Maternity Shopping 101

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I’m in my second trimester (woohoo) and my pants don’t fit. I knew the time would come, but I regret not doing my research because I need stretchy things like ASAP! Luckily I am surrounded by amazing Mama’s and when I put a message out on Instagram - I received LOTS of super helpful advice, recommendations, and suggestions. I will be taking all the advice I was given and do some shopping over the next week. From there I will update you with more specifics, however I wanted to share what was provided to give you guidance!

Best places for all types of maternity clothing:

A Pea in the Pod: lots of different designer brands like 7 jeans, splendid t-shirts, etc.

Target: great prices

Gap

Destination Maternity: inexpensive to designer

Motherhood Maternity: awesome t-shirts

Jessica Simpson

Best Bras:

Bravado Designs: super comfy & doesn’t irritate skin

Leggings:

Blanqi: seamless

Ingrid & Isabel yoga pants (good for working out)

Lululemon Align

Bathing Suits: 

Buy normal bikini but size up- especially the top

Stores above all carry maternity bathing suits as well

Jeans:

Stores above carry great brands like Seven & Paige

Under the belly were recommended :)

Ideas other than meditation to help you relax


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Rituals are everything for me. Especially at night! After running around all day I found myself constantly struggling trying to quiet my “monkey mind” when it came time for rest. I began to sleep less, work more, drink more coffee, continued intense workouts, and just pushing myself instead of slowing down. Well the TRUTH always resurfaces and I knew it was a matter of time that I would have to deal with ignoring my body. Faced with adrenal fatigue amongst many other things ( I will blog more about it ) I knew it was time to gain control and SLOW down.

“Just meditate” Ugh. We hear it all the time. And YES, I agree its amazing but sometimes its just NOT available to me. And you know what? That is totally okay. It’s all about finding something that works for you with where you are at. Perhaps you’ll return to the meditation scene down the road, maybe not. Regardless, I would love to share with you a few of my nightly rituals that have helped me beyond belief!

  1. Essential Oils: don’t get overwhelmed. Keep it simple. My suggestion is lavender and clary sage. Lavender has a calming effect that is helpful for sleep and anxiety. Clary sage is particularly helpful for women as it lowers cortisol helping hormonal imbalances. I used to have constant night sweats from high cortisol but when I started applying clary sage to inner wrists & used in diffuser they slowly disapated.

  2. Magnesium: Natural Calm is anti-stress organic tea that has incredible benefits. Almost 80% of our population is deficient of magnesium. So this delicious soothing drink helps relieve stress, bone health support, heart health, and recovery. I make it before bed every night :) Are you deficient in magnesium? Some of the signs below

    -Stress

    -fatigue, low energy

    -inability to sleep

    -muscle tension

    -anxiety/depression

    -headaches

    its affordable and can be found here

  3. Tarot/Prayer/Gratitude: whatever works for you! Every night I pick a gratitude card from a special deck of cards & read it. This provides me with perspective, hopefulness, and ensures I am in a good space when I fall asleep. A gratitude journal is also helpful. Nothing crazy, just list three things that make you happy. Thats it!

  4. Candles: Lights are very stimulating so I love to light candles at night time to chill. I always have two on my bed stand and before I go to bed I make a wish & blow it out. And I make my boyfriend do it too! Its like a birthday wish every day :)

I would love to hear how you unwind!


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timeless truths

soul sister jenn <3

soul sister jenn <3

 

I signed into Facebook this morning and a memory from last year popped up. I felt humbled by the timeless truth of something I wrote last year. I remember writing it from a place of vulnerability unsure whether I should share or not. I am happy I did, and I want to again. I think shame is one of the most detrimental things in our society, it keeps us in a prison we are unaware even exists. We are all human, mistakes, flawed, messy and thats what makes us so real and such a miracle. 

 

i forget often. sometimes i am not a good listener. I get scared thinking of raising children in our society. there are times i find myself trying to create a perfect yoga class and feel defeated. not enough. some days i wake up in a state of anxiety unsure of my place. i try to make the people i love happy. i worry. i have a lot of good friends i keep meaning to write to or call. i feel a deep pain in my heart when i walk by homeless people. when i hear the news, i clench my jaw in fear. i make mistakes a lot. i don’t always handle situations appropriately. 
does this make me a bad person? I am human. 
This whole life experience isn’t for the faint at heart. To be awake, to feel, and to take responsibility of your life is an act of true courage. And once we make the decision to live in our own truth, it is inevitable that we will stray...this is life! The practice comes in returning back, over, and over. Letting the judgement and shame go as difficult as it may be is necessary so we can witness it, understand it, and ultimately transform it. 
I am finding the things I need in my life to keep me close to my truth so that when I have forgotten I can be reminded gently and find my way back. family, friends, community, nature, movement, gratitude, real talk, prayer, music, writing, forgiveness, laughter, and service….these are things that keep me rooted in my truth. I don’t expect it will ever be easy, but i think we grow stronger and become more and more rooted so when life keeps changing (because this is something that will never stop) We have the truth within ourselves- and no matter what it may look like on the outside we can simply close our eyes for a moment, take a deep breathe, and return to the safety of our own truth.

