How To Lower Your Expectations When Having A Newborn

Every day, I have a list of stuff that needs to get done.

Marketing for my business. Creating blog posts + Instagram content . Laundry. Cleaning. Running errands. And, the list goes on.

But, most days, I can get only 1 thing done.

When we first brought my daughter home, I seriously thought it was going to be a breeze. I figured I would be able to FINALLY work on my business items while she slept.

Now looking back, I had no idea and how could I? I’ve never had a child before, so how would I know?

In the early days, my husband worked a lot and I cared for my daughter basically the whole day until he stepped in and could take her while I showered. I couldn’t make dinner, do laundry, clean, create blogs, nothing and I’d cry because nothing was done! My husband had to come home after a long day and make dinner, clean and do all the stuff I wasn’t able to and I felt lazy. I felt guilty because he was working AND picking up after me.

Add that to the fact that I was still recovering, so I could only do bare minimum anyway.

So, after 2 months, I have FINALLY learned that I cannot set my expectations so high because I often feel guilty when I don’t get to do the things I need to. I’ve learned that if I can get just 1 thing done, I’ll feel accomplished. If I can do more than that, that’s even better! But, feeling satisfied with 1 task is something that I had to learn.

It’s all about taking baby steps. And, since we don’t have family here, it’s even harder. But, I’m proud of myself! I’m proud that we finally found a routine. I know it will always change because with a newborn, nothing is ever consistent. So, if you have a newborn and nothing is getting done, be patient, be kind to yourself and your baby. Your baby is learning just like you are and not stressing about what you could have done is the best thing I can recommend!

Why I Chose to Quit My Full-time Job to Be A Stay at Home Mom

I’m lucky.

I’m lucky because I have the option to be a stay at home mom. I mean, I still have my holistic health coaching business and will be working a part-time job (so would that not make me a stay at home mom then?). I’m choosing not to work full-time because daycare is too expensive. Trust me, I looked and I just didn’t feel comfortable handing her off at just 6 weeks old and going back to work.

And, I know there are those of you who have NO CHOICE and I respect you for that wholeheartedly! But, my husband and I made the decision together.

First off, I don’t feel comfortable with them giving her whatever they have in their pantry, using products that contain toxins and being told what to believe. Now, before you jump all over me and get offended, please know these are MY opinions and they aren’t meant to offend anyone. I just prefer what I prefer and that’s it! I’m stating this in the hopes that it won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

While a daycare would allow exposure to other kids, the world and illnesses, at the same time, my child might be more opt to caught a cold more times than I’d like, whatever I earn at my job would be going to the daycare and I’d miss her way too much (which I know isn’t really a good reason, but it’s how I feel). I also feel like I’d miss milestones due to working an 8-4 job, so I might regret putting her in daycare.

Bottom line, here’s what I think: if you are financially stable and don’t have to put your child in daycare than don’t do it!

Is it hard staying home at day with her? Absolutely.

Are there some days I literally don’t get anything done? Yes, but that was something I accepted when I decided to become a stay at home mom.

People think stay at home moms just sit around all day and watch TV and don’t do anything. WRONG! With a newborn, you are caring for them most of the day, so your time is limited to do anything else.

Some moms prefer to work and get away from their children or simply have no choice due to financial reasons and that’s fine! Everyone is different and this is the path my husband and I chose to take. Honestly, financially, it would have cost more to put her in daycare than to stay home with her.

Is it just as hard as working a job? Yes! Plus, when you’re a mom, there are NO days off. You can’t just “call in sick,” you have to deal with it and sit take care of your little one. And, that’s fine! I love spending time with her. I love getting to know her personality and what she likes and doesn’t like.

I feel as if I’m happier now than I was working full-time. I was miserable sitting at a desk all day. I longed for the days where I’d send time with my daughter and we’d do activities together and now that it’s here, I’m so happy!

Talking About My Expectations As A Mother

As soon as I got pregnant, I knew I wanted to raise our child organically! I wanted her to start her first few months out with just breastmilk. I was skeptical about nursing her directly from my boob, so I figured I could just pump and I’d be good to go! Boy were my expectations HIGH!

There’s no way I’m not going to be able to breastfeed because of the size of my boobs, I kept telling my husband over and over again.

But, then, she was born with a lip and tongue tie and my dreams of just breastfeeding were SHATTERED. Not only did I have to resort to formula, I used Similiac, which to me has so many questionable ingredients in it. But, I knew I needed to feed my baby.

In the hospital. everytime she would latch, it was PAINFUL. I mean, she left white dots on my nipples, but I just dealt with the pain because I thought maybe it’s supposed to feel this way. But, I also had a feeling I could be wrong. I was not able to deal with the pain, so unfortunately, I asked for formula.

The next morning in the hospital, tears streamed down my face as I thought of the formula we were giving her. I hate crying in front of anyone, so I turned my head so my husband wouldn’t see. I just felt like an unfit mother who couldn’t feed her baby. Maybe I should have continued even though it was painful. In my heart, I knew I was making the right decision because I could have really damaged my nipples.

