Just Live Mindfully


Category: General (page 1 of 5)

Crystal Work

Lately I’ve been getting really into crystals.  Some call them stones or rocks, but for me, they’re crystals.  I find the term “crystal” has a stronger meaning.  And trust me when I say this, the crystals I’ve been using lately are S-T-R-O-N-G!  These two have made a powerful impact on me lately.

What are these two stones?  The bigger one is clear quartz.  One of the properties of clear quartz is that it brings clarity to the shadows.  The ones inside your head.  Have you ever had a situation where you can’t figure out which path to go down?  Clear quartz will help with that.

Clear quartz is know as a rockstar in the crystal world because it can do so much.  But it’s always willing to share the limelight.  What I mean is, it likes to work with others.  When you use crystal quartz alongside another stone, it raises the energy level of the other stone.

And it sure did that with the second stone I have here.  The smaller stone is moonstone.  It has the reputation of being the stone of fertility because it’s connected with the Moon and therefore a woman’s cycle.  It’s also known as a symbol of love and clarity.  Hmmm, there’s that word again…

So where and how did it bring me clarity?  Lately I’ve had these two stones together on my nightstand.  I just had a gut feeling these two should be together, so I put them together.  The funny thing about crystals is, they will tell you what they need, not the other way around.  After being on my nightstand for a few days, I woke up and knew that I just had a very graphic, realistic dream.  The second night, the same thing happened.  And the third night, it happened again.  I was blown away.  The first dream wasn’t too helpful, but the second and third were.  There…is my clarity!

My recommendation to you is to start learning about stones and working with them.  You will be drawn to them.  They will call to you.  And the ones you need in your life, will come into your life.  Clear quartz is a go-to for beginners because of how much power it has.  But make sure you get a friend to go with it.  They’ll be stronger together.



What Do I Do?

There are so many options out there for getting healthy – weight loss programs, intermittent fasting, coaching that includes food, coaching that doesn’t include food, going vegan, going gluten-free, going dairy free…

Do you feel like you want to scream yet?

I certainly did when I first started my journey.  Everyone was telling me to do this or do that or that I had to stop this and start that.  I tried being a vegan for awhile but that didn’t stick.  I backed down a bit and tried to live like a pescatarian.  That was good, but I still craved a burger every now and then.  Then I tried cutting out all bread, pasta, pastries, basically anything with wheat.  That worked, but for lunches a sandwich was my go-to.   It was all so freakin’ confusing!

Those people that were telling me what to do were not doctors and not experts.  At least they were not experts in ME.  The people telling me what to do did not ask me any questions about me, my situation, my allergies or my emotions regarding food, fitness and body image.  What I finally did was stop.  I stopped listening to everyone else and started listening to what my intuition was telling me.  And I started listening to my body.  I started paying attention to how my body reacted when I ate something and started experimenting with my diet.  I was determined to find out what was right for me.

Looking back, I wish someone had told me to do that much,  much earlier because it would have helped me decide what was right for me sooner.  What fires me up so much about this topic is that we live in a society that makes us feel as though we are not making the right choices or not good enough if we go against the grain.  It’s not fun to have peer pressure and it may not healthy to always follow the crowd.

As a health coach, I’m not here to tell you what to do.  I’m here to help you decide what is right for you.  During my client sessions, I make suggestions and recommendations but will never give you a “one way or the highway” way of thinking regarding food and fitness.  However, what I will do is recommend that you try different things, keep a food journal, listen to your body and make the decisions that work for YOU.  I will also offer you science-based information and my own experience to help you make an educated decision.  And I most certainly will tell you to make baby steps and live by an 80/20 rule.

So what do you do? Don’t be scared, don’t feel confused and don’t feel like you’re hitting a wall.  If you’re stuck on what to do with your diet, reach out, listen to what’s calling you, experiment again and again and THEN decide for yourself.  Ultimately, only you can make the choices because only you can choose the best options for yourself.

Body Image

When you look in the mirror, do you see this?

