Things I Wish All Women Knew...

What I think, I create.

What I think, I create.

During my career, I’ve had the opportunity to have wonderful conversations with women. Many of them are just like me; we struggle with time, with weight, self-care, and hormones… and relationships… and love… and self-love. The list seriously goes on, and on. While each woman is currently experiencing a situation all their own, I find that every scenario is similar: Women are totally and completely burnt-out, and unsure of how to move forward.

Instead of taking the time to write out a list of questions, to help you “dig deeper” and answer your own questions (which usually, as a coach, is important), today is not the case. Today, I’m sharing a list of things I want to tell all women. Ideas, reminders and tips that I find myself repeating over, and over. Maybe one (or a few will resonate with you); and maybe you can use them to spark something in your own healing journey.


Eat your veggies!

There are so many different diets and trends out there, and I’ll never be one to promote, or recommend a certain way of eating (bio-individuality is glorious). Everybody and every BODY is different, and while everyone might eat differently, veggies should hold a sacred space in EVERYONE’S diet! Veggies are full of fiber, antioxidants, nutrients and WATER. They aid in hormone health, detoxification and more. Try more veggies; incorporate them into each meal, (half of your plate, if you can).

Gut health is essential to good health.

The gut really is your “second brain”, and in fact, I could argue it being your first. All health stems from the gut. From hormones to brain health, the health of our gut determines the health of everything else. Are you pooping twice a day, once soon upon waking? Are you eating probiotic-rich food, and filling up on fiber? Can you eat without feeling bloated? Leaky gut affects so many of us (myself included), and often, the root cause of any health concern should be addressed with the gut, first.

Your microbiome is a huge determining factor as to how many calories you will absorb from your food. The best way to create a healthy and diverse microbiome is to eat more plants and gut-friendly foods!

Restricting and depriving are two words to erase from your vocabulary.

Both words just sound sad, don’t they? I’m amazed that in this day and age, so many women continue to think that depriving themselves of something means they’re being “healthy”. Depriving means you’re leaving something out, and if that something you’re leaving out is something you really enjoy, that deprivation can be causing more negative effects than enjoying it can. Sure, not consuming the wheat-crust pizza (when you have a gluten allergy) is important, but that doesn’t mean you should be depriving yourself of pizza, all-together. YOU HAVE OPTIONS, WOMAN!

“Calories in and calories out” is not the secret to weight-loss.

This goes with restriction and deprivation. Weight-loss has much more to do with finding harmony with your hormones, and your gut, than it does with restricting your food and overexercising. Calories are a metric of energy, not nutrition.

Calories in do NOT equal calories out. Most people count calories when looking to lose or maintain weight, but this isn’t always safe because the way we assimilate nutrients, and absorb calories, depends on the quality of the food and the makeup of your microbiome (the “gut health” I mentioned earlier).

YOU are your own healer!

Lately, I see so many women struggling with disorders or issues that lifestyle could greatly influence. We live in a society where it’s so much easier to go to a doctor, take a pill, or fill ourselves up with synthetic-hormones, than it is to change our lifestyle. How’s your stress-level? Are you consuming chemical-filled foods? Not getting enough exercise or rest? Drinking more than you should? Girl, I understand. But those pills you’re pumping into your body won’t erase the bad lifestyle you’re living! Remember that the greatest healer you possess is your body! Sometimes, it just needs the proper tools.

Constant positivity is unattainable, but constant negativity isn’t great either.

I know we’ve seen both sides of the coin: women who post nothing but “positive vibes” all over the world wide web, and then the women who always seem to be “woe is me”. WHERE IS THE MIDDLE (WO)MAN?! Life isn’t all roses and rainbows, nor is it all thunderstorms and daggers. Remember to be relatable. We all have our turn for the super-great, and the less-than-ideal; that doesn’t mean we need to shout it from the rooftops. Yes, don’t bottle things in; get them out. But don’t let your circumstances define who you are.

Gratitude really does help.

Last year, I created a Gratitude Challenge, which allowed me to practice being grateful for something different, each day. Little did I know how much that ONE change, daily, would affect my month. When we take the time to focus on what IS going well (rather than what isn’t), our mindset changes. Being in a funk is something I know we all can relate to (maybe especially lately), however, when you put more thought process into something positive, positive things happen.

