Posts tagged lifestyle
7 Paths to Essential Self-Care

*Note: in honor of International Self-Care Day, here is a new and improved version of an earlier post. 

As a coach I’m always looking for good metaphors to help make sense of things we humans keep tripping over or bumping into. For instance all know that in case of an emergency, we need to secure our own oxygen masks before we try and help others. If we can't breathe then we are useless to everyone - including ourselves. Daily living in the 21st century can feel relentless and stressful and often keeps our adrenals running so high that our bodies think they are in an actual, ongoing emergency and that ain’t good. What’s a girl to do? For starters, embrace new ways turning down the stress and amping up the self-care. Self-care is not selfish. It’s the metaphorical oxygen mask. Here are 7 ways you can you can add in more self care, without breaking the bank or even breaking a sweat (mostly).

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Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

If you are a reader of my blog then you already know how smitten I am with my Instant Pot. It’s been a real game changer, not only with saving time but also with meal prep. It’s absolutely perfect for making things like soups, stews, bone broth and more for make-ahead meals that will feed your family.  This past weekend I taught an Instant Pot 101 workshop that was sponsored by Wild Harvest®, a brand I’ve been working with for the past couple of months. Wild Harvest® has hundreds of items across the grocery store that are great to have on hand in your pantry, and they don’t make you choose between your health and your wallet. Organic and better for you foods can sometimes be a bit pricey, but Wild Harvest is dedicated to making better for you choices that are reasonably priced. Plus, their products are free from over 140 undesirable ingredients that are commonly found in many other brands, and nearly 70% of what they make is certified organic. Better for you + affordable = a winning combination!

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Snack Boards 101: How to build the perfect Snack Board

Snack boards have been all the rage on Instagram and Pinterest for the last year or two, probably because visually they’re so interesting and colorful. They’re great for everything from parties and potlucks to picnics and casual dinners as they offer something for everyone - and in these days of people being gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free or all of the above, that’s a big bonus. Snack boards are different than cheese boards in that they are much more varied. Cheese boards are about the cheese. Snack boards can be about alllll the things and in my house that means lots of veggies, with dips and crackers being the perfect co-stars. 

Here are some basic tips for creating the ideal snack board.

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Gluten-free Gingerbread Molasses Cookies

It’s December - the month that hosts Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and also, apparently, National Cookie Day. Who knew? I suppose it makes sense considering that the amount of cookies that get made in December is probably quite a bit higher than any other month.  This month I also started a partnership with Wild Harvest Organics, a fabulous company that makes a wide selection of quality, organic products at prices that are super reasonable. Nearly 70% of Wild Harvest products are certified USDA organic and free from more than 140 undesirable ingredients. In other words they are a company I can totally get behind and I am super happy to be working with them. In Seattle their products are widely available at Met Market as well as various markets like New Seasons, Thriftway and others. They have a store locator on the website so you can find a place that is close and convenient to you.

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The Power of a Morning Ritual

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder it can be a real challenge to get ourselves out of bed in the morning. Our beds are so cozy — especially on grey winter days! It’s much easier to roll over, take your phone off the charger and start scrolling through social media and email, all the while telling yourself that you’re only gonna take a quick look - like, just to feel caught up or only until you feel “more awake.” But then 5 minutes becomes 30 minutes or more and before you know it you’ve fallen into a hole of looking at someone else’s vacation pics, admiring your best friend’s sister’s baby or puppy, checking to see what the weather is like in NYC, vaguely planning a menu for a dinner party you haven’t even scheduled and comparing your mom life/work life/fitness life to pretty much everyone else’s (which, PS, - feels like sh*t). Add that to the stress of checking the latest news headlines, realizing that you have scores of unanswered emails plus mentally reviewing the day’s commitments and suddenly your morning vibe gets fully zapped. You feel rushed and out of alignment that is not at all how you want to start your day.

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How to make the perfect salad

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re making a salad is that anything goes. There really isn’t a ‘wrong’ way to do it and salads can differ according to taste. I, for one, can’t stand raw onion or garlic in my salad and raw shallots are only barely acceptable. But if you like them then by all means use them! I add crunch in the form of toasted nuts and seeds instead of croutons but if you're a crouton fiend then have at it.  I typically opt for lots of avocado instead of cheese but if you can’t imagine a salad without some feta or parmesan then don’t let me stop you. Here are some of my favorite salad guidelines and suggestions, but the most important one is to have fun and feel confident that you are doing something wonderful for yourself in the name of good health!

