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ways to take care of yourself on sundaze.

i loveeee me some self care.

we all need to indulge in it. it allows us to recharge for the week and shake off any stress. and if you’re a creative trying to balance “real life” work and creative outlets/passions (in my case, the blog) then you DESERVE it.

moms do. students do. dogs do. we all need self care.

shit, grab your dog and cuddle – that’s one of my favorite ways to de-stress.

I found that when I began setting time aside for myself, my moods remained more level, my creativity was higher, my productivity during the week more sustained and I felt generally better about myself. sounds like there’s nothing negative with self care.

so to honor the day of rest, I’m sharing a couple ways I’m taking care of myself today and tips on how to incorporate more self care into your routine. but first, some “myths” about self care…self care

self care myths.

contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t need to be expensive. sleep in, walk in nature, paint your nails, dance in your living room, make tea, journal, take a bath, call your best friend, watch a movie you love, the list goes on. yes, it can be that simple.

you don’t have to be alone. sometimes, when people think of self care they assume self reflection, meditation or general down time to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.  while these are fantastic and true, I’ve found that one way to care for myself if to surround myself with those I love.

last sunday I was at the beyonce concert with two girlfriends, singing my heart out, shaking all this jelly, and among many other peopl in a packed NFL stadium.

not exactly, chill. but it fed my soul. I left feeling confident, energized and had made memories with two women I love. three ladies, if you count queen bey.


what I’m doing today: a few self care suggestions…

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reading.

current reads: the skinny confidential sent me her book, and I’m so grateful. you guys know how much I adore Lauryn, I’m catching up on all her tips and laughing because I find her  so damn funny- order here. 

i love hearing how others stay healthy and fit. i’m fascinated by other women’s routines, favorite foods, etc. even if it’s not my thing, it’s interesting to see a topic i love so dearly through the eyes of another.

speaking of, I’m reading Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson. she’s gorgeous, she’s healthy, she discusses feeling good in your skin, loving yourself and more.

I’m enjoying her tips on mindfulness, meditation and ayurveda.

and third, I’m still savoring Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. you know those books that you purposely drag out for a while? this is one. it’s all about combating fear to live your most fulfilling and creative life. I suggest it to ANYONE.


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journaling.

i like cute journals and patterned pencils. i type and type all day long, so there is nothing better than a pencil to paper.  get out your thoughts (or to do lists) before the week begins.

lately, I’ve been into bullet journaling. any opinions on it? maybe I’ll write a post on it soon.

this journal is great because it reminds me of camping adventures. without the actual camping….

 sipping tea.

it’s the epitome of self care. i prefer sipping Yogi tea detox tea. it’s semi spicy in flavor. roasted dandelion root is fantastic for cleansing.

i also think tea should be sipped while curled up on a soft surface, preferably with fuzzy socks. yeah, even in mid june.

lately I’ve been into these essential oil towelettes by  sage tonic. these are lavender scented. I rub them on my temples and it’s refreshing and calming.

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 get a self care package.

a new monthly subsc
ription box is available through caring crate. the founder, Janelle, felt that a monthly reminder of self care and mindfulness would help those experiencing mental health issues, chronic illness, etc.

with the intention to raise awareness around mental health, this subscription box is curated to spark joy, promote inner peace, and provide helpful reminders to slow down and show yourself compassion.

i loved the lavender scented body balm, the garden in a bag (how cute!), and the mandala cards for coloring.

so sweet! if you want to subscribe, visit caring crate!self care caring crate.jpeg

 

make a sweet smoothie! 

last but not least, I’m sipping this peaches and cream smoothie.

I made it by blending:

1/2 cup of lite coconut milk (from can)

1/2 frozen banana

2 sliced peaches

i added a dollop of whipped coconut cream and voila. a summer inspired milkshake smoothie.


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there you have it, a few ways to unwind and care for yourself. caring for yourself is a form of self love. find my thoughts on self love in this series I did last fall.

you deserve to have fun, relax, and feel your best. have a wonderful week! xo

 

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Brrr. It’s officially winter and I’m COLD. Why do I always seem shocked when winter rolls around and temps drop? Am I the only one who goes, “WTF it’s soooo cold” as if it’s never happened before? Just wondering… 
Anyway, I’ll be whipping up all the warm soups I can this week. The carrot ginger soup below is featured in the Winter membership of The GOOD SCTY!  Materials (recipes, meal planning tips, private FB group access, giveaways, grocery guides, and more) will be released on January 1 (ahhhh, I wonder what marketing team came up with that one!)

And in other news, I’m heading to LA this Saturday, so sunny skies (and a beach!) are on the way. I. Can’t. Wait. I asked for suggestions via IG the other day and heard so many amazing tips. Thank you!!
 
Now, the topic of each Sunday in December… self-care. Why self-care this time of year? It felt right. You’re being pulled in every directions and therefore you have to take care of YOU, too. cause you can’t pour from an empty cup, and tis the season to give. 
 
carrot-soup

warming up with carrot ginger soup cause I’m freezing! Find this recipe and more in the GOOD Scty!

Last week, we went over actions. AKA the things you can actually DO to take care of yourself. I broke it down into 4 categories. active self-care, spiritual, social, and creative. All incredibly effective depending on what kind of care you need throughout the month. 

To get up to speed on last week’s self-care topic – check it out here. I received some amazing feedback from some of you about the series and thank you so much!

Now in the second week, I’m going to dive into our WORDS.

The spoken, the silent, and a couple tips on how/when/where you can incorporate affirmations and how to make affirmations and compliments feel less forced or awkward.

I think the topic of negative self-talk is particularly important this season because we can become plagued by comparisons. We see a lot of people, (in-laws, old friends) and it’s easy to get down on ourselves when we begin to compare our lives to their success, perfect outfit, and hot new boyfriend. 
the comparison trap? it’s BS. it will get you no where, and that’s why positive self talk, and affirmations are the best way to combat this sometimes instinctual response. 
 
I’ve found that when I affirm myself, and compliment others, I feel.. happier. It brings on more confidence, more compassion for others and less overall anxiety.

Affirmations can be… awkward at first. To give yourself a verbal pat on the back can feel bizarre at times, so that’s why I believe they can be spoken or silently said to yourself. Both incredible effective as each time it is said, it helps re-wire and re-program the negative thought patterns so deeply engrained.


holiday self care tips

stressed or not, you can’t deny that december is pretty beautiful…

How to create affirmations perfect for YOU.

Start with your intention.

Intention usually implies what you want MORE of, or LESS of. Example, if you want MORE work-life balance you may say something like “I will commit to making my time with friends and family a priority. I deserve to balance my time, and enjoy myself for all the hard work I do”.

It’s not a “ugh, i’m working all the time and my friends and family can’t stand it, and I’m totally not taking care of myself, what is wrong with me?!?” kind of thought. That won’t get you anywhere. It’s affirming yourself that you do work hard, you do deserve MORE, and you will create space for more down time and relaxation/fun in your life as a result.
 
Now, the LESS statements.

Usually I find that the affirmations that release or ease anxiety around something are the LESS themed affirmations. You might want less negative thoughts about your body, less fear of the unknown, less sadness around a breakup, less pressure to figure out what you’re doing post grad. You want a breather, and a little less on your plate, so to speak.

