2013 GIFT GUIDES NO. 1 | For The Movers & Shakers On Your List

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This is the first installment of my 2013 guides check out the intro here. This guide is for the Wellness Wonderland inhabitant who loves moving their body in creative & fun ways. From yoga to dance to just plain walking! This is everything they could ever want.

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Shoe– The running, hiking, & walking shoe I have loved this year, seriously the most comfortable thing ever on my foot. I felt like Cinderella when I found these.

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Rebounder– This is the best way to get in exercise when you’re busy & don’t have time to make it to a yoga class, the gym, or even outside for a walk. Having one of these may be your ticket. As a kid, I adored jumping on the trampoline so much. I could stay out there jumping for hours with my little radio.

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Jump Rope- Another simple tool for staying fit while staying inside during the long winter (when all you want to do is hibernate) is a jump rope. It  will also make you feel like a little kid again, which is the best.

Shrink Session– This is the workout that changed my entire year. I adore Erin Stutland & Shrink Session so much, get her free workouts just by signing up for her email newsletter and try it out for yourself.

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Manduka Mat- This is the mat I love, it’s a little heavy but I love using it. My aunt calls it the Mercedes-Benz of yoga mats.

Keeping your body moving is only part of the equation to be fit. Be sure to seek the guidance of a good health coach or nutritionist.

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The Rockstar Roadmap group coaching – For when someone is getting started with wellness & has no idea where to start! The Rockstar Roadmap is the GPS to Wellness Wonderland.  It’s a fun group of women, classes, handouts, and more. Sign up for the Rockstar Roadmap with the amazing Robyn Youkilis.

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Culinary Karma Coaching– Getting along in your health journey, but need an intuitive guide to hold space for you & help you take your health to a place where you feel great in your body? Book a session here.

Wellness Weekends | Join Wellness Wonderland & Culinary Karma for a FREE 2 week SUGAR CLEANSE

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You’ve heard from my friend Carly of Culinary Karma quite a bit here in wonderland (most recently here) and that’s no accident. Carly is one of the smartest people when it comes to life, holistic wellness, and most of all cleansing. This week Carly & I are teaming up and embarking on our 2 WEEK SUGAR DETOX. Are you in? Sign up, for free suport, recipes, menus, love, and more. It is going be above all so much fun! Do you want to feel free? Then sign up below. Here is Carly with more details. Take is away Karma
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When we come to look at what is on our plates as a relationship to the divine, we get a lot of information back about how our lives are going and what we are doing to ourselves.

We all have a little bit of an addiction to something.

Whether it’s a piece of dark chocolate after a meal, that one day a week junk binge, or the addiction of something comforting.

Let me tell you something-

It feels really good to break an addiction.

Especially when it comes to food.

Sugar, in itself, can cause an intense addiction. Whether you physically or mentally know it, sugar is addicting.When your body gets that sweetness, it just wants more. The bacteria in you physically craves it. Your mind does as well.

Whether it’s the sweetness of refined high fructose corn syrup, pure raw honey, or one of my other favorite sweeteners, it still has an impact on our bodies.

If you know me, you know I believe in balance.

Is sugar the devil? No- I don’t believe so.

But, there is a tipping point. Most of us were fed sugar our whole lives through packed food and restaurant dining. Even if we do eat at home, sugar finds a way into our meals- even if it’s coming from fruit. And that leads our bodies to crave and want more. {which is okay in moderation, but not if we are at that tipping point toward addiction!}

When we give our bodies a break from that sugar load, we lose weight, we break an addiction, we curb cravings, we cleanse candida, and we can start to feel good again.

But, we need each other.

We need tribe.

That’s why I’ve created one.

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Here’s the deal: This month’s sugar cleanse is completely free.

Below, I’ll post a brief description and some details about the cleanse, and all you have to do is request to join the facebook group and you’ll instantly be added to the tribe!!

In the facebook group, I’ll be posting every day with meal ideas for the whole two weeks, affirmations, and fun things to do while so we can cleanse our minds as well as our bodies.

