Weekly Wellness No. 3

Weekly Wellness No. 3

A melange of wellness articles, people, events, food, and things that inspired me this week.

This week Greatist is covering sexual assault: find letters, resources, stories, support. #metoo

Chickpea Magazine is an ad-free magazine and site that supports a Whole Foods, plant-based DIY lifestyle.  They have pretty sweet seasonal food calendars for sale too, and a nice Instagram feed.

Registered dietitian and insta-friend Mallory adapted a breakfast cake from Bake Magazine that looks absolutely gorgeous.  (Recipe on her Instagram feed).

This Buzzfeed round-up of articles for people living with depression.

Have you heard about the process of manifestation? Check out Lacy Phillips, the queen of manifesting.  She offers both in-person and online courses aimed at unlocking the pathway to living your most intentional life.


Weekly Wellness No. 2

Weekly Wellness No. 2

A melange of wellness articles, people, events, food, and things that inspired me this week.

This year is the year I work on my finances (better add it to my 2018 intentions).  So when I heard of the KaKeibo book, I added it to my amazon wish list.  Set-up a bit like the envelope method, this Japanese financial journal seems simple yet effective.

I ordered the Practice You Journal as an early birthday present to myself.  After looking through the gorgeous artwork by author and artist Elena Brower, (the photo is one excerpt) I almost don’t want to write in it.  Almost.

Candice Kumai is a Japanese-American wellness writer, plant-based chef, and cookbook author.  I came across her profile on Instagram this week and fell in love with her style and health philosophy.  Here’s her recipe for a clean green smoothie!

When I lived in France I fell in love with not only the food but also the atmosphere surrounding it – the conversation, the fresh food, the company – they all make the meal and let me tell you, the meal can last a long time in France.  Read more about the importance of taking time to eat in the company of others and two other happiness-related cultural rituals.

A secret wish of mine-not that I currently have the time, but still-would be to host monthly dinner parties based upon fresh, local food and good company.  Sometimes I google my secret wishes, which is how I came across Secret Suppers, a collaboration of two female foodie entrepreneurs who are living a (now not-so-secret) dream of mine!


Challenging your limiting beliefs

Challenging your limiting beliefs

Today I want to talk about challenging your limited beliefs and affirmations.

What are limiting beliefs?

Limiting beliefs are things we hold to be true and which constrain us in some area of our life.  By believing them, we may be holding ourselves back in certain or all areas of our lives, be it social, professional, personal, etc.  These beliefs may be about ourselves, other people, and/or how we see the world.

They are usually stories we have been telling ourselves our whole life, and so we deem them to be true.  In fact, we may not even be aware that we have any limiting beliefs unless we choose to question our thoughts and belief systems, something which is not always easy to do.

Not all beliefs are bad; it is when they do not serve our best interests or they cause us unhappiness that they should be examined.  It is when we question these (negative) thoughts that we are able to break free from our own limitations and start to connect with our true self and discover what we really want.  An example of a limiting belief may be a person with low self-esteem who thinks People don’t like me.  Once questioned and worked on, this belief may become People love me for who I am.

So how can we discover what beliefs may be holding us back from moving on in an area of our life?

Start by looking at areas that cause you unhappiness, anxiety, stress, depression, anger, jealousy – any negative emotions you may be feeling.  What are you telling yourself that could be causing these feelings or situations?

An example could be: I sometimes get jealous when I see a successful person doing something that I would want to be doing.  The person doesn’t want to feel this way, but these feelings occasionally rise to the surface.

Now, these feelings are totally normal.  We all have felt jealous from time to time.  BUT if it’s something that is bringing you unhappiness, perhaps it’s worth questioning why you feel this way in order to get to the bottom of these reactions.

Another way to discover your limiting beliefs is to challenge your thoughts that start with a negative, such as I can’t, I shouldn’t, I don’t like, I’m not allowed.

After you identify a belief that is bringing you unhappiness, start questioning it.  I find that by asking myself question after question as to why I think the belief is true, it often points me in the direction to the right answer.

