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HOMEMADE COCONUT {SOAKED} GRANOLA

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HOMEMADE COCONUT {SOAKED} GRANOLA

HOMEMADE COCONUT (SOAKED) GRANOLA

 

With the first signs of fall, I am immediately drawn into my kitchen.  Roasting is one of the cooking styles I often associate with the weather changing and first signs of autumn.  

 

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This particular recipe is just delicious with late summer peaches and strawberries on top, or even the early signs of apple season.

 

Why soaked?  When we soak our grains and nuts, it breaks down the enzyme inhibitors that tend to make digestion a bit more work on the body (great if you are healing your digestion) and in this particular recipe, the oats are soaked in a mix of yogurt and coconut oil which also begins the fermentation of the grain, adding in the potent probiotics that aid in digestion, boost the nutrient density of our food and build immunity for the coming season change.

 

The nuts in this particular recipe are also soaked and roasted (play with which nuts you want to include), which is optional but well worth the effort.  You can find out how to soak and roast your nuts HERE.

 

The extra little bit of sea salt mixed with the sweet flavors of raw honey and cinnamon are such a favorite combination of mine. I hope you enjoy this yummy recipe as much as I do.  

 

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Try it with any variety of milk, or yogurt, or just as an on the go snack.

 

 

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FESTIVE GINGERBREAD GREEN SMOOTHIE

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FESTIVE GINGERBREAD GREEN SMOOTHIE

 

Festive Gingerbread Green Smoothie

 

"HOLIDAY WISHES MADE WITH GINGERBREAD HUGS AND PEPERMINT KISSES"

 

 

Need something a little festive this winter season?  Try our delicious gingerbread green smoothie.  

 

Full of fresh ginger and all the warming winter spices you can imagine, lots of immune boosting greens, minus all the sugar. Enjoy this holiday drink that's vegan, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly, nutrient dense and absolutely delicious!

 

These warming spices boost your metabolism, warm up your digestions, and balance your blood sugar.  You will love how you feel after this festive boost.

 

 

 

 

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GOLDEN MILK COCONUT BISQUE

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GOLDEN MILK COCONUT BISQUE

GOLDEN MILK COCONUT BISQUE

 

“Live your life not to win gold medals, but to win golden hearts”
-Mehmet Ildan

 

This creamy, comforting soup not only warms your heart and soul during this chilly time of year, but it also provides tons of health benefits in a delicious, golden package. Yellow beets, cauliflower, and coconut milk are blended together with sweet and savory spices to create this extremely nourishing Vegan dish.

 

 

The beautiful color of this soup comes from turmeric, An INdian spice used in traditional cooking that reduces inflammation, enhances vitality and cognition, and supplies your body with potent antioxidants.

 

 

Black pepper and healthy saturated fat from coconut oil boost the absorption of turmeric's active therapeutic compounds, and a scoop of ginger adds an extra bit of spice with additional anti-inflammatory benefits.

 

 

 

 

Cauliflower has powerful cancer-fighting properties and also provides B-Vitamins and Vitamin K (needed for bone health and blood clotting).

 

 

It's extremely versatile and roasting it with the golden beets and then blending with coconut milk helps products a very satiating, dense, creamy bisque without any dairy.

 

 

Check out the recipe on Boulder Nutrition team member Ailsa Cowell's food blog, Food to Feel Good, and enjoy this comforting dish!

 

 

 

 

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MEXICAN CHOCOLATE GREEN SMOOTHIE

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MEXICAN CHOCOLATE GREEN SMOOTHIE

MEXICAN CHOCOLATE GREEN SMOOTHIE

 

 

“Spice your food with love,
and it pleases every palate”
-Plautus

 

“In my family, we always say ‘the spicier the better.’ That’s why we included two of our favorite ingredients in today’s green smoothie. While by now you know we are chocolate lovers, and that there are many medicinal and pleasure based qualities to chocolate, try kicking it up with yet another superfood – cayenne pepper.

 

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My son Elijah used to work for an organic farm where every fall they would harvest their cayenne peppers. One of Elijah’s jobs was to grind the dried peppers down to make them into the spice many of us know and love.  

 

Elijah would come home after long days at the farm working in greenhouse, grinding cayenne pepper, feeling better than ever. He would tell me his sinuses never felt clearer, and he thought of this process as a cleanse for his whole body and mind.  

 

We still have his homegrown cayenne pepper in our spice cupboard, and every time I use it I think of how elevated he felt as he ground it up for our cooking.”        

 

Health Fact: Cayenne pepper has many many health benefits, along with making a lot of foods taste yummy.

 

One of our favorites is how cayenne pepper (capsicum) boosts our metabolism and invigorates our energy. Cayenne pepper also boosts immunity, especially in the lungs and sinuses, making it a great remedy for the common colds and flus.

 

Cayenne is wonderfully detoxifying, good for circulation, and as my dear dad says: “cleans the blood.” Cayenne pepper can be used as a digestive support, including alleviating gas, bloating, and indigestion.



 

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CHOPPED FIESTA SALAD

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CHOPPED FIESTA SALAD

CHOPPED FIESTA SALAD

with Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing

 

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This beautiful dish is a sneak peek into some of the nourishing meals we'll be serving at The Yoga of Eating Retreat this weekend!  It's a fresh, crunchy combination of romaine lettuce, yellow peppers, jicama, and radishes, topped with toasted chipotle pepitas, cilantro, scallions and a creamy avocado dressing.  So good - and so good for you. 

 

 

Fall is upon us! And with it comes amazing seasonal produce, like peppers, radishes, and tomatoes.  

 

 

Peppers are a colorful way to spice up any dish. This recipe uses yellow bell peppers for a pop of color and sweetness.  They're also a great source of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, to support your immune system going into the colder weather.

 

 

Radishes add a different kind of kick, with a refreshing and crisp spiciness to them.  They're full of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been found to specifically support the cardiovascular system and reduce inflammation.  Radishes are also a great detox food, as they help purify the blood and eliminate toxins. 

 

 

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We can't forget about the tomatoes this time of year.  These bright orange cherry tomatoes are the perfect sweet addition to this recipe.  Lycopene is a special antioxidant in tomatoes that benefits the eyes and heart while reducing the risk of cancer and orange tomatoes may actually contain more of this nutrient than red ones.

 

 

The Yoga of Eating Retreat is about connecting the gap between your food, mind, body, and spirit.  Meals like this Chopped Fiesta Salad help us do just that.  Get the recipe below and enjoy the rise of fall!

 

 

Recipe and Photos from Ailsa Cowell at Food to Feel Good

 

 

 

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A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

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A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

" NO ONE EVER MADE A DIFFERENCE BY BEING LIKE EVERYONE ELSE "

P.T. BARNUM

 

As I write to you today, I am enjoying one of those awestruck picture-perfect, wintery days here in Boulder... A fresh snow fall, a clear blue sky and the majesty of what I most love about Colorado – nature's beauty.  
  

For the past few weeks, I have been enjoying the quiet inner space of winter: finding my flow with 2018, cozying up with my honey, snowshoeing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, resting more, and treating myself to a few of my favorite things.  


Sovereignty, embodiment and presence happen for me more naturally in a sacred space filled with ambiance, quietude and a moment to step away from the chatter of daily life – for a minute.


This time of musing with my inner world and indulging myself with my favorite goodies has been inspiring my creative juices to flow more freely.


So, today I want to share with you a few of my favorite things. As you will see, they all have a little something in common: they nourish me on many levels, they enhance my daily experience and they simply make things a bit brighter, tastier and sweeter.



I would LOVE to know more about you too. This past couple of months the Boulder Nutrition's readership has expanded in big and beautiful ways. Let's get to know each other! What are your favorite things? (scroll down to share your comments 💗)


To your simple pleasures...
 

A Few Of My Favorite Things

{Nutritionist Approved}

 

As a health care practitioner, I get asked questions all the time about different kinds of health products, supplements, superfoods etc.  I like to try new things out and do my research so I can be better informed to answer your questions.  I linked these all up below, so you can explore for yourself if you feel called.

Most of my favorite things have come from this type of informal research and of course, my love of health, radiance, pleasure and feeling our best.  I hope you enjoy!

 

Pekoe :: Steamed Mate 

You may see me around Pekoe Sip House if you are a Boulder local.  My office is right across the street, so I meander over often on breaks to grab myself a cup of steamed Mate.  When I drink Yerba Mate, I always feel energized, clear minded and focussed.  It is my favorite helper for long days or  days when I get immersed in my writing.

Yerba Mate has been used as a base for herbal medicines in South America for centuries, and the plant’s benefits and therapeutic properties have recently been verified by a number of scientific studies. The chemical components of Yerba Mate are similar to those found in green tea; however, Yerba Mate is even more nutritious and alkalizing.

 

Foodie Fuel

Do you ever just need a quick snack, but can't think of something that will truly fuel you up?  Foodie Fuel is the answer.  Founded by a friend of mine, Eloise Nelson and her partner Chris here in Boulder CO, Foodie Fuel is high in protein, paleo friendly, naturally sweetened, gluten free, non-GMO and super tasty treat.  My favorite flavor is the Butter Toffee.  

You can buy Foodie Fuel at most health food stores, Amazon, and of course right from their website (linked above)

 

Pangea :: Canadian Pine and White Sage Essential Oil

Okay.  First off, I grew up in Canada.  In college I became a tree planter in my summers off, way up near the border of Alaska. I have a serious emotional connection to the smell of Canadian pine trees.  This essential oil takes me right back. Long baths with a few drops are so comforting.  But wait...the best is when Jason and I sprinkle in on our pillows, turn on some forest music to fall asleep to, as we gaze at the glow in the dark stars on my ceiling... we feel like we are camping, and we get a great nights sleep. 

Pine Oil has a warming, purifying quality with properties that freshen the air and benefit the respiratory, nervous and circulatory systems. For the mind, pine is at once elevating, grounding and expanding. For the body, it is cleansing and invigorating.

Pangea Organics, another local Boulder company founded by an old friend of mine, Josh Onysko, gone international.  You can even find his company in Singapore.  They have a wonderful online store and an incredibly potent and pure line of essential oils.

 

Gaia Herbs :: Golden Milk

I used to make golden milk a lot, in fact there is a great recipe in the Winter Self-Care and Recipe Guide (that you can download for free by clicking the announcement bar at the top of this page).  Then I tried the fairly new Gaia Herbs Golden Milk.  WOW!  It is delicious and it has one of my favorite ingredients for sleep, stress and adrenal health: ashwaganda (an Ayurvedic herb).  

Golden milk is full of one of natures most potent superfood, turmeric.  

Turmeric is both a super food and a super spice.

Turmeric is ranked number 6 of the top 100 high ORAC value antioxidant foods which really means it is one potent substance.  Turmeric is a spice most commonly found in curry but its medical benefits are golden rich.

Some of the most amazing turmeric properties include: destroying multi-drug resistant cancer, destroying cancer stem cells, protecting against radiation-induced damage, reducing unhealthy levels of inflammation, protecting against heavy metal toxicity and preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s disease associated pathologies.  

 

Instant Pot

Sometimes my mom knows best.  Especially in the case of my Instant Pot.  I would have never purchased this kitchen miracle on my own (I'm a bit more of a traditionalist in the kitchen) but she surprised me with this gift for my birthday last month.  

I was skeptical and a bit intimidated by all the buttons and things this kitchen wonder can do (yogurt making rice cooking, sauteing, slow cooking, pressure cooking etc)

With just a little practice (it's been a month) I am figuring it out.  I have made a few soups, stews, chilli, and some other goodies in less than 20 min – start to finish.

Apparently this was the most purchased item on Amazon this past holiday season.  Worth checking out? 

YES!  Just sayin.  

(if you want to peak at my first instant pot attempt check out m y post from January 20th HERE)

 

LuluLemon :: Align Tights

I am a texture person for sure.  ALL of my clothes need to be somewhat soft and cozy. While I have worn Lululemon clothing for years (and they are also a Canadian company founded in my home town, Vancouver) these particular pants are my new favorite.  

Cozy, comfy, well fitted and soft to the touch.  I treated myself to two pairs recently, and you will find me wearing them probably a little too often.  

Lululemon has many many other wonderful items in their shop.  They are my go-to store for most of my yoga attire.

 

Birch Bender Paleo Pancakes

Being highly hypoglycemic and on the far end of the protein type spectrum, I have never been able to eat pancakes (even the gluten free ones) without a major blood sugar red-alert.  Not the case with these tasty easy paleo pancakes.  Ari and I make these on the weekends for brunch all the time.  Honestly, I feel great afterwards – full of energy and perfectly balanced with no blood sugar crash in sight.

I really like the taste and the ingredients.  We all need a pancake once in a while right? These could not be easier to make, totally affordable, and super yummmmm.  Check out one of my favorite ways to enjoy them HERE.

 

Lovely Lady :: Facial Nutrients

Lovely Lady is a local fair trade organic delightful skin care company that a friend introduced me to.  I am so addicted, especially in the winter months with the dry Colorado air.  

I use the Everlasting-Argan Immortelle Facial Nutrient morning and night and I love it!

