Tag Archives: habits

Gratitude as Growth (this is what it’s all about!)

gratitude for the future

We don’t grow by looking back, we grow by looking to our future.

When you get clear, crystal clear, on what it is that you want in your life, when you dream it so much you begin to believe it, when you express gratitude for these dreams – that’s when the magic begins to happen.

Most of the time, we stay stuck in the past. We focus on what hasn’t worked, we focus on regrets, we focus on all the little things that add up in our mind to a life filled with negativity. That’s no way to live!

Gratitude can pull you out of the past and into the future, leaving you free to dream the biggest dreams you can and truly believe that they can become your reality.

Gratitude can pull the dreams out of the depths of your soul and into the light.

Gratitude can help you create the vision of the life you want to be living.

Gratitude can help you start to live that life right now.

When you are grateful for your dream, your vision, everything you do in life becomes colored by the feelings that live behind that dream.

When you live the feeling of your dreams, everything else begins to fall into place.

Are you ready?

We start in a week and the community is growing every day. So what are you waiting for? Click here and join us now.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Gratitude as Connection

gratitude practice

We get nowhere by ourselves. Life is a constant collaboration between the people who help and support us, and those who we help and support. You know it feels amazing to be on either side of that, and acknowledging and expressing gratitude for those moments deepens the power of their impact.

Often, we move through our lives without fully expressing gratitude for all that we have done for others (yes, you can be grateful for that!) and for all of the support we have received. Even with our close friends and loved ones, we say “thank you” and “I love you” and of course we mean them, but how deeply are they felt when they become part of our routine to say?

When is the last time you felt truly connected to someone or to an experience that you had? I’m talking about taking a moment to pause, to really soak in the love and support of another, to look them in the eyes and express how much it meant to you.

This is the magic of gratitude. It’s about so much more than expressing thanks.

It’s about deepening our connections with the world around us.

It’s about strengthening our relationships.

It’s about expressing ourselves fully.

It’s about truly living our experiences instead of simply having them.

This is part of what Growing with Gratitude is all about, and I hope that you’ll join us.

Click here to learn more and register today.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Gratitude as Forgiveness

gratitude as forgivenessThis is deep work. This is deep magic.

Here’s what I recently said to a friend about this, “Yes, you have to do the work, feel it, and move through it. But then you get to experience your shining self!”

What have you wanted to let go of?

What is it that you’ve held onto for far too long?

What load are you ready to put down?

What can you release that will help you feel lighter, freer, and ready to move forward?

That’s what gratitude as forgiveness gets to the heart of. It gives you the strength that you might not have even known you had within you so that you can move away from the gunk that gets in the way of living the life you are ready to embrace.

The dark parts of our lives thrive on darkness and staying hidden. That’s what helps them grow. When we shed light on them, when we hold them with compassion, they loosen their grip on our lives and we begin to be able to release them, to free ourselves.

We will start with self-care to set up your strength and foundation, and then we’ll move into the tough stuff. It’s okay to be unsure of what this week will bring because you will be surrounded by support and love.

Are you ready to let go of the past and fly into your future?

Join us!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Gratitude as Self-Care

gratitude practice

If you’ve heard me talk about self-care before, you know that I believe taking care of yourself is the foundation for your health, your family, and your happiness.

Self-Care comes in many forms – including making time for the things you love, nourishing yourself with delicious food, and making a gratitude practice part of your routine.

A gratitude practice is an act of self-care that you can fit into the tiny crevices of your day. You can make this part of your evening routine as you wind down from the day and get ready for rest. You can make this part of your morning, just a few moments, to get your day off to set the lens through which you view your day.

Gratitude is a way to take care of yourself by shifting your mindset from negativity to positivity.

Gratitude is a way to take care of yourself by reminding yourself of the beautiful moments that often slip between the cracks of the frustrations and complications.

Gratitude is a way to take care of yourself by making a little bit of time for you to process all that happens during the waking hours.

Gratitude is a way to take care of yourself by creating  life filled with joy.

In the first week of Growing with Gratitude, we’ll be focusing more on gratitude as self-care. By the end of the first week, you will feel more love for yourself, more compassion towards yourself, and more open to receiving the beauty of life.

