Mindful Moments

The Wind of Shoulds


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



  • Sweet potatoes

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow squash

  • Olive oil

  • Seasoning: garlic powder, salt, and pepper


  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


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


  • Spaghetti Squash

  • Broccoli rabe

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • Pesto

  • Chickpeas (or protein of your choice)

  • Olive oil

  • Salt & pepper


  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:



- 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 


-  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) 


  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. 

Set Your New Year Power Intention


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.

January 2019 self-care calendar.png
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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


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? 


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?


Mindset for the Eye-set


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?


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 ***



"I am like a recovering perfectionist. For me, it is about one day at a time."
~ Brene Brown

I have been doing some deep self development work in the last 6 months, and it is so exciting to reflect on what I am learning about myself!

“Wow, wait... Wade does personal development work still? Isn’t she a coach and should know everything about herself?” 

First off, let me dispel this thought you may be wondering about because I get it a lotttt. No matter who you are, even if you’re Oprah, you never stop learning and doing your own personal development work. If we stop learning about ourselves, then we stop growing. And who wants to stop growing? I for sure know I don’t want to.

So, back to sharing my growth. Essentially, I never considered myself a perfectionist. I figured that I always do the best I can, and some days I am happier with the outcome than others. But what I have discovered over the past six months is that I am a CLOSETED PERFECTIONIST, and it has held me back from letting my creativity be expressed fully. I have had countless ideas for my book, for programs, workshops or even decorating my space that I have paused or squashed these ideas because of the fear it won't be perfect. And boy oh boy this mentality felt like a mental prison. I was constantly stuck in the wantingto-create yet failure-to-launch phase. Have you experienced that before?

After loads of introspection, I discovered a tool that works for me to help navigate the bullsh*t so that I can create the goodsh*t. Whenever I go to rework a portion of my book, brainstorm an idea for a workshop or create a pinterest board for design work, I say to myself: This is version one. This is version one.  When I repeat this motto, it quiets my monkey mind’s thoughts and worries: what if it sucks, what if I fail, what if it doesn’t look good, what if I don't like it, what if no one signs up etc. This motto cuts through the bullsh*t and supports me getting over the hurdle that prevents me from creating. I get to remember that I can always fix, rework, adjust, try again or alter my work however I may need. But I can’t grow personally or professionally or serve my clients/community if I am not creating. I not only end up suffocating myself, but I restrict the world from receiving my gifts.

So, now I turn to you and ask: where might you be showing up as a perfectionist in your life? Is it at work? While you are cooking? Writing? Dating?

What would life look like if you too came out of the perfectionist closet? What greater impact may you have in your work, relationships, community and the world? What gifts are you hiding? If you created your own perfectionist motto, what would you say to yourself?

Want more support unpacking and quieting the perfectionist mind? Schedule a one-off session with me here.


I, We & The All

We are stepping into one of my favorite months of the year. Not just because April is my birthday month, but because this month is where the northern hemisphere starts to come out of hibernation. The days are longer, Mother Nature is doing her beautiful thang and we humans get to wear less layers. YAY for wearing less clothes! Bring on the flip flops and sun dresses!

As life is blossoming around me, it gets me thinking about how I am  contributing to the gift of life. How am I taking care of my own life, my loved ones, the greater community around me and the world at large?

In order to reflect on this philosophical question, I create 3 different categories to make this question feel less daunting and more tangible. The 3 categories are broken into: "I" , "We", & "All."

"I" is all about you. How are you making yourself a priority? What personal and professional goals are you breathing life into? In what  ways are you nourishing yourself and the life you want to live?

"We" is about you and your community. This can be your family, your friends, your neighbors, co-workers, your local coffee shop, etc. How are you connecting and contributing to the life that is around you?

"All" is about the greater world, Mother Nature and the human race. How are you contributing to a global vision for the world? What do you want to see happen in the world?

I we all.jpg

Thinking about your daily footprint in these three areas helps create perspective in how you want to live both locally and globally.