One of the key ingredients is helichrysum essential oil. There's a reason this oil is called "Everlasting" and "Immortelle". This flower will not wilt or wither after it has been picked. This formula is complete with properties from the immortelle plant, so just imagine how effective these properties can be for your skin.

 

(Unsweetened) Bhakti Chai

I love to buy un-sweetened versions of things because I am a bit of a sugar patrol, and it can just sneak into almost anything these days. 

I LOVE the spicy, tasty warming hues to this delicious chai, and I love to add my own sweetener (usually raw honey) with my own milk of choice (usually raw milk or Ripple).

This is a great treat to order at some of Boulder's hip coffee shops (most of them carry it) or of course buy the grab and go version from local health food stores.

Sometimes, I even make my chia pudding with Bhakti Chai.  That's some wintery goodness right there.

Winter, warming, tasty, naturally sweet and full of spicy gingery goodness.

 

Fresh Thymes Eatery

We all need that place that feels like the food is made just for our palate.  Fresh Thymes Eatery is locally owned, organic, gluten free, dairy free and easy to swing into for lunch or dinner.  

I love when I can order anything on the menu and not have to worry.  

Some of my favorites are the Crying Tiger Bowl (no quinoa, sub extra veggies), the skirt steak combo plate and the dairy free, gluten free Mac Attach (their version of mac and cheese).  I also grab there bone broth to-go if I am fighting something off and haven't had the energy to make my own.

Affordable, effieicnt, easy and so tasty.  

 

Isagenix Amped Hydrate Electrolytes

We all need a little electrolyte boost here and there.  I enjoy my favorite electrolytes (raise your hand for orange) after my morning spin or yoga class, before bed for some extra hydration, and really any time at all.  

These electrolytes help me to drink more water.  I crave salt, and the little bit of sea salt in here hits the spot. These are infused with lots of B vitamins, a little bit of stevia and raw honey, and a great flavor.

Click the linked title above for all the deets!

 

Wonder Press :: The Cure (pressed ginger and lemon shot)

Okay.  Let's talk about the flu.  So many folks have been hit hard this year.  As soon as I feel something coming on this is my cure.  These little shots of wonder are a ginormous immune boosters.  You can totally make this at home if you have a juicer, and it is always nice to know where you can get them if you want a grab and go. 

Ginger is a wonderful immune booster that naturally warms us up in the colder days of winter.  This superfood is great for digestive issues, flus – very anti-bacterial, anti-viral.  

I often cut this concoction with a little hot water as it is super strong.  

 

Instacart

Like most new technology, it takes me a little while to get on board.  It wasn't until Ari and I were sitting at the Seattle airport on our way home from a family trip when I tested out Instacart.  Have you tried it?

I got home at nearly 10 pm that night with a fresh bag of groceries waiting for me.  How awesome is that after a week of traveling and a long travel day?  

My day-to-day life can get a little full here and there and on those days, Instacart is the answer to simplifying.

When you download the app on your phone, you can pick your grocery store, choose your items, pick a time for delivery and voila, easy peesy.  

Instacart is blowing up, so if you are not in Boulder, you may find it showing up near you soon.  

 

Kavinace

We all no there is nothing better than a good night of sleep.  While there are many many things to do to create a happy sleep environment, sometimes we need a little boost.

On our retreat in Costa Rica this fall, we brought some with us, and before you know it we were sharing sleep support with many of our retreaters.  The results were amazing. Many of the ladies said they slept better than ever.  Being a health care practitioner, I have used many many sleep formulas with my clients – this one works the best by far.

One of our Boulder Nutrition team members works for Pharmaca (Boulder's holistic pharmacy) where she reported that this product is the number one best seller of all supplements store wide.

I love it's blend of amino acids and melatonin and how it addresses so many imbalances that could be causing restless nights.  

Here's to great sleep!!

 

 

 

 

Above photo credit: Jeremy Sheehan (@jcshamrock)

 


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THE MISSING LINK IN OUR HEALTH CONVERSATION

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THE MISSING LINK IN OUR HEALTH CONVERSATION

"THE MIND AND BODY ARE LIKE PARALLEL UNIVERSES"

DEEPAK CHOPRA

 

There is sure a lot of holiday hoopla in the air.  How are you holding up?


Honestly, for me the holiday season used to come with a hefty dose of stress and a whole lot of pressure in trying to make things picture perfect. I aspired to cook the perfect meals, host the ideal dinner parties, buy the right gifts all the while still providing a magical holiday for my kids – it was a tad overwhelming.  


The past few years I have been trying something different. For exampe, this past holiday weekend I chose to lay super low: to rest, to nourish, to hang with friends and family, to get outside, to avoid full contact shopping and to get plenty of downtime as the holiday season begins. {BTW it was heavenly}

 

As I am sure many of you have experienced, food can be a BIG challenge for many of us during the holiday season. The parties, the family dinners, the travel, and the celebratory feasts have become such a big part of the celebrations. While I love to share food and celebrate around the a festive table with loved ones, I also know it is something we can sculpt to match what it is we are wanting for ourselves on a larger scale. 

 

MY MOTTO THIS YEAR:  
SIMPLE IS THE NEW SMART



... Simple traditions
... Simple (and tasty) whole food meals
... Simple gatherings
... Simple purchases



Amidst it all, we can learn to listen to our bodies and our intuitions and see what feels right. Yes, it takes a little bit of time, gentleness, practice and patience, and is very worth the effort.


So, I wanted to share with you some pretty cool {cutting edge} science today. This research will really help you enhance knowing what your body needs and wants, how you can better listen to your body, heighten your inner awareness and make YOU the priority this holiday season.

 

WHAT IS INTEROCEPTION?


Interoceptive awareness means developing an attentiveness in relation to the sensations arising within our bodies. These bodily signals are worthy of our attention because it is the brain's interpretation of them that determines how we are feeling both mentally and physically. By becoming more aware of these inner sensations, we are able to influence how these signals are interpreted by the body and the actions that would follow.

 

In 1906, the Nobel laureate Charles Scott Sherrington, introduced three terms into medical parlance: “proprioception”, “exteroception”, and “interoception”. Of the three, perhaps proprioception, which is basically the awareness of one’s body in relation to external objects, is the most familiar. (Proprioception is why we don’t constantly walk into walls or get into car accidents.) Exteroception refers to awareness of any stimuli coming at us from the outside (sights, sounds, smells etc.). Interoception is our awareness of what is going on within the boundary of our own skin; it is intra-organismic awareness. (Emerson, 2015)

 

Interoception, defined here as the sense of the physiological condition of the body, is an information pathway used to interpret one’s body from within. Interoception is the process of receiving, accessing and appraising our internal bodily signals. The anatomical pathways for interoception are well-specified, detailing the connections between sensory receptors, spinal cord, brainstem, and brain (Craig, 2002).  

 

Interoception evokes the quality of the relationship between our mind and body.

 

Interoception remains poorly understood within modern science, but recent research is insightful, and provides the missing link to healing our relationship to food and our bodies.

 

How a lack of interception can manifest in multifaceted...

 

Maybe your hunger cues are shut down.  Maybe you don't experience accurate interpretations of hot or cold.  Maybe it is hard for you to read our body's satiation cues. Maybe you are not in touch with your deeper currents of emotion and sensation that could be providing valuable information about a situation or circumstance.

 

Poor interoceptive awareness is often cited as a key quality of eating disorders, yet the precise nature of the deficits and their relationship to eating pathology remains unclear.

 

Research suggests that our greatest moments of personal fulfillment and pleasure are times we spend fully involved and engaged in a situation with our whole selves: be it a physical activity, a sensory experience, or intimacy with another person. If we are disconnected, we are depriving ourselves of some of the greatest sources of happiness.

 

While the research on how to heal our interoceptive awareness is still new, there are many studies, and anecdotes that are leading us in a positive direction with what we can do to make these big shifts.

 

 

HOW CAN YOU HEAL YOUR INTEROCEPTIVE AWARENESS?

 

While Interoceptive awareness means developing a curiosity towards the sensations arising within the body, we can say YES to empowering yourself along the way.  Learning to trust your body, and heighten your inner awareness makes navigating life {and food} much more graceful.

 

Want to trailblaze your own inner path towards interoceptive awareness?  Try these body centered practices that have been part of the Boulder Nutrition methodology for years {and that really work}.

 

Bring a lot of love, healing, and patience to your relationship to your body:

 

If you are like most of us, you have probably had times in your journey of life where your body felt like the enemy.  I get it.  It have been there too.  Feeling disconnected, angry at, checked out, turned off, disgusted by and even in conflict with our bodies is a pretty common phenomenon.

 

You may have experienced this if you struggled with a big health issue, if you have suffered with an eating disorder, if you have chronic stomach aches, or body pain. The truth is, discovering how your body is your biggest ally is like discovering the holy grail.

 

While releasing the negative emotions and associations with your body is a windy road (with possibly a few bumps along the way), as you watch yourself heal, feel stronger, more intuitive, and more connected to yourself, it won't be long until you find the process inspiring and even enchanting.

 

My recommendation:  Slow and steady.  All things come in due time and when creating these new neuro and sensory pathways (literally) we are going to have to be patient.   Celebrate your little victories.  Track the positive changes.  Coddle the process in a gentle and loving bubble and you will start to fall in love with the journey.

 

Create an embodiment practice:

 

There are many simple mind-body practices that support body awareness, emotional wellbeing, and physical vitality – all leading to improved interception and body awareness.  

 

Embodiment, as it turns out, is vital to our health and well-being. It may also be a doorway into higher consciousness through a healthly  interoceptive experience.

 

According to a recent study (Biological Psychiatry, 2016) connecting to the sensations in your body during an embodiment practice such as yoga, offers a powerful gateway to connecting with the junction point between mind and body.  Dr David Creswell’s new study indicates, practicing mindfulness meditation may also increase functional connectivity, or communication, between this ruminating and negative part of the brain, and the part responsible for executive control. 

 

Embodiment practices increase interception, something many of us have experienced in our personal journeys, but that is now being scientifically validated, and encouraged.

 

 

Try the four part check in:

 

I love to teach the 4 part check in on my retreats and to my women's groups.  I use this almost every day as a platform to check in with myself and see what I can do to take care of myself each day. I learned this through some of the teachings of Deepak Chopra (quoted above) and they have proven to be priceless in my process.

 

To start, find a quiet place where there is some solace and serenity.  If this means a quiet place in your house, closing the door to your office or pulling over on the way to work at a near by park. You will have a deeper experience where there is some personal peace, and you only need a few minutes. {yes, I have hid in the bathroom from my kids when I needed a moment of peace}

 


Part One:   How are you feeling in your body?  Describe only the physical sensations, the quality of what is arising on a physical level:  temperature, hunger, tightness, tingly, heavy, achy, the taste on your tongue, the growling in your belly, the tension in your shoulders.  Stay with the physical sensations.  

 

question:  what does your body need to be nourished

 

Part Two:  How are you feeling in your emotions? Describe emotions that are arising in the present moment.  More than one?  That's just fine. Emotions can often arise simultaneously.  Describe them (on paper or in your mind)  

 

 

Question:  What does your heart nEed to be fed with support and joy?

 

 

Part Three:  What is the quality of your thoughts?  Most of us have good days and tough days when it comes to our monkey-mind thoughts. Some days our thoughts are supportive and kind, and other days we are are own worst critic.  

 

 

question:  What does your mind need to be free, clear, supportive and kind?

 

Part Four:  We each have a connection to our higher self, our intuition, and our souls.  There are many names for this aspect of the self, so feel free to insert yours in this process.  Personally, I love this part, as it really challenges some of the more automatic, negative, destructive self talk.

 

 

question:  What does your soul need to be at peace?

 


Consider Forest Bathing:

 

Have you heard of Forest Bathing?  This innovative nature based technique comes from Japan where the research on time in nature (especially for residents of large cities) has a measurable impact on stress levels, happiness, and quality of life.

Forest Bathing was developed in Japan during the 1980s (known as shin-rin yoku) and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.  

Forest bathing literally translates into "taking in the forest".  You don't have to hike, but rather you can literally bask in the natural environment and soak up the atmosphere.

The research on Forest Bathing is mind-blowing and this is a great way to enhance a mind-body connection while also diminishing stress, slowing down, and being in nature.

 

Go to a forest. Walk Slowly.  Breathe.  Open all of your senses.

 

  • Boost immune  function
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Lower stress
  • Improve outlook on life
  • Increase your ability to focus
  • Increase your energy level
  • Improve your sleep patterns
  • Create a clearer intuition
  • Increase your flow of energy
  • Increased life force
  • Increase overall sense of peace and happiness

 

Slow down and give yourself down time daily:

 

Our culture moves so fast.  It is so common to be going from the time we wake up in the morning to the time we fall into bed at the end of the day.

 

While I know it is hard to prioritize down time and time to move slower amidst our full to-do lists, parenting duties, job requirements and fast paced everything, I really highly recommend you do.

 

Just that little bit of down time each day (electronic free) will do wonders for you body, mind and soul while also creating the space to enhance your interoceptive awareness.  

