Gather Superfoods - Product Review

Raise your hand if you LOVE healthy FATS!!! We all know my slight obsession with nut butters, but I also make sure to eat plenty of avocados, mixed nuts, and I always cook with olive oil, and now ghee too. I will 100% admit that I used to be one of those people who was scared of FATS. But this was back in the day when I honestly had no clue as to how to properly nourish my body. Times have changed and I am older and wiser and more in tune with my body and its needs. I LOVE fats!  I eat a lot of fats! They make me feel good inside and out and they work for my lifestyle, my training, and my belly. 

Today I am talking about ghee! I recently partnered up with Gather Superfoods to talk about their ghee and why you should check them out; follow them on social media; and start including their ghee into your eats! ENJOY!

What is GHEE...

Gather Superfoods Ghee is derived from butter. The butter is cooked down to remove all the butterfat/milk solids to create pure butterfat that is lactose and casein free. It is a great substitute for anyone with a dairy intolerance and great for anyone who wants to try another fat that is fabulous for you!

Why GHEE...

Gather Superfoods Ghee is a delicious and nutritious fat that you definitely need to add to your list of healthy FATS. Ghee is an ancient superfood that is known for its amazing healing abilities internally and externally. This healthy fat is known to alkalize our bodies; provide physical and mental stamina; reduce inflammation; and is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Some other fun facts to take note of: 

  • Lactose and Casein FREE
  • High Smoke Point of 485 degrees
  • Rich in Omega-3
  • Packed with Vitamins A, D, E, and K

What do I use GHEE for...

Gather Superfoods Ghee is a great replacement to your butter! You can use it for baking, sauteeing, spreading onto a delicious piece of toast, and drizzling it over your nighttime popcorn. The possibilities are endless! Check out this DELICIOUS Gather Superfoods recipe by my friend Sarah!

Who are the people behind Gather Superfoods?

Foodies are the BEST kind of people! When I started to learn more about this company and their founders, I knew we would get along and this would be a good collaboration. The two founders have traveled all over the country eating their way from coast to coast enjoying all that life and food has to offer. Food + Travel = PURE BLISS! Learn more about their story and why they started Gather Superfoods HERE! 

Make sure to follow this fabulous couple on their social media channels to get inspired with healthy recipes, updates on products, and any promotions that they are running! 

Have you ever used ghee? If so, what is your favorite way to add it to your recipes?

*Disclosure: I received compensation and product for this post. All opinions are my own.*

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

What do you look for in a teacher when it comes to taking care of your health and fitness? What makes you come back to keep taking their classes? Is it knowledge, passion, their personality, or that they can kick your butt and yell at you, while still having a pretty smile plastered on their face? We all have different likes, goals, and reasons for practicing a healthy and active lifestyle, so it is great that nowadays there are a plethora of options to fit YOUR needs. 

When it comes to yoga teachers whose classes I revisit, I like a variety of styles, that fit whatever my body is currently needing...it could be more focused on stretching my hips; building up my core; or honestly just getting my butt kicked and getting in a good sweat session. I want to introduce you to Jessica Haims from Powerflow Yoga. She is ONE of those teachers who in a matter of 75 minutes educated me, stretched, strengthened, and kicked my butt! Her passion and knowledge of the yoga and the human body...The way she effortlessly flowed into the poses...Learn more about this beautiful woman and why I consider her a yoga goddess!  

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

I Am Jessica Haims:

My approach to yoga is to be safe, educational, challenging, and fun. I believe in educating students about their bodies so that they are equipped to make appropriate decisions about their bodies on and off the mat. Classes are based heavily through a lens of biomechanics and anatomy, always explaining to students why we do a pose a certain way. I want to offer as many tools as possible to my students so that they learn how to modify poses when necessary, and know how to play their edge when appropriate. I am both a vinyasa teacher and Yoga Tune Up® teacher and seek to blend these two styles together to link movement and breath in an intelligent manner. I mainly work one on one with students teaching self-care; we come up with a routine at home comprising of myofascial release work, corrective exercise, and yoga. After suffering a serious back injury due to years of competitive ballroom dancing and teaching full time it became my mission to empower students with the relationship to their bodies!

Why did you start teaching yoga? 

I started teaching yoga because it gave me a sense of empowerment and peace that was uncanny. In 2011 I took my first class ever (at Powerflow Yoga in Chatham!) and it was the HARDEST thing I had ever done (seriously I thought I was going to collapse on the mat by the end of it) - but then savasana came and I nearly fell asleep. I left the yoga room called my mom and said “I want to be a yoga teacher after school” - it was one of those weird gut feelings. I did my first training a little over a year later and fell in love with the studies of anatomy. Over the past year, I have dove deep into the study of biomechanics, anatomy, and the science of stretching. The more I learn about anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, etc… it reminds me why I always want to teach - to help people understand their bodies and to feel good in their bodies.

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

What is your favorite pose and why? 

Half moon! There are SO many different ways of approaching this pose with props, the wall, different isometric contractions - I always find something new about my body in this pose. When I’m in it I feel like I’m flying and floating!

What is your least favorite pose and why? 

I have a hate/love relationship with warrior 3 (which means I probably need to do it more ;) ) - it always kicks my butt no matter how many times I do it!

What advice would you give to someone (aka - me) who is scared of handstands? 

Work slowly away from the wall and with a teacher you trust. Going upside down is a HUGE mental game so it’s all about taking those little steps until you feel ready! There is a move called “scissor kick handstand” that Phillip Askew taught me and it helped me get away from the wall and over my fear of hand standing (will have to show you during our coffee date!). Working on shoulder/core stability and hamstring mobility are major players in working into those handstands. One of my favorite moves are working planks and doing scapula push ups! Another great exercise is doing plank with a blanket under your feet and pulling the blanket towards your hands (ending in forward fold) and then sliding back out to plank.

How do you practice a healthy lifestyle? 

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

I practice self-care by setting aside time for myself every day - whether it's 5 min or an hour for a workout. I love to go hiking, cooking, writing, reading, and watch old Hollywood movies! I make sure to fuel my body with clean food, get in exercise 5 times a week, and take 2 complete days of rest when I can to re-charge and do active recovery (or binge watch Netflix for hours ;) ! ) 

Sweet or salty? 

SWEEEEEET!!!!! I have such a strong sweet tooth - chocolate covered anything will have my name written all over it. My one vice is chocolate and coffee - I can never say no to it. My favorite chocolate is german chocolate, but my favorite sweets are my homemade chocolate chip marshmallow cookies - they are out of this world!

Tell us 3 FUN things that we should know about you...And if there is anything else you want to add, go for it.

I LOVE old jazz music - I always say I was born in the wrong era… I love old Hollywood movies and music. Ella Fitzgerald, Solomon Burke, Etta James, Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, this list goes on and on. I would have killed to live in that era and see those people perform. I had the honor and privilege to see Tony Bennett live with one of my best friends (she got me a ticket for Christmas!) I started tearing up during the performance - it was one of the most amazing experiences.  

I won world and nationals in 2011 for ballroom dancing! I miss those dancing days with all my heart and when I hear music my mind will wonder off into choreography!

Yoga Goddess - Jessica Haims

My dream is to have a huge back yard one day for a garden and chickens!

I am a huge nerd and love spending free time reading about human anatomy and the latest research on the science of stretching (Jules Mitchell is an amazing resource for anyone interested). One of my goals with teaching is to eventually develop an anatomy module for 200-hour training that gives newer teachers a concrete understanding of the human body. It is our responsibility as teachers to keep these people safe and I would like to see the bar raised in this department!

