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Carol Ebert

Carol Ebert MSN, RN

Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act

Inspiring Role Model for Women in their Third Act

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Carol Ebert is a MSN, RN and specializes in Wellness and Coaching for Women in their Third Act.

Wellness Specialist and Business Entrepreneur Carol Ebert is a creative force for education and wellness.  Her nursing career began as a Navy Nurse followed by School Health Nurse where she discovered her vision was more aligned with prevention than treatment, so she shifted to health education and wellness, her true passion.  Her professional experience is varied but always grounded in wellness.  Health Educator, College Health Director, Hospital Wellness Coordinator, Wellness Business Outreach Coordinator, Wellness Coach and Trainer and currently Solopreneur and CEO of her own wellness business. www.carolebert.com

Carol models how to live a healthy lifestyle which inspires those she reaches with her wellness programs.  She knows how to successfully coach “busy” professionals to avoid burnout and achieve optimal health.   She also puts her creativity to good use designing and presenting wellness initiatives for businesses that change people’s lives and save healthcare dollars. 

Carol has put all her wellness secrets in her new book Too Busy for YOU?  How to Prioritize Yourself for a Balanced, Mindful and Happy Life.  She is a sought after public speaker and her programs are always fun, educational, rewarding and inspiring.

Contact her at carol@carolebert.com.  507-313-4515

Carol Ebert's Latest Activity

  1. Carol Ebert

    Boomer Fest Quest

    I have a “side hustle” wellness business and as I continue to age, the population I want to work with gets older too. So I decided if that is whom I want to reach with my message of staying healthy as you age, then I need to find them. And how do I find them? Invite them to an event! Which I did. I created Boomer Fest – a Resource Fair for Baby Boomers. Drawing on my professional skills of program development and event planning I started from scratch by assembling like-minded professionals looking to reach this population. That was easy because I was already involved in a Networking Group who were trying to reach Boomers as well. And so we started the process of creating the event. Here’s a step-by-step approach of how it unfolded in case you might want to do the same thing with your newly found “free time”. Decide who you want to reach Because I am a Boomer and am keenly aware of the health and social issues we face at this age, and I am aware that not all Boomers are ready for the life of retirement, I wanted to help my peers find the resources they need as they age – that they don’t even know they need to know about. Decide what you want them to learn from the event I struggled with what the retirement lifestyle was all about and followed a trial and error process when I finally “retired”. I was amazed to find that no one seems to prepare retirees for the next phase of life which I call Your Third Act. My mission then for this event was to provide the resources I felt they needed to be aware of and the options available to them for all the dimensions of a wellness lifestyle: social life, work life, spiritual support, physical activity, intellectual stimulation, emotional well-being, travel aspirations, volunteer opportunities, and active senior housing options. Decide who can provide the answers Boomers are looking for Once I decided how well-rounded I wanted the event to be, I started making calls and visits. That’s when the fun begins because someone knows someone else who knows someone else, and pretty soon I had identified 30 vendors for the event. And having them get to know me and me them, got me in touch with the people, groups, agencies and facilities that deal with the Boomer population. Which in turn positions me as an expert who can help them in the future with educational health programs that I have already designed for the Boomer population. So it became a win-win for both of us. Secure a venue for the event A new event center had just opened in the community where I live and I thought how perfect it would be to have Boomer Fest there – not only because it was a perfect venue, but because it was brand new people were curious to see it and that alone might draw them in. Of course there was a fee for the space so I had to come up with the money! Create a budget This is extremely important so you don’t lose money. Our plan was to break even and that is about what happened. Of course I did not pay myself for all my work, and if we do this again that issue will need to be resolved! Revenue = $900 Vendors each paid $50 Non-profits were not charged Expense = $875 Room rental - $750 Marketing Consultant - $125 Delegate tasks This is a key issue not to be overlooked. I actually took on too much myself, but at least I delegated someone to arrange for music thru the PA and someone to sit at the registration table to check people in and out. Arrange for volunteers I did not think of this until the last minute when I didn’t have anyone to manage the registration table. Fortunately someone stepped in at the last minute, so I lucked out. I did discover later that there are a lot of groups including college students who are very willing to help out as long as they have prior notice. Provide incentives to attend I asked each vendor to provide a door prize at their booth, and we also had a grand prize drawing for a one night stay at the new adjoining hotel in a king room. In order to participate in that drawing I had each participant find the answers to questions from each vendor so I was assured that all vendors would have people stop and talk to them. The sheet of completed answers was then dropped in a box and we drew the winner from those sheets. We had 56 people complete the sheets and the winner was the perfect person. She had brought along two elderly friends who sat at a table while she went thru the exhibits. She was being very kind to them by taking them out for the day and I felt she was the perfect person to be rewarded for that kind gesture. The Universe works in amazing ways! Promote the event All vendors were responsible for promoting to their audiences thru newsletters, emails, social media, etc. We posted flyers around town and made up free tickets to give away. I contacted the local TV station who sent out a reporter and we were on the news at 6 and 10 that day. If we do this again I would contact the media at the beginning of the planning so they would partner with us and provide free promotion. Keep statistics 56 people attended, even tho I would love to have had 200. But everyone felt it was a good response since it was the first time we have done this and we only had 8 weeks to pull it off! Followup evaluations from vendors and participants I am still compiling evaluations from the vendors and most want this to happen again. As participants left the event and passed by the volunteer at the registration table, most mentioned that they loved the event and would like to see it happen again next year. Debrief with planning committee and plan for next year Our planning committee is very happy with the results and are on board to do this again. Our recommendations are: Start planning sooner – at least 6 months before the event Create a more extensive budget Include a fee for the coordinator (that would be me!) Secure sponsors to generate more revenue Charge non-profits $25 each Continue to charge vendors $50 each Provide refreshments because food is always a draw – with few dollars to work with, we did get apples donated and water was free. Consider having entertainment, round-table discussions, break-out sessions So why did I share this with you? Because it’s never too late to take on a new challenge that has meaning and can give back to others who might need your talents and time. It doesn’t have to be this involved of course. It can be just what you want it to be. And you don’t have to ask permission from a boss! Feel free to share new challenges you have embarked on to give your life more meaning in retirement.
  2. Carol Ebert

    Got 3rd Act Issues On Your Mind?

