Don’t Eat the Meatloaf!

Meatloaf is certainly one of the great American comfort foods and one that most of us have enjoyed at one time or another. But why do we eat comfort foods to begin with? Well each person is different but the underlying reason I believe is the same, it is to comfort us, hence the name comfort food. But do we really want to look to food to ease our problems and comfort us? Sadly for some their answer is yes. People eating their troubles away are just as common as an alcoholic drinking their problems away.
The problem with that strategy is that the comfort we receive is short lived. We also find that eating or drinking our problems away does not address the root of the problems we’re having and therefore leaves us vulnerable to have the same situation happen to us again and again.
When a decision is made to treat the symptom and not the cause we find ourselves forgetting about determining the root of the problem and instead we take the easiest way out and “eat the meatloaf”.
There are a good number of people that could get themselves off prescription medications and save a lot of money simply by eating better and having some form of exercise as part of their daily life. Yes it requires an effort on our part but the rewards make it well worth the extra effort.
If you have not yet noticed we are entering into the age of self-accountability. WE are going to have to be responsible for maintaining good health or we WILL pay the consequences for not doing so such as:

  • Paying higher healthcare insurance premiums.
  • Paying increased prescription medication costs.
  • May affect our ability to retire from work.

     Yes our ability to retire from work! I have seen more folks that have had to go back in to the work place in order to get healthcare coverage from an employer because they could not afford to purchase it on their own.
Unfortunately,most folks don’t take this into consideration because they have no idea just how expensive it is going to be.
Make the decision today to live your life in the state of “Total Wellness”, start to live life on your own terms. It will taste better than any meatloaf you’ve ever had and the comfort you receive will be eternal.

My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the keys to my destiny.

-Elain Maxwell



Road Blocks in our Journey to “Total Wellness”

Over the last 3 months in my monthly newsletter I defined my vision for “Total Wellness”. The March newsletter talked about the importance of having a healthy mind and its role in “Total Wellness”. The April newsletter talked about the importance of having a healthy body and its role in “Total Wellness”. And most recently the May newsletter talked about the importance of having a healthy soul and its role in “Total Wellness”.
We know that as much as 95% of all disease and illness evolves from stress so it is beneficial for us to have and keep a healthy mind. We know we must eat nutritionally sound food, and we must have some physical activity in our life because it helps us maintain a healthy body. A healthy body makes us feel good about ourselves, and when we feel good about ourselves, we take control and feel empowered to live life on our terms. We also learned that a healthy soul can give us a more tranquil life because of the inner wisdom and peace it provides us.
What about those road blocks that can sabotage our attempts to find “Total Wellness”? Well, the first thing we need to do is identify what the road block is. Is it a road block to a healthy mind, a healthy body, and or a healthy soul or maybe worse a combination of all three? Once we have identified what the road block(s) are we can more clearly focus our efforts in that area.
While some road blocks can be more easily overcome such as finding a different route home that does not pass the ice-cream shop, others can be more frustrating and demoralizing. In either case we must remember they can be overcome! Getting past some of our road blocks may mean we have to change the way we look at and approach life’s obstacles, and in some cases we may feel as though we are powerless to make the changes necessary to get past them. We must remember in those times The Bible says the Word of God can change the things we cannot change on our own. As D.L. Moody once said “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge; the Bible was given to change our lives”.
I started the year 2013 off with a Soulful Inspiration entitled S.S.D.D. (Same Solution Different Day) in which I asked the folks who were looking to create change in their life to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Have I made this decision before?
  • What solutions can I identify in the past that have not worked?
  • What new solution(s) am I going to try this time that will help me to make the change I want?

If you are trying to get past a road block in your life you can ask yourself these similar questions:

  • What have I tried before to overcome this road block?
  • What have I tried before in the past that did not work?
  • What new solution(s) will energize and motivate me to succeed this time?

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.

-Michael Jordan


A Healthy Soul is Crucial in Our Journey to “Total Wellness”

“Total Wellness” – Part 3 – The Soul

By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

A healthy soul is the third part in the trilogy of “Total Wellness”. Wikipedia defines soul as: The soul, in many mythological, religious, philosophical, and psychological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a person, living thing, or object.

Soul is also a synonym for spirit, mind, psyche or self and that is how we should relate to it when thinking about our own “Total Wellness”. In Proverbs 20:27 (NIV) we are reminded that The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being”.

Most people that have their soul in a state of wellness live a more tranquil life because they have more inner wisdom, inner peace and knowledge. Most work to change the consciousness of humanity and to enlighten others in order to create love, peace, and harmony for humanity.

