My clients 🙌🏼. I know I always say it, but it’s true- I work with some amazing women. Open-minded women willing to learn. Women determined to feel better, and do the work to get there. Resilient women who work past setbacks. • Years ago, this practice was just a distant dream. I simply wanted to help people improve their health through food. I never knew it could grow to what it’s become, and I just see more growth in the future for Root and Branch Nutrition. I am endlessly grateful for the people who have trusted in my guidance, and in turn have allowed me to fulfill my dream by helping them change their lives. • My 1:1 practice is currently full, but I’ll be opening a few spots in the coming month for new clients. If you’re ready to make a change and finally feel as amazing as you know you should, visit the link in my profile for info on how to work with me, or shoot me a message! ❤️
I'm finally finding somewhat of a routine after the whirlwind of the past month. It occurred to be the other day that the old me would have freaked out if I were away from the gym for 1 week, let alone 2. I always used the gym as my way to stay on track. If I wasn't in the gym, what was the point of sticking to a healthy diet? • But honestly, I've actually really enjoyed this hiatus. I felt fully present for my wedding and all the pre and post celebrating. I didn't feel pressured to be anywhere or do anything else. I've indulged wisely when I wanted to, but maintained a nutrition foundation that helps me feel great, physically and mentally. • And then I got sick, and instead of beating myself up for not going back to the gym after a week of indulgences or stepping on the scale and obsessing over the number, I let myself rest. I fell back into my regular eating pattern and slowly transitioned into my workouts, and slept more if I needed it. • This is all to say that what I've realized over the years is that the wagon does not exist. This idea is just some imaginary set of rules we create for ourselves, spurred by industries and a society that tell us if we're not on, we're off- a black and white, all-or-nothing mentality. I see it with the women I work with so often- they're doing so well, feeling so good, and then one thing shifts and they feel completely back at square one despite the progress they've made. • There is no track, or wagon, or whatever you want to call it. There is only life. And it isn't stagnant. We need to have a flexible approach that helps us accommodate the constant changes. Sure, there are some habits we maintain to be healthy, and feel good, and reach our goals. We can have non-negotiables (me? sleep, veggies, and moving my body in some way!), but it doesn't need to mean rigidity. Because being so strict and depriving ourselves, especially when life calls for otherwise, is a surefire way to spur rebellion and fuel an unhealthy cycle. • We've all heard the expression listen to your body, but I also urge you to listen to your life. Create a lifestyle that aligns with it, and doesn't ever make you feel guilty for enjoying it.
Sometimes, we need to surrender and let things flow as they may. We need to trust that we are doing the best we can and that it's enough. We need to stop trying to control every minute detail and instead, work on having faith that what we seek is abundant and available to us. • I am your classic type A personality. I'm a questioner, a perfectionist, and an overachiever. I struggle with not feeling in control. But I'm working on it. Especially lately, when I am feeling this urge to chill out a little more. I want to break free from all of the planning, obsessing, and beating myself up for things not going exactly my way, and just be. To let go of the fear of the outcome, give it all I've got (even if it's uncomfortable), and be open to what unfolds. • In Our Balanced Babes book club read this month, You Are a Badass, @jensincero talks a lot about manifestation and with that, connecting to our deepest desires and trusting in the universe. And for me, the timing of this read couldn't have been more perfect. It's given me an entirely new perspective on going after what I want in life and being truly happy. • It's important for us all to remember: We are exactly where we need to be. There is nothing we should be doing. We can focus on the present without worrying about the future. If we do our best in the moment, and keep an open, trusting mind, what we seek will come to us. Letting go doesn't mean giving up. It's time to trust a little more in ourselves, and in the timing of our lives. • Surrendering puts you in the flow. I am working on surrendering. Who is with me?
I’m back! And with just a sampling of all of the amazing food we enjoyed on our mini-moon 🌙. It was cold and rainy almost the whole time we were there, but it forced us to relax and move slow. We sat for hours in coffee shops, spent a whole afternoon at a book store (/bar with local kombucha and brews on tap!), explored antique stores and quirky gift shops, went to bed early and slept in. It was glorious. • I also ate and drank whatever I wanted (although this town made it super easy to eat with all the farm-to-table spots and gluten-free foods!) and never regretted a damn thing. I always advocate for creating balance and working with the ebbs and flows of life, and with that comes knowing when to indulge and when it’s maybe not worth it. Some seasons of life call for all the celebrating, and food and drink are part of that (even though diet culture tells us we need to suppress that fact). Enjoying food with loved ones is one of life’s simplest joys, and I don’t feel we should deprive ourselves of that! • I’m so grateful we took this little trip, our first as husband and wife. But are planning our true honeymoon to northern California for the spring. We have (tentative) plans to spend time in San Francisco, Sonoma, Yosemite, Santa Cruz, and Big Sur. Any recs for things to see and do, eat and drink? All are appreciated ❤️. And who wants to see some wedding pics?! Can’t believe it’s been a week, how time flies!
