Category: Personal Experiences

Talking Human Design – have you heard this BUZZ word thrown around lately?!

Talking Human Design – have you heard this BUZZ word thrown around lately?!

Hi friends!

Wow – have not popped on here in quite some time. To be honest, the summer flew by. Between the wedding, activities every weekend, and simply just trying to live in the present moment, I found myself not too inspired to write. Now that seasons have changed, temps are dropping, and I’m cozied up working from home…I’ve been feeling that itch to want to write again. Only dillema is I’m not REALLY sure what direction to go in…

Recently, I was listening to a podcast (That so Retrograde) and I heard the topic of Human Design come up. I was both intrigued, but at the same time, hesitant with “believing” it. Have you heard of Human Design? It’s one of those new fancy buzz words you may have been hearing over the past few months. A good way to describe it as I discovered on my google search was that it’s the “woo woo version of Myers Brigg”. Interesting, right? I’ve always been fascinated by myers brigg because it gives you an insight into those around you, especially co-workers, and how to work with their strengths and opportunities, and then apply that to real-life situations. I’ve also found that a lot of people who are talking about human design, are the same people who are fascinated by astrology. Sadly, I wish I could say I’ve gotten into astrology, because I love learning about myself & others, but it just hasn’t clicked with me. More on that later…

What immediately caught my eye with Human Design is that they acknowledge the fact that we’re not all created equally. Once you can dive deep and start to understand your Human Design, that you can start making the right changes in your life, to help you reach YOUR fullest potential and live in peace & harmony with yourself and others (isn’t that what we all really want anyway)?! Now I’m absolutely no expert here, but I’ve done some surface level research and here’s a little glimpse into what I’ve found….So, WHAT is Human Design?

To put it simply, Human Design is…

“a synthesis of ancient mystical traditions: Western Astrology, the 64 hexagrams of the I’ching, The Kabbalah Tree of Life and the Hindu-Brahmin Chakra Model in addition to Modern Science and Genetics. Each person’s Chart is uniquely individual and shows our Strategy (live link to Strategy section) and Authority (Live link to Authority section), which if applied correctly, can empower us to make decisions that are correct for us. By knowing ourselves with more understanding and awareness, we can live the life we were Designed to live. Ra Uru Hu said about Human Design: ”It is all about loving oneself.” – more on this, plus a video introduction can be found here.

Once you can begin to understand the basic fundamentals & goal of Human Design – i.e. tapping into your decision making tool, which in turn enables you to live your best life, then you can begin to dig into YOUR aura. Goop does a straight-forward article on this. We all have different aura types based on your birth date, TIME of birth (*this is key), and a few other details. You can find out what your’s is by following this link: My Body Graph – once you input your information (you’ll need to create an account), you can click on “mybodygraphs”, then under Information you’ll find your chart properties which will tell you what “aura” you are. 

Personally, I didn’t find the Human Design/My Body Graph site overly easy to read, so I did some of my own research after finding out that I was a REFLECTOR (which makes up only 1% of the population). At first, I’ll be honest, I was a bit dissapointed. I had hopes that I’d be a manifestor or a generator. BUT, after doing some research and reading through the details, I was blown away by how weirdly accurate everything was about me. I also learned that I need to be more aware and make some changes in my life in order to live up to my fullest potential.

Essentially, as a REFLECTOR, my 9 inner centers are completely open, meaning, I EASILY absorb all of those energies around me & reflect them back! This is why it’s so critical for me to surround myself with like-minded, positive people. I take in those energies extremely easily (both the good and the bad). This truly is so eye opening for me because I 1000% feel this when I leave social meet-ups, especially those that are health & wellness focused. I always find myself leaving so excited and inspired by those I connected with & it leaves me feeling naturally HIGH! This also explains why I’ve always considered myself to be an extroverted introvert. I love socializing and getting inspired by others, but I also need my alone time just as much to decompress and release all of those energies, as it can be very mentally & physically exhausting for me. I’ve learned as a reflector that it’s important for me to explore nature on my own or practice yoga by myself for example so that I can entirely release all of those energies that I may have soaked up that day. If you find out that you’re a reflector, I found this article to be super helpful and relatable.

Anyway…I’m going to stop here because I think I could write a WHOLE other blog post just on my understanding of a reflector & talking about some of the other auras too. If you find this interesting or if you know more about it, feel free to comment below or DM me at @eatrunandallinbetween – this is a completely new area for me that I’m just starting to learn about it and would love to keep talking about it with others!

Choosing the RIGHT Supplements for YOU

Choosing the RIGHT Supplements for YOU

Hi Friends! I know it’s been a while since my last post on the blog – LIFE, mannnnnnn. LOL but in all seriousness, the past month has been crazy, in the best kind of way. From my bachelorette weekend, to music festivals, to NYC, to MOVING to a new apt – basically just haven’t had the time and/or energy to sit down and write (this is when instagram comes in CLUTCH – short, sweet, and to the point). Anyway, the topic I wanted to chat with you all about today are SUPPLEMENTS. I used to be that person that had like 20 different vitamins & supplements in the pill cabinet and then one day, it just became overwhelmingly stressful (and expensive). I was heavily influenced by everything I saw scrolling through social media and thought, well, since “so and so” is taking XYZ that means I probably need to as well…right?!?! Wrong. One person’s need is going to be COMPLETELY different than my own needs. Not to mention, I probably didn’t NEED half of what I was taking. At the end of the day, I eat an extremely clean diet compared to the average individual and therefor, I’m getting so many awesome macro and micronutrients into my body. I’m getting protein, calcium, iron, various vitamins, etc. all from the awesome REAL food I eat daily. Anyway, my point in all of this is that choosing the right supplements for YOU should not be stressful (that is quite the opposite of what “healthy living” is).

I’ve finally narrowed it down to just a few that feel right for me in my MY body at this point in MY life. Emphasizing the “my” because I’m writing this blog post to simply share what I take. As with any of my posts, take this with a grain of salt and just do your research! I feel the need to preface this blog post with the fact that just because I take something does not mean you should or even need to. Always consult with a doctor or do your research prior to adding additional supplements into your diet.

Alright so with ALL of that being said, here we go!

– B12 (I don’t eat meat and have had low B12 levels in the past)
– Digestive Enzymes (helps to break down tougher foods like cruciferous veggies for example)
– Spirulina (currently taking to try it out, but hasn’t always been a part of my routine/ vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and iron, manganese and chromium + increased energy)
– Probiotic Pill (gut-health y’allll! Also not for everyone – probiotics can actually have the opposite effect on some people, so as with everything else, do your research!)
Avie Nutraceuticals Ultramicronized Turmeric Curcumin – (Promotes a healthy lifestyle, Supports your immune system, Provides you with superior antioxidant protection)
Avie Nutraceuticals Joint Balance – Promotes optimal and healthy joint function, Improves flexibility, Reduces muscle soreness

I’m going to go ahead and assume most of you are familiar with the first 4 supplements (if not, feel free to comment & I’ll go into more details on the benefits) but the last 2 may intrigue you?! They certainly had me excited upon trying them for the first time. Having grown up as an athlete and then continuing that love for fitness into my early/mid 20’s through teaching group fitness classes daily, running, gym workouts, and yoga, I’ve always been in the search for some miracle supplement that would help me recover more quickly and support my active lifestyle. Avie Nutraceuticals prides their products on using natural ingredients (i.e. everything I preach = FOOD AS MEDICINE) and “Avie’s proprietary ultramicronization process renders purified curcumin into a water-soluble form, allowing it to quickly absorb into the body. Avie’s scientists have shown that this formulation is over 100 times more potent than the leading curcumin products on the market.”

Before I continue, for those who aren’t as familiar with curcumin…“Recent studies have shown that Curcumin aids in anti-inflammation and joint mobility, anti-oxidant protection of cells from free radical damage, brain function and memory, liver function, healthy immune system, removal of toxins from the body, healthy digestion, and improved appearance of skin and hair.”

So which product is right for you and your lifestyle?!

Joint Balance – is a scientifically formulated nutraceutical supplement designed to help promote optimal and healthy joint function, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle soreness after exercise, while being gentle on the digestive system.

Ultramicronized Turmeric Curcumin – can promote a healthy lifestyle, support your immune system, and provide you with superior antioxidant protection. Avie’s proprietary water-soluble Ultramicronized Turmeric CurcuminTM is designed for maximum absorption, potency, stability, and bioactivity. Ultramicronized Turmeric CurcuminTM has been shown to have a higher biological activity than leading competitors. When tested in water, it has shown:

– 352 times greater anti-oxidant activity
– More than 1,400 times greater free radical scavenging properties
– 126 times greater COX-2 inhibition

As awesome as it is to add turmeric and black pepper (helps with absorption) to your meals daily (def don’t stop – keep on it!) this supplement makes it so easy and incredibly effective because of its ability to quickly absorb in your body! I’ve included direct links to their website and blog if you’re interested in learning more or feel free to email me with questions!

Resources:

Avie Nutraceuticals Website
Avie Nutraceuticals Blog

Thank you to Avie Nutraceuticals for sponsoring this post! I truly love partnering with brands I believe in and that are authentic and true to me. All opinions and thoughts in this post are MY OWN.

getting REAL with you.

getting REAL with you.

Hi guys!

I know it’s been quite awhile since I’ve blogged. For me, blogging is very ebb and flow. I haven’t felt myself lately, nor have I felt that creative drive to just write. Rather than being inauthentic with you…it’s sometimes easier to just take a break! However, lately, there’s been a topic on my mind that I feel the need to bring to light. Having been in the blogging world for quite some time now, I’ve heard it all – “your life is amazing, you’re so balanced, you’re so fit, you’re so motivated, you’re always so positive, etc. etc.” Though it’s quite flattering to hear these thing, it’s not always the truth and I hate that instagram sometimes portrays it that way. Yes, I’m the one who is sharing these photos, recording stories, etc. But I don’t always share the whole “woe is me” story since I do my best to be this positive light and I think there’s a fine balance between oversharing and not sharing enough. At the same time, I do try to share my struggles with you every now and then because I want you to understand that I too, am HUMAN and we are not perfect. I prefer to do this through writing rather than a little blurb on a photo or me talking to you through a story (just my personal preference on how I prefer to get my words out).