For example: I can’t (or don’t like to) meet people in a large group setting.  It’s stopping me from going out and meeting friends and has even begun to cause problems at work.

Ask yourself: Why don’t you want to?

Because I feel uncomfortable.

Why do you feel uncomfortable?

Because I don’t want people to see me.

Why don’t you want people to see you?

Because I don’t think they’ll like me.

Why wouldn’t they like you?


Of course there are many reasons why someone would not want to meet in a large group setting.  I am just using one reason for my example.  This example could then go on to examine the person’s history, such as maybe they were bullied and/or publicly embarrassed and they’re still worried it’ll happen again.  Maybe there was one or a slew of incidents that caused them to think that no one likes them, or even yet, that they don’t deserve to be liked/loved.  Perhaps their limiting belief would then be I am not worthy of love.

Once this limiting belief is discovered, it is now time to turn it into a positive statement.  I am not worthy of love now becomes I am worthy of love.  This new thought must be reinforced daily through writing it out or telling it to yourself.

You are now beginning to challenge your self-limiting thoughts and beliefs.

Whatever your limited belief(s) may be, you have been telling this fake story to yourself for years.  So do not be discouraged when it seems like it may be taking some time to change your thought patterns.  Keep at it!  Other things you can do to help are:

  • See a therapist.  There is no shame in seeing a therapist.  S/he can help you identify what is holding you back.
  • Write out your new belief daily, which can also be called an affirmation. The more often your write it and repeat it to yourself, the better.
  • Try to find a moment every day where you can sit down and be quiet and relax, checking in with how you’re feeling, taking deep breaths, and and listening to your body.
  • Read self-help or growth books.
  • Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who are SUPPORTIVE of you, and especially supportive of the “new you” (who is ironically the real, original you.  They may just not have met this authentic side of you yet).


Recommended reading:

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

You can heal your life by Louise Hay

DisclaiWhile I hope this article can be of help to you, please keep in mind that it is always best to seek help from a professional if you think it would be of benefit to you. I mention things that have helped me, but that does not mean that it my hold true or work for YOU.

Intentions for 2018

Intentions for 2018

I arrived a little late to the 2018 intentions party, though truth be told I’ve been thinking about my own for the past couple of weeks and have just made the time to now write them down.

Last year (like every year) I made a list of goals and resolutions.  But by the time February rolled around, I had forgotten about them already.  2017 was a time of transition for my family and I, what with moving to another country then another city in that new country, and I never really found a solid routine (that is except for my morning routine)

To combat putting my intentions and goals aside, this year I wrote them down on note cards and put them where they are easily accessible and I can glance at them whenever I need reminder or motivation.

When thinking about the new year, I asked myself a couple of questions:

It is the end of 2018. How have I grown?


It is the end of 2018.  What have I accomplished?

After answering these questions, I had a better idea of what I wanted to cultivate in my life.  I found myself drawn to the process of using words to represent what I want more of in my year.  Three words came to mind, and they are FAITH, LOVE, and PATIENCE.


Intention: Continue to strengthen my faith in God/the universe and myself.

How? Daily prayer, meditation, and affirmations.

I’ve realized the main thing that has been holding me back over the past year is fear.  Fear of success, fear of failing, fear or criticism, fear of death, fear of not being good enough, fear of being seen, even fear of not being seen.  When we harbor fear in our hearts it becomes much easier to start comparing ourselves to others, becoming jealous of others, and judging others.  In 2017 I vowed I would do all that I can to not live in this way.   Whenever I started feeling afraid, I turned to my faith in God, my faith in the universe, my faith in myself and others, and trusting that everything is being taken care of for me.  I stopped trying to control my own life and turned it over to God.  This was the biggest turning point in my journey to self-healing, and I want to continue to give it a large portion of my attention this year.


Intention: Love myself, love others.

How?  Demonstrate love for myself through affirmations, positive self talk, and self care practices.  For myself and others through acts of love – not just saying but doing.

