Quit These 3 Things to Get Your Sh*t Together

Have you ever just thought to yourself, “I need to get my crap together!” Probably. You probably have. I know I have! While I’m not an advocate of being a quitter in life, there are three things we absolutely must quit doing to get our stuff together.

Step One: Quit thinking of It As Sh*t.

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The whole “I have to make breakfast,” “I have to go to work,” “I have to eat my veggies so I don’t get constipated” thing is simply not a way to live, ladies! Imagine the freedom that comes with the perception of getting to do things. You get to spend time with your baby and, in the process, clean up his diaper blowout. You get to live in a home that is most welcoming when mildew is not all over the place. You get to own clothing that wears best when washed. Do you get the idea? Re-frame that sh*t into opportunity and gratitude.

Step Two: Quit Should’ing On Yourself.

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When our self-talk is a bunch of shoulda-coulda-woulda, that communicates regret, guilt, and even shame, to your unconscious mind and to your kids. Saying you SHOULD do something is absolutely meaningless. It’s either gonna happen, or it isn’t. Is it important? Then commit to getting it done. Is it not so important, to you, right now? Then unapologetically admit it. However you do it, erase “should” from your vocabulary, and write in “I will,” or “I choose to.”

Step Three: Quit Do-Do’ing Without Purpose.

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That stuff gets messy. I’m just saying. When you run around and do, do, do, do without stopping to think about who you are being…honestly, it’s cowardly. Do-do’ing without purpose is a big, fat red flag that you’re avoiding the big questions. Like, “who am I?” “What am I doing?” “Am I satisfied with my life?” “Can Google tell me how to get a red wine stain off my white shirt?” Let’s get real. You can’t run away from these questions forever. Maybe it’s time to cut through the noise, ditch the meaningless activities, and take an honest-to-God look at how you’re showing up in the world.

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If any of this strikes a nerve or inspires a big YES, this movement is for you. Welcome to your tribe, Sexy Mama. If you’re itching for more, join the fun fest at SexyMamaMovement.com. Also, please chime in with your thoughts on this idea. How do you keep your sh*t together? What are your go-to mind & life “hacks?” I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 


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How to Succeed at Anything

What if succeeding at anything were as simple as having a few things in place?Consider the possibility that you can succeed at anything. I believe the anatomy of success can be broken down into five pieces.

1. Vision

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Vision sets the foundation for the life you want. Without vision—that purpose, that why—we can easily fall victim to our circumstances, fail to take ownership, and get sidetracked when something easier or shinier comes along. Every single area of life will flourish with vision, and struggle without it. Consider what you want, why you want it, what that looks like, and what impact it will have when you get it, and keep the vision front and center.

2. Commitment

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Those with 100% commitment are unstoppable. When we fully commit to something or someone, regrets are impossible. There is no failure; only feedback. What does commitment look like? Taking risks. Persisting. Putting your heart into it. Not letting circumstances get in the way. Consider, how committed are you today to your life, your relationships, your career, and your health?

3. Authenticity

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Authenticity is one of those words that’s thrown around lightly, like a sprinkle of parmesan on a supreme pizza that already looks super busy. Those who dare to discover who they are and what they stand for, are the ones who unapologetically and profoundly impact their world.

4. Integrity

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As the saying goes, a man is only as good as his word. Any time we say we will do something and then don’t, we’re out of integrity. The painful truth is that those who do not live with integrity are not trustworthy. Those without integrity will not reach their ultimate vision of success. The key is to acknowledge the break of integrity, and then recommit, prepared to absorb the potential consequences of breaking integrity.

5. Competition

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Animals in the wild routinely engage in fierce competition, not to crush their opponent; but rather so that both parties can refine and strengthen their skills. Think of a group of young lion cubs. While they often walk away with a few scrapes and bruises, they emerge stronger, faster, and more resilient. In the end, they are not opponents; they are on the same team. The underlying tone is an outward-focus of bringing out the greatness in each other, which has a profound sense of oneness.

Really, could it be that simple? It’s okay if you have your doubts. Humor me, and put these five principles to the test. You just may get everything you want, and more.


