Happy Valentine’s Day: Make These Raw Coconut Cacao Truffles {Gluten Free/Dairy Free}

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Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Whether you’re celebrating with your sweetie or gal pals, I firmly believe that nothing trumps the power of self-love.

I wanted to share a quick & easy recipe with you for my Raw Coconut Cacao Truffles! These little bites of joy are gluten-free, dairy-free, and made with only seven ingredients. Oh, and they’re chock-full of love. Lots and lots of love.

Raw Coconut Cacao Truffles 

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. raw cashews
  • 8 pitted dates, soaked
  • 2 TB raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 TB chia seeds

1. Add everything other than the coconut to a food processor. I love using my Nutri Ninja Duo. Pulse until all the ingredients are well combined. (Note: if you’re using the Ninja, just simply choose option “Fusion mix.”) You may want to add about a tablespoon of water if the mixture is too dry!

2. Form “dough” into small balls & roll in shredded coconut until coated. Refrigerate & enjoy!

Introducing Spark Your Bliss Affirmation Card Deck: 36 Cards to Set Your Soul on Fire

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while or you follow me on social media, you’ve probably heard me mention my “Spark Your Bliss” deck, a 36-card deck with practical affirmations to set your soul on fire.

I’m happy to announce that right before Christmas, my Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded & I raised $3,600 toward the launch of Spark Your Bliss. Thank you to all who supported me through this long & exciting process!

The Backstory 

About one year ago I said out loud that I wanted to create my own positive affirmation deck.

But then the fears creeped in…the ol’ “but it’s going to be so hard,” “but what if I can’t” “but it’s already been done before,” “but how can I stand out?”

Then this past summer a little voice inside me said, “sweetie, but what if you CAN?”

And so I did, and Spark Your Bliss Deck was born. I wanted to create something new and different — something that would resonate with the “everyday chick” not just strictly for yogis or meditation gurus.

I worked hard and thoughtfully to create a deck that speaks my truth: 36 beautiful, positive mantras complete with journaling exercises & supporting action steps to boot.

The Deets

Healthy Chick’s Spark Your Bliss Deck is a 36-card deck of practical affirmations designed to help you set your soul on fire. 

The deck is beautifully designed with bright colors of purple, yellow, teal and pink. Each 3.5 x 3.5″ square card has a word, positive mantra, journaling exercise, and supporting action steps, and is designed with 100% love.

The cards come in a square tuck box with a beautiful illustrated mandala design.

To use the cards: 

1. Shuffle the cards + pull one when ready.

2. Allow the message to serve as an inspiration for the day/week.

3. Write out your thoughts, using the journaling prompts.

4. Spread the love by gifting one to a friend or stranger.

5. Let the sparks begin to fly!

How can I get my own deck? 

Now that my Kickstarter orders have all been fulfilled, I’m gearing up to sell the decks online via Etsy and/or Amazon. I’m also hoping to stock them in some local boutiques & gift shops in the Greater Boston area. In the meantime, you can purchase your deck directly through me. They’re $20 + shipping.

Special shout out to my beautiful illustrator Precious Little Illustration & designer Chantelle Davis-Gray for helping make this happen. Here’s to following your dreams! #sparkyourbliss

My Journey with Hashimoto’s Disease {and How I Got My Energy + Health Back}

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For those of you who have been following along on my journey through my blog or instagram, you’re probably aware of my recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease & hypothyroidism.

Today on the blog, I wanted to get super personal & share with you the story of my diagnosis, lifestyle/diet changes, and how I was able to get to the root cause of the problem so I can begin my healing journey. It’s my hope that perhaps my story can inspire someone else who may be struggling to take back their health. Kick back, relax & enjoy!

THE SYMPTOMS – SOMETHING FELT “OFF” 

I first began to notice something wasn’t quite right during the early fall of 2016. My energy levels completely plummeted, to the point where I would sleep 10 hours and still be tired upon waking & throughout the day. I was also super bloated, my face was puffy, and my clothes started to fit differently.

