My love for fitness has not only been a gift to stay in shape but, more so my mental health! I can be feeling stressed, overwhelmed, heartbroken, angry, etc. and exercise has been my go-to to dissipate unwanted emotions. It's my reset.
When I get the opportunity to travel, I make it a point to bring my running shoes (or rollerblades). People usually think, "why would you exercise when you're on vacation?" and in my mind, I think, "why wouldn't you exercise on vacation?" It's the ultimate form of self-care and the perfect opportunity to site-see! When you run in a new/ different city, you get to see it in a different light. Some of my fondest vacation memories were spawned from me taking the time to workout. When I went on a cruise in high school, I ran on a treadmill in the gym that was at the very front tip of the boat. Just when I thought it might be a silly way to spend my time, I saw dozens of dolphins racing alongside the ship. It was beautiful. My mom and I recently decided to walk the river bridge and all of a sudden, a bald eagle swooped so low and flew right in front of us. When I lived in LA, I was close enough to run down Wilshire and Rodeo to regularly take-in the revolving window displays. None of which would have happened unless I was inspired to keep moving.
These photos were taken during my workouts just within the past few years. I prefer exercising outside because of all of the beauty that you can come across...THIS is what keeps me moving. Even when the weather isn't right for an outdoor run, some of my most exciting mental breakthroughs and visualizations come from exercising indoors. It's so much more than the sense of accomplishment, mental clarity, and physical benefits, but you get all of that in conjunction with ALL of the beauty you get to take in!
If this concept seems foreign to you or maybe even unrealistic, the new year is the perfect time to change your character for the better. Just decide that YOU are now opening yourself up to loving a good workout too! You can do it! The power IS within YOU! Want some motivation and accountability? Click here to set up a complimentary 45-minute phone/skype consultation!
*P.S. Real talk: I have to add something. I didn't always have this healthy mindset when it came to fitness. When I was younger, I used to workout because I had body image issues. I thought I needed to compensate for the indulgent foods I ate to stay trim. Even when I went to the lake for a few days with my friends in high school, I made sure I treaded water or ran. At the time, I probably didn't realize the other benefits because they weren't my focus and I was too busy trying to reach "perfection". Growing up, I would actually run on my parent's treadmill while watching the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue "Behind the Scenes" Special that I had tape recorded and played on repeat. Which is pretty funny to look back on, but, also, SO sad! I am hardly 5'2" and I could run for eternity and still never reach that place because it's not realistic! I'm not saying having inspirational images is bad, but I urge you to find someone with your body type to look up to! I actually find encouragement from looking at pictures of myself when I was at a really fit point or look to someone like Kourtney Kardashian because she and I have very similar body types and it's a healthy, realistic goal.
Moving forward, I want you to realize that finding a source of inspiration or motivation that goes beyond "image" is SO imperative. Doing this allows you the opportunity to avoid feeling discouraged since you're doing it purely because exercise makes you live longer, slows down the "deterioration process", gives you a sense of accomplishment, it increases endorphins that give you a state of well-being, and connects you to your body, mind, and soul. Weight loss and muscle tone just happen to be a bonus!
The activities we partake in each day have a huge impact on our health. Feeding our souls with newness keeps us learning, evolving, and getting inspired....which ends up empowering us to become who we're meant to be. That is why going on field trips is actually one of my TOP wellness tips! Exposing yourself to beauty and exploring is SO important to your development. When we become stagnant in our lives, that's when negative talk can trickle into your brain, you feel less energized, and you use food for entertainment to fill that "lack". (What mindset we're in-- happy, sad, stressed, actually affects the way we metabolize/ assimilate our food and if it has an inflammatory effect on our bodies or not! Studies show that you could be eating healthy, but if you're stressed, it could cause just as much inflammation as someone eating poorly!) So, I suggest you get out and go to the museum, the library, the park, anywhere where you can absorb some culture and breathe in some life!
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a little tradition and FOOD! One of the most common things I hear this time of year from clients is that they sort of see December as a "cheat" month because people gift them with goodies, they have their traditions, and/or they feel the need to accommodate their family. While I can understand these justifications, it honestly is just a tragedy to think that people will practically destroy their hard work and health by falling "victim" to tradition, family, and food! I'm sure "tragedy" seems a little dramatic, but if someone uses this type of justified thinking during the holidays, they're probably going to use it every holiday, family gathering, or in times of stress-- and it is MORE than unnecessary considering the vast options out there!