The following Monday, we scheduled an appointment to have her tongue tie removed. In the meantime, I was too scared to re-latch her, so we went to the store and bought her organic formula. I knew that if she wasn’t able to drink my milk, she was at least getting something organic. But, that didn’t work out because she seemed to get extra fussy when she was given that formula.

Fuck.

So, we switched back to Similac and I was also pumping, but not much. It was honestly a disaster in the beginning because my expectations were SO HIGH. I was not following my original plan and I was devastated. I was feeling so many different emotions and then, my parents left. I felt defeated and like I was FAILING her.

She’d be whaling and I’d try to comfort her with tears streaming down my face. WTF? I thought this was supposed to be easy, I said to myself.

After meeting with the lactation consultant, she made me feel better by helping re-latch her with a nipple shield. She said she wanted to start off with it and then gradually wean off of it.

But, my supply was STILL NOT up to par and my daughter was so fussy, so again, I had to continue using formula.

I was so frustrated. Every time after she’d eat, it took SO LONG to calm her down. She would squirm and go completely crazy! As a mom, I knew something was wrong. Sure, I’ve never taken care of a baby before, but I also knew it wasn’t normal. She could NOT be that fussy. She’s never been happy either, so I scheduled another appointment.

Acid reflux.

I had a feeling she had it, but I guess the doctor wanted to make sure before putting her on medicine. And, another thing we had to resort to was gas relief drops. After reading that ingredient list, I cringed again, but I also knew that I had to do what’s best for her and this shit hopefully wouldn’t stay in her system forever.

So, now we have her on Zantac for babies.

And, I thought she’d be flawless. I didn’t see ANY of this stuff coming. Here my husband and I are (never taken care of a baby) and we have a complicated child. I have to say that as frustrating as it’s been, we’ve learned so much! And, I would never trade her because I love her! I sit and stare at her in awe of how beautiful she is!

I made her! She grew inside of her and I cannot believe I birthed a 7-pound baby. Holy shit!

I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come since we took her home from the hospital.

There’s still so much to learn, but I’m getting there day by day. If you;d like to chat about your journey as a new mom or motherhood in general, let’s chat! I’m here for you.

2 Days Before Due Date & Shit Just Got Real

Holy shit.

I am so close to my due date that I can taste it.

And, it’s finally hitting me that it will no longer be my husband and I. I have to admit that it does make me a tad sad, but I’m also really excited that the next chapter in our lives is happening (very soon).

I’m disappointed that this weekend I only felt Braxton Hicks (pretty intensely). I didn’t picture myself going into labor at work, but it’s looking like that might happen, unless I’m lucky enough to go into labor on July 4th, which I have off for.

I have to admit. my pregnancy has gone pretty smoothly and I feel really lucky that I never got dangerously sick or vomitted my brains out. I mean, I might not be so lucky the next time around,but for the first one, it hasn’t been bad. And, I’m saying that BEFORE I go into labor, so I might be changing my mind.

My birth plan is to labor in the tub, see how long I can take the pain and if I’m unable to handle it., I’m getting an epidural. I know every woman’s pain and pain intolerance is different, but that’s what I want. If I could go all natural, that would be fantastic, but I’m also being realistic.

I mean, I spent 20 minutes today watching unmedicated tub births and I have to say that it was painful to watch. Those women are freaking warriors and should be commended for not using ANY medication for birth. Like, they’re strong women and I would love to follow their lead, but let’s see how it goes.

When I was younger, I always wondered how I’d look pregnant or whether I’d be able to get pregnant or the gender of my child. And, I’m happy to report that I’m glad to be having a girl first because I get to dress her up, like my mom did with me and have mommy-daughter dates. What I’m not looking forward to are the teenage years, but that’s so far away that there’s no use thinking about it.

What will she look like?

Will she take more after her daddy or mommy personality-wise?

What will she want to be when she grows up?

All these questions have surfaced in the last 24 hours as I approach my due date. Gosh, it’s been a LONG ASS 9 MONTHS! Seriously, I’ve felt like I’ve been pregnant FOREVER. Dramatic? Duh, but it’s true!

I am NOT looking forward to the going-into-labor part because it looks painful and scary AF, but obviously, we have to get her out of my belly and bring her into this world.

I just feel like my husband and I have been talking about the same damn things these past few days.

When will she come? Do we have everything ready? How are you feeling? Are you having any contractions? I want her now.

What’s your prediction? When do you think she’ll come? What was your birth experience like? What was your birth plan?

What Are BuckWHAT Super Snacks??

While browsing through Instagram one day, I came across BuckWHAT snacks. Not knowing what they were, I started to do some research to find out more about them.

I found that the snacks had minimal ingredients (which is something I look for in a snack), you can easily eat them on the go because of their resealable package and they had 4 different flavors, which are Crunchy Peanut, Cocoa, Oatmeal Raisin, and Simply Sunflower.