Let’s take for example your body image and thoughts around appearance. If you want LESS negativity around your body, you’ll craft something that promotes more love and compassion to your body as it is today, in the present. Examples of more affirmations:

– I am beautiful and unique.
– I am perfectly imperfect.
– My body is healthy, strong, and allows me to live a full and vibrant life.
 
Another tip? Buy a new journal for writing gratitude lists (more on that in upcoming weeks) and affirmations in. Try not to let it become your notebook for to do’s or grocery lists. Get something beautiful that you’ll feel happy seeing every time you go to write.

use words you would use in real life.

If you wouldn’t tell someone they are “radiant” or “a gift from spirit” don’t say it to yourself. Sometimes people think affirmations mean some poetic statement that could have come from the mouth of Deepak.  I’m a no nonsense kind of girl. Telling myself “you are a freakin badass” sometimes resonates more with me than something super spiritual. Bottom line, speak to yourself in a believable, approachable way.  How are you supposed to believe you’re amazing if you’re not sounding like you

when and where to affirm yourself.

Literally anywhere, anytime, and every time you need it. That’s the best part. They can be spoken out loud (they are very powerful this way) but depending on situation and environment, you can say them to yourself throughout the day. There’s no limit, there’s no minimum, although the more it happens the faster you’ll believe it and the sooner you’ll FEEL the change in your thought patterns. 

I like to say them while I meditate most. I time it with my breath and find it helps me stay more present and mindful in the meditation practice. Breathe in (I AM), breathe out (XYZ). With each inhale and exhale time the affirmation so it can flow. You can try these short affirming statements instead of a traditional mantra like “om”. 

Other ways/places? When you’re in a situation that is testing your patience, or when you wake up in the morning. You can even write something on a post-it note and place it on a mirror or another surface / object you look at daily. 

compliments…like messy buns, don’t force them.

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we need to stop the gossip-y culture that women have gotten so accustomed to. a compliment is obviously amazing for the recipient, and feels damn good to hear, but it’s also fantastic for the woman giving the compliment. it feels good to be kind, so  let’s do it more.

I don’t have a clear cut instruction on how to compliment. My only thought is that we need to work more on keeping them real.  When someone gets a hair cut or new color, obviously a compliment on the change feels great. It’s expected almost, and therefore not that impactful because let’s face it… every woman will say “OMG loveeeee the new cut”.

Why not take compliments a step further and actually say. something. “I like your shirt!” “OMG you look gorgeous!” are very kind, yes. But they don’t have much depth. Here’s a comparison to tell you what I’m referring to…

A: “Loving the new haircut, girl!!”

B: “Love the new cut! Looks amazing on you and I really admire how you’re not afraid to change it up and take a risk, girl!”

See? Just say something about someones CHARACTER. congratulate them. tell them they are a hard working, intelligent person. tell them when they are kind and inspiring you. tell them when you’re excited for them. 

Above everything though, DON’T compliment if you don’t mean it. Is there anything worse than hearing a sympathy compliment?? If you’re relying on compliments (especially appearance) while doing the small-talk dance at a Christmas party, read this awesome blog post about small talk.

Speaking of negative talk and the gossip culture between women, I have been really excited about a movement by Katie Horwitch called WANT: Women Against Negative Self Talk. Katie will be speaking at the GOOD Festival! I really can’t explain my excitement. She has done some incredible work around this topic of negative self-talk. If you’re not following WANT or the WANTcast – hurry.


What do you think? Ready to affirm yourself, compliment others, and see how it effects your holiday cheer?

Your challenge this week is as follows… 

Monday and Tuesday : Write down 10 affirmations. 

Wednesday and Thursday: Read the list at least 3x each day. 

Friday and Saturday: Compliment at least one person each day. With a REAL one, like discussed in this post- not just a “I like your shirt!”. 

Sunday: Work on your next list, say the list another couple times, and challenge yourself to compliment even more. And check back for week 3 of the holiday self-care tips! 


And if cooking is a form of self-care for you and since we’re in the thick of the holiday entertaining… here are a couple recipes from the archives you might enjoy! 

Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Mocha 

Cranberry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

holiday self care tips

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Guys, holidays are weird. They stir up a lot of emotion in people. That’s why I thought some holiday self care tips would do us some good. This time of year, there’s joy, cheer, tradition and a lot of love. It’s beautiful and contagious and just plain awesome.

But if we’re getting real, all that excitement can be a bit draining- it’s A LOT  to make every holiday party, see every loved one, pick all the perfect gifts to give friends and family, effortlessly wrap them like you’re Martha freakin’ Stewart, and stay healthy and happy (and rested!) during the process. And if you’re more of a perfectionist, you might pressure yourself to practically become one of Santa’s Elves come December 1st.

holiday self care tips

Although I wish I was Buddy the Elf, I’m sadly not and I think the holiday hoopla really stirs up a lot of expectation to be so. damn. happy. 

The MOST important part of this time of year is to be present. Both in the company of others and with yourself. Enjoy it…. The holidays only comes once a year after all. But also cut yourself some slack if your sister’s, best friend’s, son’s gift ends up being not the most innovative. 

You’re going to be GIVING so much of yourself this month. It’s important to remember that you won’t be your BEST self for your loved ones during this time unless you’re being good to YOU as well.

There could be some not so cheerful stuff going through your head this month. Such as missing a love one who’s passed, or challenging your negative beliefs about food and your body when there’s food – EVERYWHERE, or just feeling a bit lonely this Christmas (divorce and break ups happen…) when that mistletoe is staring you in the face. Who came up with that tradition, anyway?

These kind of feelings are okay, too.

Speaking of traditions. Usually when one is disrupted due to a circumstance like I listed above, that can kind of bum us out, understandably. Time passes and things change. And we as human beings can be a little put off by change. Noooo, really??

Let’s face it, for a lot of people the month of December doesn’t look like a Christmas movie. Real life is still going on. Like careers, kids and more. There’s a magic in the air no doubt, and the decorations and traditions are fun. But responsibilities don’t pause, bills don’t take a break, and your social calendar is more crammed than it’s been in months.

Again, all the more reason to prioritize your self-care routine this month. It’s merited, it’s deserved, and every Sunday of December I’m going to show you how to do it. 

Each week we’re gonna take self-care a step… further.

Below are the 4 topics we’ll be discussing in December. I start with the basics, our actions. Then we go a bit deeper with words, followed by core beliefs (and why they can be so triggered during the holidays) and lastly how it’s actually a form of self care to dream of a future full of comfort – plus it’s perfectly timed with the New Year around the corner.


Part 1: Actions. The first, and most simple step.

Part 2: Words. The spoken and the silent.

Part 3: Beliefs. What you think you become.

Part 4: Dreams. Manifesting a life full of comfort.


So let’s jump right into part 1, shall we?  First week of December, we’re going to think about our actions and how small acts of love and care for ourselves can replenish our energy to give.

Challenge yourself to find NEW ways to care for YOU. Beyond the pedicures, cups of tea and bubble baths (although those are all fantastic). I broke down the types of self care activities into a categories below. 

Let’s start with ACTIVE self-care.

The stuff you actually doooo (or spend a little money on).

