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A Whole Food/Plant-Based Diet: The Forks Over Knives Program

A Whole Food/Plant-Based Diet: The Forks Over Knives Program

As you already know, I frequently work with clients wishing to limit their weight through hypnotherapy. I think all of us are aware that the “Standard American Diet” (SAD diet) encourages many of us to eat excessive amounts of meat, as well as certain carbohydrates such as white rice, French fries, pastries, and other sugary sweets. Vegetables and salads are included in the SAD diet, but unless they have been prepared with healthy, fresh ingredients, their nutritional value is often underrated.

A Refreshing Approach to Healthy Eating

Hypnotherapy (along with BWRT) can successfully motivate a client to reduce their weight and caloric intake, alongside a strong motivation to exercise.  I was recently investigating alternatives to the “SAD” diet and came across a refreshing approach to healthy eating, all summarized in a program entitled “The Forks Over Knives Program.”

A Highly Appealing and Delicious Approach to Eating

Today I want to introduce you to an intriguingly distinctive way of changing how you eat. A word of caution: it isn’t for everyone. However, I have read several stories of men and women who’ve lost up to 300 lbs. through this highly appealing and delicious approach to eating. Once again, no judgment here!

Here is what some of you might wish to explore through the Forks Over Knives nutritional program:

  1. Meat and potato/rice diets are unsustainable, both from the vantage point of your health and the health of our planet.
  2. Included below are top tips to motivate you to consider changing your diet:
        1. Make sure your meals include lots of fruits and starches such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and legumes. For example, consider these entrees: sweet potato pie, chickpea pot pie, black bean chili, etc.
        2. Consume Tubers: beets, carrots, horseradish, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas.
        3. Meat is either excluded, or minimally included (chicken is ok; so is fish and dairy products including eggs) as well as oil, bleached flour, and refined sugar.
        4. While using these foods, enjoy them to the point you’re absolutely satisfied and full.
        5. Why not make friends with other folks similarly interested in these new food combinations?

: The Forks Over Knives Program

Brittany Jaroudi suffered from hypertension, high cholesterol, and chest pains at the age of 25. She weighed 185 lbs. and was only 5 ft. tall. One day, she ran across the Forks Over Knives documentary and immediately discovered the tantalizing tastes in its recipes. Three years later, she’s lost 60 pounds, has normal cholesterol and heart rate, and participates in Whole Foods/Plant-Based workshops.

Let’s face it: it’s fun to experiment with new foods. Here’s to being innovative in your kitchen!

Immune System Booster Foods

Immune System Booster Foods

Seeing the World through a Multi-Crystal Lens

Indeed, we’re living through a time where what appears to be white might be black.  Where up is down, and what might be distant may, in fact, be close. It’s hard for the human mind to grasp the many angles simultaneously.

Immune System Booster FoodsHave you ever seen the Bruce Lee movie “Enter the Dragon”? It’s absolutely brilliant. In one scene, he vanquishes a foe in a room filled with mirrors arranged from many angles. Given the context, how could he anticipate his opponent’s next move? Yet he did – almost the way an insect views humans by literally seeing them from hundreds of angles all at once.

The other day, I asked my subconscious: “Show me one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever experienced in my life.” Inwardly, I yearned to once again experience something exceeding my normal perception of reality. Suddenly, a memory emerged.

Years ago, my husband and I had taken a trip to China and Tibet, guided by a Buddhist Lama with whom we had studied. I found myself meandering through a magnificently, beautiful, ancient garden in Suzhou, China, designed by Chinese Master Gardeners.  Suddenly, one of my friends shouted at me, “Katie, where have you been?” It turned out I had virtually “disappeared” from view for almost two minutes! Literally, I was invisible to everyone else. It was a once in a lifetime moment. The master gardeners had designed this spot, knowing it had an abundance of unique features hidden to the human eye.

On a practical note, the Chinese have long understood the importance of eating the proper foods to strengthen specific bodily organs. In the case of the Coronavirus, it is specifically essential to eat foods that strengthen both the lungs and the spleen. The spleen helps recycle old red blood cells back into the immune system while also fighting bacteria leading to meningitis, pneumonia, and other diseases.

According to Chinese medicine, certain foods lessen “dampness,” such as phlegm, which could cause stress in the bronchial tubes.