    Download allnurses Magazine Once you enter your Third Act all kinds of different thoughts start entering your consciousness. Here are some of my concerns I never had to consider before. I’m sure you have even more. Will I have enough money to live comfortably? Not everyone has retirement savings and social security is not enough to live the lifestyle you want. I can attest to that as I am on social security plus have no retirement savings so it is clear that you will need to prepare yourself with other revenue streams you might not have thought of before. I’m so passionate about wellness that I’m always creating new initiatives that can bring in more money (like the new book I wrote Too Busy for YOU? which targets busy professional women based on what I know about that lifestyle) What creative ideas do you have for generating more income? Will I eventually be disabled and dependent? I have been extra healthy since most of my career has been wellness focused and I have practiced what I preach. It has certainly paid off as I feel years younger than many my age, but that doesn’t mean some things are starting to deteriorate. For me it is little skin lesions that keep popping up and needing to be biopsied and excised. Or the cartilage in my knee needed to be trimmed due to wear and tear from all the exercise I do. So no matter how healthy you might think you are, there are things that may occur that could impact your quality of life. What are your thoughts about what you would do if you became disabled as you get older? What if my partner/spouse is gone and I’m all alone? It’s a fact that women will live longer than men so odds are you will be living alone at some point. The average American man will live to age 76, according to the latest CDC figures, while the average woman in America will live to age 81. What ideas do you have for dealing with the issue of being alone? What will I do with my time if I’m not going to work every day? Imagine having all the time in the world with no demands on your time. You’ve probably been dreaming about that for a long time but once you retire it will be a reality. Based on my experience with other friends who are retired, they seem busier than ever and I often hear this: “I can’t believe how busy I am, even more now than when I was working”. Additionally I hear some of my nurse friends who do enjoy the freedom for a short while are then itching to do some work again. What would fulfill you when you have plenty of time for YOU? What kind of living arrangement should I consider as I age? Remember the TV Show Golden Girls where 3 women shared a home together to share expenses and support of each other? That idea is starting to take hold. Online home-sharing websites, workshops and meetings for prospective housemates are booming. I’ve even been giving it some thought as an option. What examples of living arrangements have you considered as you get older? When should I consider down-sizing? It’s never too soon to start clearing out all the stuff we accumulate. This issue has really been on my mind because it takes a lot of time and energy to live with and deal with all the possessions we manage on a day to day basis. And why do we have all this stuff? In my case I have a large county property with several out buildings that are full since we live on a hobby farm. Every day I think “how long can I keep up with all this?” And wouldn’t life be simpler if I had less “stuff” to deal with. What surrounds your life that you know you could live without and how would it make you feel if you had less to deal with? Should I have a pet, and who will care for it if I die? This one is big for me because I have always had multiple pets and I know how important they are to my wellbeing. After I lost my last 2 dogs within one week I thought maybe I’m too old to have a pet, and what if I die and leave it behind. Who would care for it? So what did I do? I got a puppy! But the caveat was it is a breeding dog from another nurse who breeds dogs and needed this little stud to be farmed out to a great family to be raised (that’s me) and just go back to her for breeding purposes. Before I accepted that offer I said to her “What if I die?” She said “I’ll take him back”. I got the answer I wanted and now everyone is happy – especially me! What are your thoughts about having a pet as you get older and what is your strategy? The bottom line for all these concerns, and I suspect you may have other concerns as well, is to not postpone thinking about them but face them head-on and create an exit plan. I often wish my parents had done that for me instead of leaving us in a state of confusion about where everything was that needed to be tended to. And then having to make decisions about what to do with everything that they left behind. It is a daunting task but for us who might be more aware we can take charge and create a plan. It’s easy to remain in denial about the fact that we will die at some point so the more responsible approach is to get your act together and make those tough decisions while you can. I know planning isn’t everyone’s “thing” and I’m not great at it either, but when I do put a plan together it actually reduces my stress and gives me the feeling of being back in control. And your family will love you for it! Inspired by: Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men? House Sharing for Boomer Women Who Don't Want to Live Alone Benefits of Elderly Owning Pets The Upside of Downsizing What ideas do you have for making life in your Third Act as stress free as possible?
  3. Carol Ebert

    Go Write Your Book!

    I'm excited to finally have the hard copy ready to share. Should be any day now!
  4. Carol Ebert

    Go Write Your Book!