What you don’t see behind the perfectly posed pictures, are my everyday struggles, just like everyone else! We all have them. Yes I get to work from home as part of my full-time job, but is this my dream job? No. Do I know what the hell I want to do with my life? Still no. Was BerryGood Bliss a success? Nope. Does that mean I’m giving up on it forever? Also no. The biggest thing lately however, has been dealing with the stress of balancing divorced parents who do not get along, while planning a big wedding. I’ll be honest, this has not been the most “enjoyable” experience I thought it would be to plan a wedding. It’s not to say it’s all been bad at all, but it definitely hasn’t been smooth sailing either. Trust me, I know this weekend will all come together and it will be amazing…and of course, the best part, I get to marry my best friend. That being said, I’m the kind of person who always feels the need to please, which means I find myself constantly playing this balancing act between my parents. Lately my anxiety and stress levels have been at an all time high, which I’ve shared with them both. I had been keeping it to myself for quite some time, but recently it all boiled up. I know I shouldn’t keep these things to myself, but again, it goes back to me always wanting to remain strong and please everyone. At the end of the day, I know it’s neither of my parents intention to have their personal feelings between one another affect me…sadly it’s the “not so easy” side of divorce and wedding planning isn’t exactly rainbows and butterflies when you are trying to all get “along”. If only there was a how-to book for situations like this (haha …wishful thinking)!

As a result of my anxiety being heighted, I find myself falling into unhealthy habits of feeling sorry for myself and unconnected with my TRUE self. I haven’t been meditating or practicing yoga as much. I’d rather sit on the couch at night then do something productive. I reach for sugary foods on weekends that I think will “make all things better”. Oh the list could go on. However, at the end of the day, the only person who has the power to change things is MYSELF. Fortunately enough, I thrive in warmer weather and with Spring finally coming to life in Boston, I’ve felt more driven to stop feeling sorry myself and bring back some positive habits into my life like journaling, walking, listening to positive podcasts, connecting with friends, going to group fitness classes and so on.

The point is, instagram can be REALLY great but also can be do detrimental on mental health and wellness. Though I hate to admit it, I certainly catch myself scrolling through instagram, comparing, wishing I had something that someone has achieved, feeling sorry for myself and so on. What I’ve found lately that has helped is taking a step back and truly being grateful for what I DO have in my life. We all are unique and have strengths that make us WHO we ARE. I’ve been doing this through journaling and simply sharing things that I’m both grateful for AND writing down the things I love about myself. Again, I don’t mean to share all of this because I want you to feel sorry for me. I just want you to know that we all have struggles and it can be really easy to hide behind instagram and pretend like life is perfect. At the end of the day, the bad comes with the GOOD and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

March Obsessions

March Obsessions

March Obsessions

WHERE has time gone? Seriously though…somehow I managed to skip right over both January AND February obsessions so it looks like March is going to be EXTRA long, just for you! But really…I’m totalllllyy ok with the winter months flying by. Let’s be honest, we all know that Boston’s “Spring” may as well just be an extension of winter, so I’m cool with days, weeks, and months just cruisin’ on by at this point. WHO CAN RELATE?

Alright, alright enough with the small talk, let’s get to my latest obsessions. Here’s what I’m digging lately…

1) Throwing a curve ball here by starting with a fashion trend I LOVE. I‘d personally like to thank the Kardashian clan for making leotards and high-waisted pants an acceptable look to wear for both a day-time and night-time look. I LOVE leotards…so long as they have the handy buttons at the crotch LOL – it makes peeing a million x’s easier! But in all seriousness, I love them for a few reasons. You don’t need to THINK about planning an outfit. It’s as easy as picking a cute nude color, pairing it with a light-wash high-waisted jean, sneakers, and a cute chunky belt. Add a comfy cardigan for a day-time look and then swap that out for a leather bomber coat & a choker necklace for a cool, night-time look. My fave places to purchase affordable leotards are Forever 21 (they have so many cute colors and styles for INSANELY cheap) and Urban Outfitters is always a go-to of mine. American Apparel carries some cute, classic ones as well!

2) Keeping this fashion thing going…comfy AF jumpsuits. I recently (like literally yesterday lol) purchased the comfiest onzie that I will most likely wear every possible moment while I’m at home and that is my free people jumpsuit.  I actually found it on the sale rack at Corepower for 60% off (so ya, obvious choice if I do say so myself) and I just couldn’t resist buying it. What makes it extra cool is that it’s also really fun to flow to. Whip out your yoga mat any time of day, put on your jumpsuit, and just fricken FLOW without having to worry about your shirt following over your face during inversions or your butt cheeks hanging out mid downward dog. I’m low-key obsessed with ALL of the ‘movement’ Free People jumpsuits…

3) ONE more fashion trend for ya…well actually, it’s a trend that is yet again, resurfacing…and that my friends, are SCRUNCHIES. I had a moment of pure joy at the Urban Outfitters checkout when I stumbled upon a bucket full of perfect packs of colorful scrunchies. May I add that their color palettes were SPOT on. Now I obviously love scrunchies because they’re super cool and fun, but from a logical point of view…they actually are the only hair accessory that can hold my thick head of hair. That is a trend I can get on – one that is both FUNCTIONAL and CUTE.

4) I mentioned Vital Proteins collagen on my last post…this month, it’s all about the Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer and the Matcha Collagen. I love the collagen creamer because it’s the perfect addition to your caffeine fueled espresso/latte or even matcha latte. OR add it to a smoothie, golden milk, whatever it is that makes you HAPPY! I personally love the taste of coconut and this creamer takes your morning beverage from a 4 to a 12 easily. If you’re not a coffee kind of person, then opt in for the matcha collagen. It’s a powder form of ceremonial matcha and coconut water. Blend it with your fave homemade dairy-free milk of choice and you have yourself a winner. PLUS, they have perfect travel size packets that you can mix in anywhere on-the-go! You can shop for it on Amazon or order right from the Vital Proteins site.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 4.10.50 PM

5) A cool 2018 day…LIFE…EVERYTHING planner. I’m a visual person and therefor, writing things down makes my life so much easier. Not to mention, I’ve been keeping EVERY detail for wedding planning in here and it keeps me SANE. Find a cute planner that leaves you a lot of space to write to-do’s, goals, plans, etc. for each day. I love that my planner gives me a whole page for just one day and includes sections for:

  • Today’s Top Three
  • A cute little inspiring quote each day
  • Today’s Schedule (broken out by each hour of the day)
  • TonightTo-Do List (parallels my schedule)
  • And lastly a section for Gratitude each day

6) CBD oil. I can’t say enough great things about CBD oil and you’re probably sick of hearing me blab about it if you follow me on Instagram. But I swear it’s for GOOD reason. Biggest and most noticeable benefits I’ve seen so far? Better night’s sleep (like WAY less restless, much deeper sleep), less anxiety, less joint paint, and less inflammation. The first CBD oil I tried was the Cap Beauty “daily hit”. It’s packed with extra adaptogens in addition to the CBD oil. I will warn you that this brand is v pricey but it comes in a pretty large bottle and you only need ½ tsp a day to get the benefits! So it goes pretty far for how much you’re spending. Most recently, I purchased a tincture from Lazarus Naturals which was much cheaper and I find, works just as well. My tip? Take about 1 ML of CBD oil 2 hours before bed. Let it sit under your tongue (I promise you’ll get passed the taste and smell) for 90 seconds, and then swallow. Why? Because your tongue has little blood vessels so the CBD is actually absorbed and bypasses your digestive system, therefor getting into your bloodstream faster and more effectively.

7) Dr. Dennis Gross Products. After listening to the Skinny Confidential podcast last month where she interviewed the skin god himself, Dr. Dennis Gross…I was pretty much sold. I’ll be honest; I did not care about good skin care at all up until this point. Obviously I have a skin care routine than includes cleansing my face with clean products, using serums, face masks, etc. BUT I never really cared about the sun and the extent of its damage on my skin. Growing up it was all about who could be the tannest and you can bet I had my glow on almost all year round. Especially come the summer time, I grew up teaching sailing and was on the water/out in the sun all day. My TOP goal for this year is to really focus on good skin care and avoiding sun damage. This means A LOT of sunscreen all the time, staying out of the sun or wearing a hat as much as possible, and using products like the Alpha Beta Skin peel from his product line.

8) Speaking of Sun Damage…DIY Coconut Oil + Aloe Vera Gel blend. Why?  ALoe vera has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities that helps to repare damaged skin and rebuild growth. Coconut oil is similar in that it’s packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps the healing time and prevents new scars from forming. You can also add in extra vitamin E oil for an additional boost! A little tip I received from a local in the BVI’s is that you need to use REAL coconut oil…like totally untouched coconut oil that actually looks browner in color instead of that white oil we’re used to here in the states. She recommended getting the coconut oil from St. Vincent or any of the islands in the French west indies. Then get yourself some organic aloe vera gel (ordered this on amazon). Blend ¼ cup of each together and store in an air-tight container. Option to add any additional essential oils. Apply a good amount on your face before bed every night.

9) Cava aka Boston’s latest addition to our food scene. Cava is basically like mediterranean food meets sweetgreen…but dare I say…BETTER? Yep I said it. Plus you get more bang for your buck. A GIANT ASS bowl is about $10 and you get ALL the toppings (no extra money like paying $1 for 1/2 an avocado)…just saying! If you haven’t already, go find out why this place is ALL THE RAGE!

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 4.05.46 PM

10) Homemade Cashew Milk is literally better than any store-bought non-dairy milk. Not to mention it takes all of 2 minutes to make is requires MINIMAL effort. Go to your grocery store’s bulk food section and stock up on raw cashews. Soak 1 cup of cashews in a bowl of water for about 2 hours or longer. Rinse and then add to your blender with ~6 cups of filtered water. Add in cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and a few drops of vanilla stevia or any sweetener of your choice. BLEND baby BLEND for about 2 mins. No need to strain! The cashews blend well. Just make sure to store in an air-tight container and shake well before using!

11) Lovebeets NEW salsa and golden beets. This is not a paid ad nor is this sponsored…I just really REALLY love beets and pretty much obsessed with their latest products. The lovebeets salsa is absolutely delish on your avocado toast with eggs or makes for a clean dip with CHIPS! Can I get a HELL YAHH???!!!

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 4.05.05 PM

12) Lavva Dairy-Free (plant-based) coconut yogurt w/ 0 added sugars. This yogurt is actually AMAZING. I may even, dare I say it, put it number one over Kite Hill… Why? Because there’s literally 0 added sugars and the ingredients are all EPIC and it’s HIGH in probiotics. Unfortunately, Whole Foods doesn’t carry them yet but I was able to find them at Stop & Shop and Wegmans …so go stalk up!

