What you SEE is what you get...

Your alarm goes off.

One eye peels open.

Ugh, whyyyy so early?!

You slowly pull yourself up and... 

BAM, the first visual you feed your mind is right there staring you in the face.

Is what you see lifting you up or bringing you down? 

If you take the concept of a vision board and apply it to your house, sometimes the connection between what you're experiencing in life and theme of your decor is erie. It may sound woo-woo but hey, people are into feng-shui and this isn't far off. 

What you feed your mind shapes your thoughts, your thoughts shape your day, and your days shape your life. Choosing thoughts that are in alignment with what you want and how you want to feel is a habit. And creating reminders and triggers in the form of interior design is a great way to stay consistent. 

What are the images in your home manifesting? Some (possibly extreme) examples below are: cat lady prophecy, a lively social life, and a loving relationship... 

So, what does YOUR art say about your life? More importantly, does it reflect what you want more of? 

ACTION: Take survey of your home and/or personal space and see how you FEEL when you look around- is the emotion in alignment with what you want? Is what you see everyday what you want to give power to?

Note the colors of your walls, photographs, paintings, and words. Speaking of words, don't fear the cheesy quote. Did I ever tell you about how this one helped me quit a job?

If you want more on the power of visualization, intentions, and your thoughts, watch The Secret here on Netflix. 

This concept could seem totally loco but when someone mentioned this to me, I had a few AHA moments. Let me know how it goes for you! 

xo Elanna

Posted on December 15, 2016 .

Are Your Emotional Drains Clogged?

A few years ago I heard renowned Ayurvedic physician, John Douillard speak about faucets and drains in relation to our lymphatic, digestive, and other excretory systems. He explained how when our faucets are not flowing and properly draining, the backup causes internal havoc like a depressed immune system, high cholesterol, and disease. In short: keep all your pipes running.

Although we could continue on that topic for days, I really want to put it into relation with our emotions and human expression. I first thought about this concept or connection after watching a singer-songwriter perform in a small New York bar and was moved by the massive expression he was releasing. It was like I could physically feel it.  The passion and emotion conveyed was obvious I couldn’t help but think, “that must be so healthy” and I wanted in!

Then Dr. Douillard popped into my head- If we experience physical repercussions from dysfunctional body drainage, there has to be emotional damage from lack of expressional outlets too. Think of the saying “don’t bottle it up” referring to holding emotion in. This brings on stress which is equally impactful on our health. And since we are not all natural performers, here are some other ways we can open our emotional/expressional nozzles without a stage- although stepping out of your comfort zone in any way is a release!

• Journaling
Write it out! An underrated channel that is SO very helpful. Need a place to start? Check out Morning Pages.
• Talking
Being open, exchanging, and sharing authentically with those you love and trust.
• ART
Everyone is an artist! Don’t fight me on this one. What do you like to CREATE? Do that.
• Sing in the shower! Dance on the couch!
Drop your ego and give me 10min of un-judged expression (sergeant voice)! Let. It. Out.

How do YOU open your emotional faucets?

Could a ‘back up’ be affecting your life?  [TWEET ME!] 

                          -MUSIC-                                    -DANCE-                          -TALK/LISTEN-                     -JOURNAL-                                -ART-

                         -MUSIC-                                    -DANCE-                          -TALK/LISTEN-                     -JOURNAL-                                -ART-

Share what you do in the comments below or try choosing a suggestion from the list above to integrate into your routine. Play around and find what your individual style of expression is. If it makes you feel good and results in a feeling of release, you’re on the right track.

Off to blast some N.W.A. – Express Yourself! :-P

xo E

You've Got the Power (dun, dun, dun, dun, dun)

About 6 years ago I watched ‘The Secret’ and was pretty into it. Making vision boards with magazine cutouts seemed like a fun activity for a girls (wine) night in. I would say this is how I was first introduced to the power of our thoughts and affirmations.

Fast forward to the booming entrance of Pinterest. Like most other gals, I spent hours looking through pictures and creating my own boards of recipes, clothes, DIY ideas, and inspiring quotes. The image to the left is your run of the mill ‘pursue your dreams’ message and has been spun in many words, a million different ways. I decided to print this out and pinned it to a corkboard with a single fake diamond earing. At the time I had just moved to DC, begrudgingly working as a government contractor, and just overall in a funky place.