And get this: it’ll be completely open discussion. Ask me anything you’ve ever wanted to. About me, about you, about Katie,  about health, about your body, about your life. We’ll authentically share together, authentically cleanse together, and get back to feeling our highest self.

We can do this together. I know we can. Katie knows we can. & we will!

Click here to request access to the facebook group where we will all share recipes, questions, ideas, and love.

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So, what does it entail?

We want to focus heavily on the foods to add more of. By focusing on what we are adding, instead of what we are eliminating, we feel infinite.

Foods to focus on:

(in general, your plate at each meal should be about 80 percent vegetable based)

– Green Leafy Vegetables

– Salad greens

– Non- starchy vegetables like zucchini, squash, radish, etc

– Cruciferous Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts (cooked)

– Nourishing broths: Mineral rich bone or vegetable broth

– Green powders: spirulina, chlorella, blue green algae

– Sea vegetables like dulse, nori, or kelp

– Wild (not farmed) fish: the best choices are wild atlantic salmon, wild sardines, anything local at your farmers market, oysters, mussels, mackerel– find the whole list here.

– Pastured eggs

– High quality fats (raw, never heated): Avocado, Olive oil, ghee, raw butter, sesame oil, coconut oil, coconut butter, raw sesame tahini

– Herbs and spices: cinnamon, cayenne, curry: any herb you like. They’re all medicinal!

– Seeds like hemp, chia, sesame, black sesame, and flax.

– Fermented products like sauerkraut, kimchee, and fermented coconut water. (Eliminate kombucha for these two weeks)

– Vegetarian protein: sprouted legumes like lentil, mung, and garbanzo. Go low on the quinoa and buckwheat but do include some if you are vegetarian. (Make 80 percent of your plate vegetables first)

– Medicinal mushrooms: chaga, reishi, cordyceps

– Lemon, lime, apple cider vinegar

– Plan protein powders: pure pea protein, pure organic whey, pure hemp protein. None of the pre-mixed protein powders.

– Cococnut

– Tree nuts: soak before eating (eliminate peanuts and cashews)

– Raw goat milk kefir and/or cheese

Foods to enjoy in moderation:

– Sweet vegetables like carrot and beet

– Low sugar fruits: not necessary, but include for a tad bit of sweetness that you desire: organic green apples or fresh wild organic berries. No more than one serving a day.  One cup of coconut water after an exercise!

– Cranberries

– Stevia, Lucuma, Mesquite, and Yacon- the lowest glycemic sweeteners. Although we are trying to change our palettes to savory foods and get that sweet craving gone, these are the best to fall on.

– Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yam: enjoy one serving a day if you are called to (about half a sweet potato mixed in with salad greens and/or non starchy vegetables)

– Dark chocolate. Never more than 1 tablespoon per day!

Foods to eliminate completely:

– Processed food, fried food, refined food

– Corn, wheat, soy

– Caffeine (if you drink coffee every day, you may have to slowly wean off)

– Potatoes

– High fructose fruits: bananas, mangoes, citrus fruits, pears..

– Dried fruits: dates included!- Vegetable oils: canola- Refined Carbohydrates: bread, flour, pastries, cakes- Candy…duh!- Alcohol and wine (it’s just two weeks, if this is a biggie for you! You can do it!)

This process will leave you feeling less attached to your food choices, more in tune with your body and it’s needs, and ready to listen to your own intuition with food.

Is this a diet plan or the way to eat for the rest of your life?

Absolutely, completely, definitely not!

This is a plan to give your body a break from the sugar overload it’s dealt with in the past.

This is your chance to break free.

As a tribe. With us.

Are you down?

Click here to request access to the facebook group where we will all share recipes, questions, ideas, and love.

See you there!

Focus: Releasing all that no longer serves me makes room for magic to come forth.

THIS IS RAD ISN’T IT? THANK YOU CARLY!!!

Tables Are Turned | I’m the Interviewee, Check out my Chat with Culinary Karma

It’s no secret that my favorite thing in the world is to interview people. My natural hyper-inquisitive & curious personality lends itself well to my WWRadio Podcast where I ask thought-provoking questions to world-shakers, visionaries, and wellness warriors. While I love asking the questions, this week I had the cool opportunity to be the one answering the questions.

