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Dec 10, 2019
by Larissa Krutewicz
Hi Everyone! My name is Larissa, and I'm the blogger over at Living in Color Blog.
I am delighted to be working with Ingrid & Isabel on their #HealthyEqualsHappy campaign. As a mother of two, self-care is something I've found immense value in. It used to be something I didn't know how to make a priority. However, I've made a few small changes in the past year or so that have helped me so much. I'm going to share these with you in just a few minutes, but I want to make sure you know that you won't always get to all of them. Some days you'll only do one well, and that's okay! The goal is to keep you happy and healthy. If that means focusing on one thing a day, then it's still progress!
Lastly, I wrote these tips with working moms, stay-at-home moms and all moms in between in mind. This means they should work for you no matter your circumstances. I hope they are useful!
Nourish your mind. Start each day with 5 minutes of phone-free time. Think about what you want to accomplish that day... for yourself. No to-do list items allowed. Think about the disposition you want to have today. Put it out into the universe, and watch it happen.
Nourish your body. The best way to have a great day whether you're a working mom or stay at home mom is to have a nourishing breakfast. Overnight oats is one of the easiest breakfasts out there because it takes five minutes to prepare in the evening before bed, and is instantly ready in the morning. No cooking necessary. It's also super easy to eat on the go. I shared my favorite overnight oats recipe below!
Afternoon check-in. Whether you're sitting at a desk, on your way home from a play date, or just finished making lunch for your family, it's likely that you need an afternoon pick-me-up. Sometimes I reach for a coffee, and that does the trick, but typically I find myself wanting more. My body is restless, and I'm already exhausted by 1 PM.
Enter stretches. I love stretching because it wakes you up, allows you to reflect, and centers you. I do 3-4 simple stretches most afternoons and it helps me so much! These are also great to do first thing in the morning. I listed them out below!
Reach for the stars. Extend your arms all the way up and stand tall. Take a deep breath in, then out This gets your endorphins flowing and allows those creative juices to get flowing again too to help you tackle the rest of the day!
Touch your toes. This gets your blood flowing! Hold this pose for one minute, and feel how relaxed your body gets when you're done.
Neck rolls. Roll your neck in one direction, then roll it in the opposite. It is pretty easy and pretty self-explanatory. This one is so helpful for relieving tension and stress. I immediately feel less tense after doing neck rolls.
Evening relaxation routine. I love to drink hot tea in the evenings. I usually do this after my girls are in bed. I take ten minutes to make my tea and sip it before bed. Chamomile tea before bed has worked wonders for my sleep!
For this all you need is a tea bag and some hot water. (My electric tea kettle is my best friend because I don't have to babysit a stove with boiling water) but any method works! My favorite night time tea is chamomile tea. Traditional Medicinals is a great brand, but any chamomile tea will do! Chamomile is a great anti-inflammatory, has been proven to reduce anxiety, and even treat insomnia. It's such an integral part of my self-care routine!
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Reflect. This means try not to scroll before bed looking at everyone else's life. Instead, turn your phone on airplane mode five minutes before bedtime and just lay and think about your day. How did it go? What do you wish you had done different? Did something happen that bothered you? Did something go well? Do you have a good memory from the day? When I practice this sacred five minutes before bed, I find myself getting a better night of sleep. (Even if I will get woken up for a nighttime feeding in an hour or so.) ;)
WHAT YOU NEED: 1 cup rolled oats, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1.5-2 cups plant milk, 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, 1 tablespoon chia seeds and/or milled flax, 1 ripe, spotty banana, cinnamon, vanilla extract (optional).
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HOW TO MAKE IT:
01. Simply take all of the ingredients and place them in a jar.02. Stir and cover.03. Let sit in fridge overnight! That's it!
If you're feeling overwhelmed by this information, don't worry! The best part of all of this is you control what you do each day. Meaning if you don't have time to do all of these things that's okay. I don't get to them every day either. This is all about allowing yourself some moments throughout the day. Because you cannot pour from an empty cup, mama. Thank you so much for reading!
By Andrea Lee
As someone who’s relatively new to the wellness scene, wellness is definitely not about perfection or leading a perfectly healthy life. Life is crazy, stressful and messy and not everyone can afford to spend exorbitant amounts of money on high-end supplements, holistic nutritionists and sound healing baths monthly. Wellness is not about perfection, but about having a positive connection to your body, mind and spirit.
