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3 WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR FEMININE RHYTHM

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3 WAYS TO CONNECT WITH YOUR FEMININE RHYTHM

 

"THE RHYTHM OF THE BODY, THE MELODY OF THE MIND & THE HARMONY OF THE SOUL CREATE THE SYMPHONY OF LIFE "
BKS Iyengar



My phone rang last Friday morning as I was sitting at my desk.  I saw it was one of my close girlfriends calling, so I quickly picked it up. 



She asked how I was doing and how my day was going, like any friend would but there was an obvious tentativeness in her voice.  “I am doing just fine today.” I said, “But how are you?” I asked.  “You sound a little off.” 



Before she could finish her exhale, I could hear her voice shimmer and tears begin to fall.  “What’s going on?” I asked.  Her gentle tears quickly turned into a deep cry.

 


She went on to explain to me that she was having her menstrual cycle.  She had entertained a few meals of popcorn and chocolate (I know that one).  She was emotional, exhausted, and finding it hard to keep on going at her normal pace. 

 


“Have you been busy?” I asked.  She responded with an exaggerated “YES!”

 


Now, I have known this particular friend for many, many years, and we have shared some similar patterns and healing processes.  We have been of great support for each other, reminding the other to slow down, take time for ourselves, and prioritize our self-care. 

 


Like many of us, she has a very full schedule, an active social life, a demanding career, and she has been trained to keep on going

 


“Have you taken any downtime for yourself?” I asked.  She predictably said “No”.  “Hmm” I said.  “Is there any way you could take a little time this weekend to rest, restore, reflect, and honor the quiet darkness of your menstrual cycle?” 



Within just a few moments, her sigh of relief told me maybe we were on the right track.  “Of course. How could I have forgotten?” she said. Within moments, she cleared some time in her schedule for an afternoon nap, some time to journal and rest and some time to just be.  As soon as she granted herself permission, she sounded relieved.

 


This week there was a brilliant full moon rising over the Boulder sky.  I have a monthly ritual of celebrating the full moon with a few of my close friends.  We have discovered that our favorite way to celebrate is to find magnificent spots amidst the Boulder foothills to watch her rise.  

 


This week the pink moon, the full moon of April, was stunning

 


The full moon reminds me to simply pause, and connect back in to the beauty of nature, the feminine, the ebb and flow of life, the moments of wonder around us and within us.

 


There are many ways to touch in with our feminine nature – creative, unique, personal, subtle and universal.  

 


I wanted share these reminders for you here, because they are setting the table for you to unveil your deepest feminine longings, the strongest parts of yourself and your artistry of living a soulful, pleasurable, sensual life with your feminine forging a new way.  

 


Our feminine rhythms and cycles are like the stepping-stones between the worldly aspects of ourselves, and the deep wisdom of the feminine that live in each of us – always.  Ironically, most of us have been taught to ignore, override, and push through these natural rhythms.



What is your female wisdom asking of you?

 


I put together just a few anchors for you this week – some soft and gentle reminders to let your feminine guide you home.  



When we gift ourselves this depth and connection, everything else in our lives begins to flow more smoothly.  We know when to rest, we know what to eat, we know what to do to care for our unique selves, and we know when to expand.  When we trust our intuition and female wisdom, we know how to nourish our bodies, minds, and souls.  


 

1.  Seasonal Synergy

 

The cycles of the season are a profound way to synch up with the rhythms of nature, remembering that we ARE nature. Each season has it’s own energetic flow, it’s own seasonal eating alignment, it’s own quality and its own vibration.

 

Nature goes through everything on the spectrum from full bloom, to death and decay.  

 

The more we feel into this innate cycle around us, present for all life form on the planet, the more we can ride the waves and rhythms in ourselves. This knowing is embedded in our cells, our DNA and our innate animal wisdom.

 

The seasonal synergy is intuitive when we listen.  Often, in our bustling culture and our busy day-to-day lives we tend to miss these intuitive cues in ourselves.  Synching up with the season is medicine for the body, mind and soul.

 

Each season comes with its own unique quality and energy.  

 

Winter: a time to pull inward, rebuild and restore.  We hibernate to rejuvenate our bodies and souls.

Spring: a time to cleanse, clear, and open and wake up our senses. 

Summer: the most expansive and heart centered celebration of life, play, and pleasure

Autumn: the season of letting go, composting the old and creating new rich and fertile ground to turn inward and tend to.

 

Each season reminds us of how to best take care of ourselves, feed ourselves, and nourish our hearts and minds.

 

 

2.  Full Moon Majesty

 

In many cultures from all around the world, the sun represents the masculine and the moon, the feminine. 

 

These two complimentary energies affect all of life on earth, including us humans. The masculine develops an outward expression of strength and power as the feminine reveals flexibility and grace in her natural physical display.  We are always dancing between the two.

 

Our feminine cycles are like the stepping-stones between the worldly aspects of ourselves, and the deep wisdom of the feminine that lives in each of us – always.  Ironically, most of us have been taught to ignore, override, and push through these cycles.

