You might have noticed that I haven’t posted here in awhile – this is for the BEST reason possible. I am busy setting up a new website AND out and about teaching some of the topics I love most. Once updates are finalized they will all be posted here!
It has been awhile since I’ve posted on the blog, and here’s why: I’ve learned I can’t grow in all directions at once. A couple years ago I would’ve felt guilt or lazy for not getting content up here and being consistent. Now, I feel completely free of that heavy weight. I respect that I’ve prioritized other things. I’ve stopped writing out of obligation or a commitment and have instead decided I will write when I felt like it because it’s important to feel good too.
Here are ten of my current healthy habits I’m embracing this summer. I hope they serve as inspiration for your own good health !
1.) Visiting the Farmer’s Market on Saturday each chance that I get. Eating with the seasons makes me feel connected to the earth and inspires me to up my focus on veggies and fruits. Lately, it has been watermelon for dessert for me, and I am eating zucchini pasta at least once a week.
2.) Long walks outside. Living in New England, I am very appreciative of the warmer weather and the chance to be outside without layers upon layers of clothing. Summer is a precious time of year here for sure.
3.) Vacations, vacations ! I have long struggled with patterns where I overwork myself and deprive myself of taking time off and stepping away from my j-o-b. This year, I have been working (get it, always working) to focus on visiting new places, prioritizing time with friends and making sure I soak up the summer season as much as I can.
4.) Picking fresh fruit! So far this year, I have gone strawberry picking, but I am looking forward to also going peach picking and blueberry picking. I always feel incredibly grounded and grateful to nature when I do this!
5.) Summer beach reads. That’s right. I’m not talking about scholarly writing or SAT vocabulary words. I’m talking about books that are just plain fun to read and allow your brain to read for the fun of it. I am guilty of almost always reading non-fiction so I can learn, learn, learn but sometimes you need a break! Right now, I am reading ‘The Taming of the Queen‘ by Philippa Gregory.
6.) SWEAT ! Sweating is such a great benefit to our lymphatic system and I find when I’ve been working out with my regular yoga/pilates moves that I am sweating a lot more due to the warmer temperatures. Sweating is such a wonderful way to help your body release toxins.
7.) High-qualty sunscreens Gone are my Coppertone days, and I’m very conscientious about the ingredients that are in the sunscreens I use nowadays. There’s a lot of junky chemical lurking in many sunscreens so do your research !
8.) Grow something. Maybe an herb garden? Or a veggie garden? Or a tomato plant?
The year I fell in love with epsom salt baths. Yes, this is how I will remember the winter of 2016!
It will be one of my highlights (though I know there will be LOTS of other good stuff happening during the rest of this year).
Why do I have this deep, burning affection for salt baths?
I originally went down this road to help heal my achilles injury and I noticed an immediate change in my body when I started making salt baths a priority in my ankle and some of my other muscles that tend toward soreness. I have been known to deal with various aches and pains because of issues with my scoliosis and these baths have helped calm that inflammation in a BIG WAY.
The second major benefit that I noticed right away was intense relaxation. When I step out of a tub after a stressful day sometimes I feel almost drunk I’m so relaxed. I also tend to have an AWESOME nights sleep.
Here are a few more reasons why I think you should love epsom salt baths too:
- Boosting the body’s natural elimination of toxins
- Essential oil and herbal baths are fantastically easy to execute and “up” a regular old tub to a indulgent self-care ritual. (I am excited to be teaching about both of these methods in my upcoming workshops this spring and summer).
- The spiritual side of salt baths: Gaia’s article “3 Ritual Baths to Cleanse Your Aura” explains: “Ritual bathing cleanses you from physical grime and negative spiritual grime, thus purifying both your body and your aura.”
- The history of bathing as a beauty ritual is SUPER interesting. Marie Antoinette was known for taking herbal baths, while Cleopatra had more of a milk bath routine.
What I buy:
- Whole Foods Market Premium Dead Sea Salt (pictured above) is my current go-to
- I’ve also seen this epsom salt recommended in a few places, especially for those buying in bulk
- Sometimes as a bonus I add Magnesium Flakes too
My favorite bath based book: Water Magic
For those who are NOT into baths or without a tub: I liked this article from Free People, “Turning Your Shower Into a Sanctuary.”
photo from Boston Magazine
When I was laid off from my job a few years ago, I found myself with a LOT of time on my hands and (of course) my familiar habit of always wanting to learn something new. I’d seen a lot of folks talking about rebounding, mini-trampolines more specifically, as a great way to move the lymphatic system. In super clear language: the lymphatic system helps your body get rid of toxins.