It can seriously feel like it’s a goop world and we’re all just living in it, where over-the-top extra is so normal now we all strive for this outlandish lifestyle that isn’t at all realistically attainable. I think it’s important to not get overwhelmed by what the media and influencers say we should be doing for the sake of wellness. It should be a personal journey, one in which you’re compassionate with yourself. Find what you enjoy doing most and that fits within your budget and lifestyle.
As an organic beauty blogger, one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways for me to focus on wellness is through using personal care products that don’t harm my health and nourish my skin from the outside in. There are thousands of chemicals lurking inside our everyday skincare and makeup products, many of which are linked to cancer, infertility and birth defects. The ingredients in clean and organic products, instead, are bursting with some of nature’s best nutrients, and every time I put on a face mask or drop bath salts in the bathtub, I feel so much happier knowing I’m not putting myself at risk by minimizing my exposure to toxic chemicals. As someone who wants to start her own family within the next few years, I also feel like I’m not only taking care of my health, but also the health of my future baby.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) did two different studies in 2004 and 2008 and found that the umbilical cord blood from newborn babies had over 200 environmental toxins before they had even take their first breath or been exposed to anything. In the first EWG “Body Burden” study, researchers studied the umbilical cord blood (collected after it was cut) from 10 babies born in August and September 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Their findings: 287 industrial chemicals were found in their blood such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans, pesticides, chemicals from flame retardants, industrial lubricants, plastics, consumer product ingredients and wastes from burning coal, gasoline and garbage.
In 2008 the EWG’s second follow-up study involved five laboratories in the U.S., Canada and Europe that identified up to 232 industrial compounds and pollutants in minority infants’ umbilical cord blood. Lead, mercury, methylmercury, perfluorochemicals (PFCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and many more were present in ALL the babies.
All that scariness aside, organic beauty has become so vast and exciting in just the past few years. Using these products is a sensorial experience that can uplift one’s mood, reduce stress and anxiety and be a form of self-love and self-care. You’ve been warned- this world can be addicting once you get started. Now with the legalization of weed, organic CBD-infused skincare and bodycare has exploded onto the wellness scene, and with crystals going mainstream, skincare and makeup infused with gemstones like amethyst and rose quartz has become increasingly popular as well.
To help you get started on your own organic beauty journey I’m discussing 6 tips below:
Prioritize Finding Organic Alternatives For The Products You Use MostFace moisturizers and serums are products you apply everyday versus your liquid eyeliner which you might use on special nights out. Check the toxicity level of your products through the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep app or Think Dirty app.
Replace Each Item At The Speed You’re Comfortable WithYou don’t need to immediately start buying a multitude of products. Make the switch as steadily or as quickly as you wish. The most important thing is to remain committed to making the switch to green beauty and sticking to your new routine. Alternate Between Organic Days And Non-Organic DaysSometimes the skin can flare up because it’s trying to purge itself of the toxins that it’s so used to receiving. I had some shocking reactions at first which discouraged me, but then I read this is a common detox reaction. If you find yourself breaking out, it isn’t because of the product, but because your skin is trying to detoxify and adjust. Take a break from using the product for a few days or more in between each usage and you’ll find your skin will gradually come to love the amazing nutrients it’s receiving. ResearchOne of the best parts about switching to organic beauty is discovering the wonderful brands that exist and learning about the benefits of all their carefully formulated products. Organic beauty is highly personal and what works amazingly for someone may not work for your skin. Research the ingredients, read through reviews, contact the brand and purchase samples. Many companies will include several extra samples with your order. You can check out my Favorites Guide to see an organized list of my favorite products. Start Following Organic Beauty Bloggers on Instagram
Hashtag search organic beauty to discover brands and bloggers (including me @organicbeautylover). Browse through the online websites of organic beauty boutiques like The Detox Market and Credo Beauty where you’ll find brand information and complete ingredients lists all in one convenient place. Be Prepared For Trial-and-Error.Much like how you experimented with makeup as a teen and discovered what you liked and disliked, you’ll find that switching to organic makeup follows an identical process. Look Out For SalesBuying new products costs money and organic tends to (though not always) be priced higher due to high quality and carefully sourced ingredients. Follow brands on Instagram and watch out for sales. As I’m writing this I know at least a dozen brands having sales right now. They usually fall around special holidays and of course Black Friday.
Thank you for reading and for all things organic and clean beauty!