I hung the frame across from my bed, not on purpose, but it just worked design-wise. During that year in DC I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, got out of a relationship, decided I wanted to move to New York, applied, landed a new job, and made the move 2 weeks later.

The new job was great and Brooklyn life was a blast. Again, I hung my corkboard with the original printout in front of my bed. At work, I was surrounded by like-minded coworkers in the way of health and wellness and learned about some amazing leaders in the industry. The inspiration around me combined with a position change made me realize that I wasn’t up for the 9-5 life anymore. So naturally I emailed HR, met with them that day, and a new journey had begun.

Reflecting on my life in the presence of the words above, there is no way I could ignore the uncanny fact that I have subconsciously or consciously taken each word to heart and acted on almost every suggestion. This image was in my face every night and each morning. No, I did not read it word for word like a daily prayer, however, it was there. I knew the message and it was in my face all the time as a reminder that “THIS IS YOUR LIFE” and only I could change it. Therefore, I take it as just one example out of many that make me a believer in the power of thought, intention, and positive thinking. Thank you, Pinterest, the author of those words, and you, for reading. 

FACTS: I did quit my job when I wasn’t happy-twice, I am now doing what I love and it is my passion, also trying to share it as much as possible (this site!). I no longer have cable, definitely appreciate every bite, talk to strangers, and create whenever possible. Also going to Mexico for 15 days…tomorrow!

REALIZATION: Your thoughts are SO powerful and only YOU control them. Knowing this alone is so empowering. The concept can seem simple and could be easily dismissed- don’t do this. Take advantage of this free tool and use it to better yourself, your community, and the world.

SUGGESTION: Surround yourself with images, words, mantras, people, environments, etc. that are in line with where you want to be and what you want for your life. Get clear, know what you want, and think about it-often.

You have more power than you know! I hope that this post made you more of a believer and brings about positive shifts that open up every possibility waiting for you.

Just. The. Tip.

The two things most commonly associated with being healthy are the foods you eat and the look of your body. However, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to HEALTH in the all-encompassing sense of the word.

While cleaning up your eating habits is the first thing we address when working together, it’s not just to make you look good. Incorporating fresh healthy food is only the first step in tackling the deeper areas that make up your integral health and happiness – with the added bonus of enhancing your physical appearance.

As a health coach, I have witnessed the most success happen post-plate clean up. Below the surface lies the biggest part of the equation: Feelings of confidence, freedom, expression, and connection. These feelings cannot be whipped up in a saucepan over med-high heat my friends.

In addition to eating a clean, plant-heavy diet, we will check-in with things like: your job satisfaction, your relationships with friends and family, your daily movement (not just at the gym), creative outlets, and the last time you felt PASSION. You will find that your fulfillment in these areas have a direct correlation with the foods you eat and your physical body. Such as, your relationship with food, what you choose to eat and how much, and how you look, but more importantly, how you FEEL in your body.

Going forward I will have more content that supports you through your daily life, and not just in the kitchen with healthy recipes (but don’t fret! Those aren’t going anywhere either!). So let’s continue on this health journey together and look beyond what meets the eye in defining our own health goals and successes.

5 Ingredients Preventing your Weight-loss

When you’re trying to loose weight, sometimes it’s not the extra serving that’s causing you to plateau. Do you consider yourself a healthy individual but are not dropping the extra lbs. no matter what? Consider that it may not be food getting in your way. As previously preached, a healthy lifestyle and shredding excess weight is a whole-istic job. Although food and it’s quality & quantity are huge, check out the 5 sneaky factors that could be putting the kibosh on your efforts:

TOXINS. 

They’re in the air, in our beauty products, cleaning products, and most importantly in and on our food. And guess what? TOXINS LIVE IN FAT and your body will not get rid of said fat if there are toxins needing housing arrangements. So lower the housing demand by lowering your toxin intake. While we can’t control airborne toxins or live in a bubble, we CAN choose to buy organic, non-gmo, high quality foods and products. In addition, help your body evict toxins by adding naturally detoxing foods and habits into your routine. Want the list? Sign-up for email updates and you’ll get it in the next newsletter.

