Resolutions and Goodbyes

At the end of each year I find myself anticipating the start of a new, different, exciting year. I don’t often look at the past 365 days to really appreciate all that I have done and learned and accomplished. This year that is exactly what I am doing. 2017 was the year of my quarter life crisis and honestly one of the most interesting years of my life. My crisis came, not in the form of a major breakdown or freak out but of massive introspection and growth.

I started the year in a tough spot but with those I love. I started this blog which has forced me to commit consistently to something, it has rejuvenated me creatively, and it holds a piece of me I am extremely proud of. I moved, I catered, I created business plans and recipes, I planned and spoke at my first event! I started my business softly. I am, as of January 1st 2018, officially open for business as a Holistic Health Coach focusing on stress management and dietary issues, as well as, a meal prep cook! (tell all friends and family and contact me yourself this is a shameless plug :))

I also closed a few chapters in my life. I closed two years of nonstop weddings. I distanced myself from toxic relationships. I stopped worrying so much about what others were doing and thinking and put those who I value and who value me above all else. This year has set the stage for 2018. The Bold Year.

The year of the Paleo/Whole30 based lifestyle thanks to 2017’s trials. The year I put my thoughts and practices into action and really get my business moving. Finally, the year I take more chances and do the things I have always wanted to but may have been to nervous to do in the past. So stayed tuned people things are just getting interesting.

Finally, the structure of my blog will stay the same but with a few changes. Instead of chronicling different diets with an additional food for thought, I am going to be creating meals based on the people in my life. Trying out or creating new recipes, giving some back story, and connecting with those around me in the best way, over a good meal.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are as excited for 2018 as I am. I’ll see you in the new year!

-Katie

 

Making Turtles Out of Caramels: A Story of Delicious Disaster

In a month focused on consciously infusing joy into each day I have found it is important to find it even in missteps. This year I prepared for Christmas. All presents were purchased and wrapped early, I decorated, and then I baked.

It was the baking that could have been my unraveling. I set out to make these bourbon cider caramels dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. The recipe sounded so easy. I had most of the ingredients on hand already. I was excited to make these delicious treats for friends and family. I even purchased a candy thermometer to all but guarantee success. All signs pointed that way, until I actually started to bake.

For some reason my caramel would not harden. It remained what I can only equate to caramel soup for the better part of 48 hours. Normally, this would drive me NUTS. This time, it drove to me think outside the box.

While watching my umpteenth Holiday movie of the season I undertook the task of coating these little disasters in chocolate. The first one partially maintained its square appearance  giving me a glimmer of hope that was crushed by the ginormous chocolatey puddle the second and third created. Yet, they were actually covered in chocolate. The silver lining to my now elbow deep in chocolate sauce mess was that the caramel and coating had not swirled but instead stayed in two distinct layers. It was at this point that my brother’s words from a few days earlier came to mind. My family is dessert obsessed. My great grandmother was known to enjoy dessert at every meal and we take that very seriously. So when I mentioned I was attempting these tasty treats I said “I’ll bring them over if I think they are good” to which he responded that I should bring them over either way. It made me laugh at the ridiculous situation I had been dwelling on. Just because I was not happy with the result doesn’t mean I did not make something good. While I had not made what I set out to I realized I had stumbled upon another possibility in the process and that is how caramel bites became turtles.

Now cautiously optimistic I placed these newly branded bites in the fridge to harden and twenty minutes later taste tested. While I am a firm believer that chocolate can make almost anything better it actually did not have much work to do here. The cider and bourbon flavors were evident and delicious with the chocolate and flaky sea salt compliment. Surprisingly, the gooey center was a welcome surprise when biting into the hardened chocolate outside.

While I will absolutely work on the original recipe until I can get it right I left this experience feeling proud of my weird little desserts instead of annoyed at myself for failure. I believed in myself and chose a change in perspective to throwing in the towel and I feel like that is something I have been working on all year. Finding joy and growth in the little moments is exactly what this month is about.