Supplements ARE helpful.

It’s sad but true: our soils are extremely depleted, and nutrients do, in fact, come from the soil. It’s extremely likely that most of us have nutrient deficiencies of some sort, meaning, we can’t get all of our nutrients from food! Even if our soil was nutrient-dense, what are the chances you consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables, from the earth? Yeah, I didn’t think so. This mean that supplements ARE IMPORTANT! They can take you from feeling “just okay” to “wonderful”. But WAIT! Before you jump down the never-ending “supplement rabbit hole”, take a breath. Not all supplements are created equal, so don’t call up your friend who’s selling the “latest and greatest” thing! A lot of supplements out there are a waste of time and money (and filled with a lot of not-so-great fillers). Get help in choosing high-quality, practitioner standard supplements that are indicated for your particular health journey, and need.

Love your liver.

Did you know that a TON of PMS-symptoms are related to liver-health? The liver, like the gut, is one of those essential organs we can’t function optimally without. Lately, I’m recognizing that a lot of my health issues stem from a sluggish liver, and it’s harder to detox than we think! Speaking of detox: be wary of detox programs that promote optimal health after a week of cutting out something! Sure, you’re working to rid your body of some negative toxins, however, incorporating them right back in (after a week of not) isn’t going to do much help. In this day and age, we need to live with a mindset of “constant detoxification”; working to routinely be taking action at detoxifying our body, so it can function well.

Reach out to a naturopath, or TCM practitioner if you’re struggling.

Everyone needs to be alone.

This is one I often want to shout from the rooftops: YOU DON’T NEED A PARTNER TO BE COMPLETE!!! My mom once told me that everyone needs to be alone, at some point of time, because later on, down the road, chances are we’ll be alone, again. And this is so true. Girl, I know you’re pining for a man (or a woman), but don’t let that be the measure of your worth. Repeat after me: “I don’t need to be with someone else to be complete”!

When I was single, a few years ago, I had such a hard time; being alone is hard. We’re vulnerable, insecure, unsure… but chances are, we’re not really feeling these feelings because we’re not with someone, we’re feeling them because our self-love isn’t there. Take some advice from someone (me) who’s been there: use this time being single to work on yourself. Take yourself out to dinner; dress up for you; work on pleasing yourself (physically and sexually); go on a trip, by yourself. Being in a relationship doesn’t complete us; loving ourselves, fully, completes us.

Yoga makes everything better.

I know yoga isn’t for everyone, but this practice is more than just a means of exercise… trust me! Yoga has helped heal my anxiety - bringing me back to calm (from that fight-or-flight mentality that causes hormone, endocrine and nervous system distress). It works to flush fresh blood back into your body, and reminds you to breathe.

Our bodies need to move, yes. Sweating and elevating your heart-rate is important, but so is unwinding, stretching, breathing and flowing. Bonus? Yoga can be done anywhere and everywhere!

Over-caffeination keeps you awake, but that’s it.

This is a pet-peeve of mine: “over-caffeination” being glorified. Yes, coffee is delicious, but the reasons for drinking multiple cups of it, a day, are less-than-desirable…. seriously. Coffee (and too much caffeine, in general) will upset your nervous system, adrenal glands, and hormones (especially when stress is already present). Just practice moderation, okay? And remember to eat some food before going to town on gulping it down!

Your “busy life” ain’t impressing anybody!

This seems like a good one to follow over-caffeination. We live in a society that glorifies being busy, which I believe, is a cause of depression, anxiety and feelings of “not being enough”. Everyone seems to be doing it all - working 40+ hours a week, with another “side hustle”, and enough time to exercise and meal prep. WHAT?! Usually what you don’t see is a severe lack of sleep, depleted adrenals, nervous systems and wonky hormones. You don’t need to do everything, girl. In fact, prioritizing your health usually requires doing less. AND THAT’S OKAY!!! Slow down, and trust.

It’s okay to quit.

