As women, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to our friends, acquaintances, co-workers, siblings, business partners, fitness idols, you name it. While being inspired by someone or looking up to someone is perfectly fine or normal, it’s when the comparisons set it that things can get a little messy. This typically leads to feelings of jealousy, resentment, judgement or straight up “not good enough” which can be extremely harmful to your personal wellbeing.
While I still struggle from time to time to resist my ego and natural inclination to compare myself, I’ve realized it does no one any good. Here’s why you should stop comparing your plate, pant size, paycheck, yoga posture and everything in between:
1. You don’t know their full story. Often times when we compare, we wish we were *just like* the other person OR we judge the other person. The truth of the matter is that we don’t know their full story, and we may never know their full story. Pay attention to your own story instead.
2. Bio-Individuality: Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. This is why some women swear by vegan diets, and others thrive on lean meats. It’s also why some hate to run & prefer yoga, and others could run outside all day every day if their life depended on it. If you’re constantly imitating someone else’s behavior, you’ll lose site of your own strengths. Listen to your body and pay attention to what makes you feel your very best self (not your best friend).
3. There’s Only One You. Yes, there are other people out there who are doing what you do. Yes, there are other women who are making double (even 10x) the amount of money you make. Yes, your best friend is in The. Best. Relationship. Yes, your yoga teacher has the most toned arms ever. However, there is only one you. Focus on yourself and let your inner goddess shine.
4. Focusing On Yourself Allows for Growth: I used to be that girl in yoga class that would stare at everyone else’s poses to make sure I was doing it “right.” Turns out, looking at everyone else prevented me from getting stronger. Once I began listening to the cues and focusing on my body, I began to get stronger. Suddenly getting it “right” or “wrong” didn’t matter anymore. It’s what’s right for your body that counts. This holds true for all aspects of your life.
5. Jealously is Ugly: Jealousy aint pretty. To be jealous means that you, in some way or another, aren’t satisfied with a particular part of your life. Once you quit wasting your time being envious (and trust me, I’ve been there) suddenly your life becomes THAT much more fabulous. It’s just how things work!
What areas in your life do you compare yourself to others? How do you snap out of it and bring your focus back to YOU?
You know those moments when just the right thing comes along at just the right time? It’s as if it was planned that way on purpose, like a little special hug from the Universe. It usually sneaks up on you during one of those “off days,” rough patches or time of grieving. All of the sudden, a little pick-me-up sort of falls into your lap out of no where.
To be honest with you, I’m still feeling a bit off in coping with Monday’s events, and have been having a hard time writing let alone feeling myself. I just keep replaying the day over and over again up to the moment of the attack, thinking “What if it were me?” However, I’ve certainly been finding love & joy in everything around me to not only help myself cope, but also those around me. To help our city heal.
You see, when you look for love it’s everywhere, really. You can find love in things as small as your morning cappuccino or as large as an entire community coming together to pray & heal.
Love is in the eyes of your barista, your lover, the stranger on the street. In that couldn’t-have-been-a-better-time email, note card, text, voicemail or phone call. It’s even in that most perfect fortune attached to your yogi tea.
Love & light is in you, and me and the entire Universe (something I was reminded yet again during the final minute of my yoga class last night).
Just keep your eyes and your heart open and you too will find love. This week, I have found love in…
*The overwhelming number of calls, texts, emails (from some people whom I haven’t spoken to in years) I received to ensure my safety
*The surprise visit from my mom, who came up from CT to take me on a lunch date, followed by some shopping & strolling in Harvard Square to cheer me up
*The warm rays of sunshine on my face
*My delicious mug of French Roast coffee
*The home-made meal The Boy whipped up the other night to put a smile on my face
*The adorable Buddha card my friend Jen sent from Toronto, pouring her love & admiration for me. It seriously couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time.
*Hugs from friends who I adore
*Goodnight kisses & cuddle seshes that felt especially consoling this week
*The restorative yoga class I took last night, with the most beautiful “Om” at the end. The teacher even sang to us during Shavasana. It was absolutely beautiful & perfect.
It was just what I needed….exactly at the right time.
I want to know, when’s a time where you were sent some love at just. the. right. time? Share your stories below! Much love to you all…
Good afternoon, Healthy Chicks and Happy Spring to you! Even though it may not feel like it, especially with the snow/ice on the ground for fellow Bostonians, today officially marks the first day of the season (and yes, I’m wearing winter boots).
