Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

Are You Saving Your Sexy?

I am a saver by nature, which pretty much means that I am amazing at delaying gratification. When I was a kid I would skip the soda and popcorn at the movies, and pocket the extra dollar or two. Between that and a little babysitting money, my mom found a giant wad of cash in my drawer when I was 13 or 14 equaling almost $500! Needless to say, she had some questions for me. It was also funny to see how different my best friend and I were when it came to new clothes. She would wear her new thing immediately, allowing it to bring her instant joy, whereas I would leave it in the closet for a few days, or even weeks, saving it for some special moment. Finally I would wear it, love it, and the spell would be broken.

Many of us do similar acts of “saving” in all areas of our lives. We don’t take the vacation because we are saving for a house. We save that decadent dessert for our birthday, the one day of the year where we can splurge wherever we would like to. We save the nice bottle of wine for our anniversary, or the nice towels for when company comes over. This thinking permeates our culture and is heralded as being “responsible”. We delay our joy to get our work done because then, and only then, do we feel worthy of it. I also find that many of us have a deep-seated fear of pleasure. Pleasure can’t be trusted. Feeling good is selfish. If I let pleasure rule the day I would sit on my ass drinking champagne and eating chocolate till the cows come home. Or at least that’s the belief.

So what the heck does all this have to do with feeling sexy? Well for many of us women, feeling sexy is the equivalent of feeling pleasure (and I am not just talking about sexual pleasure here, although that’s part of it. Pleasure could be getting a manicure or enjoying an afternoon cappuccino in the sun). It’s a fleeting feeling that can be won with hard work and enjoyed intermittently for special occasions. But the thing is, if you don’t feel sexy in your daily life it’s going to be much harder to turn on that feeling when you want to, like when you have a special date night planned. When you let that inner fire cool into mere embers it’s much harder to spark it up again!

With that, sexy is a state of mind that needs to be consistently cultivated. The more you feed it, the more it grows. We need to sprinkle little sexy seeds all over our lives every freakin’ day! This means we gotta stop saving up our sexy. There is always more sexy to go around. You don’t need to have an extra stash for a rainy day. Feel free to spend your sexy daily with wild abandon!! Practically speaking, this means:

  • Don’t wait for a special occasion to wear that sexy lingerie. Wear it on a Tuesday night while making dinner. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking a decadent 3-course meal for you and your honey bun or some scrambled eggs for yourself. You are wearing the lingerie for your own pleasure, not for anyone else’s.
  • Buy bras and panties that make you feel sexy and wear them. Like always. I used to save my “sexy” panties for date nights. But then I realized that when I wore them, I would start to feel sexier regardless of what I was doing. They were my little secret that put an extra swagger in my step. Once again, do things that make you feel sexy for your own sake! It doesn’t matter if anyone sees the sexy panties because you will know that you are wearing them!
  • Turn your bathroom into a sanctuary. Light candles, turn on music, and take a bath with rose petals and essential oils. Really bathe in your goddess-ness.
  • Flash the grocery store checkout guy your sauciest, flirty smile and then walk away knowing that you are one sexy mofo.

These are just a few examples. You know better than anyone what makes you feel sexy. Start doing more of those things. Do them on a daily basis if possible. And most importantly, do them for yourself, because they make you feel good inside. Pleasing others will be a happy side effect when you learn to please yourself.

I would love to hear from you! How do you sprinkle sexy seeds on your life, or how do you plan to start?


For National Love Your Body Day, The Story of How I Stopped Hating Mine


I have started writing this article at least ten times, stopped, started over. Maybe that’s because it’s hard for me to capture in words the war I waged against my body for so many years of my life. Or perhaps it is because I am simply delaying publishing something so personal and raw. It’s terrifying to feel exposed and vulnerable, telling a story that most of my close friends have never even heard, but since today is National Body Love Day I feel like it is the right time. So here is my story:

My relationship with my body was a tenuous one for most of my teenage and adult life. When I was 16, a sophomore in high school, I made the drill team (which is basically a dance team that performs at school sporting events). I had never felt so grossly out of place. I was the nerdy kid who liked art and being silly amongst a sea of popular girls that I felt I had nothing in common with. It’s a rather cliché high school story in fact.

