Let’s create a self-care revolution

 

Sacred Self-Care Essentials

A 4 week Small Group Program For Women

who want to ditch overwhelm and move into the holidays with more peace, joy and fullness.

Take a step back. Assess what really matters. And reset your relationship with the things that make you feel good.

Because guess what? Prioritizing yourself isn’t going to ruin holidays. It won’t turn you into Scrooge. And it doesn’t make you selfish.

 

Starting Monday November 26- Monday December 17th, 6:30pm-8:00pm in Concord and Online.

Join the self-care revolution and nourish you as you move into the holidays with a FULL cup of cheer!

Space is limited to just 10 women, so grab your spot today.

Yes, I’m in! Sign me up please! 

 

When Was The Last Time You Had Time For You?

A day to focus on you, your big dreams, your health, your ideal lifestyle?

The biggest luxury in your life is time — and while I can’t give you more, I can give you a clearly defined container to step into, designed with ample support and transformative experiences. A time just for you, to soothe your soul and feel your shoulders relax, your breath steady, your mind downshift. A place to take off the mom, wife and worker hat and start tuning into what wants to be nourished in you. 

Self-Compassion, Healing, Rest, Tenderness, Kindness, Empathy, Nourishment

It’s time for a self care revolution. We have a collective wound to heal. It’s a wound made silent by our culture, the media, and our misinterpretations of success. We’ve been told that self care is a privilege, selfish, shameful, indulgent, inappropriate, expensive, luxurious, or otherwise lazy. We’ve convinced ourselves that we “have to” keep pushing until we are utterly exhausted, that we “should” keep moving through life at breakneck pace, or else we’ll fall behind, be forgotten, and never achieve our dreams. I practice, write about, and explore the value of self care for myself as much as anyone else because I too fall into this trap time and time again. And I know I am not alone. It’s not sustainable. It’s not healthy. It’s not the legacy we want to leave.

Let’s clear something up first: self care does not need to cost you a penny. Self care might look like an afternoon bubblebath or setting boundaries. Self care might be adding 30 minutes of sleep to your life. Self care might look like doing (gasp!) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! On purpose! Can you imagine?

Maria Baratta, Ph.D. says, “self care is taking mindful time to pay attention to you, not in a narcissistic way, but in a way that ensures that you are being cared for by you.” And might I add, not waiting until all your to do’s are crossed off your list before you give yourself permission to do so.

Let me share this story with you from Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

There was a woman who took her dogs on an afternoon walk. One day an older dog joined the group, walked home with them, and jumped on her couch for a long nap. When the dog woke up, he simply existed through the doggie door. Returning again the next day, the woman pinned a note on the dog’s collar which read, “I wanted you to know that your dog is safely napping at my home each afternoon. He is kind and well-behaved. He is welcome anytime.” The next day the dog re-appeared with a new note which said, “Thank you so much. He is an old dog living in a loud home with small children. Can I come with him tomorrow?”

When I tell this story, everyone laughs. Not because it’s funny but because there is a collective understanding, a moment of release, in which everyone’s laughter says, “I get it. I’m tired too.” We are not alone in our need for self care. There’s a reason airlines tell you to place your oxygen mask on first before assisting another.

We cannot continue caring for others effectively, passionately, and wisely without first caring for ourselves.

Acts of self care will feel uncomfortable, scary, and counterintuitive at first. And that’s ok! Like a new muscle being stretched and strengthened, you are experimenting with a new way of being in the world – a new way of relating to your family dynamic, workplace, or circle of friends. Pay close attention to your inner dialogue. You may bump up against an inner voice that whispers, “any act of self care is selfish.” Remind yourself, you are just as worthy of love, care, attention, and affection as anyone else.

Starting a practice of self care does not mean putting yourself first while placing others at risk – that would be selfish. It does however mean being honest with your energy, time, health, and mental-emotional state. With that in mind, self care often looks like saying no to tasks, events, and obligations that are not in alignment with your longterm health and well-being. I appreciate the reminder:

“No” is a very, very complete sentence.

