Spirited Eats: My favorite, healthy #superhumanbreakfast recipe

My relationship with breakfast has evolved over time.  I used to bounce between skipping breakfast and grabbing a tripe latte and muffin or scone at Starbucks.  When I wanted to be “healthy” I’d go with the yogurt parfait or granola bar.

I really had no concept of what a healthy breakfast should be.  My breakfasts were filled with caffeine, refined sugar, and processed foods.  And were “low-fat” – always low-fat.  It didn’t matter what or how much I ate – I never felt full or satisfied after breakfast.  In fact, I’d usually feel more sluggish and hungry after eating.  Turns out I was missing the two most critical parts of a healthy breakfast: protein and fat.  Yes, FAT.  (I’ll let you in on a little secret: healthy fat doesn’t make you fat.)

If you follow me an Instagram (if you don’t – what are you waiting for?  It’s a party over there!) you know that green smoothies are my jam.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anytime in between.  I love me a green smoothie.  But, sometimes a girl just needs a warm breakfast and something to chew.

Cue the Superhuman Breakfast.  At the end of the summer I participated in the #superhumanbreakfast 5-day challenge from Laura Hames Franklin.  The challenge was to take the time to prepare and mindfully eat Laura’s #superhumanbreakfast each morning: eggs, sweet potato, greens, sauerkraut, and Himalayan salt.  Why this magical combination?

Eggs provide you will a complete source of protein containing all nine amino acids your body needs.  Protein in the morning helps to stabilize your blood sugar, fuels your digestive system, and keeps you feeling full longer.  Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate – the sugars are held together by fiber which slows down the digestion and release of sugar into the bloodstream.  Dark leafy greens provide folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.  They are rich in phytonutrients and also alkalizing for the body.  Bonus – gently cooked greens are easier for your body to digest.  Raw, fermented foods are full of enzymes and probiotics (good bacteria) that your digestive system needs.  Himalayan salt is rich in minerals and helps to regulate your hydration.  Yep, salt helps your hydration!

This meal literally makes my entire body smile.  The colors are gorgeous.  The food is warm and delicious.  The experience is calming.  And – the best part – you feel full, satisfied, and energized for hours.  When I have a craving these days it’s usually for the #superhumanbreakfast.  I’ve perfected my “recipe” to go from hungry to #superhuman in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of dishes possible.  Enjoy!

What you need

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 2 pasture-raised, organic eggs (the yolks should be dark and vibrant!)
  • 1 organic sweet potato
  • 1 bunch dark leafy greens (dinosaur kale is my favorite)
  • Raw, fermented sauerkraut (you will find it in the refrigerated section of your health food store – the only ingredients should be vegetables, water, salt, and any spices.  No sugar or vinegar!)
  • Himalayan crystal salt
  • Avocado or olives (optional)
  • Chives (optional)

Directions

  • Add 1 inch of water to pot, add steamer basket, cover, and bring to boil
  • Scrub and chop sweet potato (if organic, peeling is optional.  I don’t love the skin so I peel)
  • Wash and chop greens
  • When water is boiling, add sweet potato and eggs to basket.  Set the timer for 9 minutes.  (I prefer my eggs medium boiled so the yolk is slightly soft and gooey but not runny)
  • After 9 minutes remove eggs and immediately rinse under cold water
  • Add greens to basket, cover, and turn off heat
  • Peel eggs
  • Once your eggs are peeled the greens should be gently steamed – remove sweet potato and greens
  • Add a few forkfuls of sauerkraut and avocado or olives (if using)
  • Sprinkle with Himalayan salt and chives

Give this breakfast a try and let me know your #superhuman powers!


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How do you want to feel? {My experience with The Desire Map}

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How do you want to feel?  Not what do you want to accomplish, acquire, or prove.  How do you want to FEEL?

When is the last time you asked yourself that question and really listened for the answer to rise to the surface?