Recreating traditional recipes or craving whims is one of my favorite things to do because you're honestly not missing out. Not only do you get satiate that craving by getting partake in the tradition of still eating xyz, you also get that bonus satisfaction from the fact that you're not eating foods that make you susceptible to weight gain, illness, inflammation, and disease. I realize how good "conventional" holiday treats can taste, but at the end of the day, it really and truly is so much more about the emotions that food evokes than the actual food itself. It's a placebo effect. Daily, people are putting their life on the line (quality and longevity) for what? FLEETING moments of bliss and/or mindless eating. Because? As humans, we just want to feel good. So, if it means grabbing fast-food or eating Christmas cookies, we think it's worth it at the time because, again, we just want to feel good. But what we don't stop and realize is that food is just a short-term patch. A patch that will last an hour or so...until we feel back to where we started, OR worse because we're feeling guilty about what we just ate.
I just challenge you to go to the source of your discomfort, pain, or sense of dull and see what it's REALLY about. Usually, in my program, we touch on "Primary Foods": relationships, career, home environment, creativity, spirituality, finances, etc. These are the things that give us our primary source of energy, not food. When we're high on life and full of soul-food, ingestible food becomes an afterthought. SO, try thinking of ways you can elevate your sense of self without food-- realizing that we've built an emotional relationship with food that usually never ends well. TAKE YOUR POWER BACK.
One way to do this? When you want some indulgence via food, opt for healthier options/ alternatives. Trust me, they're out there! I would also like to highlight that while it isn't always easy-- it's also isn't always hard! When I first started this change, I had moments of withdrawal, but, now, someone couldn't pay me to eat most conventional treats/ foods. I don't see value in it-- not only because I now see the light and know that you can eat healthy AND delicious at the same time, but because that food just isn't appetizing when I know the harm it could have on my body, energy, and mental health....and what it's really made of. (Hint: it has just about as much real food in it and/or health benefits as eating a Christmas ornament.)
IF you would like some support and assistance in making this transformational transition, contact me for a complimentary 45-minute consultation....now, ENJOY THE RECIPES BELOW!
Basmati Rice Pudding
This is by far one of my favorite new food traditions! I do suggest making double because it's amazing right out of the oven AND eaten chilled the next day for breakfast...SO good. (The video above is from my Instagram story I recently posted.)
- 2 cups water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup white basmati rice (rice with the lowest GI)
- 1 - 14 oz. can organic coconut milk
- 2 raw egg yolks only, beaten (the most nutritious part of the egg! Contrary to popular belief, studies show that yolks can actually lower your chance of heart disease!)
- 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp lakanto, xylitol, erythritol, or brown coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut, optional garnish.
- for added "holiday" flavor, omit the 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and nutmeg and use 1 1/2 tsp of premixed pumpkin pie spice- or, just add allspice, cardamom, clove, etc. You can also add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or Frontier's vanilla flavoring before baking.
To Cook Rice: In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water to boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 30 minutes until rice is tender.
To Make Pudding:
1. Combine coconut milk, sweetener, egg, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Combine liquid ingredients with cooked rice. Mix well.
3. Fold into a baking dish or casserole dish that has been coated evenly with quality butter or coconut oil.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes.
5. Serve warm or chilled! This dessert/ breakfast is delicious when topped with shredded coconut, berries, pumpkin seeds, and whipping cream, if desired.
- 1 can of organic coconut cream
- 1 - 2 Tbsp of sweetener (optional)
1. Using an electric mixer or hand help blender, whip cream and healthy sweetener of choice at highest speed until stiff peaks form (approximately 3 minutes).
2. Store in an airtight container for at least 4 hours (best overnight).
Mini Egg Casseroles
For this easy crowd pleaser, measurements really all depend on how many people you're cooking for! My mom and I have separately made these a handful of times without an actual recipe and we've both eyed it and it came out pretty much the same.
- Eggs, organic and pasturized is best
- Almond milk, unsweetened
- Additions: chopped zucchini, spinach, bell pepper, onion, beef or turkey sausage, quality, goat cheese, tomato, shredded red skin potato-- really anything that you might desire in an omelet! Also, it's fun to have at least few different options to appeal to larger groups. Maybe one meatless and/or cheeseless.