Examples include:

At home spa day- XMAS style. Light candles that are holiday scented, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your bath water.

Work out! Go to a fitness class you haven’t been to before. I suggest hot yoga- warms you right up from the winter chill!

Wake up 20-30 minutes early and dry brush, oil pull, and drink warm lemon water. 

Order a healthy meal delivery or grocery deliver. Take the pressure off, but know you’ll be eating well.

Buy yourself flowers. Arrange them. Put them in the place you spend the most time.

Drink some greens. Make smoothies and fresh green juice. 

Listen to a great podcast. 


holiday self care tips

my favorite face mask from Franklin and Whitman. – Use KALEINIT15 for 15% off any F&W Product.


Get yourself some winter-y loose leaf teas. Make yourself a cup of tea mindfully.

Volunteer. Materialism is in the air. Give back, and you’ll feel incredible.

Go listen to live music. I’m not sure why, but I’ve (pretty much) never seen a live performance I didn’t enjoy. 

These are the somewhat typical self-care acts we think of that include pampering, doing something comforting or fun, or trying a new activity. These are fantastic for the days you want to just make yourself feel special, and when you want to invest in yourself (both through time or money).


Next up, SPIRITUAL acts of self-love/care.

Things you can do alone, simply, silently and without very many things. 

Examples include:

Meditating for a full 20-30 minutes. Ahhhhh. Learn how to make this less challenging here. 

Reading a book about mindfulness, meditation, self love. What I’m currently reading? The Untethered Soul. I waited until I felt ready for this one, and started it last night. It inspired this series of posts!

Coloring a mandala.

Praying or writing to a higher power (the universe, God, that’s up to you).

NAPPING! Sleep cures all. So does a laugh.

holiday self care tips

Journaling

More specifically, a gratitude journal (SO important this time of year)

Yoga! Doesn’t need to be a class. It feels amazing to flow freely and just go with it.  OR sit in child’s pose or legs up on the wall pose with hand at your heart and the other hand on your belly. Listen to your breath.

Unschedule something. Take a commitment off the list – I suggest something work related.

Go for a run or walk without a phone or music. Notice the noises around you.

Write affirmations. **More on how to do this next week!

Sing your heart out to Christmas songs in the car (yeah… I consider this spiritual)


holiday self care tips

These self-care suggestions are great for when you’re feeling tired, worn down, frazzled, over committed, and cynical. Cause it happens! If you find yourself getting easily frustrated by the holiday traffic at the stores, or just can’t imagine the thought of going over to your cousin’s for drinks, probably a sign you need to check in with yourself. Use them to replenish yourself emotionally, to quiet your mind, and prepare for the next round of holiday commitments!


SOCIAL ways to care for yourself.

Because it feels amazing to be in the company of those who lift you up.

Examples include:

Facetime someone who lives far from your home (I do this with Sapana of Real and Vibrant a lot, ha!)

Call your grandma. Don’t laugh! It brings grandparents (or any older family member) SO much joy, and will make you happy, too. And don’t tell me you don’t forget to call her sometimes!

Go for a long brisk walk with a friend. Snow on the ground? Bundle up and link arms with your bestie. Just get moving (and chatting).

Make xmas shopping a day with your girlfriends. Don’t run out to the mall after work one day when you’re already dreading it. Bring some friends, help each other find the best deals, take a break for lunch, and make the whole experience less stressful.

Host or put together a dinner for friends. Everyone does it for Friendsgiving in November, let’s try it again in December.

Plan a holiday movie night. Snuggle up with the boo, wear fuzzy socks or themed PJS, make hot chocolate. Turn on your favorite Christmas Classic – the whole nine. Nobody is judging you for being a kid again.

Plan a new tradition with someone. Go out and make something up and promise one another you’ll do it again next year.

These kind of self-care activities are the REASON for the season. To spread love and kindness to those who love you. With the emphasis on tradition and cheer this time of year, chances are these types of self-care will feel really fulfilling and it’s the stuff memories are made of. Because do you really remember the gifts you received growing up? Nah….


 CREATIVE acts of love and kindness.

Gets your out of your comfort zone, into your creative zone, and sparks joy.

Examples Include:

Make your own beauty products – Try the book Homemade Beauty for Ideas

Spend the day with your camera. Keep it in your bag, capture anything and everything that brings you joy. Feel free to use your phone.

If you’re like me, editing photos on various apps (VSCO, Snapseed,) can be really…fun. Maybe it’s the blogger in me, but download these apps and play around with your favorite shots. Don’t worry about the instagram. Just have fun.

Get in the kitchen and cook. Experiment. There are a few recipes on this blog if you need inspiration…


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find these cranberry walnut baked oatmeal cups in the GOOD scty!

Draw. If you suck, who cares? If you don’t suck… keep drawing/painting/creating.

Do an activity you used to love as a child. I used to take ballet and ride horses. What’s your thing?

Make your own gifts for co-workers and friends. Or make your own ornaments or decorations. Note: This is only self-care if you enjoy DIY projects, not if you think it’s what you should like doing. 

Write. Write letters, write blog posts, write poems. Just write.

These types of self care build confidence. Creative activities put you in your “flow state” which is incredibly therapeutic and very mindful. 


The challenge this week? Find time to do two things from the list above, in two different categories. Maybe you’re used to social or active self-care, so try creative.

 If completing two is a breeze, do two more from the remaining lists.  Schedule it in your calendar if you must. Don’t allow all the OTHER things on your to do list keep you from having an enjoyable, relaxing, and self-loving week.

Comment below which you’ve tried in the past, what you’re committing to this week, and what you think of the idea to GIVE to yourself, to be your best self for the others in your life this season?

And get ready to tackle WORDS – the spoken and the silent self talk, next self-care Sunday! 


 

holiday self care tips

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ever wonder what us bloggers do all day??

I’ve heard that one before, so this post is to provide you a glimpse of my typical day! News flash- it’s not all that glamorous, but I do try to prioritize my health and fitness every day, no excuses!

I partnered with Amazfit to show a day in my life (there’s a lot of food, a lot of typing away on my computer, and some fitness involved). Amazfit offers fitness trackers that are the lightest on the market, making them super comfortable and easy to wear all day. I truly don’t notice it on my wrist as I go about my day. 

8:30 am: step on my mat.

amazfit kaleinit


I’m NOT a morning person. Far from it.  I definitely don’t do my intense workouts in the AM – but I envy those who can. The past couple weeks I’ve been waking up with cold brew (that’s a given), a green smoothie, and a little yoga at least 3 mornings a week. It’s made a world of difference for my productivity and overall focus for the rest of my day. When I jump immediately into emails, I’m scattered and disorganized. Yoga is therapeutic for me. 

I turn on some great music and improvise a yoga flow for about 15-30 minutes. Just enough to stretch, throw in a few sun salutations to warm up, and most importantly have some fun because I’m starting my day with an activity I LOVE.

I like to close the yoga practice with a short meditation on my mat. Sometimes, if I’ve been overwhelmed or uncertain about something I repeat a basic mantra. This brings more positivity to my morning, especially helpful if I work up anxious or hyper-focused on my to-do list.

10 am: start in the kitchen.