I do hope you join us. The community is growing and powerful!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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An Interview with Alexandra Zissu

Toxins and reproductive health were in the news again last week, when ACOG released a statement.  You can read my response and share what you think. As you probably know, especially if you’ve been following me for a while, this is a topic that I’m really passionate about and that I believe is a key component to living a healthy and empowered life. I ran a detox last fall that focused specifically on the toxins in our homes, and I’ll be teaching a class on that topic in just a few weeks. Speaking of the class, there are still spaces available, but they are limited, so if you’re thinking about it, register today!

preparing for nontoxic pregnancyA few months ago, I had the honor of interviewing Alexandra Zissu for a project I was working on at the time. I am excited to share this with you now. Alexandra and her co-author Deirdre Dolan were hands down the most influential people on my journey in the early stages of dreaming of becoming a mama.  I hope you enjoy!

You and Deirdre Dolan wrote an incredible book, The Complete Organic Pregnancy. This is the book that jump-started my own journey, so thank you for that. When I found this book, I was working in a bookstore but I hadn’t come across anything else like this before – it was primer for the type of lifestyle that I was hoping to live and that I was hoping to create before I got pregnant. I was looking for it before I even knew it existed.

1. What opened your eyes to the importance of bringing the discussion of toxins out into the open, especially to women of childbearing age?

I was thinking of getting pregnant and a close friend — Deirdre — asked me how I was going to make the rest of my pregnancy as organic as the food I ate. It was a hypothetical conversation that changed my life. I didn’t know how to answer her and started researching and fell fast and hard into the world of environmental health. Before that, despite always eating organic food, I pretty much had no clue about everything and anything from flame retardants to chemicals of concern in everyday products and cosmetics to plastics etc. It was all new. I figured other people at my life stage should know what I was learning. I’m a journalist. I was eager to share my research and sound the alarm loud and clear. Kids are so vulnerable and pregnancy is an amazing time to make good choices. 

2. Did you feel overwhelmed as you started researching for this book and learning more about the prevalence of toxins in our world?  What impact did any feelings of overwhelm have on your life and journey?

Oddly I mainly felt empowered. I felt like I was learning this incredible information that was out in the open but not in one place. And that really easy changes could have such incredibly positive impact on a growing baby and I felt great about all of the choices for the better I was making. I was jazzed about the idea that the choices weren’t just good for me and my baby, but for you and for your baby and for the planet we all share. It just seemed like incredible common sense. I was pissed off, too, to discover that our government lets people–and kids–be guinea pigs while they protect giant corporations. But apparently babies don’t lobby. There have been times then and since when I have been overwhelmed. Usually it’s because of this backwards structure of protection–learning things that are harming us all are considered government protected trade secrets. Or realizing that even with known harms — take lead paint — the burden of safety still falls on parents. It’s always up to us to do the protecting. We need better broad public health policy. We need real federal legislation for safer chemicals. But whenever I’m overwhelmed, I keep researching. And then I tend to write about it. If I can help anyone else going through the same journey, I’m happy to. 

3. Sometimes when it feels like too much, it can seem easier to just ignore the problem instead of taking action.  I think many people feel this way when it comes to toxins because it seems like it’s just too much to actually change. What made you realize that this was too important to ignore? What pushed you into action?

In this realm I just really have always felt like once you know, you can’t unknow. I get annoyed and exhausted just like anyone else but it’s not like I’m just going to suddenly paint my baby’s room with the worst possible product because I’m too overwhelmed to buy the better one. I don’t think it’s easy to ignore or go back once you know as much as I do. My kids and their future are pretty motivating. So are their friends and their parents and my parents. And so on. It’s not too much to change. You cannot change it all. I can reduce my indoor air pollution but then I walk outside into the streets of New York City and talk about air pollution… Because I can’t change that, I like to minimize exposure if and where I can in my own realm. And at my daughter’s school. And so on. It’s only about minimizing what you can, where you can, in an increasingly toxic world. It’s common sense. Make the changes you can and move on. Make more as you learn more. You know?

4. What do you think is the most leveraged action that women can take to feel empowered and in control amidst all of this information?

It really depends on the woman. The best actions to take are ones that are easy for you to do and that have a high return on investment. That tends to be empowering. This can be free, by the way. Adopting a shoes off policy at home is the public health equivalent of washing your hands. And it’s free. Try that. It’s a very empowering action, especially if you have a crawling baby at home. You don’t want her crawling in pesticide residue you tracked inside…. I could go on and on and on with which actions to take, but the most empowering ones are really very individual. It depends on who you are, what life stage you’re at, and what you want to accomplish. There are zillions of things to do!