    And so I needed to pry mine out by starting a writing journey. I never thought I could write a book, and it never was on my radar, but once I started blogging for allnurses.com I realized I had compiled a lot of content that was just going to sit in a file somewhere, never to be seen again. And then the wise words of my late father popped into my brain: “If you are going to do something, make sure you have 3 good reasons for doing it”. OK Dad! Here are my reasons for blogging 1. Write monthly blogs to help nurses embrace wellness 2. Use blog content to create powerpoint presentations and deliver to audiences 3. Re-purpose the blogs into a book And here I am today publishing my very first book called Too Busy for YOU? How to Prioritize Yourself for a Balanced, Mindful and Happy Life. What I didn’t realize by completing this process, I would achieve some cool benefits! Here are my TOP 10 REASONS why this was important for me to do: 1. It’s a Challenge I love a challenge, especially with something out of my league. Once you have a lot of years and experiences under your belt, you know you can do more than you ever thought you could. For me, I’ve met many challenges in my career that I thought I couldn’t overcome and succeeded at most. So why not give writing a book a try. 2. Improved My Self Esteem Once I reached retirement age I could feel my “usefulness” slipping and didn’t feel valued as much. I could continue that downward slump or get busy on my book. There is a saying in some circles: “When I got busy, I got better”. And my self-esteem improved greatly, especially when I finished the book and sent it off to Amazon to be published. 3. Helped Me Reinvent Myself As an Author, I feel re-programmed with a new direction and new energy. I have a new identity and have noticed that people respond more positively to me as if I have more status. Suddenly I don’t feel as old as I felt before I had a book to promote. 4. Generates Income I now have another avenue to make money from book sales. To that end, I have new energy to approach book stores for book signings, other wellness coaches, wellness clients, nursing instructors, health education professors, wellness coordinators, businesses, and even women’s book clubs. 5. Gets Speaking Engagements One of my favorite things to do is speak on wellness to audiences and I have heard that the best way to get these bookings is to author a book. I am now a more marketable public speaker because of this. 6. Serves Audiences in a New Way Sometimes you just can’t reach all the people you want to reach personally, so this book gives me another vehicle for me to reach out globally with my wellness message. 7. Shares my Wisdom After 40+ years in the wellness industry, I have a lot to share about how to get healthy and stay healthy and I know what works and doesn’t work. Having a book that synthesizes it all down to a “self-coaching” guide that can help others improve their lives on their own terms gives me great satisfaction. And it feels like I am leaving a legacy that will keep on giving. 8. Keeps Me Relevant If I am going to continue with my quest to spread wellness, then a self-care book is a relevant method for doing that and keeps me in the game. Wellness is the big buzz word today and my book is all wellness all the time. 9. Addresses Major Health Concerns Because we are drowning in epidemics of chronic disease, many proven wellness tools that are outlined in my book are what we need more than ever when the medical model is limited in how it deals with these challenges. 10. Reaches a Wider Audience Amazon is a global shopping site and my book, which was self-published through Amazon will be available for the world to see. (Yes you can publish your book thru their system for free) You never know who might read it and how that could influence an audience I never would have been able to reach. I have always been a global thinker but I never thought that I could actually get my message out there in a big way. Look out world, here I come! So is there a book inside of you wanting to come out? I think all nurses have so much to share it would be a shame to keep it all inside. What steps are you willing to take to begin the process of authoring a book? Please share.
  5. Here is Lori’s story as an example of a nurse practitioner I have coached on retooling herself. Lori was a self-described “burned out nurse” ready to retire. “I don’t want to go back to any kind of clinical nursing” she told me. Instead, she started retooling her nursing skills to reflect a more holistic approach to health and got trained as a Wellness Coach, aligned with a nutrition company that provided business training as well as an online store of high quality nutritional products and began her new journey while remaining grounded in her nursing foundation. She is a lot happier now and doesn’t see retirement as stopping, but just transitioning into who she has evolved to be as a nurse. Her story reminds me of how easily our nursing education and experiences can be retooled into new and interesting directions whenever we need a change. If this resonates with you, here are a few tips to help start the re-tooling process: 1. Do you really want to change once you are retired? There are times in our lives when we’re forced to reinvent ourselves. For example, when my last job got so stressful and I knew it was killing me, I knew I needed a change. I was also close to retirement but still wanted to work, so I thrust myself into the world of the unknown – trying to reinvent myself without having a clue as to how to do that. I actually had never thought about what retirement would look like for me, but I knew for sure I would never stop being productive doing something. So, do you really want to change? YES or NO 2. Stop thinking of yourself as being retired. Let’s retire the word retired and focus on being re-tooled. Create a positive mindset about entering Your Third Act and appreciate all the surprises, challenges and joys that will unfold Make a personal affirmation to convince yourself that you are not done, but are taking another path towards a fulfilling life. Fill in the blank: In the future I will be joyfully working at _______________________. 3. Assess your work history for skills Evaluate your resume and highlight the skills you already possess Examine your job experiences and make a detailed list of all the things you do well and enjoy List the skills that that were never part of your job description, yet were required for you in order to succeed. List all soft-skills as well as hard skills. List educational presentations you have made that have been persuasive List research skills you have developed How skilled are you at writing and communication Consider all the extraordinary experiences you have had on the job that helped you develop creative thinking skills or sharpened organization capabilities. 4. Attach yourself to the right people. In today’s interconnected world it’s easier than ever to network with people from all over the world. While people have associated social networking with meeting new friends and finding job opportunities, you can also connect with people who can change you for the better. Linkedin is a great business social media site where you can connect with other nursing groups who may have interests that inspire you. Or connect with me for support. 5. Learn. Whether if it’s reading or attending a workshop or webinar, find ways to enhance your knowledge. It will make you a more well-rounded individual and help you grow both personally and professionally. Lifelong learning also makes you more motivated, develop mental skills, and introduces you to new people and thoughts. There are so many FREE Webinar Series with content you can immerse yourself in that you will come away with ideas, connections and motivation. Take a class for inspiration or develop new skills. Many colleges offer free tuition to retirees Find a local program that focuses on entrepreneurship if what you want is to run your own business. 6. Work part-time Volunteer Freelance in an area that fits your talents If you have always been a nurse but always dreamed about being a writer, then start writing a blog on your life experiences and ultimately it could be a book that generates some income. (I did that to create my book Too Busy for YOU?) 7. Find a mentor. Here are types of mentors: Direct. The mentor is in front of you and will guide you. Indirect. These are mentors who aren’t physically with you, like authors. Everything can be a mentor. If you have a mentor that insists that you do things their way, learn it their way and then do it your way. My favorite mentor is someone successfully doing what you want to do 8. Manage your finances. Reinventing yourself won’t always be free. For example, if you want to change careers, you may have to take workshops or college courses. Because of that, it’s important that you create a realistic budget so you have the funds to complete your transformation. Remember “it takes money to make money”. 9. Take one step at a time. Reinvention is a process that could take years. Don’t overwhelm yourself by getting consumed on the big picture. Take steps to accomplish your end goals. For example, if you want to get in better shape, than the first step would be going for a walk, the next step would be setting a schedule, then getting a gym membership and finally eating healthier. Take it one step at a time. 10. Believe in yourself. Once you leave your nursing job it takes a toll on self-confidence and self-esteem. But you must remind yourself of all of your personal accomplishments. You were good at your job, in fact, you were great! You achieved goals, impressed bosses and yourself, had grateful patients and you can do it again. Inspired by: Consider these Five Ways to Reinvent Yourself Five Essentials of Reinventing Yourself Entrepreneur How could you retool your nursing skills for a NEW third Act?
  6. Carol Ebert