I love the beginning of the season, as it’s a chance to start fresh, get rid of the not-so-good in your life and boost up the really good, juicy stuff. And I especially adore spring because it means warm weather, chirping birds and flip-flop season is near. Plus, spring is a great time to clean up your diet and get clear about your health goals. (If you need help in this area, that’s where I come in!) After all, lots of lively fruits & veggies come into season around this time like leafy greens and zesty citrus fruits.
For me, I’m going to dedicate this time for spring-cleaning, far beyond just my closet and drawers. While my wardrobe definitely needs to be cleaned out, I’m going to focus on de-cluttering my mind too by getting organized! I also want to continue to work on unplugging, as being hooked to my laptop and phone all day definitely isn’t serving me well. This means less time online and more time reading, going for long walks, staying active in the community, and cleansing my mind in other ways. I am much more productive when I’m detached from technology, simply alone with my thoughts. Check out my post published over on SpaFinder for more ways to de-clutter your life for spring.
To ring in the new season, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorite things of late, from must-have products to feel-good fitness and mouthwatering eats. Enjoy!
FITNESS: I’ve been trying all sorts of new fitness lately! This morning I joined for my first workout with The November Project, a movement with a mission to provide fun, free, sweaty workouts to the community. While Wednesday morning workouts are typically Stadium Runs at Harvard Stadium, due to the ice this morning we did sprints in the snow at the baseball field instead. Not to mention a classic game of Sharks & Minnows!
Seriously, I’ve never met such a passionate, motivated, friendly community all there for the same reason: to work hard and have fun. Every person you meet says, “Bring it in for the hug. We hug here!” Love that! Co-Founders Brogan and Bojan kept everyone pumped up and motivated throughout the ultra-cold, snowy hour. Did I mention the workouts start at 6:30 a.m.? Ever better, I got The Boy to join in by bribing him with a warm breakfast on me afterward! Worked like a charm.
[such a champ!]
In addition, this past month I tried Pilates with Hanneke, got my spin on with Christina at Recycle, burned it out in Pure Barre and have completely fell in love with yoga, more than usual lately. It just gives me that incredibly awesome feeling that’s hard to come by in other activities. Yoga guru Goldie Kaufenberg said it best in her Hip Hop Yoga class at Back Bay Yoga yesterday afternoon: “People come to yoga for different reasons. But I think there’s one universal reason…you simply leave feeling better.” Amen to that.
WEBSITES: Marie Forleo (for aspiring entrepreneurs) & Gabrielle Bernstein (for “Spirit Junkies.”) Time to get inspired for spring, ladies! Also, fellow fitness enthusiasts be sure to check out Share It Fitness, a fitness & wellness site with great tips and on-the-go fitness videos. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be contributing articles regularly starting next week! Oh, and the team is comprised solely of JMU grads, where I went to college. (Go Dukes!)
NATURAL BEAUTY: Some of you may know the obsession I have with Hurraw! Balm, an all-natural, eco-friendly lip balm. In fact, I’m hosting a giveaway here on Healthy Chicks, which ends this Friday so if you want to get in on the action I suggest you do so now! I also heart Organic cold-pressed coconut oil & jojoba oil (for moisturizers), Acure Organics shampoo, Yes To products especially their face towelettes after a sweaty workout (while not completely natural, they’re free from parabens, petroleum, SLS, phthalates and other harmful ingredients that sneak their way into skincare products these days), and last but not least Tom’s toothpaste and deodorant. Lately, I’m loving the Beautiful Earth as it leaves a nice fresh, natural scent perfect for spring weather.
MUSIC: The Lumineers, Regina Spektor, Mumford & Sons, Lana Del Rey, Lykke Li, and any & all Oldies
GADGETS: My Vitamix. It seriously never fails to amaze me, and you can make anything in it from gluten-free brownie balls and sauces to soups and green smoothies. If you’re interested in purchasing one for yourself, go through my Affiliate link to get FREE shipping ($25 off). Note: to save some money, look into their Reconditioned Machines, that work just as good as new! I also adore the new padded Macbook case I just purchased on Etsy and can’t wait until it arrives in the mail.
OUTDOOR WEAR: I’m loving this Women’s Athena Jacket in Silver/Jet Black that the kind folks at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) sent me. While it won’t be available in-store until September, I was given a jacket for my honest feedback. While I’d say the colors are more suitable for fall and winter, I know I’ll get great use out of it this Spring too as you fellow New-Englanders know how the weather can be.