I decided to reach out to the owner, Leeann Rybakov to see if she wanted to do a giveaway + an interview. When she replied yes, I sent her questions regarding BuckWHAT Super Snacks.

I was born in Kiev, Ukraine, where buckwheat is a staple pantry ingredient, appreciated for its hearty taste and nutritional benefits. Despite its name, buckwheat is actually gluten free. BuckWHAT!? It is also a complete plant-based protein, a good source of fiber and loaded with nutrients. 

A few years back, I found myself struggling to find a clean healthy snack with only real food ingredients and no added sugar.  Everything I picked up either had a super long list of ingredients that I could not pronounce or some form of added sugar. I had just graduated from culinary school, and decided to put my new skills to use. I combined my passions for fitness, health, and buckwheat to create the perfect on the go snack-BuckWHAT Noshes. 

Now a mom of two, and busier than ever, my BuckWHAT Noshes are always in my bag. They give me the boost of energy when I need it the most. And my kids think they are cookies! BuckWHAT Noshes will go with you wherever the day may take you. 

What separates BuckWHAT Noshes from other healthy snacks? There are no snacks out there made with this super food buckwheat, and very few with no added sugar. We strive to keep the ingredients simple and wholesome, providing a nutrient rich snack.

What other information would you like people to know about buckwhat snacks?  BuckWHAT Noshes are great to throw in your every day bag, your gym bag, or keep stashed at your desk. With the carefully selected ingredients, they are the ideal snack for fueling up for a workout, refueling after one, or tapping into when you hit that mid morning or mid afternoon hunger. They will keep you feeling great!

If you’re interested in trying their products, be sure to visit their website to order them!

Why I Won't Be Feeding My Daughter "The Standard American Diet"

I was raised on processed food. I don’t blame my parents because they didn’t know better. No one taught them to read food labels, what processed food does to you and how overtime, it can mess up your whole body. See, we’re not taught this stuff in school. Instead, subjects like calculus is stuffed down our throats when in reality, we’ll never use that shit - unless we plan to be a mathematician, engineer or professor. But, for the normal person like me, I didn’t need it in order to succeed in life.

Now that I’m having a child of my own and I understand the potential harm processed foods can play in our daily lives, I will NOT be feeding my daughter the standard american diet. It sounds harsh, but she won’t get to taste candy - unless it’s organic, I make it or someone gives it to her behind my back, TV dinners, conventional meat, and other things that will make her sick.

And, maybe you don’t agree with me and will argue that I’m doing a disservice for my daughter, but she’s my child and she will not be raised on the same foods as myself and my husband. I’ve watched plenty of documentaries and learned plenty of things that would make you cringe regarding the food industry. It’s absolutely disgusting to know that the food we put in our bodies every single day is slowly killing us. All the ingredients you cannot pronounce are chemicals and toxins that could potentially give you a disease. Now, some people get lucky and don’t get sick, but then, there are others who are constantly sick and aren’t as lucky.

Will she be looked at like she’s odd? Probably, but it’s for the best.

I’ll sit down and explain to her WHY I’m feeding her these foods instead of what her other classmates are eating. I’ll also teach her how to be strong and not listen to people or care what people think because more and more kids these days are developing diabetes, ADD, ADHD, cancer and parents wonder why. It’s unfortunate, but in part it’s the food industry and then the other part is environmental, which is something we cannot help. But, what we can do IS educate our child about the potential danger these foods possess.

My plan is to breastfeed and then when she’s 6 months ago, I’ll start by giving her veggies such as sweet potatoes, avocado, beans and see how she reacts. Now, I know many parents will NOT agree with that, but I’m going to do everything in my power to prevent her from getting sick later on in life.

I know my own mom told me I NEED to give her “some processed food.” But, why? How will that help her digestion system? How will that help her later on in life?

I think I had several digestion issues because I was fed processed food and I refuse to watch my own child go through that stuff. All the doctors needed to suggest was changing my diet and I would have been fine, but instead, I was put on medication.

I will do my best to provide her with natural remedies instead of relying on medicine. I’ve thought about this for a while and my husband is on the same page. We both agree that she will be taught about health + wellness at an early age.

If you have any questions or would like to do something similar with your child, let’s chat! Send me an email: adashofhopee@gmail.com

Third Trimester and All The Feels

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a personal blog post and so I felt like it was time to talk about my pregnancy. Before I was pregnant, I’ve always said once I was carrying, I wasn’t going to make it a big deal. Was I thankful to be carry a baby? Hell yes, but that didn’t take away the fact that I wasn’t going to be talking about it non-stop because I’m not that person.

Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I got lucky. Have I felt nauseous off and on, heartburn, exhausted? Hell yeah, but those symptoms are common. I tested negative to gestational diabetes, haven’t gained weight in any other spots - besides my belly and still don’t look almost 35 weeks pregnant. Some days I just look bloated, but not really pregnant. Honestly, I look like I was pregnant before and am now trying to lose the weight.