 

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3 Sexy Mombod “Hacks”

 

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Summer is officially in full swing, and like it or not, our mom bods are at the beach and at the pool. Whether you’re wearing a vintage style one-piece with a matching robe or getting the full booty tan with a g-string, I know you want to feel sexy. So let’s talk about how you can feel uh-mazing in that awesome mombod of yours. Are you ready to get your sexy on? Let’s talk about the top 3 mind hacks for a sexy mombod, since a sexy mindset sets the foundation for the bod you really want.

1. Make a Decision. 

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It all begins with a decision. The decision to be more active each day. The decision to love and accept your body the way it is, right now. The decision to do this for YOU, because you are 100% worth looking and feeling your best. What decision are you making right now about how important this is to you, and why it matters? If you’re dissatisfied with a lack of energy or confidence, commit to doing something about it, and not because you hate your body or resist its current state; rather, because you really love and treasure it so much, you want to show your appreciation for it. Stop fighting and punishing your body. Work with your body, not against it. You’ve only got this one vessel to live in for the rest of your life. Make the decision to take care of it.

2. Start With the End in Mind. 

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Create a clear vision of what you want for your health, energy, confidence, and well-being. This is about so much more than a number on the scale or a dress size. Consider what you’ll get from being fitter or healthier. What does that look like? How will you know when you’ve achieved it? How will it affect all the other areas of your life? Allow yourself to visualize on a daily basis and rehearse that future reality.

3. Fill Your Cup.

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I’m not talking about coffee or mimosas. Fill your cup of life. Feed your soul. Find physically invigorating activities, create space for mental exploration, carve out time to do nothing and just be. If you’re running on empty mentally and emotionally, you can forget about making that fitness or nutrition plan work. Give yourself permission to go within and nourish your mind and spirit, and do those outward expressions of self-care, like healthy eating and exercise. Sometimes you can even do both at the same time, like taking a hike in nature on a challenging trail, and bringing your favorite healthy snacks with you.

Sculpting a sexy mom bod isn’t so much about the mechanics of what to do and when, as much as it is overcoming the objections, excuses, and obstacles in your way. There’s no need to over-complicate the process with crazy calculations, activity tracking, and daily measurements. It would be so great if we could take a magic pill to make life more convenient and give us newfound motivation, but that pill doesn’t exist. And it’s not coming, so you can stop waiting. You already know what to do; now it’s just a matter of doing it. Achieving the body of your dreams really is as simple as Richard Simmons’ formula: like yourself, eat healthy, and squeeze your buns, baby! And, I’ll add, surround yourself with other Sexy Mamas. I believe that sums it up perfectly!


 

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What Is The Meaning of This?

Ladies: Have you ever noticed how different contexts bring different meaning to situations? Basically, if you change the context, you can change the meaning. For example, in some parts of Europe, a guy wearing a bright red speedo won’t turn too many heads. In Montana, a guy wearing a bright red speedo would probably be received a completely different way. Different meaning is assigned to the same dude in that sexy red speedo.

We constantly assign meaning to everything, every day. I could wake up and see the sun shining bright, and decide that means it’s a perfect day to wear a bikini and jump into the pool; or I could decide that means I’m going to be miserably hot all day and won’t be able to focus on my work.

So this begs the question: how often do we end up assigning negative meaning to what’s going on around us? We could think of it as seeing the glass as half full or half empty, but it goes beyond that. The meaning we assign to whatever happens around us either increases or depletes the richness of our lives. And hey, it’s only natural to think in terms of risk, loss, and what could potentially go wrong. That’s built in to our brains for safety and survival. However, if we dwell on those things, we develop a low-energy way of thinking that feeds a low-energy way of being…and that, my friends, is a big bummer for everyone who has to interact with you. So let’s talk about reframing meaning. This idea of reframing involves putting a different context around your situation in order to shift the way you think and experience that situation.

There are three key ways to reframe:

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The first is to step into an “as-if” frame, where you explore future options as if they’ve already happened and you’ve achieved the outcome you want. This allows you to look back on what you did to get there.

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The second strategy is to use contrast, where you compare two different experiences. This helps you to discover new things by finding out what made a difference in another situation that you may be able to apply to your current situation.

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The third, and my personal favorite, is the outcome frame. This frame shifts the attention to the outcome you want, instead of the problem. Remember: where focus goes, energy flows!