I love styling and taking photos for the blog at around 10 am. I really love the way the natural light streams into my living room, aka photo studio, mid-morning. I feel the most creative in the morning, and have been known to cook a savory dinner dish at 9:30 AM. THAT is how important light is! And, then there’s leftovers, so I can’t complain.

In addition to a lot of cooking, I do a lot of dishes. Hey, it’s the stuff we don’t show on Instagram! For this silly reason alone, I love that the Amazfit is water resistant up to 30 feet so I don’t have to remember to take it off when doing dishes. It might not be a feature you look for in a product, but I do!

If I’m not working from home on my computer or in the kitchen, I’m probably in meetings in Philly for the upcoming GOOD Festival I’m planning! If that’s the case, I’m definitely getting in some steps toward my daily goal since I take the train over to center city and then walk to my meetings and work sessions.


a day with amazfit


12 pm: step away from the computer.

Brain Break!! Time to get away from the computer with my buddy, Ralph. We love long walks. It’s the time I get to listen to my favorite podcasts and he smells… everything. I think it’s important to step away from work multiple times a day. Plus you know what they say about sitting all the time… it’s the new smoking. So get up, grab lunch,  and drink water every time you take a brain break (in addition to sipping throughout the day). Then take a lap. If I have a phone call for work, sometimes I’ll leash Ralph up and multi-task. Isn’t that the beauty of working from home??

5, or 6, 0r 7 pm: check amazfit, head to the gym.

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I say 5 or 6 or 7 because it totally depends! Sometimes I hit the gym earlier and then come home, enjoy dinner and wrap up the day. Other times I eat first, finish work a bit later, and sweat it all out at 7 or 8 pm. 

I go to the gym near by (and no, I did not want to do photo shoot there, sorry) and I like to check my Amazfit first, by linking it to the app on my phone, and check out how active I was that day. I can see steps, distance, etc. Then I choose a class or activity that balances out how active I was, and I listen to what my body is calling for.

I’ve been really spicing it up lately because for such a long time I was only taking yoga. My body got used to it, and as much as I love yoga I got a bit bored.  And since working from home I now crave a more intense workout. Barre and Pilates two favorites of mine, but I’ve also been enjoying the intensity of intervals, kickboxing, and spinning as well. It feels good to sweat.

wanna know another class I’ll do when I’ve been taking life way too seriously?? zumba. trust me- so good for the soul. and for a laugh…

It really doesn’t matter how you move- it’s about getting in the gym or studio consistency and with the right intentions. I love that the Amazfit trackers doesn’t show the calories on the face. this way I can’t obsessively check what calories I’ve burned or the distance I’ve gone, but rather enjoy the work out for not only the physical benefits but the mental clarity it brings. 

9pm-LATE: wrap it up and get some (good) sleep.

during this time I come home, have a snack, definitely open the laptop again, and enjoy some good Netflix and chill. I also like to write down anything that MUST be completed the following day so I can leave it on the pad of paper. I browse my google calendar for any musts that are time sensitive  like meetings or phone calls and prepare for them.

admittedly, I’m a total night owl. hence why I probably have a slow start in the morning. I can stay up pretty damn late if I don’t commit to a bed time. What am I, five? Over the past couple years I’ve put together some tools that allow me to fall asleep faster, and sleep more soundly.

Amazfit is now a tool in my sleepy-time-toolbox. one of my favorite features of their product is that it can track my sleep! It’s really interesting to take note of how sleep conditions effect my sleep quality (like temperature, if I had magnesium before bed, etc), and then how I feel the following day. Interested in a sleep post with my tips on how to (naturally) get more shut eye?? Let me know!


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what else do I love about the Amazfit products??

I love that there are 8 accessories available, including 8 other wristband options and even 2 necklaces. The sleek ceramic design is simple and understated, perfect to wear alone or with your everyday jewelry. I like the equator band because it’s so thin and easy to wear, but also love the moonbeam for days I’m wearing “real clothes” and I don’t want to look like I’m wearing a fitness tracker.


 

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do you have a similar “typical” day?? are you a fan of yoga in the morning, or a more intense workout to start your day? I’m always curious how everyone else finds a way to balance a healthy diet and fitness with other life responsibilities- so fill me in!

If you think that Amazfit trackers could help you to lead a more fit and balanced life- check them out! Use the code, MYAMAZFIT for 40% off any product! 

And have a very happy, and fit, Friday!


this post was sponsored by Amazfit – but like always, opinions are my own. 

 

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we certainly live in a society that moves quickly.

this then causes anxiety and often times a false sense of urgency, as our corporate culture spills into our everyday lives. the all or nothing thinking, combined with the need to succeed, perform, and advance may apply in our career, but shouldn’t effect our relationships and feelings of self worth. yet it does. work is usually the necessary evil of our days, but does it have to be? does it need to feel monotonous, soul-sucking and just plain shitty?

the wanderers….

i’ve noticed that terms like “work-life balance”, “finding your passion”, “discovering your truth”, and similar have become more commonplace. they are often times greeted with a dramatic eye roll from the corporate-crazed people who see no exit. maybe they like the stressful rat race, or have convinced themselves that they do. but they just don’t get it.

as a society we discuss the idea of freedom, we admire anyone who risks his or her steady pay and security to chase the dream, but we can’t seem to pull ourselves from the cubicle.

I used to roll my eyes too. when I’d picture “those people”, as in the risk takers who leave the mundane 9-5, I pictured dread locked hippies who skate through life with nothing but wanderlust in their hearts and a toothbrush in their bag.

the expectation.

I got a degree from a University. therefore, I must use it, right? first we apply to positions, go on a bunch of anxiety provoking interviews, and feel immediately relieved (and terrified) when we get the call that we were accepted, deemed worthy of this organizations time, and told to report for our first day of duty Monday morning.

perhaps you’re recent grad still navigating (and questioning) the field of work you’ve chosen, or you’re a seasoned employee with so much responsibility attached to your job title you haven’t been able to pencil in the time to question at all. 

do you identify with this work-life balance confusion? Sara Divello did at one time, too.

now a best-selling author, speaker, and acclaimed yoga teacher, I’d say she’s clearly still made it. you know, by societal standards of success.


thoughtfully-mag-nantucket-yoga-festival-2016_2

Sara Divello at The Nantucket Yoga Festival // photo: Thoughtfully Magazine

she’s done so on her own terms.

previously working a secure and well paying job in PR for corporate financial firms, Sara was stressed out, traveling constantly, and miserable.

but she was safe. if you consider the above description as a safe and healthy way to live, of course.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sara at the Nantucket Yoga Festival.

I remember when I purchased her book thinking to myself, “how do I ask her to sign it???”

A moment later she said – “Would you like me to sign it?”.

Me: “YES! I was wondering how I would ask you!”

Sara: “Same! I was wondering how I should offer to!”

what is the book about?

in Where in The Om Am I?  Sara shares her experience in yoga teacher training and the “journey” (we both dislike that word) from structured corporate world to yoga shala.

she chronicles her odd exchanges with “yoga people” as well as the corporate crazies. a great deal of self discovery takes place.

like myself, Sara identifies as a more type A personality who is prone to anxiety. during the peak of her career she was plagued with insomnia, her romantic relationship felt distant, and she was forced to keep going and going while wearing a power suit and heels. she found solace in yoga classes whenever she could fit them into her schedule, and finally committed to a yoga teacher training. the truth began to unfold and she was led to her dharma (in yoga speak). 


where in the om am I


today, as a yoga teacher her goal is teach others the practice both on and off the mat. that’s my favorite thing I’ve learned about Sara. because the practice isn’t just about what you see on Instagram, guys. it transcends to every facet of life. 

