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Five “Beauty Food” Tips

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Inspiration, Miscellaneous, Stories, Tools | No Comments

Five “Beauty Food” Tips

(that you don’t already know)

1. Lemon water in the morning is great… for some, but not great for others.

This “trick” of starting the day with lemon water is really popular and said to help detoxify your system (meaning it gets your digestion going). But, lemon first thing is way too acidic for some constitutions, according to a conversation I had with Dr. Taz when I did a 360 degree physical assessment in 2017.

So, as always, listen to your body: you can try to start your day with lemon water but check in with how you feel.

2. Stay hydrated (from the outside in).

This is kind of random, but it works very well to stay hydrated and prevent the sniffles: use a humidifier year-round.

A tip shared with me by my all-time favorite dermatologist, use a humidifier at night right by your face when you sleep. I use this one. The mist really hydrates your sinuses, and moist sinuses are a much better defense against common colds and irritants than dry ones. You inhale moisture all night long which hydrates your skin. Bonus: really helps me stay asleep at night.

3. “Batch.”

If you follow any foodie person on social media, especially people trying to help moms get kids to eat healthy food throughout the week, they suggest you “batch.”

“Batching” means baking off a boatload of food – usually big baking sheets full of sliced veggies – to roast all at once and then use in various dishes throughout the week.

Personally, I cannot commit to eating any one item that many meals in a row, so batching on Sunday in this way leaves me with leftovers that I throw out by Wednesday.

But, I can commit to batching either a juice or a milkshake. I make a big pitcher and freeze the rest. I pull one out of the freezer the night before and this is my first morning meal or to go snack. Specifically, I batch green juice (I have a cheat for making green juice easily) and I always batch smoothies and nut milks.

How to batch nut milks easily is a whole other post because nut milks can be tricky and if making something is too difficult, I won’t do it. I always have shortcuts. Remind me to talk about that someday?

4. Dust your coffee/tea.

To back up a second, because you’re smart, and the reason behind this tip’s frequent success could help you in a lot of aspects of your life…

This tip could also be titled: “Add just one thing that’s really good to your already-existing routine – rather than trying to change your routine.”

Adding something to what you’re already doing is a proven way to better your habits. There is SO much out there around changing habits, and I have read an obscene number of books on changing habits. Hands-down, the experts say that the most effective way to create better habits is TO NOT try and change habits. Instead, create better habits by add onto existing ones.

Specific suggestion: Add a teaspoon of chaga to your morning concoction of choice whether it’s a latte, coffee, tea, or morning shake. Chaga has tons of wellness benefits, it’s incredible for your skin’s cell turnover, so the experts tell us, plus it’s earthy flavor goes well with lattes and black teas and anything chocolatey.

5. It rhymes with “nest.”

Can you guess?? What rhymes with nest that is THE BEST thing for your digestion, your skin, your organs, and your mental health?

It is rest. Maybe not a beauty “food” but definitely a beauty practice, rest is a practice that I, personally, have been trying to learn how to do ever since I left my law firm in 2010. To suggest that you “rest more” may sound like a boring suggestion and kind of vague, but there’s so much more to rest than most of us suspect.

The reason rest is a panacea for so many issues is many-layered. Basically, your body needs a serious pause in your day to be able to switch from your parasympathetic nervous system (THINK: laser-focus, multi-tasking, juggling multiple mental to-do’s) to sympathetic nervous system (THINK: breathing slows, feel curious about stuff rather than hurried, shoulders drop/relax).

I’m going to be honest with you: my money is on the fact that none of us really are willing to explore how to rest daily, but even if we did try to rest, say, 10 minutes after lunch each day, we would do it incorrectly. And by “incorrectly,” I mean unsuccessfully. We just don’t know how to relax. We forget we even have bodies, most of the day, let alone check in with our bodies and see if we can help our bodies rest.

When we rest, we can detox, rejuvenate our cells, release held tension. All good stuff. So – why is it so freaking hard to do?

We’re so bewildered on how to rest because we physically get stuck in fight-or-flight mode as a result of everything flying at us. Whether it’s flashing screens, driving among other cars, hyper-focusing on work or our kids, our freaking kidneys stay terrified and tucked way up behind our lower ribs, rather than dropping and operating on full cylinders. (Maybe this is TMI to bring up but if your bathroom schedule is not regular, this is a sign that you’re stuck in fight-or-flight too much of the time.)

I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a holistic-healer – I’m honestly just speaking from my own experience.

You’re of above-average intelligence, I have no doubt. And I believe you can reach back into your memories, as I can, to those moments when we experienced terrible health during stressful times. And maybe we can remember other times when we hardly needed sleep to have energy and great health. Rest has that giant of an impact on our wellbeing physically, emotionally and mentally.

