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  • Happy Birthday, Wilder

    Happy Birthday, Wilder

    Hello everyone!

    This post has been a LONG time coming. I have been meaning to talk about hormones, food, and postpardum but first I feel led to share my birth story. 

    If you've been following me for a while then you would know how how much I adored being pregnant. I actually have never felt more balanced and whole in my entire life. Now this is just my experience, I know it is different for everyone. 

    Since I had such an amazingly smooth pregnancy I was expecting birth to be the same. 

    I had planned to give bith at a birthing center for an unmedicated water birth. Not that there is anything wrong with a hospital setting, it's just not what I wanted. I chose an unmedicated birth for many health reasons and benefits and since my pregnancy was low risk I was in the perfect position to do so. 

    Let's fast forward to week 40. My due date. The end of the 9th full month. 

    He is still in there, cozy and as healthy and as content as could be! I was told that first time babies can be late, an average 1.5 weeks. So we waited. At my birth center they allow you wait two weeks past due date as long as the baby and mama were healthy and, in this case, we were. These next two weeks felt like torture. My husband and I took every class, read everything we could and were so ready for labor. Every minute, every hour, I remember thinking this could be it! You could have caught us walking around our neighborhood all day trying to kick start labor naturally and NADA! I would even have contractions at night thinking, "tonight is going to be the night!" and every night I would fall asleep through the gentle contractions and wake to nothing but disappointment. 

    As we got closer and closer to the two week mark, we had to talk about my dreaded plan B: going into the hospital for an induction.

    I hated this idea and would get so emotional at the thought of not giving birth in the tub that I have been envisioning my whole pregancy. I felt defeated by dwindling patience and feeling sorry for myself. The time slowly dripped by like a calm before a storm.  We also moved into our new home that week so I did have some fun distractions of decorating and unpacking. 

    June 24th 2017: Two weeks past due date aka "THE INDUCTION"

    It was one of the hardest things I had to do, but there I was: about to be induced at a hospital. I dreaded it. I clung to my faith in Jesus that He was with us and I went into it trusting him FULLY even though I was completely terrified. 

    We arrived at the hospital at around 10pm. I had been going to my birth center for my whole pregnancy and got comfortable with the midwives and the beautiful birthing suites but here I lay in an unfamiliar, dark hospital bed surrounded my midwives that I'd never met asking me my birth plan. My biggest challenge at that moment was getting a word out of my mouth without sobbing uncontrollably. My one saving grace was my incredible doulas. They gave me instant comfort and familiarity. They also knew my birth plan so I felt extremly comfortable in thier presence. We told the midwives that I wanted the most unmedicated induction possible which they said they would honor. In a hospital setting you have to kind of fight for things to be done naturally because it is out of the ordinary from what they are used to doing. We started the induction process with a small pill that helps ripen the cervix when inserted vaginally. That was alI that was needed to get things going! I labored for what felt like 25 hours but was only a few and I wasn't progressivly dialating so they used somethng called a folley bulb that is a balloon type thing that gets inserted and it falls out at 6 centimeters. That's when things got even more intense. I didnt have an epidural but I did use nitrous oxide that was truly my best friend during labor. IT HELPED SO MUCH! 

    I labored for hours and hours in every position possible until it was time to push! I'm thinking, "OK, here he comes," for about 4 hours STRAIGHT. They had a sign on the wall that read 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY WILDER'  which made me burst into tears everytime I looked at it. It was a reminder of why I was doing this. The pain was too intense to explain...it was a pain that was way beyond anything I can handle. I kept thinking to myself (and screaming outloud) that I was dying...and I think I was in a way. A piece of me did die in that moment, in birth, in pushing out this 9lb baby, in feeling every contraction, in feeling him pass through my body ever so slowly. 

    After 4 plus hours of earth shattering pushing, out he came! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILDER! 

    June 25th at 9:25 pm.

    It was a whirlwind of nurses and doctors and stitches and tears but he was here! My baby was born along with a mother, who was also born in that moment. A part of me died and a part of me came alive. It was the best moment of my life, hands down.

    This is our story and I am proud of it.

    I am the most grateful for my husband who was so strong and fiercely supportive and, also, my doulas. I literally could not have gotten through a single breath during labor without them. 

    No matter how we birth, home, in a hospital, medicated, c-section...it doesn't matter and no choice makes us less of a mother. We are all equally superheroes of whom I am forever in awe.

    I will write a blog next time on postpardum life, as this is a topic that isn't talked about as much as it should and it deserves its own post. 