Immune System Booster Foods to Eat

Recommended Spleen Fighting Foods Include:

  • Cooked grains such as barley
  • Non-GMO corn
  • Aduki beans
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Shrimp
  • Scallions
  • Rye
  • Small portions of chicken
  • Dried ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Sesame, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Legumes
  • Kidney beans
  • Lightly cooked vegetables
  • Small amounts of lean meats
  • Figs
  • Coconuts
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Dates
  • Potatoes & sweet potatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Pu’er tea

Immune System Booster Foods to AVOID

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Pork
  • Excessive amounts of eggs
  • Raw tofu
  • Spinach
  • Pine nuts
  • Cucumbers
  • Naturally, avoid alcohol

Eating meals regularly strengthens the functioning of the spleen. Consider cooking with some of the above-recommended proteins and vegetables in your upcoming meals to enhance your immunity.  Have fun experimenting with some of these food combinations.

Remember to take care of yourself in this upside down time.

Dr. Milton Erickson, PhD: A Man Very Much Ahead of His Time (Part 1)

Dr. Milton Erickson, PhD: A Man Very Much Ahead of His Time (Part 1)

Dr. Milton Erickson, PhD

Dr. Milton Erickson, PhD

As a practicing hypnotist myself, I have found there are few hypnotists endowed with a phenomenal mastery of the art and science of weaving metaphorical stories as Dr. Milton Erickson.  Erickson was one of those rare human beings whose innovative methods helped to break down psychological barriers while uncovering the emotional wounds of his clients.

In tribute to his unsurpassed skill, he was considered the most pre-eminent hypnotist in the world at the time of his death. All this despite his ability to be humble and unassuming with his patients.

A remarkable will to live

At the age of 17, Erickson contracted polio, which affected him for the rest of his life.  Yet he had a remarkable will to live. One night, the doctor told his mother he didn’t think Erickson would make it through the night. Having overheard the doctor’s pronouncement, Erickson stayed awake the entire night, holding to his promise he would see the sunrise the next morning.

Covert messages bind the stories together

Erickson loved to host “Teaching Seminars” attended by highly skilled psychiatrists and psychotherapists from the US and around the world. He would tell one story after another until finally, you discovered the covert message binding all the stories together.

Suicide?

One day Dr. Erickson wanted to demonstrate hypnosis before an audience. He chose a nurse named Betty to be his subject. As it turned out, Betty was suicidal. Everyone in her ward at the hospital knew this about her. Erickson hypnotized her and while she was in a deep trance, they “visited” the arboretum, the zoo and finally, the aviary. He described the various plants to her while in the arboretum, he explained how baby kangaroos grew inside their mother’s pouch for three months while at the zoo and spoke about how the Arctic Tern could fly 10,000 miles from the Arctic down to the tip of Argentina, using an inner guidance system which no scientist has yet understood.

To everyone’s shock and dismay, Betty did not show up at work the next day, nor the day after. Eventually, people blamed Erickson and another doctor, Dr. Alex, for her disappearance, claiming she had committed suicide.

Nope! A new life.

Sixteen years passed and one day, Erickson got a call. It was from Betty. After she met Erickson that afternoon, she left the hospital and immediately signed on as a nurse in the Nursing Corps of the Navy. Later, she moved to Florida and married an Air Force Officer. Together they had five children. As Erickson later described it: “I named all the things worthwhile living for. And nobody knew I was doing psychotherapy except me. They thought I was demonstrating hypnotic phenomena. They never realized I was intentionally doing psychotherapy.” He was, indeed, a very remarkable man.

Spontaneity Can Spark A Big Change in Your Life

Spontaneity Can Spark A Big Change in Your Life

Spontaneity

Just the other day, I began working on a new blog concerning how we become addicted to food, alcohol and other things in our lives. I wanted to delve into the history of how addiction drives us into habits that take us absolutely nowhere. But for some reason, after three hours of research, I’d barely written a word. Nothing was coming together.

I’m not accustomed to being a quitter or leaving a project unfinished. Yet I figured something more intriguing would come my way. I’d been reading an amazing book, “Designing Your Life” written by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans from Stanford.  You might describe it both as a philosophical and practical approach to one’s Work and Life as seen from a 1,000-foot view above.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

And then, serendipitously, I began reading the book, and suddenly stumbled across the philosophy of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, one of the pioneers in The Study of Happiness and Spontaneity. Mihaly once said:

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

(1990).

Riding a HorseCoincidentally, his philosophy leads to comparisons with Taoism, founded by the famous Chinese scholar, Chuang Tze, who was born in 286 BC. Taoism teaches the art and science of being “in the Flow” of the moment, without ego and attachment to the outcome of one’s actions. For example, if a person riding a horse were becoming in harmony with its movements, they would suddenly experience feeling “at one with the horse,” with the rider being completely in sync with the horse’s rhythm and in tune with the horse’s mind.

Over time, he created the concept of “The Psychology of Flow,” testing students and teaching them how to experience success by finding experiences which bring them into Moments of Flow. This might lead to finding a career, or activity that brings you this experience, though perhaps not every day, at least a few times every week.