Reframing and assigning different meaning to whatever we’re experiencing helps us create more empowering stories about ourselves and our lives. The next time you’re faced with an inconvenient, irritating, or outright crummy situation, ask yourself, “What is the meaning of this?” And then, you get to decide.

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Guilt-Free Thanksgiving Day Eating

A special day that is centered around gratitude – a pillar of the Sexy Mama lifestyle – is celebrated by most Americans in a big way. I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is one of my fave holidays of the year. Family…friends…FOOD! Ohh the food.

Food. ALL. DAY.

There’s the eating during prep, eating during cooking, and of course, eating during actual meal time. You may even slip on those comfy sweatpants for such an occasion.

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I know, I know; you want to have all the fun without any of the guilt. I’m here to tell you it’s possible. Here are a few tips for enjoying the awesomeness of Thanksgiving day without totally blowing your healthy diet for the whole holiday season. Sweat pants are one thing; you don’t wanna have to bust out those old maternity pants, too!

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I realize that with the kids out of school and extra down time, there are more opportunities to get a little lax on our usual health & fitness routines. In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, let’s not forget this isn’t a free-for-all pig-out week, mmkay? Keep up the healthy eating, take advantage of extra resting time, and give these following five steps a try on the big day.

1.Don’t Starve Yourself Until Dinner

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people announce the epic plan of not eating all day so they’ll have more room in their bellies and all their calories saved up for dinner. Might seem logical, but it’s a straight-up recipe for disaster. Not only does that result in a hangry state for the day, starving yourself until the big turkey dinner usually results in major overeating and consequential discomfort. No bueno. If you’re used to doing intermittent fasting until late afternoon/early evening, this may not be a problem at all, but most people don’t fit into that description. Eat healthy and light. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of veggies in preparation for the big, long meal.

2.Do a Muscle-Loading Workout Before Dinner

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No better way to earn those carbs than to do a kickass muscle-loading workout that day! Stay ahead of T-day food guilt. If the kids are behaving and you’re not too busy stuffing turkeys or baking pies, an afternoon workout is the perfect precursor to a dinner feast. Morning is cool, too, but afternoon brings you closer to meal/re-fuel time. Just don’t let yourself get hangry. Thanksgiving day is a time to stay in nice mommy mode.

3.Choose Your Indulgences Wisely

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Instead of wasting calories on foods you don’t really care for, indulge on the things that are extra tasty to you, or foods you don’t get to have year-round. Resist the urge to snack on something just because it’s around. Be a little picky about your treats, and enjoy them consciously. As you create those memorable moments with family and friends, be mindful of what you’re consuming and don’t hang around the dessert table for conversation.

4.Offset the Extra Goodies with Extra Veggies

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Some people find it helpful to make specific rules for themselves about eating more veggies per treat (for example, one extra serving of veggies per cookie or slice of pie). If that sounds appealing to you, go for it! Otherwise, make a general effort to eat more veggies throughout the day to give your body the fiber and nutrients it needs, so the Thanksgiving meal goodies you eat won’t make up your entire menu for the day. You just can’t go wrong with more healthy veggies!

5.Take a Family Walk

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Get your blood pumping and body moving (yes, even if you did that workout already!). Taking a walk is about as simple as it gets. The weather this time of year is the best (IMO), and there’s nothing fresher than that crisp, Fall air. Go out with the family and enjoy more awesome convos while you burn a few calories. If walking isn’t your thing, no prob! If you have a spacious yard and your group is into it, get some group activities going like flag football. Involve your peeps and have fun!

There ya have it, Sexy Mamas. Go forth and enjoy a fabulous day of abundant laughter, friendship, and food!

When You’re Tired of “Living With It”

As some of you who’ve been following my podcast or other blog posts may know, I’ve had some major struggles with eczema since December, when I was in the eight month of my fourth pregnancy. Eczema, like any other autoimmune disorder, is NOT sexy, people. At times it got so severe for me, I couldn’t sleep for weeks at a time. Therefore, I wasn’t totally functional, which is not ideal for someone responsible for four kids. The burning, intense itching came from deep within, and no over-the-counter treatment worked. Doctors kept pushing prednisone and steroid ointments, and told me this is my life now, and there’s no answer. Refusing to “learn to live with it,” I set out to try and learn anything and everything I could.

