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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.

 

A Change Is Going To Come

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Hi there,

Sitting here on the eve of a new year, I can’t help but feel grateful that I’m sitting here, at all. Really, it is a miracle.

Today, I’ve been reading Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen’s biography. He starts at his birth and walks us through his life and right up to the gilded steps of his mega-success in the music world. To us, it seems a foregone conclusion that he should be the rock god that he is. But as I read the play-by-play of his life’s story, nothing seems certain. Nothing predicts the success that he will experience, other than his personal dedication to the music, and his fortunate (miraculous?) encounters that are the steps that carry him to the rock-and-roll hall of fame.

He’s just a person, like the rest of us. He walked steps like we’re all walking steps, each day. We’re all standing on one of our own steps, right now, leading up to wherever we’re headed, too, just like Bruce Springsteen.

Isn’t that amazing? That we’re here, that we don’t know where we’re going, but that we are in fact going somewhere? And that it could be somewhere amazing if we dedicate ourselves, and embrace the fortunate (miraculous?) encounters that find us, too.

As we step into 2017, a new year, let’s find gratitude that we ‘ve been given another year to be with the people and animals that we love, another year to dedicate ourselves to the fire in our bones, and another year to embrace the change that is going to come.

The change that is already here.

Sending love and gratitude,
Laurie

How to Speak So They Listen.

Posted by | Miscellaneous | No Comments

Maybe I’m the only one, but these big political debates have me focused on good (and poor) communication.

Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump positioned across from each other feels more like the set-up for a political cartoon in The New Yorker than two people trying to have a conversation in real life. They are both, in their own ways, so very unlike any two presidential candidates that I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. And they communicate very, very differently.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to enter into the world of politics with this blog post.

I bring these candidates and the debates up as an example of how to speak so that the people we’re speaking to actually listen.

Whether you’re a parent looking to communicate well to your children or a teacher hoping to better reach your students – or, a politician addressing the masses – how we say what we need to say almost entirely determines whether or not we are heard. Read More

Three Magic Words To Solve Everything.

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I am finding that so many of our problems are really “problems.” (Problems in air-quotes… are you with me on this?)

What I mean is, our problems are only problems because we are making things that are not problems into problems, when really, there are three words that fix everything.

Three magic words.

Like, today. I had a meeting with Amelie’s teacher to discuss her first month of school. This meeting required that I find a sitter for Amelie. My sitter let me know she was running late. So, I pushed the teacher meeting back. Then, the sitter was fifteen minutes early. So, I was early for the teacher meeting. The teacher was now running late for the pushed-back meeting time. Which made me twenty minutes late to get my hair done.

On the one hand, I had a slew of problems. My sitter was early when she said she’d be late (annoyance). I moved a meeting which didn’t need moving (hassle). I was late to a hair appointment that I should’ve been early to (guilt).

On the other hand, there were no problems. Someone showed up to play with Amelie (connection). I showed up to spend time with Amelie’s teacher (deepening relationship). Then I showed up for a hair cut (self-care).

On that first hand, I’m stressed out and angry at the sitter and teacher, and feel guilty for keeping my hairstylist waiting.

On that second hand, I’m moving through my life. Interacting with people. Getting stuff done and building relationships and taking care of myself.

The difference between the first hand and the second hand are those three magic words that fix everything: I don’t know.

I don’t know means that I don’t have control. I don’t have the answers. I can’t make people show up on time, or show up late, or any of it.

When everything that does not happen the way that I have planned for it to happen, I feel out of control. That stresses me out. In reality, I am out of control even when things go according to my plan, it’s just that I maintain the illusion of control because the results match my expectations. But when I lean into what’s true no matter wha the results are, that I don’t know, then I’m telling myself the truth:

I don’t know how my day will go.

I don’t know when the sitter will get here.

I don’t know how much traffic there will be between here and home.

I don’t know how anything in my day will go.

I’m just a player in life on this rock spinning around a sun and I have no idea how the details will play out.

The three most powerful words in the English language are I don’t know.

Not having the answers, not having it all together, and not having the illusion that I get to be in control of this messy, cluster of interactions and memories that are my life is where our true power begins.

That’s where my heads at, today: I really, and truly, do not know.

And it feels great.

Sending love,
Laurie

Don’t Hold On To Me.

Posted by | Baby, Miscellaneous, Motherhood, Stories | No Comments

In life, we have graduations and we have divorces. And both break our hearts.

A graduation is a natural ending. When we allow the season of a life to play itself out, and then we exit. Like when a child is ready to go to school, and we allow her to. She graduates from being at home.

A divorce happens when we’ve clung to far too long. When we don’t want to move on with our lives, no matter the signs that it’s time to do so. Like when a child is crying out for independence and we keep her close.

