Try to exercise your intuition, listen to your body, and cultivate a mindful approach when it comes to your meal. Check in with yourself and only take what looks good to you. Pay attention to hunger and fullness the cues your body is giving you. If you’ve eaten past fullness give yourself grace and self compassion rather than judging yourself.
There's no surprise I'm the kind of woman who loves to be on the go. This past week I was in Portland with my barre3 fam and in San Diego to shoot a wedding with the hubs. For some people I know a life thats this busy and chaotic can seem very overwhelming and when people ask me "How do you do it all?" I have to remind them of the very important thing I learned at Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is perception of pressure.
TOP 10 TIPS
on how to slow da F&*K down
Some people, like myself, thrive in high pressure environments. It's one of my strengths and I utilize that strength often in life. Sometimes too often, and life begins teaching me to slow down through physical injuries, catching a cold, or by experiencing reactions such as breakouts, water retention, and my psoriasis flare ups due to increased levels of cortisol.
In this digital age we have more tools at our disposal to help us become more productive and help us accomplish our tasks yet it leaves us feeling like our to-do lists are never ending. Life is too short and time flies way too quickly especially in today's world.
Here are 10 exercises to help you slow down, enjoy life, and focus on the important things.
Top 10 Tips to Slow Down
- TAKE THE TIME TO PRIORITIZE DAILY OBJECTIVES. By focusing on the most important tasks to get done, we eliminate the stress of trying to accomplish everything at once.
- CUT PERSONAL INTERNET USE IN HALF. Technology has become a major element in most of our lives. Social networking, email, and web surfing hinder our ability to focus by throwing hundreds of ideas at us. Reduce your Internet use by 50% and use that time to explore new hobbies, exercise, or meditate.
- ENJOY NATURE. Take a 5-10 minute break to step outside and breathe fresh air. Disconnect from the rest of the world and admire the beauty of nature.
- EAT SLOWER. A lot of us speed through meals, missing the chance to appreciate our food’s textures and flavors. Start to chew slower and fully experience the smell, taste, and texture of your food.
- CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. We all want to spend quality time with close friends and family, but how often do we get to truly listen and connect? Put away the cell phones and steer clear of noisy environments. Connect on a deeper level.
- MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. When did you last spend valuable time with yourself? Take a night to find a new book, watch a favorite movie, try yoga, meditate, or cook a new recipe.
- GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks in your planner, factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks.
- TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE. Next time you’re driving somewhere, take the scenic route. Driving through open fields, mountains, or in view of a city skyline can be very relaxing.
- SIT FOR A MOMENT WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED WHEN YOU START YOUR COMPUTER. Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your tasks.
- REMEMBER YOUR GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS. Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Recall the milestones you’ve already reached in your life, and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day.
When life get's too chaotic, what are the things you do to hit that pause button?
I’m getting a lot of questions about my choices for choosing IIN over any other health and nutrition coaching programs so I figured I’d give some insights on my choices.
My Career Journey…
So to give you a little background history we’ve gotta go back a decade. My first career out of school was a hairstylist and an educator for haircare brands like Rusk, Goldwell, and Kerastase. That was a 10 year career for me that started because of my strong passion for helping people find their personal style. This interest in hair all started in high school when I met my hairstylist and long time friend Dara Ung. She gave me my first “expensive” haircut and I remember walking out of her salon feeling as if I owned the world. I connected so much of my self confidence and self expression with how I felt and I knew how important this was for others to feel the same. In high school, I used to color friend’s hair in my mom’s kitchen and shortly after high school I decided that helping others feel beautiful through their self expression in their hair was my calling. 10 years into my career as a stylist I felt like I had done all I wanted to accomplish and the opportunity to take a Director role at the start up VSCO came along. After months of thinking about the opportunity I jumped and decided to challenge myself with something new to learn and grow.
After 5 years at VSCO and getting laid off it was time for something new. When I started my fitness journey I was amazed at what having the right mindset to pursue your goals and dreams were. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that the two hardest things in adult life to get a balanced control on are finances and fitness. If you’re one of those who’s got the formulation to all this then maybe we can talk, but for me the two largest challenges in my adult life have always been finance and fitness. Both take a lot of discipline and dedication and a lot of energy. Sometimes adding another “thing” on top of all the other “things” in our busy adult life is a challenge in itself. And if you think about the things we learn about how to be an adult incorporating health and fitness is not one of them.
