You Have a Choice.

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Okay, you guys. Do me a favor and while reading this post, try to forget that I am a registered yoga teacher, and instead just pretend that I’m a beginner. Because, guess what? In a way, I am. Without getting too woo-woo on you, we all are, even the most advanced yogi. Every time you step on your yoga mat, you are new, the practice is new, your body is new, it’s all new. Some parts may seem familiar but for the most part, you have a fresh clean slate and you’ve never been where you’re going. And that is honestly one of the many things about yoga that I love! Anyway…

This morning I went to an actual class for the first time in… a while. I mean, I have a million excuses… injury, exhaustion, that whole kid thing, time, etc, etc, etc. Whatever. I was literally in the parking lot trying to talk myself out of going, I had other things with which I could easily fill up 90 minutes, I hadn’t practiced in months (um, total ego working, that’s exactly why I SHOULD go in to class), I was restless and impatient and feeling like I had fallen behind in my practice and would be stiff and sore and too wrapped up in my own self-deprecating thoughts to get anything out of the practice… wow, clearly I really needed this class. So, once I realized what was happening in my head and how much I actually needed to get my butt in there, I went for it. And boy, oh boy, was it my lucky day, because the teacher’s message was just for me.

We have a choice. In every moment, we have a choice. We can choose to take the yoga class, or choose to drive away and sit at Starbucks and get sucked into the internet instead. We can choose to plan ahead and prepare healthy meals to support our body and our best health, or we can choose get take-out for the third time in a week. We can choose to yell at our kids in a moment of frustration, or choose to stop what we’re doing, take a deep breath and take a moment to get on their level. We can choose to argue and disagree with our significant other, or choose to slow down and try to understand their point of view. We can choose to dwell on regrets we have over the past, or choose to live fully in the present and appreciate all the gifts we have in our life right now. We can choose to let anxiety and worry and stress take away our peace of mind, or we can recognize what a waste of time that would be, and instead choose happiness, gratitude, and love for the present moment. We can choose to judge ourselves (or others) harshly, to let our own negative judgments keep us from experiencing all that this life has for us, or we can choose to be OPEN, to slow down, recognize the recurring patterns of our thoughts and subsequent behavior, and then again, choose to change.

There is no need to push negative feelings down, to ignore them, or to try to replace them. The need lies in recognizing and allowing yourself to feel these things, but then also in understanding that you are not your feelings. It’s so easy to identify with our feelings, to believe we are that which we feel. But we are so much more! We are strong, powerful, beautiful – we are filled with light! We are meant to connect with each other, we are meant to give and to receive… we are meant for soooooo much more than what 99% of the population believes is true for themselves.

My request for you today is to simply slow down, recognize that you have a choice. You don’t have to be sad, you don’t have to feel rushed, you don’t have to feel sick and tired, you don’t have to be angry, you don’t have to be anything but the light and the love that you truly are.

Namaste, y’all.

xx

e

Revisiting The Primal Blueprint

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I’ve mentioned in a few posts recently that I’ve been reminiscing about living in our first apartment in Jupiter, how it has me homesick for Florida and the life we had there. Without getting all philosophical and emotional about the past and present and blah blah, I will say that I’ve been doing a little soul-searching to figure out why things feel so different now and guess what came up for me repeatedly? A major – and I mean MAYY-JORR – contributing factor to living the vibrant, healthy, happy life we enjoyed there was – SHOCKER!! – our diet and workouts. You’d think as a yoga teacher and nutritional therapist, this would be old news to me, right? I mean, duh, Erin. Duhhh.

SO, long story short, I thought back to when I first started getting into fitness and healthy eating, and decided to revisit the first book I ever read on the Paleo diet/lifestyle – that changed the way I looked at food and working out, might I add: The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

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Okay, ignore the cheesy cover – this book is legit.

I first found the book by poking around the internet googling something along the lines of “eat like a female bodybuilder”… I KNOW, I know, make fun of me now, I’m fine with it. I had started working out more (Tim was traveling a lot and I was only working part-time so it became something to fill gaps in my day) but I wasn’t noticing much change in my body. I didn’t actually want to be a body-builder, but I knew my body type was muscular (aka, I was not designed to look like a super-skinny VS model) and I wanted to see what I could do with it. But I was still weak and knew it probably had something to do with my diet because, at that point all I knew of nutrition was the mainstream low-fat, whole grain nonsense… I was clueless (like the majority of the population) about feeding myself for optimal wellness and in this case, athletic performance.

