How to Stay Sane When Life Gets Hectic (+20 ways to practice self-care in 5 minutes or less)

"I’m just too busy."

"I have to work, clean, cook, pay the bills, etc."

"My partner, kids, pets always come first."

"Everything will fall apart of I don't do it all."

There’s a million excuses as to why we don’t take care of ourselves. And sometimes, there are very valid reasons or intense pressures which can make self-care or investing in yourself so hard.

It’s even more important to practice self-care when pressures are high. If you have a lot on your plate, you’re stressed to the max, and you are just zooming through each day on autopilot  eventually you’re body is going to crash.

You may get sick, start having digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, and the list could go on. Our bodies are not meant to be stressed out all the time and it will start to affect your body.

Now, it may seem like everyone on the internet is preaching about self-care and you just don’t have time to take an hour long bath or sit and read a novel - and trust me I get it!

The truth is all you need is 5 minutes a day to really nourish yourself in a way that brings you peace and joy and that simple act can make ALL the difference.

What to Eat? Eliminate Nutrition Confusion Once & For All

After reading one of my favorite health related books, The Slow Down Diet by Marc David, it completely transformed the way I looked at nutrition and the way I thought about “what to eat?”.

In the book, Marc David emphasizes the power of elevating the quality of your food. He defines quality as,

“...any or all of the following: real; fresh; organic; gourmet; lovingly crafted; homemade; locally produced; heirloom varieties; nutrient dense; low in human-made toxins; grown and marketed with honesty and integrity; tasteful; filled with true flavor, not virtual ones that mask the absence of nutrients and vitality. Quality means that care and consciousness permeate a food, and that the food itself has a good story to tell.”

I don’t know about you, but thinking about quality food in this way sounds like a normal heart-centered approach to choosing the food we eat.

Prior to reading this book, I had read many other health and nutrition books such as the China Study, Skinny Bitch and The Beauty Detox. All of these books emphasized the importance of a whole foods, plant-based diet which did not include meat, dairy, oils, gluten, or any processed foods.

I strongly believe in the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet and completely respect all of the nutrition research findings that support this diet. These books really opened my eyes to the potential toxins in our foods and the negative effects of consuming a high meat and dairy based diet.

Although I believe in this information and think a lot of people can really thrive on this way of living, it just wasn’t working for me and I wasn’t sure why. I tend to take a very “All or Nothing” approach to dieting which usually looked like ALL in for a few days and all OUT for way more days. I could never 100% commit to this diet for more than 4 or 5 days (and really sometimes you just want to eat a pizza with real cheese, ya know?).

Spring Cleaning! Time to Clear the Clutter in your Kitchen, Mind, & Life

Spring is here & you know what that means? It's time for clean up, clear out, and make space in your life for sunshine & the exciting things to come! 

I don't know about you, but after spending a long, cold winter hibernating, there's just something about the Spring weather and energy always lights a fire in me. 

Spring has the energy of a new beginning, more creativity, and joy all around. 

This time of year makes me feel so inspired and ambitious which means it's a great time to start clearing the clutter in your kitchen, mind, and life. 

When we clear out the clutter we space to think better, do more, and be who we really want to be.

33 Food Rules to Live By for a Healthier Life

I really dislike rules, especially food rules.

I like to do and eat what I like and what I want.

I also think that having specific food rules and restrictions will only lead to obsession over those foods you can’t have or the eventual binge eating of those foods.

I mean, have you ever been told that you shouldn’t eat something because it will make you fat, whether it was by a family member, doctor or the media, only to then start obsessing over that exact food or just eating it any way to prove you can eat it without getting fat?

At the same time, I know a lot of people that actually thrive off living by a set of rules or standards.

And of course, there are people that simply don’t know what to eat because of all the conflicting health information out there.

Everyone is different and I think it’s important to know yourself and learn what works best for you.

Mindful Eating: 5 Simple Steps to Being Present While You Eat

Ever eat a whole bag of chips only to reach the crumbs and not remember actually eating the whole bag of chips?

Or… you eat so fast that you don’t really taste your food and then you’re hungry a few hours later?