I asked Sara a couple of questions and she thoughtfully provided her answers….

enjoy the Q&A with Sara below.

k: did you feel that yoga pulled you away from the corporate world… or was it more that the corporate world pushed you out?

s: that’s a fabulous question! I think that when you’re not on your path (or “living your dharma” in yoga-speak), the universe will conspire to push, pull, and ultimately guide you toward it. Pay attention to “signs” or guideposts—tune in and be present to how you feel at work and in different situations and around different people in your life. If you feel unhappy or uncomfortable, don’t ignore it. And if you feel so happy and content, definitely don’t ignore it! Those are the guideposts.

k: what has been the most profound/inspiring part of being a yoga teacher?

s: when I see people make a definitive shift—whether it’s an awakening, a realization, decreasing their anxiety, becoming happier, whatever they’re looking for. A woman came up to me at Cape Cod’s Love Yoga Fest a few weeks ago and told me she had read my book and taken my workshop a year ago. Since that time, she was inspired to leave a toxic relationship, move to a new city, and get a new job. She said she’s thriving and that she carries my book with her everywhere as a lucky charm (she even had it in her backpack that day!). THAT is the most profound, amazing part of what I do.

k: what  was the greatest lesson you learned as a STUDENT?

s: it’s about the practice, not about the politics surrounding it. the practice itself can transform, nourish and sustain you. some of the politics around it can drive you crazy—don’t let them. Stay focused on the practice.

k: I LOVED this “…I don’t have to adhere unbendingly to my usual routines. Everyday doesn’t have to be a grinding, unyielding race against time…it just feels like it does.”I can identify, (maybe it is our East Coast mentality) and I know many others can. how do you challenge this self talk and the urge to constantly be going, doing, succeeding, producing? has this gotten easier with time?

s: thank you! that’s one of my favorite moments/realizations as well! And I think you’re right—it’s an East Coast, overdoing, go-go-go mentality. we never shut down, we never turn off, and we are constantly told to strive for more. so to counterbalance that, I wrote and have started to weave this affirmation into my own practice and into my workshops and classes.

 I ask people to take child’s pose, turn their palms to the sky, and say, “I’ve done enough. I have enough. I AM enough. Just as I am in this moment.”

k: I love the idea of making yoga more approachable to everyone, and I know you do, too. what’s one piece of advice to someone newly venturing into the “mysterious” world of yogis??

s: we’re barraged by a lot of images of skinny white girls doing super advanced poses—like that’s supposed to be “yoga.” geez—it’s totally understandable why it could be intimidating! you should know that my physical practice is really basic and humble—it doesn’t look “cool” and I’m totally fine with that. I don’t do any inversions, arm balances, or super advanced poses. it may be cool for some people, and that’s great, but what I’m really interested in is yoga OFF the mat. I’m interested in how yoga can be used as a therapeutic tool to get your body out of pain and into a state of comfort, how you can use it as a tool to create space in the chaos of the busyness of your everyday life, how you can then quiet your mind and create a place to come “home” to in that state of stillness, and in that place, how you can rejuvenate and nourish yourself.

 I’m interested in carrying these tools off the mat and making “yoga” a daily practice in all the facets of life—in being calmer, happier, more peaceful, more creative. 

I invite people to start to explore yoga in this broader definition as well and see if that feels more approachable or resonates with them. don’t  bend yourself to someone else’s practice is, make it your own.

k: which was more intimating, becoming a yoga teacher or an author?? Or do they both feel intimidating in their own way?

s: another amazing question. this has been the best interview. thank you for your thoughtful, heartfelt questions. the answer is, they both feel vulnerable in their own way. I will never forget walking up to the front of the room when I first started teaching and feeling what felt like a thousand eyes on me (really it was probably 25-30) and this incredible fear of “They expect ME to lead them into this transformational place?!” <gulp> <panic>. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it well enough. I worried that they would think my sequence was stupid or inadequate.

I will also never forget how scary it felt to put my work out there for the world to read, wondering and worrying that people would think my book was stupid or terrible or badly written or pointless. 

and I will face these fears again and again as I finish and put my next books out there, or develop and present new workshops. but in the end, I know that I can’t please everyone and that it’s not my job to try. my job (or dharma) is to do exactly what I’m doing. 

and I can tell you that when you find your path and are living your dharma, there’s a deep-seated contentedness to your days. there is a deep-down rightness. 

some people won’t like my books or workshops, and that’s totally OK. the people who resonate with me, will find me. I would offer the same to others: your people will find you, so stay focused on your dharma. 

lastly, I think it’s also important to feel strong and steady within yourself. If you feel strong and steady inside, the fluctuations of how people perceive or receive you won’t impact you. you’re on your path and that’s joyfully, abundantly, perfectly enough. 


she is totally cool, huh?!

I’ve had a few fantastic phone calls with Sara discussing projects we are both working on (she’s got a second book in the works, guys!), career, haters, and what it was like to publish a book and how it has opened incredible opportunities for her to connect to other men and women who can’t figure out where the OM they are.

what’s her book like? as cool as Sara! it’s first off, hilarious. it’s witty. real. inspiring. Where in the Om Am I hits a lot of marks. 

and how often do we get the joy of lighthearted beach read that also encourages eye-opening self reflection and leaves you questioning your life, your future, and purpose?

but I’ll stop raving, it’s time you read it for yourself.

surprise! there’s a GIVEAWAY. get your own signed copy (without any awkward exchange) from Sara Divello! to enter, head to my IG page, follow Sara, and leave a comment tagging another yoga-loving friend who may need a boost of encouragement!

the winner will be announced Thursday evening, and I can’t wait to share this incredible gift from Sara with one of you.


want to meet Sara for yourself?? I’ll be connecting with her at the W.E.L.L Summit in NYC this October. I can not wait for a weekend of natural beauty, mindful living, entrepreneurship, and health.

for more information on the event, contact me! Sara and I have some ideas to put together a little somethin’ somethin’ for any Kalein It readers who join us!

all are welcome, no matter where in the Om they are.


**special thank you to Sara Divello for the photos and interview provided in this post.  and for being such an inspiring new friend in my life, and supporter of this blog!

xo

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any fellow NJ/NYC/PHL friends reading? if so, join me for Rock The Farm Festival on the 27th! I know I’ve mentioned in many, many posts my love for Trevor Hall. I discovered his music early in college, and have watched his style evolve as I have personally grown as well. I truly connect with the powerful lyrics and calming melodies and feel so grateful for having found his gift. it doesn’t hurt that it’s the best music to practice yoga!

corny? maybe, but the power of music is real. and it also has the power to unite people in a way like no other. 


trevor hall


rock the farm has great music…

so, when searching for Trevor’s tour dates, I came across the Rock the Farm Festival, and was shocked that it was taking place right here in my home state. 

