Coaching Chronicles: Caterina-Session #3

Caterina’s Goals from Session #2

  • Make one batch of Breakfast Bread. Make sure to reach out to your coach if you have any issues! This is one of the many benefits of having a coach! Use it!
  • Make one week of smoothie kits. Include some protein (yogurt, hemp hearts, chia seeds, nuts, seeds), greens (baby spinach or baby kale), fruit (berries are a great choice), and clean liquid (water, unsweetened nut milk) and any supplements you want to add (flax seed oil, probiotics, maca, MCT oil, etc.). Search Pinterest for ‘smoothie kit’ ideas.  Be selective!
  • Train new employees with planned schedule in order to create empowered, creative, efficient staff. 

Caterina had to reschedule her appointment with me twice but we still managed to fit it in so she wouldn’t miss a week. We met during her lunch hour at a local coffee spot and found a quiet table in the back for some privacy.

Caterina: Thanks for changing again. Sorry about the cancelations. I know you have a busy schedule too.

Jen: No need to apologize at all. Life happens! We found a way to make it work and that’s what matters.

Caterina: True. Thanks. Hmm, where to start! My goals?

Jen: Let’s start with wins. My dear friend and life coach, Beth Craig, taught me to begin with wins. It’s a powerful way to start the meetings.

Caterina: She sounds cool. Okay, wins. Well, we’re here!

Jen: Always a win! What else?

Caterina: The Center won an award this week that came with $25,000. That was a big win.

Jen: Wow!  Congratulations! How is it a win for you personally?

Caterina: I spent a lot of time on the application and interview process for the award, so it reflects well on how I portrayed the Center and our mission.

Jen: Great win! What else? How are you feeling?

Caterina: Well, considering it was a busy week and there was so much going on, I feel a decent amount of energy and focus. It could be better but it’s not as low as it has been.

Jen: Increased energy and focus is a huge win.  That’s the reward of consistent self-care.

Caterina: Well, that makes sense. I made smoothies and had Breakfast Bread every morning this week.

Jen: No wonder you feel good!  You’ve been fueling your body! Another win!

Caterina: I made the smoothie kits and a batch of the Breakfast Bread after I saw you last week, and then took turns each day having one for breakfast and one for a midmorning snack. It worked out well. I can see why you like that bread! 

Jen: Did you get bored this time?

Caterina: I think it was more like settling into a routine, not boredom.

Jen: Do you think you can do that each week or do you want more variety?

Caterina: I thought about that this morning while drinking my last smoothie of the week. I really like the smoothies because I can vary them right in the bags. Plus, I added two cups of greens each time. And my fish oil and probiotics. It’s so convenient for driving too. I think I’d like to have it most days. But especially when I know I have a busy morning ahead. The Breakfast Bread is going to be my morning snack. But I want to add something else to it.

Jen: My favorite is berries. I try to eat strawberries, raspberries and black berries all summer long because they’re in season, and the rest of the year I eat blueberries with my bread. Berries are nutrient dense and don’t encourage sugar cravings for most people.

Caterina: That works for me.  I love fresh berries. I might not be able to get them every week at the farmers market but I can definitely get them at the grocery store.

Jen: Definitely. You can make it a bit more decadent if you bring a small container of plain, full-fat Greek yogurt to dip them in.

Caterina: Full-fat? I’m trying to lose weight, not gain weight!

Jen: If you are going to use dairy products, it’s important to use them in small quantities and with full fat, not reduced or fat free.

Caterina: I’m not following. Choosing the far-free version means it has fewer calories, so it’s better for losing weight. That’s just common sense.

Jen: For many years, going with fat-free products was thought to be the way to have what you want but not gain weight. The latest research shows that fat helps the body feel full and satiated. Have you ever had a meal and then at the end, you felt physically full but wanted something else? Like something salty or something sweet?

Caterina: Of course.

Jen: Have you ever thought about why?

Caterina: Nope. It never crossed my mind. Maybe I’m just used to having dessert?

Jen: It can be habit, but it can also be that your body is giving you signals that there’s still a missing component. Sometimes we need more protein, other times fat or carbohydrates. It can also have emotional ties. Have you ever wanted salty, crunchy chips when you were frustrated?

Caterina: (Laughs) Well, yeah!

Jen: When we eat whole foods like an apple instead of apple juice, chicken thighs with light and dark meat—and fat—instead of chicken breast, and full-fat yogurt instead of yogurt with little or no fat, our body gets a whole food.  Eggs are the same.  Whole eggs are much better for you than egg whites.

Caterina: Do you know how many years I have been eating egg white omelets?

Jen: Plenty, I’m sure. But you aren’t alone. Lots of people still focus on fat as an enemy. For most people, adding fat to their diets means more energy, better sleep, and clearer thinking.