ANYWAY. In my google search, I came across this article, which I could totally relate to… and which led me to this article, which broke down the Paleo diet so I could understand it… which then led me to Mark’s Daily Apple, Mark Sisson’s website. After poking around a bit on his site, I downloaded the 21-Day Total Body Transformation and, as I said above, my life was changed.

Tim and I implemented the lifestyle immediately. I was already getting an organic produce share every week, so my grocery trips to Whole Foods and sometimes Costco meant stocking up on quality meat and fish, healthy fats like organic coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, and a variety of spices and primal-friendly pantry staples like coconut aminos and almond meal.

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The mother load.

I continued my workouts and noticed changes in my strength and endurance in the first week. I was adding weight to my sets consistently and feeling strong and energized at the end of my workouts instead of depleted and dizzy.

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HA! Nice face. Remember this?! Check my guns, yo!

We followed the advice of the book and started enjoying exercise more by finding things we liked to do outside the gym, participating in group beach workouts and going for bike rides together.

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Six days a week, we ate every meal according to the primal blueprint guidelines, enjoying a glass of red wine here and there, a square of 90% dark chocolate almost every night, and one night a week, usually on the weekend, we’d enjoy a meal at one of many local favorite restaurants. While we tried to stick close to primal blueprint guidelines when we ate dinner out, we knew we couldn’t control what was going into the dish and we didn’t obsess about it. And sometimes, we didn’t stick to the blueprint at all. We were crazy fit, healthy, energized, and happy! Life was seriously our oyster and we were eating it right up… because those are allowed, heyyyy.

Enjoying a burger, fries, and beer (off-meal) after a long bike ride on the beach... and, from the look on his face, also enjoying ESPN on the bar TV. ;)

Enjoying a burger, fries, and beer (off-meal) after a long bike ride on the beach… and, from the look on his face, also enjoying ESPN on the bar TV. ;)

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Eggs (in one of many forms) and veggies for breakfast were ARE the new norm.

***

SIDE NOTE TIME! Now, I will admit that being pregnant has me a little more body-conscious than normal right now, (and that my current total weight gain of 6lbs feels like 20 on my 5’3″ frame) but this isn’t about that. It’s about getting back the energy, the clarity of mind and body, the zest for life, and preparing myself not only for the delivery of a healthy baby, but also for my rebound into a successful run with breast-feeding and optimal post-preg wellness for both me and the babe.

So that is what inspired me, a couple weekends ago, on the way home from our road-trip to Raleigh, to take the 4.5 hours in the car as the perfect opportunity to revisit and refresh my memory of the Primal Blueprint. So that A) I could get re-motivated to clear my kitchen of any lingering first-trimester junk food and replace it with healthy primal-friendly stock, and B) so that I could share with YOU the basic gist of the Primal Blueprint and perhaps persuade you to look into trying it for yourself. (I promise, you won’t regret it!)

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SO, without further rambling (geez, I know, sorryyyy, that was a long intro), here it is.

The Primal Blueprint is about getting the greatest health and fitness benefits you can with the least amount of pain, suffering, and sacrifice […] Today, my goal is to look super fit without having to follow an exhaustive, time-consuming exercise regimen, [and] enjoy the heck out of my meals without the slightest hint of deprivation.  – Mark Sisson

I’m going to outline the key concepts for you here. You can find more information about the lifestyle by visiting Mark’s Daily Apple, or of course, by getting one of the many books he’s written on the Primal Blueprint. (Nope, I’m not being paid to say that.)

