7-Minute Mat Core Strength to Feel Summer Strong

I created a 7-minute mat core series so that you can take this workout with you wherever you go this summer.

Personally, I have been traveling non-stop and while I am on the road, I love doing this series in the morning before I get my day going so that I ensure I am get some movement in when I know my day might be very unpredictable. Moving the body helps me connect to my breath and create a focused mindset for the day.

All you need is yourself and a mat or towel. Make sure to listen to your body and modify exercises to fit your body’s needs in that moment.

Cut the Small Talk. Let's Get Real & Connected

Photo by  Antenna  on  Unsplash

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

There is an art to creating deep connection to others that we aren’t inherently taught in our society. And with the influence of technology and our phones constantly in our faces, we weaken the skills on how to create meaningful connection. Sherry Turkle discusses in her 2012 TED Talk the concept that we expect more from technology than we do of each other. We are afraid of human intimacy. You may think, no way, I love talking and seeing my friends. But I am curious, how often do you have a meaningful conversation with your friends, co-workers, family members or strangers? And if you don’t love being around people, how do you get your meaningful connection time?

Conversations that have to do with real life, meaningful topics versus logistical everyday forms of communication. Oh boy, do I sometimes get this in this trap, especially with the ones closest to me. I love me some good planning conversations. But, I know constantly having these types of superficial conversations isn't want "fills my cup." Connection is one of our basic human needs and desires that helps us thrive!

This summer, I get the opportunity to spend time with a lot of close friends during wedding season, have visits with family, meet new people at BBQs or events, and I for one am excited to ditch the small talk and create more meaningful conversation and connection. So instead of staying on the superficial level of “How’s your summer going?” I will take it a layer deeper. I recognize when I have more meaningful connection time, I am less likely to try and fulfill myself with over-snacking or numbing out in the cyber social media world. Do you want to do the same?

The next conversation you are in, take it to the next level by asking open-ended questions as well as deeply listening and holding space for the other person (without technology in your face). You can practice relational mindfulnessand be present in your body and put your focus on the words spoken. Be curious and explore what happens when you peel back another layer:

Open-ended questions to play with:

  • What has been your favorite part about your summer so far? WHY? (the why is key and we learn so much when we ask this!)

  • What’s one of your favorite childhood summer memories? Watch them light up and let your curiosity lead you to explore more!

  • What excites you the most about what you are doing in life?

  • What feels challenging or hard right now?

  • How do you like to spend quality time with yourself?

  • What’s marriage teaching you?

  • What’s your favorite part of your typical work day and why?

  • What’s one thing you really want to experience before you die?

Be mindful about what unfolds in others when you not only create the space for someone to be seen and heard, but what unfolds within yourself. Do you light up more? Do you feel more accomplished or nourished? Share with me here what comes up!

Rescue Plan

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After a weekend of travel or overindulging, what are your strategies to get back on track and feel better in your own skin?

After an indulgent weekend comes and goes, I notice that people tend to get stuck in the negative self-talk spiral and sound something like: “why did I eat so much this weekend?”, “I am a fat ass”, “I have no self-control”, “I am so silly, I knew that would hurt my stomach”, “F*ck it, I am going to keep eating.” etc. When we notice these negative self-talk spirals occur, we have a choice to listen to them and fall down the rabbit hole of guilt and shame or we can catch ourselves with a big hug of self-love and compassion and recommit to how we want to live and feel by taking empowered action.

I know from working with clients and talking to friends, when we fall off our wellness routine (however that gets to look for the individual) it tends to feel harder for people to “get back on track.” Do you ever feel like that? I used to feel that way too until I created what I call a Rescue Plan. A rescue plan is reconnecting to 3 go-to healthy practices that make me feel nourished and balanced in my physical body. My rescue plan is mostly focused on what I want to focus on instead of what I want to cut out. This plan comes into action when I have an off weekend where my meals weren’t regular, I snacked a lot or didn’t eat many vegetables. Or maybe I just got back from traveling and want to jump back in my routine of cooking and eating clean. I have these 3 practices that I return to as my go-tos so that I can feel like my healthy and vibrant self. I like to visualize this practice as throwing myself a life raft. These are simple and easy techniques for me to get out of the “deep end” and be brought to a place where I can swim with ease. When I have more ease in my body, I am less anxious, more loving, generous and productive.The key in my rescue plan is to keep it simple.

