Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Personal Development

Control Consumption, Control your Health

Getting Curious about Ingredients

When I think about controlling consumption as a way to protect my health, I consider food, social media, stress, environmental toxins, etc. I want to focus on food consumption this week as a way to optimize your health.

Here is some information to inform you and also inspire you to get curious about the food you’re eating, specifically any food in bags, boxes or containers. 

“Industrial fat product like vegetable oils are toxic to your arteries because they contain delicate polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are particularly prone to oxidative damage, especially when exposed to heat and when separated from the antioxidants that would otherwise help protect them from that oxidative damage.”

“Prior to Key’s campaign (in 1950 fat clogs our arteries), people ate far more saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods than we do today, but heart attacks were so rare they were almost unheard of. Over the past century, as butter consumption dropped to less than one quarter of what it was (from eighteen pounds per person, per year, to four), vegetable oil consumption went up five-fold (from eleven pounds per person per year to fifty-nine). In 1900, heart disease was rare. By 1950, heart problems were killing more men than any other disease. Now, at the dawn of the second millennium, heart disease is the number-one cause of death in both men and women. Natural fat consumption: down. Processed fat consumption: up. Heart disease: up – way up.” 

“What’s been dropping us like flies is not any upsurge in saturated fat consumption, but an upsurge in consumption of two major categories of pro-inflammatory foods: vegetables oils (a.k.a unnatural fats) and sugar. Cutting both from your diet will not only protect your heart, it will help protect you from all chronic diseases.”

At the source of most every disease is inflammation. At the source of most every disease is oxidative damage caused by free radicals. 

What I am suggesting is that you start looking at the labels and getting curious about the ingredients. Go open up your pantry and check out the labels of the foods you have in there, how many of them have these harmful oils? (See PDF below for oil information).

Consider purchasing foods that have very little ingredients. Consider purchasing foods that you can easily pronounce all the ingredients and know what all the ingredients are. 

I have attached a PDF HERE for you to review. It offers you information on “good oils” and “bad oils”. The difference between the two is the oil’s ability to handle heat. Good oils can handle heat without becoming PUFA’s which lead to trans-fats and the formation of free radicals which lead to oxidative damage which leads to chronic conditions. 

Use this list as a reference for when you’re grocery shopping. Consider putting back products with these harmful oils and searching for products without them. It will take effort, trust me. Most products on the shelves in the grocery stores contain these harmful oils AND refined sugar. 

Your health is worth the effort and time it takes to do the research.

Information from: Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, by Catherine Shanahan, M.D.

Breath Work, Fitness, Health and Wellness, Personal Development, Self Awareness, Self Care

October’s Breath Session – I am open to receive

Today’s breath work mantra is: I am open to receive. 

“Every physiological, psychological, and emotional state has a corresponding breathing pattern. When you change one, the other changes. Therefore, conscious breathing techniques have the potential to transform the quality of your life on every level and on a day-to-day basis. When we are focused on a challenging task, when we have too much on our minds, when we are worried about the kids, school, money, or aging parents, we are functioning in the sympathetic zone. Our bodies are producing more free radicals, and we are not able to relax or to feel close and cuddly. We also tend to make snap judgements and be more reactive, and we are less flexible, relaxed and creative. Conscious breathing can balance and counteract all that. Breath work can become a powerful and natural alternative or adjunct in dealing with post-traumatac stress, anxiety disorders, and many other conditions.” -Dan Brule

I invite you to take 15-minutes to consciously breathe today. By bringing pure presence to our breath, we have the ability to completely shift our mental, emotional, spiritual and physiological well-being. 

Give it a shot… you won’t regret it. 

Free session below!
Breath work may not be for you if you have the following conditions:
  • Pregnancy
  • Detached Retina
  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure (not controlled with medications)
  • Cardiovascular disease including angina, previous heart attack or stroke.
  • Diagnosis of aneurysm in the brain or abdomen
  • Unconvontrolled thyroid conditions and diabetes
  • Asthma – if asthmatic, your inhaler nearby during the session.
  • Epilepsy
  • Prior diagnosis of bipolar disease, schizophrenia or previous psychiatric condition
  • Hospitalization for any psychiatric condition or emotional crisis within the last ten years
  • Any other medical psychiatric or physical conditions which would impair or affect ability to engage in any activities that involve intense physical and/or emotional release.
  • This list is not all inclusive and it’s generally recommended that if you have a question about a condition you may have that is not listed, that you consult a physician before beginning breathwork. If you have or have had any of the listed conditions, it is strongly recommended you consult a physician before beginning breathwork.
Breath Session Here
Also  – I am now offering 1:1, six-week breath work series. I have three options: stress management, reconnecting with self and healing the inner child. Please check out my website for further details, reach out with questions and sign up here to get started.
Clean Living, Health and Wellness, Nutrition

Food Review!