When we love ourselves things just work.” -Louise Hay

Amen to that.


Intention: Practice patientience with myself and with others.  Do not jump to conclusions, and be more considerate and understanding.

How? Practice breathwork-Taking deep breaths when I notice myself becoming impatient or agitated.  Remembering that I am not always in the right and showing

Besides my three intentions, I also have some physical/material goals:

Read three books a month.  One self-growth, one nutrition, one fiction/non-fiction.

Dedicate enough time for my holistic nutrition studies.

Keep my home organized and clean (a self-love practice)

Join a women’s sports team (there’s a netball team in Hamburg!)

Practice piano 2-3x/month (through a piano room rental)

Drink 2-3 liters of water per day (another self love + care practice)

Continue my BBG workouts 3x/week

Offer a nutrition + cooking class

Attend at least 3 concerts or operas

Get dressed/take care of my appearance – even if I am staying inside almost the whole day.


my morning routine

my morning routine

I have always found comfort in the solitude of the early morning hours.  It is when I feel most focused and can get my best work done.  It brings structure and focus to my day.  As a mother, it provides me with the ME time I need, and I’ve come to view it as my most meaningful acts of self care.

My morning routine is greatly influenced by the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.  In his book, Hal talks about waking up one hour early to fit in six important activities, each 10 minutes long, to aid in your self growth .  Since I started modeling my routine off of his book more than a year ago, I’ve come to see the positive changes in my mood compared to when I choose to sleep in and skip my routine.

For this post I’ve teamed up with seven other wellness bloggers to share with you our own morning routines.  Make sure to check out their sites and read about their morning routines below!

My Morning Routine

Normally I like to wake up at 5:30am.  I keep my alarm (my phone) outside my room so that I need to get up out of bed to get it, giving me a better chance from not hitting the snooze button.  When I wake up I make a point of not checking my phone for any emails or notifications, and turn it off or keep it outside of my kitchen (where I do my routine) until after my routine is done.  I used to keep it on the kitchen table next to me and found it to be a distraction, so now I keep it outside of the kitchen or make sure I turn it off.

After getting out of bed, I try to make a point of saying something nice to myself in the mirror.  An affirmation such as, I love and respect myself, or I am a strong, beautiful person.  We are forever having an internal dialogue with ourselves in our mind, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.  By choosing to create positive affirmations, or dialogue that is positive, encouraging, complimentary to ourselves, we are writing our own story and choosing how we wish to view ourselves and the world.

When I get into the kitchen (where I do my routine), I drink a large glass of water to get my digestive system going.  Sometimes I may make a hot water with lemon and ACV, maybe even add in some ginger if I’m feeling under the weather.  I then start my morning pages, something that I picked up from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way.  I will journal for about 30 minutes, getting down whatever is on my mind until I reach about 3 pages.  Doing this opens up an honest conversation with myself in how I’m feeling.  It also helps alleviate any anxiety I may be feeling in the morning.

After journaling I get onto my yoga mat and do some stretches.  I don’t do the exact thing every day and instead make sure I’m checking in with my body, listening to how I feel.  That said, I usually will always start with the yoga pose cat cow, and include extended child pose, down dog, lunges, and some heart openers.

After I feel like my body is warmed up, I sit cross-legged and focus on my breath.  5 seconds of deep breathe in, 5 seconds of deep breathe out.  To be honest I find meditating very difficult for myself – all the more reason to practice, I know.  This is something I am starting to really focus on, as the benefits of meditation and breathe work are numerous, from reducing stress to increasing your concentration.

I like to include some reading, about ten minutes of a self-growth book.  Currently I’m reading this one.  I then pray and either say or write down what I am feeling grateful for.  I’ll then take out my organizer and review what I have going on for the day and write down any notes I may have.

