Healthy Habits

Did You Remember to Brush?


We need to remember to brush.

For the most part, I'm a live and let live kind of person. You do your thing, I do mine. I went through a phase of trying to control the behavior of other people and I called that "being an activist". Now, I feel pretty confident in my values and beliefs and I share them during conversation, when asked or in my writing or the other work I do as a coach and speaker.

I'm over trying to change people. It only made them mad. In general, I don't think making people feel mad, bad or guilty inspires them to change.

Now, I change myself, lead by example, and smile from ear to ear when it actually helps facilitate social change.

So, what's this got to do with hygiene?

Well, I felt compelled to weigh in on this topic after an experience on the bus lately. And instead of making anyone feel mad, bad or guilty with this post, I hope to inspire change or, at the very least, some mindfulness around some important hygiene habits with a humorous entreaty.

Shall we start with the bus experience that inspired this post? One day I hopped onto the beloved MBTA transit system and grabbed myself a seat. I settled into the smooth hard plastic and opened my phone to read another few pages of whatever ebook I'm reading. It might have been Roots by Alex Haley or Everything I Know by Paul Jarvis.

As I began reading, I smelled the familiar smell. I glanced to my left quickly and saw the open mouth of the guy next to me. It was unmistakable. It was familiar. It was stale. It was the smell of unbrushed teeth/oral cavity. And it was powerful, indeed.

I get it. Mornings can be difficult and it's easy to forget to brush amongst the many things one must accomplish before jetting out the door. There are clothes to iron or pull from the semi-dirty pile. There is breakfast to prepare (or at least dream about). There are pets to feed, or glance at lovingly and apologetically.

But there are a few things we really don't want to pass on. Brushing our teeth is probably in the top three, in my opinion.

Deodorant? Negotiable, depending on the season. Layers of clothes make for easy masking during the winter. Summertime, not so much. Be aware when you're lifting those arms, ok?

Ensemble? Also negotiable. But remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. What impression do you want to make/leave? And are you making it dressed as you are? You get to decide.

Anything else can be categorized under Less Important.

But our breath, dear friends. Our breath can be a tool of mass destruction, depending on whether or not we choose to brush before we leave the house. And on this day, this day that shall live in infamy, my bus neighbor chose mightily.

It was so bad, so strong and so forceful (he might have run a few blocks to catch the bus) that I had to turn myself 45 degrees to the right to avoid the odor. I thought to myself how simple it would have been to grab a quick swig of mouthwash, a piece of gum, an Altoid. But alas, no. And I also reflected on how many times I'd engaged in conversation with someone had chosen similarly and how it impacted my ability to focus on whatever that person said.

And then, and then, I thought about the times I'd left the house without brushing. Or had a lunch or dinner meal with copious amounts of garlic, with no spare toothbrush on my person. How many times had I unknowingly incurred a similar wrath much like this lad beside me??!

As the bus groaned to a stop to release its contents into the veins of the city, I stepped onto the curb and thought how I might make amends. And you, dear reader, are the recipient of said effort.

In addition to being a tremendous favor for all with whom you interact, consider the long-term positive effects of brushing and the undervalued-and-less-commonly-practiced-yet-more-important task of flossing! Can you believe I went a full two years with no cavities from engaging in these two important habits more often? I also think it had something to do with my shift in nutrition, which similarly impacted my body odor.

It's true. I had about one cavity a year for at least the past 10 years. Because it was getting so costly, I stopped going a few years ago. The dentist didn't like that when I went back. And then I took more time away, because I had no dental insurance. And then I went to get my teeth cleaned and my gums checked because I was afraid I had receding gum lines. I was shocked beyond belief when they told me I had no cavitites. I thought it was a fluke so I went back in another six months and guess what? No cavities AGAIN.

It is very true that I have been eating less sugar in general than in years past.

It is very true I eat way less dried fruit and remember to brush at least twice a day.

It is true I floss at least once a day. Ok, fine. It's at least three times a week.

