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Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. is open for enrollment!

Are you a busy, stressed out woman ready to finally get off the dieting train, the stressed out mindset, and the body frustration?  Are you ready to start living the gorgeous, calm, and radiant life you’re craving?  Well I created Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. just for you!

Over the course of this 12-week online transformational program, you will:Know how to eat for YOUR body, for the rest of your life — and never utter the word “Diet” again!Understand the roots of your cravings and demystify the workings and needs of your bodyBe empowered with stress management tools that will keep you more calm, balanced, energized, and happy — no matter what life throws your wayDetoxify your home, body, and life or harmful chemicals, patterns and practices that are making you sickStart living the GORGEOUS life you know you are meant to be living!Enroll by Monday, August 4th to get $400 worth of awesome bonuses, including:AN OPTIONAL EXCLUSIVE EXTENDED PAYMENT PLAN to make the program even more affordable!A GGG GIFT BAG full of my favorite wellness and beauty tools to get you started off right! (a $100 value)A PRIVATE 45-MINUTE SKYPE STATEGY SESSION WITH ME! We’ll discuss your goals in depth and develop a custom strategy to help you get the most out of your program! (a $150 value)PLUS, THE FIRST 10 PEOPLE TO ENROLL WILL RECEIVE AN UP24 BAND to help you track your movement, eating, and sleep, and keep you motivated throughout the program! (a $150 value)Click here to get all the program details, including a week-by-week breakdown of what we’ll cover.

 

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How to get over the guilt of self-care

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Prioritize Happiness
Last Monday, I woke up feeling a little “meh.” I had tons on my plate between clients, my upcoming program launch, and preparing for my trip home to Minneapolis, but I was feeling some resistance toward jumping into my super productive morning routine.

These days, I know that when that happens, it’s rarely for no reason.  When I feel “meh,” unmotivated, or run down, I know it’s because I haven’t been taking well enough care of myself.  I know what I need in those moments… SPACE.

So I did what I needed to do… I started the morning off nice and slow.  I meditated, did some pilates, journaled, made my favorite green superfood smoothie (click here for the recipe!), watched some news, and read.  I didn’t even start working until about 11am.  And it felt amazing.  As the morning went on, I felt more and more myself.  More and more taken care of.

But in the back of my mind (as well as the pit of my stomach), I had this aching feeling of guilt.  “But I have so much to do!” it insisted, “How can I justify wasting precious time like this?”

And there’s the clincher.  We all know we should be heeding the needs of our bodies and minds, but that guilty little voice just keeps getting in my way.  I see it every day with my clients, and that feeling just increases exponentially with the number of responsibilities that are on your plate.

School, work, kids, family, friends, even our fun social lives all end up taking precedence over our SELVES and our deepest needs.  And the second we think of putting ourselves first, we panic and guilt ourselves out of it.

I myself have been working through a little process of overcoming this guilt that I want to share with you.  Try it out and see how much more space you can create for yourself in your life!

1. Realize that you’re not being SELFISH.

A happier, calmer, more balanced you equals being more productive and less stressed out at work, being a better mother, partner, and friend, and makes you more able to take care of all the things in your life that require your attention.  Once you frame it that way, it’s a lot easier to see that you’re not being selfish by taking care of YOU, you’re just better equipping yourself to deal with what comes your way.

For me, this means reminding myself every day that I am a better counselor, a more moving wife, and a more productive entrepreneur in my business when I feel like I have the space to care for myself.  A happy me benefits everyone in my life!

2.  Take baby steps towards creating space.

You may not be able to go from stretched thin and overworked to taking the morning (or the whole day!) off to take care of yourself overnight.  Start small by creating little pockets of space for yourself.  Maybe it’s a long walk without your phone after lunch, or not checking your email after 7 or 8pm, or building 10 extra minutes into your morning for a mediation practice or some movement.

Resist the all or nothing mentality that can just keep you stuck in a rut.  The more space you create, the more you get used to the feeling and all it’s benefits, the less guilt you experience.