For me, it  helps me think about how taking care of myself not only affects me, but it affects the world around me. It is a reminder that I don’t live in a bubble and however I am treating myself ripples into the world around me. When we give life to ourselves, we can then be in greater service to the people around us. Connecting to the “We” empowers me to take personal responsibility in my family and community relationships. I get to be more present with how I connect and communicate with people and places in my everyday life.  And connecting to the “All” highlights how I can have a voice and impact in our world from a political, social, economical and environmental perspective. And we all know how much our world needs us to show up right now.

What ways do you want to connect and breathe life into the “I”, “We” and “All” this spring? I'd love to hear and celebrate with you! Share and celebrate what life you want to create with me here. 

Anti-Inflammation Week


This week is one of my very favorite weeks: my ‘anti-inflammation’ week for my mind, body and soul. I try to reduce inflammation in my physical, mental and emotional system to prime myself for a cleaner and clearer slate for the new year.  Join along and let me know how you feel as you step into 2018!

These days are the last few pages of the 2017 chapter—a time to simmer in the holiday warmth, finish up any loose ends and start to dream-storm what 2018 gets to look like. I consider this week holy. Time feels slower, emails are quiet, more reading gets done and there is a natural cheer in the air, filled with Happy New Year wishes. The holidays can be a whirlwind—travel, different routines, rich and decadent food can throw you off your game. No matter how mindful you are. But practicing some intentional self-care can put you back on track and in the driver’s seat so you can head into 2018 feeling your best.


For my mind:

Being consistent with my daily meditation practice is a game changer, even if I can only fit 10 minutes in my morning routine. Not only do I feel calmer and clear-headed, but I also notice I am less emotionally reactive and manage stress more effectively. My meditation practice doesn’t just make me feel good, I know it is also doing good for my brain. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon demonstrated that participating in a 3-day mindfulness meditation retreat generated more functional connectivity between areas of the brain and showed lower levels of inflammation in blood work than a similar demographic of people who completed a 3-day, relaxing mindfulness retreat. This research proves the importance of a meditation practice. It can have a positive impact on one’s physiology and actually reduce inflammation in the mind and body. I’m especially amazed that in just 3 days the scientists could detect a difference in the participants’ biochemistry.

Meditating not only feels pleasant, but I consider it a routine, just like brushing my teeth. Meditating reduces brain inflammation, just like brushing my teeth reduces gum inflammation, and my practice leaves my mind feeling minty fresh and clean, just like after a good tooth-brushing session. Staying consistent with my morning meditation routine re-grounds me so I can feel more mentally refreshed and open to the possibilities of the New Year.


For my body:

I don’t believe in diets or restricting myself (because life is too short to not enjoy!). However, I do believe in mindful eating and making more intentional food choices based on the wisdom and cravings of my body. For instance, post holiday ho-down, I typically notice I feel sugar-overloaded, dehydrated, and bloated. Sound familiar? Usually this combination is the result of eating more decadent food than I am used to and not being as physically active. That’s why in anti-inflammation week, I make sure to focus on what I am fueling myself with and how I move my body.

The magical three fueling tips, I practice this week are WSC—hot water, soup and cruciferous vegetables to restore my body’s equilibrium.

1.     Water — especially hot water! with lemon, ginger and a cinnamon stick. This 3-some aids in digestion and reducing inflammation. I drink this first thing in the morning and continue to re-fill this concoction with additional hot water throughout my day.

2.     Soup — I love how comforting, nutrient-dense and filling soup can be, especially when it is non-dairy.  I prefer to make a bunch of homemade soups so that at least one of my daily meals can be soup-based, to support my digestive track getting a bit of a break. Some of my go-tos are homemade chicken vegetable, lentil sweet potato or broccoli.

3.     Cruciferous veggies — at every meal. These vegetables are typically what you think of when you imagine fibrous vegetables: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choi, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc. Research suggests that a phytochemical, sulforaphane, found in these veggies have endless health benefits that helps detoxify the body’s system. I make sure to have a medley of different vegetables throughout my week.