By Michelle Schwartz
When I began my health journey, I had absolutely no idea what the effects would be. I assumed I’d lose weight and get skinny. I thought my jeans would fit nicer and my dresses would look sexier. Yes, I know this sounds shallow, but that’s what I wanted at the time – plus, who doesn’t think those results sound nice?! Fast forward to the current me, getting healthy not only changed my body, but it changed my life.
I started by joining a fitness program that focused on workouts and clean eating. As I began losing weight and putting focus on fueling my body with whole foods, I noticed more than just the numbers on the scale changing. My mindset was changing, my relationships were changing, my passions were changing – and people were noticing. From what started out as a selfish cause, bloomed a better me. The effects of healthier living rippled into all aspects of my life.
My mindset was affected probably the most of everything. In the past, I struggled with body image issues, an eating disorder, and low self-esteem. I used to talk so negatively to myself and compare myself to others. I was broken, hurt, and harming myself even more. Once I realized that my body is the only one I’ve been given, I decided to care for it well. I put myself first. I learned to slowly but surely speak with love, to cherish my body, and respect it. I grew in awareness that the mind is such a powerful thing – with the ability to drive change. I started finding out exactly who I was deep inside because I stopped comparing myself to others, and instead compared myself to who I wanted to become. My thoughts changed from harm to love. I respected myself for so much more than my body type. I began to love myself for who I truly was. I was healthier and happier for choosing to honor my body and mind.
Whoever said getting healthy hinders relationships is dead wrong. In fact, I’ve had quite the opposite experience. When my thoughts grew healthier, my relationships grew deeper. My physical insecurities and resentment of myself no longer hindered me from growing my friendships. The negativity that once brewed inside gave way for more room to love and care for others. I was no longer distracted by my own self-loathing, but open for true relationship with those I care about most. My family felt a difference in the way I spoke to them, how I handled my friendships, and the respect I showed myself. My joy was infectious and they wanted to be a part of it too. They noticed that my healthy lifestyle was making me a better person. It wasn’t long before they began to ask how they could make small changes to get healthier too. They desired to grow, change, and live well.
This might seem strange, but getting healthy had a ripple effect of getting healthy. Now bear with me for a minute. When I began seeing results, I became even more motivated to continue down my health journey. Getting healthy made me crave getting healthy. The results, inside and out, fueled my passion to make this a lifestyle rather than a short fad. Getting up in the morning to workout became a little easier, fueling with clean foods became a little more enjoyable, taking time to rest and perform selfcare became a little more natural. I was enlivened, filled with extra energy, and motivated to continue down this path. Getting healthy made me motivated at work, with friends, and in the pursuit of my dreams. I was free to focus on the things that I cared about. Living healthier keeps you from being a prisoner to all the wrongs in your life. It brings focus to respecting your mind, body, and spirit. It stops you from being addicted to things that harm you – from alcohol, to comparison, to outside approval. It gives you room to love others better. Healthy living renews your life. It attracts happiness. It drives beneficial lifestyle changes.
As you consider living healthier, let these ripple effects take hold of your life. Let your new lifestyle fuel your passions, bring you motivation, deepen your relationships, and soften your mindset. Health is so intertwined in every aspect of your life. Take time to set your mind on being more active, eating cleaner, and loving yourself inside and out. Healthier truly equals happier.
By Veladya Chapman
Okay coffee lovers, LISTEN UP! I've been getting a lot of questions about coffee and if I drink it and why. I love the taste of coffee. And I used to drink it black every so often but every time I pick it back up out of sheer temptation, I feel the adverse effects it has on my well-being. Why should you think about switching? The answer is caffeine.
1. Caffeine Is Challenging For Your Body To Digest In order for your body to break down the coffee you ingest and give you that energy boost it is known for, your liver uses enzymes. So if all of your enzymes are working on that caffeine, they're not around to battle other toxic chemicals they should be getting rid of.
2. Coffee Creates An Acidic Environment In The Body A healthy pH level for your blood is about 7.5. Coffee is a 5 on the acidic scale and an acidic body is a breeding ground for disease. It takes approximately 64oz of water to neutralize just one cup of coffee. It actually takes women longer to detoxify coffee from our bodies than men!3. Caffeine Is A Huge Serotonin SuppressantMeaning, it kills the neurotransmitters in your brain that produce that lovely hormone which keeps you feeling happy & satisfied. People suffering with depression should especially steer clear.4. Drinking Too Much Caffeine Slows Down Your Body's Ability To Absorb Vitamins & Minerals So no matter how many vitamins & supplements you take, that coffee can easily make them a waste of money. It has been shown to reduce the body’s absorption of iron and reduce levels of magnesium and potassium.
