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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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Meet your SABOTEUR...

   

You made your summertime plans – more exercise, more fun, and LESS junk food.

 

You started strong.  

 

The block parties kicked off, the travel plans kicked in and before you knew it, you were eating what felt like a lot of 7-layer dip.

 

Starting to feel the fatigue of staying up past your bed time too many nights in a row, guilt from what has now felt like an overindulgent vacation, and at a loss for the last time you made it to your women's hiking group - you wake up one morning wondering what happened.

 

Most of us can remember sabotaging our success, our health goals or our self-care plans.

 

It's a common problem.  

We ask ourselves why we are stuck, why we can't seem to follow through, and why we continue to live as a person we don't want to be.

 

Breaking old patterns, releasing our self-saboteur, and beginning anew is key in creating a life we love.

 

If you are struggling with consistency, follow through; much less a rocking summer plan then today’s 'skinny' is for you...

 

saboteur

 

3 reasons why your Self Saboteur has all the power and how to make a change

(+ A guided meditation to boot)

 

We often find ourselves loosing sight of being the person we want to be, feeling stuck, and not sure what to do about it.

 

Our obstacles seem to grow into our demons, and our true potential succumbs to taking a back seat.

 

Old, ineffective thought patterns and beliefs – the very things that have blocked you up to this point – will stand out loud and clear as you start to befriend your inner success queen, and finally give her back the drivers seat.

 

Here are the 3 most common self-sabotaging patterns I see around food, body, and health and what to DO about it.

 

 

  1. Are you afraid of Failure?

 

A fear of failure or inadequacy can often turn us away from moving forward. The challenge is too much. It’s as if, once we reveal what we really want for ourselves, we have a sacred contract with ourselves to fulfill it.

 

Wow, that’s a big commitment.

 

Maybe it is safer to stay stuck.

 

Naming our goals/intentions/personal commitments, but then not feeling able to follow through is hard to swallow. All of these fears are totally real.

 

Try this: Ask yourself who has the power – you or your fears? Try naming your fears. Once they are named, recognized and befriended, they become more powerless.  

 

 

  1. Are YOU addicted to your suffering?

 

One common way we sabotage our own success is related to the addictions most of us have to our negative thoughts and beliefs, and to our own suffering.

 

For many of us, sitting in our own suffering is a pattern that has formed and become a habitual way we move through life. We are more comfortable with our suffering because it is all we know.

 

Where do you embellish your own suffering?

 

What do you get out of it?

 

In some twisted way, we all get something out of complaining, being depressed, or playing the victim.

 

Maybe we get more attention, maybe we get to be lazy, or maybe we are simply used to feeling this way, so this state has become the place we feel most comfortable.

 

Try this: Inquire into your own patterns with suffering, and take a closer look.  Answer the question honestly – what do you get from your suffering? These old patterns may have started in your childhood, in a relationship, or even in a hard phase of your life. There are many opportunities for these patterns to have become habits, but just as many opportunities to change them with love and awareness.

 

  1. Do you CHECK OUT?

 

Self-soothing is a high priority in our self-care, but checking OUT is a different thing – it means shutting down, turning a blind eye, or avoiding feeling or experiencing the strong emotions that we may be afraid of (including happiness).

 

If the pattern of checking OUT is a big one for you, taking gradual steps to checking IN is important.

 

We need reflection, accountability, structure, and support to create a new pattern.

 

We need to practice.

 

We need an intuitive relationship with ourselves first.

 

Try this: Sit with the uncomfortable. Feel. Listen inward. Crack yourself open. Love ALL of you. The way OUT is always IN.

 

What this means for our relationship with food, health and body is that if we begin to see the discomfort as merely our brain breaking down old neural pathways and creating new ones and then we can welcome this uncomfortable new way as a sign of progress. We can release the inner voice of the self-saboteur if we know what we are listening for, and learning to recognize when SHE is running the show.

To practice, today’s guided meditation will take you deeper inward towards reclaiming your power and releasing your saboteur once and for all.

 

LISTEN TO THE MEDITATION HERE

 


 

 

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

Reserve Your Queendom 

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The Power is in the Protein

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The Power is in the Protein

THE POWER IS IN THE PROTEIN

 

I learned this the HAAAARRRRDDD way.

The ‘dream machine’ – I've had it since the 5th grade – would chime, and I would quickly roll over in my bed to push the dream bar (aka the snooze button) so I could fall back into a sleepy slumber for just a few more minutes.

From there, with hair in a high ponytail, Birkenstocks on, and a little lip gloss, out the door I would race.

Leaving NO time on my side, I would run to my early morning genetics class all the away across the UBC campus.  If I was lucky, I would shimmy into the SUB (student union building) to grab a coffee and a banana nut muffin to bring with me to class.

 

It was a blood sugar disaster.

 

By the time I could fin my next snack – somewhere on campus – I would be bonking big time.  

Protein was NOT on my radar, especially in the morning.

We have all been this person – our mornings a little crazy – neglecting how our metabolisms are CRAVING the building blocks for energy and vitality and feeling the impact of mindless choices in feeding our bodies based solely on convenience within our busy schedules.

 

Don't worry, I've got your back

 

For the past few weeks I have been steeped in exploring my own morning rituals getting ready for the Green Smoothie Challenge.

In the designing phase of this summery breakfast bliss, I have also taken some time to put together a guide to help you find the PROTEIN POWER that best suits YOU.

Today, not only do I have a few important keys to kick starting your metabolism each day, but I also crafted a little extra hand holding for you when choosing how to stay masterly in your mornings.

 

The POWER is in the PROTEIN (powder) 3 Nutritionist-Approved Tips

 

Increased intake of morning smoothies made with protein powder has become like a trendy love affair for individuals seeking to build lean body muscle mass, increase the feel good health vibe and loose excess weight – especially around the mid-section – while still getting out the door on time.

Not only is this convenient breakfast (or meal) trend working well for people on the go, but when given the best versions of protein powder, morning smoothies can also deliver a ton of nutrient density and energy to our bodies.

If you want to build muscle and burn fat to transform your body, there’s no getting around it, you need to eat more protein. Not only is protein required to repair and rebuild your muscles, but it’ll also keep you feeling fuller for longer so you can curb your cravings and find your flow.

As with anything, there is a gigantic range of quality that not only presents confusion and overwhelm, but can also take something good, and turn it awry.

 

 

Check out these 3 Nutritionist-Approved Tips to choosing your protein powder wisely.

 

 

1. The Secret is in the Source

The most common question is about WHERE the protein comes from. Before you get drawn into the whole whey, hemp, rice, pea, soy debate – STOP.

There are many great protein sources.

When it comes to protein powder, whey is the most complete protein source, and has the highest protein density.

Whey, when it is organic and un-denatured, is highly absorbable and is optimal for muscle protein synthesis.

Many people have dairy allergies or dairy intolerances. If this is the case for you, or you want a little variety, try some other great options such as hemp, pea or rice protein.

When exploring vegan protein powders, favor those that have been designed with a full amino acid profile – complete proteins – in mind. This helps to build muscle and strengthen your metabolism.

Beware of soy: Research suggests that soy can increase levels of the female sex hormone estrogen (which encourages fat storage), and the plant is often genetically modified to boost crop yields.

 

 

2. Quality Matters

As I mentioned above, not only is the type of protein important, but the quality of that protein as well. When buying any kind of protein powder, be sure to get grass fed, organic, non-GMO, whole food based protein powders that have full amino acid profiles (found in the ingredient list) and are LOW in SUGARS making them low glycemic.

Read the ingredient lists. Many of the available protein powders (including Whey) are chock full of additives, preservatives, sugars, and artificial sweeteners.

Keeping the sugars low will ensure that you are satiated, and you remain in the fat burning zone free from the repercussions of extra toxins, additives and artificial ingredients.

 

 

3. Look at the Macro Nutrients

Macronutrients — carbs-protein-fat — are calorie-containing nutrients that fuel the many functions of the body. A good meal replacement protein powder will have a healthy balance of these. Look for macro-nutrients somewhere in the range of 45%-25%-30%.

While there is no magic ratio that fits everyone, you will likely find that making these changes in your ratios will help you with long term body composition, cravings, energy, mental clarity, sleep and a more balanced mood.

A low-glycemic meal-replacement smoothie that allows for steady blood sugar control and staying fuller between meals is your ticket to both satiation and your super powers.

What I have found is that health seekers all over the planet love to drink morning smoothies because they can easily add a variety superfoods, proteins, good fats, greens, and adaptogens to create a powerful start to the day.

Above all, the key to a great breakfast smoothie really lies in a good balance of protein, along with healthy and nutritious ingredients to create something yummy that you'll look forward to drinking.