 

When we are distracted by the endless busyness, it is terribly hard to create a heighten inner awareness, especially if this is a big area of struggle.

 

The best news with all of this is that we CAN heal our interoceptive awareness with implementing just a few of these small changes. I hope your health and healing journey is enhanced by knowing that you too can increase, improve and heal your mind-body connection no matter where you are starting from.  May your journey be insightful, graceful and rich honoring all the wise and dynamic parts of YOU.

 


Spoiler Alert: The new Yoga of Eating SOULFOOD SESSIONS are just around the corner. BIte size nuggets of wisdom from this year's 2018 guest teachers from The Yoga Of Eating online course and community.  I can't tell you how excited I am to share some brilliant insights from some of the country's most innovative health and wellness experts.  

 

P.S.  The Yoga of Eating 2018 is opening for registration soon.  I am over the moon with excitement about our new content, our 2018 guest teachers, and I can hardly wait to shower you with  so much support coming. Stay Tuned...
 

Hello. I am Sue Van Raes, a Nutritional Therapist, Food Psychology Specialist, Nature Lover, and Author.  My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure.  You can find out more about me and my work in the world HERE

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TAKE A FALL STROLL WITH ME

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TAKE A FALL STROLL WITH ME

"FALL IN LOVE WITH TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF"

 

The trees on my neighborhood street are utterly glowing with the reds and oranges of fall. I often find myself staring out the window or walking through the neighborhood, watching the leaves fall one by one.  

 


Nature's glow is similar to the inner glow that I feel at this time of year. The warming colors of orange, gold and crimson feel somewhat therapeutic.

 



For me, it's the little moments of presence and gratitude that makes the season of Fall so majestic. 



So today, in the spirit of the changing seasons and the majesty of watching nature let go, I thought we could take a little stroll together through the fall leaves, looking at some of the important qualities of the changing season that can lend themselves to our strength, vitality and nourishment.  



In this week's episode of SATIATE {my new podcast}, you will find some supportive and inspiring tips to bring with you as you stroll through the fall leaves towards your health and happiness:
 

  • Learn the energetic qualities of Fall

 

  • Listen to some recommendations around how to best nourish yourself at this time of year.

 

  • Deepen you understanding of Fall's complimentary organ: how to take the best care for immunity, strength and optimal health.

 

  • Check out some of my favorite self-care and nourishment practices for this season.

 


 




AND/OR


 



Interested in more?  Our upcoming retreat, EAT. BREATHE. NOURISH. in Nosara, Costa Rica (November 8-15th) is a deep dive into the wisdom of our bodies, our authentic relationships to food, health, happiness, and how to fine-tune this relationship with baby steps, practice, gentleness and growth. We have a few spots left.  View all the details HERE.


I hope these reflections help you on your quest, and if you have any comments, thoughts, questions, or anything to add, feel free to reply.  I love hearing from you. 

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THE WHY'S AND HOW'S TO *AUTHENTIC EATING*

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THE WHY'S AND HOW'S TO *AUTHENTIC EATING*

"THE AUTHENTIC SELF IS THE SOUL MADE VISIBLE"

SARAH BREATHNACH

 


For me, fall is a beckoning to nourish, tend to myself, turn inward, and let go. Following the currents of nature in all her forms has always been one of my most supportive guidance systems.


The seasons and cyclical rhythms of nature help me in governing how I move through my life, my eating, and my daily practice. Nothing feels more wise, whole and informative to me.  
 

Shifting our relationship to food and our bodies is a windy road, one where we can find ourselves lost, with no cell phone reception.


There were many times in my life when I was very confused about my eating.


One that stands out was circa 2001. Ironically, I was immersed in my masters program, studying nutrition – a typical time to get confused. The majority of my studies took place during what I referred to as my nap time empire, back in the day when naps still existed in my house.


I remember a very specific moment while sitting at my desk, Ari tucked away for a nap and Elijah down the street at pre-school: As I eagerly leafed through yet another nutrition book on my required reading list, I noticed that this very book contradicted the previous one.  


After sitting in this new confusion for a while, thinking to myself: "Which one am I going to pick? What will I suggest to my soon to be clients? How do I stand by one way, when there are so many?"


Weeks passed while I was stuck on this crux and it meant everything to me. Eventually, a truth struck me in one grand AHA moment:  "I don't have to choose.  Everyone has their own needs, wants and desires. There is no one way. My job is to support folks to find their way."


I know it may sound overly simplified now and I will admit those were some very sleep deprived days for me, but today I continually see this epidemic happening all around me.  


I sit in my office day after day with folks who are utterly confused. Many are choosing an eating style based on what their spouse, best friend, favorite magazine or yoga teacher is talking about. 

 


Yes, sometimes it works... but sometimes it really doesn't.  




Eating and nourishing ourselves has become one of the most complicated and confusing things we do in today's world – especially when we add in our busy, fast-paced lifestyles and the one way is the way approach that so much of the modern media is implying. 


Often we are left with guilt or hunger or exhaustion or just plain hopelessness.


I am sure, if you are like most of us, you have tried a few different things in your foodie life, as have I.  


So today, I thought we could shed some light on things that I find to be helpful in this conversation.


Here is a glance at some of the realizations I have had along the way, through my own insight, but also through observing hundreds of eaters with every kind of history under the sun, in my private practice, Boulder Nutrition.

 

These touchstones are reminders here because they are setting the table for our personal artistry of living (and eating) a soulful and pleasurable life, with our authenticity forging a new path.

 

 

Implementing authentic eating as practice is a healing tool for our health, our body image and our pleasure possibilities.

 

Living this way may look very different for each of us, as we are each totally unique and individuated in our expression of authenticity in our lives and in our eating. There is no exact formula for this genuine expression, but rather a gentle honoring in how it manifests and is embodied in each of us.  We may have to clear some cultural and social beliefs about how we think we should be, to then make space for how we truly arewith our authenticity and primal wisdom leading the way.

 

Soulful Superfood #1:

The Why's

When we flow with our natural rhythm, we create personal freedom.

 

The more we feel into the elemental cycles around us, present for all life forms on the planet, the more we can ride the waves and rhythms in ourselves. This knowing is embedded in our true nature, our cellular DNA and our innate animal wisdom.

 

Our authentic rhythms are like a current of knowledge that is already within us. We can tap in at any time.  When we allow ourselves to flow with our natural currents, we begin to see our rhythms as a gift, as spiritual freedom and as our truest nature.

 

For example, as women, our female cycles are our road map to our own empowerment and to the sacred feminine. Each of the four seasons is reflected in the bodily cycles (moon cycle) we experience each month. By tuning into our cycles of body and earth, we are able to watch the shape shifting of our energy, our sensuality, our cravings, and our pleasures and tend to them with care and devotion.

 

Within our primal and animal feminine intelligence, when we return with reverence to the natural cycles of body and earth as our primary guidance system, over time we can soothe and remedy our lives – including our moon cycle and our monthly hormonal balance our eating, and our personal care.

 

We don't have to pick one eating style or commit to one way. We can flow, groove and evolve our eating to match the other aspects of our lives.  Our eating can become fluid, freeing, and attuned with our bodies, minds and souls.

 

As we become more balanced and authentic in our eating, our renewed relationship to food and our bodies will cultivate a higher inner awareness.  We will begin to trust our (wise) cravings and make choices that are strengthening, comforting and health promoting.

 

 

Soulful Superfood #2:

The How's

I know this approach works for me personally because it feels like a great big exhale in my body.

 

As I mentioned, we all have to find our way.  I can only truly speak from my own personal experience on this one, even though I have heard many many testimonials from my clients and my online community.  

 

So when we talk about how this has worked for me, it feels like it is not even a choice at this point. My emotions surely play a big role in my appetite, my blood sugar screams loudly when not attended to, my hormones have some pretty specific requests and my creativity and inspiration in creating food, eating food, sharing food, and teaching about food are being downloaded on a daily basis.  

 

So, when I sit and breakdown how to practice authentic eating step by step, here is what comes:

 

Find a method that supports your mind-body connection

One of the most valuable tools we can hone as an eater is our mind-body connection. Building this connection is a healing tool for both our body confidence and our creating interoceptive awareness.  Our mind-body connection increases both our sensitivity to sensorial experiences in the body as well as the perception of these signals.  

There are many ways to fine-tune our mind-body connections.  Here are a few of my favorite:

  • Incorporate downtime for reflection and rest (electronic free) each day.
  • Spend some time in nature each week.
  • Practice an awareness art such as yoga, meditation, reflective journalling, tai chi, or forest bathing,
  • Create a consistent morning ritual, intention practice or gratitude practice. (even if you only have 5 min)

 

HONOR YOUR PHYSICAL HUNGER

There is a big difference between our physical hunger and our emotional hunger.  Our emotions don't have a stomach, so they can never be truly hungry or truly be satiated.  When we take a moment to check in with our body's physical hunger cues we often get a more authentic answer.  This takes a little practice.  

Stop.  Pause. Take a deep breath.  Place your hand on your stomach.  

Ask the question:  "What are you hungry for?"

If the answer has nothing to do with food (i.e.  you need a hug, a good cry, or a nap) give yourself permission to listen.

 

Slow down + LEARN WHAT FEELING SATIATED MEANS FOR YOU

Feeling full vs feeling satiated are two very different things.  In fact, the most common reason for overeating is due to not being satiated.  When were are eating out of balance for our unique bodies and our unique metabolisms, it is very hard to feel satiated.  

Satiation occurs when we are meeting our physical needs for protein, fat, and carbs, as well as taking the time and space to eat slowly and mindfully.  

{A recent study showed when eating in front of the TV, humans are known to eat up to 50% more food per meal. }

We can't navigate our hunger and satiation cues when we are distracted, checked out, or rushed.

Satiation can also mean personal fulfillment.  When we are more satiated in our daily lives, our relationships, our jobs, and our free time, we will find a more easeful relationship with our eating.

 

learn your Metabolic Type

How you feel after a cup of really strong coffee, or a sugary treat may be very different than me. How you feel after a grass fed piece of steak or a yummy bowl of vegan lentil soup might be very different than your sister.

We all have such unique body chemistries, sensitivities, likes or dislikes, histories, hormonal balances/imbalances and metabolisms that with any investigation it would only make sense that food will react in our bodies in different ways.

We can fine-tune our diets to match our unique bodies, our goals for our health, and how we want to optimize our personal metabolism and energy. 

Metabolic typing is the very complete and science based system that I use to learn how to customize nutritional needs for the individual.  This information gives us a "recipe" for how to fuel our unique body chemistries – to feel more satiated, energized, and nourished.

 

RESPECT YOUR BODY

Food is often used as a way to punish or reward ourselves (or both).  We tell ourselves we "deserve" it, when in reality the act of binging on potato chips leaves us feeling worse than when we started.  We find ourselves eating our emotions, stuffing our feelings with food, or numbing ourselves and our suffering with sugar.  

Respecting out bodies with our eating involves feeding ourselves in a way that leaves us energized, uplifted, inspired, satiated, and loved.  

 

TAP INTO THE CYCLES OF NATURE

The cycles of nature act as a wonderful backdrop for eating.  Each season is fresh with it's customized goodies, it's flavors, and it's energetics.  Within the seasons, nature goes through everything on the spectrum – from full bloom to death and decay. These are the pulsations of life.

According to Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, each season comes with a unique energetic quality, nourishment, complimentary organ, emotion and action. Synchronizing with each season’s expression is like medicine for the body, mind and soul.  

Your authenticity lies in your primal animal being which is and always has been nature.  

 

practice: The way out is always in

Take inventory and care of your inner landscape. Rather than avoiding a situation, a feeling, or a truth (which often turns into acting out in our eating) allow the space, time, and reality of the situation to move through you completely. The uncomfortable feelings will pass. Strong feelings are intimidating and even scary at times, but they also have a habit of sticking around until we face them.

We are a culture that often looks outside of ourselves for the answers. While I am a firm believer in getting the support I need, I have also found that even asking two different friends, therapists, or sisters for the same advice can lead with two very different suggestions (even opposites). Include asking yourself for advice. You know the answers. Only you know what is best for you and what aligns with you.

 

 

Soulful Superfood #3:

Reflections from the Yoga of Eating Retreat

 

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Here is a beautiful interpretation of how our authentic eating and living can really impact our health and overall life experience through the eyes of one of our Yoga of Eating retreaters. This (spontaneous) share is so beautiful and appreciated.