I cannot believe how quickly May has flown by! According to the app Ovia, I have 5 weeks, 2 days left until our baby girl arrives. Like, holy shit! The realism has started to sink in that I’m going to be a mom. It feels like I’ve been pregnant forever though.

Thinking back to the night I took the test and found out I was in fact pregnant is CRAZY. I was so emotional, sad and wasn’t sure if I was ready for all of this, but ready or not, she’s coming soon! I feel different now, but my first initial thought was, can I really do this? Can I really bring a baby into this world? Am I ready for my body to completely change?

I’m sure there are many women who go through similar emotions, but no one ever talks about them. I mean, I’ve always been VERY self-conscious about my body and gaining weight, but I’ve had to set that aside because, well, I’m growing a human being, so I cannot be so concerned. I just watch what I eat and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In terms of her room, it’s all ready for her arrival, I’m preparing my hospital bag within the next few weeks, and then we’ll assemble the car seat.

I also wanted to just give you a breakdown of my symptoms each trimester:

First Trimester:

Nauseous
EXHAUSTED
Hungry all the time

Second Trimester:

More energized
Nauseous
Heartburn
Headaches

Third Trimester (up until now):

Feeling bloated all the time
Constantly having to pee
Nauseous (yeah, I wish I could say that went away)
Hungry most of the time

Again, all the symptoms I’ve named above are common and most women experience them, but for someone who has never had children, it was all new to me. At this point, I cannot sleep through the night because I wake up peeing at least 3-4 times (despite not having water) and often cannot get comfortable. My biggest issue is I’m a bad sleeper and they say NOT to sleep on your back because the weight of my uterus can compress a major blood vessel, called the vena cava. I don’t do it on purpose, but in the morning, I somehow end up waking up on my back. And, I don’t know how to prevent that from happening. If you have any tips, let me know!

So, I’m happy to report I’m almost at full-term (which will be on June 4th) = 36 weeks! HOLY. SHIT.

Are You Really Hungry? How Do You Know?

You’re out at a restaurant and order an appetizer & entree + you feel full to the max. I mean, bloated full, yet when the waitress asks you for a dessert menu, you say “yes.” You start reading all the desserts: ice cream with a chocolate brownie, molted lava cake, strawberry shortcake and the list goes on.

Are you hungry?

Nope, but you order dessert anyway.

A few reasons why could be:

  • Because it sounded good

  • You had a bad day

  • You’re craving ice cream

  • You’re an emotional eater

Food can serve as many purposes such as a stress reliever, entertainment, a reward, pleasure or even a punishment. Sometimes your relationship with food isn’t always straightforward. But, when it comes to food, it’s so much more than just “tasting” good.. Sometimes, we have emotional ties with food that we didn’t even know about. We use it to soothe ourselves when times are rough and don’t see it as fuel.

When it comes to food, I am not perfect. Sometimes, I eat when I’m not hungry because it looks good. But, it’s rare that that sort of thing occurs because I’ve learned to listen to my body and ask myself if I’m hungry or just thirsty. I mean, if I just ate a big meal and I feel hungry, I know that my body is begging for water. But, many people mistake that cue for more food and instead of stopping while they’re ahead, they keep eating. In turn, this could turn into a habit.

So, how can YOU tell when your hungry? Do you typically listen to your body? Do you follow a strict diet or schedule when it comes to eating?

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

I'm Overcoming an Undiagnosed Eating Disorder....

**PLEASE NOTE THAT I’M DEALING WITH MY UNDIAGNOSED EATING DISORDER & NOT LETTING IT GET TO A POINT OF NO RETURN. Honestly, some days are worse than others. I wrote this in the hopes that it helps someone else in a similar situation. I’ve always told you I’ve be open & transparent with you, so here goes!

Growing up, I was always self-conscious about the way I looked.

In high school, I got a little heavier and by senior year, I knew I had to make a change. So, I lost weight, but there were days when I just didn’t think I was skinny enough.

I’ve carried that mentality ever since and I didn’t know why I felt this way - until I started attending Institute for Integrative Nutrition and found out I had an undiagnosed eating disorder.

That means I never binged or purged or did any self-conflicting damage, I would just tell myself that I wasn’t good enough and I could only eat a certain amount of calories. If I ate too much, I would NEED to work it off. If I didn’t, I would feel like absolute crap. I tried to change my mindset, but nothing worked.

Then, I got pregnant and KNEW if I did not change, I would be hurting my child.

I was nervous though because I knew my mind would creep in and potentially take over.

The first trimester was hard. Every time I would eat more than I usually do, my mind would say, “no, no, no you’re not allowed to eat that much.” I tried to fight what my mind was saying, but somehow, I couldn’t fight the urge to want to listen. Gosh, I was PETRIFIED of gaining weight. Every time I thought about gaining a pound or so, I would cringe.

“You are growing a freaking person inside of you, Hope, you need to stop,” my husband would remind me. Then, there was my mother who told me the same followed by one of my friends. And, I KNEW I had to listen.