Photo Credit:  Chef Bailey Jean Ruskus

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Don't Let Your Mind BULLY Your Body

   

I pulled my new black bikini bottoms out of the package and ran upstairs to try them on in my bedroom.  Just as I pulled them out of the package, I realized they had sent me the wrong pair – the teeny weenie black bikini

: (

 

For a second, I considered keeping them (even though they were made with very little fabric) until a wave of anxiety hit me.

 

These were just a bit too ITSY for me…

 

Aaaannnd…there are plenty more fish (black bikini bottoms) in the sea.

 

(Okay, I won't deny it, in the midst I also sent my boyfriend a selfie)

 

I am getting ready for two upcoming summertime trips this month, both involving bikinis, and if you are anything like me, you too would like to FEEL good in your body (i.e. bikini) this summer.

 

My ‘summertime - love my body’ regiment involves a few key pillars – eating healthy and clean food, exercising most days, getting a good night’s sleep, and watching for those self-sabotaging thoughts that creep in when I try on my bikini (or various other things).

 

 

don'tletyourmind...

 

I talk to folks every day about food and body. If you are looking for some easy and effective ways to lean up and love yourself up this summer, be sure to clear up any confusion you have with this leading issue, paramount confusion, and indubitable misconception around calorie counting.

If you want to feel nourished, strong, lean and energized this summer, be sure to check out these common myths about counting calories that will change the way you think about your eating. You may feel uncomfortable dropping your trusty old calorie counter, but trust me, you've gotta let go of what is NOT working to get what you want.

 

You've gotta try something different to get a different outcome.

 

Feeding your metabolism in a way that both nourishes your body, and creates optimal energy and body composition has a lot more to do with hormones then it does with calories. All the details are here:

I hope this helps you to make sense of the overwhelming and confusing world of eating. Questions? Just hit reply and send them on over.

 

6 Reasons to STOP Counting Calories

 

First of all, let’s be sure we understand what a calorie is and why we need them…

 

A calorie is simply a measure of energy.

 

1 calorie is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

 

The official measure of energy is Joule. 1 calorie equals 4.184 joules.

 

One dietary Calorie (kilocalorie) is 4184 joules.

 

Many trendy diets are based upon nothing more than a simple calorie deficit.

 

It’s a simple concept and makes dieting straightforward (in theory) and highly attractive. “If you want to loose some pounds, consume fewer calories.”

 

However, the theory is misleading, confusing, deceptive, and incorrect at best.  Calories are just an itsy bitsy part of the story.

 

Here are 6 reasons why…

 

  1. Fancy yourself some FAT

 

Fat is satiating, satisfying, calming, and necessary for proper body functioning of the brain and endocrine system – i.e. hormone building and balancing.

 

Contrary to the many outdated myths about fat, fat does NOT make you FAT. In fact, when you eat good, natural fats with your meals, you will be satiated longer, your blood sugar with be stabilized and you will notice more balance in your energy.

 

When you count fat into your calorie counter, you will find it has more calories per gram. You could see why it would be tempting to cut it out all together and lower your calorie intake. This is NOT a good idea.

 

  1. Help out your hormones

 

The mother of all your hormones is insulin. With insulin on your team, in balance and harmony, you will maintain balance in your blood sugar levels and stay in the fat burning zone – most of us like the sound of that.

 

When insulin is out of balance – you guessed it – your are in fat storing mode.

 

The truth is, when you compare the calories of a carrot and a cookie, they may be similar, but the cookie will reek havoc on your blood sugar, while the carrot has a much more gentle effect. Both have the same amount of calories, but the cookie leaves you storing fat – yikes!!

 

The domino effect of insulin being out of balance impacts a slue of other hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, adrenaline, and thyroid hormones, throwing the delicate hormonal balance of the body into total mayhem.

 

According to Dr. Mercola:

 

“Obesity rates and diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune problems, and autism have skyrocketed.

 

Metabolic problems and inflammation have been set ablaze by decades of bad dietary advice.

 

The low-fat (thus high carb) diet craze is largely responsible for the metabolic catastrophe we see today.

 

The more people who have cut out saturated fats and increased carbohydrates and "diet foods," the fatter and sicker we've become, as a nation.”

 

 

  1. The way OUT is IN:

 

Our mind-body connection is the most important connection we have to navigate what feels best in our bodies – how to eat, move, sleep, and best take care of ourselves.

 

Our intuition is primal, powerful, and always present. When we spend so much time externalizing our eating – i.e. calorie counting – we weaken this relationship rather than strengthening it.

 

The ability to listen to our body’s needs, wants, cravings, and signals is where we have become lost in our eating and in our relationship to food.

 

Rather than spending our precious time and energy on an external approach to health, try spending that useful energy on listening to your body, trusting your body, strengthening your intuitive eating muscle and being the wisdom and protector of your own health.

 

 

  1. Fake food is not FREE food:

 

Many of the low calorie products claim to have a low impact on your calorie intake, but most of them are made from refined, processed, and even synthetic ingredients that trick your body temporarily into satisfaction, which doesn’t last or do you any good nutritionally. Your cravings creep in, you don’t feel satiated for long and you most often end up eating more (refined) food.

 

High quality, nutrient dense foods may be higher in calories, but they also satisfy you for longer. For example, whole foods may have more calories but they also take more energy to process and digest than processed foods.

 

 

  1. Good girl – Bad girl:

 

As a culture, we are very good at placing undue stress on ourselves, especially around eating and our bodies. When we set specific calorie restrictions, we often set ourselves up for disappointment, failure, and more self-shame and blame.

 

We find ourselves planning to achieve a certain goal around our calorie intake, but when it comes down to it, many of us don’t have the strength to override our natural hunger cues, cravings and insatiability.

 

This vicious cycle can cause us to internalize stress during meal times setting us up for the doomed “good girl – bad girl” mentality.

 

 

  1. Consumed by Calorie Counting:

 

For those of us who succeed in the restriction mentality, we find ourselves always hungry, and always thinking about food.

 

When we aren’t getting enough nourishment, we find ourselves concerned about what to eat at the next meal, obsessed about when our next meal will be, worried about eating, and overly and utterly consumed with thoughts about eating and food.

 

Calorie counting can become just like any other addiction. This food obsession could then distract us from all the beauty and pleasure we can experience in life.

 

Here’s to a happy, healthy, lean and strong summertime bikini love affair...

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Self Care is the New Healthcare

  The early morning sun peeks through my purple curtains these days with a certain kind of spring morning hue.

 

With the sound of the dawn chorus chirping outside my window, I stir, sensing the break of a new day. The intoxicating fragrances of spring stoke my senses, and the lush green foothills of Boulder are beckoning me to come and play.

 

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For me spring brings busy weeks of parenting teens through final exams, travel planning, family dinners, school performances, creek festivals, memorial day picnics, graduations, work and friends.

 

It’s full, it’s dynamic, and the weeks can fly by faster then ever.

 

Do you make time for everyone else, but you?

 

Self care – the art of listening to our body’s needs and wants from a deep soul knowledge of the self – is simple yet complex.

 

Self care is simple because it is applicable to humans across all times and necessary to our fundamental human needs.

 

Self care is complex because in today’s world, we are most often overwhelmed by getting everything done in our days, to then fall into our beds at the end of the day exhausted.

 

Spring brings fresh energy, possibility and the chance to begin anew. Now is your time to cultivate and create all that you need to THRIVE in your life.

 

You will know you’ve recognized what you need when you feel the flame of excitement, inspiration and passion growing in your heart and maybe you will even feel a sigh of relief.

 

Think of having an afternoon nap, taking a warm bath, having time to read your favorite book, a walk in nature, or sipping tea with a friend in the garden. Self care doesn’t have to take up much time, but even just 5-15 minutes a day will change everything for you.

 

5 things that happen when you practice self care DAILY

 

 

  1. You start to prioritize yourself (halleluiah)

 

Just like any other habit, once you get your self care rolling you gain momentum.

 

For the next week, what would happen if you made it a point to prioritize yourself every day?

 

I know this can sound edgy, especially if you have small children, you do service work, or your friends and family really NEED you.

 

The thing to remember (and this has helped me a lot) is that we aren’t much good when our “CUP” is empty. Try filling up your own cup first, and watch how giving back to your circle of life becomes easier.

 

  1. You feel more energized

 

When we take better care of ourselves, we nourish ourselves better, and this creates a surge of energy in our often tired, overwhelmed, and busy lives.

 

Exercise is energizing. Naps are energizing. Relaxation and down time are energizing. Gardening and nature are energizing. The sky is the limit on how YOUR self care looks.

 

I promise you that dedicating 5-15 minutes a day (or more) to self care will improve your quality of life and your energy throughout the day.

 

  1. You get sick less

 

When we practice self care daily, our immune systems are less taxed, we are more rested, and we attune to what we need to stay healthier.  Your daily self care has a direct impact on your health today, and also  on the future of your health.

Simply Psychology states “When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections.”