Unable to deal with not fitting in and feeling different I began to systematically starve myself. Calling it like it is, I became anorexic and at my lowest weight clocked in at about 80 pounds. I hated the way that I looked, hated every inch of my body.

My eating disorder was a physical manifestation of how I felt on the inside – small, different, freakish. It didn’t have anything to do with me feeling fat. I never felt fat. It was a punishment for simply being me.

My weight bounced back when I went to college and ever since then photographs from my later high school years have been the literal skeletons in my proverbial closet. I was terrified that one of my new friends would see them or find out my dirty little secret. What would they think? I was ashamed and disgusted with myself. How could I have let that happen? At it’s core, I was afraid that there must have been something wrong with me and if I admitted to anyone, including myself, what had happened I would be immediately transported back to that person.

Now I look at those photographs with compassion for that little girl. I realize that I was just a kid trying to deal with all the bullshit that teenage girls have to deal with, and I wasn’t equipped with the knowledge and tools of how to do that. I am no longer afraid of people seeing or knowing my past because I own it now. It’s a huge part of my story, who I was, who I have become, and what fuels my purpose in this world.

I have done a lot of soul searching over the last couple of years. Coaching others on a road to self-love has forced me to take some long, hard looks at myself and my own patterns. And I realized something. My self-punishment didn’t end when my eating disorder did. It simply changed shapes.

Suddenly I saw a clear thread throughout my life. Whenever I didn’t feel that I was good enough, when I didn’t measure up to the monstrously large expectation that I had of myself, I would end up punishing my body. When I felt awkward and out of place in high school, I starved myself. When I didn’t know how to deal with my introversion in college, I drank to the point of blacking out.

It’s amazing how life keeps giving you the same lesson until you have actually learned it. In my quest to live a more natural life, I went off the birth control pill a few years ago. My hormones, which had been tightly controlled for over a decade, didn’t know how to bounce back and I developed some adult acne. Once again, I was plagued by that old hatred for my body. I was trying so hard to do everything right and this is how my body repaid me!! I felt betrayed.

I would look in the mirror and cry, feeling ashamed to go out in public without makeup on. My diet must not be clean enough, I reasoned. I scrubbed my face with dozens of different cleansers and crèmes. I cut out gluten, then dairy, then sugar. I tried going vegetarian, then vegan. Nothing seemed to help.

Underneath all of these behaviors – the violent ones towards my body and even those that were disguised as healthy – was the consistent belief that in some way I wasn’t enough. And that inner belief kept manifesting itself in some outer fashion. Seeing that clearly for the first time in my life was a huge turning point for me. I stopped striving so much. I began to let go of perfectionism. I would look at my actions and behaviors and question what the motivation behind them was. If it was yet another version of “I’m not good enough”, I knew that probably wasn’t the best decision and direction to go in. I started saying nice things to myself and became grateful for this one amazing body that I have been given.

Do I love myself unconditionally all the time? I wish! It’s a journey, an ongoing learning, or un-learning, process, but it has been the most beautiful and rewarding journey of my life.

So why am I telling you this soul-baring story now? First, this is a story that I have been yearning to share for years and it feels so good to have it out in the open. Second, if you are going through, or have ever gone through, a “dark night of the soul” (however that may manifest in your life), know that there is light on the other side. Once you get through it, it has the power to mold you into the person that you were meant to be.

And finally, if there is one thing that I have learned from my journey and that I hope I can impart on you, it is this: you will never get where you want to go by hating where you are right now. This is true of your body and your life. I realized the more I focused negative energy on the parts of my body I wanted to “improve” the worse things became, both physically and emotionally. When I sent love and gratitude to my body, things began to shift in ways that I couldn’t even imagine.

So today, in honor of Love Your Body Day, send gloriously loving thoughts to the cellulite on your thighs, that little tummy pooch you have tried so hard to get rid of, that monstrous pimple that suddenly appeared on your chin, and all the other dark corners that you are ashamed of and trying to hide. They need your light more than anything. You will be amazed at how everything can change by shifting your mindset from one of hating your body to loving it, just as it is. You are perfect. You are enough.