I’ll be attending this year to enjoy the music, Trevor (swoon), the multiple yoga classes, and plenty of food from the tasty food trucks!

sounds like a quintessential summer afternoon, right? a festival with multiple stages, performances from artists such as Trevor Hall, Chadwick Stokes, and Artimus Pyle Band, just to name a few.  here’s Trevor 


rock the farm festival schedule


…and a great cause!

 but the best part of Rock The Farm, is the event’s dedication to raising awareness around addiction. As a non-profit, Rock the Farm is a benefit for CFC Loud N Clear Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing support and resources for individuals and their families while in recovery for substance abuse. 

although not personally affected by substance abuse or addiction, I know many who have suffered near and dear to me. I also know that substance abuse carries a great deal of shame, judgement and stigma like any other mental illness or mental health concern. 


rock the farm yoga schedule

yoga schedule this year!


CFC offers prevention programs that travel to local schools, to intervention/family support, to scholarships for treatment, and resources during the transition back to a healthy life in sobriety. 

recovery is difficult. it’s heavy, and it’s absolutely a journey. what I absolutely love is that the festival serves as a breathe of hope, positivity, and encouragement to those who need the support while prioritizing their health and wellbeing.  

so in addition to a good cause, a great line up, and the chance to take part in a few yoga classes and sample food from a huge group of food trucks? not too bad! now you need the details….

when and where?

the festival will be located at Brookdale Community College – 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738

starts at 1 and we will be rockin’ till 10 pm. 

ticket discount!

so- if you want to join me-pick up tickets here! and I have a deal for you all…

use the promo code “KALE” for $10 off your ticket price.  

hope to see you there! (and so does Trevor!)

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how to pack for a yoga festival kaleinit

my attempt to at packing “light”.


’tis the season for festivals!!! summer is the time for road trips to music and yoga festivals, but what do you pack?? you don’t want to bring too much, but you also want to have fun, look great, and feel prepared to relax and enjoy the the amazing event. I’ve been traveling all day en route to Nantucket for their yoga festival this weekend, and I wrote up this list while in the car. I was a passenger, not driving of course.

And I have some news… I’m taking over the festival’s Instagram account on Sunday!!! follow along to see what I’m up to and experience the beauty of Nantucket. now, time to pack!

the obvious.

gotta have your yoga mat! lightweight is a MUST. you’ll be carrying it around from workshop to workshop, so your thick home practice mat may not be the best.

Manduka makes a travel mat that is lighter and more portable, I’ve added it below. In addition to a mat, you’ll want a bag or strap to throw over your shoulder and leave you hands free to take photos, grab lunch and explore everything the festival has to offer.

manduka travel mat

manduka travel mat.

 

unlike your favorite studio there won’t be a tower of props available. There might be a few, but best to not count on it. If you have the room in your bag throw in your own strap and a block that you know you use and love. I love the design of the infinity strap. 

the clothes.

Oh, I guess we should pack some yoga clothes right?? These are outdoor events so dress accordingly with open back tanks, cropped leggings or shorts.

onezie outfit

 

I personally don’t love the super flashy printed leggings. I have never been drawn to them, but if you rock them- go for it! I love open and intricate backs for shirts and sports bras. I also go for clean and modern details on yoga pants, such as mesh cut outs, or colorblocking like these pieces from Onzie.

fashion wise, anything goes when you’re surrounded by a loving community of fellow yogis, so let your personal style shine.

hydration and snacks.

a water bottle is as much a necessity as your mat! I love healthy human life because their stainless steel steins keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours- not kidding, 12! It’s amazing. You’re going to be putting your body through more rigorous practice than you are used to, and you don’t want to burn out after the first day and be too exhausted for a full weekend.

stay hydrated and cool with plenty of water. and don’t try to be a super star with an inversions workshop followed by another lengthy class! split classes up and enjoy all aspects of the festival and drink plenty of water throughout.


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and SNACKS!

most festivals will feature great local vendors with healthy food options. take advantage of them! but I love to pack snacks and some things for the hotel to keep me fueled.

I love:

portable servings of chia (add them to your water!)

raw almonds or cashews for an energy boost.

fresh fruit that hold up in your bag- apples and bananas!

my cacao rawnola from this post.

random last minute items…

mat spray. Super random, but totally worth packing. Have you ever researched how dirty yoga mats can be? I won’t get into that this post… but hmm maybe a future post about giving your yoga mat a deep clean? When you’re finished for the day give your mat a good spray down and hang it to dry rather than rolling it. I use this one below urban outfitters! 


mat spray


books, music, magazine, journals. it’s a time to unwind, stay away from the screens and recharge. Make sure you bring positive books and light hearted magazines. And a journal- you never know what creative ideas or reflections will come up during meditation!

I brought Do Your Om Thing by Rachel Pacheco– I loved the book and she will be teaching at this festival! hope to meet here there! 

your camera. There will be beauty no matter where your festival is located. Capture these moment with friends you visit with and new ones you make along the way. 

an open mind! 

I’m not trying to be cliche! welcome each festival or yoga retreat with an open mind. be positive and be ready to challenge yourself physically while out of your comfort zone. you’re meeting new people, learning philosophies of new teachers and it will do your mind, body and spirit good. 

have fun, yogis! 

 

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happy humpday everyone!
 
it’s been a crazy week for me- sunday ended up with a surprise emergency surgery (what!) and I’ve been exhausted and recovering since. thank you all for the well wishes on instagram! xo.
 
it was absolutely humbling and thankfully, I’m ok now! a scary reminder of how much I value my health and how grateful I am that my body spoke to me when something was going on so that I could get myself help quickly!
 
but moving along from surgery- how about another week of blogger babes?!
 
today I’m featuring Carina Wolff. I found her on instagram and fell in love with her username (@kalememaybe) because really, who doesn’t love a kale pun. I quickly fell in love with her colorful healthy food as well. she’s a passionate writer, self taught chef and now cookbook author! this California girl fills us in on her journey to healthy eating and how her blog developed into a cookbook you can now purchase!
 
 
 

carina.jpeg


K- How would you describe your diet? Vegetarian? Gluten free?  Something in between?

 
C: I don’t put labels on my diet, but the best way to describe it is mostly-plant-based, clean-eating! Although I ultimately will eat a little bit of everything here and there, I cook mostly vegetarian or vegan at home and often gluten-free as well.
 

K- I love your name, obviously! We know we both love our kale, but what are your other favorites greens/veggies to cook with?

C- It’s hard to beat kale! But there are so many other yummy greens I would never limit myself! Some of my favorites are arugula, spinach, collard greens, and dandelion greens. 


 
vegn mexican fries carina.jpeg

Vegan Mexican Fries from KaleMeMaybe.com

 

K- Tell us bit about your background? When did you start to become passionate about eating healthy and developing recipes?

 
C I grew up in a household that emphasized health food, and I hated it! My mom would always serve me sandwiches on whole wheat bread and we never had junk food, so I would go to my friends’ houses and go crazy eating all the candy and snacks they had. At that time I didn’t understand anything about nutrition, nor did I care. It wasn’t until I was in college taking care of myself that I began to educate myself on the right foods to eat. I was really paranoid about gaining “The Freshman 15,” so I learned what foods were healthy and began cooking for myself.
 