This may sound all too familiar, especially if you’re a chronic dieter.

In today’s society, we are so used to multitasking, eating while we work, checking our phones and simply not enjoying the present moment.

We’re often obsessed over the next diet we’re going start or feeling guilt or shame for the food we are eating.

We numb out and try to avoid any feelings by stuffing ourselves with food and missing out on the pleasure aspect that is actually meant to come from food.

But, if we could just pause and eat without distraction for a moment… what do you think would happen?

Perhaps...

What to Do When You're Stressed to The Max

I don't know about you, but lately, I've been stressed to the max.

Between taking classes, kids after school activities, birthday parties, client calls, cleaning my house and running a business, sometimes I just need to breathe and recalibrate.

So even if you're stressed to the max right now, there are still small, practical steps you can take to cope with that stress and stay healthy.

So, why am I talking about stress?

Like it’s not enough to live with stress, now I’ve got to be talking about it too?! Agh.... not fun...!!!

But the truth is that it sure is important to acknowledge stress so you can reduce it or cope with it a little better.

Think of it like aiming for a 1% improvement....you may not be able to change the stressors in your life, but if you can manage the impact on your body 1% better, then you’ll stay healthier and more able to handle the stress.

Worthwhile, yes?

8 Ways to Indulge Your Sweet-Tooth High-Quality Style (+ A Delicious Sweet Recipe)

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you are well aware of the negative affects of sugar on our health.

Well, I'm here to tell you that just because sugar isn't good for ya, doesn’t mean you have to kiss your sweet tooth goodbye forever! (good news, right!?)

There's actually quite a huge difference between low quality sweeteners (ex. highly processed white sugar or artificial sweeteners) and high quality sweeteners.

The truth is highly processed, refined sugar can have devastating effects on your metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. This is no joke...

Here’s why:

● Sugar equals tons of calories with no essential nutrients. All it does is cause tooth decay by literally feeding harmful bacteria in your mouth!

● If you eat high quantities of refined, processed sugar but do no exercise you are at risk, for the fructose derived from an excess of sugar, to get lodged in your liver and cause non- alcoholic fatty liver disease.

● When you consume too much sugar, it can cause resistance to the hormone insulin, which can lead to diseases like metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

● An excess amount of sugar can have a devastating effect on your metabolism, which is now known to lead to cancer.

● Sugar is highly addictive because after ingestion it causes a huge release of dopamine in your brain.

● Sugar is a major contributor to heart disease, which is the number one killer in the world.

But what many people don’t realize is that there are healthier, alternative sweeteners out there that won’t damage your health as much and taste just as sweet, if not more!

5 Ways to Nourish Yourself Without Food

Lately, I've been focusing on ways to really nourish myself in all areas of my life. 

I thought it was a great time to share some out-of-the-box ways to think about nourishing your body, mind and spirit…

But wait, why am I even using the word “nourishment” if I’m not talking about food?

That’s a great question!

The reason I am using the word nourishment outside of its regular foodie context is because we often find ourselves so over-focused on food that we forget about all the other simple and wonderful ways to nourish ourselves.

What does it mean to nourish myself without food?

We forget that taking a walk in the woods with our dog is calming and rejuvenating.

That lying on your bed listening to your favorite song while feeling the breeze kissing your face is soothing and relaxing.

That feeling the grass tickle your feet as you watch the clouds drift by is as good as meditation!

We actually “eat” all day with our senses… we “consume” our environment through touch, feel, taste, sound and sight.

Why Giving Up on Weight Loss May Just Be the Secret to Getting What You Truly Want

give up on weight loss

Before you roll your eyes and think, “I can’t give up on weight loss. I don’t want to be fat forever” please hear me out.

So many of my clients come to me wanting desperately to lose weight and finally reach their “ideal” weight.

But when I dig a little deeper and ask the question “What do you really want?”. Some of the answers I receive are vitality, acceptance, happiness, confidence, a partner, friendships, dream job, and so on.

Most of us believe that once we lose the weight we will have whatever outcome it is we are desperately craving (the guy, the dream job, happiness, ect.).

