Does travel mean an end to healthy habits?

As my family prepares for summer travel, I thought of you. I'm wondering if this sounds familiar...

"I do pretty well at home, but when I travel, it all goes out the window!"

This is one of the things I hear most often from my clients...They're referring to food, physical activity, daily meditation, positive self-talk, and more. I used to feel this way too!

Yes, there is a way in which travel disrupts our usual routine... and it doesn't have to completely derail our efforts to nourish ourselves. What if it could open up even greater opportunity to take great care of you?

This summer, I challenge you to notice what you ARE doing to nourish yourself when you travel.

  • Are you nourishing your sense of adventure?
  • Are you allowing yourself to relax?
  • Are you actually quite physically active - walking, biking, swimming?
Mom and daughter explore the beach

 

Celebrate all that you are doing right! And, I invite you to consider ways you can bring nourishing habits from home onto the road. Here are few ideas to get you started:

  1. Look into healthy eating options before you leave. Where are the Farmer Markets, and healthy restaurants where you're going?
     
  2. Bring quality snacks, even if it's packaged. Avoid those starving moments that have a way of driving your car into a drive-thru.

    One of my trip staples is literally the easiest way to consume fresh raw fruits & veggies daily (in a capsule) --  Juice Plus+. They also make a shakes & snack bars that can serve as a meal - they are surprisingly tasty & filling!  All Juice Plus+ products are made without pesticides, herbicides, gluten, dairy or GMO's.  That's why they're my favorite!
     
  3. Schedule "nothing" time. Be sure to leave time and space to simply relax. It's ok to NOT see and do it all so you can enjoy what you DO see and do more.

Nourishing yourself will give you energy to enjoy your vacation more fully! What would you add to this list? Please leave a comment below with how you will you nourish yourself this summer.

Mother's Day - fresh gift ideas

I have to be honest. Mother's Day disappoints me every year.

I know it's just an arbitrary day to celebrate Moms, and I shouldn't have expectations, but I do. I want the day to be relaxing… I wish all the chores would be done…. the food prepared… and the day planned by anyone but me.... in short, the chance to fully unwind. And I want the same for my mother. Somehow, it hasn't happen that way.

This year, I’m taking a different approach to Mother’s Day, and I invite you to join me.

First, I am asking for what I want!  I may not get it all, but if I don’t ask, I definitely won’t receive.

Second, I’m looking into unique gifts, and am sharing a few below. Take a look. If you’re seeking a gift, I hope you gain some inspiration. If you’re a mother who would love to receive one of these gifts, please share this message to your loved ones. 
 

Mother’s Day Gift Idea #1

Let her sleep in, and take the kids out for at least 6 hours, leaving her with a clean house.
That's it. That's what she wants. 

Bonus that puts this one over the top of awesome: Arrange for her favorite restaurant to deliver food while you're gone. And chocolate. Definitely chocolate that she doesn't share with anyone.
 

Mother’s Day Gift Idea #2

Why not give a gift that truly keeps on giving?! 
... a TOWER GARDEN!

I love my aeroponic garden so much, and have asked for this gift so often, that I now own 3 of them!  A few highlights:

  • Grow up to 28 plants in a 3 sq ft space
  • Grow indoor, outdoor, on a patio, balcony, school, anywhere!
  • No dirt, no weeding, far fewer pests (easy to grow organic)
  • Uses just 10% of the water of an in-ground garden (water in recirculated)
  • Use any seeds you like!  (No root veggies, but all else is possible)

My friend calls it “Gardening for Dummies” – No, Mama isn’t a dummy, but she doesn’t have time for complicated!

***Learn more, and order online here.  (Or hit reply with questions)

Tip: Set up Mom's new garden for her!  It’s super easy to maintain after that! (my kids take care of mine)
 

Mother’s Day Gift Idea #3

Give her MAGIC… 

Sign her up for Magical Mother’s Day!

Photo by Grace Marcellino Photography

Photo by Grace Marcellino Photography


I'm delighted to team up with Jennifer Hoeprich (of Moxie Midwifery & Moxie Meditation), and eight of our favorite healers to offer this annual nourishing event..."6 Hours of Awesome" is how Jennifer describes it. And boy will it ever be!!... Massage, reiki, henna organic lunch, sisterhood, guided meditation... by the end of the day, we will be a bunch of blissed out Mamas...