3. Notice the measurable impact.

Nothing kills off guilt like sound reason and justifications, right?  So make sure to notice, and even write down, the benefits you notice from your space-making.  Do you feel less annoyed by your coworkers on a day when you take time to meditate in the morning?  Are you more patient with your kids on a day when you took a long lunch and enjoyed some quiet time?  Are you more forgiving of your partner’s quirks after a night of staying in and rejuvenating yourself?

Making these connections is super important towards creating a new relationship to self-care.  Often times we feel great/happy/calm/connected, but don’t take the time to recognize what behaviors or choices contributed to our feeling that way!

For me, this means seeing how much more work I get done, and how much more I enjoy doing it, on days when I listen to what I need.

Share your experience with these steps and eliminating the guilt of self-care in the comments below!

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10 Rules of Longevity and Agelessness

Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of our favorite healthy living gurus, prescribes 10 simple rules for aging gracefully and beautifully in his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind – A Quantum alternative to growing old. We absolutely love the simplicity of these rules… So spot-on, so intuitive, and so vital for staying young, healthy, beautiful and happy.

1. Intake fresh food, eat frugally, drink wholesome liquids, abstain from stimulants and sedatives, and have a bowel movement at least once a day.

2. Maintain a high level of personal hygiene, get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and rest, have enjoyable leisure time, and satisfying hobbies.

3. Exercise, meditate, practice balanced refined breathing (pranayam) and yoga, listen to the body’s signals of comfort and discomfort.

4. Work for a happy marriage, long-term relationships, cultivate the ability to laugh easily, to make friends and keep close friends.

5. Choose a congenial occupation, go on vacation every year, be optimistic about the future, feel financially secure and live within your means.

6. Develop an easygoing personality, cultivate nonviolent behavior, and have reverence for life.

7. Live in temperate climate, enjoy a reasonable sex life, and get proper medical attention in case of illness.

8. Live in the present – accept what comes your way, appreciate it, learn from it and let go. Resisting the natural flow of things causes negative emotions.

9. Relinquish external approval, avoid being judgmental, replace fear-motivated behaviors with love-motivated ones, nurture positive emotions and express them freely.

10. Always know the world outside is a reflection of your deeper intelligence – the real “you” is within.

Photo: DeepakChopra.com

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How to Conquer Thanksgiving This Year

The-Organic-Beauty-Blog-Thanksgiving

This time of year, most of my clients start panicking about the inevitable onslaught of travel, pies, and family stress that can be associated with Thanksgiving.  Well I say, screw that!  This year, how about we all take some key, powerful steps towards not letting this super fun, gratitude-filled holiday derail us in any way!  Giving in to the assumption that the next month is just going to be a landslide of undoing all the amazing things you’ve been doing for your body this fall is just plain silly, and that frame of mind sets you up for failure.  Remember, you are in total control of all your actions:  what you do and do not eat, how you take care of your body, how you interact with loved ones, and how you let things affect you.  So with that in mind, I give you my 8 tips for conquering Thanksgiving, and having a healthy, fun, and fabulous holiday!

 

1. Travel smartThe-Organic-Beauty-Healthy-Travel-Snacks

My essential travel snacks: nuts, kale chips, and organic coconut water!

If you’re heading out of town for the holiday, your travel day sets the tone for the rest of your trip.  If you’re frazzled, rushing, stressed, and starving, you can imagine what kind of precedent that sets for your Thanksgiving!  This year, make sure to eat a good breakfast before your flight, and pack healthy snacks like kale chips, nuts, and super hydrating coconut water.  Get to the airport 1.5 hours before your flight, so you have plenty of time to get where you need to be.  Pick up a little comfy travel kit with a blanket, eye mask, ear plugs, and inflatable neck pillow.  And make sure you have some fun reading material to keep you company!  If your flight is during a mealtime, pick up food at the airport before you board (don’t rely on any of the dubious selections provided on the plane!) — sushi; a Mediterranean platter with hummus, pita and veggies; or a big salad with protein are all great options that you can find at the airport.  And, of course, make sure you have a water bottle for the flight!  After your flight, buy the biggest bottle of water you can find and drink the whole thing within an hour.  Air travel is super dehydrating, which can set you up for all kinds of cravings and poor food choices throughout your trip.