It’s in our genetic makeup to inherently have the desire to be successful, both professionally and personally. Each time we get in The Flow our confidence is reawakened. You might find it in public speaking, using watercolor, playing soccer, designing a new solution to replace plastic, or snowboarding.

if you find yourself stuck on a project or task, consider taking a break and doing something that brings you back into the rhythm of inspiration and being simply in the moment… helping you get unstuck. Let that creativity FLOW!

How to Improve Memory

How to Improve Memory

Entering the Memory Palace

Much has been said and written about how our memories work, and how they work less efficiently as we age. About 40% of people age 65 and older have age-related memory impairment. Instead of passively accepting this diagnosis, what if we used our creative minds to enhance our cognition while retaining recall of conversations, events, and people more clearly?

The Method of Loci

Apparently, ancient Romans and Greeks used a process called The Method of Loci, facilitating memorization of facts by linking them to a visual diagram (I find the term “Memory Palace” more elegant and visually appealing). As I’ve been experimenting with this new approach, I wanted to share it with you. In college, I remember spending hundreds of hours remembering hard, cold facts about history, anthropology, and literature. I literally created piles of facts!

Use your Imagination

Inside your own Memory Palace, for example, you imagine a certain number of items being placed in the front room, the foyer, the kitchen, dining room, the master bedroom and so on. You might store 4 items in the foyer, 5 in the kitchen, and 6 in the dining room.  You picture each item or person/animal etc. clearly in your mind, stored in a spot in its designated room in the palace.

Let’s take a very simple example. Imagine you’ve been asked to judge dogs at a local competition, while automatically recalling their breed in order of appearance. Four of them are stored in the foyer. The first breed is “German Shepherd” (depicted with the visual of a sheepherder); the second is a Beagle (Bee + Eagle), the third is a Boxer (a man with boxing gloves), and the fourth is a St. Bernard (image of a small barrel around a dog collar). As you enter the kitchen the fifth breed is a Border Collie (picture sheep in a field) and the sixth is a Pointer (a stick pointing at a blackboard), and so on. In your mind’s eye, as you move from one room to the next you link the image of each dog while grouping them in the same room.

Placing images in unique places stimulates one’s memory

Storing images in a “room” isn’t the only way to enhance memorization. Instead, you can select a path in a forest, or a bicycle route and imagine storing these images (or files) along the way, perhaps behind a large cedar tree, or on the porch of the red house up the street. Placing these images in unique places stimulates one’s memory as well as creating curiosity about the settings where these images are placed.

Chess players may enhance their skills by storing images of the positions of their opponent’s pieces in the Palace. Or, you might consider organizing the facts and trends developing around your next presentation to your work team.

My Memory Challenge:

Memorize the first 30 songs composed by my #1 jazz genius, John Coltrane.

Care to share your own contribution to the Memory Challenge?

To Your Success!

It’s Your Time to Dream

It’s Your Time to Dream

In this very moment, as I write, my mare, Magic, is attempting to adjust my red beret. She suddenly became very ill last night, and since early this morning I’ve been her health coach. After all, when you weigh 1,000 pounds, getting good nutrition becomes a major priority. Somehow, I didn’t “get the memo” about her condition until someone texted me.

As some of you know, I have an online calendar that allows prospects and clients to schedule a consultation or session at their convenience. Some days, I open my calendar and “Voila,” someone has made an appointment. Yet in the online Calendar of Life, have you ever wondered why “I think my wife wants a divorce,” or “I didn’t realize I needed surgery immediately” didn’t appear on the schedule?

We often can’t accurately predict what our future will look like, though we can certainly imagine what we’d want it to be. The Chinese actually have a 100-year plan for their economic development. That says a lot about their vision and confidence in their ability to create a strategic plan.

Your imagination is incredibly creative. But are you really willing to “own that belief?” Because if you are, I’d like to challenge you to stretch a little further this coming year regarding what you, yes YOU, really want to change, explore or implement in 2018. We all have our basic goals:

  • Be more organized,
  • Have a better budget plan,
  • Hang out with the kids more often, etc.

Here are a few ideas which have floated up to the surface:

  1. Build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in your backyard
  2. Learn more about edible plants in the forest while camping and backpacking
  3. Join a self-defense class for women
  4. Host a block party for your neighborhood to have fun and exchange resources
  5. “Invite yourself” to practice mindfulness…even for 5 or 10 minutes a day.

Allow your goals to be very personal. Hopefully, some of them will be fantastically fun…perhaps crazy fun!

Here’s one of mine: Take a water coloring class.

What do you want to change, explore or implement in 2018? I invite you to share one of your goals with me here.

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