It is a question that I never asked myself.  In fact, my goal was to feel…well…very little.  Numb was the goal.  I did whatever I could to block my feelings.  Hold back tears.  Check.  Shy away from difficult conversations.  Check.  Not plan for the future.  Check.  I certainly wouldn’t allow myself to focus on my feelings.  Or even acknowledge that they were there.

I had goals.  To-do lists.  Even vision boards.  My focus was on what the world around me should look like, sound like, and how I should move through that world.  My approach was totally devoid of feelings.  It was like I was walking through a movie of my life without actually experiencing it.  A casual observer.

Enter Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul.

I’ll be honest.  This book scared me down to my core.  It sat and sat on my bookshelf and every now and then I’d feel it pull me.  I’d hear Danielle speaking to me.  Literally.  For months the audio version would randomly start playing in the car.  One minute I’d be listening to Joshua Radin and the next thing I knew I’d hear: “Welcome to The Desire Map.”

So I finally (but at the perfect time) looked my fear in the eye and said “I just don’t care.”  I put on some mantra music, brewed my favorite tea, busted out my mala beads and journal, and got cozy in my zen den.  (Leg warmers are not required but strongly recommended!)

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The Desire Map is sectioned into two books – The Theory and The Workbook.  It busts open the act of goal setting and throws convention out the window.  Instead of goals you focus on your core desired feelings (CDFs).  Less “I want to get that raise I deserve.” and more “I want to feel abundant in every aspect of my life.  I want gratitude to ooze out of me.  I want to feel in service.  I want to feel free.

Every word of book one drew me closer and closer to desire.  Danielle is poetry in motion.  Her words danced off of the page and pirouetted their way into the dusty and long-ignored corners of my body.  I could feel her energy and passion guiding me.  With every turn of the page I felt more and more connected.  More supported.  More understood.  And more myself.  Book one builds a foundation for peeling back your layers and looking your desires in the eye.

Why do I desire what I desire?
The answer is fast, clear, and simple: to feel good, of course.  —Danielle LaPorte

The workbook is where you roll up your sleeves and dive into your desires.  And it is terrifying.  At least for me.  Even though the workbook was my own private oasis to explore my deepest desires, I still felt exposed and raw.  And I was exposed.  I was allowing myself to fully connect and be present.  Creating space for my feelings to bubble to the surface and take welcome deep breaths.  It felt uncomfortable and comfortable at the same time.  Fluid and blocked.  Sacred and vulnerable.

When resistance is gone, the demons are gone. —Pema Chödrön

I was walking an unknown, unexplored path.  The walls around my desires were tall and wide.  The words of book one slowly began to chip away at the walls.  And the questions of book two called in the wrecking ball.  The questions start small – the soulful warm up.  I followed Danielle’s urging and went with my first thought – not caring about spelling, logical thoughts, or repeating myself.  I didn’t allow myself to cross things out.  I moved through the warm up questions quickly.  Lingering would allow my ego to creep in and shut down the operation.

Once I was in the zone I dipped my toes into the deep end.  Focusing on gratitude within the life areas as well as what’s not working:

Livelihood & lifestyle
Body & wellness
Creativity & learning
Relationships & society
Essence & spirituality

I’m all about an attitude of gratitude (have you peeked into my year of gratitude?) but not only was I writing out my gratitude list within each life area but I was reflecting on WHY.  The goal is to get beyond the surface and find the feelings within you gratitude.  And the same goes for what’s not working.  Instead of just listing all of the “this sucks” I reflected on why they’re not working with an eye on how to release or resolve them.

And then I was ready.  Ready to not only acknowledge that I had desires but to swim in the ocean of my core desired feelings.

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This is when I slowed down.  Savored the experience.  It felt deeply personal.  Unbelievably important.  Required.  Long overdue.  Expansive.

I asked myself for the very first time: “How do you want to feel?” and the flood gates opened.  Words poured out of me.  The pen just flowed.  My inner voice spoke first and loudest.  All of the suppressed feelings were set free.  I filled the pages – allowing myself to fully explore how I wanted to feel in each life area.

