Is the Grass Really Greener? A Post on Being Unsure.

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Being unsure. It’s a very common feeling, right? Unsure of what pants to put on, in the morning. Unsure of what to buy for dinner. Unsure of what to do this weekend.

Being unsure is so common, but what about larger aspects of the feeling? Unsure about career. Unsure about relationships. Unsure about the present… and/or the future.

So often, we find ourselves overstimulated with opportunities, we question whether or not the grass is actually greener, on the other side; we become unsure.

Remember when you were in high school, and you were SO excited to graduate?

Or when you were in college, SO ready to get out into the real world?

What about being in the real world, ready for your next career move?

New house? New car? Vacation? Partner? Heck, even something as simple as anticipating the weekend, we’ve gotten into a habit of always anticipating the next best thing.

I’ve created a short list to remember, when you find yourself fantasizing about what you don’t have.

When you’re unsure, remember:

  • Each person’s successes always look better on paper (or on social media).

  • Your passions. What makes you happy, builds you up, brings you joy? Just because that passion might not provide you with as much money, your joy equates for more than gold. *Seriously. We all can’t be engineers!

  • We all have moments of panic, devastation and extreme-depression. The sad truth is that these moments aren’t talked about as much as the bouts of joy, so we don’t think they’re normal.

  • Even if you did forge forward (to “greener grass”), how would you feel once there? Would it really be all that better?

  • Thoughts vs reality. Sometimes, we can get too tied up in our thoughts that we forget about the GOOD things we DO have.

  • Life is all about experiences. More often than not, those experiences will be uncomfortable; that’s to help you grow. Trust me.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you wanted them to is a measure of a successful life, then some would say I’m a failure. The important thing is not to be bitter over life’s disappointments. Learn to let go of the past. And recognize that every day won’t be sunny, and when you find yourself lost in the darkness and despair, remember it’s only in the black of night you see the stars. And those stars will lead you back home. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you’ll get everything you wish for. Maybe you’ll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.

— Coach Whitey Durham (One Tree Hill)

It’s easy to get caught up in what’s not happening and forget about what is. I’ve been guilty of that, lately. Sometimes, it’s important to focus on how you can water your own grass, before thinking about moving onto what might be greener.

xoxo,

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Your Libido And You (Figuring Out Why It Left, And How To Get It Back): PART TWO

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Last week, we started our discussion on libido and low sex-drive; taking a look at WHY it left us, in the first place. Today’s post is more-exciting; we’re going to talk about action to take, in order to get it back! And you know, that requires a little homework! *insert winky face

**Low libido affects many people (especially women), and in different scenarios: maybe your sex life is put on the back-burner, when life gets hectic and stressful. Maybe sex suddenly goes from a previously-enjoyed activity, to something you no longer look forward to, or even enjoy. Maybe you no longer feel like you have the time for sex, because of schedules, or kids.

REGARDLESS, low libido is something MANY people struggle with, at some point in their life, and unfortunately, instead of openly talking about the WHY, we’re pushed to feel as if this topic is too-taboo to discuss.

Remember learning about the My Q-Life “Essentials”?! True health is about so much more than what we eat and how we exercise; and sex is a fundamental piece of ourselves. When our sexuality goes unnourished, it can further impact our stress levels and result in an essential-deficiency, a primary foods deficiency.


A lackluster sex drive doesn’t have to be a forever problem! In fact, there are many ways mens and women can get their “sexy back”, feeling desirable, and wanting to be desired, again.

Below, I’ll discuss six ways to improve your low libido:

self-pleasure

I remember the first time I learned of what, exactly, masturbation was. It was on a three-way phone call, with two of my male best friends. We were around 12. lol

Unfortunately, in our society, masturbation is still treated as a taboo topic; something that you giggle about, with your friends, on the phone, when you’re a teenager.

However, it’s actually a vital aspect for re-energizing low libido because it increases the physical and emotional connection we have with ourselves. This can increase confidence, and allow us to feel more comfortable in our own body. When we take the time to learn what, exactly, our body needs to feel pleasure, it becomes easier to express our needs to a partner, and get those needs met.

Self-pleasure can also be a wonderful self-care practice, so don’t hesitate to experiment with different types and tools of self-pleasure, paying attention to what feels best for you.