I’m a Certified Food Critic…

Not really, BUT I do know what I’m looking for and NOT looking for when it comes to purchasing food in a bag, container or box. 

If you’ve worked with me before, you know I’m not a huge proponent of calorie counting; I like to work on building awareness and leaning into intuitive eating while educating on what can be harmful to your body. If you’ve worked with me before, you also know I’m not a huge proponent of snacking but more on well-balanced meals to eliminate cravings or snacking, however sometimes that sweet craving occurs and it’s nice to oblige every once in a while. 

When grocery shopping and looking for snacks for the kids or myself, I like to ensure that I’m purchasing clean ingredients that will minimize any inflammatory reaction within my body or significant blood sugar spikes. 

A few weeks ago while shopping at Trader Joe’s, I came across this product just as I was about to checkout – they definitely set up the store strategically for impulse buys – especially when you’re in line for checkout. Touché Trader Joe’s, touché. Needless to say, after looking at the label, I caved and hold no regrets about it. 

Here’s my review:

The ingredients are on point – all organic, NO inflammatory oils, and a lot of natural spices to boost the flavor profile of the snack. The snack includes grains, fiber, vegetable (pumpkin) and a healthy fat (coconut oil) offering you some stability when it comes to your blood sugar. The bark is broken into small pieces so you can easily grab one and go. No harmful dyes. It’s made here in the state of Vermont!

The only thing I would like to be different is the percentage of dark chocolate, they use 66%, typically I like to see above 70% for the added health benefits.

Here’s a list of the ingredients: organic dark chocolate (*organic unsweetened chocolate, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter), organic rolled oats, organic pumpkin seeds, organic maple syrup, organic pumpkin puree, organic corn flakes (organic milled corn, organic cane sugar, sea salt), organic brown rice flour, organic quinoa, organic roasted almonds, organic coconut oil, organic sugar, organic vanilla extract, organic cinnamon, organic ginger, organic nutmeg, organic clove, sea salt.

If you find yourself at Trader Joe’s during the Fall season and are looking for something to satisfy that sweet tooth every now and then, I highly recommend Trader Joe’s Organic Pumpkin Spice Bark. 

#Notanad 

Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Recipe

Turkey Stuffed Delicata Squash

A wonderful recipe for a fall evening. The below recipe serves two. Enjoy! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cooked rice (optional)
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese


Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  • Brush cut sides of squash with 2 tsp olive oil. Place cut-sides down on baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • If making rice, cook rice per instructions on label.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in medium pan over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey. Sauté until browned. Reduce heat to medium and add celery, onion, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Continue cooking until vegetables are soft. Stir in rice, cherries, and parsley until mixture is warmed through. Add salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • Turn squash halves over so they are cut-side up. Fill with the turkey mixture and top with parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted. 
  • Enjoy!

**The picture above is of a delicate squash. I used this image because a few years ago I didn’t know what a delicata squash looked like, so thought it might be helpful for you, if needed. 

Breath Work, Health and Wellness, Self Awareness

October Newsletter

Hello my friend,

I hope you are settling into the new season and looking forward to what’s ahead. I wanted to use this monthly newsletter as a quick check-in. 

How are you? I’m not looking for the candid response of: “fine” or “busy”. I’m looking for a pause. For you to actually honor the question and take a moment to check in with yourself. 

To complete a body scan – are you furrowing your brow? Clenching your jaw? Holding your breath? Are your shoulders up by your ears? Are you feeling contracted in your throat? Are you experiencing pain anywhere? What about your stomach – does it hurt? Is it upset? Are you sucking it in? What about your feet? Can you feel your feet?

Take a moment to sit back. Seriously… sit back. Relax your face and jaw. Drop your shoulders. Breathe in through your nose and let out an audible exhale through your mouth – release the contraction in your throat. Breathe into any tension you’re experiencing. Let go of your stomach, just let it hang – it’s okay to release the contraction. Bring awareness to the soles of your feet – feel your energy there. Now bring your awareness to the palms of your hands – feel the beating of your heart there. Now take three deep breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth. 1. 2. 3. Shake it out, shimmy the shoulders, shift the hips and release any muscles you are actively contracting. Now take three more breaths, a bit deeper this time. Breathe deeply into the belly – in through the nose and out through the mouth. 1. 2. 3. 