When you prioritize self care you make choices consciously rather than out of habit.

Choices made with your health, longevity, and happiness in mind will move you away from resentment, move you closer to love, and keep you interested and positively engaged in the relationships that compose your life.

I am passionate about self-care and want to invite you into the next Sacred Self-Care Essentials Program.

For 4 weeks, you will experience a chance to nourish your body, mind, heart and soul and learn the practices to set up new routines for the essentials of self-care. You will experience:

Group Deep Dive Coaching Sessions

Fellowship and connection with other amazing women

Getting back to the 5 essentials of Sacred Self-Care using my S.H.I.N.E approach

  • Sleep
  • Honoring your inner and outer boundaries 
  • Intentional quiet time
  • Nourishing foods
  • Exercise

(These are essentials that I return to over and over again to help me reset and refocus on taking care of me. They have worked for me, and I know they will work for you too.) 

A Private FB group

Weekly FB lives with Chris to build upon the previous session, clarify any questions and move you through any stuck places.

 

By the end of the 4 weeks you will walk away with a renewed sense of what self-care looks like for you.

New routines for morning and evenings to help you be present and productive, sleep better, give your racing mind a rest.

A better understanding of what fueling your body for energy and balanced emotions looks like.

Engaging in movement that you actually like to do and can stick with

A plan that is specific to you to keep up your self-care essentials in a way that fits in the context of your life, without putting your needs last.

Imagine the freedom, peace and confidence you will gain going into the Holidays with a FULL cup. 

 

Join me starting Monday November 26- Monday December 17th, 6:30-8:00 in Concord and Online.

Join the self-care revolution and nourish you!

Space is limited to just 10 women, so grab your spot today.

Yes, I’m in! Sign me up please! 

 

The quickest way to start getting your energy back

Hi Sweet Friends,

Who here often feels overly tired? Who here can relate to wanting to do more fun things with your family or friends, but just don’t have enough energy to do it or feel in shape enough to enjoy it? Who here feels like they are taking care of everyone else with no time to take care of themselves? Who here can remember a time in your life when it felt easier to eat well and follow through?

And who here suffers from some kind of stress – from work, family, life, in their day-to-day lives? Most of us right!?

As a Transformational Health Coach and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner,  I specialize in working with women who can remember at one time eating better, taking care of themselves better, but somewhere along the line – be it their career, their family life, they have put themselves on the back burner and that burner is nearly off. And this is quite common for women in their 40s and 50s.

Today I want to share with you the quickest way to get back on track and reclaim your health and your energy so you can feel like yourself again, no matter what your age. 

I’m going to share with you 1 powerful mindset shift that has helped me and my clients get back on track to feeling good again and finally resolve feeling overly tired, experiencing up and down moods, feeling forgetful and feeling like they only have the energy for chips for dinner. 

So where is the best place to start so you get results quick?

The first shift is understanding that eating REAL Food Really Can Make A BIG Difference!

Depending on what you eat, Food can make you sick or It can make you feel energized and vibrant. 

Each meal, each day can send you into the direction of feeling stronger, clear, more energized or more and more depleted. It’s THAT powerful.

A balanced plate with real food creates balanced blood sugar and that equals balanced energy and balanced moods.

 And if you have better energy and moods, how does that affect your thinking? You think better. Your actions? You do better. 

Food is the fastest way to feel better.

So let’s take a look at this whole blood sugar thing, what it is and how to make a few tweaks to your plate to eat for energy. 



Let’s take a quick look at what’s happening in the body when you eat lots of sugar or processed foods and why we experience that awesome sugar high. And what happens when you throw stress into the mix.

Products containing lots of sugar usually don’t contain lots of fiber, fat or protein. Fiber, fat and protein slow down sugar absorption, so when those nutrients aren’t present, your blood sugar shoots up really fast, like to the top of a roller coaster.

