Recently I’ve taken some time away from this space in order to better take care of me. I’ll be honest, the break has been glorious. I’ll probably get down to the nitty gritty here soon, but basically, with life being as crazy as it has, I really have needed the extra space and energy. I’ve been better able ask myself what I really need to feel by best, and then do just that. What you need to take care of YOU will vary from day to day, and it’s going to look different than it will for your friend, sister, spouse, coworker... And that’s 100% okay. I’m taking care of myself today by: -Starting the day with meditation and reading. -Going to acupuncture. -Getting some gentle movement in. -Taking an actual break for lunch. -Opening the windows and getting outside for fresh air! So tell me in the comments: How are you taking care of yourself today?
It’s been a hell of a week 😥😣😴. And although I’ve had my fair share of meltdowns, what helps me bring myself back to earth is remembering that no matter what, I create my reality. • And with that, I mean how I choose to think and react (or maybe in my case, needing to *not* react 🙄), but especially the activities I choose to do (and not do). Taking care of myself is crucial, and that means listening to what I need and finding a way to give that to myself as often as possible. • Lately for me that’s been 3 things, and building more consistency with them: Meditation • Acupuncture • Fresh air. • So with that being said, here are a reminders for you as you go off into your weekend: • You are not selfish for prioritizing yourself. • Rest is a form of nourishment. • Nature is therapy. • There is endless value in seeking the help of wellness professionals to support you. It takes a village. • And in the wise words of Ferris Bueller (definitely revisiting this one from my AIM away message circa 2004 😂): Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Happy vernal equinox, the first official day of spring 🌸! • Spring is such a magical time of cleansing and renewal. Time to shed the heavy stuff holding us down. Time to take inventory and do some mental, emotional, and physical cleansing and simplifying. • Some ideas for spring cleaning? Of course you can literally clean up your physical environment- get rid of the stuff you don’t need, organize, throw some new decor or a few plants in there to brighten your space. But you can also clean up your mind, spirit, and body. Refresh your mindset- maybe start a meditation or gratitude practice, start journaling, or pick up a new creative outlet. Renew your spirit- write down what brings you joy and do 1 of these things every day. And cleanse your body- not by a radical detox program- but gently by increasing color in your diet from seasonal veggies and fruits, cutting back on sugar and processed foods, drinking more water, getting fresh air, and moving your body. • I personally feel like I’ve been waiting for even the slightest hint of spring forever, so I’m feeling extra excited that it’s finally here. I always feel a fresh sense of motivation and a boost of energy come spring and I’m ready all of the cleansing and renewal and exciting new things up ahead 😊. • Who’s with me? 🙋🏻♀️
Tracking food intake- whether in a journal or more commonly, an app- has become a widely popular nutrition habit. Many people use it as a means of controlling food intake. Some use it to follow specific macros, an eating approach that's turned into a diet of its own. • I'm generally not a fan of tracking (or more specifically, chronic tracking) because it can be another way we become distracted from our intuition, restrict nutrition, and even develop disordered food behaviors. It's also another way for us to be tied to our phones. • However, my opinion on tracking food as a whole isn't one sided. When done the right way and for the right reasons, it can be helpful. In other scenarios, not so much and usually, quite the opposite. • When it can be beneficial to track your food: • -If you're new to nutrition/increasing your nutrient intake. • -If you're trying to pinpoint potential food triggers for symptoms. • -If you're concerned you're under-eating (especially if you have hormone issues and/or are really active!). • -For short periods from time to time to get a bird's eye view of your nutrition • • When it's definitely not beneficial to track: • -If you want to cut calories to lose weight quickly. • -If tracking causes you stress. • -If tracking leads to disordered/obsessive eating behaviors. • -FOREVER. • Ultimately, tracking your food intake is a TOOL, not a requirement. It can help you gather information and make adjustments to your current nutrition. But I simply don't think it's a healthy behavior to continue ALL of the time. • We have powerful intuition and body wisdom that guides us to make intentional food decisions to nourish our bodies and when a strong foundation is set (i.e. choosing whole foods, balancing meals, eating mindfully), this intuition is stronger than any app that dictates our food choices. You know your body better than you may think.
