Anne Macaulay, Ph.D.
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach
National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach

Imperfection and Thankfulness

Anne Macaulay | First Thoughts

Greetings friends!

Here are my “First Thoughts” on mindset, real food and behavior change. 

Quote that I am pondering: “We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” -H.A. Ironside. As a dog trainer, I know that shifting from correcting what is wrong to praising what is right changes the trainer for the better as much as it does the dog.

  • –One of my favorite pictures of me and Cash and a relationship built on praising what is right. 

    Some of my proudest moments as a coach have been when clients tell me that noticing what is right also works with their kids and spouse, not just the dog! Looking for things to praise instead of things to criticize changes your experience of the world and also leads to more good things happening. What we focus on grows!

    What I’m trying to optimize: Omega-3 to Omega-6 Ratios. Historically, our diet would have included roughly equal amounts of Omega 3 and 6 fats, but the Standard American Diet (aka SAD) is currently ten to twenty parts Omega 6 to one part Omega 3. You do need some Omega 6 fat (they are also essential fatty acids), but nowhere near as much as we are eating! Omega 3 fats are the ‘good’ fats found in salmon and other cold water fatty fish. Omega-6 fats are found in refined seed oils such as sunflower and soybean oil and also in fat from grain fed animals.
  • –Photo by Agto Nugroho on Unsplash

    How can you increase your Omega 3 and decrease your Omega 6? Focus on eating things derived from greens not grains. You can get Omega 3s from fish eating algae or from cows eating grass (albeit in much smaller quantities). At the same time, reduce the amount of Omega 6 fats you are eating by reducing processed food intake (tons of soybean oil) and by cooking at home with olive oil or coconut oil or grass-fed ghee. If you don’t love fish, learn to enjoy it more by cooking recipes that include your favorite flavors, like fish tacos. If you don’t eat fish, you may want to supplement with fish oil, just be sure to choose carefully as rancid oil or heavy metal toxicity would defeat the purpose! I stick with Nordic Naturals

    What I’m re-reading: The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown. This is one of those books I feel the urge to reread every couple of years. Brené is a fabulous storyteller. She brings lightness and fun to a topic that could be heavy. What does it take to let go of perfectionism, people pleasing and hustling to fit in? How can you instead embrace yourself with all your imperfections as being worthy of love and belonging? This is a short read but a very big book. 

What I’ve created for the pumpkin spice craze: Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Custard
I’m grateful that I spent years reading cookbooks long before I had to amend my diet. Now I’m quite good at creating things that work for both my health and my taste buds!


  • 1 can pumpkin (15 ounces)
  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • coconut oil


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 convection (it will take slightly longer to cook in a conventional oven).
  2. Grease one 8″ soufflé dish or 8 half cup ramekins with coconut oil.
  3. Combine all ingredients except coconut oil in a blender and blend until fully combined, scraping down sides if necessary.
  4. Transfer to baking dishes and bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs, but not wet, 25-35 minutes for ramekins, 75 minutes for soufflé dish. 
  5. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.
  6. Note: if you are watching your sugar intake, this recipe works fine with much less sugar. I use 1/2 cup if I’m making it for guests but 1/4 cup or less if I’m making it for myself. Stevia would also work fine here. 

What’s in bloom: Asarina ‘Joan Lorraine’  The first and last flowers in the garden are precious. This little climbing snapdragon was still in bloom after Halloween had come and gone. It’s shown here twining among the seed pods of perennial sweet pea with zinnias in the background. 

That’s all for now.

Love, Anne