How fitness impacted the rest of my life…
Fitness was never a part of my life growing up outside of PE. Like most women, I would go to the gym for an aesthetic "need" such as a vacation, to shed the baby weight, or to fit in a wedding dress. These were goals that never really made life long impacts for me and I would easily and quickly go back to the life I was living before that. 3 years ago when my fitness journey started was when I realized the positive impacts that having a healthy relationship with nutrition and exercise were for me I knew I needed to share that to those around me, which is where my #gofitjo hashtag began (pre blog). I started to learn more and more about myself through fitness and for the past 18 months I was contemplating on whether or not I wanted to pursue a career in the health and fitness industry. After my experience in body building competitions and learning how to manipulate macronutrients and exercise in order to reach fitness goals I got turned onto the science of sports nutrition. Coupled with my 5 years of managing teams at VSCO, I knew I had a love for coaching and developing people. Don’t get me wrong,I love blogging and social media, but I also knew that it was only a place to inspire those to live healthier and was just a sliver to the what I could offer to those around me.
Why I chose IIN…
I did a ton of research before joining IIN on the different types of nutrition schools and what they offer. I looked into Health Coach Institute, ACE, NASM and Well Coaches. I knew that I wanted to become a very well knowledgeable health coach. There are plenty programs that you can take that don't take as long as IIN. Some are weekend long courses while others are 4 weeks long. Personally, I love having as much knowledge and experience I can get in order to have the conversations I need with my future clients to understand their current philosophies on life and health and to help coach them through their next steps. After a year and a half of career ambivalence and research, Institute of Integrative Nutrition kept showing up in my life. I started to see others who went through the program and started to ask their experience in it. Then one day at my local Whole Foods I ran into some old friends and told them about my recent lay off at VSCO (literally a handful of days before) and how I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and sign up for school at IIN, a woman who overheard me mentioned how she was half way through. After my friends left, her and I started to talk about her experience and that night I decided to sign up.
In my last few months at VSCO I said to myself, when I turned 35 (in 2 more years), I want to become a health & life coach focused on nutrition. After my own experience with my healthy life style, I knew the value of nutrition and how it really was a basis to fuel your everyday life including your career. My beliefs about health has always been around how one can define the health of each relationship in their life: marriage/love, parenthood, career, nutrition, and exercise. In order to vibrate at your highest frequency all of these areas need to have some sort of energetic alignment. Institute for Integrative Nutrition really values and teaches this holistic way of approaching health and nutrition which is the main reason I was turned on by the approach of the program. Fitness to me was never about the perfect body, it was about getting your life together and overcoming insecurities which is a seed I want to plant in each of my client’s hearts and minds.
What I’m currently learning at IIN…
Because of current “free time” I decided to enroll myself in the accelerated course that’s 7 months long rather than the regular course that’s 12 months long. The entire course is online so I can study at the convenient of my own pace and time. Every week a module gets released for the standard course, two modules for the accelerated course. You can download your modules on your iPad, iPhone, or whatever mobile device and study from anywhere. Some days I'm listening to modules while on BART on the way up to SF or in the car just to retain more information. I’m currently on module 9 out of the 40. There are discussion assignments to each module and along side all the different nutrition philosophies you learn there are foundational skills on business development along with coaching circles to fully equip you on your journey as a health coach. So far it's been incredible. I’m learning so much and because I’m such a nerd and meticulous about my approach with school, I’m trying to fully immerse myself and focus on all the modules week by week. There’s a lot of information to learn and it’s really fascinating to not only learn how you can help others, but to learn more about yourself and what nutrition really means for you. IIN talks about 4 primary foods: relationships, spirituality, career, and physical activity. These 4 areas, on top of nutrition were my top focuses bettering myself and my life. This alignment of views made my choice for Institute of Integrative Nutrition an easy one.
If you're interested in learning more or to chat one on one on this, I'd love to get on a Google Hangout/Facebook Live/etc. when I have a group of at least 5 people so that we can all connect and ask as many questions as you like with me. If that's something that interests you, sign up here or fill out the form below.