1. If you're using meat, onion, zucchini, bell pepper, or anything that takes a while to cook through, first, cook in a pan. I prefer sauteing onion, zucchini, and my peppers a little before baking to ensure that they're tender. Also, partially brown any meat before baking!
2. Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Add a splash of almond milk. For approx a dozen eggs, maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of almond milk. Add salt, pepper, etc. to taste preference.
3. Evenly pour into lightly oiled muffin tins (ghee, butter, olive oil) or paper liners (they do stick a bit to the paper, but it does make serving a little easier)
4. Bake at 375 for approx 18-20 minutes.
Pairing suggestion: these taste great with piped whipped avocado! (Sort of like a frosting. You just blend avocado with a little bit of olive oil to make it smooth and creamy. Then, add the mixture to a ziplock bag with a tiny corner snipped.)
This recipe was a fun one to create because I have always had a LOVE for ginger cookies (especially the giant ones at Whole Foods), but in the persuit of eating foods that align with my body, I don't choose to eat gluten or refined cane sugar-- SO, this delicious cookie was created! Pairing suggestion: Hallmark Christmas movie ; )
- 3/4 cup organic palm oil shortening (Nutivia has a responsibly sourced option that doesn't harm the orangutan's natural habitat)
- 3/4 cup packed brown coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup amber coconut nectar (Big Tree is a good option)
- 1 egg
- 2 cups brown rice flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea/pink salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 cup xylitol (optional garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl, mix together shortening, brown sugar, and nectar.
3. Whisk in egg. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (minus xylitol).
5. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend until fully combined.
6. Shape dough in small balls (approx 1 1/2 inch...a little smaller than a golf ball) and gently press dough on a plate of scattered xylitol.
7. Transfer to baking sheet 1" apart.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
9. Let cool for 5. Then, transfer to cooling rack.
Seasons Greetings and Happy Eating!
During my client sessions, we consistently touch on what fuels them. It's so imperative to pinpoint the activities that bring you joy, energy, and keep you moving. These very things are what belong in your personal "manual". When you're not feeling your optimum self, they're your go-to's to replenish, inspire, and bring you back to life. One of MY personal "weapons" in my arsenal is art. Almost any art or creativity will do, but some of my favorite art happens to be housed in The Getty Museum in LA. Not only is the artwork stunning, but the actual museum grounds and gardens are masterpieces alone. Here is my afternoon at the museum.
There has been something weighing heavy on my heart the past few days so, I figured I should write it out. If you're like me, you regularly come across inspirational quotes and literature stating that happiness isn't something that can be acquired, but is simply a frame of mind or a decision. One of the more common quotes by Abe Lincoln states just that, "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be". While I absolutely agree with this, I also feel a bit guilty for being one of those people who posts these things on social media, making it seem like being happy is so simplistic.
When I read these motivational quotes, depending on my mood, it can either help me immediately snap out of a rut or it just pisses me off. Some people require a little more than a change of tune or getting up on the "right" side of the bed. As a highly sensitive person, this is something I've dealt with my whole life. Since I was a small child, if I was experiencing internal hardship, which usually resulted in my acting out or falling into a slump, people would frequently tell me to essentially get over it or, my least favorite, "this too shall pass". This coffee cup advice seemed to work for so many people that I began to think that I was a defected human because I just couldn't shake it that easily.
Sometimes, if we are experiencing an imbalance, it isn't so easy to just snap our fingers and get happy because there is a correction that needs to be made. While this imbalance can inconveniently get in the way, it is wise to shift your perspective and be so grateful for it because it's your body's way of saying, "there is an area of neglect"! If we avoid this area or dumb it with a vice, it can manifest into a lot of mental and physical burdens, ten times its multitude. While it isn't always easy to get to the land of happy, it is SO important to point out that it is possible to get there and rise above!
During my 6-month program, my clients and I focus on goals. One of the most common things discussed is their goal to achieve a state of well-being, peace, and happiness. It's always a difficult subject, only because there are so many components to this weighted issue. Happiness is a product that has to be broken down into the many actions that we identify this feeling/ emotion with. Perspective is absolutely everything because while newlyweds think financial freedom brings "happiness" and think they will acquire joy by way of money, the single entrepreneur who is sitting on a large sum of money and has a comfortable cash flow thinks they could achieve happiness, if only they could get married. The interesting part of all of this is that through many studies, one Deepak Chopra performed, it has been proven that the amount of money someone acquires does not improve long-term happiness. The only time money does affect long-term happiness is when you worry about not having enough of it, which then reduces your state of well-being.