I knew I was blessed because so many women cannot get pregnant and I was privileged enough to get pregnant, so I had to stop wasting my time on such a stupid matter. At the same time, I knew it was psychological and if I needed to seek help, now was the time to do so.

When my 2nd trimester began, my mindset started to change and I felt differently. Instead of constantly worrying about the amount of food I was consuming, I focused on my growing baby. I’m not saying I’m completely “over” it, but I’d definitely feel better about myself and am happy about being pregnant.

** Please note that there was NEVER a time I put my growing baby in danger due to my mind. I ate when I was hungry, but never overdid it.

If you’re struggling with an undiagnosed eating disorder that you had no idea you had, please talk to someone! Do not be afraid to ask for help or pretend that everything is okay.

I knew that if it got to a point where it was affecting my everyday routine and my life in general, I would seek help but at this time, I can handle it on my own and know how to talk myself out of feeling like I need to eat less. I’m NOT going to endanger my growing child just because my mind is telling me not to eat “too much.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Pay attention to your triggers. Does eating certain foods make you feel bad about yourself? Does a certain friend or family member make you feel about about yourself? Stay away from them because you DO NOT NEED that negative energy!

  2. You’re binge eating and then throwing up. RED Flag! It’s not normal, so you should probably find someone to talk to about why you’re doing this in the first place.

  3. If the thought of gaining weight concerns you, then you may want to seek help!

There are always people around to talk to. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist YET, feel free to reach out to friends, family or a holistic health coach!

Healthy Living Tips

Being healthy is about more than just eating nutritious food. These tips will help you find balance, health, and happiness.

  • Be generous.

  • Be grateful for everything and everyone.

  • Focus on what’s good in your life.

  • Hum or sing a happy song every day.

  • Laugh often.

  • Treat yourself to things that you enjoy daily.

  • Keep your bedroom clean and organized.

  • Spend time outside.

  • Spend less time watching TV.

  • Chew your food well.

  • Say thank you.

  • Be positive.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Being Mindful

Most of us spend our entire lives living in the past or future.

We start thinking, “how could I have changed the scenario” instead of focusing on the present. We get lost thinking so many thoughts that we don’t concentrate on what’s happening NOW. And, I’m guilty of doing this because on my drive to work, all I can think about is how I think my day will pan out instead of focusing on the trees, plants, landmarks and the other cars surrounding me. I also get so lost into thinking what I need to do after work, what tasks I need to get done at work and what I’m having for dinner.

Here’s the thing: you can train your mind to start thinking in the moment. It won’t be easy because our mind often wanders., but it’s definitely feasible.

So, next time you’re eating, pay attention to the taste, how the texture feels, how it feels in your mouth and how much chewing it takes.

Next time you’re driving, pay attention to the cars, scenery and your overall surroundings.

Next time you’re washing your hands, pay attention to how your hands feel, the temperature of the water and how the soap feels in your hands.

Just learn how to be more mindful and stop trying to figure out what your next move is. We need to focus on our breathe and learn how to concentrate on what’s happening NOW.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

5 Ways To Feel Less Suffocated At Work

If you work at a desk job, most of your day is spent sitting there getting projects done, eating your breakfast, lunch and possibly dinner, chugging down coffee, possibly soda to keep you going. And, if you have a very important deadline, you never really get up from your desk to move your body.

By the time you get home, you’re so exhausted that you skip your yoga class and the downward spiral begins.

Either way, you might feel suffocated at work.

Most of your day is spent indoors and if you don’t have a window, you’re not getting ANY sunlight.

So, if your office feels a tad stuffy most days, this is what I suggest:

1) Take 15 minutes out of your day to walk. Go to a local park. Walk around your work’s parking lot. Do something to get the heck out of the office.

2) Meet a friend for lunch. Do you find yourself needing some time to re-group? Use your lunch break to meet a friend and either do lunch or just take a walk.

3) Drive around for 15 minutes. Don’t have anywhere to go? Why not drive around with the windows down and get some fresh air? t will do you some good to get the heck out of the office.

4) Come home for lunch. Live close to your house and need a breather? If you feel yourself needing alone time or needing time away from the office, why not spend your lunch break at home?

5) Grab a coffee or a smoothie. Do you feel like you’re in a slump and need some caffeine or a refreshing drink? Grab a cup of joe or a smoothie!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Listening to Your Body & Deconstructing Your Cravings

When I was in college, I started restricting myself from eating certain foods such as donuts, bagels, pastries and anything else I considered “bad food.” At work when someone brought in donuts, I would take a cold, hard look at them and want one so badly, but deny myself the pleasure.

I would say I’m pretty good at controlling myself when it comes to food.

But, some people are not. For instance, if you restrict yourself from eating specific foods, more than likely, you’ll end up binge eating, which is worse than just eating the darn donut in the first place.