"On our retreat, women come from all over the country, varying in age by about 40 years. Everyone had unique reasons for coming, but despite all our different backgrounds and current life affairs, we all had some a similar goal. We all wanted to find a way to relax and find balance in our relationship with food and our bodies, by allowing ourselves this time away from everything else.
It’s sad to recognize that most of us feel pretty inadequate much of the time. There are so many demands that just pile up and up and up….it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit lost. The thing that really hit me during our talks was that we are all dealing with this same, deep burden in different ways. For some of us it’s eating disorders, for others, it’s over-working to the point of depression and exhaustion. Some of us might be able to function in the day-to-day just fine, but there is a lingering feeling that something is missing.
Taking a deeper look at our authentic feelings and how they relate to our eating patterns is totally eye-opening. We might choose to stuff ourselves with food due to a struggle with communication, by using our mouths to push everything down, instead of getting feelings out. We may use food as a shield, to hide from the world under extra weight. We may crave certain types of foods for comfort or as a distraction because we don’t know how to sit with an uncomfortable emotion.
The great news is that acknowledging these unhealthy habits is the first step towards turning them around. Being in a group of women sharing their hearts like this really makes you realize you’re not alone – we all have our shit. We all have issues. It’s how you decide to handle them that matters and nothing is set in stone.
At one point during the weekend Sue brought up the idea of flavors and how they relate to feelings or emotions. For example, spicy foods can evoke warmth and passion, and we often turn to sweet foods for comfort and love. This hit me like a lightning bolt. I realized that some days I feel like I’m giving the world 110%, I’m trying my very best to be loving and kind, but I don’t feel like the world is giving that back to me. Days like this really stress me out and get me down, and I find myself looking for comfort in sweets.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a sweet tooth in general and I don’t need to feel a bit blue to get a hankering. But, after really thinking about this concept for a while it makes sense that those cravings become much stronger on the days I’m in need of a little extra comfort.
Ailsa Cowell
Food to Feel Good
 

 


 

Join us for our next immersion illuminating the self-care, yogic, and food-centric aspects of the feminine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WE ARE HITTIN' THE ROAD...

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WE ARE HITTIN' THE ROAD...

"GO WHERE YOU FEEL THE MOST ALIVE" 


 

I grew up road tripping in a Country Squire Ford Station Wagon.



My father, still king of the road at almost 80 years old, loved going on family adventures on the open Canandian roads.  My parents would put down the back seats, fill the 'very back' of the wagon with pillows and blankets and off we would drive, with Willie Nelson playing on the 8-track. (I know, I just dated myself)



I used to love my turn in the front seat, with the best view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the freedom and adventure I felt as I stared (for hours) at the open road ahead.




When I look back now, especially at photos like the one I shared above (obviously I am the one on the left), I see where I still carry this early part of childhood in my DNA.  




Travelling, adventuring, and exploring many parts of the world (not limited to road trips) is still a big part of my life and my passion.  




So when the inspiration came to take Boulder Nutrition on the road, it felt like a resounding YES and perfect timing!!!  




A lot of things have changed in my life over the past few years:
 

  • Elijah, my older son moved out on his own.
  • My business has become almost 50% online and still growing.
  • I have begun leading retreats SOLO most of the time, which was a new and scary endeavor.
  • I have been able to, and loved to travel both with my amazing partner and often times, all of our kids.
  • My Boulder Nutrition Retreat schedule is full of exciting upcoming trips to beautiful places.
  • I feel ready and thrilled to spread Boulder Nutrition love to a further reach.




My life is always my teacher and the biggest inspiration for my writing and my work. 
 




Traveling and teaching on a larger scale has been a big dream of mine for many years.  So, I have been planning some travel and adventure while I share my work around the country (and world) and I am thrilled that Ari (my son) will be joining me most of the time. While I couldn't be more excited about the 'open road', I am also intent on savoring these last couple of years with him still at home–my high schooler who loves to road trip with me.



Soooooo, I wanted to let you know we will be heading out on the road (or occasionally by plane) to share my work and my message with as many folks as I can and to share some great adventures together. I will still be working in my beloved North Boulder office most weeks, but fitting in our travel schedule on weekends with the occasional longer stints.
 



Will I see you?  
 



Check out locations and dates below and let's talk about meeting up.  If your home town is not on the list, feel free to join me on one of the amazing Boulder Nutrition Retreats coming up – I would love to hang with you!!

Want to see what we are up to?  You can check us out on instagram for daily stories and updates (along with lots of free resources and recipes):

 

 

Click the icon below to follow our road trip on Instagram here:


Be sure to peruse all the details for this fall's exciting Boulder Nutrition Road Trip and Retreat schedule (local and international options available).  



PS. If you want to host me in your town, let me know!!


 


 

Take a well deserved break, share in the sisterhood, thrive through the practices of yoga, meditation, inspired living, experiential cooking, personal transformation, healing foods and self-care.


**Limited space in each workshop and retreat. Be sure to message me if you are interested. Spaces sold on a first come first serve basis.

 

" When going away is the first step towards coming home..."

 



 

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MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PLATE

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MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PLATE

I love to indulge on special occasions like many of us do.

Last week was my birthday, and a friend brought me some chocolate cupcakes that sat around for a few days. They were AMAZING.

I was also treated to a few lovely meals at some of Boulder's best restaurants - it was delightful!

I am definitely a foodie at heart and I was upping my pleasure meter all week long - I feel great about it.

The problem most of us struggle with isn't the special occasions, but rather our daily habits often followed by the horrible self-sabotaging + icky thoughts that follow suit.

Anything from that bowl of jolly ranchers that we walk past all day at the office, to too many cookies after dinner, to those extras that we find ourselves munching on when we are a bit tired, overwhelmed, sad or stressed.

These OH so common moments can add up to a lot when we get real with ourselves, and even worse - they often fill our thoughts with guilt and shame for days to come.  Navigating our desires can drive many of us a little crazy at times.

Nothing can match the fiery energy in our bodies that is created by pure desire.  Desire is one of the strongest forces in the universe – food and beyond.  Desire is the pure creativity, drive, passion, and pure life force pulsing through each of us.

While desire can help us stay grounded and focused on where we put our attention, it can also create illusion, lead us astray, and create more emptiness than when we started. Though the promise of fulfilling a desire always promises some kind of delight, it can also complicate and produce other areas of conflict in our lives.

We reach into the cookie jar time and time again, knowing that this temporary gratification will later leave us feeling tired, guilty and off balance.  

We indulge in that shopping spree that is truly not in our budget, to then suffer later with buyer’s remorse and feelings of regret.

We order that extra drink at dinner, and wake up the next morning tired and lethargic.

Desire seems like a good idea, but it also can feel hard to navigate and trust.

There is a different way.

When we align our inner world with our outer world, our inner self with the ways we move through our days, and the feelings we are seeking with how we choose to spend our time and energy, we attune with what I call ouraligned desire.

Aligned desire is an artful expression of who we are, our wholeheartedness, and our unique body-mind connection and purpose with what we are manifesting in the world.  When the inner and outer expressions of ourselves are in balance, we move through life with more ease and satisfaction.

Aligned desire will serve the highest good (for ourselves and others). We have to be discerning and refine ourselves. We have to look closely at our automatic behaviors and habits. We have to develop the capacity and awareness to make conscious choices when a desire arises.

Does a particular desire serve the highest part of ourselves, or are we simply, mindlessly perpetuating some habit that actually shadows our being?

Aligned desire breathes vitality into our own fulfillment from the inside out.  Aligned desire acknowledges and honors the challenges past while energizing us and making us the master of our own destiny.

When used wisely, aligned desire is ‘superfood’ for our souls.

 

Solstice Session #5: Make Peace with Your Plate

(Join me LIVE)

In this LIVE Solstice Session you will learn the solutions to these common foodie fears:

  • Foodie fear#1:  If you listen to your body, she will lead you down the wrong path, your desires are complicated and you cannot trust them.
  • Foodie fear #2:  There is so much to do.  You don’t have time for self-care, feeding yourself well, making you your #1, feeding yourself well is impossible.
  • Foodie fear #3:  You can’t even remember that last time you were able to love your body, especially around your eating, you feel hopeless.

 

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

This is our last week where I have been sharing with you therich and heartwarming Solstice Sessions. (you can access the previous Solstice Sessions HERE)These are my little whispers of winter’s wisdom, some guidance as we embrace the darkest nights of the year together, and some appetizers from my most complete body of work,THE YOGA OF EATING 2017that begins January 30th.  (registration is open).

Check out the details below.THE YOGA OF EATING 6-month course and community to heal your relationship to food and your body.Webegin January 30th, 2017.

 


 

The Yoga of Eating 2017

 

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017the most in-depth and detailed body of work I offer, and a way to work with me personally, while feeling the support of others on a similar path to transform your relationship to food and your body.

 

Many of you have daydreamed of a life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness.  If this is the case, THE YOGA OF EATING is just right for you.

This 6-month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age-old practices that guide you to deep healing from the inside out.

Make this year the year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

 


 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

 

For the whole month of January, Boulder Nutrition will be partnering withLululemon (we are both Canadian!) to bring you 5 FREE community classes.

Sunday mornings 9:30 am-10:30am Lululemon Store – 29th St Mall Boulder CO All the details HERE

This is a great opportunity to explore your practice in a new way, to check out little tasters from THE YOGA OF EATING 6-month program beginning January 30th, and to deepen into your 2017 dreams and intentions.

AND...

During January, in all 5 classes, we will be hosting a food drive for Harvest of Hope! Bring non perishable food items to class as a donation.


 

About Sue Van Raes...

I'm a  Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure.Learn more here.

In our work together, we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul, while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you, including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

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GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE

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GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE

I have been in deep reflection for the past 3 weeks.  Today marks the end of my visioning process that happens yearly for me between the winter solstice and my birthday.  

It feels particularly auspicious to write to you today – a full moon, my 45th birthday, and a time when my gratitude for my readership and for my business is something I feel so deeply.

The past three weeks  for me have included:

  • Acknowledging my successes and challenges of 2016
  • Visioning and dreaming of what is to come
  • Looking at some deeper, inner currents that I would love to explore
  • Setting my new goals and intentions for 2017 from the inside out
  • Getting very excited about my upcoming projects, retreats, travels, and creativity

It’s a dynamic process that has come with both the groovy feelings of inspiration and success, along with seeing where I still want to make certain changes, break though old patterns, and dig a little deeper to find what’s underneath it all.

We all have habits and patterns that we would like to change.  The New Year often brings these into the light, to shine some awareness on where we would like to make improvements, take better care of ourselves, work smarter not harder, and live healthy vibrant lives.

The problem is, change is incredibly hard.

So often we are fixed upon changing our ways – our eating, our exercise, our spending, our over extending, our people pleasing, and our lives in many ways, big and small.

As we see from the broken New Year's resolution phenomenon, people rarely change these patterns. 

It has been found that only 8% even make it past mid-January with attempting new ways before they give up completely.

This New Year's phenomenon is most often because we are simply looking at the behavior - the behavior that is a reaction or response to something deeper.  Our automatic behaviors are so often coping skills for our old, original, core wounding.

Feeling the pain, sadness, anger, disappointment, let down, abandonment, or inadequacy of our core wounding is often very uncomfortable.

  • What is underneath your overeating?
  • What is underneath your over spending?
  • What is underneath your sugar addiction?
  • What is underneath your reclusing?
  • What is underneath your drinking too much?
  • What is underneath your self-sabotaging?

The New Year comes, and we look at all of these behaviors, and think…something has to change.

The problem is, there is so much underneath  these behaviors that we are most often missing.

When we address the core issue (which takes a little bit of investigating), we are able to begin healing that wound.  These core wounds are usually pretty old, deep, and complex.

Core wounds are almost always a bit tender, raw and uncomfortable and most of us go to extremes to avoid feeling uncomfortable. 

Solstice Session #4: How to Get Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

 

In today’s Solstice Session you will learn:

  • How to identify the core wound that is leading you to these unwanted behaviors
  • What to do when you find it (for real)
  • How to get really comfortable being uncomfortable
  • + Some super specific ways to get support

When the wind was howling through Boulder Sunday night, I restlessly laid in bed, but just could not fall asleep.  I had spent a good part of the day journalling, asking, and inquiring into my own personal blocks.  Not only was I steeped in my own inner dialogue that was revealing some truths about where I get stuck, but my house was literally shaking in the wind.

The whole night felt pretty surreal.

While my sleep was not happening, and my mind was doing a bit of looping around one particular area where I often get stuck, there was something that was also occurring along side what felt was a hard night...

Something I did earlier that day – a question I asked myself, a reflection I had seen, some history of both my adult life and childhood – offered something back to me.

I touched the wound.  The real deep one.  This is often called our sacred wound, or our core wound.  We all have one.  This is the 'thing' we are desperately trying to cover up and cope with through some of our automatic behaviors and habits.  Covering it up may seem to work for a while, but it makes changing those old behaviors and habit almost impossible.

What I want to share with you today is both how I was able to uncover some of this wounding within myself, and then, how to manage it.

In this process, you may see your challenges and your hindrances. Ironically, they will become your portholes into your creating a harmonious and inclusive relationship with yourself. You will get stronger, more embodied, more connected to who you are – and all of this will lead you positively to your own unique breakthrough around what you are wanting to work on this year.

 

Step One: Identify the Behavior

What is the behavior you are wanting to change?  Have you ever tried to change it before?  Once we identify what we are working on, we can begin the excavation process.