After visiting even more doctors, dermatologists, and allergists, I learned that I currently have zero allergies. ZERO. So, I couldn’t blame the outbreaks on food sensitivities. Yet, I noticed that when I had sugar, wheat, diary, or alcohol (you know, all the typical suspects), the itching and rashes became noticeably worse. Obviously, these are the things we should steer clear of anyway (or only have occasionally), if we’re eating a healthy diet. So I did my best to stick to what I already knew and taught to be a nutritious, balanced diet. I noticed that doing so kept the worst of the eczema outbreaks at bay, along with getting in the ocean and regularly moisturizing with non-scented creams containing lactic acid. I also noticed a trend with my skin acting up at certain times in my cycle, when progesterone is higher. In general, though, the eczema was much more under control.

But then, there was coffee. And wine! Oh, the pleasures of adulting. We got ourselves a Moka pot and started making our own espresso from organic, free-trade, etc etc beans. It was wonderful! So wonderful, and tasty. I was up to 2-3 cups of coffee a day, much of which was espresso. Of course, with so much coffee in my day, I didn’t want to keep up with my green smoothie, because, hello…who wants to be peeing all the frickin’ time? Not this mama. Also, I discovered that I actually do like wine. I like it quite a bit. So I started to have me some of that more often.

“What’s that, chardonnay? Hmm, well, okay! Yes, I’ll have a glass (or two), please!”

To recap, my green smoothies were down, and coffee and wine were up…which is basically a recipe for acid-forming action in my body. This is where things started going downhill again. I realized I was absolutely exhausted, even when I got decent sleep. I struggled to stay focused on what I was doing. I began noticing worse eczema outbreaks all over my hands, arms, legs, feet, and even on my face. It was getting out of control. How the heck is the Sexy Mama coach supposed to shoot videos and go out in public like this? It looks like a swarm of insects just went to town all over my skin. Yikes. Plus, I felt like I could pass out from exhaustion in the middle of the morning, after 4 shots of espresso!

Something had to be done, pronto. I cut out bread and sugar; it wasn’t enough. I upped my intake of water and fermented foods; still not much improvement. Finally, I took a good, hard look at my overall diet, drinks included.

DUH. There’s my problem. Still eating too much sugar (even though from fruits). Hardly eating any greens at all. Drinking more and more coffee. Having wine too often. Essentially: Eating lots of acid-forming foods, and not nearly enough alkaline-forming foods. I started addressing this problem, and guess what? By day 2, I had more energy and less eczema patches, despite my progesterone skyrocketing at that time of the month. The daily average of pH readings from my urine were slowly but steadily rising, which I also found encouraging. I’m still not 100% in the clear, but addressing the acidity issue in my body is helping more than anything else I’ve tried.

I was quickly reminded of how much of a game-changer an alkaline diet is, not only for eczema, but for anyone having trouble losing weight or losing fat. When biogenic (live) foods are lacking and acid-forming foods are consumed with wild abandon, we create a breeding ground for health issues and illness. The body’s vitamins and minerals deplete. Energy levels go to crap. The body holds on to fat as a buffer, particularly visceral fat (around the organs), which is the worst kind of fat. There is much to be explored in the arena of alkalinity in the body. For the sake of simplicity, let’s stick to a few do-able actions you can start taking today to encourage a more alkaline environment in your body.

1.Drink More Water

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Drinking more water is the easiest way to alkalize, and the majority of people in our culture today are chronically dehydrated. Even just a 5% drop in body fluids causes a 25-30% loss of energy in most people. CRAZY, but so easy to remedy. Shoot for at least gallon of water a day. The standard recommendation of eight glasses of eight ounces is just the minimum. You can do this. Get yourself a big glass right now!

2. Go Green

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Another simple solution: add some green to every meal. Chlorophyll has a fantastic alkalizing effect on the body. This really doesn’t have to be as complicated as we sometimes make it. Just throw some kale or spinach in your smoothie. Drink a generous cup of matcha green tea in the morning. Add a handful of sprouts to your wrap. Snack on cucumber slices, or celery with hummus. Roast some broccoli and sprinkle a little sea salt and red pepper on it. Before you know it, chlorophyll-rich greens will be a regular part of your day and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

3. Address Stress

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Side-stepping the typical Western diet high in sugars, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine is only a piece of the acidity puzzle. Consider the chronic stress our bodies are under from being in a fast-paced world that praises long hours and sleep deprivation in the name of productivity. This absolutely affects our internal environment and the way we expend mental, physical and emotional energy. Lack of sleep and high cortisol also has a direct effect on hormones, which are tightly correlated to weight loss and weight gain. Make time to connect with nature, get away from the grind of work and blue screens, and clear your mind. You might need to get creative on finding ways to squeeze in the time, but I’m confident you can make it happen.