Now, how are you? Are you holding feelings of happiness? What about sadness? How about anger? Do you feel tired? What about nauseated? 

How can you honor how you truly feel in this moment? Do you need to scream? Cry? Go take a hot shower or bath? What about a nap? 

We are conditioned to believe that business is the way life should be. We are conditioned to live our lives completely detached from our body. Our body is so wise. All we have to do is tune in and listen, with this awareness we can discover SO much about what we need.

It’s a new month. We’re transitioning into days where the light will be less and the cold will be more frequent, how can you implement a daily practice of checking in with yourself to ensure that you are getting what you need to optimize your health and wellness? 

Blood Sugar Balance, Body Image, Book Recommendations, Books, Fab Four Theory, Health and Wellness, Kelly LeVeque, Recipe, Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

Give me ALL the pumpkin!

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a BIG fan of smoothies! Here’s another one of my favs from Kelly LeVeque’s book, Body Love. It really gets me excited for Fall, one of my favorite seasons of the year!

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

1 serving vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp flaxseeds
1 tbsp MCT oil
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree.

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend to the desired consistency. **Add ice to make it extra cold.

Anxiety, Breath Work, Fitness, Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Personal Development, Perspective, Self-Love

Let’s Breathe!

Your Monthly Breath Session Today’s breath work mantra is: I am.

“… breathing can change your life and lead to real transformation. The way we breathe in response to pain and pleasure, to stress and change, can make all the difference in the world to our health and well-being, our performance at home and at work, and to our loved ones. Breathing is the only system in the body that is both automatic and also under our control. That is not an accident of nature, not a coincidence – it’s an invitation, an opportunity to take part in our own nature and evolution. There are details in the way you breathe that you probably have never observed or explored, and these details are like doorways that can lead to new and profound abilities. The fact is breath work is a major skill set if you want to become a high-performing individual and enhance every aspect of your life.” -Dan Brule

I invite you to take 15-minutes to consciously breathe today. With the session below, when you’re getting ready for bed or while you’re washing dishes. By bringing pure presence to our breath, we have the ability to completely shift our mental, emotional, spiritual and physiological well-being. 

Give it a shot… you won’t regret it. 

Free session below!
Breath work may not be for you if you have the following conditions:   
  • Pregnancy
  • Detached Retina
  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure (not controlled with medication)
  • Cardiovascular disease including angina, previous heart attack or stroke.
  • Diagnosis of aneurysm in the brain or abdomen.
  • Uncontrolled thyroid conditions and diabetes.
  • Asthma – if asthmatic, your inhaler is nearby during the session.
  • Epilepsy
  • Prior diagnosis of biopolar disorder, schizophrenia or previous psychiatric condition
  • Hospitalization for any psychiatric condition or emotional crisis within the last 10 years
  • Any other medical, psychiatric or physical conditions which would impair or affect ability to engage in any activities that involve intense physical and/or emotional release.
  • This list is not all inclusive and it’s generally recommended that if you have a question about a condition you may have that is not listed, that you consult a physician before beginning breathwork. If you have or have had any of the listed conditions, it is strongly recommended you consult a physician before beginning breathwork.
Breath Work Session
Also (shameless plug) – I am now offering 1:1, six-week breath work series. I have three options: stress management, reconnecting with self and healing the inner child. Please check out my website for further details, reach out with questions and sign up here to get started.
Book Recommendations, Books, Health and Wellness

September Newsletter

Badassery
It’s been an interesting month and if I’m being honest with you, I am dealing with a bit of a writer’s block. I have spent a lot of this month reflecting on what is going on in our world, my relationships, myself, and how I can advocate for myself and my children. I’d like to share a piece I came across from Brene Brown’s book: Rising Strong.  

“I know, badassery is a strange term, but I couldn’t come up with another one that captures what I mean. When I see people stand fully in their truth, or when I see someone fall down, get back up, and say, “Damn. That really hurt, but this is important to me and I’m going in again” – my gut reaction is, “What a badass.” There are too many people today who instead of feeling hurt are acting out their hurt; instead of acknowledging pain, they’re inflicting pain on others. Rather than risking feeling disappointed, they’re choosing to live disappointed. Emotional stoicism is not badassery. Blustery posturing is not badassery. Swagger is not badassery. Perfection is about the furthest thing in the world from badassery.

To me the real badass is the person who says, “Our family is really hurting. We could use your support.” And the man who tells his son, “It’s okay to be sad. We all get sad. We just need to talk about it.” And the woman who says, “Our team dropped the ball. We need to stop blaming each other and have some tough conversations about what happened so we can fix it and move forward.” People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.