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SLEEP. IT’S IMPORTANT.

You know the ever-popular, “Not now. I’m tired.”?! Yeah, relatable for literally everyone. Most everyone isn’t getting enough sleep, these days, however, rest is essential for maintaining libido. A chronically stressed, tired body will not want to participate in sexy behaviors. Period.

Our bedrooms should be a sanctuary for sleep and sex, only. Leave the bright lights, and electronics, out! Here are a few tips on creating your own bedroom sanctuary:

  • Beautiful, comfortable bedding (maybe eco-friendly, and organic like Coyuchi and Buffy)

  • Removing TVs, computers and anything else that emits light, even phones

  • An excellent mattress (preferably one made with natural materials)

  • Lights with a dimmer option

  • Diffusing essential oils, like lavender, for sleep and ylang ylang and neroli for their aphrodisiac properties

  • Candles because they’re magical and sexy and can totally set the mood. Just be careful!

Aphrodisiac Foods

Aphrodisiac foods are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help decrease inflammation, improve vascular tone and balance hormones.

  • Almonds (and other tree nuts), like Brazil and pine nuts, contain zinc and selenium, which help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation, boosting sex drive and fertility. Plus, they help increase energy, which can help keep you going! *Winky face

  • Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants. This mineral is essential to the production of sex hormones. Antioxidants and B vitamins help keep the body free from inflammation, and improve circulation.

  • Figs contain magnesium, as well. They have an amino acid that increases the production of nitric oxide, which is important for expanding blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the genitals, to help with arousal.

  • Oysters have always been known for increasing libido because they are rich in zinc, which is necessary for testosterone-production. They also contain two, rare, amino acids: D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate, which increase sex hormone production.

  • Pomegranates improve sex drive and mood, in men and women, by raising testosterone. They’re loaded with antioxidants that improve blood circulation, which contributes to keeping sex organs healthy, as well as lubrication. *Bonus: pomegranates can impact sperm quality, too!

**These foods are especially-wonderful to consume during the Ovulation-Phase, of our cycle. I’ll be discussing Cycle-Syncing more, in future posts.

Stress

Stress has a way of affecting everything, doesn’t it? And it’s no different with libido, as stress kills libido physically, emotionally and psychologically. Some natural ways to mitigate the effects of stress include:

  • mindfulness

  • masturbation

  • meditation

  • gentle yoga

  • journaling

  • earthing (standing in the grass with bare feet)

Aside from working on stress management practices, it’s important to take steps to combat stress, in your body, by working with a health coach, or healthcare provider, to balance hormones, decrease inflammation and improve your gut health. Finding balance in the body is the best defense against life’s stressors. Eliminating physical stress will help your physical desire, as well.

Self/Body-Love

Women, especially, will readily point out at least a few things they don’t like about their bodies, including their lady parts. These criticisms can really interfere with feeling sexy. There are quite a few ways women can treat their bodies like someone she loves:

  • Smooth body lotion on, sensually

  • Choose beautiful, flattering clothes you feel good in

  • Practice self-talk, in the mirror

  • Lay in bed and caress your body

  • Get a hand mirror (or look in the mirror) and become familiar with your lady parts

Practice Mindfulness During Foreplay

Does anyone remember the scene in the Sex & the City movie, when Miranda and Steve are having sex, and Miranda goes, “Let’s just get it over with!”?!

Too often, during sex (and intimacy), we’re thinking about unfinished work, which prevents the ability to really get into the mood, and 100% enjoy sex. Mindfulness, especially during foreplay, can really help women and men hone in on their pleasure, throughout the entire experience. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Instead of saying, “I’m not in the mood”, say, “Ask me again in 15 minutes”, and go into the bedroom. Then, take a few deep breaths, or do a quick meditation, and imagine how much fun you’ll have with your partner.

  • Self-awareness during foreplay and sex. Instead of thinking of all of the unfinished business, outside of the bedroom, think of all the unfinished business, inside. Be present to the fact that you’re there, in bed, kissing your partner.

  • If orgasm is an issue, don’t work toward achieving an orgasm. Focus on how great you felt the last time you had an amazing sexual experience, and challenge yourself to enjoy the feelings of pleasure and intimacy.

