Viewing entries tagged
do no harm

DIGEST YOUR LIFE. DIGEST YOUR FOOD.

Comment

DIGEST YOUR LIFE. DIGEST YOUR FOOD.

I have a story for you today,

Camilla came into my office complaining of debilitating stomachaches. They had gotten so bad that she was limiting her food choices to a point of pure confusion and overwhelm.

Tears streamed down her cheeks as she explained the strife this pain and confusion was causing her every day.

There were a few notable patterns, but really, nothing that was conclusive. After all the usual tests, elimination diets, and doctor’s visits nothing had been working…

I love helping people heal their digestion. It is one of my specialties. Digestion is the most integral foundation of our health. I love the science of the blood tests, the deep healing and shifts that so often happen when we start eating foods that our unique bodies love.

But all too often there is something missing, something we overlook…

We now know that not only do the building blocks for health and vitality start in the digestive track – the break down, the absorption and the transportation – but most of our seratonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) is also produced in the gut (AKA: the second brain).

When your digestion is happy, you are happy – literally.

Many people come to me to improve and strengthen their digestion.Here is the thing, it is often soooo much more complicated than food.

When we consider the complexity of the human body, mind, and spirit, there are a few extra important things to consider.

We are whole beings, with physical, emotional and soul desires, needs, and essentials.

Treating the digestion as if it exists in a little bubble in our bellies is just not enough – we leave out too much of the equation.

Instead, let’s try broadening our experience of our digestion to a body-mind-spirit approach:

This is foundational to the work I teach, but also to the success of integrating all of YOU into your health and happiness.

  • Learn what Digest Your Life actually means
  • Understand the deeper patterns that most of us are repeating without even realizing it.
  • Practice these specific mealtime tips to feel better inside and out.
  • Find out how Camilla solved the issues with her digestion (and beyond).

Learn what your digestion (and health) REALLY wants:

Digest Your Life ~ Digest your Food.

Digest your life:

If you are like most of us, life is pretty intense. Whether it is intensely full, stressful, busy, joyful, sad, or overwhelming, most of us would admit that life keeps rolling at a pretty good pace these days.

A lot can happen in a day. A lot of connections, a lot of errands, a lot of tasks at the office, a lot of kid stuff, a lot of homework, and even a lot of conflict (inner and outer).

It takes an incredible amount of centering and anchoring to not get swept away in all the ups and downs of life.

Amidst this swift daily experience, most of us don’t have time (or desire) to digest everything that has happened. It can feel like too much. It we were to take the lid off of our jar of daily emotion and experience, it might explode. Yikes.

Instead, most of us have elaborate mechanisms to keep that lid on tight, no matter what the pressure is inside the jar.

Many of us hold tension, stress, strife, conflict, and old repressed feelings in our gut.

Did you ever get a stomachache at a stressful family dinner, an unpleasant work meeting or perhaps waiting to take an exam?

When we eat under these daily stressors, we are literally shutting down our physical digestions.

Processing your life helps you to process your food.

A few facts about body-mind-spirit digestion:

The stress hormone – adrenaline – has an elaborate mechanism of shutting down digestion. If you were being chased by a grizzly bear (one of the original purposes of adrenaline) you would not want your energy focused on your digestion. You would want every last ounce of attention and energy tuned into your survival, speed, and heightened awareness.

The problem is that most of us are not being chased by a grizzly bear so-to-speak, but the day-to-day stress of our culture mimics something hormonally similar. Many of us live in an adrenaline state right here in society. Many of us experience our biochemistry as if there really is a big old grizzly out there after us.

Our daily stress shuts down our digestions and creates many issues that cannot be fixed with just food. Stress affects our hunger, absorption, and elimination.

We can’t fix our day-to-day concerns or the fast pace of our society overnight, but we can integrate a few things to help.

Daily Practices To Try:

  1. Feel your feelings, digest your life, and give yourself some downtime.

I know you are too busy for downtime. We all are. Some days I feel too busy to take a shower, but I just know I’ve just gotta make it happen. For me it’s non-negotiable – both the shower and the downtime. Talk to a loved one you trust, write in a journal, or take a walk in the fall leaves after work. Do what you can to create a little space to digest your day.

  1. Create a peaceful environment in which to eat.

It may take longer, you may have to stop for a minute, get out of adrenaline mode, and slow down. Believe me, your body will thank you. When we are in a peaceful state of mind, not only do we enhance our peace of mind, but we also boost your metabolism and your assimilation.

Simply by sitting down, chewing our food more thoroughly, making eating more of a ritual, and slowing down we can do wonders for our stress, and our digestion.

  1. Speak your truth.

What we resist persists. This includes unexpressed emotions, feelings, and communications that are held in our bodies. What if we had the courage to speak up in all areas of our lives – our work, our family, our relationships? Imagine the personal empowerment and freedom we would experience.

Our truth is not about being right, our truth is about being authentic.

When we repress our truth, we hold it somewhere in our bodies. The most common place we hold unspoken truths – our digestion. So often when things go unsaid, we get stomach aches, we stuff our feelings with food, or our digestion shuts down all together. None of these are ideal for a life filled with vitality and joy.

  1. Breathe

The breath is the quickest way to calm down our bodies and minds. When we breathe mindfully (especially through our nose) we engage our parasympathetic nervous system – the calming side of our nervous system.

With just some slow nasal breathing we can get yourself out of fight or flight mode (remember the grizzly bear) and back into an optimal state for inner peace, good digestion, and of course, peace.

Studies have shown that when we slow down our breathing, we literally slow down our brain waves and our bodies and minds become more calm and relaxed.

Try this anytime of day, when you catch yourself in a stressful fight or flight moment, and also practice this at (or before) mealtime.

Slow inhale through the nose, slow exhale through the nose.

Camilla’s Success story:

Okay, let’s get back to Camilla for a moment. After quite a lot of personal investigation, food allergy testing, and experimenting, Camilla realized that yes, a few foods were bothering her system and she was able to eliminate them from her diet for the most part. That helped a little.

What was the most impactful for her was when she started learning to calm her body and mind down during stressful work days, when she was able to speak her truth to her family, friends and co-workers, and when she took the power back for herself in her own life.

She practiced slow and mindful eating (including lots of breathing). She practiced clearing out old repressed feelings and stagnant emotion through journaling, meditation and self-care, and she started putting herself first in her life.

This took some practice and some time, but each time she felt successful, her stomach pain would lessen and she started to get her life back.

Today, Camilla is free of stomachaches – as long as she doesn’t slip back into her old patterns. If this happens, her body instantly tells her, and she is now informed to amend the situation immediately.

About Sue Van Raes...

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

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

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

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

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

Comment

Comment

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 

Comment

Comment

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...

Comment

Comment

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.

 

self-care-tulip

 

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

Comment

Comment

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.

 

spring-lilac-text

 

 

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.

Comment

5 SCIENCE BASED REASONS TO TAKE A BREAK

Comment

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.

 

Comment

Comment

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

 

Comment

Comment

Successful Seasonal Immunity

The other night, I was walking down Pearl street here in downtown Boulder after a yummy birthday dinner  for my son (Happy Birthday Ari!!), and I found myself shivery cold as we walked back to our car. This week the weather really shifted here in Colorado.  There has been gusting wind, snow, and some super chilly nights.

I have heard of many lingering coughs, flus, and cold season symptoms sneaking up as we make the transition to colder days, and darker nights.

 

The seasonal transition towards winter is surely before us (if you are in the northern hemisphere that is) and with that comes a big shift for the body and our delicate (yet resilient) immune systems.

 

Synching up with the season is a safe status to secure.

 

With the holidays right around the corner AND the weather changing, a little extra self care could be just what you need to stay strong, vital and in good shape for the weeks to come.

 

We have the remarkable capability to heal ourselves. The winter dry climate presents us many challenges in keeping our immune system strong, therefore is important to make choices in the way of health to give ourselves the chance to thrive through every season especially winter.

 

The body is a wise immunity warrior.

 

Building our immunity or Protective Qi, wards off either diseases from viruses and weather influences. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine teachings, protective qi is derived from essential substances in food and inhaled air quality.

 

Here are a few tips for a successful immune system as the seasons change.