 

 

Now at the top of this roller coaster, your brain is alerted. Your brain uses about 50% of your blood sugar at any given time, so any drastic rise (due to sugar) or fall (not eating) in your blood sugar levels cause your brain to flip out. So when you’re blood sugar spikes up, your brain and your body aren’t happy – to YOUR body, THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.

So what does your body do? Your pancreas secretes the hormone INSULIN to bring your blood sugar back down.

Here’s the problem. We have spent a lifetime eating a lot of high-sugar, processed products – so insulin has gotten really used to doing its job too well.

When insulin is sent out, it doesn’t just bring your blood sugar back down into balance, there’s often too much insulin secreted, and our blood sugar dips way down. And that’s the blood sugar crash you feel after the sugar high – that shaky, spaced out, forgetful, uncomfortable feeling.

So you’ve had a blood sugar crash – now what does your body crave when you are down there and still stressed, in the middle that nasty crash? MORE SUGAR! And what happens to our blood sugar when we eat the sugar again? It goes up, up, up – back to the top of that roller coaster.

And so the up and down cycle continues. This is one of the reasons we quite literally love carbs and sugar and crave it constantly and when our bodies are stressed, we lose control of some of our brain function to stay mindful and calm to then make healthy decisions. Think HANGRY and eating whatever is in the pantry when we get home from work.

And there’s a little more to the story…..

After the hormone insulin is sent out to take excess sugar out of the bloodstream, it has three places it can take that sugar:

1. Your brain
2. Your blood cells
3. Your muscles

Now if all those receptors are full because you’ve been eating a lot of sugar already, where does that excess sugar go?

Yep, right on the belly & hips. That excess sugar is stored as FAT in all the places we don’t want it!

And our bodies can become resistant to the insulin. That’s the first step on the path to diabetes.

Now here’s yet another not-so-thrilling thing. When your body is producing insulin to bring you down from the sugar high, it can’t produce what’s called glucagon. Glucagon is very important especially if you are trying to shed excess weight because it’s the hormone that takes fat out of storage to be burned.
So if you are eating sugar, not only are you probably storing some of it as fat, you also can’t release fat to be burned, because the sugar blocks glucagon production and fat-burning. That’s a bummer.

And here’s something else I want you to consider: these days, many health-conscious people know their blood sugar levels go up and down on a sugar-induced high, but they often don’t realize the emotional roller coaster ride that accompanies this. We feel happy and energetic for a while and then suddenly, unexplainably, we find ourselves arguing with our friend or lover, stressed, or mentally beating ourselves up. Our moods are all over the place. Has anyone experienced that? Yeah, that’s a bummer too. So how do we fix this? With a balanced plate to help balance our blood sugar.

What does a balanced plate look like?


When we have a balanced plate with the right portions of protein, healthy fats, and lower sugar carbs, our body has the right mix of fuel to keep your energy sustained. Think of a campfire. When you build a campfire, you start with kindling. It lights up fast and burns up fast. Kindling is like Carbs. It gets burned up quickly, so if we eat too many carbs, we are constantly hungry and looking for fuel. Fats and Protein are the big logs on the fire. When we add those to our place, our body now has fuel for a long burn. We feel satisfied and have the energy to get from one meal to the next without carb or sugar cravings, energy crashed or erratic moods.

So a balanced plate will create stable energy and stable moods by balancing our blood sugar.

We start with nutrition because it’s an easy place to start that has a HUGE impact on how you feel. And when you feel better you make better choices and have the energy to even want to exercise, or start a meditation practice or go for a hike with the family. You are taking proactive measures to feel good AND avoid the lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

So what to do next?