guacamole stuffed chicken nuggets

I feel like chicken nuggets are totally universal. Who doesn't love them?  Growing up, Monday nights were the best- Mom had to work late, Dad had to cook, andddddd we were having chicken nuggets and french fries! They are a staple on every kids menu in the country. Well how about adult menu chicken nuggets? Lightbulb....healthy guacamole stuffed organic chicken nuggets! yup, aHHH-mazing! 

Ingredients

1 lb of organic ground chicken

1 egg

3 tbsp of coconut flour

1/2 red onion

garlic

cilantro

avocado 

lime

coconut oil

So this is ridiculously easy. Toss the ground chicken in a bowl, add egg, a bunch of cilantro, chopped red onion, coconut flour, sea salt & hand mix! Dice up a fresh avocado in tiny cubes and add to the mix. I like to leave it a bit chunky. Heat a frying pan- add coconut oil, lime juice, and garlic...once the pan is hot scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of the mix on the pan...I cooked about 7 at a time. Cook for 5 minutes on one side & then flip. This recipe makes about 17 chicken nuggets. MMMM let me know what you think!

 

courageous act: asking for help

its not always rainbows, giggles, and magic. positivity doesn’t come every day in every way. when i smile, you may not know that i am struggling. pretty instagram feed, and you think my life is so adventurous and free all the time. words of wisdom may make it seem like i know something special, when some days are hard for me to get out of bed. created a healthy snack company, and some nights (ok maybe a lot of nights) i eat chocolate in bed. In shape & active, ill take a week off because i just don’t freaking feel like going. I am human. I struggle. I make mistakes. Life is messy, ups and downs, i worry about irrational things at times even though i know its irrational. I don’t know any more than you know, i am no better, no worse. All I know is that these times pass, and these times are what make us stronger and more grateful. Keeps us humble. Without sadness we wouldn’t know what true happiness felt like. Without heartbreak we'd never know what true love and freedom feels like. These contrasts of life gives it meaning, and we are never EVER alone. And sometimes asking for help is the most courageous most brave thing a person can do  #truth #iamhuman #support #love #strength#community #connection

the truth of beauty

What is beauty to me? It is kindness, patience, and compassion. a person who picks themselves up after they have seen darkness and defeat... keeps getting back up over and over. someone who is able to disappoint another to be true to themselves. Beauty is helping others. It's the story in our wrinkles, smiles and scars. being beautiful is beyond anything we could ever point at. What is beauty to you?

whiten your teeth naturally!

charcoal i often get asked if I whiten my teeth. although I once tried crest white strips, i stopped when my gums started to hurt immediately after using them. My teeth were fine, but I was tempted by the trendy white strips at the time. Fast forward a couple of years to my time in Guatemala. While I was living in Guatemala there was no shortage of powerful holistic healers, wise indigenous elders, and endless alternative healing modalties to take advantage of. I learned so many different uses of herbs, oils, and other remedies- it opened a whole new perspective for me. However, I am going to focus on my trip to the local dentist in Panajachel. The cost to get your teeth cleaned in Guatemala cost about 100 Quetzales, which is about $15.

I hopped on the boat in San Marcos for a twenty minute ride to Panajachel, from the dock I took a Tuk Tuk to the address handwritten for me by a friend. Upon entering the office which was directly above his small cozy house- i laughed having a flashback to my experience in the states. I was used to a cold and sterile place. This was more like a dentist visit in a living room, how perfect! With my mediocre spanish speaking ability, Dr. Garcia and I developed a bond through our acting out/hand motioning words so we could be on the same page. I asked him how his teeth were so white and he wrote down the word charcoal in spanish. I was pretty confused. He went on to say I could find it from any of the mayan women who cook and all I do is brush my teeth with it. It seemed too good to be true. He signaled me to come downstairs and he had a bowl of it. He put some into a bag for me and off I went back to san marcos. this changed my life! if you want a healthy effective way to brighten your smile, this is it!