    Is It Possible to Burnout in Retirement?

    And as I check in with others my age, I find several different paths that people take with their newly found free time. Take care of grandkids Travel Start hobbies Start a new business Go back to school for a new career Relax and hang out with friends Your path might be different because there really is not one path to take since the freedom you now have allows you to explore whatever you want. My path continues to be wellness because that is what I have always loved to do in my career and my passion has not stopped. What is different is that there is not a boss telling me what to do so I am free to do what I choose. And that is the reason I am writing about Burnout During Retirement. Can that be possible? I thought burnout was for those left behind who are over-worked, stressed-out, worn-down, exhausted and often depressed. As it turns out, when you aren’t answering to a schedule and the directives of an organization, you are still at risk for burnout. In my case, I blame it on my entrepreneurial nature which always directs me to seek more to explore, learn and do. And the result is that I find myself experiencing all the same symptoms of burnout that caused me to leave my last job in the first place. Here are some classic signs that employers report from their employees: Chronic physical and emotional exhaustion Sense of cynicism – everyone is bugging you, you don’t feel empathy for others Sense of ineffectiveness – you can’t see a path for yourself Lack of downtime – always “on” Lack of enthusiasm – can’t summon energy for what you used to be excited about Physical problems – headaches, stomach ache, bouts of cold and flu – especially if you don’t normally get sick Overreacting to requests I’m sure you are familiar with these or have even experienced some of these symptoms yourself. But if you are in your third act and happen to be an entrepreneur like me, you are still subject to this happening to you. I know that for a fact because I find myself overworking even more than I did as an employee because there is no schedule or corporate directive to tell me to stop and go home. I’m already home! So if you are entering the retirement zone, this is a cautionary tale – especially if you are an entrepreneur. But it is not hopeless. First step is to be aware that you might still burn yourself out if you have that busy nature as I do. So here are some excellent strategies to prevent this from happening. Tackle what frustrates you the most What stresses you out and leads to that headache? Pick it apart and see what you can change and what you can’t. Make the changes that you can and accept the changes you can’t. Surround yourself with inspiration Start and end your day with gratitude. Create a pleasant environment to work and play in. Listen, watch or participate in inspirational offerings Heed red flags Pay attention to the signs of burnout. Catch frustration early before your body starts to give you a symptom. (mine is a headache) Network with others your age who are entrepreneurs There is strength and support in numbers Find out what strategies they use to avoid burnout Do switch off Power down all your electronics before 8 pm to force downtime for yourself Create relaxing evenings before bed Get enough sleep We still need 7-8 hours/night Your body needs time to repair, restore, relax and during sleep is when that happens Talk things through Find someone you can talk to – friend, coach, therapist Find entrepreneur groups with your same interests who may be experiencing the same thing Take a break You may need to force this upon yourself because it is against our nature Keep a schedule and write it on your calendar Spend time with yourself Schedule time when you can purposefully do nothing Practice by working your way up from 5 minutes to finally about 30+ minutes. This inspired me. Hopefully, these strategies will be useful and provide you with a roadmap for creating a Third Act Retirement Plan that gives you the peace and wellness you desire while still honoring your busy nature. Your thoughts?
  7. Carol Ebert

    Aging or Ageless: What path are you on?

    Thanks for sharing the video. And I agree with the mirror image. Whoever that is - is not who I feel like inside. Interesting isn't it? Guess we need to stop looking in the mirror and get on with our lives.
  8. Carol Ebert

    Your Third Act

    What a great role model your father must have been and what a great way to start every new day.
  9. Carol Ebert

    Aging or Ageless: What path are you on?

    Actually your body craves the "nutrition" from vegetables. I'm finding them much more palatable when seasoned properly instead of just salt and pepper. Plus exploring vegetables I've never tried before can be interesting and tasty too. I can send you a recipe for a tasty vegetable kabob if you want.
  10. Carol Ebert

    Aging or Ageless: What path are you on?