When I hopped on the scale for the first time in months, I was surprised to see I had gained about 8 pounds (and then another 4 shortly thereafter) with no changes in my diet. This was a huge red flag for me, as ever since I quit dieting & discovered joy around food, my weight has stayed roughly the same the past 6 years, give our take a pound or two. This was super out of the norm for me!

Within another 2 months, I had gained an additional 4 pounds, and that’s when I decided to dig in to see what was going on. As someone who is super in touch with my body, I knew something was off.

LAB TESTING + THE THYROID CONNECTION

I had a sneaky feeling it was my thyroid, as my mom struggled with thyroid issues in the past, and my levels had been off before (but always in the “normal” range).

Since I was between doctors (I had just moved to the suburbs from Boston), I decided to take matters into my own hands & order my own lab tests through WellnessFX, a web-based platform designed to produce deep insights into the state of your health all through a blood test. I’ve had a great experience with WellnessFX in the past, so I knew I’d be in good hands. (You can read all about my first experience here.)

Also, many traditional doctors only test TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels, and I wanted a more comprehensive look at what was going on with my thyroid. So I ordered WellnessFX’s Advanced Thyroid package, which measures TSH, T4, T3, T3 uptake, free thyroxine Index, reverse T3, and free T3.

Shortly after, I also ordered a Thyroid Antibodies Panel through Direct Labs to test for Hashimoto’s Disease, since a large percentage of people who are hypothyroid have Hashimoto’s (an auto-immune disease where your immune system mistakenly attacks your thyroid).

And then I waited (impatiently) for my results.

THE RESULTS ARE IN

I received my results for my thyroid panel first, and as expected my levels were off, especially my TSH which was flagged as it had risen to a 4.5 (normal range .4-4.5). While I was technically “normal,” I felt anything but, and was considered “borderline hypothyroid.” I also learned that most women feel their best below a 2, so 4.5 wasn’t cutting it for me.

I’m really glad I decided to test my Thyroid Antibodies, as sure enough I had antibodies present, indicating Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. My Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies were at a 19, which is considered high (normal range is <9).

While my results weren’t ideal, I was relieved to finally have some answers so I could move forward with a game-plan & start to feel better! The thyroid is connected to almost every body function — from metabolism to reproductive health — so when something’s not right, it really takes a toll on your body.

NOW WHAT?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of mixed information out there when it comes to the thyroid, and many traditional doctors are still set in their old ways. Many times, they will pass you off as “normal” until your thyroid gets to the point where medication is required.

I was not looking to go down that route. 

As expected, my PCP told me my levels were “normal” and not to worry, which was super concerning to me especially since I told her I wanted to start a family soon. Right on my lab results, it says in clear writing that normal TSH ranges for pregnancy are .26-2.66 for the first trimester. Clearly, I was way above optimal range!

She also told me I wasn’t a candidate for medication at this time, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and make some dietary & lifestyle changes. After all, what did I have to lose? Being a Holistic Health Coach, I believe in getting to the root cause of the issues & taking a holistic approach when possible, anyway.

At this time, I also did a ton of research, following reports from doctors, pharmacists, naturopaths, functional medicine practitioners, and fellow bloggers who have dealt with similar issues. Some of my favorite resources have been Dr. Izabella Wentz, Dr. Axe, The Thyroid Sessions, Autoimmune Paleo, Ayce to Better Health, Phoenix Helix, The Paleo Mom, and Unbound Wellness.

THE GAME PLAN – TAKING BACK MY MEALTH

It was now time to make a game plan & start to take back my health! The first thing I decided to do was go 100% gluten free, as gluten has been linked with thyroid issues, especially those with Hashimoto’s. At this time, I also loaded up my diet with cooked vegetables, fruit like wild blueberries, coconut oil, bone broth, brazil nuts (for selenium), and probiotic rich-foods like sauerkraut and kombucha, all of which are known to support thyroid function.

When I cut out gluten 100%, I noticed a burst in my energy rather quickly, but I was still struggling with my weight, bloat and overall feeling of being in a “funk.” Around this time, I received my results for my Thyroid Antibodies test, which confirmed I had an autoimmune condition. That’s when I decided to take it up a notch by going on the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP), which I started on January 1st.