And then I took a nap.  Seriously.  I was utterly spent as my hand scribbled out the final feeling.  I felt like I had just completed a triathlon.  I let my body rest and all of the desires mingle in my mind.  I woke up with clarity and got to work on refining my feelings.  I looked up definitions, synonyms, and kept going as I uncovered my core desired feelings.  I allowed words to jump off of the page.  The feelings that just had to be felt.  The words that lit me up.  Scared me.  Gave me butterflies.  The words that fit.

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These CDFs make me vibrate.  These four words so deeply and authentically represent how I want to feel.  And now I’m putting them into action.  Focusing each day on what actions I can take to feel joy, sexy, radiant, and serene.  I set intentions for the year that are aligned with my CDFs.  And unlike my usual goals or resolutions these intentions support my ultimate goal: to feel good.

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When I get lost along the way or take an unexpected detour, I will be able to turn to my CDFs for direction.  They are my compass – pointing me in the direction of living the life I never even dreamed was possible and feeling joy, sexy, radiant, and serene.

So, how do you want to feel?

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A look back on feeling my best in 2014 and how I plan to feel ever better in 2015

2015

This rings so true in my life.  My journey to spirited well-being started in 2013 with a simple wish to feel better and the knowledge that there had to be a better way to live.  Last year was my warm up: stretching my health and happiness muscles, building the foundation for my coaching business, and a focus on deep mind and body healing.  And that brings me to this moment – the beginning days of 2015.  This year is going to be phenomenal for us – I can feel it in my bones and every cell of my body.

Looking back

I started 2014 in a very different way.  Instead of making endless (and hopeless) lists of resolutions and setting myself up for guaranteed failure, I made a list of un-resolutions with my help of my friend, Megan McGrane.  I focused on what had been working for me in 2013 and committed to continuing the good work in 2014.  This list – my ‘Feel My Best‘ list transformed my life.  Did I follow my list 100% of the time for the past 365 days?  No.  But I did practice these items more often than not and whenever I found myself feeling off in 2014 I went back to this list and checked-in with myself.  I also checked-in with you one month in and at the halfway mark.

Feeling My Best (2014)

  1. Drink a lot of water
  2. Have green smoothies for breakfast
  3. Meditate each day
  4. Unplug and read…an actual book
  5. Practice radical self-forgiveness
  6. Do yoga several times a week
  7. Stop grains and ‘cheats’ (you know…”just one bite”…) [I borrowed this one from Megan’s list!]
  8. Spend quality time with Andrew and Scout
  9. Take my supplements
  10. Get more sleep
  11. Keep my home, car, and office free of clutter
  12. Drink herbal tea
  13. Spend time cooking healthy meals
  14. Limit my sugar intake (even the “good” stuff – raw honey, maple syrup, and bananas)

Reflecting back on 2014 I can honestly say that I have never felt better.  Ever.  I truly did feel my best in 2014.  Did I feel the best that I can feel?  No.  Mind and body healing is definitely a marathon.  But I came such a long way last year.  The days and weeks that I felt like a rockstar were the times when I was sticking true to this list.  I was able to figure out what my non-negotiables are – the things that have the biggest impact and that I commit to no matter what.  And I know the items that need a little special attention in 2015 (sleep and movement).

This approach to “resolutions” was a game changer for me.  And the best thing about it is that you can get started today.  Tomorrow.  In 3 months.  Whenever you feel called to.  Spend some time thinking about what you are already doing that makes you feel vibrant, happy, engaged, and joyful.  Write them down and do more of what is already working for you.  Why add more “to-do” items to your plate that end up feeling like chores when you can simply do what you’re already doing with more focus?!  Try it and share some of the items on your ‘Feel My Best’ list in the comments!