Caterina: Somehow, I know you are not telling me I can eat all the French fries I want.

Jen: Nope. It’s okay to have a treat sometimes but for the most part I want you to think about avocado, coconut and olive oil, nuts and seeds, full fat dairy and ghee, and fish and farm raised meats. I’d keep the dairy to once or twice a week, or small amounts each time.

Caterina: So, I can’t eat fried foods but I can have cheese on things? That’s confusing.

Jen: You can eat whatever you want, no restrictions. Your goals, and your desire to reach them will be the deciding factor.

Caterina: (Laughing) I knew there was a catch!

Jen: Look at it like this, if your goal is to feel clear and satisfied while enjoying a steady weight loss without cravings or starving, then you stick with the list I offered. If…

Caterina: Stop right there! No need to continue. That’s what I choose. So, no fried foods for me. And only full-fat cheese. And not on everything.

Jen: When choosing cheese, it’s best to stick to blue cheese, parmesan and others like it. Just look in the fancy cheese section at the grocery store. You’ll notice that everything is more expensive and it comes in smaller amounts. I always take that as a hint to use less. Always choose organic when your budget allows too.

Caterina: So, no more nachos?

Jen: I love nachos! I just don’t have them every week, and when I do, they are covered in more veggies and protein than cheese.

Caterina: Hmm. I think I would sprinkle mine right on top so I could see it. It would help fool my brain, I think.

Jen: Great idea! I’m sure it would!

Caterina: What vegetables would you use?

Jen: Sometimes, I use a butternut squash and black bean recipe that I have, other times I stick to sautéed onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and add avocado, jicama, cherry tomatoes and cucumber.

Caterina: Jicama? And can you send me that recipe? I saw some butternut squash at the farmers market this morning.

Jen: I’ll email it to you. Jicama is a root vegetable that is peeled and then eaten either raw, or used in recipes. It’s a perfect substitute for the chips in a taco bake. It stays crunchy. My favorite way to eat it is raw with cilantro, avocado and fresh lime juice. It’s great in salads too. Or as slaw.

Caterina: I wonder if it would be good with salsa.

Jen: It is! You can slice it the size of chips and use it to scoop. Hummus too!

Caterina: I’m going to try that this week. Let’s put it on my goal list. I think it would be good as a snack after work or before bed.

Jen: I’d suggest that you buy some salsa in the pre-made food section of the grocery store, or maybe find some on the salad bar. You’ve had a busy week and I don’t want to add something to your goal list that will take too much time.

Caterina: (Laughing) If you would have told me, three weeks ago, that food prep was as easy as buying the right things at the grocery store, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Jen: It doesn’t need to be complicated, does it?

Caterina: Apparently not! Oh, and I’m making smoothie kits again.  Two weeks worth this time.

Jen: Will you have time for that this weekend?  You’ve been so busy.

Caterina: I thought about that on the way here too. I have always made so many excuses in the past about why I couldn’t eat in a healthy way, but the truth is, they were all because I didn’t think it was important enough. When we started meeting, I promised myself that I would not only make time for the meetings, but the homework too. Plus, I know it doesn’t take that long. You’ve taught me that already. I plan to use the smoothies and the egg casserole I froze two weeks ago. During the week, if I have time, I will make the bread but at least I know I have the other two if that doesn’t happen.

Jen: I think it’s realistic to do the prep on one night, and bake it on another night. Do you?

Caterina: I do! I bet I could make four batches.

Jen: Is that realistic? Or did we just go from possible to highly unlikely?

Caterina: I could do it, but something else would suffer. Probably my sleep.

Jen: And…

Caterina: And I don’t need to make four batches. I can make one. And that’s plenty of food for the week.

Jen: Great modification.

Caterina: I think I overdo it sometimes, wanting to make sure I do things the right way.

Jen: It’s part of the reason you are so successful. It’s a great personality trait.

Caterina: Don’t you mean flaw? I get in over my head a lot.

Jen: And you learn, and adjust, and do better the next time. Having passion for goals is powerful!

Caterina: (Laughing) Okay, I’ll try to see it the way you do.

Jen: Good! Because I have perfect vision! How’s it going with the new employees?

Caterina: It’s a lot of work, and time consuming but I want to make sure that they are trained correctly the first time. There’s no point in bringing in new people to help if we don’t take the time to train them. 

Jen: Like I said, my vision is perfect. You are bringing that passion and standard to your new employees. It sets the tone. And your short-term sacrifice will pay off many times over.

Caterina: (Laughing) Enough already, I’m amazing!

Jen: Finally! I’m glad you see it now! How long do you anticipate the training to last?

Caterina: The immediate training will only take a few more days but I’ve committed to myself as well as to each of them, when something new comes up, we will take the time to find a system that’s efficient and effective. In that way, the training will never stop.