I’m gong on and on, I know. Sorry! But I this is something I’ve come to believe strongly in. I personally believe that resting, really, learning how to rest, is the single best skill we can learn for our physical wellbeing, and teach our children, spouses and eventually maybe even our culture, to heal in every sense of that word.

Like I said: Rest, while not a “beauty food,” is definitely a beauty practice for inner and outer beauty, wellbeing of our families… world peace, even?? I mean, possibly.

Here’s the easiest way I know to start resting:

  • Copy your pet. Whether it’s your cat, your dog, your horse or your goldfish (or, a memory of a pet or even someone else’s pet), literally do what they are doing. It may be napping, staring at the fire, or playing, but the majority of a healthy animal’s lifetime is spent in rest mode. Rest doesn’t always mean sitting still. Our pets eat, roam, and explore. Just watch and learn.

One of my favorite workshops I ever offered was on Deep Rest for Busy Moms.

We should do that one again sometime! Maybe online so all of us can show up for some deep rest…


Take one of these tips that resonates for you, try it out, and see what you think.

Don’t like how it feels?? Toss it back.

You are the authority on you. And anyone who tells you otherwise is not the right teacher for you.

 

Anxiety-Free in 5 Easy Steps

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A Practice to Ease Anxiety

Relax before bed, running late for an appointment, or whenever you’re freaking out.

QUIZ: You (possibly unknowingly) endure chronic anxiety if you:

(1) have trouble sleeping at night,

(2) tend to get “run down” or fall sick on a semi-regular basis,

(3) have lists upon lists upon lists upon lists,

(4) startle easily, or

(5) experience the occasional (up to frequent) panic attack.

When we constantly experience anxiety, our happiness takes a huge hit. High quality of life isn’t possible when we’re in an anxious state because of the effect of anxiety on our bodies. When feeling anxious or worried, our nervous system is on high alert as if danger is looming around the corner. This is what you’ve heard referred to as “fight-flight-freeze.”

Most of us don’t even realize we’re experiencing low-grade anxiety most waking hours because we’re so use to it.

The constant stimulation of modern life draws us into a hyper-aware mode that tips our nervous system into high-alert or anxiety mode really easy, which means we have to bring habits into our lives to pull ourselves out of this state so that we can:

  • experience calm
  • be present in your life
  • feel happiness
  • find enjoyment (rather than irritation) out of work, spouses/partners, friendships and kids
  • connect to your life’s purpose and your highest self
  • age beautifully (rather than prematurely)

I heard it said that anxiety robs us of our lives, and I completely agree. It’s our life’s purpose on the line and worth developing an orientation toward finding inner stillness, peacefulness and calm rather than allowing ourselves to be pulled into the mainstream culture of anxiety.

Five Simple Steps to Calm

Once you go through these steps once all of the way through, you’ll find it’s super quick and easy to do this practice anytime, anywhere, on your own.

  • Step One. Take a comfortable seat in a chair with both feet flat on the ground.
    Sit up straight. Slightly drop your chin so the back of your neck is long. Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, then let them fall and completely relax. Put your hands, palm down, on your knees.
  • Step Two. Take three deep breaths.
    Breath in through your nose for a slow count of five, and exhale through your nose for a slow count of five. Pause for one count at the end of each exhale.
  • Step Three. Tap the spot above your nose/above your mouth.
    Using two fingers – pointer and middle – gently tap on the spot right beneath your nose and above your mouth. Continue to slowly breath in through your nose and out through  your nose as you tap this spot for five rounds of slow breath.
  • Step Four. Next, tap your chin.
    Use the same two fingers to tap your chin for another five rounds of slow breath in through your nose and out through your nose.
  • Step Five: Bring breath and mind into your belly button.
    Once you’ve completed steps three and four two times, each, bring your awareness to your navel, as if your mind/brain physically existed right behind your belly button rather than in your head. With your mind/focus behind your belly button, fill the space behind your navel with breath as you slowly inhale. Feel the space behind your navel relax as you exhale. Do this ten times.

Repeat steps three through five until you experience a physical shift in your body and mood state. You may:

  • Feel your back muscles release.
  • Experience your jaw unclench.
  • Notice your eyebrows soften away from each other.
  • Experience sensations in your hands – relaxation, tingling, softening.
  • Notice the chair supporting your weight and the strength of the floor support your feet.

***********************

Set up a daily appointment in the calendar on your phone early in the morning to establish your daily calming ritual.