Check out this super cute In-Flight Comfort Kit from Flight 001!

 

2. Pack portable workouts

This year, don’t just give up on your whole exercise routine for the holidays.  That is a surefire way to feel crappy about yourself and put on extra holiday weight.  No need, my beauties! Bring your iPad and bookmark some quick, easy YouTube workouts you can do absolutely anywhere.  Even just 15 minutes of moving your body will make a big difference and keep you from feeling like a Thanksgiving sloth! If you know that yoga is a sanity booster for you, scout out some local studios and bring your mom or siblings along for a family class! If an actual workout seems totally overwhelming, don’t stress!  A nice long walk in the brusque fall air, a game of touch football with the family, or even just chasing after your nieces and nephews totally counts!

Check out my playlist of Quick 15 Minute Workouts!

 

3. Bring the comforts of home

A little reading in bed can be a great escape from holiday insanity.

We all have our little creature comforts that keep us sane, and in the face of in-laws, a strange bed, and screaming cousins, these may mean the difference between a calm, happy, you and a stress-basket.  Pack a good book, your journal, a meditation cd, your favorite pj’s, even an aromatherapy candle or oil that helps you relax.

I love Aveda’s Stress-Fix Aromatherapy Oil… Roll it on your wrists, under your nose, or in your hands and breathe deeply for calming yumminess.

 

4. Never arrive hungry

The number one biggest mistake people make around the holidays is “saving up” their calories for the big meal.  This is surefire ticket to overeating, losing all self-control, and feeling like a failure. Always have a good breakfast and lunch (depending on what time dinner is) before showing up for dinner. If you’re feeling a little peckish before dinner, have a handful of nuts to tide yourself over. Stabilizing your blood sugar is the key to eating in moderation and enjoying your holiday, without the guilt, self-criticism, or drama.

Check out our 3 Healthy & Tasty Breakfast Ideas!

 

5. Make or bring a healthy dish

A yummy crudite platter you can bring along!

Always being prepared isn’t just for boy scouts, it counts for holiday eating as well! If you don’t know what kind of food situation you’re walking into, or you know that you have Aunt Maxine’s marshmallow-laden yams and greasy gravy to look forward to, be an awesome guest and bring a healthy dish or offer to cook one! Some crudités with hummus are an easy option that you can pick up on the way over, or, if you’re a part of the action, offer to cook some yummy vegan mashed yams, pumpkin pie, or some delicious roasted brussels sprouts so you know you’ll have healthy options to choose from.

Check out our recipes in A Healthier Take on Thanksgiving!

 

6. Load up on veggies first

This is the number two best holiday eating strategy for not overdoing it.  Load up on lots of veggies, salad, or crudités before tucking into the turkey, fattening sides, or desserts.  If you’re full of veggies, you’ll be a lot less likely to overeat all the problematic foods!  Not sure that you’ll be able to find healthy veggies to start with? Bring or make them!

 

7. Have a few bites of all the desserts

Thanksgiving is not about depriving yourself, or feeling like the weird girl in the corner watching everyone eat. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of dessert, but eating two pieces of pie on an already full stomach is a surefire way to Guilt City. (Not to mention Bloat Town and Fatiguesville)  Instead of binging on your favorite dessert or abstaining altogether, have a bite or two of all the dessert options that look good to you. You’ll get a diversity of flavors, which will trick your mind into thinking you’ve eaten more than you have, and you won’t feel deprived!  After every bite, connect to how you feel. Are you stuffed? Just right? Still hungry? Try to never go past comfortably full. And if you’re eating for any emotional reason, pause and take stock of what’s happening, so you can deal with it! You may need to go outside for a bit to get away from things, or confide in a close family member to get something off your chest.  Overeating is not a way of dealing with emotions.. It’s a way of avoiding them!  And avoidance always comes back to haunt you later on.

