Nourishing Yourself

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!

 

 

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

 

Read More

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

Read More

Break Free From Emotional Eating

Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in Body image, Mindfulness, Nourishing Yourself | 0 comments

Break Free From Emotional Eating

For many years I was afraid to tell my story. I didn’t want anyone to know “my big secret”. Even now, I have a hard time telling people that I am a recovering food addict and compulsive overeater. Recently I have come to understand that in order to fully heal myself I must step into the fear and expose my truth.

The truth is, that at the age of 18, I left High School morbidly obese feeling ashamed and frightened that no one would love me because of how I looked. My “weight issue” has been with me for as long as I can remember. At an early age, I developed a love/hate relationship with the scale and determined my self-worth by the number that it reflected back to me.

I never felt good enough and lived a fearful life.

This past year I have been on a quest of self-discovery and healing. Throughout my journey, I have learned, that true health is achieved when we create complete harmony with the mind, body and spirit.

Instead of feeling like there is something wrong with me because I was overweight or FAT I began to understand that in order to truly break free I needed to step into the fear, let go of the past and love and accept myself just as I am.

So how did I finally break free from emotional eating and lose over 130lbs?

Awareness

The first step in breaking free from any negative pattern is to simply be aware that it exists. When we learn to cultivate awareness around what we do and how we do it, we are connecting with our inner guide, higher power, spirit. When we bring conscious awareness to all the little things, everything will fall into place.

Feel

After you become aware of your thoughts and actions, focus on how you feel. Stay with the feelings. Don’t run from them or turn to food for comfort (or any other un-healthy habit). Know that these feelings will pass no matter how shitty they make you feel.

Be Positive

Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. Ask yourself how do I WANT to feel? If you want to feel good then think good thoughts. When you put positive thoughts into the universe and follow through with positive actions you will see positive results. Begin each day with a loving positive thought about yourself and your life! “I accept myself and create peace in my mind and heart.”

 Tune In

Tune in with your body, listen to what it tells you! Once you learn how to tune in with what your body wants, not your mind, you will be better able to understand how to cultivate nourishment for yourself and slowly break free from emotional eating. A very powerful and essential tool I teach my clients; is to tune in with themselves through meditation.

Let Go

In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself”- Deepak Chopra

When we hold onto to our past we are unable to experience the here and now. Your higher self (the person who you truly are) only lives in the present moment. If we stay “stuck” in our past or only focus on our future we are not honoring our true selves. As we learn to let go of what no longer serve us, we open up to new possibilities and begin to receive what we need.

Nourish Yourself

Make a list of all the things that nourish you and start to do them. This can be the food you eat, the relationships you have, or the work that you do. The more you add nourishment into your life from sources other then food, the more likely you are not to turn to food for comfort (or any other unhealthy habits).

 

Moment by moment we have a new opportunity to change what we think, believe, and feel about ourselves. Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, acknowledge it, observe it, and then challenge it. Begin your day with a positive affirmation “I love life and life loves me”. Repeat as needed throughout the day. Our bodies are the only eternal relationship we have. If we can’t trust, love, and be honest with ourselves then how can we love, trust, or be honest with another?

Read More

Eat Mindfully

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Mindfulness, Nourishing Yourself | 0 comments

Eat Mindfully

 

As you know I have been focusing this month’s blog on reducing holiday stress and preventing weight gain. 

One of the most important tools that I teach my clients is how to eat mindfully.

This is especially important this time of year, when our bodies like to hold onto fat and we are under extra holiday stress!

Before I discuss the difference between mindless eating vs. mindful eating, I think it is important to note that it is completely normal for us to store fat this time of year. As the weather gets colder our bodies naturally want to have an extra layer of protection. Don’t beat yourself if you find that you are making an effort to change the way you look, but don’t seem to notice a change in your weight.

So what is mindful eating vs. mindless eating?  

Eating mindlessly is when we barely taste our food or when we eat too fast. It is also means waiting too long to eat or eating emotionally, not because we are hungry.

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 means eating without distractions and enjoying our food! Eating mindfully is all about how you experience the food in your body. The way the food looks. The way the food smells. The way it tastes and the texture of your food.

It never stops amazing me at how much this simple act of enjoyment can make a huge impact in our path to healthy eating and living. When we learn how to eat mindfully we learn how to understand our relationship between the food we eat and how it makes us feel.

This can often be the missing ingredient in cultivating a nourishing relationship with our mind, body & spirit.

Here are some simple ways to cultivate a mindful eating practice…

  1. Breathe before you eat and really soak in the aromas of the food
  2.  Say a word of thanks to where the food came from and how it was prepared
  3.  Eat without distractions (that means no T.V. cell phones or email)
  4.  Experience the food (how does it smell, what does it taste like, what does it feel like in your mouth)
  5. Chew slowly and savor every bite

I encourage you to try eating mindfully at least once this week. See what the experience is like for you. Maybe you’ll gain a better understanding of when you are full. Maybe you’ll learn to appreciate your food more. Maybe you’ll find the entire experience super painful and never want to try it again. Whatever it does or does not do for you, one thing I know for sure is, that it can help you become more aware of your relationship between food and your body. After all that is our goal in cultivating nourishment.

 

 

Read More