 

Take the FREE Foundations Of Health Assessment:

  • Identify your health concerns

  • Prioritize the concerns

  • Identify which systems in your body are most burdened

  • Receive results and reports

 

Take the FREE Foundations Of Health Assessment 

How To Make Self-Care A Priority

 

Welcome Friend

I am so glad you are here. Give yourself full permission to pause. Take a deep breath and soften the outer edges of your body. We are so used to getting caught in the chaos of life . We let go of the balance of our life because we have so many demands. There is this idea that we can’t fall behind . We need to fix everything. If it’s not one thing it’s another. We can’t always eliminate the stressors of our life because our lives are constantly changing and so does the finish line. But we can be aware of how stress affects us, and with that awareness we get to choose how to respond. We get to decide which activities and choices we engage in. Other than exacerbate our stress we can mindfully reduce it by making choices in the activities and habits that create balance and maintain our health. When we are stressed we neglect these things because the stressors become the focus of our life. We don’t eat well, we don’t sleep, we don’t engage in movement we actually enjoy,  we don’t see our family and friends, we don’t take time to rest and rejuvenate. This leads to things like insomnia, high blood pressure, weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, isolation and burnout. Not only can lack of balance and health add to our current stress, it escalates the deterioration of our health down the road. We need to prioritize our health balance and well-being. This is your invitation to step into this place of balance to reclaim your health and wellbeing.

 

As a massage therapy or health coaching client of mine, you know that I strive to be of service in creating health and wellness in the lives of others. I especially have a heart for woman. We as women have the pressure of being so many things to others that we put our own health and lives on hold. But here’s the thing, when we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t fully take care of others. An empty well provides no water. We need to fill our well first and give from overflowing so we can step fully into our authentic selves and be the confident, strong, happy and fulfilled women we are called to be.

 

Putting our self-care last serves no one. I’ve learned that myself. I’ve lived in that place and it doesn’t feel good or make my family happy. It actually causes greater pain and stress for everyone. Coming home tired, cranky and worn out is just not the way I wanted to live. So I took back the reins of my life. I started with small manageable changes that I could pleasurably commit to. I started with nourishing my body and honoring my hunger and fullness. I fed my body nourishing foods that gave me energy rather than depleting my energy. Then I learned how to honor my Yes’s and my No’s. I made myself a priority and only said yes to things that I knew would serve my family and my well-being and said no to the things that didn’t. This created freedom to do the things I loved. Spend quality time with my kids. Spend time in nature. I got out my knitting projects again. I scheduled time to be with my girlfriends that lift me up and love all of me. My husband and I put ourselves on the calendar for a weekly date night and I began upping my self-care by getting a weekly massage. And you know what? I feel amazing. I feel more balanced, relaxed, confident and fulfilled. It opened up a place for me to discern what really makes me come alive. I became more empowered to make choices that help me maintain this health and balance so that I can continue to be present and giving to you my clients, and to my family and myself.

It was a process. It didn’t happen overnight. But because I started small with manageable changes in the context of my busy life, my habits stuck. (I have a business to run, a husband to love and a family with 5 kids in our clan, so I know what busy looks like.) I get it! I’ve been there. I know the struggle is real.  But now I have a new healthy foundation that has been laid, and I choose where to go next. And you can do this too. I want to help you step into the fullness and fulfillment that I know you can experience.

 

If any of this resonates with you, let’s chat. I offer a FREE 45 min. empowerment session to help you uncover what you have put on hold, and what is stopping you or slowing you down from living the life that makes you feel confident and fulfilled. It’s a strings attached session. You will get valuable tools in this session to help you create a plan to moving forward. And if you decide I can be helpful to you, we can talk about how to work together to get you back on track and put you back on the priority list of your life.

 

Just click the button below to schedule your free session.

Schedule Your Free Empowerment Session 

Take back the reins of your life and step into your fullness. It’s time to start taking care of you!

My $10,000 Lesson In Self Love

 

 Authenticity and Integrity have always been a heart centered way for me to walk my walk in truth. Today I am throwing in some vulnerability in an up close real way. Life is messy sometimes and I am bearing a piece of my soul and life that has gotten messy. 

This morning I had surgery to have an explant of my breast implants.