-Katie

The Cleanse Diaries

This week I decided to do a juice cleanse to really get my body back on track. I am on my way back with the macrobiotic diet but I still have some nagging side effects from diets past that I wanted to flush out once and for all. I have had so many people ask me about cleanses, why I do them, how I feel during them, and the results that I decided to keep a daily diary. So here is goes:

Sunday: The night before the cleanse I am excited and hydrated.

Monday: I woke up STARVING. This is so rare for me and I took it as a cosmic joke that I couldn’t eat my normal avocado toast or eggs and potatoes for breakfast. I was officially cleansing, outlook gloomy. That is until I started drinking the juice. They are so flavorful and really fill you up. I tried to drink one then drink water for two hours then drink another. Near the end of my work day this broke down to just drink the juice because I wanted to make sure I had enough nutrients in me for the barre class I had that night. I absolutely did and got to celebrate with the fabulous “dessert” juice and a well deserved self care Monday bath.

Tuesday: Ok I have tasted the juice I know what I am in for. That is both good and bad. Today the first juice tastes more sugary to me. The plus side is I don’t have anything on the schedule tonight so I can relax and go to bed early. What keeps me going is the dessert juice. I skipped these on my first cleanse because I was actually just too full but oh my goodness I will never do that again. What I am not looking forward to is the beet juice. This is something that haunts most cleanses I have done. I adore beets, but prefer them sliced with cheese and nuts not juiced. Con of the today, it feels like there is a weird coating on my teeth and tongue. Pro of today, I don’t feel the overwhelming urge the bite something yet.

Wednesday: If you are thinking about working out during your cleanse think carefully. I did a barre workout day one that was really great but this morning I did hot yoga sculpt at that was a little dicier. It felt great and I had the energy for most of it but got a bit dizzy throughout and have quite the headache. I think on future cleanses I will take part in workouts that are not strenuous. Additionally, during this cleanse I have tried to go to bed earlier than usual. I am not sure if it is this or the cleanse but I have been waking up throughout the night and popping out of bed at 6 am meaning by 2 I am so tired. Otherwise, juices still taste good and I am not hungry outside of the juice.

Thursday: The final day has come! I woke up this morning with a little headache remaining. I am actually really surprised I don’t have the overwhelming urge to chew something that I have experienced on previous cleanses. I do have to alter my cleanse a bit today because I have an event tonight. I opted for a smoothie and a hard boiled egg in addition to my juice. This cleanse overall has been really good for me. Taking it slow for a few days really diving into self care and cleaning out my body. I think 3 day cleanses are my ideal but four hasn’t been too bad.

Guidelines for future cleanses: Hydration is key: Don’t skimp on the water while preparing for or during the cleanse. Pinterest is the enemy: I say this lovingly as I am Pinterest obsessed but looking at food while you are drinking your nutrients for 3-4 days is unnatural torture. Finally, on this cleanse I also gave up caffeine which I had inadvertently been ramping up recently. I think the cleanse and the caffeine detox are both contributing to my headache so maybe tackle one at a time.

I hope you enjoyed the cleanse diaries. Let me know if you have any questions or if you have experienced some of the same things while cleansing!

-Katie

The Extroverted Introvert’s Guide to a Busy Month

September, what can I say you were a blur.

You began and ended with a bang. You provided heartwarming reunions, new experiences and memories, lots of football, and even more food. While I am overjoyed you happened I am also happy to see you go.

I am an extroverted introvert. This means I have a certain amount of energy I am able to use on social situations. When this energy is high I am making plans, going out, meeting new people, and loving it. Suddenly, I hit a wall and while I have enjoyed these events I need to go home, unplug, and recharge. I also prefer one on one or small group activities to large groups and deep conversation vs. small talk.

Coming to terms with this in recent years and meeting myself where I am in the moment has been quite the journey. Yet, I have come out the other side with a few tips and tricks to Extroverted Introvert survival!