A Feminine Guide to Preventing Burnout

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a plethora of driven, ambitious, and super smart women. Many have demanding full-time jobs while starting their own businesses on the side, getting their masters degrees or taking extra classes, juggling families, striving to eat healthy and workout to stay in tip top shape. Our schedules are a fine balancing act, calendars filled to the brim, and the art of doing nothing seems like a distant middle school memory.

Women of my generation are not settling. We want the career, but not just the one that makes decent money. We want work that adds meaning to our lives and monetarily reflects our value. Physically and mentally we hold ourselves to high standards. We try to eat local and organic when we can. We go to crossfit, spin, yoga, and dance to keep our bodies in shape. We read self-help book after self-help book wanting to be better than we were yesterday. These are but a few of the reasons I think the Dalai Lama said, “The world will be changed by the Western woman”.

But it’s easy to get caught up in this striving for the perfect life and to be the perfect female specimen. That quickly gets EXHAUSTING and leads to burnout. Perfection doesn’t exist and constantly grasping for it leaves us in this mindset of never having enough and never being enough. When my face started breaking out after I went off the pill, and after trying every crème and potion under the sun, I decided that clearly my diet was to blame. Partially that was true, but I saw every new blemish as a sign that I wasn’t doing well enough, wasn’t eating clean enough. Every morning I would start my day by looking in the mirror for confirmation that I wasn’t good enough. It was really sad, it stressed me out, and made the situation so much worse!

In order to really enact change in our own lives and in the world we have start by changing within, making time and being kind to ourselves. If you feel like one of those hamsters in the wheel running to keep up with your own life, afraid to let any of the balls drop, these suggestions are for you, sister.

1. Stop being so damn productive

Think back to junior high. I remember spending hot and sticky summer afternoons floating around in the pool reading RL Stine. Making smoothies. Staging fashion shows with my friends. Giggling until our eyes watered and our bellies hurt. That was medicine to my soul, and it still is when I make time for it.

Now I often find myself wanting to fill all my waking hours doing something productive and I know from talking to other women that I am not alone. We forget the importance and necessity of just having fun. Do something everyday for no other purpose than because you enjoy it. Read a good fiction book. Watch a mindless TV show. Have a glass of wine with your girlfriends and don’t talk about work. It’s invigorating and inspiring, and will allow you to come back to all your obligations with new energy.


2. Allow yourself to let things go

We have all these balls in the air simultaneously, and there is so much pressure to not let a single one drop. Ask yourself today, what can I let go of? What can I take off my plate? What can I cross off the list, not because I completed it, but because I just don’t want to do it anymore? It’s not failure; it’s self-preservation. Try it. Take a look at your never-ending to do list, pick one item and say, “Screw it, I don’t want to do this anymore”. It is so freeing!! It helps you to remember that you are in control of your own life and are not a slave to your to-do list.

Skip out on the networking event you were supposed to attend to stay at home, take a bath, and have a glass of cabernet. Quit the book club that you dread going to every month. Or if you don’t like the book that your book club is reading, just don’t finish it! Which brings me to…

3. Sometimes being bad feels so good

Yes, I am telling you to be bad. I mean, not go rob a bank bad or anything. Ideally try to stay within the confines of the law if at all possible!

Close your eyes and think of one thing you secretly want to do that gives you those butterflies in the pit of your stomach. Something that makes you say, “oh that would be fun, but I really shouldn’t…it’s so bad”. Maybe it’s taking a shot of tequila or buying that expensive, super sexy dress that you don’t have an occasion to wear. Perhaps you want to skinny dip in your apartment complex pool during after hours or just yell a dirty word really loudly public. We all have our thing, no judgments here. Think of how it would feel to just do it. Would it make you feel alive? Wild? Unpredictable? Our lives tend to be routine out of necessity and occasionally we need to break free. It’s like an electric shock straight to your soul!

4. Stop improving yourself, and realize that you are simply becoming

I love that quote about the only person you should be better than is who you were yesterday. I am all for self-improvement and personal growth. I am a holistic health coach for cryin’ out loud…I love this schnizz!

BUT, the problem is that this constant bettering of ourselves makes it seem like we must be lacking in the here and now. In reality, each one of us is already complete, whole, and totally awesome. I know these two things can be hard to reconcile. You may ask, “If I am a whole and perfect being right now, how can there still be room to better myself?”