Here are some common behaviors I have seen my clients (and myself) trying to change:

  • Over eating
  • Eating to fast
  • Binging
  • Eating too much sugar
  • Drinking to much alcohol
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Not being prepared
  • Being overly busy
  • Feeling lazy and unmotivated
  • Feeling alone
  • Extreme hibernating
  • Retail therapy
  • Over spending
  • Continually being in unhealthy relationships
  • Negative body self talk
  • Overindulging in any behavior

 

Step Two:  Look Underneath

What is underneath this behavior?

Take a deep breath.  Give yourself some sacred space.  Feeling our feelings and exploring our inner landscape requires a little time and space.  Try not to rush this.

This is actually not meant to be a 'thinking' exercise, but rather an intuitive exercise in connecting with your deepest self.  Most often, the first thought around what is underneath your behavior (the one you want to change), is the best one to start with.

Feel into your sensory body.  Notice what happens when you explore your sacred wound.  Shortness of breath, tightness, panic, love, compassion, warmth, openness.

Some of us suffer big traumas early in life that change us forever. Some have happy childhoods but are wounded nonetheless. Core wounds tend to be things like a sense of not being enough, being unlovable, not having enough, feeling alone, or unworthy. No matter what your core wound may be, you can guarantee that your wound influences who you are and how you behave.

 

Step 3:  Allow Yourself to be Uncomfortable

It goes against our human nature – we almost always move away from the uncomfortableness of life.  Many of us have elaborate ways to ensure that we keep anything uncomfortable very far away (such as those annoying habits and behaviors we seem unable to stop)

What I really want you to know is that allowing yourself to feel the uncomfortableness of your sacred wound, is likely the most healing action you can do for yourself.

This is truly the most important of resolutions, intentions, or New Year's goals you could give yourself, while it is also the most effective way to change those old outdated behaviors that continue to haunt you year after year.

When you are safe and snug in your home, you have the space set aside for yourself, and you are ready to really make a shift in a big way this year, dig into your most courageous self, get fearless, stay strong and centered, and give yourself full permission for the next little while to feel into the uncomfortable.

 

Step 4:  Accept

While it may be hard to be fully free ourselves of our sacred wound forever, we can surely begin to understand how our behaviors can either hinder or support our healing.

Once we are able to recognize where our negative patterns and habits may be originating, we can begin to navigate around them more effectively.

Once we are willing to be uncomfortable and we become more familiar with our sacred wound, we won't need to cover it up so desperately.  Instead, we will be more willing to get to know it – all her peaks and valleys and all her history.  Your sacred wound contains a blueprint of some deepest parts of you.  Can you tend to yourself with gentleness and care?

This process of acceptance will allow you to be at peace with your inner world as you hone your behaviors and habits in your outer world.

 

Step 5:  Lean In

We thrive with support.  With the right type of support, the rate of acceleration towards our intentions is more than tenfold.

Transformations happen quicker.  Breakthroughs occur more often.  Follow through is fierce and fabulous… and our resistance recedes (phew).  We do well with accountability, conversation, depth with another, sharing, connection, and seeing the commonalities that we all have.

 

What kind of support do you have?  

If you are looking for support around changing some of your behaviors and habits (especially around your health), looking into your own sacred wound, and making this year a breakthrough year, I have a couple of ways to help.

Click HERE to find out.  Your support system awaits you.

 

 

The Yoga of Eating 2017

 

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017: the most in-depth and detailed body of work I offer, and a way to work with me personally, while feeling the support of others on a similar path to transform your relationship to food and your body.

Many of you have daydreamed of a life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness.  If that is the case, THE YOGA OF EATING is just right for you.

This 6-month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age-old practices that guide you to deep healing from the inside out.

Make this year the year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

 

 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

Want to join me LIVE?

For the whole month of January, Boulder Nutrition will be partnering with Lululemon (we are both Canadian!) to bring you 5 FREE community classes.

Sunday mornings 9:30 am-10:30am Lululemon Store – 29th St Mall Boulder CO All the details HERE

This is a great opportunity to explore your practice in a new way, to check out little tasters from THE YOGA OF EATING 6-month program beginning January 30th, and to deepen into your 2017 dreams and intentions.

AND...

During January, in all 5 classes, we will be hosting a food drive for Harvest of Hope! Bring non perishable food items to class as a donation.

 

 


About Sue Van Raes...

I'm a  Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together, we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul, while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you, including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

Comment

FEELING FAT AND OTHER HEAVY THOUGHTS

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FEELING FAT AND OTHER HEAVY THOUGHTS

She walked into my office one day (a little flustered I might add) with her bathroom scale in her hand.  "Take it!" she exclaimed.  "If I have to look at this scale one more time, I may literally go crazy."

Tears of sadness began to stream down her cheeks.  I noticed frustration competing for a close second, as she clenched her jaw.

"I have realized that my happiness is co-dependant on this stupid scale!"

...I kept that scale in my office for close to a year.

The New Year is still fresh – a clean slate, a fresh blanket of snow, a new leaf, a new beginning, a reset, a restart.

Hope, optimism, dreams, plans, and goal setting happen with new beginnings. 

Many of us are in the process of contemplating what we want our year to look and feel like.

Research shows that the most common aspects of ourselves that we choose for our New Year's resolutions, goals, and intentions are:

  • Weight loss
  • Healthier eating
  • More exercise
  • Stress management
  • Better overall health

(i.e. It's my busiest month, and the gym was packed today).

If you have ever made your day dependent on the number on the scale ....

If you have ever walked by the shop window and glanced over to look at your reflection - mortified...

If you have ever pulled out your skinny jeans, tried them on knowing they were going to be too tight, changed into your baggy sweat pants, canceled your plans and binge watched Netflix...

If you have ever examined your naked body in the mirror – looking for love handles, muffin tops, or cellulite...

If you have ever turned down sex because of ANY or ALL of the above...

Then today's Solstice Session is especially for you.  Grab your warm cup of tea, get cozy (it's super snowy here in Colorado) and let's chat...

In Today's Solstice Session you will learn:

  • The truth about feelings
  • Why adding(+) is better that subtracting (-)
  • AAANNDD... little winter FARE to pamper your palate

First of all, you are not alone. “Feeling FAT” is a common thing to say, experience, and hear.

Something I have noticed: It doesn’t matter how big or small a person is, they still may very well experience “Feeling FAT”.

 

How often does a phrase like this run through your mind?

This “feeling” can leave us overwhelmed and stuck with icky, unlovable, worthless, depressed, unmotivated, thoughts about ourselves.

One big breakthrough I have witnessed is when we realize that “FAT” is not a feeling. If you experience “feeling FAT” then see if you can dig deeper into what is really going on…

What are you really feeling?

  • Scared
  • Anxious
  • Lonely
  • Hopeless
  • Angry
  • Guilty
  • Shameful
  • Frustrated

When we “feel FAT” we are almost always covering up a true emotion that is more complicated, overwhelming, or uncomfortable.

What can you do?

  1. What you are REALLY feeling? Name the feeling. Give yourself space to feel it.
  2. Trace the feeling back to the original trigger, incident, or event that may have started the feeling.
  3. Work with your thoughts and judgments around experiencing the feeling.
  4. Be gentle with yourself. You are a “feeling” being. There is no escaping it. You will continue to experience a wide range of feelings in your life, no matter what. The more comfortable and aware you become with these feelings, the better.
  5. Trust that you are stronger than you think, and that with a little practice, you can handle feeling feelings you have.

 

How does adding and subtracting relate to feeling FAT?

I know this may seem like a strange metaphor, but it is one that I have used for years for my own life as well as in my work.

Think about it for a minute…

Most often when we think of changing something, making an improvement, getting healthier, loving our bodies more, or creating transformation in our lives, we think of what we are doing wrong.

It is easy to bring our critical eye to the moment, compare ourselves to others, and wish we were just more perfect.

Most of us tell ourselves to STOP doing a certain behavior: to STOP eating so much candy, to STOP worrying about things so much, to STOP over eating, over spending, over giving, over extending, and even over judging.

Many years ago, I sat with one of my mentors on a cold and snowy winter day just like today.

She was in her mid-seventies, and steeped with a lifetime of self-study. I was thrilled to hear some of her wisdom.

She spoke this one particular message that has stuck with me for years – and has become integral in my personal and professional work:

 

“We don’t need to take things away, but rather add the right things and what we don’t need will naturally fall away.”

 

When we take things away, we naturally feel deprived. We need immense will power (which oscillates from one day to the next) to keep this up.

This could be food, money, a certain behavior, or even a person.

Have you ever tried this?

In my personal experience, and in what I have witnessed in my clients for the past 15 years is that our will power tends to run out, our old patterns creep back in, the pendulum swings from deprivation to indulgence, and we end up right back where we started.

When we add the right things into our lives consistently, they start to become automatic – we start to feel good – and our tired old patterns become more and more illuminated.

 

The good stuff begins to out weigh the rest, and we are less inclined to regress.

 

Take it up a notch. What if you added a lot of really good stuff?

Let’s say you are trying to quit eating so much white sugar this year – a very popular New Years resolution.

You start by adding in whole foods, adding in natural and yummy deserts full of the sweet flavor but also full of nutrients, self-love and balance, you add in some green juice here and there, you add in regularly moving your body daily, and also add in more adventures, more connection and more restoration…

Eventually that white sugar starts too taste waaaayyy to sweet.

Your palate becomes more sensitive and those sugary binges start to taste and feel bad to your body. You find yourself more satisfied with a natural sweet flavor, and the sweetness of life you have created all around you.

You may dabble in a bite of sugar here and there, but all the good stuff you are doing minimizes your old desire for so much sugar and YOU tap into a personal power that you thought was almost impossible to cultivate.

What are you going to ADD into 2017?

 

On that note here is one of my favorite naturally sweet recipes for you today. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Click Here to Get the Recipe

 

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

For the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you therich and heartwarming Solstice Sessions.  These are my little whispers of winter’s wisdom, some guidance as we embrace the darkest nights of the year, and some appetizers from my most complete body of work, THE YOGA OF EATING 2017that begins this January. (registration is open).  I hope you enjoy some of this content, as much as I love creating it for you.

Check out the details below.  THE YOGA OF EATING 2017: 6-month course and community to heal your relationship to food and your body.  Webegin in January 30th, 2017.

 

 

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017the most in-depth and detailed body of work I offer and a way to work with me personally while feeling the support of others on a similar path to transform your relationship to food and your body.

 

Many of you have daydreamed of a life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness.  If that is the case, THE YOGA OF EATING is just right for you.

This 6-month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age-old practices that guide us to deep healing from the inside out.

Click here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017

Make this year the year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

 

 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

Want to join me LIVE?

lulu-sue
lulu-sue

For the whole month of January, Boulder Nutrition will be partnering with Lululemon (we are both Canadian!) to bring you 5 FREE community classes.

Sunday mornings 9:30 am-10:30am Lululemon Store 29th St. Mall

Boulder CO

This is a great opportunity to explore your practice in a new way, to check out little tasters from THE YOGA OF EATING

6- month program beginning January 30th, and to deepen into your 2017 dreams and intentions.

AND…

During January all 5 classes we will be hosting a food drive for Harvest of Hope! Bring non perishable food items to class as a donation.

 

 

About Sue Van Raes…

I’m a  Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together, we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul, while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you, including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

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RESOLUTION TO REVERENCE

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RESOLUTION TO REVERENCE

“An Intention Sychronistically Organizes Its Own Fulfillment.”  ~  Deepak Chopra

 

I know this truth:  Our humanness naturally seeks transformation, healing and personal success, even amidst struggle or strife.

How we define these qualities is what makes us dynamic.

After the bustle of the holidays – the familiar over spending, over eating, and endless holiday to-do list – the new year is known to inspire hope, new beginnings, fresh starts, and a letting go of the past (with all its challenges).

To mark this transition, many of us are known to declare the changes we would like to make.

You start off on the right foot each year:  A new gym membership, a grocery cart full of organic produce to finally make those recipes you found on Pinterest, and a money plan that will knock your knee highs off,

 

but most often something is missing...

 

If you look back at your past resolutions you may see where they lost steam, where the realities of daily life made them tough to achieve, where your inner resistance took over, where you got stuck, where you self-sabotaged, or even gave up.

 

I have done this too.

 

This year, how about shedding your old ways (unless they worked like a charm for you) and try a "set yourself up for success" new beginning.

There is a different way. One that is filled with self respect, gratitude, intention, and potency. One that breathes vitality into your own fulfillment from the inside out, one that acknowledges and honors the challenges past, and one that makes you the master of your own divine destiny.

In Solstice Session #2 you will learn:

  • The SCIENCE behind INTENTION (with a bonus podcast)
  • How your RESISTANCE can be your biggest teacher.
  • A NEW YEARS BONUS: A simple wintery recipe to kick of your 2017

Our culture today is very much dominated by the energy of the masculine. The masculine qualities that we see so prevalently in the world are qualities such as productivity, efficiency, technology, logic, focus and stability.

Most of these qualities dominate our thoughts, our work, and our home life.

We need ALL of them. The masculine qualities have a lot to teach us. And…they tend to work even more effectively in our lives when they are balanced with the feminine.

The feminine is intuitive, fluid, mysterious, receptive, sensual, nurturing, tender, patient, adaptable, and quietly strong.