Looking ahead

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This is my year to shine.  This is your year to shine.  Let’s shine together and light up the world around us!  One of the ways to shine is to feel great.  I’m committed to my ‘Feel My Best’ list as a lifestyle.  This year I’ve added another layer by working my way through The Desire Map.  I just wrapped up the workbook this week and identified my core desired feelings.  I’m over the moon to share the experience with you in a post (stay tuned) because it was radical.  I’m combining my ‘Feel My Best’ list with my core desired feelings to thrive in 2015.  And my strategy is to simplify.  Focus on my desires and the small handful of things that make me feel my best.  I’m devoting time each week to thinking about how I want to feel and what actions small and large I can take to feel that way.  And then I’m following through.

This is a year of action.

It’s game time.  (Can you feel it?)


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How to end the year without coulda, woulda, shoulda

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We are wrapping up 2014 and ’tis the season for busting out the coulda, woulda, shoulda.

I coulda worked out more this year.
I woulda found that man if I lost 10 pounds.
I shoulda stuck to my resolutions.

The end of the year is a time for celebrating, honoring, and dreaming.  It’s not a time for judging, attacking, and shoulding all over your life.  It’s important to end the year with the energy that you want to carry into the new year and I’m guessing that low vibe, self-loathing energy is not what you are seeking in 2015.

Instead of the coulda, woulda, shoulda follow my tips for ending the year on a high and feeling great about the new year.  I have one simple action for each day leading up to the ball dropping and the confetti flying.

December 21:  Read this blog!

December 22:  Commit to healthy choices for the next 10 days.  Maybe it’s more movement, more veggies, one less cookie, more sleep, less stress, more water.  Just pick one or two things and commit.  Set calendar reminders for the next 10 days so that you don’t forget in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

December 23:  Ask for help.  Would you feel less stressed if someone else took responsibility for wrapping gifts or making dessert?  Just ask.  You will immediately feel lighter.

December 24:  Write out a list of everything you accomplished in 2014.  Nothing is too small to include.  Keep writing until you can’t think of anything else.  And then come up with 5 more things.  This should be a long list.  Read it out loud and smile.  You did good.

December 25:  Merry Christmas, if you celebrate!  At dinner tonight make gratitude your attitude.  Go around the table and ask everyone to share one thing from 2014 that they are grateful for.  Bask in the glow of all this gratitude!

December 26:  Write out your resolutions from last year and rip them to pieces (or thrown them in your fireplace and watch them burn).  Recite “I celebrate what I accomplished and release the rest.”

December 27:  Do something that you love today.  It could be anything – the only requirement is that it brings you joy.  Dinner with your hubs, call your best friend, a glass of wine and your favorite movie, a mani/pedi.  Anything that makes you smile.

December 28:  Plan something in January that you can’t wait to do.  Maybe you’re finally going to try SoulCycle or use that spa gift certificate you got for your anniversary last year.  The two rules: whatever you plan supports your self-care and you are excited about it.

December 29:  Check some things off of your to-do list today.  What are some of the small things that you’ve just been procrastinating?  Don’t let these things weigh you down as you close out the year.  Get your oil changed.  Clean your oven.  Organize your receipts.

December 30:  Clear out the clutter.  It’s time to tackle your closet and donate whatever you didn’t wear in 2014.  Toss all of the almost empty bottles you have in your bathroom.  Open up your “junk” drawer and get rid of the junk.  Make space for all of the amazing things that are going to come your way in 2015.

December 31:  It’s New Year’s Eve and time to focus on how to want to FEEL in 2015.  Resolutions don’t work.  They just don’t.  We write out of list of resolutions and suddenly the things that we actually want to do feel like homework.  And I don’t know about you but as soon as I HAVE to do something, I no longer WANT to do it.  Instead focus on your core desired feelings.  This is a life changing practice that I learned from Danielle LaPorte‘s The Desire Map.  By focusing on how you want to feel you can then create goals that will allow you to feel that way.  I’ll be ringing in the new year with a new desire map.  (And some champagne!)