And then my Mom found a mini trampoline at the town dump, in perfect condition. I considered this a killer form of manifestation. FREE trampoline, thanks Universe! Around the same time, I graduated from Yoga Teacher Training.
As so one gorgeous spring day (with my sneakers on…my BAD!) I rolled my ankle hard while I was jumping away in the afternoon sun. I’d never injured an ankle before, but I could tell right away this was going to be a little difficult to shake.
Little did I know….
I could go on and on and on telling you all the horrible, crappy things that happened after I hurt my ankle and my achilles. But here is the core of what really pissed me off: I lost yoga. I know that sounds dramatic and very over the top, but yoga is what keeps me from getting lost in the first place.
It is the tool that has helped me find a compass, a sense of being grounded and not simply trapped in a head that spins into anxieties and fears really easily. This injury was my worst fear realized. I could not do a downward facing dog without making things worse, really worse. (Trust me I tried a LOT.)
When I did go to classes to modify poses because of my injury, I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to do the real movements, the full expression of the pose. My body craved that feeling, that same high. I stopped going to yoga studios because it was such a harsh reminder of what I wanted so badly but couldn’t have.
And as I write that sentence, I feel obligated to admit that my heart felt sort of the same way at that point, craving some(one) I couldn’t have. How we feel in one area of our lives is so often how we feel in others.
Slowly, slowly and REALLY slowly, I began to realize the foolishness of focusing on what I couldn’t do (or have) and clinging to that one thing (or person) so fiercely. Mentor upon mentor put their hand on my should and said, “You need to find something else Katie.” Yoga was not the only stress relieving tool at my disposal, but man did I act like it was.
I was stubborn though and I clung to yoga fiercely perhaps because of a saying my teacher had recited throughout my yoga teacher training, “There is a yoga for every phase of your life.” Thank goodness that sunk in. I found more restorative yoga classes. I opened up to kundalini yoga which I would never have done otherwise. I let my place in yoga be limited to this, and I respected it. Because I still had a little piece of it.
Tools like mantra and sound (and theta waves) and just the sheer force of music swooped in and met me right where I was, injury and all. And then aromatherapy with it’s magical connection to our limbic system showed up, and I finally surrendered to what I couldn’t have and embraced what found me instead.
I dropped the pain and the anger around and just let it do it’s thing on it’s own timeline. (And I gave up being stubborn about paying the pediatrist bills and did the custom orthopedics / heel lift thing).
With my heart, that was a much more complicated matter. I guess I learned some types of broken hearts take even longer to heal than achilles heels. Go figure.
The point though isn’t that it feels like it took forever, the point is that it does all heal. Even when it feels impossible.
This post is kind of a mishmash of timelines because my ankle has been injured and re-injured a few times (so for my close friends, no you’re not remembering some of those details wrong!)
Hey All! Just checking in, and passing along the stuff that has inspired me, made me laugh and made me THINK the past couple of weeks.
1.) First I am a big believer in how you do one thing is how you do everything. And the below quote is REALLY coming up in both my work and personal projects right now. It’s one of Jim Rohn’s basic principles for success…
“You cannot be successful in the long run, being 10 miles wide and an inch deep. There are a handful of things that are important enough to account for the greatest impact.” Read more here.
3.) I am a virgo and I am obsessed with calendars. This passion planner looks FANTASTIC.
4.) Listening to: Kiss Me (Ed Sheeran) and a guided muscle relaxation tape before I fall asleep because I REALLY want to stop grinding my teeth.
6.) Watching: Downton Abbey, New Girl, Billions and Silver Linings Playbook. There is something so mesmerizing about the way the two characters in SLP own their flaws and their crazy and don’t apologize for them. I love it.
7.) Eating/Drinking: The fancy pants New Barn organic almond milk.
8.) Following: Wanderlust Stratton tickets go on sale Tuesday this upcoming week, 2/9.
9.) Reading: Do Your Om Thing. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT! And Kripalu’s Spring 2016 Catalogue. I marked programs by Kathryn Budig, Guru Jagat, Gabrielle Bernstein and a creating malas workshop.
10.) Coming Up: Bone Broth Cooking Class, Somerville Farmers Market and very interested in going to Lake Street Dive’s show in Boston in March.
As a follow up to my E.F.T. workshop this weekend, I am posting ten links to totally AWESOME E.F.T. tapping resources. Keep in mind tapping can be done on pretty much anything – emotions like anger and jealousy, manifesting epic stuff, food cravings, romance, money and so on.