I realized there was so much to learn, and I started to become passionate about creating delicious tasting dishes out of these healthy foods. I was a journalism and psychology major at the time, and I had always loved writing about mental health, but I decided I wanted to take the time to also spread knowledge about health and nutrition through my writing.
 
 

“I started the blog as more of a portfolio for my nutrition writing, but then it took a life of its own! People were actually following what I was doing, and that just made me want to write and create more.”

 

K- You’ve recently finished your first cookbook! Amazing! Tell us a bit about the recipes and how you made the decision to take that next step!

 
C- Thank you! It actually was one of those life moments that fell into place for me. After college, I began working full time at a health and beauty PR agency. Although it was a wonderful learning experience, public relations wasn’t my passion. I began freelance writing and doing my blog on the side, but I was working way too much and felt burnt out. I told myself I was going to take the plunge to freelance full time when Adams Media reached out to me looking for an author for a spiralizer cookbook. They had found my recipes online, and they wanted to know if I was interested!
 
I ended up leaving my 9-5, writing the cookbook, and committing to freelancing full time thereafter, and it has been the best decision I ever made in my life! I was so scared to take on the responsibility, and even more scared to leave my job, but once I did it, life just continued to get better and better. 


 
carina spiralizer cookbook

Carina’s new cookbook!!

 

I discovered spiralizing a few years ago, and I was lucky to jump on the trend before it was as huge as it is now, which helped put my recipes on the map. The book includes all sorts of recipes for any dietary restriction, whether you’re a vegan, Paleo, or even nothing!

K- Any advice for bloggers who want to branch out and take on a new project like that?Whether it be video, a book, an e-course, etc.

C- Trust yourself, and work very, very hard! I no doubt want to do another cookbook, but I know I need to take a break in between because of how much work it was! I was working day in and day out endlessly putting this book together. You can ask any of my friends – they didn’t see me for a long, long time. 

“Put in the work, believe you can do it, but ultimately, make sure you still practice self-care and do the other things you love.”

 

K- How would you define balance? What are some of the ways you live a balanced lifestyle?

C- Balance is everything. You need to work hard, but if you work all the time and you can’t enjoy yourself, what is the point of living? I find time to fit in my work, whether it be in the early mornings of the weekend or in the evenings before I go out, but I make sure I workout almost everyday, see the people I love, and sometimes, just relax. This also means I will occasionally get an ice cream or eat nachos, and I don’t feel guilty about it. I take care of myself over all. If I don’t workout one day, it’s not the end of the world because I live an active lifestyle. In addition to going to classes, I spend time walking outside or going to the beach. It’s all about incorporating the right habits into your routine so you allow room for fun things too. 

K- What are some of your favorite ways to stay fit?

C- I love yoga! It makes your body feel so fit and loose, and it’s a great way to relax the mind. I also have recently been really into barre classes. When I’m not doing those classes at YogaWorks, I love going on hikes, beach walks, or doing the Santa Monica Stairs. 
 

K- Lastly, how can we stay connected to you on social media?

Facebook: Kale Me Maybe
Instagram: @kalememaybe
Twitter: @wolffcar

 pretty amazing, right? I love that Carina trusted her gut and went after her passion. check her blog for tons of healthy recipes. I always find inspiration from her dishes!
 
 
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last week I featured Meg, and today our blogger babe is another passionate blogger hoping to make change!

Valeria of Water Thru Skin is a traveler, vegan, yogi, and all around beautiful person. Her blog features her compassionate lifestyle, as she researches and reviews various eco-conscious, sustainable, and vegan friendly products.From clothing to make up, to eco resorts, she covers the compassionate lifestyle.

I love browsing her travel photos as well! She reviews various eco-resorts around the world, shedding light on sustainable tourism.

she found her niche, and she kills it! read more about her journey to becoming vegan, tips on blogging, and favorite dishes to whip up in the kitchen…


valeria.jpg


K- Your blog is gorgeous! When I found your Instagram account I thought the photos were fantastic, until I read the content and realized that was beautiful as well. I was so inspired by your compassion and authenticity. I must ask, what is the meaning behind your blog name?

V- Thank you, beautiful! It means so much!! When I thought about the name two years ago, I was looking for something that represented the movement I am trying to inspire. A movement that is as purifying and cleansing as water and has the power to penetrate through skin.

K- When did you become vegan and was there a specific moment when you decided to change your lifestyle?

V- Before becoming vegan a little over two years ago, I was vegetarian/pescatarian for 3 years.

 

The trigger point for me was watching Paul McCartney’s PETA video, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls 

we would all be vegetarian.”

 

That short video changed my life completely. I gave up all meats, eggs and dairy but in order to avoid going to extremes in such a short period I decided to stick to seafood only. That made my transition a little easier until I began reading more about the devastating consequences of including sea animals in your diet. I also scuba dive often and swimming next to beautiful Nemo to then later see him on my plate did not make much sense to me.


valeria 2.jpg


K- I was shocked to hear your background is in corporate banking. How has your life changed since following your passions and getting away from the corporate world?

V- I worked in Private Banking for 5 years but that career did not align with my passions or dreams so I started the blog two years ago as a way to vent and connect with like-minded people. I’ve been doing it full-time for one year now. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been totally worth it. Once you start working towards something that sets your soul on fire, you do not only discover new things about yourself every day but the entire universe aligns for you to follow your path.

K- Any tips for passionate bloggers like yourself?

 

“Be original.

There are a lot of bloggers out there today. Staying original and being yourself is key!”- Valeria

 

K- You live cruelty free. I love that! Can you share some of your favorite brands and beauty products for beauty that you love and are cruelty free?

V- I discover new vegan and eco-friendly brands on a daily basis but some of my favorite ones are:

Fashion: Melissa shoes, G-star raw jeans, Faircloth Supply, EcoPeace Swim, Harveys, Symbology.

Beauty: Baiser Beauty, Tarte, SpaRitual, Henne, IVO.

K- Your travels are incredible. What are some of your favorite destinations and do you have any tips on how to eat healthy in new places, fit in fitness, etc.

V- Every place I’ve visited to review eco-friendly hotels for the blog has been mind-blowing but some of the most special destinations that left a powerful mark in me are: Guatemala, Thailand, Bolivia and Galapagos.

K- You’re also a vegan chef! What are some of your favorite dishes to make when you’re back home in your kitchen?

V- I like getting creative in the kitchen and transforming any non-vegan recipe I used to love as a child to a yummy vegan one. My favorite ones so far are: brown rice+seitan+veggie bowl, and the avocado chocolate mousse topped with caramel popcorn and coconut cream.

cacao pudding valeria

cacao pudding with coconut cream by Valeria/ www.waterthruskin.com

K- Lastly, how can we connect with you on social media??

V- You can find me on Instagram under @waterthruskin and Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube under WaterThruSkin.