 

8. Juice it up

Sweet Potato Green Smoothie

How you eat the day after your big holiday meal can have a huge impact on its lasting effects. Gorging yourself on Thanksgiving leftovers for the next three days can turn one special occasion meal into a whole weekend of poor choices. Instead, have a detoxifying green smoothie or green juice the next day, to help your body cleanse from the night before.  If you really want to partake in leftovers, do it at lunch, not at dinner, so your body has plenty of time to burn it off.  Try to go back to your healthy way of eating as quickly as possible after the holiday, and enlist the support of your friends and family!  Believe me, they’re feeling the effects of that sausage stuffing just as much as you are, and they may welcome the idea!

Check out this Sweet Potato Green Smoothie Recipe from Simply Green Smoothies!

 

{Images: Pinterest}

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Don’t Let Memorial Day Screw You!

Healthy Memorial Day on The Organic Beauty

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

It’s finally, officially summer this weekend!!  I am soo excited for what might be our last summer in Brooklyn. Biking in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Saturdays on Governor’s Island, picnics in Prospect Park, getting super cozy with our friends that have gorgeous patios (yeah, I’m talking to you!!), summer is pretty much the best time of year.

But, it also has a dark side. Between all the BBQ’s, the dinner parties, the cocktail hours, the vacations, and the lobster rolls, suddenly bikini season becomes a whole lot more stressful.

See if this rings any bells:  You’re so awesome and on your game all week long. Eating those delicious green salads, drinking water, being a good little you.  And then comes the weekend.  You feel like you “deserve” a reward for all your being on, and you totally overdo it on burgers, and ribs, and cheese, and ice cream, and come Sunday night, you feel like a bloated, fat mess.  Cue the guilt and self-criticism and drama.  Cue the cravings for sugar and coffee on Monday as you come out of your food coma.  Cue beating yourself up the next time you have to get in a bathing suit.

Guys, this has to stop!  And we’re starting this weekend.

Memorial Day is one of those great American holidays that is typically associated with food — and not super healthy food, at that. Between all the the burgers, barbecue, potato salad, cakes, and butter-slathered corn (not to mention calorie-packed beer and drinks!), this fun-filled weekend can end up setting you back and undoing all the hard work you do for your body and health! Plus it sets a horrible precedent for the rest of the summer!  Follow these five simple tips to ensure you stay on track with your eating, while still having a great time, this holiday weekend, and all summer long!

1. Plan ahead, and don’t arrive hungry!

Planning your weekend in advance gives you the best chance of getting a bird’s eye view of all the potential pitfalls you may encounter.  So you have drinks with the girls on Friday (and you know you’ll rock some bar snacks), dinner with your honey on Saturday, a picnic in the park on Sunday, and a BBQ on Monday.  Here’s the naked truth.  You can’t go all out at ALL of your events!  Really, you shouldn’t be going all out at all!

The worst possible thing you can do for yourself is show up to a Memorial Day barbecue or a picnic in the park starving because you skipped breakfast or lunch that day. You’ll make horrible food choices on an empty stomach, and end up consuming way more calories than you would otherwise. If your event starts at 3pm, plan ahead by leaving yourself time for breakfast and a healthy lunch before you get there. That way, you’ll be too full to pack away three hot dogs and your weight in margaritas, and you’ll end up enjoying a little of this and a little of that throughout the day, without the guilt.

2. Avoid the Big Bad 3 (processed meat, processed carbs, and refined sweets)

This weekend, at all your summer events, fill up on salads, fruit, grilled corn, and even munchies like chips and salsa, which will make it so much easier to avoid the real gut-busters.

Those greasy, processed hot dogs in their refined white flour buns will leave you feeling heavy and gross in no time, and they stay in your system, wreaking havoc long past the weekend.

If you’ve gotta have some grilled foods, have some grilled chicken, a veggie burger or veggie dog, and pile on the healthy toppings — tomatoes, lettuce, onions and pickles, which will make the whole affair more satisfying and filling, so you’ll be less likely to reach for seconds. Go bun-free if all that’s available is cottony, white bread buns.