You can read all about the protocol here, but essentially it’s a stricter form of Paleo, in which you remove common allergens & inflammation-causing foods from your diet for a minimum of 30 days, and then slowly re-introduce to see what foods are causing issues for you. At this time, I also started taking liquid Vitamin D3 daily.

Here’s a sample day of eating:

  • Breakfast = smoothie with coconut milk, coconut oil, banana, spinach, wild blueberries & cinnamon/ leftovers from dinner, tea, water
  • Lunch = turkey + avocado lettuce wraps / big salad with roasted veggies & protein/soup,  sauerkraut
  • Snacks = plantain chips, pickles, kale chips, bone broth
  • Dinner = roasted chicken with sauteed leafy greens + roasted root vegetables / tacos with romaine “shells”/ fish with veg/ coconut flour chicken tenders / soup / Zoodles stir-fry
  • Beverages = water, tea, Kombucha
  • Dessert = Banana Blueberry Mini Muffins

When it comes to lifestyle, I decided to amp up my self-care & practice slowing down. I also enjoy daily sessions in our infrared sauna & dry-brushing.

CURRENT STATUS + UPDATES – THINGS ARE LOOKING WAY UP!

Within one week on AIP, I noticed a complete turnaround in my energy! I felt lighter, brighter & all around happier. I also lost about 2 pounds the first week! Something was obviously working.

Now that I am over a month into the protocol, I have lost 9 pounds, my skin is more clear, and my face is no longer puffy. I also haven’t felt hungry at all, feel super energized throughout the day, and my belly bloat is pretty much non-existent. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how good I feel & how quickly I began to see a change!

Better yet, yesterday I received some amazing news from my doctor! Within just one month on the AIP (and 2 months being 100% gluten free) my TSH has dropped from a 4.5 to a 3.3!

Holy crap. 

You can’t imagine how happy I was, I pretty much screamed into the phone when the woman gave me my results then did a happy dance!

GOING FORWARD

I am super psyched to see these improvements in such a short amount of time! This week, I began food re-introductions on the AIP, and will continue to track symptoms to see how I feel. I purchased Phoenix Helix’s e-book to help me with the re-introduction phase since I wanted to make sure I did everything right after all this hard work. (It can be super overwhelming!)

I’m pretty certain I am going to stay off of gluten indefinitely, considering how good I feel without it. I am most excited to add back in nuts, eggs & certain spices.

I’m hopeful that in another month, my thyroid levels will normalize further and I will continue to see positive results!

Remember, you know your body best, and when something doesn’t feel right I encourage you to dig in & take back your health.

Disclaimer: This post outlines my personal experience & story. I am not a doctor or medical practitioner, and this information is not intended to cure, heal or treat your condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your health to discuss a plan that’s best for you. 

Paleo Banana Blueberry Mini Muffins {Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Egg Free/Soy Free/AIP Compliant}

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If you’ve been following along on my journey, you know that I’ve been following the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol to help support my sluggish thyroid & Hashimoto’s Disease through diet and lifestyle. I won’t lie, when I first started, it was difficult. I mean, like really’ freakin’ hard.

My husband has been a true saint! I may or may not have had several fits over the past 30 days like the time I called him on his way home from work shouting “I’M F*C*ING STARVING!” while demanding a burger without the bun. Not one of my proudest moments.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the protocol, it’s essentially a much more strict version of Paleo, in which you remove common allergens & inflammation-causing foods from your diet for a minimum of 30 days, and then slowly re-introduce to see which foods are causing issues for you. A life without eggs, cheese & coffee aint easy, my friend.

While I don’t have a sweet tooth, after starting this way of eating, I began craving baked goods big-time. I think part of this has to do with the frigid temps in New England right now! Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to get my sweet fix seeing as though dairy, gluten and all grains are a no-no. So I got a little creative with the ingredients I could eat and came up with a delicious twist on banana muffins.