5. Caffeine Raises Your Cortisol Levels . . . making us much more susceptible to stress and rapid aging. It reduces DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), a youth hormone that enhances vitality, energy, skin health and even libido. 6. These Hight Stress Levels Can Take A Toll On Our Adrenal Glandsand can cause them to burn out, commonly known as adrenal fatigue. If we were to keep slamming the breaks of our car, eventually those breaks would start to give out. High cortisol levels are also directly correlated with abdominal fat! Coffee does not give us energy. It puts us in a state of stress! 7. Coffee Also Increases Blood Sugar And Insulin In The Body; Even It Is Is Consumed BlackSince the caffeine has our body in fight or flight mode, we releases excess sugar into the bloodstream to assist us during the heightened level of stress. This state of hyperglycemia releases insulin (a fat storing hormone) that cleans up the excess blood sugar making us have lower blood sugar again and reaching for that next cup of coffee. This is how the cycle begins.
So... as hard as it might’ve been to read this, I will end with the light at the end of the tunnel! There are many other options for caffeine that aren’t as concentrated as coffee. Some great options are yerba mate and green tea. Green tea is wonderful because instead of depleting you, it gives back. It fights free radicals, reduces inflammation in the body, kills bacteria that improves dental and oral health, lowers cholesterol, promotes healthy skin and so much more. If you want to omit caffeine altogether, I recommend some adaptogenic herbs like chaga or maca. With a clean diet, and a clear mind, you will find that energy and elevated stamina will come naturally and grow over time. You are worthy of optimum self care!
And Remember: if you are pregnant, please consult with your doctor before adding or removing anything from your diet!
By Elena Berlin
Hi! My name is Elana and I am the founder of the fitness instagram account @highonsweatt! To give you a little bit of a background on me, I struggled with my weight for the first 20 years of my life. I was in a constant yo-yo cycle where I would lose 20 pounds and then gain 30. It was not until I was 19 and came home from college after my freshman year and developed horrific anxiety. It was during this time that I found myself at the gym, my mindset had shifted from something that had been a “chore” to an activity that made me feel GOOD and the weight literally started to fly off. Fast forward 8 years, and fitness has become a part of my daily routine, whether it’s an early morning sweat sesh at @soulcycle, a yoga class or simply in my apartment doing free weights, I aim to get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise in a day.
One of my biggest life hacks is keeping exercise equipment in my apartment, this way whenever I get a few free minutes I can get in a workout and there is absolutely no room for excuses! When I do a workout at home I like to make sure I hit it is a full body workout. I mix up cardio bursts with strength training moves and always ending with a stretch.
Segment 1:Cardio Burst- Jumping jacks- (1 Minute)Arms- Full extension bicep Curl + pulses- (10-15 reps)Abs- Full extension basic crunch + pulses (20-25 repsLegs- Squats - (20-25 reps)Cardio Burst- High Knees (1 Minute)Arms- Full extension tricep kickback +pulse (10-15 reps)Abs- V-Sits (20-25 reps)Legs- Basic lunge (20-25 reps)Cardio Burst- Plank Jacks (1 minute)Arms- Forward raises (10-15 reps)Abs- Reach throughs (10-15 reps)Legs- Reverse lunge (20-25 reps)Cardio Burst- Jump Squats (1 minute)Arms- Side raises (10-15 reps)Abs- Leg lifts (10-15 reps)Legs- pistol squats (20-25 reps)Cardio Burst- Bicycle crunches (1 minute)Arms- Overhead press (10-15 reps)Abs- Oblique side to side standing crunch (10-15 reps)Legs- Side lunge (20-25 reps)Plank HOLD
*Repeat as many times as you would like!
Downward dogUpward facing dog- opens up your chest Rockstar pose- to open up my entire bodyPigeon pose- to open up my hipsHappy baby pose- to open up my entire body and massage my spine.Child’s pose- I could stay there for daysCalf stretch - to release tension that may have built up in your calvesHamstring stretch- this one always kills me because I have insanely tight hamstrings, but it is crucialTricep stretch- another one that always feels SO goodRunners stretch- to open up my hamstrings and legs
Followed by 3 cleansing breaths !!