So instead of thinking of it as “self-improvement” think of it more as self-becoming. It’s less about changing who you are as a person, and more about stripping you down into a more authentic and true version of yourself that already exists. It’s like an artichoke. The inner and outer work we do with ourselves is slowly peeling away the outer leaves so we can get to the heart that is lying in wait within. That wonderfully delicious heart is there from the beginning, but we have to shed those outer leaves – be it societal pressure, the limiting voices in your head, or any other bullshit – in order to access it.

5. Focus on the journey, not the destination.

“Are we there yet?” Much like the quintessential kid on a road trip, many of us work so hard and just want to be at our end goal already.


In the wise words of Danielle LaPorte, “The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel.” If accomplishing your goal will make you feel radiant and free, but how you are going about achieving that goal makes you feel frustrated and hemmed in, something isn’t jiving! It’s easy to get lost in the mode of sacrificing everything now so that we can have what we want later. There is no time to take a vacation. See friends. Visit family. Take a breather. I have work to do! We wait for that day when our life will finally open up and there will be time for all those enjoyments we have been putting on the backburner.

But I am sad to tell you, that day will never come. Our lives won’t suddenly open up as if by magic; we are responsible for creating that opening right here, right now. Life throws us unexpected curveballs all the time and we never know what tomorrow will bring. Allow yourself to enjoy today. Appreciate where you are in your own journey. Be okay with things taking the time that things need to take. Figure out ways to enjoy the process. If the process feels plain awful, then maybe it’s your goal that needs to be rethought.

We all so badly want to create the life and world that we desire. In reality, all of these suggestions center on the idea that taking care of, respecting, and loving yourself is crucial. It’s like the oxygen mask on the airplane. You must feed your own soul first before you can help others or do anything else to better the situation. It all starts with you and it all starts within.


So You Had a Bad Day…

Now you may believe that my life is sunshine and rainbows 365 days of the year based upon my pictures of healthy food and lovely inspirational quotes that I share with you. And I agree that my life is pretty darn great and I certainly love it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the occasional bad day. A few weeks ago, I got so frustrated that my digestive woes returned unwarranted that I was on the verge of tears. A couple days ago I got irrationally angry that the photo uploader wasn’t working on my website.

It happens to all of us. I try to be mindful and take everything in stride, but some days it just doesn’t work so well. And you know what? That’s okay too. Social media and many of the new holistically-minded articles would like you to believe that it’s entirely possible to be super happy and upbeat 100% of the time. You control your thoughts. Live in the moment. Practice gratitude. Affirmations. It’s everywhere and for the most part it’s great. There is a happiness revolution taking place!

But as with everything in life, there is a darker side to it as well. Depression rates are skyrocketing. People are setting unrealistic expectations on what a happy life looks like based upon somebody else’s staged Instagram feed. And because any negative emotions can be uncomfortable, it can be easy to suppress them or explain them away. Tell yourself you are being irrational. You must just be PMSing.

I believe we need to honor our emotions. The good and the bad. They are simply a part of life and a key cornerstone for growth. Here’s the deal: the trick is to not be afraid to feel, while also not letting negative thoughts spiral out of control. This sounds great, but can sometimes be difficult to implement. One bad thought can easily lead to another and another until you are crying in the corner certain that you are destined to die alone and your starving dog will be forced to eat you for food. Okay that went to a dark place, but you catch my drift.

Next time you feel less than great, or start having any negative thoughts that you know aren’t productive, allow yourself to sit with that feeling for 90 seconds. Explore the feeling. Where did it come from? Where do you feel it in your body? Does it have a color, shape, or texture?

Then after the 90 seconds have passed, say to yourself, “I may feel this way now, but I want to feel ____ (fill in the blank)” and begin to take small steps to achieve that desired feeling. I got this idea from Danielle LaPorte, and I love it. It’s honest, but still moves you in the right direction. Simply stating how you want to feel can have a very powerful effect because it will help you realize that going down that dark path won’t get you to where you want to go. I have also found that exercise is a great way for me to bounce out of a bad mood. Punch it out. Run it out. Dance it out. Exorciiiiiiiise the demons. (Sorry I grew up in the 90s).