It wasn’t until I started attending IIN that I found denying myself was actually hurting more than helping, so I started LISTENING to my body. Was I in the mood for a sweet treat? If so, I would have something small. I never felt like I needed to eat a whole carton of say ice cream because I began tuning into my cravings.

Is it easy to listen to your body?

Hell no.

But, once you train yourself to tune into what your body WANTS, you’ll more than likely not feel the desire to eat an entire chocolate cake.

Do you know why you crave certain foods? This is why:

  1. Lack of Primary Food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship, having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, or uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice can all cause emotional eating. Many people try to cope with uncomfortable emotions or difficult situations by seeking balance through food. Food can provide a form of relief, or even an escape, when you’re under stress. In this way, food is being used as a strategy to fulfill areas of primary food that aren’t being satisfied.

  2. Water. Staying hydrated is a great way to help reduce extreme cravings and may ultimately help regulate the amount eaten to match needs more closely. A glass of water before eating has actually been shown to reduce the amount of food consumed during a meal. Another factor to consider is that your hydration status affects your body’s electrolyte balance. When you sweat and lose water, you also lose electrolytes, like sodium. This may lead you to seek out sodium-rich foods following an intense workout.

  3. Lack of Nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it might produce odd cravings. An extreme example of this is a disorder called pica, which leads to extreme cravings of nonfood items, like clay. This condition may arise due to a chronic iron deficiency.

  4. Seasonal. The body often craves foods in accordance with the season. In the spring, people crave lighter foods, like leafy greens or citrus fruits. In the summer, people crave cooling foods, like raw foods and ice cream. In the fall, people tend to crave grounding foods, like squash, onions, and nuts, and many crave heat-producing foods, like meat, oil, and fat, in the winter. Cravings can also be associated with seasonal holidays. For example, turkey, eggnog, or Christmas cookies.

  5. Inside Coming Out. Cravings often come from foods you’ve recently eaten or foods from your childhood. Recently eaten foods tend to be fresh in your mind, so you’re more likely to crave that food in an attempt to re-create a positive eating experience. Similarly, when you crave foods from your childhood, you may really be seeking the feeling of comfort those foods may have provided when you were younger.

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

It's Been Two Years Since We Moved To Greenville And My Experience Has Been...

In 2015, we visited Greenville for an engagement shoot.

At the time, we were living in Tennessee and my now-husband had just lost his job, so we made the decision to move back to Pennsylvania.

It was a difficult time for both of us because we had been living on our own for about a year and I loved the freedom of having my own place. Did I miss my family? Hell yeah, but it was a choice we made.

So, two weeks after doing the shoot, we moved back to PA.

A few months later, we decided to move to Greenville permanently. Was I afraid the same thing would happen as Tennessee? Yes, but it was a risk I knew I had to take.

Around the time we moved here, my grandma passed away, so that made it 10 times harder because I knew it was a horrible time to leave my family. But, I had to go.

Gosh, these two years had been emotionally draining.

My husband started his own business, which took a while to gain traction. It only took me about a month to obtain a job, but still, we were not used to our surroundings and we only had 2 friends here. It was hard starting over again and not to mention, the people in the south are so much different than the north, so we had to get used to the personalities.

But, we made it.

Together, we worked as a team and adopted a dog, moved to a nicer apartment, then bought a house, found out I was pregnant and I started attended IIN to become a holistic health coach. No, these events didn’t happen all in the same year.

So, it’s safe to say that these past few years have had its ups and downs.

In terms of the emotional aspect, there are days I miss my family so much it hurts, but then I remind myself that we would NOT be living comfortably in the north. It’s too damn expensive to live here and I wasn’t getting ANY job opportunities.

In order to learn, you must go through rough patches! It will only make you a stronger person. And, people ask me all the time how I cope with not seeing my family. What do I say? I don’t think about it. If I do, I’ll become a blabbering mess and you won’t want to pick up the pieces, trust me.

I’ve learned so much about myself, my husband and our abilities to take situations in stride. I mean, this year has started off really rough with having to fork out SO MUCH money for our taxes, then having the washer break, the heater, and my dog eating my prescription glasses. So, it’s safe to say we’ve put out way more money than we anticipated, BUT…. I remind myself to focus on the positive aspects of my life. It could be so much worse.

I mean, compared to other women (knock on wood), my pregnancy has been a breeze. I often feel nauseous, exhausted, heartburn, but nothing too extreme, so I’m lucky.

What have I learned living here?

I’ve learned that there’s a little creative community that is willing to help. All you have to do is reach out!

My husband and I can get through anything.

Stay positive even when negative things are heading my way.

It gets better.

Believe in myself and my abilities.

Believe that I WILL obtain clients for my business.

Thanks GVL for the memories so far! I can’t wait to create more. ✌️


If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

Dear Future Daughter

Dear Future Daughter:

I'm writing to you before I find out if I can have children, before I'm engaged, and before I'm ready to have children. There's so much I want you to know about this world, your daddy and what kind of man we want you to be with. I could be jumping the gun a little bit here with your daddy, but he's told me asking my hand in marriage is just a few months away. And, I'm not planning or wishing for it to come true. Instead, I'm taking it day-by-day and enjoying my time with him.