 

Try thinking of self care as your essential “Vitamin S”

 

  1. Your relationships improve

 

Not only will your relationship to yourself improve, but also, when you are feeling more connected and balanced in yourself, your relationship with others flows more smoothly.

 

We are better listeners, better mothers, better lovers and better friends when we are well resourced, rested, and harmonious with our day-to-day life.

 

If you have a hard time doing it for you, do it for the others in your life 

 

 

  1. You fine tune your intuition

 

The art of listening to yourself gets easier and easier with practice.

 

Your body is always your ally.

 

When we move through life so fast, always trying to take care of everyone else, we loose the connection to our inner voice of intuition and wisdom.

 

Don’t worry –YOU are still there.

 

Tuning into what we need is an important practice for health and well-being – body, mind and spirit.

 

Eventually, this inner voice of wisdom will guide us gracefully to knowing exactly what we need to be in balance. We begin to trust. We take better care of our beautiful selves, and our quality of life escalates to new levels.

 

Self care is an act of SELF-LOVE

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5 Home Brews for your Health

  One early morning last week as the sun came up, I was sitting drinking my morning brew, when I heard "the cough" from the bathroom shower, and instantly felt a shot of adrenaline rush through my body.

If you have known me for a while, you would know that I have made a few trips to the ER in an ambulance with my son who often would get croup as a young child.

He has mostly outgrown the "croup crisis" these days, but the sound of that barking cough coming from the shower last week reminded me that I surely haven't outgrown my stress response.

I instantly got up and began to grate up some ginger in my kitchen, filled up a pot of purified water and started brewing a soothing pot of ginger lemon tea. He decided to go back to bed with his warming tea by his bedside.

There is nothing like a warm cup of ginger lemon tea to console the lungs.

 

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Using herbal teas for your health and well being is something I stand behind 100%.  They are inexpensive, easy to make, and most often super effective in soothing your symptoms.

 

Check out my 5  Favorite Home Brews for your Health 

  1.  Ginger Lemon Tea

 

Ginger tea is an easy one to make at home and is phenomenal support for inflammation/irritability in the lungs. Simply grate about a ¼ cup of ginger and simmer in a pot of water for 10-15 minutes. Add raw honey and a squeeze of lemon for a warming lung and throat soother.

 

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  1. Wild Passion Flower Tea

I have tried tinctures and tea bags of passionflower before and they are a great start, but nothing beats the fresh flowers or roots and stems. If you check out your local herb shop (I use Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary), you can find the most fresh and potent flowers. Passionflower is a remedy used to treat anxiety and sleep (or both).

Simply steep one flower in a boiling cup of water (or roots and stems) for about 15 minutes, drink, and then eat the flower.

 

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  1. Peaceful Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is a very popular herbal tea, but when used in a therapeutic dose (ie fresh or it’s oil form), it does wonders for the digestion due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Finding fresh peppermint in the spring is pretty easy, or you can use 2 drops of food grade peppermint essential oil.   Simply steep in a pot of purified boiled water for 10-15 minutes and enjoy.

 

 

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  1. Dandelion Detox Tea

Those “pesky” dandelions must be good for something right? Other than the delicious dandelion pesto recipe that I shared a few weeks ago using dandelion greens, dandelion root makes for a powerful detoxifying tonic. Since spring is the season of the liver, dandelion tea is a welcome homebrew for a reliable cleansing effect.

 

Boil the roots in a pot of purified water for 20-30 minutes, strain and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

dandelion-tea

 

  1. Nettles Tea

Oh yeah, Nettles sting, but only when raw. If you can find your way to some fresh nettles be sure to protect your fingers and wear some gloves. Once they hit the boiling water, the sting dissolves and the nettles tea is wonderful to boost the immune system, a helpful aid in clearing up seasonal allergies, and a big boost for your energy. It can also be sautéed, juiced, or pulverized into a pesto.

 

If you can’t find fresh nettles, check out the dried version to make your homebrew.

 

Nettles tea is one of my favorites to use for a cooling iced tea during the summer months.

 

Steep in a pot of boiled water for 5-10 minutes, strain and enjoy.

 

nettles

 

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6 Sweet + Sensual Secrets of Spring

   

I've got a few spring secrets for you.

 

We picked an aromatically pleasing purple lilac and carried it with us along the creek path, taking turns inhaling its sweet spring scent all the way through our evening walk.

Walking on my neighborhood creek path is my favorite way to unwind at the end of the day. I find solace in listening to the creek ripple by, and witnessing nature’s articulation as everything comes to life for a long awaited spring.

 

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Something as simple as the sweet scent of a lilac activates the senses, and connects us to the deeper currents of spring.

The 8 limbs of yoga are steeped with teachings and guidance to uplift the heart and mind.

Some of these 8 limbs are very well known amongst the most common yoga practices – for example, the physical practice of ASANA: the practice of the holding yoga postures – whilst others are less trendy and even thought of as the forgotten limbs of yoga.

 

Pratyahara is one of my favorite limbs of the yoga practice.

This particular limb is defined as the practice of refining of the senses.

Pratyahara includes both the discernment of gaining mastery over the senses in the face of distraction, as well as the refinement of the senses through a heightened awareness.

When we refine, heighten, and savor the sensory experience, we become more present – the senses can only be experienced in the present moment – and we heighten our experience of the world around us – more pleasure, more bliss and more embodiment in all the things we do.

I will tell you how this applies directly to our eating, our bodies, and the beauty all around us in

 

 

The 6 Sweet + Sensual secrets of SPRING  

 

You are a pleasure based being. You are designed to feel pleasure, enjoy pleasure, and embody pleasure through your senses. With just a little attention on this and some tips to cleanse your sensory palate, you too can refine your sensory experience and enjoy the ride just a little bit more.

 

  1. Slow down

 

We all know today’s world is fast paced and full. We can’t really change that in the big picture. What we can do each day is gift ourselves the time to slow down. Slow down when we eat, slow down when we walk in nature or slow down when we do our self care practices.

 

Take a deep breath. It sounds simple but something as simple as a few deep breaths allows us to be in the moment, get centered, and relax our minds.

 

 

  1. Cut back on overly sweet or salty foods

 

One major downside of eating highly refined and processed foods is that our palates become less sensitive to the subtle flavors of natural food.

 

Choose foods that are made from nature’s naturally sweet flavors or natural mineral rich salt.

 

When the flavors are varietal and pure, they not only heighten our sense of taste, but they also energetically attune us into more inner balance and harmony.

 

Sweet – Nourishment and love

Salty –   Courage and fearlessness

Bitter – Purification and detoxification

Spicy – Passion and excitement

Sour – Spiritual fire and passion for life

 

 

  1. Engage all of the senses in your eating

 

Watch the chocolate meditation here

 

Bringing all of my senses into my eating is on of my favorite exercises. I filmed this video with the release of my book, Health Wise, in 2014. You can apply the concepts of the Chocolate Meditation to any eating you do.

 

Make your eating more sensual.

 

  1. Do a little screen time cleanse

 

When we spend all of our time looking at our devices, our Facebook page, our Instagram account and the latest HBO series, it becomes less likely we are going to notice the sensory experience of a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a purring kitty, or the crackling of a warm fire.

 

Give yourself some screen free, device free, electronic free time each day.

 

  1. Touch yourself (yes, you read that correctly)

 

As we know, there are many ways to touch ourselves. Some are more arousing and sexual then others. What I am talking about here is waking up our bodies to sensual touch.

 

You can practice this with gentle coconut oil self massage. You can practice this with self-pleasuring. You can practice this with warm comforting aromatherapy baths.

 

You choose.

 

  1. Practice Scent Therapy

 

One therapeutic practice to try is to up your sensory experience in your sense of smell.

It is said that the olfactory sense, our sense of smell, is our oldest sense from the viewpoint of evolution.

Our sense of smell creates strong memories with its powerful, swift and precise presence.

Cool fact ** The sense of smell is even more developed in a woman than it is in a man.

Our sense of smell is deeply connected to our sensual relationship to food, to a woman's eroticism, and to our intuition.

Some doctors call this "scent therapy". This can engage new receptors in your nose, improving your sense of smell over time.

Scent therapy infuses your olfactory system with delightful, potent scents, refining your sense of smell while enjoying benefits of the aromas on your entire body, mind and spirit.

Some scents are more therapeutic than others, while others are more pleasure based as well.

Try essential oils, strong smelling flowers or raw foods that when lightly cooked emit a strong aroma – such as garlic, ginger, tumeric.

 

Spring is the most sensual and lush time of the year. We can open the spring nuances more fully as sensual sensory beings through all things food, body, sensuality, and self-love with the activation of our senses - pratyahara.

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Mimosas, Marigolds, and Mothering yourself

  Do you MOTHER yourself ?

The ambrosial scents of spring have been rolling over me like ocean waves this week.

Instant BLISS.