There are two very distinct lenses through which you can view the world: Either control is out of your hands (a victim mindset), or you're always in control (a creator mindset). How we choose to perceive our realities is ultimately how we create them. • A victim mindset places blame on everyone and everything else, and operates out of a state of lack. A creator mindset takes responsibility and operates out of state of abundance. Which sounds more appealing? • Sometimes, placing blame outside ourselves is the easy way out. But in the long run, it definitely makes our lives much more difficult. • No matter what, we always have control. Maybe not of everything, no. But at least of something, particularly how we react. We also have control over the daily choices we make to build the life we want, create the happiness we seek, and cultivate the vibrant health we desire (and arguably, require). • How does this look in real life? It can really mean something different for everyone, but a few powerful ways: • Choosing yourself first. - Setting stronger boundaries. - Doing more of what brings joy. - Stop doing shit you hate. - Knowing when to walk away. - Pausing before you respond. - Thinking positive thoughts. - Cultivating gratitude. - Trusting your gut. • Ultimately, it's a game of saying yes and saying no to build your life and create your reality, but the first step is recognizing that you are in the driver's seat.
*Coffee + anxiety* • Like many of you, I love coffee (and don't think you need to give it up completely), but it's important to know what it does. When a client comes to me and wants to take control of her anxiety, the first things I ask are if she drinks coffee, what kind, and how much. In fact, changing up my morning coffee was one of the top things I attribute to getting my own anxiety under control. • Coffee- or more specifically, caffeine- can exacerbate anxiety, even trigger it. Caffeine is a stimulant, so instead of giving you energy, it essentially gives you stress. By stimulating your fight or flight response, and switching on your sympathetic nervous system, caffeine stimulates a host of hormonal changes (like a rush of cortisol and adrenaline) that make you feel more alert, but can also make you feel super anxious. • Decaf coffee is usually a fine replacement for most (this is what I do!), but I recommend prioritizing an organic, Swiss-water processed decaf to avoid pesticides and chemicals that are normally used in the decaffeinating process. Go cold turkey if you can but slowly weaning yourself is probably best. • Other nourishing coffee replacements include @herbalelement Herbal Coffee, @dandyblend, @foursigmatic Mushroom Elixirs (I suggest Cordyceps), @wearerasa, @teeccino herbal coffees, and any herbal tea. Many people also do fine with matcha, which does have caffeine, but much less than regular coffee. • You may also find that you do fine with caffeinated coffee in certain low stress scenarios- such as on weekends and during vacations. As with everything, being open to experimentation and getting more in tune with your body is extremely helpful. • Have you noticed a connection between drinking coffee and anxiety?
This business, this page, this journey of mine runs so much deeper than just teaching women about nutrition. • It’s about empowering and liberating women from misinformation and societal pressures that hold us down 👊🏼. • It’s about guiding women to take back control over their bodies and their health, learn to listen to and trust themselves, and prioritize their wellbeing and full self nourishment above all 🌸. • It’s about honoring our feminine cyclical nature, and celebrating our immense female power, one that’s entangled in softness, strength, vulnerability, wisdom, intuition, courage, grace, and magic ✨. • And it’s about lifting women up and encouraging community and connection, because we need each other, and this is how we thrive 👯♀️. • Happy International Women’s Day ♀ ... although every damn day is our day 😉. Tag some ladies in the comments who you want to celebrate today 🎉. . . . . Gorgeous image by @marcyellis ❤️
If I could sum up this year’s @ntatraining conference in one word it would be: Connection. Pure real life human connection. • I had the chance to connect with good friends I don’t get to see often. I connected with friends I’ve met through social media but never in person. I connected with a greater community of likeminded people with a passion for change. • And I even connected with myself on a new level- being reminded of my important part in something so much larger than me, being reassured that my work matters, and feeling better about not having all the answers all the time. • If you know me, you know I’m a big promoter of holistic nourishment- not just physical, but emotional, mental, and social, too. Nourishment of the body, mind, and soul. And this past weekend was nourishing in so many ways- nutrient dense food, deep and meaningful conversation, lots of hugs and laughs, and learning so much from some of the smartest, passionate people. • I’m sure I’ll be sharing lots of tidbits from the conference in the future (I do have some key takeaways I’m excited to share) but my biggest one right now? Never underestimate the role that deep human connection plays in your health and happiness, and don’t take for granted having people in your life who accept you, teach you, and inspire you. • I’m so grateful for this experience, the people I got to share it with, and the @ntatraining for changing my life in more ways than one. I’m already looking forward to next year! (And if you were there and we didn’t get to connect in person, I’m so sorry!!)