Each of us has our own personal recipe for the marriage of these two energies – the masculine and feminine. When we find that inner recipe, we tap into a personal power that is ripe for leaning into our dreams, and manifesting our desires.

This year, when contemplating the beginning of a new year, the returning of the light, and the artistry of your vision, consider what it would be like to align your inner world with your outer world.

What if your intentions were infused with intuition, emotion, and wholeheartedness?

What if you took a look at what your really want versus what you think you should want?

What if you considered how you want to feel in your life with the qualities and stepping-stones that would lead you there?

What if you considered your internal goals along side of your external goals?

Could you be a little more gentle, kind, and accepting of who you are and where you are in your life with all your imperfections?

There is no end to the depth and devotion we can have with ourselves. I see it as a life long practice, inquiry, and love affair.

In the podcast below, you will hear about The Yogic Art of Setting Intention and how to embrace the inner and outer, the masculine and feminine, and the gifts from challenges past.

 

Make Resistance Your Teacher

I have learned a lot about my resistance in the past few years.  The times I would rather not follow through.  The tasks that make me uncomfortable, the ways in which I avoid that one to-do on my list, the automatic excuses I use to avoid pushing myself into something new, and most importantly: what happens when I push through to the other side.

In fact, resistance has become an important teacher for me.

It helps me find my edge.  It offers me a new way.  It shows me where I am limiting myself.

 

So I befriended resistance.  

So often we repeat our old behaviors because of fear.  We don’t know what is coming, so our minds choose something with which we are already familiar.

Looking our resistance in the eye can give us a chance to inquire into why it is arising.

  • Fear of failure
  • Vulnerability
  • Shame
  • Avoiding feelings we would rather not feel
  • Engaging in a limiting belief
  • Believing the stories that our minds tell us (not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough)
  • Being uncomfortable with change or something new.

Acknowledging the fear of unfamiliar ways, new beginnings, and the releasing of the old is medicine when looking ahead at a new beginning – such as a new year.  When you loosen your grip on these old ways, a comforting sense of freedom and lightness emerges.  I have found when my resistance arises, simply recognizing her will make the following actions easier.

When you notice your resistance arise, pause, and ask yourself WHY?

On the other side of resistance are qualities such as freedom, expansion, breakthrough, trust, openness, potential, personal power, and love.

The stepping-stones to our dreams begin with slow and steady footholds, inner listening and balance, a strong vision, and daily practice.  Resistance will always show up to challenge our strength and refine our commitment, and when embraced, we will move mountains

 

BONUS

A WARMING WINTER RECIPE FOR YOU

Miso Ginger Veggie Stew

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

For the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you therich and heartwarming Solstice Sessions.  These are my little whispers of winter’s wisdom, some guidance as we embrace the darkest nights of the year, and some appetizers from my most complete body of work, THE YOGA OF EATING 2017that begins this January. (registration is open).  I hope you enjoy some of this content, as much as I love creating it for you.

Check out the details below.  THE YOGA OF EATING 2017: 6-month course and community to heal your relationship to food and your body.  Webegin in January 30th, 2017.

The Yoga of Eating 2017

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017: the most in-depth and detailed body of work I offer and a way to work with me personally while feeling the support of others on a similar path to transform your relationship to food and your body.

Many of you have daydreamed of a life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness.  If that is the case, THE YOGA OF EATING is just right for you.

This 6-month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age-old practices that guide us to deep healing from the inside out.

Click here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017

Make this year the year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

Want to join me LIVE?

lulu-sue
lulu-sue

For the whole month of January, Boulder Nutrition will be partnering with Lululemon (we are both Canadian!) to bring you 5 FREE community classes.

Sunday mornings 9:30 am-10:30am Lululemon Store 29th St. Mall

Boulder CO

This is a great opportunity to explore your practice in a new way, to check out little tasters from THE YOGA OF EATING

6- month program beginning January 30th, and to deepen into your 2017 dreams and intentions.

AND...

During January all 5 classes we will be hosting a food drive for Harvest of Hope! Bring non perishable food items to class as a donation.

 

About Sue Van Raes...

I'm a  Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together, we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul, while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you, including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

Comment

A SOLISTICE RITUAL AND RECIPE

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A SOLISTICE RITUAL AND RECIPE

 The temperature outside has fluctuated to a chilly low in Colorado this week.  I have often been bundled up with blankets by the fire, drinking hot tea and relaxing.  My brisk wintery walks have been invigorating, and my warm soothing baths have been the perfect anecdote for getting cozy.

The winter is definitely upon us.

Both the winter and summer solstice have been my favorite days since I was just a young child.  In northern Canada, where I grew up in my early years, the solstices (winter and summer) were pretty extreme.

The dark nights of winter were very dark, cold and long, and the light days of summer made the days seem to go on forever.  For me, there was an obvious magic to nature and her cycles, even back then.

So today, on one of my most favorite days of the year, I decided to OPEN registration a little early for THE YOGA OF EATING 2017 as well as bring to you my wintery gift – THE SOLSTICE SESSIONS.

For the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you the FREE rich and heartwarming Solstice Sessions.  These are my little whispers of winter’s wisdom, some guidance as we descend into the darkest nights of the year, and some appetizers from my most complete body of work, THE YOGA OF EATING 2017 that begins this January. (registration is open).  I hope you enjoy some of this free content, as much as I love creating it for you.

Because… what I used to consider a cold, stressful and tender time of year has now become a time I cherish.

When I say descend, what I mean is my descent into my inner world - through all her peaks and valleys – where the darkest nights of the year have become a great teacher and chaperon to my own insight and wisdom.

Some would say this descent has been known throughout time, myth, and story as a descent into the underworld.  Others see it as the most potent nights to pray or connect to our higher selves. Often we hone how to vision with clarity and precision for the upcoming New Year.

The dark nights expand to cultures worldwide with unique and diverse wintery wisdoms and rituals.

In today’s Solstice Session you will learn:

  • Learn the biggest challenge women face over the holidays.
  • Some short and sweet solstice rituals begin your own dark night descent – embracing winters wisdoms.
  • How to restore your life force and your energy with my most favorite winter warming smoothie.

Have you been busy bustling and hustling to get ready for your holidays? Amidst all of the gift buying, holiday parties and decorating things can get pretty zany out there.

The most common complaints we all know during the holidays: tired, drained, doing too much, over extended, and trying to please everyone else.

This is the # 1 challenge women face each holiday season.

The energetics of winter remind us to hunker down, slow down, and restore our prana (life force). We benefit from cooking our food slow and long, finding coziness and warmth together in our families and communities, while warming our hearts with connection to ourselves and others we love. Follow these three R’s for some simple reminders and reflections.

RESTORE

This year, turn over a new “snow flake” and give to yourself first. You will have plenty more to give to those you love when you do.

How you might ask?

That is exactly what Solstice Sessions are for. Little winter wisdoms to inspire you and remind you that you can live as your own VIP.

Try these daily practices to stay centered and calm:

  • Create some daily down time – just for you.
  • Go bed a little earlier – winter is a time for rest and restoration.
  • Reflect with your inner self – journal, meditate, listen inward
  • Take warm soothing baths – these will relax you, boost your immune system and help you sleep
  • Bundle up and get outside – the crisp winter days bring energy and vitality
  • Order your gifts online – avoid those lines and the holiday bustle
  • Say NO more often – save your YES's for the important stuff
  • Keep things simple in your celebrations – simple is the new smart

RITUALIZE

The winter solstice is the perfect time to begin a reflection practice for the years end. The darkest night in many cultures has symbolized the new year and returning of the light.  Often winter solstice rituals include candle light, fires and warming foods.

Take some time to look back on your year and enjoy contemplating all the things you have been through (easy or tough), and the life lessons learned in the process, the intentions actualized, and finally bridge some ideas as to where you are heading for the new year to come. (more on the years beginning ritual to come soon)

  • Release the old with reverence
  • Celebrate the small successes and the little things that matter most
  • Relish in the magic of synchronicities, the power of intentions and the opportunities that have come your way.
  • Let go of judgement and self-criticism (pretty please)
  • Most of all…Count your blessings – big and small

Here some ways create a winter solstice ritual moment:

  • Light candles or lanterns and savor the darkness as you take some time in silence to hold your year in a magical embrace.
  • Release the old with a fire ritual – burning a list of the aspects of your year you would like to release or let go of. Be gentle with yourself. Use a fireplace, a fire pit, or even hold the burning paper and flush it.
  • Spend some time writing in your journal reflecting on the past year, who you were when the year began last January, and what you have learned about yourself and life since then.

REPLENISH

Winter eating entails preparing seasonal whole foods that can be stored, canned, or kept for the colder days of winter. Emphasize warming foods that stimulate digestion, circulation, and immunity.  Share food with loved ones, focus on the pleasure of eating and the coming together of love and light.

Here are some good winter foods to explore:

  • Warming soups and stews
  • Root vegetables
  • Beans (especially adzuki and mung beans)
  • Miso and seaweed
  • Garlic and ginger
  • Warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves.

Try this wintery warming smoothie to nourish your body, mind and soul.

smoothie-gingerbread

Recipe by Chef Bailey Ruskus

This is my holiday treat for you this year.  A candlelit path into the darkest nights of the year and some tasters from the The Yoga of Eating 2017Online Course and Community that begins this January – check out all the details below.

The Yoga of Eating 2017: the most in depth and detailed body of work I offer, a way to work with me personally while feeling the support of others on a similar path … to transform your relationship to food and your body.

Many of you have daydreamed of life filled with positive thoughts and habits that support your health and your happiness. If that is the case, The Yoga of Eating is just right for you.

This 6 month online course and community is full of incredible resources, potent international guest teachers, deep and reflective monthly content, guided yoga and meditation practices to enhance your inner journey, a beautiful circle of women from many corners of the world, and age old practices that guide us to deep healing from the inside out.

Click Here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017 … and how this year you can become your own VIP in all things health and happiness.

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LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

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LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

 

This past Saturday morning, I sat up in my adorable little yurt, just as the sun was rising over the Sangre De Cristo mountains.  I reached for my cozy slippers (I had brought them with me) and meandered over to the community kitchen to pour myself some hot tea.

 

As I walked back, the steam was rising off of my tea cup on this particularly chilly fall mountain morning. I quickly snuggled back into bed, still in full view of the sunrise, to contemplate the day, our retreat schedule and our group intentions.

 

HONESTLY, I DIDN'T WANT THAT MOMENT TO END.

 

Last weekend, I took an incredibly beautiful journey through the Colorado mountains, to our Fall Full Moon women’s retreat.

 

The early morning mountain sunrises were amazing, not to mention the warm soothing hot springs, a brilliant harvest full moon, and delicious fall-inspired food. With a deep inquiry into our personal limiting beliefs and old outdated ways around health and happiness, it was magical.

 

I feel lucky to have been immersed in feeling the beauty of the seasonal shift. (see photos below)

 

With the changing golden leaves and the fall afternoon light that seems to hit the aspen trees just right, nature displayed quite a presentation – hello Autumn.

 

EACH SEASON IS STEEPED WITH ITS OWN ENERGETIC IMPRINT AND GUIDANCE FOR LIVING WISELY FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

 

As the leaves were falling to the ground in their bright orange and reds, there was an innate sense of letting go that I was able to acknowledge.  The gravity of Autumn is a metaphor for both our relationship to self and our relationship to nature.

 

Aligning ourselves inside and out with what is occurring around us in nature is a beautiful way to begin the radiant transition into a new season – Autumn.

 

Autumn is the time of transformation between the growth of summer and the dormancy of winter. Things are winding down, and once the harvest is complete, there is an opportunity to follow the inward flow into self-inquiry and inner listening – ground into the wisdom of the body and mind, compost and let go of what is now longer serving us.

 

Preparing for a strong and vital experience during the change of seasons can come with many inspirations inner and outer. Often, in the fall we talk of letting go, descending into the underworld, and a pulsation of contraction that guides us to listen deeper.

 

WHAT CAN YOU LET GO OF THIS FALL?

 

Letting go can be a little awkward and uncomfortable.  Whether it is letting go of an outdated habit, a tired old negative thought, a bunch of old clothes that are cluttering up your closet, or a limiting belief about yourself, prepare yourself for some feelings.

 

Nothing supports this better than slowing down and savoring some extra sweet self-care, and the space to be in the peace of nature.

 

"IF YOU LET GO A LITTLE, YOU WILL HAVE A LITTLE PEACE.  IF YOU LET GO A LOT, YOU WILL HAVE A LOT OF PEACE."

~AJAHN CHAH

 

Since it is the time of year that the season tells us to let go so I wrote you a few nuggets to help you along.

 

  1. Align with your WHY

What are you up to these days?

What are your priorities in your life?

What are you seeking?

 

These, and many other questions like these, will help you to reveal the truth of your WHY.

When you are clear with your WHY and the big picture of what you are seeking, you are then able to shed all of those things that do not align with your life.

 

This could be a habit that doesn't support you, an old pair of jeans that remind you of your past, or even an old pattern you have with eating that feels obsolete.