But the truth is that weight loss does not guarantee anything.

Unfortunately, our society and the media puts this false sense of hope in us that makes us believe that once we lose weight we can have or do whatever we want.

But what if we lose the weight and we still do not feel confident, or still cannot find that partner or dream job?

You may not believe it right now, but this is often what happens when people lose weight.

They come to realize that it actually was never the weight that was the real issue.

Often times there are so many underlying issues that go unresolved when we just focus on weight loss as our goal.

I think it’s time we approach our health and life differently.

I think it’s time we start working on our mental, emotional and physical health from a place of love out of a desire to truly be healthy and happy.

Once we can let go of our unrealistic expectations of reaching this arbitrary “ideal” weight, then I believe we can finally break free from the mental and emotional stress that we are putting on ourselves by obsessing over weight loss.


But wait, How do you actually stop obsessing over weight loss?

 

Here’s my 5 tips to get started shifting your mindset around weight loss:

1. Get Informed & Practice Self-Acceptance. There are quite a few books, podcasts, and blogs that are actually about transforming your relationship with food and your body without focusing on weight loss as the primary goal. I think the best way to start practicing self-love and acceptance is to learn how others have done it and surround yourself with like-minded people. Here are a few of my favorites resources:

Books: Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating, Body Respect

Blogs: Isabel Foxen Duke, Be Nourished, The Balanced Blonde

Podcasts: Food Psych, Psychology of Eating

2. Ditch the scale: I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, throw out your scale and stop letting the number on it define you.

3. Focus on Nourishment: Instead of your primary goal being weight loss, how about shifting your mindset and focusing on nourishment. When it’s time to eat ask yourself, “what will make me feel good and nourished?” Also, look at other areas of your life and ask yourself “What needs to be nourished?” Perhaps your relationships need extra attention or you need to tap into your creativity. This simple shift in thinking can really lead to living a more joy filled life.

4. Discover What You Really Want:  Now this one may be a challenge or you may be thinking “Duh! I know exactly what I want”. But, I want to ask you to pause for a moment and ask yourself “What do I think I will get once I lose weight.” As I mentioned earlier, there’s usually a much deeper reason we want to lose weight and it’s important to acknowledge what that is. If this doesn’t come easy to you and you’re just not sure what it is that you really want, I suggest to just start doing things that bring you joy and be curious and aware of what you desire in your life. You could set out to try new activities or travel and just be curious as to what you are lacking or craving in your life.

5. Go After What You Really Want: Now that you know what you want, it’s time to start going after that instead of waiting on the weight. If it’s a boyfriend you truly desire, you do not need to lose weight before you find him. Start dressing up and putting yourself out there just as you are. If you think once you lose the weight you will feel more confident, than instead why don’t  you try to start focusing on way to build up your self-confidence just as you are. A great start would be to read books or blogs and learn more about how you can develop self-confidence now.

 

The benefits of releasing the obsession with weight loss are endless. You may actually be happier, enjoy eating and exercising, feel more confident, have more energy, and finally embrace your true desires.
 

I really hope this blog has opened your eyes to new possibilities that you may not have even considered before. And if you’re still not loving the idea of giving up on weight loss, then I suggest making it a goal for it to not be your primary focus. It’s all about taking baby steps and learning how to shift our mindset around weight loss (which is no easy task!).

The truth is your weight does not define you and your weight will not give you what you truly want.   Only you can do that... and you already have everything you need right inside of you.

 



 

Now tell me below in the comments, how does it feel to think of letting go of the obsession with weight loss? 

The Secret Morning Activity that will Boost Your Energy in Just 3-Minutes

morning-energy

I'm super excited to share this simple technique that can help boost your energy first thing in the morning - WITHOUT even having to get out of bed! 

It's my favorite 3-minute body stretch that will have a powerful affect on your mood and body which may positively impact your whole day!

So, Why am I talking about a body stretch first thing in the morning?

We all know that waking up on the wrong side of the bed and getting a rushed start to the day where you’re racing out of the house with un-brushed teeth AND glugging down your coffee in the car is a bad sign.