An important announcement: QUICKIES AREN’T GREAT, FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN TIME!

I know we’ve probably all experienced a situation where our partner (or maybe even ourselves) has suggested having a “quickie”. Yeah, yeah… maybe it SOUNDS hot, but let’s be honest: quickies, rarely (if ever) allow for women to get aroused. And this tends to become all about man, because they get off, and women are left feeling less than great. In any “quickie situation”, always make sure your partner’s needs are met, too!


Birth control

A popular comment I’ve gotten, a lot, recently, has to do with low libido while being on (or recently going off) hormonal birth control.

Remember: Oral contraceptives are very well known for lowering levels of natural sex hormones. They’re creating SYNTHETIC hormones. NOT REAL hormones. Birth control pills are the leading cause of estrogen dominance, in women, since they contain a synthetic form of estrogen that keeps the body from producing its own.

Birth control also increases sex hormone binding globulin, which binds to testosterone, making it inactive and unavailable for use.

What’s even more interesting? SHBG levels may not drop down to normal, after birth control is stopped. They can remain high for six months, and even longer, which results in a significant effect on women’s libido.

I recommend taking a look at my “Naturally Regulating Your Hormones” Ebook, and trying my Estrogen-Detox Green Smoothie, to rid your body of excess-estrogen, and find hormone-harmony more-quickly.


Maybe you found yourself blushing while reading this post. Maybe you think I’m off my rocker for even posting it. But if I’m being 100% honest, low libido is something that affects more people than we know; it’s affected me, and I bet it’s affected you. Instead of holing up, worrying about what someone else will think if we bring it up, TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BODY! Being sexual is okay!

So instead of telling yourself that your days of being “in the mood” are past you, try some of these best practices, and/or reach out! Sexuality is just another “Essential” that we owe our bodies and ourselves to value.

xoxo,

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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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Self-Care Guide

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Hello, love!

 Chances are, if you’re anything like me, you’ve had your fair-share of curveballs thrown your way! I learned the hard way that when we let life’s stressors take advantage of us, we become not great versions of ourselves (think mind, body & spirit). My Q-Life was created as a reminder that we won’t ever have life figured out, completely, but to remember that there are better strategies to use, and better company to keep while attempting to do so!

 As a token of my absolute appreciation of you being here, I have put together a “Self-Care Guide” as a way to strengthen our mind, body & spirit in the best ways possible, especially during those times our lives feel the most confusing.

 Like what you see? Want to dig deeper, and become your best self? Let’s chat about an option that will bring the most fulfillment to your life!


If this post helps you with nothing more, I want to instill the reminder that true, meaningful, deep, pure health doesn’t just come from what we put on or in our bodies; it doesn’t just come from sweating and elevating our heart-rate; but it also comes from the thoughts we have, the language we use and the relationships we surround ourselves with. True health is a divine combination of that - strengthening our mind, body and spirit.


Primary Foods

 I want you to think back to when you were a kid. Do you remember those nights you were out playing with your friends?

Your mom would yell, “Time to come in and eat”!

And you’d beg her to let you stay out longer, because you weren’t hungry yet. When you finally got to the table, you gobbled a few bites of food and asked to be excused, so you could go back out and play. At the end of the day, you returned home, exhausted and satisfied. You quickly fell asleep, without thinking about food, or stress.

 Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Yeah, I do remember that. But good luck getting me to return to that way of thinking; I was a kid then!”

 Here’s another scenario for you:

 Think back to the first few months of a relationship. Those butterfly feelings you experienced, every time you got together. Your first date, first kiss, the first time you made love. Those times with your lover made you feel high; infatuated with their presence, and the connection you shared. Everything in the world, including food, become secondary.

 Now, let’s shift gears. Think back to a time you were depressed, stressed, experiencing not-so-great self-worth. During these times, you were absolutely hungry for those euphoric feelings felt as a kid, or with your lover. With hopes of feeling that way again, you would eat to find some sort of satisfaction, except when those feelings were attained, it drove you to eat more.