Activated Charcoal has so many benefits and uses, but again I am just focusing on your pearly whites. At first when you start brushing beware looking in the mirror as it turns your mouth freakishly black. But the activated charcoalIt pulls heavy metals and toxins from the mouth and removes stains. It is a great, natural alternative to promote healthy, whiter teeth and gums without toxic ingredients. It helps change the PH and health of the mouth, preventing cavities and kilsl bad bacteria. In just ONE brush you will notice a difference. Who needs crest white strips anymore!? Keep it simple, keep it real.

we eat to nourish

standonstandfor “If you plan on eating that pie you better run hard!” Prior to thanksgiving I noticed so many posts/instagrams suggesting others to work out harder if they planned on eating thanksgiving dinner. Reading these things I realized I was holding my breath, it really bothered me. I know I am particularly sensitive to the subject, but what is the message behind all that? If we want to enjoy a piece of apple pie on thanksgiving and we didn’t run 5 miles, well then we shouldn’t eat it? Or if we do eat it then we should feel guilty? I know this is not the intention behind instructors increasing reps or the number of burpee’s post-thanksgiving, but exercise should not be used as a punishment for eating. YOU DO NOT NEED TO EARN YOUR FOOD. I don’t care how many minutes I need to hop on one foot to burn off a serving of cranberry sauce or how many push ups equal a bite of pecan pie. Like, really? And it is so easy to get caught up in, trust me I know! We move our bodies to keep them strong and healthy. We move our bodies because it feels good. We eat to stay connected to the earth and each other. We eat to nourish our mind and our body. It is food that gives us life. So to feel as if you need to earn food or you need to exercise to burn off a large meal, you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. And the big picture is that we are blessed to have bodies to move and an abundance of food to fuel us. We deserve to feel happy, free, and connected. And anything that makes you feel guilty, shamed, “shoulded”, or uneasy is not serving you in the least bit. The number on the scale or the time of your mile do not dictate your beauty. You are beautiful in a million different ways and perfectly imperfect. size has nothing to do with it. so move, nourish, and love yourself

let go of linear

miles i haven’t practiced yoga in a long time due to sacrum pain caused during practice. I teach yoga, but I am not teaching it now. Does this mean I am not a yogi? Does this mean I am not a teacher anymore? Have I lost this part of my “identity”? I recognize the incredible pressure I put on myself when it comes to “being” what I said I would be or doing what I said I would do. A huge weight of shame lingers over me at times when what I thought was going to happen, ends up not happening. We are taught to stick with it, push through it, have a goal and take actions steps towards it. But what if it doesn’t feel right anymore? What if our hearts aren't in it? What if it doesn’t light us up the way it once did? What if we wake up dreading it? Why would we engage in the this struggle when we can just drop the rope, let the struggle go, and take some time? Its the fear of looking bad, people would call us quitters, talk about us, or we would lose everything we’ve worked towards. And if this thing, this identity we have is all we know, if i had studied for 10 years to be a lawyer well- then who am i? Jeesh well of course it would be easier to just push through it than ask ourselves this scary question! It takes a lot of courage to recognize something isn’t working. There is no quick fix or immediate solution. It requires us to let go of any pride and to be vulnerable to the unknown. This doesn’t mean that we won’t return to this particular role or place again, time may be all we needed and we return with a refreshed healthy strong foundation. Or maybe and OFTEN it ends up turning into something better than we could have ever imagined. Because you simply didn’t even know it was a possibility until you let the struggle go. When we stop fighting with ourselves, forcing ourselves, and “should”ing ourselves— when we hang that up..when we let go of all expectations of linear progress, disengage from the rational mind, and embrace the power of our emotions, feelings, and intuition….we are free. we are free to possibility, free to see things in a new perspective, free to take another path, and free to return back to the path before.

As for me, I absolutely will return to yoga and I know when I am back on the mat I will have a new perspective, a deeper capacity to feel my body, and a huge sense of gratitude to feel at home in my body. always learning, always growing, miles to go and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