Some do.  Including myself.  And it can be hard to handle.  For most women, we don’t see the actual, true reflection.  Instead, we see a more worse-off image of ourselves.  We see the messy hair, the pudge around our waists, the wrinkled skin…the list goes on!  But why?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  The question is so individual, that only we can answer that for ourselves.

For me, the answer is simple.  I’m a perfectionist.  I have felt as though I’m never good enough, that I’m cannot compete with some other people around me and yes, that I’m not good enough.  But I’ve been able to counteract that with YEARS of personal development and spiritual work.  Trust me, those thoughts are not gone, but they are distant a lot more often.  And it is still a daily effort to acknowledge myself for what I am.

I challenge you to think about your answer to the question of why we give ourself negative feedback every time we look in the mirror.  Do some self-exploration, some meditation and some personal development to learn about yourself to find the answer.  And there’s one more thing…

I want you to consider having a daily mantra.  When you get dressed in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror before you leave for the day, I want you to say something good.

“I am beautiful.”

“I am strong.”

“I am ready to conquer the day.”

Your mantra is something you create and should be short that you can remember it and repeat it throughout the day.  Use your mantra over and over again until you believe it. And I mean REALLY believe it!  Once you believe it, make a new mantra for yourself.

Over time, these mantras you create (and the personal development you do) will help you see yourself in a different light.  Instead of seeing the messy hair, you’ll see a hardworking mom that hasn’t gotten to shower.  Instead of seeing the pudge around your waist, you’ll see beautiful skin.  And instead of seeing the wrinkles on your face, you’ll see the laugh lines that have given you amazing memories over the years.  Remember,  you are beautiful inside and out and you have amazing gifts to share with the world.  Love yourself and your love will rub off on everyone you meet.  


Fear Is…

What exactly is fear?  To some it’s a road block.  To others it’s a hurdle.  To me, it’s something that scares me but I push through it anyway.  Sometimes I feel the fear and it takes over completely.  It pushes me back and while sometimes it might delay me, I’ve realized that I cannot let it hold me back.

Fear used to make me afraid.  Afraid of a lot of things – to make new friends, to talk to strangers, to go places alone, to workout in the gym by myself, to fail, etc.  There’s a lot on the list.  Over time, that list has gotten smaller.  How?  Lots and lots of work.

To get past the fear, I’ve had to look inward and take a really good look at myself.  I’ve read a lot of personal development books (about 8 last year), listened to tons of podcasts and journaled every week.  These small actions helped me realize what I wanted and helped me find out what my dreams really were.  The biggest things I learned are that fear is false evidence appearing real and that regret is a hard thing to live with.  My mantra to help me get through scary situations is to feel the fear and do it (whatever it is) anyway.

Back to that question…what exactly is fear?  For each person it’s different.  And each person has to figure out how to conquer it on their own terms.  But when you do figure out what fear means to you and how to kick it out of your house, it’s an amazing feeling.

Operation: Closet Clean-Out!!

A few months ago, I did a pantry clean out and it worked wonders for our nutrition, time management…and for my husband’s snacking habit.  I thought since it went so well, I could do another organization post…

This type of clean out is ALWAYS fun for me!  I get to see what’s been hiding and donate a decent amount of clothes (and sometimes shoes).  I even get to make more room for new items.  So how do I do it?  I start with the easiest task and work up to the harder ones.  Below is my action plan.  Take it, use it and let it help you find some sanity in your life.

Step 1:  Remove everything from the closet.

Yes, I mean everything.  All the clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.  Anything you have in the closet, take it out.  I leave everything on hangers and lay it all on the bed.  Stacked up.  The piles are usually pretty big and makes me realize just how many clothes I have.  The reason I want you to do this is because once everything is removed, you get a clear sense of the space you have available to you.  You’ll be able to get clarity on what you have to work with.  And you might decide you want to modify the layout.

Step 2:  Touch each piece.