 

  1. Synch UP: Take the time to prepare whole foods seasonal foods, rich in all the essential nutrients to give yourself a strong foundation that will benefit you for every season.

 

Highly refined foods lack most minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and much of the protein required for proper immune function. Avoid refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, pasteurized dairy products, white sugar, and meats containing nitrates and replace with seasonal whole foods high in protein, natural fat, that are perfectly matched for the season’s health challenges.  

 

Stick to a diet high in whole foods such as organic veggies and fruits, natural meats and fish, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Eating in tune with the seasons will naturally tune your body to the seasonal challenges and strengthen accordingly.

 

  1. Oil Up: Omega-3 oils are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega three oils in the form of either DHA/EPA, which are available in cold- water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardine; or alpha-linoliec acid, which is the fatty acid found in certain plants, such as flax seed, pumpkin seed, soy bean products and walnuts. They are some of the “good” fat that is necessary for healthy development and immunity. For many, a nutritional supplement may be the best option. Not only do we need omega-3 three oils, but also the essential vitamins and mineral for their absorption. Fresh vegetables, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds come rich in these vitamins B6, A, E as well as minerals magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium.

 

A Study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AUG 2002) recommends the use of Omega-3 oils therapeutically for activating immune response. . EFA’s also give the added insulation that keeps the tissues moist, the nervous system strong and the body full of energy and insulation.

 

  1. Herb UP: Another study published spring of 2004 in the Journal of Internal Medical Research indicating black Elderberry extract (sambucus nigra L.) reduces flu symptoms and shortens the duration by more than 50%. Due to the challenge of the increasing flu risk in that we have experienced nation wide, this may be one of the keys to staying healthy through the winter.

 

  1. Tune UP: The benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs are priceless when it comes to building immunity. They have the incredible ability to be adaptogenic, which will either tonify or strengthen the system. They treat the individual not just the symptom and have a very efficacious quality that works quickly and effectively.

 

This is similar with other ancient medicines such as homeopathic medicine and ayurvedic medicine. Find out who your local practitioners are and lean on them during these times when our immune systems are challenged.

 

 

  1. Warm UP: Lastly, remember the harsh weather conditions are a challenge to the system. The Chinese believe that all the major pathogens enter the body born on wind. The line of points across the back of the neck is the weak spot known as the wind gate. Covering this area in times of harsh weather, such as wind and cold will help to prevent illness. Wearing turtlenecks, scarves and many warm layers made of natural fibers is not just and old wives tale. “Dress for the season not the day” is a well-known approach to keeping your body warm, and strong.

 

We have at our fingertips so many of nature’s gifts that work well in our bodies to protect, and strengthen.

Nature’s pharmacy and menu is endless.

Connecting back to the basics, the simplicity, and the wisdom that our own planet has to offer is truly a beautiful path to overall health, vitality, and immunity.

Keep cozy and stay healthy.

 


 

 

 

 

EPY-Bali-2016

Comment

Comment

Feeding Fearlessness

  Some inspiration for you today:

 

Over the past few months I have been a busy bee restructuring a lot of my business so I can better serve you.

 

This process has led me to finding new partnerships and collaborations that feed MY inspiration, match my mission, and better fuel my TRIBE mentality. It has left me feeling so powerful and uplifted.

 

tribes

 

This past month in particular, I have really been diving into this idea of collaboration, cooperation and win-win type relationships that can create an energy and support system like never before.

 

You see, I am a gal who has leaned towards (over) independence, always doing things all by myself.   My asking for help felt like a burden.

 

WHOA was I wrong...

 

What I am realizing is that most of my life I have forged ahead without the TRIBE mentality.

 

Having spent a lot of time on this lately (personally and professionally). I am realizing that not only can we be more supported in collaborations and cooperative efforts, we can also be more powerful in our own lives.

 

My mantra lately has been ..."Lean In"

 

Thanks to my awesome business coach, this month I have hired an assistant (go Ashley!) a new (bookkeeper (thank you Bettsee), and kindled some amazing partnerships with awesome organizations such as LuLulemon, Isagenix, and Radiance Power Yoga.

 

(p.s.  This has also been very good for my relationship.)

 

Today with that in mind, I am going to share with you a very special collaboration I am working on because this one really pulls at my heart strings, fires me up, and leaves me so excited and energized at the powerful work people are doing in the world.

 

Feeding Fearlessness is just that.  

 

This week I chatted over tea with one of the founders of Feeding Fearlessness, Kaitlin Mulligan.

 

Feeding Fearlessness is a student run support group at CU that aims to both provide a safe space for open conversation regarding eating disorders and body image, as well as help educate the surrounding community about the prevalence of these problems.

 

These women are extremely passionate about personal transformation, the TRIBE mentality, and women finding their power with eating and body!

 

Last week they were on the front page of the Daily Camera!

Here is all the details:

Feeding Fearlessness is open to both men and women, and isn’t exclusive to just those struggling with defined “eating disorders,” but to anyone who may be struggling with food, weight, body image, etc.

FF holds weekly support meetings, where members are encouraged but not required to share a bit about their successes and setbacks.

FF maintains an atmosphere of positivity, as we are all striving to achieve better health and happiness.

Feeding Fearlessness also participates in fundraising events, such as walks for the National Eating Disorder Association, and helps to raise awareness throughout Boulder by participating in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and the like.

Unhealthy relationships with food, weight, and exercise are often overlooked, especially in the Boulder Colorado community, and we aim to bring more attention to these relationships, and support each other in bettering them.

You can find them on Facebook HERE, email the leaders HERE, and read the exciting article from the Daily Camera HERE.

 

20151030__02DCAFEEw~1

Rachael Quirke, left, and Kaitlin Mulligan, have started a new club at the University of Colorado that focuses on eating disorders. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

 

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with me ...

 

Stay tuned over the next few months, and I will share with you some stories of other amazing TRIBES that may also stoke your inner passions. I am so excited.

 


Join Us This Spring in BALI

EPY-Bali-2016

Comment

The Art (and science) of Curbing your Cravings

Comment

The Art (and science) of Curbing your Cravings

THE ART (AND SCIENCE) OF CURBING YOUR CRAVINGS

 

Like you, I’m no stranger to cravings. I know how they can feel overwhelming, out of control, and truly crazy, when it comes down to it. I’ve been there. I spent years living off coffee and carbs.  My cravings were running the show, all day every day.  Not only did I not feel satiated, energized or content, but I also had intense bouts of hypoglycemia, migraine headaches and brain fog. I learned some important strategies for more success and now I can authentically say “It doesn’t have to be this way.”  

 

Are you also stuck in sweet seductions, carbohydrate coddlings, and bread-y binges? We often feel stuck thinking our personal will should be strong enough to battle the craziness of these common cravings. The reality is that most of our cravings have nothing to do with our personal weaknesses, our emotional favoring or even our habitual madness. What’s really going on has much more to do with our biochemistry.

 

Check out the most important things to know about cravings, and free yourself from the craving craziness once and for all with these six steps below.
 

 

1.     How LOW can you go?
If you can start off the day with a low glycemic breakfast you will conquer your cravings much quicker.  One particular study showed when you eat a low glycemic breakfast, you crave less food in the form of carbohydrates and sugar throughout the day (Ball et al.). Your steady insulin and blood sugar will insure your cravings are calm throughout the rest of the day. It is not really magic at all, but it does feel like a miracle.

 

2.     Smart Snacking 
When snacking, try eating foods high in protein and fat instead of carbohydrate heavy on-the-run snacks. Foods like nuts, avocado, whole milk unsweetened yogurt, organic meats, cheeses, and protein shakes will keep your insulin so happy in between meals.

 

3.     Healthy, Happy, WHOLE
Carbohydrate quality is a big culprit in how our cravings unfold. The more processed the food, usually the more of a blood sugar bomb. If we can eat carbohydrates in their whole form (such as brown rice, sweet potato, steel cut oats, quinoa, or a tart apple) we will find these whole carbohydrates are much more gentle on our blood sugar. Cleaning up our carbs makes all the difference. Go for the good stuff.

 

4.     Consistency is KEY
When we wait too long between meals, we are taking an insulin risk that usually ends up in us getting too hungry, and making a choice that is more impulsive. Planning on little dense snack bites often will keep you satiated and satisfied and beyond the crazy cravings. Eating regularly throughout the day creates a healthy metabolism, and happier hormones (aka Insulin).