It was so refreshing to have the tables turned and sit back and allow Carly from Culinary Karma to lead the conversation. She did an amazing job and our organic conversation went in some really fun directions talking about everything from creating a tribe to feeling like an outsider with your peers. Clearly, Carly and I are great friends and there’s an enormous amount of synergy between the beautiful community she’s built with Culinary Karma & The Wellness Wonderland so you can expect many more amazing conversations & collaborations between Carly and I. We have some really great stuff up our sleeves for you guys.

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Carly’s become somewhat of a staple in Wonderland & feel free to get used to that. Here are some of her pervious appearances in Wonderland:

-Her Foodie Friday guest post Beet of your Heart Smoothie Recipe. 

-Her tips on soaking Buckwheat for a nourishing Hot Breakfast. 

-& last but not least her first appearance in WW, her WWRadio episode interview.

The importance of Morning Routines | 11 ways to start your day right

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I’ve spoken many times around WWonderland about the importance of morning routines. Like here, and remember all the crazy things I do in the mornings like Oil Pull & water with lemon? Well those are all well and good, but recently I needed more. I wanted to fall in love with my morning routine much like my mentor Gabrielle Bernstein did when she prayed to the Universe to fall in love with her spiritual practice – and was guided to Kundalini yoga when she previously hated yoga.

& that’s how it happens when you surrender (like I spoke about here) – the Universe will guide you in ways you never could’ve imagined to exactly what you are after. And that is what happened when I surrendered my morning routine by saying, “Look, I want to be so in love with my mornings I can’t wait to go to sleep at night like a child on Christmas Eve so I can wake up for morning.”

I was trying to do so many “shoulds” in the morning that I was overwhelming myself to the point of not even wanting to get out of bed, and a morning routine should do the opposite. It should catapult you out of bed each day. I realized for any ritual to become habitual it has to be something you look forward to in it’s entirety. Be patient, try things, and allow your morning routine to find you like I did.

I had to experiment to find mine & it is still constantly changing with the season, weather, and most importantly how I feel that day.

I used to get real wrapped up in doing the exact same thing everyday to call it a routine but then I realized this:

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“THE ONLY THING THAT MUST BE 100% CONSISTENT ABOUT YOUR MORNING ROUTINE IS THAT YOU 100% ADORE IT.” {TWEET IT}

Being okay with the fact that my routine varies a bit depending on how I feel was difficult for me to accept. I thought it made me a fraud if I didn’t do it with perfect repetition daily, so I would force myself into these molds of routines of others until it felt like such hard work I dreaded having to do it when I woke up.

It was a sigh of relief realizing that tailoring my routine was best for me. Now I don’t sweat it if I meditate before yoga one day and after yoga another or if I have my lemon water *gasp* after breakfast instead of before or if I power walk Monday but Wednesday I stay in and dance it out. I just simply follow my bliss and stop being so dogmatic about any of it.

*So the key here is you most absolutely do what you love or you risk not getting out of bed at all.

Here are some things I love adding in morning routine lately, but use this list as a buffet, taking as much or as little of what I offer and leaving the rest. Maybe test out one thing a day and see what you like and what you don’t.

1) Oiling Pulling-Sometimes I oil pull, sometimes I don’t. Like I said I used to be real dogmatic about this, beating myself up if I didn’t do it for one day. Now I’m chill about it, I try to make sure I do it at least a few times a week, but I just do it as needed and don’t stress if I’m traveling or have to be up super early. Learn how to oil pull here.

2) Breakfast: Make breakfast a mindful practice whether it’s enjoying some fresh figs with cinnamon or a green juice or a grapefruit or some warming buckwheat or a green smoothie or pancakes – the possibilities are infinite. Eat whatever you feel like, but take the time to sit and enjoy it , because nourishing yourself for a successful day is key. I used to push off breakfast until everything else I ‘needed‘ to do was done (& at the rate I was going with all my “shoulds” that could be as late as 2:00) & I’d rush through it just grabbing something as I ran out.