What do YOU look for in a teacher?

Tell me your favorite teacher and where they teach!

Love At First Sight - The Best Match

Life on Nantucket during the winter months can definitely be a little lonely. It is grey, cold, and QUIET. I definitely could not live here if it was not for my amazing friends, but little Lucy has a VERY big part in keeping me sane too! She is with me all the time. She lies by my side while I work. She runs by my side while we walk. She sleeps by the bed and snores like a champ. She is the perfect match for my personality, my lifestyle, and me!

She was rescued in Houston, where she was left on the side of the highway in a kennel with her two other siblings covered in fleas. It took days for her to venture out of that kennel. After I lost Kala, I started looking for a purebred Golden Retriever just a few weeks later, but I could not justify spending over a thousand dollars for a dog, when there were thousands of dogs without homes. So instead I started searching the rescues for golden retriever puppies. I found a picture of “Custard” and started contact with the foster mom. Once I agreed to meet the foster mom and “Custard”, I knew I was not going home alone. Just like everything else in life, when it is meant to be, it is meant to be - no matter how cliché that sounds, it is the darn truth!

It was love at first sight and “Custard” would be named Lucy and she came home with me a week later. And her two siblings were also rescued. One went to New Orleans and the other went to live on a apple orchard farm in Rhode Island. Knowing that all 3 of them found such healthy, happy, and safe environments is just BEAUTIFUL!

Lucy means so much to me and it is really hard to imagine life without her! All those corny quotes about dogs are the TRUTH. She teaches me to be a better person. She makes and reminds me to laugh daily. She reminds me to live life to the fullest and to just keep it simple…LIVE, LOVE, and of course EAT!

She is in doggie heaven here on Nantucket Island, along with the rest of amazing dogs that live here. They truly do live a fabulous life here! So when I was asked to team up with Z Living to help promote their newest show Finding Fido , it was a no brainer.

Finding Fido (premiering January 17th at 9pm ET) is all about matchmaking—only instead of human couples, host Seth Casteel is pairing people with pooches. Each week one lucky dog finds their forever home, and one lucky person finds their new best friend. You can see more about the show here.

In addition to being an awesome show that we’re super excited about, there is also an amazing campaign created by Finding Fido to help support animal shelters and rescue groups.

Z Living has joined forces with A Greater Good and Halo, Purely for Pets® to launch the #FindingFido program. Z Living will be giving away a series of cash grants plus pet food to shelters and pet adoption organizations in need across the U.S..

Share a photo of you and your pooch on your favorite social channel and tag it with #FindingFido, for every hashtagged post Z Living will give an additional $1.

Have a shelter you think should be considered for a grant? Tag them in your post and they’ll automatically be in the running to receive one of several $500 cash grants given away weekly + $6000 worth of Halo pet food donated to shelters in need leading up to the premiere of Finding Fido on January 17th at 9pm.

Now go give your pet a big SMOOCH and tell them how much you love them! XOXO

 

Healthy and Happy with Swanson Vitamins

It is here...The NEW YEAR is upon us! The holidays are done. It is time to take down the decorations. It is time to practice our new intentions. It is time to nourish our minds and bodies with healthy and happy thoughts! Are you ready? I definitely am and I have already been making it happen...ONE day at a time! 

New Year - New You

Taking care of ourselves emotionally, physically, and nutritionally is a process. It is not something that happens overnight or the first two weeks after the New Year. Living a healthy and active lifestyle takes time, work, and dedication. It is not easy, but it is SO WORTH IT! When you feel strong, when your skin is glowing, when your body feels healthy, you radiate positivity inside and out and that is why we dedicate so much time and effort into it sweating daily and eating well-balanced meals. And that positive energy is contagious, so throw it around like confetti and inspire others to join you on the healthy and happy journey!

New Year - New You

As you know living 30 miles out at sea has it challenges sometimes, when it comes to shopping, as my choices are limited. Do not get me wrong, for an island the stores here have a very good selection, but it is hard for them to carry everything! For that reason, I am grateful to be able to work with companies like Swanson Vitamins that provide a plethora of healthy options for not only myself but Lucy too! YES, they sell an abundance of doggie treats! I was so happy to find that they sell Greenies! I have been shopping with Swanson Vitamins for a couple of years now and I am always a happy customer. They offer so much more than just vitamins. I can get lost on their site...in a good way! And you can always find a good deal, as they have deals of the day, sales, buy 1 get 1 free, overstock, and clearance options. The possibilities are endless and there are no excuses to not make healthy and happy choices in 2017 on Swanson Vitamins website! 

Above are just a few of my favorite Swanson Vitamins products that I recently bought. I already have a list of what I want to buy next because my nut butter jars are almost empty, but also am realizing that I probably need some Vitamin D because these gray days are driving me bonkers! I am going to treat Lucy to some more Greenies and Oatmeal Milk and Honey Shampoo! So many great options, but now it is YOUR turn to shop with $100.00 thanks to Swanson Vitamins! It is YOUR turn to shop for a healthier and happier YOU in 2017! Follow all the details below and GOOD LUCK friends! 

How are you living a healthier and happier 2017?

What would you buy with the $100.00 gift certificate?

MY 2017 INTENTIONS

It is time to head bACK to the island after a week of celebrating with family and friends. It was a week well spent. There was LOTS of food consumed...There was LOTS of time spent on the yoga mat...There was LOTS of time connecting with Mom, old friends, and new friends. But it is time to get bACK into my routine and set my intentions for 2017. My body and mind are ready for my routine and I am VERY READY for the new year! I am just READY for a clean slate and fresh start!

Jockey Hollow New Jersey

"INTENTION leads to BEHAVIORS which lead to HABITS which lead to PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT which leads to DESTINY"

I am not one to set "goals" for the New Year or at the beginning of a new month, but I do believe in setting intentions, which is one of the many things that I work with, with my Life Coach. My intentions have nothing to do with fitness and food. They dig deeper. They are not easy. They take patience, practice, and work. As you know, working on yourself is never an easy task. Admitting your faults is hard enough, but then taking the time to work on them is when the real work begins...

MY 2017 INTENTIONS:

My 2017 Intentions
  • WIN AT LOVE personally and professionally - The past few months I have experienced a lot of bumps in the road, both personally and professionally. Nothing has come easy. It felt like everything was a struggle and required 100% effort, which in the end was leaving me exhausted, depleted, and slightly negative. 2017 is going to be about WINNING! Winning at love, relationships, business opportunities, health, and overall life. A little cheesy...YES...but for ME, this is the kind of attitude I need to make 2017 a WINNING year!
  • Travel MORE - I can easily become a hermit on Nantucket and get into a routine. This routine gets comfortable real fast and before I know it POOF time has slipped away. It is time to shake up the routine. It is time to explore. It is time to get out of my comfort zone. I am single. I am young. I have worked hard. It is time to book some trips and BE FREE!
  • Be FEARLESS - I am always talking about being "fearless" and it is a good reminder and intention for me as the new year approaches. I am a very sensitive person, which is one of my strengths but can also be one of my weaknesses. Sometimes I need to take a little bit of that emotion and sensitivity out of the picture and just GO FOR IT! This applies to all aspects of my life. 
  • Have more FUN - Do I need to say more??? I want to travel more...Go out more...Flirt more...Learn more...Build and dream MORE! I have to step out of my routine and live fully and let my full self shine. It is time to get out of my comfort zone and LIVE! It's time to go FUNNING!