These itty bitty bites of joy are free from gluten, dairy, soy and eggs, but still have all the delicious flavor. They’re made with a coconut flour base which adds an extra touch of sweetness for those with sugar cravings! Enjoy!

Paleo Banana Blueberry Mini Muffins 

Ingredients

  • 4 TB coconut flour
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 c. blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 TB coconut milk
  • few sprinkles of shredded coconut (to your liking)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all the ingredients (other than blueberries) with a hand-whisk or food processor. I use my Ninja Duo to make it super easy! Once thoroughly mixed, add in blueberries. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy with a hot cup of your favorite herbal tea! 

To Mealprep or Not to Meal Prep, That is The Question!

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Are you a meal-prepper? It’s come to my attention that meal prep Sunday is a new thing lately, you know kind of like Football Sunday but for chicks who cook. I’m not against it or anything, but personally I’m not a fan of meal prepping on Sundays.

I think part of the reason is because in a way it reminds me of my years of dieting, calorie counting and meal planning. I’d dissect every last bite and was so mathematic when it came to my food. It made me stressed, guilty & anxious. I always knew exactly what my next meal would be, when I would eat it, and how many calories I’d be consuming. In fact, it’s all I thought about.

When I quit dieting, I decided I deserved to feel JOY around food. I didn’t want it to feel in any way like it once did in college. I wanted to associate food with family, love and nourishment. I wanted cooking to be fun, sexy and experimental.

Nowadays, I’m super chill around food. I buy the ingredients I love (and that my body loves!) so my fridge is stocked up, then go by how I feel during the week! This way, I can tweak recipes as I see fit and eat what my body is craving (versus what it says I should eat on some post-it note.) I LOVE experimenting + having fun in the kitchen, so this way works for me!

The other night, my body was craving warm & cozy, so I whipped up a sweet potato, carrot & kale soup with ground turkey…with lots and lots of garlic. Yesterday I had an urge for meatballs, so I opened up the packge of ground grass-fed beef I had on reserve for dinner and mixed in garlic, onion, sea salt and cilantro to bake up some healthy & clean meatballs. It’s all about creating and going by what you’re in the mood for in my kitchen!

At the end of the day, ya gotta do you.

What about you? Are you a meal-prepper or do you just eat random foods throughout the week? I’d love to hear from ya! 

My Love Affair with Five Way Foods Bone Broth {Plus Natural Ways to Cleanse The Body & Improve Digestion}

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Bone broth has become quite the hot topic in the natural food world of late. But despite all the hype, I had yet to try it myself.

“It’s just such a pain to make…I’ll have to buy a whole chicken…make a roast…save the bones…it’s just too hard!” (excuses, excuses!)

MEET FIVE WAY FOODS

Fortunately, Five Way Foods reached out to me, offering to send me a few bottles to try. I was sold. Five Way Foods is an MA-based startup, specializing in locally-sourced broth with delicious flavor. All of their products are gluten and dairy free with no added sugar or chemicals. You can use their broth “5  ways” — as a beverage, in a stir-fry, as part of a sauce, in a soup/stew, or to make risotto. Or you can come up with your own unique way! I especially love that they source from local farms & purveyors like Red’s Best Seafood, Walden Local Meat Co., and Russo’s Market. Knowing where my food is coming from is extremely important to me!

The crew at Five Way Foods ended up sending me a bottle of each of their flavors: Chicken Bone Broth, Fish Bone Broth and Veggie Broth. All of them were absolutely delicious & full of flavor, though the chicken was my personal favorite! The secret ingredients? They keep it simple with real ingredients (just how I like it!) with just water, chicken bones, celery, onion, carrot, parsnip, olive oil, fresh herbs, sea salt & whole peppercorn. So much flavor! Shop local and get a bottle of your own here.

BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH

Other than the fact that bone broth is absolutely delicious (especially during the chilly Boston winters), it also helps to boost the immune system, improve digestion, support a healthy gut & promote detoxification. Plus it’s packed with good-for-you minerals! You can read all about its many health benefits in this great article by Dr. Axe.