And of course I sweat!  This week I tend to be less in the yoga and Pilates mindset and crave more cardio classes such as spin, speed-walking or a run. Sweating is key to flushing out the lymphatic system and getting my blood flowing to help cleanse and neutralize my internal bio-dome as much as my emotional and mental.


For my soul:

Slower, colder and quieter days call for space to be introspective and creative. Typically I love to be creative in the kitchen, but post the holidays, I try to keep it simple so my creative outlet gets to come alive in the form of writing or collage-making. I spend time letting my mind wander and connect to my voice. This sometimes comes out in the form of free-writing, poetry or a personal story. This week, building my 2018 vision board called my name. I rummaged through old magazines and selected what images stand out for my 2018 mindset and inspiration.

Due to all of the holiday parties and festivities, I crave to be a bit more introverted this week. I minimize the desire to numb or mask my true emotions with social media or Netflix-binging and instead, go inwards to connect and have my soul goals listened to and honored. I cut through the inflammation of the loud external world and work on dialing it in to what truly matters.

Intentionally making space to take care of myself in this holistic fashion honors my 2017 and is the best investment I can make for my year to come. How are you honoring your 2017 while gearing up for 2018? Share with me in the comments below. 

What do you want more of in life?

Photo credit @lovedanielleoh

Photo credit @lovedanielleoh

A question I like to simmer with, especially when there is a shift in the calendar and we transition into the flow of Fall. I get excited to journal about it, explore possibilities with my partner and ask the people I love. I get so excited about the abundance of possibilities we all have! As a coach, I know that what we want in life, we can create. But we can’t create what we don’t know we want. I often hear clients feel lost, trapped or confused because they swirl in the question of “what do I want?” And the second they allow themselves to think bigger or outside of the box, the “dream killing” thoughts start knocking at the door. “Oh I could never achieve that.” Or “I don’t have the time or resources to do both.” Or “I am not educated enough for that.” Sound familiar? Our rational mind kicks into high gear to question if we can truly live the life we want to be living. And it makes sense that our rational mind is talking to us because all it truly wants to do is protect us. But sometimes we allow those thoughts to keep us small and immobile, and then we end up not growing or going anywhere. Have you had that experience before? Me too! And this is what I do: Every time I hear those grim reaper thoughts floating in, I say to myself, “hello, thank you and goodbye” and transition my eyes and my heart to focus back on what I do want to create.

Now here is the twist... you might be like, Wade... I already create to-do lists, try to set goals or create my vision boards, and I say WOOHOOO, way to go! However that is not enough. It is one thing to get your ideas formulated and out there, but there is an even deeper importance to tie what you want into how you are being. So I welcome you to take this question a step deeper this month. Instead of keeping your gaze on just the external (what do I want more of in my life?), turn your gaze inwards and explore how am I embodying what I want in life? If you want that new job position, that relationship, that wedding, explore how you want to be in all of those scenarios. What is the feeling, the essence you want to have when you accept that job, when you walk down the aisle or when you step into intimacy. (hint: you don’t need to spend money or take another class to find it, it is already alive and inside of you).

Now if you are ready to step into beingness, I have the perfect program for you. I am super excited to announce my Mindful Moment workshop that has traveled around the country and is now expanding and going virtual! You read it right. Launching next week, I am opening registration for an opportunity to join a co-ed live virtual group program where you will not only create a consistent meditation practice, but each month you will take a deep dive into embodying the pillars of mindfulness. You will learn how to add more patience, non-judgment, kindness and trust into your life so you can sleep easier, be more productive and create equanimity so life doesn’t take charge of you, but you take charge of life. Sign up to be the first to know here! More information and celebration coming soon!


What are you clinging to?