  1. Drink a lot of water and nothing else but water all day long! The only exception is a cup of coffee if I am feeling like it (but black...the key is to keep it simple). Lots of water!

  2. Make sure I attend a group fitness class within the first or second day of being back. I know I can work myself out and take walks etc., but I am SO much more motivated when I have a teacher. Depending on my energy level, I will book a yoga, pilates, barre or spin class. Having a teacher push me more than I typically push myself during my weekend workouts or travel fitness routines feels really supportive. It helps create momentum and flow in my physical body. I feel the strength of my body in a different way and I have more energy and ability to focus.

  3. I aim to eat vegetarian meals for the first few days back. Eating lots of veggies and beans for protein is way easier on my stomach and supports my digestive track staying in flow :). These nutrient-dense meals make me feel like I am putting all of these vitamins and nourishment back in my system without creating a clog. Each meal typically has at least 3 different types of veggies, if not more! Something simple like: roasted cauliflower and broccoli on a bed of mixed greens. Or quinoa spinach mixed with roasted Brussels sprouts, onions and beets.

I keep it simple. I try to avoid eating out, drinking, chips, bars, dairy, nuts and sweets for a few days until I feel back in balance. Part of keeping it simple means not overscheduling myself as well. It means dinners at home and getting plenty of rest. Regrounding into my staples supports me realigning with how I want to feel and live and regulating my system. Having a solid plan of action to return to over and over again cuts out any of the sitting in a pile of shame for too long or analysis paralysis about what to do or where to start.

This is the practice of self-care. To be aware of what your mind/body/soul wants to flourish and figure out ways to make that a priority in your life.

Do you have a Rescue Plan? If so, share with me in the comments.

Want to create a Rescue Plan?

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What does mindfulness mean?

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One of the most common questions I get when I lead meditation sits is what does the term "mindfulness" truly mean? The definition that I like to play by is: “Mindfulness is the act of paying attention in each moment with a kind and curious quality.” We can be mindful during many points throughout our day. For instance, we can be mindful while we cook, eat, walk, talk, listen, exercise, have sex, clean and so much more! However, in order to strengthen those mindfulness “muscles,” it is helpful to have a formal meditation practice.

Now you might ask, why do I want to be mindful? What’s in it for me? Being mindful is truly a gift because you enter the present moment, which supports our human experience in being happier and healthier, and it also supports our overall wellbeing. A Harvard study in 2011 took a diverse sample size of over 2,000 participants and by using their iPhones texted them at random times of the day asking: How happy are you? What are you doing? Is your current thought pleasant, unpleasant or neutral? This study highlights that people’s minds tend to wander about 46.9% of the time and when our minds wander we are more unhappy. When we are mindful (even with events we can’t stand… like washing dishes) we are proven to be happier! That’s pretty cool!

Receiving Birthday Love

I wanted to personally thank you all for celebrating my birthday with me this last month. With the donation-based coaching calls last month, we raised over $1,500 together to donate to the Leukemia Lymphoma society while creating some pretty powerful action steps on our calls. It is amazing the impact that giving to ourselves and others can create.  

It is also amazing to truly experience the gift of receiving. This was the first birthday in years where I truly felt I could receive all of the love and celebration from my community. In the past, receiving has been super challenging for me. I am way more comfortable in the giving zone. Can you relate?