 

This could also be something internal, like a thought or an internal dialogue pattern that does not evoke momentum towards your priorities and your WHY.

 

Once you align with your WHY, and your true vision of heart, it is a lot easier to let go of the things that do not serve you.

 

You still might notice that letting go conjures up some emotional response for you, a little pulling on your heartstrings, or feeling as though you're not sure who you would be without your old ways.

 

Most would agree, it is worth a bit of feeling uncomfortable, awkward, or even a little bit vulnerable, so that you can clear away those old templates that no longer serve you.

 

Recently, for me personally, it seems to be that I am working with my internal thoughts that are keeping me small, as well as the clearing out old belongings that no longer feel energetically aligned – mostly from my closet. Clearing out my old thoughts (at least working on it) and old clutter creates a nice lightness in my body and mind.

 

Old traits and old treasures carry energy. How we think, how we eat, how we practice our daily self-care, how we dress, how we create a sacred space in our homes and lives, and those with whom we surround ourselves are some good places to start.

 

2. Release your Resistance

Here’s what I also know about letting go: The most terrifying part is just before you loosen your grip. Once you let go, momentum will take over and you will feel lighter and more free than ever before.

When we hang on, it is our resistance.  Resistance is tricky, sneaky, and loves to keep us stuck.

 

What we need is to build momentum, and the ease will come.  In the meantime, notice where you are procrastinating, covering up feelings, or numbing yourself.

 

So often we hang on to something or some of our ways because of fear.  We don’t know what is coming, so our minds choose something with which we are already familiar.

 

Old, outdated inner and outer qualities can weigh us down. They can make us feel heavy and stuck, lethargic and hopeless, and simply block the full expression of our hearts and our WHY.

 

Acknowledging the fear of unfamiliar ways, new beginnings, and the releasing of the old is medicine during a letting go process.  If you feel it, you can heal it. When you loosen your grip on these old ways, a comforting sense of freedom and lightness emerges.

 

3. Transfigure, Transform and Thrive

Just like the leaves falling to the ground composting and fertilizing the earth for next year's bounty and bloom when we let go of things that do not serve us, they too compost into a bigger and brighter space for the new to come in and bloom.

 

This process of downward decomposition into the earth that we witness both inside and out is one that is familiar to the nature of our bodies since the beginning of time.

 

So often, we think of ourselves as observers or witnesses to nature's beauty and energetics, when really, we feel the same energetic pulls as all of nature because truthfully, we are nature.

 

The gravity of fall is a specific type of energy that calls us to let go, release the old and reveal the new bigger and better parts of ourselves.  It is exciting.  A journey into the depths of your soul's intentions and purposeful life.

 

We are always growing and changing.  Nothing in life stays the same.  Enjoy the process this fall as you synch up with the beauty and sweetness of the season.

 

Here are some photos from our magical retreat weekend:

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You Will Leave Feeling Better Than When You Came

  She arrived about 20 minutes after our first yoga session started on Friday evening.

 

Surrounded with a sacred circle of women, a beautiful goddess yoga room, majestic Colorado mountains, and the hint of fall in the air, she tiptoed in quietly to join the circle, moved into child’s pose and began to settle in.

 

I slowly walked over amidst teaching my class, sat down beside her and started to slowly rub her back.  Tears began to stream.  Big full exhales followed.

 

“Thank you,” she whispered.  “This is exactly what I have been needing.”

 

I had personally reached out to her quite a few times to remind her of our upcoming women’s retreat weekend.  I was so glad I did.

 

Apparently she needed a little nudge.

Even though we know what is best for ourselves, know what we love, how to treat ourselves and what feels good, we so often succumb to our resistance.

 

Our minds love to point out the reasons why we can’t, why we shouldn’t or why our resistance is logical.

 

Repeatedly, our resistance takes the form of fears and doubts that prevent us from taking the steps towards what we really want.  They are complicated, sneaky and tenacious.

 

We have our go-to excuses, stories, limitations, fears, and self-doubts that know exactly how to do their jobs – keep us stuck. 

 

I want you to live a life you love.

 

I want that for you, for me, and for all of us.

 

I want lives where our desires, our intentions, our diligence and our self-care are greater than our resistance to them.

 

When this is occurring, we manifest our dreams.  When it is not, we most often stay stuck.

 

So let’s chat ...

 

What is holding you back?

 

In just one week from today I will be heading out of town to explore the wild feminine, enjoy the harvest full moon and eclipse, and to rest and restore on our fall women's full moon retreat weekend.

 

With the time and space to reconnect with ourselves, tap into the transition of the season and create an eagle-eye view on life and things – we can reset.

 

There are endless gifts of being on retreat...

 

  • time and space to listen inward and feel. 

 

  •  time to be outside and connect the energetics of nature and the season. 

 

  • the ability to gain clear and concise perspective on our lives. 

 

  • But most importantly, we have a chance to remember who we are, what we want, and what we need to thrive.

 

Maybe this little nudge will help you overcome your resistance << Test First Name >>.

 

Maybe this little reminder will create an opening for you to imagine yourself fully embodying your health and happiness.

 

Are you feeling the call?

 

If so, come share in the journey with us next weekend.

 

Reconnect and restore in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.

 

Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

 

Come and watch the LIVE Q and A that I did earlier this week with my special guest, Helen Knight, and just hit reply if you have any questions.

 

 

We have just 3 spots left.  Is one of them for you?

There is still time to join us. 

Claim your seat HERE …

 

Please join me in this intimate and restoring upcoming women's circle that will support you in creating a happy and healthy life you love.

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Lean In

   

"Lean In"

 

A close friend of mine once said this to me as we were sitting by the pool having a heart-to-heart.

 

As the warm sun shone down on my face, I cocked my head.  Hmm.  ‘Very uncomfortable.’ I thought.  It was uncomfortable, but also an opportunity for me to dig deeper.

 

Why did I resist leaning in so much?

  The answer was straight up.  Leaning in was just plain hard for me. I had a lot of stories wrapped up in doing things on my own - the hard way. I used to choose independence, hard work, doing things on my own – a more masculine approach to life and business.

 

I am not exactly sure where this came from, but my hunch is a combination of my competitive gymnastics background, my resistance to fully embracing my feminine nature, and the need to prove I was strong, bold, fearless and fine doing things all on my own.

 

It used to work.  I found some personal power and strength living life this way…until I got really tired, pretty overwhelmed, and a little lonely.

 

It expired.

 

This ‘solo’ way of living also started to feel exhausting and I noticed so many of my friends and family were creating a supportive and team oriented focus at home and in business.

 

How did I miss this?

 

Slowly but surely, I began to practice leaning in.

 

What I mean by this is I began creating various kinds of support systems in many areas of my life, or leaning in to the ones that were already there.

 

A supportive partner. 

A business coach. 

A mastermind group. 

A strong circle of women I call my sisters (my biological sister included). 

Two amazing young men (my sons) who always have my back.

Supportive parents.

A couple's group. 

A therapist. 

A psychic. 

An assistant. 

A couple of kick-ass interns. 

 

My team (personal and professional) is growing fast and it feels amazing.

Summer Solace Series #5: Lean In

lean-in

 

In Today’s Summer Solace Series #5 Lean In:

  • Learn the most important facts about support, accountability, and love.
  • Deepen into why we make more progress towards health and happiness with a sacred circle holding the space for us.
  • Read the myth buster about your so-called 'biggest obstacle'

 

I have learned that for me to become my best self, I need some support, some reflection and some accountability.

 

I lead circles of women all over the world.  These international retreats, women’s programs, and online courses support dynamic and empowering results for the participants, myself included. (read about some of them HERE)

 

Women (and men) thrive with support.  If there is one thing I have learned, it is that with the support of a sacred circle of women, the rate of acceleration towards our intentions is more than tenfold.

 

Transformations happen quicker.  Breakthroughs occur more often.  Follow through is fierce and fabulous... and our resistance recedes (phew).

 

What if you too, realized that your obstacles in reaching your highest potential or your greatest happiness and even your best self were not caused by your own shortcomings or lack of personal work or vision, but rather that you just need to lean in more.

 

What if your best self could emerge more gracefully with a sacred circle of women holding the space for you, believing in you, and keeping you accountable?

 

We know the strongest healing power on the planet is the healing power of sisterhood – women tending to each other with love and attention.   What if you knew you could:

  • Improve your relationship to your life and your health through customized practices that nourish you from the inside out.
  • Overcome personal obstacles by developing an intimate partnership with your mind and body.
  • Live empowered in the way you create your vision and find your personal freedom.

 

Welcome to your Journey to FREEDOM You can create a life steeped with inner listening, intuition, and living for your highest good.

 

You can replace those old ways of being that are totally outdated in your life, and no longer serve you in who you want to be today.

 

You can sculpt your life, your schedule, your eating and your self-care practices to match exactly what you are intending for yourself.

 

You can put yourself first in your life, restore your life force and have more to give back.

 

Come join our intimate sacred circles of women who are consciously supporting each other in crafting a life that is about coming back home to your best self.

 

Here are 2 opportunities for you.

 

 

 

What is YOUR story about support, receiving and leaning in?

There is still time to join us. 

Claim your seat HERE …

 

 

The Summer Solace Series is my late summer offering for you to explore your own true nature with respect to health, happiness and inner peace.   My intention with the Summer Solace Series is to make our journey of the feminine feel a little smoother, a lot more whole, while staying deeply connected to ourselves, as women.

During the late summer weeks, I will be sharing some of the gems from my work with women in the groups I lead all over the world.  I will share with you some ways where we can begin to create a loving and female approach to our eating, and our bodies with tastes of some of the myths and archytypes I work with that provide a little extra support.

As we transition into the last part of summer, we energetically prepare for a transition into a new school year, another autumn season, and a time to begin a new pulse that works well for what we are intending for ourselves.

I have also created the Summer Solace Series to share with you some samples and nuggets from my upcoming women’s circles that are beginning in September (one live full moon weekend retreat, and one virtual women’s focus group) with tastes of some of the most potent themes and practices.

Just like the sweetness of a ripe August peach, The Summer Solace Series is my late summer treat for you.  A harvest filled path into the last weeks of summer, a taste of the Sisterhood Circles Focus Group and Full Moon Women’s Retreat weekend that begin this September as well as some summer savoring secrets that will keep you satiated.

Please join me in these intimate restoring and practical upcoming women's circles that will support you in creating a happy and healthy life you love.

 

 

 


 

 

 

The Yoga of Eating ~ Full Moon Weekend Retreat Joyful Journey Hotsprings September 16th-18th Just A Few Spots Left

 

theyogaofeating1

Explore the female relationship to food, body and soul through daily practice, ritual and a sacred circle of women.  Reconnect and restore your mind and heart in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.

Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

(Yurts and Mountain Lodge Accommodations ) 

Your restoration and revelations await you.

Reserve Your Queendom 

 


 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circle ~ 2016

The Health Wise SISTERHOOD CIRCLE is an intimate sacred circle of women who are consciously supporting each other in crafting a life to love.

sisterhoodcircles

 

4 great bonuses if you register by September 18th:

 

bonus-fall

Claim you seat sister...your freedom awaits you.

 

 


About Sue Van Raes...

Sue-blue-2014

I'm a Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We Don't Know What's Coming

  Early one morning, just a few years ago, I was busily getting my boys out the door to summer camp – cleaning up after breakfast and coercing them into the car (not an easy feat). 

 

Most mornings I would keep my phone turned off while trying to get out the door – less distraction = more harmony.

 

At the final drop off moment, I had a new voicemail pop up on my phone.  If it was any other day, I may not have made time to listen to this new message until much later, but this particular day was different.

 

As I swiped open my phone, typed in my password, and headed over to the voicemail icon where I heard something I was surely not expecting.

 

“Hello Sue, this is People Magazine calling.  We would like to set up a time to talk with you.  We are interested in featuring Boulder Nutrition in our next issue.” 

 

 

Pause.  Replay. Pause.  Replay.  Pause.  Replay.

 

Now, I will admit, People magazine had never been one of my personal picks as far as magazines go.  I was more of a Yoga Journal, Oprah Magazine or Natural Health kind of gal.

 

All of those thoughts swooshed away pretty quickly and I kept hitting replay over and over.

 

 

This particular opportunity came to me literally out of left field. 

 

 

It turns out, they featured my business and one of my client’s stories in an article about Boulder, Colorado.  It was so amazing to have the experience, the credibility and the opportunity.  Boulder Nutrition got a ton of exposure and Sandra Bullock was on the cover – for real.   I see how many of you are each day and I see my own habits and patterns as well. I see us all trying to live our dreams, craft our best health, change our tired old habits and live into our inherent happiness with a love, passion, and courage.

 

But something is often missing.

 

So often, I see us placing personal limits on what we think we are capable of doing.  We repeatedly create restrictions on our success.  We tell ourselves we are not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, determined enough, creative enough, pretty enough or skinny enough.

 

 

And most of all, we believe the stories we tell ourselves.

 

 

These stories, beliefs, and personal limitations are often very intertwined with our health, happiness and inner harmony.  