 

We have been taught that these feminine cycles might slow us down, make us more emotional, more chaotic, extremely tired and even a little crazy and chaotic if we surrender to them.  Most of us have had a shameful relationship to our feminine cycles passed down to us from many generations and the lineage of women that have come before us.  If not, we are considered a rarity in this day and age.

 

If you disconnect from your feminine cycles, you disconnect from your bodies wisdom.

 

Our female cycles are our road map to our own empowerment and the sacred feminine.  The cycles of feminine offer us the energetics to synchronize the larger forces at play around us and within us.  They illuminate our sensuality, our sexuality, and our pleasure potential – which are always shape shifting within the rhythms of our cycles. 

 

We rest and restore during our menstrual cycle to then energize and expand during ovulation.

 

Can you give yourself permission to slow down for a few days a month?  

 

*** If you don't have a cycle, or your cycle is a challenge (for various reasons) try slowing down on the new moon, going into the darkness within and expanding, opening and celebrating during the full moon.

 

Our moon (menstrual) cycle is our female compass, leading the way and forging the path for us to walk with grace.  Our moon cycle is the most basic and earthly cycle we have.  Our moon cycle is like a small microcosm for the changing seasons, the flowing tides, the waxing and waning moon, and the sacredness of the feminine in all her radiance.

 

 

3.  Practice Radical Self-Care

 

It may sound simple, but many of us find ourselves at the bottom of our own priority list.  Can you treat your inner GODDESS like a queen?  

 

Sip some passion flower tea, run a warm aroma therapy bath, loose yourself in your favorite novel, take long walks amidst the spring cherry blossoms, or take a long over due goddess nap!

 

Self-Care comes in many variations and forms – we each have our go-to's.  The common denominator is that we strive to deepen the nourishment for our whole selves – daily.

 

Just like the rhythms of nature and the feminine, the different aspects of how we incorporate self-care into our routine changes.  With a little practice, we listen, we flow and we learn to follow out intuition for our self-care regiments.

 

Self-care makes us better people.  



You know it, and I know it.  When we operate from a place of our 'cup runneth over,' we have so much more to give back.  



Think about those days when you can hardly muster making dinner, calling your friend back, or running that extra errand.  Most of us don't feel like our best selves in those moments.  


One important self-care secret is to implement simple and short and do-able self-care steps every day.  Give yourself a little bit of extra love and attention.  It's the little steps consistently that make all the difference.

 

 

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A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT TOXICITY

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A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT TOXICITY

"ENERGY FLOWS WHERE ATTENTION GOES"

 

Imagine with me for a moment:  
 

  • What if your habit of rolling over and hitting snooze every morning was replaced with a bright eyed and bushy tailed start to the day?

 

  • What if instead, the sluggish feeling that follows you around all day was replaced wtihinspiration and fervor?

 

  • What if your oh-so-common brain fog could shift into mental clarity and a laser beam focus?

 

  • What if your achy joints and inflammation could subside, so you could fully embrace the beauty of spring all around you with more outdoor time, exercise, and freedom to persue your dreams?



What I am going to share with you today comes from what I have personally learned about my energy and vitality through my own experimentation and deep inquiry.  I will also share what has impacted my daily rhythm, my food choices, my sleep patterns, my libido, my cravings and even my internal dialog and self-talk.



I have learned what works for me.  I have learned what is sustainable for me in the world today.  I have learned about health, combined with a deep priority for pleasure, that doesn't feel restrictive or depriving. I have learned to be fluid, feminine and intuitive as things are always changing and I have learned that we each have our own unique recipe for feeling our best.



I have put the past 15+ years of my work into discovering this for myself and today I want to share a couple of these specific nuggets with you – my favorite ones for spring. 



The truths toxicity are real, important and impactful, while also being be daunting, fearful, and overwhelming. Don't worry, I have some answers for you....



These truths have supported me greatly in my own journey with health and high energy living and I want the same to be available for you.  



1.  Toxicity is one of the primary blocks to your metabolism working at it's best. A high toxic load will literally slow down your cellular metabolism of energy. You will feel more sluggish, lethargic, tired, and depleted.


2.  Toxicity can literally impede, inhibit or block the efficient functioning of our cells, tissues, organs, systems and biochemical processes. This could lead to the slow onset of degenerative disease that gets harder and harder to reverse over time. Toxicity makes the body's natural ability to heal and find equilibrium more and more compromised.


3.  Toxicity creates and/or exacerbates inflammation in our bodies.  Many of us in the world today are struggling with inflammation in relationship to various health issues. Inflammation is a big problem, and the root of most health issues. Inflammation is only made worse with some of our daily exposures to toxicity.


4.  When our toxic load is high, accumulated or frequent, it prevents us from burning and releasing fat.  All those attempts you may have made were not futile on your part, you were not at a plateau, or doing things 'wrong'. Your body just cannot lose weight effectively with toxicity in the way.


We all are exposed to high amounts of toxicity in the world today – its unavoidable. Toxicity is prevalent in our food, our water and our air. While we can surely minimize our exposure with clean, healthy living, the reality is toxicity needs a bit more assertion than that for us to feel our best.


I've been busily working on some solutions for you and I have put together some very useful, practical and work-able practices for you to explore .
  