    X,

    Kristen

  • Living Hormoneiously pt.1

    Living Hormoneiously pt.1

    H o r m o n e s/ 

    Something you probably haven't thought about since you were a teen, perhaps, but today I want to tell you about hormones and how they play a huge part in our lives at all ages. This topic is heavy and there is so much to go into so I'll do this blog in 2 parts. 

    The messed up thing is that most people are suffering with a hormone imbalance without even knowing it. Often a misdiagnosis of sympotoms or the hormone imbalance is what started to throw off your health and has spread to other places causing other issues.

    It's usually the last thing we think of when something is off. Hormonal imbalance symptoms are different for everyone. Some include depression, infertility, acne, stomach issues, infrequent periods, headaches, weight gain for no reason, in ability to lose weight no matter how hard you try, fatigue, dwindling libido, mood swings, thyroid imbalance, diabetes and SO much more. Some are super sneaky and the most common one is estrogen overproduction ( which I will talk about next time ). Most people just think it's normal to feel that way. 

    Ok so the body is made up of 50 trillion cells. 50 TRILLLION! It's hard to even fathom that number.

    Those 50 trillion cells can only work properly when proper nutrients are present. 

    So everything you eat, feel and do affects these cells. I know that sounds like a lot of presssure but if you think about it, it's very freeing because we have full control. Every single second we get to choose what we feed ourselves. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

    It's a good thing!

    For now I won't get into the different hormones and how they affect our body, I'll save that for you ( otherwise this would be a crazy long blog )

    For now, I will start by giving some examples of hormones disrupters:

    -Plastics - the stuff we eat and drink out of 

    -Chemicals found in food, hair and skin products

    -Non-organic foods

    -Stress

    -Caffeine

    -Dairy 

    -Processed foods

    -Animal fat aka toxic fat  

    -Air quality 

    -Your thoughts toward yourself

    -What you think in general

    I'll go into the stress part:

    Our nervous system has 2 sections:

    CNS which is the central nervous system. 

    and 

    ANS which is subconcious, it controls your heartbeat, breathing, bleeding, nails and hair growth, stuff like that.

    now there are 2 more subsections: 

    SNS which is the red zone aka stress zone 

    and 

    PNS which is the green zone aka the rest and repair zone

    Now our body makes a decision every second on what fuel to use, and there are 2 options: glucose or fat

    When you are living in the red zone, which unfortunately most people are, your body is always communicating that it is in danger and uses the fast burning fuel, glucose. And if you haven't eaten in a while, your body stores up extra glucose just so it has enough. There for your blood sugar goes up. You will also gain weight becuase your body is holding on to the fat in your body because it thinks it will need it because of the " danger " that it's in! This can also happen when we don't feed ourselves proper nutrients or skip meals, have too much caffeine, especially skipping meals while stressed while having caffeine. Something I am quite fimiliar with.. on the days I was stressed the most I would skip meals and replace them with COFFEE! Yikes, no more! 

    When you are living in the green zone, your body will use fat as fuel. And when you feed your body properly it will use all of the nutrients needed to create balance. 

    I mentioned before how what we think has an effect on us as well. When we are constantly thinking negative thoughts, creating problems in our brain, over analyzing and feeling negatively about our body, that can affect us SO much. 

    Your cells don't know the difference between what you're thinking and what is actually happening, so if your brain is filled with drama, and problems and scenarios that may not even be happening, but living inside of you brain only, it's living in your cells too. The RED ZONE.

    Your brain and body loves you so much, so it is constantly working to agree with you. So when you tell your self negative things, like " oh I think that was a negative comment toward me" or "I'm fat" or  "I'm not good enough", then...

    ...Your brain will actually work with you to point out how true that is, creating scenarios that aren't true! Just to prove you right! because it looooves you. 

    Now you see how important it is to say nice things about yourself?!

    And about other people, and to not overthink or overanalyze?

    If you tell yourself nice things, breathe deeply, live with love for others in your heart instead of judgement and insecurity, you immediately tell your body to make the decision into the green zone. 

    Other ways to live in the green zone are meditation, deep breathing exercises, Bikram yoga, prayer and postitive affirmations. Prayer is my favorite because I am instantly reminded how wonderfully made I am. 

    Those are some examples on how life style is more important than food sometimes, but if you want some balancing food recommendations here ya go!

    Kale, cauliflour, broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, filtered PURE water, not from a plastic bottle and not tap, kicking plastics altogether ( switch to glass ), kicking processed foods, alcohol, refined sugar, meats and dairy and adding in lots of whole, organic, real food. Not skipping meals and eating 3 actual meals a day in a calm non-rushed enviornment is key too! 