NATURAL WAYS TO IMPROVE DIGESTION + CLEANSE THE BODY

Ever since my hypothyroidism diagnosis, I’ve been working hard to nourish my body through real food, while simultaneously loving up my sluggish thyroid. A big part of that is incorporating nourishing foods & techniques that help cleanse and improve digestion naturally. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

1. Bone Broth: As I mentioned above, I’m a huge fan. Buy it locally through a trusted provider like Five Way Foods, or try making your own! Luckily my hubby is a connoisseur in the kitchen, and loves making bone broth from scratch. He made a batch for me this week after we cooked an organic chicken the night before, and I’ve been loving sipping on it each day. Note: beware of some of the store bought varieties that are packed with sodium & other additives!

2. Morning Lemon Elixir: I love starting my day with a mug of hot water, with the juice of 1/2 lemon, cinnamon, a TB of apple cider vinegar if you can handle the taste/affect on your body, and a dash of honey if you want some sweetness. It really energizes me in the morning & gets my digestion going! Since I’m currently taking a month off coffee as part of my thyroid healing journal, this is a great alternative.

3. Dry Brushing: This past month, I’ve made dry brushing a part of my morning routine! You simply purchase a long natural wooden brush, and brush toward the heart. I like to do it right before a shower, followed by blanketing my skin in a nourishing body butter like Stress Less by Organic Bath Company. It’s been said to help increase circulation, improve digestion, and invigorate the body just to name a few of the many benefits. Personally, I’ve become addicted!

4. Infrared Sauna: Fortunately, my husband & I have a pop-up infrared sauna in our bedroom. I enjoy using it every morning for about 10-15 minutes, as it’s a great way to sweat out those toxins & get the blood flowing in the morning! I know I’ve been feeling much more energized and vibrant since making this a part of my daily routine.

5. Fermented foods: Fermented foods are naturally packed with probiotics, which add good bacteria to your body while encouraging a healthy digestion & gut function. My current favorites are Kombucha and sauerkraut!

6. Chew Chew Chew: Chew your food! It’s super hard to digest a meal when we’re eating like we’re in a race. Slow down & enjoy, so your body can properly digest what your feeding it.

7. Slow Down: Speaking of slowing down, I don’t just mean during your meal. Slow down your life! Spend some time journaling, meditating or taking a cozy bath. By slowing down, you can reduce stress and tension and give your body the love it needs.

Note: I received product & compensation from Five Way Foods, however as always all opinions and writing are my own. It’s important to note that this is my personal experience, and I am not a medical doctor or nutritionist. Please seek medical advice from your Doctor before making any big changes to your diet or lifestyle.

New Year’s Resolutions, You Can STFU

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Ew.

I am seriously so sick & tired of all the magazine articles, advertisements & blogger body shots telling you what your New Year’s resolution should be (and that you need to lose weight). Seriously, you can shut the eff up. Sorry for the bluntness but this kind of stuff gets my blood boiling.

But then again, it’s sort of expected by now. Every year around this time the diet industry, media & leader’s in the health world think it’s a great idea to play on women’s holiday vulnerabilities & body insecurities to make us think that a.) you aren’t good enough b.) you need to lose weight and c.) this year you can really make a change.

THIS IS YOUR YEAR!

IT’S TIME TO FINALLY LOSE THE WEIGHT!

DROP TWO DRESS SIZES!

10 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT & GET FIT IN 2017!

GET YOUR DREAM BODY!

SLIM DOWN IN 7 DAYS!

YOUR TICKET TO A SIX PACK!

Enough is enough.

Why do you assume that the only thing us women care about is how our bodies are perceived by others? Where are the articles boasting ways to love yourself more, re-energize or find a career that brings you joy & passion? And when did someone else’s resolution become your business anyway? It’s kind of a personal thing, if you ask me.

If someone truly wants to lose weight, let them decide that for themselves and make their own goals based on how they want to feel. But don’t assume. Never assume. It’s not a good look.

Personally for me, 2017 is going to be about getting my energy back & loving up my thyroid so I can feel AMAZING in my body & get my health restored to start a family. Nothing to do with dropping the pounds, and I could give two shits about my abs.

