How I stay sane

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Let me start by saying it takes effort. It takes conscious intention but it isn’t “work” once you develop habits around living this way. Also, don’t shoot for perfection — it’s not real.

I learned LOTS about living the right way when I had cancer. I prayed and meditated my way through that whole year and during those meditations, I got LOTS of answers and LOTS of divine downloads as I like to call them.

These “downloads” consisted of tips that came through in such a strong way that I had no doubt about the message. They were answers about life and how I was supposed to move forward and live it. Not only live it, but live it the way I should have been living it all those years prior! But, I would have to let go, surrender and say goodbye to the old me and my old ways of thinking first. I give my tough love approach below because I love you!

Here are my most precious tips that bring value to my life:

1. Make time for self-care. Self-care is anything that takes care of YOU. Yep, just YOU. It’s not selfish, it’s a necessity. Let me repeat that, it’s a necessity. Self-care is the act of doing things that fill up your cup, bring you joy, allow you to rest or regroup. *essential for your health.

2. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. It should be a no-brainer, but apparently it’s not. Basically, stop eating crap. Do you know how many people I help with nutrition who just aren’t willing to do this? It is single-handedly one of the most effective ways to take your life to the next level! Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Do the work to find out which foods aren’t helping you and stop eating them. (an elimination diet helps). 80% of your health = proper nutrition and the other 20% = things like exercise, self-care, community, relationships, etc. Find healthier replacements for foods you consider cheat foods. Cut out dairy, it’s not made for humans. Cut out refined sugar (you won’t crave it after 3 days). Limit alcohol. Remember, I love you! *essential for your health.

3. Move your body. Find a way to move your body daily. If you don’t have time to workout (I don’t want to hear about it because if I, as a single mom who works full time can do it, so can you. And yeah….it’s hard). Do anything. Walk, take the stairs, park far away from the store. What I do specifically: I walk for 10 minutes, twice a day at work on breaks. I take the stairs every time I can. I do squats at my desk and pushups against my kitchen counter. I make time to walk 4 miles once a week on a weekend morning and maybe again during the week if I don’t have a conference call in the morning. I do a 10 minute HIIT workout 3 times a week, yoga at night occasionally and that’s it. Little bits here and there, when I have time (and sometimes I’m not successful). The rest is all nutrition, eating right and striving to drink 2 liters of water a day. And…since I’m eating like Jesus 80% of the time, I can afford to have a vegan/gluten free macaroon here and there. 🙂 *essential for your health.

4. Self-Development. I love self-help stuff. I think it’s amazing, helpful and allows you to expand beyond your self-made limitations. Also, I read that all successful people do self-development so I started doing it for that very reason. I listen to 2 hours of podcasts during my daily commute time. I watch YouTube videos and read books. It’s awesome. Spiritual growth is cool. 

5. I’m grateful and mindful. I write in my gratitude journal daily, start each prayer without asking for something but saying thank you for something instead, I meditate and I’m mindful of my actions and attitude. If I notice I’m not in my “flow” state then I make some changes. I choose only funny or uplifting things to watch because your mind takes cues from what you watch, I try to stay away from gossip (I know, it’s hard, we all do it), and I surround myself with awesome high-vibe people. When I’m in a bad mood, I change it by listening to a good song, or watching something funny or being grateful. Works like a charm. If I start to feel like I am getting stressed, I adjust my reaction (meditation teaches you how to do this by re-wiring your brain which in turn, makes you a more peaceful, less reactive person). I love you! *essential for your health.

I don’t want to look back on my life and have regrets so I try my best to live each day with enthusiasm. I do the things I want to do NOW, visit the people I want to see NOW, and focus on the things that are important to me NOW. Who knows if you’ll get the chance to do them later, you know?

Bonus Tip– don’t overschedule and overload your life with too much. Say no more often. Leave room in your schedule for time to laugh and chill. It’s imperative. 

There’s my blueprint! Hope it helps.

xoxo – Heather

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Spring detox ideas

Hi! Happy Spring.

Why do we always want to clean in Spring? Is it the fresh beginnings and new growth happening in nature that inspires us to start new?

I find it’s the perfect time to set ourselves up for the rest of the year and let go of all of the old, heavy energy of Winter. I try to practice these habits all year but here are some of my favorite Spring detox ideas below:

  1. Clear out your clutter. I’m not sure if you know this about me but I’m a huge fan of minimalism. I got on the bandwagon in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. It has changed my life on so many levels. I’ll go deeper on this topic in another post but for now lets focus on cleaning out our closets, cupboards, garage and any other areas with junk. Throw out all of that junk and items you want to donate and let’s march forward (get it….it’s March), and let’s bask in the lightness it brings.
  2. Do a 1-week food cleanse. I believe every Spring (and any other time of year you need), we should give our bodies a break from poor eating habits, bad digestion and wasted energy. I’m a huge fan of food detoxes because really, who enjoys starving? Eating plant-based for one week is my favorite suggestion for everyone since it re-calibrates your digestion, it lightens the load on your digestive system and it cleans you out from the inside out. Make sure to take a good probiotic while you’re doing this.
  3. Go on an adventure and do something fun. We’ve just been stuck indoors for how many months during Winter? Now it’s time to get outside and do something fun! Go somewhere, do something that makes you happy and really enjoy yourself because life is short.
  4. Do something outside of your comfort zone. I am a HUGE FAN of doing this. It will change your life on a deep level, overcoming fears and pushing yourself beyond your own self-limiting boundaries. Do it without thinking, just do it. That’s how I do it, because by nature, I’d want to be scared and hide but now I just force myself to do things that scare me and not look back.