The best part? It’s NOT on Mother’s Day… it’s a week later. So, if Mom is disappointed with how Mother’s Day went, she has this event to look forward to! ;)

Magical Mother’s Day
Saturday, May 20th from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Mesa, AZ
***Check out the full details (and grab one of the final 8 spots) here.

Please add your gift ideas in the comments below!

3 Tips to Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

Perhaps you've been here... trying to be everything to everyone, and then getting frustrated with the people you care about the most for needing too much from you.

This happened to me yesterday morning. At the end of a busy week, I was looking forward to an opportunity to ease into Saturday.  But my plans were disrupted by others' early morning needs -- my cat's need for food, my daughter's need for reassurance from a nightmare, my husband's head cold (can I cover for him at the Community Garden today?), and then a business partner had a last minute request. I found myself overwhelmed, and angry about what felt like a plot to keep me from relaxing. I lashed out at my husband.  "You don't have a fever, you're fine!" I yelled.


And then I caught myself.... I wasn't angry at the people (and cat) I love for needing so much, I was angry at myself for my inability to meet those needs. I also felt helpless in a larger way. So much conflict, action and change is happening right now. How can I contribute to a better world?  None of my actions (calling, marching) feel adequate. It was a perfect storm for those old self-judgements to come up...

"I should be able to handle this."
"I should do more." 
"I should be patient and kind at all times. If I'm not, that means I'm a bad mom."

As one of my mentors would say, I was "shoulding" all over myself!

In the past, I might have continued "shoulding" all day (or week!). But now I recognize mornings like this as a gift. It was a clear reminder to honor my capacity, and to communicate it proactively. I was reminded to prioritize self-care while allowing myself to implement it imperfectly (ie. sometimes morning yoga becomes afternoon yoga when my daughter requests a snuggle). And it reminded me that I have a choice about whether to allow those old self-judgements to control me.

I apologized, took responsibility for my actions, and requested help. My amazing husband made breakfast, while we created a strategy together that would meet everyone's needs. This included him curling up with the kids and the iPad so I could take care of myself.

I wasn't always able to experience a frantic morning as a gift. It's taken a lot of reflection and guidance to come to this place (plus a lot of studying about how the mind and body work!) In case you catch yourself in a similar pattern, I'd love to save you some time by offering you a few key tips...

 

  1. Name and feel your feelings. 

    Ever try to stop laughing when you have the giggles? Does it make you laugh more or less? It's the same with all emotions - suppressing them makes them stronger. And, as we all know, being in the midst of a tantrum throws reason and quality decision making ability out the window. 

    There is science behind this. For example, UCLA neuroscience researcher Alex Korb shares in his book The Upward Spiral that simply naming the emotion activates the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (the "rational brain"), which reduces the emotional amygdala reactivity. (1)

    What are you feeling? Name it. Write it. Speak it.
     
  2. Dance, even if you don't feel like it. 

    Once you've called out those emotions, let them move through you! There is a direct link between your brain and body. The brain feels an emotion, which causes the body to react, which contributes to emotion. It's a cycle that can self-perpetuate. Luckily, you can stick a spoke in the wheel... Changing your "motion" literally alters your "emotion." 

    Swedish researchers recently found that adolescent girls who took the dance classes improved their mental health and reported a boost in mood—positive effects that lasted up to eight months after the classes ended. How amazing is that?

    This, by the way, is one thing I did to take care of myself yesterday. I turned up some tunes and danced around my house - my daughter joined in! (I've also done it a few times while writing this!)
     
  3. Reach out for support.

    Ever felt better about your life after connecting with a close friend who showed you compassion? It's easy to get tripped up expecting to be able to do and handle it all alone. The truth is, we need each other. According to Melanie Greenberg, in her book The Stress-Proof Brain, "research shows that social support is one of the strongest buffers against the negative effects of stress on mental and physical health." (3)

    The key to reaching out is to find those people who believe in you, help you gain perspective, and nudge you to be a better person (vs. put you down, or feed into negativity or gossip).

Interested in more personalized guidance?  Book a chat with me. I'd be honored to help you navigate your best path to more joy, and less overwhelm.
 