    Change your perception of YOU If you think you are old, you will be old before your time. Don’t act your age. Stop feeling guilty when you are drawn in the clothing section of a store when teens hang out. Their clothes are more exciting and fun than the ones you “think” you should wear. If dressing youthful makes you feel youthful, then your mind thinks you are younger too. Watch what you say Red flag language is: I’m having a senior moment I’m too old for that I can’t remember anything Replace your negative language about aging with positive words about how cool it is to be older and wiser. Look for positive role models My current favorites are Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin - both in their 80’s and still rocking! And what about RBG and Nancy Pelosi. There are more and more public figures who are showing us that older is even better. Activate personal healing practices Ask your body what it needs to flourish Reduce stress by establishing a habit of rest and restoration Create balance between activity and rest Embrace a daily nap Exercise daily but protect your body from over-doing it. Nourish your body with food it desires Relax with yoga, mindful practices, music, breathing, warm baths Grieve and release Be aware of past hurts, grudges, resentments that drag you down Create a ritual for release like writing it all down and then burning the paper Practice shifting your thoughts to something pleasant when old negative thoughts pop into your head Shout out loud – “get out of my head, I am done with you!” Forgive old resentments by praying for them briefly every day for 10 days and then feel the release Nurture relationships Nurture yourself first – how would you treat yourself if you were the love of your life? Protect your priceless energy by saying NO to toxic relationships, even family members Have fun with your friends Have fun with your partner Protect your space by setting healthy boundaries Say NO to rescuing others who need to rescue themselves Eat with Pleasure Treat your meal like an event Arrange to eat with people you enjoy who are not in a hurry Get excited about knowing that your body craves vegetables more than anything! Start with a ritual of appreciation for this wonderful nourishment for your body Look, listen and savor the food Slow the pace of chewing to slow the pace of the meal Pay attention to how your body feels Stop eating when you feel full Thank the food for nourishing your body Move with Joy Select movements that give you pleasure, stretch your muscles, get your energy flowing and make you feel alive If you like to dance but not go to dance classes or clubs, choose Jazzercise If you walk, change the pace and location If you want freedom of movement try NIA If you like being home put on music and make cleaning, dusting, gardening into dance moves If you sit all day set a timer every hour and get up to do stretches, hip swivels, yoga, tai chi Practice balancing on one foot at a time when on the phone, cooking dinner, watching TV Be Beautiful Look in the mirror every day and say “Hello gorgeous – you look awesome”. Do a morning beauty ritual for your face and enjoy the process, feel, fragrance and transformation Treat yourself to a professional beauty treatment in a salon and savor the process and feeling Wear only clothes that make you feel great even if they are “way out” Make an entrance into a room with head held high as if you are a movie star on the red carpet Connect with your spirituality Journal daily in peace and quiet and see what is revealed Remember to be who you really are and not what others think you should be Ground yourself by connecting with nature regularly Practice mindful meditation and see what comes up Connect with a spiritual community Create meaningful daily affirmations Personalize your environment Rearrange your living space to reflect good feelings and rejuvenation Purge and declutter one drawer at a time Create a small meditation alter or zone Locate a perfect place outdoors to replenish yourself Schedule daily time to be with yourself Affirm your true ageless self I will bring more pleasure into my life I will leave worry and fear behind I will be more joyful I will honor my spirituality I will live in the moment in alignment with nature I will have faith that what is meant for me will always come I will surround myself with supportive people Resource: Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well-Being by Christiane Northrup, MD Please share how you are embracing “Coming of Age” and your strategies for living “Agelessly”.
  11. Carol Ebert

    Your Third Act

    Isn’t there a better way to frame this time of our life? Well, the good news is that there is! A good friend turned me on to Jane Fonda’s TED Talk called “Life’s Third Act” and I was transformed! That is the language I was looking for. I’m in my Third Act – the last 3 decades of life - and I get to write my own book about what that means for me. As Jane Fonda says: this is actually a developmental stage of life with its own significance, as different from midlife as adolescence is from childhood. And we should all be asking: How do we use this time? How do we live it successfully? What is the appropriate new metaphor for aging? We have to get over the fact that older ages are not all about pathology. Many of us (me too) are not riddled with disease, but are healthy, vibrant, energetic, filled with potential and ready for more. Fonda also says: It turns out, most people over 50 feel better, are less stressed, less hostile, less anxious. We tend to see commonalities more than differences. Some of the studies even say we're happier. So this is all good news for those of us who struggle against a culture that tends to discard our value and not appreciate what we can offer. We - the over 60 generation who were such idealistic free thinkers in our youth are not going to go quietly into the good night. We are creating a new paradigm for aging and it focuses on being - and feeling - ageless. Dr. Christiane Northrup, OBGYN, women’s health pioneer and best selling author even wrote the book Goddesses Never Age referring to older women as Ageless Goddesses. I prefer thinking of myself that way as well because the number of my age does not correlate with how I perceive myself. In my mind I am still 35 which is about half of my chronological age. Jean Huston, PhD, scholar, philosopher and researcher in Human Capacities speaking to Oprah said “It started to get really good at 60. Your heartfulness increases, you’re always looking for the deeper aspect of anything, and you try to be of use.” Carol Osborne, author of The Spirituality of Age: A Seeker’s Guide to Growing Older says coming of age is the opportunity to not only grow older, but to grow whole. It is a life stage of value and purpose of its own. Sabrina Chaw, CEO of A Feminine Feast, says “as women coming into our own, we are discovering our own true path to light up our lives.” Gail Sheehy best-selling author of New Passages: Mapping Your Life Across time presents startling facts: A woman who reaches age 50 today – and remains free of cancer and heart disease – can expect to see her ninety-second birthday. To plot our route across these vast new stretches of Second Adulthood, we need a new map of adult life. From my perspective I feel like I’m just getting started. All those years of working and experiencing things was like an internship and now I am ready to go out on my own and prove to myself I can do anything I set my mind on. I am free from the shackles of working for a boss, in control of my time and destiny, healthier and more physically active than most at my age and looking forward to what I can create next. What about you? Is aging on your mind? What are your thoughts about your third act of life? Will you continue working in nursing? What dream do you have that you want to pursue beyond your nursing career? All these questions are valid and important for you to process, because your next 30 years might be the best and most rewarding of all. Please share your thoughts.
  12. Carol Ebert