The power of the soul can teach us soul healing, soul prevention of sickness, soul rejuvenation, soul transformation of every aspect of life (including relationships and finances), and soul enlightenment. It offers us a practical means to empower us to apply all of these teachings. We are asked in Proverbs 18:14 (NIV) “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear”?

When our soul is in a state of wellness we have the power to do or be all we desire. You are, and will be, as you believe yourself to be.

You are in control, your will supreme; self-empowerment is your will in action. Believe in your worthiness to be as one with the Creator for that is divine truth, for we are all of and from the One.

Underneath the flesh overcoat with will and desire to know our self  we can open the door to our soul, our inner awareness, our power to be all that we are, and we can find our soul purpose.

The words of The Bible can inspire us to explore our life purpose and leave us with a feeling of inner excitement inspiring us to want to know more.

Inspiration in reality is a realization of a truth already known, it is this inner awareness that inspires us to take hold, acknowledge it, and therefore desire to make it real in our own way.

 With “Total Wellness” (when mind, body and soul all come together as one in good health) we feel a new sense of empowerment. We are happy with who we are, where we are, where we want to go, and what we want to do.

 Because when we believe in ourselves we take back control.

A Healthy Body is Crucial in Our Journey to “Total Wellness”


 “Total Wellness” – Part 2 – The Body

By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

A healthy body is the second part in the trilogy of “Total Wellness”. The body is the physical home to our spirit and the exterior of our heart & soul. It reacts to what it sees, feels, wants and needs via a signal it receives from the brain. It carries out that signal through bodily function. In fact, if your hand, foot or any other body part starts functioning independently of the brain, something is terribly wrong.
We should want to keep our bodies healthy so that we don’t risk the chance of not being able to enjoy the simple everyday things we can sometimes take for granted.
Knowing that being overweight or obese brings on a whole list of problems from diabetes to high cholesterol to high blood pressure (which ultimately leads us to higher costs for health insurance premiums) we should use good judgment when eating and practice portion control.We can get more by eating less! In Proverbs 25:16 (NIV) we are reminded that “If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit”.
It is also very important that we use good judgment in what it is we eat and the amount of physical activity we have in our life. A poor diet and or lack of exercise can make us feel lethargic and most often we will not be as productive as we want/need to be.

A large part of the reason for the health crisis today is that were eating the wrong foods. Foods that are:

  • High in salt content (most of this sodium comes from processed foods and not from our salt shakers)
  • High in saturated fats – regular cheese, pizza, grain-based desserts, fried chicken and fried chicken mixed dishes, sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs, dairy desserts, burgers, tortillas, burritos, and tacos, beef and beef mixed dishes, reduced-fat milk
  • High in Solid and Trans Fats
  • High in added sugars – soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, candy, ready-to-eat cereals, sugars and honey, tea, yeast breads, misc. other foods

Also on the do not eat list:

  • Fast Foods
  • Refined Grains

Instead we should:

  • Eat more fish & seafood — at least 8 ounces a week
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Substitute healthy oils for solid fats (such as margarine)
  • Lower your sodium intake
  • Avoid fast foods
  • Exercise more (start out slowly, maybe short walks and gradually work your exercise routine upward)
  • Read food labels (many foods we assume to be healthy really are not)
  • Substitute whole grains for refined grains
  • Eat more beans and peas (fresh)
  • Get plenty of fiber, eat more Beans — navy, pinto, black, kidney, white, great northern, and lima, 100% Bran ready-to-eat cereal, Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, or cowpeas, Artichokes, Pears, Soybeans, Plain rye wafer crackers, Bran ready-to-eat cereals, Asian pears, Green peas
  • Get more potassium from – Baked potatoes including the skin, Prune juice, Carrot juice, Tomato paste, Beet greens, White beans, Tomato juice, Plain yogurt (nonfat or low fat), Tomato puree, Sweet potato, baked in skin
  • Vitamin D (sunshine while out on that walk is a good source for vitamin D), Salmon, sockeye, Rockfish, Tuna, Orange juice, Sardines, Whole milk, Whole chocolate milk
  • Eat/drink more nonfat or low-fat dairy products
  • Replace high-fat meats with lean meats
  • For some Americans, drink less alcohol (moderation, most things in life are okay if done in moderation)
  • Get off your SOFAS

Source – WebMD 1-31-11

Each year the televisions get bigger and better offering us the latest in technology. The computers get smaller and more compact. Now we can even surf the internet with our phone. This is great, BUTwe are not getting enough physical activity in our lives and because of that we are seeing higher than normal rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated levels of cholesterol and heart disease. Surely those are conditions you don’t want in your life.
Baseball great Mickey Mantle was quoted as saying “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself”
The habits we form now both nutritionally as well as in how much physical activity we have in our life can and will directly affect our quality of life both now and in the years to come.

