Friday, October 20, 2017

From Paleo to Plant-Based: My Reawakening

I feel a strong sense of responsibility to tell you guys that going paleo has actually been very detrimental to my health. And I apologize for inspiring some of you to try it. 

I had been following the paleo diet since 2011. In 2015, I committed to my first Whole30, which is a strict version of paleo. Over the course of ten months, I lost about 30 pounds and everyone around me noticed. I was so excited and grateful because I thought I found the perfect diet. 

Yes I lost weight but what I didn’t mention was that I felt tired all the time and that I’ve been having serious gynecological issues, which have escalated over the last year or two. 

I was so convinced that paleo was the answer and the healthiest way to eat. But I’ve recently had a reawakening, which was sparked by an article I read by Cyrena Jacoby, Nutritional Therapist, which you can read here

In this article, Cyrena talks about the risks of consuming such high quantities of animal products, specifically relating to my health issue (ovarian cysts and other issues), but also relating to health in general. 

I was eating meat 3 or sometimes 4 times a day. I recently added cheese into the mix again, and my body has been struggling. 

I have also put some of the weight back on and I haven’t been able to lose it for over a year now, despite my biggest efforts. 

My jeans are tight but more importantly, my health issues have not been resolved even after multiple doctor visits and trying to tweak my paleo diet in a million ways. 

The paleo movement, and more recently the keto movement, are very misleading. 
Yes you can lose weight initially, but then you will stall because the body can’t thrive on this diet long term. 

Everything I am reading about the whole-food plant-based diet makes sense to me. I’ve been doing this for 9 days and I already feel better. I have more mental clarity, less anxiety, and overall I feel really good. 

It’s just the beginning. The true test will be to see if my medical issues clear up. And I have strong faith that they will!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Immeasurable Rewards of Practicing Gratitude

You might knock the idea of “The Secret,” or the law of attraction, and it’s understandable. The movie was a flashy way of explaining to people how to get cars and houses and all kinds of material possessions. None of that really matters, and I don’t think that was the entire point of the movie. 

What I gained from the movie is that our thoughts are powerful. Our state of mind affects our experiences every single day. And the most important thing I’ve gained is a sense of empowerment, knowing that I can choose my own thoughts.

One major thing I learned that is life-changing, when applied, is the practice of gratitude. If you write down a list of ten things you are grateful for, every day, and why you feel grateful for them, you’ll generate a beautiful sense of well-being, and you’ll in turn create and experience more things to feel grateful for. That’s how it works! In the beginning, it will feel forced, unnatural, and maybe even like a chore. You’ll feel major resistance, but push through it in the beginning, because the rewards of doing a consistent gratitude practice are immeasurable! 

To take it further, start expressing gratitude towards the people in your life who you care about. Write hand-written thank you cards and give them to the people you’re grateful for. Take photographs of who and what you’re grateful for and describe exactly why you appreciate and enjoy every aspect of each one. 

Imagine how wonderful life can be when gratitude, appreciation, presence, enjoyment, and delight are part of your everyday experience of life! 

(photo by me!)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Beautiful Results of Practicing Gratitude

Some things that have been happening since I've been actively practicing gratitude:

As soon as I walked up to the pathway of my apartment building, the water sprinklers shut off. Usually, my legs and my bags get a good sprinkling of water!

I picked a slow express lane at the supermarket today, and I was starting to feel frustrated because the woman in front of me had a lot of stuff. But as soon as the cashier said hello to me, her lovely smile completely melted my frustration. She was so friendly and sweet, and 5 foot 10; only an inch shorter than me. I love meeting other tall women! Our interaction was so refreshing and delightful, and I realized I chose the perfect lane, and I realized rushing isn't everything!

Two things at work got repaired. A light fixture that had been out for about a month was finally working! And the tube for the microdermabrasion machine was replaced. The previous one was way too long and cumbersome, and it was also pretty clogged. The new one is easier to work with and so clean!