What shifted for me was learning how to let go of controlling the situation and needing the outcome of the events to meet my expectations. Aka, being a perfectionista. I typically find myself fixating on the details of the experience instead of focusing my energy on how I want to feel. In reality, I’d rather focus on my relationship to the people I celebrate with and let the details unfold as they will. When I fixate on the expectations, it is typically never "good enough" and it makes me and everyone else around me feel shitty. Have you experienced failed expectations before? They suck!

However, this year, I intentionally practiced a new approach. I was very clear and vocal about what I wanted and then practiced letting go of the rest. I took personal responsibility to share my vision so no one was left guessing (because that shit can get messy...believe me!). Instead of holding onto the perfect event in my mind, I brought my focus to the gratitude of ALL that was happening. I saw the love, effort and intention behind everyone's efforts and actions. When I allowed myself to step back from the needing it to look a certain way, I was actually able to feel and receive the love.

This month, I welcome you to practice receiving with me--receiving love, celebration, acknowledgement, compassion, ease...whatever your mind/body/heart are yearning for.


I hope you join me for Mindfulness in May and practice receiving some self-love. Get updated emails by signing up here.

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Where in your life is calling for a YES?

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Last week, I got back from a spontaneous week long retreat in Tulum, Mexico with one of my coaching mentors. I bought my flight 5 days before I left and it was probably one of the most impulsive big decisions I have ever made (!), but I am so grateful I said YES to myself.

When this opportunity presented itself to me, I felt my logical brain say, “this doesn't make sense, I already made commitments that I don't want to cancel.” I could also hear this little internal voice chirping at me saying, "I don't deserve it. This is too extravagant. You are traveling too much already." Have you ever experienced that nagging logical voice before?

While processing this decision, I recognized I was trapped in a story that I didn’t deserve this trip. I was feeding the story that keeps me small and safe in life. And when I listened deeper to myself, I could hear this trip was what I truly wanted. I turned inwards to the voice and said, “I appreciate you showing up and telling me this is a big and important investment (financially, time and energy), but I do deserve this and this IS what I WANT!” I bought my ticket, said yes to taking bold moves and trusted I could easily adjust my schedule without inconveniencing others. And guess what? It all flowed smoothly! I had an amazing opportunity to do some deep healing, spend nourishing time in nature, visited a new part of the world, connected to an amazing community of women and had my schedule organized perfectly for when I returned.

This experience allowed me to feel what saying yes to myself feels like on a completely different level. I allowed myself to receive this gift and opportunity instead of letting guilt or the logical shoulds of life keep me in my ordered lane of life.

Where in your life is calling for a YES? Where have you been restricting yourself or holding yourself back? If you were to say yes, what would be different in your life? Celebrate with me here.

The Wind of Shoulds

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Do you ever feel like life is happening to you instead of you taking charge of your choices? Do you feel like life decisions, both big and small are already laid out in front of you because “hey, that’s what everyone else is doing so I should be doing that?”

If so, you are not alone! I have noticed in my own life, and in the lives of my clients and friends who all share a similar socio-economic background, there is a common feeling that since high school your life is road mapped in front of you, full of everything you should be doing and by when. For instance, you should go to college, graduate in 4 years or under, get a well paying job, spend a lot of your excess income on experiences, date a bunch of people, finally decide to settle down, start saving and adulting, get married before you are 30, rescue a dog, buy a house, have kids and work for the rest of your life, and if you are lucky, retire early, finally have a chance to travel more, watch your grandkids grow up and then die. Does any of that sound familiar to you?