 

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With a little (or a lot) of spring fever lighting me up, I decided to park my entire mobile office outside on my back deck. Usually, when I notice any resistance to my usual day-to-day stuff – writing, finances, paperwork – I ask myself the question: "What would it take to inspire me?"

 

This week my answer was SPRING.

 

Not only did my move outside to work uplift my motivation, but it actually had me looking forward to the writing hours I had allotted for myself this week.

 

This is one way I MOTHER myself

 

To really take care of ourselves and tend to ourselves, we have to give ourselves the love we want and deserve first and foremost.

 

Self Love.

 

As we embark on Mothers's Day weekend, this year I invite you to practice MOTHERING yourself.

 

No matter where we are in your lives, what our relationship is like with our mothers, or whether we are a mother, mothering ourselves is the best way to love ourselves this Mothers Day.

 

Mothering ourselves reminds us we are our own best friends, our own fierce protectors, and our own wise teachers.

 

Do you have your own back?

 

Intuitively we know what we need.  It takes a little practice – like strengthening a muscle over time.  The practice is in the PAUSING, being curious, and self inquiry into what we really need and want.

 


 

Here are 4 easy and quick 'MOTHER YOURSELF' questions:

What does your physical body need to be nourished?

What does your heart need to be fed with happiness and joy?

What does your mind need to be free, clear, and inspired?

How can you feed your spirit with peace and calm?


 

If part of mothering yourself requires a little hand holding, don't be afraid to ask.

 

If mothering yourself involves aligning your health from the inside out with the energetics of SPRING, check out my Spring Fever Cleanse Programs below.

 

 You can read ALL about the Spring Fever programs HERE.

 

Here's to all the mothers that have come before us, mothering ourselves, and celebrating the beauty of spring...oh and Mother's day mimosas.

 

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The TRUTH about Transitions

Some transitions are tough,  

I collected all the ingredients for a warming broth, chopped up a yellow onion, grated the aromatic ginger and lemongrass, and turned on the pan to melt the coconut oil.

 

The early morning chill was obvious, and the forecasted rain was daunting and reminding me to get cozy with a warm pot of soup on the stove.

 

(You can find the yummy soup recipe on my Facebook page HERE)

 

Honestly, I wasn't sure if I had yet another pot of soup in me as we are approaching May this week, and warm pots of soup and stew are very much associated with winter for me.

I am the type who likes to put my crock pot away for the summer, not to be seen until the first leaves begin to turn on the trees each fall.

 

Here in Colorado, spring comes in waves. Waves of warm spring - sit on your deck - sunshine, interspersed with yet another winter storm, usually all the way to Mother's day.

 

While I personally may be ready to retire this year's snowy winter and celebrate the warmer days and nights of spring, the transition into spring is a little bit less predictable here in Colorado.

 

I have realized I am not a huge fan of transition 

 

Whether it be saying goodbye to a loved one, moving houses, transitioning home from a big trip, or the change of seasons, transitions can be a bit daunting for many of us.

 

My awareness around my struggle with transitions is nothing new. When the transitions get tough, I have learned to take extra special care of myself, use my daily practices and self reflection, and simply bring the transition into my attention while being extra gentle with myself.

 

If you are craving a strong, healthy and vital spring, let me help you with the transition...

 

This year's Spring Fever Cleanse programs are designed to do just this. Align yourself with the season with food, exercise, daily practices and self care energetics and see how your spring transition can be extra smooth this year.

 

You can read ALL about the Spring Fever programs HERE.

 

Yup, that warm pot of soup last night was just what I needed to curl up with and get cozy as the chilly rain came down.

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Coming Home to SPRING

 

As the plane touched down in LA after almost 14 hours in on my flight home Friday evening, we began stretching our legs and breathing a sigh of relief as we were preparing to disembark our plane after a long sleepy flight.

As soon as we turned our phones back on, it didn’t take more than a moment to receive notification that all flights to Denver were cancelled due to the pending snow storms looming intensity.

After leading this year's Bali Women’s retreat, and touring around Bali’s green lush rice fields for over a week afterwards, I was looking forward to a gentle reintegration and coming home to a green and warm spring.

Thankfully, Colorado’s typical spring snow storms are a sign that a lush and green spring is right around the corner.

 

 

Spring is known to bring us an inner itching for something new to emerge, for our creative energy to be attuned, and for the majesty of new beginnings and possibilities to come alive.

Spring is a time to expand, renew, and bloom into all that we want to manifest in our lives, in our health and especially in our experience of joy.

Spring is a time of cleansing, lightening up, purifying, cleaning, and shedding the old.

What do you seek to shed this spring to lighten up and access the inner freedom you deserve?

 

The LIVER is the most dominant organ of the spring. The liver's role is to oversee purifying, cleansing, and preparing the body and mind for clarity and lightness from the inside out.

When we tend to strengthen, and "feed" our livers wisely in the springtime, we awaken an inner life force inside that syncs us brilliantly with the season.


EXPLORE the upcoming Spring Fever Programs HERE

 

4 ways to BLOOM into BRILLIANCE this spring 

  1. Body Bliss

Can you access the bliss your physical body is designed to feel? When you wake up each day are you ready to conquer your life with energy and vitality? If you feel like many people do these days, a little tired, a little sluggish try these health secrets to enhance your energy this spring.

  • Eat with the season – As the leafy greens spring up, and the dandelions fill your yard, try finding some ways to cleanse your diet with some of natures spring gifts.

In the spring we are designed to eat lighter, darker and leafier greens, and oh those dandelions do wonders for cleansing the liver. (Be sure they are pesticide free before you eat, or buy at your local health food store.)

 

  • Juice – Juicing blesses the body with a potent amount of nutrients that are easily absorbed. As you pulverize and strain those veggies in the juicer, you do a huge favor to your digestion. You pour liquid nutrients into your system for a fountain of amazing energy and purification. Don’t have a juicer?... don’t worry. Almost every town has a local health food store, juice bar or healthy restaurant. Make sure your juice is not full of too many sweet fruits, but instead, heavy on the veggies.

 

  • Reset your energy with a Whole Food lifestyle – This spring try to eat only WHOLE FOODS for one whole week. Whole food eating means eating food found in its whole form. Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates and foods that have an elaborate mysterious ingredient list.  Check out the SPRING FEVER Whole food cleanse program HERE

 

  1. Unconditional Self-Love

 

If you are someone who hears your own self-critic loud and clear all day long, full of shame, blame and self sabotage…it is time to “clean” up your self-talk.

Try flipping your script or practicing an internal dialogue overhaul.

What are the most common thoughts that bring you down?

Are they about your body, your past decisions, your bad habits?

What can you do to LOVE yourself a little more despite your imperfections?

Self-love does not need to diminish because we indulge here and there. Our brilliance is based in unconditional self-love.

Self-love becomes a practice even amongst our imperfections. In fact, self-love is directly proportional to the amount of personal transformation possible.

Noting that our imperfections MAY even be our greatest strengths, teachers, life lessons and compassion lending qualities.

 

“The wound is the place the light enters you” RUMI

 

Self-love has NO conditions. Can you love yourself no matter what?

Whenever you hear the negative thoughts try to take note, then flip them around in to a positive affirmation as often as you can to practice unconditional happiness and self-love.

 

 

  1. Self Care

One of most effective ways to your energize your life is through daily self care practices aligned with the season. How is your MOJO this spring?

Practices such as YOGA, BODY CARE, HERBAL SUPPORT and time in NATURE can move energy in big ways. Get yourself out of inertia this spring and up your self care every day. Enliven your spirit and up your MOJO with some juicy sef love of your own.

If you can specifically wake up your hips, your pelvis, and your second chakra (located in the pelvic area) you will notice your mojo begin to soar.

Take walk in the beautiful spring air, inspire yourself with your favorite yoga teacher or make yourself a new playlist to inspire your meditation. Listen to an inspiring teacher or dharma talk online. Learn to feel good in your body through movement you love.

Loving and enjoying your body is one of the most important ways to show gratitude for your brilliance and vitality. Self care, and body care are the perfect medicine for a strong and healthy spring.

 

  1. Clear out your Space

Spring-cleaning is not a made up phenomenon. We naturally cleanse during the spring season because it feels so therapeutic to climb out of the winter hibernation into a fresh, light and clear environment.

Getting rid of the old and making room for the new is an important energizer for your space and your experience this spring.

But in addition to aesthetics, there are proven health reasons for steam-cleaning carpets, airing out curtains and the like noting that the benefits include preventing the spread of germs and keeping allergy symptoms at bay.

Cleansing your space also helps make your environment a happier as well as a healthier place. Try rearranging or reorganize your sacred space.  Elizebeth Gilbert (author of BIG MAGIC) recommends purifying your space to stimulate your creativity.

You are off to a great start for some revitalization and renewal this year. Spring is always an exciting time to start anew, plant our seeds of intention and watch, tend, and nurture them as the season unfolds.