I thought of a friend I hadn't talked to in a while so I texted her to say hello. I then noticed how beautiful the sun was shining on the trees outside. I looked outside and noticed how beautiful the sunset was and I wanted to take a picture of it. As soon as I walked outside, she texted me a picture of the sunset view from her balcony! The timing was amazing.

My dad sent me a picture of a bright red cardinal that he saw in his backyard today! It elevated my entire day.

In general, I'm noticing that I have a little more energy, I'm not as frustrated, and my commute is not as draining. And it's easier to roll with things at work. And people seem friendlier.

I've been dealing with some health issues lately which cause me to feel really tired and unable to do some of my normal errands. But today I had a lot of energy and I was able to run two errands after work, which were both really pleasant experiences.

This feels like the beginning of a wonderful new chapter!

(photo by me)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Gratitude List

I haven't written a blog post in a very long time! I feel inspired to write a list of what I'm grateful for.

I am grateful that I finally joined Spotify and it is awesome!
I am so grateful that I did a 30 minute Barre workout tonight!
I am grateful that I also joined My Fitness Pal so I can track my workouts and feel a sense of accomplishment!
I am so grateful for spending time with good friends, laughing so much and being so present in the moment, totally savoring and enjoying every moment!
I am so grateful for great music
I am so grateful for beautiful weather
I am so grateful for the beautiful colors in my apartment!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Be the Change!

I took a quick trip to Target on a break at work yesterday. I was browsing around and noticed a journal with Gandhi’s famous quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I’ve heard this quote so many times over the years, but I was struck by the beautiful way it was presented on this journal cover.

I went back to work and started to think about the true meaning of that quote. I had the thought: Be the change you wish to see in YOUR world! If you want things to be different in your life, start to embody those states of being.

A little while later, my next client arrived. I loved her immediately! She was there for a teen facial, and I really enjoyed interacting with her. I noticed she had something written on her forearm. I read it…it was Gandi’s quote!! I know it’s such a well-known quote, but what are the chances that I’d see it on a journal cover at Target, and then a little while later, on a client’s forearm??

I was so excited and I told her about it. We laughed and later on, I noticed that she wrote it on my gratuity envelope!

This was such a delightful experience. I live for synchronicities like this! I am so inspired to contemplate the meaning of “be the change” on a personal and even global scale. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Leave a Trail

I’ve been noticing a trend with my clients lately: most of them, in fact the majority of them, don’t take my skin care advice! Many of them are using really harsh products and wondering why their skin is red! I explain why, and it seems like they don’t believe me. Maybe they have a built in skepticism of a salesperson trying to get them to buy lots of products, whether they need them or not. I genuinely want them to use products that will benefit their skin.

I had a lovely teen client recently. Her skin was really red, flaky, and she had lots of blackheads and pimples. She told me she was using a really harsh cleanser (I won’t badmouth any companies!!), as well as witch hazel and a really thick moisturizer. I explained why her skin looked the way it did and to my delight and surprise, she actually bought the kit I recommended. She came back a month later and her skin improved so much. Then she came back two months after that, and her skin was pretty much in the same condition as it was when I first saw her. She said she ran out of the products she bought and she went back to what she was using before!

I couldn’t believe it. I wondered why she would go back to using products that produced obvious and detrimental results, especially after seeing such wonderful results with the new products. And why do so many of my clients continue to use harmful products, even when I explain their negative effects?

I know that everything is a reflection of what’s going on within me, and I realized that I am doing something similar in my own life: I often go back to old ways of thinking, even though I know better! I have so much knowledge and I have seen powerful results when I use the tools I’ve learned over the years. I know all about the power of cultivating gratitude, looking for the positive aspects of a situation, and reframing something negative in order to see its benefits. I know all this and more, and I know how powerful it is, yet I still find myself stressing out about trivial things, worrying about the future, and feeling regret about the past.