It is very true I am eating WAY MORE greens and nutrient-packed foods than ever in my life.


Food for thought, pals.


I leave with you with this small public service announcement/request that I hope you will keep with you: do the right thing. Brush your teeth before leaving the house.



photo courtesy of the author


Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

Winter Wellness Warriors: 6 week virtual program to cultivate courageous health.


Be courageously balanced, healthy and strong in mind, body and spirit this winter season.

Be a Winter Wellness Warrior.

WHEN: January 15-February 26

WHERE: online/wherever you are

COST: $57*

*Group rate. Need some one-on-one support from me? Ask about a Winter Wellness Upgrade when you sign up.


What does 'winter wellness' mean?

It means hardiness during the roughest, coldest months.

It means eating well, getting consistent sleep and finding comfort from the shorter, darker days.

It means less stress. No fuss.

It means relaxation and a lot of comfortable blankets and warm, soothing drinks.

It means less colds, if any.

It means being in a state of balance, serenity and perspective.

The Tibetan word for warrior means, "one who cultivates courage". Well, it takes a lot of courage to go against the grain and actually use this season to rest, relax and slow down.

Most people will be all over the place, running themselves into the ground and bringing their health, joy and energy along for the ride. A Winter Wellness Warrior chooses differently.

Being a Winter Wellness Warrior means thriving at a time of year meant for introspection, hibernation and rejuvenation. It means cultivating the courage to care for yourself and be well.

It takes courage to cook for yourself, when take-out is easier...

It takes courage to set a bed time and stick to it. There are so many good shows on and so much to do...

It takes courage to slow down when you want to do more...

It takes courage to read books and be creative for pleasure...

It takes courage to look inside, reflect on what is and what has been, and strive for transformation in the coming year.

Not many people do this. 

You can be someone who does.


You might be a Winter Wellness Warrior if you are:

  • craving a life change or shift
  • want to be your own personal Island of Health in a sea of sick, suffering souls
  • feeling run down and want more energy
  • ready for some down time but struggle to find or make it
  • seeking renewal and healing
  • committed to join and stick with something for 6 weeks
  • willing to find connection and inspiration within a group of like-minded people

What will you get?

I know you're smart. You know a lot. This program will add to what you DO know for a good refresher with a few more new things to inspire your path to cultivating courageous health and wellness of mind, body and spirit.

This program contains the best of what I've learned over the 15 years I've been in the 'health and wellness world'. I got sick exactly one day last year, one of the most stressful and intense years of my life. Imagine what's possible for you?


                 a Healthy Habit PDF to chart your progress


        regular reminders via email to sustain your courage


           downloadable meditation/relaxation sessions


   a virtual group of fun folks to stay accountable


             tasty recipes to boost immunity and inner warmth

Ready to cultivate courageous health?

Click below and take your first courageous step.

COST: $57*

*Group rate. Need some one-on-one support from me? Ask about a Winter Wellness Upgrade when you sign up.


Cooking TOO OFTEN Is a Good Problem to Have

I'm really lucky. I have a partner who prioritizes home-cooking as much as I do. Our schedules are different so sometimes her kitchen creations outpace mine, but our relationship started with this shared interest and value.

We both like to go out from time to time, sure, but it has become a special treat whereas it used to be something each of us did far too often.<

Here's something that happened last week, and I wanted to share it for the comedic value it holds.

We cooked too much. So much, we had to throw food away. We weren't able to actually eat all the leftovers and we began to lose track of what we made, when, and how long it had been in the fridge.

This, my dear friends and readers, is what we call a "good problem to have".

Life is going to be like that, as we grow and evolve into our new healthy habits. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to mess up. We are going to make too little or too much. Weekends will pass without trips to the grocery store and Monday night arrives with no game plan.


Weeks when you planned ahead and cooked your little heart out and ended up with a little too much food? You're in good shape. It means you're not grabbing prepared, over-processed meals on the run on a regular basis from someone else pocketing all your hard-earned money. It means you're finding your center, finding balance in this aspect of your life.

A good problem to have.