5. Since The Complete Organic Pregnancy, you’ve written and co-authored a few more books: Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning and Greening the World You Care About Most, The Conscious Kitchen: The New Way to Buy and Cook Food – to Protect the Earth, Improve Your Health, and Eat Deliciously and The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More.

What I love about this is that you’ve taken some of the key components from The Complete Organic Pregnancy and delved even deeper into them.  The world of toxins is ever changing.  How can women stay on top of these changes without feeling like they need to become toxins experts themselves?

Thank you. I’m trying. That said I’m supposedly on top of these changes and feel behind and am learning new things daily. It’s a lot to take in. I think if you’re passionate about one realm of environmental health, it’s fairly easy to sign yourself up for various e-newsletters to stay on top of recent news. And I also think if you live by the precautionary principle and shift your purchasing habits so you’re conscious and you vote with your dollars, you’ll likely be able to safeguard yourself, your family, and the earth without having to absolutely know the latest news on every topic. Like if you don’t eat canned food and instead buy fresh, dried or frozen foods in an effort to reduce your exposure to BPA, do you really need to be up on the latest state/town/county that banned BPA from infant toys? No. Because you already have your system set and in place. If you want to know the latest state to ban it, great. But you’re already minimizing your exposure. Does that make sense? Hope so. And if you want to become an expert on toxic substances and environmental health, go for it. We need you. And certainly ask your senators to support the Safer Chemicals Act of 2013. http://www.lautenberg.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=341330


Alexandra Zissu is an eco lifestyle expert, writer, speaker, and consultant.

What Are Your Assumptions Doing to You?

freedomI’m sitting outside – warm sun, cool breeze.

I’m drinking tropical green tea.

I’m thinking about assumptions.

I recently noticed that we go through our days making constant assumptions. I see this in my interactions with others all the time.

Often these assumptions are about other people, but the ones that might matter even more are the ones we hold about ourselves.

Sometimes these assumptions are positive (yoga class will make me feel great), but more commonly they are negative.

Becoming aware of the assumptions you make is the first step in uncovering an important piece of information – are they true?

I promise this will fascinate you! You’ll be mid-thought and realize that what you’re thinking might not be based on any known truth. Or you’ll realize after doing something that you thought you couldn’t do, that you really can (this happens to me in yoga all the time!).

Here’s why assumptions matter: they hurt ourselves and others, and they hold us back. (tweet this)

Let’s flip some common negative assumptions and see what opens up for you.

You assume what you’re capable of achieving.

In doing so, you limit yourself by putting a cap on your dreams, desires, and self-worth.

Believe that you are capable of anything.

You assume what your body can handle.

In doing so, you suppress your natural power.

Believe that your body is strong.

You assume what others think of you.

In doing so, you give away control of your identity to others.

Believe that others see the best in you.

You assume the worst of yourself.

In doing so, you dampen the light of your spirit.

Believe that you are on your journey to becoming your best self.

Think for a moment about all of the assumptions that have become engrained in who you are. How would you feel if you could release them? How would you feel if you could find the positive flip side?

When you hold in your heart the positive ability that you have in your life, you open yourself up for an empowered experience.

When you believe that you are capable of anything, your world opens up to possibility and you begin to stretch yourself and reach out for the support needed to reach and surpass your dreams.

When you believe that your body is strong, you push it to be stronger, you take deeper care of yourself, and you embody that feeling of strength.

When you believe that others see the best in you, you attract people into your life who are supportive and loving.

When you believe that you are on your journey to becoming your best self, you can begin to take the steps to evolve into who you most wish to be.

So what assumption about yourself are you ready to release? Please share with us in the comments below! There is so much power in voicing these feelings and coming together in community.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Why You Shouldn’t Surround Yourself with People Who Support You

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In yoga a couple of weeks ago, my teacher asked us to have a couple of blocks accessible. I grabbed the ones I like most – sturdy, big, and comfortable.

In the middle of class, she instructed us to put our block in front of us and step up onto it with one foot. I noticed that she moved a block in front of me so it was already there. As I took the step, I realized that she had switched my block. “I gave you the more difficult one,” she said with a smile. I was tempted to switch the block, and in fact, I think I started to, but I had trust – in my teacher, and in myself.