It is not a big list and that is a good thing for ME! I believe it is important to keep things SIMPLE! These are intentions that I know I can work on daily. These are intentions that I can give 100% of my attention too. These are intentions that I KNOW I have to work on to be the best version of ME! 

Have a happy and healthy New Year friends and see you in 2017!

Tell me ONE of your favorite 2017 Intentions...

Thinking Out Loud - December

Winter is officially HERE! The shortest day of the year has come and gone and I can start getting a little bit happier about that extra minute of sunshine per day! Christmas is this weekend and I cannot wait to celebrate with my family. Time is flying. My days are busy and disappear a little bit too quickly. I have already been home for a week and not sure how that happened! There is a LOT happening these days, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me for a "Thinking Out Loud" post to close the week!

Nantucket Island

Back on the mat at Powerflow Yoga - LOVE coming back to this community of friends whenever I am back home in good old NJ! I look forward to these HOT, sweaty, and challenging practices as they are such a nice break from my workout routine on the island. I like to take a break from strength training and just focus on walking, running, and strengthening my core, my practice, and obviously stretching those very tight hips and hamstrings. And if you live in the NJ area they have 10 studios that you can choose from, so make sure to check them out and treat yourself or a loved one to some yoga classes! Give the gift of YOGA!

NuttZo has FINALLY reached 20K followers on Instagram and all the hard work is paying off! I am so grateful to work with this team of amazing people on a daily basis. But I am also grateful for all the brands and influencers that I have connected with and worked with since starting with NuttZo a few years ago. The NuttZo community is passionate, dedicated, hard-working, and obviously YES they are all just as obsessed with NuttZo as I am. The #NuttZoLOVE is for real!!! And make sure to click on this LINK and donate to Project Left Behind and you can receive a FREE downloadable NuttZo recipe ebook! 

Spending time with FAMILY is the BEST no matter how bat crazy we can drive each other! As you all know, I love coming home to NJ anytime of the year. It is fun to see old friends...Eat all my NJ favorite foods...And spend time with my Mom talking politics and binge-watching "House of Cards" and "The Affair". We've already done a lot of that so far and it is awesome. And yes there are those moments, but who doesn't have those moments. No family is perfect and that is okay. At least we know we are a little kookie and we can get over those bickering moments pretty quickly. I love all the craziness...the fun...the laughter...the food...and the feeling of just being home. Can you tell I am a home body?

Setting intentions for 2017 is REFRESHING! This quote sums up on one of my BIG ones that I have already started to practice. I plan on diving into this deeper as to what my intentions look like and what I am looking forward to. And of course, there is a podcast that goes along with it. 

"Sometimes you need to erase old connections in your life to build rooms for new ones. If someone's not making you grow, it is time to go..."

Note To Self - Keep my "Positive Patty Pants" ON! December has been a LONG month and there have been many speed bumps that have come my way. I am pooped. I have been fighting and constantly dreaming and scheming and planning and reaching out to help build my brand, but gosh darn it can be HARD and TIRING and STRESSFUL! But in the end, this is what I love to do and I am not going to give up. I have to stand up tall. I have to keep trucking. I have to keep fighting. Life is not perfect, but I am grateful, and I will stay positive going into the NEW year!

Don't put a comma when you need a period! #mandyhale

A photo posted by Mantra YOGA Magazine (@mantramagazine) on

Feeling so GRATEFUL for my family, friends, health, and the life that I am able to live! And that is all and that is what I will end on. Have a Merry Christmas friends and I will see y'all before the New Year!!! XOXO

Tell me your "Thinking Out Loud" thought is for December!

Island Girls Podcast - Mountain Man

Happy Hump Day Friends! It is time for another Island Girls Podcast and we have to say, even though we may be biased, it is a good one! Since it is freezing cold outside, we recommend you grab some coffee or tea and listen to this week "coffee talk" with a young gentleman, while you work on the computer, cook in the kitchen, or even need to be distracted while running on the treadmill. 

Last week and Dorothy and I had the pleasure of sitting down with a young man to talk about dating, love, and life 30 miles out at sea on Nantucket Island. Kelly is 27 years old; from Vermont, (hence the "Mountain Man" title we gave him); studying for the LSAT's; working and living on the island until February. We loved chatting with him and getting a younger man's perspective.

I am not going to lie. It definitely made me feel a little old, but hearing him talk about these topics was fun and interesting. I loved how he picks up the phone to call women he is interested in. But I also found it interesting how the women his age felt uncomfortable when he called and would have rather received a text message? Kelley was a total sweetheart and it was such a pleasure to have him on our podcast, so that you can learn more about him and what is like for a 27-year-old man in today's dating world.

Make sure to tune in to the full podcast here

Let us know what you think! We really want to start engaging with our listeners and we want to know if you have any specific questions; what you would like us to talk about more; and if you would want to share some of your stories with us. We want this to be a fun, inspiring, and educational space where we can all learn, grow, and support each other. 

As you can tell, I am really enjoying these podcasts as it is allowing me to open up more...learn more about myself...spend more time with Dorothy...have fun...and inspire me personally and professionally. Once you start talking about these topics out loud, you are putting them out into the universe, and then it is time to make things happen! I LOVE THAT!

When you were in your 20's did you know your non-negotiables?

Have you dated someone a lot younger or older? 

 

ENJOY The Holiday Season

It is the most WONDERFUL time of year or this time of year can wreak total havoc, stress, and weight gain...Am I right? Instead of going into the holiday season with these "Negative Nancy" feelings when it comes to eating and exercising, why not go into it with a positive, HAPPY, and HEALTHY attitude! Yes friends, put on those "Positive Patty" pants and have a jolly good time! This is a wonderful time of year and you should celebrate...you should be smiling...and you should be enjoying it with the ones you LOVE! I am not here to tell you what you should and should not eat. I am not here to share killer workouts, to help you burn off the Christmas cookies and wine. I am here to inspire you to go into this time of year with a NEW, refreshing, fun, and healthy attitude! Be grateful, be joyous, and just have FUN!

Happy Holidays

My Happy and Healthy Holiday Tips

  • ENJOY those holiday treats that only come out this time of year, but in moderation! It is hard to not eat all the cookies, candies, and cakes that always seem to be everywhere this time of year! You don't need to eat them just because they are there. Eat them because you want to! Eat them because it makes you happy and you haven't had Peppermint Bark since last year...HA!
  • Get LOTS of fresh air! Yes it is cold outside, but fresh air is always good for the mind and body. Grab a friend, family member, or you dog and just go for a long walk. Whether it is 15 minutes or a 60-minute walk, moving your body on a daily basis is a great way to stay healthy, happy, and motivated. I am cold ALL the time during winter, so I look like a snowman on my walks, but that fresh ocean air feels so GOOD! 
  • Remember to DISCONNECT! When you are at holiday parties, dinners, or events, try turning your phone off and just leaving it alone for a few hours. It is so refreshing and liberating to not be constantly checking your phone. Make those connections with those around you, by engaging in conversations, making eye contact, and giving friends and family members BIG hugs! I believe that when we are truly engaged and having a great time, we forget about our phones and we are just living in the moment. To me, that is PURE happiness!
  • Stay ACTIVE! If you feel like you are in a rut or not very motivated this time of year, switch things up! Try signing up for new classes. If you are traveling, check out local studios and sign up for a yoga class, kickboxing, or even swim laps at the local Y. And check out Groupon to see if you can get some good deals too. Staying active during this time of year, will help you stay happy, healthy, and prevent you from gaining any extra pounds if you really are enjoying that Peppermint Bark a little too much!
Happy Holidays

So what do you think of these tips? They are not hard...They are attainable...They are simple and they are REAL! Now go put on your holiday attire and smile big, because this truly is a wonderful and special time of year! Have a wonderful weekend friends and see everyone next week!