4. Pump Up the Omega-3’s

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In a typical Western diet, we get way too many omega-6 fatty acids, and not enough omega-3’s. When the ratio gets out of balance, so do our bodies. Omega-3’s are critical for energy, metabolism, eyes, hair, skin, digestive system…everything! Yet, about 90% of people in the Western world are deficient. You can add more essential fatty acids to your diet by eating more nuts and seeds, salmon, tuna, grass-fed meat, sea vegetables, and flax oil. If these things are not feasible addition to your daily diet, an easy solution is to add a high-quality omega-3 supplement to your diet. While I’m not a huge advocate of gobbling up the supplements, but there are a few key supplements I don’t go a day without. Krill oil is one of them. I personally choose krill oil over fish oil because it is more potent and doesn’t go rancid as quickly. We get ours at Costco for a pretty great price! If you don’t have a Costco nearby, check out your options on Amazon or your nearest health food store.

5. Leave Some Wiggle Room (shoot for a Diet of 60-70% Alkaline Foods)

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Look it; we’re human. We gotta cut loose sometimes. We want to splurge every now and then, and enjoy our favorite treats. And hey, that’s cool. Shoot for a diet of 70% alkaline foods, making veggies the star of every show while incorporating a moderate amount of those lesser alkaline foods, like meat, eggs, dairy, coffee, and wine. Leave some wiggle room in your healthy diet for that special occasion. Just be honest with yourself about what that means. Making it to the kids’ bedtime on a Tuesday night is probably not a “special occasion,” but I’ll let you be the judge of that. 🙂

In the bigger picture, we could greatly benefit from alkalizing our diets, and energizing our lives. Ready to do this with me??

How to Turn a Sh*tty Day Around

Bad days. Even the best of us have ’em. Sometimes a perfectly normal day with lots of potential for awesomeness suddenly turns into a crappy day, for no apparent reason. Something seemingly insignificant tips us over the edge inside: Husband commenting on your hairy arms. Kid asking one too many times for the iPad. Favorite yoga pants revealing a developing muffin-top.

Then, of course, there are also those days that are crappy for more obvious reasons: A fight. A break-up. Losing a job. Or, God forbid, a family tragedy. Whether caused by serious events or stupid ones, those less-than-ideal days are bound to happen. Resilience, a key to making it through even the sh*ttiest of days, is necessary and can be developed (great news!). But that is a more in-depth topic for another day. Really, it deserves its own post, and now you have something else to look forward to.

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Let’s talk about the “typical” crappy day we moms are more likely to experience. Like yesterday, for me. I had a crummy day, for totally silly reasons. I knew what to do to get out of my funk, but still allowed myself to sulk in my crappy feelings, playing a marathon of rom-coms in the background while feeling sorry for myself about my sleepless week and unmotivated disposition. I let this shenanigans continue until about 4:30pm, at which point I felt the climax of the day’s feelings culminate into one single thought:

“I’ve wasted this entire day.”

Now, for some, this may not seem like such a big deal. But for those of us who are ultra type-A, like to get stuff done, and feel generally happier when we’ve been more intentional about our day, it’s a sucker punch to the gut. I didn’t regret that I hadn’t done any work that day. I intended to take a day off.

I did regret half-assing my time with my kids. I regretted not being more engaged with them, when I had a day-long opportunity of doing so. I regretted being such a downer that I even brought them down. I regretted losing it in front of the neighbor kids (more on that in an upcoming Confessions post). I regretted that I didn’t at least clean some kitchen countertops or vacuum or something! 

What the hell had I been doing? I’ll tell you what I’d been doing. I’d been letting whatever little situations arose to pull my emotions around in all sorts of directions. I was intentional about nothing, and that feeling SUCKS.