    Next blog will be part 2 of the HORMONE talk so stay tuned!

    I hope you have a balanced, love-filled day! 

  • Eat Beautifully

    Eat Beautifully

    Happy Tuesday!

    Today, I wanted to write about a personal story/struggle that lead me into a kicking dairy out of my life and going plant-based aka vegan. I promise I won't get into the dirty details of the dairy industry; I'm keeping this 100% about beauty and body!

    I have been so transformed that I almost forgot I had this major problem that once controlled my life. Years ago, before I knew all the scary stuff about dairy, I was a dairy eater. Now I never drank regular milk, but CHEESE, whole milk yogurt and dairy coffee creamers were the norm in my diet. During this time, I suffered from severe stomach and digestive issues. I had even been to a gastroenterologist and even he couldn't figure out what was wrong.

    Along with the stomach issues, I also had skin problems. I wouldn't call it acne but my skin definitely always had a pimple or 2 along with non stop congestion, tiny pimples under the skin and inflammation. Another thing that would happen (maybe because of the stomach issues) was a strange 5 lbs that would creep on and off me for no reason at all. And no matter how hard I worked out it wouldn't make a difference at all. I know 5 lbs isn't a lot but it was to me when I couldn't fit into my jeans some days!

    This may not sound like much but it was enough to affect me deeply and control my life. Anyone who has experience with stomach problems I'm sure could agree. 

    I always thought dairy was good for me and that's what kept it in my diet. I always bought organic, and had a love for good quality yogurt and cheese, of course. I'm not talking Kraft singles and Yoplait here... so for years (almost my whole life) thought this was just something I had to deal with. I tried so many diets (even tried gluten free), exercise routines, etc....but nothing worked. 

    Once I started to really learn about nutrition and the dairy industry, I had a major eye opening experience which led to the decision that I didn't want to consume dairy anymore. Technically making me a vegan. 

    I loved cheese. No, I LOVED cheese. I'm Italian so it's in my blood right?!

    I thought this would be SO hard but the desire to not consume dairy was way stronger than my cravings for it so it was pretty black and white for me. I simply don't eat dairy. Period. And once I made that decision it was so easy. 

    I started to really study the benefits of healthy fats like avocado and nuts and the difference that the switch made was absolutely incredible. I saw a difference right away in my skin becoming clear and smooth and bright...and my stomach was flat with no bloating and, most importantly, ALL of my digestive issues were gone completely! I lost some weight in bloat and especially saw it in my face. I was like a new person! It turns out that it was a lie that I had to live with those issues. No one should have to live that way, and we certainly weren't designed to. 

    Healthy fats can actually help reverse the damage that dairy causes on the body! 

    Here are some comparisons:

    1.Dairy - artery clogging and causes high blood pressure that can lead to heart attacks 

                                                      =

    Healthy Fats - help clear the arteries and help lower blood pressure, very good for heart health

    2.Dairy - Causes acne due to the excessive hormones and unhealthy fats

                                                     =

    Healthy Fats - Helps clear acne and greatly reduces inflammation that causes acne and aging, very good for anti aging and clear skin, gives skin a healthy glow

    3.Dairy - Can cause weight gain due to the unhealthy fats getting trapped in the cells and hormone imbalances leading to weight gain

                                                    =

    Healthy Fats - Aids in weight loss by burning the fat that the body doesn't need, good for balancing and nourishing hormones (especially coconut oil for thyroid)

    4. Dairy - Causes build up in the stomach leading to blockages of the bowel, or in other cases diarrhea for the lactose intolerant, leading to inflammation

                                                                     =

    Healthy Fats - Helps clear the blockages in the digestive tract, helps the body absorb nutrients in food, anti inflammatory

                                                  

    5. Dairy - Causes inflammation at a cellular level leading to disease like diabetes and cancer. All diseases thrive in an acidic enviornment

                                                                       =

    Healthy Fats - Alkaline which is the opposite of acidic, disease can not survive in an alkaline enviornment 

    Well if that isn't enough to cut dairy I don't know what is! 

    Healthy fats are the ultimate beauty food, they keep the skin nourished, balanced, ageless, radiant and beautiful! Healthy fats are even good for your hair! 

    Some of my favorite fats are avocado, coconut and coconut oil, walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds. 

    And don't worry, you don't have to give up cheese to ditch dairy. This is coming from a cheese snob so trust me I wouldn't steer you wrong. 

    There are some brands that make plant based butter, yogurt and cheese so good, that you'll wonder why you waited so long. Some vegan cheeses just aren't good and it gives plant based (vegan)  cheese a bad name (sorry, Daiya)

    At the bottom of this I will give a full list of good, quality plant based cheeses, yogurts and butters. 