Having majored in American Culture, I have always been really interested in studying and observing the societal norms that influence our behaviors and choices. In my recent discussions with people, I notice there is this desire to not “fall into the trap” of living the normal American life. In exploring this topic on my own, I recognize I feel what I call the “wind of shoulds”– that gentle push for people to follow this similar path in life, and it only moves in one direction. And when you have the desire to deviate from the path, the “wind” makes it a lot harder to move. For instance, when I decided to move to Argentina after college with a one-way ticket, it felt like I was doing the craziest thing. Yeah sure, it was way more common for people to take a few months off to travel before jumping into a long-term job, but it was not so common to hear the return date was TBD. Making that choice to move felt so right for me, but there was that wind blowing in my face as I walked in the “wrong direction.” After being married almost 5 months, it is interesting how the “wind of shoulds” have appeared again. I feel the winds pushing us in the direction of adopting a dog or that it is time for a baby. But in fact, that isn’t what my heart is telling me what’s next. Instead, my heart is calling for another adventure, and as my husband and I start to collaborate and dreamstorm, I feel the resistance of the winds blowing in my face.

What this experience is teaching me is to notice whether or not I am paying attention. Am I listening to what my heart really wants versus the shoulds of our culture? I am ever more clear on my wants in this stage of life and learning ways to not let the winds inhibit me from creating what my heart wants.

Are you feeling the “wind of shoulds” pushing you in a direction you aren’t sure you want to take? Are you ready to get clear on what your heart is indeed telling you it wants? If so, celebrate a big milestone birthday and the gift of life with me!

I am gifting the first five people who respond a 1-hour coaching session where you get to decide how much you want to pay for the session and 100% will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Claim your spot here and may we all use the gift of life to live more intentionally.



Creative Ways to Eat Your Veggies

I love vegetables! I am inspired by their colors, textures, tastes. You can do so many things with vegetables that make them the main dish instead of just being a side. I typically try to eat 3 or more vegetables for lunch and dinner and 1 or more vegetable for breakfast. This way I am fueling and nourishing my body with nutrients that help everything from my cells, to my bones to my brain be stronger, more hydrated and balanced. Try some of my favorite veggie based go-to meals that always taste so amazing and leave my body feel clean and nourished.

Spiralized Veggie Noodles

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Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow squash

  • Olive oil

  • Seasoning: garlic powder, salt, and pepper


Directions:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 400F

  2. Wash and cut off the ends to the vegetables

  3. Follow the directions of your spiralizer to make think noodles. I use this Kitchen Aid attachment and love it!

  4. Using only a smidge of olive oil, mix noodles evenly and season with garlic powder and salt & pepper

  5. Place veggie noodles on a cooking tray evenly so that they have space to cook

  6. Cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. I like to make sure they have s slight crunch to them so that they have some body and can hold a sauce.

  7. Add your favorite protein and sauce and enjoy!




Pesto Spaghetti Squash


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Spaghetti squash is a great staple in any week night meal. I also LOVE pesto and this meal feels like healthy comfort food.

Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti Squash

  • Broccoli rabe

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • Pesto

  • Chickpeas (or protein of your choice)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F

  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place off to the side

  3. Add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to each half and season with salt & pepper

  4. Place spaghetti squash on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for around 45 minutes. It is time to take the squash out when a fork can easily pierce through.

  5. Meanwhile, wash the broccoli rabe well, cut off the ends and place in boiling salted water for 3 minutes (until it turns bright green and has softened)

  6. Run the broccoli rabe under cold water and let it drain off to the side. Cute the broccoli into 1.5 inch chunks

  7. In a sauce pan, add chopped garlic and olive oil and cook until the garlic becomes translucent.

  8. Add the broccoli rabe to the garlic and olive oil mixture and sauté for a few minutes until the broccoli rabe is at your desired texture.

  9. Remove spaghetti squash from the oven and let it cook. Use a fork to comb through the squash placing this pasta like fiber into a separate bowl. Then add the broccoli rabe, chick peas and then evenly mix the pesto.