Overall the two best resources for pre-written scripts in my opinion are Brad Yates’ YouTube channel (linked below) and Margaret Lynch’s blog/email newsletter. She has videos as well on YouTube, but not to the same extent.
My biggest reminder about tapping is this: Once you speak out loud a big, scary, yucky FEAR and tap on it in a negative round you have automatically taken away its power and felt what it feels like to replace that fear with a better thought. It’s the BEST!
Enjoy & happy tapping!!
2.) If you love sugar as much as I do – this ‘how to end sugar cravings with EFT‘ demo from Gabby Bernstein hits the nail on the head.
3.) You really want to feel like something wonderful is about to happen! #lawofattraction
4.) You feel guilty relaxing? Me too. Try this one.
5.) Extreme Self-Care guru Cheryl Richardson put this intro video for anxiety tapping together.
7.) You’re Jealous? Do this script.
8.) Brad Yates’ YouTube channel has a TON of content. How about this one for allowing great things?
9.) Here is the link to Nick Ortner’s Wanderlust Speakeasy talk which I played a portion of in class.
10.) You like podcasts? Give this one a shot.
Note: I love this blog, but I haven’t been able to sustain writing on it as often because I’ve been teaching more in person workshops and trying to take better care of myself. So I’m going to start writing some shorter style posts which I think will still be inspirational and helpful – and hopefully easier to read since we’re all busy.
Here’s what on my radar.
- My mom is currently teaching me how to embroider. For years we have argued about my complete lack of interest in learning cross stitch (it HURTS my eyes) and is too tiny. But I have fallen head over heels in love with the online video resources on CreativeBug & Rebecca Ringquist. Her sampler is pictured above and that’s what I’m working on right now. She into bending the rules, and I’m into that.
- Mindfulness. I’ve been really focusing on this for stress management and not letting my mind rule the show. The embroidery is a great reminder to focus wholeheartedly in the present.
- I’m teaching my first workshop on E.F.T. tapping this weekend which I am a little nervous about but mostly the good kind of butterflies nervous. E.F.T. was THE tool that really helped me bounce back emotionally from some of my toughest times.
- Yin Yoga, restorative yoga, and deep stretch yoga. I want in.
- I asked Santa for “Simple Green Smoothies” because I heard the two founders interviewed on my favorite podcast EVAH.
- My winter 2016 present to myself was an automatic car starter. It felt totally outrageous and extravagant, and I did it anyway because the cold can really get to me.
- Zzzzzzz update: Every night I run my essential oil diffuser (set on a timer to two hours). I pick a different scent, add a couple drops and then fall asleep in a real field of lavender (okay I guess it only feels like that).
- My other new workout crush: Basic Hip-Hop Fitness classes. Haven’t taken one yet, but psyched about Miami Fitness and Lifestyle opening in Andover this weekend.
- HOORAY for the return of Downton Abbey and New Girl. And I am also guilty of watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix.
OF COURSE, I think some of the gift ideas are pretty sah-weet that I’m linking to here. I dig supporting local makers and the creative people in my local area. But more importantly, I think giving of your time and being of service is the best gift you can give AND receive (especially this time of year).
1.) THIS IS A TRICK ONE. Your presence is and will always be the best present to anyone around you. And now I will bring up something you do not want to think about: your cell phone. Just be aware of it and how much it distracts you from being in the present. Be open to have a couple days off technology or greatly reducing your tendency to check your phone – and be on your phone. If you need a break from your family (I GET IT) take a walk outside or something along those lines. Trust me, this is a hard one for me, but I think it’s worth mentioning.
2.) MOON PHASE SHELVES – STONE & VIOLET. If you are a keeper of crystals, or intentions, or have been looking to find something to house some of your meaningful dreams this is worth checking out.
3.) Socks to make you happy during the winter – SOLMATE SOCKS. Listen, in New England it’s dark and it’s cold for what feels like a long, long time. It is basically essential to find ways to add some color, personality and WARMTH. These hit all the bases for me.
4.) The best face wash in the WORLD. OM BOTANICAL. I discovered this at the Natural Living Expo two years ago and I won’t use anything else. It’s priced relatively reasonably and is now available on Amazon for the Prime people!
5.) For the doing it all gals, this book will REALLY challenge you to think about valuing yourself and not over giving. THE EXTREME ART OF SELF CARE. The Let Me Disappoint You was particularly powerful for me.
6.) One more book. So you want to start a business? ENOUGH ALREADY: Create Success on Your Own Terms. Mike’s a genius and a friend, and I feel pretty darn lucky to be close to his magic so often.