Once everything is out of the closet, you’re going to look at the piles of clothes and you might be in shock.  I know I was the first time I did this.  Once I got past that, you can start to decide what pieces you want to keep.  Go slow.  Seriously.  If you go too fast in this step, you’re going to put things back too quickly and this whole process will be for nothing.  The reason you’re touching each piece is so you can feel it.  Feel how soft or stiff the garment is, feel how worn out or new the piece is and most importantly, feel what emotions come up for you when you hold the item.  When you do this, you allow yourself to determine if the item brings you joy or not.  Once you make those determinations then, and only then, you can move on step three.

Step 3:  Put each piece away backwards.

Now you’re going to think I’m totally losing it but trust me here.  Check out how I have it in my closet right now.  I encourage you to put the hangers in the closet backwards not to cause you trouble in the morning when you’re trying to get dressed, but to cause you to evaluate as the year goes on.  Putting the hangers backwards on the racks will be a physical display of how often you wear things.  As you choose pieces to wear, after washing them, put them back in the closet as you would normally.  With the hangers facing the right way.  Every six months, evaluate what is still backwards.  If it’s still backwards, go through Steps 1 and 2 again with those pieces.

Now what do you do with all the pieces you chose not to put back?  You donate them!  Find a local charity, Salvation Army or family that needs some extra pieces.

It will not only help your home feel cleansed, but your heart will feel good too!  And I bet you’ll be surprised what pieces you decide to toss that used to bring you happiness.

The Voices in Your Head

Do you ever feel like you have voices in your head?  Like someone marching around with a megaphone saying things over and over again?  I do.  And no, I’m not crazy.  And neither are you!

I relate it to the angel and the devil on our shoulders.  The personalities living inside of our head that have a 3-way conversation with us about this or that, what decisions to make and what actions to decide on.  Whether you see it this way or as the person with the megaphone, you need to start listening.

These voices can either help us or hurt us.  They can cause us to make wild choices about which path to take or can make us live a life that’s stagnant.  But if we’re not listening, like really listening, we might not be taking their advice like we should.

Ok, are you still with me?  Let’s talk about how you can tune in and start paying attention to these voices.  Let me given you a few examples of how this whole thing should work.

Example 1:. It’s Friday night and your friends really want you to go out after work.  Part of you wants to but the other part of you wants to go home because you’ve got the early morning yoga class.  One voice [the angel] says to go home, get some rest and be ready for yoga in the morning.  The other voice [the devil] says you need to go out for a few drinks with your friends.  What do you do?

Example 2:  You’re on your commute to work and listening to your favorite radio station, a podcast or meditation mantra.  While that’s playing in the background, you suddenly get this urge to travel to a place you’ve never been.  You start to have this internal conversation.  You have no idea why you feel drawn to this place, but in your mind you go back and forth – do I stay or do I go.  Do you listen to the voice and figure out what it means or do you ignore it?

These are just a few examples that I’ve experienced and it took me awhile before I really started to listen.  How did I get there?  Meditation, self-care and mindful practices.  I just took 10 minutes a day to start and it has been a life changing!  I set aside just 10 minutes to be with me, myself and I.  I sat quietly, listened to music or day dreamed and things just came to me.  It even happens while I’m working out sometimes.  Only you can find the right place for you for those 10 minutes a day.

These voices can help lead you down a path that you never knew was open to you.  It definitely did for me.  I challenge you to start opening your mind more and paying attention to those little voices.  I’d love to hear what comes out for you!  


Social Media Break!

Wow!  It’s the New Year.  It’s 2018!  Anyone else feel refreshed?  I know I do.  And it’s because I took a social media break over the holidays.

You’re probably thinking it isn’t possible to take a break from social media because it’s accessible EVERYWHERE!  And you’re right, it is accessible everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you have to access it.  I bet it’s a totally foreign concept.  At least for some of you reading this.  It was for me.  I check my social media every single day and it’s addicting.  But that was the problem.  I found myself grabbing my phone every time I heard the “ding” go off telling me there was a new notification.  I knew I had to take a break.

The holidays were coming up and I knew it would be a time where I was super busy with events, family stuff, shopping for presents and cooking.  I also knew, I would be really tired at the end of the day from running around so much.  I had always planned on “unplugging” for a bit and this was the perfect time to do so.  My husband thought I was totally nuts because I check my phone about 30 times a day for the notifications, the emails, the contacts from clients and business partners.  He didn’t think I could do it, but I did, and it felt so darn good!  Here’s how my day without social media went.