The balance was more difficult, and it required more focus, more strength. I was stretched to literally step up out of my comfort zone, and it paid off for me, because the challenge brought me more confidence in myself and my body.

This highlights the difference between support and stretch that I touched on last week.

If you surround yourself with people who support you you’re going to get a lot of this:

“You’re doing a great job!”

“I am so proud of you!”

“That’s a great idea!”

While it’s awesome to hear things like that, that’s not the type of feedback that really encourages growth in the most meaningful ways.

It’s also what we tend to do and say when our friends and family ask us for feedback and advice because we love them and we often don’t want to risk hurting their feelings, even if it means telling them the truth, because that can be hard, right?

For many of us, asking for help is difficult. It’s not always easy to admit that we need support, and even harder to go to the ones we love and trust and ask for it.  That’s why they are great for support, but not always the best to go to when you need to be stretched (and really, you need to be stretched in any moment of your life where you are looking to make change – big or small).

Why is stretch important and what does it look like?

Stretch is important because it give you the opportunity to do things that you wouldn’t ordinarily do or think you could do on your own but that you are fully capable of doing.

Would I have thought to pick up a block that I didn’t consider comfortable at the beginning of my yoga class? No. Was it the better choice because it helped me get more out of that pose? Absolutely! I needed to be stretched in order to take my practice to the next level.

Stretch is important because it keeps you from getting stuck in your same patterns and ruts.

When you’re working towards a goal, do you notice that self-sabotage happens at the same part of the process over and over again? Stop reading, close your eyes, and think about that for a minute. Yeah, there you go. We run our patterns on repeat and we often can’t see them clearly ourselves (at least not while we’re experiencing them). It takes time to notice them, and it often takes someone else noticing these patterns for you and stretching you to interrupt the pattern and try something more productive.

Stretch is important because it opens you up to the possibility of who you can be.

Have you done anything in your life that at some point you wouldn’t have been able to imagine doing? Of course you have! Those things have occurred during moments of stretch. When the person holding onto your bike stopped supporting you and let go, you discovered that you could ride on your own.

Here’s what it comes down to – If you want to make significant and lasting change and growth happen in your life, you shouldn’t surround yourself with people who support you because you need space for those who stretch you as well.

Does that resonate with you? I hope so.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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P.S. Are you looking for some stretch in your life?  Leave a comment below and let me know where you know you need some stretch, or better yet, click here and schedule some time to talk to me about it! No cost, and no strings attached, but know that you will feel stretched when our 30 minutes together end.

What Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone Means for Your Fertility

stepping outside of your comfort zoneLast week, I had the opportunity to be part of a networking event hosted by The Knot and The Bump. I met some amazing people who were excited to hear about the work I am doing to help support women who are thinking about starting or expanding their families.

In addition to the great connections was the great view – the party happened on the 50th floor of a building in Philadelphia. The Art Musuem (in my old neighborhood) looked tiny, and if I’d had binoculars and my husband’s sense of direction, I might have been able to spot our current home!

This event was one of those moments where I stretched myself and discovered that things that once seemed impossible (networking events, eek!) now feel easy.

On the days that I feel my best and that end with me feeling incredibly productive and empowered, I have almost always done something to step outside of my comfort zone.

That is where our true learning and growth happens, because if we always stick with the familiar, maybe even the safe, we miss out on learning about the parts of ourselves that remain hidden – and that’s where the Quiet Power lives. (Wondering what Quiet Power is? You can read more about it on the blog where the conversation was buzzing).

Stepping outside of your comfort zone doesn’t mean that you have to go skydiving or do something completely out of character. In fact, it’s about coming into truer alignment with the most authentic version of you.

What does Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone Look Like?

Reaching out and asking questions that you’re a bit hesitant to ask but you know will help you make the best decisions moving forward.

Admitting that certain things in your life are no longer serving you and letting them go.

Surrounding yourself with people who will not just support you but will stretch you (more on this next week).

This will look different for everyone, but what is most important is that when you do this, you will feel the growth. You will discover that you are more powerful and more capable than you ever thought you could be.

This is where it connects to your fertility. Creating Fertile Ground. Preparing yourself for whatever is to come.

As you look forward, it is easy to find yourself stuck in a place of inaction because you feel like you don’t know what to do next. This happens to all of us, but I want to share a secret with you – you know exactly what to do.