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, anxiety or possessions—we cannot be free” – Thich Nhat Hanh

A few months ago during one of my meditation trainings, we explored the concept of grasping. The idea is that as humans, we love to cling and hold onto our emotions, sensations, beliefs and perceptions. We hold on tightly and trick and train our brain into thinking  these beliefs form our true identity, when in reality we are purely meaning-making machines. Clinging shows its face in many forms. For instance, we grasp onto emotions we experience by saying “I am sad” or “I am angry” versus “I am experiencing sadness” or “I am noticing signs of anger.” We literally want to white knuckle that emotion and make it our identity. I know in the past when I have said, “I am angry,” I am way more likely to sit and grasp onto that anger and frustration way longer than if I were to say “I am noticing some anger arising in me.”  Expressing the latter sets me free from the emotion and allows me to recognize I have a choice in how I want to feel instead of letting the feeling control and consume me. I get that this verbiage doesn’t sound colloquial, but there is a real energetic mind shift that occurs when you use it.  Clinging also arises from the expectations our mind creates. We might paint a picture of how a scenario was supposed to go, yet reality happens and plans turn out nothing like we imagined. Instead of going with the flow and being present with the current situation, our mind is grasping onto our failed expectations. Sound familiar?

Exploring all the ways my mind grasps onto things is fascinating! I get to recognize how my mind wants to find some sort of control, meaning and purpose out of every situation. This helps me realize that I tend to be living in the past and not in the present. That is where my meditation practice comes into play. Having a consistent practice to pause and breathe creates space for me to notice what my mind wanders to (ie. a story in the past, a feeling, anticipation of something in the future). Instead of hushing the thought or trying to shut it down, I want to welcome it in and then practice placing it off to the side. When I can separate the thought from me, I get to examine it from a different perspective and I feel so much lighter and more free. The more I get to practice this concept of letting go, the easier I am able to manage my emotions and energy during the rest of the day. I am able to be more present and focused.

This month is the perfect time to explore the thoughts you are clinging to. Let the slow pace of August create space for you to pause, breathe and gain awareness. Check out this letting go meditation on my new Centered in the City podcast.  Examine what your mind clings to and learn how to ditch the unnecessary baggage. Recognize the consistent thoughts your mind wanders to, and create space so that you can recognize you are more than your thoughts. Learning to be aware of what your mind clings to, and to let go of your thoughts, will allow you to become more present and focused.
After you practice the meditation, feel free to use these journaling prompts:  
What type of thoughts do you notice your mind clings to?
Where in your body do you feel those sensations?
What type of patterns or observations do you notice?

Productivity and Play

Summer has officially arrived, woohoo! Which is so exciting, but it also can be frustrating for a lot of us who spend our days inside on the computer, in meetings, or in the car traveling to appointments. Our natural desire to be productive clashes with our human desire to play outside and bask in the sun.  

In order to not feel trapped by our lives and structure, I want to welcome you to think about where you have more freedom and flexibility to make your time feel productive and playful versus being in the "one-or-the-other" mindset. So much of our lives we trap ourselves in boxes, certain ways of thinking or doing. For instance, our culture likes to depict cleaning our house as being a purely productive activity. We automatically equate relaxing in the sun by the pool to "playing around". But in our modern society, we get to be creative and make life a both/and. It all starts with our mindset. So, this summer, I want to welcome you to flip the script and explore where you can make productivity and play a both/and, rather than an either/or

This doesn't have to be just in the workplace, it can also be practiced with your various house chores or personal responsibilities. For instance, I'm working on making gardening feel both playful AND productive. I am approaching gardening not from a "have to" mindset where this chore must be crossed off the list. Instead, I think of it as a way to be playful with my partner as we do something productive for our house and physical space.

One of my clients, Kathy, is practicing embodying this both/and energy in her workday so that she doesn't feel resentful to her job during the summer—a time when she wants freedom and fun in her life. During our session, Kathy and I explored her routine to find where she can shift her mindset of feeling like a prisoner to her schedule into a mindset of having flexibility with her time. I asked her to think about her transitions and how she can make her transitions not only feel productive (since they are  a means to an end) but also be a place where she can sprinkle some playful energy. Some ideas she brainstormed were: trying a different form of commuting (ie. biking to work vs. driving, taking a new route home); taking her lunch break outside so she could get sun and fresh air; or taking a walk with a co-worker for a dose of social interaction and connection. By shifting her mindset to focus on where she does have more control over her schedule, she was able to add some intentional, playful energy into her productive schedule. 