    Tame the Tiger with Tension Time-Outs

    Is stress a big deal for you? Of course it is! I'd be surprised if it isn't in this crazy busy world we live in. Need to apply the Brakes and take a Break? Here's a tool from my good friend and health education specialist Richard A. Detert Ph.D. author of Break Time: A Personal Guide to Reduce Your Daily Stress who granted permission to share. BreakTime Awareness Questions Directions: Respond as honestly as you can to each of the following items. Are you consciously aware of tension levels in your physical body? Are you able to reduce unwanted and unproductive tension in your body mind? Are you consciously aware of irritations, negative thoughts, or little physical symptoms from daily hassles? Are you effective using little strategies at any time or in any situation during your day to manage the stress and pressure you feel? Are you usually effective in responding to hassles or pressures in a calm, effective manner? Are you usually able to clear the cobwebs from your mind when getting bogged down in a project or many aspects of your life or work? Are you able to become energized or uplifted periodically in your day? Do you take time during the day to establish any meaning and purpose to what you're frantically trying to accomplish? Do you begin your day "sharp" but finish mentally "dull" or physically fatigued? Do you feel the need to reduce hassles or stress in your daily life? What peaked your interest once you completed this tool? Any breakthroughs? Looking for ways to apply the brakes? There are lots of strategies to support your efforts in managing the crazy busy lifestyle you are experiencing. But not all work for all people. I remember teaching nurses a stress management technique that focused on deep breathing, and even though most felt the benefit of relaxation, there were a few that hated it. They couldn't remain in a calm state and got restless. They might be more of a candidate for running off their stress than mellowing out. It is important to do some experimenting with stress management techniques to find the ones that get the results you desire. For instance, I use Jazzercise as a stress management tool, even though it is classified as a physical workout. But for me, it reduces my stress level by allowing me to burn off pent-up energy. But I can also benefit from calming activities as well. Here are some Tension-Time-Outs, and of course there are many more to help you reduce stress. Several of these ideas are actually over-looked when it comes to reducing stress. Especially the new information on tapping into your unique strengths. Yes, when you identify the brilliance of you, those characteristics can help you out once you give them credit due. So when you read them, appreciate the power they would have to help you tame that stress tiger within you. Check the ones you would like to explore and commit to making that happen by adding to your daily to-do list. Reframe a stressful situation in a positive or neutral way. Improve planning using daily checklists or a weekly planner. Practice relaxation strategies such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, guided imagery, clinical hypnosis, or biofeedback. Affirm your personal values before a stressful event to ground yourself. Use one of your unique strengths in a new way. Here are some examples of strengths Wisdom and knowledge Creativity Curiosity Judgment Love of learning Perspective Check out this link for more on strengths.1 New Strategies for Stress Management | Psychology Today Keep all your strengths in balance Practice forgiveness Practice mindfulness Practice gratitude Use positive self-affirmations or write about something you enjoy So what do you think? Are you ready to put one or two strategies in place? Please share the Tension-Time-Outs you use and the benefits you receive.
  13. Carol Ebert

    Can Stress Make You Fat?