✨I’M GETTING MARRIED!✨. • In just 2 short days, I marry my best friend and we get to celebrate with all of the people we love. We’ve been together almost a decade, planning this day for a long, long time, and I can’t believe it’s just about here. • With everything going on, I need to take a little break from this space. My biggest anxiety throughout this whole process is the ever-present reminder that time just moves so fast. So my main goal is to be as present as possible, which means minimal phone time, no social media, and lots of deep breaths. • Any words of wisdom for the big day are very welcomed! (As are good vibes for no rain!!) See you all when I’m back, and no worries, I have lots of great things planned. But for right now, this is #1 in my life and even for me, work can wait. ❤️
My mind has been a little crazy lately, so this is what my nights have been looking like this week ✍🏼. • Adult coloring books may be so 2015 but they still provide pure relaxation for me, especially at a time where I’m feeling overly anxious! • I talk about stress with every one of my clients, and the conversation regarding a stress management practice always comes up. Many women feel overwhelmed at the idea of implementing one, and many don’t know where to begin. One of my top recommendations? Get creative. • It’s impossible to be in a creative, flow state and be stressed. To get into that mindset, your parasympathetic nervous system needs to take over- this is the branch that governs relaxation, rejuvenation, and rebalancing. Research has even found that getting creative lowers your cortisol (stress hormone) levels and increases production of feel-good neurotransmitters. When you’re creating and tapping into that imaginative and expressive state, you’re distracted from the outside world and completely focused on the task at hand. • Coloring may not be your thing, but there’s hundreds of other options and the coolest part is that what each person chooses can be so unique to the individual— painting, knitting, playing music, singing, writing, gardening, pottery, quilting, doing puzzles, woodworking, decorating, jewelry-making, and so much more. • What creative hobby helps you relax and de-stress? Figure out a way to make it part of your routine!
Slow mornings with coffee + @food.period Moon Bites 👍🏼. A perfect way to start a Monday (and especially a week Iike the one I have coming up 🎉). • I’ve been using @food.period to follow seed cycling for a few months now. This functional nutrition protocol utilizes different seeds at different points in the menstrual cycle to support hormone balance and healthy, happy periods. • I’ve had amazing success with seed cycling in the past (I used it when I went off hormonal birth control years ago), and recently, have been following it to address some unwanted hormone fluctuations (hello, stress). It’s such a natural, gentle, yet powerful tool to use for any period problems like long or short cycles, unpredictable or absent periods, or PMS and period pain. It is also amazing for supporting fertility! • What I love especially about @food.period is that their Moon Bites are convenient and easy, so delicious, and have become part of my morning ritual. I seriously look forward to them with my morning cup and a book or some journaling, for a bit of me-time every day! • Head over to @food.period to learn more, or feel free to message me if you have questions about seed cycling. We also did an interview with the owners, Jenn & Britt, a few months back all about seed cycling. You can find the link to that in my bio!
