With the start of a new year, there’s often hope for a fresh start. I personally don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, because I can’t remember a single time I chose one and stuck to it. Instead, I like to take this time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. With that being said, I’m going to share with you my aspiration for the year ahead- To Make 2017 About Loving ME! I challenge you to do the same.
“What is self-love?” you might ask. Self-love is the building blocks of who we truly are. It’s your foundation. Without this foundation, things may feel unsteady or you might have a sense of disatisfaction within your life. Once you start to really tap into this concept, you will start to find safety and happiness within yourself.
There are many ways to achieve self love. One of biggest ways is to start recognizing that you have needs. Prioritize them! Take some time to think about how your needs aren’t being met. Why aren’t they? Are you putting someone else’s needs before your own? Then dig deeper. What is the real reason you’re not fulfilling your desires? A lot of times, there’s a sense of guilt behind doing things for yourself. We are raised in a society where we’re expected to do nice things for other people. However, if you’re always giving to others without giving to yourself, you will soon feel burnt out and resentful. It is important to make sure your needs are being met, before you deplete yourself by giving to everyone else. What steps can you take this week to make sure your needs come first?
A practice I like to follow is scheduling in “me time.” This time for yourself is extremely beneficial. It allows you to unwind, grants time for self-discovery, and provides a sense of joy and contentment in life. Not only that, but adding more “me-time” has been proven to promote heightened concentration and greater productivity. Think about some activities you enjoy, and schedule these into your calendar. It could be as simple as making time for your favorite TV show, catching a yoga class, or taking a relaxing bath. Whatever it is you love to do, make sure you’re making time to do it!
Once you start practicing self-love regularly, you will start to notice some miraculous shifts in your life. You will start to become more aware of the situations and people that exhilarate you, as well as those that are no longer serving you. You will become less frustrated when things don’t work out as planned. You may start to see these situations as opportunities to learn. Things will start to fall into place naturally. The biggest shift you will start to see is that you are the creator of your own happiness! Loving yourself is the best choice you could ever make.
October 30, 2016
Growing up, my favorite holiday was always Halloween. There was something about the crispness of the air mixed with the spooky decorations and costumes that constantly excited me. One of my fondest memories is when my mom would prepare the most mouth-watering chili for dinner, before my sister and I would go out trick-or-treating. I would come home from school and the entire house would smell of cumin, chili powder, and sweet tomato sauce. It was (and still is) the perfect meal to warm me up before wandering out in my favorite witch costume.
I still crave this dish on these cool fall nights. With Halloween tomorrow, I wanted to share one of my favorite vegetarian chili recipes by Kris Carr.
1 ½ tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, finely diced (if you prefer your chili to be less spicy, only use ½)
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, finely diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 cup organic, unpeeled, scrubbed sweet potato, diced
Two 15-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed
One 15-ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed
One 14-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup kale, chopped
Avocado, diced (optional)
Let’s Create Balance Beyond Frights! ;)
Have you been swept up by the new essential oil craze? If you are like me, you may have no idea where to start! I will walk you through a few of my “essentials” and what they can do for you, regardless of your health progress.
Lavender: I absolutely love lavender oil! This oil is popularly known for both its calming and soothing properties. Have a hard day at work? Gently toss some Epsom salt and a few drops of lavender oil into your bath for the perfect unwind. Additionally, adding lavender to the bedroom or spritzing it onto the pillows promotes a restful night’s sleep. Did you know lavender is also great as a natural acne remedy? At the first sign of a pimple, apply a drop of this oil for truly outstanding results.
Peppermint: Peppermint is another fantastic oil to have in your collection. Looking for a healthier, natural mouthwash alternative? Simply add a drop of this to a glass of water and voilà! You may also apply peppermint oil directly to your skin during a headache or stomachache for a speedy, cool relief. There are a variety of methods one may use to clear their sinuses as well! Applying to the chest, under one’s nose, or breathing in the vapors over a boiling pot of water might just do the trick.
Citrus Oil: Oils in the citrus family work wonders for motivation. The refreshing smell is sure to put a smile on your face. Dabbing this oil on your wrists or neck before tense moments, such as traffic or meetings, may make your anxiety a thing of the past.
Here is my simple, yet stupendous, sugar-scrub recipe:
Add 1 cup of sugar to a metal or glass bowl. Do not use plastic bowls as the essential oils may start to erode the plastic material.