Tahini Roasted Vegetables:

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Ingredients:

- whole broccoli head

- whole cauliflower head

- 1 can of chickpeas or ~2 cups pre-soaked/boiled and cooked chickpeas

- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

- Himalayan pink salt & pepper for seasoning 

Sauce:

-  1/4 cup Tahini paste  (I love this brand)

- 2 tablespoon soy sauce or Braggs Amino Acid 

- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 

- 2 garlic cloves minced

- 3 tablespoons water (add more for thinner sauce consistency) 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F 

  2. Wash and chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets. 

  3. Dry the vegetables and place in a bowl

  4. Lightly drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and coat evenly

  5. Add salt and pepper

  6. Evenly place vegetables on a cooking sheet and roast for about 30-minutes. Take vegetables out when they are browned with a slight crunch.

  7. Meanwhile, on a separate pan, place cooked chick peas and roast until they have a crunchy flavor and start to dry out. This should take around ~15 minutes. 

  8. In a small blender, combined the ingredients for the tahini sauce and adjust the flavoring to your desire.

  9. When the roasted vegetables and chick peas are done, place everything into a bowl and pour in the tahini sauce to coast everything evenly. Add additional salt and pepper to fit your flavor profile.

You can follow this same recipe with different vegetables and protein. For instance, try a different legume or use a chicken breast. I also love doing this recipe with butternut-squash and onions or brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. 

Winter Weather at Home Workouts

Too cold to go outside? Traveling? Keep your body moving and grooving no matter where you are. Have fun playing with these short and doable at home workouts that target you whole body. I used 1 lb ankle weights in some of the exercises as a fun challenging addition. Also, ankle weights are great to travel with when taking a long trip because they don’t take up much room and you can do so much with them!

*Videos below are sped up. Make sure you find your own pace that works for you and your body.

 

Warm Up

Start your workout with the Pilates Hundreds to get your heart rate up, core engaged and stronger mind/body connection.

Take your cardio up a notch with these burpees. Optional to use a pillow or weights for an added challenge.

Core

Legs & Booty

For each exercise I aim to do 10-20 reps. Make sure to switch legs after you complete the series on one side.

Arms & Cool Down

Tidying our Minds

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Have you been sucked into Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? I am loving how she is normalizing the power of being intentional with organizing our stuff so that we aren’t overwhelmed, anxious or suffocated by the things we own.

Learning how to manage the clutter that comes with the chaos of life is a skill that gets to be practiced daily. We are not only physically stimulated by all of the “stuff” we carry around in our personal space, but on average, we receive 34 Gigabytes of information per day to our mental space. That’s a lot of information! With all of this superficial input of images, words, sights, and sounds our minds receive, we need ways to clear the mental clutter and make space to think deeply and connect to our feelings and emotions.

To support you in decluttering your mind and making space for more conscious connection, check out my latest meditation recording up on the Centered in the City Podcast.




Set Your New Year Power Intention

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Grounding myself with a word or short phrase is one of the most powerful tools I practice year after year. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the individual "things" I could do in 2019, it helps to create a personal statement of intention that supports me when making decisions, creating priorities and shifting my mindset. I use my power intention to take action. Whenever I feel stuck, I re-ground into my power intention to help guide the way. Selecting an empowering word or phrase is a great way to clarify and prioritize what your desires and wants are -- supporting you living and loving your life.

In 2018, Bold & light was my power intention for the year. I incorporated boldness into my life when it came to trying new things and taking action. For instance, learning how to drive and taking my coaching business into the consultant corporate world.  Light was a physical and mental reminder to lighten up and find more ease when things felt tight. I know from the power of coaching, "wherever your  intention goes, your energy flows." Meaning, when I plant my power intention, that is where my attention goes and that's where I get to focus my gaze.

My power intention for 2019 is JOY. Pure joy. Joy is the syrupy sweet juice of life that is available in every moment. Joy is the sensation of floating on clouds. Joy is the excitement and sparkles I get when eating something delicious. Joy is filled with smiles and love as I bubble with excitement to see my husband at the end of the day or wake up in each other’s arms.

As I set my power intention for a new year, I get to pay attention to what joy feels like in my body, what activities bring me joy, what people bring me joy and most of all how I get to be a representation of joy and spread those vibes to others. I get to create and cultivate the sparkles of joy.
 