This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the year so far, looking back on everything I’ve accomplished instead of the million things I want to do. I’m often too damn hard on myself, and I think many people can relate- perfectionist tendencies, focusing on the to-do instead of have-done, and constantly looking ahead instead of within. • This season of fall that we’re in right now is about slowing down and organizing to prepare for winter, but it’s also focused on harvest and gratitude. I’m finding that these concepts are so intertwined. • Most of us don’t do any physical harvesting, but it doesn’t mean we can’t utilize this energy in our lives. Now is a time for reflection, letting go of what we don’t need (i.e. negative thoughts and perfectionism), and focusing on abundance. We gather our accomplishments from the year and celebrate them. We reflect on all that we’re grateful for. • One thing I’ve done this week is make a “Done List”- literally a list of things I’ve accomplished this year. I went through my calendar and journals and wrote it all down. It’s been a powerful visual reminder of things I should be proud of, instead of things I beat myself up for not doing yet, or at all. • So I want to hear from you: what’s something you’ve done this year that you’re proud of? Comment below! 👇🏼
What’s all the fuss about deodorant? • Conventional deodorants are filled with chemicals, many of which are xenoestrogens (compounds that mimic estrogen in the body). When we apply products to our skin, we absorb these chemicals (like parabens, phthalates, and aluminum), which increases toxic load and disrupts hormone balance. Estrogen can also promote the growth of breast cancer cells, making it even more imperative to ditch your conventional deodorant. • Our underarms and surrounding areas are filled with lymphatic tissue, which helps remove toxins from the body- including excess hormones. Lymph tissue can become congested, especially near the breasts. Aluminum and other xenoestrogens have even been found in breast cancer tumors (creepy!). • Aluminum is the main ingredient in conventional deodorants because it blocks sweating, which is the body’s way of releasing toxins. So stopping sweat, especially with all of this precious lymph tissue everywhere, is not ideal. • Of course, no one wants to stink. But sweat doesn't smell- this only happens when sweat comes into contact with bacteria on the skin. So keeping your underarms clean, and supporting overall detox and gut health, can actually help with stinky pits. • This is one benefit of using a non-toxic deodorant. Such products also don't block the pores, so they support healthy bacteria balance. But best of all- they don't contain harmful chemicals and metals that can be problematic for your health. • Navigating the world of non-toxic deodorants can be overwhelming- and you want to buy something that actually works. If you need suggestions, here are some brands I love: @eoproducts (pictured here) (I especially love this one because it's easy to re-apply if needed during the day!), @schmidtsnaturals, @primallypure, and @primalpitpaste. You can also make your own at home (with ingredients like baking soda, arrowroot, coconut oil, essential oils, and even probiotics!). • I recommend allowing your armpits to breathe for 2-3 days when switching to a natural, non-toxic deodorant. You can use apple cider vinegar or witch hazel to balance skin pH or use a bentonite clay mask to detox your armpits.
It's frightening to think that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The statistics you'll read when you do a little digging are primarily discouraging. But I'm not here to scare you. Instead, I want to empower you. • Yes, some risk is out of our control- genetics and family history do impact your risk for breast cancer. This is one reason why I'm so passionate about this topic. My risk is almost doubled because my mom had breast cancer. • But I'm also so passionate about breast cancer because I know prevention is possible. I want you to know that you have so much control over your personal risk for developing this horrific disease. Your health is in your hands. • Most breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. This ultimately signifies the major influence of lifestyle on breast cancer risk! Our environment and the choices we make every single day have an extensive impact. • This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with a disease so personal to me, I have to speak up. Everything is decorated in pretty pink ribbons and the boob puns are endless, all aimed at raising money for a cure. But with a movement mostly focused on detection and treatment, are we neglecting some of the most important details? • Tonight, I'm hosting a special Facebook live event on Holistic Breast Health. I'll review multiple lifestyle factors that influence your risk, plus discuss powerful steps you can implement now to take better care of your breasts! You won't want to miss this one- 6pm EST in the Balanced Babes group. Visit the link in my bio to join!
Craving chocolate? Eat the chocolate 🍫! • Especially if it's near your period or you're super stressed out, a chocolate craving can be a sign your body needs magnesium (which is needed for muscle relaxation and is used up in times of high stress!) • I think it's more practical to satisfy your craving with some good quality dark chocolate than depriving yourself, indulging in a paleo treat (which is probably higher in sugar), trying to fight the craving and end up binging, or even relying on fruit (not that fruit isn't healthy, but it's just not as satiating). • A piece of good dark chocolate is actually a low sugar option rich in nourishing fats, making it a much more satisfying option (and one that has hormone boosting benefits, too). • Of course I’m not talking about heavily processed chocolate bars and sugary candies. When choosing what kind of chocolate to buy, look for 75% or higher, minimal ingredients, natural sweeteners, and ideally, no soy lecithin. A few of my favorite brands are @lilys_sweets_chocolate, @hukitchen, @eschocolate, @alterecosf, and @thrivemkt. • Find yourself ALWAYS craving chocolate? You may want to include more magnesium-rich foods in your diet (like pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds, avocado, spinach, and bananas), take more Epsom salt baths, and maybe consider a supplement of 300-400mg daily. And of course, manage your stress and get some sleep! 💤
👋🏼 Not much new to report here other than I’m still working on my intention to slow down and simplify in October. I spent the weekend soaking it all up, plus getting all things ready for my wedding next week. Suffice it to say that things *may* be a bit quieter here for a little while 😊. • It seems to be common thread lately of feeling the need to step on the brakes and set some more boundaries, especially within the context of social media. I’m all for it. Fall is an appropriate time to rest more and prepare for winter, and sometimes it means being more introspective, and lightening our loads. I read somewhere the other day that the reason we love the fall season so much is because it’s nature’s way of telling us to stop and appreciate the fleetingness of beauty all around us. I think that’s just perfect. (And if I can find that specific quote, I’ll share it here!). • What about you? Are you following up with your intentions for the month? Are you also feeling the desire to take things easier?