    Also, here is a homemade Cashew Parmesan that will knock your socks off!

    Oh, dairy free tip, get some nutritional yeast and add it to foods that you would add cheese to. It's ridiculously good for you and full of necessary B vitamins and tastes so so SO good. Trust.

                                 

    Cashew Parmesan Recipe:

    -Grab a handful of organic raw cashews

    -Chop them up

    -Drop them in a Bullet

    -Add about 1/3-of-the-cashews-worth of nutritional yeast

    -Blend

    -Sprinkle on everything

    Ok now here are some plant based goods! ( I don't like the word vegan too much, I like plant based, which means it came from plants ) 

    -Cheese for cheese plates, pasta, bagels, toast, pizza or anywhere you would use fancy cheese:

    Treeline

    Nuttin Ordinary   

    Miyoko's Kitchen 

    Kite Hill

    - Cheese for tacos, pizza, grilled cheese, sliced, shreaded or shreadable, bakeable, cookable:

    Follow Your Heart 

    - Cheese for Mac & Cheese and or pasta sauces:

    Heidi Ho

    Kite Hill

    Yogurt:

     Anita's  

    Kite Hill          

    -Ice Cream:  

    NadaMoo    

    Coconut Bliss

    even Ben and Jerrry's and Breyer's make dairy free now! 

    -Butter:

    Miyoko's Kitchen

    Earth Balance

    I'm sure I'm forgetting some because there are alot. Also you can make own. I have 2 very easy fool proof DELICIOUS recipies on The Happy Beet Cookbook, one for a creamy cashew cheese and one for a macadamia riccotta 

    Another great option is to substitue your dairy cheese for avocado or coconut cream. Have you ever had a grilled avocado instead of a grilled cheese?! Or cooking with coconut cream instaed of dairy cream? So yum, you definately wont be misssing out!

    I hope all of this information was helpful! And I hope to inspire you and help guide you to a well, balanced, whole and healthy life

    XX

    Kristen

  • 592de62b29da571c-FullSizeRenderjpg.jpeg

    Happy Tuesday! 

    Today I wanted to talk about organic foods. There is lots of talk about how we should choose organic, but do you really know why? And how important is it for our health and the planet? 

    Let's start here...

    ORGANIC (adj): 

    of relating to , yielding, or involving the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.

    This means that the food was grown naturally without interference of any kind. 

    I'll start with vegetables. Did you know that pesticides and chemicals found in non-organic food can do some serious damage?

    Even after you wash the treated food, 63% of those chemicals stays onThese chemicals can cause:

    -hormone disruption leading to acne and the over-production of estrogen: for a woman, every month your body needs to filter out the extra estrogen through your liver that your body produces. When you add into the mix some foreign chemicals and pesticides, the liver will prioritize the chemicals and leave aside the estrogen causing it to build up. Major problems start here. For men and women, this also causes liver damage and weight gain. The fact that these chemicals are foreign means our body doesn't know what to do with them  so they lead to even more issues like:

    -thyroid imbalance

    -skin, eye and lung problems

    -brain and nervous system toxicity 

    -cancer

    -blood disorders

    -nerve disorders

    -birth defects

    -reproductive issues 

    -immunity issues

    -digestion disrupting - linked to stomach and colon cancer

    ...and so on. 77,00 chemicals have been added to our food since 1980. 77,000That's an insane amount.The pesticides and chemicals also interfere with the nutrient compound in the food. Meaning the chemicals kill the nutrients and antioxidants. Plus organic tastes way better. I won't even get into the packaged foods that are literally poison at this point. Stay away from packaged foods with a list of ingredients that aren't food. I repeat, STAY AWAY! It's not food. Nowadays you dont have to eat Doritos, Garden of Eden brand along with countless other brands make organic CHEMICAL-FREE snacks that taste way better. 

    I know some people can't afford to eat all organic everything, but thanks to Trader Joe's it's so much cheaper than a chain grocery store. They can even be less expensive than non-organic food from a regular grocery store. You can also look up a CSA near you and get fresh local produce to your door. Yay! The only solution to having more accessible organic food is to vote with your money. Every single choice you make affects what big companies sell. 