be brave

joan of arc every morning i wake up, i ask the universe to help me find the courage to live my truth. to some this sounds silly, but for me its the only way to live. When you live your truth you can’t stay places that don’t feel right for you, you can’t pretend a relationship is working when its not serving you or the other person, and when you have a dream there is no choice other than to pursue it with all your heart. From the outside at times it may look to others like I have been a “quitter" when I left really good jobs. Or maybe a “lost soul” when I got up and left to live in central america with “no plan”. Or a “dreamer” to some when I talk about the projects I am working on, like opening up a coffee shop in south boston (which WILL happen!!) The more I learn about myself, the less I care about what other people think of me, because really that is none of my business. And the people I want in my life are the ones that support my heart. If I cared about what others thought, I would miss out on the most amazing things that have happened in my life. If I only did practical and logical things I would still be in my cubicle…in a safe zone where my future could be mapped out, calculated, and sound “impressive" when I told others what i “do". The safety zone may minimize anxiety about the future because we think if we can just have a plan, and follow it step by step then we can control everything, we can avoid disruption and change. I can’t live like this. I will take the risk. I will put everything I have into a dream if I believe in it. I will go when it doesn’t feel right. I will say how I feel even if it scares the shit out of me. Because I KNOW there is no other way for me to live. Living this way is not easy. At times I question, what the hell am i doing? Because I don’t have any guarantees or an accruing 401k. At times it feels unstable, but my stability comes from within myself. I trust how I feel and I believe the universe has my back. It is a rollercoaster, and I have failed a million times, and I will fail a million more. But that is okay, I will keep going and with every failure I learn more about myself and closer to my truth. I am not afraid. I came to live. I came to love. And sometimes I have to remind myself to BE FUCKING BRAVE.

finding my ZEN at LOCO

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finding my zen at Loco Tacqueria

Living in Costa Rica and (mostly) San Marcos Guatemala I realized some of the most profound truths about life. I was nestled amongst volcanoes, the mesmerizing Lake Atitlan, and part of a community in a small village deeply rooted in mayan culture. The small village consisted of mayan people & travelers from all over the world. Everyone was like-minded— simplicity, peace, respect, evolving, collaborating, sharing, and oneness. Everyday I woke up, i felt this deep peace within myself that I had never experienced before in the “real world” back in the states. What felt like a fairy tale, was in fact the truth of life when all consumerism, materialism, and greediness was washed away and left people & their connection to one another. After experiencing this I made a promise to myself to always seek connection, like-minded people, and meaning/purpose in all that i do.

I had no idea how this would translate when I returned back to the states. I jumped right back into my $400/mo car payments, iPhone bill, school loans, and rent in the city which was astronomical. I wanted independence, but more so than anything i wanted peace in my mind and my heart. The transition back was very challenging & I was unsure how to find that “no worries” in the concrete jungle. Horns beeped, music blared, sirens alarmed, people mesmerized by their phones, bills rolled in, and my bank account was dwindling. I had to make a move & was conflicted. I was teaching yoga, selling wildly nourished, and volunteering but it was not sustainable. It wouldn’t keep me afloat. I needed to figure something out. I hated to say it but I needed money.

I have this thing….sometimes it feels like a blessing other times a curse. As soon as I feel myself “going through the motions” alarms go off, red flag, my soul knows its time to change. If i am not challenging myself, growing, learning, and changing I feel like i am dying. Legit feels like death. Sometimes i wish i could just ignore it and do what i’m “supposed” to do, follow the path that I’m supposed to follow, but for better or for worse my hair is always being pulled by the stars. When i am serving, creating, and sharing then my heart and mind feel at ease. I am in my element. So i got focused & wrote out in my journal what i wanted, what i needed, and how i wanted to feel.

Then i came across this rustic little restaurant on west side of South Boston called Loco Taqueria. Big open windows, brick walls, vintagey tables, and my favorite part of course the string of lights hanging above the bar. my kind of place i thought to myself as the reggae music played. I read over the menu & immediately noticed the vibrancy, detail, and content. The description of the food brought me back to the mexican culture & tradition. I remembered the hot days I’d walk to the farmers market in Teotihuacan Mexico & buy “elotes” sit on the side of the cobblestone street watching the local kids play soccer while eating real street corn. I felt connected to the place, in alignment, and I knew this was the kind of place I wanted to be. I got excited & applied for a job.

I had my interview. I met the managers. and this got me even more excited. they asked important questions like what am i passionate about, where do i see myself in 5 years, what kind of music do i like, where do i like to eat, who inspired me and why. They emphasized that each employee is equally as important and prided themselves on the foundation of loyalty & family like bond. All that was asked of me is that I work hard, have fun, and help create a place that people can come eat, drink, and forget about their worries while they are at Loco. YES absolutely!

