Monday, October 22, 2012

Setting the foundation

Happy Monday!

I wanted to send this out today because this week is looking suuuuuper busy, and because I am just bursting at the seams with joy and excitement on this birthday day of mine! 

Today, my Facebook status reads as follows:
Life is changing every minute of every hour of every day. Each moment is unique, unlike any other in the past or future. And we were all born at the most unique and perfect moment to set our own course for the journey of life.

I had an amazing weekend leading up to this birthday today. I decided not to do a happy hour, or take shots, not even to have a crazy fun dance party as usual. Instead, I wanted to slow down, live in the moment, take time to reflect on the last year and the events of my life, and do healthy, grounding things to set a new foundation for this 28th year…taking sweaty yoga classes, spending time with girlfriends, celebrating the engagement of a beautiful couple and catching up with my sacred yogi community, enjoying the gorgeous fall weather while exploring Malibu and Santa Barbara on the back of a motorcycle…

Everything unfolded perfectly, I loved and appreciated every single moment, and I am so grateful for all the incredible people and abundance in my life. I’ve never been more happy to wake up at 4:45 AM for work on a Monday. So thank you all for the birthday wishes, and for helping me to become even more determined to always be and become the best version of myself.

Happy Monday everyone! xoxo

Above are pictures of me at one of my favorite seafood places in Malibu, with a big surprise after a birthday brunch.  Besides the absolutely massive piece of chocolate cake that appeared after an amazing salmon and grilled onion scramble and a LOT of delicious coffee, I can proudly say this is the healthiest and happiest I've been and felt in a long time. And yet I'm grateful for all the trials and issues I've gone through, because they made me ridiculously strong and appreciative of everything single thing and person I have in my life.

One of the biggest catalysts that changed my life for the better was going to holistic nutrition school.  I left my first job out of college because I was in a terrible dark hole of multiple medical diagnoses: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ADD, anorexia, depression...truly struggling and not knowing where I was going or what I was doing with my life. 

So almost as a last resort, I signed up for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, praying for answers and wisdom, and hoping that just maybe this would become a viable career for me if I could get myself out of my pit of despair.

It wasn't just calories in/calories out, USDA food pyramid, or fad diets like every other nutrition school out there.  I relished learning how to eat whole foods; connecting with my body, mind, and spirit; turning to yoga, meditation, and deep breathing; finding a form of exercise that I enjoy, love, and commit to daily; learning how to communicate my feelings and desires in a positive and appropriate way... It completely rocked my world, and I've been on a mission ever since to help others take better care of themselves, drop the health drama, and come out on top. 

In yoga, my teachers say that whatever you do on your mat translates to how you do things in life.  Others say, "How you do one thing is how you do everything." 

Changing your food habits can absolutely change and improve every single area in your life.  Look what it did for me.  Sure, I had a sliver of that cake you see above you.  But that's part of living a balanced lifestyle.  I know that 90-95% of the time I eat in a way that nourishes me, that gives me the absolute best quality of nutrients for my brain and body.  And I have room for special occasions or holidays, to go with the flow and sample and cherish something that isn't something nutritionally healthy, but emotionally healthy because I am allowing myself to be present with the person/people who are celebrating the moment with me. 

And when you learn to treat your body with respect and make better choices with your food, it will trickle into your work, relationships, and family dynamics.  When I let my diet and health habits slip, I let people walk all over me, use me, and even hurt me.  But when I regained my focus, ate better, and got back into my exercise and yoga, I was strong enough to get out of those toxic relationships, attract more clients to my business, and rekindle incredible friendships and opportunities with colleagues.

So this week, just notice your thoughts and habits around food and eating, and see if they translate into other areas of your life.  More on that another time, but I also want to mention again, that if you need help in this area, I would love to give you my assistance and speak with you in a complimentary 30-minute consultation when you purchase (on sale!) my detox below.  Or feel free to email me anytime about anything, for real!

Even though it's not your birthday today, maybe think of a way you can slow down, press pause, and reflect for a moment on how you intend to make the rest of this month or even the rest of 2012 better than ever.

Happy Monday, and I'll be here in your inbox again in a week!

Michelle's Birthday Sale on the Detox Program!
In celebration of my birthday month, and because I'm on a modified cleanse feeling absolutely fantastic and I want you to feel the same, I've decided to run a sale on my detox.  

For just $25, go ahead and snap up my proven program, and that way you'll have the materials for whenever you want to try a 7, 14, or 21 day cleanse.

Usually I charge $117, so that's $92 off!

And I'm throwing in a complimentary 30-minute consultation with me, so you can ask any and all questions and get some personalized attention with whatever is going on with your health and life!
You can start your cleanse anytime, or just keep it for when you're ready, but go ahead and take advantage of the sale, and have a tool for health handy!  If anything, just reading through the materials will give you incredible insight, and incorporating just a couple of the detox tips could seriously boost your health!

So whether you want to detox now, or just keep it on the shelf for when you're ready, click on the link below to purchase:

Praise for the program?  Wouldn't you like to have just one of these feelings?

“I can't thank you enough for introducing me to this lifestyle. I have kept faithful to the foods and have never felt better - I also lost 12lbs along the way which made me feel a whole lot better.” - Janet W., Salt Lake City, UT

“I started [my health counseling program] with the 21 day cleanse. It was way easier than I thought. The recipes were easy, quick, delicious and family friendly.  I still use them all the time!! In 21 days my energy level increased, I sleep better, have better mental clarity, reduced moodiness and my chronic health issues have improved dramatically. Food cravings were really minimized by the end of the cleanse. Now I actually do not want to eat less than super healthy food. And did I mention that I feel really, really good?” - Jana, Hawthorne, CA

Peanut problems

I think the first time I heard that peanut butter was a fitness food, was when I was working at lululemon athletica, and one of the girls was following the Abs diet.  It's one of the staples for the 12-item list of power foods that can boost weight loss and chisel those six-pack they say.

Honestly, like any food, peanuts and peanut butter have their pros and cons.  Yes, they're high in fat, but it's monounsaturated fat which is good for your heart and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.  They also contain magnesium, folate, vitamin E, and fiber, all of which most of us don't get enough of in our diets anyway.

On the downside, peanuts are one of the most overly sprayed foods.  If you're not getting organic peanut butter, chances are you're consuming a LOT of pesticides.  Not to mention, peanuts tend to be easily contamined with mold and aflatoxins=carcinogens!

Also, you may be aware of the recent recall of peanuts/peanut butter.  I even noticed that my local Starbucks has taken certain items off the shelf that contained any kind of peanut product.

On September 24th, a large peanut manufacturing company called Sunland announced a recall on their peanut butter due to Salmonella contamination.  Yuck.  And now they've expanded the recall to include raw and roasted peanuts.

As someone who haunts the aisles of Trader Joes, I was especially disturbed to hear that 35 people in 19 states got sick from Salmonella in TJ's brand of peanut butter!

For now, perhaps make the switch to almond butter.  They even have cashew, sunflower seed, and macadamia nut butter, so now might be the time to change things up!

See my power breakfast recipe below for how I incorporate a little almond butter deliciousness into my life! 

And just be careful with the peanut products for now until things settle down. 

Michelle's Power Oats Breakfast
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
1 sliced banana
1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
desired amount of almond milk

Place first 6 ingredients, in order, in a bowl.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, pour almond milk.  I eat this as is, you don't need to cook the oats, but if you prefer it warm, heat it up in a pot before adding almond milk