  1. When you are feeling more introverted avoid social media. Social media creates FOMO (fear of missing out) and can make you feel like you should be out doing something rather than treating yourself and recharging your batteries.
  2. Treat Yourself. Don’t be afraid to unplug for a day or two. My ideal Sunday Funday may include Netflix and avoiding the outside world. After being “on” all week and weekend it is ok to retreat into your most comfortable space, make an awesome meal, watch your favorite series or read your favorite book, and totally feed your soul.
  3. Don’t Feel Bad Saying No. This was maybe my toughest step to get over. I was, and still kind of am, a people pleasing yes woman. I hate feeling like I am disappointing people even if that overbooks me or takes time away from my essential weekly reset. I realized that people get it. Especially if you don’t just say no but reschedule for a time that works better for you.
  4. If Needed Schedule Your Reset. When I first dabbled in self care I was really caught up in the third step and what helped me was scheduling my chill time. This made me value it as much as the other meetings and obligations during the week. Gradually, the need to schedule this time fades as you realize how amazing you feel and what you bring to the table after a day unplugged and totally for yourself.

This month with so many engagements both during the week and on the weekend and starting my own business my tips have been tested over and over again. I love being busy but it also makes me truly value my recharge time.

I hope these tips help you if you are an extroverted introvert or help you better understand a friend or loved one who is.

-Katie

The Skeptical Girls Quest For The Third Eye

When you think of Meditation what comes to mind?

That amazing couple of minutes in shavasana after a yoga or pilates practice?

The relaxed and refreshed feeling after a guided or self led session?

Or do you feel anxious and more A.D.D. with the idea of sitting in one place for a set period of time exploring your mind?

I am more in the latter group. I know you may be thinking, “but wait you’re a Health Coach you should be super zen!” I am sorry to expose the lady behind the curtain but that just is not me, at least not until recently. I had always assumed, even with so much evidence to the contrary, that I would not be able to sit through a meditation session. I assumed I would feel antsy or stupid and would not be able to fully let go and just “be” for a period of time. I have heard endless pro-meditation stories about how with practice you can reach places in your mind and another level of yourself you never realized. While I was skeptical I am always up for trying something new so this month I accepted the challenge.

I decided I needed a guided meditation to start. I chose Headspace and I am so glad I did. First of all it is an incredibly user-friendly app with the most calming voice I have ever heard that encourages and directs you without lulling you to sleep. It also teaches you why and how to meditate. It is also short 3-5 minute sessions to start so before you can even begin to think about something else you are done!

The first week I was dedicated. I meditated at the same time Mon-Fri. Then the weekend hit and I slacked off. Leading into the following week I found myself feeling guilty for skipping sessions and feeling like it was a chore or something I just needed to accomplish. To me, having something I do just to check it off the list is not something sustainable and I will eventually stop doing it. I did not want meditation to fall into this bucket. Therefore, I moved to practicing before meetings I needed to be totally present for, after a stressful day at work to ground me and release some of my frustration, and through the well deserved shavasana after a workout.

Making meditation not a chore but in fact a way to center myself again or as a reward after a hard workout is incredible. Not only is it now something I do not want to avoid but it is something I look forward to and appreciate. While I do not believe I have reached new levels in my mind and unlocked a new me I am satisfied with the reset meditation provides and I look forward to continuing to explore.

“The thing about meditation is…you become more and more you.” ~David Lynch

Have you dabbled in meditation? If so, what are your thoughts, what works or does not work for you?

-Katie

 

 

Putting The Wind Back In Your Sails

Have you ever experienced the sensation of being totally deflated? Something happens and you are completely floored?

I have found as I have gotten older my emotions have amplified. I went from never really crying as a child to crying for every major emotion as an adult. Extremely happy? Tears. Pissed off? Tears. I feel like Jude Law in The Holiday or Kristen Bell when a sloth came to her birthday. Yet, the worst feeling of all is that sick to your stomach dread of sadness. When this washes over you there are a couple ways you can handle it.

The first time I experienced this feeling I decided on the old standby, alcohol. While taking Wine Down Wednesday to the next level is super fun in the moment you are still left with all of the feelings the next day, not to mention a nasty hangover.

I learned from my mistake. Recently, I was hit with this feeling again and instead of alcohol I took three simple steps. After years of fighting it I have come to terms with the fact that showing and fully embracing your emotions is not a bad thing. In fact it is healthy. The first step, therefore, is own it. Realize you are not crazy for feeling the way you feel. This is the perfect time for a relaxing bath, a favorite movie, meditation/journaling, animal snuggles, self care.