Next Month –  “Total Wellness” – Part 3 – The Soul

A Healthy Mind is Crucial in Our Journey to “Total Wellness”


 “Total Wellness” – Part 1 – The Mind

By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

     The brain is the control center of the body. Your hand does not move because it suddenly decided to move. It moves when it receives a signal from your brain. In fact, if your hand, foot or any other body part starts functioning independently of the brain, something is terribly wrong. What the brain is to the body, the mind is to the soul. It is the control center, so that is where the battle is being waged. If Satan wins your mind, he can control your actions. Perhaps this is why we see folks that appear to be in the best physical condition doing the most unimaginable things.The daily paper or the evening news gives us testament to that.

     Our mind also controls our diet: what we eat, when we eat and even, if we eat. If we do not support a healthy mind we may turn to food as a way to appease ourselves and remove us from a state we no longer want to be in. Or we may look in the mirror and in our mind feel uncomfortable with the way we look (most likely feeling overweight) and not eat at all.

     The mind also processes life’s events and ultimately how we respond to them. Our eyes see a car coming down the road, our mind processes that and tells us we need to get out of the way. On a deeper level the mind can determine how we respond emotionally. Did we:

  • Get stressed out?
  • Did we become depressed?
  • Did we become angry?
  • Did it make us happy?
  • Did we become sad?

​     The state  (health) of our mind plays a big part in which way we respond, perhaps with stress being the worst of the preceding 5 questions. That is because stress much of the time leads to depression, makes us angry and or sad. Stress is also said to:

  • Fuel cancer
  • Shrink the brain
  • Prematurely age kids
  • Can affect the genes of offspring’s
  • Spur depressive symptoms
  • Increase the risk of chronic disease
  • Raise the risk of stroke
  • Not good for our heart
  • Makes colds worse
  • Can affect cancer outcomes

Source – Huffington Post 2/4/13

     My good friend Ann Musico @3D_Vitality recently reported in one of her newsletters “It’s been well documented that as much as 95% of all disease and illness originates from stress”. See article at  WOW! Houston we have a problem!
     I believe it is easy to see why we want a healthy mind and the importance it plays in our “Total Wellness”. Both physically and mentally.
     So what can we do about stress and how can we avoid it?

  • You can begin by asking yourself when you are starting to feel stressed, is this something that  I really need to get myself “worked-up” over?
  • Live life with the attitude that what has happened in the past is in the past, what can I do to prevent this from happening to me again in the future? Once you have decided how to prevent this from happening to you again in the future give kudos to yourself for preventing this from happening again.
  • Exercise is a really good way to “work-off” stress, even going for a short walk can be very therapeutic.
  • Meditation, practicing meditation can be a great way to just take time out.
  • Take a vacation! The late Stephen Covey wrote in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that a sharp saw cuts wood much quicker and more efficiently when it is sharp and that we must take time to keep the saw sharp. What he was saying is that sometimes we just need to take a break, decompress and re-sharpen ourselves. Once done we are not ready to take on the biggest of forests.
  • Prayer, you will find much relief through spending time with God. Take a time in the day when you can talk with  Him about your problems and pray that He will provide you with the wisdom, guidance and clarity of thought to help get you through. 

​Next Month –  “Total Wellness” – Part 2 – The Body



In Ecclesiates 7:8 (NLT) we read “Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride”. How many times do we start a project yet do not see it come through to completion? Why? Is it because we do not have the patience to see it through or is it that we have so many things happening in our lives at one time we don’t find or have the time to complete it? Maybe it’s because we don’t know what our next step is or have fallen into a stalemate and being prideful we refuse to ask anyone for assistance?

We are reminded in Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans”. During the times in our lives when we don’t know what the next step is, take a moment and pray for clarity of thought and understanding. It says in Proverbs 3:6 (NIV) “In all ways submit to Him, he will make your paths straight”. He will lead us to the fruit bearing tree.

Don’t expect a “how to” book to fall suddenly from the heavens or an extra 2 hours to appear in your day. Instead by committing to the Lord you will find patience and a sense of calmness. When we are patient and calm, ideas and resources can suddenly appear before us, things that we never even imagined.

How many times have you completed something and while explaining the process used for completion to someone else they said: would it not have been easier if you would have done it this way or that way? At that point the light bulb goes on and we have the “aha” moment, thinking to ourselves, I never thought of it that way.

Reflection: Life can be much less frustrating if you “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in your ways” Proverbs 4:26 (NIV). Remember being steadfast was what won the race for the tortoise.


You’ve just made a purchase and returned home with something that says “assembly required” on the box. Well, you look at the box and, from the picture it doesn’t appear to be a too difficult a project so, you take everything out of the box and begin to put it together. Of course you don’t need the instructions; you want to figure it out for yourself. After a while, frustration sets in because it is not going together as easily as you thought. The next thing you know is you are looking everywhere to find thedirections that came with it, because you cannot put it together on our own.