Now it’s your turn. What is your one word or phrase you want to embrace in 2019 as your power intention? 


To support your reflection process, walk through these steps and see what you discover:

1.  Journal the prompts below:

  • What are you celebrating from 2018? Where do you see some gaps?

  • How do you want to feel in 2019? (Describe in full detail)

  • What would your life look like if you gave yourself full permission to do, to be or to say anything?

2. Reflect on what you just wrote and circle all of the words that stand out to you. Now, narrow it down to one, two or three words (no more or it just turns into a laundry list).

3. Ask yourself: Does this word(s) create an empowering phrase for me? If yes, you got your power intention for 2019!

If not, narrow your word choice down by closing your eyes and breathing each word in and out. Notice which word stands out to you the most? Note whether it brings you tingles, opens your heart, creates some fire in your belly or makes you smile. These are typically signs that you discovered something meaningful.

4. Create a visual for your power intention. Whether is it a fancy drawing or a post-it note, place a visual of your power intention somewhere you will see on a daily basis.

Take note as the perfect word or words come alive for you! Please share! (in-person, email, social media, snaps, grams, phone!). If you did this activity last year, take a moment to reflect and connect. See what dots aligned and what you might want to do differently this upcoming year. 

5. Use it or lose it. Let's start integrating your power intention into your life right away. Access this FREE January calendar to start making your power intention come alive.  Watch the video of me walking you through how to complete it.

 
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Want more support? Contact me here and I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Wishing you the most magical year yet!

Savor vs. Consume

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As the bright lights of the holidays twinkle and glow, I am reminded of how much I want to savor this time versus consume it. I want to savor and soak in the warmth of fireplaces, the sound of clinking glasses, the touch of cozy sweaters, and the smell of roasted veggies cooking in the oven.

Yes, the holidays can be a hustle and we can be sucked into "consumer-ville" if we let ourselves get caught in the whirlwind, but I have noticed over the years, what keeps me present while doing less and being more is focusing my attention on savoring the moment versus consuming it. Whether that moment is listening to a conversation, enjoying a piece of chocolate or sipping on my coffee, savoring the experience makes it way more rich and fulfilling. When I savor the experience, I actually feel like I am able to enjoy it fully and receive it. Consuming food, consuming gifts, consuming an experience makes the process feel empty and I am never satisfied. I want more and more because neither the taste, sights or sounds ever feel like enough. And living in a consumption mindset sucks because it means you are constantly striving for more and that shit can get exhausting.
 

So this holiday season, I welcome you to practice the art of SAVORING. 

What are you committed to? 

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What are you committed to? 
 

The theme of commitment has been on my mind lately. Probably due to the fact that I am getting married in 10 days (!) and have been reflecting on this word as I write my vows and step into this next chapter. It has been a powerful practice to explore what commitment means to me and where and what I am committed to in all areas of my life. The way I define commitment is having a deep sense of focus and being consistently dedicated based on my intentions and actions.

When I reflected on this prompt a few weeks ago, some areas of my life felt very obvious that I have been committed to. For instance my mental, emotional and physical health. I recognize this is an area that I am constantly making a priority in my schedule, putting my financial resources towards and following through with action. Then there are some areas I think I am committed to because I have been in the past, but when I look at the current results, I recognize I haven’t put the action in full gear. I had this realization with some of my friendships, which was hard to recognize, but also super powerful because it gave me insight on where I get to course correct.

In a world where everything is changing and moving at the speed of light, even our attention spans, it is powerful to think about where are you focused and what are you constantly dedicated to and showing up for?  Sometimes we can think or say, I am committed to my health and have the intention to be, but then there might be a lack of action because we never make it to the gym or fit our meditation practice in. Or maybe you have heard yourself say, I am committed to finding a romantic partner, but then there is a lack of consistent action in setting up dates and following through and then frustration and self-defeat arise because you are not having the results you want.