Touching on this point a little deeper, while being goal-oriented is invaluable, there are some people who are constantly focusing on their horizon/ future. "When I reach this level of success, I'll be happy." I think big picture goals are great, but if you don't make note of daily and weekly accomplishments and celebrate the mile-markers, you are selling yourself short. By the time you get to your end goal, or "destination", you won't get to reap the oh-so-nourishing sense of achievement because being a "future seeker" means you will already have your sites set on that new horizon. Being in the present will allow you to see your success and enjoy it. Staring at the horizon means you will keep going and finally stop once you've "arrived"... when you're dead.
I recently listened to an amazing lecture Deepak Chopra gave about something called the Happiness Formula. I found this extremely interesting and probably the soundest self-help I've come across. This formula is: H = S + C + V.
"H"- happiness, "S"- set point in brain that depicts if you're happy or not, stemming from how you received loved and were cared for in the first three years of your life, which can be changed with some mindfulness (50%), "C"- economic conditions of living/ how often you think about money (12%), and "V"- voluntary choices you make every day to receive pleasure (38%). Not only does this formula go much deeper in detail, Mr. Chopra has also developed a "well-being test" that is said to be a very solid predictor of what's going to happen in your future. The results are based on the calculated scores in areas of well-being including: social, career, physical, financial, and community.
So, on to rounding about this jumbled mess I've created. For anyone experiencing days of sadness, depression, fear, or, "analysis paralysis", please know and consider that there are things that you can do to alleviate this pain that doesn't come in a prescription bottle. While I am not a doctor and don't aspire to be, I have seen countless founded studies and have personally experienced the outcome of the many actions humans can take to rise above a rut and diagnosed depression.
So, is achieving happiness as easy to receive as simply subscribing to it? Yes and no. I think making a decision to make the necessary steps to obtain happiness is the golden ticket. What steps am I talking about? The ones Deepak Chopra touched on, the "primary foods" that are emphasized throughout the teachings at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I received my certification. Not only has exercise proven to be hugely effective in fighting depression, diet is the ultimate whammy in the world of rebounding from mental and physical ailments, along with meditation, proper sleep, and spirituality/ religion. Supplementation like omega-3's, L-5-MTHF, and SAMe are gaining a lot of popularity and acceptance, even in the medical field, in assisting to help alleviate depression. There are also a handful of amazing authors, specialists, and doctors who have created some lovely soul food in the form of books! Please know that you aren't defected because bumper sticker "words of wisdom" aren't enough for you.
Probably one of the largest factors that influenced my personal journey was learning about the importance of gut health and the major role it plays in your body's ability to cope and create your "happy" hormone, serotonin. "Gut bacteria creates 95% of the body's serotonin." To read more about gut health, Donna Gates is an amazing source of knowledge. Another enlightening condition that can affect your state of well-being full tilt is adrenal fatigue, which can be caused by something as ordinary as excess caffeine, but can result in depression and/or very similar symptoms to depression.
So, in conclusion, if you're trying to acquire happiness, I am a firm believer that you can achieve it because it is already within you. While state of mind IS everything, sometimes, it isn't as easy for everyone. We are all built differently, we all require different levels of self-care, and supplementation. Lifestyle plays a HUGE part and so does being mindful of the way we listen to and nourish our bodies. Please entertain the many holistic ways you can actively work towards tapping into your internal happy. Again, while it isn't always easy, it is within your power.
Working with my clients is by far one of my favorite things to do. To see these wonderful people get some relief from having the opportunity to sift through their thoughts for an hour every other week is truly such a gift for me. There have been a handful of occasions where it was obvious that I, too, would benefit from the very same attention. (I think everyone on the planet would benefit.) Usually, when I have a problem, I will walk through the steps in my head when I'm trying to resolve something inside of me. I also have a few wonderful women online whose podcasts and articles I seek out, but, sometimes, a quality conversation is the best medicine in the world!
