Category: The Cocoon

Whole Self Love: a new series

WHOLE SELF LOVE: a new series

Oh, Honey- I have some things to say about this little #frenemy right here. It’s been a hot minute since I have shared much publicly about my physical body, and here’s why:

  • Dieting Sucks
  • Talking about dieting is capital B BORING
  • Diet Culture is toxicAF
  • The number on the scale does not determine (nor can it ever measure) my worth

I know this to be True. You probably do as well! (And yet…)

It’s why, for the past 4-5 years, I have made it my personal mission to learn how to Love the body I live in, every damn day. Regardless of my clothing size, weigh-in numbers, age, shape, wrinkles, lumps, flab, rolls, freckles, muscles, strength, etc ad nauseum. I’ve been helped tremendously on my body-positive journey by trailblazers like Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn), Amber Karnes (@amberkarnesofficial), Dianne Bondy (@diannebondyyoga) and most recently Tiana Dodson (@onebeautifulyes) who are all amazing and beautiful.

So, I pose these questions: What if Loving your Whole Self meant loving your entire body? What would it take for you to Love all your parts and welcome them into your Wholeness?

I’m practicing Radical Self Love & normalizing fat bodies, even as I continue to shed some weight & heal what’s hurting inside. I even have been taking a series of rather societally unflattering selfies as part of my whole-self Love medicine and posting them on my Instagram stories. (It feels insanely liberating, btw) I knew that I couldn’t begin to address my health issues without first being willing to really, REALLY Love all of me. Including the parts that weren’t as pretty, the parts that hurt, and the parts that were breaking down.

As of this writing, it’s been 3 weeks since I began a total shift in my relationships with food & exercise. With the help of an interactive app/virtual program I am not just learning about healthier ways to eat and move and less psychologically & emotionally damaging ways to think about those things, but I’m integrating these new habits every damn day that are supporting my whole self. I won’t lie, it’s been some hard word (first week was the worst) but through the effort I am putting in and the support received, I’ve seen and felt some pretty spectacular results, including my first 10+ lbs. shed; increased endurance; a dramatic reduction in pain in my back, knees, and feet; increased strength; no more chest pain or wheezing; no more bloating or food hangovers; fewer mood swings & more sustained energy; improved sleep and almost no more snoring.  All of this Love being poured into my body is coming back to me in these very tangible ways, and I am truly grateful. I am excited to see how much more my body and I can do.

More of this story to come, stay tuned!

Getting My Sexy Back

UPDATE: Since writing this entry in August 2019, I have developed a much healthier & more positive relationship with food, eating, exercise, and caring for my body in general. During the course of my program, I shed over 40 lbs.* (at an average of -2 lbs per week) and watched in amazement as my body composition began to change. I felt such pride at being able to go through my daily activities without feeling exhausted, and I have been delighted to have more physical activity, strength, and endurance become a natural part of my life. More incredibly, I have experienced the release of long-held pain in my body, specifically in my feet, knees, back and chest; released long-held beliefs about my worth being tied to my appearance; and released long-held habits of self-destructive thoughts & actions.

By coupling my mindset work with a refreshed self-care plan, I have discovered JOY in moving my body again, and I have developed a kind of confidence, acceptance and deep Love for the body that I have- lumps, bumps, folds, wrinkles, spots, flabby bits and all. How freeing to realize that I don’t need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model to feel sexy, beautiful, comfortable in my skin (things I never felt when I was an actual lingerie and bikini model).

It is my sincere hope and belief that I will continue to take good care of myself by using the tools that I’ve learned and keep learning. I have a great support system now to lean on when I need to, and I have empowered myself to be in charge of taking care of my Whole-Self… body, mind, and soul.

*No matter how much I stress that the size of my body is not that important, and no matter how much I believe and teach that you don’t have to lose weight before you can love your body- people are still always fascinated by my weight loss and ask me, “How did you do it?” So here it is: I signed up for Noom. If you would like to try their program for yourself, you can click here to use my affiliate link and get yourself 20% off.

