health coach

STAYING FIT ON VACATION

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You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again. We're #adult enough to know that it's not healthy or fun to lose sight of our wellness goals when we go away on vacation. Being hungover, exhausted, bloated and being off schedule ain't fun. Why would we put ourselves through feeling like crap during a time meant for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation? In this age of wellness and travel (basically Instagram's M.O.) there are so many tools available to stay on track while we're away from home. I'm sharing a few of my favorites tips and tricks. Check it out.

Let's Begin with the Obvious: Working Out

This is the most straight-forward way to stay fit. Wake up early and take a yoga class at your hotel or local yoga studio. When I was in Aruba I asked my hotel concierge where I could take a yoga class and the next morning you bet my bum was doing down dog on the beach. The next day, I was in the ocean practicing stand up paddle board yoga (SUP yoga). My hotel had a gym but I didn't bring workout sneaks. Thank goodness all you need is your body (and maybe some clothes) for yoga! If there's a gym in your hotel, get at least 20 minutes of working out in before breakfast. You'll feel energized all day and you can eat that gelato after dinner guilt-free. 

Workout apps!

There are so many low-cost and free workout apps in the iOS and Android-sphere. Even the membership-based ones (which tend to be the best) have free week-long trials. Check out Pear, Workout Trainer, Nike +, Jetfit, Daily Burn and more. You don't even need equipment for most of these which is a huge plus.

Arthur got a hold of some sweet teeth at the toy store. Once you see it you can't unsee it..

Arthur got a hold of some sweet teeth at the toy store. Once you see it you can't unsee it..

WALK OR BIKE

Depending on where you travel you can either take the lazy route or the healthy route. If you're going to an island, take a few walks up and down the shore throughout the day instead of being a 100% beach bum. If you're visiting a major city like Paris, Barcelona, or London I recommend taking a Fat Tire Bike Tour (my favorite company) on Day 1 or 2. It's the absolute best way to see a city. Most tours have a guide in the front, middle, and back so you can feel totally safe. Bike tours are great because you can stop for photo ops at any moment - WAY better than a hop on hop off tour. I used to go on those as a kid and would ALWAYS fall asleep on the bus, miss the scenery, and be sleepy once we were hopping off at our destination. My mom still teases me when she tells stories about churches we've visited. She says, "Remember Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris? You know, the church you fell asleep at?". MOM!!!

If biking ain't yo thang there are tons of walking tours in each city. My favorite kind of walking tour is a food/walking tour. Obviously. When Arthur and I were in Barcelona we went on a Tapas, Taverns, and History tour which included food, drinks, history, and walking. The best of both worlds in my opinion. Do your research on TripAdvisor and find something that suits your style. The big plus of staying in a major city is that you can walk everywhere! We hit an average of 15,000-20,000 steps a day (experts recommend 10,000 steps per day) without blinking an eye and still managed to use the taxi system quite a bit. There are trains and buses in a lot of cities but sometimes the whole ticketing system intimidates me out of using it. I save money and I gain a tight butt. It's a win-win.

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Book a Wellness Trip

There are tons of vacation packages/retreats aimed toward wellness these days. Whether its a vegan yoga retreat in Mexico or a canoe and hiking trip in Costa Rica, you can find a vibe that suits your style. Check out Trip Tribe for retreat options. I did a SUP yoga retreat in Tulum 5 years back and it was just what I needed. We stayed in an eco-village and were fed delicious vegetarian food in between our 2-3 yoga sessions/day. I hear Yogascapes is a good resource, too.

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Eat GOOD FOOD

I get it, it's vacation, you want to let go a little and you absolutely should! I've heard so many instances of people tolerating foods on vacation that they normally can't touch at home. It's because you're on vacation and you're allowing yourself to indulge. Let that sink in for a second...

There are also numerous studies about the differences in gluten and dairy in other countries. The US genetically modifies so much of our food it inevitably becomes difficult to digest. I have been gluten free for a decade and found that my body can tolerate small amounts of gluten when I'm in Europe. That's because I'm intolerant not celiac. Celiac's need to stay away from gluten indefinitely. I still take it easy because gluten is still problematic and not healthy for me but it's fun indulging in a real croissant on vacation... even if I can only mentally make it through half.

Use Yelp, Foursquare and/or TripAdvisor to find restaurants that comply with your diet. I like to search "organic food", "plant based food", "gluten free food", "juice bar", "smoothies", "vegan food", and "vegetarian food". In my experience using these terms in the aforementioned apps directs me to healthy farm-to-table restaurants that have gluten free and veggie heavy options. Bookmark your findings and refer back often. I like to find my lunch spot during breakfast and my dinner spot during lunch. Call me crazy but knowing that I don't have to stress about getting a healthy or compliant meal eases my mind and let's me relax into vacation mode even more. Also, if you eat something that's unhealthy DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT beat yourself up. You're a human being, you will not ruin your entire diet or lifestyle if you have non-vegan non-gluten free pizza or cake. Live a little, within reason. Most of all follow your intuition! 