One thing I like to do to spice it is up mix up the weights as I go through the reps. For example: I will use 6 pound weights for the first round and then drop down to 4 pounds for the second round. Last but not least- I have been making a more conscious effort to stretch. The stretch after the workout is just as important as the workout itself, it prevents injuries and the best part is that it feels GOOD!!
It's a New Year and that means we can all hit the reset button when it comes to taking care of ourselves and improving our diets. It important things to prioritize. Let me show you what #HealthyEqualsHappy means to me when it comes to my plant based lifestyle.
Let's begin with food and breakfast, specifically. What kinds of staples will you find in my fridge and pantry? Sprouted oats, chia seeds, almond milk, berries and nut butter. Oatmeal and chia pudding are two fabulous breakfast options that are filling and can be dressed up a number of ways. The almond butter adds some healthy fat and berries are lower in sugar but add the perfect amount of sweetness! Did I mention it only takes a matter of minutes to cook oatmeal on the stovetop, my kind of fast food! Also, chia pudding can be whipped up by mixing in chia seeds with dairy free milk and placed in the fridge overnight. I highly recommend adding some thick coconut milk or coconut cream to thicken it up.
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• 1/2 cup sprouted oats• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk• water• 1 tsp cacao powder• 1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon• 1 tbsp almond butter• mushroom adaptogen (if wanted)
Add everything but the almond butter to a pot on the stove and cook on low heat until the oatmeal is thick. Then, mix in almond butter! [grid action="end column"] [grid action="start column"]
• few tbsp chia seeds• 1.5 cups dairy free milk• 1 tbsp heavy coconut cream
Mix everything together in bowl.Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. Add more liquid in the morning if necessary.
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For lunches, quinoa, sweet potato and basmati rice are my go-to foods. They're full of nutrients and don't take long to prepare, plus, they're super versatile! If you follow my IG, you will see that they're often present in my meals. As for veggies, sweet potatoes, zucchini, peas, bell peppers, mushrooms, brussels sprouts and green beans are my absolute favorites! Some of those are in this one-pot basmati rice and veggies dish I made.
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil• 1/2 medium-large onion chopped• 1 medium-large zucchini cut into half slices• 5 oz frozen peas• 1.5 cups sliced mushrooms• 1 cup basmati rice• 6 cups water• 1/2 tub of hummus• 1/2 tsp onion powder• 1/2 tsp sea salt• 1 tsp curry powder• 1 tsp turmeric• 1/2 tsp garam masala• 1/4 tsp ground ginger• 1 can organic sweet potato purée
Saute the onions in olive oil for a few minutes and then add everything but the hummus and only 4 cups of water rather than the 6 total. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes add then another two cups water. Cook for another 10 min or until it’s not a watery consistency. When it starts to cool down mix in the hummus. -
As for veggies, sweet potatoes, zucchini, peas, bell peppers, mushrooms, brussels sprouts and green beans are my absolute favorites! Some of those are in this one-pot basmati rice and veggies dish I made.
If I'm going to have a snack, either it's going to be a no bake low sugar dessert recipe, berries, or my personal favorite, 1/2 avocado stuffed with vegan cheese. Avocados are a main staple in my diet. Why? Well, they are packed with healthy fat, keep me full because they are so satisfying and the flesh is packed with vitamins and minerals. Also, I have been LOVING homemade hummus and carrots lately! It's so easy to make your own!
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• 5 tbsp coconut flour• 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp vegan plain cream cheese• 1/3 cup runny almond butter• 3 tbsp healthier chocolate frosting (I like simple mills)• 1/2 cup almonds roasted• 1 tbsp MCT oil• 1 tbsp liquid coconut oil
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• 1/2 medium or large avocado• 1.5 tbsp dairy free cream cheese
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• 1 can chickpeas• 2 tbsp olive oil• 2 tbsp water (or enough so that a smooth consistency forms)• 1 handful basil• 1 small clove garlic• 1/4 tsp onion powder• sea salt• pepper
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Dinner recipes are probably my favorite. For the most part, I work out later in the day and by the time dinner rolls around, I'm wanting all of the carbs. Chickpea pasta, marinara sauce and vegan cheese always comes in handy and it's so easy to put together! For extra nutrients, I love to sauté zucchini or spinach and add it to the dish. Fresh herbs like basil and dill are great additions and always brighten up a dish!
• 1/3 box chickpea pasta• 1/4 cup marinara (Rao's)• 2 servings vegan mozzarella (Miyoko's)
Boil the pasta according to package directions, top with your favorite marinara and cheese and enjoy!