Happy Holidays

What are you looking forward to most this holiday season, besides peppermint bark?

Are you signing up for any fun holiday races, fitness, or yoga classes?

Island Girls Podcast - A Nantucket Gentleman

It is the LAST big weekend on beautiful Nantucket, until April and it is time to celebrate! "Stroll" weekend is officially here! The boats and planes are sold out...Restaurants are booked solid...Christmas decorations are everywhere...and the island will be filled with up to 40,000 people! I am looking forward to dressing up, toasting to the festivities with friends, and yes DISCONNECTING to enjoy life on this beautiful island! It has been a busy week and I worked hard, so all those devices need to be shut down. It is time to make REAL connections for 48 hours and celebrate the Christmas season!

BUT...Before I disconnect...We have a NEW podcast to share with you! This past week Dorothy and I met up with a "Nantucket Gentleman" over coffee and tea at Nantucket Culinary Center to talk about dating, love, and of course Nantucket. It was so much fun to get a male perspective. The conversation was fun, relaxing, and honestly, we could have talked for over an hour. People love to talk about these topics and so do we. (And I know my little sister is going to listen to this and she is going to tell me that I say "like" too much and I noticed that I do...DOH! I will work on that little sister...HAHAHA!) And moving forward...

Here are some of the questions that we asked our "Nantucket Gentleman" were:

  • Why do men text and not call anymore?
  • What are some things that women do that are a turnoff?
  • What do you appreciate about a woman?

So click HERE to listen to the podcast and ENJOY! If you have any questions that you would like us to ask or topics that you want us to cover, please leave them in the comments below. We want to hear from you and know your thoughts!

Have a beautiful weekend friends and I will see you next week! XOXO

Yoga BLISS At Powerflow Yoga

I LOVE going home to New Jersey anytime of year, but I especially enjoy it during the holidays! Our family is very traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas and I look forward to those traditions each year. I cannot believe that I was home for a week and poof it just disappeared. There was lots of time spent with family and friends, working, shopping, and YES there was so much food, but gosh darn it was good...Mom's meatballs and spaghetti; burgers; Italian subs; pizza; and Thanksgiving dinner. My "food baby" was large and in charge, but thankfully I was able to balance it out with lots of yoga and running! 

I knew when I got off the island last week, I needed to spend some time on my mat! I have been doing a lot of running, spin, and weight training, and I wanted to switch things up. My hips were screaming to be stretched and I knew it was time to step back on my mat! I was craving hard sweaty workouts that would help me stretch, lengthen, and work different muscles in my body. I am so grateful for Powerflow Yoga in New Jersey! You can learn more about this studio in my post that I did a few months ago HERE

I was able to practice 5 days in a row at Powerflow Yoga. Each class was 75 minutes long and I was able to take classes from 3 different instructors. It was AWESOME and I was in yoga bliss. There was so much sweating, twisting, and poses that I have not done in months and it just FELT GOOD and was exactly what my mind and body needed! Love that feeling! 

I took classes with Emma, Jeff, and Jessie. I have been taking classes with Emma and Jeff for a few years, but Jessie I had never taken before and it was nice to switch things up and try something new. 

Emma's Class: Don't let this petite gorgeous woman fool you...She's TOUGH! Her classes focus on core, strength, and fun but challenging sequences that leave me sweaty, sore, but always smiling! With all the running I have been doing, her classes definitely helped open my hips, stretch my hamstrings, and build up strength in some of those neglected places...Chaturanga push-ups and lots of them, reminded me where I was weak!   

Jeff's Class: Oh how I love Jeff and so does everyone else! His classes are always packed. He is fun, hilarious, and I love his music selection. I like the flow of his classes because he is always switching things up, to take you out of your comfort zone. He somehow makes it fun and comical even when you have been standing on one leg for what seems like a never-ending sequence. It's a hot sweaty mess of awesome yoga! 

Jessie's Class: This was the first time I practiced with Jessie and I was pleasantly surprised and I definitely will practice with her again. She blew me away with her knowledge of the human body. This was a very challenging class, that I really enjoyed. We really got into deep stretching of the hips and shoulders. The sequences were slow, intense, and well structured. It really helped me focus on my breathing, my balance, and my core. It was such a well-rounded flow that I highly recommend for athletes. 

It felt good to reconnect with this community. To see familiar faces. To switch up my workout routine. To try new things. To challenge myself. To find comfort and peace on the mat again. These are just a few reasons why I practice yoga and why I look forward to reconnecting with these people when I go home. The studio, the people, the teachers are the BEST and I cannot wait to go back in a few weeks for Christmas and spend more time on my mat and working on those inversions. I loved being upside down again!

Make sure to check out the studio, their schedule, and follow them on their social media platforms below to stay up to date and maybe even sign up for some classes this holiday season!

What is your favorite yoga studio?

What type of workout are you currently loving?

Island Girls Start A Podcast

For a long time, I have been wanting to write about my "Oh So Single Life" and what it is like dating on Nantucket and what it is like to be a single lady in today's society. Let's be real...it is HARD. It is frustrating. It is exhausting. And it is CONFUSING! With all the dating sites, apps, and trying to figure out the "rules", it is a hot mess and sometimes leaves my head spinning. I know that I am not the only lady out there who feels this way. Raise your hand if you agree?

Every time I would try to sit down and write about this, I felt overwhelmed and I was having a hard time putting it ALL on paper. Thank goodness for podcasts! And thank goodness for my partner in crime Dorothy! A few months ago, we started meeting at the Corner Table for delicious coffee, tea, and to talk about life, wellness, love, and Nantucket life. We both love to write, dream BIG, and inspire others, so it occurred to us that we have a lot to share. After brainstorming for a while, we believed it was time to start "Island Girls". 

Island GIRLS

Let us learn a little bit more about Dorothy first...

Dorothy is a 7th generation Nantucketer. When she hit her rock bottom in her 20s, she made a choice that everything she would do in life she would do for love. Every day she makes that choice which has lead her to travel the world, become an entrepreneur, a yogini and love have fueled her writing, having a weekly Freaky Friday column on The Nantucket Chronicle, she has written Amazing Love Diet and has another book coming out, War on Love. Love can be a hard choice to make but it's always worth making. 

Island Girls

Make sure to follow the beautiful Dorothy on her social media platforms

So here we GO friends...It is going to be a fun and interesting journey and we hope that all of you will follow along...listen...ask questions...and get involved! Click on the link below and listen to the "Island Girls" FIRST podcast! ENJOY! 

https://soundcloud.com/dorothy-stover/islandgirlspodcastepisode1introductions

What topics would you like to see us cover?

Are you single? If so, have you experienced "ghosting" or "poof act"? 

Nutty For NuttZo - Recipes by Marissa

I am truly grateful for a lot of things, but as of lately I am grateful and appreciative of friends who LOVE to bake and are able to write guest posts for me when my life is too hectic and crazy to even think straight! I need to slow down and I am hoping that Thanksgiving week will allow me to do just that. My goals for next week are to breathe deeply + practice lots of yoga + move a little bit slower + enjoy time with family and friends + press the RESTART button! Sounds like a good plan to me...Now I just need to follow through with that! DOH! 