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I’ll be sharing my desire map experience and core desire feelings in the new year and can’t wait to hear from you.  How do you want to FEEL in 2015?


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Spirited Eats: Blackberry Coconut Chia Pudding

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Blackberry Coconut Chia Pudding

You’ll need:

  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey (optional but so good)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh or thawed blackberries

Directions:

  • Add coconut milk, honey, vanilla, and blackberries to blender and blend until smooth.  Thin with water, if needed.
  • Divide chia seeds between two small mason jars.
  • Pour blended mixture over chia seeds and shake vigorously.
  • Refrigerate overnight (or at least an hour) – shaking the jars a few times.
  • Top with fresh fruit, granola, or raw nuts.

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What are your non-negotiables?

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Healthy habits don’t need to be so complicated.  All you need to do to feel better today is just get started.

I want you to document a week in your life without making any changes: when you go to bed and wake up, what you drink and when, what you eat and when, meditation, how much exercise you get, what you do for fun.  How do you feel throughout the day?  Now organize your habits into two lists – makes you feel great, makes you feel meh.

Choose your top two or three things from the “great” list and make these your non-negotiables.  These are the things that you commit to doing daily, no matter what.  Be sure to be realistic in your selections.  Sure, you feel great when you workout for 90 minutes but if that doesn’t fit into your daily routine, don’t make 90 minutes of activity your non-negotiable.  Maybe daily movement becomes the standard.  Treat your non-negotiables with the same level of importance that your treat work or personal commitments.  Schedule them in your calendar and be sure to do them daily.  Everything else will be fluid and come in and out but you’ll always come back to these habits.

My non-negotiables are meditation and water.  When I meditate daily I feel calm and centered, my day seems to flow, and I’m able to handle whatever comes my way.  When I don’t meditate I feel depleted, stuck, sluggish, and jumbled.  So I make sure that I meditate daily.  Sometimes it’s 20 minutes on my meditation pillow in front of my alter, sometimes it’s at my desk at work on my lunch break, in the car when I’m early for an appointment, or one minute of breathing before I get out of bed.  It looks different everyday because I make it work for my life in the moment.  But no matter how it looks, it happens.  The same is true with water.  I set out my giant glass of water before bed and don’t even need to think about it in the morning – it just happens.

Share your non-negotiables in the comments below (they will feel more “official” once you publicly declare them) and let’s support each other on the journey to Spirited Well-being.


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Stress-free Thanksgiving and two recipes

Truth time – are you already stressing about how stuffed you’re going to be on Thanksgiving?  Or restricting this week to “save room” for your Thanksgiving meal?  Or dusting off your stretchy pants for Thanksgiving dinner?  There is another way.  A way that allows you to truly enjoy the holiday without guilt, without needing to unbutton your pants mid-meal, without feeling like a stuffed turkey at the end of the night, and without needing to crash diet or obsessively workout days before and days after the big day.

There is a way to move through Thanksgiving with ease.  (And still enjoy the food!)  Here’s my three-day plan for a guilt-free, pleasurable Thanksgiving.  (It will work for any holiday.)

The day before

  • Set your intention and visualize – how do you want the day to go?  Spend time writing out your intention for the day.  For example: I will move through the day relaxed, enjoy my family, feel calm when I sit down to eat, and slowly chew my food.  After writing out your intentions, sit in meditation and visualize the day.  Play out the ideal day from start to finish in your mind.  Focus on the details: what will you wear, what will you talk about, what will your plate look like, how much will you eat.
  • Hydrate – it’s likely that you won’t drink as much water on a holiday as you normally do.  Be sure to drink extra water the day before.  Typically you want to aim for half of your body weight in ounces per day but today down a few extra glasses.
  • Have a treat – what’s your favorite indulgence on Thanksgiving?  I recommend having a small portion the day before.  We tend to overeat during holiday meals because we feel like we only get to eat the foods once a year so we should go all in.  If you love pumpkin pie, have a small slice on Wednesday.  It will still be special on Thanksgiving but you won’t feel like need to eat enough pie to last you all year.