 The Institute for Integrative Nutrition describes nutrition as a secondary source of energy (secondary food). Primary foods, nonfood sources of nourishment, are what really fuels us. These nurture us on a deeper level. The more we fuel ourselves with these primary foods, the less we begin to depend on secondary food. At the same time, the more we fill ourselves with secondary food, the less space we give ourselves for primary food. That make sense? These primary foods include:

Career, Relationships, Physical Activity and Spirituality

How’s your primary foods list looking? Is there something you can do to bring more love into one of these areas?

 In my opinion, primary foods are where proper self-care really begins. Sure, you can take a bubble bath twice a week, for an hour; but that bubble bath isn’t going to do squat if you don’t feel valued in your relationship and at your job. Instead, take action to start creating a life of self-care!

 What does a life of self-care look like? I’ve created a list of ideas to slowly begin incorporating into your life. The trick here is starting out small, and then gradually increasing what you do, and how often. Instead of using these tips as ‘luxuries’, incorporating them into your life when you’re too stressed to function, create your life of self-care, turning these into every-day essentials.

 Slow Down More

 In today’s day and age, everyone is on the go, and letting their slew of social media followers know all about it. The crazy amount of tech-related tools now allows us to simplify tasks, and accomplish things quicker than ever; and yet time seems way too short and flies by before our eyes. These are a couple of exercises used to help you slow down, focus on the important things and enjoy your life a little bit more.

·      Cut personal internet use by half – What would you do if you didn’t spend every night scrolling through Facebook, on your phone? Give it a try. Start by cutting back just 10 minutes, and seeing how you feel.

·      Eat slower – Did you know that we need to chew our food around eight times before our saliva starts to secrete and help us digest our food? Did you know that gas, bloating and upset stomach can sometimes just be caused by eating too quickly? Start to chew your food slower and be more mindful of what you’re eating.

·      Make time for yourself – When did you last spend some quality time with yourself? Reading a good book, watching a movie, trying a new recipe or going to yoga? (also: see ‘meditation’ below)

·      Remember your goals and aspirations – Every day, take the opportunity to think about your goals and aspirations. Celebrate the accomplishments you’ve already achieved, and use that to drive you to achieve new ones. Try doing this about five minutes after getting out of bed.

·      Give yourself more time – Is your schedule always booked? Do you feel as if you’re constantly running from place to place? Just as you typically schedule events in your phone, take the time to schedule events for yourself! 30 min. of ‘me time’.

Positive Mindset

Let go of:

Comparing yourself to others – We’ve all done it; it’s easy to do, especially when everyone’s Instagram makes their life look ideal. However, comparing yourself to someone else is like discarding everything you have going for you. Instead of comparing, try admiring. “I like this person because….” vs. “I wish I was more like this person because…”

Negative self-talk – There is no critic worse than our own self, yet what good is that negative talk doing? The next time you catch yourself saying, or thinking, something negative, switch that into a positive, even if it doesn’t feel right. Then, say that positive out loud! Positive affirmations, baby!

Resisting change – This is what My Q-Life is ALL about; embracing those changes in our lives! Remember, if you want different results, you need to do something different. Changes don’t need to be all-or-nothing! Make the changes small and slow – baby steps.  

Make space for:

Surrounding yourself with like-minded, uplifting people – You know how they say you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with? This is all about that! Spend time with the people who vibrate positive energy, get you inspired and keep you connected to what’s important. They’ll help you believe in your best self, as well!

Gratitude – Suffering from the phrase “I don’t have”? Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have, today! Write down the things you’re grateful for, each day, and re-read them, at the end of the night.

Reflection – Take the time to reflect and release the thoughts and emotions you’re feeling. Get back to a natural state of your mind and body.  

Healthy Home

You know the phrase, “you are what you eat”? Well, that saying stands true for the state of our environment, as well. How does your house add up? Here are a couple of things to keep tabs on, at home.

 Cleaning products – Begin switching to more natural alternatives. Hint: anything with the words, “DANGER! or HAZARD!” aren’t natural. Just as we shop for healthy foods, use the same tactics when shopping for cleaning products. Shorter is always better; make sure you can pronounce most of the ingredients; plant-based is good. Sometimes, you are even able to make your own cleaning products at-home (think baking soda and vinegar)!