How Teaching Helped me Regain my Confidence…

How Teaching Helped me Regain my Confidence…

Less than two weeks ago, I was coming off a high of teaching my VERY first Corepower class and found myself preaching to my mom about confidence. In that moment, I DID feel confident. The class was a rush of magical energy, nervousness, excitement, and pure adrenaline. I had just finished teaching my first class, without f***ing it up…which believe me, came as a surprise since leading up to that point, I was bottling up a lot of self-doubt. Anyway, back to this conversation with my mom. She’s beautiful, looks like she could be 30 years old, incredibly creative, and is an entrepreneur – yet she has little confidence in herself. Why is it that we women constantly feel like we’re not good enough? I hear it all of the time, “confidence is the best accessory”. Even though I know this and believe me, I try to fake it until I make it, but some days, I find myself hiding behind my hair or an oversized sweater. I find myself hunched over, rather than standing tall. I put earphones in and avoid eye contact. Why is it that I do these things? What is it in these moments that make me feel less confident in myself? Sometimes it’s the comparison trap, whether that be from social media, TV, magazines, etc. Sometimes it’s because I’m wearing sweats and no makeup. Sometimes it’s because I feel “soft and bloated” after a weekend of overindulging. All of these reasons come down to appearance.

How can we push past the idea that appearance = confidence? Well, this brings me back to that post-teaching high. I’m not saying everyone needs to go out and teach a class. But a BIG area of insecurity for me has always been public speaking and putting myself out there, because ultimately I felt insecure about myself. Does this come as a surprise to you? If so, I GET why. I’ve had a blog since college now where I post pictures of myself, my food, and my everyday life through Instagram story.  Though it may appear like I have my shit together….believe me when I say, that’s not always true. For example, I STRUGGLED big time when Instagram story started to become a thing. I was so used to hiding behind my food pictures that having to talk to a video and a large audience terrified me. What would people say about me? What if they don’t like what I’m posting? What if they don’t like my personality? What if I’m not looking my best? In a way, Instagram story helped to push me out of my comfort zone and get over caring what people would THINK of me.

IMG_4362

In December of 2016, I went off and did a 17 day intensive yoga teacher training. I hadn’t gone into it with the intention of teaching. Within the first day or so there, we had to get up in front of everyone and teach a small part. I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt awkward, uncomfortable, nervous, terrified…all of the above. You could tell I was not confident in my own body. Yet, no one judged me. Luckily, I was in a group of the MOST supportive people. It was never a competition. We were all here to improve and we all had a personal reason as to WHY we were here, in this space, pushing our limits, together. By the end of the 17-days I was a different person. I wasn’t perfect by any means, but I was WAY more confident leaving there than I had been when I arrived.

Beginning in October 2017, I had my very first Corepower yoga sculpt teaching training. For those of you who are not familiar with sculpt, it’s a heated, fast-paced, music centric, high-energy, yoga meets strength training class. It is VERY different than yoga, but has always been a practice that I’ve loved because it truly makes working out FUN. I’ll be honest, before signing up for this, I never thought I could get up there and teach a class like this. Just as teaching yoga finally became comfortable for me, sculpt brought on a new element. People come to this class to get a hard, FUN 60 minute workout in. But just as I threw myself into yoga training, I figured why not, let’s test my limits once again. Though I tend to sign up for these types of things with a lot of doubt, I do it because I KNOW this is the only way I’ll ever keep improving. I love challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone. This drive is what helps to build my confidence. When I get into something that makes me uneasy, but come out on the other side successful, that is where I begin to see my confidence shine through. It has absolutely nothing to do with looks. It’s finding something that both excites you but scares you at the same time. It’s challenging yourself to be the best version of YOU.  That’s when and where I’m the MOST confident.

Finding CONFIDENCE can be different for everyone. What I’ve found in the past year or so, is when I put myself out there without truly giving a f*** what anyone thinks, that’s when my confidence reaches an all-time high. I’ve only taught just a few classes at this point, but already, the way I feel after a class is unlike anything I can explain. I love that I have the ability to motivate and empower this amazingly supportive community to get through 60 minutes of fricken HARD work. Had I continued doubting myself, I never would have had the opportunity to find so much joy through teaching. I can already tell that this was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I know that with each class I teach, the more confidence I’ll find. Teaching has given me the confidence to OWN who I am. My at home yoga practice has given me the confidence to feel beautiful in my own body and fight that negative talk. My blog has given me the confidence to let my creative side run wild and free. Living a healthy lifestyle has nourished my body and enables me to feel glowing in my own skin. These are just a few things I’ve learned along the way that have helped to build my confidence. I know there will still be days of doubt and insecurity, but already, those days seem few and far between compared to how I was feeling just a few years back.

My challenge to you? Go after something that you’ve always been drawn to, but at the same time, find terrifying. The accomplishment you feel at the end of whatever journey that may be is MAGICAL and so incredibly gratifying. That exact moment is where you’ll find the most confidence.  

Current January Obsessions

Current January Obsessions

Alright, alright so last month you saw my December obsessions, this month it’s all about what I’m digging in 2018. There are so many awesome products and trends to highlight, but I’ll hit ya with my top 8 for now – stay tuned for Feb’s addition next month!

  1. Throwing a curve ball here by starting with a fashion trend I LOVE. I‘d personally like to thank the Kardashian clan for making leotards and high-waisted pants an acceptable look to wear for both a day-time and night-time look. I LOVE leotards…so long as they have the handy buttons at the crotch LOL – it makes peeing a million x’s easier! But in all seriousness, I love them for a few reasons. You don’t need to THINK about planning an outfit. It’s as easy as picking a cute nude color, pairing it with a light-wash high-waisted jean, sneakers, and a cute chunky belt. Add a comfy cardigan for a day-time look and then swap that out for a leather bomber coat & a choker necklace for a cool, night-time look. My fave places to purchase affordable leotards are Forever 21 (they have so many cute colors and styles for INSANELY cheap) and Urban Outfitters is always a go-to of mine. American Apparel carries some cute, classic ones as well!
  2. I mentioned Vital Proteins collagen on my last post…this month, it’s all about the Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer. I love this because it’s the perfect addition to your caffeine fueled espresso/latte or matcha latte. OR add it to a smoothie, golden milk, whatever it is that makes you HAPPY! I personally love the taste of coconut and this creamer takes your morning beverage from a 4 to a 12 easily. You can shop for it on Amazon or order right from the Vital Proteins site.
  3. A cool 2018 day…LIFE…EVERYTHING planner. I’m a visual person and therefor, writing things down makes my life so much easier. Not to mention, I’ve been keeping EVERY detail for wedding planning in here and it keeps me SANE. Find a cute planner that leaves you a lot of space to write to-do’s, goals, plans, etc. for each day. I love that my planner (got it from Target!) gives me a whole page for just one day and includes sections for:
    • Today’s Top Three
    • A cute little inspiring quote each day
    • Today’s Schedule (broken out by each hour of the day)
    • TonightTo-Do List (parallels my schedule) 
    • And lastly a section for Gratitude each day
  4. CBD oil. I can’t say enough great things about CBD oil and you’re probably sick of hearing me blab about it if you follow me on Instagram. But I swear it’s for GOOD reason. Biggest and most noticeable benefits I’ve seen so far? Better night’s sleep, less anxiety, less joint paint, and less inflammation. I personally love the oil from Cap Beauty since it has extra chic adaptogens in addition to the CBD oil. I will warn you that this brand is v pricey but it comes in a pretty large bottle and you only need ½ tsp a day to get the benefits! So it goes pretty far for how much you’re spending. Another brand I’ve heard good things about is: Lazarus Naturals
  5. Dr. Dennis Gross Products. After listening to the Skinny Confidential podcast last month where she interviewed the skin god himself, Dr. Dennis Gross…I was pretty much sold. I’ll be honest; I did not care about good skin care at all up until this point. Obviously I have a skin care routine than includes cleansing my face with clean products, using serums, face masks, etc. BUT I never really cared about the sun and the extent of it’s damage on my skin. Growing up it was all about who could be the tannest and you can bet I had my glow on almost all year round. Especially come the summer time, I grew up teaching sailing and was on the water/out in the sun all day. My TOP goal for this year is to really focus on good skin care and avoiding sun damage. This means A LOT of sunscreen all the time, staying out of the sun or wearing a hat as much as possible, and using products like the Alpha Beta Skin peel from his product line.
  6. Any tea that has TURMERIC and/or GINGER in it are my absolute faves. Trader Joe’s carries a delicious ginger, turmeric, herbal tea. I also recently fell in love with the Pukka Turmeric Glow tea. It’s a delicious blend of turmeric + green tea + lemon fruit. I add a splash of homemade cinnamon cashew milk and it is PURE JOY. The combo of ginger + turmeric should be your best friend. It is the king of all ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ingredients if you ask me! I love it in the morning or at night before bed.
  7. Barry’s BootCamp. Recently got hooked on this class and LOVE it. Having been a runner my whole life, this class definitely brings that competiveness back. I only go once a week (if that), but it’s a great, killer workout for when you need a little extra cardio/HIIT/strength training in your life! I find it’s a great balance with my CorePower Yoga Sculpt practice, my at-home yoga & pilates practice, and the strength training I do at the gym.
  8. My latest Alo Yoga pants obsession goes to these leggings: Ultimate High Waist Legging in the Rosewater color. I love that nudes are having a serious moment right now and I’m jumping right on that bandwagon! Plus these are SO comfy, love they have a good high-waist, and you can easily go from yoga to a coffee date and keep your outfit looking cool & trendy for the fitness gal on-the-go!

That’s all I have for you this month! Keep an eye out for Feb’s obsessions next 🙂

A look back at 2017 & What my #1 GOAL is for the New Year

A look back at 2017 & What my #1 GOAL is for the New Year

Hi guys! Apologies for the blog hiatus. Since the holidays, I’ve had trouble feeling a bit creative, which in turn means no exciting blog posts for ya! Though I consider myself to be a creative person, there are times when other things take priority and I just don’t feel inspired or motivated. Creativity is definitely an ebb and flow kind of thing for me. Some days I feel SO inspired, excited, and passionate and on other days, it’s just blah. But, hey, that’s life! Not every day is going to be perfect and that’s OK ☺

Anyway, I hope you all had a fabulous holiday break and had time to hang with friends and family. I know it was non-stop for me all break, so I definitely needed to hit the refresh button as soon as I got back into my daily routine. That being said…I am SO EXCITED for what 2018 has in store for me. For one, Justin and I are getting married (EEKK) on August 25th, 2018 – so I’d say that’s a pretty MAJOR thing to be amped about for 2018. But on top of that, I have so many exciting trips, friend reunions, and a CRAZY cool honeymoon that we’re in the middle of planning to Southeast Asia!