SLEEP. 

You snooze, you loose…weight! Sleep deprivation elevates your levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone), lowers leptin (the ‘I’m full’ hormone), and increases cravings for decadent treats.  Lack of sleep also effects memory, ability to absorb/retain information, lowers libido, increases signs of aging, gives you the blues, and more. Bottom line: make sleep a priority and experience magic.

STRESS. 

Stress increases the release of cortisol, the hormone that puts our bodies in ‘fight or flight’ mode. And while there are tons of claims that cortisol gives you belly fat, it also fires up our bodies to burn fat — so which is it? Well because cortisol can cause people to reach for high carb foods to counteract the stress feeling with a dopamine release, it contributes to weight gain and retention. The answer is to decrease stress overallTry meditation, breathing exercises, yoga and/or journaling to feel centered, steady your cortisol levels, and lower stress-driven cravings.

SITTING. 

Not only does sitting decrease the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which helps burn fat, but recent studies have found that it actually shortens your life! Even if you hit the gym, your risks include high blood pressure, bone density loss, cardiovascular disease, and more. If I may be so bold, I believe regular, consistent daily movement is more impactful on weight-loss than fewer, short intense workouts. Try walking or riding your bike to work, taking the stairs, using a standing desk, taking active work breaksanything to break up a day of sitting.

THOUGHTS. 

How good is your relationship with yourself? Do you speak to yourself with kind loving words of  encouragement and understanding? Pay attention to not only what you are saying but also to the general tone of your inner dialog. In addition, make an effort to focus on all the GOOD  that’s around you instead of focusing on what’s bad or going wrong. Positive thoughts release happy hormones, lower stress (see #2), and increase overall well-being.

After reading this list, it seems like it all should be second nature, right? Sometimes the hustle and bustle can lead us astray from “treating ourselves” to something as necessary as a good night sleep or a mid afternoon stroll. It’s up to you to take back your health by making sure you are giving enough TLC to your body, mind, and spirit. I invite you to try or up these suggestions and let me know what you change or notice in the comments below- I would love to hear from you!

The Mental Shift That Improved My Relationship With Food

When you want to lose weight, the place your brain goes to first is what to cut out or limit. Words like cleanse, detox, and other references to extreme changes pop up. All of which focus on the intake levels of macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates, and protein- usually in regards to their calorie count.

Between all of the books, meetings, programs, or apps that I’ve enlisted on my quest to drop extra lbs, there’s not one that didn’t involve intense tracking of macros. Approaching food in this way strips it of its true purpose of nourishment making eating so mental that we detach from the intuitive eating connection with our bodies. For me, these controlling and strict behaviors around food only brought on binges and negative self-talk that took a serious toll on my health and emotional state of mind.

It wasn’t until I stopped micromanaging and started micro-nourishing, that I actually lost excess weight and gained mental space not obsessing over the data…I mean food, that passed my lips.

 Focusing on your macros in micro way is a surefire way to drive yourself crazy. – CLICK TO TWEET!

When the internal conversation changes from “what should I eat to lose weight?” to “what should I eat to nourish my body”, you put yourself in a position to empower your health by the choices you make. Opt for the kale salad not because you’re watching your weight and it’s a choice made out of restriction, but because you know how it increases your health and makes you feel damn good!

So what are micronutrients anyway? They are the vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and trace elements that our bodies need in tiny amounts but play a huge role in our overall health. Micronutrients are essential in the proper functioning of every system in our body including thyroid, metabolism, and blood sugar levels. They also protect and clean our cells by ridding them of waste (detox anyone?). Knowing that eating more plants and whole foods give you more micronutrition, it’s easier to eat healthy for your HEALTH, not for a smaller waistline. You will then find your pants naturally feel looser, your energy is higher, and that you have better things to think about other than tracking calories and silly weigh-ins; like what new workout class to try at the gym — PiYo, anyone?