I’ve already worn it in quite a bit, and find it especially handy for a quick zip-up when walking to yoga & the gym, hiking, skiing, and any outdoor activity pretty much. I actually wore it this morning under my North Face jacket to stay warm during the November Project workout!
I love how the insulated core keeps you dry and warm (especially during wet conditions like this morning), and the Power Stretch Fabric is fitted, yet allows for comfortable movement. Oh, and those nifty thumbholes may just be my favorite part! I have such great respect for EMS as a whole, and find them to be a trusted company for all sports, travel and fitness gear. Check out my article recently published on their blog on healthy snacks for fit, active people!
DRINKS: Flowering Rock Tea (the Mneme with sideritis, sage, chamomile and cretan dittany is my fave especially for this time of season!), Equal Exchange Coffee, Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with filtered water, and Be Alive juice (Apple, Beet, Carrot, Green) from Life Alive Cafe are some of my favorite new jams.
[feel so alive!]
FOOD: Latest obsessions include seaweed snacks, avocados, wild-caught salmon, arugula, just-a-little-bit-runny eggs (I love Pete & Gerry’s organic cage-free eggs), Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast, hearty soups (last night The Boy made Fish Chowder), super-green smoothies, raw nuts & homemade pesto (check out my dairy-free version here). I adore food, and am continuously playing in the kitchen and trying out new recipes. Can’t wait to see what spring has in store!
COFFEE SHOPS: Since most of my work can be done from home, I naturally like to get out of the house for a change of scene. While sometimes I stick to good ol’ Starbucks (simply because I have a lot of giftcards and I’m a Gold Member) I much prefer local cafes with cool vibes. Lately, I’ve been loving Atomic Bean Cafe, Mariposa Bakery and Wired Puppy which all have free WIFI (a huge plus for a writer/social media addict). Any place with exposed brick, killer cappuccinos and good music has my heart.
[L: Atomic Bean; R: Mariposa]
RESTAURANTS: The other week, I was fortunate to try sweetgreen for the first time and I’m 100% hooked. Their Seasonal March Salad with mesclun, baby spinach, roasted sweet potatoes, blue cheese, caramelized onion, bacon, candied pecans and balsamic vinaigrette is to-die-for, pairing perfectly with the Roasted Mushroom Soup. I’ve been doing some part-time community marketing for the company, as they’ll be launching in Boston this June! Not only is their food addictive, but I firmly believe in their mission to create an environment with good food, good people, good music and overall sweetness.
I also tried b.good for the first time this past weekend with my girlfriends, and really liked their dedication to fast, REAL, local food. I got the turkey burger on a gluten free bun with mushrooms, caramelized onions, gouda and homemade BBQ sauce. However, I’m trying to cut back/eliminate dairy again so this was definitely a treat for me. I’m a sucker for cheese, but it does not love my skin.
[L: sweetgreen; R: b.good]
What are your favorite spring-y things? What are you most excited for this season?
This past Saturday, I was invited to celebrate City Sports’ grand opening at their new Chestnut Hill location, which also happens to be City Sports’ 30th Anniversary month. (Happy Birthday City Sports!)
While the party didn’t officially start until 10 a.m., I got there at 9 a.m. for a private media event beforehand. I coincidentally ran into another blogger friend on the way there (the adorable, super-fit Jess from Little Miss Runshine), so we walked to City Sports together. We were shocked upon arriving, as the line was already down the sidewalk! Apparently, some had been standing out in the cold for hours.
After all, the first 100 customers were to receive a City Sports goodie bag filled with giftcards and sweet giveaways from City Sports and Nike. Plus, one lucky duck would find the grand prize in their bag: a free pair of shoes each month for the entire year! (I’d take that over the Golden Ticket any day.) Oh yea, and did I mention former New England Patriot Matt Light would be making a special appearance? I don’t blame these City Sports fanatics one bit for getting up early for the event; heck I’d do the same!
Luckily, we got to “cut” the line so we could take a grand tour of the store, ask any questions we wanted and get to snapping some pics. Everyone at City Sports was so unbelievably friendly, and I never felt so welcome. After a quick intro from PR rep Erin, we were handed over to City Sports’ Digital Marketing Specialist Ben Eld who took us under his wing the rest of the morning. Ben was super knowledgable about the store layout, fitness and products/gear, so I felt lucky to be by his side to ask any lingering questions and learn more about the City Sports culture. He pointed out some pretty cool features about the Chestnut Hill store including:
- The Women’s CS by City Sports line that now comes in extended sizes, with greater care to an attractive look. I was loving the CS By City Sports Accelerate Full Zip Jacket.