Summertime Self-Care Tips

Summertime Self-Care Tips 💖🦋

Do you have a more relaxed work schedule during the summer months? I was so grateful today for the flexibility to go enjoy some “beauty maintenance” (lash fill & mani-pedi!) before joining my sweetheart’s office dinner party tonight.

Self-care is so much deeper than a spa day; it’s really about taking the time to restore what’s on your inside. So, what if you can’t take a day off or even a few hours? Peace and restoration can be had with a quick reset. Give yourself 5, 10, 15 or even 30 mindful minutes to breathe deeply, think some pleasant thoughts, have a power nap, do some stretching/yoga poses, write about one thing you’re grateful for, drink some water, or just sit quietly & eat something nourishing.

Set aside those stressful thoughts for a little while, and give yourself a much-needed break! You’ll come back refreshed and ready to go!

💖🦋

Perfectly Imperfect Summer Smoothie Bowl

Hey Loves! Y’all know that I mostly talk about important healing topics like empowerment, positivity, self-love, body positivity, living a life you love and using your voice. Can’t shut me up about it and that hasn’t changed!

Occasionally I get to share some delicious healthy recipes with you, too.

If you followed me through The Cocoon: Empowered Transformation (my healthy living program for people in bigger bodies) then you already know that I am a big fan of SMOOTHIES. Mmm! So easy and a yummy way to get more fresh fruits and veggies into your awesome bod!  Well, this morning I made a delicious smoothie bowl using some of the goodies from my Imperfect Produce box.

If you aren’t familiar with Imperfect Produce, they are a wonderful organization that is working to fight food waste in America by directly shipping “imperfect” produce- fruits and veggies that have been deemed too ugly, too small, or too much (surplus) for traditional grocery stores to accept- straight to your home with minimal packaging (another environmental win!). PLUS, they donate loads of healthy food to hungry people living in all kinds of shelters.I absolutely love them!

ANYWAYYYYY….

I made this super simple, bright and delicious smoothie bowl for breakfast today and I just have to share it with you. I hope it will inspire you to add some fresh fruits and veggies to your awesome bod and if you can, try Imperfect Produce too! They are not available everywhere, but we can help them to expand and get good, perfectly imperfect foods to our hungry neighbors. Click here to use my affiliate code and if you sign up before the end of August, you can get $20 bucks off.  Win/Win.

 

Here’s my Imperfectly Perfect Summer Smoothie Bowl:

  • Squeeze the juice from 1 orange into your blender
  • Add 1 white nectarine, cut up into chunks (leave the peel on but remove the pit!)
  • Add a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt
  • Optional: toss in a handful of your favorite leafy greens- spinach, kale, or lettuce, OR try slices of avocado!
  • Blend until smooth, pour into a pretty bowl, and top with a drop of yogurt and some granola, hemp seeds, or chopped nuts.
  • Take a picture and share on Instagram before diving in, or just stir it up and enjoy!

 

Home Office: Eat Easy

Feelin' Just Peachy, thank you very much! Easy foods that fuel my hustle today for breakfast: Peaches-n-Cream Smoothie + Peaches-n-Cream Overnight Oats. I like to use vanilla almond milk for my liquid in both of these recipes. So good!

Of all the many great things about working from home and owning my own businesses (making my own hours, zero commute, self-reliance, full creativity… leggings… pets…) there is one big pitfall that nobody really warns you about: you might start to eat like shit.

As in, forget to eat for half the day and then look up from your project in full on HANGRY mode, pushing past the bewildered pets on your way to the kitchen to eat anything that you can get your hands on- an entire bag of chips, 27 cookies, a huge chunk of cheese (bitten off from the brick, no less) and oh maybe a carrot to round things off. Or you just power through a pint of ice cream (hello, Halo Top!) instead. Yeah, I've totally done that.

