hello 2015 + my new year’s resolutions
well, it’s here. the last day of 2014. looking back, this year was one of the most eventful, fun, and all around ridiculous years of my life. i traveled to california [a few times], miami, india, istanbul, munich, budapest, vienna and new orleans and in the process checked some things off of my bucket list, i started this blog and launched my health coaching practice, i ran my first half marathon… and for the first time in my life, i actually met almost all of my new year’s resolutions and the ones that i didn’t meet are in the works for 2015.
this year, i have five resolutions that are based on one thing: making myself feel good. on monday i talked about why a lot of the common new year’s resolutions tend to fail and made sure to ask myself the how, why, what and who for each of my resolutions to make sure that they were aligned to me, how i want to feel and what i want to achieve in 2015. my 2015 new year’s resolutions look a little something like this:
1. establish a morning routine. this is something i have been struggling to do consistently for quite awhile. i find that i easily get thrown off by one rushed morning or an early wake up call for the gym or yoga and i want to put an end to that. i’m going to start simple with five minutes of meditation when i first wake up and slowly build on that as the year progresses.
2. be nicer to myself. i’m definitely guilty of being extremely hard on myself… with work, my workout regimen, the food i put into my body, the way i look at myself… as much as i talk about balance sometimes i struggle with finding my own. no one is perfect, we aren’t designed to be perfect and it’s exhausting to have to battle my own inner dialogue so much. i’ve come a long way with this over the years, but there’s always room for improvement.
3. leave the past behind me so it doesn’t affect the present. i’m one of those people who tries to make sense of everything and be prepared for any and every outcome to any given situation. while being proactive can be a great thing, it’s not so great when you let your past experiences have an impact on what’s going on in the present. your thoughts become your reality and just because one time this one bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that will be the case for the rest of your life. part of breaking the pattern is breaking the thought pattern and I’m going to make a serious effort to just let life flow and stop projecting past experiences onto new ones.
4. less texting, more talking. i love technology and social media as much as the next person, but sometimes i seriously worry about the direction it’s taking society. technology is an amazing thing when used the right way, but if we allow it to take over our lives and dictate the way we conduct ourselves, it’s not doing us any good. i want to make more of an effort to connect with the people in my life face to face or over the phone instead of through texts and social media. this means more coffee dates with friends, picking up the phone just to say hey or make plans… anything goes!
5. do. epic. sh*t. i’m honestly not sure how i can possibly top 2014, but that doesn’t mean i’m not going to try. i already have some pretty exciting things in the works and I’m sure in the coming months more opportunities to check some stuff off of my bucket list will be popping up. life has been pretty exciting lately and i want to continue that trend for as long as possible. this will probably be one of my new year’s resolutions well beyond 2015.
one thing i keep reminding myself that i want you to remember when it comes to new year’s resolutions is that everything is a process. success never comes quickly and you have to make a conscious effort to put these things into practice every day. don’t be so hard on yourself and enjoy the ride!
before i sign off for 2014, i just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of my readers and subscribers! launching this blog was something i had wanted to do for a pretty long time and i couldn’t be happier with the way it turned it out and how it’s going! i have a handful of things planned for the next few months that i can’t wait to share with you.
i also wanted to remind everyone that now through january 31st I’m offering a free month of health coaching to anyone who signs up for my 6-month program by january 31st. if you need help figuring out how to take your health to the next level or need someone to hold you accountable as you work towards your goals and resolutions, email me at email@example.com to schedule your free initial consultation to see if we might be a good fit. i would love to support you in the new year as you work towards the life you’re dreaming of.
i hope you all have an amazing new year’s celebration! [remember the milk thistle if you plan on drinking to avoid starting 2015 with a nasty hangover.] enjoy yourself, let loose and get ready for your best year yet!
i would love to hear what your plans are and what resolutions you’ve made. comment below or email [firstname.lastname@example.org]… see you in 2015!
motivation mondays: new year’s resolution edition
happy motivation mondays! i hope everyone had an amazing holiday celebrating and that you have exciting plans for saying goodbye to 2014 and ringing in 2015 in just a few days!