Out with the OLD

The Primal Blueprint involves changing your lifestyle, but let me just say this once: IT IS NOT HARD. So get it out of your head that it is. For starters, here’s what you can leave in your past:

  • Grains, sugars, sweetened beverages. All of it. Processed carbs drive insulin production which can lead to inflammation and fatigue among other issues.
  • Hydrogenated oils. There’s the obvious heavily processed snack foods and packaged baked goods along with deep-fried foods, but this also means no more margarine or “spreads”, canola, corn, or vegetable oils either. All this stuff sets the stage for cancer and heart disease, no matter what it says on the label about being heart-healthy, so pitch it! You’ll have plenty of other primal-friendly options in terms of healthy fats that will leave you way more satisfied.
  • Beans and legumes. These babies are just hard to digest, period. They can mess with your gut big time and therefore your immune system and health in general.
  • Dairy. You don’t haaave to get rid of it, but here’s the thing: most commercial dairy isn’t good for anyone. It’s loaded with hormones and other impurities. If you’re lactose tolerant, opt for organic, pastured butter and heavy cream. YES, that’s right. BUTTER. And HEAVY CREAM.
  • Chronic exercise. I’m talking to you, chick on the elliptical. Time to reject your hours spent in the gym and the idea that reaching a certain number of miles, hours, or weekly workouts is the key to fitness. It’s not.
  • Sedentary patternsNow I’m talking to you, chick in front of the computer. Google “sitting disease” and tell me what you find. How about a lot of fat storage, elevated risk of heart disease, joint pain, muscle weakness, and lack of energy? Get up and move.
  • Poor sleep habits. Just go to bed already. Leave the phone plugged in downstairs, use a real alarm clock, and “shut down” at least an hour (preferably more) before climbing into bed.
  • Somber, spartan approach to lifestyle transformationGet it out of your head that you have to count calories, have rigid portion control and specifically timed meals, limited menu choices, guilt, or binging cycles. Does this sound familiar? Well, it’s over. There’s no strict workout regimen, no struggling, and no suffering. Like I mentioned before: IT IS NOT HARD. You’re welcome.

In with the NEW

Is this starting to sound like something you might be interested in trying? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It is that good. Here’s what you can look forward to with  your new primal lifestyle:

  • Primal foodsMeat! Fish! Poultry! Eggs! Veggies! Fruits! Nuts! Seeds! High-quality fats! Eat it up and love your life! Guess what else? You can even enjoy your red wine and dark chocolate, too!
  • Primal eating philosophyEat as much of your primal foods as you want, when you want, however often you want. You’ll begin to notice you’re satisfied with less, after meals you don’t feel stuffed or bloated (you feel amazing), and you can indulge sensibly without having the urge to binge because you’re able to enjoy life guilt-free. If you’re anything like me, this will be HUGE for you.
  • Increase daily movementNotice this doesn’t say, “do this exercise five times a week”. Nope. Did you not read that part above? NO MORE of that. Do what makes you happy. Do what you enjoy. Walk more. Use stairs. Take frequent breaks when you have to sit for a long time (i.e., at work, etc). Basically, get off your behind and move around.
  • Brief, intense workoutsThis may be a curve ball or something new to some of you but give it a shot – it’s essential for maintaining high energy levels and a healthy heart and lungs at any age. Go harder but less often and for less time. So, like a 30-minute (or less) strength workout. Sprint intervals for 15 minutes (or less). That’s all… it’s easy, and you don’t have to do this every day.
  • Calming evening rituals. Like I mentioned above, wind down at night to prepare yourself for a healthy night’s sleep. Turn off the tv, put away the technology, dim the lights, use candles, read, chat with your loved one, take a slow neighborhood stroll. You get the idea.
  • FUN approach to lifestyle transformation. This is your chance to explore exciting new foods, recipes, and establish new eating practices. (Side note: I will never forget the first time we tried sun-chokes or kale… and how my cookbook collection expanded to include what are now some of my favorite recipes of all time!) You’re going to start exercising for fun and energy, and best of all – NO MORE OVERTRAINING! You’re going to PLAY more! And probably best of all, you’ll start to enjoy life more with your loved ones, because you’ll be inclined to be less “connected” and more appreciative of spending time with your family and friends. This really does happen, people! (This is the part where I could go on a tangent about diet and digestion and protein and fat and related neurotransmitter production and mental wellness… but I’ll spare you.) ;)

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What to expect…

So aside from the energy levels and new zest for life you can expect to experience by going primal, what are some other benefits from adopting this new way of life? So glad you asked.