Blog: waterthruskin.com

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no time for child’s pose, people!

sometimes you want to kick it up a notch. some yogis think HOT YOGA when they envision an intense yoga class, but there are simple ways to add extra strength to any style class, or during your home practice. are you still developing your home yoga routine? check this post for my tips on making a home yoga sanctuary. or, head outside!

when I’m short on time I’ll roll out my mat, add these moves, and then check off both strength and yoga at one time. easy! be careful on hot humid days, if you’re practicing outside like I did, it’s practically hot yoga.

air conditioning, unlike child’s pose, is totally an option.


double chaturanga.
chaturanga kaleinit yoga flow kaleinit

i got my first dose of the “double chat” from Justin Reilley (ig: @thetattooedyogi), and it was killer. with each vinyasa, lower into chaturanga, back up to plank and do it again before moving to upward dog. you’re doubling your number of chaturangas in your practice this way and if you’re doing a vinyasa flow, those arm strengthening moves will add up!

more on Justin coming to the blog soon. I’m catching up with him about how the hell to handstand, what it’s like to open a yoga studio, and why he loves to practice.

chair pose kaleinit yoga flowchair pose pulse.

a glorified yogi squat. i throw in some pulses to work the bey-hind when in chair pose (as if it’s not intense enough, right??) this can also be achieved by raising up a bit from malasana and pulse, or even throw a squat (or 10) in after a relaxing “rag doll” forward fold when feet are hips distance apart.  just watch the knees, don’t go past the toes.

side plank dips.

side plank feels so strong and powerful. I reach through the fingertips of the raised hand and strive to pull the lower hip toward the sky.

leg variations like tree pose in side plank are great too. try alternating between dipping your inner hip down to hover over the floor, and back up. repeat 10x on each side before continuing your flow.

side plank yoga flow kaleinit

forearm plank sways.

i love working the obliques. this has long been my favorite way to intensify forearm planks. sway your hips from left to right, keeping the booty down! maintain a straight back and move slowwwwly to really feel the burn in the side body.

bonus challenge? do this. side plank… to side plank dips…back to plank… lower to forearm plank…forearm plank sways, back to plank,  repeat. boom.

pick up the pace.

while still maintaining the integrity of the vinyasa, pick up the pace in your initial sun salutations. one thing that helps me is to choose a more upbeat, faster song. dance with the music and move with speed and confidence as you flow from upward dog to down dog. I bet you’ll be warmed up in no time at all.


there you go, strengthening (and sweaty) ways to kick up your yoga routine. have any other  to adding more strengthening moves to yoga? comment below pleaseeee.

forearm plank kaleinit

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how gaining weight made me a minimalist kaleinit

 

 

woah, what is she talking about now??

yes, I ask you to please hear me out on this one. as you know i’m open (very open) about my recovery with an eating disorder.

i’ve gained weight over the course of my recovery, and it seems to have come in stages. the past six months have presented a new stage, with additional weight.  i recently disclosed on the IG how losing my thigh gap was pretty big for me- and felt big to me- but regardless, I know that I’m deeply rooted in my recovery because of my ability to take it in stride. some may believe that my thoughts about it or emotional reaction to it means I’m still struggling.

let me fill you in.

everyday that an addict chooses to abstain, everyday  someone with a compulsion fights it, every time someone with an eating disorder chooses a recovery driven action rather than unhealthy behavior, it is a success.

focus on the good. the positive. the progress.

my acceptance of my body changing? i’m going to celebrate it.  even if it was difficult.

i will get off my body image rant, and instead begin to tell you how I’m now into the minimalism craze- see this recent post of other trends I’m loving- and why minimalism and eating disorders are somehow connected.

a goal achieved.

when i was at my thinnest, I was obviously seeking some kind of unattainable goal weight. no matter what number showed, it wasn’t the end of the journey.

what I loved though, was being able to definitively go for the smallest size in just about any store, and know that I wouldn’t need to reach higher. I had made it. Made it in the sense that I had reached an admirable goal. wow.

and if you knew how much I shopped back then, you’d know I really took full advantage of this achievement.

here i was, a college student in a beautiful place with endless possibility and opportunity available to me, yet that had become of one my biggest accomplishments? i’m not happy to admit it, but at the time my mind was spinning so quickly and steering straight down a narrow path that anorexia had determined for me.

it sounds incredibly vain, and i’m so sorry for anyone woman wants to slap me right now, but i’m being very serious.

much like how my view of myself, my world, and my goals have now broadened, my choices of jeans size have too. i now fluctuate, are unsure of size depending on brand, and that is perfectly ok.


I decided to STOP. stop believing that my anorexic laden jeans are ever going to hug my new curves, bigger booty or thicker thighs with any form love.

the purge.

that heading has so many underlying connotations. please, everyone trust me when I say I purged clothing.

there was definitely a period of time where letting go of my sick clothes was a non-negotiable. a hard NO.

“when I’m not bloated I can fit into them.”

“I can still wear them with a looser shirt.”

“well, let’s be real, after the holidays I’ll be back in them.”

“no, really, i need to get my ass back in the gym.”

that inner monologue lasted for a while until I decided to STOP.

I decided to stop believing that my anorexia laden jeans were ever going to hug my new curves, bigger booty or thicker thighs with any form love.

so i tossed them.

which then trickled over into tossing a lot of clothes and other “stuff” I had been dragging around from college apartment to college apartment, then all the way across the country back to new jersey after graduation. I tossed out things that I had purchased when I didn’t feel good about myself, and was seeking some form of fulfillment. they were clothes and accessories and shoes and bags that were just available, well priced, served the purpose of short term gratification, and then ended up forgotten.

they weren’t really my style, weren’t quality “investment” staples. most of them were just mediocre and now ill fitting.

what did i do? i bagged them up. bags and bags to be donated. loaded them in my car and said “bye bye sick jeans!” phew.

i didn’t hug them goodbye or dramatically stare out my rear view mirror as I drove away either.

and there it was… a sense of relief.

that stuff no longer served me. they probably never had, but they certainly weren’t bringing anything positive to the table. like anyone who’s ever had a reallyyyy, really bad ex.. it was time to cut ties.

the outcome.

no longer did I look into my drawers feeling shame or mocked by jeans that pinched my sides when buttoned. instead, I invested in dark wash, well fitting, better quality jeans. I found one basic skinny, one great boot cut, and a distressed jean I love to wear cuffed up.

they’re my tried and true. no matter how much sodium filled sushi I have the night before, or what time of month rolls around, they fit. they’re good to me. they feel much more healthy.

so I keep it simple and I find not only is it amazing for my recovery, but it’s also just easier. less laundry, less mess, less choices in the morning. my attention can be channeled on other things in the AM than planning the perfect outfit- like “will my readers be at all interested in hearing how I gained some weight and threw most of my shit out.”

(comment below and let me know if you do.)

I know what I like. I like black, white, and earth tones. I like dainty jewelry. I like flats. I prefer solids to patterns. I really love a huge bag that holds my laptop and green juice.

do I ever dress up? of course!  I can bring on the sass. but for my everyday, rise and grind style, I don’t fuss with what makes me feel good.

I’ve found that having SOOOO MUCH, can become a distraction, eating disorder or not. challenge yourself to live with less. nurture yourself and those you value more. and please, if you’re doing a closet clean out- lose anything (ANYTHING) you haven’t worn in over a year. or anything you still have that is on this list.

then, see where else you could introduce minimalism in your life.

thank you for listening to my rant, and for allowing me to share how I made weight gain feng shui.

I appreciate you all, and keep me in the loop of your latest personal achievement worth celebrating. because they ALL are.

 

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