i was able to sneak away and spend a few days at home over christmas, which was really, really nice. while i was home, i made it a priority to relax and enjoy myself, but to not get too carried away and try to stick to my normal routine as much as possible, especially when it came to working out, doing yoga and eating. i put my own healthy holiday suggestions to use and checked out a hot vinyasa yoga class at yogaErie [which i really enjoyed], did a bootcamp class led by my brother at the gym he trains at and was able to get my normal cardio and strength training sessions in, as well. on christmas eve my parents hosted a get together at our house, so i was able to see some of my aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends that i haven’t seen in a while. we ate [a lot] and drank [a lot], but i was definitely more conscious than usual about how much i was eating. i ate cookies and cupcakes and cheese and bread and pie and candy, but i monitored my portion size so that i didn’t feel like total sh*t at the end of the night. seriously guys, simple adjustments and doing your best to stick to a schedule can make a huge difference.
christmas day was a little more relaxing… we woke up without alarms, made breakfast [i have a new recipe to share with you later this week!], opened gifts [i got some seriously awesome stuff] and spent most of the day watching christmas movies and, of course, eating leftovers from the previous night. it was a wonderful and relaxing few days, but as always, i was excited to make my way back to new york… just in time to do a few last minute festive things with my mom, including a trip to radio city music hall to see the rockettes!
with the new year right around the corner [seriously, where did 2014 go though?] i wanted to chat a little bit about new year’s resolutions, why 99% of the time they are total bullsh*t that only leave us feeling terrible about ourselves and how you can set yourself up for success in 2015. so, here is today’s [week 16!!] motivation mondays post – new year’s style!
many new year’s resolutions revolve around diet/exercise/losing weight/looking like a victoria’s secret model and i think it’s safe to say we have all made a resolution like this at least once in our lifetimes. i know i have [i think just about every year i have been on the planet] and i saw little success until i changed my mindset about resolutions, being healthy and reaching my goals.
there are two problems with these types of resolutions: 1] we tend to go to extremes trying to achieve them [crash dieting, cutting calories to a low, unmaintainable level, working out 7 days a week/for hours at a time] and 2] we are often going after them for reasons outside of ourselves in the first place [trying to impress a girl/guy, wanting to have Beyoncé’s body, working to “fit in” according to the unrealistic standards society has set for us].
as we all know, extremes in any aspect of your life are not maintainable and rarely lead to long-lasting success. it has to be about changing your lifestyle, building new, healthy habits and achieving balance. so instead of starting a low carb, 800 calorie-a-day meal plan on january 1st, start with swapping out some of the not-so-healthy things you eat/drink for healthier options [i.e. diet soda for a green juice, pasta for brown rice] and build on that. add an extra cardio session to your workout routine or check out a new class at your gym [or just join the gym in the first place]. where you are right now is perfectly fine and making small, manageable changes over time is the key to success. and, i hate to break it to you, but the only person who is ever going to have beyoncé’s body is beyoncé, so you might as well just remove that goal from your list now and work towards having your best body that only you can have.
in 2015, instead of looking outside of yourself for inspiration [impressing someone, trying to meet society’s standards, etc.], ask yourself a few questions to get really clear about things. why is this your resolution? what are you looking to achieve? how do you want to feel? who are you doing this for?
the only person you should ever be trying to impress is yourself and the only person you should be competing with is the person you were yesterday. working towards your goals should boost your self-confidence and make you physically feel good in your body. so, if any of your answers to these questions aren’t aligned to making you feel this way, it’s time to rethink your resolutions and make them about you [in a totally non-selfish way, of course]. here are a few examples:
- try one new exercise class per month to continue to push your body and find out what makes you feel your best. some ideas include spinning, boxing, pole dancing, hot yoga and aerobic dance.
- instead of ordering delivery or eating out all weekend long, make a commitment to start preparing at least one healthy home-cooked meal each weekend to avoid extra calories, sugar, salt and other food additives.