Everyone wants to start their day on a good note, which means waking up in a good mood, calm and centered and energized for the day, which isn’t always the case, right?

So why not give your body that stretch it deserves first thing in the morning instead of waiting ALL day long to go and do the exact same stretch at the gym after work?

Here are the steps to this 3-minute energy boosting body stretch:

STEP 1: Set a happy alarm 5 minutes earlier than usual

Your body responds to messages you give it, so give it a happy ring to wake up to! Download your favorite song or nature sound and use that as your happy alarm sound. Set it for 5 minutes earlier than usual. Your body will thank you.

STEP 2: Start your body stretch as soon as you open your eyes

Often when we over-plan to stretch our bodies and take too long to pick out just the right exercise leggings or the right room to stretch in, by the time we are ready to start stretching we are demotivated or distracted or derailed....

So, carpe diem, seize the day by starting your stretch even before you get out of bed! (I mean, does it get any easier than that!?)


Laying down, simply stretch your legs out and reach your arms overhead and really stretch your body or sit up in bed and do the same, this time stretching your arms up to the ceiling.

STEP 3: Finish your body stretch right next to your bed
The KEY here is to honor these 3 minutes you have set aside to stretch your body.

So the trick is to FOCUS your attention inward, breathe DEEP inhales and exhales and stretch up to reach for the sky. You can clasp your fingers overhead to keep your hands together to deepen the stretch.

How will this 3-minute body stretch boost my energy?

You know how sometimes on a chilly morning you need to crank up your car a little more than usual to get the gas circulating faster?

The same is true for our bodies. All they really need to get going is a little kickstart for the day and a simple stretch as soon as you wake up will do it.

I bet you will feel different immediately and that energy boost will GIVE you the energy to make time to boost MORE energy. It’s a happy energy-boosting cycle!

If you are tired of waking up groggy and achy, then click here now to schedule a time to talk with me about more fast and easy ways to stretch your body back to health first thing in the morning.

I am here to help support you with more super easy energy-boosting activities!

What do you do to boost your energy in the morning? Do you think you'll give this body stretch a try? Please share in the comments below!!

Why Letting Go Of Judgment is Essential For Your Health

 

Ugh. I can’t believe I ate that whole cake, my diet begins tomorrow.

Wow, I’m so lazy. I didn’t work out again.

I have no self-control. I just can’t eat healthy.”

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

These are actual thoughts I used to have on a daily basis.

Time and time again my clients come to me with these same thoughts repeating over and over in their head.

We are all so judgmental and critical of ourselves.

It’s really time that we just give ourselves a break.

We are human. We are hard-working, busy, stressed out, and exhausted most of the time and it’s about time we start to take care of ourselves and just let ourselves off the hook every now and then.

You may be thinking that being judgmental and hard on yourself is what keeps you accountable on your health journey, but I’m going to ask you to put that thought on pause for a moment.

First of all, Is it working for you? Are you consistently eating healthy and working out?

I know for most of my clients this is not the case, so if it isn’t working perhaps a new way of thinking may be just what you need.

The truth is being judgmental and critical of ourselves all of the time is simply not empowering.

Most of the time our judgments leave us feeling discouraged, mad, and sad.

And when you’re feeling discouraged, mad, or sad - do you really feel like eating a salad or working out?

Most likely, the answer is no.

When we beat ourselves up for eating that whole bag of chips or that box of donuts, we are more likely to continue making less than healthy choices later on as well.

In my own personal experience, if I were to eat one “bad” thing, I would just end up saying, “Well, I suck, might as well eat some pizza and have some chocolate and start eating health tomorrow”. I would basically use the junk food as a way to comfort myself from my own judgements.

The thing is when we move away from judging ourselves for every little choice we make and move toward awareness and curiosity we aren’t left feeling defeated and we’re able to move on and make the next best choice for ourselves in the present moment.

When we are aware and curious of our choices, it is way more empowering to move forward making healthier choices more often than not.


Want to Transform Your Relationship to Food & Reclaim Your Energy?

Click below to access the free 5-Day Mindful Eating Mini Course!