In the meantime, I suggest you check out these NuttZo recipes by my fabulous friend Marissa! Yes, this young woman is a ROCK STAR with a heart of gold. And like me, she is a #NuttZoFANATIC. If you do not have NuttZo on hand, you can use another nut butter of choice. These recipes are perfect for the holidays or honestly anytime of year because anything with nut butter is the BEST! Try them out and let me know how they turn out for you. And make sure to follow Marissa's journey and give her a BIG high-five for recently completing the Rock n' Roll Savannah Marathon. She's unstoppable...THANKS again Marissa! XOXO

NuttZo Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c Power Fuel NuttZo
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: 1-3 T sweetener of choice
  • Optional Add - Ins: chopped nuts, shredded coconut, dried fruit, or cocoa nibs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Stir the mixture well and set to the side.
  3. In a bowl, mix the NuttZo, pumpkin puree, egg, coconut flour, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and/or sweetener of choice.
  4. Spoon cookies onto a cookie sheet.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown! ENJOY!

Gingerbread NuttZo Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of banana mashed
  • 3 T Power Fuel NuttZo
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 flax eggs (for every T of ground flax meal, mix with 3 T of water)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 T psyllium husk powder
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 1/4 c of water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Spices: 2 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp ginger + 1 tsp nutmeg + 1 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 c chopped pecans
  • Optional: 1 T coconut palm sugar or 1 chopped date

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix until blended together.
  3. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Let it cool and then ENJOY!

What is your favorite nut butter holiday recipe?

Are you a baker or do you just wait for your friends to bring you baked goodies?

Root For FOOD - Guest Post

This week it is ALL about the food! I LOVE to talk about food...I LOVE to eat food...I LOVE to try new foods...and I LOVE how food fuels my lifestyle and allows me to do things that I LOVE to do on a daily basis. I know you all probably know this, but if you don't, I am a FOODIE! Just like so many other women in today's society, I too have struggled with food. When you are constantly bombarded with images of what you should look like and articles telling you what you should and shouldn't eat, it can become overwhelming, stressful, and exhausting. But once you are able to find that "happy space" to say screw you and do and eat what makes YOU happy, life changes! 

When I first connected with Meg a few months ago, I knew that I wanted her to contribute to this space. Meg is an RD that also calls herself a "Food NERD that plays with plants!" She is also a taco guru, music lover, and obviously a FOODIE! Her story, her passion, and her outlook on food and life is inspirational and I hope you will head over to her blog Root For Food to learn more about her and follow her journey. In the meantime, THANK YOU Meg! XOXO

Freedom In Food

Root For Food

The other day at a restaurant, I observed a woman carefully measure out every single item she ordered to ensure it was exactly catered to fit her meal plan. When it didn’t measure up she ordered more food. She took away food. She brought out her own food from her purse. At last, she even squeezed some lemon juice on top to make it fit the EXACT measurement. It blew my mind. One of her friends said, “You shouldn’t have to measure food like that for the rest of your life… that’s a little obsessive. What kind of life is that?” (YES. Yes for friends who are willing and able to speak truth into other friend’s lives. What a true friend.)

Honestly, when you see things like this, it is hard not to judge. It is hard not to roll your eyes and shake your head, thinking, “she has gone off the deep end. “ And yes, maybe she has, but haven’t we all in one way or another?

I think many of us struggle with this kind of manipulation- this kind of warped perfection of healthy. Thinking that we need a carefully outlined guide or road map to health or fitness or weight loss or whatever your “goals” may be. I believe it all manifests itself in many different ways. Hers happens to be in a very visual one for all to see.

For you it may be a working out, it may be counting macros, it may be restriction, it may be juice diets, it may be with body bands or even bulimia or laxatives. Or maybe just stressing about food in general.

But I believe all of these stem from the same foundation of fear and self- un-acceptance. They stem from a place of not feeling adequate enough and finding a high and some sort of comfort in these variables that we can control and manipulate. It stems from of a place of “I’m not good enough… so this will get me good enough.”

This was me. 100% this was me. I wasn’t measuring out my food but I did count calories, severely restrict, and exercise myself to death for YEARS. All in an attempt to make my body submit to my wishes and take on the form I was convinced would make me beautiful and desirable. I was ashamed of myself and felt self- manipulation was the only option. And I am not the exception in this kind of toxic behavior or mindset.

Root For Food

There is one BIG problem with this mindset: It is working AGAINST our bodies instead of WITH our bodies. It is saying I don’t like you the way you are so I am going to take the reigns and make you how I want you. It is saying — you don’t know what you need for nourishment, so I am going to ignore you and apply calculations and formulas. It is removing natural intuition and mindfulness from our bodies and applying science and even aggression. It is saying— you don’t know how to burn off calories fast enough or work efficiently enough so I am going to exercise vigorously. It is saying I don’t like how much you weigh so I am going to provide you less fuel. It is ignoring craving and dismissing them as misbehavior.  

Root For Food

Wow!!! We live in a society that often promotes punishing our bodies into submission… versus loving our bodies into wholeness. I say wholeness because I think it best describes a beautiful mindset. One that says, body, I love you and want to work WITH you. I want to listen to you and treat you with care and love. It is a mutual respect for your soul and your body have towards one another- I love you, you love me, so let us pursue wholeness and wellness together. It is coming to that place of self-care and self-love that brings unity and peace to your spirit and your body. It is owning your body exactly how it is. Owning YOU exactly how you are. It is eating with the mindset of NOURISHMENT, not of calories or fat or carbohydrates. It is working out with the mindset of STRENGTH and HEALTH verses calorie burning. It is living life with an inner mindset, remembering your body and physical appearance is a part of you that needs to be loved and nurtured.  How much more valuable is a beautiful spirit, a happy sprit and a life well lived? One that is free of guilt and anxiety. Can you imagine?

Root For Food

If you are not in this place, I challenge you to begin to adopt this new state of body and mind. To blossom into unity with your body.  See it as a friend to grow with verses something that needs to be subdued into obedience and disciplined to reach your “goals”. To be completely honest, I still struggle with remaining in this positive place. To be honest, every day is a new challenge. Some days are better than others. But acceptance and self-love is the first step. As corny and cliché as that sounds…. it is true. Honestly, if you don’t START your journey with LOVING yourself and accepting your body the way it is nothing- no diet or disciple is ever going to get you to the point of contentment or happiness.

Root For Food

All of this being said, I do think it is healthy to have an understanding of the amount of calories and macronutrients you need daily. But when it becomes dogmatic and religious and creates a point of potential guilt around food, I believe this is when we have strayed from what our bodies are designed to do. I believe there is a substantial difference between awareness, and actual counting- as counting often eliminates a lot of the flexibility and grace your body desires. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot fit into a box and nutrition cannot fit into a formula. It all boils down to having an understanding of basic nutrition and letting your body do the rest. HOWEVER, many of us have turned off those signals. We have gone so far down the rabbit hole that our bodies don’t know how to communicate and we don’t know how to listen. Thus, there are some exceptions here and times when I do believe it is appropriate to follow a strict meal plan. This allows you to retrain your body to recognize proper nutrition and crave it when you are lacking and not when it is satisfied. This type of re-wiring can eliminate restriction, binging, and everything in between. Trust me, I’ve been there. We’re all in this together!