Now this may all sound like a lot, but I can fit it all in within 1 to 1 1/2 hours, finishing around 6:30/7am which is usually when my son wakes up.  I like to eat my breakfast and get ready for the day when my son Benoit wakes up.  For breakfast I’ll usually eat a homemade muesli (oats with add-ins like chia and pumpkin seeds, fruit, etc.).  Once in a great while I may drink coffee, but normally I stay away from caffeine as it can make me jittery and my skin breaks out.  Instead I prefer to drink an herbal tea or just stick with my hot water with lemon and ginger.

Since starting my morning routine a little more than a year ago, I have switched up what my routine consists of probably more than 10 times.  At one point I liked exercising in the early hours and made it a large priority of my routine; at another point I wanted to use the time to get some extra work done.  Just as we as humans grow and evolve, so can our routine to reflect this.

Even if you are not a morning person, I encourage you to design your own personalized routine and give it time to reap its benefits.  Maybe my routine has given you some ideas, and if you’re searching for more check out the book The Miracle Morning and give these routines below a read:

Gabby of Simply Balanced G

Briana of Betox

Gina of Healthy Little Vittles

Susan of Gleam Wellness

Use today to work on your goals

Use today to work on your goals

With the new year quickly approaching, I’ve started thinking about what I would like my 2018 to look like. I’ve always been a goal setter, but sometimes I find myself waiting for the “perfect time” to begin said goal. Next year, next month, even next week-as long as it’s not today. I recently did this with starting my new workout program and restarting the book The Artist’s Way. I had them both down on my new year list. It seemed perfect-start each of these 12-week programs on January 1! A week later while looking at my list I had a small say wha?! moment and thought, why am I waiting? If I were to start both of these programs now, I’d be so much farther along than if I waited another two months! So despite the ideal timing of new year’s resolutions around the corner, I started them at that moment (which was about a month ago). And now that I’m kicking ass and really enjoying them, I’m asking myself what I was really waiting for.

Often times we think that there needs to be a perfect time or environment to begin but in reality there will never be any perfect time because perfect does not exist. Even if we were to wait until our planned-out perfect moment, our mind might still find an excuse to as why that time is no longer perfect and then we find ourselves waiting even longer to begin. Or worse, we never begin.

See past the illusion of the right moment and start that next project, sign up for that class, start forgiving who you need to forgive. Use today to get you to where you want to be.

Take a moment to think about some goals you intend on setting in the new year, or think about something you’ve been putting off doing. Could you start any of these things right now?  Ask yourself why you are choosing to wait, or why you are putting it off.

Seven ways to stay motivated you when you’re feeling down

Seven ways to stay motivated you when you’re feeling down

I won’t go too much in detail here (at least not yet), but as someone who has gone through depression, there are some things I’ve learned that have helped draw myself out of the funk I was in.

While these tips worked a whole lot for me, I am not you and I definitely think seeing a therapist and getting professional help is the number one option.  It is also important to remember that these tips will help make a difference only depending on the effort you’re willing to put in and the motivation to make a change in your life.

1. Make a chart with “rewards”
One day I thought about all the things I would like to accomplish in a day. Healthy habits, things that would help me on my own road to success, how to stay organized, etc.

I charted all of my goals on the bottom of a piece of paper and the days going vertically. I hung it up on the wall where I could see it (a journal or organizer also work well).  Whenever I would complete a goal, I’d check it off or color it in. After x amount of days of getting ALL my goals done, I rewarded myself with something that would motivate me to keep going, to keep fighting. A trip to the movies, a magazine, those running shoes I had my eyes on. Whatever speaks to you.

This may sound like something out of an elementary class, but for me it WORKED. It made me feel good and helped me to visually see which daily goals I’m struggling with and which ones I excel at.

2. Stick to a routine.  Then do something out of your ordinary.
This sounds a bit contradictory, but it make sense, I swear. Let me explain: By making a routine for myself, I now use the time that would have otherwise been spent ruminating over my life. As a stay-at-home mom, my schedule goes something like this:

5:30-6:30: wake up and start morning routine
1:30-4: Blog. Cook. Take pictures for blog. Work out. Clean. Daily tasks
8-10ish: Start night routine, reflect upon the day and look at tomorrow. RELAX.
(The missing hours are when Benoit is home and I am spending the time with him).