 A couple of additional ways to create a healthy home environment:

·      Grow plants indoors

·      Switch to energy saving light bulbs

·      Recycle trash

·      Buy recycled goods

·      Open windows and allow fresh air to filter your house

Meditation

Meditation is beautiful because there literally is no wrong way to do it! My recommendation? Schedule 15-30 minutes for yourself, each day, away from all distractions. Find a comfy place to sit, and start breathing. All meditation is different, yet I enjoy the idea of allowing the thoughts that come into your mind to stay there; show them love, and see why they’re in your head, in the first place. Instead of quickly trying to push them away, bring whatever your brain thinks of in, and see where it goes. Sometimes, we can learn a lot about ourselves, just by sitting in silence!

 After a while, start practicing in other places/times – at your desk, before a meeting, after exercise, at bedtime! Using meditation as a calming focal point during your day.

Breathing

I like putting this directly under meditation because the two go hand-in-hand! It’s amazing how much better I feel when I take ten seconds to breath, deeply, during a stressful situation. I wanted to share a couple of my favorite breathing techniques to try, to find your own state of calm.

4-7-8 Exercise

I love how simple this exercise is, and the relaxation it allows.

·      Exhale all of the old air out (feel free to be as loud as possible here)

·      Close your mouth and inhale, through your nose, as you mentally count to four

·      Hold your breath for a count of seven

·      Exhale, through your mouth, to a count of eight

·      Now, inhale again, and repeat the cycle a few more times

 If you have trouble holding your breath, speed up the exercise, but keep with the 4:7:8 ratio. This exercise works as a natural stress-reliever, a tranquilizer of sorts. Do it when you’re feeling anxious, upset or worried.

Abdominal Breathing

This technique reminds me of my flute-playing days – breathing from the diaphragm!

Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Take a deep breath, through your nose, ensuring the diaphragm inflates with enough air to stretch the lungs. I like to describe this as ‘belly breathing’. As you deep in, your belly inflates, as well. Take these deep, slow breaths for ten minutes.

This breathing works best for my fellow woodwind players (lol), as well as for stressful events. I always like to point out that trying a new breathing exercise, especially while stressed, might be difficult to control, at first. Practice makes perfect, love!

Sama Vritti “Equal Breathing”

This might be a familiar breathing exercise for my fellow-yogis! To start, inhale for a count of four, then exhale for a count of four. Make sure that all of this is done through the nose, which can add some natural resistance. As you continue using this method, see if you can work your way up to six or eight seconds (from four).

This is a great practice for yoga, as well as at bedtime, since it’s similar to counting sheep! Whenever you’re needing help getting away from racing thoughts, this exercise is for you! 


Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose, at any moment.
— Maureen Killoran

How are you feeling about managing your stress and creating total alignment, within your body? Remember, as with anything, it’s a process. Start slow, and know that any movement toward a life of self-care is a step in the right direction!

I love sharing this quote with clients I work with. Evaluate your life, and the stressors in it. What’s in your control? What’s not? Remember, we are always in control of how we handle our lives. Create a life of self-care, and that will be the best choice!

xoxo,

 

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A Love Note To You...

For anyone that’s recently found themselves out of a relationship…


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Dear beautiful,

I know some nights you feel like giving up, when you lay in bed, unable to sleep; aching to have someone to hold.

Mornings spent waking up, with a void in your heart, and lump in your throat; using all of your strength just to get out of bed.

This time is not forever. This time won’t last too long. Instead of worrying about what isn’t working, focus on what is.

What if you hadn’t left? What if you were still sticking around?

Sometimes, we’re so quick to forget the ever-long ache we felt while with someone, when the current, sharp pain (of being alone) stings more. But remember, we begin to tolerate the pain, when it’s always there… it hurts more now, because it’s new; but just like any wound, this (too) will heal.

The important thing is not to be bitter over life’s disappointments. Learn to let go of the past. And recognize that every day won’t be sunny, and when you find yourself lost in the darkness and despair, remember it’s only in the black of night you see the stars. And those stars will lead you back home.
— One Tree Hill

Don’t worry so much about the way you look - the jeans you wear, and the way you curl your hair. I know you’ve lost a little bit of your spark, but that, too, will return.

Instead of wishing for this void to be gone, take time to appreciate it. For at some point, we all must be alone.

And when you want to rush back into something, just to feel like you matter, don’t be so quick; you’re your greatest relationship, my dear - you deserve time to appreciate you.