3) Movement: I love to get the body moving in some way first thing in the morning. It signals to the body that it is time to be awake and gets the blood flowing. I usually stretch and do yoga, though sometimes I go on a power walk while I listen to a Podcast or make it to an early morning Ashtanga yoga class or Barre class. Getting a workout of some sort in first thing is the ideal and sets the day off right. Sometimes I simply don’t have time and sometimes I simply don’t want too and that’s okay too. And sometimes I just DANCE!

4) Meditation: Clearing my mind before the day starts has drastically changed my life and it will change yours too, I literally guarantee it. Spending just a few minutes in stillness each morning, whether you do a Kundalini meditation, listen to a guided meditation, or just sit and listen to your favorite song and breathe. Tuning in with yourself in the morning before news, email and responsibilities is powerful beyond belief.

5) Music: Listening to music in the morning makes my entire day more smooth. I turn on a record first thing when I wake up and walk (somedays skip) around my apartment and light candles immediately. Really sets the stage for a good morning.

6) Getting Dressed: Sounds simple but for me putting on real clothes (not just yoga clothes or sweats) drastically changes how I feel. Even if I’m staying home all day. This simple action will automatically make me feel more put together and motivated to get things done and even venture out for errands later that I made have put off since I would’ve had to go get dressed.

7) Journaling/Morning Pages: Starting the day with a little journaling also drastically changes my day. Getting the thoughts I woke up with out of my mind really clears space so those same thoughts don’t play on repeat all day, and I have room for new creative ones to come in. Whether it’s fears I woke up with, an abundance of ideas, or a funky dream, writing about it is simple yet revolutionary. I love beginning with a lil gratitude list and asking myself how I want to feel during the day & listing out some action items on what I’m going to do to feel that way. Grab your journal & write out your #MorningMantra each day.

8) Drink Warm Lemon Water– hydration first thing in the morning will drastically change your day. When you first wake up immediately drink water and even better if it is warm with some lemon. It will instantly alkalize your body and it is super detoxifying. What a wonderful way to start the day! read more about this here!

9) Make your Bed Like you’re Martha Stewart: Oprah said this in this episode of Super Soul Sunday. She explained she only makes her bed on the weekends, but when she does she pretends she’s Martha Stewart, really getting into it with the throw-pillows and enjoying every little part of it like it is the first time she’s ever made a bed. I do this every morning and I remember to approach this simple act with a “beginner’s mind” making it a game-like fun activity in the morning. This sets the tone for the rest of my day and I try to infuse that same intention into every act for the rest of the day from mindless tasks to cooking.

10) Lighting Candles: I adore candles and the simple act of walking to the record player, turning on a record, and then meandering around the apartment lighting all the candles before I meditate is such a beautiful practice. There is something really soothing & relaxing about candles that can really calm me down.

11) Make the First Task a Creative One: Finally, once all the morning routines are completed and it’s time to drive into work, I’ve found one last way to sneak some serene positivity right into the beginning of the work day. This final step is simple, make your first task of the work day something enjoyable and preferably creative. Perhaps, sending an email to someone you’re mentoring or answering comments on your blog or creating a new post…apply this principle to your line of work whatever that might be and rather than starting your day by completing something mindless dive into the good stuff right away, it will make the entire day more rich.

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Hope you enjoyed this buffet of morning ideas and you were able to find at least something you can apply and use. Let me know which number was your favorite!

Introducing the WWDIET | eat anything & stay mindful

Eat anything I could ever want? A whole smoothie full of sweet fruit even though I’ve ‘been told’ it’s too sugary? A whole bowl of quinoa even though I’ve read all the ‘Paleo’ articles saying to stay away?

Maybe…just maybe.

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I’m going on a diet. The Wellness Wonderland Diet. Want to join?

This diet is radical; I can eat absolutely anything, nothing is “cut-out”, nothing is off limits, but rather any food I want in any quantity can be eaten at any hour of the day.