It wasn’t until I started working there that I saw the real magic behind the doors of Loco. I couldn’t tell the difference between a manger, owner, server, bartender or support. Well...I knew who the chef was due to the obvious apron..but still. As someone who is overly aware, I have often been let down by the little things I see & hear..however day in and day out I notice a million little things about Loco that make it a truly special place. The way staff supports one another, the way what may seem like tedious tasks are done without an ounce of hesitation, the way the bar is set up with exact detail, the way all the fruit is sliced to garnish each drink perfectly, the way the green onions are diced, the way the aioli’s are made, and the chef and kitchen staff never cease to amaze me. As they put the finishing touches on each and every plate they eye the finished product making sure it is perfected. The focus is incredible and passion in their eyes. Every single plate is crafted to perfection.

The leaders of Loco are present, engaged, and genuinely care about each and every employee. And not just the employee it goes beyond that—their family & friends are welcomed into crew as well. Its like being part of this badass untouchable team that is on fire with passion, lit up, and determined to create a place for people to be happy, enjoy good food, drink, and forget about their worries.

It doesn’t matter if its a Monday night or a Saturday night. Every night at Loco is treated the same, every detail is given attention, the place gets prepped to go, the doors open at 5pm and the music plays. And slowly & steadily guys, girls, parents, lawyers, plumbers, kids, couples, even Gronk gravitates to Loco.

When all your food and drinks are made and served with a certain energy there is no doubt that it is tasted and felt. For me Loco reminds me of being in Central America, carefree, connected, and passionate. I am inspired by my co-workers and am always learning from customers who come in. So here I am in the concrete jungle finding my zen at Loco Tacqueria.

I once read, “The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: even the simplest food is a gift”

give yourself a gift and come visit us at loco :)

Speak words of love for our children

kids healthy Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses so the more we can learn about them and focus on prevention the better. Facebook, Instagram, twitter, covers of magazines, tv--- social media feeds us images of unattainable bodies, diets, tips on how to change our bodies, the quickest ways to drop weight...whether we are consciously aware of it or not, with the presence of media we begin to compare ourselves to the illusion of perfection leading us to feel less than, flawed, and a shameful longing to change our bodies. We begin to think if I could just lose ten pounds I would be happy. Since recovering from an eating disorder myself I made a promise to NEVER engage in any activity in hopes of "changing" my body. When I stopped trying to force my body to to be smaller, fitter, and stronger I experienced an incredible amount of freedom. I started waking up in the morning feeling calm and began to choose how I wanted to spend my time. I began to learn who I really was and what made me happy. I moved my body in new ways, hiked, biked, practiced breathing, took fun dance classes, and learned to be ok in days of discomfort. It is so important to realize what we see is unattainable, not sustainable, and has no correlation to true happiness and joy. What we see is created in order to sell a product. Once we realize there is nothing we need to change and embrace our uniqueness- we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin. From that place you will make healthy food choices, move your body in different ways, and do what FEELS good. How can you help? It all starts with you. Stop chasing the illusion and start appreciating the body you've been given. When you say "ugh I feel so fat" to a friend, you are disempowering them as well. Speak words of love, gratitude, and appreciation. Use powerful words and affirmations. Think of a part of your body that you are most self conscious about and find the uniqueness about it- it has served you in so many ways. be thankful, send it love. self worth is not measured by the number on the scale, confidence isn't found in a "beach body", and happiness isn't in the next ten pounds you drop. Lets be remodels for our children so that they can learn from us how to have a positive body image, feel safe in their own skin, and understand what they see on TV is not real. Then they will have a strong foundation to explore, dream, and live life in truly fulfilling ways.

strength within <3

center The other evening, I taught a gentle nourishing flow. Afterwards, I think I smiled the whole way home. I feel so blessed to be able to teach yoga and help people feel empowered, present, and comfortable in their bodies. Each person in class brings a unique energy and no two bodies the same. As I watched them flow, tap into sensation, and honor their bodies, an incredible sense of inspiration washed over me.

Strength can be defined in so many ways. Maybe you can lift a ton of weight or run for miles -- and have an incredible amount of physical strength. But there is a different kind of strength required on a daily basis. Can you sit with yourself when your feel uneasy in times of change and breathe? Strength for me isn't found in pushing my body physically beyond limits. I find strength when I slow down, tune in, listen, and honor my body. Each time we resist the urge to run from ourselves or situations in our lives, we are given the chance to transform.

Often what we feared for so long isn't nearly as bad as we may have thought. The amount of energy and time it takes to keep turning our heads and avoiding these fears depletes our soul and life force energy.

I continue learning this over and over....and I still run from things that I fear sometimes, but I know better, and the amount of time I resist it, is less and less, because I know only until I sit with it, face it head on, will I transform it and find freedom.

Thank you to the courageous students who allow me to lead them on this journey and continue to inspire me.