This is a good one to follow the “busy life” mention. In order to slow down, and find happiness, sometimes that means no longer doing something that no long suits you; THIS IS OKAY! Quitting doesn’t equate failure - not even in the slightest. Sometimes quitting is the very best thing you can do for yourself. You’re allowing yourself time… and instilling that something is no longer working for you.

Comparisons aren’t healthy. Period.

Comparisons are hard to avoid, especially with an always-present social media presence, but they aren’t healthy. Remember that social media doesn’t portray real life; everyone’s “shit stinks”, and thinking that your life is any less because of what someone else’s might appear like isn’t good! Remember, you are not that person! Your life, your appearance, your job, your relationships, your health… it’s completely, 100% different from anyone else out there; it’s what makes you you. The next time you find yourself comparing, ask yourself why: what are you wishing was different in your own life? How would that benefit your own life?

Eat real food.

I know this should go without reminding, but we are a society that consumes so much processed food! Just because something has little calories, or is “sugar free” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. Do you read ingredients, aside from other label information? Can you pronounce the ingredients? Do you know where they come from? Remember, real food gives us nutrients, fiber, water, and more! Remember, the health of your microbiome determines what you actually absorb, so filling your body up with chemicals might be fewer calories, but those ingredients can have other, more-serious effects on your body later.

Stand up for yourself. Stand up for women.

We’re living in a scary time for women, and it’s more important, than ever, to think about yourself, as well as your children. You have rights. You have a voice. You are powerful. Remember your power and use it, often! Stand up for what you believe is right, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Get inspired. Get happy.

Repeat after me, “Do what you love. Do what you love. Do what you love.” If there’s nothing, in your life, that’s feeling inspired, let this be your first priority. Find something that brings you joy, sparks excitement, sets your heart on fire. Remember, this doesn’t need to be your job, or a career, or hustling so you can work from home and “be happy”. This means doing more of what makes you happy, and brings you joy. Maybe it’s going on more dinner dates with friends that make you laugh for hours. Or volunteering for an organization you believe in, and support. Maybe it’s making a point to paint for one hour, each day, or play an instrument more. Inspiration comes from doing the things we enjoy, and getting happy is essential for health.

Believe in yourself.

This doesn’t require much description. Trust your intuition. Follow your dreams. Do more of what sparks excitement. Believe in yourself, for you can accomplish anything!


Which of these resonates the most with you? What areas need more attention?

What plans do you have for moving forward? Comment here, or let me know!

xoxo,

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Telling Your Funk to "Funk Off"


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Last week, in my “Wine(d) Down Wednesdays” email, I mentioned being in a funk. And ironically (or maybe not-ironically), I’ve been noticing even more of my gal-pals feeling similar. Instead of disregarding it, and hoping for the best, I decided to dedicate an entire post to it, and see if there is some action (or maybe less action) we can take.

Depression. Helplessness. Defeat. Over it. Funk. Whatever you decide to call it, it’s real. And in a society where everyone seems to be “dealing with it”, I want to talk about how we can deal with it in a different way, because “dealing with it” isn’t always the only solution, in my eyes.

different look, same feeling

“Being in a funk” looks differently for everyone, but I define it as feeling “less than”. You’re not overly-excited about anything; maybe you get anxious, worried or frustrated easily (me, currently). It’s hard to slow down, mentally, when physically, you just want to lay around. As my loving grandma used to sing, “I don’t want to set the world on fire”, and to this day, I can hear her singing this, whenever I’m in a funk.

Now, I can see that my grandma was probably vocalizing to me that she, too, was experiencing a funk, but she did such a good job of covering it up, and that’s, primarily, what I want to discuss, today. Covering. It. Up.

Sure, maybe it appears like everyone you know has their shit together, on the regular. But let’s be real: The majority of those around us don’t feel like setting the world on fire, either; we just don’t know they don’t!

So why is everyone covering it up? In a “picture-perfect world”, my opinion is that we feel like we have to. But I’m here to disagree.

Reasons For the Funk

How are you viewing yourself?

How are you viewing yourself?

First, let’s discuss the reasons you’re in the funk, in the first place. Chances are, a lot of it (but definitely not all of it) is due to areas of our control. Trust me, this is a GOOD thing!