 

BLOOM into YOUR BRILLIANCE.

 

 

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5 Ways to TUNE In

   

This past weekend, as I prepared to send my youngest son off on a plane to Mexico for a spring break vacation with his friend’s family, I noticed I had this anxiousness and tightness in my body.

 

I wasn’t thinking about it much, but when I finally got home after a busy Monday at the office, I had to sit for a minute and ask: What is this feeling about?

 

It is his first international trip without me, and even though I consciously felt so excited for him, somewhere inside I was having a hard time letting go.

 

 

If you find it a challenge to control your thoughts and feelings some days, you are not alone.

 

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These types of feelings, thoughts, or body messages offer us a lot of information when we pay attention. The problem is, often we don’t. Our days are busy, bustling, and full of to-dos that can easily disconnect us from our true inner experience – body, mind and spirit.

 

When we ignore our inner selves, we learn behaviors to repress the more intense thoughts and feelings. This often leads us down the road to numbing, checking out, over eating, and often self-medicating in a variety of ways.

 

When we practice TUNING IN, we can actually give ourselves the space to feel what is occurring, give it time to make sense and tend to ourselves in the ways we need in order to free ourselves from the common pattern of repressing our truest nature.

 

Connecting with ourselves more deeply helps us to connect with others more deeply.

 

Understanding ourselves – our wisdom and our intuition – helps us to honor the same in another.

 

Thoughts have information

 

Feelings have information

 

Bodies have information

 

We need a language to understand the insights that come through our body, mind and spirit. This is the language that gives us permission to listen to our subtle bodies, and then take action based on our highest good.

 

Cultivating a relationship with our WHOLE self is the best relationship on which we could ever spend our energy.

 

Our true self is our path to happiness, harmony, peace and deep understanding of our fullest selves.

 

 

5 ways to TUNE IN

 

 

 

  1. Find Stillness

 

As you know, our minds can get quite cluttered, full, and busy. We spend so much time exploring and experiencing our outer world, our work world, our family world, that we are rarely called to get to know the universe within us.

 

Can you sit with yourself without any distractions? If you’re like most people, it’s probably been quite some time. Find a quiet space to sit, pause, and breathe. What does it feel like to slow down, and find stillness? If you are uncomfortable, you are in the right place.

 

Practicing slowing down and finding stillness is often foreign to us, therefore we need some practice to feel more familiar and comfortable. Eventually stillness can become like an inner anchor that we can count on.

 

 

  1. Become A Witness

 

Living in this super busy world creates stress and overwhelm for almost everyone. It is not our fault. The ways we have lived through struggle, hardship, heartbreak, loneliness, or overwhelm are part of who we are, and the ways we have gotten stronger are assets gained from the past, that are applicable in the present moment. It is just taking time to witness them. No judgment, no shame, no blame. Our inner dialogue can give us information about the current state of our being.

 

What stories, phrases, and negative thoughts do you repeat to yourself constantly?

 

Where do you feel it in your body?

 

How do you want to treat yourself ?

 

It is a rich practice to become the witness to which internal conversations come up often.

 

  1. Name the Inner Experience

 

When we identify what we are experiencing, we give our inner landscape a voice and a space to move through us freely. Use a word that describes what you are experiencing. Do you feel afraid? Angry? Treated unfairly? Scared? Lonely? Bored? Give the feeling a name. Come up with a word that describes the current experience, positive or negative.

 

  1. Create Spaciousness

 

For centuries, many traditions, many teachings, many cultures far and wide have referred to creating spaciousness regarding the mind-body connection. Allowing our inner experience to move through us freely gives us a feeling of lightness and freedom.

 

Breathing is powerful and an effective vehicle to create spaciousness. Even just one conscious breath brings some spaciousness to the inner body. Following the breath with your attention is a simple, effective and easy practice to fit into even the busiest of days. You can do it while driving, while at work, or while in the midst of just about anything.

 

Simply pause and breathe.

 

 

 

  1. Ask a question

 

Once you identify what is occurring in your subtle inner bodies, you can then begin the process of self-care, spaciousness, and honoring what is.

 

Beginning with a question helps to initiate the process of taking care, tending to, and nurturing you.

 

Try these:

  • What is my hearts desire?
  • What do I really want?
  • How can I love and accept myself today?
  • What do I need to be nurtured?

 

 

 

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3 Spring Detox Recipes For Body, Mind and Spirit

  Creeping out of winter’s slumber, I personally love this time to re-awaken my mojo for a high energy spring.

 

Herbal tea in glass cup

Majestic wonder. Expansion. Fervor. Inner freedom. Delight. Sunshine.

A time of renewal.

The season of purification. 

The rising sun.

A tenacious energy pushing up through the earth after the long winter’s rest.

The bright green beauty of life blooming before us.

 

As our bodies naturally cleanse and re-balance themselves during spring, life can be seen more clearly, including new ways of thinking and experiencing.

When it comes to fueling your beautiful self this spring, see what it feels like to detox and cleanse just as nature is beckoning us to do.

Follow her lead.  She is wise, energetic, and potent.

With you, spring, cleansing and renewal in mind, I put together a few special spring DETOX recipes for the body, mind, and spirit this week.  They are yummy, gentle, and full of what you need to kick-start your high energy spring VIBE.

 

3 DETOX Spring Recipes to Spring Clean your Body, Mind, and Spirit

 

  1. Dandelion Pesto with Wild Salmon

Dandelion is one of the most potent cleansing greens during the spring, and how convenient that they are popping up all over the place. Be sure that you know the source and you don’t ingest any pesticides along with your greens. You can also find organic dandelion at the local health food store.

 

salmon-dandilionpesto*

Dandelion Pesto

Ingredients:

3 cups washed and cleaned dandelion leaves

¾ cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled

½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted

1 tsp sea salt

cup raw Parmesan cheese

zest of a lemon

juice of half a lemon

 

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or Vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy.

 

Dandelion Pesto Salmon

Ingredients:

6 salmon steaks

1 cup dandelion pesto

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS white wine vinegar

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Directions:

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together dandelion pesto, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

 

Place salmon onto prepared baking sheet and fold up all 4 sides of the foil.

 

Spoon the Dandelion Pesto mixture over the salmon.

 

Next, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on each one.

 

Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed.

 

Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 5-20 minutes.*

 

Serve immediately.

 

*Note: Baking time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the salmon.

 

 

 

 

  1. Spring FEVER Green breakfast smoothie

 

greensmoothiejar*

 

2 large leaves of organic kale and/or dandelion greens

1 tsp coconut oil

½ cup fleshy fruit of choice – fresh or frozen ( ie mango, berries, peaches, apple)

cup chia seeds

Coconut water

optional: Protein powder, raw egg, raw yogurt

Blend until smooth

 

 

 

  1. Spring Detox Ritual Bath

 

spa-bathroom8

 

There are many benefits to baths at this time of year. I call them ritual baths because it is not only about washing and relaxing, but about what we are putting in the bath and what that brings forth for ourselves.

Aside from the warming and relaxing qualities, there are also deeper support from certain types of baths. You can always resort to the simple Epson salts bath if you like, but here I am going to provide you with some specific and unique baths to use to synch up with SPRING – mind, body and spirit.

Bath for Immunity and Allergy Relief:

Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful way to keep those seasonal transitional colds from messing with you. With just a slight shift in the PH, this warming and cleansing bath also helps with inflammation that can be caused by injury, trauma or allergies.

Add 1 quart of natural organic apple cider vinegar to your warm bath. Soak in the tub for approximately 30 minutes for best results.

 


 

Last call  for a little Bali MAGIC?

It's TIME.  Come join us and give yourself a break to reset, rejuvenate, and relax while experiencing the MAGIC of BALI.

EatPrayYoga Bali

 

 

 

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Are you a SOUL-FOOD junkie?

   

She would set the table the day before all the holiday dinners, pull out the special white with silver trim china from the cabinet in the corner, and dust off the silverware.

 

I would help her slip the cloth napkins into the shiny silver rings and place them in the middle of each plate.

 

For me, family dinners began with a lot of intention, planning, and prepping of sacred space.  My sweet mother loved the sacredness from start to finish – and she still does.

 

I realized just a few years ago how integral these family rituals were for me.

 

Not only have they offered me an evolution of my own food and family rituals, but they have come from a long lineage of women in my family who continued to create and evolve the traditions – each molding them into a unique expression of their souls.

 

Soul-shine-bali-food-pic

 

Often, ritual is a way the soul craves connection, presence and sweetness.  Ritual has been expressed in so many realms throughout time to fulfill this part of our soul’s desire.

 

Many of these rituals show up in our sharing of food, holiday traditions, and birthdays, with family and friends.