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30+ Ways to Nourish Yourself (that have nothing to do with food)

I’ve developed a real crush on the word “nourish” over the years. Could be that whole “Jewish mother” thing but it feels deeper than that. Yes, there is something about cooking and feeding people that fills me with joy. It's become a part of my inner and outer identity that I cherish. I use the healthiest ingredients and the food I cook is nutritious, delicious and full of love. But nourishment can be about more than just the food we eat. Living a healthy lifestyle involves nourishing all your parts: body, mind and spirit.

I believe it’s important to find things that feel nourishing even if they have little or nothing at all to do with food. The more nourished we feel, the less likely it is that we’ll wander off in search of a quick distraction in the form of food that we’re often not even hungry for in the first place.

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Yoga and me: a love story (part 2)

You may have heard me waxing poetic about yoga lately. That’s because me and yoga got it going on right now. After years of having a very sporadic relationship with yoga  (See “Yoga and Me: a love story (part 1) I decided to give it another concerted effort in the form of a 30-day self challenge this past January and I gotta say, me and yoga are digging each other.

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Adaptogenic Bliss Balls

Have you heard of adaptogens yet? The Wellness community has been buzzing about them for a few years now but like many things that seem "new" in health and wellness, adaptogens have been used for thousands of years by ancient healing practices like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

I'm a little bit obsessed after using them for the last year and really noticing a difference in my energy levels (up) and my stress levels (down). I started by adding them to my morning matcha and now find ways to incorporate them into my day in other ways as well. Even my husband is smitten and insists that he is more productive when he adds adaptogens to his bulletproof coffee. Our favorites are ashwaganda (for anxiety and insomnia), a blend of adaptogenic mushrooms and he shou wu (also known as Fo-Ti and translated as "Mr. He's black hair", it is  anti-aging and a blood tonifier).

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Sweet Potato Skillet Hash with Sausage and Greens

I am always on the hunt for interesting recipes. My social media feeds are littered with delicious looking meals, I read cookbooks for fun and I’m that annoying person who tears the recipes out of the magazine at the dentist’s office. The idea that you can take a bunch of simple, naked ingredients and turn them into something delicious, satisfying and nutritious still delights me now as much as it did when I first started cooking. This is one of the reasons I did a program at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition last fall. It was a 14-week training that took me deeper into my understanding of the nutritional and healing properties of food and how to help people incorporate practical and simple cooking skills into their lives to positively impact their health. 

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Frittata Muffins

Happy September! It's back to school season (insert Happy Dance gif here)! This is my favorite time of year for all kinds of reasons. Back to school means fall is coming!! If you know me then you know that fall is my season. Boots & sweaters, lower temperatures, dense issues of Vogue magazine and best of all, soups, stews and fall produce! After all these years I still have a hot crush on butternut squash, brussels sprouts & chanterelle mushrooms. Being in the kitchen makes me happy and cooking fall foods makes me even happier.

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Self-Compassion is Cool

Has this ever happened to you? You're late for an appointment and looking for parking. You end up driving right by a prime spot in front of your destination because there's a car on your tail and you feel bad about abruptly stopping, so you decide to drive around the block and go back for the spot but when you get there someone else has already grabbed it. This happened to me last week and my first reaction was to say to myself (using the unkind voice that lives in my mind), "Lisa, you idiot! You should have taken the spot when you first saw it." But lately I've been training myself to notice that unkind voice and what it's saying so I caught the thought pretty quickly. I consciously switched my inner dialogue and told myself "Lisa, it's OK.  You are not an idiot. I love you." I immediately started to feel better.

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The 5 Paths to Essential Self-Care

As a coach I am always looking for good metaphors to help make sense of things we humans keep tripping over or bumping into. One of my favorites comes courtesy of the airline industry. We all know that in case of an emergency, we need to secure our own oxygen masks before we try and help others. If we can't breathe then we are useless to everyone - including ourselves. This is a great metaphor for real life! Daily living in the 21st century can feel relentless and stressful and often keeps our adrenals running as if we are in a constant state of emergency.

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Cheap Trick

I finally lost the extra "baby weight" that I couldn't seem to shake for years. That old adage "it will just fall off when you are nursing" thing didn’t work for me. A few years ago I hit a wall. My babies were nearly teenagers. I was not getting any younger. And to be honest, I was sick of feeling like crap about myself.

I knew that if I really wanted things to change then I was going to have to do something different.

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Yoga and Me…

Yoga and Me (a love story)

I am trying to get more into yoga. I mean, I live in Seattle where it’s practically in the by-laws that every able-bodied woman do yoga have a yoga practice.

People who do practice yoga seem so together. There’s almost a smugness in their faces when I see them walking to class with their rolled up mats tucked under their well-toned arms. Like they are in on some giant secret. Yoga taunts me. One of the best yoga studios in Seattle is 2 blocks away from my house.  Plus some of my very best friends swear by yoga.

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