  • Social Media: Yes, I know, I talk about this too much, but that’s because it’s a struggle for me, and I’m sure it’s a struggle for you, too. You keep tabs on someone you know (maybe someone you graduated with, or someone who’s doing what you want to be doing), and think they’re doing “better than you”. Girl, how do you know that?! Here’s the answer: YOU DON’T! Just because someone’s life looks “picture perfect” does not mean it is. Chances are, they struggle with the same insecurities as you; they just cover it up in a different way. Remember, social media doesn’t portray real life. And the next time you find yourself comparing to someone else (and falling down the rabbit hole of feeling funky), stop! You have a choice. You can A) block, or delete them B) reach out to them for inspiration C) Write yourself a list of reasons why your life is not their life.

  • You’re staying in a place that no longer serves you: And yes, this could be a post of its own, completely. Let me just say this: I’ve been there. I’ve stayed stagnant for too long, and in turn, I became a not-so-great version of myself. Whether you’re in a relationship, location or job that no longer serves you, I get it; it’s hard moving forward, especially when you don’t know what moving forward entails. Just trust that while staying stagnant might seem like the easy route, it’s not necessarily that way. Staying stuck will just take more of a toll on your emotional, mental and physical self. Remember, you’re never alone. Reach out, whenever you need. I’ve overcome it, and you can, too.

  • Money: I’m laughing as I write this because this is part of the reason for my funk, currently. And I’m positive it’s the reason for many other’s, as well. Worries about money, payments, LIVING… yeah, it’s shitty. While creating a budget, and learning to be more “responsible with your money” is the goal, it’s not always the answer… or not always the ONLY answer. Yesterday, I was reminded: “There’s more to life than paying your bills”, and it’s so true. Think about the bills that money is paying (or even attempting to pay): Your cat got spayed, so she (and you) can feel better. You purchased those flowers for a friend, and made their day. You went out for a delicious dinner, and laughed a lot. You bought a new pair of yoga pants, so everyone in class could stop seeing your ass, every time you bent over. Sure, we all blow our money on things we shouldn’t, and that is definitely something we can all work on improving, but remember that you have a life to live, and enjoy, too. That counts for a lot!

  • Hormones: Last week, I cried twice, in on hour. Once, after Ryan asked me why I didn’t understand the importance of creating a box around part of our basement floor (yeah, house projects suck), and another, after my dog had pissed on the floor (for the second time that week). During the second cry, I was determined that I wanted out of this version of my life (because it just wasn’t what I wanted); one hour later, I was fine. My period came three days later. Often, our bodies take control of the reins, and we are left gripping onto the sleigh, for dear life. Track it. Are you noticing your funkiness around certain times of the month? How long has it lasted? There is absolutely a thing as your hormones being out of whack, and often, that can be resolved by supplementing with food and healthy supplements. That, I can help with, too!

  • Health-Related Issues: Did you know inflammation causes funky feelings? And a lot of that is caused by how we fuel our bodies. Often, the first solution (which we’ll discuss later) is to supplement with something that will cause us to COVER UP our funk. But what if, instead, we tried to get to the root cause? How are you treating your body? Eating a diet rich in inflammatory-foods can cause more feelings of funk, as well as not moving your body enough. Remember, our bodies are meant to self-heal; often though, we don’t give them that opportunity. HOWEVER, it’s important to remember that sometimes, we really might have an imbalance, and sometimes, seeking a medical professional’s help is a wonderful option. Just remember, you have options! You’re never alone. This, too, shall pass.

Dealing vs. Healing

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In conversations with many of the clients I coach, we talk a lot about physical action vs. mental action. Usually, the physical ways of dealing are easy; we know what action can be taken, in order to cope with those funky feelings. It’s those ways of healing (that take some mental power) that usually are a bit more difficult. Take this as an example: When we’re stressed, it’s easier to go for a walk (and hopefully rid yourself of some of that stress) than it is to shift your mindset to a happier, more positive place (and hopefully learn how to cope differently, in the future).