 

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO HELP YOU MOVE AWAY FROM JUDGEMENT & START FEELING MORE EMPOWERED TODAY:

Bless your food. Before eating, practice gratitude for your food. Appreciate what you have out front of you and realize the energy that this food will bring to your body.

Be curious. Ask yourself questions such as “Am I really hungry?” “Is this food what I truly desire?” “How am I feeling while I eat this?” “What lead me to eating this food?” By being curious, you are staying present in the moment and you are able to move away from judgement.

Choose again. If you start to judge your choices or feel bad about having negative thoughts about what you are eating simply choose again. Choose a different thought. You may think “I have no will power” and then catch yourself and transform that thought into “I wonder why I don’t believe I have will power to make the best decision for myself”. This simple change in thinking can really go a long way.

Use affirmations. Positive affirmations are a great way to train your mind to move away from negative and judgmental thoughts. You can choose a few affirmations and practice saying them daily or when you notice yourself starting to judge. A few great examples are “Nourishing myself is a joyful experience and I am worthy of the time spent on my healing” or “Every decision I make is the right one for me”.

Be compassionate. Have compassion for yourself and your choices. Stop beating yourself up and practice self-kindess and compassion for your naturally human, imperfect, beautiful self.  

 

What now?

Start practicing.

Meditate & observe your thoughts.

Start a journal to track your thoughts on a daily basis.

Use affirmations or mantras to shift your thoughts.

Schedule call with me & see how I can help you transform your thoughts from judgment to compassion.

 


Sign up for this Free Mindful Eating Mini Course & Discover How to Transform Your Relationship to Food & Reclaim Your Energy!


10 Simple Diet Changes to Uplevel Your Health

10 Simple Diet Changes to Uplevel Your Health

Do you feel like you are living a pretty healthy lifestyle, but you’d like to take it to the next level?

My clients are always looking for new simple habits that they can easily start implementing that will have a huge impact on their health.

It’s easy to get stuck in eating a certain way and sticking to our routines, but it’s also a good idea to change things up once and awhile.

This is especially important when you notice that you are lacking energy or having digestive issues.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the easiest ways to change up your diet for increased energy, better digestion, and increased metabolism.

Let's Talk, Self-Sabotage

Let's Talk, Self-Sabotage

Are You Sabataging Yourself when it comes to your health and wellness?

A lot of times when we begin to make healthy changes in our lives, we can be met with resistance and my life long friend, self-sabotage.

The simple act of trying to make ourselves better always starts out with good intentions, but often, we are met with real life obstacles and mindset issues that can hold us back.

Using the example of setting New Year's Resolutions, where most people set goals with good intentions to make real changes in their life in the beginning of January and most people have already derailed by the end of the month. January 1st the gyms are all packed and full and February 1st the gym has cleared out.

Now, why is this? Why do so many people want to make healthy changes, but rarely can actually follow through?

Well, there are many, many different possibilities, but one that we are going to discuss today is Sabotage.

3 Underrated But Potent Vitamins You Must Have in Your Life

3 Underrated But Potent Vitamins You Must Have in Your Life

It’s time I let you in on a little secret about 3 super potent vitamins that are crucial for our health and wellness yet we often overlook them... Can you guess what they are?

I’ll give you a clue: they are all around you, don’t cost a dime and are accessible at any time of day... That’s right! I’m talking about nature, fresh air and sunshine!

But first, why am I talking nature, fresh air and sunshine as vitamins?

Let me explain...

We are so conditioned to think that vitamins are something manufactured in a lab and labeled that we need to purchase in a bottle at a store that we forget to open our eyes and look all around us. Vitamins are everywhere!

10 Tips To Beat the Winter Blues

10 Tips To Beat the Winter Blues

After the joy of the holiday season ends, do you ever feel a case of the Winter Blues?

Living in Maine where it gets very cold and snowy (and I'm a summer girl at heart) I know, I sure do!  

I'd like to help you figure out some easy ways to combat that feeling we sometimes get when the leaves fall off the trees and the sun sets way too early and we start unpacking our winter gear in preparation for those hibernation months of winter...