  • Anti-agingI can’t explain this as well as Mark does here.
  • AppetiteYou won’t overeat anymore. You just won’t. Adopting the Primal Blueprint literally cured me of my binging tendencies.
  • Blood markersExpect to see some improvement in your cholesterol. But how can that be, eating red meat and butter?! I’m rolling my eyes at you right now. Get your head out of the low-fat-high-carbohydrate-garbage diet myth you’ve been fed for years and start doing your own research.
  • Body fatYou will lose body fat. Can I say that any more simply?
  • Diminished cravings. People don’t believe me when I tell them I just didn’t want grains, junk food, or sweets any more. Sure, I indulged on occasion, but I didn’t miss them in my daily life. Don’t believe me? Guess you’re going to have to experience it yourself.
  • Digestion. If you didn’t already know, your digestion is probably impaired… yours and nearly 90% of Americans’. The Primal Blueprint follows the guidelines of the diet I recommend as a nutritional therapist for optimal digestion, and optimal wellness. Period.
  • Drug-free. This can mean so many things… you’ll soon be ready to ditch your OTC antacids and pain relievers, then, with your doctor’s support, you’ll be able to work toward eliminating many if not all of your prescription meds, too.
  • Immunity. This goes hand in hand with digestion: healing your digestion leads to optimal immune system function. You’ll probably notice getting sick less often and recovering more quickly if you do happen to get run down.
  • Measurements. If you happen to be keeping track, you’ll see these change, too. Your clothes will fit (and look!) better and looser as you decrease body fat, reduce systemic inflammation, and get rid of the bloating and water retention! Where will you see this first? Tush, hips, thighs, waist – the primary storage areas for fat. (YAY!)
  • Muscle mass. Increase or maintain and sculpt muscle mass while dropping body fat. Um, isn’t that basically ideal and what everyone wants? Awesome.
  • SleepYou’ll fall asleep faster, sleep better and more soundly, and begin to awaken naturally (without an alarm), refreshed and energized. No joke.
  • StressDiet alone affects the way our body and mind respond to stress. The Primal Blueprint will help regulate this and reduce fatigue, burnout, and dysfunction that seems to go hand in hand with a hectic modern life.
  • Total fitness. The Primal Blueprint involves functional exercise and a diet that develops and supports a balanced physique and broad physical competency. See that picture above, the one of me doing my best meathead impression and taking selfies in the gym? Ha. Okay take a close look at the picture of me standing. For most of my life, carrying most of my weight around my hips (like many people), I never used to look like that… even and muscular and balanced from head to toe. And I’ll never forget my mom’s reaction when I carried a huge la-z-boy recliner up a flight of stairs by myself. Simply put, you’ll look good, and you can do more – physically – without risk of overtraining or injury.
  • Optimal wellnessEverything listed above and more. Improved bone density. Glucose tolerance. Insulin sensitivity. Improved blood pressure. Hormone balance. How will you know about all of this if you’re not being tested for it? Simple. You’ll feel the best you’ve ever felt.

So… wow. There you have it. Man, I don’t know about you but revisiting this book has me totally reenergized to get back to that lifestyle.

And you? What are you waiting for?! Get the book and join me!

xx

e

P.S. Nope, I wasn’t paid for writing this. (Sadly!) My opinion is legit. I really do love it and recommend it with all my heart. Go for it.

The “Y” Word

Good Saturday morning to you all…

I’m BEYOND proud to say I made it through my week with four out of five planned consecutive days of yoga after a three-month long hiatus (read about that here), with a little pre-planning help from my YogaGlo queue and a little self-compassion as I eased back into a regular practice. Mid-week I was so energized and motivated that I joined our local gym (that had been on the to-do list since we moved here) and ordered some pregnancy workout dvds. By Friday, I was beginning to feel like my old yogi self. It’s amazing how quickly your body tightens up, but equally amazing how quickly a yoga practice can feel normal again, thanks to a little muscle memory and ujjayi breath. ;)

With summer right around the corner, warmer Carolina temperatures have me wanting to take my practice outside or even to the beach. Though I’m no surfer (but this totally reignites my desire to learn!), this little video from lululemon has me inspired to connect with nature and reap the benefits of my practice off the mat. Check it out…

 

So make some time for your mat and get your “stretch” on this weekend! See you in a few days!

xx

e

Coming Back to Yoga After a Hiatus

 

 

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That’s right, while we’re on the topic of confessions, why not throw this one on the pile.

I’m human.

And I’ve been a bad yogi, for three months.