- read a book for 30 minutes before bed rather than scrolling through facebook/twitter/instagram to feel more relaxed and get your body ready for a good night’s sleep.
make your resolutions about feeling your personal best and living a life that you enjoy. there is no need to make yourself miserable.
as always, i love including a few fun links in my motivation mondays posts and to stick with today’s theme, here are some things i think you guys will benefit from as 2014 comes to a close and a whole new year begins this week:
these inspiring wellness videos are perfect for some resolution inspiration.
this article gives you six ways to stay in shape in the new year… not a single one involves a gym.
google’s year-in-review is a great reminder that even when things seem hopeless, this world and the people in it are pretty amazing.
what are your new year’s resolutions for 2015? would love to hear from you in the comments below!
image courtesy of imgfave
motivation mondays: week 15
happy monday! i’m sorry for the lack of a motivation mondays inspiration last week… life kind of got the best of me as it tends to do from time to time, but I’m back this week and feeling excited and inspired as christmas approaches and 2014 quickly comes to a close!
i wanted to focus this week’s motivation mondays post on gratitude, which is important all year round, but during the holidays it’s something we all need to be reminded of amidst all of the stress and anxiety that [for most of us] comes with them.
sometimes during the holiday season, it can be pretty easy to get wrapped up in things like gift giving/receiving, party-going and comparing ourselves [both inside and out] to what others have/don’t have. it can be easy to stress ourselves out over these things and forget about what’s really important. i’ve talked before about appreciating your life for what it is and acknowledging how lucky you are for the things you take for granted every day, but i think around the holidays we really need to pause and remind ourselves that no matter how many gifts we get, how much we spend on our friends and family, how many parties we’re invited to or how we spend our christmas day or new year’s eve, it’s important to remember to be grateful for the things we do have that many people would kill for.
so this year, instead of focusing on the shoes you asked for but didn’t get, the boyfriend/girlfriend you don’t have to bring to your family gatherings, whether or not you picked out the right sweater for your dad or how much weight you need to lose post-holiday binging, think about the amazing people in your life, all of your accomplishments [no matter how small], the roof over your head [even if it’s a studio apartment the size of a closet], the food on your plate… and keep in mind that gifts and other material things are just the icing on the cake!
one thing that i have found to be super helpful when i’m stressing or feeling a little down and out is making a little list of the things i’m grateful for. it doesn’t have to be long, complicated or incredibly detailed, and it’s surprising how much of a difference it can make. i like to make a list first thing in the morning and post it somewhere that i can see it throughout the day, like near my computer or on my mirror. today’s list looked a little like this:
- to be flying home to spend christmas with my family after work today.
- for my motivation and the strength that helped me make my way to gym yesterday.
- to have the most amazing, fun and kind-hearted friends who keep my life interesting, fun and exciting all-year round.
see? it’s that easy! what are you grateful for this morning?
sticking with the holiday spirit, here are a few things I’m literally obsessing over this week:
this video of people getting puppies as presents. crying.
these last minute gift ideas. and these ones, too… brought to you by me!
and these cats reacting to every christmas situation because… well, because why not?
have an amazing week everyone!
image courtesy of my fabuless life
toast, two ways
based on the title of this post, i know you might be thinking: “toast?! is this b*tch kidding me?!” obviously, toast can easily be one of the most boring and bland foods ever, but topping it with the right things can make it seriously awesome and super healthy.
lately i’ve been really into the whole avocado toast thing, but i also love the old almond butter and banana combo, as well. what’s best about toast is that you can really customize it and spice it up with whatever you might have on hand… fruit, eggs, veggies, seeds, nut butters, spices… you get the idea. here are my two favorite ways to top your toast for extra flavor and health benefits: one sweet, one savory. i prefer to use ezekiel’s 7 sprouted grain bread, but any whole wheat bread will do… none of that white sh*t, please.
- 1 slice of bread, toasted
- 1/2 of a banana, sliced
- fruit-based jelly of choice
- almond butter
- unsweetened coconut flakes
- chia seeds
instructions: after you’ve toasted the bread, spread the jelly onto the toast liberally and then sprinkle with chia seeds and coconut flakes. Place the bananas slices on top and drizzle with almond butter.
health benefits: potassium from the banana, healthy fat from the almond butter, protein from the chia seeds.
