motivation

Eating in Alignment = Guaranteed Happiness

yoga warrior two

As I laid back on my mat in one of the most well-liked yoga positions (savasana) I felt a slow pop and then my body and soul slid into alignment. My body didn't actually pop, but the way I was experiencing life seemed to be in agreement with the world around me vs. the closed off (tightly clenched muscle) way I had been walking around before. For anyone who hasn't taken a yoga class-just visualize a kink being released from a garden hose. What was once stuck is now free to flow. Free. To. Flow.  

Hold the image of the free flowing water in your mind. It will help you relax while I remind you that most people are walking contradictions. Are you living the life you want to live? Are pain and anger bubbling to the surface now that you've been reminded? Quick! Stuff them back down. Reach for a substance or experience that will temporarily dull the sensation.  

Let me tell you a secret. It might be a mind f*$k. Happiness is closer than you think. I am happy most of the time. It boils down to two principles. 

1. Live in alignment.

Do you realize how normal it is for you to do the opposite of what you feel in your core is right? There are many kinks in the garden hose. Release them and let the water flow. Trust yourself and live in a way that makes you happy. I know a woman who loves her dog like it is her child. She recently stopped eating animals and she said it makes her so happy to live in alignment with her values. I bet you can think of three actions you can take right now (food or non food-related) that will make you happier. 

2. F$@king show up every damn day.  

Just try. Don't hide from yourself or the world. Stop whining. Problem solve. You will be unsuccessful here and there. That's normal. I only ask that you try. The act of committing to your goals creates a sense of purpose which translates to self-esteem... also known as happiness. Happiness!

IF YOU'RE READY TO ALIGN YOUR EATING WITH YOUR VALUES YOU CAN REACH ME HERE.

IF YOU'RE READY TO TAKE A YOGA CLASS I RECOMMEND YOGAGLO. ;)

 

 

Treat Yourself

I deserve junk food

I will eat nachos everyday

I will feel like junk

 

Can I let you in on a secret? You don't have to feel like junk. You could eat plant based nachos every night for dinner and you would probably feel fine. The recipe featured above is from an Oh She Glows cookbook. Okay, we covered healthy junk food. Check. 

Next, let's address the stories we tell ourselves. I deserve _____ because ______ happened today.

Here is a list of the basic things that I believe every human deserves:

  • Freedom
  • Healthy food
  • Access to healthcare
  • A safe place to sleep at night
  • Access to education
  • Love from other humans
  • Self-love

If given all of those things, most people should be able to do more than get by or survive-they should be able to THRIVE. 

Eating healthy has had an insane domino effect on my life. It helped me gather the courage to start taking exercise dance classes (I'm horrible at it, but I love it!). It helped my loved ones eat healthier. It helped me flex my creative muscles (see snake photo above). I could keep going...

If you regularly find yourself saying, "I deserve chips/cake/BBQ/candy/a burger because _____ happened today," then it's time for you to rewrite your story. Those things may look like a band aid that help you deal with feelings like stress, but they actually slow you down and prevent you from THRIVING.

Consider eating plant based. I avoid animal products at about 80% of my meals and I am thriving. I deserve to thrive and you do too. Treat yourself. 

If you are ready to THRIVE then head here to subscribe or to reach out for one-on-one support. 

BONUS (PRINTABLE) CONTENT: Check out these "JUNK FOOD" RECIPES from three of my favorite plant based bloggers. Insider Club can check out their special link here

Wait, are you keeping score?

Heck no. I will not treat plant based eating like a Weight Watchers program. Most days I will fill my belly with vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Occasionally, I will eat cheese. Or steak. Or ice cream (even though there are some delish non-dairy options). Those days will just happen to be few and far between because I have found plants to eat that make me feel complete (i.e. satiated/happy). I am not keeping track of silly things like "Dear Journal, Today was a 'cheat' day". I am not a bad person for deviating from my health goals. AND NEITHER ARE YOU. 