The only stipulation is that there’s absolutely no eating unless I’m in a calm, relaxed state. That seems simple enough, but to be honest 95 percent of my “meals” (if you can call them that) are eaten in quite the opposite way, shoving an apple in my mouth as I sprint out the door, frantically downing a smoothie simultaneously cleaning the vitamix, or furiously eating salad from the bag as I chop up my veggies for my salad then not being hungry by the time I sit down to eat.

The list goes on, almost every time I ate felt rushed and frantic, like ‘now or never.’  While every time I had great intentions for health (for gosh sakes 95 percent of the stuff I was eating was highly green and likely had kale involved) but something was off…I was eating great stuff and doing everything “right” but there was something my body wasn’t loving.

And that’s when I decided I needed a diet/plan. Even though I was trying to be less strict and eat intuitively, I work well with goals and plans so I might as well use that to my advantage. I have the personality type (typical Vata) that loves routine and I really take advice and stick to it 100 percent.

Since I’m so passionate about wellness, read a ton, and constantly get advice, I have a tendency to get really structured and dogmatic. Sometimes good and I realize now sometimes not so good.

I was grasping onto some health advice for dear life even though it wasn’t serving me.

For example, ‘give your body breaks… eat only every 3-4 hours’. Yes, great advice, however I took this to an extreme, literally setting timers of when I “could” eat again.

When I finally chilled out, thinking about how it will look in food journal after my last meal, and just listened to my body and ate whenever I wanted to, I could finally feel satisfied. Usually it did take a few hours to get hungry again depending on the size of my meal, but sometimes it was sooner and that was okay.

Here’s the thing: anything that stresses you out is bad for you period. End of story, no matter who says it’s healthy.

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So clearly through this example you can see how determined I can get when I latch onto a concept. In many ways it can be helpful, but at the same time it’s a double-edged sword really keeping me stuck. But with this new “diet” I’ve decided to take that same determination and perseverance and translate it to this new goal.

The goal: only eating when I’m fully calm, present, and aware. In our busy lives full blown mindful eating may not be feasible 100% of the time with travel, work, etc. But just infusing each meal with a touch of awareness and making a conscious effort to not eat when you’re stressed is life-changing.

Not eating when I’m stressed is something I’m working hard on everyday. Here’s the thing, sometimes when I’m stressed I’m truly hungry too, not with emotional hunger, but legit physical growling hunger.

When that happens there are two things my body’s asking for at once: one is food nourishment and the other is emotional nourishment. While both are equally important to overall health in that moment, the emotional hunger usually goes out the window and we often turn to the physical food to fill up both needs. That’s a surefire way to never ever feel full. Because the physical food will never fill that emotional need.

That’s why eating when you’re stressed is torture. It’s like you’re filling a car that runs on premium gas, unleaded gas…it will never work properly no matter how much you keep overfilling it because you’re not giving it what it needs.

This situation of simultaneous hunger and stress happens to most of us daily, whether we realize it or not, but let’s call a spade a spade coming home for dinner after a long day of work….yes you’re probably hungry but emotionally you’re drained as well and the food won’t address both needs.

So here’s the plan (oh how I love plans) if physical hunger comes up while you’re in a stressful state, address the stress first. ie. call a friend, go on a walk, read, watch a quick video, do something, ANYTHING, that can quickly get you out of that stressful state. Then, and only then can you eat. It’s not restrictive, it’s loving. When you eat while you’re stressed you’re swallowing all that negative emotion and it’s staying stuck deep inside your body. Wait…heal the emotional sensation first and then the physical.

I used to think “no i need to eat immediately, even though I’m stressed because then it will be too late and it will throw off my day blah blah blah”… Listen, it’s better to put off a meal a bit, throw off the “all holy” meal times and wait until you are calm than to rush eat when you’re stressed just to stick to a rigid meal schedule.

So with this new diet I’m using what I’ve got, by taking my rigid nature and applying it to something more fluid.

Let’s see how it goes together.

This was a guest post I did for my best friend Culinary Karma.

Will you join the both of us with this diet?

Let us know in the comments below!

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YOUR FOCUS

We are what we eat, but we are also how we eat it.