Mindfulness

Try Something New…I Dare You!

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Mindfulness, Nourishing Yourself | 0 comments

Try Something New…I Dare You!

To get something you’ve never had, you must be willing to try something you’ve never done”- Thomas Jefferson

Summer is almost here! I know technically it is till a few weeks away, but the sun is shinning, the birds are singing and the flowers are finally blooming! Do you notice how everything seems promising? The longer days give you more energy, making you feel like it’s possible to achieve all your desires and dreams. Why not harness this energy, ride the wave and try something new?

Throughout the year we live at an intense pace (physical, emotional and mental), and we often get stuck in routine, either for the sake of efficiency or out of fear of unfamiliar territory. The lack of variety in doing the same things over and over stagnates not only our minds, but also our bodies and hearts. Are you hesitant to break your routine? Fear and excitement have the same physiological expression in our bodies; it is our mind that classifies the feeling as either positive or negative. So the next time you consider a change in routine and your mind says “scary!” see if you can re-frame it as “exciting!”

What is something you have never done before or that you have wanted to do for a long time? Choose your own adventure: organize a road trip, take a dance class, do some exotic traveling or set a goal for a new personal challenge. Or try something simple, like playing tag with your kids or reading in the sunshine. Maybe it’s time to discover a new vegetable dish or to visit a new town, restaurant or beach.

Whatever adventure calls to you, use this time of year to make it happen and enjoy your life. Increasing new experiences and excitement in your life can decrease your dependence on artificial stimulants like caffeine and sugar, leading to more vibrant health. Watch out for massive improvements in physical well-being, mental acuity and motivation.  As always, I’d love to hear from you, so be sure to write to me and tell me what new experiences you’ve tried this month!

 

 

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My Biggest Secret For Weight Loss!

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Health Tips, Mindfulness, Nourishing Yourself | 0 comments

My Biggest Secret For Weight Loss!

Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
- Rumi

For some reason February always reminds me of love. It’s probably because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, or maybe it’s because winter has been so cold that I need something warm to focus on. Lately I have been reminded of how important it is to truly love myself, and I’m not just talking about my self-care practice (that is also an essential part of being healthy). When I talk about love, I mean whole-hearted, unconditional love.

You’re probably saying to yourself; but Erica, what does love have to do with food and weight loss? And I would say EVERYTHING!

What I have learned from my personal experience, and in working with my clients, is that LOVE needs to be the focus of our work as we learn to let go of our “un-wanted” eating habits and cultivate a nourishing relationship between our mind, body and spirit. No matter how much we try to improve our relationship with food or constantly obsess about what to eat and what NOT to eat, one thing I know for certain, food is secondary. If we don’t learn to LOVE and ACCEPT ourselves exactly as we are, then we will never be truly nourished.

The bottom line :: The more you love yourself, the more weight you will lose.

All you need to do is ask yourself; how do I love myself? If I truly love myself would I ________________ (eat that, say that, do that).

Feeling stuck? Here are some ways to help you cultivate a more loving relationship with yourself.

Fall In Love With Yourself

Love yourself and every part of you. Love your strengths and let them shine. Look in the mirror everyday and say to yourself “I love you unconditionally”

Eliminate Self Criticism

Are you a perfectionist, always saying “I am not good enough”? Having a negative opinion about ourselves can have a huge impact on who we are and what we do. Next time you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself ask, would I speak to a child like that?

Be Truthful With Yourself

Be aware of what you are feeling. When you are JOYFUL feel it. When you are DEPRESSED feel it. When you are AFRAID ask why? Don’t try to cover up or blur emotions. Ask yourself how you feel often. Share your thoughts and feelings with others.

Be Patient With Yourself

Practice generosity and patience with yourself. Change can be scary. We can’t expect to change our negative habits and life long patterns overnight. Everything is a practice. Once you let go of the outcome your expectations become limitless.

Forgive Yourself

Learn to forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Everyone is a work in progress. With every mistake made comes an opportunity for growth and learning.