In the past, I had another client discuss resistance to doing dishes because it felt like a miserable chore. The impulse was to put the dishes off, but this just made the situation more daunting and overwhelming. So, instead of feeling guilty and overwhelmed, we reframed her mindset and found some play in the chore. She decided to put on her favorite song and dance to the music trying to finish their stack of dishes before the song was over. Not only did she have fun listening and dancing but she had fun racing against the clock trying to beat her previous time. 

These are simple examples, but there are endless ways to make our actions and decisions a both/and so that we don't feel trapped by our thinking or black/white way of being. The first step to shifting your mindset is gaining awareness. Take some action below.

To add both play and productivity in your life, follow these steps:
I invite you to pause and reflect on your life right now. Take a moment to jot down where there is a strong desire to be productive in your life and where you are also faced with some resistance (ie. working on a project, studying for an exam, organizing a closet etc.) If you are finding there are a few spots, brain-dump them all down, then circle the one that is the most prevalent. Take your circled item and brainstorm how you can make this action feel more playful (see image below). As you focus on the play aspect, notice how your body starts to feel. Typically people feel lighter, more bubbly and flexible. Pick which playful option excites you more and BAM... you have both a playful and productive activity on your hands. 

Feeling stuck with this activity? Send me a note and I will help you out.

Using the "C" Word

Want to know how to use the "C" word in a powerful and purposeful way this summer? I am talking about communication, yo. 

How often do you find yourself trapped in a communication pickle with a co-worker, family member, partner or even yourself? Typically a communication roadblock occurs because there is a conflict in expressed values, the inability for people to deeply listen or judgments that prevent us from being present and truly holding space for a two-way conversation. Communication has been a hot topic in my life recently, so I want to share some ways I'm practicing the art of communication.

In general, there are four types of communicators:

1. PASSIVE COMMUNICATORS — individuals avoid expressing their opinions or feelings, protecting their rights, and identifying and meeting their needs.
2. AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATORS — individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others.
3. PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE COMMUNICATORS — individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect or behind-the-scenes way.
4. ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATORS — individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others. These individuals value themselves, their time, and their emotional, spiritual, and physical needs and are strong advocates for themselves while being very respectful of the rights of others.

What kind of communicator do you think you are? What kind of communicator do you want to be? What is one tiny action step you can practice today that leads you to the type of communicator you wish to be?

I don't know about you, but I want to be an assertive communicator—a person who deeply knows myself, what I want, what I value and asks for what I need while caring for others. In the past, I've realized I oscillated between being too aggressive with my blunt NYC potty mouth while also expressing myself passively because I was more concerned about how others would feel, based on what I shared. These styles of communication left me feeling small or angry and didn't allow for a balance of being bold yet loving. After doing so much self-development work over the past several years, I am proud to say I am finding my balance and stepping into my assertive shoes. This doesn't mean I do it perfectly every time, but I have reached a point in my life that I respect myself deeply enough to allow my voice, my dreams, my wishes, my thoughts, my body and my soul to be expressed while also respecting the people around me. I honor that my actions and words also affect others. One of the ways I paid attention to the way I was communicating with myself and others was looking carefully at the type of language I used. I observed if my words were full of "I can't" or "I have to." I noticed if my emails or conversations were full of "sorries" or if I tip-toed around questions or comments with a phrase like "I just want to say..." instead of being bold and f*cking saying what I want with clarity and confidence. 

Communication is an essential piece of the self-care puzzle. If we don't know how to listen deeply, and communicate to ourselves, then it makes it even harder to communicate to others. That is why I am super-pumped to announce that my virtual group program Summer of Self-Care is back and better then ever! This 6-week program is dedicated to supporting women knowing who they are, what they want and how to take care of themselves from the inside out so that they can use the "C" word in a powerful and purposeful way.

If you are wondering if this program is for you ask yourself these three questions:

1. Does your mental self-talk affect your confidence and ability to go after what you want? (ie, go on that date, post that picture to Instagram or apply for that new position?)
2. Are you hungry for tools that help you be more intentional about the way you take care of yourself and set your schedule? (ie, create rituals for morning and evening routines)
3. Are you ready to feel your healthiest, most powerful and boldest self this summer? (in mind, body and soul?)