 

5.     Intuition Is More Powerful Than Intellect.
The body is wise. We inherently know what we need and by taking just a few seconds to listen, check in, and inquire as to what would be the next best food move. As we start to balance out and fine tune, we will notice we can trust our food intuition more and more. Try to take a few moments to slow down, take space, and check in. Make your plate your practice.

 

6.     The Flavors Create the Fervor
In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda there is a distinctive art and science to balancing the 5 flavors. Each flavor is known to bring a different quality and energy to your body and mind. We so commonly find our plates are full of sweet flavors swinging the balance of flavors way off center. Check in with each plate of food, and see if you can find a representation of the majority of these flavors: sweet, bitter, salty, sour and spicy (pungent). In the intricacy of balance of flavors, your palate will be pleased.

 

Works Cited

Ball, S.D., K.R. Keller, L. J. Moyer-Mileur, Y.W. Ding, D. Donaldson, and W.D. Jackson. “Prolongation of Satiety After Low Versus Moderately High Glycemic Index Meals in Obese Adolescents.” Pediatrics 111. 3 (2003): 488-94. Web. 22 Feb. 17. 

 

Comment

Comment

Mystical Magical Mornings

   

Waking up this week in the darkness of the late fall mornings, I have had a few moments where it feels just too dark to get out of my cozy bed.  That little bit of full moon light peaking through my bamboo shades hasn't been enough to wake me up before my 6:30 alarm.

 

fullmoonsunrisetxt

 

I have been rolling over and pulling my big purple comforter over my head to hide, not quite ready to get up in the darkness.

 

When I finally gather my energy, I creep downstairs to make my morning tea - and see if my teen has stirred yet in time for high school - I have been so lucky to watch the full moon still shining bright as the sun comes up, lighting a burning fiery red in the sky that turns glorious pinks, purples and oranges.

 

When my warm tea is steeped and ready, I head up to my sacred space, the one I call home for these early mornings.

 

The mornings are magical to me.

 

For years I have said that getting up before my kids and taking some space for myself, has been my secret to parenting.

 

My morning routine is my favorite part of my day.  I guard it fiercely, I revel in it, and I watch it transform with what I am going through, what the season is doing and how I am connecting with my INNER world.

 

Having time for just ME before I start my day is (what I think of as) essential.  At times I have only been able to squeeze out 5-15 minutes before getting both kids up and out the door to school.

 

Lately, I have had more time.  My kids are getting older, and this is the FIRST time in 18 years that I don't have to drive across town to drop them off at school.

 

In many yogic traditions the 2 1/2 hours before and up to sunrise are known to be the most potent time to connect to the higher realms.

 

This time is known as the Amrit Vela, or the time of day when the veil is the thinnest to the Divine.  Anything you do during this early morning time is considered to be 40x more powerful.

 

I have some special morning magic secrets to share with you this week + a free recording for you.  AAANNND…I would love to hear how your morning magic metamorphosizes your life.

 

 

MORNING MEDITATION

 

There are many, many styles and traditions around how to meditate. I appreciate and honor each of them. Some are very simple and some much more elaborate.

 

For the sake of reaching out to all of you, I am going to tell you about a very simple style of meditation that anyone can try at any level of experience, and that is not related to any particular lineage.

 

SoHum meditation

 

 

If you want to check out a recorded audio version sample of this meditation, you can listen HERE. This is a recording from my online program.

 

 

MORNING PAGES (journaling)

 

I adopted the morning pages practice back in the late 90’s when I first go to Boulder, from Julia Cameron and her book The Artist’s Way Morning pages are the practice of writing for approximately 10-20 minutes, stream of consciousness, first thing in the morning.

 

There is no way to do morning pages wrong. Morning pages are designed to be a way to cleanse our minds (conscious and subconscious) just like we would take a shower to cleanse our bodies first thing in the morning.

 

There is no need to worry about structure, grammar, or how it would read back to you at a later date. Morning pages are like a chance to purge whatever is on your mind. Be sure to not over think it, just get it out, on paper and feel yourself lighten in the process.

 

 

CONSULT YOUR ORACLES

 

Often in the early mornings, either before or after I meditate or journal, I consult my oracles – AKA my Tarot deck.

 

I have carried around one of my favorite Tarot decks since the days of backpacking though Central America in my early 20’s. I acquired this particular deck on the beaches of Guatemala in 1993. Since then I have gathered some other oracle type decks and I play with each of them regularly.

 

Each morning I pull a card and receive a divine message to work with for the day. This helps me to tap into some intentions, some personal inquiry, and some mystical insights that keep things interesting and inspiring. At times I will expand my readings to longer more multi card spreads with more time and ritual involved, especially on certain holidays, solstices, full moons, birthdays etc.

 

I always appreciate the little (or big) messages I receive this way.

 

 

MEDITATIVE WALKING

 

One of my favorite morning practices is to take my warm cup of tea, bundle up (depending on the time of year) and take a silent walk on the creek path next to my house. The early morning sun is so special, the outdoors is so peaceful, and the movement through the often brisk air, is a good way to wake up my senses.

 

If taking a walk is part of my morning practice I will usually stay quiet, inward, and focused on my breath, intention, and connection to nature.

 

I love to hike with my kids, friends or my sweetie, but I do reserve this sacred magical morning time just for me.

 

 

Now it’s your turn…

What mystical magical morning practice speaks to you?

If you have your own, I would love to hear about it so I can give it a try.

You can share you favorites and your morning intentions in the comments below.

Comment

Comment

When you listen to her WHISPER...

Divine Feminine, Shakti, Goddess, Inner Voice, Intuition, Woman's Wisdom, Truth, Subtle Body... call her what you will.

 

We all have her voice inside, guiding us.  I find her often on my meditation cushion, in my journal, or on my long daily hikes up my favorite mountain.

 

whenyoulistentoherwhisper

 

When we ignore her, things tend to go awry.

 

If we ignore HER for too long, tune her out, or override the whisper carelessly, overtime the inner scream builds up, gets uncomfortable and even explosive.

 

Sometimes it comes in the form of exhaustion, sometimes overwhelm, sometimes heart ache.

 

Often, we totally SHUT DOWN, get out of balance, and feel FAR away from who we want to be.

 

Emotional eating, self-medicating and barely coping can and does happen.

 

Checking out of our lives, our relationships, and our purpose, becomes routine.

 

Are you with me?

 

Even if we don't like what we hear her whispering she doesn't seem to care.

 

Sometimes, we need to do the unspeakable:  take a nap, have a hard conversation with our partner, friend or family member, SLOW DOWN, go inward, …or maybe even take the day OFF.

 

This week, I lay in my purple bed resting, and fighting with myself.  Can I give myself permission to stay here, feel into, and honor myself in the darkness?

 

OR ELSE.... or else what?

 

To be truly FREE and living in a way that creates harmony with the universe - inner and outer - there is work to be done.  The most important job we will ever have.

 

There is listening to be heard.  There is honoring to be held.

 

Your inner quest is unique, delicate, and personal but I am sure we have a few things in common. Let's explore how the roots of our suffering are also the doorway to the temple of our hearts.

 

Whisper Wisdom #1

Accept

 

The feminine can be fluid, free, accepting, and unconditionally loving in all her beauty. She can also be self critical, shameful, and stubborn.

 

When we are able to truly BE where we are, accepting HOW we feel, there is an opportunity to both SIT in the present moment and LOVE what is.

 

Stress is when we oppose what is happening in the present moment, and wish it were different.

“Loving what is” (from the work of Byron Katie) is the first step to accepting the current situation exactly how it is, and seeing life as our teacher.

 

“Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance”

 

Whisper Wisdom #2

Devotion

 

Taking care, nurturing, and tending to your inner world is an essential part of freeing the feminine into power and grace. Devotion to your inner whisper is devotion to your truest self and most authentic needs.

 

When the whisper says “I’m tired”…rest.

When the whisper says “I need to cry” …let the tears flow.

When the whisper says “I am goddess” …adorn her.

When the whisper says “ I am stuck” …grant her movement.