Let Go Of  Worry

Practice the art of letting go. Practice meditation to release you of your anxieties. Quiet the mind and clean it out of all toxic thoughts. Focus your mind on “I am” instead of “I’m not enough”.

Express Gratitude

Express gratitude for the person that you are. Cultivate an appreciation for your strengths and gifts. Feel a sense of gratitude that you are alive and well, and fully capable of making a difference in your life. Practicing gratitude allows us to feel better. When we practice gratitude we focus on the positive.

 Nurture Your Dreams

Dream BIG and make it happen. When we focus our minds on what we really want and fill ourselves with positive affirmations and thoughts our dreams will be achieved. Every moment that you live is a joy because you are expressing yourself fully.

Spoil Yourself

Do things just because you want to. Have fun and cultivate JOY. What brings you pleasure? Make a list of all the things you want to do and start doing them.

Take Care Of Your Body

Nourish yourself with healthy food, water, and regular exercise. Give yourself enough down time to rest and restore. Set an intention to start loving and respecting your body and follow through with it everyday.

Be Present

Learn to see the beauty in everyday. Be present and observe what is around you. Flowers blooming, trees growing, children playing, laughter. When you can appreciate the beauty in the everyday you will begin to see it within yourself.

Even if you just choose one of these and focus on making that your new goal for the month, I promise you will start to feel better. When you start to feel better about yourself you will be able to ask yourself; How am I loving myself today?

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How To Keep Those Resolutions

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Body image, Health Tips, Mindfulness | 0 comments

How To Keep Those Resolutions

True life is lived when tiny changes occur” -Leo Tolstoy

Many of us start the New Year making resolutions. We vow to eat healthier, go to the gym, quit smoking, spend less money, get organized… etc. So why is it, that only 8% of us are able to stick with these resolutions? We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to keep those New Year’s resolutions?

First of all you need to understand that you are not a failure. 

Mistakes, issues and challenges are just opportunities to begin again more intelligently.

Don’t beat yourself up or tell yourself that you are no good. In order to truly be successful at anything we want to achieve we must get rid of the “I’m not good enough” and “you never do anything right” talk.

Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:

Set Your Intention

Ask yourself what you want to change and how you want to feel.  Then write down your positive intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom mirror, the bathroom mirror or refrigerator.

Find The Source Of Your Resistance

Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night? Are you stressed at your job and feel too tired to exercise after work?  If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.

Visualize Your Goal

Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Visualize yourself feeling better, looking better and having more confidence. Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.

Get Support

Share your resolutions with friends and family. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go to the gym more, have a friend call you two or three times a week to check on you or invite them to join you.

Reward Yourself

Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose weight and you lose 1 pound a week, pamper yourself with a massage or a healthy treat.

Forgive Yourself

Practice a loving and forgiving relationship with yourself. If you are unable to reach your goal forgive yourself and try again. Encourage yourself, the way you would a child. If after trying another time you are unable to succeed maybe you need to set a more realistic and attainable goal.

I really encourage you to think about what it is that you WANT. If you find yourself getting discouraged and thinking “it’s never going to change, so why bother” that is exactly what will happen. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. Take a moment and ask yourself, “What can I be doing right now to feel better?”

 

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How To Lose Weight This Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Featured, Health Tips, Mindfulness, Nourishing Yourself | 0 comments

How To Lose Weight This Holiday Season

Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The holiday season can often cause us to feel stressed and overwhelmed.  According to some recent statistics:

  • 69% of people are stressed by the feeling of having a “lack of time”
  • 69% are stressed by perceiving a “lack of money”
  • 51% feel stressed out over the “pressure to give or get gifts”

Feeling stressed or overwhelmed can sometimes lead us to make unhealthy decisions around our food and neglect our self-care practices.  While I know all too well how easy those habits are, my goal for you this month is to reduce your stress and focus on the excitement of holiday time, so that you are able to take better care of yourself.

