What Happens When You Unplug for 20 Minutes?

IMG_5400 (1)I think the word “meditation” gets mixed reviews –  from sounding like a bigger deal than it really is, to some “crunchy” “new ” thing people do, to being reserved for Buddhists and Hindu’s.  Trust me, I used to think the same thing.

So what is it? There are a million articles, books, blogs, apps out there.

Merriam-Webster defines it as:


noun med·i·ta·tion \ˌme-də-ˈtā-shən\

Simple Definition of meditation

  • : the act or process of spending time in quiet thought : the act or process of meditating

  • : an expression of a person’s thoughts on something

To simply put it, meditation is all about spending time with yourself and being in the present moment and unplugging. It’s about spending a few minutes away from technology and our ever looming list of things to do. Being in the present moment means being aware. Aware of your body, the way it feels at that very moment.

When you meditate sometimes your mind will be really busy, other times like a lake. We close our eyes in meditation, because it’s easier to look inward when they are closed. We’re less likely to get distracted. Things will come up when you meditate – say hello to it. Think of those things as an old friend.  That old friend can be, anxiety or that familiar story from the day before that stresses you out.

Meditation is about noticing what happens to your body, when your old friend anxiety shows up or that story is told. Often times, we’re so busy we don’t allow ourselves to have 20 minutes of stillness. We’re so busy, the feelings associated with anxiety and stress go unnoticed until we’re sick or just so taxed we have to stop.  As we start to notice the old friend anxiety or the familiar story and say hello to them, they become less painful and less of a burden. Whatever story may come up, I now look at it as a story, it makes it easier to be in my own skin.

The whole point of meditation is to connect with yourself in a non-striving, non-judge mental way.

Why is meditation hard for you? What have you started to notice as you meditate? 

How Do You Meal Prep?

IMG_7315It’s a no brainer we have become busier. Stress comes with being busy. With stress comes lack of time. With lack of time we get hangry, make poor food choices and spend all of our money on take out. Sound familiar, I thought so, I’m guilty as charged too. However, I have found that creating some space on Sunday to rest, nourish, and plan for the week ahead has been invaluable. By no means am I claiming to be perfect at this; I’m still in training wheels and things come up, making it almost impossible to plan for the week – and I notice the difference.  Meal prepping cuts down on stress and time.  Not to mention, it saves money and calories by cooking at home and avoid that hangry meltdown.
Meal prep can be anything from cooking ahead of time for the week, prepping salads, or buying ingredients for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner ahead of time. I fall somewhere in the middle. It’s important to not strive for perfection here, otherwise, meal prep won’t happen. The act of meal prep can be enjoyable, when the pressure isn’t there. Meal prepping is an opportunity to be grateful for our food, grateful that we’re able to nourish ourselves and our loved ones and honor ourselves by taking time out for self care.  If we think about it, a lot goes into putting food on our tables. There are so many people involved, from the farmers to people stocking the shelves at our stores.
What I have found to be incredibly helpful, is to figure out what sounds good for the week, write down the days of the meals in a planner and head to the store. Each meal, I make a little extra for lunch the next day. We have easy stuff for breakfast on hand and will prep in large quantities – hard boiled eggs or chia pudding.
Living in the city, meal prep can be taken for granted, it’s often easier to order take out, whether it be your kitchen isn’t big enough, you have roommates, working late etc. In the ‘burbs or more rural areas it’s a necessity. We live in a smallish town and if we come home late from work and aren’t at the store before 8pm, we’re out of luck. My husband and I have been in that predicament before – and it’s not pretty.
If you have a family, and the kiddo’s are big enough to help, get them involved, so they can participate in the process. Find what works for you and your family, don’t beat yourself up if you miss a week of meal planning, and enjoy the process. Remember, non-judgement and non-striving for the process and you’ll find it to be much more enjoyable and fun.

The picture shown is rice drying out in Bali, all harvested by hand.

What do you do for meal prep?

We’re Always Doing Something


I was 16 or 17 when it occurred to me we are always doing. I was a new driver waiting at a stoplight, the sun was beating down, I looked around and noticed movement everywhere. Nothing was stopping. Cars moving in either direction, lights turning, people walking across the street, a train going by, people fidgeting in their cars, a breeze blowing, birds flying by – you get the picture. I was an island in the middle of all this movement and I realized “nothing really stops.”