For those that are not veggie fans but like fruit, smoothies are a great way to hide some vegetables. Try steaming and then freezing some zucchini, peas, and cauliflower- you will be surprised at how delicious your smoothie is. I can never taste the zucchini, so that one is my favorite smoothie veggie!
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• 1/3 cup frozen coconut cubes (I like Trader Joe's)• 1 cup frozen blueberries• 1 tbsp cacao powder• 1 tbsp ceylon cinnamon• 1 cup unsweetened cashew milk• 1/4 cup walnuts
Water, water, water! When I go out to eat or just about anywhere, you can find me drinking good ole H20.
It wasn't always like that for me, I used to be a diet pop junkie, yikes! It took some time but once I stuck to water and omitted pop/ most other beverages, it became easier to up my intake.
For a nice infusion, add some fresh citrus juice and berries. Basil or mint adds a fresh touch too. [grid action="end column"][grid action="end row"]
Oh, dandelion tea, it's the best! I like to enjoy it with some cacao powder and adaptogens. It tastes like hot cocoa to me and I love it on a cold day.
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• 1.5 cups water• 1 dandelion tea bag• 1/2 tsp cacao powder• 1 serving mushroom adaptogen (I love Mood Beli)
Heat up the water, allow the tea bag to steep for a few minutes and then stir in the cacao and adaptogen [grid action="end column"] [grid action="start column"]
• 1/4 cup raw cashews,• 8 oz mushrooms• 2.5 cups water• 1 tbsp cacao• 1/2 tsp coconut sugar• 1/4 tsp cinnamon• 1 tbsp coconut butter
Soak cashews in warm water for 1 hour and then drain. Boil mushrooms in water for about 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and add the broth to a blender and blend with all other ingredients. [grid action="end column"][grid action="end row"]
It’s 10pm. You had a long day at work, the children are asleep and it’s finally your time to yourself. All you want to do is quietly enjoy that pint of ice cream you’ve been stashing in the freezer but DARN, you remember you’re on a diet... *cue violin music* After 40 seconds of debating with yourself, you give in to the excuse that sounds best and you’re in Rocky Road heaven. We’ve all done it! As a holistic nutritionist, I hear loads of stories from my clients about how hard it is to stay disciplined when committing to a new lifestyle.
1. You Must Get Real With Yourself before you begin ANY new plan whether it’s diet, exercise, or a new wardrobe. Just like I tell those who are looking for love; it starts with the love you have for yourself first. If there is no self-love; the love you experience with others will be lacking and your relationships will suffer. The same goes for self-care in the form of nutrition. You must fall in love with yourself so that you care about this new plan and what it can do for you. The best type of motivation is the motivation that comes from within. Know that if you’re on any sort of weight loss program, you may lose weight, but you will never look like the woman in the magazine or Instagram page that got you doing this in the first place. You can only look like the best version of YOU and that is what you should always aim for.
2. Baby Steps Are The Key To Consistency. Even Buddha said that a jug gets filled drop by drop. It is not in your best interest to commit to being a raw vegan overnight if you eat a standard American diet of fast and/or cooked food with animal products included. Take it slow. Start by omitting the foods that you know are the least beneficial to your body i.e. sugary drinks, fried foods, and heavily processed, microwaveable junk. Maybe the first week, you start with only the sugary drinks! Move at your own pace. The same goes for exercise. Committing to daily 20 minute walks will do much more for your health than attempting to run a mile your first week in the gym.
3. Don’t Depend On Your Mind to keep you accountable and up to date on your progress. Use helpful tracking tools like a food journal, photographs and measurements. Important note: The scale is not a good progress tracker at all! You could look amazing but the scale stays the same because you’ve lost fat but also gained muscle (which weighs more than fat). Don’t depend on that number to tell you how you’re doing. Photographs and measurements are great for anyone looking to change their body composition in any way. Write down your intentions with this new lifestyle, and track how you eat, move and feel every day. It’s as simple as jotting down a few sentences before you lay down to sleep and keeping it handy throughout your program will keep you motivated and inspired to keep going. Especially when you start seeing results! Which brings me to my next tip....
4. Patience! It is KEY, right next to consistency. I know you’ve heard this before but there’s a reason why every trainer and coach harps on it; they know it firsthand. Whoever you’re using for your “health goals” motivation did not get there overnight, nor did they get there in 3 weeks. They worked for months and months and years to get where they are. Do not let where you are discourage you from continuing. Remember Buddha said; every day is another drop towards getting a full jug.