    Let's begin with the basics to get a handle on this. As you know there are two kinds of stress. Short term like long lines and bad traffic. This is where your fight or flight response kicks in and hormones are released. Adrenal glands secrete epinephrine and norepinephrine Heart rate and blood pressure increase Fat and carbohydrates in your system are broken down faster Your metabolism changes to fuel this heightened state to be ready to fight or run away. Once the threat is eliminated your body settles down and you relax (hopefully). The other kind of stress is long term when the big or even little things in life keep piling up over and over and your body stays in that heightened state without settling down. You are in an ongoing battle against stressors that are repetitive, continuous and feel insurmountable - like debt or facing a job you hate every day. At this point, your stressors may not only be real, but you may just perceive them as a risk when they aren't after all - like worrying about something that could happen even tho it hasn't happened and may not even happen. With long-term stress there is also a hormone release. Adrenal glands secrete CORTISOL, your primary stress hormone Elevated levels remain for prolonged periods of time Your body adjusts to these levels and establishes a baseline of tolerance while the secretions of cortisol continue to increase. Seems like the signs of dependence and addiction, doesn't it? When stress becomes so normal to you that you don't even know you're stressed, you think you are doing OK. (This happened to me at one point and until I learned stress management techniques, I had no idea my body was in a stressed state!) And now the stage is set for the long-term effects of high levels of cortisol on your weight. Here are some considerations. Carb and Sugar Cravings If high levels remain, cortisol secretions continue to increase which in turn: Stimulates appetite Stimulates a rise in insulin Causes blood sugar to drop Creates cravings for high sugar foods Comfort Foods If you have stress without relief - you may reach for "comfort foods" They provide lots of energy in the form of refined sugar They are rich in fat They calm the brain Your body's response positively reinforces frequent consumption of comfort foods when you are under stress and are hungry Stress and Middle Fat CORTISOL activates LPL (lipoprotein lipase) LPL is an enzyme that deposits and stores fat Study results Women's study: High cortisol levels from long-term stress can lead to greater central fat accumulation Mouse study: Mice not on a high-fat diet under prolonged stress had gut microbiome changes that resembled mice eating a high-fat diet Sleep Deprivation When you are sleep deprived your body is stressed and releases even more hormones that affect your weight. Being awake in the night increases the odds that you will engage in late night snacking and have cravings for high sugar and carb snacks. Because you aren't "thinking straight" you might have decreased portion control so you eat bigger portions. Cortisol increases -fat storage hormone to prepare you for possible emergency (ex: famine) Gherlin increases -hormone that stimulates appetite Leptin decreases -hormone that suppresses appetite Insulin increases -hormone that stores fat when it can't transport all the excess sugar to the cells for energy So how do we tamp down this physiological response? Do you just cope and scrape by during each episode of stress? Or do you manage the situation by planning ahead and building systems of support before stressors become overwhelming? I have tried both and the coping part only lasts so long until you can't manage the pain any longer. So here are some strategies to help you move forward with your weight loss goals. Create a Support System Identify friends or family you can count on and write down their contact info so you can reach out in a hurry. Let's just start with one key person in your life. Name_____________________________________Phone__________________ Block out alone time on your calendar One hour block or a few shorter ones where you will be free from distractions and visitors. List one activity you can use to recharge your batteries Activity___________________________Day________________Time_________ Prioritize your tasks Make a to-do list and do harder or more challenging ones first. Use the "easier" tasks which take less time as a reward for completing the big stuff first. Check off each when done to create a feeling of accomplishment which helps your body relax. Task__________________________________________________Challenging_____Easy____ Make time for Self-Care This is not a luxury, it is crucial for health! Eat balanced, low-glycemic meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar in balance so it doesn't set off the cortisol response - bring healthy food to work from home so you can control what you eat Get 7-8 hours of restful sleep to prevent sleep deprivation which sets off that cascade of hormones - wind down in the evening, turn off electronics, ease into a sleep mode, don't eat or exercise right before bed Exercise daily - to lower cortisol levels and boost endorphins. Choose an activity you enjoy, put it on your calendar, rejoice that exercise is a 2-for-1 deal: helps with weight management AND stress management. Engage in relaxation techniques - select those you like: meditation, visualization, Tai Chi, Chi Machine, EFT Tapping, progressive relaxation; the choices out there are endless it seems. So what do you think? Does getting a handle on stress become THE missing link for weight loss? What are your thoughts? Resources Bridgewater LC, et al. Gender-based differences in host behavior and gut microbiota composition in response to high-fat diet and stress in a mouse model. Nature Scientific Reports. 2017; 7(1):10776. Epel ES, et al. Stress and body shape: Stress-induced cortisol secretion is consistently greater among women with central fat. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2000;(62):623-32. Maglione-Garves, CA et al. Cortisol Connection: Tips on Managing Stress and Weight. ACSM'S Health & Fitness Journal. 2005; 9(5):20-23. Montes M and Kravitz L. Unraveling the Stress-Eating-Obesity Knot: Exercise can significantly mitigate the effects of stress and weight gain. IDEA Fitness Journal. 2011; 8(2):44-50. Exercise for Stress and Anxiety | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/manage-stress.aspx Stress might be just as unhealthy as junk food to digestive system: Study with mice shows stress causes digestive microorganisms to behave similar to how they act with high-fat diet -- ScienceDaily
  14. Carol Ebert

    What is a Sugar Cleanse and Do I Need It?

    Thanks for all the comments. Here is more supportive information for your consideration. SugarScience.UCSF.edu | The Toxic Truth SugarScience.UCSF.edu | Dispelling Myths SugarScience.UCSF.edu | Nine-Year Collaboration Has Just Shown How Sugar Influences Cancer Cell Growth SugarScience.UCSF.edu | Research Papers
  15. Carol Ebert

    What is a Sugar Cleanse and Do I Need It?