We’re taught at an early age we need to always be doing and not being. If we’re not doing then we’re told we’re lazy. Which is untrue – there is a difference between being and being lazy. I found great comfort when John Kabat-Zinn wrote a whole section about this, in his book, Full Catastrophe Living. We’ve become a society that is constantly on. We don’t really make time to turn off, other than when we sleep. We have disconnected from ourselves because we’re always doing. We never stop.

We can reconnect with ourselves if we get into the practice of turning off and allowing ourselves to just be. What if we spent 20 minutes a day, just being? When we set aside time to just be, our bodies cannot thank us enough. If we fully immerse in our bodies, and we turn off everything around us to focus on right now, concentrate on our breath and our body and immerse in the stillness, then we naturally connect with ourselves.

I recommend giving this a shot, a couple of times a week and see how you feel. Try this without judgment or expectations and allow yourself to turn off and just be. Start by, turning your phone to silent – not vibrate, setting the timer for 20 minutes, sitting in a comfortable place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale. You can even repeat in your head, “in,” “out,” with each breath, or “peace” on the inhale, and “joy” on the exhale. As you’re focusing on the breath notice how good it feels to relax your mind and your body without any outside distractions and just be.

Let me know how you felt – if 20 minutes seems too much at first, try 10 minutes and increase it from there.

Have You Hopped on the Turmeric Train?


If not, I suggest hopping on it and making a cup of Golden Milk, you will love it. It’s tasty, comforting and filled with all sorts of amazing benefits. This drink tastes similar to chai tea and can be enjoyed in the morning or before bed to help with sleep.

Serves Two:

  • 2 Cups of Unsweetened Plain Almond Milk or Cows Milk
  • 1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
  • 2 Tbsp of Honey (local if possible)

Optional, add one, all or none.

  • 6-10 Peppercorns
  • 6 -10 Cardamom Pods
  • 2 Tsp Coconut Oil
  • Dash of Cinnamon
  1. Add milk, turmeric and/or optional peppercorns and/or cardamom pods to a small saucepan and allow it to simmer until all the ingredients are combined.
  2. Either, pour into a tea pot and stir in honey & coconut oil or pour into separate cups and add 1 tablespoon of honey & 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to each cup.
  3. Enjoy warm!

The benefits of turmeric are endless – turmeric is a spice that has been used over 4,000 years in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Most commonly known to help with inflammation, according to WebMd turmeric is used with digestion, arthritis, headaches, and cancer. It can also help with symptoms of depression. I’ve been told in India, people use it to treat small wounds and bites. In an article written by the Mercola Institute, curcumin is one of active ingredients in turmeric that has been studied the most; and is what contributes to the healing properties found in turmeric. It is said when you add peppercorn to the milk it enhances the properties of curcumin by 1000%!

I like to add cardamom pods into the milk – they have a great flavor and reminds me of chai tea, plus, you’re getting the natural benefits found in cardamom. Cardamom is a natural detoxifier and is used to aid in digestive problems, such as indigestion and heartburn. Cardamom also relives nausea. In a posting on Organic Facts, cardamom is the Queen of Spices as it’s one of the top three most expensive spices. Saffron and vanilla are numbers one and two.

I’m a purist and know there are a lot of sugar substitutes out there. I’ve been slowly cutting out refined sugar from my diet and always have honey on hand. I try to have local honey, as it helps combat seasonal allergies, but I’m human and sometimes don’t have a chance to buy local honey. Honey has all sorts of natural benefits – Medical Daily wrote a great article called, “Liquid Gold” detailing the benefits found in honey. As I mentioned before, honey alleviates allergies, it can also boost your energy, boost memory, ease coughing, helps with sleep (Golden Milk is great before bed), and it treats wounds.

I like to add a little coconut oil to the mix because it thickens it up and adds richness to the flavor. Not to mention Organic Facts explains that coconut oil is great for the immune system. Studies have shown it helps with heart disease, it aides in digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar.

Enjoy a cup and let me know what you added to it.

The Biggest Waste of Time Ever! How to Stop Being Hard on Yourself

IMG_3506If you sit back and really think about it – how much time is spent throughout the day being hard on yourself? A lot right?!