Buy yourself dinner. Dress up for you. Learn to love the time alone, when you can just worry about you.

I, too, have been there. And I admit, I lost myself. It’s hard to figure out who you are, after spending so much time being half of a whole. But the beauty of breakups is that while it might be painful, you’re stitching yourself back up; you’re working on becoming whole, again.

So go out and have fun, but remember who you are. Your job is to impress no one, until your heart-healing is done. It’s going to hurt, and you’re going to feel hopeless, but there’s no one way to heal; grief takes time.

Everybody in your life brings you something. It might not always be good, but it’s essential. This chapter, too, is important; you have to get through it to see what is yet to come.

If nobody told you this today: you’re beautiful, just the way you are. So cry when you need to. Laugh when you can. Go out and have fun, but spend time being alone. No relationship, regardless of how wonderful it is, will ever be enough, if you don’t love yourself, first.

Don’t be too worried about the day-to-day. You’re doing the very best you can. Life is always changing, and we can’t predict tomorrow. If today isn’t what you want, or where you want to be, don’t worry too much; life always has a way of working itself out.

You’re never alone. Remember that. I’ve been there. I’ve healed. You’re there now. You’ll heal.

Love you so much!

xoxo,

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2019 Intentions

A hot beverage, a pen and some ideas!

A hot beverage, a pen and some ideas!

New Year’s Resolutions. Do you set them? Do you hate them? Personally, I’m not a big fan of new year’s resolutions because I don’t believe we should wait until a new year to start something. For me, resolutions tend to be made out of fear. “I don’t like this aspect of my life, so I’m going to change it.” Resolutions can be very limiting. It’s due to this reason, I believe, resolutions don’t last.

While I’m not big on the resolutions, I do believe in setting intentions for the new year. These intentions can be anything you’d like: things you want to be aware of, as well as where you want to grow. With setting an intention, there is less worry on focusing on specific actions, and instead, more room to be open to where the year will take you.

Intentions can continue to be held even when life changes; and let’s be honest, it changes frequently. Instead of nailing down what I want to change about this year, or have happen, I am more able to go with the flow.

The other day, as I filled out my new planner, I had the opportunity to create space, for new ideas, as I jotted down some intentions for the new year. They were separated into categories:


Personal Growth: During the past year, I’ve been dealing with a lot of feelings of anxiety, burnout, comparisons and not feel like I’m doing “enough”. It’s a constant struggle, and reminder to slow down, and simplify. This year, I’m giving myself space to live simply: rushing less, doing less and slowing down, in general. As I’ve mentioned, in a previous post, sometimes doing less can be the best opportunity for new things.

Health and Fitness: I finally feel like I’ve gotten back into a realistic exercise routine, but one that makes the most sense for my body. This year, I plan to continue listening to my body. As I previously mentioned, some days, the best thing we can do for our bodies is to rest. I thought about the way I like to move my body - yoga sculpt, pilates, hot yoga - and how I want to allow myself to do more of those fun classes. This past year, I also took part in a Pilates ProWorks Teacher Training, and have thought a lot about becoming a teacher. Life always has a silly way of coming together, when you let it, so I’m going to keep doing my thing, and spending time at the studio, and see where 2019 takes me, with teaching.

Work/School: This is a big one! Ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you, creating your own business is a lot; it takes time, and money, and more time, and more money; it consumes you. I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t sure about risking my health for all of that (I know my body), yet I continue to have this passion to help and inspire others. I’ve listed out a couple of passions I continue to come back to, and will hold space for them all, this year. Point blank: do what you can, each day, to work toward a goal you have, but don’t burn yourself out over it. If something isn’t giving you passion anymore, hang it up (even if for a while).

Relationships: This year, I am getting engaged! This isn’t a resolution, it’s a fact (Ryan told me). So, instead of continuing to worry about when it’ll happen, or how, I’m going to smile knowing that wedding-planning and ring-shopping is in my future! Aside from that, I’m going to continue to hold most space for those I love most - my family and friends. I wouldn’t be me without them.

Fun & Adventure: I didn’t do much traveling, last year, and a big part of me felt a little left out by that. I’m a homebody, but enjoy a good adventure every now and then (when I have enough time to plan it, in advance). This April, we’re going to Napa with one of my best friends, and his boyfriend, and I am so excited! In the meantime, I’ll be planning and looking forward to that, as well as giving myself the opportunity to explore traveling somewhere else, this year.

