My Absence

I don’t even know where to begin! So much has transpired over the past year. 2014 wound up being the hardest year in my entire life.

As you all know, I started this blog as a way to document my “Faith Project”—what would happen if I let go of control and rely on faith to get me where I need to be. It began three months after my job loss when I was trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do next with my life. That was May 2013. In September 2013 I started school to become a Certified Holistic Health Coach. In October I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer! This was obviously a huge wrench in my plans and a serious shocker. The good news was that it was stage 0 and non-invasive. The bad news is that there was quite a bit in my breast even though it was contained. So, in January 2014 I had a mastectomy. The remaining of January, February and March were my healing months and things were looking up, but then my mom passed away suddenly at the end of March, just 9 days after her birthday. This was another blow that I was not emotionally prepared for. Top that off with my start of radiation the week of her funeral. I had to go to radiation every weekday for 6 weeks. By the second week of radiation my body gave out. I was in excruciating pain. Everything hurt and I mean everything. My toenails, my muscles, my joints, my hair follicles. If I was touched, it hurt. I had the same exact symptoms as someone with fibromyalgia. I went from doctor to doctor and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. On Easter Day I was in the emergency room practically crying from the pain. I was finally referred to a pain management clinic in May 2014 and finally found some relief with nerve medication. I have post radiation brachial plexopathy. My whole body symptoms went away, but I still have lingering pain in my left arm and hand. I was non-functional from April – June. I took that time to just rest and take care of myself.

Fast forward to today, I did graduate and am now a Certified Holistic Health Coach. I started my own business and I’m working for myself as a full-fledged entrepreneur. I still have some pain in my hands and am still taking medication for it, but it has gotten a lot better. I’m told that by one-year after last radiation treatment, this pain should be gone. That means by May 12, 2015 I should see a light at the end of the tunnel. Needless to say, working my business has been a slow process because I was not 100%. I don’t know if I’ll ever be back the way I was because part of my problem previously was trying to take on too much and do too much and holding in too much until my body couldn’t take it anymore. So, even when this nerve pain goes away I will still be a changed woman. I think that is just par for the course anyway for a breast cancer survivor. We all have “new normals”.

I am excited about my future. This experiment did not turn out the way I expected, but that is how life works. We can never control it fully. Just when you think you have everything under control, BAM, here comes life throwing you a curve ball. But adversity does build stronger people and boy am I stronger. As a result, I have a platform for my business that I have personally experienced. My overarching goal is to help busy, professional women take better care of themselves. We don’t do that enough. We take care of everyone else and only think to take care of ourselves after something goes wrong. At a granular level, I’m helping those busy moms lose weight, gain energy and achieve an overall balance in their lives. Being a busy mom who also worked in Corporate America, I know all too well how difficult it can be to lose that weight when you’re older.  Gained weight and lack of energy are the two biggest complaints I hear and I’m here to help!

I wanted to wrap up this blog for all of you that were following me. I really appreciate the interest and I’m grateful for this experience. I will be focusing all of my efforts now on my business, Whole Life Wellness, LLC. Please visit, sign up for my newsletter and tell a friend, or two. We all know that superwoman who needs to take a breather and take time out for herself. It may even be you! I would love to help you. I can also be reached if you need a health and wellness professional to present a workshop or speak at your event.  Just fill out the form on my site http://www.wholelifewellness.info/contact.

Thanks again for following along on my journey! I hope to see you on my new journey.

Website: http://www.wholelifewellness.info
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wholelifewellnessllc
Twitter: candicebovian
Instagram: candicebovian

Candice

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Quarter One Update – Pt. 2

So this post is long overdue. I teased you all on my original post about how great things are happening  for me and how my journey is proving successful and then I left you hanging! Well, I’d like to finally formally announce my new path in life. They are two-fold and complement each other while at the same time honoring all of my passions! Isn’t it amazing how everything comes together?

First, I am currently in school to become a CERTIFIED HEALTH COACH. Secondly, I  am now a CERTIFIED WELLNESS & MEDICAL TRAVEL SPECIALIST.  In the about section of my blog, I talk about how “this blog will showcase my commitment to pursuing my passions and seeing what manifests over the course of a year. The topics on my blog are what I’m most passionate about — Travel (mind), Food & Nutrition (body), and Spirituality (soul).” Let me tackle each of these passionate areas to discuss how my faith journey is manifesting exactly what I requested.

Travel – I am already a Certified Travel Agent and have been for a few years. But, with my new certification I have a niche that will complement my health coaching business. The idea behind that is to plan wellness retreats for my health coaching business, help others plan spa and wellness vacations, and work with individuals interested in taking trips for medical purposes. This last part, medical travel, is becoming very popular and with the state of our health insurance in the USA, it is becoming a viable option in order to get medical procedures done at a reasonable cost. Major companies such as Walmart, Pepsico and Lowe’s already offer it to their employees as part of their health benefit.

