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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.

 

New South Beauty Cooklet!

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Books I'm Reading, In My Kitchen, Motherhood, Stories, Style + Fashion, Tools | No Comments

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What our children need us to understand.

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Dharma, Stories, Tools | No Comments

I have a confession to make.

Have you ever deeply hated something, but still found it impossible to let yourself off of the hook? You kept going along or kept showing up even though you dreaded the thing?

Maybe it’s a networking group that you just cannot get yourself to say no to. Maybe it’s some annual family tradition or something as a parent that you continue to trudge along to, even though it’s the worst.

As for me, I really cannot stand those mommy-and-me classes that you take your baby or toddler to, but I keep going to them.

If you’re not a parent or if you’ve never been to these classes, let me explain why they’re an advanced form of torture.

Let’s take mommy-and-me music class, for example.

A room full of very tired adults paste on a smile and act the buffoon for one hour while avoiding eye contact with anyone else in the room. The adults sit in a circle and sing very bad music, a.k.a. “children’s songs,” which will play in their heads incessantly preventing restful sleep for days to follow. Meanwhile, the children do whatever the %$#@ they want to, screaming and running around or staring like a zombie at the bizarre spectacle of their nanny crawling on the floor and singling about zoo animals. The kids almost never participate in any way in the musical torture. Sometimes, adults run around in a circle while their child rides on their backs, pulling hair and holding on by the nostrils, while the adult sings a song vaguely about a horse or a firetruck but with no meaningful storyline.

I could go on, but you get the point. The classes are weird and not in a fun way. However, I still go. I feel like my daughter benefits, possibly? Makes me feel like I’m a good mom?

The point of sharing the story is that a miracle happened.

Really this is kind of a double-miracle.

Last month, Amelie and I spent a simply divine hour-and-a-half at a mommy-and-me art class. That’s a miracle for me.

Which brings us to what our children need us to understand.

The other miracle is precisely what our children (and the world) deeply needs from us.

The miracle looks like this:

When we walked through the door, Amelie beelines to one of the six art stations. There, she paints using the wheels of a small, toy truck as the “brush” dipping its wheels in white paint and running it over the paper. Then, she mixes pink and orange paint using the top of the truck and stamps the paper with this combination.

Then, for no clear reason, she stops truck-painting.

With confidence, she walks to another station to make babies and monsters out of cinnamon play-dough.

If you have children, this may sound normal, but in our society, witnessing this means watching a miracle. Why is this miracle?

The answer to that question is crucial for our own body alchemy practices.

Being three-years-old, Amelie has something that most of us no longer possess and that we relearn through body alchemy.

She is in flow with her body.

Amelie is fully present in her body. She reacts to her bodies’ communications so instantly that there’s no mental consideration involved. Because her body is also fully aligned with inner intuition, her body takes her where her intuition tells her to go.

We find this state of flow when we can begin to truly connect to our physical bodies.

Our bodies’ purpose is to be the conductor of our intuition’s direction.

When we are in that intuitive flow, our bodies are poetry in motion, like a lightning rod grounding divine messages shot from the universe.

If we want to find our purpose, we can always start by getting in sync with our bodies. 

You can start right now.

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:
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Healthy Boundaries 101

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Dharma, Miscellaneous, On Career Change, Stories, Tools | One Comment

I looked forward to this yoga class for days.

I rarely find myself free on Saturdays from teacher training and work and toddler-duty. But last Saturday, I waltzed into the yoga studio fifteen minutes early. I even remembered my favorite mat, a chilled bottle of water, and a zen state of mind.

To be that calm and that prepared and that early makes me a unicorn, in my book.

The studio was not ready.

The greeter at the door informed me I would need to wait. So, I waited patiently (see: zen state of mind). I felt patient for fourteen minutes and finally turned to ask the front desk, “Is it okay to go in, now?”

“Sure,” the smiling woman said to me. She had a zen state of mind, too.

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Sit at the center.

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

You are either walking forward or sitting at the center.

Today, I went to my first yoga class since Amelie was born.

I used every mind trick I have in the book to get myself to go. I tell myself I can leave at any time. That I can just sit on my mat the entire class if I want to. That I never regret going but often resist going. That it is expected to dread this. It would be weird if I DID NOT have lots of resistance to going.

Fifteen pounds over weight (at the very least) and out of shape, group exercise sounds really unappealing. But I need to start at some point and my state of mind needs some yoga and my body desperately needs to move.
So I actually went (victory!). I actually finished the class doing what I can and not pushing my poor, tender body. Huge victory.
And you know what?

I’m not really sure yoga is for me right now.

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begin, again.

Posted by | Baby, Body, Food + Health, Stories, Tools | One Comment

I am looooong overdue to check in and catch up.

So many times, I attempted to write some kind of update, but it’s just like – where to even start?? How much detail? Because there is a LOT to share. I keep coming back to this feeling that everything that’s happened, all together, is ultimately way too much for me to unpack or really convey intelligently at this point.

There is, however, one experience that I think about again and again, every since that very first time I saw my little baby 9 weeks ago. Especially when I feel lost and frustrated, this helps me so incredibly much. I find it so surprising so I’ve been wanting to tell you about it.

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