 

 




What do you seek to shed this spring to “lighten” up and access your inner freedom, energy and brilliance?

 


 .

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MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PLATE

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MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR PLATE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is a different way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solstice Session #5: Make Peace with Your Plate

(Join me LIVE)

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

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

 

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

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

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

 


 

The Yoga of Eating 2017

 

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

 

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

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

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

 


 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

 

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

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

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

AND...

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


 

About Sue Van Raes...

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

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

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

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

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

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GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE

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GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE

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

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

The past three weeks  for me have included:

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

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

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

The problem is, change is incredibly hard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In today’s Solstice Session you will learn:

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

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

The whole night felt pretty surreal.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Step One: Identify the Behavior

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

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

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

 

Step Two:  Look Underneath

What is underneath this behavior?

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

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

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

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

 

Step 3:  Allow Yourself to be Uncomfortable

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

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

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

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

 

Step 4:  Accept

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

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

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

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

 

Step 5:  Lean In

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

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

 

What kind of support do you have?  

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

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

 

 

The Yoga of Eating 2017

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

Want to join me LIVE?

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

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

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

AND...

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

 

 


About Sue Van Raes...

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

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

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

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

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

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FEELING FAT AND OTHER HEAVY THOUGHTS

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FEELING FAT AND OTHER HEAVY THOUGHTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Today's Solstice Session you will learn:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

What are you really feeling?

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

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

What can you do?

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

 

How does adding and subtracting relate to feeling FAT?

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

Think about it for a minute…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

Have you ever tried this?

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Eventually that white sugar starts too taste waaaayyy to sweet.

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

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

What are you going to ADD into 2017?

 

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

 

Click Here to Get the Recipe

 

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

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

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

 

 

THE YOGA OF EATING 2017

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

 

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

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

Click here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017

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

 

 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

Want to join me LIVE?

lulu-sue
lulu-sue

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

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

Boulder CO

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

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

AND…

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

 

 

About Sue Van Raes…

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

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

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

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

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

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RESOLUTION TO REVERENCE

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RESOLUTION TO REVERENCE

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

 

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

How we define these qualities is what makes us dynamic.

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

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

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

 

but most often something is missing...

 

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

 

I have done this too.

 

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

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

In Solstice Session #2 you will learn:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Make Resistance Your Teacher

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

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

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

 

So I befriended resistance.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

BONUS

A WARMING WINTER RECIPE FOR YOU

Miso Ginger Veggie Stew

 

What are the Solstice Sessions?

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

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

The Yoga of Eating 2017

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

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

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

Click here to learn all about The Yoga of Eating 2017

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

 

Lululemon + Boulder Nutrition 2017

Want to join me LIVE?

lulu-sue
lulu-sue

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

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

Boulder CO

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

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

AND...

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

 

About Sue Van Raes...

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

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

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

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

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

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A SOLISTICE RITUAL AND RECIPE

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A SOLISTICE RITUAL AND RECIPE

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

The winter is definitely upon us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In today’s Solstice Session you will learn:

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

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

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

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

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

RESTORE

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

How you might ask?

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

Try these daily practices to stay centered and calm:

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

RITUALIZE

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

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

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

Here some ways create a winter solstice ritual moment:

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

REPLENISH

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

Here are some good winter foods to explore:

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

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

smoothie-gingerbread

Recipe by Chef Bailey Ruskus

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

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

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

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

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

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#FOODFOREPLAY

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#FOODFOREPLAY

They were 2 and 5 years old. I kissed them each on their rosy cheeks.  As they hopped out of the car, I had a flood of excitement and anxiety wash over me. “I love you mama” they would say as they shut the car door.

The whole weekend was about to be all mine.  What could I possibly do with a whole weekend to myself?  This idea was so open, spacious, free – but somehow wrought with slight panic and fear all at the same time.

At times, this fear would feel slightly paralyzing.  After being solely focused on mothering these two adorable little rascals 24-7, I just wasn’t sure what to do with 'just me' for a whole weekend.

The transition was always tough.  I wanted and needed nothing more than a break and some time for myself, but it took a while for it to settle in and feel okay.

In the beginning, I would head back home, sit, stare, and wait for the uncomfortable to pass.  Sometimes, it would be slow, stagnant and I would wish for it to end.

My emotions felt strong, but my appetite – gone.  Honestly, I could barely muster a bowl of popcorn for dinner.  This post-divorce eating pattern was no bowl of cherries, but rather one that was keeping me tired, depleted, weak, and under-nourished – every other week.

After some serious PTSD, a few dizzy spells, one intense fainting episode, 20 pounds of unhealthy weight loss, and a lot of therapy, I knew something had to change.

I had been reading Bri Maya Twari's book called ThePath of Practice.  In her lineage, cooking and feeding oneself was considered one of the most effective paths to healing.

So... this one particular night instead of falling into an old pattern of barely eating while they were gone, I decided to do something different.

I walked through the Whole Foods store picking out “Sue” food.

 

This was a new thing, and one that seemed to help this awkward moment of transition.

 

I could do this!  Dinner for one.

After a few tries, this new ritual settled in a bit and I began to find myself looking forward to it.  A yummy dinner, some beautiful ambiance, soft candle light, a long bubble bath, and time just for me.