Food & Nutrition – Food has been a passion of mine forever. I’ve always loved GOOD food. I can go into a Whole Foods or a specialty food gourmet store and linger for hours. I’m an avid ingredient reader and make sure that the majority of the food that I purchase and consume is healthy. Becoming a health coach would allow me to help others in their quest to be healthy. The program I am going through actually teaches Integrative Nutrition meaning it’s more than just the food you eat. To be completely healthy you’ll need to also look at other aspects of your life — your career, your physical activity level, your spiritual life, your relationships — to ensure that your whole self is well. It definitely takes a holistic approach to wellness. In case you are interested in learning more for yourself, see Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Spirituality – Even though the health coaching’s focus is on wellness, spirituality plays a role in your well being so I would be helping others with that. But, this blog has always been a platform for me to help others in a spiritual sense. I’m not talking about any religion or certain rules that you should follow. I’m talking about looking within yourself and following your intuition and being the best “you” that you can be. I’m talking about taking charge of your life and having gratitude along the way. I’m talking about attracting more of what you want and distancing yourself from what you don’t. Realize your worth and what you have to offer to this world to make it a better place.

So, as you can see it is all starting to come together. When I started this blog on May 24, 2013 I didn’t know what my next career move would be. I just knew that the direction I was going in wasn’t it. I only knew what I loved and what I was passionate about so I immersed myself in those things and started actively doing those things. I spent more time doing and less time hoping. It is so awesome how the universe aligns and works to give you exactly what you want and need once you put your mind to it and take the initiative.

I can’t wait to share what may manifest at my six month update!

-CB

Recipe: Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta

IMG_1856Here is a super simple and healthy recipe that you can whip up during the weekday. Pair it with a side salad and you have a healthy meal in no time.

5 INGREDIENTS, 5 STEPS, 5 MINUTES. Take that Rachel Ray!

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 package of whole wheat spaghetti (or whatever pasta you have at home)
  2. 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes), cut in half or quarters (depending on how large the cherry tomatoes are)
  3. A handful of fresh basil, cut up
  4. 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. About1/4 cup of grape seed oil (or olive oil)

Directions

  1. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add grape seed oil to pan along with minced garlic and then turn stove on to medium heat. Let the garlic cook for about 2 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  3. Add basil and let it cook for about 2 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  4. Add cooked pasta to pan and mix the garlic and basil thoroughly through the pasta. Let it cook, while stirring, for about 1 minute.
  5. Add cherry tomatoes and give it a quick stir just to make sure the tomatoes are incorporated. Take off the stove. You don’t want the tomatoes to cook much or the skin will start to peel back from the tomatoes. This is not pleasant while eating. You can add salt and pepper at this time.

Serves four. IMG_1858 Please share any quick, healthy recipes you have in your arsenal!

-CB

Quarter One Update

3-moToday makes three months I’ve been blogging. It went by so fast! I said I would do a progress update on today so here goes.

Since my last update two months ago, more exciting things have been happening for me. In these last three months I’ve been trying to figure out what my calling is. What can I contribute to this planet to make it a better place? How do my passions align with a new career? They all seemed so disparate from each other – travel, food/nutrition, spirituality. I did receive a freelance writing position writing about food and travel so that was a great starting point, but what next?

After thinking about and researching several different career options, I narrowed it down. Because I’m still finalizing some things I don’t want to make the announcement until next week, but I can assure you that at this three month mark, I have discovered what it is I would like to do next and I am beyond excited!

When I was going through all of my possible new business options, I listened to my intuition to guide me on whether or not it would be viable. One thing I already knew about myself is that I have a new business idea every day. And they are all great ideas. What I had to learn is that I can’t do them all. The other thing I had to learn is that just because I enjoy something, is it something I would enjoy for the long haul? A great example of this is when I sold Mary Kay for a brief minute back in the ’90’s. I was excited at the “make people over, sell beauty products and get a free car” aspect but wasn’t keen on getting customers. My heart wasn’t into Mary Kay like that. While she seemed to be an awesome woman I just didn’t feel comfortable trying to sell her make-up to others. Truthfully, I used other products as well and I wasn’t loyal to her only. So, while I enjoy making over others and doing my own makeup, I quickly realized that selling makeup, in general, and promoting Mary Kay, in particular, were not my passions nor something I could see myself doing for the long haul.