I hope this post was useful for those of you who were wondering why I chose IIN over all the other options. If you want more information here are 3 helpful resources:
A few weeks ago I was invited to speak on a panel with Nike x Lead Like Her. And of course I wasn't about to decline, especially since my biggest goal for myself this year was to get over my fear of public speaking. Lead Like Her is this incredible digital platform where independent women tell their stories, inspire to drive change, and build strong lasting connections. Founder of Lead Like Her, Martha Kirby, interviewed me back in May on her blog and its so mind blowing to see how rapidly life has changed for me. It's incredibly wild to read things like "Director of Community/Curation at VSCO" to now speaking about my job title as a future "Internationally Certified Health and Nutrition Coach"
This past Thursday was the panel event which had a really decent turn out despite the rain in SF. It was small and intimate, no more than 40 people which has been the size of most of my speaking engagements this year. A perfect size to get comfortable with and still feel connected to the audience. Yummy salads were hosted by Sweetgreens and mocktails by Clearly Kombucha and of course fun little giveaway swag bag and shopping provided by the Nike Women's store on Union in SF.
The night was so awesome. And every single time I share my story I get so nervous to talk about it despite how open and honest I am about sharing my struggles of depression and how I used health and fitness as a tool to not overcome those dark months. And how powerful of a coping tool it has been for me these past few years.
Many many many thanks to Lead Like Her and Nike for extending this opportunity. Every single moment where I'm sharing my story of overcoming depression and how I manage to juggle a busy schedule while still being intentional about my health and wellness, is a chance for me to feel connect to one person who might be struggling with similar feelings of loneliness and depression. You never know who you'll inspire by sharing your story. Our stories of struggles and accomplishments are both equally important. You can't live a full life when you're only sharing your one sided highlight reel.
If there's one thing I've learned about living authentically in your truth it's that you connect with others and most importantly with yourself on whole new level.
Huge shoutout and love to DJ Umami for spinning the jams and my favorite song at the end of the panel.
Positive thinking plays a direct role in your fitness goals. Each thought we create manifests an energy flow internally as well as externally. If you think “well...I’m never going to get to my goals.” Then the energy that you expend will actually turn out to be negative and every action or choice that you make will turn out to become a negative force that works against your fitness goals.
Your subconscious mind is extremely powerful. In fact some say that it’s more powerful that your conscious mind. The subconscious mind does not differentiate itself from visualizations and reality. Do you ever have dreams that you that feel real and you wake up almost questioning if what happened actually happened? This is because your subconscious mind is not governed by time or space. You’re probably wondering...how does this all play into your health and fitness? Well picture this: you wake up discouraged to get started on a workout, actually you wake up with the single thought that the workout is going to suck. You’ve planted the seed in your mind that the workout is going to suck therefore your body will begin to react to your thoughts that the workout will be tough, a pain to endure, and you will probably lack the motivation to really put the best effort forward. Have you ever had one of these days? I know I have! Now flip the negative thought into a positive one and imagine those days when you’ve been fueled by so much motivation you felt like a speeding train and unstoppable. That is what you need to manifest in your daily thoughts in order to see the greatest impact in your fitness journey.
Setting yourself up for positive thinking is truly dependent on how you live your life and how you incorporate positive thinking to your everyday life. It’s about being in tune and aware of yourself and your surroundings. Some days I lace up my Teva Arrowood sneakerboots and go for a hike in my local county park. The Arrowood boot is waterproof and incredibly light because of "because of Teva's FloatLite™ technology, so they are perfect for the fall weather that’s getting my favorite park muddier in these colder seasons. The change of scenario always sets my mind in a better mood and ready to tackle the week.
But if you can’t do that, one of the most impactful ways I’ve been able to get myself out of a funky mood when I wake up is to meditate and say some simple affirmations as I sit quietly with my thoughts. When I meditate I like to picture myself enjoying the warmth of the sun and traveling somewhere warm, close to the water, where the skies are as blue as the ocean, like Santorini.
I start with these 5 simple ones:
- I am beautiful and strong.
- I have the power to live my greatest potential.
- I fully embrace and trust the journey I am on, both struggles and accomplishments.
- I create the life I want to live.
- I deserve to be healthy and happy.
What are some of the things you do to infuse more positive thinking? I’d love to know what’s helped you push yourself just a little closer to your goals both in your health and fitness and your life!
Teva provided me with compensation in exchange for this sponsored blog post. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.