My guess is you’ve experienced both. Here’s what that looks like.
Read More

Five Hacks to Unleash Creativity

Posted by | Immediate Relief, Miscellaneous | No Comments

Creation and creativity are the core demands of my job. Each time I write a blog post or a newsletter, or come up with a new workshop or retreat, I’m creating something original.

And I can’t wait for inspiration to find me. I have a class schedule to keep up with and writing deadlines to meet.

I’ve learned a few fundamentals for creating the best work product. [And I’ve also learned that I am not the source of my creativity (see #5).]

So here are *five hacks* to tap into the creative stream that is ready and waiting for you anytime you need to create.

Read More

The Yoga of Eating

Posted by | Body, Food + Health, Miscellaneous | No Comments

When I was in college my sophomore year, I made a new friend. Her name was Grace.

Yes, I see the irony.

Grace said to me, “I wish I would just eat when I was hungry, and stop eating when I was full.”

This idea fascinated me and boggled my mind.

I’d been dieting my entire life. I constantly tried to lose weight, to be smaller.

I hated this. I hated the restricting, the hunger, then losing control and overeating.

What if there is this other way? 

I decided to do something drastic (as is my way). I decided to give up controlling what I ate.

I decided to eat in a completely different way.

The Yoga of Eating was born.

The Yoga of Eating saved my life.

I came up with three gate-keeping questions to ask my body before eating anything.

The Yoga of Eating got me sober around food. Like all addictions, my food-control issues were simply a symptom. I needed to reach the underlying problem and I couldn’t get there while I was “using.”

The Yoga of Eating is a meditation to heal our relationships with food.

Join me in this meditation by reflecting on your last meal.  Do this to deepen your connection to yourself, and deepen your healing around eating and food.

Ask your body:

#1 Is it good?

Is this food something that my body wants? That I want to put into my body? Is it good food?

Just like we upgrade our dog’s food when we find out that it’s mostly corn by-product, we reflect on the quality of the food we’re eating, too.

But this questions not only the quality of the food, but how I obtained it (was I stressed? Was I even present?) and where the food comes from. Does every step in this process feel good to my body?

If I hate the grocery store that I go to, and feel angry purchasing it, is the food there really something I want to put into my body? If I don’t respect that juice company, is their product really something that I want to put into my body? This is hard to do. Trust me – I know. I still revisit this. I edited out a place I used to go for smoothies just yesterday because I can do better than that.

(If you’re familiar with the abundance scale, this is similar. Does eating this feel abundant to my body?)

#2 Is it Kind?

Does my body want to eat this? Is it kind to my body to put this food into it?

This one is really tough. My mind has a belief that XYZ is healthy so I should eat it. But – does my body want to eat this salad? To hear the answer to this question, we have to go inside. We have to slow way, way down.

We have learned so many rules about our health and nutrition that we let our heads steer our food choices without realizing it. Your body may not want to be a healthy eater (for now). Our bodies may need to rebel against the tight reigns of control.

Or, your body may want to be free from sugar and caffeine buzzes. We have to grow still enough to hear the whisper of our bodies.

#3 Is it necessary?

Am I physically hungry? Is it necessary that I eat this, right now?

If we’re bored, or actually looking to experience comfort, then we do not feel physical hunger. In The Yoga of Eating, we do not eat when we are not physically hunger out of respect for our bodies.

Not only do we refrain from eating if we are not physically hungry, we also always, always eat when we are feeling hungry.

This is the most important step in the Yoga of Eating for tuning into our bodies, to connecting to our physical sensations.

If we aren’t hungry, we simply eat that good + kind food choice later. Wait an hour.

And, just as importantly, we keep food with us for when we get hungry.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Each step in The Yoga of Eating is deceptively simple. Each question, like the meditation it is, requires honest reflection.

It’s taken me home to my body, again and again. My hope is that there is some aspect in The Yoga of Eating that helps you find connection to your body, too.

 

If you like reading what Laurie has to say, hear more from her, here.

(Originally published on YOGANONYMOUS)

Rest as a Spiritual Practice

Posted by | Miscellaneous | No Comments

I’ve posted about this (a lot), but I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy, lately. Most Sunday evenings, I look at my calendar and see that my week is fully scheduled – from when I wake up until dinner time. Between preparing for and teaching several yoga classes each week, actively drumming up business to grow my company, and spending time with my toddler (not to mention, staying married), I’m booked. When I have “free time,” it’s because I scheduled it in.

But something has been bothering me: I get almost no downtime or rest, and that doesn’t bother me, at all

This is not like me. I love down time with my friends and family. I deeply love to rest: I’m a voracious reader and love to journal. I love to meditate. I love all things navel-gazing.

So, to get some answers about why I’ve cycled rest completely out of my routine, join me in transcending through the Four States of Rest. Read More

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