 

“Love is a constant devotion, not a passing emotion”

 

Whisper Wisdom #3

Allow

 

Giving yourself permission to expand into your fullest expression is a priceless gift. Being who you ARE is your divine right. Your uniqueness is your most cherished offering.

 

With every expansion there is the beauty and the pleasure, along with the shadow and the fear. They all deserve a voice.

 

Can you sit in the uncomfortable? Can you feel into your darkness? In the darkness we often find our richest gems and jewels for growth.

 

 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you”

~Maya Angelou

 

Whisper Wisdom #4

Gratitude

 

Often in the uncomfortable, the disappointment and the fear, there is a rich and colorful teacher. We may avoid, turn away or resist her, but most often we are called in deeper to listen.

 

When we allow her exploration – listening to the whisper - we are most often graced with the wisdom and gifts of our heart’s deepest challenges.

 

In my darkest hours (of which I have had many) I have been blessed with a deeper love for myself, creative explosions, powerful truths, or a rawness that has built my inner Queendom into a palace I now can embody and embrace for her beauty more than ever.

 

The trick is to find the transformation, the silver lining, the life lesson that leaves us awe-struck in our inner strength and resilience.

 

Many of the common female archetypes express a similar female inner discovery. As we see in the stories of Persephone, Inanna, Lilith and Kali, they dive into the darkness of the feminine psyche, only to be stripped down of all knowing and all comfort, baring the darkness and holding the fear, to then find the jewels of their own nature. Each in the name of divine love and the shedding the old outdated self.

 

I am grateful for my soul gifts, my personal evolutions, and my most heart opening moments that have changed me forever.  What are yours?

 

“Gratitude opens the door, the door to the power, the wisdom and the creativity of the universe”

~ Deepak Chopra

Comment

Comment

Nobody Loves me, I hate my body...

   

If you are like most women, you have heard a similar voice in your head before.  The one that looks in the mirror and cringes, or the voice who tells you you are UNLOVABLE because of your many imperfections.

 

mirror-text

 

This type of internal dialogue might drag you down.  Some days it’s likely louder than others, some days it runs the show, and some days it may even have you in tears on the phone talking to your best friend, your sister or your mother saying “What is wrong with me???”

 

MOST women struggle with this voice at least some of the time.  Feeling less than, not pretty enough, not fit enough, not good enough, and ... unlovable.  This is an epidemic of our time, our culture, and women everywhere.

 

I have been there plenty.  An off day, a rough night of sleep, PMS, or one of the many triggers that can pop up in my day-to-day.

What has changed for me is not making the voice go away entirely, but rather my relationship to my self sabotaging voice.

 

Do I give it POWER?

 

Do I BELIEVE it?

 

Do I spend the day LISTENING to it?

 

Can I TURN IT AROUND, change my reaction to it, or even love it as part of being a woman?

 

I have a few favorite FEMALE FRIENDLY ways to fine tune - from the inside out - that have been working for me.  I find these important to share, perhaps they can help you too.

 

It is never totally EASY, but with consistency and practice it is surly EFFECTIVE and ENGAGING.

 

YES, this CAN mean your  voice QUIETS.

 

Don’t miss this.

 

These simple yet profound tools may be just your ticket to more inner freedom and self LOVE.

 

 

 

MOJO MOVEMENT

 

One of most effective ways to connect with your beautiful body is through energizing movement. How is your MOJO? Practices such as YOGA, BRISK WALKING/HIKING and DANCE can move energy in big ways. Get yourself out of inertia and MOVE IT, SHAKE IT, GROOVE IT. Enliven your spirit and up your MOJO with some juicy movement of your own.

 

“Daily practice becomes more and more relevant for the modern woman as she sits at a tiny desk, eating food on the run, all the while performing the dance of mother, sister, lover, wife, and many more roles. Now we reclaim the feminine by running in nature, nourishing by a satiating meal, sitting on our meditation cushions and dancing our bodies to our hearts content. ”

Angela Grace

~Eat Pray Yoga Guest Teacher

 

Have your own private dance party, take a walk in the beautiful fall leaves, or inspire yourself with your favorite yoga teacher. Learn to FEEL good in your body to then LOVE your body.

 

 

 

EMPOWERED EATING

 

Feeling empowered around food is almost every woman’s dream. We are so often known to take everything out on our relationship to food: the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

Empowered eating means we clean up our relationship with food and who we are as the EATER using mindful practices such as making your eating an awareness art of it’s own. We STOP abusing our bodies with food, and START loving ourselves with every bite.

 

Food is a faithful resource for love, but things become problematic when we expect food to compensate for a lack of love.”

Marc David

~ Psychology of Eating

and Eat.Pray.Yoga Guest Teacher

 

 

ATTENTIVE ADORNMENT

 

How do you feel when you take a little time to adorn your goddess self? What is it like to tend to yourself in attentive beauty and reverence? The practice of adorning yourself daily can dramatically change how you feel in your body and about your body.

 

“Where we're at with who we are, is how we dress. How we dress is a direct reflection of our multi-faceted inner landscape . . . This beauty has the power to heal, balance and renew.  Cultivate the qualities of beauty in your thoughts and actions. “      

Colleen Vistara ~

Vistara Designer

Whether this means putting on a special necklace as a meaningful ritual, buying a sexy new pair of panties or rubbing some of your favorite lotion or essential oil all over your skin – attentive adornment brings you closer to the beautiful body that is yours. Sacred ritual and loving touch for your body is breakthrough material.

 

 

 

FEMININE FELLOWSHIP

 

Do you have a supportive group of women in your life? Are you able to find connection, like mind, and the art of the feminine healing in your circle?

 

When we are able to connect outside of our marriage, relationship and family to women of like mind we begin notice our needs being met in a whole new deep and fulfilling way.

 

“As women begin to find our way back home to each other ­– to the divine feminine, and to our sisters ­– things begin to align all around us. Energy shifts in large waves, and we find ourselves with more courage, more trust, and more support to do what it is we are called to do here on the planet.”                                                      

Sue Van Raes~

Quote from Health WIse

 

No other support can replace the way that women tend to each other. You don’t have to do this alone. You can give, you can receive and you can bask in the beauty of women coming together in support of each other in pure radiant living. Check out our upcoming online program:

Eat.Pray.Yoga HERE.

 

 

 

GIRLY GUSTO

 

Did you know there is no faster way to restore vitality to the body then some healthy sustainable pleasure. You can call this joy, laughter, GUSTO, or inspiration.   Many women do not know how to find enough pleasure in their lives. Is that you?? If you are stuck, restrictive, blah, or feeling uninspired, this may be the perfect remedy for you.

 

Pleasure is the way we thank the universe for what we are grateful for. Pleasure is the expression of self-love.

 

 

Sex, chocolate, shoes, laughter, tea dates, time in nature, and meditation are just of few of the infinite ways we can find pleasure. RECEIVE, ENJOY, and REVEL in your own personal pleasures.

 

 

“I want you to know that it is pleasure, not pain, that is your birthright.” 

 

Dr. Christiane Northrup

~ Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom; Goddesses Never Age ; The Wisdom of Menopause 


pink-yoga-epy-graphci

Comment

Comment

Sync up with the SEASON

I sat in bed Sunday morning drinking tea, reading, and savoring the coziness of my down comforter.  

I made soup.

 

I took a long walk in the woods to see the brilliant trees changing to vibrant oranges and reds.

 

falltreeamber

 

I adore AUTUMN.

 

You may feel the desire to pull inwards and reflect, rest, and restore a bit more as well.

 

You may have noticed that urge for more warming fall foods to nourish your body as well.

 

Now that another fall season is upon us, you may feel ready to let go, forgive, and heal as you watch the leaves fall to the ground yet again.

 

All of these intuitive knowings are exactly why SYNCHING up with the SEASON is a brilliant practice.  When we SYNC up with nature we also maximize our MOJO.

 

Our life force lights up.

 

Each season in Traditional Chinese Medicine is linked to a specific energy, organ, color, sense and element.

 

Fall is the season of downward and inward energy, lungs and large intestine, letting go of sadness and grief, the metal element, our sense of smell, and the color white.

 

As we descend this fall, we have the opportunity to both let go and purify physically and energetically for the rest of the season to bring us more vibrant health and radiance.