- 1 slice of bread, toasted
- 1/2 of an avocado
- chia seeds
- cayenne pepper
- sea salt
instructions: after the bread has been toasted, scoop the avocado out of the skin and mash onto the toast. sprinkle with cayenne and salt to taste and top with chia seeds.
health benefits: healthy fat from the avocado, protein from the chia seeds, and cayenne pepper helps to rev up the metabolism and clear out the sinuses.
enjoy either as a healthy breakfast, pre- or post-workout snack or an afternoon pick-me-up!
3 reasons you should start oil pulling
oil pulling is one of those things i had known about for a really long time before taking the plunge and trying it out for myself. i mean… who wants to swish a tablespoon of oil around in their mouth for 20 minutes? not me… or so i thought.
after doing more research and reading about all of the amazing health benefits of oil pulling, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give it a try. oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic practice that is said to rid not only the mouth, but the entire body, of harmful toxins while restoring balance throughout your system. as you might have guessed, once i started oil pulling, i became obsessed with it.
basically, all you do is pick an oil [i recommend coconut oil because of it’s strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and mild taste], swish around a tablespoon of it in your mouth for 15-20 minutes on an empty stomach and spit the oil out into the trash can, not the sink. it was easiest to work into my daily routine by taking a spoonful of oil right before brushing my teeth and hopping in the shower in the morning. here are three reasons you should make it part of your day-to-day routine, as well!
- it improves oral health. after just a few days you should notice whiter teeth and better breath. over time oil pulling will also build up the strength of your teeth and gums.
- it can reduce the symptoms of allergies. this includes sinus congestion, mucus build up in the chest and that terrible dried out feeling you sometimes experience in your sinuses.
- it can improve skin issues. because oil pulling rids the entire body of toxins, many have experienced clearer skin and reduced severity of eczema after oil pulling regularly. this can be super helpful even if you don’t experience severe acne, especially in the cold, dry winter months.
other reported benefits of oil pulling include reduction of sleep issues, elevated energy levels, reduced inflammation, improved kidney function, correction of hormone imbalances and, my personal favorite, alleviated symptoms of a hangover.
i recommend trying this out for at least a week to see what kinds of changes you notice before making a decision about it one way or another. the first few times can be kind of rough [swishing around a spoonful of oil in your mouth is definitely something that takes time to get used to] and if you can’t make it through the entire 20 minutes at first, don’t worry! you’ll slowly get used to it and once you start seeing and feeling the benefits, you’ll probably wonder how you ever lived without it.
image courtesy of green med tv
spicy vegan spinach + white bean soup
the weather in new york has been just miserable this week. so miserable that i’ve had some serious trouble getting out of bed in the morning [the sound of rain hitting my window can keep me in bed all day if i don’t have anything to do], i’ve skipped a few of my workouts and literally all i want to do is lay in my bed, listen to serial [if you guys haven’t checked this out yet, get on it] and eat soup. so, last night, i did just that.
i threw together this vegan spinach and white bean soup in under 30 minutes, so it’s quick and only requires a few ingredients, but still has lots of nutrients and health benefits. spinach is full of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and believe it or not, protein, the beans add even more protein [yes, you can get protein from non-animal sources] and the cayenne pepper is great for clearing out the sinuses, revving up the digestive system and warming the body up while packing a little punch. the coconut milk makes it rich and creamy, giving it that homestyle comfort food feel we all love, especially during the cold winter months. the recipe makes about two servings, so feel free to double or triple it if you want to make a big batch to have on hand for the week! you will need:
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 1 c. coconut milk
- 2 handfuls of raw baby spinach
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
- 2/3 c. cannelli beans, drained and rinsed [about half of a 16 oz. can]
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- cayenne pepper to taste
- in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
- add onions and garlic to pan, stirring over medium heat until the onions start to turn golden-brown.
- place the spinach in the saucepan, stirring until the leaves begins to wilt.