It’d been such a long time since I’d fully experienced this sucky feeling. I recognized it. I sat with it. I looked it in the eye, and had a metaphorical stare-down. I decided the day’s not over yet, dang it, and there’s still time to turn this thing around!

How did I do it? Fine, OK–I’ll share my secrets with you. They just may be pretty spectacular for you, too, next time you have a sh*tty day. Try these four things to turn that frown upside down, without having to fake it til you make it.

1. Listen to Some Tony Robbins

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There’s nothing like a little in-your-face #realtalk about getting a grip on your emotions to put you in your place. Talk about a kick in the butt. I personally like Mr. Robbins’ candid, out-of-the-box style, but if he’s a little to brash or abrasive (or loud) for you, consider TED talks, Oprah, Wayne Dyer, Marie Forleo, or Jim Rohn. There are so many incredible, motivating people to gleam inspiration from, who can help get your mind focused on the things that matter. I can give you a whole list (comment if you’re interested in more). If you have access to this post, you probably have access to YouTube. There’s a wealth of information and inspiration just waiting to be gobbled up. Go get you some!

2. Eat Something Delicious

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Speaking of gobbling up…doesn’t eating something delicious always make things a little better? Go get you something delicious, and eat it. A juicy steak. A yummy, relaxing cup of tea. A piece of cake with  extra frosting (now we’re talkin’!). Yesterday I did steps 1 and 2 simultaneously. I hid out in my car after grocery shopping sans kids, watching one of Tony’s seminars on my iPhone while eating a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting (shhhhhh). I call that trip to Ralph’s a success. The next two steps you can’t exactly do in a grocery store parking lot (or at least, shouldn’t), but by now, you’re well on your way to turning that sh*tty day around!

3. Wash Your Hair

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Really, do it. You and I both know it’s been too long since you had an honest-to-God good hair-washing. You owe it to yourself. While you’re at it, paint your nails and shave your legs (above the knee), and tell me you don’t feel like a new woman!

4. Dance Around Naked

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Look, you may as well do it at this point. You just took a shower, your hair is fresh and fabulous, and your legs sport no stubble; so turn on “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” and go for it, already!

Objections?

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If you’re crunched on time and can’t possibly dedicate time to each step because, well, #momlife? No problem…you can consolidate! Here’s what you do.

Get your phone. Grab your delicious food (or drink) item. Get your razor and shaving cream. Turn the shower on and your speakers up. Now soak up that Tony motivation while you sip your wine (er, tea) and wash your hair. If you have time, and more wine (TEA!), you shave those legs, mama. You may need to skip the nail-painting bit, but whatever. Turn on your music and dance around naked after drying off (the order of this is very important…), and viola! You’ve just done it. You’ve turned a sh*tty day around like a pro.

Go ahead. Try it. I’m telling you, by the time I get to step four, I’m a bubbly, feisty little creature again. At the end of the day, my inquisitive husband asked me what turned things around. I simply replied:

“I went to Ralph’s.”

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Stuck In a Mental Rut? Do This.

There is a wildly underestimated activity that has the power to hijack your brain in a fantastic way. If you had to take one guess, what would it be?

Eating more veggies? Considerable.

Drinking an additional glass of wine? Stop dreaming.

Using your Magic Wand? Hmm..

Alas, none of these things are the answer. So what could it possibly be?

I’ll tell you. It’s exercise. That’s right: EXERCISE.

Now, I realize that isn’t exactly the answer you were hoping for, but stick with me and I’ll give you some practical solutions.

You see, in just the past few years, neuroscientists have discovered so much more about incredible connection between exercise and the brain. It’s really fascinating stuff. There’s a reason we get great ideas when we’re out walking in nature, or crushing an intense workout. It makes our brains feel good, and function better. I’ll save you the sciencey details, but in a nutshell, our brains NEED physical exercise to experience peak performance.

“But I don’t need peak brain performance,” you may reply.

I’m just changing diapers and cleaning messes all day anyway.”

Uh, okay. Are you telling me you don’t want to remember where you put your car keys next time? Maybe accidentally putting a diaper in the laundry hamper instead of the trash is cool with you? Forgetting it’s early pick-up day at school doesn’t peeve your kids, perhaps?

Mmmhmm. Mommy brain is a real thing, people. Exercise is part of the answer (and more sleep certainly wouldn’t hurt, either…).