 

The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.

 

Here are my favorite 5 HEALTH HABITS to SYNC up with the SEASON to make a magnificent impact on your health, harmony and happiness.

Warm

 

Keep you lungs and chest warm (and the rest of your body). You can try:

 

Warming foods: Foods that are slow cooked, root veggies that carry the downward and inward energy such as ginger, onion, leak, garlic and beats.

Herbal Teas: Many herbal teas are good for their lung support, immunity and warming qualities. (ginger, nettles, cinnamon spice, chai, osha root, spiced mate, or mullein)

Essential oils:  Oils are great to use during the fall season. You can difuse the oils, use topically, or even in your cooking: Frankinsence, vitiver, cedarwood, sage, fennel, or oregano oil

Wear Warm clothing: To insulate and nourish the lungs we must be warm. Even if the weather is warmer than an average fall day, stay attentive to the season, the cooler nights, and the need to take deep care with warming up the core.  Your immune system will thank you.

 

 

Breathe

 

As I mentioned, fall is known as the season associated with the lungs in Chinese medicine. It is often a time when children come home from school with upper respiratory coughs and weakness as the weather changes. It is important to strengthen the lungs in the fall. This can be done in a variety of ways but here are a few of my favorites:

Make sure you and your family exercise regularly. Pump the lungs often so they are strong and cleansed with rigorous life-giving breath.

 

Many foods in the fall are known to support the lungs. Root vegetables such as onions, leeks, and ginger are supportive to the lungs. Fruits such as apples and pears care for the lung tissue as well. Eating with the season is the perfect way to maintain healthy lungs.

 

 

Detox

 

The season of fall is the perfect time to gently detoxify and cleanse our bodies, our homes and our minds.

We all come across toxicity each day in our foods, in our environment, and with our daily stresses.

When we cleanse our body, you strengthen your immune system for a healthier fall and winter season.  (Check out the Fall seasonal SYNC up here)

 

When we cleanse our homes and our environment by cleaning with natural cleaners, letting go of old clutter and creating a sacred space in our home, we have the perfect place to rest and restore as the season often pulls us to spending more time at home resting and restoring.

 

When we cleanse our minds through meditation and mindfulness practices, we create a healthier and more calm relationship to daily stressors that can throw us off balance. We deepen our connection to ourselves, and we stay more centered in our lives.

 

 

Ground

 

As you watch the leaves falling from the trees and becoming the earth‘s nutrients for next year’s planting, it becomes obvious that fall has an energy that flows downward and inward (as opposed the upward and outward energetics in the spring). What are the aspects of your life that ground you? Make a list and practice these grounding activities regularly in the fall.

 

It is a nice time to take long walks in the colorful forest and feel the leaves crunching under your feet. Consider collecting nuts, pinecones and fall treasures for an altar or a fairy garden with your children. These small autumn rituals and habits help us harmonize ourselves with autumn. It is natural to sleep more, rest more and begin to turn inward towards introspection and healing.

 

 

Gratitude

 

Lush sunflowers, tucked in with the plump orange pumpkins, are an abundance to celebrate. The colors, foods and celebrations of fall are profuse. Feel gratitude for the beauty of the harvest. Set a seasonal outdoor table rich with a cornucopia of color and nature’s gifts to warm the heart for any celebration. Share a gratitude blessing before your meals, as it promotes health and happiness.

Light a bonfire to take away the chill of the evening and join in a circle of friends celebrating fall in its glory.

Take it in! The abundance is around you and within you. Your only job is to notice and appreciate its radiance.  Remember all you need exists within. You are the strength, you are the love.


Want to take your FALL practices a little deeper?

 Check out the FALL COZY Seasonal Sync up (Local or Remote)

If you want to join our group, we start October 12th (introduction October 11th). If you are ready to begin on your own, just let me know, we have you covered.


Comment

Comment

The Science of Serenity

  Most of us are incredibly busy, some what overwhelmed or juggling to keep everything afloat in our personal and professional lives.  Life is full, rich, and more dynamic then ever.

 

These past few weeks, whether it’s the change of seasons or the interesting and intense astrology we have been experiencing, I have noticed day-to-day stress and overwhelm seem to have gotten more intense than usual.

 

My clients are showing up more frazzled, my friends are more overwhelmed, busy, and out of balance, and I feel like we rarely get a break from the challenges of day-to-day.

There is more runaway stress than usual. 

 

pinkbudha

 

I, like most of us, oscillate on the stress spectrum regularly -  parenting 2 teenagers, running my business and intending to fit in enough personal and self care time.

 

My biggest lesson from my times of intense stress and overwhelm have helped me to realize that the only thing I really have control over is my response to the stress, and how well I take care of myself in the face of a colorful, emotionally rich life.

 

In the midst the stressful storms, I realize I spend A LOT of time working on creating my personal strategies for SERENITY.

 

I am so deeply committed to keeping my CALM that on some days; it is all I can focus on.

 

Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace within it..

 

So, in the name of finding our SERENITY SECRETS collectively, so we can live into the most balanced version of ourselves, I put together my favorite STRESS REDUCING, SERENITY INDUCING practices and tips for you to check out.

 

Your hormones will be happier (for sure), your eating will improve (hallelujah), and you will sleep more deeply (thank Goddess).

My favorite strategies to do (and not to do) to source my serenity.

 

MEET MINDFULNESS

 

As I mentioned, there is not always much we can do about a stressful situation.   The only thing we can control is our reaction to it. My favorite equation, courtesy of Jack Canfield – author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, goes like this:

 

Event + Response = Outcome

Most of us spend a lot of time trying to change the stressful events in our lives. This often leaves leads us in a futile effort that is not so effective.

 

Where we really have the power in our RESPONSE. The reason I consider this a mindfulness practice, is because to change our response takes awareness, intention, and discernment.

 

 

MOOD FOOD

 

What you eat has a big impact on your serenity success. First, food supplies many of the precursors and building blocks to both our hormones and our neurotransmitters. Second, the state of our GUT (our second brain) has an even bigger impact on our mood, and serentiy.

Yes, if we eat stress-reducing foods, those precursors will boost stress reducing hormones and neurotransmitters, or vice versa. AND… our stomachs will also be happier – literally – because 90% of our serotonin is made in our digestive tract.

 

My favorite stress-reducing foods are:

 

Dark Chocolate – In one study, dark chocolate was shown to reduce cortisol levels in women

 

Avocado – Full of good fats, and known to regulate your blood sugar and your mood – keeping stress down!

 

Root Veggies – In food energetics, foods that grow down in to the earth, bring us down into the earth as well. This is good when it comes to stress. Downward energy is the opposite of being stuck “in our heads”, thinking too much, and especially, worrying too much.

 

Wild Salmon – full of omega 3 essential fatty acids, and you will find that eating a regular serving of wild salmon improves your mood, and decreases anxiety by up to 20% (Brain Behavior and Immunity)

 

Fermented Foods – As I mentioned, your GUT is your second brain. When you fill up on good probiotic rich fermented foods, you boost your serotonin producing gut flora, transmitting good stress and behavior regulating signals to the brain via the vagus nerve.

 

BEWARE of these food tricksters:

 

Sugar – Sugar depletes the good feeling minerals in your brain such as the natural mineral, lithium. Sugar also messes up your blood sugar levels making any anxious feelings much worse.

 

Stimulants – Stimulants are known to directly communicate with your adrenal glands to and boost up anxiety producing hormones to0 much, creating higher cortisol levels and more sensitive blood sugar over all. Be careful when you are going through a stressful period to keep your coffee intake down to 1  cup or less  per day.

 

 

SERENITY SUPPLEMENTS

 

Many supplements will boost up your calming neurotransmitters and simply make your RESPONSE (see #1) easier to manage.   Here are my favorites.

 

Omega 3’s – Omega 3 oils offer the most potent dosage of stress reducing oils to the body. Women who take up to 4000 mg per day have been shown to lower cortisol levels and increase lean body mass, and feel more calm and serene.

 

Lithium Oritate – Lithium, in its natural form, boosts up oxytocin (our feel good hormone) in the brain, calming anxiety and stress.   You can take the natural trace mineral supplement (without worrying about any of the side affects of the medication form). This is the salt, a trace mineral, and totally natural.