My best nutrition tip for traveling? ✈️ Create a solid nourishing foundation, know your body, and don’t deprive yourself of the good eats your destination has to offer. • We landed in Portland yesterday and checked into our @airbnb, then headed right to @wholefoods to stock up on some essentials: water, @vitalfarms eggs, avocados, kale, salad greens, @wildplanetfoods sardines, @applegate chicken sausage, @primalkitchenfoods dressing, @kevitadrinks, plantain chips, olives, @kerrygoldusa butter, and let’s be real, dark chocolate. Our place is stocked with some great cooking oils and sea salts, which was nice to discover! (Side note: prioritize places with kitchens whenever you can!). • The plan? Cook meals often at “home,” relatively similar to the way I eat routinely. Because I know this is what makes me feel my best physically. And then get out and explore the town and eat some local deliciousness and enjoy it. (And also indulge in the insane @ntatraining conference menu 😍). Choosing the things that are worth it and won’t make me feel horrible (never fun when away from home). Because I know this is what makes me feel my best emotionally. • You don’t need to discover intricate ways to “stay on track” while on vacation (or ever, honestly- there is no track!). In fact, if you move away from that dieting mentality, travel can be so much more enjoyable. Just get in nutrient-dense food as often as possible, and don’t worry about the indulgences that should be contributing to your experience, not subtracting from it. • Food is one of the BEST parts of traveling and I don’t plan to deprive myself of that joy.
I get a ton of questions regarding what to do about food cravings. How can I get rid of them? When is it okay to give in? Should I choose healthier options when I have cravings? • If a woman is having recurring cravings, I want to explore a few things: Is she eating enough? Is she undereating a specific macronutrient? Could she have micronutrient deficiencies (maybe by avoiding certain foods or because of gut dysfunction?) What's her sleep and stress like? When are the cravings happening? • From here, we can usually resolve most cravings by rebalancing and fully nourishing the body, as well as exploring some mindset factors that play into her diet. • But, sometimes, you just give in. And this is where knowing your body comes in really handy. • For example: My husband and I went to breakfast this weekend and the man next to us ordered French toast and it smelled so good. And then since then, I've just been wanting French toast. • This morning, I woke up and what did I make? You guessed it. But knowing (after tons of personal experimentation and getting in tune with my body) that a high carb, low protein breakfast makes me feel really tired and gluten and dairy are inflammatory for me, I made some adjustments- I used a gluten-free whole grain bread with minimal ingredients and almond milk, and cooked chicken sausages to have on the side. • I made a nourishing version that also was delicious. And I'm no longer craving it. It fueled me through my morning and later, I had a colorful, balanced, fairly routine lunch and moved on. • The point of my ramble? There's often a physiological or emotional drive to food cravings, and addressing these can help you eliminate them. But sometimes, you just crave a food for no logical reason. And sometimes, it sticks with you until you just eat it. • Can you make a less inflammatory version and still enjoy it? Go for it. Does the healthier version taste too different or leave you wanting more? Maybe you just have the original version. The defining factor: You enjoy it. You don’t feel guilty. And you just get back to regularly scheduled programming instead of dwelling or trying to further restrict to make up for what you ate.
Let’s talk exercise & your hormones. • I’m not a personal trainer or fitness coach by any means, but we all know that nutrition + exercise go hand in hand. I rarely don’t discuss it with my clients. Moving your body is an integral part of your health and happiness, and is so important for your hormones. • Exercise supports detox, which is crucial for hormone balance (especially estrogen metabolism). It increases insulin sensitivity and levels of specific neurotransmitters that help us feel happy, focus, and sleep. In the right amounts, it can reduce stress hormone (but the opposite can also be true...). • Just like diet, when it comes to exercise, the specifics are unique for the individual. But there’s definitely a foundation that works for most women and supports your hormones. • Number one is simply moving. Being sedentary throughout the day is detrimental to health. If your job has you moving around, that’s great. But lots of us have desk jobs and need to get up and get blood flowing- walking, stretching, even bodyweight movements during the day help. Start here. • Number two is finding a form of exercise you enjoy. There’s tons out there, and each has its own benefits but nothing will benefit you if you don’t do it! And there’s also something to be said for forcing yourself to workout and hating what you’re doing. How helpful can that be? Sounds like unnecessary stress. (I do highly suggest incorporating *some* form of strength training though- the benefits are endless). • Number three is finding your sweet spot. Intensity is helpful, and challenging yourself is important- this is where progress is made. But overly taxing exercise is added stress, and if it’s exhausting you, it’s no good for your hormones. For most women, 3-5 days is enough. If you have hormonal challenges (HPA dysfunction or “adrenal fatigue,” hypothyroidism, amenorrhea, inflammatory or adrenal PCOS, etc.), keep it to the lower range. Overall, listen to your body here. • Once you have all this stuff set, then you can get more specific and really dial things in- follow a set program, progress with strength training, even sync your workouts with your cycle.