- The many colorful options of Citys Sports tees, ideal for spring activities.
- An indoor track (the first in Boston area and second at any City Sports store) so that runners can test out their shoes before they buy, without mucking them up outdoors. I thought this was one of the best features of all, and a genius idea at that!
- The Women’s Lifestyle section with comfy & casual everyday wear, as well as an updated pant wall and an entire area dedicated for yoga! My recent yogi self swooned with joy! I want. I want. I want.
- Racquets galore! With a special department dedicated to racquet sports, experts will provide demos and string racquets in-store!
- And arguably the most impressive of all: 300+ styles of fabulous footwear. Seriously, whoever won the free shoes for a year is in for a treat!
It was about this time that I fell in love with these super-trendy, PINK Nike Flyknit Lunar 1+ Women’s Running shoes, an Editor’s Runner’s Choice. With adaptive lightweight support, soft cushioning, and incredible breathability, these shoes are a runner’s dream. Specially knit with Nike Flywire cables, they claim to “fit your foot like a sock.” You can watch the video to learn more about the shoe here. Sign me up!
Jess and I also did our fair share of goofing around, like trading spaces with the DJ…
[right photo cred: Jess]
Oh, and stuffing our faces with Pinkberry Strawberry & Mango froyo…
Additional festivities for the morning included a complimentary 5K Nike Fun Run, raffles, meet-and-greet with Matt Light, and refreshments. I also got to meet the guys behind Boston Fitness Magazine, a new magazine dedicated to everything fit & healthy in the city!
As I head out the door, I was handed a super-generous gift bag filled with fitness goodies which I couldn’t be more grateful for.
The bag included:
- CS By City Sports Triumph Run 1/4 Zip in Green
- A bright City Sports tee (that I’ve already worn on a run!)
- A navy City Sports headband
- SNAP Infusion “Supercandy” packets
- Nike Performance cushioned running socks
- A City Sports key chain
- A City Sports giftcard
- A day pass to Sports Club/LA
Big thank you to City Sports for hosting an incredible, memorable event! I left feeling inspired, motivated and excited to be living in a city with so many like-minded, fit and healthy people. I can’t wait to get my run on with the City Sports Back Bay Run Club, which meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Back Bay location. Who wants to join me?
Good evening ladies! Hope you all had a great day, and are now taking some time to shut down and relax. You deserve it, after all. Be sure to check out my post from earlier today recapping a fun sports bra fitting event I attended last night at New Balance. But tonight I’m here to bring you this week’s feature for Healthy Chicks in the Community, who’s actually a cousin of The Boy, and someone I admire greatly for her dedication to inner happiness and wellness. I’ll let Marybeth take it from here…
NAME/AGE: Marybeth Ferreira… Soon to be 30
CURRENT CITY: outside of Worcester
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Outpatient Mental Health Clinician, specializing in children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities
NUMBER ONE PASSION: Do I have to choose one?
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Active, eating well, GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP, and finding balance in all of my roles
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I like to bake fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies and sample the batter!… and skip parts of workouts I don’t prefer… on occasion
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: olive oil, quinoa, and organic chicken broth
NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: brain numbing reality tv… I’m ashamed…
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: yoga!
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: ice cream
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: I believe that health is at it’s best when it’s approached holistically. That being said, start little by little, step by step. I used to be that girl that could live on take out, and I mean the unhealthiest of healthy, rarely exercise, and put other people’s emotional needs before my own. I’ve learned that holistic health is a process, and patience is the key. Each day just try, then some things become new habits, and those can be built upon. With all the changes that we swear to make regarding our bodies, I really want chicks to not forget that how you feel and think are HUGE factors, and you need to be nurtured and loved…by yourself
Good afternoon ladies and Happy Valentine’s Day! You can check out my thoughts on Valentine’s Day & 40 Days of Gratitude Project here. But in the meantime, I’ve got this week’s spotlight for Healthy Chicks in the Community, a sweet Southern gal who hearts yoga and sweaty workouts. I’ll let Sara take it from here…
NAME/AGE: Sara, 26
CURRENT CITY: Atlanta, GA
PHOTO TAKEN: Maui, Hawaii
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Corporate Event Planning
NUMBER ONE PASSION: Spreading love and happiness
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Sweating lots and eating good, clean foods.
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: I eat copious amounts of cheese. I.LOVE.CHEESE.