Never Too Late for Transformation

phoenix it doesn't matter how far you are down the wrong road...two steps or three years...it doesn't matter how broken it may feel... its never too late to CHOOSE another way. TRANSFORMATION is always awaiting us around the corner. There is nothing comfortable about it..the raw discomfort, uneasiness, and doubt will arise while the mind tries to keep us locked into habitual behaviors. There is no safety in walking asleep.

In greek mythology the Phoenix bird is cyclically reborn. the phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. With each rebirth the bird is wiser and stronger. Just like the Phoenix we die over and over again in this ONE lifetime to the qualities, habits, or thoughts that no longer serve us. Death of these things are intense, uncomfortable, and shake us to our core but if we can have faith and trust we move through the cycle and arise from the ashes with a greater understanding of the mystery of life. We shed what is no longer needed and make room for the new. With every death, letting go, and transformation we become more compassionate, wiser, and develop a deeper sense of love. In order to experience true joy, love, and happiness you must be willing to die over and over again. Always humbling. And you know when you come across someone who has been through it...scarred, radiant, bold to depths. They walk with courage, and the knowledge that transformation is awaiting them every step.

Stop trying to resist it, surrender with faith, let it burn it, and fly <3

Love your body AS IS

thankful reciever Whatever you are eating today, feel good about it and enjoy it. It doesn't have to be this super healthy meal in order for you to feel good. You don't need to feel guilty or question your decision on whether or not you should have a piece of a pie. A green smoothie every morning doesn't mean anything if I am stressed and angry. What is this REALLY about it? What are holidays and meals about? They are a celebrations, rituals, connection, and a time you come together with loved ones showing respect to something/someone. It is a sacred time. The most important thing is being grateful for whatever food it is and your body. Acknowledge the blessing of abundance in your life. Taste each bite. Smile. Enjoy your company. Imagine every cell of your body being nourished. Notice the colors and textures, your body will naturally guide you to what it is your want/need. Talk about things that make you happy. Just FEEL good because you deserve that. You deserve to be happy, nourished, and free.

After what seems like a life time of regimented eating, trying to perfect my "meal plan" and body...the more I perfected it the lonelier it felt. I now practice mindful eating- listening to my body..am I hungry? Am I full? What do I really feel like?

Having this approach with food has given me freedom to explore, taste new things, and enjoy foods I restricted for so long. Every night I have dessert! mindful isn’t easy because so it requires you to be present with your feelings and really have space to figure things out. but the practice is rewarding. And of course these crazy thoughts of "what if I gain 50 pounds!?" Come to surface. But I know better.

I am on a journey to be who I am. I don't want to work out to change my body, I don't want to diet to change my body. I want to be active, do yoga, and eat nourishing food and whatever that means for body, whatever shape or size, well then it's perfect just like that. I want to live my life exploring the world and loving the body I've been blessed with...not living my life to change it only to get to the end of the road realizing I’ve missed my whole life. I see the value in self improvement and think it's necessary in some aspects but imagine realizing there is nothing you need to change about yourself? Within you exists this unbreakable being with incredible infinite potential. So smile, enjoy, and go eat some pie, will ya!?

the seasons of our lives

tree flow//bend//extend//surrender//release//flexibility//seasons//patience//rooted//faith//hopeful//wise//ancient//connected. when I look at this tree I feel it's wisdom, I hear it's story, and I see its vulnerability. Nature is our greatest teacher. She knows everything and nothing, is gentle and harsh, grounding yet unpredictable.

Sometimes we search to find the destination or make ourselves crazy striving for that goal...our uneasiness is subconsciously searching for the finish line so we can finally rest. We place so much pressure on ourselves we miss the whole point. We will never arrive to this fairy tale illusionary place. The truth is life has a groundlessness quality and is always changing requiring us to stay steady, stay humble, and learn to pick the pieces of our heart up with grace. We can't hide from the seasons of our lives, and once we accept it for what it is and muster up grace to move through it we will find its not so bad it's not so scary. And like everything else, it will pass and perhaps the next chapter you find love. But for now just breathe, close your eyes, and know deep within your heart you are right where you are meant to be. Be gentle, those things you want to change will change especially when you start accepting yourself today, right now. When I look at this tree I see she has survived winter and the first sign of spring has appeared. Look for the little signs or hints of spring in your own life. A meaningful conversation, the stars, or unexpected laughter. the only thing that matters is the quality of your present moment, live for the journey not the destination. #wildlynourished #journey #presence #seasons #motherearth#nature#blessed#grateful