Dope Playlist # 1 // Soothing

Posted by | Immediate Relief, Music + Playlists | No Comments

I love when people share their playlists.

And I, for one, am constantly making playlists. So just for fun I’m going to share a bunch with you to support your good moods, your motivation, your heartaches – all of the things.

Here’s the first playlist, which I call: #1 // Soothing

Think: Lovely, mellow music to calm your heart, chill the mood at home, or steady your rhythm in any other way you need.

Click here.

Enjoy! xo

The Secret to Quick + Easy Packing For Your Whole Family

Posted by | Baby, Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Motherhood, Stories | No Comments

As I’m writing this, I’m about to embark on a 400-mile road trip with my daughter. I spent most of last night and this morning packing clothes, diapers, shampoo, the favorite flowered shorts, the sound machine… a LOT of stuff for us two. When provisioning for a big trip, like this one, I typically feel anxious as I walk around the house with my packing list which I add to as I remember even more items to include (my very favorite pillow, her very favorite spoon with a handle shaped like a rabbit). My nervous momentum originates from a belief: I’m responsible for remembering every tiny item that we might possibly need.

But this time while packing, I felt peaceful. Why?  Read More

Who else wants a peaceful day?

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Inspiration, Stories, Tools | No Comments

It’s been a while since I have posted due to a very busy spring and early summer, full of work commitments (more than I expected), travel (much more than I’d planned for), and lots of family time (more than typical, for me). These are all great things. All of the changes in my life these days bring me great joy and also bring with them the sadness of letting go of old routines in my home life and work life. It’s the end of a season, and the beginning of a new era.

And since last we spoke, I’ve been contemplating one concept, in particular, through all of these new epochs:
Read More

Four tricks to unlock your body’s dormant power & creativity

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Stories | No Comments

There is tremendous power in our bodies. When we learn how to honor it, harness it and leverage it we heal our relationship with our bodies. And ourselves.

Because, right now, we have a chance to elevateWe can have a new beginning with our bodies, which includes a new beginning with our weight, with what we eat, and with how we feel about our bodies. It truly can all change.

And we’re learning to elevate all aspects of our body relationship to make this change happen.

Let’s start with the Four Types of Power. Read More

Learn what’s most beautiful about you.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Stories | No Comments

What’s the difference between feeling beautiful, and looking beautiful?

That moment when we feel connected to something bigger than we are. When inspiration finds us. When we feel hope and feel love.

That is the moment that we feel beautiful.

Does my hair look nice or is my outfit flattering? Not sure. Don’t get me wrong – I love when my hair looks nice. I love when my outfit flatters me.

But looking beautiful is nowhere near as powerful as feeling beautiful.

We have the right to feel beautiful. 

sovereignty_the-right-to-feel

There’s something about Mexico that’s important for us to know: In Mexico, people eat a lot of corn.

One statistic I read stated 40% of a typical Mexican’s diet is corn. In America, we eat more grains and bread than tortillas or corn kernels. And yet – Americans at a cellular level test to consume more than twice the amount of corn consumed than Mexicans at a cellular level.

Why??

The reason is simple (and disgusting): corn sneaks into so, so many foods that we eat. “Mystery ingredients” like xanthum gum in cereal (even in Whole Foods brand cereals) and breads are corn derivatives. Sugar is actually corn when it’s “corn syrup.” Beyond processed foods, even meats in America molecularly contain corn: cows and chickens and pigs are fed corn and when we eat them. Historically, these animals don’t graze off corn but grass, acorns, and seeds. What they eat changes what they are. Since we’re actually ingesting what they’ve consumed (at a cellular level, the corn is still discoverable) it’s upping our corn intake hugely.

The chicken fingers are triple-corned (corn filling, corn breaking, corn in the oil for frying). And corn in the ketchup we dip them in.

The big problem is that we have no idea that foods we think are healthy have hidden foods with real effects to our bodies and our health.

We have the right to eat the foods we think we’re eating. 

sovereignty_food

I remember the day after I took my first baby home. His name is Roscoe, and he’s a Boston Terrier.

He pooped in the house. He peed in the house. And he kept barking at me, waiting for me to do… something. What? What IS it?? He would run around the living room, jumping and barking and running in circles. What is this madness?!

Well, it took a few google searches to find the answer.

But it’s obvious. He was trying to bait me into playing with him.

We lose the space in our lives to play at a pretty early age. But the thing about playing is that it is crucial for a fulfilled life. While we see it as “silly” or “embarrassing, or possibly at best “nice to do if you have time” it’s actually, as my dog demonstrated, fundamental to how we best learn, how we find happiness, and how we navigate a fulfilling life.

Roscoe was born knowing how to play, and so were you.