Root For Food

If you have any more questions regarding this, feel free to contact me. Of course, all of this is my humble opinion. I believe our bodies are incredibly perceptive and are capable of communicating their desires if we would only rekindle that beautiful relationship. I believe this is true freedom in food. 

LOVE your body! LOVE yourself! And LOVE the foods that make you happy!

#TryDry - A Product MUST When Traveling

*Disclosure: Post sponsored by Mirum Shopper but all opinions are my own.*

WAHOO! I got off the island for a jam-packed Halloween weekend in Boston! It was time to explore, shop, eat, drink, and enjoy the mainland for a few days. During the offseason, it is a MUST to get off the island as much as your schedule permits. It also helps to have friends who love to travel and can join the party! 

After taking the ferry and picking up the rental car, then taking the train into the city, there are always a couple of stops I like to make. Yes, that is the normal amount of travel required to get off Nantucket. That alone in itself is its own little adventure. My frequent stops when I make it to the mainland for quick weekend getaways are always: Dunkin Donuts, Trader Joes for snacks, and CVS for all my bathroom essentials. I love CVS and their selection has really improved over the past few years. I always stock up on: 

Besides being the perfect travel size, this Dove Dry Spray keeps me fresh, dry, and lasts 48 hours. When you travel by boat, car, and train on warm Fall days, I definitely need something that is going to hold up for long busy days of travel and adventures. It also helps that it smells good, goes on instantly dry, and there is no mess! No mess is KEY, because how annoying is it when you put on a deodorant and it sticks to your clothes, stains your clothes, and leaves you feeling just awkward. 

Make sure to click on the above and below images to learn more about these products and make sure to pick some up for you, your significant other, or anyone else in your family. The offer is good until November 5, 2016, so STOCK UP and take advantage of this deal. 

Even though it is definitely getting cooler and the days are getting shorter, there are still a few warm days left and you will be glad that you purchased these deodorants. I am glad that I was wearing my Dove Dry Spray on Sunday because it was warm in the city and we were walking around for hours, shopping, eating, drinking, and doing yoga poses in the middle of the historic streets because that is totally normal...Right? I smelled great, felt dry, and was comfortable all weekend long. Becuase the last thing I want to worry about is whether or not my deodorant is working when trying to enjoy a weekend away!

What is your favorite deodorant?

Do you have a list of places that you always stop by when traveling?

Dinner Demonstration with Chef Greg

On Friday it was windy, gray, and the streets of Nantucket were very quiet! I finally got out of my yoga pants; put on some "going out" attire; added some accessories and makeup and was ready to have a nice evening out. Even though I was going solo, I was so happy to be walking into the Nantucket Culinary Center's event that was being held that night. The environment was warm, welcoming, and perfect for meeting new people and enjoying delicious food and wine. 

I first met the owners Joy and Greg at one of their cooking classes last Winter but lost touch during the crazy Summer months, so it was nice to reconnect with them and start working together to talk about this great business and promoting them. I make it a point to go to the cafe, which is below the culinary center at least 1-2 times a week, to not only get out of the house but to enjoy their latte's. They are so so so GOOD! And it is a great place to chat with friends, meet new friends, and work away. 

Joy and I met a few weeks ago and just started chatting away about life, food (obviously), ideas, and ways to get people involved with the events and classes they offer. You can check out the schedule here to see the amazing variety that they offer! Joy graciously invited me to come to the event held on Friday and of course I said yes. When have I ever turned down food and wine?

The event on Friday was called "Dinner Demo with Chef Greg in the Demonstration Kitchen". You walked in the door and they had family style tables set up; with appetizers set on the tables; 2 servers; and Chef Greg in the kitchen with a large flat screen TV overhead so you could watch from all angles. The kitchen is clean, modern, but also warm and comfortable. It was the perfect night for a Fall inspired feast and I was so happy to see lots of pumpkin, squash, and cranberries on the counters.

I sat down with some women from NYC who were having a "Girls Weekend" to celebrate one of their birthdays. The dinner started on time. The servers were friendly, professional,  and did a great job of making sure everyone was happy. They are very good at making sure your wine glass is always filled! The food was all local ingredients, real, simple, and so delicious. Chef Greg is funny, engaging, and obviously very talented (Chef Greg lived in Colorado for many years and loved that his favorite spot to ski was Steamboat...FUN FACT)! I enjoyed that you could talk with your new friends at the table, but also ask Chef Greg any questions that came up while he was preparing the feast. I could go on and on about my dinner, but since I will be working with Joy and Greg throughout the winter, I can always brag more in other posts. 

So start scrolling down through my pictures of these delicious Fall inspired EATS, that left me leaving that night with a very happy belly and heart. THANK YOU, Nantucket Culinary Center for inviting me to this perfect Nantucket Fall event!

Cheese & Meat Plate with Pinot Noir

Chef Greg starting the Dinner

Pumpkin Soup with Creme Fraiche  

Roasted Delicata Squash & Cauliflower over a Fennel Puree

Swordfish & Steak with Isralei Cous Cous and Bruschetta

Cranberry & Apple Crumble with a French Vanilla Sauce

Make sure to follow the Nantucket Culinary Center to keep up to date on all events, life on Nantucket, and of course beautiful FOOD pictures:

Do you enjoy going to cooking events?

What is your favorite Fall squash right now?

Breakfast Bowls ALL Week

HELLO Friday! So it was 65-70 degrees and sunny all week here on Nantucket...AMAZING! I was giddy that I was able to wear shorts, leave the doors and windows open, sit outside in the mornings to eat my breakfast. Enjoying these days as much as possible, because I have a feeling it will be like a light switch and I will be moaning about how cold I am...Right?

But back to breakfast...I LOVE breakfast! I love enjoying it after a busy early morning of work, clients, and my workout. When I get back to the house, I whip it up and make sure it is hearty, delicious, and packed with all the nutrients to keep me happy and healthy. And this week they were ALL out of bowls, hence the title. So let us take a look at my breakfasts during the week...

For those mornings when all I want is crunchy, hearty, and large clusters of granola, this breakfast gets satisfies all of those needs. Michele's Cherry Chocolate Granola is DELICIOUS! I could easily eat half the bag, so I measure a serving and then pick out all the large clusters to eat on the side. Granola clusters make me happy...It is the little things, friends. In this bowl I added:

Breakfast Bowls

Pumpkin pancake for the WIN! So simple and so easy and the perfect combo of nutrients to eat after a busy morning and a hard workout. This pancake keeps me full for hours and yes I eat my pancakes out of a bowl and with a spoon because I don't want to waste ANY of that nut butter.

  • Pumpkin Pancake
  • 1 diced apple;
  • HEAPING spoonful of peanut butter!
Breakfast Bowls

One of my FAVORITE things about being an entrepreneur is that I create my own hours. Yes, I start sending emails around 6:15 AM and I have a tendency to work on the weekends, but that is okay because I love what I do. And I love when a friend says it is time to go out for a boat ride because it is 70 degrees and feels like Summer. Pack up a big breakfast bowl and run out the door. I packed this container with: 

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt;
  • 2 cups of larger than life green grapes;
  • 1/4 c unsalted almonds!
Breakfast Bowls

And there was the really ugly but delicious breakfast bowl! It is funny how some of the best and most satisfying meals can sometimes truly be the ugliest. This smoothie did not disappoint, but gosh it was really ugly looking. I am trying out Rootz Nutrition for the first time and I have to say that this Paleo Protein Superfood was pretty darn good. More information to come later on this. In this smoothie I added:

  • 1 scoop of Rootz Nutrition;
  • 1 apple (1/2 blended + 1/2 diced and put on top);
  • 1/2 tbs chia seeds;
  • HEAPING spoonful of peanut butter;
  • Lots of Simply Organic cinnamon!
Breakfast Bowls

I do not know about y'all, but I have been eating a LOT of apples lately! They are so good and go with everything and pair really well with peanut butter...Obviously! I have been eating 3-4 per week. Tis the season! I make protein pancakes a lot (because they are super easy) but will usually switch up the fruit to whatever I am craving or have in the fridge. In this bowl I whipped up:

  • 1x egg + 1 scoop Rootz Nutrition  + baking powder;
  • 1x diced apple;
  • HEAPING spoonful of peanut butter!
Breakfast Bowls

What is your favorite breakfast bowl these days?