    Now for meats. Yikes. So it is possible for meat and dairy to be organic. For starters this would mean that it doesn't come from a factory farm. And if you buy meat and dairy in America at basically any grocery store, you can rest assured it's from a factory farm. Oh, and when the package says "all natural" that means literally nothing. But why? Because factory farms increase big corporations' profits. And people continue to consume. At these factory farms (I'll spare the horrific details, but I highly recommend watching a documentary like Cowspericy, Fed Up and Forks Over Knives if you haven't already) animals are given no room to graze on grass like they are suppose to by nature, they are crammed into tiny living spaces, and impregnated by large rods (very invasive for the male and females) to reproduce. They don't eat grass, they eat either gmo, pesticide ridden corn meal or other sick and cancer ridden animal parts. These practices make the animals very very sick. To treat this, the "farmers" inject the animals with steroids and hormones to become overly fat, and antibiotics to treat the sicknesses that they all carry from a lifestyle like this. The consumption of these animals treated with these steroids and antibiotcs are one of the leading causes of obesity and the disease epidemic in the nation.

    This isn't organic. An organic meat product would mean it is PASTURE RAISED. And that's the only term that means anything. Not natural, cage free, or free range but pasture raised. Labels that say hormone free, antibiotic free and grass fed are tricky. It's important when you buy an animal product that it says hormone, steriod and antibiotic free, but remember those terms mean nothing if it doesn't say organic and pasture raised. Avoid anything that says "natural". That term means absoloutely nothing and you can legally label "natural" on anything. Scary I know. The best way to ensure youre getting truly organic meat is to get your meat from a farmers market or a local farm. Whole Foods is also a great place and has gotten really strict about the quality of meats they carry. Yes, Whole foods would be a lot more expensive. Which would mean you would want to eat it less. And you would respect it, and use it sparingly and you for sure wouldn't waste it. That is how we should consume meat, dairy and eggs. Sparingly and respectfully

    Same goes for dairy products. Almost all farms (unless you buy from an organic farmer) farms strap the mother to a metal machine that milks her over and over, for her whole life. Mothers milk of all beings contain hormones that adjust to how they are feeling and their environment. Cows and goats are highly sensitive animals and go through severe trauma every time their babies are taken away from them for our milk. That happens over and over, then the baby is starved and sold for veal or goat meat. Now because they are strapped to these machines and they lose their babies over and over, the milk is affected by the fear and trauma. It contains very different hormones than a happy animal who has her baby feeding off of her. Also the machines aren't gentle and they make the animal bleed, so infected pus, mucus and blood go into the milk. It's pasteurized so you don't see that part. BARF. And when we consume the antibiotics and hormones that they are given through the milk, cheese and other dairy products, it has severe effects on our bodies. Causing hormone disruption (hello man boobs), infertility , diabetes, obesity and even cancer. Another leading cause of the health crisis that we are in.

    Why do people tell you that you should eat these things? Old time doctors, nutritionists and dietitians don't look at that stuff. They look at the nutrient make up. Like, 11 sugars, 5 grams of fat etc.. but the holistic way is to go deeper and see what this food is actaully made up of and how it was made. 

    Eating organic can and will change you life. Plus, the more we choose organic the more demand it gets which will mean the large corporations will be forced (since they are only driven by their profit margins) to make a change for the better!

  • How To Use Love As Medicine

    How To Use Love As Medicine

    Today is Valentine's Day, the day of love! 
    I was going to talk about organics today but since it's Valentine's day I changed my mind and I will talk about the health benefits of LOVE!

    Yes love has health benefits! 

    And I'm taking all kinds of love: love for a child, a lover, a pet, and even self love. 

    First, I'll just say I am in no way an expert on love...at all. In fact, I kind of sucked at it until I met my husband. What I do know is the science behind this phenomenon and how it affects our lives, our mind, and our overall health.

    First, I'll talk about a lesser practiced kind of love: self love. Self love often gets neglected or over looked as some of us think we need to do, do, do for others in order to show other people love but loving ourselves isn't important. 

    The truth is: if you are taking time and effort to love yourself you are showing others love through that by filling yourself so they can receive more from you. When you practice self love you're also pouring love into your spiritual life, as you are a temple of The Creator.

    Have you ever heard the saying, "you can't pour from an empty cup"? 

    Well there is so much truth in that. How can you pour out into someone else if you aren't filled? 

    How can you take care of someone else if you aren't taking care of yourself?

    How can you love someone else or show someone how to love you if you don't love yourself?

    Maybe physically you can do that, but there will be a lot missing and a real imbalance.

    A lack of self love can be very dangerous in some cases and lead to the place of "I'm not good enough."

    "Not good enough" leads to feeling unworthy; feeling unworthy leads to unhealthy choices that are beneath your true worth like: choosing a partner that mistreats you or abuses you, not worthy of eating well, not worthy of being sober, not worthy of spending time and effort on yourself. As you can see, a dangerous path is being led.