So instead of spending the rest of this post beating myself up about it and boring you with all the reasons why I haven’t been practicing (morning sickness, fatigue, etc.), I’m going to offer a few tips to re-ignite your practice if you, like me, have spent any given amount of time away from your mat. Because, as we know, it’s not always easy to jump right back in when you’ve been away for so long.

Here we go:

  1. Forgive yourself. Let it go. Just like my post yesterday on non-attachment with regard to diet – the same principle works here. For whatever reason, even if it wasn’t a good one, you did what you had to do (or didn’t, in this case) at the time and that time is over. In the words of everyone’s latest favorite animated movie theme song: Let it go! You’re here now and that’s all that matters. Forgive yourself and move on.
  2. Have a plan and commit to it. This may not be the case for everyone, but I always like to have a plan (shocking, I know). Enter my favorite online yoga website: YogaGlo. I knew I wanted to start my practice up again this week, so I spent Sunday evening sifting through some classes on the site, and lining them up in my queue so that it would be simple and easy for me to wake up in the morning, open up my queue and hit play on that day’s video. It may sound silly, but I knew I needed to make it extra easy for myself if I expected to commit to a regular practice again. That being said, I allotted an hour time slot on my calendar for a 20-30-minute practice, knowing I would need to give myself some wiggle room those first few days (what, you’ve never hit the snooze button on your alarm?).
  3. Start slow. As I just mentioned, I started with a 20-minute practice yesterday. It may not seem like a lot compared to the 90 minutes I used to om-it-out pre-preg, but keep in mind… it’s been a while. Set yourself up for success by starting slow. When lining up my YogaGlo queue, I started the week easy with 20- and 30- minute level 1 classes, working up to more challenging 45- and 60-minute level 2/3 classes (still prenatal-based, in my case). I know I have the capability of a more challenging class, but not yet. My body is stiff and sore and I need to ease back into my practice so that A) I don’t hurt myself and B) I will be ready and able to tackle those challenging poses when the time comes and don’t feel like a failure by attempting them too soon. In addition, I’m choosing to start rekindling my practice at home versus in a studio for a few reasons – #1 being that the few prenatal classes that are offered near me aren’t really near me… the nearest being 30 minutes away and that is farther than I’m willing to drive at the moment (mainly because I will come up with an excuse not to go). The #2 reason being that – shocker – the yoga teacher has an ego… and I want to at least get back into my groove before stepping into a studio where I might potentially be applying for a teaching gig in the future. Hey, at least I’m honest.
  4. Accept where you are nowEasy, tiger. You may or may not be the limber mermaid goddess you were the last time you attempted full wheel on your mat. You may need to rely a little more than you used to on props, blocks, and straps. And guess what? That’s okay. Yoga practice is exactly that – practice. And you’ve heard every yoga teacher utter these words in one class or another: your body is different every day, so accept where you are today. Breathe into the poses and don’t push yourself. Know that you will get there – eventually.
  5. Acknowledge that you have support. Nearing the end of my first 20-minute class back yesterday with Stephanie Snyder, she said something that stuck with me: Acknowledge that you are not alone, you have the support of every mother before you, and that every resource you need will become available to you as you need it. While it was a prenatal class and directed toward the preg-ladies, I feel like this piece of advice is relevant for anyone returning to a yoga practice. You are not alone. Plenty of others have been in this place before you, so acknowledge and feel their empathy and support. And as you continue your practice, be open to the change your body and mind will experience, as you know they inevitably will. Peace, right?

And there you have it. So how does it feel to be back on the mat? Personally, I’m a little rusty, but I’m okay with it. Stretching and breathing and closing my eyes and connecting with God yesterday and again today felt… incredible. It really just reminds me to be present, be grateful, and be loving. And who of us doesn’t need those reminders on the daily?

Hope you’re enjoying your practice, too.

xx

e

What Workouts are Best?

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A lot of the time, when people come to me seeking nutritional advice, they have more questions than just what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  People who want to change their lifestyle, change their level of wellness, have another question in the back of their mind…

That question:  What type of workout is best?

My answer:  The one you will commit to doing consistently.