If you answered f*ck YES to all of these questions, then this program is your jam. Applications open Wednesday and there is limited space and already a waitlist! Be the first in the know by signing up here. Early bird pricing ends May 18th and the program officially begins June 12th.

Here are some words from a previous Summer of Self-Care member:

"I signed up for the Summer of Self Care program. I wanted to look into some coaching support to help me with some long-standing personal goals that I haven’t been able to achieve for one reason or another. Wade has helped me break down the reasons why I’ve felt blocked and provided some simple yet powerful tools that I can use to make progress towards my goals. Instead of feeling anxious and frustrated, I find myself relying on new practices - such as meditation - to feel confident and focused about what I want to do, and how to go about doing it. Wade’s program and methodology helps to define the skills I need to not just exist but truly live and thrive. It’s been such a rewarding experience and I would recommend it to anyone who’s ready to make some positive changes in their life." -MR


If you are feeling stuck, at a cross roads or are yearning for more growth this summer click here to discover ways you can make yourself a priority without the shame or guilt. Let your inner summer sunshine glow! 

How to use your Mind-Body Connection to achieve your Fitness Goals

A guest post by Erin Conroy PT, DPT.

AKA the "PhytChick."

How many of you have heard of the books The Secret or the The Power of Positive Thinking.  How about the concept of “Manifestation”?

 If you haven’t, let me fill you in.

Basically these all are based around the law of attraction. If you think it, it will happen…that goes for negative or positive.

So what does this have to do with fitness?

Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret…

Okay, it’s not actually a secret because there are published studies on this concept, but, hey, I’ll at least try to help make sense of that information. (Here is a summary of some of those studies).

“So you are telling me that if I think about my muscles getting sculpted, my butt lifted, my washboard abs, that one day I will wake up with that body?”


Buuuuut not by itself (sorry for the false hope).

On a positive note, strengthening your mind-body connection will get you those results a heck of a lot faster!

When you hear mind-body connection you probably think zen, yoga, meditation…maybe, oh I don’t know, sitting in a prairie basking in the sun with a flute playing in the background…no, just me? Okay, anyways….the point here is how often do we actually associate this mind-body connection with our workouts?

I’m guessing mind-body connection doesn’t trigger a picture a squats, planks, and burpees.

But it should!

I touched on this in “Get it Right, Get it Tight Part 1 and Part 2

Going through the motions of an exercise doesn’t necessarily mean you are working the areas you think you are. It takes conscious effort to work your desired muscles. If you aren’t using the mind-body connection, your path to results may be a long and inefficient one.

You might even be moving in the correct movement pattern but may not be activating the correct muscles because you have a weak MIND-MUSCLE.

So now you are telling me that I have a mind-muscle? Sounds like some mumbo-jumbo to me.

Let me explain.

To put it VERY simply, the brain is the puppet master. It is sitting up in its castle in the sky pulling the strings to create the puppet's movements.

The brain sends a signal down your spinal cord, through the nerve, and into the desired muscle. The brain is essentially directly linked to that muscle, and if that muscle receives the correct message, BAM! Watch it move! Hello, Mind-Muscle.

Without the brain facilitation, there's no muscle activation.

No brain=No gain.

We use this concept in physical therapy but call it “neuromuscular reeducation”. We often need to train our patients to facilitate muscle contraction or movement patterns that they lost because of an injury or may have never adequately developed. We are essentially reminding those muscles how to work properly.

Sounds technical and science-y right? It really is just the concept of mind-body connection applied to fitness.



Much simpler right?

Basically if you think it (with training and focus), you can do it.

Hell yeah, Manifestation! Bring me that summer body!

Now, let’s figure out how to incorporate this MIND-MUSCLE so we can sculpt those BODY-MUSCLES!

Here are some steps you can take to strengthen your mind-body connection:

Step 1: Visualize which muscle you are trying to work.

Step 2: Warm-up that area with some isometrics (squeezes without moving your body. Basically contract the muscle you want work.)