I have a gut feeling that 2018 is going to be a GREAT year. I’ll be honest, 2017 was an interesting year for me – a lot of change & was on a mission to find what excites me and “sets my soul on fire”. This certainly came with its challenges and I sure as hell hit a few low points. All that said, I’m so grateful for my experiences because I gained a wealth of new knowledge (and new friends)! Reflecting back on 2017, I think one big thing that was missing for me since graduating college nearly 5 years ago was continuing my path to grow, learn more, and fill a void. Granted I was learning new things at work…but they weren’t all in line with my passions. I have an itch to learn more and challenge myself, but in the world of health and wellness, because that has always been where my curiosity resigns.  So what’s my point in all of this? NEVER STOP LEARNING. I’m carrying this lust to learn over into 2018 and I challenge you to join me! Find something that excites you, maybe completely different than what your 8-5 looks like, and go after it.

It can be ANYTHING and it doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money or in some cases, it may be FREE. Here are some ideas on how I plan to either continue challenging myself or some things that are future goals (either for this year or 2019, 2020, and so on)…

  1. I would have to say that pursuing my 200HR yoga teacher training was one of my favorites. I had a fairly good, at-home practice going before I completed my intensive training, but it was more so for the physical benefits. At the time, I didn’t look at yoga as a spiritual or mental journey – it was purely a form of exercise, toning, and stretching for me. That being said, I was ready for a drastic change in my life and on the whim, applied to a 200HR intensive training in Mallorca, Spain. This was the BEST decision. I intuitively felt a want to get in touch with myself and a more spiritual practice…and this was the answer. Oh and PS you don’t need to be a yoga pro to complete your 200HR. Nor do you need to necessarily have the intention to go out and teach after your training. These are both common misconceptions about 200HR yoga teacher training. There is SO much more value that you get out of this magical journey. Learn more on my experience with my post from last year!
  2. Piggy backing off the above, I’m now in the middle (and nearing the end) of my training for CorePower Yoga Sculpt. I haven’t found a community I love as much as what I have at CPY. I also fell in love immediately with their sculpt class. I loved the high energy, the fun music, the strength training aspect, the heat, etc. I still have my at-home yoga practice, but I love switching it up with CPY sculpt classes. I also love that you can always pop into any class, whether it be sculpt or yoga, at any time of day and with so many options for locations in the city! Anyway, just like 200HR yoga training, ANYONE can sign up for the CPY sculpt training. And I’ll be honest; this style of teaching is way more challenging than what you may think from just attending a class. Don’t get me wrong, my 200HR yoga training was extremely challenging, but CPY sculpt training brings its new challenges – power of voice, music & beat matching to exercises, weight & strength training, having the whole class flow seamlessly, and of course making it both challenging and fun at the same time. Anyway, as you can tell, I have an appetite for fitness and sharing that with others in the community! This is my form of challenging myself and continuing my journey to learn more and get out of my comfort zone!
  3. Reading! Oh gosh there is so much I can say hear. In the past year, I’ve gotten WAY more into spirituality and self-care in so many forms. Learning more about yoga, meditation, forms of mindfulness, crystals, scents, oils, holistic self-care tricks, astrology, food freedom, manifestation, and oh the list could go on. There are SO MANY FREE resources online. Well & Good , Mind, Body, Green, and Chalkboard are always a few of my favorite go-to’s for catching up on the latest wellness trends. Then from there, I’ll usually go into a deeper dive on the topic elsewhere. I like that both sites “dumb” it down in a sense…aka making it relatable to a large audience. In addition to online resources, there are so many cool books out there, some of my faves being Gabby Bernstein and Kelly Leveque’s book.
  4. Listening! What do I mean by this? Podcasts. There is SO much to learn from a simple 1.5 hour episode…you just need to be listening to the right interview. I can’t even tell you how much knowledge I’ve gained from various podcasts I’ve listened to. I also have some of my fave podcast go-to’s and find it so exciting when I learn about a topic that I’ve never even heard about before, mostly because I trust the interviewer and their interviewee choices! The best part? There is literally a podcast out there for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. Seriously!! Any topic you’re interested in learning more about…there’s likely a podcast for it.
  5. Watch! Justin and I are serial documentary viewers. I LOVE them. I’ll be honest, it’s really hard for me to get through movies (I swear my attention span lasts for all of 30 minutes during any movie). But for some reason, documentaries are the ONLY ones that can hold my attention from start to end. There are so many interesting docs on netflix that are health & wellness focused. Additionally, I’ve been really into more life sciences, UFO’s (haha don’t judge me), nature, the universe, etc.! Also, another great resource for health & wellness focused documentaries is FoodMatters TV. You can subscribe for an online subscription and get so many free resources including documentaries, meditations, yoga pratices, guided courses, recipes, interviews, and more!
  6. Attending a workshop and/or conference. Another great way to learn is putting yourself out there and attending a local workshop or even a larger-scale conference. There’s so much value in attending things in person and meeting/interacting with like-minded people. I’m always scrolling through Eventbrite.com in the Boston area to see what events are going on locally – it’s a great resource for any city!
  7. Take an online course! In the next year or two, I plan on signing up for the integrative nutrition course or another course that is primarily focused on functional and/or holistic nutrition. This has ALWAYS been something I’ve wanted to do, just need to carve out the time. Seeing as 2018 is a busy year for me, I’m thinking I’ll tackle this one in 2019! But I wanted to share and keep it on the radar. Other online resources that I love is from FoodMattersTV and Mind, Body, Green!

Those are some of my pro tips on how you can continue to keep challenging yourself in the new year and never stop learning! Would love to hear any of your suggestions in the comments!

Current December Obsessions

Current December Obsessions

A while back (more like 2015 lol – you’ll be able to tell based on the “fads”), I had a series of posts called “In With the New Obsessions, Out with the Old” …these “obsessions” ranged from health & fashion trends, to favorite products, wellness tips, travel destinations, etc. I decided to bring this series back because let’s be honest…my obsessions are constantly changing and with how quickly trends come and go, I like to share what I think is actually worth the hype and the investment. So, here’s what I have for you for December’s Obsessions! PS – none of the below is sponsored in any way. Any products mentioned are truly those I love and enjoy!

Book of choice: Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What you Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever by Kelly Leveque

  1. I’ve been following Kelly for quite some time now. From her Instagram, to podcast interviews, to MBG articles, and more! It wasn’t until my friend gifted me (thanks Jackie!!) her new book, that I REALLY started to get what all the hype was about Kelly. Her book essentially is the guide to FOOD FREEDOM and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we’re all seeking? Regardless of whether you’ve had a bad relationship with food or not, I think we all tend to at some point or another, get caught up in a food obsession. It’s unfortunately a result of a restrictive diet culture that we grew up with (especially those who were born in the 80’s and 90’s).
  2. Luckily, REAL health (aka not those “diet frozen dinners” or “meal shakes”) is becoming trendy. I think that Kelly plays a big role in this. Her book is so incredibly informative. She empowers you with REAL science to back up the facts. I find it so helpful when I can understand what is going on in my body, to help me make smarter and healthier decisions. She runs through living a positive, stress free lifestyle while making healthy choices. She offers healthy recipes, talks about her Fab4 Smoothies, fitness, and so on.

Fab4 Lifestyle and FIBER

  1. Alright so if I’ve learned ANYTHING between Kelly Leveque’s “Fab4” lifestyle and Tanya’s F-Factor lifestyle…it’s basically the importance of incorporating FIBER into our diet at EVERY meal. Because FIBER is COOL and makes ya regular…ya feel me?!!??! (hahahaha) Unfortunately, because so much of our food has become processed, we’ve moved away from naturally fiber-rich foods. Fiber essentially helps things move through our body (aka bowel movements if I’m being FRANK lol), helps to detoxify toxins, helps to break down carbohydrates, and can even help prevent forms of cancer.
  2. The “Fab4” lifestyle is essentially eating the following at every meal: healthy FATS, FIBER rich foods, GREENS/VEGGIES, PROTEIN, plus any extra superfoods or adaptogens if you choose! If you have a little bit of both at every meal, you’ll naturally start to feel full & satiated longer, your hunger hormones will be turned off, you’ll keep your blood sugar levels low, and you’ll naturally find that you either maintain weight or shed those few extra pounds based on where you and your body feel best.
    1. Recommended sources of fiber:
    2. GG’s Scandanavian crackers – you’ve likely seen these posted on the Skinny Confidential or part of the F-Factor movement. They’re one of the HIGHEST forms of fiber rich grab-n-go snacks out there, that are super low in cals. Add them to lunch & breakfast to help fill you up!
    3. If you’re GF, Jillz Crackers and Mary’s Gone Crackers are also great options
    4. flax Seeds
    5. Chia Seeds
    6. Raspberries, Avocados, Brussel Sprouts, Legumes, Pomegranate, etc. are also high sources of fiber that are found in fruits and veggies.

Vital Proteins – i.e. Love their COLLAGEN products

  1. I know this isn’t exactly a “new” trend, but it’s a trend that has stuck and for good reason! There are so many amazing benefits to adding collagen into your diet:
    1. Muscle & joint recovery
    2. Stronger, more vibrant hair, skin, and nails
    3. Better nights sleep
    4. PLUS they now have a new matcha collagen!

Fawen Drinkable Soups

  1. So this is one product I’ve really been LOVING lately. Why? Well, I recently went to Whole Foods and was strolling through the pre-packaged soup section (because winter = endless nights of soup) and was honestly shocked to find that I could count on one hand the number of soups that were sugar free, preservative free, weird additive free, gum free, and so on. Even brands I thought to be “healthy” had added cane sugar or used vegetable oil in their soups.
  2. Fawen is honestly one of the only to-go soups I’ve found that use REAL ingredients like coconut oil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, Himalayan salt, season veggies, etc. to help flavor their soups. NO weird added anything! Oh and ps they taste great and can be enjoyed right from the container (though I love heating it up over the stovetop anyway)!