Often, the biggest mistake people make is creating that squeaky clean 6-month workout schedule spreadsheet with every day planned and no room for error (cough – no, I have never done this, why do you ask???).  So what happens to 80% of us when we try to stick to that plan?  We’re setting ourselves up for failure.  We skip the gym one day, one day turns into two days, and before we know it we’re binging through the rest of the week because, we already blew our gym schedule, might as well call it a loss for the week, order that pizza, and start over on Monday.

It’s a vicious cycle.

So when people ask me what they should do to workout, do I always answer yoga just because I teach it? No! Do I tell them to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio a day, because that’s what the doctors say is best? Um, no. Do I say, hit the gym at least four times a week and lift weights because that’s what I like to do?  No way.

I ask them to think outside the box (pun intended – that one’s for you, cross-fitters) and figure out what it is they enjoy doing.  Still at a loss?  Here’s a list to help you start thinking creatively…

  • Walking the dogs more, playing with them at the park
  • Bicycling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Walking the mall or an indoor track (if it’s raining or snowing where you are)
  • Racquet ball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball, kick ball, soccer – join an adult league!
  • Boxing
  • Muay thai
  • Acro-yoga
  • Playing tag with your kids, grandkids, nieces/nephews
  • Climbing, indoors on a climbing wall or out in the wild
  • Dancing… any style, anywhere, anytime!
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • … the options are truly endless as long as your body is moving!

Be creative.  Try something new.  Enroll a friend to do it with you – having company always makes exercise more enjoyable, AND keeps you accountable.  Maybe you LOATHE spending an hour on the elliptical at the stinky gym amidst a mix of meatheads and chicks in full makeup and teeeeeny tiny hot-shorts… but spending an afternoon riding your single speed cruiser along the beach or through the park might be a game changer… giving you a chance to log off, miss calls, texts and emails for an hour or more while you get some fresh air and see your day, your neighborhood, the world, in a whole new light.  And then the thought of how great that hour was, the great feeling you had and the clarity of your mind afterwards, keeps you coming back for more.  Success!

But let me guess, you still have an excuse not to get moving, right?  I know, it’s hard to get started, but save it.

Here are some common excuses/complaints and my responses to those:

  • I don’t have enough time.  Fine, but someone else who is busier than you is working out right now.  Wake up an hour earlier, it’s as simple as that.
  • I have an injury / mobility issues / arthritis / pain / etc.  First, consult your doctor… then, find a lower impact exercise that you are comfortable doing.  You may even find that exercising helps to ease your pain.  In addition, excessive soreness after moderate exercise may be a sign of nutritional deficiency, in which case… call me!
  • I’m too old to work out.  Okayyy.  Google “old man workout”.  Or just watch this video.  Or read this article.  Then tell me you are too old.
  • I hate the gym.  Scroll up to the top of this post and start over.  ;)

If you want to be a badass at life, you have to get yourself out there and BE IT.  Not tomorrow, not after the weekend,  not after three pizzas.  Just. Go. Do. Something.  Move your body and the rest of your life will change for the better, too.

Pinky promise.

xx

e

2014: Living Intentionally

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Hi friends, we’re a week into resolutions… how’s it going?  I’m only one day behind on my gym schedule, so I consider that a win. ;)

If you read my last post on setting goals for the year, you’re familiar with the concept of a 30-day-challenge-a-month-challenge, as inspired by Danne from Twelve Months of Lent.  As a former employee of lululemon athletica, the concept and structure of setting goals is now second nature to me, but what I realized on December 31, 2013 when looking back over the year is that I need a little boost when it comes to accomplishing those goals, particularly now that I’m no longer surrounded almost 24/7 by a support group of people whose culture deep down to their bones consists of setting goals and crushing them… basically killing it at life left and right. 

Let’s back up for a minute.  I did some amazing things in 2013.  In January, I completed 30 consecutive days of yoga in various studios back at the beginning of the year; my head was clear and I seriously felt more aware than I ever had (not to mention my shoulders were lookin’ preeeetty hot).  In June, I finished my 200-hour yoga teacher training… an experience I will never forget and one which gave me my first true sense of community and acceptance and belonging as an adult… wow, I mean, if I had to have a Groundhog Day experience and could choose 3 months to live on repeat for eternity, it would be those!  I rode my bike 17 miles through the Everglades in the middle of the night under a full moon, something I was terrified to do but felt safe and adventurous surrounded by some of the best friends I’ve ever had, and STILL talk about what a cool experience it was – a reminder that getting outside of my comfort zone once in a while is, well… where it’s at.  (P.S. Yes, we saw alligators up close and personal.)  In September, I bit the bullet and finally decided to get certified as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner after looking at the program for over a year, one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Over the course of the year, I made trips to California and Connecticut, and took long road trips to Ohio and North Carolina… all of which served to show me the beauty of other parts of the country and to scratch my ever-present itch to explore.