During my recent birthday trip to Los Angeles, while it was truly wonderful, I was having a slightly stressful time. It was a pretty jam packed four days. I drank a little when it's growing clear to me that I shouldn't...which will come later in another blog post, I was visiting an old friend whose vibe I was having a hard time gauging; sometimes, I can't tell if what I'm feeling is actually me or the other person...that's why communication and feedback is EVERYTHING to me. Otherwise, I tend to shut down a little because I get caught up in "analysis paralysis". Another chunk of stress was weighing out the pros and cons of potentially moving back to LA.
On the actual evening of my birthday, my friend and I had experienced a series of unfortunate events, leading to a really late dinner.* While we were getting ready, she asked me what I wanted to manifest-- what celebrity I would want to see or if I wanted a group of gorgeous men to show up. (She knows me quite well and realizes how I do this on the regular to get myself excited.) I thought about it and said that I wanted to run into someone who would totally lock in to me...tell me I'm wonderful and beautiful, and totally hone in on me all night. I said this all laughing, but who wouldn't want some quality, unwavering attention? Hysterically honest, I know. But if you've read any of these blog posts, I clearly put honesty before ego for the sake of an authentic story!
We got to dinner. It was a rocky start, but then a familiar face walked in, Cuba Gooding Jr., (I always enjoy seeing the stars, but wasn't exactly star struck). Only, there was something different about the night and him. I got up from my seat to visit the ladies room to powder my nose and decided: I had no control over the unfavorable circumstances that had led up to that evening, but I did have control over putting myself out there to upgrade my night. (Mr. Gooding had said a few nice things to me from across the bar, so I also figured the odds were in my favor that he wouldn't have anyone escort me away or anything...so, I wasn't being crazy/brave.)
Well, long story short, he ended up making my birthday evening. He bought me a drink, walked me to the patio right on the ocean, gave me his jacket, and gave me some amazing life lessons. One of which was a reason why I wanted to go to LA in the first place. I wanted to shed this internal hesitation I had somehow adopted. Almost an internal dilemma about putting myself out there: posting cooking tutorials, dating, speaking my truth, etc. I know my value and I have a deep-rooted knowledge of who I am and, more recently, acquired the very purpose of why I'm supposed to be on this Earth. So, why the hesitation? Cuba saw that in me. He honed in on me and for about three hours devoted all of his time in rectifying something inside me that needed a little TLC. (He's also an empath, if anyone was wondering.) He actually referred to me as a beautiful bird. I was strong and unwavering on the inside, but it couldn't be detected from the outside because I appeared to be frail. He asked me (paraphrasing, of course) to think of something that I did on a daily basis. Something that I was good at. I said cooking. He asked what was something that I could cook, without really even thinking about it. I said eggs. He said, "okay, so, if I told you if you could cook some eggs to the best of your ability, I would give you one million dollars, what would you be thinking about?" I quickly replied, knowing it was probably the wrong answer, "I would be thinking about the million dollars!" and he said "Wrong. You would think about taking one step at a time to that fridge to get those eggs. Now, once you held those eggs in your hands, what would you be thinking about?" Answering truthfully, I said, "still, the million dollars!" He said, "Wrong. You would just need to do your thing. Make those eggs like you would normally make them and forget about the million dollars." This conversation was quite a bit longer, but it really opened up the skies for me. Instead of fixing my mind on the outcome, I needed to intuitively act, without hesitation. This was all very serendipitous in more ways than one because on the airplane, I began reading a book called "The Power of Serendipity: The Simple Ways to Get Anything You Want..that no one talks about", by Joshua Rosenthal. The book also talks about how "the key to getting where you want to go is not waiting too long to take action". There's thinking of an idea or feeling an urge and, then, there's taking action. Anything in between is where you can get into trouble.
The lesson in all of this is to take one natural step at a time. It's difficult to be a details person, but also a big picture person. You can waste time getting stuck on the details, but you can also lose time getting overwhelmed when considering the big picture. This is why I always tell my clients to not get too crazy with their to-do lists, plan each day at a time, but still keep your big picture in the back of your head, only using it as a reference to make sure that your actions contribute to your big picture ideals. My mom frequently tells me that I need to practice "shoot, aim-- not aim, shoot" because I will miss the plate if I focus too long on aiming just right.