"Over thinking" to creative expression <3

blueberry chocolate chip wow it's been awhile. just spent the morning making Wildly Nourished snacks. Like usual I wake up early, put some Xavier Rudd (or some chill reggae), set up shop (my kitchen), and then feel a sense of magic come over me as I create nourishing snacks. While I work I am always thinking of new ideas- how can I tailor this to kids, optimizing their nutrition? How can I make it more accessible for busy moms? How can I offer convenient packaging with a creative spin? What other flavors could I create? And what could I offer people who are allergic to nuts? My questions never stop, I am always wondering how I can improve, create, and better serve people. My "overthinking" used to a problem, a weakness, a struggle. Until I realized the overthinking was just my creative energy stuck in my body unexpressed. As I found my voice, my passion, and confidence I allowed the energy to move through. I found ways to share my passion and love through Wildly Nourished and now teaching yoga and massage. My questions keep me evolving, growing, and always confronting and moving through fear. But at the end of the day the questions and thinking don't keep me up at night, it doesn't frustrate me or give me anxiety. As long as I keep creating, sharing, and expressing my love and gratitude in my relationships, wildly nourished, and all that I do my heart feels full, at ease, and incredibly blessed to have a community that wants to eat healthy and hear my thoughts. Wildly Nourished isn't just about the healthy food....it's about a free mind and wild heart.

#wildlynourished #wildheart#freemind#express#create#evolve#grateful #grow#sayyes#nourishment#glutenfree#love

What are we really starving for?

Recovering from an eating disorder is not something I write very much about here on facebook for a few reasons. It has been a couple of years but still....One, it’s a very personal thing. Two, I felt I owed myself the space and sacredness of my own healing journey. Lastly, I was unsure if I was “allowed” to write about recovering from disordered eating if I still had areas I wanted to improve. I realize the journey to lasting change takes time. Most importantly it has required and taught me to cultivate a deep, gentle, loving kindness towards myself. The truth is the process has been incredibly long and difficult. My family and my friends know first hand, but they also have witnessed my commitment and progress. Days when I am tired, irritated, and frustrated with old tendencies that creep up to control what and how I eat- the people I love remind me of how far I have come. And they are right. I was once malnourished, overexercising, and had a distorted starving mind. I felt out of control in my life and had no idea what I wanted or who I was.

However, I had this determination and this undeniable wisdom within myself and I knew I had to figure out how to tap into that. I prayed night and day for recovery. My life had to change otherwise my heart was going to stop. But how? I realized that the food was just a symbol, this whole “disorder” wasn’t about the food. It was about the emptiness within me, the deep fears of not having a purpose, the lack of meaning in my life. I had everything I could ask for, family, friends, a home,a car....but my heart and soul ached for something more. I had so many different dreams, unanswered questions, and I thought often of this big wild world I had yet to explore. So I began to search for meaning. This was how Wildly Nourished came to life.

I started to research healing foods. I wanted to know the history, where they were grown, how they were grown, the indigenous sacred medicinal uses of it. I was amazed as I read about Cacao. The Mayan culture referred to cacao as "the food of gods" and they used as a ceremonial sacred drink. The legends of Cacao have a common theme that when balance between humanity and nature was lost, the cacao tree appear to restore harmony and peace within people's heart. And then the medicinal and nutritional aspect of cacao is profound! Anyways, a long story short I began to search different foods building my recipe of wildly nourished squares. Every ingredient in my Wildly Nourished squares has a home, a story, and healing powers. I shifted my entire thinking around food, and it launched new rockets of desire. I started to find more meaning in my life and new ways of expressing my creativity.

Recovery became possible as I began to realize I was not a mistake. I wasn't flawed and doomed for life. The struggle with food was just a symbol or a metaphor. And when I was willing to stop banging my head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing myself, I began to understand. When a woman wants to understand the deeper issues underlying her struggle with food she needs to learn how to look at her obsession with food as a metaphor or as a sign that there is a lack of nourishment in some aspect of her life. The lack of nourishment in my own life was unexpressed creativity and the disconnection from my own heart that longed to travel, to learn, and share my story.

My company wildly nourished started to pick up but I had more to learn. I took a leap without looking and left for an adventure. Ive spent the past year living in Central America studying/teaching yoga, living within indigenous cultures, experimenting with medicinal foods, farming, and learning different alternative healing modalities.