I'll pack a bag of chia seeds then stop at the local market to pick up dairy-free mylk, nuts and fruit. Mix 2 TBSP chia with 1/2 cup mylk, stir and stir again after 5 minutes. Refrigerate overnight and you've got chia pudding ready for breakfast!

I'll pack a bag of chia seeds then stop at the local market to pick up dairy-free mylk, nuts and fruit. Mix 2 TBSP chia with 1/2 cup mylk, stir and stir again after 5 minutes. Refrigerate overnight and you've got chia pudding ready for breakfast!

Pack the Essentials

Think about everything you do at home to keep yourself healthy and bring it with you! If you have a matcha ritual, bring the ingredients with you. Take advantage of tiny canisters, jars, or storage containers. If you take supplements, bring them with you. This is not the time to quit on vitamins. Take it from the girl who got super sick from traveling to Aruba, then directly to Colorado in a 3-week period. I thought I'd make it easy on myself and give my supplements a break (which is important to do every few months, just not while traveling) and I failed miserably. Your body is more susceptible to catching diseases while traveling. Think planes, bathrooms, restaurants, museums, subways, yada, yada. Yuck.

I've been doing quite a bit of traveling lately and these are the best tips I've picked up. If you have any questions or want more ideas leave me a comment below! I've linked all my favorite products for you. They're products I actually use and believe in so you can feel safe buying them. Safe travels. :)

Need a little more one-on-one coaching to keep you on track? Schedule a complimentary consultation with me here. Can't wait to chat with you!! XO

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T BUY THAT FANCY CAR

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Did I get your attention? Good. What are you investing in right now? A home? Good. You'll need that. Expensive clothes? A fancy car? A gym membership you never use? Not good. These investments will not pay off. Let me tell you about an investment that WILL pay off.

YOU. YOUR HEALTH. YOUR ETERNAL HAPPINESS. This is the best investment you can possibly make! I bet once you invest in yourself and become truly happy from the inside out, you're not going to need clothes or a fancy care to make you happy. These shiny objects are directed towards us to cover up the fact that was are deeply unhappy. I'm not saying you're deeply unhappy but I do want you to take a look at yourself and where you spend your money. I bet you 10 high fives you spend most of your money on random crap on Amazon... amiright? So how much do you REALLY invest in your spirituality? Your happiness? Your health? Your-SELF?

There are a myriad of excuses I hear from people about why they can’t (or decide not to) adopt a healthy lifestyle. Examples of excuses I hear for not living a healthy lifestyle:

  • “I don’t have time to cook / grocery shop / work out.”

  • “I don’t know how to cook.”

  • “I don’t know what foods are healthy for me with all the conflicting information and social media.”  

  • “My friends/family aren’t good influences and aren’t into being healthy”

Sound familiar? I’m going to educate you in this article, so you no longer can use these excuses and why it will pay off in so many ways to invest in yourself and your health today.

You might think you are initially spending a little more time, money, energy, and resources to invest in your health now, however, by truly giving yourself the self-care you need, it will greatly pay off in soooo many ways down the road.

Investing in yourself will affect your productivity and quality of living. You will have:

  • More energy

  • More strength

  • Greater ability to concentrate

  • Greatly reduce the risk for health problems - Arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.

  • If you invest in yourself now, you will take the burden off of your friends, family, loved ones. When we get sick, so do our loved ones.

Let's break down the top excuses on why you might not be investing in yourself. I'll give you actionable solutions so you can become the happiest, healthiest version of yourself.
 

#1... “I don’t have time to cook.”

  • Food prep every 3 days - cook in bulk. After 72 hours leftover food has very little prana or energy so try to schedule in 2 cooking days per week.

  • Schedule time in your schedule to go grocery shopping, cook, etc and stick to it! 

  • Make a grocery list.

  • Use the same staple foods for multiple meals For example, brown rice: day 1 breakfast can be brown rice porridge, day 2 lunch can be steamed veggies over brown rice, day 3 dinner throw the leftover veggies and rice in a satay pan and make fried rice. This way you're using your main ingredient in many ways but not eating it for every meal every day. I also love roasting a ton of veggies and swapping out dressings each day to spruce up my grain bowls or salads. I usually buy fish fresh the day of of day before I cook it on my way home from work and add that in as my protein.

  • Keep cooking simple. Complicated doesn't necessarily meal taster. Lately I've been making a tahini and lemon dressing for my arugula and topping it with broiled salmon. It takes 10 minutes to make... and even less to eat :X

  • Make smoothies and juices for breakfast - very time efficient and you can take them on the go. You can prepack your smoothie cup with all the ingredients and store it in the freezer/fridge. In the AM throw it in your blender, add liquid and boom - you've got breakfast.

  • Find an accountability partner to make sure you invest the time in yourself - a friend, family member, or health coach. Even health coaches have accountability partners!

  • Invest in a cooking class, meal plan, kitchen overhaul or one-on-one coaching session with me by clicking here.
     

#2... “I don’t know how to cook.”

  • Try one of my many recipes here. They're all really simple and delicious!

  • I can create a custom meal plan for you and your family and/or come teach you how to cook. Book a complimentary session here to find out which path is right for you.