I hope these ideas inspire you to take some action and start your Spring off with a bang.

xo- Heather

Simple Stir-fry Recipe

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When I said it was simple, I meant it. I am a one-pot meal master! No measurements, no fuss, just simple and fresh ingredients and throw them all in a pot!

Here’s what I used for this meal:

-cauliflower rice

-carrots

-zucchini

-broccoli

-mushrooms

-firm tofu

-pressed garlic, sesame oil, sea salt, onion powder, maple syrup

Cut the veggies however you want, add the spices to your own tasting preference and simmer for 20 minutes on low heat!

Enjoy!

Heather

Why we can’t all eat the same food!

Simply put: we are all made differently with different genes, lifestyles, diets, makeups, habits, bodies.

There is no correct diet for all- it doesn’t exist! Eating must be intuitive & planned in a way that supports YOU, no one else….and no that’s not a free pass to eat donuts.

We must eat with intention & eat for fuel. Our bodies are not garbage cans so it’s crucial we put good food into them.

 

What I Ate Today: High Raw Plant-Based

Here is a very short video on what I ate today on high raw plant-based meals. I’ve never felt better and my pregnancy is going great! I think I haven’t experienced many of the 3rd trimester complaints like excessive weight gain, swelling and pain because of my diet and lifestyle. Not to say that I don’t have any pain at all or that I’m not uncomfortable– that comes with the territory. But, for the most part, I’ve been feeling good.

Homemade Healthy Lettuce Wraps!

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I made these tasty lettuce wraps last night and they were too good not to share. See the recipe below:

Ingredients:

Swiss Chard or Butter Lettuce Leaves

Bell Pepper of your choice

Avocado

Carrot

Hummus

Cucumber

Dressing: tahini, tamari, maple syrup, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar (no measurements….I go by taste)

Directions: Rinse all of your lettuce and veggies then chop all of your veggies. Throw them into the wraps and make your dipping dressing for additional pizaaz!

Enjoy! xo

How to shop at Whole Foods Market on a budget

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So…..Whole Foods makes me happy. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the kind of store where I can walk in and find so many things that I can actually eat or if it’s just pretty and shiny and full of natural goodness. I will admit they’re not perfect, but I’m still a happy customer.

What doesn’t make me happy is the price tag. I have been willing to pay a premium for healthy food all of my life but now that I’m having a baby, things are going to have to change because I’ll be on a strict budget. I will no longer have the luxury of getting a $12 salad for lunch whenever I want because if it’s between diapers and a salad, guess who will win? I’m not going to lie, it can be more expensive to buy organic, but it doesn’t have to be and it also depends on what you’re buying.

I’ve done so much research on how to stretch my dollar at Whole Foods and here’s what I came up with:

1. Look for the coupon and “weekly buys” newspaper right inside the door as you walk in or by the bathrooms and bulletin board area. It will show you what’s on sale and give you tips to shop. You can also view and print these coupons from home by clicking: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/coupons

2. Follow your local Whole Foods Market on social media! This is a huge trick Iearned and it’s how I found out they were having a 40% discount sale on my favorite natural skincare line. They’ll post about what deals they have going on. Sometimes you have to follow the Whole Foods Market for your region if your actual city doesn’t have an account.

3. BUY IN BULK. I learned this and it really saves me money! Everything in dry goods that you like should always be checked in the bulk food aisle to see if it’s available there because it will be dollars cheaper- no lie! Also, if you buy a product by the case, you’ll also usually receive a 10-15% discount.

4. Go to the salad bar on WEDNESDAYS. It’s discounted. This made me so happy when I found this out.

5. If you’re buying meat, the more you buy, the bigger the discounts so just freeze the meats you won’t be using right away and save some cash.

6. Yellow signs in the store signal sales and how long the sales are good for. That way you can plan ahead.

7. Whole Foods has high standards for it’s non-organic, conventional foods too. Sometimes farmer’s are organic but they just can’t afford the organic label so feel better that you’re probably still getting a good product.

Whole Foods has committed that by 2018 all labels in the store will have to be up front about whether or not the food item contains GMOs. This should be standard.

I hope this helps you all! Happy Shopping.