    The Dictionary defines cleanse this way ... ... to rid of impurities; to remove toxins from the body. Body cleanses have been around for centuries. From the Egyptians to the Romans, people have always tried to rid their bodies of toxin build up. And today we live in a toxic soup from exposures to toxic cleaning products, toxic fabrics that touch our bodies all day long and even at night, toxic mattresses, toxic air, toxic "new car smells" (yes that is called off-gassing from chemicals used). And then there are all the toxins on food we eat, whether fresh or packaged. But what does that have to do with doing a sugar cleanse? Did you know that sugar is toxic to the body? Maybe it wouldn't be if we ate less of it, but presently we consume on average, 200# of sugar per person per year. Our ancestors consumed about 22 teaspoons per year which was fine for the body to deal with, but today we are overloaded with it to the point that our bodies respond to as a toxic substance. And therefore sets us up for "inflammation" which is now the root cause of nearly all chronic disease. So how did we get so overloaded with sugar? Back in the 60's the sugar industry was studying the effects of sugar on the body and noticed a link with heart disease, so of course stopped the study and pivoted over to high cholesterol and high fat being the culprit. Because of this most major health organizations got on board promoting low fat diets including the healthcare system. And to help out the cause, the food industry then created a myriad of low-fat food options, which coincidently were also high carb which translates into high sugar once it breaks down in the body. So we started a grand experiment of the worst diet for health (high carb, low fat) which has led to skyrocketing rates of obesity, Diabetes, and many other chronic diseases, which we know today are related to inflammation. So back to sugar as the culprit We now recognize the link between sugar and heart disease but also to cancer as well. Here is one journal article about this. And yet another. This is serious! And it is not getting any better since the food industry has upped their game with more sugary snacks on the market that are even bigger than ever. You see it every day - giant sized candy bars, giant muffins, giant bagels, giant bags of chips, etc. In addition if you are a label reader of food packages, you will see sugar has been added to 75% of all packaged foods. A very subtle way to get us to like the taste of a product and so we want more and more. Yes, most of us are addicted to sugar and can't seem to stop. Why can't you stop eating sugar easily? Because it is 8 times more addicting than cocaine. It actually "hits" the brain at the same location as drugs which causes the release of "feel good" hormones and of course the addiction cycle continues. So what is a person to do? It is not easy to just stop or just cut back because of the addictive property of sugar overload. That is where a sugar cleanse becomes useful. It is a process that allows your body to release the hold that sugar has on you by bringing your blood sugar back into control which in turn stops those incessant "carb cravings". It changes your chemistry and gives you back the control you need to resist sugar and appreciate the taste of whole natural foods. And they taste really good once you re-educate your palate. Here's what a quality sugar cleanse can do for you reduces the load of toxins going into your body helps speed the process of removing toxins from your body using cleansing foods. removes most inflammatory foods and helps you identify foods that you don't tolerate helps heal your gut which is one of the greatest locations for inflammation in the body. gives you tools that you can use in your everyday life after the cleanse. supplies optimal foods that fuel your body. supplies pharmaceutical grade micro-nutrients to combat free-radical buildup gives you support and holds you accountable. What I find interesting is that the healthcare system probably won't recommend this strategy for clearing your body from sugar addiction, probably because it doesn't require using any drugs. So if sugar is an issue for you, why not give a sugar cleanse a try. Of course, beware of any sugar cleanse that is loaded with sugar! So read the labels and make an informed choice, and then go for it. How might this help you with your New Year's Resolutions?
  16. My husband is obese, has Diabetes and is non-compliant when it comes to checking his blood sugars and following a Diabetic Diet. And his A1C is over 8, and that really scares me. He's already been thru open heart surgery to fix four blockages, a stent put in two years later, and now is experiencing shortness of breath. So back for more tests and another possible surgery. Things are happening that have me worried and I am starting to feel afraid that I could lose him. The most frustrating part is that I know what he needs to do to improve his chances of living longer and healthier but I can't get him to do it. I'm sure it hasn't been easy for him living with "Nurse Wellness" since he's addicted to junk food and doesn't want to change from pizza and hamburgers to whatever I have concocted that is super healthy and not loaded with sugar and grease. A definite dilemma, but it doesn't mean that I give up trying to change him, despite knowing you can't change anyone but yourself. I will admit I have had to get sneaky over the years trying to trick him into adopting healthier eating habits. For example, when I started my own wellness business with a focus on nutrition, I really learned the facts about using "food as medicine" so I was very motivated toward helping him lose weight, bring down those blood sugars and maybe get off of the many drugs he was on. One of the programs I had at my disposal was called a Sugar Cleanse and it was part of a weight loss program, so I thought this would be perfect for him. It consisted of replacing meals with shakes for 5 days, taking vitamins twice a day, eating nutrition bars in between meals and after 5 days he could lose 5 pounds. But how to get him to do it? Step one. I knew that he had loved having milk shakes as a treat, so I suggested he might like to try one of my nutrition shakes. And guess what - he liked it! Step one was accomplished and he was willing to drink a shake every morning for breakfast. Step 2. Getting him to take the vitamins. He was already taking medications for his Diabetes, so what's a few more pills? I told him they had been giving me more energy, I felt better and was sleeping better so he decided to give them a try. So I added them to his pill box and he took them all together without flinching. Just a few more pills - no big deal. Step 3. Getting him to do the 5-day Sugar Cleanse. Since I hadn't tried it myself, I wanted to know what it was like so I could better support my customers about what to expect. I also knew that it helps with weight loss and blood sugar control so I asked him to do it with me and he said YES! And he agreed to check his blood sugars during the 5 days to see if it was working. NOTE: I believe that even tho he originally seemed to be resistant to changing his lifestyle toward more healthy living, he really did want to get healthier but didn't know how to proceed. Sometimes when something comes along that sounds like it could work and is non-threatening, people jump on board. Timing is everything! And so the experiment began. Day one his blood sugar was 180, and by day 5, it was 90. He was thrilled! And guess what - he lost 11 pounds over 5 days to my 5. Yes, men seem to lose weight faster than women - not fair! Now he was on a roll and stayed on a modified version of the program for the next 6 months, lost over 40 pounds, got off of his blood pressure and cholesterol med and one of his Diabetes meds. And felt a whole lot better and became a believer in eating "low glycemic" foods for weight and blood sugar control. So being sneaky and trying to trick him into making some healthy lifestyle changes may not seem fair, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. And in this case it worked. But now for the rest of the story. I wish I could say that there is a happy ending and he stayed super healthy for the rest of his days. But truth be told, this plan worked for several years but gradually his food addiction sneaked back in with his old habits and he gained all his weight back and finally ended up taking insulin for his Diabetes. So here we are again, back at the beginning. However, this time we're older and now I'm worried that his life could be in jeopardy. But my nature is not to give up. Especially when I know the results he had before were spectacular and life saving. I am also armed with success stories from other clients who use this program and are healthier and extremely grateful to have found something that works, when all the meds in the world have not helped. Even one man was able to drop his A1C from 8 to 5 and resolved his Diabetic Neuropathy! And again I am amazed at the power of "food as medicine". So rather than giving into the fear of the "inevitable" with my husband, I prefer to take the high road and become the "trickster" again and try to work my magic once more. After all, he is worth it and the path of healthcare with all those drugs and procedures should be the "path less traveled". Wellness is the way to true health and longevity. Do you have a spouse or partner who has health issues you wish you could change and how are you handling it? Please share your stories so we can learn from your experiences.