    A few ways we can tap into this self love is by making some time for ourselves. Even for 5 minutes.

    In 5 minutes you can close your eyes, place your hand on your heart, breathe, and remind yourself that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That you are enough. That you were created for a reason and that you are beautiful and deserving of the best that this world has to offer. Those words will activate self love from the deep depths inside.  

    My favorite go-to self love act is prayer because I immediately get reminded how incredible this life is and how I am loved so much by God, so to not love myself or care for myself would just be insulting Him. Another practice is a good hair blow out because it makes me feel fresh and nice (coming from a curly haired person, straight hair feels so good sometimes!). A couple more for me are: a delicious and nutritious meal or spending a little extra $$ for some luxury green beauty products/skin care. I know it sounds shallow but it makes me feel good to treat myself and spend money on my self sometimes. A thing I can easily forget to do. Plus nice skin feels wonderful :) 

    Some more ideas to try: meditation, a night home alone, a fancy dinner out alone, a facial, an at-home mask night, yoga, a long run, a warm bath with essential oils, reading a book that you love or anything that makes you feel loved, whole, healthy and connected to yourself. 

    Our body loves us and when we take the time to check in with ourselves our body will tell us what it needs, what is good for us and will self-heal.



    More on the science of love...

    Studies now show that loneliness affects the genes which control the immune system and that relationships and connections will actually keep you alive. Studies have also shown that if someone in a nursing home is given a goldfish, a plant or something to take care of they live longer than the person down the hall with nothing. Studies show that addictions are due to a lack of love. Eating disorders and binge eating also happen when there is a lack of love.

    So what would happen if we filled those areas of life, with which we struggle, with love?

    It all starts with connections. We were designed to live in relationship with people. We were meant to share openly with each other, heal each other, pray for each other and support each other. Don't you feel 100 times better after venting to a friend or partner?! I know I do! 

    Have you ever noticed that the judgiest person in the room is the one who is judging themselves the hardest? 

    When we lack fulfillment inside of ourselves we often tend to either project it onto other people or try to find the negative in everything and everyone so we can feel better about ourselves.

    What if we instead of projecting negativity we projected the love that we felt we were lacking? 

    One thing I love to do if I am feeling neglected by others is to reach out to someone and ask them how they are doing and with that I immediate feel full, because in order to receive the love we want we need to give it. 

    I heard this once, that if I'm feeling like I want attention from my husband, instead of feeling sad, or starting a fight, to walk over to him and give him love. I tried this and simply just started rubbing his back and he started rubbing mine, and started a conversation with me. Right there I received the love and attention that I was craving from him. That can go into any aspect of life! Give what you want to receive! If you want support, go give it! If you want to be served, go serve someone.

    Last things I'll mention are the health benefits of L-O-V-E:

    -Love activates Oxitocen, a chemical which is known to lower blood pressure, decrease stress and even boost immunity. Oxitocen reduces aches and pains, increases energy and elevates our mood.

    -People who have successful long-term relationships practice generosity, forgiveness, patience and acceptance. Gratitude and appreciation are often said to be the most important qualities in a successful relationship, and there is much research to support this. Studies show that practicing forgiveness and gratitude contributes to Neuroplasticity which, to keep it brief, is the way in which we can rewire our brain to think new and positive things instead of negativity prior mistakes.

    - Having strong loving connections in your life will make you live longer and will greatly reduce stress.

    - And let's face it, love makes you glow! There is no better look than the look of love. The hormones activated by love relax your body, mind and release tension!

    I love you all and hope you have an amazing day filled with all types of love 

    xx

    Kristen

    Nobody is free of wounds, but you can turn charcoal into a diamond- Bernie Siegel 

  • What's On Your Plate?

    Dare I say the word, VEGAN?! 

    Veganism has a bad name so I am going to say plant based. And saying plant based really is more to the point than saying vegan. 

    Have you ever known someone who has suffered from or even lost their life to diabetes, heart disease, cancer or complications caused by these illnesses? These diseases are the leading cause of death in America and they are all food related. That's right. The #1 cause of death in America is food related. Along with obesity which is at an all time high. 1 in 5 deaths in America is caused by obesity

    What we eat literally becomes us. When we take a bite of food it doesn't just go into our stomach and get digested, the food gets absorbed into our blood and goes deep into our cells. It affects our organsour genes, our skin, our hair, our eyes, our bones, our aging process, our weight and our future

    All animal products contain a certain fat that gets trapped in our cells, and has tremendous negative effects on the body. I won't get too scientific right now but, I will say that these fats are only found in animal products, so cutting them out will reduce the risk of these illnesses almost completely. These days the treatment of animals, how they are raised and what is done to them behind closed doors is worse for our health than the fats themselves. Another reason to cut them out. 