Asparagus & Broccoli Soup

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When I was going through cancer, I wanted a lot of soups. They were warming, easy to digest and delicious. I created this hybrid soup of joining together asparagus and broccoli. I hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped

1/4 head of broccoli, chopped

4 TBL nutritional yeast

1 TBL coconut oil

1.5 Cups coconut milk (from carton, not coconut cream from can)

2 TBL white onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, pressed

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Simmer the onions and garlic in the coconut oil in a saucepan on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. In a separate pot, boil the asparagus and broccoli for 2 minutes in water and then drain. (For more flavor, you can boil it in veggie stock). Put all ingredients and add in additional ingredients into a powerful blender and blend for 2 minutes on high.

Cauliflower Corn Chowder

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Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Ingredients: 1 head cauliflower-chopped, 4 TBL nutritional yeast, 1 full cobb of corn, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 TBL chopped white onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 TBL olive oil, 1.5 cups almond milk, 1/4 red bell pepper.
Instructions: Simmer the olive oil, onions and garlic on low-medium heat for 3 minutes. In a separate pot, boil the cauliflower for 2 minutes and drain. Put all ingredients into the blender and blend for 2 minutes. Garnish with corn and red peppers.

2015 – Are you going BIG?

How is 2015 shaping up for you? I’ve had some pretty big and monumental things occur in my life starting in late 2014 and carrying over into this year.

First, I hit my 1-year remission mark from stage 4 cancer in November 2014! This was such an amazing feeling, getting to look back and reflect on how much pain and suffering I endured, only to look at my life now! I’m alive and well. Cancer-free. My oncologist said if I can make it to my two year remission mark that I have a better chance of my cancer not relapsing, so that is what I’m shooting for (and between you and me, I’m confident it won’t. Universe, are you listening?). I had nothing to rely on during my illness besides God and my own personal strength that He gave to me. That was it. God is powerful and so is the human spirit. Positive thinking combined with strength in God, I know, is what got me through it.

Speaking of miracles….I got another amazing miracle—I found out I was pregnant immediately after I celebrated one year in remission! I wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids after my cancer treatment, so this came as a complete shock and possibly the world’s biggest blessing. Even though I’ll be a single Mom and co-parenting with her Dad, I know we will love her so much and she’ll know what a miracle she is. Yes, it’s a girl!

I am forever changed for the better because of cancer. My whole life was turned upside down, inside out and I never realized how one single experience could transform a human being so completely. I know that my being open to the transformation was pivotal in my healing but I feel profoundly changed by my experience. It taught me things that one could never possibly learn through ordinary living. It opened up new dimensions that I didn’t even know existed in my life, my heart and my mind. What an incredible journey I am on!

I’m a firm believer that some people endure harder life circumstances than others for a reason. Sometimes it’s how we learn important lessons and sometimes it’s meant for a higher purpose that we’ll never understand. I believe inspiration comes in many forms, even through hardships.

How has 2015 been for you so far? Please share your experiences so that we can all celebrate life in whatever capacity it’s serving in our own lives. Let’s be a community of hope and happiness for each other!

3 Fast Breakfast Dishes for Busy People

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I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t have time to cook breakfast in the morning. Between getting ready and getting dressed I barely have time for anything else. It turns out that I’m not alone. The majority of people I know don’t even eat breakfast and their number one excuse is lack of time to prepare anything. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day since it jump-starts our energy and digestion and aids in setting the tone for our metabolism. When we skip breakfast, our bodies aren’t sure what to do and it can send us into a tail spin of blood sugar problems, constipation and unhealthy snacking habits. Add in coffee on empty stomach and we’re surely in for a downward spiral. I’d love to share my 3 favorite breakfast dishes for busy people. The best part is all three can be prepared at work or the night before, leaving your mornings stress-free.

  1. Avocado Toast—This is simple, fast and easy. Most offices provide a toaster and if yours doesn’t, bring in your own. Pop in some whole grain or gluten free bread and then smooth on some mashed avocado, sliced tomato and a little sea salt.
  2. Instant Steel Cut Oats-This is one of my go-to breakfasts. It literally requires dumping a packet of oats into a bowl or mug and adding hot water! You have to appreciate that simplicity. I also love to add hemp seeds and blueberries to mine.
  3. Breakfast Smoothie—A smoothie can be easily made the night before so that it doesn’t take up your precious morning time. Store it in an air tight mason jar and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to run out the door, just don’t leave it behind! Check out my favorite smoothie arecipe here

Let’s not let time dictate our health anymore. With very little preparation and a few simple steps you’ll be on your way to having a great and nutritious day.

Savory Mushroom & Rice Recipe

Dinner tonight was so tasty and so quick that I had to share my recipe with you all. I get inspiration from a lot of different sources, but mostly I just try to create from flavors that I love. This dish was just an experiment and it turned out perfect. I always use organic produce and ingredients whenever possible.

Savory Mushroom & Rice Recipe

2 Cups Whole button mushrooms, sliced

2 Cups Brown rice, cooked

1/2 Cup Veggie broth

2 TBL Dijon mustard

2 TBL White cooking wine

1 TBL Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Garlic clove, crushed

1/2 tsp Onion powder

1/4 tsp Sea salt

Enjoy!

Xo, Heather