Cacao & REFINED SUGAR-FREE Vegan/Paleo Chocolate

  1. I tend to have a major sweet tooth after dinner and also tend to crave chocolate. This doesn’t need to be a “cheat” if you find the RIGHT chocolate out there. Cacao is a SUPERFOOD for a reason and should be enjoyed (right)! What are my favorite Brands?
    1. Hu Chocolate – especially their “dark salted chocolate”   (with ingredients like cacao, coconut oil, Himalayan salt, and coconut sugar to flavor). No cane sugar, dairy products, etc.!
    2. Eating Evolved – similar to Hu chocolate, they use coconut oil, coconut butter, and coconut sugar to sweetend.
    3. Lastly, if those two products aren’t in budget, then no worries! Make your own chocolate bark easily using coconut oil, cacao, cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and coconut sugar/honey/or maple syrup following THIS recipe.

Spotify Playlists

  1. Music is and has always been one constant form of pure HAPPINESS in my life. Justin and I love going to shows, festivals, or even just hanging at home and listening to music. It just puts you in the right place
  2. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making playlists on spotfiy that are 100% ME and vary based on my mood. I have a playlist for everything – mornings, yoga flows, Friday nights, summer day vibes, and so on.
  3. So if you’re not following me, get on it AND if you haven’t gone into your own Spotify hole…do it! But beware, you may get sucked in for hours creating playlists!

Friend, Fitness, and Foodie Dates

  1. One thing I love about this Instagram/blogging community is that it has connected me with so many new people! And what better way to connect than over a fitness class, followed by a healthy treat?! I’ve talked about this before, but face-to-face interaction is SO valuable and GOOD for the soul. It’s easy to be comfortable in your own apartment and routine (trust me, I’m the last person to want to make plans during the week) BUT when I finally get my butt out the door and DO it, it feels SO good. I always leave those conversations on a high. It’s nice connecting, sharing similar struggles (and successes), chatting about health, wellness, friends, boys, music, ALL OF IT.

A fashion trend I can’t get over? JUMP SUITS.

  1. I’m sure this is one trend you’ve seen a lot lately, but hey, I don’t see myself getting over it any time soon. Jumpsuits transform perfectly from day to evening, summer to winter. They work all year round. They can be dressed up or dressed down. They’re comfy AF. A nice fitted one makes your booty look GREAT. I mean what more can I say?? Go get yourself one or two jumpsuits that you love and that can be versatile. It’s my idea of the new “little black dress” that everyone needs to have as a staple in their closet! Here’s one from Forever21 that I recently bought and LOVE.

Favorite Bar? This one hasn’t really changed and for good reason – RX BARS

  1. These bars still have got to be my favorite out there. High in protein (egg whites), healthy fats (nuts), naturally sweetened with dates, no weird added things at all.
  2. Though I don’t recommend eating one every day, I do find these are GREAT to have on hand if you need a “bridge snack” between lunch and dinner, or while traveling, on-the-go, etc.!
  3. My favorite flavors right now? Their seasonal Gingerbread flavor, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Sea Salt, and Coconut Chocolate Chip!

Deepening your Yoga Practice

So I’m doing my BEST to MANIFEST a future yoga retreat because I see so much value in them. Though these can be costly, I think they’re 100% worth it! It’s the BEST kind of way to hit refresh, take a hot second from the craziness that is life, and connect with your mind, body, and SOUL. It doesn’t necessarily need to be some fancy retreat in Costa Rica. Even a one-day refresh can be just as valuable! Look around locally. I’m sure you can find at least one or two within driving distance!

This time last year, I also took the leap of faith and traveled to Mallorca for my 200hr yoga teacher training and FELL IN LOVE with everyone about it. So spirutually opening. Pushed me out of my comfort zone BIG TIME. Even if you have no intention on teaching, I recommend it to deepen your practice.

Lastly, I’m currently in my Corepower teacher sculpt training at this moment. I LOVE high-energy music and workouts, so this is the perfect way to blend my love for yoga with high-intensity fitness.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed. Oh and by the way, NONE of this is sponsored. Any products mentioned are truly those I love and enjoy!

How to Get Out of that Winter FUNK

How to Get Out of that Winter FUNK

Those of you who follow me on my Instagram page have likely heard me talk about being in a funk right now as a result of the colder days and darker nights here in good, ole Boston! I wrote a similar post last winter and have decided to bulk that one up with additional tips & tricks to getting out of the winter funk! So here’s what I’ve found…sometimes all you need is one WHOLE day to REBOOT and it can do wonders!

Actually take a FULL self-care day!

Unfortunately our culture has created a fast-pace, high-stressed environment, especially on the east coast. Though this mindset is great and all in theory, “work hard, play harder”…but do we ACTUALLY play? Ever feel like it’s a competition to see who has a busier week or who was more stressed or who stayed later at work? Why should this be praised? It’s just a recipe to fully BURN out in the future. Self-care and taking time to yourself is NOT selfish, it’s quite frankly NECESSARY for good, long-term healthy & longevity. Ignore what your peers think at work and DO YOU. At the end of the day, if you’re more rejuvenated and refreshed, you WILL put out better quality work, more efficiently and effectively than the co-worker sitting next to you.

Alright, so that you see the importance of taking a self-care day…what does that look like? Well, it looks different for everyone! Here’s an inside peek into what my IDEAL self-care day may look like:

7AM – 12PM

  • Sleep in an extra hour.
  • Wake up and make a warm cup of ginger turmeric tea with lemon & fresh ginger. Helps for good digestion in the AM, balances acidity, anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Take my daily supplements (these tend to vary, but I ALWAYS have a probiotic pill, B12 (don’t eat meat & good source of energy), Vitamin D (especially needed in the winter), occasionally a digestive enzyme (if traveling)
  • Turn on my oil diffuser (currently using LAVENDAR oil) & salt lamp. Helps to calm the mood! Also, I wrote a post about tips for calming the mind here.
  • Put on a good, upbeat playlist. Especially into a few of my Spotify playlists right now:
  • Make either a MATCHA or Espresso-Based LATTE
    • Follow the above links for yummy matcha & latte recipes
  • Answer emails, Instagram Comments, DM’s, etc. (I find I’m the most productive in the morning, but since this is SELF-CARE day, limit use)
  • Do a quick 10 minute stretch/flow to wake up the body. Light incense or a sage stick to set the mood. Focus on spinal stretches like cat/cows and twists to loosen up the spine after lying in bed for 8 hours. Here’s a post I did a while back on simple yoga moves to help relieve stress and anxiety!
  • Meditate & write a few things down in your journal that you’re grateful for!
  • Make a healthy, FAB 4 style breakfast. Include fats, fiber, protein, veggies/green, and limit sugars (fruit) to ¼ cup!
  • Sometimes if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll clean. I know this sounds like “work” BUT hear me out…if I’m in the mood (key word here), sometimes cleaning can be SO therapeutic AND can actually be a cause of feeling unmotivated and overwhelmed in your own place! Think about the saying… “a clear space is a clear mind”. PS – I find I’m especially motivated to clean right after coffee when I’m feeling fueled and energized.
  • In addition to cleaning…how about going through your closet (and anything else in your apt/house) and pulling out items that no longer have a purpose in your life? I always joke that I’m an aspiring minimalist. If you know me, you know I have a closet FULL of endless clothes & shoes. Yes, I admit I’m a bit obsessed with fashion, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get rid of old clothes (and items laying around that are just adding to a more cluttered space). Giving away clothes can be such a RELIEF sometimes and leave you feeling a bit lighter…almost like a weight was lifted off of you. So, though this doesn’t seem like the “cliché” self-care tip that one may hear…I promise you, it HELPED me and I’m almost certain it will help you!
  • Read a book, browse through one of my fave wellness-focused websites like Well & Good or Mind, Body, Green.
  • When fully digested, get a workout in that I LOVE. Don’t make this a punishment but rather make it something you look forward to and know that your body with thank you later! 
  • Start a bath and add Dr. Teals “recovery” bath salts (eucalyptus). While the bath is filling up, stretch & foam roll (so good for the muscles and cheaper option than going for a massage!) Before you hop into the bath, also option to Dry Brush (the skin is your BIGGEST organ and this helps to detoxify and remove dry skin, leaving you feeling more refreshed and energetic).
  • I’ll also put on a face mask of some sort, either a chlorophyll mask from CocoKind Skincare or a coffee exfoliating mask from Frank & Whit. Light a candle, grab a book, and relax for 15-20 minutes before showering off.

12PM – 4PM

  • Go for a walk & listen to an informative podcast before lunch. Some of my fave podcasts include:
    • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her
    • The Balanced Blonde
    • That’s so Maven
    • Rich Roll Podcast
    • Raw Talk with Sheena
    • Bulletproof Radio
    • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout
    • The Lively Show
    • That so Retrograde  
  • Make a delicious & filling Buddha bowl with all the best roasted veggies OR meet a friend of lunch at a healthy joint! We take face-to-face interaction for granted. It can be so refreshing to catch up with a friend, especially if it’s someone who has similar interests to you and can geek out over health & wellness! Whenever I meet a friend for coffee, lunch, or a workout, I always feel so happy after! Way more beneficial than just jumping on the phone!
  • If you have the time (and money) here are some other great options to add into your schedule:
    • Go to a float-tank and CHILL for 60 minutes. Check out my blog post here from my first experience!
    • Cryotherapy: great for muscle & joint recovery, collagen regrowth, naturally energy boost, inflammation, and better sleep.
    • Acupuncture
    • Body Work, Massage, Aromatherapy
    • Reiki or Kundalini yoga
    • Facial
    • Mani and/or pedi

4PM – Bedtime

  • Relax and and watch your favorite show! It’s OK to watch TV guys
  • Start meal prepping your favorite dish & maybe even whip up a healthy vegan dessert to indulge in after if you have the time! TIP: CACAO is a natural mood booster so I highly recommend any dessert to include cacao!
  • Light candles & enjoy your dinner!
  • End the night with a meditation. Pick up a book. Watch a movie or put on your favorite Netflix show.
  • End with a soothing cup of tea, put your legs up the wall for 10 minutes before you go to bed (great simple inversion that feels so good & is great to do at the end of the day after working out/walking/running etc. // helps to drain the lactic acid)
  • Get in bed early (before 10pm if you can!)

As you can see, there’s nothing crazy here (and pretty much everything here is doable on a budget)! These are little things that make me happy and give me time to truly be present and appreciate these little self-care tips. Yours may look different than mine and that’s totally fine! At the end of the day…DO YOU. Like I said, sometimes all you need is just one day to get right back on track ☺ Hope this helps!

