I wrote this sweet letter to myself

Do you ever have the intention to eat a healthy breakfast, meditate or workout in the AM, but it never seems to end up happening? Or maybe it happens, but not really the way you planned and it doesn't leaving you feeling the way you want to feel?

When I find myself struggling to start my day in the way I KNOW makes me feel my best, I write myself a love letter.

Yep, a love letter.

Before I go to bed, I write a note to myself. I think about what would be supportive and motivating for me to hear in the morning; what I might tell a friend or loved one if they were struggling to do something really good for themselves.

Here's a note I wrote to myself a few weeks ago:

Wouldn't you want to read this in the AM?

Wouldn't you want to read this in the AM?

Then, I'll place the letter on my nightstand or somewhere else where I'll see it in the morning. When I wake up, I try to read this FIRST THING - before turning on my phone and checking social media, before breakfast, before I officially start my day.

Not so much of a writer? You can also leave yourself a voice note on your phone and listen to that first thing.

Even though I love my work, I often wake up with a seemingly endless to-do list running through my head, which can leave me feeling behind or like I'm not doing enough. And while I have SO many people in my life that regularly tell me what a GREAT job I'm doing, at the end of the day it's really only my perspective of me (and your perspective of you) that truly matters. I've found this "self love letter" the perfect way to show myself some appreciation; this practice also helps to shift those subconscious, limiting belief systems such as "I am not enough" or "I don't have enough time."

I don't do this every day, or every week for that matter, but every time I do it totally changes my attitude and mood for the better.

Try it: Tonight, write yourself a little note. It can be a full letter, or just one or two words that you think will be helpful for you to read in the AM. Put it on your bedside table or next to your pillow, and then make sure to actually read it before you start your day! You can also come back to it at any time throughout your day when you need a boost.

 

Have you ever written yourself a "love letter," or do you have a similar self-care practice that always sets you up for feeling great? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Create space for Morning ME Time

Since February is the official season of love, this month I'll be sharing tips for how you can add more self-care, more self-love into your daily routine.

Today's tip: create space for morning "me" time - Back in my days of corporate (which was almost a year ago, what???), I would wake up early every morning to exercise before heading into the office. Yes, the physical exercise was great for my body, but this practice was more important for my mind - by taking care of myself first thing, I was able to show up for work without worrying about when I would find that me time the rest of the day.

Practice this: Whether you are a morning person or not, set aside a few minutes in the morning to do something for you: exercise, meditate, make yourself a nourishing breakfast, hey, even taking a shower can be your YOU time. Even during crazy mornings, try to carve out a few minutes just for you. 

 

What will you do for YOU today? Let me know in the comments below!


PS. Looking for some more inspiration? Check out my upcoming events - there's a ton of self-love focused events these next two weeks.

Nourishing Matcha Latte

Hello and happy March!  In my mind, March means spring (or at least the thought of spring); however, as I stare at the snow coming down as I write this post, I'm starting to think we have a least a few weeks of winter left. 

As I mentioned previously, I've been revamping my morning routine - I added in the Aryuvedic practices of oil pulling, dry brushing, and tongue scraping, as well as a short morning meditation. Since the mornings are still cold, I love slowly waking up to a nice big cup of something warm, but since taking a new look at my morning routine, I've switched my beverage of choice from coffee to a nourishing matcha latte.  

I had read about matcha all over the wellness blogs, but I had never tried it myself until I visited the MatchaBar in Williamsburg a few weeks ago.  

Matcha is finely ground green tea leaves that you whisk with hot water to create a frothy, earthy beverage.   It has all the benefits of green tea (anti-aging, cancer-fighting, energy boosting) in a concentrated format.  I love the way matcha gives me energy, without making me jittery or upsetting my stomach like coffee often does.  Matcha does contain caffeine but it is also rich in L-Theanine, a rare amino acid that actually promotes a state of relaxation, which results in a clear and focused kind of energy.