Whenever I don’t make a checklist or schedule in these activities with what I should or could be doing, I end up on the couch. Ruminating. And usually ending up not feeling so good about myself.

So make a date with yourself!  Many people who stick to their workout routines write down their workout time in their calendar-even if they’re just staying at home and not working out at the gym.

On the other hand….

It can also be nice to do things that are out of your comfort zone or out of the ordinary from your daily schedule. These can also be scheduled in your calendar so that you actually end up doing it. Make a date with yourself to go on a walk or check out that art gallery down the street.  Try out that running group you’ve been meaning to make your way to.  Doing something different outside of your normal routine helps put a little extra oomph into your life.

3. Write down and continuously glance at your favorite motivational quotes

Some of my favorite motivational quotes are up on my wall where I can see them every day. They keep me feeling optimistic and positive, and yes-they motivate me! I like to write mine on post cards and put them around the apartment, switching them out from time to time. Some I’ll take with me in my planner or keep in my purse to look at whenever I’m on the go.  And, of course, Pinterest is also a great way to find those quotes and your new favorites!

4. Ask yourself one simple question
Whenever I am refusing to do something that I know I should do, but for whatever reason (anxiety, feeling sad, laziness, fear) I am stuck to the comfort of my bed, I ask myself a simple question:

Do I want to get better?

If my answer is yes (which it always is) then 90% of the time I will go and do it. The important part of this is not overthinking it. Because when you start to think too much, you start to make excuses, and you don’t end up doing it.

For example.

Me:It’s time to go to my bootcamp class.
Also me: I make the excuse that it’s okay to stay home where I feel safe and besides I should get things done here anyways.
Me: If I go, will it take me a step further to who I want to be?
Also me: Yes.
Me: Ok then I’ll go.

And I’m one step closer to where I want to be.

5. Have a friend hold you accountable OR do it alongside a friend

Having a close friend who you can trust and be your cheerleader will be a special pick-me-up in your life. Someone who encourages you. Maybe that person’s your mom. Or your spouse. Whoever it is, ask them if they will hold you accountable for the goals you want to achieve. If they can check up on you on a weekly or every other week basis just to see if you are accomplishing your goals. All you need to do is ask them to send you an email every other Friday (for example) asking, did you get ____ done? You will automatically have a good kind of pressure put on you to get whatever it is done!

You could also team up with a friend who is also wanting to make a positive change in their life or just start getting up off the couch more often.  But remember, if the other person happens to drop out or they seem to get more accomplished than you, don’t compare and you won’t despair!

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt

6. Journal

Over the past year I have re-incorporated journaling into my morning routine. Journaling whenever during the day is great to let out your frustrations and working to get past certain obstacles.  However, journaling first thing in the morning, right after you wake up, is the best. I read about doing this in the book The Artist’s Way (a life changer, by the way) and have been doing it almost every day since I first read about it. By writing right when you wake up it’s a huge release and you can get whatever it is you’re feeling out there and out of the way. It’s seriously therapy. It helps you express how you are really feeling. You needn’t share it with anyone, and you don’t have to re-read it. Actually the author forbids you to. Since I’ve been doing this, my mind has felt a million times clearer and I emotionally I feel so much better.

7.  Write out a personal mission statement 

This one right here.  It takes the cake.

When you’re depressed, you don’t have much hope for your future.  Trust me, I know.  Writing out my own personal mission statement of what I want my life/future to look like and how I could take steps to it gave me hope that my goals are possible.

So think of a goal you have in mind, and think big!  Getting into a college.  Getting that new job.  Opening up your own restaurant.  Becoming a certified personal trainer and holistic nutritionist (ha! That’s mine).  Write it down and whatever else you’d like to go with it, such as how much you want it and what it means to you.  Whenever you’re feeling stuck or lazy, take it out and read it – and get back on your feet again.

There they are! I hope these ideas may help you out the next time you need some extra motivation!