Here are some simple ways to help you reduce stress and prevent weight gain around the holidays.

Slow Down

When we are in a high stress mode our body shuts down the digestive process, not too mention the disruption it causes to our emotional and spiritual state.  Slowing down is the key to healthy eating and reducing our stress. It helps our body digest better and burn more fat! Some ways to help yourself get slow are practicing yoga, being out in nature or simply focusing on your breathing.

Eat Mindfully

Eating mindfully means we are paying attention to what we are eating. We are aware of all our sensations and what is happening in our body. It also includes eating without distractions and enjoying our food! Begin by taking a breath before you eat, say a word of thanks, smell your food and really experience the textures and sensations in your mouth.

Plan & Prepare

Being prepared helps to reduce our stress and anxiety. When we are prepared we worry less about running out of time and are able to focus on staying present. Some ways to help prepare for the holidays are to do your shopping early, never go to a party on an empty stomach, bring a healthy dish with you and don’t over extended yourself and be afraid to say no.

Practice Gratitude

As you know from last months blog, “Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, higher long-term satisfaction with life, less anxiety and depression, and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.” The holidays are a great time to begin a daily gratitude practice. It will not only improve your health, but enhance your life.  Begin with a gratitude journal and write 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday!

Move Your Body

We all know that exercise is a key ingredient to any health and wellness plan. It can help you lose weight, reduce your stress, enhance your immune system and make you feel better about yourself. I encourage you to find a movement that you enjoy such as; dance, yoga, walking, running, spin class, boxing, martial arts etc. If you don’t have an exercise routine start one NOW!

Nourish Yourself

All you need is LOVE. In order to lose weight and reduce your stress the answer is always love. You need to making loving yourself your #1 priority. For many of us self-care is considered taboo. We think we are being selfish when we spend time spoiling ourselves. Well I am here to tell you that nourishment is the best holiday gift you can give yourself.

OK, so there they are, some simple ways to help you have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season.  Remember that stress and anxiety often cause us to over think and stay “stuck in our minds”.  In order to help us feel more peaceful and at ease we must slow down, practice gratitude and try to nourish ourselves everyday.

 

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Cultivating Gratitude

Posted by on Nov 8, 2013 in Featured, Mindfulness | 0 comments

Cultivating Gratitude

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”-Eckhart Tolle

I can’t believe it is already November. Why is it that as soon as Halloween is over it’s time for the holiday season to begin? Christmas decorations are out, holiday shopping catalogs are delivered, and sales are everywhere.  I don’t know about you, but just thinking about the holidays gives me stress. Last month I wrote about how to reduce our anxiety during this time of year by slowing down. This month I’d like to focus on cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

I know I have mentioned gratitude before and how important it is for any healthy eating plan, but I thought in honor of Thanksgiving  this month, it couldn’t hurt to focus on how we can add more gratitude into our lives. We live in such a busy, hustle and bustle society these days.  Most of us get so wrapped up in our normal day-to-day activities, that we start to take for granted all that we have and all that we are. It is important to practice gratitude everyday and use it as an opportunity to reflect on all the abundance that we already have in our everyday lives.

According the New York Times: “Cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, higher long-term satisfaction with life, less anxiety and depression, and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.”  Sounds good to me!

Here Are Some Simple Ways of How You Can Add More Gratitude Into Your Life

Gratitude Journal

Start a daily gratitude journal. All you need is a notebook or a journal. Write down 3-5 things in the journal everyday that you are grateful for. I like to do this at the end of the day so that I can reflect on all my positive accomplishments, rather then focusing on what I didn’t do that day or what went “wrong”.

Focus On The Positive

Daily practices of gratitude are a proven method to achieving more happiness. Accessing our mind and consciousness is a powerful tool in cultivating happiness. When we can change our negative thoughts and belief patterns into positive intentions they begin to disappear. Focusing on the positive makes more room for abundance and equals more happiness.