What I Learned my First Day of Entrepreneurship


I woke up at 6:30am this morning. No alarm required. Having been in multiple time zones over the last several weeks, my internal clock simply decided it was time to get up. Eric kissed me good-bye and headed to work as he usually does. I looked at Sophie still soundly asleep next to me and thought, “This is my first official day as an entrepreneur. Now what?” The realization dawned on me that I had nowhere to be and no one to answer to. Unsure of my first move, I picked up my latest book (Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects in case you were wondering) and quietly tucked myself back under the quilted bedspread.

I worked at my previous job until July 3rd and the very next day we hit the road for a whirlwind vacation spanning multiple continents! We drove to Dallas to visit family and drop off Sophs with my parents, and then flew to Sweden. While there we were on the go from the minute we touched down, seeing family across Stockholm and in Finland that I hadn’t seen in years. We drove from Texas this past weekend, and arrived back at home last night. Our place looks as we left it: clean dishes, now dry on the counter, a few condiments holding down the fort in the fridge, and clothes strewn about that didn’t make the cut for the trip. On the outside everything appeared to be as it always has been and yet it all felt undeniably different.

Before we left, my schedule was jam-packed. Working full-time, a final business trip to San Antonio, lectures to listen to for class, building my own health coaching practice, seeing friends, preparing for the trip…I didn’t have time to think. I told my husband that I was only looking at my calendar in weeklong chunks because otherwise I would get overwhelmed. Now, left to manage my own schedule, my day (and week) seemed remarkably open. I took stock of the apartment this morning and the question of “Where do I begin?” sounded big and hairy. Crawling back into bed and finishing my book definitely seemed like a solid option.

I am sure many of you may have encountered something like this before, maybe with a necessary task you have been delaying or finally going to that exercise class. I often find the hardest part of anything is getting started. Once I take that first step, the momentum carries me forward and I wonder why I was so slow to start in the first place. Getting over that hump, that initial resistance, is crucial.


But how do you actually do that? Well like all those Nike ads proclaim, you JUST DO IT. I wish there was a secret formula I could share with you, but the best and only way to combat resistance, procrastination, or whatever you want to call it is to simply begin. Take the first step, however small and insignificant it may seem. I have a yoga DVD in which the teacher says something akin to, “It doesn’t matter where you are; start there. It’s better to start somewhere, because if you don’t, you’ll be nowhere.”

So here I am, starting my new life as an entrepreneur somewhere by taking one small step and writing this post.

Are you a skincare addict? If so, read this…

Our skin is our largest organ and through it, the average woman absorbs roughly five pounds of chemicals per year. Many of the most common chemicals found in beauty and skincare products have been linked to horrible potential side effects including cancer, skin irritation, and hormonal disruption just to name a few. Many people don’t realize that what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it!

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Stacey Stilts, founder and owner of Greenline Beauty on Melrose Avenue. Greenline Beauty specializes in skincare and cosmetics made with only pure and natural materials. I got to ask her my most pressing questions on how to make the best choices for your skin. I am guilty of breaking a couple of these cardinal rules (ahem sunscreen), but will be working on it!

L: Why is it important for people to be conscious of using natural products on their skin versus a standard brand name they can pick up at Target?

S: Our skin is the largest organ of the human body, it absorbs everything. Among other things, our skin protects us from sun, water, infections, injury, pain, heat and cold while also storing energy, healing itself, acting as a shock absorber and producing vitamin D.

L: What are the top no-no ingredients that everyone should be on the lookout for?


  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES): 

These chemicals can alter the immune system and cause hair loss, eye irritations, damage to the digestive system, nervous system, lungs, and skin. They are often found in personal care products that foam-up. If a product claims to “come from coconut” check the label for these synthetic substances.

  • Talc: 

Has been linked to ovarian and testicular cancer.

  • Paraben Preservatives (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Eethyl): 

These chemicals are often used as a preservative to extend the shelf life. They are highly toxic and can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes.

  • Mineral Oil: 

This doesn’t sound so bad, but it is a byproduct of petroleum, which will coat the skin like plastic. It also takes away the skin’s natural ability to rid itself of toxins and slows down cell function, which can cause premature aging. If you have kids be aware that most baby oil is mineral oil.

  • Diazolidinyl Urea and Imidazolidinyl Urea: 

These are preservatives or toxic chemicals that contain formaldehyde. They have been known to cause contact dermatitis, burning, irritation of the mucous membranes, and inflammation.