 

A study published in the Journal of Psychological Science showed that those who participated in ritual during, or before a meal had an enhanced experience and enjoyed the meal more because of the greater involvement and presence throughout the meal.

 

“Embrace the soulful place inside of you that gives you your color, your character, your personality, and your zest for life.”  Marc David

 

Rituals have been considered a healing practice for centuries in many different cultures.  Today, I offer you the opportunity to explore the rituals in the realm of food and your eating so you can find your SOULFULNESS and SATIATION to your delight.

 

5 Steps to Soulful Satiation

  1. Start with Intention

 

We can bring intention, love, consciousness and awareness to our food practices just as if they were a divine body prayer, a deep connection to your beloved self or even another platform in which to practice consciousness in our lives.

 

Bri Maya, author of The Path of Practice, is best known for her healing practices around eating. Bri Maya came from ancient India where the women who were cooking, and preparing food, brought so much intention and prayer along side of eating.

Women would roast grains, grind masalas, and sift beans while chanting and praying into their food.

It was said that these prayers and this consciousness around food and sustenance greatly impacted the way in which the food could heal our bodies and how we can find even deeper soul nourishment in our eating.

 

  1. Create the Space

 

Just like my mom did before special dinners, you can find YOUR way to making your eating happen in a sacred space.

 

Finding your sacred space to eat is like applying awareness and intention to all aspects of our lives. We can begin with positive clear thoughts, a healthy whole food plate, and an inviting space to cook, eat and at the same time, feed our souls.

When you close your eyes and imagine creating sacred space, clearing space or bringing a love and attention to an aspect of your eating that needs some attention, where does your intuition take you. Where does your eating need a little more detail, clearing, or cleansing.         Is your refrigerator full of expired condiments? Is your kitchen table cluttered with paperwork? Or is your eating environment inviting, comforting and calm?

 

 

  1. Feed Your Body As Your Temple

 

By holding the highest most supportive thoughts about ourselve in the forefront of our minds, we can surely imagine how the nutrient density, source, and specifics of your food and eating can fuel your body. It’s just like you were worshipping her with all her beauty, energy, and life force.

 

For us to truly live our purpose, and do our work in the world, we have to be well taken care of by ourselves. We are worth the extra money, time, and energy it takes to fuel ourselves with love and sustenance so that we have the energy to give back in our circles of life.

 

 

  1. Meet Mindfulness

 

Giving yourself the permission to SLOW down and SIT down is big. It is necessary. It is important.

Slowing down can feel awkward, scary, uncomfortable, or even too quiet, but it is something to test out and practice. As we get more familiar with this kind of eating, it gets easier. Put on some good music, create a peaceful ambiance, and love yourself through your mealtime and really experience and savor your EATING.

 

 

 

  1. Grace and Gratitude

 

The more gratitude we experience the more our gratitude grows.

 

“As gratitude is cultivated, we experience an increase in our happiness and joy”

 

This is very good news not only for your inner experience, your thoughts, and your positivity, but also…

 

…when we engage the relaxed side of our nervous system, we are able to assimilate, absorb, and digest our food so much more effectively.

 

Through gratitude, we accept the good in all, including our plates.

 

 


Care for a little Bali MAGIC?

We are just one month away.  Come join us and give yourself a break to reset, rejuvenate, and relax while experiencing the MAGIC of BALI.

EatPrayYoga Bali

 

 

 

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5 SCIENCE BASED REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK

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5 SCIENCE BASED REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK

5 SCIENCE BASED REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK

 

 

I was exhausted. 

 

 

Life had handed us some big challenges.  I had to discover a whole new kind of parenting, that I was not ready for (or so I thought). All I could do is keep on holding the space and taking care of everyone, but truthfully, I really had little left for myself.

 

 

 

It’s not that I wasn’t doing what I could with self-care each day – evening baths, shutting myself in my room with a good book, of course spending time with close girlfriends – but I knew what I was going through was intense, and I was needed – my 100% was needed.  

 

 

 

Last summer (June 2013), my son lost his best friend in a Boulder tragedy – one that made the front page of the newspaper multiple times, and one that left us all completely traumatized, broken hearted and lost.  

 

 

 

We have had a lot of support, a lot of time at home, and a lot of time to go through the various stages of grieving in a sacred and loving way.  At times, the personal needs of our families get even more all-consuming and full.  Nearly eight months later, we are just beginning to come up for air.  

 

 

 

It happens this way sometimes in life. Often, parenting, working, school, living, and taking care of everything that needs to happen for our lives to run somewhat smoothly can be very overwhelming - especially amidst particularly challenging times.

 

 

 

 

I knew my time (Sue time) was coming. I could see it on the horizon, and it helped get me through. It did...

 

 time i needed to breath, restore, pause, and reflect on one of the toughest years of my life.

 

 

 

I looked over my packing list multiple times this particular morning. I checked that I had my passport probably seven or eight times (a habit I have), made sure I had a couple important things in my carry on bag – journal, headphones, novel, essential oil, snacks, and of course my tooth brush (I like to brush on long flights).

 

 

I got all of my travel goodies to the front porch just in time for my ride to the airport.

 

 

 

Each year I take a group of women to somewhere exotic for a pilgrimage of deep relaxation, personal inquiry, space, rejuvenation, connection and time to unwind.  

 

 

 

If you are like most of these women, you might understand their overwhelm in the business of the day-to-day.  I sure do. Tired, stressed, burnt out.  This seems to be one of the big reasons women decide to come along on our annual retreat. With all we hold in our lives, it is so therapeutic to take a break, reset, assess, and give ourselves some time just for us.

 

 

 

We make excuses, avoid change, get stuck in our outdated habits, and resist putting ourselves first, but is that really how you want to live?

 

 

 

This week I am going to share with you some very specific health benefits that happen when we give ourselves a break. They are important to know about, part of an important conversation for women, and something most of us could work on, as we are often the last ones on our own priority list.

 

 

 

5 Science Based Reasons Why You Should Take a Break

 

 

 

1.. Sleep more deeply

For most of us who are holding a lot in our days, it is a challenge to “let it all go” at night.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 48% of Americans report a sleep disorder (most commonly, insomnia) and women are 1.3 times more likely to report a sleep disorder than men. The biggest contributors to sleep issues are stress, anxiety, depression or poor sleep habits. 

When we take a break, we retrain our sleep cycles and studies show these new habits most often continue even after we return home.

I recently learned from a master teacher that the best way to release stress, trauma, and pent up emotions in our nervous system is to rest.  It sounds so simple, and yet many of us find it so hard to make the time to rest.

 

2. Gain perspective

Underneath a lot of our suffering are our outdated old habits, the way we sabotage our happiness, and the age-old way that women forget to take care of themselves.

Our inner voice that tells us to listen, to slow down, to nap, to take some downtime – most often get overridden with turbo gear, muscling through, and our fast paced world.

Something has to change.

I spent years silencing that voice. Then one day, that voice said, "I can't do this anymore."

The pain of staying the same became greater than the pain of change and I dove into spending time on giving myself a break and creating downtime.   It was time to break out of old patterns and into a life where I felt free, connected and could become my own priority.

 

 

3. Lower your body mass index

Yes, it’s true. The stress hormone, cortisol, does no good for your waistline. High cortisol levels lead to higher insulin levels. Both of these sneaky hormones store body fat when they are out of balance.

When you give yourself time to slow down, rest, and release your stress and overwhelm, you biochemically tell your body to release excess weight around your mid-section.

Not only is this pleasing to most women, but it also creates a healthier body composition for the long term.

 

 

4. Balance your hormones.

According to the Chopra Institute, doing fifteen minutes of deep belly breathing twice daily has been shown in several clinical trials to increase balance of the female hormones, as well as improve a woman’s sense of well-being. 

Learning a mind-quieting technique such as meditation or yoga, will help decrease stress hormones and allow the body to function more efficiently.

Imagine how much time you have to breathe deeply, meditate, and rejuvenate on vacation or retreat.

 

 

5. Improve your longevity

"It is important to engage in multiple leisure activities, both as a way to enjoy life more, but also to potentially have a benefit on increasing long-term health and decreasing long-term stress" University of Pittsburgh's Mind-Body Center.

Your long-term health will thank you.

Understanding that stress, fatigue, and burnout are responsible for most degenerative disease, often helps us to take our prescription for peacefulness a little more seriously.

 

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3 Ways to Say I LOVE YOU

  Last night I spent Boulder's snowy evening with the CU women's group called FEEDING FEARLESSNESS.  These amazing young women are dedicated to healing their relationship to food and body with their whole hearts.

 

As the falling Colorado snow flakes began to cover the roof tops and tree tops around time, our heart opening conversation led us to our vulnerability and our depths.

 

One aspect of our conversation determined how, almost always, these unique struggles many women experience come from bigger root issues that are unresolved, overwhelming or scary to feel.

 

Most of us don't like discomfort.