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Spinach (I throw it in everything…eggs, salads, sandwiches), Olive Oil, Dark Chocolate.
NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE: Macaroni and Cheese
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Yoga
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: My mom’s creamed spinach topped with Vermont sharp white cheddar.
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a happy, healthy lifestyle. Read wellness blogs, learn healthy recipes, and try new workouts. Slowly, you’ll find what clicks for you and when you do, it will become part of who you are.
If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. And remember, if you aren’t feeling your healthiest self or are struggling to make positive changes, shoot me an email anytime to schedule your FREE 15-minute info session / sign up for one of my health coaching programs.
On this past Wednesday morning, I woke up to my alarm at 5:45 a.m. as happy as a clam. That is, because I was headed off to the mountains to embark on a journey to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires.
If you haven’t heard of Kripalu, it’s quite difficult to put into words but I’ll try. It’s pretty much a hidden escape in the middle of the mountains filled with lots of yoga, meditation, wellness workshops/lectures, nutritious food, spa treatments, and R & R. Pretty much my Happy Place to a T.
My aunt had introduced me years ago, when we took a trip with my sister and mom after I graduated from college. But my aunt and I were back again for round two, this time being much different as I now have a greater appreciation for good food and wellness for the mind, body and soul, which are both important themes at Kripalu. As we drove up through the beautiful mountains, I was just itching to fuel my body with flavorsome meals, and soak up all the information I could in one day!
Once we checked in and received the day’s itinerary, it was off to breakfast! While I could type thousands and thousands of words about my experience, I’ve decided to wrap it all up with 10 juicy takeaways instead.
1. APPRECIATE THE BEUATY IN NATURE: Many times throughout the day, we were prompted to pause and simply appreciate the beauty around us. This wasn’t hard to do, considering we were in the middle of The Berkshires of Western MA. The sight of snowflakes dancing in the sky was the icing on the cake! Try to bring this into your own life by appreciating the beauty in nature every day, even when you have to look really, really hard to see it. In the midst of the chaotic, unpredictable world we live in, this can help bring you back to reality in a split second.
2. WHAT WORKS FOR ONE PERSON MAY NOT WORK FOR ANOTHER: I say this time and time and again on my blog: we are all created differently and one person’s medicine could be another’s poison. I so strongly believe in this concept, known as bio-individuality at IIN. During our first workshop, “Ayurveda: A Life in Balance,” Ayurveda Guru Hilary Garivaltis ellaborated on this belief. She noted that there are hundreds and hundreds of diets out there, and that many of us have tried a diet that our best friend SWEARS BY, only to have it not work for us (whether we gain weight, feel stressed, feel sick, etc).
This right here is PROOF that we need to be more in tune with our own bodies and what works best for ourselves as individuals. I, for one, have a Vata Body Type and don’t do well with a raw foods diet especially during the winter months (I get spacy, anxious & hungry) and instead eat lots of warm root vegetables, sauteed greens, healthy fats, gluten-free grains and some meat. However, I know others who thrive on vegan or raw foods diets. Neither is “right” or “wrong.” It’s what works for you. If your friend is vegan, you don’t have to be too! If your mom had success on a diet, you might not. That’s OK.
3. WHEN YOU ARE NOT FEELING YOURSELF, SOMETHING IS OFF: To add onto the Ayurveda info above, it’s important to know what it feels like when you are your best self. Hilary explained this well, starting with the line we hear so often, “I’m having an off day” or “I don’t feel like myself today.” Dissect this. Why are you having an off day? What does it feel like to feel “yourself”? What’s going on inside? What have you been eating lately? What outside life circumstances have come up? Explore this. Find out your Ayurvedic Body Type here or schedule a free 15-minute info session with me to learn more. This can help you dissect the information & understand more about the way your body and mind works.
4. GET INTO A ROUTINE: According to Ayurvedic medicine, it’s best to get into some sort of routine, which is especially true for someone like me (who HATES routine and is all over the place). They recommend going to bed and waking up (particularly at sunrise) around the same time, following the rhythms of nature (and eating according to season), taking time for silence and, what may be surprising to some, eating your biggest meal at lunch. In addition, they promote warm, cooked meals and hot water upon waking as cold or raw foods can be rough on the digestive track at this time.
Getting into a routine is something I’m going to really try and focus on, particularly getting into a regular sleep routine by going to bed earlier, and setting a time during the day that everything shuts down. Being the creative, worker bee I am, it’s important for people like me to have boundaries and create some sort of structure. Otherwise, this can lead to stress, anxiety and an overwhelming feeling.