My new practice of sensual eating and self-care was working.  The transitions were getting easier, my time alone – more comfortable, and from time to time, I would even invite some friends over to join me.

 

Sensual eating was saving my soul.

The act of cooking for and feeding myself was soul nourishment – physical healing + self-love.

  Keep reading to learn about #FoodForeplay and find out exactly what I did that created a shift for my health and healing.

 

  • The most essential ways to use sensual eating to heal your relationship to food
  • How to begin your #FoodForeplay practice?
  • Dinner for one to dinner for two...
  • A bonus Aphrodite meditation

 

Sensual Eating

Bringing heightened senses to your mealtime is the perfect place to start.  Just like sipping a full-bodied glass of red wine, or nibbling a gourmet piece of dark chocolate, all of our senses become part of the experience.

When we fine dine, part of the experience is the beauty of the food and how it is presented, plated and served.  We can too brighten up our daily meals this way with simple attention to color, ambiance, and creative expression.

While we cook, we smell the scents of the spices and nuances of flavors merging with our olfactory sense – our oldest sense.  We also are witness to the sounds of the chopping, sizzling, roasting, and blending.

While we eat, we taste each bite, mindfully noticing the merging of all the flavors and textures.

#FoodForeplay is your own personal practice – your own personal recipe for foodie pleasure.  There is no right or wrong way – simply your way, your palate, your preference.

When we enjoy food this way – in a ritualized, mindful setting – a mind-body healing emerges.  When we tap into our pleasure practices at mealtime, the plated pleasures begin to diffuse into other areas of our lives.  When we nurture our whole beings – including all of the senses – we become more satiated. This satiation is not only about our bellies being full, but rather a holistic experience that involves our body, mind, and soul.

 

How To Start

I always say start small, one meal at a time.  Make a date with yourself to begin your #FoodForeplay adventures.  Take yourself to the grocery store without a rush or an agenda.  Meander through the aisles looking for food that intrigues you, food that calls to you, or food that looks like it would be fun for you to cook.

This could involve trying something new – like visiting an old family favorite, checking out a alluring sensual fruit, or gathering some prepared food that sparks your interest. This is ALL about you.

One of my favorite things to do is create a plate of delicacies that are similar to what you would find on a charcuterie plate.  Nothing cooked, no recipe to follow, just a delight for the palate – olives, prosciutto, Humboldt Fog (my favorite cheese), flax crackers, humus, and Spanish almonds.

 

When Dinner for One turns to Dinner for Two

Sensual eating is nothing new.  In fact, food has been a part of foreplay and love making rituals in cultures far and wide since the beginning of time.

Our pleasure starts with us through food, through nature, through laughter, through sensual touch, through scent, and beauty. When we activate our pleasure center, we feel uplifted and we are magnetic to others.

 

When we know how to receive pleasure, we can better give pleasure. 

There is much exploration for us here: When we invite another into our #FoodForeplay an array of things can happen…

  • A sensual meal can simply involve sharing in the invigorating of the senses.
  • A sensual meal can activate our inner pleasure palace and connection with our beloved.
  • A sensual meal can be the co-creation of both partners – a creative and collaborative spark.
  • A sensual meal experience can turn on our erotic, lustful, sensual passion.

Everything cooked for our lover is sensual.  Love and pleasure infused into our cooking are the strongest aphrodisiacs that exist.

As aromas billow from the skillet, and broth bubbles in the soup pot, we linger in the kitchen glancing sweetly into the eyes of each other, with heightened senses, savoring each tantalizing moment.

Women especially, are inclined towards rituals. Lighting candles, arranging beautiful flowers, setting up a sacred space for all of our meal pleasures to take place.  When we slow down and presence ourselves, this #FoodForeplay opportunity can be just the right ingredient to create the erotic and desirous atmosphere to enhance any relationship.

Dinner for 2 can also include cooking together as pieces of lingerie fall to the floor, feeding each other one savory bite at a time, or adding in an array of aphrodisiacs for his and her pleasure to your meal.

You can read my previous article all about the most delicious and delightful aphrodisiacs HERE.

Once your exquisite dinner has been prepared and served, the lingering plated poetry has been relished, the collective artistry can be revealed between two people with a slow, seductive, sensory sensation.

Listen to the Inner Aphrodite Meditation below:

A memoir of the senses

Her breath is like honey spiced with cloves

Her mouth delicious as a ripened mango

To press kisses on her skin is to taste the lotus

The deep cave of her navel hides a store of spices

What pleasure lies beyond, the tongue knows

But cannot speak of it

Kumaradadatta, 12th century

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LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

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LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

LET GO AND FEEL THE INCREDIBLE LIGHTNESS OF LESS

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

WHAT CAN YOU LET GO OF THIS FALL?

 

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

 

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

 

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

~AJAHN CHAH

 

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

 

  1. Align with your WHY

What are you up to these days?

What are your priorities in your life?

What are you seeking?

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

2. Release your Resistance

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

3. Transfigure, Transform and Thrive

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Here are some photos from our magical retreat weekend:

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You Will Leave Feeling Better Than When You Came

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Apparently she needed a little nudge.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I want you to live a life you love.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

So let’s chat ...

