Bushby also offers advice to competitors on how to earn their Pro Card. They have to first determine their reasons. According to Joel, a Pro Card is not just for increasing their business. The real intent of getting the Pro Card must be to push themselves to their limit and stretch their capabilities.
Joel says that he enjoys training others because it can touch and change the lives of others. To bring about life-changing transformation in others can give anyone a tremendous sense of satisfaction.
About Joel Bushby:
Joel Bushby is a highly respected name in the fitness training domain. With his innovative and dedicated approach, Joel has been impacting the lives of people consistently. The Natural Transformer (TNT) offers a 12-week transformation program that can transform people in the most effective way.
For more information, visit The Natural Transformer website
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZaU8LQAmxR
For more information on this press release visit:
The first full week of December is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. It’s also when the holiday season cranks into high gear. If you have Crohn’s or colitis, this season brings unique challenges for you. If you have a loved one who was recently diagnosed, you might wonder what you can do to help. Let’s take a closer look at both diseases and some ways to make the holidays easier for people who struggle with them.
What Are Crohn’s and Colitis?
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two separate conditions, but they cause similar symptoms. Crohn’s disease involves chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth all the way through the bowels. People with Crohn’s don’t feel like eating and often lose weight. They feel tired and may experience night sweats.
Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon lining. Along with the same fatigue and weight loss associated with Crohn’s disease, colitis symptoms include problems with bowel movements that often involve cramping and pain. It affects as many as 907,000 Americans and can occur at any age.
Both conditions are forms of inflammatory bowel disease and have symptoms that come and go. People who struggle with them report flare-ups. During flare-ups, the gastrointestinal tract becomes extremely inflamed. Some people experience pain, bleeding, and fistulas. Sometimes they have fever or other conditions that require medical attention. A flare-up during the holidays can ruin seasonal cheer.
Why Are Holidays Harder for People With Crohn’s and Colitis?
If you have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other bowel disease, the holidays can be a difficult time. You’re surrounded by tempting, high-fat food. Everyone around you seems to be indulging in large amounts of everything that causes you problems.
Travel can be difficult at any time of the year. Long hours on the road or in the air make it hard to regulate what goes in your digestive system. Flare-ups might mean you spend hours in pain and have to stick close to the bathroom.
Often your family and friends don’t understand what you’re facing. You look normal and healthy, so they misunderstand your avoidance of certain foods and situations. Often, they pressure you to indulge in things you shouldn’t. What helps them celebrate the holidays might make you end up in the hospital.
How Can Diet Help With Crohn’s or Colitis?
Some foods can trigger a Crohn’s or colitis flare-up. Each person is different, so keep a food diary to identify your triggers. For example, some people with inflammatory bowel diseases are also lactose intolerant. Record whether your symptoms increase when you consume dairy products. If you also have celiac disease, you might need to avoid gluten. Here are some other foods that might cause a problem.
Fried or greasy foods – The fat in fried foods and heavy sauces can’t be fully absorbed in your small intestines.
High fiber foods – For most people, fiber is good. When you have Crohn’s or colitis, avoid them when your symptoms get bad. Eat bread made with refined flour and pasta instead.
Raw nuts and seeds – Nuts can be hard to digest. Instead, choose smooth nut butters like peanut or almond butter. Crackers with nut butter can be a great snack when you are away from home.
Popcorn – Because it’s high in fiber, it can cause a flare-up. When you want something salty and crunchy, try pretzels instead.
Raw fruits and vegetables – These can be tough on your stomach. Try removing the skin from fruits and veggies to reduce the amount of fiber. Most people with Crohn’s and colitis tolerate dried fruits and vegetables well.
Alcohol – It’s everywhere during the holidays, but it can cause painful flare-ups.
When people see the extensive list of what to avoid, they often wonder what’s left. Here are foods to stay nourished without worrying about flare-ups.
- Almond milk
- Salmon and other fish
- Vegetable soup
- White meat
- Butter lettuce
How to Help People With Crohn’s and Colitis
If your friends or family members struggle with one of these inflammatory bowel diseases, you don’t want to make the holidays even harder. Here are some things you can do to help.
Offer alternatives at gatherings. Stock non-alcoholic beer or sparkling fruit juice as an alternative to alcoholic beverages. Make sure there are healthy food choices low in fat and fiber. It helps individuals to eat smaller, more frequent meals, so if you have a guest in your home help who suffers from these conditions you can find options.
If you notice them skipping meals, don’t push. They know what’s best for their bodies and may be choosing not to eat so they don’t suffer the painful consequences. If they’re tired, encourage them to rest so they’re refreshed for the next round of festivities.
Another way to help people with Crohn’s and colitis make it through the holidays, and everyday, is to provide healthy vending machine choices in your office, apartment building and any other space appropriate for vending machines. Most vending machines are full of high fat food that isn’t good for anyone, especially someone suffering from Crohn’s or Colitis.
Naturals2Go can help you bring choices to your area with vending machines you can fill with a wide variety of healthy foods. Contact us today to see how you can make money with Naturals2Go vending machines.