What Fall fruit can you not get enough of?

Just DISCONNECT...

Last week sucked a lot of energy out of me! It was both emotionally and physically draining, so making the decision to get off the island and disconnect was EXACTLY what I needed. I was a zombie on Friday and I looked like one. You know those days when you look in the mirror and say to yourself, damn I look tired. Not a pretty site, so it was time to leave my 3 iPads and laptop home...It was time to not post anything all weekend...It was time to rest...It was definitely time to sleep, eat, and spend some good quality time with my great friend...It was time to just BE!

West Dennis

As soon as I got on the boat on Friday afternoon, I had already felt a sense of relief. Like I have said many times before, I LOVE what I do, but social media is definitely exhausting and non-stop. If you do not give yourself a break, you WILL burn out. I can safely say that I was pretty close to a burnout. So, I think I will pat myself on the back as I am doing a good job of following my "Wellness Tips For October". Go ME!

I was ready and excited to spend 2 days on the Cape with my girlfriend for some R&R. The only requirements I had was that we get manicures/pedicures; have a picnic on the beach; eat, drink, sleep, and just enjoy some relaxation. Katie had had a similar week to mine, so we both were ready to just chill. We did a pretty good job at accomplishing all of the above...WINNING!

West Dennis

The weather was perfect and the weekend was beautiful! These warm October days are my favorite and I am trying to spend as much time outside before Winter arrives. We spent almost 8 hours at the beach with a delicious spread of snacks, champagne, blankets, and good conversation. We just relaxed and talked about everything under the sun, while soaking up the sun. Effortless conversations with good friends are the best!

West Dennis

We had all the intentions of going out on the town and dressing up, but after watching the sunset we said screw it. We were comfy. We had full bellies of food and bubbles and we were tired. So just sitting in the kitchen in comfy clothes, while listening to country music and yes still snacking away, in the end, was more fun. OMG am I getting old? Am I "adulting"? This weekend was definitely not like the last time we had a girls weekend, but in the end, I think it was both what we needed. I slept past 8:00 AM...WHO AM I? This coming from the person who wakes up at 6:00 AM every day during the week. 

West Dennis

It went by way too fast. I wish Katie lived closer as she is the BEST and she has always been such a loyal, supportive, inspiring, and true friend. We have been through a lot together. We have shared our ups and downs. We are strong, independent, hard working, and fabulous women. And I always know she will be there for me and just give me the honest godforsaken truth about it all. That is why I love her and respect her and I am so glad that I got my shit together to make this quick weekend getaway to see her. 

West Dennis

"Friends come and go like the waves of the ocean...But the true ones stick, like an octopus on your face!" Thank you, Katie, for just being YOU and for showing me an AWESOME girls weekend! With that being said friends, I hope that you take the time to disconnect. Take the time to enjoy life. Take the time to be with your friends and family and really listen to them and be there for them. Life is short and when we spend so much time on our devices we truly forget how much there is to see and do and enjoy. So put it away for a day and look up! 

West Dennis

When was the last time you FULLY disconnected?

Being Single Is HARD...But Being In A Bad Relationship Is WORSE

When I actually sat down to start writing this post, I let out a HUGE sigh! A sigh of relief...A sigh of being ready to tell my story...A sigh of being ready to move forward and leave the past in the past. It is time to let go and move forward so that I can move forward and find that relationship that will be healthy, loving, and serving to me and my needs. Because friends, YOU have a choice! I will be the first to admit that being single these days is freaking hard, but it is a hell of a lot better than being in a shitty relationship. So let us talk...

I have been single for about 5-6 years...HOLY HELL that is a long time, but it is time, that I desperately have needed to heal, to grow, and to spend time figuring out WHO I AM! I needed to learn to stand on my own two feet. To be my own person. To really learn what I want in life and in a significant other. Yep, that is a lot of shit to work on! But that shit needs to be worked on. Because if you are not giving out positive vibrations, how can you attract a positive person? 

For 10 years I was in two relationships that both were about five years long each and both were horrible in different ways, but gosh darn have they taught me a lot and they are still teaching me even today. During my twenties and into my early thirties I was kind of lost and confused. I was insecure. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing with my career. I wasn't sure where I was supposed to live. So it was easy for me to get sucked into relationships that distracted me from finding my purpose. It was easy for me to be taken advantage of. It was easy for me to be almost brainwashed, manipulated, used, and abused. 

In a nutshell, I am just going to say this out loud and I will move forward because talking about these relationships is freaking hard. I look back and think to myself what the "F" was I doing! But it is in the past, it is done, and like I said at the beginning, once I write this out it is time to move FORWARD! These relationships are not pretty and they are sad and make me angry, but I know I am not alone because I know that there are women out there who have been in these situations. My life is far from perfect and like I have said in the past, this is a safe place for us to support each other...to inspire each other...to be there for each other through the good and the UGLY!

The first five-year relationship, I was taken advantage of financially. I was paying for all the bills and the rent and I wasn't even making much money. I then proceeded to walk in on him with another woman. And you know what...even after all of that, I proceeded to stay with him another year. FINALLY, I had the guts to say enough was enough. I of course lost a lot of money, but it was worth it. And as they always say...once a cheater ALWAYS a cheater! 

The second five-year relationship was totally different! At the beginning, it was one big party. I was going out 4 nights a week; drinking heavily; staying up all night; being wined and dined; not having to pay for anything; just having fun! But things took a drastic turn...I was physically abused. It only happened once. I left him but found myself back with him in a matter of weeks. There was no physical abuse, but there was verbal abuse. There would be times that the yelling was so intense, my old dog, would come sit by my side with her ears up and would NOT move. Friends would be embarrassed. I was embarrassed. I was scared. I felt so alone. What the hell was I going to do? What would happen next?

When I FINALLY realized that you cannot change a person, that I wasn't safe, that this was NOT NORMAL, I left. The hardest part about this break up was all the friends that I lost. One would think when someone is abusive they would support the person abused...this is not always true. This hurt me more than anything. When you go through hard things in life, that is when you TRULY see who your real friends are...And I found out real fast who they were and gosh I am grateful for them and will NEVER EVER forget what they did for me and how they helped me! Y'all know who you are and I can never thank you enough for what you did! XOXO

Inspiration

But now that this is ALL of my chest, this kind of explains why I am still single and why dating has been hard for me and why I have been taking my time to figure it out. I am ready, though, because it is time. I want to love someone with all my heart. I want to be loved. I want to be taken care of. And I freaking deserve it. And so do YOU! Letting this go feels AMAZING...Moving forward feels AMAZING...Knowing that I have learned, grown, healed, and know my purpose in life and where I want to live and what makes me happy is really freaking AMAZING! 