So as we close out 2016, I challenge you to reflect back on the year and think about your highs and lows, your accomplishments and the valuable lessons you learned. Then, based on your own experience, think about what you want to manifest for yourself in 2017 (not what some dumb article said you should manifest.)

Here’s to a rockin’ 2017!

xoxo,

Rachel

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Coffee-Loving, Big-Hearted Running Machine

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Happy Friday, ladies! I’m like a little kid on Christmas right now for 2 reasons a.) because it’s almost Christmas and b.) my Kickstarter campaign for my “Spark Your Bliss” affirmation cards is just $75 shy of my goal. Since Kickstarter is all or nothing, I have until 2pm EST to raise the funds! If you’d like to snag your own deck (while supporting me!) you can do so here.

Now onto this week’s feature for Healthy Chicks in the Community, a weekly series highlighting badass women doing their thang. I’m thrilled to introduce you to Meg. This gal’s got a huge heart, and I love her ability to take risks & go after what makes her feel good. In fact, she’s got such a big heart that she actually said to me earlier this week that one of her goals for 2017 is to do more good with her money. How rad is that?

Without further adieu, here’s Meg!

NAME/AGE: Meg McClafferty/32

TWITTER: @megariana84

CURRENT CITY: Boston

PHOTO TAKEN: Sitting on my couch before a long run!

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Marketing and Client Service at a small boutique investment firm

NUMBER ONE PASSION: One of my top strengths is the ability to make people feel welcomed and included. I was bullied relentlessly in elementary and middle school, and I never want someone to feel that same way.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: When I eat well and exercise!

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: You need a pint of J.P. Licks!

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Butter, eggs, coffee!

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Chicken Parm, with little to no sauce (and no, TB12 didn’t inspire me to!)

SONG THAT MOVES YOU: I run on music! “I have Confidence” from the Sound of Music has been my power song since I was 5. “Electric Feel” by MGMT is my most played iTunes song, “You can do it” by Ice Cube is my “Get through this last half mile!” song, and “Girls just wanna have fun” is just a great song all around!

THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU: I’m loyal (sometimes to a fault), kind (voted most friendly in high school), and determined!

FAVORITE BODY PART: Arms and Shoulders. I had an elementary school music teacher who made a comment on my skinny “chicken” arms. I still think about that 23 years later. I’ve worked hard to have shoulders I’m proud to show off!

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Running (quite literally!)

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS:
“Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got” -Janis Joplin. That was my high school yearbook quote, which has turned into my life’s motto. If I’m not comfortable or happy where I am, I’m not afraid to take a breather. If something in your life isn’t working the way you thought, stop, let it go. You have to trust something: God, Allah, the old Willow in the Public Garden. You’ll be surprised at what happens when you trust the universe. I quit my big corporate job last year. I was becoming someone I didn’t like, angry, not sleeping, etc. So I quit, worked at a small shop on Charles St that paid just enough for my rent and student loans. Then a job opened up at a smaller firm, and I took it. And I’ve never been happier. I love the quote “Change is scary, but not changing is even scarier.”

Also, once in your life either cut your hair short or sit in your hair dressers seat and say “do whatever you want today”. Trust me when I say, it will change your life. It’s hair, it’ll grow back. Before every single major change in my life, my hair was the first to go. And it has made me stronger and more confident in more ways than there are words in the dictionary.

14-Day Winter Self-Care Challenge {Starts 1/9/17}

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed!

With that said, this time of year can also be particularly tough for some. Family, comfort food, frigid temps and holiday stress can be a trigger for many. Through all the mayhem, many of us subconsciously put our self-care on the back burner (when in reality, it may be the only thing keeping us sane).

That’s why my soul sister Kelley + I crafted up a winter self-care challenge for you to put yourself first again this coming year.

Our 14-day Self-Care Winter Wellness Challenge is all about YOU + will give you all the tools you need to rock 2017. Oh, and they’ll be no talk of dieting, calories or “losing weight” (pinky promise!) – we’re GAINING our health, confidence, and self-love back ladies!