L: What is the biggest mistake you see people make when it comes to their skin?

S: Not using SPF. Anyone over the age of six months should use a sunscreen daily. Even those who work inside are exposed to ultraviolet radiation for brief periods throughout the day, especially if they work near windows, which generally filter out UVB but not UVA rays.

L: If you could give someone dealing with skin issues, like acne, one piece of advice, what would it be?

S: Evaluate 3 things in your life:


2- Environment


L: Do you believe there is a strong connection between someone’s food and lifestyle choices and their skin health?

S: Yes, Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look and age.

L: What are some of your favorite skin care and cosmetic lines currently?

S: ISUN, Tammy Fender, Kimberly Perry, Dr. Alkitis, Sodashi, Juice Beauty

L: Where we can we buy some of your amazing stuff?

S: Green Line Beauty  7123 Melrose Ave LA , CA 90046

As you can hear, Stacey clearly knows her stuff and she has greatly helped me with my own skin issues. I’d like to thank her so much for taking the time to talk with me and I hope that you have found this information as valuable as I have!


America’s Favorite Recreational Drug


I bet you’ve tried it. Actually, I venture to guess that you will have some today. Once that urge sets in, it’s hard to say no; the addiction is too strong. Am I talking about heroin? Marijuana? Alcohol?

Nope. As Dr. Mark Hymen called it during a recent interview, SUGAR is America’s favorite recreational drug. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day. That is over 150 pounds of added sugar per year. That’s A LOT of sugar.

Studies released this year found that sugar is as addictive to the brain as cocaine. Makers of processed food have used the addictive nature of sugar to their advantage for years. They know people love the taste, will like their foods more if they add some of the sweet stuff, and the addiction will keep buyers coming back for more. Sounds like the tobacco companies of yesteryear, doesn’t it? It might seem sinister, but I promise you that when it comes to the majority of foods you see at the grocery store, the deck is stacked against you. They aren’t made to be good for you, or even sustain you. They are made to make corporations money.

So who cares if we are consuming a lot of sugar, it is really that bad for us? I do and yes it is!! New studies have revealed the true nature of sugar, and it ain’t pretty. First, sugar is considered to be an “empty calorie”, meaning that it is nutritionally deficient. Especially when consumed in drinkable form like soft drinks or fruit juices, it adds extra calories to your diet that you don’t need on top of what you are already eating. Thus we get fat, or so the logic goes.

But maybe it’s not that simple. What if all calories aren’t created equal? What if sugar is bad beyond just being extra calories lacking nutrition? Sugar and high fructose corn syrup are made up of glucose and fructose molecules. Fructose is processed by the liver, where as glucose is metabolized by every cell in the body. For example, if you eat a piece of white bread it will break down into glucose without affecting your liver. But the effect on your body will be different if you have a Coke made with high fructose corn syrup. And if enough fructose hits your liver in a short period of time, by say drinking that large soda, your liver will also convert that extra sugar to fat.

High sugar consumption has also been linked to insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes. Insulin resistance is related to higher rates of heart disease and even certain types of cancer. Basically it’s the first step down a very dark road. According to Doctor Hyman, developing insulin resistance is preventable with the appropriate dietary and lifestyle changes. “When your diet is full of empty calories, an abundance of quickly absorbed sugars and carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.), the body slowly becomes resistant to the effects of insulin and needs more to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar even.” Click here to read the entire article on how to prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Basically, the more sugars you eat (both fructose and glucose) the more insulin your body needs to produce in order to maintain a steady blood sugar. At a certain point, it just stops working. At that point, you are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

And if that is not reason enough to start drastically curbing your sugar intake, sugar is also pro-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation in the body is being linked to a plethora of common ailments, including heart attacks, strokes, and once again, cancer. To get a better understanding of how blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation all go hand in hand to make us sick, I highly recommend reading this article:




Tricks for Staying Healthy on the Road


Having just gotten back from a weeklong trip to San Antonio, and about to embark on a 2-day road trip, I realized how tricky it can be to stay healthy on the road. And I only travel every now and again! I know some of you are real road warriors, traveling for two to three weeks every month. These are the simple tricks that I use to stay as healthy as I can when traveling:

  1. Pack snacks for the plane/car – Airport food is plain disgusting and overpriced. Airplane food is hardly any better. And if you have ever driven cross-country you know that the roadside attractions can leave much to be desired. Prepare for your trip by packing some healthy snacks that can double as a light meal. A few ideas:
    1. Make your own trail mix! Add in some almonds, pecans, coconut flakes, maybe even some cacao nibs. This snack is packed with protein to keep you going for the long haul.
    2. Veggies and hummus or nut butter. Pre-cut some vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, celery, broccoli for example), put them into little plastic baggies. Dip those little puppies in some delicious hummus or nut butter for a quick and easy snack.
  1. Bring along some supplements – I always pack my favorite supplements to take with me whenever I go anywhere. I don’t leave home without my high quality fish oil, multivitamin, and probiotic. Also, when traveling I like to take some extra vitamin C and two capsules of oil of oregano per day to help support my immune system. You are surrounded by a bunch of new people in small, enclosed spaces, so help your body fight off invaders as much as possible!
  1. Drink lots of water – It’s easy to get dehydrated in our normal life and that likelihood expands exponentially when traveling. Airplane air. Celebratory cocktails. An extra cup of joe to help you power through the jetlag. Make sure that you are getting at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water everyday. If you are going somewhere the tap water is safe to drink, I recommend bringing a water bottle with you. That will help you to keep track of how much you are drinking and you will always have it on hand if you get thirsty.
  1. Warm lemon water – I start my day at home with warm lemon water, and on the road it’s no different. This one is super easy to do; simply bring your own lemons along! Every hotel serves hot water for tea. Fill up a cup, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and wait for it to cool down a bit. The lemon gives you added vitamin C and having it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can help to regulate your digestion when traveling.
  1. Get your veggies where you can – If a restaurant offers any kind of vegetable option, TAKE IT. Get the side salad instead of the fries, more sautéed spinach in lieu of rice, etc. Some places may have little to no vegetable options, so if you are somewhere that does, double down!
  1. Don’t sweat it too much – Some people like to bring along their blender for green smoothies (I used to be one of those people) or figure out in advance every place they can eat at. While that may help to make it easier to eat healthy, it will also cause your entire vacation/trip to be organized around your dietary restrictions. Of course this is different if you have any kind of allergy or intense intolerance, but if you are just trying to stay healthy, this is my motto: Do the best you can with what you have, and don’t worry about the rest. Being able to relax and enjoy yourself when traveling is worth much more than constantly stressing out about what to eat.
  1. Develop a morning ritual – For me, getting adequate amounts of sleep is one of the most difficult parts about traveling. It’s a different time zone, the pillow feels different from my usual one, and there may not be a snoring man and/or 70-pound pit bull next to me. To help me get the rest I need, I found that it is helpful to have a morning ritual. Like I mentioned earlier, I start my day with warm lemon water just as I do at home. I also bring along my peppermint essential oil and do a quick morning meditation. Before my shower, I dry brush my entire body to help me feel invigorated and detox my system. These are all things I do at home also, which gives me a sense of continuity even when living out of a suitcase.
  1. Develop an evening ritual – Much like having a morning ritual can help to get your day off on the right foot, an evening ritual can help to ensure that you get a good night of rest. Maybe you want to soak in the tub for 15 minutes with some bath salts, turn on some relaxing music and light a candle, or read a book. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before trying to go to sleep to wind down.
  1. Figure out an exercise routine that you can do anywhere – I like yoga. Luckily, yoga is something that you can do in your hotel room. I don’t even bring my mat. A few sun salutations and warriors can be a great way to start or end the day, and make you feel like you got a chance to move your body. Depending on where you are visiting, heading out for a morning stroll can also be a great option. Figure out something that doesn’t rely on a lot of space, accessories, or needing to find a gym. Simple exercises that only use your own body are key.






Why You Should Stop Cooking Everything in Olive Oil

Today we are going to cover one of my favorite subjects: FAT. Fats have been a controversial food topic for the last thirty years or so. Common belief still tends to be that fat makes you fat, and saturated fat clogs your arteries and gives you heart disease. Well recent research has shown that is not in fact the case. So before we dig into olive oil, let me say don’t be afraid of fat, not even saturated fat!! If you are going to fear anything food related, let it be sugar!!