First, I scheduled the time I’d be disconnecting.  I set the days and the hours.  I decided to start on a weekend I knew we’d be busy with shopping and running around town getting ready for Christmas.  When I first got up, I checked my emails for the important stuff and then shut off the sound on my phone.  I knew, throughout the day I wouldn’t be able to hear the new notifications and it would make it easier.  I tossed my phone in my bag and forgot about it.

When we got home, I immediately brought my phone upstairs to our bedroom, plugged it in and left it.  I walked out of the room without my phone and got busy with other things.  I had to clean the house, do laundry…I knew I’d be busy.  And busy I stayed.  I kept myself occupied so I wasn’t thinking about it too much.

At the end of day, I went right to bed without even picking up my phone.  I had the BEST night’s sleep that night and I’d like to think it’s because my mind wasn’t running like a ticker tape with notifications, things to do, events to remember, etc.  It was peaceful.

When I woke up the next day, I didn’t immediately reach for my phone and I noticed that.  The experiment made me realize just how attached I was to my electronics and what’s going on on social media.  And I bet a lot of you are too.  But why?  Part of me says it’s because we all just want to be connected with each other in some way.  But the other part of me says it’s just because life has progressed that way.

Either way, it was a great experiment and something I plan to do again in the future.  I encourage you to schedule a day on your calendar and unplug.  When you do, report back and tell me how your experience went.

Top 10 Gifts for Asthmatics

Are you still trying to get those last minute gifts for the holidays?  It’s ok, I’m right there with you.  You might have people in your life that are super hard to buy for too.  Yup, me too.  You might even have some health conscious people in your life that want to improve their health.  Maybe even an asthmatic or two.  If you do, don’t worry.  I’ve got you covered!  Below I’ll give you my Top 10 gifts for the friends and family in your life that have asthma and are on a path to reduce their symptoms.

1. Winter Hat, Gloves & Scarf – $10-$25

You might be thinking this is so unoriginal, but trust me, an asthmatic will totally thank you!  During the winter, it can get very cold, depending on your location, and bundling up is one way an asthmatic can ward off colds and other illnesses.  You can get them for any asthmatic in your life – your brother in-law, your niece or even your son.  These three can be found on Amazon.com but you can go to your favorite store and find a set that fits your recipient.  One word of caution, many asthmatics have issues with certain materials so you may want to check on material preference before purchasing or just get a gift receipt.


2. Himalayan Salt Lamp – $20 and up

The Himalayan Salt Lamp is one of my favorite things in the house.  For one, it’s beautiful.  Two, it puts off a really nice soft glow that lights up the room perfectly.  And the best reason, it helps balance the air around it.  That reason may not sound like so much of a big deal, but balance the ions in the air is key for an asthmatic.  When heated, the lamp will emit negative ions that fight against radiation.  The air then helps you sleep better at night and lets you breathe easier.  This one I found on Amazon.com for less than $20.00 and even has Prime shipping so you can get it before Christmas.


3. Breathable Pillow Protector – $10-$25

Now hear me out.  Yes, a pillow case may not seem like the most wonderful gift, but for an asthmatic it is.  This is a zippered pillow case that blocks out bed bugs, dust mites and helps control allergies which in turn cuts down on respiratory issues.  This one happens to be made of super tight breathable cotton which makes for the perfect allergen barrier.  I have one underneath my regular pillow case and it truly does help me have a better night’s sleep.  Again, this one can be found on Amazon.com for less than $10.00 and has Prime shipping too!


4. An Indoor Plant – Varies

This one is for the asthmatic green thumb in your family.  Indoor plants can be a wonderful gift because they add beauty to the home and they help reduce symptoms.  The trick is choosing the right one.  The plants I recommend are the Peace Lily, Marginata and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.  The Peace Lily and Marginata are easy to take care of because they doesn’t need too much water or light but still grow well.  The Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, also known as the Snake Plant, is my personal favorite because it’s the most efficient at removing toxins from the air.  But like the Peace Lily, it can be toxic when ingested so make sure the furry friends and children steer clear.  There are more to choose from so check out your local home goods or hardware store’s garden department.