The answer doesn’t come from scouring the internet or reading every book about pregnancy, fertility and motherhood.

The answer doesn’t come from hearing stories from all of your friends and family (especially because we most often hear the negative stories and not the ones filled with joy).

The answer comes from within you – from your gut, your intuition.

“That can’t be right,” you might be thinking. “If I had the answer already I wouldn’t feel lost, confused or overwhelmed.”

Remember what I said about stepping outside of your comfort zone being about coming into truer alignment with the most authentic version of you?

There is a difference between having the answer and being aware of the answer. Tweet This!

By stepping outside of your comfort zone, the distractions get stripped away and your next steps become clearer.

As you do this, you discover who you are and what you are capable of in a much deeper way. This opens you up to being able to see your dreams as within your reach. Won’t it be amazing when you discover that you’re living the life of your dreams?

So I ask you – What is one way that you can step outside of your comfort zone this week? Leave a comment below!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Quick and Easy Green Smoothie

Sometimes you need a reminder that healthy habits can begin quite simply.

It doesn’t need to be about spending confusing hours in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients you’ve never heard of.

To make it really work for you and start you on the journey to learning what works best for your body, you start with the healthy foods that you know you love.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to boost my energy mid-afternoon, when we tend to get tired and reach for those vending machine sugary snacks.

While the last smoothie recipe I shared with you is awesome in it’s own ways, you can see the difference between the green powder and the fresh greens, and believe me, you can taste it too!

Have you tried green smoothies before? If you have, tell me what you love about them. If you haven’t, are you ready to do something easy and nourishing for yourself today?

kale smoothie recipe

Smoothie made in a Vitamix. Learn more and order yours today.

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Thinking about Your Pre Pregnancy Diet

Once you get pregnant, you often start paying more attention to food, but what should you be doing while you are preparing for pregnancy?

I’m not a strong believer in getting caught up in all the little details of how many grams of this and that you need.  I did that for a while and it was a huge pain and took the fun out of eating for me. Eating needs to be fun!

Of course, if you have reason to believe that you have specific deficiencies or needs, you increase those nutrients and I can help you figure out how.

As a general rule, it is important to start shifting your foods to whole and fresh as much as possible.

Here are a few reasons why, and below I’ll share my #1 favorite way to make it happen!

Reason #1: Did you know that your baby pulls from your nutrient stores? This means that even if you get hit by morning sickness once you’re pregnant, your baby will get nutrients based on what you were eating prior to conception.

Bonus: Getting these habits in place now eases so much stress because you won’t have to think so hard about food once you’re pregnant.  That’s a good thing because you’ll have plenty on your mind already.

Reason #2: There are a lot of chemicals and additives in processed foods, and the best way to avoid them is by shifting towards fresh fruits and veggies, grains, hormone free dairy and meat and healthy fat (yes, I said healthy fat!). MSG, which hides in just about everything, and aspartame are two additives that have been linked to infertility, among many other things.  Let’s get those out and get you healthy!

Reason #3: Ditch the added sugar.  If you have a package of food sitting around (hey, if you’ve got a loaf of bread from the store, check that too!), take a look at the label – I’ll bet that sugar is one of the ingredients (high fructose corn syrup, cane juice, anything ending is -ose).  Sugar can wreck havoc on your hormones and as may be quite obvious, hormones play a pretty important role in getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Okay, so maybe you’re thinking that you’d love to eat mostly whole, fresh foods but you’re stumped as to how.  There are only so many hours in a day.  I totally get it.  In fact, this feeling of overwhelm kept me from eating the way I wanted to be for years!

So what was one of my first steps? SMOOTHIES!

I love smoothies for a few reasons, but mainly because you can pack a lot of awesomeness into one meal and it just takes a few minutes.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing more smoothie recipes for you because you’ve asked for them and because it’s the perfect season for them.

Here’s the one I made this morning. Clocking in at about 500 calories, it’s a full meal in and of itself and a perfect way to get a good chunk of calories for the mamas-to-be and nursing mamas.

You may be wondering why I used green powder instead of fresh greens, and I’ll tell you – simplicity. Sometimes it’s just easier to throw a scoop of powder into my blender and I know I want to be getting my greens!

preparing for pregnancy

What are your favorite ways to incorporate whole, fresh foods into your daily routine? Tweet this! Where do you feel most stuck?  Let me know in the comments below!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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