So, I came to some serious conclusions on this trip that I am going to take a leap of faith. I am not going to over analyze it or prematurely plan, I am going to focus on what I can do right now: the things that I know are genuine to my God-given nature and just put one foot in front of the other. By getting in this authentic rhythm, without thinking of the risks, judgments, and varied outcomes, I will inherit that "million dollars" in the form of a life pass-- to just do what feels natural and true, without hesitation. Apparently, this is a lesson I was supposed to REALLY learn because if you read one of my previous blog posts, this is the exact epiphany I came across...which lets me know that I am on to something big-- a new, exciting chapter!
Have you ever experienced synchronicity or serendipity? Please share below!
*I want to underline that my birthday was phenomenal and these undisclosed events were/are pretty comical because most of them were beyond our control-- so we did a superb job just rolling with the flow. Sometimes, you need these things in order to gain much-needed perspective on life and people!
Be weary of people who use you as a doormat. Your role in their life may not be so clear, to you or them, especially if they're good at maintenance. They may put in the energy to clean up mistakes, maybe even make you feel special by showing you off, or, even, apologize when you feel as if you've been walked all over. If you see yourself as playing the role of a fixture, a convenient accent in someone's life, and you give them credit for rising to the occasion for regular maintenance-- I'm sorry to point out: a doormat is a doormat. Even if they treat you with the utmost care to preserve your grandeur, YOU ARE NOT A DOORMAT TO BEGIN WITH. So, get off the floor, dust yourself off, and get the hell out of there!
First of all, I am proud to say that I am now done with school at IIN! So, I will be able to fully devote myself to making these blog posts a little bit more consistent. (Yay, God!)
With the spring weather as amazing as it has been, I have done everything in my power to spend as much time outside as I can! I can honestly say one of my favorite times of the day is when I go on my outdoor run. There is little to no persuasion needed to get out and go-- because on top of the sunshine, nature, and endorphins, I am really loving my current playlist!
I think it is so important to be mindful of your thoughts during exercise. You generate so much energy when you're creating movement, so why not channel thought into that energy and put out something wonderful? Adding a little musical assistance to your workout is sort of like adding a soundtrack to the (hopefully empowering) movie you're playing in your head! Here are some of my current (and past) loves. I know, it is a little all over the place-- but there is consistency in the fact that they're all upbeat!
Now, get moving!
Warm up/ Cool down/ Reps:
It's Tricky - Run DMC
Bullet - Chelsea Lankes
Love Train - The O'Jays
Hold On - Wilson Phillips
Wannabe (Radio Edit) - Spice Girls
Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home - Keira Knightly
Breathless - The Corrs
Fight Song - Rachel Platten
Backbeat - Dagny
Hide Away - Daya
Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
Uma - Panama Wedding
What's My Name - Rihanna
Bang My Head (feat. Sia & Fetty Wap) - David Guetta
Burning Love - Elvis Presley
Heroes (we could be) - Alesso
Run/ Fast-paced Exercise
Kiss the Sky (feat. Wyclef Jean) - The Knocks
Celeste - Ezra Vine
Wild Ones (feat. Sia) - Flo Rida
Live Young Die Free - Fletcher
The Show Goes On - Lupe Fiasco
Spotlight (feat. Usher) - Gucci Mane
Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! - Kishi Bashi
Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake
War Paint - Fletcher
Say Geronimo - Sheppard
Dude (Looks Like A Lady) - Aerosmith
Just Dance - Lady Gaga
Pretty Girl Rock - Keri Hilson
Push It - Salt-N-Pepa
Tambourine - Eve
Somebody Loves You - Betty Who
The First Single (You Know Me) - The Format
Turn Me On (feat. Nicki Minaj) - David Guetta
Forever - Chris Brown
Try Me (feat. Jennifer Lopez & Matoma) - Jason Derulo
2 Heads - Coleman Hell
Love Myself - Hailee Steinfeld
I currently subscribe to Spotify and it really is worth every cent because you're able to create your own playlists with their endless library of song selections, listen to their pre-made Workout playlists like "Cardio", "HIIT Hop", and "Fun Workout", AND one really cool feature is their group of Running playlists because you start running and the music matches your tempo. So, as you slow down or accelerate, the song transitions to something that has a beat that matches your stride.
While I love my list now, I'm always wanting suggestions-- so, please tell me what your favorites are in the comments below!