Dealing and healing are both important, but healing will help us, hopefully, not have to deal, as much (or as often), in the future.

Taking Control

One of my wonderful friends mentioned that when she’s in a funk, she tries to figure out why; most of the time it has to do with her job, so she just focuses on the positive, which is having a job, in the first place. Then, she tries to put her energy elsewhere.

Often, defining what we are and what we are not in control over can be so rewarding (and helpful)! Maybe our job is the main cause of those funky feelings, but maybe we can’t change that situation, currently. That’s okay! Recognizing that area of control (vs no control) is helpful! It allows us to put things into perspective, and then focus on figuring out the best plan of action, for the right now. When the majority of our energy goes into worrying, stressing or driving yourself nuts (maybe thinking about the job you don’t love), that’s how you’re going to feel, worried, stressed and nuts. Instead, if you focused on doing more of what brings you joy, and what IS good, the tables turn.

Gratitude

In my full time job, we have a specific session that focuses all on stress, and one challenge I always like to make to my members is to practice gratitude, for one week. Whether it be physically writing down, or thinking about what they’re grateful for, each day, I ask that they do this. A week later, they all come back feeling more positive than the week before. Why? When our energy goes to what’s going WELL, instead of what ISN’T, perspective changes - the funk changes.

What are you grateful for? How could you practice gratitude, in this next week? Let me hold you accountable. Do it, just for this week, and drop me a line to let me know how it went.

Taking action

Laughing with your gal-pals is always important!

Laughing with your gal-pals is always important!

We’ve talked mindset, and gratitude, and in my opinion, these are super important, when it comes to feeling funky, because they focus on HEALING. But I am also well aware that taking action (and finding best practices of “DEALING”) is important, too. Who better than my friends and family to come to the rescue with best practices for dealing?! Below, you’ll find a handy list of options. Again, try them out, this week, and see how they work.

  • Listen to music: light, heavy, old-school, new-school, etc

  • Go for a walk

  • Text, or call a friend and/or family member

  • Resist, and then pay attention to what we really need

  • Go outside, and walk, ride or drive to random places

  • Create new experiences

  • Read, and sink into another character’s life, for a bit

  • Make a cup of tea, and be aware of all five senses, while drinking

  • Be gentle with yourself

  • “You” time: mani/pedi, face masks, essential oils, bath time,

  • Reflection

  • Chocolate and pasta

  • Down-time: Netflix, sleeping, rest, no work, video games,

  • Working out

  • Cleaning the house

  • Reminiscing about days of old

  • “Pet time”: walks, cuddles or pets

  • Time spent with kids,

  • Focusing energy

  • Not spending too much time in your head

  • Reach out and help someone else, volunteer

  • Sulk, pick on spouse

  • Retail therapy

  • Creating things: teas, blankets, art, etc.

  • Show up without expectations, going back to the things we know we love

I think the most important thing to remember, here, is questioning about your method of dealing. Is it healthy, or maybe not so healthy?

Sometimes, it’s easy to cope with things like food, drugs and alcohol and for the short-term, they might be exactly what we need (and no judgement here, seriously). But take it from someone who coped with alcohol too many times: it’s not going to help make you feel better, long-term; and it’s going to make it a whole lot easier to sit in stagnation.


My aunt left a wonderful reminder, about dealing with funk, and that was that sometimes, it’s important to remember that we have to go through the funk, instead of around. Healing is a form of that. Nothing lasts forever, and neither will your funk.

xoxo,

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The "Next Best Thing"

Hello lovelies!

It's been a while since I've made a post on here, and I have meant for that, with good reason. As with my topic for today's post, I believe that far too often, we push ourselves to do what's expected, and beyond; losing sight of ourselves and what's important. Creating weekly posts WAS good... for a while. Good when I had content to post about; felt the creative 'juices' flowing. However, what happens when those juices run out? That's whats rarely discussed, or even acknowledged. It's so common for so many of us to stay up-to-date, in-the-know, ready and constantly pushing toward the "next best thing". But what does this mentality do to your SELF? Your BODY? Your SPIRIT? Your BRAIN? Today, we're talking about never standing still, never being content. The affects of constantly striving for the "next best thing".