7.) Any piece of artwork from Melissa Harris. I can’t tell you how much her stuff inspires me. Including the mermaid photo you see above that’s now framed in my room. I’m seriously considering her Gifts of Winter creativity course.
1.) Last week graduated from my aromatherapy training at Boston School of Herbal Studies and I’m currently weighing whether or not I want to do level 2. It’s been a really fascinating experience and is really making clear to me how intimately we are connected to our sense of smell. I run a diffuser every night in my room while I fall asleep now, and I LOVE it.
3.) Very excited to over to the SOWA Holiday Market on Sunday this weekend. Check it out!
This past weekend I attended a day-long self care workshop with my mom that was led by my super-amazing friend and IIN grad Cathy Zolner and her partner Amy Matias. When we arrived we were given a journal, handouts and a copy of Cheryl Richardson’s book “The Art of Extreme Self-Care.”
I think self care is ridiculously important, but the minute someone tells me to practice extreme self care I can immediately feel some pretty strong push back. Who has TIME for extreme self care? (The answer: we all do if we want it bad enough.) Who can AFFORD extreme self care? (The answer: anyone. spending tons of money is not a prerequisite). In short, it makes me uncomfortable to think about getting to a place where I’m taking incredible care of myself. And I know I’m not alone.
Extreme self care can be as simple as shutting your cell phone off after a long day and getting some much needed alone time. It can also be as glamorous as booking a long weekend with your girlfriends at the beach. It’s fascinating to me that we all crave somewhat different versions of self care and each have our own working definition of what extreme self care looks like for us.
My mom, for example, craves laughter. I, on the other hand, crave community. So be open to listening to exactly what it is you want and knowing that it doesn’t need to look like what everyone else desires.
If you are the type of person that feels that self care is indulgent, like I mentioned above, I encourage you to think back to some times where you’ve given so much of yourself that you’ve wound up sick, or felt “broken down” or simply frantic and panicked. If you give, and give, and give, eventually resentment builds up and it’s easy for our bodies to break down.
The best news ever? You’re in control of how much self care you prioritize. And simple switches make a HUGE difference.
1.) I made this delicious! carrot soup in my Vitamix for my mom’s birthday last week. Whoa. So creamy and warming!
2.) I’m very excited to listen to this podcast on School of Greatness on my drive into my “new” job this week. Matthew’s interview with Lewis on his website was super thought provoking and outed me personally on one of the things I’d love to have the courage to let go of.
3.) In the past three weeks, I’ve been gifted about 10 workbooks/notebooks. It’s almost eerie how many “signs” seem to be pointing in the direction of me needing to write more. Whoa!
Maca has a big story to tell. In a way, it’s an agricultural wonder because it grows in Peru’s high altitude mountains (up to 14,000 feet). Picture rocky and barren landscapes with intense sun exposure and wild winds.
Maca certainly has a long and rich history with its native country of Peru. Thousands of years ago Incan warriors would take maca for strength and endurance. With a powerful legacy like this it’s no wonder that Peru reveres maca and even holds an agreement with the United Nations that they alone source maca for the world.
Here’s how I became hooked on devouring as much information as I could about maca. I listened to a podcast a few months ago about a woman who was able to get pregnant after taking maca (in addition to lots of other changes), even though doctors had all but promised her she would probably never conceive again. While visiting Peru she saw first-hand how maca is steeping in health benefits.
Here are five fast facts I want to share about maca:
- Maca is an adaptogen which means it helps nourish our endocrine system (which manages that delicate dance to keep our hormones in balance). If you are someone who has struggled with adrenal fatigue or deals with a lot of stress-related health issues maca is definitely worth looking into. *Only 1 in 4,000 plants is considered to be an adaptogen.*
- Maca is said to be an aphrodisiac. Enough stress can shut off or slow down our sex hormones so this makes a LOT of sense.
- Anxious? Maca has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and depression.
- If you buy maca, make sure it’s sourced from Peru and not coming from China. Read this for the whole scoop. I get mine from Navitas Naturals!
- Maca is from the cruciferous family (oh hey cauliflower and broccoli!) but in this instance you are actually consuming the root or tubers of the plant…not the leaves or stalks. In terms of food energetics, talk about GROUNDING.
This Saturday Oct 17th I’ll be teaching another Superfoods Workshop at The Organic Angel from 12-1:30pm. I’m covering MACA<FLAX<HEMP<LUCUMA>TUMERIC. Delicious treats will be served!