Or maybe you're more of a there's-nothing-here-I-even-want-to-eat-so-I-guess-I'm-ordering-delivery-again kind of person. Yup. Totally done that, too.

There's nothing really wrong with any of these scenarios every once in a while, like when you're pushing up on a hard deadline or product launch or huge project that lights you up. We're bosses, but we're also human. Food fails are gonna happen sometimes. Wipe your mouth and move on.

It does become a problem though when it quickly becomes your norm, and you stop stocking your kitchen with an easy mix of more healthful foods in favor of "convenience" meals. You forget how to eat well.

As the pounds packed on (70 bonus pounds, y'all) to fill out my small frame, I have been making the choice to "eat easy" whenever possible. My kitchen always has fresh fruits & veggies (some grown from my backyard garden) nuts and seeds, fresh eggs from my hens, yogurts and cereals and yes some chips too. And Halo Top (so dang good!). With intention, I am enjoying prepping simple, easy, great-tasting meals that are healthy AND convenient. Win-Win!

I've also recently added more movement by taking H2O aerobics 2x weekly and setting a timer to GET UP and away from my desk after every 60 minutes to stretch, walk outside, or have a mini dance party for 5, 10, 15 minutes. I don't have really huge weight-loss goals, and I love my current body very much- but I know I feel better in this body when it's a few pounds lighter, so that's what I'm going for. Ease.

DING! Excuse me, it's time for my dance party.

#theblessingsbutterfly #entrepreneur #coachlife #iambeingboss #smoothie #healthybreakfast #firstweeatthenweslay #wholefood #eateasy

The Sometimes Vegetarian

I'm taking a break from eating meat. Initially I thought I would just give up beef, then all red meat, then white meat and seafood. It's a decision that I had been wrestling with for a good while, and knew that I would be able to easily leave meat out of my diet when I was ready, and when my body stopped craving it.

It feels really good. I still very much enjoy fresh eggs (thanks to Buffy and Ethyl, my sweet hens!) and I very much crave dairy, so I'm not ready to let those go. I'm just listening to my body and giving her what she wants & needs. Those wants & needs change over time. (I was a vegetarian for most of my 20's and well into my 30's) And it's fine, and it's okay.

I'm not a born again meatless evangelist who is going to talk down to anyone who loves to eat meat, or to anyone who is just trying to reduce their meat consumption a little without going 100% vegan. Because it actually is possible to eat at either extreme and everywhere in between without being a jerk about it. DO YOU, BOO. Just– Be kind, share yourself, and spread your light. 💖🦋

This quickie breakfast is pan fried broccolini, red potatoes, and an over-medium egg. Delicious, easy, and very satisfying!

#theblessingsbutterfly #empowermentcoach #inspiration #positiveenergy #positivevibes #personalgrowth #vegetarian #reducitarian #bodypositive #healthyeating #wholefood #freshisbest #bekind

Rad Recipes: Spicy Sweet Baked Carrot Chips

I saw these beauties and my heart went pitter-pat! I knew I had to have them. 

I took them home and cleaned them up, sliced into thin rounds, coated them in coconut oil and a mix of spices, then baked them in a hot oven for a few minutes. 

I’m pleased with how they came out, but if you want to make them crunchy-crispy, they need to be sliced paper-thin before baking. (You’ll also want to shorten the oven time unless you like them burnt!) Here’s my super simple recipe:

  • 6 carrots, washed (not peeled) and sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 tbs coconut oil, liquified 
  • Spice Mixture* to taste (I used about a tsp)
  • Sprinkle of salt (I like to fresh grind salt crystals)

Preheat oven to 425F. Meanwhile, coat the carrot coins in the coconut oil and spice mixture in a small bowl; spread carrots in single layer on parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt (I like to grind a few twists of salt). Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking to make sure they don’t burn. Serve warm for tasty side dish, or let them cool off and enjoy as a snack. So Yummy! 