Home: We were in limbo, last year, with deciding whether or not to stay put, in our house. After making the decision to stay (for now), that opens up space to create a home, and that’s exciting. I want to have more plants, more pictures and more memories, in this house we’ve turned into a home.


Here’s to creating space for a good year to come!

xoxo,

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To Exercise, or Not to Exercise...

Sick and with my period, posing on the Fit Former was the best I could do!

Sick and with my period, posing on the Fit Former was the best I could do!

I made an Instagram post about this, the other day, and decided the topic was “blog worthy”. Exercise. Is it good always? What about when you’re sick? When you have your period?

Contrary to popular belief, strenuous exercise isn’t always good for you, and in fact, when you have your period, or are sick, it can actually knock things more out of whack. Today, I’m explaining why changing up your exercise routine is helpful, and how relaxing might be the best gift to your body.


We know that exercise is good for us; it helps us sweat (which releases toxins), burn calories, release endorphins, get toned and feel better. But have you ever wondered why some days you crush a workout, and others are extremely hard to get through? A lot of it actually has to do with where you are in your cycle!

When we end our period, we begin the Follicular Phase, where estrogen is increased. During this time, our physical energy increases, as well, and we feel very outgoing - ready to tackle something new! This is the perfect time to try something new, with exercise, as well! Because of where you are, in your cycle, stepping out and trying something new will also feel easier, compared to other times of the month. Since energy is increasing, it’s a good time to do more challenging workouts, as well; your body will feel more apt to.

After the Follicular Phase, we move into the Ovulatory Phase, where FSH, LH and estrogen levels are increased, and eventually, ovulation takes place. During this time, your energy levels are the highest they’ll be, so high-impact exercise is going to work really well! Aside from that, this is a wonderful time for communication, and group-fitness classes are a wonderful option, allowing you to exercise, while connecting with others.

Next, we move to the Luteal Phase, which is the last phase before your period. Progesterone rises during this time, caused by the events of ovulation. This phase can differ from start to finish, since physical energy can start off high, but decline by the time it’s ending (and menstruation is near). When energy is still high, toward the beginning, strenuous activity is okay to do. But as menstruation nears, it’s important to back off, especially since this is the time when more women are prone to feeling sluggish. During this time, lower resistance exercises are nice; where you can still work your muscles, but not put your body through a lot.

The Menstrual Phase is the product of the previous month’s experiences, and usually (depending on how the month went), your period will be a good gauge. Progesterone drops, and estrogen peaks, before dropping, to prepare for another cycle. During this process, your body is going through an intense-shedding process, physically and mentally, and it’s important to give it all the restoring love you can. This means, rest and recovery are important! By no means should you not exercise, at all, but be smart. Restorative yoga and stretching are most-beneficial.

*Personally, I take the first few days of my period off, when it comes to exercise. I know a lot of women like to move their body to help with physical symptoms (like cramping), and this is okay! Just be cautious; too much heavy exercise can deplete your already-exhausted bod.


Now how about when you’re sick? Isn’t sweating good for releasing toxins? Yes, it definitely can be, but think about everything else you’re releasing: hydration, already-depleted energy, germs. While you might feel comfortable enough to exercise, while you’re sick, be smart! If you’re contagious, stay home. You don’t want to contribute to your illness lasting longer, or risk the potential of getting others sick.

Your immune system is already tired, working overtime to get you feeling better. Chances are, the harder you work your body, the more tired it’ll get, and the longer your illness will last.


It’s easy for exercise to become addicting; the endorphins released cause us to feel good, and we want those feelings to continue. However, it’s important to be smart; over-exerting yourself, always, isn’t a good option. Your body, just like your mind, needs rest and relaxation, in order to thrive. The next time you’re feeling tired, or worn out, think about where you are in your cycle, or if you’re righting an illness. Sometimes, the best gift we can give to ourselves is rest.

xoxo,

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PS: Stay tuned for my “Going off Birth Control/Naturally Regulating Your Hormones” ebook, which will be for sale soon! Cycle-syncing, with exercise, will be mentioned in it!