    More reasons are that they are highly acidic which is linked to cancer and other health issues. Our stomach is curved, so we don't ever really break down the animal products because they do not contain any fiber, causing them to get trapped in our stomach. The fat also builds up in our fat cells and start producing their own hormones and we get that stubborn fat that is so hard to lose. They contain high levels of toxins that never fully pass through and get trapped in our kidneys and cells. Another reason to cut them out is environmental issues, which I won't get into, but we can stop and reduce climate change to the point of restoration if we all took on a plant based diet.

    Even cutting down on animal products will help.

    Now what do we replace them with? Plant foods! That's where the term plant based comes in. That is all the vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds that you can imagine at the base of your diet.

     A plant based diet will reduce with pain because of it's anti inflammatory effects. It will also boost your immune system (hello not getting sick!), it will flush out your kidneys and liver, balance hormones, balance your thyroid, it will help your reproductive organs, slow down the aging process, cure acne, reduce stress, promote mental clarity and will dramatically help with weight management. My eye sight even got better after going plant based! Not to mention chronic stomach issues that doctors couldn't even diagnose. Hormonal weight gain, acne and mood swings are now a thing of the past since I switched over.

     When you consume foods that have positive health benefits you not only reduce the risk of getting sick you reverse the effects of what you may have consumed in the past. 

    Plant foods are proven to heal, cure and prevent this epidemic of sickness and disease that has taken over the country. 

    The good news is that we have control over this. Even if you cut down your consumption of animal products in half (must be organic and pasture raised to avoid factory farmed products) you still will reduce the risks! 

    Food is suppose to nourish us and keep us alive, not the opposite. 

    Now let's talk about the fun stuff. Eating plant based seems very restricting to someone who relies on animal foods and processed foods. But the truth is that there is nothing more freeing! Living in the mindset of  "I can eat whatever I want" is actually living in a trap. A trap of eating foods that were designed to keep you addicted and intended to keep you sick and not feeling good

    For example, when we choose to feed ourselves well we are free of being sluggish for no reason, and we are free from the need of caffeine and sugar because we received our energy from plants. We won't rely on medicine to make us feel better because our food is our medicine.

    You're never heard anyone feeling awful after eating a bowl of nourishing plant based food. You may have heard their positivity, energy and desire to keep eating that way though. 

    When you eat plant based your stomach and even your tongue becomes more pure, and you will taste things you've never tasted before. Talk about freeing! You will be experimenting with vegetables you've never tried, combinations of food that you would have never thought you would. Living that way, you are setting yourself totally free. You will even start to crave these things! You will be free of cravings that make you feel awful after and you will experience what it's like to truly connect to your body and listen to what it's asking for. 

    Eating well is a gift that only you can give yourself. Sometimes it takes effort and sacrifice, but you are worthy of the benefits from that sacrifice. Your future is too. 

    And YES, you will get enough iron, protein and B vitamins! Remember, plants have protein! When you eat plant foods they contain all of the proteins and nutrients found in animal products, plus way more and in a purer form. Plus you'll get these nutrients first hand instead of being filtered through an animal. Kale contains more calcium than milk, pumpkin seeds have more iron than red meat and legumes have more protein than animal flesh per gram. Where do you think the animals get their protein from? Plants! And Americans consume wayyy too much protein. So eating plant foods is a sure way to make sure you're getting just the right amount. I'll say that agin, if you eat a variety of plant foods you will be lacking nothing.

    My goal is to help people feel free and whole. On my website you'll find recipes that are all plant based, I also offer a cooking class to veganize your favorite dishes and products. 

    Remember to always choose whole, organic foods and avoid any packaged foods with words that you can't pronounce.

    I wish you a happy week and I hope that I have inspired you to make some plant based meals this week. 

    Next Tuesday I'll be talking organics! 

    xx 

    Kristen



  • Energy: Coffee vs Juice

    Energy: Coffee vs Juice

    Happy Tuesday! 

    Today I want to talk a little about a topic that might make you want to cover your ears - Coffee vs Juice, and which is better for energy.

    When we think of morning time energy or a mid-day pick me up we think COFFEE. And that's not a bad thing. Who doesn't love the smell, the taste and the whole routine of it...but is it damaging us?

    The average American consumes 3.5 cups of coffee a day. And most of the time it is consumed with sugar and dairy additives= double trouble. But even alone, just the caffeine, what is it doing to our body?