The relationship between physical activity and learning is hardwired into the brain’s circuitry. Simply put, we were created for movement. It’s an essential function that affects literally everything: mood, hormones, appetite, creativity, learning, physical health, emotional health, mental health…you get the idea.

In our modern-day lifestyle where much of what we do is sedentary, we are missing out on a LOT of opportunities for inspiration! So, okay–we aren’t wild cave women who have to gather the goods all day while wrangling our brood. That’s not our reality, and if I’m totally honest, I’m glad it isn’t (can I get an amen?).

The good news is, we don’t have to be human kind’s pioneers to reap the benefits of the brain’s powerful connection to exercise. Here are three practical ways to get out of a creativity rut by using your body.

1. Get daily exercise.

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You don’t have to crossfit every day to increase your smarts. Just do something intentionally active. Go for a walk every morning. Do an 8-minute HIIT workout. Move those old boxes in your garage. Dance around naked during nap time (just not in the slippery shower, mmmkay?).

2. Incorporate more movement throughout your day.

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Sure, we’ve all seen those videos with hashtag #fitmom showing some mom doing lunges between a load of laundry and a sink full of dishes. I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to bust my glutes after I’ve already done my share of deadlifts earlier that day. No, thanks. But I get the heart of the idea. There are lots of opportunities to incorporate more movement into our day if we think outside the box and get creative. What does that look like for you? Maybe it’s doing 25 jumping jacks after every time you pee. Or going on foot to places within driving distance. Or dancing to “Uptown Funk” for the umpteenth time with your toddler. It’s your time to shine, baby.

3. Sit less.

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I don’t mean to be all morbid and whatnot, but sedentary behavior is the fourth leading cause of death. Yikes. If we do our daily workout and proceed to just sit the rest of the day, that’s like popping a multivitamin and then eating ice cream and potato chips. Hence, tip #2 above. Really, if you think about it, how much do we moms actually get to sit, anyway? Unless you’re at a job that requires you to sit for extended periods, you’re probably up on your feet: All. The. Time. So this may be one more for the husbands…I’m just saying.

Let’s boost our brains and get that creativity flowing at max potential. And if you want to learn more about the incredible connection between exercise and your brain, check out Dr. John Ratey’s stuff. You’ll never think of exercise the same way again!

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5 Steps to Unstoppable Confidence

Most of us mamas could use a little more confidence in our every day lives. Old news; we know this. So the real question is: How do we go about building confidence–big, lasting, unstoppable confidence? Well, Mama, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 5 steps to help you get there! My hope is that you will find these tips helpful, and that applying them rocks your world.

Step One: Stop Comparing

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Have you heard the phrase “comparison is the thief of joy?” Well, ladies, it’s true. Painfully true. Think about how many times you’ve been on Facebook, looking through friend’s posts of their Pinterest-perfect homes, flawless hair styles, and all those cute little moments they share. Or how about the times you look at a magazine at the checkout stand featuring some celebrity mom who got her body back six weeks after giving birth. Or the times when you wander over to the hashtag “fitmom” on Instagram and see all those amazingly sculpted bodies holding their 6-month-old babies. All those times. Does that ever make you feel awesome about yourself? NOPE. When you compare yourself to all these women who are not you and will never be you (because, newsflash: only you can be you), you never win. Never. Looking at these things might motivate or inspire you, but only if you approach it with the mentality that those women have lives, habits, genetics that are unique to them. So, knowing this, gleam what you can from others’ successes, but don’t get sucked into the black hole of comparison.

Step two: Accept Yourself

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Like, truly. And deeply. You are freaking amazing, beautiful, one-of-a-kind, and there is NO ONE like you. Realize that you are enough, just as you are. You are worthy of love and acceptance, even from yourself. Especially from yourself! Commit to improving what you can change, and accept what you cannot change. True self-improvement can only happen after self-acceptance.

Step Three: Stop Limiting Yourself

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Cut the crap. Stop with the excuses. So you have kids? Great. Now you have one, two, three, four…however many kids you have—you have that many more reasons to take better care of yourself and be the best human being you can be. Being a mother is not a limitation. Working long hours is not a limitation. Being a single parent is not a limitation. Not if you decide that it isn’t. Funny thing about life: when we decide we are absolutely going to do something, we somehow just do. There’s a reason people enjoy the stories about the underdog or the person who overcame all the odds and came out victorious. They stir something up inside of us that makes us feel like we can overcome anything, too. And, when you begin crushing your limitations by overcoming obstacles, you begin building momentum, which encourages confidence.

