Eating

Finding Food Freedom


The interwebs is already a scary place, but the health/fitness/nutrition interwebs are both confusing and terrifying. On a daily basis, we’re bombarded with conflicting scientific studies championing one lifestyle while demonizing another. We’re affronted with a flurry of self-proclaimed ‘wellness experts’ with zero educational or scientific background, shouting from the social media rooftops that eating 30 bananas a day or all raw food or bone broth or organ meat is the answer to all of your health problems.

Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes; fat does! Sugar causes diabetes and cancer! Cut out carbs to cure that ‘mental fog’! All sugar is evil! Stevia is the sweetener we’ve all been looking for! Stevia is the same as all other sweeteners! 

The reason this industry succeeds in confusing every possible ingredient and/or food group is because Americans are easy prey. Most of us are sick, all of us have a family history of health problems, and nobody wants to bring on cancer because they couldn’t afford the organic spinach.

It’s something that has personally terrified me for as long as I can remember. As a slightly chubby kid and a curvy, muscular woman, the learned desire to not gain weight runs very deep. I want to be healthy, avoid chronic diseases and cancer, and not be crazy-stressed obsessive about food.

But, I am very obsessed with food. I’m terrified that my non-organic apples will fill my fat cells with scary toxins that will shorten my life. I’m concerned about getting enough protein; I’m alarmed by meat and dairy products. And, above all, I am very freakin confused.

A few days a go, I had a major food meltdown – which I didn’t even know was a thing, but it is. I’ve cried on the bathroom floor for many reasons, but so far, confusion over food has not been one of them; this time, though, it was.

I feel frustrated and betrayed by the general chaos and conflicting information thrown in my face every time I turn on the radio or tv, peruse podcasts, or scroll through Instagram or Facebook. More than that, I’m tired of these platforms toying with my deep-seated fears and emotions.

The truth is that I am an adult, and able to make my own choices. I innately know what’s best not only for my physical health, but my mental health as well. (Cuase that’s very important, too!) I don’t need anyone to tell me what’s right and wrong, because I’ve been living in this body my entire life. I know what it likes; what bothers it; what drives it crazy into a food meltdown.

Sorry, health and fitness industry – but I’ve got this.

Bye, Felicia.

 

Thoughts

Wednesday Wisdom: Life Happens for You


In the darker times of our lives, we all ask ourselves the same question: Why me? When everything falls apart, when tragedy strikes, we ask the Universe: “Why is this happening to ME?”

Somehow, in the best times of our lives, when we’re faced with love and abundance and the opportunity to achieve our dreams, we ask the same thing: “Why would this happen to ME?”

Light or dark, abundance or despair, why things happen TO us. But things don’t happen to us at all: they happen FOR us. Tragedy gives way to growth, challenge inspires breakthroughs, and even the deepest cracks allow the light to shine in and through.

When awful things happen, we grow through them and become stronger, smarter, and ironically, more open and honest versions of ourselves. When we’re just  so.over.it., we become more authentic and loving and are able to live true.

The reason bad things happen to good people is to make them even better. To prepare them for what’s next, and create a soul capable of giving more of themselves to the world and encouraging those around them to do the same. There’s a reason the most beautiful, open, loving, and courageous leaders were bred from hardship, hatred and turmoil; it made them better.

Whatever is going on in your life, embrace it; you are growing. Your are being prepared for what’s next, and becoming who you’re meant to be.

Thoughts

Thoughtful Thursday: Personal Growth


I  know I tend to preach a lot about self-love, positive vibes, inner peace, happiness, and all that soulful woo-woo stuff that not everyone is comfortable with. To be honest, my life has radically changed so much since I’ve embraced myself fully – mind, body, and spirit – that I can’t help but want to share that with everyone around me. I’ll preach it from the rooftops, cause that self-love shit is straight up contagious.

Whether you’re on the self-love train or not, the idea of personal growth is a lot easier to contemplate. It’s visible, tangible, and real; personal growth is so contagious that, no matter its roots, it affects your life in its entirety. If you have tremendous growth with health or weight loss, it’s pretty much impossible for you to not cultivate a calmer mind, open heart and greater love towards the self along with your new body. If you grow tremendously  on the mental or spiritual side, you likely find yourself making better choices for your physical self; sleeping more, eating better, and paying attention to your body’s internal cues.

A friend of mine posted this posts’ image and I completely fell in love. When you meet someone truly at peace with themselves, they exhibit patience, health, happiness, and love. The positive, quiet, and calm characteristics that comprise a loving, beautiful soul.