Busyness is overrated. • Being busy keeps us from being present. It’s often distraction, even procrastination. It keeps us disconnected from people in our lives- “sorry, I’m busy.” We respond to “how are you?” with “busy,” like it’s a feeling! Busy can even be demeaning, like “I’m busy because I’m important and productive, why do you have free time?” Busy is a way for us to fill our lives, often with meaningless tasks. • Ultimately, busy is a choice. • I’ve been guilty of saying I’m busy. I’ve also been very guilty of being it- filling my plate with things to do (many which need to get done, but others that really don’t). • And then the end of the day or week comes and sure, I feel accomplished for the most part. But sometimes I feel unfulfilled and wonder, what am I chasing with all of these tasks? And more importantly, what am I not able to chase because I’m so swamped, overwhelmed, and depleted? Usually, the answer is rejuvenation, joy, peace of mind. • But we live in a culture that glorifies busy... glorifies work and hustle. And this same culture shames rest and pleasure. But to be truly mindful, connected, and deeply happy and healthy, we need to stop being busy. • So here I am chasing productivity and growth and success but also rest and peace and pleasure, and those things are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I’ll argue that they are all interconnected.
Today’s workout- simple and effective. I’m really thankful for @streetparking, especially lately for boosting my gym inspiration and providing a really supportive community. • Later this week I’ll be talking more about exercise and your hormones (stay tuned for that post). But in the meantime, if you’re looking for some awesome workout programs to follow, check out these: • Street Parking: @streetparking - Made Strong: @steph_gaudreau - Get Strong: @emilyschromm - Strong from Home: @coconutsandkettlebells • Notice any theme here? 😂 • Strong is resilient. Strong is empowering. Strong is fun. Strong doesn’t need to be intimidating and definitely isn’t only for the boys.💪🏼
How “normal” is period pain? • Many women put up with symptoms every month related to their periods. Symptoms we’re taught are normal and we can only “fix” by taking hormonal birth control 🙄 or taking an anti-inflammatory drug. • Simply stated: painful periods are NOT normal. Especially pain that interferes with your life. • Eliminating period pain- menstrual cramps, back aches, migraines- requires getting down to the root cause(s). Masking pain with a band-aid solution (like the pill or painkiller) doesn’t fix anything. In fact it can actually be covering up a deeper imbalances that can be affecting you in other ways (like interfering with your energy, mood, fertility, and more). • What are some of the top causes of painful periods • 1- Chronic inflammation- this may be caused by diet (eating lots of refined grains and sugars, vegetable oils, not enough vegetables, omega 3 fats, or cholesterol), lifestyle (i.e. being sedentary, smoking, lack of sleep), or high toxic load. Often it’s a combination. • 2- Stress- we all have it, but when we don’t actively do anything about it, stress can build up and directly impact our hormones, guts, detox, and more. • 3- Disconnection with your cycle- living in tune with your natural hormonal fluctuations is a freeing and empowering way to maximize your self care during each phase of your cycle, especially your period. • 4- Having an IUD- this device can make periods more heavy and increase uterine cramping. • 5- Endometriosis- this one is less common but if you have severe pain that isn’t resolved by taking action, you may have this condition where tissue that lines the uterus grows in other areas throughout the pelvis. • The good news? There are natural ways to address ALL of these root causes and make an immense impact on your periods, your overall cycle, and your hormonal health. Create a foundation with a low-inflammatory whole foods diet (consider removal of gluten, dairy, soy, processed sugar, and vegetable oils), movement, hydration, sleep and stress management. From there, you can fine tune with foods, herbs, and supplements targeted to your specific needs. If you have more questions, comment below!
On a day entirely devoted to celebrating love, let’s not forget the most important relationship we have: the one with ourselves 🥰. • Yes, love your partner, your spouse, your friend, your sibling, your mom, your dad, your neighbor, your pet, your coworker, the random stranger that you exchange smiles with... but don’t forget to love yourself first. It really is tough to be truly healthy and happy without setting this important foundation. Self love sets the stage for self care, self nourishment, and self compassion. • Loving yourself doesn’t mean you need to be obsessed with every aspect of who you are every second of every day. It’s deeper than that, and it’s not stagnant (what relationship is?!). Loving yourself means you unconditionally accept yourself as you are. You forgive your shortcomings and imperfections and honor your uniqueness. You challenge yourself without beating yourself up. You care for and invest in yourself because you deserve it. You put your health and wellbeing on a pedestal because you know without it, you can’t successfully get anything done. You know you’ll evolve and change and your potential is endless. And you know you are worthy, no matter what. • Whether you “officially” celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, I hope your day is filled with love no matter what the form. And that today reminds you to love yourself always💞.