 

What is holding you back?

 

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

 

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

 

There are endless gifts of being on retreat...

 

  • time and space to listen inward and feel. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Are you feeling the call?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

There is still time to join us. 

Claim your seat HERE …

 

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

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Lean In

   

"Lean In"

 

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

 

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

 

Why did I resist leaning in so much?

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

 

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

 

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

 

It expired.

 

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

 

How did I miss this?

 

Slowly but surely, I began to practice leaning in.

 

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

 

A supportive partner. 

A business coach. 

A mastermind group. 

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

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

Supportive parents.

A couple's group. 

A therapist. 

A psychic. 

An assistant. 

A couple of kick-ass interns. 

 

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

Summer Solace Series #5: Lean In

lean-in

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Here are 2 opportunities for you.

 

 

 

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

There is still time to join us. 

Claim your seat HERE …

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 


 

 

 

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

 

theyogaofeating1

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

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

(Yurts and Mountain Lodge Accommodations ) 

Your restoration and revelations await you.

Reserve Your Queendom 

 


 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circle ~ 2016

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

sisterhoodcircles

 

4 great bonuses if you register by September 18th:

 

bonus-fall

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

 

 


About Sue Van Raes...

Sue-blue-2014

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We Don't Know What's Coming

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

But something is often missing.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

We don’t know what’s coming.

 

 

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

 

But we often forget the most important step of all…

 

 

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

we-dont-know-whats-coming

 

In Today’s Summer Solace Series #4:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

We All Do It

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What Should We Do?

 

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

 

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

 

Here are a few ways to get started:

 

Who wrote the script?

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

Acknowledge yourself for spending time and energy on YOU.


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

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

 

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

(Yurts and Mountain Lodge Accommodations ) 

Your restoration and revelations await you.

Reserve Your Queendom 


The Health Wise Sisterhood Circle ~ 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


About Sue Van Raes...

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Fiercely Feminine

   

It happens,

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

Summer Solace Series #3:  Fiercely Feminine

fiercelyfeminine

 

 

In today’s Summer Solace Series #3:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Food and the Feminine

 

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

 

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

 

What are we to do?

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Unleash Your Wild-ish Side

 

 

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

 

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

 

Don’t we all feel our feelings?

 

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

 

Hence, the wild feminine is endangered.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Here are some great ways to start:

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 


 

 

 

 

group-supprt

sisterhoodcircles

 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles  ~ Small Focus groups

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

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

Our next group is coming up this September, 2016.

learnmore

 

 


Colorado-retreat-text

theyogaofeating1

A Women’s Full Moon Weekend Retreat

With Sue Van Raes and Special Guests

September 16-18th

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

learnmore

 

 

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Your Body Never Lies

   

I would sit in her office week after week. We would talk about my current situation ­– AKA my divorce, my challenges with single parenting, and the habits and patterns that brought me to this point.

 

Some days it wasn’t much fun to see this reflection, but I kept going back. I knew I had to go through the fire (so to speak) so I could see how I could begin to do things differently moving forward.

 

My therapist was a wise and nurturing woman. She would speak many truths and point out many observations during our sessions. Some were harder to hear than others. Taking ownership and seeing my habits and patterns came with many daunting moments, feelings of wanting to crawl out of my skin, and big openings for which I am eternally grateful.

 

One thing I always appreciated was her ability to turn me back towards myself.

 

“Your body never lies Sue, your body never lies.” she would say.

 

This particular piece of wisdom stuck with me. I had become pretty good at overriding the wisdom of my body and intuition. I did it to cope, I did it to get through the day, and I did it as a personal survival skill.

 

Most of us have ignored, numbed, or turned away from our own wisdom at certain points in our lives. Our cultural paradigms are not structured in a way to promote the strengthening and listening to our female intuition. Sometimes, avoiding this part of our feminine can feel like our only choice. Feeling into our sensitivity is one of our greatest gifts and yet can feel like a big heavy cloak of burden.

 

Living from this wildish part of the feminine allows us to live in our body’s adjoining instinct, integrity, sensation, love and certainty of self.

 

Summer Solace Series: #2 
Your Body Never Lies + A Story Time Sit Down Audio Session

bubbles-text

 

In today’s Summer Solace Series#2:

 

  • Learn to recognize what you do or have done to numb your body’s wisdom (intuition)
  • How to take the first steps in fine-tuning and honing your intuition as a positive tool in your life.
  • Listen to this week’s story time sit down in a archytypical myth that addresses the feminine power of intuition and its lineage though time and feminine history.

 

 

Our intuition, our bodies, our inner voice is something all of us have. For many of us, we have tuned it out over time, because what it was saying was too much, or it would create too many ripples, or lead us to big life changes that we were scared of facing. It may have even been the wildness in us that was not welcome.

 

Although, female intuition is a gift, many of us have been encouraged to disregard her.

 

We are taught to think rather than feel.

 

Our intuition goes beyond our thinking and includes our body's, our heart's, and our soul's deep knowing.

 

We all have intuition but I refer to this as the female intuition because it is more heightened from the aspect of our feminine receptive nature (man or woman).