*Spice Mixture: I used a little smoked paprika, a little ancho chili, and a little habanero chili- all powdered. Probably about a 1/4 tsp of each, more or less. You can play with the ratios to create your perfect blend. 

Stretch Yourself

the blessings butterfly

Stretch Yourself!

Stretch the muscles in your body;

Stretch the limits of your imagination;

Yes Love, S t r e t c h   Y o u r s e l f, and see how far you can grow. Reach a little farther if you can.

Stretch the boundaries of all that you think is possible for you to achieve, and in so stretching you will elevate yourself out of your small space of comfort, where you can harness your furthest goals and ride your wildest dreams!

stretch yourself

 

#FridayFeels Shutting Down (in a good way)

I could blame Mercury. I might call it Murphy’s Law. I could get pissed off and focus on all of the things that didn’t happen they way I expected them to. I could wear a bad mood like a badge of honor, dripping with sarcasm and bristling with angerrrrrr. But, NOPE. There’s a better way.

All of those are options, but instead I’m going to take a break and get centered again. I’m going to get quiet and listen to the still, small voice inside that speaks Love and Truth. I’m going to laugh out LOUD at the ridiculousness of the signs that have popped up in my life this week, all of which are pointing me back to a place of rest and peace and self-healing. You can get annoyed at the signs, or you can read them. Hell, you can do both! So, which signs are you ignoring and what do you need to pay more attention to?

I might still give Mercury the side eye, though. 

LOL WTF?!

Rad Recipes: Sweet Cinnamon Orange Sun Tea

One of my favorite memories of my Mom is the amazing sun tea she used to brew. It was so simple to make and so refreshing to drink after playing outside for hours in the hot SoCal sunshine. 

Well Hello, Sunshine!

Her go-to was a mixture of basic Lipton black tea + Constant Comment (which is a blend of black tea with some sweet spice notes and orange rind). Oh, and about a cup of added white sugar (Sweet Tea is no joke). In later years, she stopped adding the sugar and just served it unsweetened, and though much less sweet, it was still delicious.

Mmm this brew is magickal

My Sweet Cinnamon Orange Sun Tea is a nod to her. If you like, you can still add your favorite sweetener before or after brewing, or drink it unsweetened. Now go grab a big glass jar and find you a sunny spot outside! Here’s my super simple recipe:

  • Fill a gallon sized glass jar with fresh cold water
  • Add at least six individual bags of your favorite black tea (I like Trader Joe’s Organic Irish Breakfast) If you like stronger tea, add more bags- 2 at a time
  • Add 1-2 individual bags of your favorite sweet orange tea (I like Mighty Leaf Organic Orange Dulce)
  • Toss in a few cinnamon sticks and a couple of fresh orange slices, cover, and set outside in a sunny spot for at least 2-3 hours (brew for longer if you like stronger tea flavor)
  • Bring the jar inside at least 1/2 hour before you’re ready to serve. Let cool.
  • Remove tea bags, cinnamon sticks, orange slices and stir well. Rim your glass with some sugar, fill with ice, and enjoy! 

I couldn’t wait to sample! It’s SO GOOD

Just Let That Sh!t Go

We all experience the so-called “negative” emotions such as Sadness, Anger, and Fear throughout our lives as a result of experiencing unpleasant circumstances or even traumatic events. It’s OK to feel these, and it’s important to express them in healthy ways. It’s when we avoid feeling them and resist expressing them that we develop Emotional Constipation, and the shitty feelings begin to pile up and block our ability to fully enjoy life.

Sadness untreated slips into Depression. Anger left untended turns into Rage. Fear left to fester turns into Phobia, and can further devolve into Hate.

The path back to peacefulness is available to all, but it requires you to travel lightly upon it. Unburden yourself bit by bit from the lingering pains of the past and step forward into a journey of self-discovery, healing, and joy! You are free to make new choices each day and you are free to just let that shit go!

Want to work with me?

let that shit go