Daring is essential to solve the problems in the world that feel intractable: poverty, violence, inequality, trampled civil rights, and a struggling environment, to name a few. But in addition to having people who are willing to show up and be seen, we also need a critical mass of badasses who are willing to dare, fall, feel their way through tough emotion, and rise again. And we need these folks leading, modeling, and shaping culture in every capacity, including as parents, teachers, administrators, leaders, politicians, clergy, creatives, and community organizers.”


My perception of this excerpt from Rising Strong is that it’s not about pretending that everything is “fine”, that I’m “fine”, that this world is “fine”. It’s about owning the pain, the heartache, the worry and using that as fuel for change. It’s about using our voices to fight for what we believe in, no matter what that is. 

Day by day, my voice is getting stronger. Day by day, I am feeling more confident in honoring my emotions, speaking my truths and standing up for what is not in alignment with them. Day by day, I am advocating for what I believe in. I hope that you are using this time to do the same, no matter what you believe in. I don’t care if you’re left or right, vaccine vs. non vaccine, mask vs. no mask – what I care about is that you fight for whatever it is that feels right for you. 

I plan to do the same. And it’s not you against me…it’s you and me both advocating for what we believe in. There’s room for both. There’s room for love. There’s room for collaboration. There’s room to come together instead of separate. 

So as we enter into a new month, I hope you feel empowered to use your voice. You’re meant to be here, at this exact moment. 
Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Mindfulness, Perspective

Welcome to Our Kitchen Table

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can offer to you right now that would be supportive. And what I’ve come up with is a space for open, honest and real conversation.

I’ve been deeply feeling the collective energy, the chaos, and the heaviness, as I am sure you have as well. When I was thinking about what to write for today’s email, things just felt flat. Not worthy of speaking of in a world that has so much going on. 

So, I thought I would invite you to my kitchen table. Every evening when Alex, my girls and I sit down to eat, we always like to talk about our day and specifically ask each other these three questions:

  • What are you grateful for? (Sometimes one thing, sometimes ten things)
  • What was the best part of your day?
  • What was the hardest part of your day?

So I’m here to share with you in hopes you’ll feel inspired to do the same. 

I am grateful for: fun weekends with family, my hot morning cup of coffee, the break in the temperature, the way the sun reflected on the river yesterday morning, a long hug from Alex and the sound of Ella’s laugh.

The best part of my day (within the past 24 hours) was Watching Ella ride her bike around the loop, visiting with family and being in the river. We camped this weekend along a river and being in the fresh water was so refreshing. There’s something about the power of it, the feel of it rushing past my skin and the knowing that the river is it’s own force that takes me away from all that’s going on and lands me right where my feet are. 

The hardest part of my day was holding onto the knowing that my husband is feeling the anger and frustration with all that’s going on in Afghanistan. As being someone that fought in Afghanistan and seeing it completely fall apart in days, I can’t even imagine how he’s feeling. The hardest part of my day is knowing he’s experiencing those emotions and also honoring my own fear and questions of, “what if he gets deployed again to go support them?” It may not be rational… but our worries, anxieties and fears typically aren’t. 

I invite you to join in on the conversation. To take a moment to reflect on the best part of your day, for all that you are grateful for and the hardest part of your day. If we don’t take the time to pause, we will continue our habits and routines subconsciously without ever truly assessing what we need and if it’s working for us.

In a world of so much right now, I just want you to know that you are loved. You are supported and you wouldn’t be given anything you couldn’t handle.

Sending you so much love today, wherever you are.

Health and Wellness, Limiting Beliefs, Mental Health, Mindfulness

What if we just let go

Of what is no longer serving us…

I want you to take a minute and consider all that you’re holding onto that no longer serves you.

  • Is it a limiting belief?
  • Is it a relationship?
  • Is it past hurt or trauma?
  • Is it an expectation?
  • Is it a dream?

What would happen if you simply let all that go?

What would happen if you release what no longer serves you?

When we let go, we can fly higher. 

I invite you this week to explore all that you’re holding onto that weighs you down and how it would feel if you just let it go. Explore how it would feel if you simply release your grip and allow it all to float away.

That energetic pull of that thing holding you down is energy you no longer need to hold onto. 

Let it go.
Breathe it out.
Move it out.
Sound it out.

Imagine how high you would fly and soar when you release what is not meant for you anymore. 

You deserve to fly. You deserve to soar. You deserve to thrive. 

What do you need to release this week?