I love analogies so check this out;

The first time I drove I focused my eyes on the hood of the car thinking that was the way to stay centered in the lane. My grip on the wheel was tight and I jerked it this way that, trying desperately to gain control. Not only did I not drive straight, but was extremely stressed about how poorly I was doing. It wasn’t until I looked ahead at the whole road that I was able to naturally center the car and relax.
Sound familiar?
Take your eyes off the front of the car (stop dieting) and look ahead to the whole road (focus on nourishment) and your car (healthy weight) will naturally center and you will feel at ease (happy).

If you can relate and are ready to get off the diet train by implementing healthy nutritional and lifestyle shifts that LAST,  join me and other women who are ready to empower their health this fall in my
“Fall into Health” Virtual Coaching Group. 

Over 3 months you will learn about the power of whole foods, loving thoughts, enjoyable movement, and set attainable goals each each week. The group and I hold you accountable and support you while you reach a higher level of health. Before the New Year you will shed physical and emotional layers to reveal a vibrant new you! CLICK TO JOIN – the fun starts on October 1st.

The Resolution Solution

As we reach the end of 2014, talk of change and fresh starts are at the top of conversation. But as we all know, talk is cheap. Have you noticed the packed gym in January always goes back to normal and by March you don’t even remember what your resolutions were? I’m a big believer in setting goals, however, as a repeat offender of making the same resolutions year after year, last year I took a different approach. Now on the following NYE I can confidently say it worked!

I guess you could call it a variation of the ‘5 Why’ approach or even Root Cause Analysis (omg my corporate background is showing). However you want to put it, it’s looking deeper into resolutions to see if they’re just the “leaves” of a deeper root which is actually what needs to be addressed. Think about weeds and how just trimming them will cause them to grow back. You may be addressing the obvious when it’s really what’s below that needs to change.

This takes honesty and is no walk in the park. It’s fun to write out all your resolution plans and dream about how you’ll feel when you get ‘there’, but when you fail to get there and want to get to the core reason- expect to be uncomfortable. Doing this kind of self-exploratory work may lead you to something on a deeper mental or behavioral level that 9 times out of 10 is affecting other areas in your life such as your job, relationships, family, etc. Have you ever heard “how you do one thing is how you do everything”? It’s accurate.

Are you up for the challenge? Scroll down to see what came up for me and how I dug deeper to address the ROOT of my resolution, which my friends, is the solution.

Want your own PDF Worksheet to do this at home? CLICK HERE to sign up for my newsletter!

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MY 2014 RESOLUTION SOLUTION EXAMPLE:

Resolution: Quit Sugar!

Why? I’m addicted, it makes me gain weight, messes with my hormones, mood, lowers my immune system, and just overall terrible for my health.

Why haven’t you accomplished this in the past?
• Ordering an impulsive margarita being “in the moment”
• Justifying dessert as a “special occasion”
• Eating “healthy” energy bars with high sugar because I’m on the go

Dissect your Whys. What behaviors are behind your reasons?
• Ordering an impulsive margarita being “in the moment”
– Impatience
– Not being present
• Justifying dessert as a “special occasion”
– Letting things slide
– Blasé attitude
• Eating “healthy” energy bars with high sugar because I’m on the go
– Not being prepared
– Making the easy choice over a better/healthier one

How could you address the deeper reasons?
Come up with actions:
• Impatience/Not being present
– Meditate more
• Letting things slide/Being blasé
– Be more conscious/aware/in-tune with myself
• Not being prepared/Taking the easy way
– Buy and prepare healthy foods on a consistent basis

Dig deeper. Establish steps:
• Meditate more
– Sign up for Oprah + Deepak Chopra’s Meditation Challenge
• Be more conscious/aware/in-tune
– Start doing Morning Pages as part of my morning ritual
• Buy and prepare healthy foods
– Sign up for local Co-op
– Buy new food storage containers suitable for travel

Isn’t it funny how my ending 3 goals and steps have nothing to do with sugar, cutting out sugar, depriving myself, or any restriction? They are all ADDED, enriching actions that not only helped me kick sugar for good, but positively effected every area of my life. Because yes, impatience for me didn’t only show up when ordering that second round of margs, but in sooo many other areas! I have a feeling you will notice this too and am excited at the possibility for you to say a big SAYONARA to your reoccurring resolutions. Please let me know if this exercise helped you in the comments below! 

Happy New Year!