- add the vegetable stock, beans and cayenne pepper and stir.
- bring the soup to a boil over medium heat. once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- after 15 minutes has passed, add the coconut milk and ginger, stir, cover and allow to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- remove the ginger, serve hot and enjoy!
healthy, happy men’s holiday gift guide
last week, after i shared with you some of my favorite gift ideas for the holiday season, i decided it would be fun to make a men’s holiday gift guide for you, as well! i mean, what guy doesn’t want bacon caramel toffee and an “i love tacos” t-shirt?
also, please remember to sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter for more healthy, happy holiday inspiration and exclusive content reserved just for my subscribers!
motivation mondays: week 14
happy monday, everyone! as usual, the weekend flew by and i can’t believe we are only two weeks away from christmas. i hope everyone is enjoying everything that comes along with the month of december… holiday parties, shopping, cooking, baking, spending time with friends and family… i know i am!
on friday night i grabbed dinner with a friend at beyond sushi and i just have to share this picture with you guys. beyond sushi is a 100% vegan sushi restaurant and i was blown away by the creative rolls they serve and how amazing everything was. if you live in new york, you have to check this place out. we tried the mighty mushroom, la fiesta, spicy mang and pickle me rolls… all of which were incredible and unique, but i think mighty mushroom and pickle me were the real standouts.
okay! let’s move on to this week’s motivation mondays quote, brought to you by ralph waldo emerson.
what i take away from this is: believe in yourself. why should we believe in ourselves? because if we don’t no one else will. don’t doubt your ability to do something or second guess an idea you have. don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and go after what you want. you have to, at the very least, try or you’ll never know what it could have turned into. life isn’t always easy, but standing in your own way just makes it that much harder.
this week, i challenge you to take this and run with it. start the project you’ve been putting off because you don’t know where to begin, talk to your boss about the raise or promotion you know you deserve but are too afraid to ask for, ask out that guy/girl you’ve had a crush on for months… what’s the worst that could happen? it doesn’t work out and you’ll be back to where you were before? at least you know you tried.
this week, i’ve got some more holiday themed goodness planned. i shared some fun holiday gift ideas with you last week, but when i realized these were really geared towards women i decided i needed to share a gift guide for the men in your life, as well, so check back later this week for that and a new healthy recipe!
eurotrip recap part 4: vienna
well, i’m finally wrapping up the eurotrip recap posts with a little post about vienna, austria, the last stop on our 10 day trip. vienna was such a beautiful city and while we only spent about a day and a half here, i think we spent our time well. we spent the majority of our time sightseeing and when we were’t sightseeing, we were eating and/or drinking… because duh. it just so happened that we arrived in vienna on the first day of their oktoberfest [which didn’t really cut it after experiencing the real thing], so naturally we had to check that out! the architecture in vienna was definitely the highlight for me, with our final meal at café central following very close behind.
[beautiful architecture in the city center]
[alphorns at viennese oktoberfest…which is not that similar to actual oktoberfest]
[café central where we enjoyed the last meal of the trip… incredible!]
[hofburg palace at night… goodbye, vienna!]
healthy, happy holiday gift guide
with the holidays quickly approaching, i know i’m not the only one feeling stressed about pretty much everything… what to buy for who, what to wear to all of those holiday parties, finding the best deals on flights, how to spend new year’s eve, how to get everything done in time… you name it, i’m stressin’ about it.
i’ve been doing a lot of online shopping this year and I’ve stumbled across some pretty great stuff. since i know how stressful holiday shopping tends to become, i put together a list of some of the coolest things i’ve seen [i’ve put a few of these things on my own christmas list and even ordered #8 for myself] to give you guys some inspiration! and unlike a lot of the other holiday gift guides you’ve probably seen with absolutely ridiculous things on them, everything on this list is under $60!
throughout the month of december, i’ll be sharing healthy holiday tips and recipes in my bi-monthly newsletter, so if you haven’t done so yet, sign up here so you won’t miss out on all of this exclusive content!
what’s on your holiday wish list this year?!
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