Loneliness, guilt, heartbreak, shame, anxiety, sadness, grief, anger and sometimes even joy can feel like too much for us to hold.

 

unnamed-3

 

 

This week I want to share with you 3 ways to say I LOVE YOU (to yourself) so that you can cultivate more SELF LOVE and SELF CARE while expanding your ability to feel and accept all that you are.

 

1.  Equanimity:  Often referred to as being in balance, there is actually a little more to the true definition of equanimity.

The fullest expression of the word includes the ability to be at peace and remain calm in the face of uncertainty or a difficult situation.

The human psyche doesn't normally like uncertainty or difficulty.  This is a practice where, over time, we can build our fortitude.

Start with baby steps, start where you are, and remember...

 

This too shall pass

2.  Compassion:  Being self-compassionate means that whether you win or lose, or surpass your sky-high goals, you still extend the same kindness and sympathy toward yourself, just like you would a good friend or a child.

 



Compassion towards the self is a deep breath, a self-care practice, or a positive affirmation that fills up your self love cup.

 
 

How you speak to yourself changes everything.  Embrace your imperfect self.

3.  Acceptance:  According to the work of Byron Katie, learning to LOVE WHAT IS, is about dismantling our current state with the exercise of revealing how our deepest beliefs are often based in misunderstandings with ourselves.

It takes courage to face reality without telling ourselves a story that things should be different. Ultimately, it means living in a state of love — a lot more of the time.

Be sure to check out the 3 offerings I have for you below,  so you can continue to build your SELF LOVE and your PLEASURE POWER this month.

 

 


 

The FREE #7 DAY SELF LOVE CHALLENGE starts Monday!

Join the #7 day Self-Love Challenge: Online FREE Course We begin February 8th. Have a love affair with yourself.

Through daily efforts learn to forgive yourself, put yourself first, recognize your strengths and do something you love each and every day!

Self-love-challenge-sue


Eat Clean ~ Talk Dirty Online Workshop February 12th!

The Power of Pleasure Explore your relationship with food, pleasure and SEX. With Sue Van Raes, Costen Aytes and Leslie Jones.

Eat Clean Talk Dirty


Care for a little Bali MAGIC?

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

EatPrayYoga Bali

 

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10 Consciousness and Kitchen Quickies

  With the warm Colorado sun warming me through window at Boulder’s local tea shop – Pekoe Sip House –  I sit this morning, (with my Mate Latte)  and start to clear off my emails from the past month.

 

My email is, as usual, overflowing with my favorite writers and bloggers, and today, almost all themed with the new beginnings of 2016.

 

The New Year is always full of so many opportunities to renew.

 

Whether you are a goal setter, a resolution lover, or one who strives to live with intention each day, we are bombarded with hundreds of ways to create a fresh start, even if we are half way through January.

 

Social media, emails, articles and advertisements are rolling in with a brilliant range of options.

 

So today, I decided to offer you a perfectly FREE and favorite way of mine to remember #healthisourgreatestwealth.

 

Center of Health Quote

 

In the spirit of supporting you in your health goals for the year, whatever they may be, I want to share with you my top 10 ways to setting up your sacred space, the center of your health, with just a little more mindfulness.

 

I have found after working for over 12 years in the field of mind-body health and nutrition, that there are a few  “set yourself up for success” gems that I want to be sure you know about.

 

"The CENTER of your HEALTH is in your CONSCIOUSNESS and in your KITCHEN"

 

Creating sacred space for yourself crafts the energy to expand our visions into in reality.

A sacred space brings forth a container for your coming year of self-care, nourishment and vitality.

Creating a sacred space for our lives and our health can be two fold:

 

  • Living in alignment with our true nature, and our body’s most authentic needs.

 

  • Keeping our thoughts about ourselves supportive, loving, and kind.

 

My top 10 ways to create sacred space for vibrant life and health:

 

1.  Eat nourishing whole food that is free from processed sugars, additives, preservatives, and refined ingredients.

2.  Create mealtime rituals that give you the time  to sit down and enjoy a peaceful meal.

3.  Craft a positive affirmation about your body.

4.  Take some time each day to nurture yourself.  Try asking the question: “What can I do to nurture myself today?".

5.  Sit peacefully and reflect each morning on how to customize your day to match your health goals, your energy and your to-do list.

6.  Listen to your body – it is always your ally.

7.  Drop the guilt - I know this one is tough, but living wrought with guilt is even tougher.

8.  Give yourself down time each day, leading up to and including a good night sleep.

9.  Give yourself permission for pleasure. (all kinds of pleasure)

10.  Make YOU your #1 in 2016.

 

 


Join us for a MAGICAL week in BALI this spring.

EPY-Bali-2016

 

 

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A BRAND NEW Year

  After sleeping in and slumbering around for the 5th morning in a row, I was reflecting on how I had barely checked my email all week.

I have enjoyed some of these darkest (and coldest) nights so far by cooking yummy winter meals, snuggling up by the fireplace, sharing in heartwarming conversation and reflection of the past year, and visiting with friends and loved ones.

These dark wintery nights around the holidays are a time I gift myself this slow and peaceful pace.

Long winter walks and snowshoes under the blue bird sky, personal reflection, and this slow revealing of what my visions are for the coming New Year feel like an appropriate focus.

This week's Dark Night Delicacy (week #3) is coming to you from my pajama palace, where much creativity and care has been born.

From my restful slumber, much clarity and cuddled-up contemplation emerges in this week's dark night delights.

Dark Night Delicacy #3 is HERE for you
Want PEACE?  Live PEACE
.

The Dark Night Delicacies are my holiday treat for you this year.  A candlelit path into the darkest nights of the year, a taste of the Eat.Pray.Yoga Online Course and Community that begins this January, and a wintery-wise wanderlust that will keep you connecting inward to your winter warrioress.

 

Want Peace?  Live Peace.

 

Each year around the New Year many of us contemplate what we are striving for in our lives, how we want to achieve certain goals, amend bad behaviors with resolutions, and turn over a new leaf.  It is natural for the mind to crave a fresh start.  The gyms get busier, diets or cleanses become all the rage, and often we focus on the bad habits that we hope to no longer do.

This year when you are contemplating what it is you are wanting, I invite you to join me in the remembering that in creating our NEW YEAR as we wish for it to be does not come from self criticism, chance, or something outside of you.

This year as we contemplate what it is we are yearning for in our hearts and minds, try to imagine how we can align both our thoughts and our actions with this desire.

If you are wanting PEACE, begin by focussing on your thoughts being more peaceful.  See if you can find more peace in your actions, in your way of relating to others and in your way of loving yourself.

If you want more prosperity, try practicing abundant thoughts, giving more to others, and finding gratitude for what you have.

If you want more happiness, keep choosing unconditional happiness that is not based only on certain circumstances lining up just right, but rather seeing happiness and joy in how you think and how you move through the world.  Try spreading more happiness in your interactions with others. 

 

Wintery Wise Recipes

 

Roasted Spagetti Squash with Wild Mushrooms, Savory Chicken and Kale

spaghettisquash-mushroom

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, roasted

2 TBS olive oil

6 large gloves of garlic, minced

3 cups baby portabello mushrooms, chopped small

2 tsps fresh thyme, chopped

1 or 2 large chicken breasts, sliced into strips

4 cups dino kale leaves, packed

¼ tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste

Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions:

Roast the spaghetti squash and set aside for later use.

In a medium-sized skillet, add the oil and heat to medium. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and mushrooms have browned.

Add the chicken strips, and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the chopped kale. Cook 3-5minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Add the lemon zest, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir well and cook for about a minute. Remove from heat.

Strip the spaghetti squash into spaghetti strands and place in a medium-sized serving bowl.

Add the chicken/mushroom/kale mixture and toss together.

Serve with fresh grated parmesan and enjoy.

 

New Years YOGA Pose

anahatasana-guide

 

Open your heart and free your mind this New Year.

 

  • Anahatasana (heart chakra pose) is a nice opening for the upper and middle back
  • Release tension in your neck and shoulders
  • Softens your heart.

 

Find your way into Anahatasana

  • On your hands and knees, walk your hands forward, allowing your heart to drop toward the floor. Keep your hips right above your knees. If possible, keep your hands shoulder width apart.  Bring either your chin or forehead to the floor and breath into both the front and back of your heart.

 


 

Sign Up for the Eat.Pray.Yoga 2016 online Course and Community Right HERE

We begin January 18th, 2016.Become a VIP early bird and sign up before January 1st.  You will receive these delightful extras to explore until our circle of women meets officially on January 18th.

Set your SANKALPA:  A virtual intention setting workshop with Sue for the New Year (January 1st, 2016). Join me for this special bonus 1 hour virtual workshop where I will share with you some of the most potent and powerful yogic practices around setting clear and precise intentions for your upcoming year.