 

Vitamin C – high doses of C, up to 3000 mg/ day are shown to lower cortisol levels.

 

Phosphotidal Serine – PS is known to lower stress-related rises in cortisol.

 

PLEASURE

  Seriously… Have an orgasm. When our bodies release the hormone oxytocin, (released during orgasm and other pleasurable activities) we CANNOT experience stress, the two cannot co-exist.

 

Oxytocin cancels out stress.

 

The lingering stress causing issue may still be there when the oxytocin wares off, but you will be feeling better, more calm, and better able to manage the situation.

 

 

AROMATHERAPY

 

I find that certain essential oils really help calm my nervous system, allow me to sleep better, and treat chronic stress and high cortisol levels.

 

Lavender – I put this in my bath or diffuse in my room before bed.

Vetiver – I put vetiver on my feet to promote a good night sleep.

Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang helps to release negative emotions like irritability and anger.

Chamomile – Used often as an herbal tea, the essential oil is similar in its effectiveness but a little stronger. Use for calming and relaxing effects.

 

 

Find your HAPPY PLACE

 

Do you have a place you go when you just need to CHILL? It is time to consider creating your very own HAPPY place just for that. Whether it is your favorite trail, coffee shop, spot near the creek or ocean, or even your car, find and use your HAPPY place for time to sit, release stress, breath, and reset.

 

Next time you find yourself there (on purpose or by accident) take some time to savor a stress free moment and soak up your serenity.

 

 

SERENITY YOGA

 

Yoga is known for calming qualities, the connection of breath and body, and the interesting postures that address different imbalances in the body. My favorite stress reducing posture is called Viparita Karani, or feet up the wall pose (see picture below).

This pose has SOOOO many benefits and they can be achieved in just few minutes holding this restorative pose.

  • Your adrenals will love you - they get a chance to rest, restore, and they love the inversion factor of this pose.
  • Your blood pressure will drop (sweet!)
  • You will feel a sense of calm wash over you that creates serenity from the inside out.
  • Anxious feelings will diminish
  • Cortisol (your stress hormone) will decrease in the body.

(no need to worry if you don’t have a bolster for under your back, you can just lay flat.)

Get comfy, cozy and settled up to the wall, and enjoy.

viparita-karani-guide

 

Comment

Comment

FALL COZY Breakfast Breakthroughs

 

Good Morning Sunshine.

 

If you have been a Boulder Nutrition reader for a while, you probably already know how I feel about breakfast.

 

This summer I published a summertime breakfast blog called Breakfast Bliss and Blood Sugar that became the most read blog in the history of Boulder Nutrition. I am so glad you all liked it!

 

What I am really interested in is WHY? 

 

I have a good hypothesis as to WHY for you today, and an even more exciting breakfast menu for you to explore this fall.

 

Listen, I would be surprised if your mornings are totally serene, peaceful, and quiet.

 

I know some of you are the exception and have your morning routine down, but if you are like most of us, mornings can be hectic, scattered, and rushed .I have focused my attention on my morning routine for years.

 

As I have shared before, the mornings when I am on my game I am good at giving myself at least 30 minutes to rise and shine before my kids, to have some time to meditate, practice, and nourish myself well.

I have found mindful mornings tend to make ALL the difference.

 

The truth is, sometimes it just doesn't go that way.  Did you forget you were out of milk?  Push the alarm one extra time? Have a teenager whose hair just wasn't working out? Or forget about that extra stop  you have to make for gas on the way to work or school?  All it takes is something small to throw our mornings into a tail spin.

 

Can you relate?

 

These reasons (plus many more) might be why breakfast is the most challenging, rushed and stressful meal of the day.

 

So with the idea of giving you more of what you seem to really like reading, here are my 5 favorite FALL COZY breakfasts to settle into this fall.

 

Each of these breakfasts have a little flavor of the weather changing, fall seasonal energetics, and of course you can trust me to keep the glycemic index LOW and your blood sugar BALANCE and BLISS in mind.

 

 

Quinoa Apple Pie Bowl

Health Nugget:  What I love most about quinoa (pronounced KEEN WOA) is that it is a complete protein and the highest protein content of any grain.  It is also known to dry up dampness in the body according to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  What does that mean?  Well, dampness is like a code word for inflammation or phlegm.  The less we have of this during the fall season - the season with the most coughs and colds - the better.

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa (easiest if cooked ahead of time for morning efficiency)

1 Steamed apple warmed with cinnamon

1 Tsp butter or coconut oil

1/4 cup pecans

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp maple syrup or raw honey (optional)

Toss all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.

apple-pie-quinoa-bowl-

 

 

Chai Chia smoothie

Health Nugget: Smoothies are one of my favorite ways to pack your breakfast of all the food groups and super foods you want to add to your breakfast.  Smoothies are also easy to transport to your office.  My favorite feature in this smoothie is that it is not frozen but rather warming as the weather changes those brisker fall mornings.  The warm chai tea and warming spices are perfect to synch up with the fall season.

2-3 leaves of romaine lettuce

1 TBSP Chia seeds

1 fleshy fruit of choice (i.e. 1/2 banana)

6-8 cups Herbal Spice Chai tea (warm)

Vanilla protein powder or raw egg

1 T chopped ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom (optional)

1 T fresh grated ginger

Place ingredients in the blender and mix well.

chaichiacinnsmoothie

 

Paleo Zucchini Muffins

Health Nugget:  These high protein muffins, disguised as a carb, are a quick and easy breakfast for on the go mornings.  Spread with some organic butter or almond butter for another boost in good protein and fat and you will notice that your energy is even keeled all day.  Pack all of that nutrient dense zucchini in there and get an extra couple servings of veggies.  Prepare them ahead of time, freeze if you like, and enjoy.

1 cup of garden fresh zucchini

3 organic eggs

1 1/2 cups almond flower

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 organic chocolate chips (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup raw honey or coconut sugar

Mix ingredients and bake at 375 for about 45 min or until golden brown.

 

paleozuchinni

 

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Health Nugget: These pancakes are a great way to get a sweet breakfast without sacrificing your blood sugar in the process.  Adding in the scoop of protein powder is a trick I have been using with my kids for years to ensure pancake breakfasts still include a healthy dose of protein.  Along with the yummy seasonal pumpkin, a great source of vitamin A and beta carotene, full of fiber, and potent antioxidants, these make for a great fall breakfast.

2 cups gluten free pancake mix

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 organic eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 cups liquid (milk, almond milk, coconut milk or water)

pinch of salt

1 TBSP maple syrup (for top)

Mix together ingredients and fry up in your ideal pancake size in a cast iron pan until golden brown.  Top with organic butter and maple syrup.

PumpkinPancakes1

 

Caprese Scramble

Health Nugget:  Organic eggs are chock full of the amino acid, tryptophan, which is a key player in a good mood and inner calm.  The protein in eggs is one that will not only satiate your blood sugar due to its delicate balance of protein and fat, but will also keep you feeling brighter and cheerier all day long.

 

1 small organic tomato

1 3-5 basil leaves chopped fine

3-4 slices of raw mozzarella cheese

2-3 organic eggs

Pinch of salt

Saute the tomato and basil in a pan in butter or olive oil.  Stir in the eggs to scramble.  Toss in raw mozzarella at the end until it begins to melt slightly.  Serve up.

capresescramble

 


Want to take your FALL practices a little deeper?

Check out the FALL COZY Cleanse Program (Local or Remote)

If you want to join our group, we start October 12th (introduction October 11th). If you are ready to begin, you can start anytime you are ready.

Check out the details HERE


Comment

Comment

Make Body Positive Your Practice

After a full week of working, parenting, and striving to keep balance in the business of life, I look forward to my BODY POSITIVE Friday ritual each week.
Living BODY POSITIVE is a practice I strive to engage in regularly. Fridays are one of my biggest days to focus on myself and my self care.

body-positive-gram

Each Friday, I wake up and head over to teach a morning yoga class filled with the amazing women whom I look forward to seeing each week. Friday then becomes my day to catch up on 'Sue self care' and some 'Sue self love'.

As women, many of us struggle with BODY NEGATIVE thoughts all day long.  We find ourselves in a battle with our bodies constantly seeing the negative and looking at ourselves through the eyes of the inner critic.