The challenge will begin on Monday, January 9th + includes:

1. Daily dose of positivity sent straight to your email (even better than your morning mocha!) with clear action-steps to implement right away for the two weeks

2. Access to our private ‘Soul Sisters’ Facebook group to hold one another accountable – We’re a firm believer that the main reason we don’t follow through is because we have no one to keep us accountable. P.S. We’ll be taking part too!

3. Daily Zen Moment: We’ll surprise you with a yoga move, mini meditation or self-care tool each & every day for you to live in your “zen.”

4. Daily journaling exercises + positive mantras to dig deep and create a true shift in mindset

5. Welcome program guide packed with a slew of our favorite heart-warming winter recipes + an HC-approved winter grocery list (note: no foods are off limits during this program!)

BONUS: Sign up today 12/21 + we’ll send you a Healthy Chick’s Spark Your Bliss affirmation deck for FREE ($25 value)!

THE DEETS

START DATE: Monday, January 9th

YOUR INVESTMENT: $50 (Sign up with a friend by Friday 1/6 + save $10 each!)

SIGN ME UP:

1.) Get on our list by clicking here — you’ll receive next steps  shortly! 

2.) Complete your purchase below via Paypal.

Winter Self-Care Challenge

3.) Get ready for more details coming soon!

With love,

Rachel + Kelley (Your soul sisters)

Surviving the Holiday Season When You’re Feeling Not So Hot in Your Body

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed! I have to admit, I’m a sucker for decked out houses with holiday lights, Christmas music & cozy holiday meals.

With that said, this time of year can also be particularly tough for some. Family, comfort food, and holiday stress can be a trigger for many, especially those dealing with body image issues or eating disorders. Personally, in college when I was struggling with body image & a borderline eating disorder, the holidays brought a lot of fear to the surface.

Will I gain weight?

Will my family notice my weirdness around food?

Do my thighs look fat in my new jeans?

Why can’t I just be normal??!

These were the types of thoughts that would rattle through my head. And more recently, similar types of fear have come up for me. Currently, I’m struggling with hypothyroidism, which in the past few months have caused me to gain weight (about 10 pounds!) and feel foggy & exhausted throughout the day. While I’m working to get to the root of the problem and take back my health, it hasn’t been super easy for me.

The other day after spending a beautiful weekend celebrating Christmas with my family, I broke down to my husband on the car ride home. “I’m just sick of feeling this way,” I confessed. I didn’t like that I had to take a nap in the afternoon, and that my pants fit differently. I felt blah.

Rather than dwelling in the negativity, I decided I was going to spin it and channel these feelings into positive, good vibes. After all, I have control over how I want to feel and how I choose to see things. I choose to see differently. I choose love. And you can do!

Here are a few simple tips you can practice if you’re not feeling your best self this season.

1. Amp Up Your Self Care

It all starts with self care. Do the things that make you feel super pampered, and don’t apologize for taking time for YOU. My favorite ways to practice self-care are through essential oils, cuddling up with a good book, journaling and at-home facials.

2. Honor Your Body

Look at your body in the mirror, and appreciate it’s beauty. Place your hands on your tummy with loving intentions. Want to really go deep? Consider writing your body a love letter. Go ahead, give it a go!

3. Eat the Foods that Nourish You + Make You Glow

Try with all your might to focus less on the calories, and more about the foods that will nourish you. Instead of categorizing food as good or bad, think about how it makes you feel. After all, food is meant to be celebrated — especially around the holidays!

4. Avoid the Scale

Seriously, get rid of it. The scale will do you no good if you’re already feeling insecure about your body. If you have an addictive habit of weighing yourself (hello, that was me!), consider covering up the number with a loving note like “My body is not a number” or “I choose to honor by body.”

5. Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can be a very powerful way of shifting your mindset! If you need some support getting started, my “Spark Your Bliss Deck” will be the perfect tool for you as you embark the new year. You can purchase your own deck (while supporting my Kickstarter campaign) here.

How can you practice self-love this holiday season?

 
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