I’m proud of all of these things and know that I can do even better.  That is why, this year, I’m choosing to live with more intention than I ever have before.  There are things I want to accomplish, places I want to see and things I want to do, and BIG goals toward which I want to start working… starting this month.

I sat down this past weekend with my trusty goal sheet and revised my 10-year vision and my 1- and 5- and 10-year goals (a process I revisit once every few months or more often as necessary).  Then, I opened up excel and got to work creating a calendar for the months of 2014, breaking down my longer-term goals into mini-goals, personal, health and career-related, which I will accomplish each month to make progress toward the BHAGs (ahem, that’s short for Big Hairy Ass Goals – and no, I did not come up with that on my own, people).

So what are a few of these goals and mini-goals I plan on accomplishing in 2014? I thought you’d never ask.

  • I work my way up to meditating 30 minutes every day.
  • I fill in the holes on my website and work up to blogging 5x/week.
  • I complete a 21-day Sugar Detox.
  • I take a month of minimalism – I get rid of 5 things every day and wear the same 6 pieces of clothing for 30 days
  • I become a morning person by sticking to a new evening/morning routine every day for a month.
  • I grow a scoby and make my own homemade kombucha on the reg.

scoby

  • I learn how to climb and take two trips to the mountains with Tim to actually do it.
  • I learn to make my own homemade skincare and household cleaning products.
  • I practice yoga in various studios in our new city (when we move) every day for 30 consecutive days.
  • I take a trip with Tim to Acapulco and teach yoga there at an all-inclusive resort.

las brisas

  • I ride my bike every day for a month.
  • I learn how to operate my camera and use it every day for a monthly challenge.
  • I build a raised bed in my backyard and cultivate an organic vegetable and herb garden.

how to grow a garden

  • I combine and put my creative writing degree and background in wellness to good use and submit articles to Mind Body Green.
  • I re-learn to play the piano.

Seem like a lot?  This is just the beginning.  That’s only 15 things, and if I begin by tackling one a month (hence my spreadsheet mapping it all out), that means I only have to double up on three months.  Besides, setting goals doesn’t mean you have to accomplish every single one.  I like to imagine how great I am going to feel at the end of the year looking back at this list (which I will probably revise, add to and subtract from, more than once over the course of 12 months) and seeing that I accomplished a LOT of the things I said I was going to accomplish.  As for getting started, there’s no time like the present!

I hope this inspires you to get organized with your resolutions goals so that you can set yourself up for success and live 2014 with intention!  Tell me, what will you accomplish this year?

Makin’ moves.

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Hiya, pallllls. As you probably have noticed, my website is currently in the process of getting a makeover! Don’t worry – it’s all good!

Heyday has taken on many faces over the past few years, first starting out as a personal blog and website devoted to my career as a freelance and wedding hairstylist, then evolving into a fitness, yoga and lifestyle blog during my time working with lululemon and as I went through my yoga teacher training. Some of you have been with me from the beginning and watched as I stretched through growing pains throughout these different phases of my life and career(s), and as I look back, I have to laugh and shake my head at the changes that have taken place in just a few short years. Who knew how fast life could change, and how drastically?

I am so happy to say that although it’s taken a bit of searching along an ever-winding and unconventional path, I am… happy. I’m finally studying something that has always interested me and the fact that it goes hand in hand with how I have come to love to live my life is just… extraordinary. I’m really excited to be transforming Heyday into a wellness and lifestyle site, and over the course of the next few weeks (and beyond!!), I will be FILLING it to the brim with powerful information and resources on food and nutrition (including recipes), yoga and fitness and health, and living a life filled with joy, peace, and wellness.

Thanks for sticking with me through the ups and downs… I am so excited to be turning a page on the site and can’t wait to share more with you very soon. Stay tuned!

xx

e