5. Essential Oils – $10 and up

Essential oils are the up and coming trend, but they are amazing and have such wonderful powers.  Some asthmatics can also be very sensitive so you’ll have to do your homework first.  If it your recipient doesn’t have any issues, these will be a nice surprise.  My go-to oils are eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint.  The eucalyptus oil helps clear sinus passage and helps cleanse the body of toxins.  The lavender oil has calming properties and aids with sleep.  The peppermint oil also has a calming sensation but brings about energy and has a cooling sensation.  These oils can be added to lava stone jewelry or used in a diffuser.


6. Air Purifier – over $50

An air purifier is a more expensive gift but oh, so worth it!  These little machines can range in price and size but help to remove 99% of the dust and allergens from the air.  This one from Amazon.com removes the dust and allergens as small as 0.3 microns and even reduces common household odors.  For an asthmatic, breathing clean air is a wonderful thing to have and this would be a great addition to the home.


7. Asthma-Free Naturally – $12.10 (paperback) / $3.99 (Kindle)

As a health coach, and an asthmatic, I’m always encouraging natural remedies over medication.  Asthma-Free Naturally is a book that teaches the reader how to take control of their asthma safely and effectively.  The author discusses the Buteyko Breathing Method and provides guidance on diet, sleep, exercise and other changes that can be made to reduce or eliminate symptoms.  I can attest to the fact that making small changes will help you and I highly recommend this book.  You can find it on Amazon.com.


8. Inhaler Case – $5 and up


One thing I never leave the house without is my inhaler.  I’m sure the asthmatics in your life feel exactly the same.  So a carrying case might be the perfect gift.  After a quick Google search, I landed on Etsy.com and found TONS!  The version on Etsy range from simple to intricate and even have specialty ones.  I love this idea for a gift because it can be clipped onto a backpack, your key ring or even your belt loop and the recipient will always have it close by.  There are other businesses that sell them but when you can, I recommend shopping small.


9. Medical ID Bracelet – $3-over $300

As with the inhaler cases, there are variety of places to get these.  I purchased mine from American Medical ID and I even chose one that was a little more girly (see above) so it blended in with my other bracelets.  This is a great gift for anyone with a chronic illness because they can be customized with a name, telephone number, illness or something else.  Because these require engraving, they might not arrive for Christmas but are still a very special gift because it shows you care for the recipient.


10. Journal – $5-$20

A journal is not something for everyone, but it’s something I highly recommend.  A journal can be used for so many things, including recording good symptom days, bad symptom days and what the triggers are on those bad symptoms days.  Part of helping to reduce the symptoms of asthma is to know what the triggers are and for each person, it’s individual.  Recording the symptoms on a regular basis will help the recipient know what to stay away from to avoid attacks.  Journals can be found in so many stores and online and I love that you can make it personal.  Think of the person you’re buying for and make it special.


While these gifts are perfect for asthmatics, they really can be great for any recipient in your life that’s working toward living a healthier life.  Gift giving is a language of love so when choosing the gift, think of the person you’re giving to and make it special for them.  Enjoy your gift giving and love up your family and friends this holiday season! <3 🙂

Holiday Stress

We’re in the midst of the holidays and I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel it.  What am I talking about? Stress.  Anxiety.  Pressure.  It happens for a lot of us during the holidays.

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas, you might be feeling it too.  As we get closer to the end of the year, there are more parties to go to, celebrations with family and friends, shopping for the perfect gift and the cooking.  Oh, the food.  Everything seems to be more decadent during the holidays, doesn’t it?  So how do we get through it?  We all have our ways, but I thought it might help to share some of the ways I get through it.