But first, why am I talking about beating the winter blues?

Depending where you live—New York City versus Los Angeles—winter will either be something you dread or something that passes you by without noticing.

Sometimes even people who live in the warmer states like California experience cyclical changes that affect their moods and disposition.

How to Improve Your Ability to Focus & Why It's Important for Your Health & Wellness

How to Improve Your Ability to Focus & Why It's Important for Your Health & Wellness

In the world we live in today, it has become almost impossible to stay focused.

We are constantly bombarded with notification alerts, phone calls, e-mails, news stories, and the list goes on and on. 

Many people believe they are masters at multi-tasking and even thrive on chaos. I used to be one of those people.

While this may be true for some, studies have shown that it is far less productive to multi-task. 

When you are truly able to focus and be more present in your life, you will start to experience life in a whole new way.

You will feel more productive which in turn will make you feel happier and more successful.

You will also be able to appreciate and notice the little things that you may otherwise have not paid much attention to. 

When we really slow down and learn to focus we are able to accomplish more than we could have ever imagined.

Intuitive Eating: Everything You Need to Know & How to Get Started Now!

Intuitive Eating: Everything You Need to Know & How to Get Started Now!

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is an approach  that teaches you how to listen to your own body when making decisions about food, as opposed to taking direction from external sources. It helps you create a healthy relationship between your food, mind and body. With intuitive eating, you learn to use your own innate body wisdom and distinguish between your physical and emotional feelings. As simple as this approach may seem, it can take a lot of practice and letting go of years of contradicting information learned from dieting and today’s society.

Intuitive Eating is for you if you struggle with:

  • Emotional eating
  • Food cravings
  • Overeating/Binge eating
  • Compulsive eating
  • Body image issues
  • Weight loss
  • Eating disorders (If you think you may have an eating disorder, please consult a medical professional)

4 Emotional Eating Myths That May Surprise You

4 Emotional Eating Myths That May Surprise You

I often hear from women that struggle with weight loss, lack of energy, and other digestive issues and I've come to learn that the core issue is that they are struggling with emotional eating. Sometimes, they aren't even aware of it at first which makes their desires to lose weight, gain energy, or resolve their digestive issues almost impossible.

When we are so used to using food to satisfy an emotion or feeling, we are neglecting the real issue and most often, we aren't properly taking care of ourselves emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically. 

Most people feel that emotional eating is a curse and impossible to control and yet, they want to resolved it immediately.

Before we can begin discussing how to deal with emotional eating in a healthy way, it’s important that we understand what is not true about overcoming emotional eating.

The Benefits of ACTUALLY Chewing Your Food

The Benefits of ACTUALLY Chewing Your Food

If I were to ask you how many times the average person chews a bite of food, what do you think the answer would be? 

If you guessed 3, than you would be absolutely correct. The average person only chews about 3 times before swallowing a bite of food. 

Now, really think about that. Your body has to work extra hard to break down that food that you are basically swallowing whole. 

You may not have realized, but chewing plays a vital role in digestion. 

When you chew your food, the saliva has important enzymes that also help break down food, making it easier to digest and assimilate which allows for more of the food to be used by the body instead of being stored as fat.

How Prioritizing Your Self-Care Will Make You a Better Mama

How Prioritizing Your Self-Care Will Make You a Better Mama

As a mom, it can be a real struggle to do something for yourself.

We are usually running on very little sleep while trying to remember and do all the things to keep our little ones alive each day.

Due to personal insecurities, feelings of obligation and/or societal pressures, we can often feel guilty for wanting to do something for ourselves that doesn’t involve our children.

I spent years feeling guilty any time I had a babysitter or simply didn’t have a kid attached to hip. When I started to focus on my health and wellness, I began to realize that devoting my whole self to my kids was not only affecting my mental and physical health, but it really wasn’t benefiting anyone.

It’s important for our overall health to have some “me” time to nourish our mind, body, and soul. We are not mommy robots that can go on autopilot for all hours every single day. If we don’t start prioritizing our self-care we are likely going to reach a breaking point (aka serious mental breakdown).