5 1/2 years ago, before I was working as a massage therapist and before I became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and a Holistic Health Coach, I got breast implants.  

I got implants because I was feeling that to fit into the culture of beauty around me, my own breasts that had fed my children for so many years, were less than. They didn’t measure up to the world’s view of beauty and therefore I didn’t measure up to the worlds view of beauty in my own mind. I felt that If I had better breasts, I would love myself more, value myself more, and finally stop the critical mean girl in my mind. And guess what? That mean girl didn’t go away. She stayed despite having “better boobs” and she found other things to criticize and be dissatisfied within her. I had beautiful breasts but didn’t feel the way I thought I would. Isn’t that sometimes the case in life. We get something we want, only to find that the thing we wanted wasn’t fulfilling at all. It made me take a good hard look at the “elephant in the room” that many women see and feel but don’t talk about. This body hate that is perpetuated by the media and ourselves to be what the world says is beautiful. This outside view of beauty that I grew up with that says to be physically beautiful is to be valued. Beauty that is based on a body that is skinny, toned, firm, flat abs and the “right” number on the scale or jeans size. Crazy right! But true. I began to notice the mean girl showing up more and more in my mind. I clearly remember my husband saying to me one night “I am so sorry that your mind is so hard on itself!” And he was right. The transformation to LOVE my body and myself would NEVER come from changing the outside. It would only happen by changing my thoughts, and having compassion for the mean girl who wanted to be valued, loved and accepted as a beautiful woman. 

And so I began my own personal growth journey, to love the skin I am in.

No matter what my belly looks like, or the stretch marks from having birthed 3 amazing children, or the extra weight that creeped up over the years, or the lines around my eyes, or the silver in my hair or the double chin. What I REALLY wanted wasn’t “better boobs, or a better body,” What I wanted was to fully and truly love me; the whole amazing, messy, striving me. 

I went back to school to study nutritional therapy as a way to learn how food affects our emotions and our minds as well as our bodies, and transformational health coaching as a way to uncover the belief systems we hold that creates our view of the world.  A way to not only heal myself and uncover the belief systems that said I was “less than and needed to be more,” but to help inspire and empower other women to heal themselves too. To help us all see our value in terms of health in our body, minds, emotions and spirits. An inner power and value based on who we are, as we are, in ALL of our messiness. I learned first hand that measuring up physically to the worlds idea of beauty, does NOT create a healthy mind or healthy emotions or a joyful spirit. It actually fueled my inner mean girl. 

Then the irony and serendipity of life occurred. Just when I had these “better boobs” paid off, I found out that I needed to get them removed. My body did NOT want them. The body is amazing at healing itself, and it decided that these implants needed to be walled off and encapsulated. Stage 3 encapsulation is what they call it. I did have the option of having them replaced, but decided against it for several reasons. First, I was having problems in other areas of my body that I didn’t even know could be attributed to breast implants. My eyesight had started getting much worse; I started having a hard time remembering conversations; my muscles began to hurt and began causing lack of mobility in my shoulders, so much so that it was affecting my workouts and my job as a massage therapist. I need my shoulders and mobility. In looking back over the timeline, all of this dysfunction started to happen AFTER I had the implants put in. A friend of mine here in Charlotte, had gone through her own issues with her implants and recommended that I do some research into breast implant sickness. In doing that research I was shocked to see a familiarity in many of my symptoms. Breast Implant sickness is a real thing and I never knew.

But more importantly, I decided against replacing my implants because I am in a different place in my own mind and journey of loving myself and loving the skin I am in. ALL OF ME. Soft saggy boobs, mama belly and all. I have the opportunity to really walk my walk. To be real and authentic and stand in my truth to accept and heal those parts that I rejected earlier in life.  

 This is my $10,000 lesson. $7,000 to get implants put in, and $3,000 to get them taken out. A $10,000 transformation in body and mind. 