Jen: Your employees are fortunate to have you lead them in this way. You are creating a workplace that encourages people to do things in the most effective way, and for the long-term. That will show up in their attitudes as well. They’ll feel how you are committed to making the Center run smoothly.

Caterina: Thank you. I have been thinking about adding something to the Center that both the staff and residents could enjoy. Maybe a cooking class or yoga. I’m beginning to understand the impact that small changes in my food has on my ability to stay centered and balanced while at work. I want to find a way to share that.

Jen: I’m happy to come teach a class or a series of classes for you. Have your assistant call me and I will work out the details with her.

Caterina: (Laughing) I’ll email her. I almost started to talk details with you! Thanks for reminding me that I have an assistant. Half the time, I forget that I don’t have to do everything any more.

Jen: It’s a new habit, after many years of handling everything on your own. It will take time, but that’s okay!

Caterina: It is. And I am so happy about it!

Jen: Me too.  Anything else on your mind today?

Caterina: Nothing that I need to discuss today but I have a vacation coming up in a few months, and I want to start thinking about how to eat while traveling. I can’t exactly pack bread in my suitcase.

Jen: We’ll start working on that.  Anything else?

Caterina: (Deep sigh) Working out. I dread it but I know it’s coming. In order to lose weight, I have to start working out again.

Jen: This is one of my most favorite topics. I promise it won’t be as challenging as you think! For now, because you have your hands full at work, let’s just focus on moving your body in any way that’s enjoyable.

Caterina: Enjoyable?

Jen: Yes, what do you like to do?

Caterina: Well, in the past I went to exercise classes at the gym. And then I would get on the bike or elliptical to burn more calories.

Jen: Did you like it? Did you have fun?

Caterina: Um, no. It’s not fun, it’s exercise.

Jen: Just like healthy food can be fun, moving your body can be fun too. Did you play any sports as a kid?

Caterina: Believe it or not, I was a gymnast and a swimmer.

Jen: I’m not surprised at all. I wish I would have done more of both of those as a kid! When was the last time you swam?

Caterina: Years! And before you ask, I haven’t done gymnastics in years either.

Jen: (Laughing) Fair enough. Did you like those sports?

Caterina: I did. But that was years ago.

Jen: Do you have a swim suit?

Caterina: Yes, but I don’t think it fits.

Jen: Would you be willing to buy one that fits? And go swimming?

Caterina: Yikes. I hate to even think about what size I would need. But yes, I guess I can.

Jen: The beauty of the internet is no need to try bathing suits on in the store! Order the two sizes that you think will fit, and then when they arrive, keep the one that fits comfortably, no matter what size it is. Can you do that?

Caterina: Ugh, yes. I don’t want to think about the size.

Jen: Each time that pops into your brain, I want to you think about fun it will be to order the size smaller because it no longer fits.

Caterina: Oh, that’s smart! That can be my goal, to go down in size.

Jen: It could, but that pressure that might not be helpful at this time. For now, I just want to shift the emotion about the size.  Allow yourself to focus on being hopeful for the possibility. I know that’s enough to get you to the pool regularly.

Caterina: I could go every day before work.

Jen: Is that realistic? Or unlikely?

Caterina: Something tells me I am going to hear your voice in my head whenever I try to do too much at once.

Jen: (Laughing) Maybe temporarily, but that’s okay.

Caterina: To answer your question, every day is too much. I would love to start going every day but first I have to get the suit. And I have a lot to do at work so maybe next week?

Jen: This week, let’s make the goal to buy the suit. Next week, we can check in and see if you have the ability to add one or two times during the week or weekend to go swimming for 20 minutes or so.

Caterina: I’m excited and mortified, all at the same time, with thoughts of going to the pool.

Jen: One of the things I do, is go when it’s empty. I’m a beginning swimmer, so watching others with so much more skill and experience can be intimidating. And I never go when the swim team is there.

Caterina: (Laughing) I understand that. Okay, so pick a time when there aren’t many people.

Jen: You may have to try different times, but that’s okay. And by the time you figure out what time works best for you, you will be a regular and completely comfortable.

Caterina: Hopefully!

Jen: Count on it!

Caterina: Okay. Thanks for your help today.

Jen: Always my pleasure! See you soon! Make sure to text if you need anything.

Caterina: I will. Thank you!

Caterina’s Goals Session #3

  • Buy some jicama and prepared salsa to use an after-work or before bed snack.
  • Prepare two weeks of smoothie kits.
  • Make a batch of Breakfast Bread. Prepare ingredients one night, and bake the next.
  • Email assistant to call Jen for classes.
  • Buy a swim suit that fits, no matter the size. Goggles? Cap? What else do you need?
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