What it all boils down to is if you are still searching for your “calling”, listen to your intuition. You will know if it feels right. But you have to be honest with yourself. If there is an inkling of doubt or something in the back of your mind that won’t let you feel 100% comfortable, continue to think/pray/meditate on it. Think about whether or not this is something you can see yourself doing for the next 20+ years. Do you think you would be as happy 20 years from now doing that same thing as you were on the first day you did it? Do you get really excited thinking about it? Is it something you could stay up all night brainstorming, researching or putting into action because you just enjoy it so much? Don’t think about what will make money. If it’s something that you’re passionate about AND there is a need for it, you will have money.

What are some of your passions? What have you been contemplating for awhile now? Let me know in the comments section. I’d love to hear your ideas!

-CB

Recipe: Summer Salad

cropped saladI feel kind of funny posting a salad recipe because to me, a salad is so easy it doesn’t require a recipe. But salads are my specialty. And my mom would say that just because it comes easy to you, that doesn’t make it true for someone else. I can whip up any kind based on whatever is in the fridge. Side salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, main course salad, you name it! Some people think a salad is iceberg lettuce and some vegetables. Well, that is one kind of salad but a salad can be so much more! Once you realize the many types and combinations of salads you can make, you may start to eat more.  I love salads!

Ingredients:

(I will list what I used and in parenthesis give you alternate options. The great thing about salads is that you can mix and match as you choose.)

  • Mixed lettuce greens (You can also use Romaine, Green leaf or Butter lettuce)
  • Blueberries (Strawberries can also be used)
  • Grapes
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds (Any seed will do. You can try pumpkin seeds.)
  • Herbed Goat Cheese (You can use Feta cheese or Blue cheese instead)
  • I didn’t use them but dried cranberries or raisins will work well too.
  • A raspberry vinaigrette complements this nicely but use whatever you like or nothing at all.

Directions:

  1. I won’t insult your intelligence by putting the directions. But, I’ll give you a tip if you want to serve it at a function.
  2. Set aside a handful of each of the toppings (berries, nuts, seeds, cheese).
  3. Mix your lettuce and remaining toppings in a bowl so that everything is integrated. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. In the serving bowl, carefully arrange the berries, nuts and cheese so that they are presentable and people know exactly what’s in the salad. It will also look picture worthy!

20130805_140244

-CB

Forgiveness

ID-10070272Do you know someone who has wronged you? Have they betrayed your trust and now you don’t know how you could ever trust them again? Do you hold a grudge towards them? Do you vow to never, ever forgive them for as long as you live?

It can be really hard to forgive someone that you felt betrayed your trust. Some of us will hold the grudge until the day we die. I had someone in my life that I felt wronged me. I held onto this grudge for a few years. When I got dressed in the morning I made sure I looked extra cute just in case I ran into him. And if I did run into him, I went out of my way to “show” him that I wasn’t paying him any attention. I would replay several scenarios in my head where I thought about what I should have said and what I should have done. I spewed hatred talk about him to my girlfriends and wrote about him in my journal.

Finally, it dawned on me that I was expending a ton of energy on someone who I supposedly hated. If I didn’t like this person, then why was he taking up so much of my time? He dictated how I dressed when I went out, he invaded my thoughts, and he was always the topic of conversation among my friends. If this is someone who I did not want in my life anymore, then why was he still there as if he never left? I realized that between us two, I was the only one who was still walking around with a big chip on my shoulder living my life with him surrounding all of my thoughts. I was the one losing sleep, stressing out, wasting time plotting, and rehashing what-if scenarios in my mind. The person I needed to forgive was living their life clueless to my dastardly schemes. When I fully realized that, I knew that I needed to forgive him so that I could move on with my life. It made no sense to carry around that grudge, that stress and that toll on my health. When I did so, I could feel a weight lift off me. It was as if I lost a few pounds even. I felt lighter and happier.

It’s not always easy to forgive but look at how much time that person is taking up in your life right now by your holding a grudge. You are allowing that person to dictate your happiness. You may fool yourself into thinking that you are just fine with this grudge but know that by having a grudge that person still has a hold on you and your life. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean going to that person and telling them that you forgive them. It  can be as simple as just saying out loud  to yourself, “I forgive X” and going on about your day. You may want to write a heartfelt letter to that person and then tear it up or burn it. It’s the expression of how you feel that you need to get out. But, after you do that make sure that you don’t look back. Any stress related illnesses will probably subside.  I guarantee you new doors will open up for you. While you were holding a grudge you were blocking new opportunities from entering your life. For example, if your grudge is against an ex, then you won’t be able to start a wholly functional, new relationship until you forgive  that ex.  Once you forgive, your heart will be open to receive your blessings and you’ll feel much better too!

Do you have a similar experience of holding onto a grudge, but then forgiving them? How did you forgive them and how did you feel afterwards? Are you currently holding a grudge? After reading this, will you consider forgiveness?

-CB

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net