Hating our bodies has many repercussions.  Living this way can truly bring us down, distract us from our authentic selves, and keep us stuck in thought patterns that surely do not serve us or others in our lives.

It is a challenge.  I see it in myself as well. Staying in a BODY POSITIVE space takes commitment and focus.

Whether it is your thighs, your stomach, the number on the scale, how your skinny jeans fit, or how you see yourself in the mirror, this BODY NEGATIVE lifestyle is never going to feel good.

We all deserve to feel good in our bodies.  We deserve to be free to be who we are in all our expressions of the feminine, regardless of what our culture dictates.  Valuing ourselves in a way that goes beyond outer beauty and size is a mission worth pursuing.

If you are ready to LOVE your body no matter what you see in the mirror, check out the 5 BODY POSITIVE practices I have for you below.

Change may not happen overnight, but with these consistent practices, you will find you can overcome your old patterns and make living BODY POSITIVE your practice.

 

Observe How You Feel

Our bodies are wise.

How we feel after we eat, after we exercise, of even after spending time with a friend or family member is important to note.  Observing gives us information.  If we consistently eat something that sits in our stomach giving us digestive upset, bloating or pain we are not going to find it easy to be body positive.  If we over exercise or under exercise and feel tired, lethargic or stuck in our bodies it is hard to stay body positive.  If we are eating out of alignment from what we know to be healthy, ethical, and energy producing we are going to find it hard to be body positive.

Aligning your with your health and your body from the inside out creates BODY POSITIVE living.

Question:  What are the things you do in your day that leave you feeling GOOD?  What are the things you do in your day that leave you feeling less than GOOD?

 

 

Create an Intuitive Self Care Plan

Each of us has a unique personal recipe for success and self care.  Some of us need 9 hours of sleep, whereas some of us need only 7.  Many of us love to take long baths, whilst others would rather drink a cup of hot tea.  There is no need to conform to self care that is not right for you, but what is important is examining what would serve you as intuitive self care.

Are you a retreater, a spa gal, a nature forest fairy or a backyard babe?  Do you enjoy reading juicy novels, getting your nails done or taking spontaneous naps?

Question:  What is your personal recipe that leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and restored?

 

 

Let Go of What Does Not Serve

To let go of our old thoughts and habits surrounding body image and replacing them with a positive mind makes us ask, “Well, that’s easy to say, but how do I DO it?”

We are so emotionally attached to these negative thoughts that the best way around is to simply imagine letting them go; whether that is focusing on certain parts of ourselves or our bodies that we dislike, mirror-checking, overusing the scale, or using food to deal with stress, the list goes on.

Once we can observe our negative and harmful thoughts, we can work to replace them with self-love and positivity. Instead of looking at our thighs in disgust and calling them fat, we can appreciate the power and ability that our incredible legs give to us: the ability to walk, to run, to jump, to climb, to play.

We need to begin to thank our bodies for the amazing things they can do for us and look beyond what we dislike on the surface, instead focus on the parts of our bodies that we love, even if it’s something as small as our eyes, nose, hair, even pinky finger.

Be mindful of negative thoughts surfacing and counter them with loving thoughts, even if we need to say it out loud. (more on this below)

Quickly, we love ourselves more and more, while negative thoughts and habits become rarer and rarer. And now our beauty and confidence shines into the world for all to see.

 

Affirm your Positivity

Daily beauty and body positive affirmations are an important piece to get yourself replacing those old negative thoughts with positive ones.  As with any transformation, practice and consistency is where we are going to see sustainable lasting changes.  Trying to subtract a thought or habit with no substitution usually leaves a lot of room for old habits to creep back in.  Substitution is the secret.

Once you have decided on your positive affirmations, be sure to put them in very well viewed locations.  The bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, your meditation alter, your car dash board or your computer to name just a few.  Surround yourself with the positivity you so deserve.

Question:  What are your most common negative thoughts or internal dialogue?  How can you replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts?  

 

 

Surround Yourself Intentionally

We all know that we feel better when we surround ourselves with positive people.  Even better when these folks understand what we are up to, and lend a bit of accountability or reflection.  It is helpful to feel safe, secure, supported and even boosted up by those in our lives.

Creating a community of women that align with you and your body positive intentions will drastically impact body positive practices more than you would think!

Question:  Who gives you the most support and security when it comes to body, health and lifestyle?  Who doesn't?

 

 

If you want to practice the art of BODY POSITIVE living and being...join us this August for the Eat.Pray.Yoga Colorado weekend retreat.  Give yourself a gift of self love and care that will rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.

EPYCO-Yurt


Comment

Comment

Selectively Numb

Time to nurture, listen, love and BE is time that is well spent when we are on a path to inner freedom. The quiet of nature, inner connection, and rest allows us to notice what is arising, listen to the messages from our bodies and choose how to navigate through them wisely. When we get to busy in our day-to-day life, overwhelmed by our to-do's piling up, stressed that things aren't going as planned, we often resort to our habitual numbing – ways of coping.  We tend to move away from the uncomfortable feelings in order to avoid them.

Sometimes these feelings do not have enough space to be felt, listened to, or even healed.

 

selectivelynumb-2

 

 

Shooting for SELECTIVELY NUMB is a coping skill many of us buy into - often without even realizing it. You know... choosing to feel the good stuff, while ignoring the bad.

It is temping isn't it?

It IS tempting, because who wants to feel those old negative or traumatic or stressful feelings that seem to weigh us down?  The ones that curl us up in the fetal position in our beds, make us nauseous, or even trigger our past trauma.

As we adventure down the pathway to freedom, it is often found that those old icky beliefs and feelings from the past can come up for a couple of reasons:

 

First, to be felt and listened to in a way that they were possibly never honored before.  

Second, so they can be released, cleared, dumped from our energy bodies altogether.

 

The truth is SELECTIVELY NUMB does not exist.

When we turn away from suffering, ignore our pain, or just simply numb ourselves out with our usual vices – food, alcohol, busyness, or a variety of other addictions – we actually numb ourselves completely.

Our level of pain and suffering may feel numbed in the moment, but so is our joy, bliss, and happiness.

The path to freedom teaches us to embrace it all.  To sit in the uncomfortable and to also expand into our pleasure and bliss (both of which can be challenging).

Here are my favorite personal strategies (the ones I use regularly) for more FEELING, FREEING, and FINDING my power so that I can expand into my FULLEST.  Perhaps some of these will work for you as well...

 

Breath

When we build our life force or prana, in any awareness practice, we enliven whatever is already happening. Prana is non-discriminating.

Strong feelings of stress, anxiety, overwhelm, sadness, or fear can be daunting and we surely do not want to exaserbate what already exists in the mind-body if it is unpleasant of challenging.

When you give yourself time to sit, center, breath and calm your system, you are in fact strengthening the calm.

Balancing our your breathing so that the inhale and the exhale mirror each other in length and quality will in fact calm your entire system, engage your parasympathetic nervous system, slow down your brain waves and tame your strong emotional feelings.

Breathing is often thought of as the vehicle into the subtle body in the yoga practice. The ancient yogis believed that if you can regulate your breath, you can regulate your mind.

**I find a quiet space to sit for 10-15 min and practice balanced breathing. I focus on the quality and rhythm of your breathing.

 

Somatic Serenity

One of the most effective tools I use when strong emotions arise for me is doing a body check in. Once I can see where my body is holding the emotion I place my hand over this area.

Often when we experience strong emotion our bodies experience physical sensations such as tingling, clenching, or heat. There is wisdom here.

When we tap into the bodies physical sensation, we are able to get out of the mind spin and drop into the body. This practice is calming, nourishing, and helpful in our inner listening.

*I find a quiet place and do a body check in or body scan, searching for strong sensations associated with the emotion at hand. I then place my hand over that part of my body in a gentle and nourishing way. I return to the breath and ask for any information that my body is ready to reveal regarding this emotion. I ask for healing, peace and calm.

 

Become a Flower Fairy

Flower remedies are used to work on the emotions of the body bringing back balance and taking us out of a fight or flight stress response.

There are a wide array of flower remedies available in your local health food store. Each remedy is designed to support a different emotional imbalance restoring equilibrium and balance back into the body and soul.