While you can certainly drink matcha on its own, my favorite way to enjoy it is as a creamy latte.  Simply add warm non dairy milk of choice and savor!  I’ve been experimenting with different homemade milks and have found my favorite to be this nourishing hemp milk.  This recipe is super quick and simple, easy to whip up first thing in the morning even if you don’t have much time.

Nourishing Hemp Matcha Latte

Serves 1, with extra hemp milk

For the matcha:

  • 1 tsp matcha (check out this great buying guide if you are unsure what to purchase)
  • 1 cup hot water (let the water cool about a minute after boiling as to not burn the matcha)

Whisk hot water and matcha until frothy (here’s a helpful tutorial if you are new to making matcha).

For the nourishing hemp milk:

  • 1 cup raw hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extra
  • dash sea salt
  • 2 pitted medjool dates (optional, for sweetness)
  • 4 cups filtered water

Add all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.   Heat 1 cup of the hemp milk in a saucepan until warm and then add to the prepared matcha tea.  Savor every sip!

 

Have you tried matcha? Did you like it?  Share your experience in the comments below!

Morning Routine to Ignite Your Day!

I've always been a morning person - even after no sleep- sleepovers with my girlfriends in high school, I was always up with the sun, out for a run while everyone else slept in.  I love mornings, but over the past few months I found myself dragging in the morning and reaching for coffee or sweet things to wake me up.  While the caffeine and sugar certainly got me going, I didn't like the way it made me feel later - more tired in the afternoon, and unhappy with myself for starting my day off poorly.  And my skin was going nuts - breaking out a lot, which was weird for me.

I decided that the new year would be a good time to re-vamp my morning.  My new routine is based on Ayurveda practices.  Ayurveda - the "science of life"- is a 5,000 year old system of natural healing from India.  It offers lifestyle guidelines that support lasting vitality and balance.  

In the short time since I started my new routine, I've noticed great changes - my skin is clearing up, my smile is brighter, and, most important of all, I feel invigorated and excited to take on the day.  I feel like my normal, morning-person self once again.  

Here are my secrets to morning success:

- Water (with lemon) - Immediately upon waking I drink a glass of water, usually with lemon.  Lemon is great for stimulating the digestive system and is naturally detoxing.  In the summer, I put a big glass of water with lemon slices in the refrigerator at night so it is nice and cold when I wake up.  In the winter, I will often have my lemon in hot water, sometimes with raw local honey and cinnamon. 

- Oil Pulling - After my water, I place a tablespoon of coconut oil in my mouth and swish it around for 10-15 minutes.  Oil pulling is a natural was to strengthen the teeth and the gums, as well as "pull" bacteria and toxins out of the body.  At the end, spit the oil into the trash and rinse your month with fresh water to get rid of any of those toxins.

- Dry Brushing - Few people realize that the skin is the largest organ in the body, and that it is an organ of elimination.  Dry brushing helps to stimulate your lymphatic system, unclog your pores, and release toxins that may be trapped in the skin.  While it takes a few days to get used to the brush, I love how this practice wakes me up and invigorates my whole body. 

- Tongue Scraping - This involves scraping the tongue with a U-shaped metal instrument.  I know, I know, it sounds a little weird and crazy, but trust me, it has its benefits.  In Ayurveda, this practice is meant to remove 'ama' - accumulated toxic residue resulting from improper eating, poor digestion, or an imbalance in your system.  I like that it makes my mouth feel cleaner, my breath fresher, and my food tastes better (since your taste buds aren't clogged or blocked). 

I also like to splash my face with cold water a few times and brush my teeth.  Then I usually do some sort of exercise (run or yoga) to really get my blood moving (this wakes you up better than coffee).  I still have my morning cup of joe, but I've found I don't need as much if I've done all the things listed above (mainly I just like the comfort of a warm cup on these cold winter mornings!). 

As I mentioned, these small changes have had a great impact on my well-being and mood.  I'd love to hear about your morning rituals and how they set the tone for your day.  Also, if you do try out any of my suggestions above, let me know how its going in the comments below!