Monday, July 18, 2011

To mope or to hope?

If someone were to tell me two months ago, that come July I would have two brand new clients and a fabulous, creative new job, I would have called their bluff...I was feeling quite pessimistic, anxious, and crazed this spring. Yes, me, the Holistic health coach...the one who preaches about keeping a "Gratitude over negativity" outlook, the one that promotes all things natural, organic, happy and light. And there I was, feeling anything but. I did have reasons to feel hopeful and I was, as I job searched, networked, attended health fairs, wrote articles, and volunteered my time at Food Bank New York's community garden, all while working a 40+ hour work week in hopes of making connections, finding a job aligned with my values, and growing my health coaching business. But where there was hope, there was also a feeling of despair muffling my more promising thoughts as it whispered, "What if nothing does change?" "What if you are stuck in this job forever?" "What if you don't grow your business and that the summer will never come?"(Although irrational, there were several unusually cold spring days that had convinced me we'd entered an ice age and that summer would soon become a thing of the past.) More times than not I'd find myself diverting from my job search to look up apartments in San Diego on Craig's list and on one occasion, I even went as far to research the cost of living in Charlotte. I was feeling suffocated and stifled by Manhattan, and unsettled in life. But alas summer came, my business is growing, and I've moved into a creative and what I believe will be a fulfilling and challenging career as a copywriter. Not to be too preachy, but it reminds me of a quote from my favorite Matisyahu song..."Out of the darkness, there comes light." It's really true - without darkness, there cannot be light, and while I agonized, stressed, obsessed, lost sleep over my life's path, read the happiness project, embarrassingly enough wrote down Oprah quotes, and even stumbled into a psychic reading with my friend from work after happy hour in search of answers, (also embarrassing, but fun none the less) the universe was working all along to make things happen. Underneath the negativity and the "what ifs?", lied hope, and in this case, hope won.

(And if strong enough, I have a sneaking suspicion that it just might always.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

What's in your beach bag?

Happy 4th of July everyone! This is an article from my newsletter archives that I thought was worth sharing again! Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday weekend!

- Stephanie

Summer is in full gear and with that comes my favorite kind of days... beach days!

Once at the beach, nothing can be more relaxing, but the preparation can often be quite the opposite. After you've loaded the car with the basics (chairs, towels, umbrella, sunscreen, music, books) you may have forgotten all about food and drink. And if you're anything like I used to be, you'd rather avoid the hastle of packing your own snacks and just hit up the consession stands once you've gotten there.

This not only can be costly, but is also UNHEALTHY.
Summer is the season that people care the most about their physical appearance. Many of us spend weeks trimming, tanning, and toning, but when it finally comes time to bare all, we end up eating hot, heavy, processed foods that make us feel less than our best. What we really need on hot beach days are light, cooling, hydrating foods.

So instead of blowing money on hot dogs, fries, and funnel cakes only to feel bloated and sluggish later, why not spend a little extra time to prepare snacks that will keep you feeling great and energized all day?

In other words, leave the Gas-X at home this summer and choose from my TOP 12 beach snacks:

1. Chopped up watermelon
2. Hummus with carrots, peppers, or celery for dipping
3. Goji Berries (This top of the charts superfood is available at Whole Foods or local health food store)
4. Grapes (freeze the night before)
5. Raw or organic Cashews
6. Green+ Energy bars (Available at Whole Foods, local health food store, or GNC. Eat 1 for in between meals or 2 as a meal replacement)
7. Raspberries & blueberries (freeze the night before)
8. Organic or Raw Chocolate bars (freeze the night before. Found at Whole Foods, Trader Joes or local health food store)
9. Apples
10. Almond butter and honey sandwich on ezekial bread (Ezekial bread is made from sprouted whole grains and can be found in the freezer section of Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or your local health food store)
11. Lundberg Organic Rice Cakes (flavor of your choice)
12. ****Water, Water, Water!! For something sweeter, throw in a coconut water or two. They are delicious, tropical, and full of electrolytes!)

Pick a few off the list, (choose organic produce if possible) pack in a cooler with plenty of ice, and enjoy!!! And by all means, do NOT forget the water!