**I venture to the flower remedy section of the wellness area of the health food store or natural pharmacy and I ask for the best remedy for my current emotion. I hold the bottle and ask myself if this is a good remedy for me. I may try a few before I decide. I keep the remedy in my purse and I use whenever the emotion arises. I also use it in my daily meditation practice.

 

Take a Ritual Bath

Aside from the warming and relaxing qualities there are also deeper support from certain types of baths.  Just like you make yourself that intentional cup of herbal tea, you can soak away your sorrows in a intentional ritual bath with herbs and tonics that will fine tune your energy and emotional bodies.

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 cleanse your energy and emotions – mind, body and soul.

*Sweeten up your mood with a “sweet like honey” bath.  Add a cup of raw honey to your bath and watch your sweetness return.  Honey baths remind us of the sweetness of life.

*Purify your energy body with lemon juice in your bath.  Add one cup of lemon juice to your bath for a gentle clearing and supportive shift of old beliefs and emotions.

 

Get Naked with Nature

One of the quickest ways I know to clear my mind and reset my thoughts is taking myself right into the foothills of Boulder.

For 20 years now, I have lived here in Boulder CO, and I have to tell you I will always be in awe of these mountains. Over the years, nature has held my sorrow, my pain, my trauma, my confusion, my self hatred, my heartbreaks and everything else that I have gone through.

These mountains truly hold a blueprint of my life.

So, when I say 'GET NAKED' with nature, what I really mean is to shed all that is not serving you, and SHE will hold it for you.  Reveal your truth, and SHE will guide you. Let go of what is blocking you, and SHE will lead you into the light.

 *I go into the woods and hike with the intention of nature holding a healing space for me.  I give myself time and permission to heal, and I let go into the great mother earth.  This is a time of surrender, release, trust, and clearing for me.

 

Comment

Comment

I cried at the airport...

bali-bow I am known to cry quite frequently, some say I am a deep feeler.  We were pulling up in the taxi departing from the magical island of Bali, and I felt my tears beginning to well up.

As I got out of the car and walked into the airport, it was clearly one of those uncontrollable cries, and I thought I should probably wait to go through security. I had to sit down on a bench and wait it out.

It's not that I didn't want to come home, I love my Boulder life. The tears were more about my Bail experience having had an impact on me that was so profound it was hard to let go.  Bali's vibration had so gracefully met me exactly where I needed to be, in order to SEE and EXPAND.

Upon returning to Boulder after my 2-week inner pilgrimage,  amidst the excitement of spring, seeing my kids, friends, and those I love, there has been an uncomfortable feeling of being stuck, stagnant and outdated with how things used to be done in my life.  In the past we have called this a retreat hangover or re-integration process.  This one kicked my yogini butt.

Something HAS to change for my inner and outer alignment to occur.  Anything that isn't feeling aligned energetically seems be giving me a terrible headache.

Since being back, I have been sitting with this... waiting, listening, hoping for what needs to shift to become obvious - and if you know me, you know this waiting is not my favorite pastime.

I crave for this beautiful multidimensional insight that came to me in Bali to now emerge and apply to how I live each day, personally and professionally.

I have tried to sit down to write about it so many times...but nothing was coming...until today.

All my personal inquiry, hours of meditation, powerful kundalini sessions, and time with myself, has finally moved some energy and created some clarity.  I have been recalibrating my Bali bliss into my new Boulder buzz.

It turns out … something in me has expired.

It is perspective, and the old ways of approaching life, business and health.  It is the muscling through life to make things work, burning myself out in a desperate attempt to keep all the balls in the air, and still be able to smile as I pass you by in the grocery store.

I am so passionate about what I do every day, and how I live this blessed life, but it is time for the feminine to guide me, to take over, and to provide a flow and a grace that eases my system so that I get filled back up instead of drained by my day-to-day.

I live at one with my mind, body and spirit connection.  I have to listen to my wisdom, and the ever present goddess guiding me.  Any place where I am not LISTENING has become so loud I can barely stand it.

I see how my outdated and limiting beliefs can keep me stuck, and that nothing can change without the power of my thoughts and the divine feminine supporting me.

DSC_1243

I see how it is time for a new paradigm that outdates SO many of the myths about food, women, and pleasure so that we can individually find our pathway to THRIVE in a mind-body-spirit approach to both health and living.  It can be felt as subtle yet profound and magnificent.

Over the coming weeks, you will notice some changes with the way I do business, what I am putting forth, and what I really hope to bring into the world.  It is energetic and gentle...I am still in the process of unfolding how this will look to the outside world.

I know for my work to be as potent and as powerful as I need it to be for my own fulfillment, my clarity of heart and grace has to be 100%.

Thankfully, I have some amazing people coaching and guiding me on this incredible journey of discovering what is coming next.  I promise to keep you posted.

With spring in full force, expansion happening all around us, I feel more than ready to step forward into my own creative potential and stay in synch with what is blooming all around us.

Care to step into the current with me? Let's expand, widen, create and live our best lives together!

The best is yet to come.

 

Comment

Comment

Eat for the SEASON not the DAY

Is WINTER faking you out? This morning I was driving my son to school on the icy roads and he said:

"Sheesh, really Boulder? "

These crazy weather patterns we experience here in Boulder are a little hard on the system and hard to predict at this time of year.

One day it is springy and warm and I feel my spring fever bubbling up, and the next we are shoveling 2 feet of snow off of our driveway and I am back in hibernation mode.

Even though my son was born and raised here in Colorado, it still boggles his mind to witness the Colorado weather patterns.  

It is a confusing time of year for the body and immune system and so many people have been struggling with cold and flu this year.

vinter5

There is a saying in Chinese Medicine that says:

"Dress for the season, not the day."

I have adopted this moto and added my own little spin:

"Eat for the season, not the day."

It is still winter for most of us, and although I am excited about the upcoming spring season and enjoying the occasional warmer day, it is still helpful to stay warm and well nourished for the remaining days of winter.

February and March are often the months with the most irratic weather.  Our bodies are going through a lot to keep ourselves strong and healthy.

We have to be sure to stay AHEAD of the weather.

How you may ask?

When we stay in the season with our eating, our self care, body care, we will naturally be more attuned to the season, and strengthen our immune systems for this final push of winter.

Want a few immune boosting tips?

Keep reading...

Just tired of Winter?  

Come with us on a goddess journey to Bali.  We have a few spots left. Click here for details.

Winter Immunity Insights

1.  Stay warm.

Keep your kidneys and bladder warm (and the rest of your body as well).  You can use warming foods, teas, topical essential oils, sesame oil, and warm clothing to insulate and nourish the your core.  Scarves are a nice addition to protect the windgate – the space at the back of your neck – where pathogens can enter.

Even if the weather is warmer than an average winter day, which often happens in my home state COLORADO, be sure to “DRESS FOR THE SEASON, NOT THE DAY”.   Stay insulated to keep the immunity strong.

colorado-nature

2.  Oil of Oregano

Are you fighting the common winter cold, or flu this winter?  Oil of Oregano is one of my favorite treatments for both immune boosting and anti-bacterial and anti-viral support.

Did you know just a few drops of Oregano Oil in the diffuser or vaporizer can give you some relief?

Even better – add a few drops to your cooking and enjoy the delicious flavor and immune boosting qualities with your dinner.

Because this potent oil is so strong, make sure you dilute it substantially or take it in a protective capsule.  With my big pot of homemade chicken soup I only use 2 drops…3 is too many, and too strong.  (See recipe below)

(avoid if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding or an infant)

 

doTERRA-oregano-oil

 

Untitled

3.  Ritual Baths

There are many many benefits to baths at this time of year.  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 winter – mind, body and soul.

  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil for a warm and insulating
  • Add some chunks of fresh ginger.  Ginger is a natural immune booster and when you soak in a ginger tea bath you absorb the ginger and allow the body to purify and release the pathogens.  Stay warm and get right in bed after.
  • Feeling a little down in the cold days of winter?  Sweeten up your mood with a "sweet like honey" bath.  Add a cup of raw honey to your bath and watch your seasonal funk slip away.  Honey baths remind us of the sweetness of life.

spa-bathroom

 

 

 

Comment