I'm going to tell you something about your daddy. He's a special guy who will do anything and everything for his little girl. He'll always protect you and love you like he loves his mommy. Your daddy will take spending time with you very seriously because he'll love you to pieces and want to make memories.

Once the time comes, he'll teach you that there are good men in this world and will be honest with you about the men who just want to sleep with you. He'll want to know who is spending time with his little girl. And, I know for a fact if this man breaks your heart, your daddy will beat the crap out of him. He'll feel devastated to see his little girl hurting and so, he'll do everything in his power to cheer you up.

I know what kind of guy he is and what kind of father he'll be because we have a dog--whom you'll grow to love--who he plays, cuddles and takes on long walks. He cherishes the moments he spends with our pooch just like he'll do with you.

He was raised to be respectful and courteous to women and that's why I love him so much. He goes out of his way to do things for me and even puts me first. You will witness these acts of kindness by your daddy when you're old enough to understand. You will learn who a good man is by watching your daddy love and care for me when I'm in pain. You'll watch your daddy be my rock, my shoulder to cry on, my co-pilot and my partner for life.

Even though he's a rather anti-social person and avoids chaotic situations, he'll never pass up an opportunity to go somewhere with you or our family.

Society can be mean sometimes. I'm so sorry if you're bullied in school. Daddy and I will teach you how to be a strong woman who doesn't care what other people think of you. We'll teach you to have a thick skin and defend yourself when people are cruel and rude to you. You will le

Unhealthy vs Healthy Carbs

When it came to carbs, I used to be obsessed with only eating carbs for one meal a day. Typically, my lunch would consist of a bagel with peanut butter, salty and sweet snack. But, then later on, I might indulge in a bag of chips. It was mostly empty calories that would fill me up for a bit and then, I’d just end up getting hungry a few hours later because it never held me over.

I would often write down exactly what I’d eat just to avoid carb overload.

All I heard was CARBS MAKE YOU FAT! And, I listened because here I was trying to stick to one meal of carbs a day, which by the way the bagel was processed with added sugar, but I really wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t researching healthy vs unhealthy carbs.

So, when I started going to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned the difference between the two. You know you hear so many different perspectives about nutrition when it comes to the media, magazines and society. First we hear carbs are the enemy and then all of a sudden, we hear, oh actually carbs make you lose weight, which is what everyone wants to hear.

But, honestly, it’s based on the individual and not every single person gains weight from carbs, not to mention, there is a difference between unhealthy and healthy carbs.

HEALTHY CARBS include:
✔️ Whole grain bread
✔️ brown rice
✔️ quinoa
✔️ oatmeal
✔️ beans
✔️ sweet potato

UNHEALTHY CARBS include:

✔️processed pastries
✔️cookies
✔️white bread
✔️potato chips
✔️white rice
✔️ candy
✔️ sugary cereal

I mean, it’s not going to kill you if you consume a donut once a while. My tip is NOT to deprive yourself because you’ll end up binging later on, which will be worse than actually eating it in the first place. Just know that carbs give you energy, You NEED carbs to keep you going and you shouldn’t be afraid of them. You need them in order to feel full. So, next time you start thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t eat this, remember this article!” Refer to it whenever you need to. And, as always, I’m here if you need me!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

How to Start Your Week on the Right Foot

Sunday nights.

They’re rough on all of us. The next day is Monday and so the circle of dread begins. I get it because I’m with you. The weekend is filled with laughter, fun & you can stay up late! But, on week days, you need to be responsible & go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to feel your best!

But, I’m here to tell you that Sunday night doesn’t have to be filled with dread. You can change your attitude and I’ll tell you how by focusing on the good things happening during the week.

1) Meal prep on Sunday. This will start your week on the right foot because you’re less likely to reach for processed foods. Bring foods you’ll look forward to eating!

2) Set your clothes out the night before. Want to catch some extra Zzz’s? Make sure you pick out your clothes the night before to avoid being late the next day & maybe you’ll get to sleep in for a few the next day.

3) Meditate on Monday morning. Before going to work on Monday morning, take 30 minutes out to meditate and cleanse your mind before heading into work.

4) Make plans after work. Get together with friends after work, so you have something to look forward to. Grab a coffee or a glass of wine & relax with your best gal pals.

5) Schedule a date night. Book a reservation at your favorite restaurant & surprise your significant other with a date night!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

You Live & You Learn. Here's What Happened To Me.....

“You owe a couple thousand dollars for taxes,” said our accountant. I sat there in AWE. It was shocked beyond disbelief.

My husband & I had never owed money. I mean, he had a hunch that we would need to pay money, but I had no idea.

On top of that, we just learned that something is wrong with the circuit board on the outside unit of our HVAC system, so that’s going to cost us some money. Right now we’re not really running the heat in order to save money. Our last two bills for our electric were a couple hundred dollars, vs $80, which is what we were paying at our apartment.