Photo by Grace Marcelino Photography

Sources:
(1)A neuroscience researcher reveals 4 rituals that will make you happier. Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/a-neuroscience-researcher-reveals-4-rituals-that-will-make-you-a-happier-person-2015-9
(2)The happiness trick you haven't tried. Prevention. http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/dancing-shown-help-boost-happiness-and-mental-health
(3) The Stress-Proof Brain by Melanie Greenberg, PhD. New Harbinger Publications. 2016

Easy Nourishing Breakfast

I love a savory breakfast. So many breakfast foods are loaded with sugar, which just makes me sleepy. I like a meal that gives me energy... and doesn't take too much effort to prepare.

Today, I share my current favorite breakfast... But first, a word about eggs... There is a lot of debate about whether eggs are good for us. Like all debates on food, the best way to determine if something is "good" is to notice how you feel when you eat it.

I didn't eat eggs for many years. This was mostly an ethical decision. The way that hens are treated in factory farms is definitely not something I want to participate in.  My decision was reinforced by the fact that when I did eat eggs, my digestion was majorly disrupted.

And then something interesting happened -- my dear friend Phoebe treated me to an egg breakfast one morning in her home, and I felt great! The eggs she prepared were fresh from her backyard chickens, and being with her brings me joy. I believe it was that combination that made it easy for me to digest those eggs.

So, I did some further experimenting. And I found that I could digest eggs just fine when they were fresh from friends' chickens (which also relieved my ethical concerns)-- "Pastured" is a good label to look for if getting eggs from a grocer). And, interestingly, my body enjoys eggs especially in the week leading up to menstruation. I later learned that egg yolks are a natural source of progesterone - a hormone we need more of during the luteal (pre-menstrual) phase. So cool!

Below you will find my current favorite way to enjoy eggs. I like to bake a couple of these over the weekend, and enjoy slices thru the week - hot or cold! 

Spinach and Mushroom Frittata

 1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

½ lb fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 bunch fresh spinach (or chard)

6 eggs

½ tsp each of oregano, salt, pepper, or to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms for a few minutes.  Add in the spinach and wilt.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and spices together.
  4. Pour eggs over the veggies.  Put skillet into the oven.
  5. Bake for 15-25 minutes, until eggs are not runny.
  6. Tastes great hot or cold.

Notes:  If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you can use any pan and then transfer the veggies to an oven-safe container, such as a pie plate.  Try this with other veggie combinations, such as broccoli and bell pepper or tomato and basil.

I would love to hear what you think of the recipe, and what your favorite breakfast is. Please leave a comment below!

Oh! Any by the way, the greens & basil you see in the photo came from my Tower Garden! Reach out if you'd like to learn more about this super easy way to grow food anywhere! You can also learn more here.

Letting Go

I just filled the recycle bin - again. I'm clearing clutter from my home office, and already feeling the inspiration to create coming through the space that's opening up... writing is one of my favorite creative outlets, and connecting with you through writing this newsletter inspires me every time.

Today, as I let go of physical things, I want to share with you about a dear friend who is on my heart because of what she taught me about letting go...

Seneca travels a lot. She is a free spirit, expressing love openly and connecting deeply wherever she goes, even if she never sees a person she connects with again.

She has no need for ownership - of people, houses, things... Becoming close friends with her years ago shifted something within me.

As a child, my family moved many times, and the ache of missing friends I left behind became more and more painful. Without realizing it, I was building a wall around my heart, only connecting with those I was guaranteed to see again.  But Seneca helped me realize (simply by exuding love without attachment) that I was missing out on enriching experiences and people by walling myself off in this way... I love to travel, but was closed to the people I met along the way. The truth is, we never truly know what will happen in the future, nor who we will or won't see again.

Now instead of requiring friends to be nearby for me to be close with them, I am able to revel in their next adventure, wherever it takes them... I am filled with gratitude that our journeys caused us to cross paths... that I have them to miss. I am free to love and connect. I have dear friends across the globe. I love them whether I see them or not.

And if I am free in this way, perhaps I can be free in other ways... by letting of the need to own or control anything that I desire... the perfect vacation, meal, moment, clients... and instead surrender and trust that what I desire longs for me too... that we will find each other, and in beautiful ways I could not have foreseen. Instead of grasping and earning what I want, what if I let go and simply allow myself to have it?