“Commitment is an act, not a word.”- Jean-Paul Sartre

And sometimes we might over-commit to life. Saying we want to do all of these things (learn how to sail, study a new language, cook more, find a partner, travel etc.) and then our plate can get too full and instead of doing well and following through with intentional action in certain areas, we half-ass a bunch of stuff and never get to where we want to be. Any of this ringing a bell for you?

 I welcome you to ponder the word commitment with me this month. Think/journal/discuss where in life you are truly committed. Ask yourself: What am I constantly dedicated to? And get yourself to truly look at the “proof in the pudding.” What are am I celebrating about my commitment levels? Where do I see some gaps that I can fill?

 

Cookie Dough Paleo Protein Balls

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I love cookie dough! So anytime I can eat it and feel re-fueled, I am all in. This is a simple recipe that can take 10 minutes to bust out and then you have protein balls ready to enjoy for the next few weeks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic cashew butter (it is expensive, but oh so worth it)

  • 1/2 cup honey/maple syrup/monk fruit sweetened syrup (pick a sweeter of your choice)

  • 1 cup coconut flour

  • 1 1/2 cup Lilly’s Dark Chocolate Stevia sweetened chips

  • Option to add chia seeds (I want to try this next time!)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl combine cashew butter, with sweetener.

  2. Add coconut flour and stir until the batter is thick enough that there is no dough sticking to the sides of the bowl.

  3. Add chocolate chips and stir evenly

  4. Make into desired size balls

  5. Place in freezer for 20 minutes and then store in an air tight container in the fridge or keep them in the freezer.

I am addicted and love to eat them as an afternoon snack or as a sweet treat with my coffee. They beat buying a gross bar or empty afternoon cookie.

Try them out and let me know how they go.

Mindset for the Eye-set

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Create a mindset for the eye-set. This is something I practice on the regular but especially during times of overwhelm and stress.
 

Our mindset shapes our ‘eye-set’, what we focus on and how we see the world. Typically, our mindsets are trained by culture, our upbringing and our schooling. One of the things we are taught to constantly look for is what isn’t working: what I want/don’t want, the hole, or the gap in something. However, when we keep our attention focused on what’s missing or what we don’t want or can’t do, that’s where our energy flows. And that energy can feel heavy, dark, gloomy, uninspiring and depressing. Can you relate? It’s not the most ideal situation when you’re already feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

As I enter the final month before my wedding, launching a few work projects and juggling responsibilities, I know that gliding through this crunch time means I get to take care of my wellbeing and “tighten up” my routines.

However, I noticed as I laid in bed the other night, dreamstorming my plan of action for the next month, that my mind jumped to thoughts of ‘I need to cut out sugar’, ‘Don’t eat carbs’, ‘Don’t make plans during the week’, ‘Don’t get stressed out’, etc. This thought process happened for about a millisecond before I caught myself from spiraling into a prison of restriction and turmoil. I paused, grabbed hold of the reins and quickly changed my mindset to what I actually want to feel, experience and be, especially during this crunch time.

For instance, I want to feel relaxed and spacious, I want to feel healthy and glowing, I want to be loving and grateful. The moment I switched my mindset, my eye-set (the lens in which I am looking at life through) changed. I no longer felt those shackles and gloomy energy of everything I wasn’t allowing myself to do, feel or be. Switching my mindset didn’t just change the lens in which I viewed the situation, but it created an energetic shift inside of me where my heart felt more open and I had more energy and excitement for everything that is about to come.

I welcome you to try paying attention to your mindset this month. Create a mindset for your eye-set. Train your mind to control the way in which you see the world and situations. Make life work with you, instead of against you.

Celebrate your mindset shifts with me here. Or noticing you want more support shifting your mindset, send me an email here.

Communication is Key- Why do you talk?

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Communication is a hot topic in my life at the moment. And let’s be real. It is an important aspect of everyone’s live—in both the professional and personal spheres.