When was the last time you felt content? No to-do list. No worries. No desire and/or drive to be something or someone, or to work on something? I'll tell you when it was for me: Monday night in the shower.

As I stood under the water, hot drops falling on my chest, I was thankful. Thankful for the day; thankful for still having my puppy, Sheba; thankful for my life, and the ability to take a hot shower, for as long as I desired.

Gratitude

Earlier this month, I created a gratitude challenge; showing gratitude for a different item of your life, each day. The hope there was that by putting extra thought on what we already did have, we'd be able to become more appreciative of our lives, in general. More thankful, more content, and less striving for something "more".

Now for me, this challenge has been amazing. As a person who has always struggled with wanting "more", I needed an opportunity to put things in perspective. However (and I'll be completely honest), I was shocked at the amount of people that DIDN'T take part in my challenge. I know lives are busy. I know that some people DO practice gratitude, each day, without posting it on social media. But I began to think about this more, and began to see the correlation; people CAN'T usually practice gratitude when they're too busy thinking about the "next best thing". It's just not possible.

Social Media

I know I talk about social media a lot, and quite honestly, I always think I sound like a hypocrite when I mention how terrible it is for our lives, when I'm using a form of it to post this. Social media is great; it's useful when it comes to growing your brand, your business, sharing positivity and making connections. However, more-so than not, social media is the number one reason we can never feel content.

Now, I'm all-too familiar with the thoughts, too, "Oh, so-and-so's creating an awesome event; she's really growing her business; her photos always look so perfect; I MUST strive to be like her!"

So then, what happens after those thoughts are planted in our brains? They begin to grow, creating deep roots that are hard to let go of. We begin to create lists (mental and physical), fill up our calendars with to-dos, check and double-check others' social accounts, to make sure that OURS is starting to look more like someone else's. We begin to take photos, and Instagram stories, constantly. Taking and re-taking them, until we've reached the perfect one! We sit down (with our partner), at the end of a long day, and instead of soaking up that together-time, we're on our phones, our computers, constantly working, pushing on to achieve the "next best thing".

I'm sure reading it makes it sound just as crummy as writing it does. We've lost sight of ourselves. WHO EVEN ARE WE ANYMORE? Would you know, if you had no Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn account? Who would you be, if only the people you spent each day with, could see you?

Simplicity (Slowing Down)

I also recognize that in order to get somewhere, we need to 'hustle'. That's the way things are, in this day and age. But where are you getting to? When will you get there? Hustling, to hustle (with no end in sight) isn't healthy and isn't sustainable. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is nothing. Slow it down, pull it back and just be.

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I had a great conversation with a dear friend of mine, the other night. We were talking about joy, gratitude and the ever-constant 'next best thing'. "I know what I COULD be doing. But right now, sitting here, reading a random teenage fiction book (that has nothing to do with health, or bettering myself), or watching tv is what feels best - not doing anything, but BEING."

NOT DOING ANYTHING.... BUT BEING! Now, when was the last time you did that?!


If we're not careful, striving for that "next best thing" is always going to come up. And constantly striving to be something better or different isn't healthy. It's always going to win, if we allow it to. Here are a couple of things I'm trying, in order to prevent this from happening:

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  • Practice daily gratitude. Physically write down ONE thing you're grateful for, each day.
  • Create a weekly exercise plan, with a couple rest days. DON'T feel bad about not exercising on those days.
  • Take a night-time bath to unwind, and DO NOT use phone after bath-time.
  • Snuggle with my cat, in the chair, for at least 30 min. each night. NO excuses.
  • Eat without looking at my phone.
  • Talk to my parents (or anyone I'm on the phone with) without distractions. No TV, internet, phone, etc.
  • Sit in the chair, and mindlessly watch tv, or read a book, for at least 2-3 hours, per work-week. No work (physical or mental).
  • If your brain isn't working, don't push it to work. Take a break, or a nap or just stop for the day.
  • Stop worrying about the future. Create your calendar one week at a time.

In the famous words of John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," and this could not be more true. Slow down. Take a step back. Appreciate what you DO have, and remember that that's really all you need.

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