A Long-Winded Note on –  Ending Anxiety around the Holidays, My Relationship with Food & Fitness, and Finding Acceptance

A Long-Winded Note on – Ending Anxiety around the Holidays, My Relationship with Food & Fitness, and Finding Acceptance

I don’t know about you, but family holidays always seem to spark my anxiety around food, which if you think about it, this seems counterintuitive to the point of Thanksgiving in the first place.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when and where this anxiety around food during the holidays started, but if I had to guess, I’d say back in high school during my, where we were just beginning to be introduced to social media and the “diet culture”.  Leading up to and following the holidays, you’d see “shedding for the holidays”, or “stay skinny this thanksgiving”, or “how to shed 10 pounds before and after the holidays”. It’s everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid. It’s no wonder high-schoolers’ (and probably even middle schoolers’) get roped into this mindset so early. They’re still young, impressionable, and heavily influenced by social media. I’m sure I’m not alone here, regardless of whether you’ve had an on and off relationship with food. This frame of thinking is basically engraved into everyone at one point or another.

Each year, I make it an effort to enjoy the time with my family and be PRESENT rather than feeling overwhelmed by thoughts around food, working out, looking good in my holiday outfit, and so on. Some years are successful and some years I find myself still consumed by these thoughts. The difference between past years and now is that I’m in a much better place mentally. Being a food blogger, it’s easy to feel consumed by food all the time. Constantly thinking about your next meal whether it’s for lunch that day or what you’ll be eating for breakfast on the weekend. Finding that balance between feeling controlled by food vs. just cooking and photographing out of pure joy/passion can be difficult, but it IS possible. I think the biggest challenge for me was eating to feel satiated. As I’ve discussed in the past, I’ve tried so many different diet and health-food trends, hoping that one would be the right fit for me. Unfortunately, none of them left me feeling satisfied and only had me craving more since I wasn’t getting the RIGHT food and nourishment for what my body needed.

I’d try to mimic the pretty food I saw on Instagram, which sometimes meant giant smoothie bowls loaded with fruit, almond butter, and granola. Sure, this tasted REALLY good and it was super filling at the time (I still think it should be enjoyed every now and then, the difference being that I’m now AWARE of how these ingredients will affect my cravings. I can still make a smoothie bowl, but the ingredients I choose to use may be different than what I would throw in, in the past). But was it really giving me the proper nutrition that I needed? Even after starting my morning with giant smoothie bowls, I couldn’t stop eating at night. None of it made sense to me. It wasn’t until recently where I started to really think about each plate at every meal. Was I getting proper protein, healthy fats, veggies, superfoods, fiber, etc? How much FRUIT (and additional sugar) was I consuming throughout the day? Was I eating enough calories? Did I need to adjust based on my workouts?

What I found was that a) I was running A LOT. Being a runner my whole life, I was used to logging a lot of miles and I “used” to be able to eat a lot of food to replenish. However, just like anything else that you do day in and day out, it can get mundane and your body starts to adapt. And b) though I was running anywhere from 5-8 miles about 4-5 times a week, I wasn’t burning as many calories as I used to. Yet I came home STARVING all the time and would likely overeat because that’s what I thought my hunger signs were telling me.

Fast forward to January 2017, post 200hr yoga teacher training. After 17 intensive days of pure yoga and little to no running, my body changed, but in a good way. I hadn’t seen results like this in SO LONG. I LOVED yoga and sadly, running became something I started to resent because it usually meant me hammering miles (and breaking down my body) to make up for all of the food I would consume. It became a vicious cycle and this small realization opened up a new way of looking at fitness. At the end of the day, I think that running is still a great way of getting some cardio in, but I’m not as tied to it as I used to be. Honestly, I probably run 1x a week now, if that. I’ve finally found a workout routine that makes me feel amazing, challenges my body (and mind), and the best part, I actually LOOK FORWARD to it! I share this bit because I feel for me, my relationship to fitness and food go hand-in-hand. The second I started to embrace working out as something that made me feel good, instead of looking at it as a way to punish my body, more positive thoughts around food started to fall in place.

I started craving foods that would truly nourish my body. I started understanding the science behind food & fitness. I became interested in the research. I invested time into listening to podcasts and reading; anything from body positivity, to spirituality, to nutritionists that covered everything from paleo, to plant-based, to keto, to grain-free / gluten-free, and everything in between. I started looking at everything with an open mind, ditched the “food labels”, and began to understand how different lifestyles worked for different people. I found it significantly helpful to understand the science & research behind all of these “health trends” so that I could pull bits of each to find what works well for me. It’s funny too because I’ve always been into following different health trends out there, but what happened, was that I would get too consumed by that particular one and closed off to the idea that maybe that lifestyle wasn’t the best for ME, even though it appeared that so and so on Instagram seemed to be incredibly happy following that lifestyle. 

My point to all of this is that this whole “wellness” thing is a journey. It’s trial and error. It’s accepting that we’re ALL different and have different needs. It means being open minded and accepting that health trends come and go for a reason. At the end of the day, it always seems to come back to eating wholesome, unprocessed food and finding a healthy, balanced workout routine that makes you feel good from the inside, out. Though I’ve found a more “balanced” way of living, this doesn’t mean that I’m throwing all concepts of healthy eating out the door when it comes to the holidays. If I REALLY want that dessert full of butter, I’ll eat it. BUT, I know that after I go for that, my body feels like shit. And I truly hate feeling like SHIT. This is the same reason why I choose to rarely drink alcohol. It makes me feel awful and for me, it’s not worth getting drunk to feel like crap the entire next day. Personally, it comes down to this: do I REALLY want that dessert or is it knowing that I’m allowing myself the option to grab it, that makes me deny it all together?

Here’s the other thing. I feel JUST as satisfied making my own dessert that I know tastes just as good, if not better, and is full of real ingredients and no refined sugars. Sometimes I get asked the question, “do you REALLY think that healthy dessert of yours tastes just as good as this store-bought cheesecake?” and my answer is always yes. This type of question used to drive me crazy. Why can’t others just accept that I actually enjoy healthy food? At the end of the day, you’re not going to please everyone. You need to do what makes you feel good. I still have balance and a healthy relationship with food, even if I still choose to go for my healthier dessert option. The difference in all of this is where my head and mental state is at. I can honestly say I’m truly in a better place. Not every day is perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than where it used to be. It’s all about progress, not perfection!

I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

I’m absolutely so grateful for all of you!

My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

My Morning Routine + Why I Cherish it So Much

One topic I’ve been meaning to post about for a while has been my morning routine. I know this is something I’ve talked about it in the past, whether it be on the blog or on instagram, but I definitely want to reiterate WHY I cherish my morning routine as much as I do. Mornings for me are the most important part of my day. I find that starting my morning out on the most positive note possible truly sets the tone for how the rest of my day will look. My motivation, my productivity, my happiness, my dedication and so on, all depend on how the first hour or two of my day goes. This may not be true for everyone, but I’ve witnessed it first hand for myself.

 

A few things you want to AVOID in setting the tone for your perfect morning routine are…

 

1) Not getting enough sleep.

Sleep is SO important for me. I need at least 7 hours to be a functional human. I find that if I go one or two nights with a poor sleep, my lack of fitness motivation and self-control around food cravings are the first clear signs that I’ve been deprived of sleep. I instantly procrastinate my workout (which is clearly also a sign from my body telling me that sleep would be more beneficial than working out at the moment). I also find that I lose most of the self-control I have around shoving my face with highly sweet or salty foods. If that’s the case, I crave something sweet in the morning, which in turn spikes my blood sugar levels, which then leads me to crash before lunch-time, which then continues to put me in this spiral of craving sweet or super salty “junk” food for the rest of the day. THIS is why sleep is KEY. Sleep gives me you the energy to be the BEST version of yourself.

2) Starting the morning with negative thoughts.

I’ll be honest, waking up at 5:30am when it’s still pitch black out is not always fun, but waking up in the dark AND immediately having negative thoughts about the day is not going to make things any better. To be honest, what gets me out of bed in the morning is my delicious latte that I’ve been having on repeat. Especially on a chillier, fall or winter morning, waking up to warm, delicious (caffeinated) beverage can do just the trick! Give yourself something to be excited about when waking up! Shocker: for me it’s a yummy breakfast and morning beverage!

3) Rushing.

So long as you’re getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep (ps this may mean you need to get into bed earlier! I usually turn off the lights around 9/9:15!), I’d recommend waking up early enough to allow yourself time and enjoy the moment. Again, rushed mornings, mean stressful mornings. And starting your day out stressed is certainly not going to help you take on the day. Is that netflix episode REALLY worth an extra hour of sleep?? (ps I definitely need to take my own advice on this one. Even if I’m still going to bed early, I know that watching TV before bed is a BIG no). Also, have you ever heard of the Circadian Rhythm?? It’s the 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings (i.e. HUMANS) that are affected by things like temperature, sunrise/sunset, etc.

So now for things you CAN incorporate into your morning routine to make it that much better…

 

*Also as a disclaimer, I’m certainly not saying you NEED to incorporate all of the below in your morning routine. That’s just not always realistic, even for those who do have plenty of time in the AM! My suggestion is to just try out a few different ones every now and then and eventually you may find 1 or 2 that stick.

 

1) Oil Pulling – LOVE this ayurvedic practice.

Just started it earlier this month and truly feel and see noticeable results. You want to do this FIRST thing in the morning (before even drinking most fluids). It’s suggested coconut oil is the best for this. Use about 1 TBSP and swish around for about 5-10 minutes (or more if you can!) This is a great practice to incorporate since you can easily multi-task, such as prepping your coffee or breakfast for the day!

2) Get yourself a good skincare (and oral) routine!

Super simple, but ditching the chemical/toxic skincare products can truly leave a long-lasting impact. Why? Because we should care JUST as much about the products we put ON our skin, as the products that we consume daily. Our skin absorbs whatever you’re applying on it and can be just as unhealthy, if not more so than eating something comparably toxic. Think about it…our skin is the LARGEST organ on our body. Treat it well and you will feel so much better! A few non-toxic skincare lines I’ve been loving recently include Cocokind Skincare and Frank & Whit. PS this also includes toothpaste! I recommend Toms or Dr. Bronners!

IMG_8110

3) Make yourself a delicious, warm morning beverage.