Hilary suggested that I pick a time (around 8 p.m. or so) where I shut down my phone and computer, informing people that I won’t be available after this time. This way I can relax, unplug and enjoy the moment without worrying about who’s texting me or who needs a response from their email. Being a people-pleaser, I try to respond to everything and everyone RIGHT AWAY, but with an inbox flooding with new emails each day it’s important to set some limits here. I’m excited to start this routine on Monday!
5. BRING YOGA (OFF THE MAT) INTO YOUR EVERY DAY LIFE: Our late-morning workshop was entitled ”Yoga Off the Mat” with Life Coach Aruni Nan Futuronsky. I absolutely loved the intimate setting, Q & A and guided meditations throughout her talk. Not to mention her incredible energy; seriously I want to be best friends with this woman! Aruni said that by learning to take little pieces from your yoga practice (like breathing) into your every day life, you can begin to “struggle less and savor the moment.” Think about it for a second. When you’re in a yoga class and the teacher says to breathe into the pose, we adjust, think about breathing and release some tension. Why can’t we take this into our daily lives? Why must it be restricted to one hour on the mat?
Ask yourself, “What’s preventing me from fully living in the moment & appreciating the now?” Aruni shared simple techniques we can take into our everyday lives to shift our mindset and help us see the beauty in the present. We also talked about little ways to relax the body and the mind, through medication, journaling, unplugging, gardening, exercise and even just breathing.
6. SET LITTLE REMINDERS TO BREATHE THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Speaking of breathing, we sure did a lot of it during our day spent at Kripalu! We breathed in, we breathed out. We closed our eyes and focused on our breath during meditations, and were prompted to focus on breath-work during our Gentle Yoga class in the evening. I felt so balanced, “on” and at ease throughout the day, partially to thank for all this breathing. And I mean intentional, all-out breathing. We learned that these breathing techniques through meditation can actually help shift the chemistry of the brain! How cool is that?
Take this into your life in small ways or large; for instance you can choose to breathe every time you hit a red light or every time you open your laptop, or take it even further and explore meditation. For me, I’ve planned to set little reminders on my phone/Mac to remind me to get up, walk around and breathe. Being a freelance writer, blogger, and Health Coach, I am often plugged in throughout the day and time can quickly get away from me. These little reminders will help me be in the moment, relax, clear my mind and even prevent stress before it happens. Who wants to join me in this?
7. TAKE THE TIME TO SIT DOWN FOR YOUR MEAL
How many of you actually take the time to sit down for your meal, without distractions or “life” in the way? This is one of the most common things that comes up with my clients; that is putting everything else first instead of yourself. At Kripalu, we sat down for three, buffet-style healthy meals. In fact, because it was Meditation Week, all of the meals were silent. Yes, 100% silent.
While it was awkward at first, I feel blessed to have been able to eat three, delicious meals with some peace & quiet. Plus, it wasn’t hard to be quiet when the food was just that delicious. REFLECTION is so important, and we don’t do it enough. These meals were a great time for me to reflect on my life, write, and take in everything I was learning.
ON MY PLATE
- Few scoops of Warm Organic brown rice mixed with Quinoa / Amaranth
- One piece Rudi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread topped with nut butter
- Spicy tofu scramble topped with Cilantro Mint Chutney
- Small piece of Curry Quiche (made with Cage-Free Omega 3 eggs)
- A couple of almonds
- Earl grey tea
- Water with lemon
- Warm Long Grain Brown Rice with Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Parsley (I topped it with their Charmala Sauce made with cilantro, olive oil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, and sea salt)
- Sautéed Kale with Carrots, Almonds, Olive Oil & Sea Salt topped with Gomasio & Dulse
- Small Scoop of vegan tofu curry salad, pesto & tuna (I wanted to try a tiny bit of each!)
- Shredded beets
- Cup of Spiced Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup
- Small piece of Turkey Kibbe (Made with natural ground turkey, quinoa, onions, pinenuts, sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and olive oil)
Post lunch: English Breakfast tea with a dash of organic soy, cinnamon and agave
- Make-It-Yourself Tacos made with Organic Stone Ground Corn Tortillas (I stuffed mine with Tempeh, Tilapia, a little Baked Haddock, Sautéed Peppers & Onions and Cilantro Rice)
- Fresh Salsa
- Black Bean Soup
- One Gluten Free Brownie (AMAZING!)