Life can be like that for us at times as well, we don’t want to be instructed or told how to do it, and want desperately to figure it out for ourselves. This can be at work or in a relationship or even something as simple as working around the house. Were offended if the neighbor offers up a better way to build the deck or states “you really shouldn’t plant those flowers there, the pine needles have spoiled the soil”.

Life is much simpler when we are receptive to direction and the best place to find direction is in The Bible. It tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”.

Most of us have been out driving, (perhaps in an area were not familiar with) and, have gotten lost; just think how much easier it would have been had we looked at a map beforehand, wrote down the directions and, knew exactly where we were going. Psalms 119:105 (NLT) reads “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path”. The Bible is that map and it provides all the direction we need.

     Direction helps us find our purpose as well others, yes others. You see, you have people that follow you whether you realize it or not and, they are waiting to see which direction you are going. Proverbs 10:17 (NIV) states “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray”. What kind of direction do you want to give?

Mike Fenton
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Heart & Soul Health Coaching
Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook

S.S.D.D. Same Solution Different Day

You may have heard this before after asking someone, how’s it going? S.S.D.D.  Same Crap Different Day (the wording a little different probably). What solicits a response like that? Perhaps it’s because they are using the Same Solution on a Different Day thinking that the result will be different. Well on this day the planets are now all in alignment so the result must be different right?

Maybe, if we’re lucky, but more often than not trying to use the same solution (that previously did not work) to solve the same problem usually doesn’t provide us with result we were hoping or looking for. We must seek new solutions and cast aside what we know does not work. We are told in Philippians 3:21(GNB) “He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule”and it is then through Him we find new ways and solutions.

Rather than becoming frustrated from S.S.D.D. take comfort inPsalms 16:11(GNT) “You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever” take peace, presence and pleasure in knowing Him. In knowing Him, finding new ways and solutions to make the changes we want in our daily lives becomes much easier.

New Years is a time when many decide they want to make a change in their life but often fail in making that change happen because they try using the same things they have tried over and over with unsuccessful results.

Before trying this year ask yourself the following questions:

Have I made this decision before? What solutions can I identify in the past that have not worked? What new solution(s) am I going to try this time that will help me to make the change I want?

Reflection – Philippians 4:13(NIV)  “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”


Mike Fenton
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Heart & Soul Health Coaching
Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook

Hey, What About Me?

If you have flown on an airplane before you are familiar with the following words, “In case there is a sudden loss in cabin pressure…” At this time your attention is directed to the airplane attendant giving instructions on the use of the oxygen mask that will fall from the ceiling should such an event occur. The instructions say that if you are traveling with someone that needs your assistance, to please, place the mask on yourself before attempting to assist someone else.

It is okay for us to think of ourselves; were just told not to do it too much!

In Romans 12:3 (NIV) we read “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you” Much too often we forget to take care of ourselves and don’t take the time to refuel, and when we are asked to give, we simply do not have the energy or strength; sometimes when we need it most.

The late Stephen Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” always advocated; take a break, decompress and re-sharpen the saw…you can cut wood much faster with a sharp saw. Simply put, we need time away from our daily work, time for rest and time to fuel ourselves. We also must remember not only our physical needs but our spiritual, mental and emotional needs as well.

Ask yourself, when is the last time I re-sharpened my saw? Are my spiritual, mental and emotional needs okay or do they need re-fueling?

Reflection – It is more blessed to give than receive, but if there is no refueling going on in our lives, there will be nothing to give.

Mike Fenton
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Heart & Soul Health Coaching
Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook

What’s Love Got to Do with It?



In the song “What’s Love Got to Do with It” the following question is asked: what’s love but a second-hand emotion? Then concludes by stating: who needs a heart, when a heart can be broken? Few things hurt as much as a heart that has been broken, but that does not mean we are to give up on love. If we look in faith to Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV) God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”.


If we did not have love in our hearts we would not be able to follow the first or second commandments; these two are the greatest of all commandments. When we are hurt and our hearts have been broken rather than look away we should take comfort in 1 John 4:16 (NIV) “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”. I don’t know about you but I can handle being hurt or broken-hearted if I know that living my life in love means I live in God and He in me!


Of all the things we can do for one another, for society, for humankind, the thing that does not cost anything and means the most is love. Yes, love! 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NLT) states “If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing”.


As life goes on and those difficult days come and go remember what 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NLT) says “Do everything in love”. It may seem difficult at times, or even downright impossible…but just remember: God’s love never hurts!

Mike Fenton
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Heart & Soul Health Coaching
Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook