What Brought Your the Most Joy as a Little Kid? Incorporate Those Things Into Your Life Now!

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Last week when I was chatting with Beth Hopkins of Shamanuti for an article I wrote for Well Insiders, we got to talking about the things that brought us the most joy as a little girl. Beth told the most beautiful story of how at just five years old, her and her cousin would make floral waters to sell to friends of her grandparents and the local community of the Gardener’s Cottage she grew up in. Each year, she’d wait for the violets and lilacs to bloom, since those made the loveliest waters.

Little did she know that years later her passion for hand-crafting floral waters would lead to the start of her business, Shamanuti, which specializes in natural products utilizing plant-based ingredients found in nature.

It’s funny how our passions as a little kid tend to stick with us, and perhaps maybe we should think more often about what made us happy growing up. I too had a similar story as Beth, and was inspired to dig a little deeper last year when gearing up to leave my full-time job.

I vividly remember sitting with my Energy Healer Katie, pouring my heart out to her about feeling … Read More!

A Blazing Summer + Fitbit Giveaway

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Hello beautiful ladies! Hope you’re off to one heck of a summer; I know I am. I left my full-time job, celebrated my 29th birthday, camped with some of my faves, chilled by the ocean, took an incredible calligraphy class, and have been eating all the food. Um, hello wine + cheese.

One of my favorite parts about summer is being outdoors and staying active — be it hiking, long walks on the beach collecting sea glass, morning runs or standup paddleboarding.

Fitbit makes it easier than ever to track all of your activities in a stylish, simple way. With the latest and greatest member of their active line — the Fitbit Blaze — they’ve totally pumped it up a notch. I absolutely love the plum wristband on the one I was given (my fave color!) but it also comes in blue and black if purple’s not your thing.

Check out these sleek features to see why I’m lovin’ the Blaze:

  • Connected GPS™ maps routes and delivers real-time exercise stats on device like distance and pace (using the GPS from your connected smartphone).
  • Cool one-of-a-kind screen features like color touch screen and music control. Ya
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The Power of Shutting Down + Looking Within {Plus My Experience at Raffa Yoga}

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Something I really struggle with, which I’ve talked about on the blog before, is unplugging. I have a tendency to want to go-go-go all the time, and often put pressure on myself to get it all done. In a world of technology overload, I find it incredibly challenging to just pause and be (without checking my iPhone two minutes later).

So when I was given the opportunity to join one of my Boston bestie’s — Cara Gilam’s — “Revive, Refresh, Retreat” day-long yoga getaway last weekend, I knew it my heart I had to sign up. I needed to do this for myself, for my soul. And so I did…I cleared my weekend plans and make a big decision to make myself a priority for the day. After all, I so deserved it.

We met early in the morning at lululemon chestnut hill, where we immediately went into a 60-minute vinyasa flow to get our blood flowing. After breakfast + much-needed coffee (no shame!), we were given gift bags with little goodies and all the deets on our secret destination. Our gift bags were adorable + personalized with our names on them! They included:

  • a japa mala bag for holding
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Is it fall yet? {2 Recipes to Get You in the Spirit}

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Is it fall yet?

Seriously, I’m so ready.

With this 90+ degree heat wave in Boston, I’ve been daydreaming about boots + leggings, pumpkin (everything) and crisp afternoon strolls in the park.

Unfortunately, my daydreaming isn’t making the season change any faster, so I decided to bring fall to me! Try these 2 pumpkin-themed recipes for a little taste of fall in your summer home.

Autumn Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ c. pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
  • dash of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of sea salt
  1. Blend all ingredients except rosemary in food processor until smooth.
  2. Stir in the rosemary, and add any additional spices or salt to taste.

Serve with warm pita bread, apple or pear slices, crackers, carrots or other fave veggies!

Pumpkin Pie + Dark Chocolate Energy Balls

  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 c. raw pecans
  • 1/3 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened coconut flakes (+ another ¼ c. for rolling)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ c. chia seeds
  • dash of raw honey or maple syrup,
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It All Starts with Love (Not Weight Loss)

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Alright, I’m about to get real REAL over here on the blog. While I absolutely love all my fellow fitness professionals, coaches, yogis, etc. out there, I think lately there’s been a bit of a mixup when it comes to the whole body love thing.

Here me out. I see a lot of this:

“I lost those stubborn 15 pounds, and was able to finally love my body!”

“Work with me so you can lose the weight and then feel proud of who you are when you look in the mirror!”

“Look at my body!!!”

I also see a sh*t-ton of “body selfies.” And girl, more power to you if you’re able to get that 6-pack or you love the way your arms look when you flex. But is that really what it’s all about?

Is this really depicting body love?

Personally, I think we’ve got it all backwards.

For me, I wasn’t able to lose the weight (let alone transform my skewed relationship with food) until I gained some self-respect. I could run for miles & miles, and nosh on kale all day, and still look in the mirror and think I was fat.

You see, it wasn’t until … Read More!

Then & Now: My Personal Journey Toward Finally Discovering Peace in My Body

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The photo on the left is me right after graduating college. At the time, I weighed myself roughly 5 times a day, counted every calorie I put into my mouth, and ate mostly bland diet food.

I didn’t want to gain any more weight, and I constantly told myself I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough or skinny enough. (Note: this did nothing for my physical or mental health!)

I was self-conscious, afraid, living in fear.

Flash-forward 6 years, and I’m still the same girl but the only thing that’s shifted is my MINDSET. I don’t own a scale, and the last time I weighed myself was at the doctor’s office. The number meant nothing to me.

I don’t even care to look at the calories, as what I care most about is the ingredients and what it is that I’m putting into my body. I eat according to what my body wants & needs; some days this is kale salads, green smoothies and roasted veggies, and sometimes it’s a juicy cheeseburger, slice of homemade pizza or some decadent dark chocolate.

I listen. I breathe. I allow my body to feel different things. I am happy. I am content. I am

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Soul Sisters Island Getaway: An Empowering Day of Yoga, Journaling, Crafting & Bliss

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This past Saturday, Kelley & I hosted our first Soul Sisters Day Retreat. Destination? Spectacle Island. For those of you who don’t know, Soul Sisters is a monthly retreat for women looking to escape the city, reignite their passion and re-connect with their soul’s truth.

Our first official retreat (away from the city!) could not have gone any better, and I think I can speak for anyone who was there that it was purely magical. The theme of our mini island getaway was empowerment & bliss, and we let that shine through in everything we did throughout the retreat.

Here’s a quick recap of our beautiful day:

11 a.m. The women joined us at Long Wharf to check-in and meet everyone. Upon arrival, they were given energy squares from Organic Living Superfoods and an organic, cold-pressed juice, courtesy of Cocobeet! Big thank you to Onur from Cocobeet for keeping us hydrated & rejuvenated all day long…my favorite juice was Green Genes, but other creative hits were Kickstart, Watermelon Quench, Forbidden and Black Rose. I think it’s safe to say the snacks were a huge hit! We also gifted the ladies vegan lip balms from Hurraw! Balm (my absolute fave) … Read More!

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Volunteering, Strawberry Cream Cheese-Loving, Soul Seeker

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Good afternoon friends, and happy Friday! I am so thrilled to bring back one of my favorite Healthy Chicks traditions: Healthy Chicks in the Community. If you’re new over here, each and every week I would spotlight a fabulous gal via a mini interview here on the blog.

To bring it back with a bang, I can’t think of a more perfect woman to feature. When I first met Kelsey, I was immediately drawn to her infectious, glowing personality and genuine care for other people’s wellbeing. She’s one of those selfless souls that has the biggest heart, and you can feel that energy just by being around her. (The girl literally radiates positive energy!) Go ahead, see for yourself…

NAME/AGE: Kelsey Margaret O’Neil, 22

BLOG/TWITTER Website: kelseyoneil.com Twitter/Instagram: @Kekeoneil

CURRENT CITY: Boston, MA

PHOTO TAKEN: In Jaipur India, by Helena Monterio

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I recently graduated from Boston University, and am looking to move to Southeast Asia (hopefully Kathmandu, Nepal) to work in humanitarian aid/disaster relief in September!

NUMBER ONE PASSION: This may sound cliché, but I love volunteering and helping those in need in developing countries, whether it be at orphanages in India or Leprosy … Read More!

5 Healthy Finds I’m Loving Right Now {Beauty, Fitness, Wellness, Fashion + Food}

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Well, it’s officially Daylight Saving Time, and I’m praying/hoping/dreaming that we really do indeed “spring ahead.”

But in the meantime as I continue to freeze my butt off, share Ubers with strangers to work, and recoup from the Boston Blizzards of 2015, I’ve also been having a lot of fun navigating some new + exciting healthy finds. Hey, when the weather gets rough, spend your paycheck on things that are good for your health. Am I right or am I right? Hey, at least it makes things seem a little sunnier! Below are my latest obsessions.

BEAUTY FIND: Love Lettuce Face Mask, LUSH, $6.95

Last week while visiting my lovely friends at LUSH Cosmetics, I was given a tub of their “Love Lettuce” fresh face mask. Made with natural, soothing ingredients like lavender, almond oil, and honey, this mask is intended to give dull skin a renewed glow while balancing oily t-zones.  The product also contains ground almonds for an all-natural exfoliating effect!

Since my skin can be on the sensitive side, I tested it out on my nose and neck last night and fell in love. I can’t wait to try it out on my entire … Read More!

HC’s Winter Wellness Challenge: RING IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON FEELING HAPPY, SEXY + CONFIDENT

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but why aren’t you feeling in the holiday spirit?

Are you feeling stressed out to the max?

Hung-up about your body?

Sluggish…Broke…Defeated?

Are you finding yourself ordering takeout 5 days of the week?

Milking that snooze button a little more than you should?

Skipping the gym…because PJs just seem a little more enticing?

I’ve got a secret for you: you’re not alone.

There’s been a lot of talk lately on feeling those winter blues (er, pre-winter blues to be exact).

So I’ve been busy brewing up a fun, interactive wellness challenge for y’all! That’s right, the 21-Day Winter Blues “Get Healthy + Happy” Wellness Challenge: Ring in the holiday season feeling happy, sexy and confident in your own skin!*
*WITHOUT DIETING OR GIVING UP PUMPKIN PIE!!

The challenge will begin on Monday, December 1st (right after Thanksgiving weekend), and includes:

  • Daily dose of positivity sent straight to your email (even better than your morning latte!) with clear action-steps to implement right away for the 21 days.
  • Access to private Facebook group to hold one another accountable – I’m a firm believer that the main reason we don’t follow through is because we
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