 

We see them reveal themselves in our eating, in how we think of and care for our bodies, and in the way we show up in our life each day.

Last year, when I was on my annual retreat, it was early one morning with my pen in one hand and my journal in the other that this came through:

 

 

We don’t know what’s coming.

 

 

It may seem obvious but our minds most often disagree.  We make a plan, a to-do list and have clear intentions.  We do manifestation rituals, pray, meditate, chant, mastermind, too and work harder and harder.

 

But we often forget the most important step of all…

 

 

Summer Solace Series #4:  We Don’t Know What’s Coming ~ Change Thoughts, Change Your Life

we-dont-know-whats-coming

 

In Today’s Summer Solace Series #4:

 

  • Learn the most important part of creating our success and happiness that we so often overlook.
  • Master how to use this new approach as a way to live from the empowered feminine + design a life steeped in health and happiness.
  • Illuminate how to open to possibility without living in a fantasy.

 

The lesson I learned the day People Magazine called me was impactful in many ways. I was happily reminded that opportunities and breakthoughs can show up anywhere and any time.

 

What I see myself doing in practice day-to-day is reminding myself that this, and many other things like this, is actually possible.

 

 

We All Do It

 

Change happens from the inside out. Our health is complex. We often think health is about what we eat, or how much we weigh, or what our exercise regiment is at the time.

 

In truth, our health also includes our beliefs about ourselves, our personal limitations and our internal dialogue – and which parts of each of these we decide to listen to and believe.

 

Our blood work, our daily eating habits and our supplement programs, are all very important. Don’t get me wrong, but what can really create the breakthrough we are seeking, is getting out of our own inner resistance, and rewiring the thoughts that we can’t do something different. Only then can we start re-writing our stories and seeing the possibility for change and transformation.

 

What Should We Do?

 

I am not going to tell you that changing our thoughts and our limiting beliefs is easy. In fact, it may be a complicated process for many of you. It has been for me.

 

Working with our internal dialogue, stories and personal limitations is a journey, not a finite process with a clear end point. We need to be patient, loving, and kind with ourselves as we practice this process.

 

Here are a few ways to get started:

 

Who wrote the script?

Name and identify both the recurring thought/story/belief in its true nature, along with where it originated. Family lineage, teachers, religion, or an old message that you picked up on. Each one has it’s own history. This practice increases our personal awareness and provides a deeper understanding of what is, with more opportunity for making a change.

 

When you hear your negative inner dialogue, do something to change it.

There are many well-known ways to do this. Recently a client told me she  would shout “STOP” when these old stories popped up.  Here are some recommendations that have worked for me, and many of my clients:

 

  •  Create a positive affirmation to replace the thought. Keep in it simple and in the positive.

 

  •  Get up and do something different – get a glass of water, put on some good music, take a break, take a walk.

 

  •  Create a gratitude or appreciation practice. The energy of gratitude works very quickly. Gratitude is strong and powerful moving us in a positive direction.

 

  • Make time for quiet, downtime, and inner listening. Sometimes we do not even realize that there is an internal dialogue happening, we just feel the effects of it in our physical and emotional body. We have listened for so long to this repetitive tape in our minds, that we hardly notice it repeating over and over. When we slow down, we have the chance to hear it for what it is.

 

  • Practice Right Speech: The way we talk can either strengthen or weaken our limiting thoughts and beliefs. Carefully choose your words to amplify the direction you wish to go. Example: If the thought is “I hate my body.” Saying things such as “I am working on a positive relationship to my body” can help steer you in a positive direction.

 

 

DOn't Forget To Celebrate Your Successes (big or small).

Making progress in a positive direction with our inner world is important to acknowledge, even if you are still not all the way to where you want to be. We are often so hard on ourselves.  Be careful, kind, and celebrate the successes big and small along the way.

Acknowledge yourself for spending time and energy on YOU.


The Yoga of Eating ~ Full Moon Weekend Retreat Joyful Journey Hotsprings September 16th-18th

Explore the female relationship to food, body and soul through daily practice, ritual and a sacred circle of women.  Reconnect and restore your mind and heart in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.  

 

Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

(Yurts and Mountain Lodge Accommodations ) 

Your restoration and revelations await you.

Reserve Your Queendom 


The Health Wise Sisterhood Circle ~ 2016

The Health Wise SISTERHOOD CIRCLE is an intimate sacred circle of women who are consciously supporting each other in crafting a life to love.

You can explore your YES to a commitment that will transform your life in extraordinary ways.

You can live your most empowered life around health and happiness through these POTENT strategies, living rituals and daily practices revealed in the intimacy of this circle of sisters.

You can create a life steeped with inner listening, intuition, and living for your highest good.

You can sculpt your life, your schedule, your eating and your self care practices to match exactly what you are intending for yourself.

You can put yourself first in your life, restore your life force and have more to give back.

Claim you seat sister...your freedom awaits you.


About Sue Van Raes...

I'm a Nutritional therapist, food psychology expert and Lifestyle Coach.

My mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure. Learn more here.

In our work together we will dive into deep healing for the body and soul while I offer you practical, potent teachings that will open your heart to trust, your mind to possibility and your body to its organic wisdom.

I am chock full of resources for you including INSPIRING content and a wide range of support to help you find your way in all things food and body.

Feel free to read more about me and how I can help you HERE

 

 

 

 

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Fiercely Feminine

   

It happens,

 

It was a late summer evening just a couple of weeks ago when I was reflecting on my particularly emotional day.

It was one of those days when I had to take a good look at myself.  One of those days where I didn’t like what I was seeing.  I felt icky and emotionally exhausted by the residue of feelings left over as the day grew close to an end.

 

In an attempt to explain my inner strife to Jason, I found myself apologizing for my tears, for my pain and the instability that I had been feeling all day long.

 

He said something to me that no one has ever said to me before:

 

 

“You know Sue, you could allow yourself to get messier and I would still love you.”

 

 

It may sound simple to you, but I had lived most of my early life keeping my feminine messiness at bay.  The emotions, the inner angst, the feelings that would sometimes well up inside – I was good at attempting to pull it together to keep going.

 

While that has turned out to be virtually impossible and unsuccessful, I used to live by my own belief that there was very little room in my life for anything messy.  I raised two boys as a single parent, and I often felt that if I let myself get messy, things would fall apart for me and for them.

 

Now, in more recent years I have lifted this restrictive belief in my life somewhat, but not without a tentative, shy and unsure approach – especially in my relationship.

 

One of the obstacles I see in women all the time when we are struggling with food, body, self-love, and overall health are these very elaborate coping skills to keep the messiness and emotional chaos of the feminine at bay.

 

 

Most of us have received the message that these messy feminine aspects of ourselves are not welcome.

 

We stuff the unwelcome feelings with anything we can find that works.  These coping skills can often create their own cascade of health issues, imbalances, and challenges, including the relationship we have to food and our bodies.

 

The next day I shared this significant conversation with a close friend, someone who also is known to ‘keep it all together’ and she also sighed in relief.  “Wow Sue, that even makes me feel more at peace.”

 

I am now sharing this with you because your relationship to your feminine may be one of the reasons you get out of balance, self-medicate, overeat, under eat, deprive yourself of self-love and self-respect.

 

This may be the very root of some of the behaviors you have been trying to change for years.

 

 

Because this wild and fierce part of ourselves is also our greatest power.

This may be an opportunity for you to change your relationship to your authentic self with a more loving approach to who you truly are in each moment.

 

There may be a lot of questions about exactly what I mean and how this has shown up in your life.  To begin, let’s peal back the layers one little bit at a time.

 

 

Summer Solace Series #3:  Fiercely Feminine

fiercelyfeminine

 

 

In today’s Summer Solace Series #3:

 

  • Explore the nature of the feminine in relationship to food and body including some insights on what is often called ‘our shadow side’.
  • Learn the first steps to take to unleash your wild feminine in all her forms  – including the messiness (without a big mess to clean up later)
  • Listen to an ancient myth that speaks directly to your feminine power, shadow, messiness, and unhinged wild wisdom so that you can live authentically and fearlessly from your female power – recorded live from my spring retreat in Bali.

 

Just to clarify, when I speak of the feminine, I am speaking of our feminine nature. We all have a balance of the feminine and masculine within ourselves. (men included) Our feminine sides are gentle, fluid, receptive, emotional, intuitive, and mysterious, where as our masculine sides are direct, focused, practical, diligent and protective.

 

We need both the feminine and masculine to survive. Unfortunately, our current cultural paradigms are steeped pretty heavily in the masculine giving us the messages that we should stuff our feminine side more and live predominantly from our masculine sides

 

This presents a big challenge for many of us, as we have had to develop elaborate coping skills to live in a masculine dominant world.

 

Food and the Feminine

 

As you can imagine, this inner conflict can present a difficult understanding of our relationship to eating and our bodies. As women, our cravings change with the moon cycle, our emotions dictate our appetites, and our inner rhythms are not static when it comes to nourishing our bodies with both food and self-care.

 

There are distinct times when we need more rest and introspection and other times when we feel social and active.

 

What are we to do?

 

Developing a deeper sense of our selves with our intuition and body’s wisdom is a good place to start. (Read last week’s Summer Solace Series #2 about Honing your Intuition HERE)

 

 

When we are wrought with beliefs that make our feminine rhythm ‘wrong’, it is hard to flow with our feminine. Many of the ways we have been taught may start to feel outdated and ineffective in this exploration. We may need to question our belief systems and expectations in ourselves carefully, so that first and foremost, we can give ourselves permission to flow with our feminine.

 

 

Our relationship to our feminine nature is directly reflected in our relationship to food and our bodies. If we tend to ignore our feminine rhythm in our lives, we are likely to avoid our feminine rhythm in our eating. If we have made a lot of static rules and restrictions for ourselves in our way of life, we likely will have made similar static rules and restrictions in our eating.

 

 

What I have learned is that I have to listen to my body, and drop the stories that say she is wrong. I have to drop my restrictions, my tight reigns, and begin to soften into acceptance and love for what is, and what is occurring in the moment. I have to honor the rhythms of my monthly cycle, the seasons, and my emotional experiences – eating with more love and acceptance of the fluid, always changing the nature of the feminine.

 

 

Unleash Your Wild-ish Side

 

 

When I was 25 years old, I was part of a personal transformation group in Prescott Arizona. Each week, as I was witnessed by my group, I would dig into my personal truths.

 

The very first group I ever attended was themed “Feel your Feelings”.

 

Don’t we all feel our feelings?

 

As it turns out, most of us mask our feelings. We stuff, repress, override, and doubt our feelings. We numb, we make ourselves busy, and we neglect creating the space we need to feel.

 

Hence, the wild feminine is endangered.

 

Unleashing the wild feminine comes when we give ourselves permission to feel, such as feeling the pain of life, the ecstasy of love, the anticipation of a new experience, and the fear of failing.

 

~ Rather than the shadow side of the feminine, let’s call her the underworld of the feminine.

 

~ Rather than imagining wild as an out of control and crazy woman, let’s imagine wild as living in tune with nature, a natural life, freedom, with healthy and integrous boundaries.

 

As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says: “A woman’s issues of the soul cannot be treated by carving her into a more acceptable form but instead the goal must be the retrieval of the woman’s beauteous and natural psychic form.”

 

When we gift ourselves with the permission to be living from our wildish nature, we are able to step into the intuitive, wise, expressive, clear, glowing, instinctive truth that each of us are.

 

Here are some great ways to start:

 

  • Look at your beliefs about what it means to live in your wild feminine?
  • Give yourself permission to feel your feelings as they arise, free from judgment.
  • Examine where you are in resistance to your true feminine underworld. (aka those so called negative emotions)
  • Take baby steps with a lot of appreciation, acknowledgement and gratitude for how far you have come and each successful moment.
  • Celebrate all parts of yourself (even the perceived messy, chaotic, unpredictable nature of the feminine)
  • Own it sister

 

Listen HERE to today's story time sit down and enjoy the LIVE recording all the way from this years Bali women's Health + Yoga Retreat.

 

 

All we have to work with here sisters is our own attitude towards ourselves, towards our bodies, our health and our happiness.

We do not achieve this by giving up our authentic expression, or by forsaking the joy of our beauteous bodies and minds.

We do this through a deep honoring of our own true nature, self-acceptance, self-love and inner wisdom.

 

We do this through living life with fervor, creativity and freedom.

 


 

 

 

 

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sisterhoodcircles

 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles  ~ Small Focus groups

Create a powerful vision, commit to your intentions, happiness, and freedom,  while surrounding yourself extraordinary women.

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles are for women seeking vibrant and inspired living. Find your personal recipe for health and vitality.

Our next group is coming up this September, 2016.

learnmore

 

 


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theyogaofeating1

A Women’s Full Moon Weekend Retreat

With Sue Van Raes and Special Guests

September 16-18th

Reconnect and restore in the majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with a retreat designed for your health, nourishment, and body-mind-spirit connection.  Soak in the sacred waters of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, enjoy the delicious organic home cooked meals, and share in the sisterhood of connection and ritual.

learnmore

 

 

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