Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflecting on 2014 & Setting Intentions for 2015

Last year, I set a lofty list of goals for 2014. I accomplished a lot of things on the list:
  • I graduated from Institute of Integrative Nutrition in July and launched a kick ass health coaching practice before I even graduated!
  • We moved to Hastings on Hudson, a beautiful town in Westchester. We're now near family and closer to friends in NYC. I've even connected with lots of new friends here.
  • I have a Learner's Permit. It's not quite a Driver's License, but I'm on track to get that by the end of January.
  • I wrote another eBook: Please Don't Eat the Plastic: A Quick Guide to Detoxing Your Kitchen, which is free for everyone on my email list.
  • I've incorporated more self-care into my day. My morning ritual is a total self-lovefest! By drawing boundaries, I am consistently in bed and nearly asleep by 11pm. I certainly breathe more. My husband set up alarms to go off a few times a day so we breathe mindfully and sometimes I Breathe on Purpose with Melissa Danielle. I also started seeing a naturopathic doctor and taking supportive supplements towards achieving a happy menstrual cycle.
  • I taught workshops at Herbstalk conference, Lady Project Summit, Learning Connection, and Whole Foods Market on everything from green cleaning to blogging. I've also been a regular presenter of healthy eating and DIY workshops at Pace University dorms. I gained just the right amount of momentum, creds, and confidence to meet my goal of teaching a workshop each week in 2015.

Monday, December 15, 2014

5 Holiday Party Survival Tips That Don't Involve Booze

Holiday parties are awesome. (If catching up with friends over a smorgasbord of cookies is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.) Still, big social situations can be awkward at times. Reaching for a drink as social lubricant can become almost a reflex. Unfortunately, it's not the healthiest choice and it's pretty sad to have to rely on alcohol to talk to people. Plus, I don't know about you, but alcohol has made me say some pretty strange things and made me make out with even stranger people. Not good party etiquette.

I'm actually kinda shy by nature so when I stopped drinking I totally had to teach myself to be outgoing without booze. Here are some tips and tricks I use to make new friends.

If you only do one thing, do this. Who doesn't want to get to know a person who is smiling? Happy people are just more attractive/compelling. If you don't feel like smiling, smile anyway. Studies show that smiling can actually make you happier. Also, sharing a smile with someone is an easy way to help him or her feel happier.

Be curious.
Ask people high mileage questions about themselves. High mileage questions are questions that can't be answered with "Yes", "No," or any other single word. A good, and obvious, opening one is "How do you know [the host]?" But don't stop there. When you're a little deeper into conversation try asking: "What are you looking forward to in 2015?"

I've noticed that people really appreciate being listened to. (It's a rare treat!). Asking questions beyond the standard "What do you do?" (which sometimes sounds like "How good are you?" and "Are you worth talking to?") is a great way to make a meaningful connection with someone. It also creates the opportunity to learn something. There are lots of great HMQ in this book, which is technically for coaches, but I sprinkle these in conversation when I'm not coaching too.

Monday, December 8, 2014

4 Ways to Manage Holiday Stress as a Family with Grokker

The holiday season is fast approaching! There are so many things I love about the holidays; relaxing, spending time with loved ones, and eating foods I've eaten since I was a kid. But one inevitable part of the holidays that I don’t like? The stress! To help alleviate holiday stress, I came up with a few ideas to do with my family to help manage holiday stress and balance our bodies and minds.

(This is a guest post by Mark Luskus, courtesy of Grokker, a website offering 1000s of premium yoga, meditation, fitness, and cooking video classes taught by experts along with a community of people passionate about wellness. More info about Grokker, including a special offer, in the footer of this post.)

It's so important to take time with your family to just play! Whether you're building a snowman or playing a board game, the act of playing will help you manage holiday stress.

Carve time out this holiday season for exercise.
It's important to get out of the house and be active as exercise is one of the most powerful ways to reduce stress. Remember to breathe in fresh air and get your heartbeat up – activities with the family can be anything that get you moving! A walk outside, a family bike ride, or even a low-intensity workout like this flexibility and agility workout from Grokker Expert Angelo Dela Cruz.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kale Coconut Chocolate Chip Courage Cookies Recipe (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

I overdid it with kale on Thanksgiving. Our T-Day menu included kale fritatta for brunch and a kale salad for dinner.  During the bestover weekend that followed, I probably ate kale at least 8 times.

Days later, looking at the sad remains of a fresh bunch of kale from our farmer's market, I was certain that there was nothing I'd like to eat less than that kale. However, I felt a little guilty about the prospect of letting it waste.

Then I remembered Sarah invited me to participate in The Seasonal Diet's online holiday cookie exchange, another thing I was feeling guilty about because I really wanted to do it but I was so afraid that my cookie recipe would be terrible. (I've never created a cookie recipe before. I also tend to burn cookies.) I feared I would somehow single-handedly destroy my friends' business and ruin my reputation.

After hearing myself out, I reasoned that that is totally improbable. I decided to confront my fears and get over feeling guilty by not continuing the things I was feeling guilty about-- wasting food and being a flake.

And thus the Kale Chocolate Chip Courage Cookie was born! This cookie is delicious for all the reasons sneaking kale into a chocolate smoothie is delicious. (After conceiving the recipe, I checked with Fifty Shades of Kale cookbook to see if kale and chocolate cookies was a real thing and sure enough it was in there. I think my cookie recipe is better, but it's nice to know this kind of treat is tasty to people besides myself and could make it into a published book.)

My husband, who doesn't like weird food combos said, "These are pretty good. You don't really taste the kale." Then continued stuffing his face. That means they're a winner!

These cookies are vegan and gluten-free. They're also free of processed sugar besides that in the chocolate chips.

Read on for the recipe. I hope you'll find the courage to make these unexpected treats.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...