 

 

Where Do You Numb?

 

We tend to pile on the layers of numbing so we can simply keep going in our daily life. We numb with all the usual things – food, alcohol, TV, business, sex, drugs – you know the story.

 

 

If we did not numb ourselves, we would have to FEEL more. Feeling more can be uncomfortable.

 

When we don’t like our gut feelings, when they are not welcome, discouraged or shunned, we develop a multitude of patterns and habits to drive them underground. We keep them at bay, and our wild, true nature becomes meager, ghostly and desolate.

 

As Clarissa Pinkola Estes says: “When we engage and live from our true, wild and intuitive nature, we are like a starry night, gazing at the world through a thousand eyes. We carry stories, dreams, words, songs and symbols for both a vehicle and a destination.”

 

Where can you find her? Where can you feel her? Where does she live?

 

Seeing where and how we numb is a bit of an awakening that comes with the willingness to be a little uncomfortable, a bit messy, an opportunity and the courage to acknowledge a habit or a pattern that is outdated (read last weeks summer solace #1 series here about breaking old habits), and to find the power and grace in our body’s inherent knowing.

 

 

How Do You HONE Your Intuition?

 

 

Your intuition is like a muscle that gets a bit weaker without practice. Intuition and body wisdom are never gone. In fact, they are always there, even when we ignore them. When we acknowledge how and where we are numbing, we can begin to listen again.

 

Intuition becomes available to us when we listen to our hearts, when we pay attention to our body’s somatic expressions, and when we follow the prompts of our wisdom. We must first become receptive to our intuition to begin to strengthen her.

 

We must learn to respect our hunches, notions and impulses. With this practice, we witness our emotions and feelings flowing through us free from judgment and guilt.

 

The way our bodies (all in our own unique way) speak to us is a tool that we can use to navigate our lives, our decisions, our eating, and our happiness.

 

All to often, we look outward to the world around us for our cues and guidelines when the answers lie within.

 

When we stop questioning and trust, when we stop overriding and check in, and when we practice cultivating this inner gift, we can notice the grace of moving in life with an intuitive body knowing that it can become our biggest strength.

 

Here are some of my favorite ways to practice honing our intuition:

 

  • Clear your mind – create some space each day to slow down and listen.
  • Do a body check in – scan your body for information through your senses. Pay attention to tightness, nausea, shortness of breath, headaches and other recurring sensations.
  • Pay attention to your dreams – they are the window into your subconscious mind and intuitive wisdom.
  • Spend time in nature – it is rich with intuition and grounding for the heart and mind.
  • Ask questions – Get specifics, be proactive, and simply ask your intuition (aka higher self) for information.
  • Drop the judgment – Instead of criticizing or repressing, get curious.
  • Take small steps and practice often.

 

Always remember that in the heart of the feminine nature lies a strong wise and powerful intuitive nature. If you listen she won’t steer you wrong.

 

Get comfy, settle in, be gentle with yourself, and listen to today’s story time sit down session below.

 

Listen to today's Story Time Sit Down HERE

The Summer Solace Series is here for you to lean into.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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Healthy Happy Habits

  I roll over a few times beneath my cotton sheets.  The morning sun is warming my bedroom through the airy bamboo shades.  I slumber downstairs, make my morning brew and saunter outside to wake up slowly under the willow tree with the sweet morning hummingbirds.

 

On warm summer mornings, I am savor my time to wake up slowly.  Each morning a little creatively different, but most ending with more clarity and peace in how I want to sculpt my day.

 

In one hand some warm bulletproof coffee or tea, in the other a pen and journal.  The waft of my Balinese insense drifting through the backyard air, and the sweet feeling of having the time to just BE.

 

I love to move my morning practice outside in the summer.  To sit in meditation with just peaks of sun shining on my shoulders, and the beauty of life all around me.

 

My summer mornings are savored.

 

Living from a place of intention is a habit I have been cultivating in myself for many years.  While it is surely not fool proof, as life has its way of sweeping though the day with its own set of agendas, these morning rituals help to set me up for success – whatever the day may bring.

 

Recently, when I was asked what I thought women (and men) struggle with the most when it comes to health, well-being, food and body – I had to sit and think for a while.

 

Hmmm...

 

Sometimes it is overwhelm and confusion, sometimes self-sabotage or negative beliefs about ourselves, sometimes a lack of understanding around how to feed our bodies or and souls, but I would have to say the number one challenge we all share is all wrapped up in changing old habits.

 

In fact, changing habits can be the very obstacle for many women that seem impossible to overcome. 

For the next 6 weeks, I will be sharing some of the gems from my work with women in the groups I lead all over the world.  I will share with you some ways we can begin to create a loving and female approach to our eating, and our bodies with tastes of some of the myths and archytypes I work with that provide a little extra support.

 

The Summer Solace Series is here for you to lean into.

 

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

 

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

 

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

So, without further ado, welcome to the Summer Solace Series... Today, we are taking the first step in changing tired old habits.  These are the habits that keep you stuck.  These are the habits that you don’t like to talk about. These are the habits that move you in the opposite direction from where you want to be. These are the habits that often feel almost impossible to break.  We all have them, so get comfy.