I'm curious... what are you holding on to that you may benefit from letting go? ...unhealthy habits... limiting beliefs... clutter... perfectionism... self-doubt... wishing for a previous time in your life to return...

I'd love to have a conversation to support you in letting go, and in receiving what you really want in life. I invite you to book a time on my calendar here, so we can hop on the phone with open hearts, open to possibility, unattached to outcome.

Get Better Sleep Tonight

Are you struggling to get enough sleep, or long to feel more rested when you wake?

You're not alone. The CDC lists insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic. Seriously, check it out here.

Luckily, it is within your power to remedy your own lack of sleep problem. Today, I share 3 things that have helped me get more sleep in hopes that one of them will work for you.

Please leave a comment with what you will try out tonight - or what has worked for you in the past to get better sleep.
 

Sweet Dreams,

~Blue

Note: Nothing in this post is intended to diagnose or treat disease. Lack of ability to sleep can indicate serious health concerns, which should be discussed with your trusted healthcare advisor.

 

 

Struggling to Decide? Try This...

We are constantly making decisions. (What's for dinner? When to wake up? Which shirt to wear?) Many choices are easy to make... others feel more challenging.

Have you ever been at a crossroads?

Think back to a time you were presented with two (or more) options, and it felt unclear which path to take... Each option had merit as well as costs... You sensed that the path you choose will alter the course of your life... How did you decide?

Perhaps you are standing at just such a crossroads right now... if so, I'm right there with you, and here's a strategy that is helping me decide.  I'd love to hear what you think, and what works for you. Please leave a comment below!

Stepping away from life for a fresh perspective is a GREAT way to make big decisions! Here are two upcoming opportunities in Arizona...

Tranquility in the Forest Women's Retreat

Williams, AZ
September 16-18th
I'll be leading a workshop during this retreat!
More details here.
 

Magical Mama Retreat

Arcosanti, AZ
October 21-23
Just 5 spots remain for my favorite event of the year!
More details here.

When Your Heart Breaks

2016 has been a doozy... from the loss of iconic celebrities... to a slew of natural disasters... mass shootings... a feverish political climate... There's been a lot of challenge and tragedy.

It is all too easy to get caught in a negative spiral, or to dismiss the real pain we are feeling in an effort to keep a "positive attitude."

I recently felt the weight of the world as I took in some disappointing news... A business opportunity that I had opened my heart wide to didn't work out... In the past, I might have stayed in the misery, making it mean something about my worth, or about the way the world is rigged for failure.

This time, I saw it for what it was... a "gift in strange wrapping paper" as my friend Dina calls it... an achingly beautiful opportunity to reach out for support, and to notice how I'm able to fully feel loss (tears were shed), and move through it, trusting that I'm still worthy, that life is still good, that I won't always feel what I am feeling now.

Sometimes what feels at first like heartbreak is actually your heart breaking open... letting in more love than you knew you could receive... deepening your connection to yourself and your knowing... heightening your awareness of the blessings that surround you... opening you up to even more compassion and aliveness.

If your heart is breaking, my wish for you is that you find the blessing within (not in spite of) the unraveling. And that you remember how powerful you are in your ability to heal, and receive healing. Perhaps this 7 minute guided meditation I recorded a while back may help you in your journey. A coaching conversation can also be deeply healing.

You are not alone.

Blessings,
~Blue

In a funk? 3 quick ways to get out now

The other day, I was in a funk. What do I mean by that? I was feeling stuck, stagnant, and kind of grumpy. I am usually a positive, easy going person. This was not a welcome feeling!

At first, I tried to fight it, and talk myself out of it... but that only seemed to make it worse.

Today, I share with you 3 simple ways to get out of a funk, right now. The 3rd one is the one that worked for me this time. Please leave a comment below - Let me know what you plan to try, and what works for you!

Blessings,

~Blue

Ending the battle with sugar cravings

The other morning, I was craving sugar. In the past, I might have gone into battle with myself over it. You know the battle I'm talking about.. either eat something sugary, and feel bad about it... or don't and feel deprived.

Here's what I did instead... (I made this very impromptu 2 minute video for you!)

Have you been craving sugar? What strategies have you found to help? What do you think of my approach? Please share in the comments!

And... I'd love for you to join me for 30 days of holistic self-care. I'm starting on Tuesday! (participate from anywhere) Learn more here.