Send Secret Blessings

This can be a fun and really simple way to express gratitude. Send secret blessings to strangers or even people you know.  All you have to do is say a quiet blessing of whatever you choose for someone else, inside your own head. This can be quite powerful for people who may even be angry and lash out towards others. When we send secret gratitude blessings to others we automatically start to feel better.

Random Acts Of Kindness

When we are kind to others without their being something in it for us, then we automatically get rewarded. When we are generous with others the reward comes back to us in the form of love. I like to buy food for homeless people, or perhaps help a blind person cross the street.  It can even be as simple as holding the door open for someone. I challenge you to try a random act of kindness and see what happens.

Volunteer

When you give of your time and energy you are expressing your gratitude and saying thank you! Chose a charity or volunteer organization that you like or want to learn more about and volunteer your time. Many organizations count on the generosity and donations of others. You can have a huge impact on the world for doing something so small. The reward you get will be so powerful that you will want to volunteer again and again and again.

Practicing gratitude can have an extreme impact on our path to living a mindful life, free of negative self-talk and impossibilities. It can help us feel more positive and therefore be more happy.  It can help relieve our stress and improve our self-esteem. It can help improve our life and the relationships that we have. These are all key components in achieving optimum health and wellness. What are you grateful for? Where can you practice more gratitude?

 

Be grateful

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Rebooting With Joe

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Featured, Health Tips, Mindfulness, Nourishing Yourself | 2 comments

Rebooting With Joe

I just spent an entire week at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY participating in the most inspiring and life altering event. I had never been to Omega, and wasn’t sure what to expect, but boy did it surpass all my expectations.

I attended as a wellness coach for Camp Reboot, which if you have never heard of Reboot With Joe, I encourage you to check it out HERE and watch the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. The week was filled with inspiration, motivation, education & most of all connection.

There were almost 200 participants. Each one came with the intention of learning more about juicing from Joe Cross and his team of experts, as well as; how to transform their lives and lose weight.

As a coach I was truly humbled and extremely honored to be a part of this amazing group of Rebooter’s and be able to share My Story with them. I made life long connections with people who inspire me and make me feel special.

Here are some of the highlight’s from my week at Camp Reboot:

We Are All Perfectly Imperfect

There is no such thing as perfect! I used to think that if I didn’t “stick with my diet” then I was “being bad” or “cheating”. I used to think that in order to lose weight and be healthy I had to “always be on a diet” and had to be perfect all of the time; otherwise why bother. I used to go from restrictive eating to over indulgence; unable to find the right balance. What I learned this week was that this kind of perfectionist thinking only leaves me feeling like a failure when I have “not stuck with my diet”. In order to let go of the idea of being perfect, we need to let go of the diet mentality and embrace that we are not going to be perfect; and that is OK.

We Are All Unique Individuals

If we are all different, then there is no way that there is one diet out there that is perfect. If we are all different then only we can know what is best for us. If we are all different then we can’t compare or judge our progress or success based on what other people are doing. We need to figure out what foods are right for us, what movement we enjoy and what plan works best for us.

We All Need Connection

This is the most important message that I learned last week at Camp Reboot. As a recovering food addict I am always amazed at how my addiction has nothing to do with food (or at least very little). My desire for food and to eat is only a coping mechanism for another deeper desire. Being at Camp Reboot helped me to understand that my connection with others and my connection with myself is perhaps the single most important tool that I must use in order to achieve optimum health.

We All Need Motivation

It is important to remember that when we are on a healing journey, no matter what our process, we will have struggles.  When we feel like giving up or losing hope, we must look back at our motivation for healing. Why do we want to get well? Who are we doing this for? In all stories of success I see a common element; each person has a big motivation and uses that as inspiration to keep them going. If you want to lose weight and change your lifestyle you must ask yourself; what is my motivation?

After a week at Omega and Camp Reboot I am feeling more confident, motivated & inspired. I look back at my time spent there and I am eternally grateful for each connection and person I met.

Green Juice

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