As I’ve become more aware of myself and my thoughts, I’ve really started to notice what it feels like when being I’m hard on myself. Something will trigger the thought and a combination of the following occurs: Tight chest, increased heart beat, knot in the tummy with a dash of nausea, and a tingly head that feels as if a rubber band is around it. Of course, thoughts going a million miles an hour that are berating, fear based, and just plain mean. These thoughts are most likely caught in the past and then they start manifesting a dismal future. To top it off these thoughts and feelings that aren’t even ours! UGH!

When we’re hard on ourselves, we’re not focusing on the present and we miss out.

Can you imagine what would happen if we were nicer to ourselves? Amazing things, right?!?! Like, being present, noticing the birds chirping, the sound of rain hitting the roof or the sunlight beating on your face. Even better yet – opportunity. The more present we are, and not caught up in the past or comparing ourselves to others, we become more aware. Aware of ourselves and our surroundings, which creates positive space, which then allows opportunity to enter into our lives.

The next time you’re unkind to yourself, take a moment to notice what’s going on. No judgment, just notice how you feel. Then ask yourself, is this how I want to be treated?

What happens when you’re hard on yourself? 

Shop for a New Attitude……Rudeness is Out of Style

cropped-img_62254.jpgRudeness doesn’t look good on anyone. Over the past ten years or so, I’ve noticed people in the workplace seem to think being rude is fashionable. Well it’s not. Being rude is unfashionable. Rudeness can be seen as disruptive, disrespectful, and downright mean – and I’m not referring to hoarding snacks or looking at social media during a meeting. I’m talking about making others feel bad or look bad.

Rudeness is not assertiveness. Being rude does not reflect power. Rudeness, is a defense mechanism. Rudeness radiates loss of control. Rudeness is a sign of frustration. Rudeness can spread from the top down, impacting productivity – because guess what? Rudeness is a form of negative reinforcement and productivity decreases with negative reinforcement.

We are all guilty of being rude from time to time. With the amount of stress we have put on ourselves as a society, there is a lot of pressure. We’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, burnt out – the list goes on. However, we have a choice. We have a choice to be respectful. We have a choice to be kind. We have a choice to take a step back.

When you find yourself in a bad mood and wanting to take your frustration out on others, whether it be in an email or a conversation before you fire off do quick self-check in and unpack the way you feel:

  • Are you frustrated, mad, stressed, overwhelmed? Why?
  • Is that dig releasing aggression?
  • For that moment, are you getting a high from being rude?
  • Are you even aware you’re being rude?
  • Is your heart racing, chest tight shoulders tense?
  • On a scale from 1-10 how stressed out are you?
  • Is being rude going to produce the results you need to succeed?
  • Internally, how rude are you to yourself?

Try not to be rude, it looks bad and shows weakness and insecurity. If you’re still angry, after you’ve unpacked, move onto another task and come back to it later, take a walk, get some tea, look at something funny online. The point is to take a step back, look at your actions from a high level and bring awareness to your words and actions.


Put Away Your Coat of Armor

cropped-img_329811.jpgWe wear disguises in the form of anger, competition, isolation, jealousy and weight -the list goes on. These disguises are a physical “coat of armor” acting as a self defense mechanism in lieu of having good boundaries. We miss out in life by wearing this coat of armor and putting a wall up around us.

Think of how many times you have judged people, gotten angry, held on to something or made excuses to get out of doing something out of self defense. Or the times we compete with each other, or push people away because we don’t want to, “get too close” or we don’t want someone to be doing “better than us-“ these are all self defense mechanisms, our coat of armor.

What would happen if you put away your coat of armor? How do you think your life would open up?

Morning Buzz

IMG_3378Allowing yourself to have a ritual that you look forward to each day is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Even if you’re stretched with work, family, kids – just 15 minutes of being still can help minimize stress. You’re just being. How many times throughout the day, are we running, multitasking, stressed, stretched, always doing, always trying to please? Pretty much most of the day. The only times we really have to ourselves, is in the bathroom. We’re always on.

What would happen if you turned off for 15 minutes? How would you feel? At first you might feel as if you don’t have time for that. You might feel guilt. You may feel stressed, uncomfortable, angry. Try it for 15 minutes. There is no right or wrong time of day. There are no rules, no expectations. This is your time. Settle down, quiet the body and just be with yourself. It is time to reset, take care of yourself, and clear your mind.

What are some of your rituals?