I love having a warm drink in the morning (usually something slightly caffeinated) that makes getting out of bed easier and a little more exciting, especially during the colder months! I usually choose to go with a latte & 2 espresso shots, bulletproof coffee, or a bulletproof matcha latte. Matcha or other various teas are awesome as well and a great option for those who have ditched coffee! Or if you’ve quit all caffeine – turmeric or superfood lattes and elixirs make for a great, yummy, and nourishing treat!

4) Gratitude Journaling.

This takes all of 3 minutes – I promise you and makes such an impact. Simply journal a few things a day you’re grateful for. Can be ANYTHING. Grateful for good health, grateful for your yoga practice, or even your new job! Next, write a few goals. I like to include very attainable and then DREAM goals. This is all about MANIFESTING and believing you have all the power to write your own destiny.

5) Practice 10 minutes of light yoga.

This is such a great way to get the spinal fluid moving with some nice, easy back bends and twists. Twists are great for detoxifying the body and help to loosen up the spine after sleeping horizontally all night. I also find it’s a great way to kickstart the metabolism and gain a little energy for the day.

IMG_7931

6) Eat a nourishing breakfast full of healthy fats, protein, leafy greens (if possible), fiber, and some hearty carbs!

7) Put on music that’s light and upbeat! I LOVE doing this in the morning. It totally helps to wake me up and puts me in a great mood!

Hopefully this has given you some new ideas to help take your morning routine from a 5 to a 10! It doesn’t have to be everything, just take baby steps to find what works best for YOU! Comment below and share what your morning routine looks like! I’d love to hear!

 

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

Happy HUMP day y’all!

For this weeks post I wanted to share with you tips I’ve been using to help calm my ever-so-racing mind! Being an adult is hard AF. The number one thing that’s been giving me a bit of anxiety lately has been around finances. Who else can relate? It’s unfortunate that money tends to be the number one culprit behind anxiety and stress for the average person. As you all know, I left my steady paycheck to pursue starting my own business. Luckily, I have no family, kids, college tuition, etc. to pay for…but that doesn’t mean I’m not covering rent, internet, gas/electric, car insurance, car payments, groceries, boston city parking tickets and tow fees (LOL) and oh just trying to have a social life as a 25-year old living in a thriving city. Yep, costs certainly add up and unfortunately, they’ve been leaving me with quite a bit of stress these days. I know I’m not alone and knew I had to share with you my personal tips that help me to calm my crazy mind. I wish I could say these would help to solve all financial issues (haha wishful thinking) BUT they certainly help to get into a right headspace, to then be able to better tackle solving those financial burdens.

1) Take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.

I know this sounds obvious, but I promise you it’s an INSTANT mood-booster and gets your mind off of things. Find a podcast (or two) that you’re super into and commit to listening to them on walks. My podcast list is growing which leaves me with more motivation to get out the door and kill a podcast or two each day. Plus, the added vitamin D is SO crucial and hello, walking = happy endorphins!

PS – here’s a quick list of some of my fave podcasts at the moment. They’re all available on itunes and are FREE!

  • The Chasing Joy Podcast (positivity, wellness, self-love)
  • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her Podcast (wellness, blogging/business tips, marketing your brand)
  • Actually Adultish (wellness, “adult” things for people in their 20’s and 30’s)
  • Rich Roll Podcast (wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality, veganism, endurance training)
  • BulletProof Radio (wellness topics)
  • The Lively Show (high vibe living, law of attraction)
  • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout (wellness, positivity, self-love, entrepreneurship)
  • The Balanced Blonde: Soul on Fire (Spirituality, health & wellness)

2) Essential Oils, Diffusers, Candles, and Incense

This has been a big part of my practice lately, whether during yoga, meditation, or just hanging out at night before bed. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the back of your neck, your third eye, on the inside of your wrists, or pillow before going to sleep. The aroma of the “lavender helps to remove nervous exhaustion and restlessness, while increasing mental activity.” I love adding it to my diffuser before going to bed.

I’m also obsessed with lighting candles and incense. Incense are so cheap to purchase, you can buy various scents (including lavender if you wanted to keep up with that calming trend), they smell amazing, and instantly have a calming effect on me. I think personally, incense remind me of a yoga studio, which tends to be a calm, peaceful place that I can mindfully take myself to in the comfort of my own home.

3) Get upside down AND practice light, restorative yoga.

When in doubt, I always get upside down! Whether it’s headstand, forearmstand, handstand or just a simple, legs up the wall, inversions have been proven to have a calming effect on the mind and get the blood circulating which is KEY. If you can’t do a headstand, DON’T YOU WORRY! It’s just as effective to put your legs up the wall! Find any way to get your legs comfortably vertical. Also, peep my blog post on simple yoga moves to help relive stress and anxiety!

4) Whip up a calming beverage before bed or in the morning. It also never hurts to have a side of Cacao Vegan Chocolate 😉

There are a number of go-to concoctions I’ll whip up if I’m feeling super stressed or anxious. Most importantly, you certainly want to AVOID caffeine if you’re already feeling very uneasy. My go-to beverages include:

  • a calming tea: chamomile tea, peppermint tea, lemon balm tea, passion flower tea, rose tea
  • OR you can boil warm water, add fresh squeezed lemon, fresh ginger, and a drizzle of honey
  • CALM VITALITY – all natural anxiety relief powder that you add to warm water. Promotes healthy magnesium levels and calcium intake. You can learn more about the product here.
  • Make a healing “golden milk”. Golden milk is a medicinal drink that has been used for years in eastern medicine. Simply add 1 tsp of turmeric, a splash of cinnamon, ginger (optional), cardamon (optional), a pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp coconut butter (optional) a sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, or organic vanilla extract) with 1 cup of warm coconut milk and mix well. Occasionally I’ll throw it in my nutribullet, but if I’m lazy, I just use a mini whisk! I love having this before bed. It makes me feel SO good and you get so many anti-inflammatory benefits!

And for my favorite go-to vegan chocolates?

5) MEDITATE.

I know, I know you probably hear this ALL the TIME. But, I promise you, it does help and can instantly put you in euphoria. I had been playing around with different methods of meditation, which I’ve shared below.

  • Guided meditation. There are SO many free ones on youtube. Just search “5 or 10 minute guided meditation” and find one you like.
  • Candle light mediation. Best done in the dark (Either early morning or at night). Sit upright on the floor. Stair into the candle without trying to blink as much as possible. After 5 minutes or so, close your eyes and focus internally on your third eye. You should see a colorful image of the flame still burning. Use that as your focus point. If you lose it, you can open your eyes again and refocus on the flame for another minute or so before shutting the eyes again.
  • Silent, seated meditation. This has been working the best for me lately, however, I advise you play around with timing of the day. I used to try and practice in the morning but found this just did not suit me well. I started mediating between the hours of 4-6pm which seem to work MUCH better for me. Usually at this time of day, my to-do list is out of my head and I’m actually read to just sit and be mindful. I’ll usually set my timer for 10 minutes, while sitting up right on the floor with a block under my butt (helps with comfort).

Though these work well for me, everyone is different! Play around and see what works for you. Also, if you have any ideas/or tips that aren’t posted about, please comment and share below! I love hearing what everyone else does to relieve stress and anxiety.

Creating your Own Positive Storyline

Creating your Own Positive Storyline

Happy Friday Friends!

For this weeks blog post, I wanted to talk about positivity and manifesting your own storyline. I’ll be completely straightforward with you – I’m not always the most happy, positive person, though I tend to put on a facade. And sometimes, especially over these past 2 weeks, I have a tendency to drive myself into a damaging FUNK. If you follow along with me on my instagram, you may have noticed me talk about this series of bad luck that seemed to have just hit me one after another. I cried, a lot. I felt sorry for myself. I became a victim of my own sorrows. I vented to my fiance, my friends, and my family. What did I do to deserve this? Though I was given advice and comfort from those who I emptied my feelings on, none of that seemed to make a difference for me. I had made the internal decision and suddenly believed that I was doomed for bad luck. I was the one who started reading into things and created this ridiculous connection between a series of events that honestly, were my own wrongdoing. At the end of the day, the series of bad luck that came storming at me over the past 2 weeks, could have happened to anyone. I chose to believe that it was ME and that the universe was against me. But in reality, it almost seemed easier to play the victim card and accept things as they were. I personally think I used these “events” to cover up the fact that sometimes life isn’t always easy and you have to make hard decisions that may affect your career, your routine, your habits, your personal life and so on.

So why am I bringing all of this up now? Well, I conveniently started Gabby Bernstein’s book, “The Universe has Your Back” in the midst of all of this “chaos” I was facing. How cliche am I grabbing a self-help book at a time in need? I completely understand now how SILLY my “troubles” are in comparison to the REAL struggles that most of the world is facing. I’m very well aware that I fall into the 1% of the world and I’m oh so grateful for what I have every second of the day. It’s okay to have bad days and feel sorry for yourself, but getting out of that is key. Being able to clear your head, take a step back, BREATHE, and just remember how much you have to be grateful for can go a long way. That was the first step I needed to take to pull me out of this funk. Not going to lie, I’m really bad at finishing books. I’m easily distracted by instagram and ridiculous reality tv shows like real housewives. It’s crazy to me that those take priority over a book that can become an extremely powerful tool in changing your life for the better. So, here I am, making a commitment to all of you, that I will read at least chapter a night. Luckily for me, Gabby caught my attention instantly by sharing a glimpse of her own spiritual journey right off the bat.

The first chapter resonated with me BIG time and was exactly what I needed to hear.

“Joy is our birthright. What blocks our joy is our separation from love. The way back to love begins with understanding how we disconnected in the first place…we separate from the love of the Universe by giving purpose to pain and thinking power comes from outside sources. We deny the power of love, and we save our faith for fear. We forget love altogether.”

“Our projection is our perception. You see the world that you have made, but you do not see yourself as the image-maker.”

– Gabby Bernstein, The Universe Has Your Back

Ah-ha. This all made sense. The second you start connecting a negative connotation with yourself or something in your life, the second that becomes your reality. If you truly believe you’re destined for sadness, there’s a really good chance you’ll likely find more reasons to be sad in your life. You’ll unknowingly put yourself in negative situations. However, YOU and only you, have the ability to shift this perception. You can’t just say you’re going to be happy or that you’ll become successful, you have to truly believe it. And sometimes, that can take time. The second you’re able to get a taste of what it feels like to truly believe, is the important shift that you’ve been waiting for. It comes back to the classic law of attraction. Positive people will attract positive things and vice versa. I’ve experienced this feeling on and off. I’m the type of person that has really HIGH highs and sometimes, LOW lows. I can see it first hand when I’m ultra positive and optimistic. It’s like everything seems to work in my favor. BUT the second I face one speed bump, it’s like a downward spiral. So, my focus now is trying to take EVERY negative situation and find a positive in it. I’m going to accept that I’M the only who has control over a negative situation and at the end of the day, I’M the only one who change that perception.