You learn as you keep peeling back layers of disordered eating, that the key to recovery is telling more and more truths. It can pop up in all sorts of ways, so a woman must be very courageous and willing to look at her behavior honestly. I came to a new realization and a time for a new truth to be told. I, essentially for the past two years I have been raw food or vegan. I have learned so much and understand the vibrancy and health benefits from living this kind of lifestyle. But MY truth is a little different, yes it is healthy eating but not for a body that had been abused for three years. Not for a woman who hasn't had her period in years due to the malnourishment in the past. Not for a woman who is determined to find complete freedom. Yes I no longer had an eating disorder and yoga was my new medicine, but there were still too many rules too many restrictions. It felt isolating for me.

So as I leave Guatemala I embark on my next challenge. I want to live a life that I feel free to eat what I want without any labels or rules. Of course I'll always be healthy! Local, organic, and unprocessed. I want to be able to go to dinner with friends and families and not research the menu before searching for something I can eat. I want inclusive living, not exclusive. I don't want to be vegan, I don't want to be paleo, I don't want to be vegetarian....I want to be free.

I remember flying into LA airport and there was this super cute farm to table restaurant. I searched high and low for something I could eat. Frustrated I asked myself what I WANTED to eat. I went for it. I ordered this vibrant salad with balsamic dressing and goat cheese and a small bowl of chicken chili. I hadn't had chicken or cheese in over 3 years. I felt nervous, the critical controlling voice in my head try to make it's way in but I brushed it off with gentleness....sorry, I just have no space for you right now. I sat down, set my plate up nice and pretty, and closed my eyes. Quietly I thanked Mother Earth for the food and I felt tears roll down my cheek. I knew it was the start of a new chapter and felt so grateful for my growth and patience. It was as if I felt this old part of me die, and give life to this new determination for this path.

Unlike other addictions such as drugs or alcohol, with an eating disorder the answer isn't removing the substance. Because the substance in this case is the very thing that nourishes us and gives us life. However, when all the emphasis is focused on the food itself, we miss the fact the food is merely a metaphor for deeper underlying issues. Once this is understood, you are able to identify what it is you are truly hungry for and develop tools or new coping skills with support. As we learn new skills to respond to our deeper hungers, our relationship with our body improves.

Not to mention, the chili was freaking delicious! The goat cheese.....oh my god unreal. I started to giggle, I can't believe I've been missing out on these things. Going forward I hope to share my journey on exploring ALL sorts food again as I really WILDLY NOURISH this beautiful body. I will keep telling more and more truths as my relationship with my intuition and body deepens. I believe In full recovery, freedom, and joy.

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contagious giggles in guatemala

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Reason # 545 why I will miss living in San Marcos Guatemala. I have lived here at Hotel Quetzal with the most amazing family. Pascal and his wife, the girls: Flora Maya and Manuela, and of course the boys: Oli and Julian (behind the umbrellas). I was walking home and heard splashing and belly laughing giggles coming from behind the umbrellas while they take their nightly bath right along the "main" pathway of the village. Oli and Julian can be found climbing on the roof of the house, stuck in a doorway while trying to maneuver a ladder to somewhere for who knows what, building mysterious things in the soul of the plants, flying paper airplanes, chasing their cat around, and anyone in San Marcos who the heck is setting off those firecrackers ALL the time...well it's these two rascals! And the best part is they never stop giggling, the kind of giggles that you can't help but start yourself. The joy of not taking yourself so seriously. They fill this place with laughter, joy, and playfulness. When I brought my parents to meet them, Julian stuck his hand out to shake my dad's hand and said "hola me llamo Julian y mi hermano Oli" .my heart melted. Without a flash the two boys and their mischievous smiles were off for their next adventure.

contagious giggles in guatemala

20150306-184732-67652563.jpg

Reason # 545 why I will miss living in San Marcos Guatemala. I have lived here at Hotel Quetzal with the most amazing family. Pascal and his wife, the girls: Flora Maya and Manuela, and of course the boys: Oli and Julian (behind the umbrellas). I was walking home and heard splashing and belly laughing giggles coming from behind the umbrellas while they take their nightly bath right along the "main" pathway of the village. Oli and Julian can be found climbing on the roof of the house, stuck in a doorway while trying to maneuver a ladder to somewhere for who knows what, building mysterious things in the soul of the plants, flying paper airplanes, chasing their cat around, and anyone in San Marcos who the heck is setting off those firecrackers ALL the time...well it's these two rascals! And the best part is they never stop giggling, the kind of giggles that you can't help but start yourself. The joy of not taking yourself so seriously. They fill this place with laughter, joy, and playfulness. When I brought my parents to meet them, Julian stuck his hand out to shake my dad's hand and said "hola me llamo Julian y mi hermano Oli" .my heart melted. Without a flash the two boys and their mischievous smiles were off for their next adventure.