  • Some of my favorite recipe developers to follow are RachLMansfield, Minimalist Baker and Love and Lemons. Check out their blogs and Instagram profiles for daily inspiration.

  • My meal plan/recipe book is in the works! Stay tuned ;)

#3... “I don’t know what foods are healthy for me with all the conflicting information and social media.”

  • Follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with the latest health news and get inspiration from what I cook for myself. I've gone down the food trend/dieting ways and have sifted through the crap to give you direct, legit information on healthy living.

  • If you are in need of a kitchen makeover or a private grocery shopping lesson you can book a complimentary call with me to find which is right for you here.
     

#4... “My friends/family aren’t good influences and aren’t into being healthy”

  • It's extremely important to surround yourself with good company. Did you know you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with? My lifestyle has dramatically changed since my past days of partying and staying out late. I found that befriending people at my yoga studio and meeting friends for tea, juice, and lunch has helped me with the transition.

  • Sometimes you have to make new friends to support you, your health, and your goals.

  • Go to events focused on a healthy activity (yoga class, workshops, meditation class, run group, fitness event, intramural sports league) and meet new like-minded people who will better support you.

  • Check out my upcoming events here!
     

Hopefully you can now understand why it's so important to invest in yourself and some easy, actionable ways to do so. If you have any questions/comments/concerns please leave a comment below or email me! XO

Having serious troubles with your finances? Hit up my good friend and money pro Dimitry at www.90daymoneypro.com. He helped me get my finances down pat and is a fricken gem.

Resources:
 
https://hackingyourbudget.com/invest-in-your-health/https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/4-health-investments-that-wont-break-the-bank
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21484/7-secrets-to-eating-healthy-when-youre-short-on-time-money.html
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14257/how-to-live-the-good-life-on-a-shoestring-budget.htm
https://foodbabe.com/how-to-eat-organic-on-a-budget/

START YOUR MORNING RIGHT

yoga natasha wellness ayurveda health coach

How many late nights and groggy mornings does it take for us to feel crappy? For me, only one. As our youth slowly fades and our quarter life crises (also slowly) end, we approach a chapter somewhere in between always feeling tired and compelled to discover our best selves. Nevertheless, our habits are often what make or break us when trying to defeat exhaustion. The common routine of staying up late and rushing when we wake is a hard habit to break. And so, as habits go, we become accustomed to our patterns, continuing to push, promising that "tomorrow we will do better." 

Imagine waking up to the natural feel of your rested body, instead of the dreadful sound of your alarm. Envision feeling refreshed throughout your day, your routine guided by the cycles of the sun (waking, moving, eating, working, resting when the earth does). Sound dreamy? 

Most of us are unaware of our body's innate craving to function in sync with the earth's natural circadian rhythms. In other words, most of us function by the flashing settings on our phones, not by the earth's natural moving clock. In the world of wellness, this is known as Ayurveda. 
When we connect our bodies and minds to align with nature's schedule (the circadian cycles of morning, midday, and evening), we become more balanced and mindful; physically, emotionally, and spiritually (details about the practice of Ayurveda on next week's post @ www.natashawellness.com/blog). 

Back to feeling crappy. How many times do we vow to change before we actually do make a change?  "Tomorrow we will do better." If you've said this to yourself before, you are not alone. The good news is you can break the cycle! The even better news is that you can start to improve your energy and motivation TODAY through simple, yet powerful exercises, beginning with your morning routine. 

 

To jump start your morning, try following this practice:

  • Wake up before sunrise (Vata time). And go to bed earlier. Waking up past 6am makes it harder to wake up (as Kapha increases)

  • Stretch in bed to wake up your body

  • Scrape your tongue with a copper tongue scraper (separate blog post on reading tongue)

  • Rub your body with your hands from head to toe to wake up your cells. You can use a dry brush if you have a lot of ama or silk gloves (http://www.azulfit.com/dry-brushing-daily-ayurvedic-self-care-for-glowing-skin/)

  • Flush your system out with 1-1.5 liters of water. If you're nauseous in the morning, you can use tea water--add lemon or lime to alkalize. CHUG, don't sip. The purpose is to flush and eliminate.

  • Move for 20 minutes (walk, yoga, stretch, workout). Let your body move and wake up before you sit down in front of a screen.

  • Eliminate. Drinking water and moving your body will both help this process. The goal is to remove all waste, all the way from your transverse and descending colon--that's 18 inches of waste! You'll feel like a badass b.

  • Don't check email right when you wake up. Try to leave your phone and computer alone until after your routine. You'll a notice a huge difference and feel prepared for the day if you do this.

  • Reflect on how you can incorporate this practice into your morning routine. Maybe you don't have time for all of these steps in the morning, and that's ok. Try one step at a time, one day at at time if you need to. Start by finding what works best for you and your schedule and what fits best for your body. It's all about EXPERIMENTING! Have fun with it!

 

For more fun (and more tips) join me for yoga and smoothies at my Bend & Blend workshop on 8/26/17 from 2-4PM. Details @ https://www.natashawellness.com/bend-blend