Step Four: Be More Assertive

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And no, I don’t mean be pushy, preachy, or rude. You don’t have to be an a-hole to be assertive. Tactful, respectful assertiveness is a valuable yet rare skill. Get to know yourself, and know what you want at the core level. A major obstacle in communicating assertively is simply not knowing what we want, or what drives or inspires us. If there isn’t a level of certainty within ourselves, how can we be confident in expressing our desires to others? When you know what you want, be kind but assertive, and don’t beat around the bush. Knowing who you are and what you want in your life, relationships, career, health, everything—is an absolutely necessary element to creating unstoppable confidence.

And finally…

Step Five: Live Purposefully

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When you have a sense of purpose in your day and a vision for your life, it’s impossible for your confidence level to stagnate. The cool thing about purposeful living is that you don’t have to force yourself to push to make things happen, which leads to crazy burnouts. You instead get to experience that awesome internal pull that keeps you energized and keeps you going, even when things get hard. Coincidentally, the more your purpose propels you forward, the more unstoppable your confidence becomes.

Ultimately, having radiant, unstoppable confidence is a by-product of living as your true self, and loving your true self enough to become your best self. So if you’re ready to have unstoppable confidence, start taking these five steps today. And hey, I’d LOVE to hear from you about how taking these steps affect your confidence!

5 Sexy Energy Boosters

The way we eat either energizes us down to our very cells, or drains us. I cannot stress enough the importance of cutting the crap out of our diets. No amount of superfoods can make up for processed food going into our bodies. While this may go without saying, check the overall state of your regular diet if your energy is low. Also, please keep in mind that low iron levels could also be to blame if you’re feeling extra tired and lethargic. Low iron is especially common in women, because of the blood we lose when aunt flo visits.

So, if you’re eating mindfully and consuming wholesome, healthy foods, but an energy boost is needed here and there, try these five natural energy-boosters. Because, seriously—who of us mamas couldn’t use a little help sometimes in the energy department? I know I could, on lots of days!

1.Matcha green tea

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Organic Green Matcha Tea

This fantastic tea is packed with powerful antioxidants: 17 times the more than wild blueberries, and 60 more than spinach. Matcha is also a fantastic detoxifier and fat-burner, and it gives the mental and physical boost of coffee without the coffee jitters or caffeine crash.

2.Cacao nibs

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Cacao is amazing. It’s high-fiber, a great source of iron, packed with antioxidants, and stimulates the brain in a unique way to release particular neurotransmitters, providing us with more focus and awareness. I must tell you, though, the good, nutrient-dense stuff is bitter. Like, zero sugar. So I recommend adding it to something sweeter, like a bowl of oatmeal with honey, or maybe some yogurt and granola.

3. Leafy greens

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Another nutrient-rich, antioxidant-filled option. Adding leafy greens to your diet consistently is like adding the power of Wonder Woman to your physical stamina. When we nourish our bodies with the power-packed nutrition of leafy greens, we can enjoy better energy levels, a more focused mind, and protection from developing chronic disease. Try adding more kale, spinach, arugula, chard, collards or parsley.

4. Lemon-ginger shots

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I’d limit these to one a day, to avoid any stomach discomfort from excessive lemon. This combo, though, is a zingy, cleansing shot that you can quickly blend up and save in a small bottle in the fridge for those times of need! I like to drink mine in the morning before breakfast.

5. Berries

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Is this one really a surprise? Probably not. Berries fall under the usual suspects of high-antioxidant, nutrient-dense foods that can be added to various other foods, used in many recipes, or eaten alone as an easy, ready-made snack. Berries are low-glycemic, so they won’t spike your blood sugar resulting in an energy crash. They’ve got a considerable amount of fiber, few calories, and a pretty low amount of sugar. The next time you’re feeling a little sluggish and also a little snacky, try some blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or maybe goji berries.

Have you tried any of these natural energy boosters? What was your experience, and which is your favorite? I’d love to hear from you!