       

Sync up with the seasons: with the Winter-Wise Whole food purification program.  With each season come unique currents and energetic rhythms that we can specifically tap into with our eating and our self-care.

Health Wise:  A hard (and signed) copy of my most recent book to offer you just a few more supportive strategies for a healthy, happy and whole living.

Eat.Pray.Yoga BALI 2016:  Take an additional $200 dollars off of our magical women's week in Bali this spring. Check out all of the details HERE.

EARLY access to Module 1:  Right off the bat, you can log in to the first Module of Eat.Pray.Yoga.  Early access is only offered to the VIP early registrants.

 

If you missed any of the previous Dark Night Delicacies, you can check them out HERE.

 

 

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Happy Solstice Weekend

  It was just a few days ago when Ari, my 15 year old son, eagerly hopped in the car after school.

 

He is my spirited Solstice tree elf.  We always pick out a tree together, and proceed to bring it home to have a overwhelming time getting it to stand straight in the tree stand.

 

As we looked through all the different kinds of trees, I found myself asking a fellow customer which kind she thought "smelled" the best.  She ironically looked at me like I was a little crazy.

 

"Which one SMELLS the best?" she asked.

 

I quickly realized not everyone is going for the best smelling tree.

 

After some crazy sawing and a few too many pine needles on the floor, we managed pretty well this year.

 

My favorite part of the solstice is sitting in the dark with my very fragrant tree, it's white lights twinkling in my living room creating that oh so sweet glow.

 

I love the Winter Solstice.  It always feels so mystical to me.  The darkest night of the year, the most inward introspective time, the returning of the light, and a sense of holiday shimmer in the air.

 

This year, take the journey with me in these dark nights, and let's find some magic to enjoy in our lives together and some ritual to ignite our hearts.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #2 is here for you.

Solstice Rituals and Relvelry

solstice-ritual-candle**

 

  • Learn WHY rituals are so potent in our lives
  • Check out some of my favorite Solstice rituals
  • Enjoy some new wintery recipes over the holidays.

 

The Dark Night Delicacies are my holiday treat for you this year.  A candlelit path into the darkest nights of the year, a taste of the Eat.Pray.Yoga Online Course and Community that begins this January, and a wintery wise wanderlust that will keep you connecting inward to your winter warrioress.

 

 

 

Winter Solstice Rituals and Revelry

Ritual is one way the soul often craves connection, presence and sweetness. We have been doing ritual in so many realms throughout time to fulfill this part of our souls desire.

 

Cultures far and wide have included rituals for centuries and now much research is showing that the human ENJOYMENT and CONNECTION is heightened through ritual.

 

Some rituals are small - like lighting a candle before a meal.

 

Some rituals are super involved like a Japanese Tea ceremony, or a pagan May day Beltane celebration.

 

We are going to start with just a few of my favorites for the darkest night of the year.  Feel free to customize these ideas into rituals that work for you and your family.

  1. Solstice lantern lighting: Embrace the dark by leaving lights off + lighting lanterns or candles at dusk. Decorate mason jars and place a small candle inside OR try the shimmery candles that clip onto your holiday tree and safely light them. As you sit by candle light, set your intentions for the returning of the light.  You can find the clip on candles HERE
  2. Create a fire releasing ceremony: Write down what you wish to release. One by one, as you write each one down, burn them in the fire.  You can use a fire place, wood stove, or outdoor bonfire.  I have done variations of this over the years with my women's programs and retreats.
  3. Commune in nature: Take a long walk in the woods, and consider bringing a headlamp if you wish to explore the dusk or dark.  Leave an offering of seeds (such as sunflowers), flowers or herbs out for the birds and other wild creatures.
  4. With the returning of the light it is often said to be a powerful time to set new intentions, goals, or put visions into motion.  Some consider this time to be the true New Year.  Write a list of all or your burning desires, and visions for the upcoming year and the returning of the light.  Meditate on the clearest path to see them come to fruition.

 

Wintery Wise Recipes

Butternut and Buffalo Paleo Stew

buffalo-butternut-stew

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 lb buffalo cubes for stewing
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced;
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz. spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken/beef/mushroom stock
  • 14 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano or 2 drops oregano essential
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Warm up a skillet over a medium-high heat. Brown the buffalo cubes in the skillet for about 1 minute per side. Transfer the meat to a crock pot. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach and the mushrooms, to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir, set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours. Add in the mushrooms 30 minutes before the stew is done. Add the spinach just before serving.

 

 

Yoga Pose of the Week

agnistambhasana-guide

Light your hips on fire with this yummy hip opener this week. No matter how flexible your hips are, you can find some sensation in your body and warm your entire hip socket and pelvis up with a little Solstice warming fire.

A few things to remember about Fire log (or double pigeon):

  • Sitting up on a blanket can help. Propping a block under your top knee will give you some extra support.
  • Flexing your feet will help to protect your knee joint.
  • As you inhale let your torso rise and expand your chest. As you exhale let the knees become a bit heavier and draw more sensation into your hips.
  • Bow forward if your hip flexibility allows. Remember to breath and track the warmth and sensation in your body.

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Begin your Descent

  The Tugboats crashing upon the waves as they crossed through the city was the perfect backdrop for a festive dinner out in the city of Williamstead, on the island of Curacao.

 

This particular night was even more significant for the townspeople (and lucky for us) as it was the night (December 1st) when Williamstead lit their holiday lights on the floating bridge that so beautifully lit up the water with its colorful reflections.

 

Dark nights and winter holidays are celebrated worldwide.

 

Sun kissed after a glorious Caribbean vacation with my sweetie, we are returning home to embrace the dark nights before us, and the holiday festivities to be had.

 

When the dark nights come each year, I have finally begun to look forward to my personal descent into the darkness. What I used to consider cold, stressful and tender has now become a time I cherish each year.

 

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

 

Some would say this descent is known throughout time, myth, and story as a descent into the underworld. Others see it as the most potent nights to pray. Many share insights on 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.

 

For the next 5 weeks the Dark Night Delicacies are designed to share with you some of my most favorite winter recipes, rituals, and ways to reset and replenish.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #1 is here for you.

Solace and Self Care

 

darknightdelicacies

 

 

  • Learn the biggest challenge women face over the holidays.
  • Three ways to begin your own dark night descent embracing winters wisdom.
  • How to restore your life force and your energy easily.

 

This is my holiday treat for you this year. A candle lit path into the darkest nights of the year, a taste of the Eat.Pray.Yoga Online Course and Community that begins this January, and a wintery wise wanderlust that will keep you connecting inward to your winter warrioress.

 

Dark Night Delicacy #1

 

 

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.

 

I hear about it all the time from my clients, my friends, and my family. The most common complaints we all know: 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.

 

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 The Dark Night Delicacies are for. Little winter weekly wisdoms to inspire you and remind you that you can live as your own winter warrioress.

 

Spend some quiet time each day.

 

This commitment to yourself  is simple yet totally profound. Quiet time does not involve the TV or computer. It does involve a long cozy walks in nature, a warm ritual bath, a quiet place to meditate or journal, or your favorite juicy novel and a bowl of sumptuous organic popcorn.

or...

Join us this weekend: The annual Women’s Winter Wanderlust Day Retreat right in downtown Boulder CO.  

Come and join us as we retreat for a day nourishing ourselves, indulging in a women’s circle of intention, connection, and practice as we find our clarity, grace and power within - at Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place.

winterwanderlust 

 

 

REJUVENATE

 

Our mats and our practice can act as a perfect reflection for the inner witness. It is helpful to come to your mat with a specific intention that will customize your practice. Allow your focus to turn inward with every breath tuning into the subtle body and the inner observer. Listen for intuition, insight, physical cues, and sensation that are rich with information and winter’s wisdom.

 

Pose of the week

Malasana

 

malasana-guide

 

 

 

Malasana has a descending and grounding quality and is a good pose to practice whenever you need to foster a focus of inner listening and serenity. Try B position: reach your palms back behind you, palms to the mat, with your upper arms in between your legs. Drop your chin to your chest and focus your breath on your back body. As you turn your gaze inward and calm your nervous system, begin to listen inward to the messages of intuition that come through your awareness.

 

 

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.

 

Soups and stews

Root vegetables

Beans (especially adzuki and mung beans)

Miso and seaweed

Garlic and ginger

 

 Thai Carrot Soup

carrot-thai-soup

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb carrots (approx 4 cups)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups veggie stock + 2 cups water
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 tsp chili sauce or sriracha
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Coconut oil to sauté

Heat in a large pot over medium heat

Dice onion, garlic and carrot. Saute veggies with coconut oil. Add veggie stock and water. Season the pot with salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil and cook for 20 min or until veggies are soft.

Transfer to blender, or use submersion blender. Add almond butter and chili paste/sriracha and blend until smooth. Sitr in coconut milk. Optional – add a smidge of honey.

 

 

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