Step 3: Perform the exercises you are about to do but with less weight or at a lower intensity. During this, focus on feeling the area you want to work

Step 4: Talk to yourself. Tell yourself over and over again what you should be doing with that muscle.

Step 5: Add the weight or continue through your exercise class focusing on “feeling it” where you should be “feeling it”.

Step 6: Repeat step 2 in between sets

Let’s use the squat as an example to a better idea of how to apply these steps.

Step 1: I want to focus on my glutes...or the behind. Picture those muscles!

Step 2: Do some glute squeezes. Squeeze your butt cheeks together, hold for a few seconds, relax. Repeat about 10 times.

Step 3: Perform squats without any weight. Focus on feeling the burn in your butt. Even picture that muscle actually contracting. 

Step 4: Say to yourself: "SQUEEZE the butt!" as you push up through your heels each time.

Step 5: Add your weight and continue to focus on feeling the burn in your butt.

Step 6: Try repeating step 2 in between sets.

Now take these tips and head to the gym or workout studio knowing that you are going to get better results because you have a strong MIND and BODY.

Want more fitness related posts? Subscribe at thephytchick.com to stay in loop for all things #gettingphyt!

I love hearing from my readers so can also email directly at erin@thphytchick.com or follow me at any of the below:

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Why do we make shit so hard?

How often do you find yourself putting pressure on yourself to make everything in life perfect? Do you recognize this pattern when you make dinner, organize the house, manage your schedule, take care of your body, or plan your life?

We have this idea in our head that if it is not hard, difficult, stress-producing or anxiety-ridden then we must not be doing anything right. Feel me? Not only have I personally experienced this as I grow my business and plan a family, but I see it in my clients and I hear it with my friends. Our current American culture vibe glamorizes a busy life or the facade that the busier we are, the more we multi-tasking, travel, and the more booked our calendars are, the more value and purpose our life must have. When we reach a certain level of stress and busyness, then we are truly living the modern American dream.

After years of working with clients who yearn to make themselves a priority in the noise of life, I’ve seen this common theme emerge. In general, they feel lost in the busyness of life and no longer know how to answer questions like: what are my hobbies, what do I care about, what is fun and fulfilling? The rat race has sucked them into a spiral of doing on autopilot so much so that they don’t truly feel alive in life and engaged with it.  And the pressure to keep running the hamster wheel is extremely tiring and almost deathly. Life feels like wind whipping you in the face as you peer outside the window of a moving car trying to desperately catch your breath, yet you feel slightly suffocated. Does this resonate with you? Now imagine this versus how life could feel and the freedom we can offer ourselves to breathe in deeply and swallow sweet fresh air that awakens our cells and our being. 

In the process of making yourself a priority, one of the first steps my clients discover is that they actually have a choice. They wake up from their sleep-walking habits and autopilot routines to say, “I have a choice.” They have the choice to alter their negative self-talk, to consciously eat what is going to fuel them best, to schedule their time wisely and to make life fun and delicious. The moment you realize you have a choice is the moment you get to decide if you want to choose the belief that everything has to be hard or switch your mindset and manifest that there is joy or growth or playfulness in every action and decision you make.  Believe me, I am not saying to take a happy pill and think the world is roses and rainbows all of the time. But when you realize you have a choice, you feel empowered and can jump back into the driver’s seat of life.

During my cancer battle, I had a choice to feel like a victim of life or see that I was gifted this experience for some unknown reason. When I was 21, cancer stole my youth, my hair, my study abroad experience and a chunk of my life. But I quickly learned I could stay in this victim mentality, which wasn’t bringing me very far, or I could choose to see the silver lining. I had the power. Even when I was powerless about what was happening inside of my body, I had the power to make other choices in my life.

Anytime I catch myself adding more pressure or unnecessary stress to a situation, I pause and ask myself, what do I want to choose?  Do I want to choose stress? Do I want to choose curiosity? Or fun? Reminding myself I have a choice allows me to slow down and take control of life and how I want to respond verses reacting and feeling powerless.

So what do you choose? Tell me about it!