Not to mention, I found out today that my dog chewed my prescription glasses, so that’s another expense we never took into account. Oh, and, we’re spending a couple thousand every month just to LIVE. It’s disgusting & absolutely frustrating.

So, I went into the garage, went on the elliptical & cried.

I cried because I feel like everything is crashing down. I feel like we just can’t catch a break no matter what we do in life. Every time we want to save money, it always bites us in the ass. Every time we think we’re about to get ahead in life, we get a set-back. I know, I know, that’s life and there are SO MANY worse things that could have happened. I know that I need to appreciate what I have, but why can’t I be frustrated? Do I have to be happy ALL THE TIME?

But, this is it: in life, there’s always a lesson to be learned.

You should put away money for taxes.

You should have an emergency account.

You shouldn’t leave your glasses where your dog can reach.

You need to spend less money on groceries.

For me, those are just some things that come to mind. But, it’s not that simple for some people. Some people are struggling & trying to stay above water while the waves continue to crash down. And, I know that. I remind myself that every time something bad happens.

I start focusing on the positives.

Do I have a nice house? Heck yeah.

Do I deserve it? Heck yeah! My husband & I worked hard for this house & it’s about time we got SOMETHING that we wanted. We’ve been through so much shit and we’re just getting started.

But, you live & you learn. So, let me ask you: what lessons in life have you learned?

So..... I'm Pregnant?

“I’m really late,” I told my husband, Brett while we were on a trip in Wilmington, NC.

I was supposed to get my period at the end of October and I kept waiting for it. The previous months it came around the end of the month and I felt as if it would come, so I was prepared, but it didn’t.

“But, you’ve been late before,” Brett said. “Yeah, but, not this late.” He smiled. He looked at me and just stared. We’d been trying since May or June, but it just wasn’t the right time. I kept telling myself it would happen, but maybe the timing just isn’t right. I mean, in August, I started a new career and will earn my certification in April. I took it as a sign that we weren’t ready.

But, I have to admit by the end of October, I was frustrated.

I began thinking, “maybe we can’t get pregnant” and then “what the hell is wrong with me?” If I hadn’t been late in October, I was going to start doing research and scheduling a doctor appointment to find out if I was able to get pregnant or not because it seemed like it was taking a long time.

I told my husband on November 3rd, 3 days before our anniversary. Why did I tell him? Because I was REALLY tired and in case I was pregnant, I didn’t want to push it too much. But, he was excited at the thought. I, on the other hand, was scared shitless.

The next day I took a pregnancy test.

I didn’t want to take it though. I was really, really nervous and my heart was beating a mile a minute. He kept asking if I took it or not and I was stalling.

But, then, around 5:30 on Nov 4th, I took it.

I waited 15 minutes before the test confirmed that I was in fact… PREGNANT.

Maybe it’s wrong, I thought to myself. Pregnancy tests aren’t always right.

I walked down the stairs and showed my husband. He looked at me and smiled.

What was the first thing I did?

Cry.

I cried because I live in South Carolina and my mom lives in Pennsylvania and she won’t be here during my first pregnancy. I cried because I didn’t know what I was doing and I was scared out of my mind. All this time I so badly wanted to get pregnant, but here I was terrified.

My husband hugged me tight because he saw I was getting emotional, which by the way NEVER happens. And, I HATE crying because I don’t like to display emotion. Does that make sense? Probably not.

Anyway, after crying for what felt like 10 minutes straight, I stopped.

I told myself I had to be a big girl and deal with the fact that my mom lives in PA. She is always a phone call away. And, there are plenty more people who have moved here while their parents live somewhere else, so I’m not the only one.

In the end, I’m happy, but I’m also pretty nervous.

I Finally Found My Happiness

I’ve always wanted to help people, but wasn’t sure in what compacity.

In college, I felt drawn to the magazine industry and yearned to live in NYC to become a magazine writer. I did intern for Good Housekeeping and Family Circle Magazine, but changed my mind due to the competitiveness.

Instead, I went straight into content writing then became a social media coordinator, and finally a community manager. But, there was always something missing.

When it came to my career, I never felt settled.

I always felt the sense that I was meant for something greater. I always felt like there was something else out there for me. I would suggest a new career every week, but never followed through because it wasn’t meant to be. That was until I moved to Greenville a year ago and came across holistic health coaching.

Something clicked in my mind. The excitement started creeping up and that’s when I knew I finally found it. I’ve spent most of my 20’s confused as to what career I wanted. I’d start a job, love it and then all of a sudden, something would happen. And, in my heart, I knew it was a sign. I kept on looking and wondering when it would finally hit me.

So, now, after years of exploring career options, I’m becoming a holistic health coach and my goal is to help people – whether it be men or women – become their best selves. I want to see the smile on their face when they finally find their happiness. The joy I’ll feel will be overwhelming and for the first time in my life, I know I’ll be making a difference.

Via Hannah Kerr’s Little Pink Book