It’s so easy to revert back to our old ways. If you think about it, our patterns of thinking have been there for so many years. It’s not always easy to start a new pattern. It takes time and focus. I love the way Abraham has simplified this concept: instead of trying to work out all the details, bring your attention to the emotion. For example, if you’re under a lot of stress, you might not have access to the solution right now. Instead, bring yourself into a general place of well-being. Think about the stability of the mountains, the rising and setting of the sun, the magnificence of your beating heart…all these things are profoundly in place, and they elicit a strong and steady feeling of true well-being.

I feel more and more inspired lately to really live what I believe in. I have gained tremendous insights over the years, and I feel compelled to really apply what I’ve learned.

I know, and I’ve experienced, that life circumstances change when you first change your emotions and your mindset; it’s the inner work that produces the outer results. Yet if you’ve been under a lot of stress for a long time, it might be difficult to shift into a state of ease and well-being. It takes practice and it won’t feel natural at first. It might feel like a new pair of shoes or like you just put on someone else’s jacket. But if you wear the shoes and the jacket for a while, you’ll notice that they start to feel like your own, until you reach the point where you can’t see yourself without them.

You can start with a gentle moment of peace or a few seconds of bliss. Practice these new emotions and start getting used to these new states of being! Keep practicing until they start to feel natural, and soon you won’t even remember you ever lived life any other way…

Be gentle with the process and keep going!

"Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What To Do When Things Go "Wrong"

We all go through personal challenges in our lives. What matters is how we choose to handle each situation. When things go wrong, we have the opportunity to experience just how resilient we are.
Breakups, job cuts, losing a loved one, natural disasters…all of these things have the potential to be totally devastating—or they can act as catalysts that show you just how powerful you really are. You can make a choice to look at these situations in a way that is truly empowering.
I learned a powerful technique from Abraham-Hicks called going general. You can do this as a written exercise or you can talk it out with a good listener.
Basically, you take something that’s bothering you and bring it to a general place. Let’s say you just lost your job. First you acknowledge how you feel about it in a general way by saying something like, “This sucks!” I’ve noticed that when I do this, I immediately feel a sense of relief.
Then you continue to express how you feel in a general way until you feel like you’ve released the emotional charge. You can say things like, “I know things will work out. I never really liked this job and, anyway, I’ve been getting so many ideas for my business.”
After you feel a sense of relief, you can continue whatever you were doing in your day, or you can take a few more minutes and bring your thoughts to a more positive place.
This process only takes a few minutes, it’s so doable, and it works really well!
After you’ve processed the initial emotions, you’ll find that there are many great gifts hidden within it. Stretch yourself a little bit and see if you can find at least one or two hidden blessings.
So many people experienced varying forms of devastation with last month’s hurricane. If you take this to a general and higher place, you can definitely see the hidden blessings in it. For example: so many people tapped into their generosity and did anything they could to help. Even people who weren’t directly affected by it now have a newfound gratitude for the simple things they might have taken for granted before.
In addition to going general, here are some other ideas that might help you move out of a place of discouragement:
Meditate. Put on some relaxing music or do a guided meditation. It will benefit you physiologically and emotionally.
Do something physical: Go for a long walk, go to the gym, play a musical instrument, dance, breathe deeply and intentionally—anything that will take you out of the mental chatter.
Do something creative: Make art, write poetry, or take photographs.
Connect: Be with supportive people who love you, ask for help, call someone, or meet a friend for coffee. Know you’re not alone!
Focus: Pour your focus into something that feels productive and worthwhile to you.
Take care of your body: Rest, eat nourishing food, and drink lots of water.
Let it out: Have a good cry, watch a couple of great movies, or get lost in a book.
Delight your senses: Listen to beautiful music, go to a concert, or visit a museum or a garden.
Nourish your spirit: Get an energy healing session, a massage, or a facial. You’ll feel relaxed and restored.
Take care of yourself and realize how resilient you truly are!
You can also read my article here!