Just like positivity shines through, negativity can’t seem to contain itself either. Anger, spitefulness, jealousy, cruelty, aggression; they’re the negative, chaotic, and loud. We’ve all had a customer or coworker flip the f out on us for no apparent reason and go off on some rage-fueled tangent that makes zero sense. And we all recognize the fact that this has nothing to do with me. That anger or hate or rage are clearly coming from a deep, dark place within themselves.

I’m sending you all good vibes and the strength to deal with the negativity that is inherent to this life and this world.

Bless,

Nikki

Running, Uncategorized

A Week Without Running


I have a confession: I love exercise. I dig it, savor it, cherish it, crave it, revel in the endorphine-induced highs and bask in the DOMS-laden lows. I arrange my life around my workouts, and absolutely enjoy pushing my body and self physically, emotionally, and mentally. Just like coffee, I need my daily fill of exercise to stay healthy, happy, and, well – ME.

I finally went to the doctor after a week long miserable cold and was prescribed NO exercise for an entire WEEK. Zero, zilch, nada, not even a tough yoga routine. It’s unfathomable and sounds like torture, but it is my fault. Since I refused to rest and recover properly last week, my cold escalated into full-blown bronchitis teetering on the edge of pneumonia. If I don’t rest, I’ll be out for months – which is the only thing more impossible than getting through the next week without stepping foot in the gym, ocean or track.


Taking a step away from my vices makes me take a hard look at who I truly am. Yes, I love working out – but it’s not just the act of it that has me hooked. It’s the fact that I’m perpetually building towards something – a greater, faster, leaner version of myself – that gives me purpose and positivity each day. Fitness makes me more focused, happy, and driven in other areas of my life. Taking it away leaves me clinging to a more stripped-down, bare and true version of the woman I’ve become. And it’s important that I love her, too, even if she can’t run ten miles this Sunday at race pace.

It’s great for our health when workouts become so ingrained in our daily lives that they represent a part of our well being and identity. But fitness alone, whether its body weight or shape or leanness, shouldn’t predict our happiness. The key is to be happy with you are first and foremost, and utilize exercise as a daily act of self-love. That is true success – and the health and happiness we should all strive for.

Thoughts

Wednesday Wisdom: Grow through it

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When you’re going through a tough time, navigating the choppy inspirational-quotes waters of Pinterest can feel like a restless, maniacal chore. Like everything else on the internet, the good and true often get lost in the shuffle. And in the case of get-up-and-fight-back-isms, we can keep it old school with a timeless gem from poet Robert Frost: The best way out is always through.

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No matter what we’re dealing with – financial struggles, heartbreak, loneliness, or general struggle – all we have to do is get through. Whether it’s just today, this week, or an entire situation, there’s wisdom to simply putting one foot in front of the other. When we push forward, we take the focus off of the problem and place it on ourselves instead. We’re not consciously trying to heal, but we do.

As time passes, the pain subsides or we have the mental clarity to figure out a solution to whatever’s plaguing our happiness. We don’t just go through the hard times, we grow through them. In the process, we cultivate a thicker skin, resilience, and greater sense of self.

 

Thoughts

Motivation Monday: Making Changes

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Motivation Monday is usually all about fitness. Hard-bodied, brightly-colored, fitspo-quote-filled gems found after hours of happily scanning through Pinterest for the best out there. But fitness is only a small part of our daily lives, right? Just as we need to push ourselves through tough workouts and overcome unhealthy habits, we also need to push ourselves to make changes in other areas. Changes that lead to healthier, happier, and more at-peace lives.

Changes can be either negative or positive, welcome or undesired. And even intentional, positive changes can be overwhleming and terrifying. We often stay in broken relationships, at crummy jobs and in places we’re not happy because our comfort zone is, well comfortable. And shaking things up is anything but.

Whether it’s a relationship or job situation, I hope you find the courage and confidence to make the change. Here’s some real, positive motivation to do just that 🙂

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Thoughts

Once in a Blue Moon

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I couldn’t imagine a better time for tonight’s blue moon. Simply the second full moon in a calendar month, it represents rebirth, a fresh start, and the setting of intentions. As I face a new move and a slew of major life decisions in the near future, I look forward to tonight – and the months of change afterwards.

Travel has always given me clarity, and my recent trip to California and London pulled me out of my daily routine and into a place of peaceful reflection. I’ve always followed my heart, regardless of the consequences, and I’ve felt for a while that my current situation isn’t conducive to my ultimate happiness. I’ve spent so much time and effort carving out a life on this rock in the middle of the ocean, yet found myself stuck in the crevices.

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Change is terrifying, but a welcome fear I’ve proudly conquered on the path to my own happiness. As I embark on the next change-filled chapter of my life, I do so with an open heart and all of the best intentions.

I wish you all a happy blue moon, and pray your intentions and desires come true in the next month 🙂

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