- Cup of ginger tea
8. DRINK YOUR WATER AT ROOM TEMP
We learned that drinking your water at cold or iced temps (especially during the morning) can be a shock to your body and difficult on your digestive system. Try drinking it warm or at room temp to aid digestion and give your body a bit of a break. I don’t like ice cold drinks anyway (since I’m always cold) but I’m definitely going to try drinking warm water throughout the day to clear out my body and support the lymphatic system. Feel free to try this if you can handle it…if you hate warm water, cold water is much better than no water since most of us are walking around dehydrated.
9. BE WARY OF SOY (AND OTHER INGREDIENTS): Like I said before, there aren’t “bad” foods or “good” foods, and therefore soy is not “bad” or “good.” That being said, soy crops in our country are chalk-full of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and one of the most contaminated & wide-spread crops grown (along with corn). If you’re going to consume soy, look for 100% organic varieties, meaning there are no GMO’s.
Also, be aware of the ingredients in your food! Soy in itself ins’t “bad.” In fact, edamame and fermented soy (like certain tempeh) are a wonderful source of high-quality proteins especially for vegans and vegetarians. However, potentially dangerous, processed by-products of soy like Soy Protein Isolate are sneaking their way into EVERYTHING these days in super high, unrealistic amounts. It’s found in protein powders, granola bars, cookies, fake meats, crackers and hundreds of packaged foods. Nutritionist Maryelaine “Mel” Sotos, MS, RD, LDN said that you should be especially careful with soy if you have any thyroid issues as it can disrupt normal thyroid function. Mel elaborated by saying that when a cereal claims “One cup has as much protein as an egg!” just eat the egg. For me, I always question anything that’s not in it’s original form. Therefore, when shopping for groceries, ask yourself “Would I find this in nature?” Be a food detective and see just how altered the food is from its original source.
10. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: While I’m a huge advocate for listening to your body in terms of food, it’s also important to listen to your body in all aspects of life. This was touched upon in our evening Gentle Yoga & Meditation with the beautiful Vandita Kate Marchesiello, Director of Kripalu Professional Associations & Teaching for Diversity program.
Her yoga class was one of the most enlightening, beautiful classes I’ve ever experienced, as she urged her students to move in ways their bodies wanted to move. If you didn’t like doing a particular move, you didn’t have to. If your back needed a greater stretch, you were prompted to stretch it. Vandita encouraged movement according to our bodies wants & needs.
She explained that while sometimes life throws obstacles at us, we always have yoga and breath-work to bring us back. Be gentle and patient with your body. It’s the only one you’ve got, after all!
Have you ever been to or heard of Kripalu? What did you take away from this post? What do you agree with or disagree with? I’d like to open this up for an honest discussion!
Are you taking care of yourself?
Have you checked in lately regarding how much time you set aside for self care? When I was studying to become a Holistic Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, self care was one of the first topics we discussed. Yes, even before we went into the nitty gritty details of nutrition, fitness and more.
What’s self care, you ask? To me, it means taking the time to do “me” things that are good for your body, mind and spirit. Because, as I’ve said over and over again if you’re not happy & healthy on the inside, you are definitely not going to be happy & healthy on the outside. It’s just how it works!
Lately, I’ve noticed I’ve been putting my self care somewhat on the back burner. Between the change in seasons, a new job, starting my own business, and meeting with clients life can get pretty hectic at times (which I know you can all relate). While it’s easy to put yourself last during these crazy phases, it’s actually during these times more that ever that you need to recognize what you are doing, and take care of yourself first.
Some of My Favorite Ways to Incorporate Self Care:
- Extra-long hot showers
- Self-massage with all-natural body oil (like jajoba mixed with an essential oil of your choice!)
- Deep breathing & meditation (I have Gabby Bernstein to thank for this!)
- Snuggling up with a good book before bed & lighting a candle
- SLEEP, SLEEP and more SLEEP
- Making a yummy, feel-good clean meal for yourself (get some great ideas from The Clean Plates Cookbook)
- Taping a nap when you need one
- Skipping the gym when your body is telling you “no”
- Going to the gym or a long run or ____ (insert exercise of choice) when your body is telling you “yes”
- Making a hot pot of yogi tea
- Listening to relaxing music & zoning out (see my Relaxation Mix below)
My Relaxation Mix on Spotify
I’ve recently discovered Spotify, and I’m already 100% hooked. I love that you can make different playlists for different occasions and feelings, or as they say “music for every moment.” Below is the mix I put on whenever I need to relax and give myself a little extra love & care. If you can’t tell, I’ve got a little girl crush on Regina Spektor lately.