Add 1/3 cup of coconut or olive oil to the bowl with the sugar.
Add essential oils.
Stir with a metal spoon until fully blended.
Store in a glass container with an airtight lid.
Let’s create balance beyond food!
Did you know that skin health starts from within? Skin is your largest organ, and it often reflects our inside health. People frequently ask me what skincare products I use and how I maintain such healthy skin. In this post I’m going to share my eight secrets to a clearer complexion.
1. Rinse, Lather, Repeat: First, you need to discover if you have dry skin, oily skin, or, what is called, “combination skin” and tailor products to your needs. Play around to find creams, exfoliators, and other facial care items that work best for you. I prefer natural, organic skincare products without added perfumes or parabens. (Parabens are widely used preservatives found in many beauty products. There has been a lot of buzz linking parabens to some forms of cancer.) A brand I love is called ‘Avalon Organics.’ All of their products are made with pure, organic ingredients. Additionally, they’re a vegan, cruelty-free line; meaning none of their products has been tested on animals!
2. Let Your Face Breathe: A rule of thumb I have always lived by is “never sleep in your make-up.” Your skin needs a chance to breathe. Wearing make-up for an extended period of time will clog your pores and allow bacteria to grow, causing those pesky pimples to pop up as you sleep.
3. Hands Off!: Become conscious of how often you touch your face throughout the day. I have noticed that when I become stressed at work, I tend to touch my chin frequently. Due to finger oils and other potential germs, this leads to breakouts. Do you have a similar habit? Build awareness around it and try to avoid touching your face as much as possible.
4. Is That Clean?: One of the biggest culprits of clogged pores is your phone! How often do you clean that phone? Then think about how many times you put it up to your cheeks. This goes for anything else that touches your face: sunglasses, make-up brushes, hats, and pillowcases.
5. Eating Right: Eating a clean diet is one of the quickest ways to glowing complexion. Eating a diet of fresh fruits and veggies, along with whole grains, is great for your skin! Fruits and veggies have an abundance of anti-oxidants, which will help slow down the aging process and give you a healthy appearance. I have noticed that the greener the diet, the clearer one’s face becomes. (Try adding leafy greens or a fresh green juice to start your day.) If you’re prone to breakouts, you might also want to consider cutting back on common acne triggers, such as dairy and sugar.
6. Fountain of Youth: Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Water will help to keep your skin hydrated, which is great news! Hydrated skin = greater firmness and less wrinkles. Getting enough water will help to flush unwanted toxins out of your system too.
7. Zen Out: If high-stress situations surround you, it is probably time for you to pick up meditation! Are you a meditation newbie? There are amazing guided meditations on YouTube (or you can stay tuned for my guided meditation series!) Whenever you catch yourself in a stressful situation, take a moment to breathe. Your skin will thank you for it!
8. Hormones: Hormones play a HUGE role in skin health. A hormonal imbalance is often reflected in the complexion of your skin. If you suspect your hormones are to blame, I would recommend talking to an integrative healthcare practitioner.
I hope you found this article helpful. I would love to hear your recommendations, thoughts, and other skin-related tips in the comment box below!
Let’s create balance beyond food!
One of my favorite activities on the weekend is checking out the local farmers' markets. Farmers' markets are a great way to find local and seasonal, organic produce to nourish your body and soul. I love browsing through my favorite vendors and checking out what's new and fresh. These journeys inspire my meals for the rest of the week. Sometimes I go on a mission for a specific ingredient and other times I let senses be my guide.
Most farmers' markets carry a variety of produce from ripe fruits and vegetables to nut butters and baked goods. I try to shop organic to stay clear from harmful chemicals and pesticides. Another added bonus is organic produce tends to have the most flavor. (I can almost always tell an organic apple from a conventional apple at first bite!) If you're new to farmers' markets, most organic stands have a big sign that clearly state their produce is "Certified Organic." Additionally, try to look for stands with lots of action. A crowded stand is usually provides good insight as to the quality of the produce. The same vendors tend to come week after week, so regular farmer's market shoppers may have a list of favorites that they always shop.
There are many benefits to shopping at farmers' markets:
I hope this post inspires you to check out your local farmer's market. If you are not sure where your closest farmers' market is, I found this website that might be helpful: https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets
Let's create balance beyond food!