Step two is call your girl gang. There is nothing quite like times of sadness to help you identify your people. The girls (or boys) who will pick up that late night call, commiserate with you, and keep you honest. I am so, so thankful that I have that in spades and I hope you do too. These people bring the air to right you again. Then it is up to you.

Step three is a tough one but you can do it. Don’t wallow. I know it is temping. Don’t do it. Stick to your schedule, maintain your diet and exercise plan, concentrate on one thing, and then the next, and I promise it gets easier. Don’t over crowd your schedule just maintain it.

Overall, it is time that heals all heartbreak but these three steps, at least for me, ease the pain and keep me going.

How do you get over this overwhelming feeling? Do any of these steps resonate with you?

-Katie

 

All You Need Is (Self) Love

I am a few short months away from accomplishing a goal I have had for years. I am on track, I am ready, my internal monologue is bitchy.

With great change comes the chance for even greater self sabotage. Switching things up is never going to be as easy as you think and you have the potential to be your biggest foe.

As my dream begins to turn into a reality it is only natural to think “uh oh pump the brakes, things are going so well you don’t need this change, what if you fail?!” For me these thoughts express themselves by me overbooking my schedule so I do not have time for coursework and meal prep or as me second guessing my fully thought out plans. This time, when I felt that inner monster start to stir I decided to take a stand. I established three steps to re-shape my view and get back on track.

The first thing I did was journal. I think it took me starting a blog to realize how therapeutic writing is. Journaling allows me to go deeper inside my mind. Once I read back what I had written and zeroed in on what I was feeling I moved to step two.

Ask for help. Use your resources. Establish a kick ass group of mentors and friends who you can go to when you are feeling out of whack, you have ideas, or you need inspiration. This has not been my strong suit previously. I am definitely not a lone wolf but I am also traditionally reserved with my paralyzing fear of the future. Having a group of people who can remind me I am a woman with a plan and what I am feeling is normal is essential to a happy mind and leads to the final step.

By now I am feeling a little better. I have identified my fears, voiced them, and now it is time to combat them. I did this by revisiting my plan, reminding myself of the reasons I am doing this and the future I hope to create, and then de-stress and decompress with an awesome workout, an at-home spa treatment, and getting back on schedule with classes and work.

This is the first time I have successful avoided letting my fears steer me in the wrong direction. It is liberating. I know this is not the last time I will feel nervous or slightly manic about the future but with these steps I believe I will always be able to regain confidence in myself again.

What makes your inner monologue turn sour? How have you successfully changed that inner voice?

-Katie

Clean Eating and the Slip Spiral

On Tuesday I ate a single mini Famous Amos cookie.

Let me set the scene for you: I had just finished my incredibly Paleo approved lunch when a well meaning coworker offered me one of my childhood favorites, a Famous Amos mini cookie. I immediately replied, “oh no thank you!” to which he said “c’mon one won’t hurt” So I ate the cookie and I am so glad I did.

Previously eating the cookie would immediately conjure images of Aunt Marge from Harry Potter growing into a balloon and floating away.

That is until I started eating clean and re-evaluating my relationship with food. It is a love affair and like any relationship it ebbs and flows but my ebbs and flows were previously drastic. A simple slip like eating a single mini cookie would lead me to thinking well I screwed up this diet already may as well eat whatever until tomorrow or let’s just start again Monday and fall deeper into unhealthy eating. I was even one who, if I was about to begin a new eating regime or “screwed up” in the middle of one, would eat the whole pint of ice cream or bag of cookies because if I eat it tonight it won’t be around when I am being “good”.

Now, because I have decided and worked on having faith in myself and my food choices, I was able to truly enjoy just the one cookie. I knew that because of my meal prep and the awesome way I have been treating my body lately this one treat would not totally derail me. This was a seriously amazing-call my mom excited- moment for me. It was the moment I finally realized that years of food related anxiety were a thing of the past.

I promise to post some of the amazing Paleo approved recipes I have been enjoying this week in the near future but I wanted to deviate from my normally scheduled posts to shine a light on the fact that no plan in perfect, no diet is fool proof. Slips will happen. Trust yourself, trust your body, and enjoy the single cookie.

-Katie