You’d be surprised by how much self care impacts our overall health & wellness, and can prevent you from reaching your goals if it’s not in check! If you’re struggling with treating yourself and your body with love, I’d be happy to set up a FREE 15-minute healthy lifestyle info session or tell you more about my coaching programs. Email me with any questions or to schedule your session today. What do YOU do to incorporate self care?
I am super excited to announce this week’s star of Healthy Chicks in the Community. Bre is one of those all around cool gals, who I always enjoy catching up with (especially over gourmet coffee). I truly admire her positive attitude towards life, love and all those good things! I’ll let Bre take it away from here…
NAME/AGE: Bre, 26
FACEBOOK: Bre Nourse Yoga
CURRENT CITY: Boston (North End)
WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: I teach yoga, dip my toe in the design and photography pool and from time to time I sling $100 yoga pants at that big yoga clothing store we all know and love.
NUMBER ONE PASSION: Teaching people to connect with their bodies through movement and meditation.
I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: Being kind to my body, fueling myself with foods that make me feel good and doing the work during my meditation. Its not just about the physical body, without a healthy mind we’d have nothing.
BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES:
I like to eat dessert for breakfast and watch all the shows in my dvr!
TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES:
Olive Oil, Pepper and my potato ricer…it literally can turn anything into creamy deliciousness!
NUMBER ONE GUILTY PLEASURE:
Hazelnut Lattes from the Thinking Cup
EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE:
Yoga of course! Coming to my mat makes me feel healthy, happy, connected and strong.
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: A big bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup.
MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS:
Be unyielding in your pursuit of happiness; you will never regret working hard to do the things you love.
If you’d like to be featured as one of my Healthy Chicks in the Community, or know someone who you want to make blush, email me for more deets. Also the winner of my Sparkly Soul giveaway is #8 Sarah Kay, chosen by Random.org. Sarah, expect an email soon!
Last night, I was invited to attend “New Year, NEW YOU!” a fitness-inspired fashion event at Athleta on Newbury Street. Since I love fitness and fashion (well, when it comes to my workout gear) I was IN.
The event was hosted by Eventbrite and Athleta, two fabulous community-oriented companies in my book, so unsurprisingly was a huge hit. The evening entailed a sneak peek at Athleta’s new spring line, with local fitness teachers walking around to mingle and show off their beautiful clothes.
When I walked in there was a great crowd of ladies, all looking to have a good time and get their Fitness & Fashion on! After I signed in and chatted with some of the management team, I head over to the apps & drinks table to grab some quick, healthy bites. I filled my plate with a variety of cheese, some toasted pita, hummus and stuffed grape leaves and also snagged a Peach HINT Fizz for a light and tasty treat.
I was so excited to see Melina’s juice (from e.t.c Juicery) being served too! “How cool, I know her!” It’s safe to say her new juice is going to be a hit, as I went up for two cups myself while I was there.
Speaking of familiar names and faces, one of the first fitness models I saw was Kristy, someone I used to work with a while back at one of my first jobs in Boston, and who I ran into again at Ombe (where she now works) a few months ago.
[Kristy (left) posing with two other Athleta Fitness Fashionistas]
I also chatted with some other fabulous ladies along the way, all looking chic in their Athleta-wear.
[The whole group of stylish ladies smiling big!]
[Me & the ever-so-graceful Pilates teacher Swan Lyon]
It was so nice seeing all of these strong, fit, happy ladies. They’re ALL Healthy Chicks in my book.
We had so much fun chatting about life, positive affirmations, fitness and nutrition. In fact, I was so touched by her words that I even bought her “Create the Best Life Ever” Positive Affirmation cards, which I think will be a wonderful addition for my own practice with yoga and meditation, and to use with my clients during health coaching.
I then went picture-crazy, trying to capture all of my favorite Athleta items & colors:
Overall, it was a wonderful evening filled with inspiring ladies, delicious food (and drinks), and incredible fashion. I also can’t get over how lovely Athleta’s store is, from the lighting to the impeccable layout. If you haven’t stopped in yet, you MUST. Just head on over to 92 Newbury Street, and I promise you’ll be in for a treat.
What’s your go-to fashion style during an exercise? Comfy & casual? Cute & fitted? Colorful or neutrals?Share below! P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please go check out my Healthy Chicks in the Community initiative. I’d love to get as many fabulous ladies involved as possible!