    Well there is actually no energy in caffeine. What caffeine does is it pumps adreneline into the body via our adrenal glands and gets them working in an unnatural way, a way that they really weren't created for which causes adrenal stress and exhaustion. Some symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include: difficulty waking up in the morning, inability to handle stress, regular and unexplained fatigue, cravings for sweets, depression, insomnia and a weakened immune system. Too much caffeine also leads to sleeplessness and disrupted sleep cycles, gastrointestional problems, blood sugar swings, irritability, nutritional deficiencies, aging, kidney and bladder problems, infertility, it worsens PMS and elevates stress. And that's a short version. Now, there are a few benefits as well like: it increases alertness and concentration, it has some antioxidents (no more than you can get from a few blueberries though!), it's a diuretic and it can help reduce asthma. 

    Don't worry! I'm not posting this to tell you to cut out coffee for life, but maybe switch it up a bit and swap it out for a juice every now and then. I can't help but notice the correlation between the relience of caffeine in our day and the health issues that I mentioned above. So I want to educate people and offer options. 

    Now, let's talk about juice.

    Not Tropicana or Welch's juice, I'm talking cold pressed, fresh pressed juice from organic fruits and vegetables with no additives. 

    Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert energy from the sun. Basically, they create an organic molecule that they use as fuel, from light. Which means they contain actual energy from the purest, most powerful source: THE SUN. How cool is that?! That means when you eat plants (friuts and veggies) you are consuming energy. Glorious! 

    Now juicing them has it's own magnificent benefits. 

    When you juice, you're taking out the fibers of the food and getting pure nutrient power that is absorbed much easier. 

    Some benefits include: increased energy levels, clearer thinking, glowing skin and eyes, improved appetite control, stronger hair and nails, and strengthened immune system. Juicing also heals multiple stomach related issues, detoxifies the blood, liver, kidneys, bladder, it balances hormones, aids in weight loss, reduces bloating, and alkalizes the body which can cure and prevent disease.

    Amazing! 

    Juice bars are on the rise now due to the high demand of people wanting healthy options available. Lucky us! Always remeber to buy cold pressed which means it wasn't heated. When the juice is heated all of the yummy nutrients are destroyed. You can also juice at home and experiment on what you like and what works for you! 

    Check in next Tuesday to hear about a topic that I'm very passionate about.

    I wish you a happy, healthy and energized week!

    xx

    Kristen

  • Halfway There

    Hello!

    And welcome to my first ever blog!

    In my blogs I will talk about all things health and wellness related. I am a green beauty, nature, botany, yoga loving hair stylist and makeup artist, so I'm sure I'll be talking about those things as well. 

    Thats right, I am a professional makeup artist and hairstylist who has become health coach!

    Last July I decided to make my passion and calling to be a health coach more then just a dream of mine.

    And it has been quite an adventure.

    I am currently enrolled in IIN (the Integrative Institute of Nutrition) and its safe to say since July my life has changed tremendously.

    My husband and I decided to move to Nashville, TN right before we found out that we are having a baby. JOY! So not only am I half way through school and starting a brand new business, I am half way through my pregnancy as well. 

    In the past you would find me onset making movies in the woods somewhere in West Virginia, running around NYC like a mad woman, hot yogaing, going out, eating out and living a very fast paced life. 

    Nowadays my life looks completely different. Besides growing a baby, being in school and being distracted by my 3 dogs, I am starting this brand new chapter of health coaching. And nothing has made me happier. There is something about that... stepping into your calling where everything aligns perfectly.

    My goal was always to make people feel beautiful, not by hiding who they are but showing who they are through the art of makeup and hairstyling. I love that moment right before an actor goes onto set and putting the finishing touches on the character you've helped create. Health coaching is very similar. Whether I am helping a woman learn how to apply a lipstick color that helps her see her true beauty. Or when I'm working with an actor, director or a wardrobe stylist, I am helping to create something from a vision. Or sometimes I'm helping someone discover something that's already there. And that's what health coaching is, it's working with another human, looking past all of their layers, seeing who they are and helping to bring that out. Just like helping to create a character from a vision, I will be helping people to achieve a goal that is a vision of something that was created by them or us together. 

    I'm marking today as the halfway point to the finish line.

    So I thought today would be the perfect day to start a blog. Why not right? A new baby, a new business and lots of adventures ahead!

    I promise to keep my blogs short, full of cool tips, and tons of information that you will want to know (trust me).

    Check back in Tuesday for a juicy nutrition talk!

    xx

    Kristen