Saying no to the “wedding diet”

Saying no to the “wedding diet”

I’ll be honest with you, one of the first thoughts I had after booking our wedding venue for NEXT year was “alright, so I have more than a year to kick my butt into gear for the wedding day”. Was this REALLY one of the first things that came to my mind after booking the venue? Am I wrong for thinking this? Or is this a result of diet culture and the wedding industry? Sadly, I feel it’s a mix of all of the above. It’s no surprise that I’ve battled body insecurities, as most women do growing up in their teens, early 20’s…and let’s be honest, is there any age were women feel 100% beautiful? Sadly…I’m not sure?? As I’ve blogged about in the past, my own insecurities have developed over the years, beginning in high school where I was heavily influenced by social media, TV, magazines, and more, running competitively in cross-country and track & field, and of course, the continuous diet culture that we can never seem to get away from. So of course, it’s only natural that when we as woman finally have a wedding date set, it’s an immediate reaction that we must now start the countdown to getting that perfect wedding “bod”.

Ironically, I was in the middle of writing this blog post right before heading to my engagement photo session yesterday and of course, I couldn’t escape those negative thoughts developing in my head. The ones that tell you you’re not ready for a photo shoot. Your skin looks like shit. Your hair looks dry. You feel bloated in the face and belly. You don’t have the right outfit. You can’t afford to get your nails or hair done. Oh the list just goes on! Like, Calli, do you think this is a progress photo or something? Am I expecting to drop weight between todays engagement photo and my day-of wedding photos?? Personally, I think the most difficult thing for me is falling in that comparison trap. Being a blogger, I see fitness photos posted ALL the time as I scroll through instagram. On top of that, I’m now constantly scrolling through pinterest looking at wedding dresses and of course, every woman looks nearly perfect in the wedding dress.

I don’t believe this wedding diet mindset is coming from a negative place at all. I think it’s entirely innocent and we shouldn’t be ashamed in ourselves for thinking like this. Unfortunately, it’s become a somewhat major part of the wedding and fitness industry. Both industries obviously financially benefit from this, so it’s no surprise that they’re taking advantage of marketing and advertisements targeting women looking to lose weight for the big day. Again, not trying to point fingers, we’re all guilty of playing a part and creating this wedding/diet culture. For example, just look at how many articles are shared on Knot.com regarding wedding diet tips, meal plans, celebrity workouts, etc. How many fitness studios around you offer wedding packages? How about the fact that when you go to your first fitting, it’s almost 100% likely you’ll request to schedule several more in hopes of being a smaller size? How about the thousands of posts you’ll find on pinterest about wedding diet and workouts? It’s even become normalized and totally OK in conversation between friends and family. If you look around, it’s everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid? Even those who likely never struggled with weight or body issues before, are now feeling pressured to get into wedding shape.

But, for what? To look a certain way on just one day? I’ll be honest, I was totally deep in the wedding diet mindset (and still am struggling with it) until recently when I listened to an older podcast on the Healthy Maven (episode #22 with Robyn Nohling (the Real Life RD)) where they discuss this topic. It was such an “aw-ha” moment for me because I didn’t even realize I was THAT girl obsessing over how I would look on my wedding day. The sad part is, most times, we’re not doing this for ourselves. We’re doing it so we can look good in front of the 250 attendees at the wedding. Yep, you heard that right. Potentially expecting 250 people at the wedding next year. Talk about added pressure, right? Honestly, I wish I could say that my motivation behind looking good for the big day was for me. But the truth is, I want to look good for all of the 250 people attending. I’m typically not that type of person at all, but for some reason, on this particular day, I’m already concerned with what people will say about my appearance. Again, I realize this is all crazy delusional, but this is how my mind works and I’m sure I’m not alone here. We shouldn’t be concerned about looking good. We SHOULD care about FEELING good. The other point that I found really interesting that was made on this podcast, is do you really want to look back at pictures and say “wow, I wish I could get back to my wedding body some day”? Like, do I really want to kill myself all to look good on ONE day?? Is that really how I want to remember my wedding? Do I want to spend my life trying to get back to that point of likely eating minimal calories and obsessively working out? Absolutely not. I don’t think anyone wants that. I want to look back at the moment and know that it was the happiest moment of my life!

Realizing all of this was half the battle. The most challenging part is doing my best to just observe and ignore those negative thoughts that creep in. Being able to admit and just be aware that these thoughts are REAL will make being able to push them aside that much easier. Though I don’t have any major, life-changing tips here, it certainly helped listening to that podcast and reading this blog from Robyn Nohling (aka the Real Life RD). Definitely worth a read! At the end of the day, Robyn said it best, “thinness does not equal beauty. Marriage is not about the wedding. And a wedding is not about the size of your body.”

XOXO,
Cal

Lessons Learned: From the Desk to the Farmers Market

Lessons Learned: From the Desk to the Farmers Market

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” – Joseph Campbell

If you haven’t already, I’d recommend checking out my last blog post “My Journey from Corporate to Starting my Own Business” before diving into this one! The last one is truly my full story on why I left my job, how I got to launching BerryGood Bliss, and some of the challenges, fears, and successes I faced in that process. I really want to focus this blog post on the present, where I am now, and lessons learned.

The reality of starting your own business is that unless you get things handed to you on a golden platter, you truly need to start from the bottom and work your way up. It takes a hell of a lot of determination and believing in yourself and your company. I’ll be honest, going from working in a corporate setting to selling my products at local farmers markets is quite humbling. I no longer can wear nail polish on my fingernails because of working in the kitchen each and every day, to getting my hands and nails dirty while setting up and taking down my farmers market stand. I wear dirty converses, jean shorts, and a t-shirt every day. My hair is usually tied up in a messy bun. I usually smell by the end of the day (LOL). I’m running off of endless coffee, yet avoiding water since I don’t have time to run and pee during the market (also LOL). I can’t ever drive anyone in my car since it’s quite literally packed to the brim with a portable freezer, a 10×10 tent, a yeti cooler, tables, supplies, and so on. My beach weekends are now devoted to 5:30AM wakeup calls to work Saturday and Sunday markets. But guess what, I’ve never felt more fulfilled then I do now.

I’m not sharing the above to ask for sympathy or a pitty card, I simply just wanted to share the reality of the situation! This new lifestyle of mine certainly isn’t for everyone and that’s totally fine! It’s definitely not a glamorous job. It takes a lot more manual labor than you think. And honestly, had you told me this 3 years ago that future Calli would be selling popsicles at a farmers market I’d laugh in your face.

What keeps me motivated? Interacting with the customers. Learning about the people who are consuming my goods. What do they like? What don’t they like? Are they newly vegan? Have they faced health issues? Do they have a gluten allergy? Are they struggling to find healthy food that also tastes good? THIS is what keeps me motivated. Knowing that I’m positively impacting someones day, even if it’s through a simple, healthy popsicle! I LOVE that I’m able to touch every step of the process. From prep in the kitchen to selling directly to the customer. When you’re finally able to see your work appreciated by the consumers of your products, it feels as though I finally have a meaningful purpose, even if it’s through bringing simple pleasure to someones tastebuds!

“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work these farmers markets for so many reasons. The biggest and most meaningful has been the new friends I’ve met along the way. Through all the bad s*** going on in the world right now, I still see so much hope and potential in our little community here in Boston. I’ve met the kindest, sweetest, most personable, and supportive people. Sure, I’ve gotten a few negative comments here and there, but that comes with the reality of putting yourself out there. The positive people far make up for those few negative ones here and there. It’s amazing to see how supportive people are. They truly want to see you succeed and grow. Whether it’s women supporting women, young entrepreneurs, kind elders, or super ambitious college students who are just into healthy eating – you can tell they’re sincere in their support and interactions. I love getting caught up in conversations with folks who come by my tent. THIS is what I look forward to when attending the markets. I’ve had the opportunity to share my knowledge with folks and also have received a wealth of knowledge from those who have stopped by and started up a conversation.

I’ve always been taught that networking is KEY if you want to succeed. However, it’s important to be SINCERE in your networking verse being fake and trying to hard. There’s a fine balance between give & take. If you’re networking to quickly climb to the top, but never giving back what you get, karma can and will bite you in the bum! That being said, there’s 100% a right way to network. Let’s be honest, networking is part of human nature. It’s also a win-win for the BOTH of you if you connect and have things to share/offer to one another, while still establishing a meaningful relationship. That’s truly the power of building connections. It feels good to help someone out and most likely, there’s a future point in your life where that person will have the ability to then help you out in ways that you least expect. It’s especially important while building a brand and your own business to make these connections, show sincere interest, maintain relationships, learn & grown from one another, and ensure you’re portraying a positive reputation.

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

My overall goal from attending these markets this summer was to establish myself as a legitimate company in the Boston area, build my brand, meet and connect with a diverse group of people, and hopefully establish relationships with other small store/market owners. I’d love to be able to continue doing a few small winter markets to maintain the connection with the community, work with various companies and fitness studios to host events, while also stocking my pops & energy superfood balls in local speciality stores. Although these goals may seem ambitious to some, I just continue to believe in myself and what I’m representing. Sure, plenty moments of doubt seep in nearly everyday, but I do my best to ignore them and focus on the future.

So in summary, here are a few lessons learned from this summer so far in launching my business:

1. Be Open Minded & remain humble.
2. You need to start from the bottom & work the grind.
3. Assess EVERY opportunity. Don’t shut anything down right away.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if someone gives you negative feedback. See how you can use that feedback to only improve.
5. Reach out! Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
6. BELIEVE in what you’re doing. If you are truly passionate about your product/company, people will instantly be drawn in. Positivity is contagious.
7. You need to be put in money, to make money.
8. CONNECT. NETWORK. BE KIND. PERSONABLE. This will go a long way.
9. Social Media is your friend (and also FREE marketing).
10. Interact directly with your consumer. Learn from them and adjust accordingly.

XO,
Cal


%d bloggers like this: