Staying Fit Through the Frost

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With the cold dark days of winter upon us it is tempting to give in to the urge to hibernate. Often this time of year our healthy diets go out the window and workouts are something to worry about when January rolls around. Those resolutions will be a lot easier to reach if you keep consistent with your routine. Staying on top of your diet and exercise habits helps to control holiday weight gain and fights off that sluggish feeling. Resist the urge to let your healthy routine slumber with these tips to staying fit through the colder months.

Take advantage of the bright mornings and schedule your workout first thing. This gets it out of the way and eliminates the urge to talk yourself out of going once the dark afternoon hits and you just want to stay inside. Working out in the morning sets you up to make better choices through the day. It helps to to start the morning with a clear mind and an extra boost of energy. Try setting out your clothes and gym bag the night before so you can easily grab and go without putting too much thought into it. The less thought the better. “Just Do It” is a great mantra to get you going.

This is a great time to try out a new class. It helps to sign up for classes online a few days ahead so you know the schedule and attendance keeps you accountable to the class. Have a workout buddy who can motivate you on days when you feel your resolve slipping. Be sure to reciprocate. Trying something new provides a fresh perspective and can be just the thing to invigorate you from the winter doldrums.

If you are a more outdoorsy type, there are so many activities you can do outside in the colder months. Take advantage of the reflective and quiet time of year to engage in the alone sports such as skiing or hiking in the woods. This is ideal way to find your center and stay calm in the chaos of holiday season. There are many outdoor activities where the whole family can participate. Sledding and ice skating are great fun and burn a ton of calories. Try building a snowman or if you are feeling adventurous, challenge your kids to a snowball fight. This is a great way to bond and build family traditions all while staying fit together as a family.

Be sure to reward yourself for your efforts. Keep the treat healthy like a massage mani / pedi or purchase new tunes to enhance your workout.Invest in new fancy shower gel, bubble bath or Love Made Me bath bomb! New lingerie will show off your sleek new figure and get you ready for Valentines Day that is right around the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fresh Take on Setting Resolutions

 A Winter Sunset

A Winter Sunset

January always promises a clean slate and the dawn of new beginnings. Yet how do we usher in the new in the darkest time of the year? The holiday lights are out and we are left with that sluggish holiday hangover. After a season of debauchery and merriment, embarking on a brand new lifestyle at this point seems rather harsh. A fresh approach is to find ways to honor this season of  hibernation, contemplation and deep winter slumber.

REFLECT

It is important to bear reverence to how far we have come before we can plan for the future. We are living through incredibly transformative times. Take a moment to reflect on what you have accomplished in the last year. Did you have a baby? Start a new job, launch a business, move to a new city? We forget to pat ourselves on the back for these milestones but it is impossible to know where we are going if we fail to honor our past. Follow the flow of nature and use this time to plant the seeds for what you want to accomplish in the new year.

What has become the traditional route of forging ahead with drastic resolutions before we are truly ready sets ourselves up for failure and disappointment. This is a perfect time to talk to a career coach, polish the resume and update your linkedin profile.

PLAN FOR HEALTH

Surround yourself with things that make you feel healthy, happy and abundant. Citrus is one of the gifts of winter. This fruit is known to ward off depression, which is why it is so plentiful in the colder months. The tiny globes of sweet juicy delight also symbolize wealth and prosperity. Squeeze lemon in sparkling water for an effervescent pick me up. Grapefruit with yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon makes a perfect breakfast. Toss a tangerine into a salad with hearty winter greens or make a simple dressing with the juice, shallots and oil. Take it one step further by incorporating the scent into your self care ritual. Grapefruit bath products, scented candles and seasonal flowers all help to brighten this dark time of year.

PREP FOR THE YEAR

This is the time to invest in foundational garments. Think of it as truly setting a foundation for the rest of the year. One of the simplest pleasures is slipping into a new pair of tights, cozy pajamas and a fresh bathrobe. Crisp sheets and fluffy towels set you up for tranquil evenings and a serene environment for reverie and reflection. Make room for these new additions by clearing out your space. Cleaning out the leftover cookie crumbs, dried up art supplies and broken toys will give you a keen mindset. Reorganize the pantry, placing all those unidentifiable bags of beige bulk food into sleek, labeled storage containers. The physical act of clearing out the old actually makes room for new beginnings.

Most of all, go easy on yourself. Allow yourself to unwind from the chaos of the holidays and use the slower pace to imagine where you will be a year from now.

 

 

Practicing Gratitude

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This is the time of year when as a country we gather together and give thanks for what we have. As parents, we are often heard telling our children they should be grateful. This is sound wisdom and further helps to set an example for children when we follow our own advice. A gratitude practice helps to raise the vibe around you and make you a healthy and happy human.

To feel grateful is to find the blessing in everything. It requires letting go of what you think your life should look like and being happy and thankful for what you have. The more you practice, the stronger it grows. You can actually rewire your brain to be happy by simply recalling 3 things that make you feel grateful everyday for 21 days.


Gratitude can make you healthier. It reduces the stress hormones in our bodies and helps to calm us down. This assists in lowering blood pressure and heart rate variability, promoting a healthy heart. The habit of keeping a nightly gratitude list improves the duration and quality of sleep. Gratitude is linked with optimism, which improves the immune system’s ability to increase white blood cells to fight disease. When we are in a state of appreciation we breathe easier and make better choices. Grateful people tend to exercise more and take better overall care of their health and well being.

A state of gratitude builds mental resistance. Like a muscle, it grows stronger the more you use it. Grateful people tend to have higher levels of empathy and lower levels of aggression. By dramatically reducing toxic emotions like envy, resentment and regret, those living in a state of gratitude enjoy improved self esteem and lower levels of depression.

It is easy to bring gratitude into your everyday life and you quickly begin to reap the rewards. This is the perfect time to introduce a gratitude practice to your family and start a tradition that will benefit all. The written word is powerful. Jotting down your thoughts in a journal helps you pause and focus on all the good in your life. You can create a gratitude jar by turning a simple container into a place where family members write a thank you note each day. At the end of the week, year or month sit down as a family and take the time to read and reflect.

Often we forget to express gratitude to those around us. Verbally thanking someone helps the recipient and the giver feel good and brings more grace into our world. Thank your own body by practicing self love and self care. When we take the time for ourselves the gratitude nourishes all areas of our life. Shifting our focus and attention on what we already have has the effect of increasing our abundance. Send your love out to the world with specific and intentional meditation. We are taught in our world that we must strive to be and acquire more, but true wealth happens when we are content and happy with what we have.

 

 

Ayurveda for Autumn

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As the nights get colder and longer there is a natural tendency to get cozy and snuggle in for a long winter nap. Late autumn comes along with a melancholy mood and a time for introspection and withdrawal. Ayurveda, an alternative medical system that originates in India, states that this season is ruled by the Vata Dosha. A dosha is one of three bodily elements that makes up a person’s constitution. Vata season is associated with the same qualities as late fall including movement and cold, dry wind. Movement is the main function of Vata in the body and without it, things slow down. Symptoms of an out of balance Vata Dosha include chapped skin and lips, digestive problems, anxiety, fear and a scattered mind. When in balance, Vata is energetic, flexible and creative.

It is important to keep your body in balance this time of year to maintain a strong immune system through cold and flu season. Vata is cold, dry, irregular and always moving. The way to bring it into balance is to focus on warmth, consistency and stability.

Nourish your body with a Vata balancing diet consisting of foods that are oily, warming and heavy to counter the dry and cooling effects of Vata. Drink lots of  liquid such as warm milk, ginger tea, bone broth and miso soup. Cooked soups and stews featuring root vegetables such as carrots, beets and sweet potatoes help to pacify an overactive Vata. Focus on sweet and salty tastes like banana, avocado, mango, sesame seeds, nuts and clarified butter. Our appetites tend to be stronger in the cooler months and these foods are beneficial in grounding Vata. Practice gratitude and sacred eating by giving thanks and enjoying what is in front of you.

Vata thrives on regular routine and consistency. Resist the urge to overbook this season and focus on slowing down. Stay warm by keeping your head and neck covered and avoid drafts, fans and ventilators. Have a massage using oils such as sesame or almond. Try rubbing a drop of this oil in your nasal passages which tend to become dry in the winter.

Rest is vital to to balance the overactive Vata mind. Plan time for both rest and relaxation. Get enough sleep by going to bed early. Use your down time to take a nap, read a book or relax with friends and family. Listen to soothing and calming music. Meditation helps to maintain focus and stay centered.

Practice light exercise that enhances balance and flexibility. Yoga, pilates, walking and dancing are all excellent ways to stretch out and warm the muscles. Follow with a hot shower or bath to stay toasty. Daily practice will help you feel more energized and grounded throughout the holiday season and the months to come.


 

What is Halloween all about?

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Halloween is lurking around the corner and the anticipation of the holiday season is in the air. We can look forward to costumes, parties, spooky decorations and the never ending supply of sugary treats straight through until January. While it is easy to get caught up in the fun, Halloween is an ancient celebration that has its roots in paganism and is celebrated throughout the world as a time to remember our ancestors.

While the modern celebration is more about costumes and candy, Halloween evolved from the Celtic holiday, Samhain, which marked the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. It is believed that this transition between seasons provided a bridge between worlds. This is the time when the veil between the living and dead is the thinnest and communication with the deceased is accessible.

Samhain was a fire festival where bonfires were lit on hilltops. The villagers would honor the Gods with gifts of food. An ember would be taken from the fire to relight the hearth at home. The ember was carried in a pumpkin, with a carved face to scare away evil spirits through the dark walk home. They dressed in costume to keep the spirits at bay.

Trick or Treating evolved from the tradition of folks dressing up to impersonate souls of the dead while receiving an offering of food on their behalf.

Latin cultures celebrate Dios De La Muerte on November 1st to honor loved ones that have passed over. This is a joyous celebration where altars are filled with fruit, candies and candles in memory of friends and family. There is a parade where revelers dress up as skeletons, ghosts and mummies. Graves are visited and decorated with flowers by family members.

All Saints Day is a Christian holiday also celebrated on November 1st to honour all the known and unknown saints. Many churches take this day to remember members of the congregation that have passed.

Having an understanding of the holiday and the reasons behind the revelry gives us a framework for our own lives and an appreciation for those that have gone before us. Educating our children keeps the traditions and stories alive. Regardless of your beliefs, take a moment amidst the debauchery to reflect, remember and honor your loved ones that have passed.

 

 

 

WTF is Post Natal Depletion?

 I remember being so tired this day! 

I remember being so tired this day! 

Running on Empty has become the unfortunate badge of Modern Motherhood in our fast paced society. This state has become so common it has earned the term Post-Natal Depletion, and can last up to 7 years after the babies are born! Common symptoms include sleep disturbances, insecurity and self doubt, isolation, vulnerability, brain fog, lethargy and a sense of unworthiness and not being able to cope.

Our modern lifestyles are the main culprit behind this epidemic. Many women begin pregnancy in a depleted state with the pressure of a demanding career or social schedule. Not allowing the time for a proper recovery after birth compounds the problem. On top of that, many new mothers lack family and societal support after the baby is born. This absence of multigenerational support, which has been part of culture since ancient times, contributes to the necessity to be and do everything. In addition, our food has become nutrient poor and we live in a toxic environment filled with pollution and heavy metals. The ongoing and prolonged stress of these factors has a negative effect on our hormones, immune function and overall health.

On top of everything else, a new mother’s brain transforms into what has been compared to a software upgrade. The reprogramming produces a state of hypervigilance, or baby radar. This is necessary to keep the baby safe and alive, however, it can be the mother’s downfall if her needs are not supported.

What follows is a plan to restore vitality to break through the fog and get back on your feet. The first step is to see a Functional Doctor with a holistic practice to get a comprehensive nutritional analysis. Often we are insufficient in macro and micro nutrients such as Iron, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D Zinc, Magnesium and Copper. DHA is vital in repairing the nervous system and the brain and can be found in supplements or fish. Choose fresh, whole food and stay hydrated. Finding an exercise program that you enjoy combined with a healthy diet helps to bring hormones back in balance and promotes better quality sleep. Turn off your computer, tablet and phone at least one hour before going to bed. Try instead an herbal bath with magnesium salt to relax and unwind before bedtime. Journaling, restorative yoga or reading an actual book help to decompress from the events of day.

Connect with your community to support your emotional health and well being. This is the time to enlist in the aid of a counselor, therapist or life coach. A Mother’s Group can be a lifesaver and is the modern day equivalent of family and neighbors. Be open to receiving and giving help to others. This forms the foundation for future generations to look for inspiration. Motherhood is a heroine’s journey, but it is not meant to be done alone. Armed with this information it is up to us to take the necessary steps to support and nourish the mothers in our lives, as well as ourselves. Doing this will create a new paradigm so our daughters can flourish and Motherhood can reclaim the sacred spot it once held in our culture.

 

Building Immunity for Cold Season

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Have you noticed the subtle shift in seasons? We know fall is in the air by the way the sunlight is filtered, the days are shorter and there is a slight chill in the air. There is a prevalent feeling of melancholy accompanied by a sense of malaise or a nagging tickle in your throat. Perhaps you have noticed more folks coughing and sneezing. Oh yes, it’s officially cold and flu season. If your kids are in school, you can look forward to battling this for a long time. Parents suffer hard. Prepare for the long haul by boosting your immunity with these easy remedies.

Staying hydrated is key to flushing out illness. In addition to upping your daily water intake, incorporate immunity boosting drinks such as green juice, turmeric or ginger tea and bone broth. Try Infusing a pitcher of water with ginger root and lemon to sip throughout the day.

Implementing plant based foods into your diet will help to reduce inflammation and stress, so stock up on fruits and vegetables. Reduce trigger foods like sugar, dairy, gluten and alcohol which hinder white blood cells ability to kill bacteria. Chicken Soup has been consumed through the ages for its medicinal qualities and provides soothing comfort to sore throats and stuffy noses.

Up your supplement intake. Vitamin D3 is said to reduce flu duration and boost overall mood through the colder months. A combination of Probiotics and enzymes will improve your digestion as good bacteria detoxes and modulates the immune system..

Have supplies on hand to avoid last minute trips to the store when you are under the weather. A neti pot helps with sinus congestion. Try a heating pad and an epsom salt bath for achy muscles. An eye mask will soothe sinus headaches and give your eyes a much needed rest.

Treat yourself to a lymphatic massage, which helps stimulate the lymphatic system to remove waste fluid from the system. Try to get outside for fresh air and exercise to boost your immunity. Often we are cooped up all day with stale air and close quarters that can lead to contracting all sorts of germs. Keep your house as clean as possible and wipe down surfaces and door handles with a natural disinfectant like vinegar. Wash your hands with warm, soapy water especially after using the computer and before making food.

If all else fails and you end up down and out, here is a powerful cold busting recipe to try out. You can make this ahead of time to keep on hand for when the flu strikes. Add a few teaspoons to your existing drink of choice, or for the adventurous, take it straight.

½ cup fresh ginger root, peeled and  sliced

½ fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 organic lemon, sliced

2 cinnamon sticks

1 sprig rosemary

 

The Great Outdoors

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Once autumn hits, the reality of shorter days and colder weather starts to set in. We know the warm sunny days are coming to a close and there is a natural tendency to begin preparations for our winter hibernation. With the kids locked up in school all day and endless hours logged in an office, one last hurrah in nature sounds like the perfect way to lift the roof from over our heads and soak up the last bit of Vitamin C for the year.

Fun Fall Activities include apple picking, hiking, rafting and biking. Attend the last outdoor concert or street festival before the season shuts down for the year. Try a family hayride or a picnic. Make a pilgrimage to the farmers market to check out what’s growing before the farmers pack it in until spring. Camping is a great way to spend quality time outside. There are lots of sleeping options for the less adventurous such as yurts, cabins or even a tree house. Make s’mores, sit in front of a campfire and tell ghost stories. Life can get quite serious with homework, deadlines and the looming holidays. So grab your family, pack a bag and get after it before it slips away.  

Relax and remember to breathe the fresh air to clear your head. Turn up the Quiet. Our thoughts are often cluttered when indoors and nature serves as a spring cleaning for the mind. This is true for the young and old alike. Watch how productivity rises at school and work after a day spent outdoors.  

Practice Distance Gazing by looking outward at a sunrise or sunset. We spend so much time staring down at our phones and tablets our eyes need the exercise of looking off into the horizon. Enjoy the fact you can see for miles. Challenge yourself to leave your phone off and vow to use only for emergencies. Your kids will enjoy the undivided attention and it will be waiting for you upon your return. A day without it may be just what you need to literally unplug.

Spending time outdoors is a gift you can give not only for you and your family but to generations to come. Children need the opportunity to appreciate nature in order to become stewards of the land to preserve and protect it’s future. Only by spending time in nature can children develop a love, respect and understanding for our magnificent planet.

 

 

 

Stocking the Medicine Cabinet

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Well, with the kids officially back to school, now we can look forward to cold and flu season. Along with fevers and runny noses, the long list of mini injuries such as scrapes, bruises, bites, burns, itches and allergies requires a well stocked medicine cabinet. This is a great time to give your medical supplies a check up and make sure you have the tools to tools on hand to treat any ailment. Medicine, both prescription and over the counter, have expiration dates so be sure to check and toss anything that has expired. You may want to buy over the counter medicine on an as needed basis to avoid waste and save space. Be prepared for any type of emergency by keeping the following items on hand.

Adhesive Tape and gauze pads, butterfly bandages

Band Aid Variety Pack - Bonus Points for cheeky patterns

Cold Pack / Boo Boo Buddy

Bandage Shears / small scissors

Tweezers - Splinters

Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment

Essential Oils -  Tea tree, chamomile, eucalyptus, peppermint

Alcohol - Sterilize and prevent infection

Hydrogen Peroxide - Disinfectant

Epsom Salt - Soothing baths

Apple Cider Vinegar - Multiple uses including relief from sunburn and Poison Ivy

Coconut Oil - Soothes burns, antibacterial, sunscreen, bug repellant

Benadryl / Antihistamine

Saline Solution - Eye care and Nasal Rinse

Calamine Lotion - Sunburn, rashes, insect bites and stings

Hydrocortisone Cream - Itching

Neti Pot -  Stuffy nose

Hot Water Bottle - Soothe sore muscles

Thermometer - Fever check

Rub on Painkiller for teething such as Orajel, teething tablets for tots.

Spare toothbrush

Pedialyte - Stomach flu or dehydration

You can choose to purchase a complete first aid kit and there are many options depending on how much you want to spend. A basic kit from Red Cross runs about $29.00. For a bit more investment, $58.00 will get you the Best Made Metal First Aid Kit. For the Mack Daddy of them all, Dual Jet Pack Bag will cover all your needs for a mere $399.00, worth it if you have an accident prone family.

 

 

 

Ease the Back to School Jitters

This is the season for new beginnings. The crisp air lends itself to a fresh start and the shorter days promote a sense of getting back to work. There is an impending call to order out of the lazy, chaotic days of summer. Fresh school supplies and a back to school outfit set the scene for a brand new school year. However, this time can invoke jitters among children, especially for first time schoolers. Here are a few ways to ease the transition.

Be mindful that anxiety may stem from the parent. It is difficult to say goodbye and hand child care over for the first time. Some say this can be harder on you! Make sure the school is a good fit for both you and your child. Prepare before the year begins by reading books about school. Spend a few hours at the school together to familiarise with the environment. If you are confident, your  child will sense the calm and feel secure. It is important to stay positive and upbeat. Explain how the day will go, what to expect and when they will be picked up.

Empathise with your child. Often it is hard for children to be away from caregivers for a full day. Separation anxiety is a normal part of childhood development. They have to grasp a new set of rules, navigate authority figures and form a sense of belonging. It takes time to establish community and set a new routine. The first day may be a breeze, but once the excitement wears off and the reality sets in that this is the new norm, the following days can be a bit more challenging. Expect regression and give extra love to your Little during this acclimation time.

Stick to your schedules. This is the time to enforce a bedtime ritual to make sure your child gets a good night sleep to wake up rested and on time. A morning routine should always start with a healthy breakfast. Incorporate your little ones help in preparing lunches and filling backpacks with the necessities required for the day.  Once at school, keep your goodbye short and sweet. The longer you drag it out, the harder it will be on everyone. Teachers need this time to establish trust with the child and parents tend to get in the way. Think of it like ripping off a Band Aid. Something simple and sweet like “See you later alligator!” A kiss and a hug, see you at 3:00 and scoot out as quick as possible.

Keep your connection through the day by leaving a short note or a family photo in your child's pocket or lunch box. A reward at the end of the week like an ice cream, a trip to the park or family movie night gives them something to look forward to. This can become a family tradition that lasts for years.

Trust they are in good care. Many children put on theatrics to torture the parents and quickly settle in once they leave. If you are concerned, check in with the teachers during the day with a  phone call or email. Most children are fine once parents out of sight. If drop off has not improved after several weeks, reevaluate if the school is a good fit, but do give it time. Some children take longer to acclimate and need space to adjust to a new routine. Trust your instincts and remember to celebrate their journey toward independence.

 

 

 

Easy Energy Boosters

Ask any mother how she is feeling and you will most likely hear some form of exhausted. The demands of motherhood often leave us with little energy and time left for ourselves. However it is necessary to build in time for rest and recovery to avoid getting sick and burnt out. Taking the time to rejuvenate gives us the strength to keep going. While a day at the spa or a week long vacation is a special treat, sneaking self care into your daily routine creates lifelong habits that keep you healthy and strong.

Relax. Studies have found we are more productive and creative when our head space is clear. Meditation is a powerful way to calm the mind. It costs nothing and requires a very small time commitment. Just ten minutes per day will have a profound effect on overall well being.

Put your phone away and read an actual book before bed. Reading stimulates our imagination and is a perfect way to calm the mind and prepare for a deep and restorative sleep.

Write your thoughts and feelings down in a journal. The act of writing sets a concrete intention toward manifesting our goals and aspirations.

Massage and acupuncture help stimulate the lymphatic system, which moves waste and toxins out of out of the body. Other ways to support the lymphatic system include dry skin brushing, rebounding on a trampoline and staying well hydrated.

Increase the protein in your diet by consuming foods such as spinach, quinoa, rice and beans. Add protein powder to your morning smoothie for an all day boost. Reduce or eliminate sugar and processed foods, which your body has to work hard to digest, leaving you feeling sluggish. Increase your mineral intake of magnesium and iron with foods such as bananas, seafood, meat, seeds and beans.

Commune with nature. Connecting to the earth’s energy is foundational for vibrant health. Anxiety and stress decrease when we spend time outdoors. Grow a garden. As we move into the colder months, bring nature indoors with a windowsill herb garden. Walk in the woods or through a park. Cooking a meal from scratch with seasonal ingredients unites us back to the cycle of life.

Move your body. Yoga is an excellent way to unwind and you can practice this anywhere. Restorative yoga has a profound impact on reducing stress in the body. For instance, Legs up the Wall pose is super calming for the nervous system yet leaves you feeling more energized than a nap. A simple walk is a great way to clear the mind. Music is transformative and a family dance party is a fun way for both kids and adults to lighten up and take life a little less seriously.

 

 

Heres to a Healthy Happy Body!

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Summer is right around the corner and we are more than ready to shed the layers of winter. But what if you don’t like what you see underneath? The flood of altered media photos as well as the constant barrage of unrealistic body images on Social Media Feeds collectively has a negative impact on our self image. Common feelings include a sense of inadequacy, self loathing and insecurity.  Eating disorders are on the rise. Women are undergoing invasive and unnecessary procedures at a younger age, while aspiring to society’s unhealthy image of perfection. Only to find the closer one gets to the distorted beauty myth, the harsher and louder the inner critic becomes.

Negative Self Image is best healed through the mind, not the mirror. The way we talk to ourselves has a profound effect on our sense of well being. When negative chatter is at its highest is when we need the most self love. Your body is home to your soul and your mind, both of which tend to expand as we age and have children. Perhaps we need a bigger body to contain all the love and wisdom we collect in our lifetime. Go easy as learning to love oneself is a lifelong journey. One way to silence the inner critic is to keep a photo of yourself as a child close by. When you see that picture, remember yourself as a child that needs acceptance and unconditional love.

Our children look to us as role models and we have the opportunity to heal the next generation. Naomi Wolf stated “A Mother who radiates self love and self acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self esteem.” Young boys need positive female role models so they grow up loving the women in their lives for who they are, not how they look. Give your children a head start defining their worth by nurturing what makes them unique with no pressure to conform to external forces.

Create healthy habits for the sake of your well being. Feed your cells with nutrient dense food and exercise to release the feel good endorphins. Think of the amazing feats your body is able to accomplish in the course of a lifetime. We have a tendency to take this for granted until we stop to take a breath and remember we are a truly amazing piece of machinery. Be the best that you can be. We are taught to constantly compare ourselves to those around us. Embrace who you are in the body you are in and all the wonderful things it can do, like creating and sustaining life. Remember the people who adore you just as you are, your dearest friends and family, loving partner and the children you have created.

What we perceive as faults can actually enhance the appearance if you are able to accept yourself as is and love your imperfections. People remember how you make them feel more than how you look. We have all had the experience of being around someone so engaged with life and those around her she radiates that love to the world. We tend to want to stay close to these souls as the feeling is contagious.

Try sending forgiveness to the parts of yourself you don’t like, and gratitude for how hard your body works for you each day. Strive to feel elegant, proud, graceful and strong. Compliment others when you notice a special trait or spark that makes them unique. This will start a new paradigm for beauty in our society that embraces the Flawesome in everyone.



 

 
 
 
 

Mantras for Mommas

The way we talk to ourselves has a powerful effect on our sense of worth and accomplishment. As we burn through the grind of daily life it is easy to slip into survival mode, which allows negative chatter to fill our minds. A mantra is a powerful tool to bring your thoughts back into a positive state so you can flow through life with presence, balance and a sense of peace.

A mantra is a simple and inspiring statement that you repeat to yourself in order to shift your energy and mindset and remember your deepest intentions. Broken down, man means mind and tra stands for vehicle or transport. We can interpret this to mean the mind is a vehicle toward meditation. A mantra can get you through difficult situations when you find yourself at a loss for traditional coping mechanisms. Here are a few to get you started.

WORK OUT MANTRA:

What seems hard now will someday be a warm up.

It’s not getting easier, I am getting stronger.

Exercise is a celebration of what my body can do.

I am flooding my cells with fresh, oxygenated blood.

I am strong.

CHILDBIRTH MANTRA:

I trust that my body knows just what to do.

I have everything it takes to birth my baby.

My body opens, my mind quiets, my baby descends.

Birth is amazing, not matter how it happens.

I am brave.

STUCK IN TRAFFIC MANTRA:

I am not stuck, I am taking a texting break.

I am not stuck in traffic, I am part of traffic.

We are all in this together.

Don’t look back, you are not going that way.

I am safe.