 

Summer Solace Series#1

Healthy Happy Habits + A Storytime Sit Down Audio Session with Me

 

summersolace-peach

 

Today we are exploring the first step to changing old habits, so that the new habits of the heart can become part of a supportive and conscious path to living.

 

Today you will learn:

 

  • The first step to releasing your tired old habits
  • The most common mistakes we make when trying to make a change.
  • How to use myth and ritual to support you in honing your habits. (including an audio storytelling sit down that I crafted for you)

 

 

The first step to releasing your tired old habits + a Storytime Sit Down with Me:

 

Habits are hard to break. I have some I am diligently working on myself. From my eating, my sleeping and my stress management, to how I monitor my finances, my negative thoughts and my self-care. We create them by patterning ourselves in such a way that they become automatic.

 

In the beginning, all of our habits served a purpose. Often born from an early age, a challenging time, or a learned automatic behavior that we developed to cope or deal with a certain situation.

 

From the moment you get out of bed each day – your daily breakfast, morning rituals, workplace interactions, the texts you send to your loved ones, to the way you drive home – you are engaging in multitudes of habits and patterns.

 

Most of these habits are serving you well, allowing you to handle the challenging co-worker, the multitudes of stress before an exam, or the baby up crying all night – you are on automatic more than you realize.

 

Our minds don’t often discern between the good and the bad habits when operating on automatic. We just keep doing, keep going, and keep trying to manage our lives.

 

The thing is, a tired old habit is one that did its job back when it was first being created. It may have helped you cope with a broken family, a stressful childhood, or a bully at school. A tired old habit may also have saved you from feeling out of control, feeling unloved or feeling stressed out.

 

Tired old habits once served an important purpose. Now, can you discern when they have become outdated?

 

We spend a lot of time looking at where we went wrong, how we got stuck, why we can’t do something different. Self criticism, shame and fear are often the co-pilots of wanting to make a change

 

What if we looked that tired old habit right in the eyes and said “Thank You”?

 

“Thank you for serving me well dear friend. Thanks for protecting me, helping me cope, and giving me options for getting though the tough times. I appreciate you. I honor you. And now… I am completely done with you.   You serve me no longer and I send you on your way.”

 

When we can see these old habits in their true form, full history, and even a little bubble of appreciation for how they have sustained us, we can release them more gracefully.

 

  • Mindless eating can be a way to comfort yourself when you’re feeling down.
  • Retail shopping online for hours might be a way you avoid interacting with your expired relationship.
  • Drinking too much may be the only way you know how to be social with a certain group of friends.

 

 

If you want to break the habit, you have to come to grips with whatever function the bad habit was serving.

 

What are your tired old habits?

 

Identifying the habit, and the history of the habit is the first step to making a change.

 

Try this:

  1. Name the tired old habit you are looking to transform.
  2. Unravel the history behind the habit, when it started, why it served you, and when it expired.
  3. Be gentle with yourself as you appreciate the value the habit served and the acknowledgement of its time to be released.
  4. Drop the guilt, shed the shame.

 

 

Join me and listen to today’s feature Summer Solace storytime sit down.   Explore the profound metaphors found in myths, storytelling and archetypes that gently guide us home to our strength and embodied feminine grace.

 

 

Listen to our first Storytime Sit Down HERE 

 

 

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

Stay tuned...

 


 

 

group-supprt

sisterhoodcircles

 

The Health Wise Sisterhood Circles  ~ Small Focus groups

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

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

Our next group is coming up this September, 2016.

learnmore

 

 


Colorado-retreat-text

theyogaofeating1

A Women's Full Moon Weekend Retreat

With Sue Van Raes and Special Guests

September 16-18th

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

learnmore

 

 

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The ULTIMATE Love Affair

   

It's a little messy.

 

TheUltimateloveaffair

 

You've had a rough day.

 

Your cup is nowhere near (even) 1/2 empty.

 

Your co-workers were talking $hit about you at the office, your pants feel too tight, and you've been too tired to exercise all week.

 

You did a good job holding back the tears all day, but when you finally get home and nestle into your cozy, womb-like couch – forget about keeping it together.

 

Before you even realize it, you pull out the leftover gluten free double chocolate brownie pan from last night's potluck, pour an oversized glass of red, and try to get a little relief.

 

Deep breath...

 

Many of us are taught to think of food solely as a means to sustain our bodies, our energy, and our health.

 

Most days, we overlook our primal love affair with pleasure and the complexity of how food plays into our emotional survival.

 

Although nourishing ourselves emotionally with food is basically unavoidable, we often find this delicate story of ours wrought with challenges, shame, guilt, suffering and self-sabotage.

 

Come with me on  a little journey back in time…

 

 

As Eve took the famous bite from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, she not only 'sabotaged' paradise on earth for both her and Adam, she also, supposedly created her own suffering and was ejected forever from the pleasure of paradise – YIKES.

 

 

This is just the beginning of OUR story around eating.

 

 

The forbidden fruit complex is one that has taken over the mold of eaters (especially women) everywhere.