As my fiancé and I prep for marriage, we are less consumed with the wedding weekend dates and more interested in talking about our vision, creating systems and structures within our own relationship. And a key part of connecting and creating something is communication.
 
During one of my recent silent meditation retreats, one of my meditation teachers Dori Langevin, shared the acronym WAIT when discussing the importance of timely speech.  The acronym stands for Why Am I Talking. I loved this! It is so simple, yet so powerful! Speaking is a gift. Our word choices really matter. Whatever we decide to share to either others or ourselves has an impact. In order to ask yourself why am I talking, it is important to find that pause or to take a minute and WAIT.
 
As most of you know, I am all about the pause. I practice the pause in my own life as well as support clients being able to strengthen their mindfulness muscles to practice the pause so that they can reflect to connect and then make more intentional choices. 
 
Practicing this acronym has supported me in connecting to my intentions for communicating. During my pause, I get to ask myself, why and what do I want to be contributing? Am I just speaking because I want my voice to be heard? Can I add value here?
 
Where in your life do you see the practice of the pause and using the WAIT acronym can support you?
 
Want more support grounding into a new fall routine? I got your back.

Movement Meditation

 recently completed my first 5-day silent meditation retreat and I am about to do another one next week! Ahh!

If you had asked me a few years ago if I would do a silent retreat, I would have said heck no. I didn’t think I could be silent or meditate for that long. Nor did I WANT to. But let me tell you, these five days of silence were one of the most healing and amazing experiences I have had in a long time. I typically preach how self-care can be practiced on a daily basis in #MindfulMoments, and I never really understood why going on a retreat would be beneficial since it isn’t “real life.” But now I have a totally new perspective. This 5-day retreat was all about creating an immersive, protected and sacred container to dive deep into my own practice and reach new levels of awareness that I can’t typically connect to in a world full of over-stimulation. This 5-day retreat became a training ground where new seeds of practice and awareness were planted so that I can water them and integrate them into my life moving forward.

The theme of this meditation retreat was called Body Wisdom. All of our meditations had a suggested focus on connecting to the current experience of the body. For someone who thought I already had a strong mind/body connection, I was taken to a deeper level. One of my favorite new meditations we practiced was all about connecting to the four elements in our body: earth air, water and fire. Check out this meditation on my Centered in the City podcast.

A lot of you have asked me what it was like being silent for five days. Was I able to use my phone or read? And the answer is no. No technology, no reading, no journaling, and no speaking to each other! Some people even chose not to engage in eye contact. The only writing that was allowed was during the teacher’s talk as a form of note taking. The teacher explained, “Reading a novel is reading someone else’s story and journaling is getting caught in your own story. The idea is for you to be present and connected to your current experience.” I loved this description because it gave me full permission to tune in verses get trapped in my internal experience.

The practice of meditation was woven into the daily schedule. We had 45-minute sessions of alternating between sitting, walking, and lying down meditation throughout the day from 6am to 9pm. We were encouraged to take this mindful awareness into our daily activities, transition moments, while we ate, sipped on tea, brushed our teeth, etc. Emphasizing that there is no “turning off,” “zoning out,” or “numbing out.”

I also loved getting a chance to practice some Qi Gong—which is meditation in motion. Click on the video below to watch a few different exercises I incorporate into my morning meditation routine to support opening my heart center, and living from the gratitude of my body and life.

These practices in addition to so many more get to be exercises in flexing my mindfulness muscles to tap into the wisdom of my body. When I listen deeply, there are layers of experience. As my teacher, Heather Sundberg, says, “There is the experience of the body from the internal, external and both at any given moment.”

Which pathway do you typically use to listen to the wisdom of your own body? Which one do you want to start listening to in your practice?


Qi Gong Practices:
 

The intention of the first two practices is to give and receive love and kindness
 

The intention of the second series of practices is to open up the the second chakra, heart and head
 

*** With both practices challenge yourself to slow down your breath and movement ***