Here is how to avoid the shame spiral that we have been conditioned to take on a regular basis. Read it aloud while looking in the mirror if you have the opportunity. 

1. I am not a bad person. Sometimes I make bad decisions.

2. What is the story I tell myself when I choose to eat poorly on a regular basis? Some examples: "I'm tired." "I worked hard today so I deserve it." "So-and-so was mean to me."

3. I am going to throw out that garbage story. I will not lie to myself.

4. I deserve to eat food that will make me feel good. 

5. I am worth the effort it takes to eat well. 

6. I will not compare my eating habits to other people's with the intent of making myself feel inferior, superior, or justified in my decisions. 

7. I will set my goal and do my best to stick to it. My goal is to eat plant based at ___ percent of my meals. 

8. I'm proud of you for taking responsibility of your health.

Virtual hugs! I'm proud of you too. You deserve to feel happy, healthy, and energetic.  

My goal is to eat plant based for 80% of my meals. That means animal-free. No dairy, meat, fish, eggs, etc. It took me about 3 months to really make that goal work for me. I love to challenge myself so it felt like a good fit. What goal makes sense for you? Are you pushing yourself too much or not enough? Dig deep to make the best decision for you. Check in about six months later and re-evaluate your goal. 

Here is a printable version of the Eight Steps to Take to Avoid the Shame Spiral. You can tape it inside a kitchen cabinet if you like. Here is the link for the Insider Club! xoxo

I wish I read this two years ago...

I wrote a letter today and mailed it into the past. I hope I read it and consider the writer's experience. 

pexels-photo-520218.jpg

Dear Rebecca,

You are not alone. What happens when you see and taste something new before many people in your tribe?

1. It's a rush. I can't convey the excitement you will feel when you start to eat healthier and experience a burst of energy along with some clarity.

2. It's intimidating. There are so many new food combinations to try. And so many new books you could read to expand your knowledge of plant based eating. Don't worry about absorbing everything right now. You can taste and learn new things over a long period of time. 

3. Your tribe might be confused. They could assume they know what you are eating/thinking/feeling and then imagine what their life would look like if they completely threw out their way of eating and took yours on tomorrow. That's intense. Do not confront friends and family who make assumptions about your choices unless you are ready to have a productive conversation. Just focus on yourself for now.

4.  Many people will look at you like you are crazy. Here are some reasons they might feel this way:

  • They hate vegetables. This can often be fixed, but that's a topic for another time.
  • They are afraid of lifestyles that are different or seem like a lot of effort.
  • They are concerned about your ability to consume enough protein

5. You will find ways to share your love of healthy eating with your tribe. It might take time. Maybe you will bring a plant based dish to a family reunion or share your lunch with co-workers. 

6. You will realize that a few people have followed you down the path and you will rejoice! Together you can improve the collective health of your tribe. Today, you can impact one person. Tomorrow, it could change the world. 

The path to collective health is a long one. There are no quick fixes. You need to learn how to take care of yourself and then you can help take care of others. It will be worth it. I promise. 

Best wishes,

Rebecca 

If you would like a printable PDF version of this letter for yourself, you can head here. Here is the link for the Insider Club

Everyone else turned left. So I turned right.

Photo by Juliane Sharir

Photo by Juliane Sharir

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost

Are you irked by the sound of nails on a chalkboard? Scared at the thought of a snake slithering across your arm as you lay in the grass? That is the closest I can get to explaining how I feel when I don't want to follow the crowd. There are many times during the day when I do exactly what everyone else is doing: I face forward when going up the stairs, eat salads with a fork, and check my Instagram constantly. Then there are times when I just can't follow the crowd and I do what (feels like) 2% of the population is doing: taking the road less traveled. I can breathe on that road. It's a space where it is easy to challenge myself, let loose, and explore all at once.  