I am grateful for this gift that God has woven into my life, to look at myself with compassion and to lean into love. To become empowered and radiant in the knowledge that I am loved and valued. To take my discovery and healing and use it as a way to encourage and inspire other women who struggle right along with me with this culture of needing to be too thin, but never quite good enough. This mentality is the “elephant in the room.”  We feel it and strive to overcome it, but rarely admit it.

I am a healer. Of myself and others in redefining our relationship with our bodies. The mentality that keeps us hating our bodies needs to change. The “diet” mentality that keeps women striving to be thinner to find their value is a billion dollar industry and feeds off our insecurities. It’s an illusion and I know it well. I have lived in it for too many years. 

My purpose and passion has always been one of nourishing others. Whether that comes in the form of education in eating real whole foods so that we can live healthy energetic lives, or cooking classes to put the power of what we put into our bodies back into our own hands, through stress management, self care, massage therapy, or helping woman live from a sense of fullness rather than depletion in our “too fast, keep going” world. This personal challenge of mine is fuel for that purpose. To encourage women from a place of knowing what it feels like when the mean girl voice shows up. And to choose a different voice to listen to.

Today begins my first day of healing in my body, but healing will continue in my mind, my emotions, my spirit and draw me closer to loving myself more fully each day. I know many women are thinking some of the same things, but are afraid to say them out loud. It needs to be said. To be spoken. Because in owning our stories, our trials, our gifts, we become transformed and the process allows transformation to create a ripple to effect others. I hope to be one of those ripples. 

 

 

 

 

 

How the Body Responds to Stress

Relax
Stress isn’t just a feeling. It’s an actual release of hormones that your body produces when it’s met with a challenge. The number one stress hormone is cortisol.
Think of the hormone cortisol like a chemical messenger. When you’re in a stressful situation, cortisol tells your immune system to gear up for a challenge. Your immune system responds by producing inflammation, and then cortisol signals your immune system to calm down when the danger has passed.

Read More

Top 10 Good Mood Foods

FIGHT THE BLUES WITH NUTRITION:

TOP 10 GOOD MOOD FOODS + RECIPE

We can experience depression or even just the blues for many different reasons.
It can be the result of a life circumstance, such as the loss of a loved one, or it can have biological roots, such as in a hormonal imbalance. Some people even experience it seasonally, as in Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD).
Whatever its origin, depression can be very debilitating and difficult to manage.
 
Read More

What is a Health Coach?

What is a Health coach and why do I need one anyway? Have you ever asked yourself this question? 

Have you ever tried to make a change and then fell back into old habits? Whether it’s trying to eat healthier, lose weight, clear clutter and get organized or create a new exercise plan; without sustainable habit changes and support we inevitably revert to the behaviors that didn’t serve us. It’s not about “willpower.” You are not weak. You just have not yet learned how to set up the circumstances for inevitable success in an easy way that fits into the context of your life so that you don’t feel like you are pushing a boulder uphill.

The simple act of changing one little thing with intention, is more powerful and sustainable than trying extreme diets, hard core exercise programs or obsessing about everything you put on your plate. The “GO BIG or GO HOME” philosophy is an attitude to fail. You see, big doors swing on small hinges. By consistently implementing small changes that align with what you want to achieve  you can bypass your brain’s fight-or-flight wiring system to such a degree as to create a sea of change and a ripple effect of global proportions! Real, sustainable changes that last, not loosing those 20 pounds by starving and depriving yourself only to slip back into the old habits and gain back the 20 pounds and then some. 98% of diets fail! That’s HUGE. So let’s look at what the 2% does to create changes that last.

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Comparison is the thief of joy!

Two  of my favorite quotes are “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order” and “Comparison is the thief of joy.” With all the images we see on Facebook and Instagram its easy to see all the amazing, fun, beautiful things people are doing and feel dissatisfied with our own life. We compare what we feel in our inner world to what we see in people’s outer world and we feel less than. On International Women’s day,  it’s time to erase that “stinking thinking” and embrace our own beauty and strength within because we are all so powerful and fabulous just as we are.

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