Okay now that I have that off my chest, let’s get to the topic du jour. For those of us who want to eat healthy, our go-to move for cooking fat is typically olive oil. Olive oil, the main fat source of the Mediterranean diet, has long been touted for its health benefits, like lowering rates of heart disease and high blood pressure. And olive oil is very healthy and good for you, but sometimes is not the right man for the job!

There are a couple of factors that one needs to consider when selecting which oil or fat to use in cooking. The first is the smoke point. The smoke point is literally the temperature at which the fat starts smoking. Heating a fat, especially unsaturated fat, above this temperature will cause it to break down, which eliminates the health benefits and releases harmful chemicals and cancer-causing free radicals.

The second factor that we need to consider is the stability of the oil. Saturated fats are more stable than unsaturated fats, with polyunsaturated fats being the least stable. Common polyunsaturated fats include vegetable oils like soybean, safflower and corn oil. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, high in oleic acid. The fact that olive oil is monounsaturated (versus polyunsaturated) makes it healthier and more stable option than vegetable oil, for example. Per Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions, “the high percentage of oleic acid makes olive oil ideal for salads and for cooking at moderate temperatures”.

However because of its relatively low smoke point, it’s best not to use olive oil when frying foods at higher temperatures (especially if you are using unrefined olive oil). This will diminish the healthy benefits in the oil and can actually make it detrimental to your health!

So what do you use instead? Coconut oil has a slightly higher smoke point than unrefined olive oil. Also, because it is made up of 92% saturated fat, it is less prone to oxidation and binding with free radicals. Ghee, or clarified butter is also a great alternative for very high temperature cooking. You can read all about the health benefits of ghee here

I have actually never tried ghee, but have heard amazing things and am now intrigued. I will be attempting to make my own ghee in the next few weeks and if successful, I will post a video on how you can do it too!

I hope this has been a helpful introduction for you, and that you are now aware of the various factors to consider when sautéing up that fish next time. For further information about which oils are best for different types of cooking, I found this article in depth and informative:






I Jumped Off the Proverbial Cliff


Every year we have these two doves that come in the spring and make their nest in our carport. This was the first year that they were successful (previously they kept nesting on a very bright light and baking their poor little eggs), and a couple of days ago I saw two fluffy heads with beady little black eyes poking out from the haphazard-looking pile of twigs. By the next day, one was sitting on the ledge and the other was gone. By day three, neither were anywhere to be seen.

I checked the concrete floor of the carport, and no little birdies were to be found. Eight feet off the ground, they had no choice but to learn how to fly. And they would have never known unless they took those first steps off the ledge.

It’s a sweet story, but you may be wondering why I am telling you all this. Well I have just taken my first steps off the ledge and now I am flapping my arms like hell, trying to trust that deep down inside I already know how to fly.

I just gave notice at my job that I am leaving and will be pursuing my own business, my passion, full-time.

This decision has been a long time in the making, and was not an easy one to reach. My previous job was pretty great. I got to work from home, had a flexible schedule, made a decent living, and worked with people I genuinely liked! It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? You are probably thinking, what the heck are you doing giving up on this gig? But you know there is always a “BUT”….

It wasn’t what I am meant to do. I would wake up feeling like I was made for something more. It sounds so cheesy, but I really want to leave this world a better place. Helping people to uncover their spark for life fills me with a deep sense of purpose that I never knew before. I was always jealous of people who were driven to do one thing, be that writing, music, photography, or engineering. But I finally uncovered my own purpose. It was under my nose all along; I just didn’t see it. And it would feel like I am turning my back on the universe, and stalling my own journey, if I didn’t follow this through.


I will end on this: My husband, brother-in-law and I went to see Billy Joel at the Hollywood Bowl last week. The guy is 65 and put on such an amazing and energetic show, you’d think he was 22. I realized that is what happens when you follow your heart and do what you love. You don’t age because you are filled with the energy of life. Even if Billy had been eating all the kale in the world and worked some mundane desk job, he would never look as vibrant as he did up there on that stage. Making music was what he was born to do. Our body, mind, and spirit are all inextricably intertwined and to ignore one is to the detriment of all the others.

So from baby doves to Billy Joel, here I go, my wing growing stronger every day.