What the flip does this have to do with plant based eating? Well, right now if you eat plant based you are an "early adopter". That's marketing jargon for "the person who takes the road less traveled before hoards of people follow behind them in a few months/years/etc.". And trust me. They will follow. There are venture capitalists throwing lots of money at the "next food trend". It won't be long before your local supermarket has four brands of fake chicken nuggets in the freezer section. It is unfortunate actually because the majority will "get it wrong" before they "get it right." People will be shoving fake processed cheese and fake processed meat down their throats with the same frequency that they ate regular meat and dairy and then declare with indignation "This diet made me gain weight!" and "Being vegan didn't help me sleep better!". At this point I will be so frustrated with mankind that I will throw up my hands, leave all of my worldly possessions behind, and start a new life in the woods as a hermit. 

How did we get here? We listened to advertising over intuition. We followed the crowd instead of asking what was best for us. We didn't question any of the "information" that was fed to us on a daily basis. For example, the American Heart Association website recommends that people eat beef and pork as part of a healthy diet. That doesn't make sense to me. What are their motives? If you are really curious you can follow this link.  

Next time you are standing in a crowd (literally or figuratively) and everyone is going left ask yourself if you should be going right. What is the best decision for your well being? Which choice will make your life more balanced, healthy, and happy?  

If you decide to head down the path towards whole, plant based foods then I am here to support you. Sending all my love. 

The magic of endless possibilities

Photo by Adam R.

Photo by Adam R.

I invited a few friends over for dinner to give a heartfelt send-off to a lovely lady who is trading NYC for San Francisco. Once the dishes were cleared and three bottles of red wine were emptied the wall came down between casual and personal conversation and she shared her expectations of what her new west coast life might look like. I'm so excited for her and my two other friends who are leaving NYC this month. Moving means a fresh start. 

Familiar faces, places, and routines all change dramatically. You can easily take this opportunity to reinvent your life in small and big ways because it would be harder to live the same way in a new place.

When you do the opposite of moving (staying put), it seems much harder to create new habits and form new relationships. Staying put can mean many things. Maybe it means #nonewfriends. Maybe it means staying in the same job longer than you should. Or maybe it means continuing to give your health and well being the same amount of (dis)regard you always have.

Don't stay put! Imagine all of the things you can do and get moving!

You can't afford to wait for a big life change to force you to make changes. If that feels overwhelming then start at a cellular level and work your way up to the big stuff. Add more plant-based protein, fruits, and vegetables to your plate. Common side effects are sleeping better, experiencing better energy levels, and less disease. You will tackle life because you will be full of life.  

Eating plant-based has opened up my heart, made me more creative, and supported the intense schedule of work-social activities-werk I have created for myself. 

I'm inviting you to start at the cellular level. This is Plant Based For You. There is no gimmick. It's all about adding to your plate. Once you discover the plants that nourish your body and mind, you might realize that the way you used to eat was actually depriving you of joy and good health.

YOU DESERVE TO LIVE A LIFE FILLED WITH JOY AND MAGIC.

Are you content?

New Years resolutions can be tough. In the past I have over-promised or set great goals, but then life interrupted and I was thrown off track. The best part about becoming plant based at your own pace and on your own effing terms is that you won't "fall off the wagon". You can decide, "Today I will eat one plant based meal." Maybe tomorrow you won't eat any plant based meals. Maybe the day after that you eat two plant based meals without even trying. Once you understand what plant based can look like and feel like for you, you won't have to expend a lot of effort to be plant based. Welcome to your new "normal". Some of your favorite meals will be plant based, affordable, and easy to make.

Ask yourself, "Am I content?" After you finish eating sit in silence and read your energy levels, determine whether your stomach hurts or is uncomfortably full, and then take a mental note. Try to do this after every meal for just a few days. If you decide that you are content with how your current food choices are treating you, then I am happy for you. If you realize that you could feel better then it's up to you to make a small change that will affect the rest of your life. I am here to support you.

Make that small change. I'm ready to learn about plant based eating