To be honest, I saw this quote on a sign in a store a few weeks ago. At first I shrugged it off, as I skimmed a wall of what I thought were cheesy sayings. But then I stopped and did a double take. Since then, it’s become my new favorite affirmation. • I’m pretty open here about the fact that stress is one of my top roadblocks in my own health journey. I used to even struggle terribly with anxiety and panic, and although I’ve mostly remedied this by fixing underlying imbalanced and focusing on certain lifestyle factors, I have a tendency to worry. To freak out about the future. Maybe it’s my age, or the life stage I’m at, or the unknown of building a business and setting high standards for myself. Regardless, I find myself often in fear of what’s in store, instead of being excited for change and growth. • Then I learned about foreboding joy from @brenebrown and realized- shit, I do that 🙄. We all do it to some degree, I think. Basically, what this means is that when something good happens, we don’t expect it to last. Instead, we expect some impending doom, some negativity, to come and squash our joy. • So, instead of being wholly present and enjoying the good, we put up a wall. Such intense feelings- even when positive- make us vulnerable. And we don’t like it. • We all have so much to look forward to, whether we believe it or not. Sure, crap is going to happen. That’s life. But sitting, waiting for the ball to drop completely steals our present happiness away. It makes us numb. Like the saying goes, “worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.” • So instead of visualizing all the upcoming challenges I may (or may not!!) face, I’m choosing to trust in, and focus on, the good. To believe I’m worthy of joy. To feel all the emotions- good and bad- because I’m human. • And what I love especially about this affirmation is that it’s not rushing time or wishing life away. It’s simple confidence: good things are in the future, and I trust in that. • Your thoughts determine your reality. Why not manifest happiness? Success? Health? Whatever it is you want, you can believe in it. And enjoy it. And deserve it.
A gift from my momma- a moon phase necklace🌛. Reminding me every day of the continual ebbs and flows of this life. That each phase is so fleeting and whatever it is, it shall pass. But also that each phase is fleeting, so soak it all in and savor every damn moment ❤️. No big words of wisdom here. Just work to be more okay with imperfection, more present, more in tune, and more gracious and compassionate towards yourself. Life is too short.
Diet culture has conditioned us to believe that the goal of exercise is just burning calories. But viewing exercise this way can not only be detrimental to our goals, it can negatively shape our relationship with movement and even food. • Let's clarify a few things: For one, you burn calories all day. Your daily burn really means the amount of fuel your body uses to keep you alive and functioning. Exercise does contribute, but in reality, it's only a small amount of your daily total. • Secondly, this calories in vs. calories out approach is flawed. It doesn't account for other factors that influence weight loss. It often creates more stress, making weight loss more difficult! It can drive underrating and overtraining- dieting and exercising harder as our bodies adapt. • Of course, a benefit of exercise is supporting a healthy body weight. But that is actually a side effect of what truly happens as a result of exercise paired with other habits and conditions. • This idea of burning calories sets us up for a negative mindset around fundamentally healthy habits. The obsession with how many calories we burn has motivated us to equate this to workout success. We've become conditioned to trade exercise for food, or exercise as punishment or to counterbalance something we ate- as if exercise and food are currency. • With this mentality, we’re more likely to dread exercise. Especially if we feel tied to a piece of cardio equipment constantly checking the screen until some arbitrary number tells us we're done. Especially if we're choosing exercise based on calorie burn, not how much we enjoy it or other benefits like building strength, improving mood, increasing energy, or supporting hormone balance. • We need to create a more positive relationship with exercise. You CAN exercise because it helps you feel good. You CAN do workouts that are fun and that you look forward to. You CAN try exercise that challenges you. You CAN lift weights and build strength, even if your heart rate monitor doesn't show you to be in a magic fat burning zone. And you CAN skip a workout or opt for a gentler one, without the guilt or fear of sabotaging your goals.