My first step is to Schedule your Time.  When you schedule your time, you can look ahead and see what events or activities you have coming.  Scheduling also helps you to avoid overbooking yourself.  For me, I try to do only one or two things on each weekend day.  By doing this, I still have time for me and things around my house, like cleaning, laundry and food prep.  I use a few different means to keep my schedule.  At home and for work, I use the Day Designer.  It’s an old school way of keeping your schedule withe pen and paper, but I love this planner because it now only gives me a month view and a daily view, but it also gives me space to write a daily gratitude.  I also use my iPhone calendar so I have everything at my finger tips.  Try a few different ways and find a method that’s right for you.

My second tip is to Create a Habit.  I’m not talking about just any habit, but a habit that will help you stay in check this holiday season.  It can be anything you desire, but try to find something that will help you maintain calm and keep a balance.  For me, Monday through Friday, I take about 10 minutes to practice a guided meditation.  I practice this as soon as I sit on the train to go to work.  It helps me focus and get in the right mindset for the day.  Another habit that I’ve created to help me stay in my own version of normal is to make sure I hit at least 4 workouts a week.  Exercise keeps me healthy and helps me balance out all the extra calories that might hit my plate during the holiday parties.  I keep it short so I’m not spending a ton of time, but I’m getting in something good for my body.  What a simple habit you can create today?

The last tip I have to give you is about something I carry with me.  Have you ever heard about the power of crystals?  I carry or wear crystals with me almost every day and each crystal or stone I have has a different power. Carrying Crystals with you is something you can do without too many people knowing, if you’re worried about questions, and an easy practice to put in play.  One of my favorite stones to carry is quartz.  It helps break negativity, clear your mind and focus to stay calm.  Quartz amplifies positive intentions too!  Crystals have different powers so you’ll have to do some research to find out which is the right stone for you.  To help you get started, go to Energy Muse’s quiz to see what you’re searching for help with.  When I took the quiz, I got exactly what I was looking for.

Hopefully, one, if not all, of these tips will help you.  And if they don’t seem like a good fit, come up with one of your own.  If you already have a tip that you use to cope through the holidays, share it in a comment.  You just might be helping someone else! 🙂



So What’s With Inflammation?

What is up with inflammation?  I feel like it’s a new buzz word that everyone is using lately.  Now, it might sound like I’m upset about that, but trust me, I’m not.

Inflammation is something that all of us have and it comes out in different forms.  Some of us experience inflammation in the form of acne.  Some of us in the of sinus issues.  Some of us stomach bloating and even gas. For me, it mostly comes out as nasal congestion, acne, bloating and there are a few others.  And these signs I’ve started to pay more attention to.  Mainly because over the past few years, I’ve realized that a lot of what I put into my body is causing these issues.

Yes, I’m talking about the food we eat.  America is such a fast-paced society that we’re aways on the go.  Because of that, a lot of our food comes from fast food joints and quicker versions of the “real thing” because we don’t have time to cook anymore.  I’m in this boat, so don’t feel like I’m casting a shadow on those of you reading this that feel like you have to stop at those restaurants.  Trust me, I get it.

What I’ve realized over the past few years, though, is that prepping goes a very long way.  That means prepping meals and snacks for the week so you’re not left stranded looking for food throughout your day.   Prepping can seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be that way.  But where do you start?  I say, start small.

If you’re out of the house only for the lunch meal, start there.  Prep meals for 2-3 days in advance to get you through a few lunches during the week.  Think of something easy that you can do a lot at the same time – chicken and vegetables, turkey burgers and a salad, greek yogurt and some berries.  Try to have a protein, a good carbohydrate and a healthy fat.  And don’t forget, you can use leftovers to prep too.  We do that in our house regularly.  Whatever is for dinner one night can be lunch the next.  Make it easy on yourself.

Now that you know how to prep, what types of food do you prep?  I just mentioned protein, a good carbohydrate and a healthy fat.  These are your targets.  You take it from there.  Just try to avoid a few things like fried foods, overly processed foods and foods with ingredients that you don’t even know what they are.  Here is a list of the Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to help you get started.

Educating yourself is the best way to learn about how to heal yourself and ease things like inflammation.  But starting is the most important part.  You just might get rid of that inflammation and ease some of those aches and pains you have.  🙂


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