5. I am a lover of all things health and even I get bored with the same routines; so I make it a priority to Switch Things Up Quite Often. If I’m tired of going to the gym every week, I’ll engage in my favorite at home Youtube workouts for awhile. Once I get bored with those, I take up a yoga class or Zumba class (my favorite). I could even try boxing, or join a running club! There are so many ways to break a sweat. The same goes with food. I love the idea of meal prepping, especially with my busy lifestyle, but I know myself and if it’s the fourth night of rice and broccoli, I will leave it in the fridge and order takeout. If you’re reading this right now, it means you have access to the internet which gives you access to THOUSANDS, of free recipes that generous chefs, foodies and even nutritionists have provided to you for FREE. Use that privilege to keep things diverse!
6. FORGIVE YOURSELF. This is 100% the most important tip I have to offer you. When you do slip up and binge on that pint of rocky road at 10pm while the children are asleep; smile, laugh, giggle, and then say “tomorrow will be better.” There is absolutely no use in talking yourself down about the something that already happened. Can you reverse time and un-eat the ice cream? No. Stay present. The only time is now. Self-forgiveness is the only way to keep your self-love tank full while trying something new. You are enough and you are worthy of unconditional love from others and most importantly, yourself.
By Alyssa Brieloff
I started my account @alyssabrieloff to promote my “holysstic” lifestyle in every aspect from food to fitness to travel and more. Hormone balance is one of the many parts of my Holysstic Living journey, being that I have been on birth control for a few years due to the health reasons, I make sure to take care of my hormones as much as I can. Our hormones affect more than we may realize, everything from our mood, appetite, sex drive, gut health and more. When they become imbalanced it can cause us to be tired, moody, have weight gain or loss, infertility issues, irregular periods, low libido, digestive issues, anxiety and depression.
Given that I am on birth control, I have suffered from an imbalance in hormones, including digestive issues, insomnia, mood swings, adrenal fatigue, hormonal acne, and little to no periods. While this might not be for everyone, birth control is helping my potential endometriosis. Since I am not ready to start a family, my doctors have agreed this makes sense for the time being. I am extra conscious about what I put into my body to help try to balance my system. My go-to ways to help with my hormone imbalancement are also great options even if you are not on birth control. I work with a functional doctor at Parsley Health to help with my digestion and hormones. These tips are what work for me and may not work for you, always consult a doctor or nutritionist before starting anything.
Maca Powder - I add this to my smoothies, lattes, and baked goods. It’s great for regulating your hormones by helping alleviate stress and increase your libido.
Ashwagandha - An herb which help hormonal balance by supporting your adrenal glands and stabilizing your sugar/insulin levels. I add this to my morning matcha and hot cocoa!
Turmeric - When activated with black pepper, it is a great spice to add to your meals to reduce inflammation in your body and slow the growth of fibroids.
Biohm Prebiotics/Probiotics Vitamin D3 (use code HOLYSSTIC for 15% off your order)
Rituals Essentials for Women
Gaia Adrenal Fatigue Supplements Magnesium Glycinate
Foods high in healthy fats are an essential part of hormone balancing. Avoid refined sugar and caffeine as much as possible, as this can enhance hormonal issues.
Bone Broth Coconut Oil
Avocado Flax Seeds Salmon Chia Seeds
I also avoid gluten and dairy as these are inflammatory causing foods and can affect your hormones.
Acupuncture - A Traditional Chinese Medicine practice that can help with pain, stress, digestion, and hormone health. My favorite place to go in NYC is WTHN, an ultra-modern, personalized, and convenient space bringing natural healing to modern day life. One of their menu items even specializes in women’s health!
Meditating - A great way to calm my busy and stressed mind and body. I love using the app Headspace.
Exercise - Low impact workouts such as pilates or yoga are my favorite way to move my body and release stress. I have noticed exercises that don’t elevate my cortisol levels are more beneficial for me.
Essential Oils - Diffusing oils and applying them to your body can help with hormonal imbalances. Some of the best options for this are: Clary Sage which relieves PMS symptoms and can regulate your menstrual cycle. Lavender is great for stress and hormonal balance. Sandalwood can help increase your libido and reduce stress. Thyme is great for relieving health issues such as infertility, PCOS, menopause and more.