TANTRUM MANTRA:

My child is not giving me a hard time, my child is having a hard time.

I love you no matter what.

Deep breaths inhale / exhale.

I am love.

TRYING TO DO IT ALL:

I can and I will.

Inhale the future / exhale the past.

Tomorrow I will wish I had started today.

Now is the new later.

BAD DAY AT WORK MANTRA:

Drink some coffee and pretend you know what you are doing.

Keep Going.

Excuse me, I have to go be awesome.

Head up, stay strong, fake a smile, move on.

Everything I touch is a success.

I am thriving.

 

 

Help a Momma Out!

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With Mother’s Day on the horizon, retailers are full of clever gift ideas for Mom. But most Mothers really want one thing you can’t buy in a store and that is a helping hand. New Mothers especially need a little extra help to get them through it. I know there were many times in the early days when I needed help but wasn't quite sure what I needed so I had no idea how to ask. Once the precious bundle arrives, it is easy to be caught off guard with how much work is entailed to keep a tiny human alive. Managing a newborn is an intense time and with all the emphasis on the new baby, the Mother is often overlooked. It can be difficult to ask for help, but always a welcome relief when offered.

One of the biggest challenges is finding the time to cook. There are several ways to help organize a meal plan for the new family. You can personally drop off precooked meals that can easily be frozen like soup, stew or lasagna. Mealtrain is an online resource that creates  a community schedule to drop off healthy snacks and wholesome meals. Many delivery services are popping up in urban areas such as Munchery so you can have a healthy home cooked meal delivered. Getting to the grocery store can be a burden so services that deliver fresh ingredients and include a meal plan like Blue Apron can be a real lifesaver.

Help run errands for her or offer to entertain the baby while you run errands together. This is a great way to spend with each other. If she prefers to stay put, or you don’t have the time, schedule a service like TaskRabbit to handle the details.

Propose an easy day outside of the house like a stroll through the park or meet up at a cafe. Mom might be too tired to make the plan but will be grateful for the much needed change of scenery.

Figuring out gear can be overwhelming and is even harder when you have a baby on your hands! Offer to help assemble baby contraptions, car seats, strollers and bouncy things.

Babysit so mom can get some rest and relaxation. Bonus points for scheduling her a massage or pedicure.

There is often an endless shower of receiving gifts from well wishers near and far. While this is always welcome and appreciated, keeping up with the thank you notes can be cumbersome. Offer to help with addressing envelopes, or trips to the post office.

Offer to take the older kids for a play date so parents can have bonding time with the newborn.

Take photos of the new family to document this special time. There will be tons of photos of baby that only include the Mother or Father’s hands. This is a nice way to include the whole family in the picture.

Take a peek around and see what needs to be done and just do it. You don’t need to scrub the whole house but if you see some laundry that needs folding or dishes that can be put away, chances are nobody will stop you. Keep the visit short and sweet.

Keep the help coming even after the newborn stage! While it does become more manageable with time, Motherhood is never really effortless. Help all the mommas you see out there struggling to open a door or battling at the grocery store. A helping hand forms a strong community and creates a high vibe that is contagious.

 

 

 

Spring Detox!

We spend a lot time and energy tidying up our homes for spring cleaning. What about the house we literally live in, our bodies? A change of season is the perfect time to clean up our act with a spring detox.

Spending a day, a week or a month to reset your digestion and immune system can be quite beneficial and does not have to involve drastic measures such as starvation. You can choose a longer fast consisting of soups and raw foods, or take a day or two and juice it out. Go into the detox with a mindset to nourish and rebuild. A few things you will want to avoid include caffeine, alcohol, dairy, meat and sugar in order to give the digestive system a well deserved break.

Nurture your body with fresh tonics, soups and juices. Start your day with a warm glass of water spiked with honey and apple cider vinegar. This will help stimulate the digestive system. It is also a good idea to keep a pitcher of water infused with lemon, mint, cucumber and ginger on hand.

Bone Broth is an ancient healing remedy your grandmother probably made for you. This tonic is full of nutrients to rejuvenate the system and heal digestive tissue. It is loaded with collagen which supports cardiovascular health, vision, and immunity. Sip as a substitute for coffee, use as a base for veggie soup or in place of water when cooking grains.

Soup that is packed with fiber rich vegetables is a great way to cleanse because it keeps you feeling full longer. The warmth is comforting for your body when the weather is chilly and It is  easy on the digestive system. Soup is also a great transition in and out of a more intense juice fast.

If you choose whole foods, prepare them raw or lightly steamed. Alkalizing foods will help to bring your body back into a PH balanced state and include lemon, cucumber, kale and chard.  

Nature has a magnificent way of providing just what we need with seasonal produce. Spring is full of naturally astringent foods such as asparagus and artichoke which detoxify the system and balance the heavy, sweet bounty of winter.

Earthing is the practice of walking barefoot to connect with the earth’s free floating electrons through the soles of your feet. This is believed to support better sleep and reduce inflammation and pain. Seeing as how we are not designed to walk in shoes on concrete, there may be some truth to this. Regardless, you have nothing to lose as it is completely free and feels amazing to walk on fresh grass. Do this with your kids to double the fun.

Your mouth tells more than words. Chinese Medicine states a healthy mouth determines a healthy body. Oil Pulling is the technique of swishing a tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes before spitting out. The benefits include whiter teeth and overall improved oral hygiene by eliminating bacteria and infection that can enter through the mouth.

Try Dry Skin Brushing as an invigorating detox. Skin is the largest organ and you can greatly improve your health by removing toxins, stimulating the lymphatic system, reducing cellulite and increasing circulation. Start by using a high quality natural brush which you can easily find for under $20 at an organic pharmacy. Begin at the feet and work your way up, always brushing toward the heart to stimulate circulation. Incorporate this into daily morning routine before your shower as it has energizing qualities.

Sweating is your body's natural detox method. A sauna, steam or hot bath can help facilitate the process. Fill your Detox Bath with water as hot as you can stand it, a few cups of epsom salt, and add a few tablespoons of ginger and baking soda to draw out toxins, lower stress related hormones and balance ph levels. An evening bath is a relaxing ritual to look forward to and promotes deeply restorative sleep.

Pay attention to your thoughts and the way you speak to yourself. Our thoughts create our reality. Negative self talk can be as toxic as pollutants so catch yourself when you are being hard on yourself. Avoid negative relationships and situations. Positive thoughts, affirmations or a mantra can help if you find yourself slipping into negativity. This can be as easy as setting an intention each day to treat yourself with loving kindness and compassion.


 

WTF is a Swaddle?

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Oh, the endless lineup of gear you are supposed to acquire as a new parent. I remember debating over long lists of “must haves for your newborn” and only having a vague idea wtf any of it really was. So I was not surprised when many people asked us WTF is a swaddle? when we embarked on this journey. Believe me, I sure as hell did not know and it is quite ironic that we would choose to create this product. Let me explain.

Swaddling is an age old practice of wrapping a newborn in cloth to keep him warm and protected from flailing limbs due to moro reflex, which occurs in all newborns and creates a sensation of falling. The infant will spread and unspread his arms and often cry. Tightly wrapping the infant soothes the baby and helps him sleep longer with fewer awakenings.

I was convinced (delusional) my darling baby would be wrapped as the ancients have through history. I imagined many sleep filled nights and peaceful days spent napping and lounging around doing nothing as a stay at home mom. Babies sleep a lot right? Well, some do and some don’t. Ours did not. No matter how lovingly we tried to wrap Dear Daisy, she managed to squirm her way out. We logged hours of frustration testing out all types of contraptions and watching youtube videos trying to figure it out. Honestly we should have just saved the time and expense. Daisy was not meant to sleep like a baby until her baby days were far behind her.

However, I did get quite a lot of use out of my swaddle collection for reasons other than intended baby wrapping / peaceful sleeping. Especially since I had so many waking hours to brainstorm new purpose. Here are some ideas to get you thinking of how to use these lovelies: Nursing Cover, Burping Cloth, Stroller Cover, Lightweight Blanket when baby gets older, Sarong or Scarf in a pinch.

 

 

 

 

Here's to New Beginnings!

For me, spring always feels like a more authentic beginning to the new year. Partly because my birthday falls in April, but I think most of us can’t help but sense the shift in energy. Longer, warmer days combined with new life sprouting everywhere evokes the true spirit of spring. Traditionally, New Year’s was celebrated after the Spring Equinox on April 1. After this holiday was moved back on the calendar to follow Christmas, the Christians mocked the Pagans who still followed the traditional ways by celebrating New Year’s in April, and called them April Fools. I love this story since it falls one day after my birthday and I always secretly wonder if my Mom fudged my birth time to save me the ridicule.

I have been ruminating for quite awhile on how to bring Love Made Me to life and this seems like the perfect time to just go for it. The world needs more love right now. My hope is to share and receive some valuable insight on how to stay happy and healthy during this pivital shift we are all going through together. At the park today, the warm wind blew the cherry blossoms off the trees and the children chased the blooms through the tall grass. Someone remarked, “So there is still hope for this world”. I couldn’t agree more. Here’s to the change in season, a fresh start and new beginnings.