As the temperature has started rise, so has my excitement for spending some much-needed quality time with good ol' Mother Nature. I really think most people underestimate the power of the great outdoors...I say that because even though I continuously experience the amazing impact it has on me (mood, clarity, sense of peace, energy), it's strangely sometimes a little difficult to come around and commit to an afternoon outside. This is why the second it's warm enough, I take the initiative to exercise in the open air.
I could go on and on about the science behind the Earth emitting certain ions & positive vibrations, the sun serving us nice hot, heaping servings of vitamin D, and the multitude of studies that show how healing nature is (anxiety, depression, etc.), but I don't need to because a majority of the population has experienced the "feel good" for themselves!
All of the Blue Zones (where people live the longest, have less illness and health disorders, and have a much shorter period of compromised quality of life, due to deterioration) have quite a few common threads. One of the consistencies is that these people spend a lot of their everyday outdoors! The only Blue Zone in America actually devotes part of their week to spending time with nature, as part of their religious practice.
So, this isn't an informative blog entry as much as it is a persuasive one. GO OUTSIDE AND BREATHE. Stroll, run, play a sport, take your dog, take your kids, have a picnic, paint, or just sit outside and think of all of the things you have to be grateful for! All of these things: togetherness, exercise, conscious breathing, creativity, giving gratitude- are all activities that have been proven to promote health and well-being. For those of you who have periods when your head is a little grey (or closer to doom and gloom) and this suggestion sounds kind of awful...YOU are the perfect candidate for this little excursion! It's the perfect remedy. Drag yourself outside.
So, this week, schedule a date with Mother Nature- she's generous, vibrant, nurturing, and best of all, she's cheap! ; )
What ways do you enjoy being outdoors? Share below!
Whether you have rosy memories of your childhood or (sadly) poor ones, there is one thing that every adult can benefit from. This little thing is something called "self-parenting"! As adults, we are responsible for making ourselves our own priority. Like a parent cares for a child, we must make sure we are properly fed, clothed, and loved.
My first easy example of this: packing snacks for yourself when you know it's going to be a hectic day. I love keeping tea bags, a giant water bottle, stevia packets, and treats like Bulletproof Collagen Bars and Mary's Gone Crackers in my work desk.
Another thing I do for myself is always carrying a cute little pouch labeled "Girlie Stuff" for...you guessed it, girly stuff! It is sort of like the equivalent of an adult diaper bag. I make sure it's properly stocked before I leave the house each day and just throw it in the purse I'm using. Tweezers, tissue, stevia packets, tea bags, lip balm, moisturizer, tiny deodorant, roller fragrance, hair tie, and other lady products. This may seem silly and slightly elementary, but I can't tell you how many times I've thanked myself for carrying it with me! It frequently comes in handy and it's just a really thoughtful way of showing yourself that you follow through, you are loved, and taken care of. It also allows you to avoid unnecessary stress. You obviously don't need a fancy pouch, but I have found that the cuter it is, the more I enjoy carrying it. (For my male readers, trying filling a pouch with some of the items mentioned above....maybe add a pocket knife to the list and store it your glove box or desk drawer.)
A very important role of self-parenting: dress properly for your day and always bring a jacket. This regards to the temperature, but, also, looking put together. When we feel polished and invest some time on our appearance, it's more likely that we'll go the extra mile-- feeling good about stepping out, being seen, and getting things done! Another bonus: having the opportunity to say, "yes, I can meet up immediately after work for dinner." We need to show ourselves that we're worth the time to look our best and be seen!
Last, check-in. I talk about this quite a bit because it's so very important and I feel like it's worth being reminded. When a child seems irritable, the parent's role is to try to figure out what's wrong. Do they need a new diaper?, are they hungry?, do they need a nap?, do they feel well? The same goes for ourselves. When we're short tempered, lethargic, weepy, or stressed, we need to ask ourselves, "What's going on? How can I alleviate xyz for you?" Sometimes, it's as easy as realizing we're overwhelmed and maybe a bath or a balanced meal needs to be on our evening agenda.
Like a child, this type of supervision can prevent burnout, illness, and breakdowns. Make Y.O.U. your utmost priority. Without you being your best you, your family, profession, and social circle will be short changed. So, ask yourself, "What types of self-parenting do I currently practice and how can I improve?" If you feel comfortable, answer below in the comments section!
For more tips on how to be an excellent parent to yourself, read my other self-care entries below!