The day of

  • Move and meditate – holidays are busy, especially if you are cooking.  Wake up with enough time to start your day with movement and meditation. Take a long walk with your dog early in the morning before the rest of the world is awake, hit your mat for a yoga session, or go for a run.  Just move.  And then spend a few minutes in quiet meditation.  Run through your visualization exercise again and then surrender your plan.  Close your meditation with this manta: I have all the time in the world today.  I am healthy.  I am happy.  I am at peace.
  • HAVE BREAKFAST – this one deserves all caps because it is so important.  Don’t skip breakfast to save room or calories.  Don’t do it.  This is just setting yourself up to binge eat later in the day.  A green smoothie with healthy fats and protein is the perfect holiday breakfast.  It is quick, doesn’t dirty a lot of dishes, and floods your system with nutrients.  Here’s a simple green smoothie:
    • 1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
    • 1 giant handful of organic spinach or kale
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 1/2 cup frozen berries
    • 2 tablespoons chia or hemp seeds
    • Cinnamon
    • Probiotics powder (optional but recommended)
  • Eat what you love – Most people make enough to feed an army for Thanksgiving.  Just because there are three kinds of stuffing and several types of potatoes doesn’t mean that you need to eat some of everything.  What do you really love and what is just so-so?  Fill up half of your plate with veggies (as many greens as you can) and the rest with your favorite foods.  Leave the rest.  You don’t need to feel guilty about only eating what you love.  Once you sit down silently recite “I love my food; my food loves me.
  • Chew, chew, chew – You’ve selected your favorite foods so why not enjoy them?  Take small bites and chew each bite until liquid (about 20-30 chews per bite).  If you feel self-conscious about all the chewing around your family, just do the best that you can and chew slowly.  Breathe between bites.  Look up from your plate and talk with your friends and family.  Stop when you feel satisfied regardless of what’s left on your plate.

The day after

  •  Lemon water – start your day with hot water and lemon.  Lemon water helps to eliminate toxins, aids digestion, and gets things moving.  It is also alkalizing and balances the pH of your body.
  • Twist it up – gentle twists will help your digestive system.  This routine from Tara Stiles is my favorite.

  • Go green – have a giant serving of greens with your breakfast.  I’m loving greens with balsamic lately.
    • 1/2 bunch of organic chard
    • 1/2 bunch of organic kale
    • 1/4 cup of raisins (if raisins aren’t your thing use a chopped organic apple)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Go back to normal – the holiday came and went.  Let it go.  It doesn’t matter if you followed any of these tips or ate until you were stuffed.  Let. It. Go.  Don’t carry guilt or stress with you for the rest of the holiday season.  Let yourself off the hook and resume your normal fitness, self-care, and eating habits.  One meal is not going to make or break your well-being.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love, ease, and delicious foods.


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Spirited Eats: Butternut Squash Soup

The leaves are gone, the first flakes have fallen, the clocks have turned back, and there are two things that I am interested in: squash and soup.  This time of year I become squash obsessed and am convinced that I will wake up one morning to bright orange skin.  But it will be so worth it.

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Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (seeds discarded)
3 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped
2 sweet potatoes (I used baked sweet potatoes but you could peel and chop them)
1 medium sweet onion, rough chop
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chop
3-4 cups broth (I prefer chicken bone broth), depending on how thick you like your soup
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more to less to taste)
4 sage leaves
Olive oil

-Heat olive oil in a large stockpot
-Sauté onions and garlic until translucent (5 minutes)
-Add all remaining ingredients and bring to boil
-Lower heat and simmer until vegetables are tender (30 minutes)
-Puree soup with an immersion blender (a regular blender will also work)
-Optional: top with roasted veggies and cinnamon

What is your favorite cold weather soup?


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