 

We restrict.  We binge.  We make up personal "rules".  We break them. We comply.  We rebel. We find ourselves stuck in an endless downward spiral that is not only destructive, but self-loathing and challenging.

 

 

Today's insights will help you navigate the ultimate love affair – the one we ALL have with food.  

 

 

3 Food Psychology Fortunes For YOU (hint: they are not what you think)

 

In today’s world, we often complain that are left with few tools to comfort ourselves, to deal with the day-to-day stress, to cope with loneliness, body image, and the common ways we over schedule, over extend and over do.

 

Food becomes one of the perfect outlets for our pleasure and our pain.

 

We can’t abstain completely because we need food to survive, and yet we are left completely lost in knowing how to have a healthy relationship with food in both our bodies and minds.

 

Today, I am going to remind you of the innate mechanisms and wisdom that you already within yourself.

 

This reminder is to guide you back to your own intuition where your body, sensation, and presence can help you live more authentically with your most primal relationship – You + Food.

 

 

 

Forgive yourself

 

As you reveal your past around your eating, you will likely find a few skeletons in your closet. Shame that has you stuck, guilt that you can’t shake and old ways of being you would rather sweep under the rug. Believe me, you are not alone.

 

Most of us have old behaviors from our past (some that still creep into the present) that are old, outdated, self destructive and even risky. It seems then when we hit a certain point of imbalance – intense emotionality, or transition – the old ways can pop out to say and unwelcome, yet familiar hello.

 

As the wise Brene Brown says: “Shame cannot survive when being spoken of and met with empathy”.

 

We cannot change our past. Our old ways of being were most likely the best ways of coping we knew of at the time. We know more now. We are wiser, more experienced, stronger, and more resourced now then we were then. There is no comparison.

 

Forgiving ourselves for our pasts allows us to focus on the present rather than waste our energy dwelling in something we cannot change.

 

No matter where you have been, how ugly things have gotten – all you have today is the present.

 

Breath. Feel. Forgive.

 

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” ~ Maya Angelou

 

 

 

Make Down Time Happen EVERY day.

 

When we give ourselves time to SLOW down, we also give ourselves time to listen, feel and honor our inner landscape each day.

 

 

Although our personal journeys with food are all unique, we can all benefit from these daily doses of self-love and attention.

 

Slowing down, resting and relaxing every day allows time to process what is occurring in our lives in a manageable way. The happy, the sad, the fearful, and the struggle.

 

When our emotions have space to move through us, we don’t have to use food to manage them.

 

 

 

Live BIG

 

We seek pleasure. Food is one of our most primal forms of pleasurewe use food to commune, celebrate, and share joy.

 

AAANNNDDD... food can become the only form of pleasure we know, often because we are lacking other forms of pleasure in our day-to-day lives.

 

We have un-learned how to treat ourselves, forgotten to take time to relax and let go, and relinquished filling up on pleasure in other areas of our lives – nature, love, laughter and connection.

 

We CAN savor and enjoy our eating in a mindful way. We can also fill up our lives with inspiration, joy, like-minded community, adventure, nature and play.  This will help us balance the source of our pleasure each day and redefine this pleasure burden that we have put solely on our relationship with food.

 

“Take your pleasure seriously” ~ Thomas Eames


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

 

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

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

Reserve Your Queendom 

 

 

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Meet your SABOTEUR...

   

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

 

You started strong.  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

It's a common problem.  

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

 

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

 

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

 

saboteur

 

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

(+ A guided meditation to boot)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

  1. Are you afraid of Failure?

 

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

 

Wow, that’s a big commitment.

 

Maybe it is safer to stay stuck.

 

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

 

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

 

 

  1. Are YOU addicted to your suffering?

 

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

 

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

 

Where do you embellish your own suffering?

 

What do you get out of it?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  1. Do you CHECK OUT?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We need to practice.

 

We need an intuitive relationship with ourselves first.

 

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

 

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

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

 

LISTEN TO THE MEDITATION HERE

 


 

 

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

 

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

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

Reserve Your Queendom 

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The Power is in the Protein

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The Power is in the Protein

THE POWER IS IN THE PROTEIN

 

I learned this the HAAAARRRRDDD way.

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

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

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

 

It was a blood sugar disaster.

 

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

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

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

 

Don't worry, I've got your back

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

1. The Secret is in the Source

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

There are many great protein sources.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

2. Quality Matters

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

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

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

 

 

3. Look at the Macro Nutrients

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit:  Chef Bailey Jean Ruskus

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Don't Let Your Mind BULLY Your Body

   

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

: (

 

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

 

These were just a bit too ITSY for me…

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

don'tletyourmind...

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

6 Reasons to STOP Counting Calories

 

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

 

A calorie is simply a measure of energy.

 

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

 

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

 

One dietary Calorie (kilocalorie) is 4184 joules.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Here are 6 reasons why…

 

  1. Fancy yourself some FAT

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  1. Help out your hormones

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

According to Dr. Mercola:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

  1. The way OUT is IN:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

  1. Fake food is not FREE food:

 

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

 

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

 

 

  1. Good girl – Bad girl:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

  1. Consumed by Calorie Counting:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Self Care is the New Healthcare

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

 

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

 

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

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