Our emotional state begs us to rediscover play.

The right to play is the right to feel alive while we’re still living.

We have the right to play.

sovereignty_play

Elevate to know your rights, own your rights, express your rights.

Our bodies need this.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Stories | No Comments

Because it’s the beginning of a new year, we’re all in the same boat.

You might be wondering: What boat is that?

We’re all in the boat where we’re visually assaulted by ads telling us one message. This message can be subtle, and it is very toxic for us. It looks like this: Join the gym for $1 this month! It looks like the ads on Instagram that told me four times today to set resolutions.

Do you know what the not-so-subtle message is? 

There’s something wrong with you. 

When you resolve to do better, you’ll fix what’s wrong with you (too fat? too poor? too alone?), and then, you’ll be happy.

You know that is all just marketing, right? The promise that happiness lies in the fulfillment of a New Year’s resolution has never delivered. Think of every year in the past – if one of those attempts had succeeded, you wouldn’t be here, right now. It’s a marketing strategy, and it works becuase it plays on our deep fears about our own inadequacy, of not being good enough.

It’s time to take our power back. Especially right now, at the beginning of a New Year.

Especially when it comes to our bodies.

Especially because there is nothing wrong with you.

To want to feel good in our own skin is valid. To feel tired of obsessing over food is very legitimate. But for someone else to tell us how we should look? That is very not cool.

Because we all know how to eat healthy foods and move more, so selling us something that helps us to try harder isn’t useful. Our willpower is not the problem. The problem is that the food is not the problem.

A food-based solution like a new diet, to a problem that looks like a food problem, but isn’t a food problem at all, gets us nowhere. Einstein said it best: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Thinking differently or better about food is trying to solve our problems with the same food-focused thinking that created them.

Instead of going down this way, this year, it’s time to elevate.

To solve a problem, we have to know what it is, first. If the weight struggle and the eating-obsessions have nothing to do with food, then we have to find out what the problem causing our compulsion really is.

Because, there’s a cause, and there’s a solution. And we’re capable of finding both.

We’re either going up, or we’re going down.

I for one am going up. I’m going to elevate.


 For about three months, I’ve been waist-deep in the concept of sovereignty. 

Sovereignty is kind of like healthy boundaries, good communication, and the right-to-exist, all in one, glorious bundle.

When it comes to our bodies, sovereignty means that our bodies are our own kingdoms, and no one else’s. What I do, or don’t do, with my body is none of your concern.

Sovereignty is not, off with your head! power, like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

Sovereignty is: you don’t get to imply that I should want to look differently than I do – but it’s okay if I do want that. I’m responsible for the condition of my body, and how and what I feed myself is none of your business.

This body is my body.

This is my kingdom.

And I am sovereign.

To be sovereign, we get rid of opinions, projections, expectations and assumptions about our bodies that are not ours.

And then, we embrace (and find) the opinions, desires, wishes, hopes and dreams that are ours.

And from there (and only from there) do we set our intentions, our resolutions, for 2017, for ourselves.


To elevate, we learn to practice sovereignty.

We learn to reject the messages from the media about what we should look like.

We find a new beginning with our bodies for ourselves, where we learn how to listen, communicate, respond, and support. We elevate. And from that place we find true health. We find true love. We find freedom.

The Anti-To-Do List

Posted by | Immediate Relief, Stories | 4 Comments

Have you ever been to a Korean bathhouse?

Until recently, I’d never been to one, either. But a friend raved about this place, a Korean bathhouse, saying that she always spends at least five hours, every time she goes there. She said the experience was very unique and incredibly rejuvenating. Plus, they serve amazing ramen.

I like spas and I’m always up for a new adventure, and who doesn’t love an authentic ramen bowl during the cold weather, so I blocked off a couple hours one day, and took the plunge, (literally). Read More

Four Steps to a Happy Life

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Immediate Relief, Stories | No Comments

For most of my life, when I heard phrases like “self-love” and “body love,” I shuddered and rolled my eyes.

Right after I started my business, I traveled to an entrepreneurial workshop in Portland, Oregon. The leader announced she would begin an afternoon session with a twenty-minute meditation. “Meditation” was pretty fringe-ey, back then. I didn’t know a single person in New York who meditated.

This meditation, the woman explained, involved listening to love songs.

She instructed us to close our eyes, and imagine that these love songs were from us, to our businesses.

My reaction = vomit.

Let me get this straight: I’m “meditating” – whatever that is – while I send love songs to my business?? 

My eye-roll echoed around the world. I almost permanently lost my eyeballs into the back of my head.

But, I decided to give it a go, anyway. Why? Read More

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