Now that we are moving forward, we can now move forward with what dating life is like 30 miles out to sea...I am also going to ask some of my single friends to chime in and share their stories because honestly, it is funny. Yes..it is frustrating and ridiculous that some of this stuff happens, but it does. Y'all can make fun of "Sex and the City", but those scenarios REALLY do happen! Get comfortable. Get ready to laugh. Get ready to just have fun! 

And thank you for listening to my story! And most importantly remember that you are NEVER alone. You deserve the best. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be treated with respect every single day. You deserve it ALL! Never ever settle! 

XOXO

Wellness Tips For October

I had a lot of time this past rainy weekend to get stuff DONE! And I did...I had a list of chores that I wanted to tackle and miraculously all were accomplished. By Sunday night though I was getting stir crazy. These grey clouds can move on out of here, cause this Island woman needs her Vitamin D. Sometimes these weekends are necessary, but definitely not all the time...LOL! With a new month, I always think it is a good time to reflect, refocus, and come up with a doable list of things to work on. Here are a few that I am focusing on for the beautiful month of October:

Tuesday Tips For October

Switch Up Your Routine: I am a planner and I like my schedule, but even I was getting tired of it and I knew I it was time for some changes here and there. These are just simple changes, nothing major, but healthy ideas for me. For the month of October, I am making sure to:

  • Sleep in on the weekends! Instead of getting out of bed as soon as my eyes open (between 6:00 - 6:30 AM) I am making sure to enjoy the peacefulness and just REST!
  • Working out when I want to work out, not always first thing in the morning!
  • Spend more time at a coffee shop to work instead of being cooped up in the house! I think I am going to hunker down at The Corner Table for a few weeks and treat myself to delicious coffee, a good atmosphere, and meet new people. And I hear they make a mean bacon scone! 

Book A Winter Getaway: Get out of the cold and book a fun trip to help you get some time away from your daily routine...It is important to treat yourself to something fun...To spend some time relaxing! I cannot wait to tell you all with what I have planned this coming winter. It is time to treat myself to some NEW adventures and I am FINALLY doing it! ALLELUJAH! 

Book A Winter Getaway

Turn Off Your TV And READ: I love going to the library and finding new books to read! I still fully enjoy flipping those pages. I try to make it a point to read 30 minutes or more per night. Lately, I am even reading while on the Step Mill at the gym. It makes the time go by so much faster and it is nice to not be connected to my devices and even music. I recently finished "The Magic Strings of Frankie Pesto" and it was SO GOOD! I am currently reading "The Orchardist".

So find a good a good book to cuddle up with on these cooler Fall nights and let your mind wander and enjoy the simple pleasure of reading. 

Try New Seasonal Recipes:

Have you noticed how your taste buds are craving different foods as the seasons' change? For me, all I want is apples, squash, brussels sprouts, and hearty, healthy, and delicious slow cooker recipes. I cannot wait to try this Crock Pot West African Peanut Stew! 

I have also saved all of these "6 Healthy Casseroles" by Fit Foodie Finds because these too are great for Fall, leftovers, and for meals throughout the busy week. So many great flavors and recipes that are delicious for this time of year! The "Healthy Chicken Enchilada Casserole" is calling my name...DELICIOUS! 

DISCONNECT...More Often: Just do it! Leave your phone at home when you head out for your walk or time with friends and family. Those moments are more important when you are 100% present! When Lucy and I go for our walks, I LOVE to leave my phone at the house. Walking in the peace and quiet is the BEST! I also make it a point when I am out with friends here on Nantucket that I leave my phone in my purse and do not check it. I honestly should leave that at home too...

Nantucket Island

And trust me, I am working on this as well! I made it a point on Sunday to do just this and it felt great. All 4 of my accounts were put on hold. I quickly checked each one of them and all their platforms; responded to some emails, and then after an hour I was done. This was a big step for me, but it was necessary, because it is the only way to stay sane, energized, focused, and fresh!

How are you switching up your routine for October?

How often do you honestly DISCONNECT?

Thinking Out LOUD...

And POOF the month of September has disappeared! My brain is fried after a busy week of work meetings, social media planning, and just getting all my ducks in order, because life is not slowing down and neither is business. All good stuff! So let us jump right into it...shall we? Here is what has been happening lately on Nantucket. ENJOY! 

I Am Back On Bumble...

I have a love/hate relationship with online dating apps. I download them. I delete them. I download again. I delete again. Dating is frustrating (DUH!) and honestly, there are a lot of weird people out there (shirtless selfies in the bathroom are a big NO). But sometimes, we just have to give it a chance and put ourselves out there. Which leads me to the fact that I am finally ready to share my "Oh So Single Life" story with y'all. It is time to talk about my past relationships and let that shit go! I am going to work on it this weekend as it is the perfect time to hunker down on Nantucket because it is going to RAIN ALL WEEKEND! 

An Unexpected Experience...

How cool is it when you show up to something with no expectations and then leave the situation completely giddy, inspired, and motivated! Yes, this could apply to a lot of different scenarios in life, but last Friday at The Nantucket Project, those 90 minutes made me feel just that!

For the past couple of weeks, a few of my friends had been telling me that I need to apply to this event, as they were giving out free tickets to islanders, who completed their application. I had no clue what it was about; I honestly had never heard of it before, but I figured why not just say YES! I am so happy that I went. The event was held outside under a tent. I was able to spend those 90 minutes soaking up the last hot day of the season, while soaking up the island breeze and being educated and inspired by some very talented entrepreneurs. Yes...Nantucket is magical like that!

Simple and EFFECTIVE Strength Training...

My workouts the past couple of weeks have just been SIMPLE! I am training 5-6 times a week. This includes 2 days of cardio + 3 days of cardio/strength + 1 day of long and relaxing walks with Lucy + 1 FULL day off. Right now this schedule works for me and it feels good. 

My cardio includes the treadmill, the bike, and the Step Mill. My strength training is just simple! I am sticking to the basics and sometimes the old school moves too (like the one above). I like my strength training workouts to be quick and efficient while making sure to strengthen my core and major muscle groups. These workouts make me feel my best at this time! How I feel next month could be totally different and I am okay with that!

It's Time To TRAVEL...

Do you know that I have not been off the island since April??? OH MY GOD, I am getting stir crazy and I am ready to get onto the mainland! I need a break. I need to breathe. I just need to get away. And once October hits, I have a lot of travel plans that I am very excited about, which reminds me I need to book my ferry reservation for Thanksgiving!!!

My first adventure is in a couple of weeks to attend and represent NuttZo in NYC at the WELL Summit! I am really looking forward to being in the city and feeling a different kind of energy. I am looking forward to again being inspired and motivated. And most importantly I am looking forward to making NEW connections with many influencers who I only know through their posts on social media. It is going to be fun and exciting!

I LOVE Leftovers...

I don't understand how people do not enjoy eating leftovers...

  1. It usually takes 5 minutes to prepare the meal;
  2. There is no clean up;
  3. It requires no thinking or planning;
  4. The food actually tastes better, because you have let all those amazing flavors soak! 

Sometimes I can go a few days of just eating random "kitchen sink" dinners and I LOVE IT! This leftover steak salad hit the spot as did those leftover fish tacos...Totally WINNING this week!

I LOVE leftovers!
I LOVE Leftovers

When was the last time you went to an event that INSPIRED YOU?

Leftovers...YES or NO?