And don’t leave room for dessert! If you’re full from the healthier stuff, you’ll be less likely to go for the sweets that will take you hours on the elliptical to burn off… SO not worth it! An ice cream cone here and there is totally fine, but if it becomes a twice a weekend indulgence, you’re just setting yourself up for disaster!

3. Bring some healthy foods to share!

The best way to ensure there will be plenty of healthier options to partake in at your friends’ barbecues and group picnics is to bring your own! Contribute some veggie burgers, whole grain buns, vegan coleslaw (which tastes the same, but is actually healthy), fruit salad, quinoa or garbanzo bean salads and other delicious, healthy favorites. You’ll be surprised at how grateful everyone will be to have some healthier food around!

4. Get moving!

Half the fun of holiday barbecues and picnics in the park are the activities that actually help you burn off what you’re eating. Swimming, tossing a frisbee or football are always favorites, but you can also get creative! Pick up a Slip N’ Slide for some hilarious, retro fun, or organize a game of tag, capture the flag, or horseshoes. Get people up and moving with a dance-off or limbo… anything that turns a sloth-like day of sitting around and gorging yourselves into a fun and active affair will make the event more memorable, as well as loads healthier.

If you can, bike to and from the event, which ensures you’ll be getting some great summer exercise in!

5. Sip smartly.

What you choose to drink can add up to a difference of an added 600 or 700 calories throughout the day, maybe more! Margaritas, daiquiris, and mud slides are like meals in and of themselves, and added to whatever else you may be consuming, they spell nothing but disaster. Opt for wine, light beer or simple cocktails like vodka and soda, bourbon on the rocks, or anything else without added sugar.

Gotta have that mint julep? Make it with agave instead of simple syrup! Same exact taste, but without the refined sugar.  Can’t stay away from the margaritas? Make real ones with lime juice, Cointreau, and tequila.. No added sugar necessary!

 

Staying healthy and on your game during holidays, vacations, and special events is important, especially heading into the summer, when every weekend seems to bring some fun, routine-breaking smorgasbord.  It’s the consistency that keeps us healthy… and skinny!!

Still feel like you need a little post Memorial Day detox? Download my 3-Day Spring Cleanse to shed those extra pounds and feel slim and energized for summer!{Image: Pinterest}

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How to LOVE your body and life!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Greens. Grains. Gorgeous.

We spend so much of our lives wishing things were different — that we were skinner, richer, married, single, healthier, happier, more whole.

Here’s the truth of the matter: we are powerful.  We can change what we don’t like in our lives.  We can create a life we absolutely adore.  But we can’t do it through self-criticism, self-hatred, and self-doubt.  And we can’t do it alone.

True transformation comes from a place of love.  Hating your body won’t make you skinnier or motivate you to stick to a new healthy way of eating.  But learning to truly love your body means treating it with care, nourishing it, moving it, and allowing it plenty of time for rest, fun, and sensuality.  This is what leads to permanent changes in your health, your shape, how you look and feel.

Truly loving and caring for yourself attracts amazing things into your life — from more fulfilling relationships to a job you truly love.  It attracts more love, more joy, and more of what you really want than negative reinforcement ever could.  And best of all, it feels damn good.

I created Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. for women who are ready to transform their health and their lives through exquisite self-care, clarity, and powerful daily steps that add up to a whole world of change.  I created it for women who are ready to be done with dieting and deprivation once and for all.  For women who want to discover what makes their bodies tick, and what unique combination of eating, movement, and self-care help them look and feel phenomenal.

Are you ready to transform your health and life?There’s 1 week left to enroll in Greens. Grains. Gorgeous.!>> Click here to learn all there is to know about the program and how to start <<

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Sexy Yoga Essentials for Wanderlust and Beyond!

By: Nkechi Njaka, Msc.

I am leaving for Wanderlust today! I am so excited to travel up north to Tahoe with a car full of my yogi friends for a weekend of yoga, music, amazing food and people.

One of my favorite things that I did to prepare for my trip was create a mini look book for the Lululemon Cow Hollow store. It was so fun to piece together festival looks and styles that would work for a weekend at Wanderlust or any summer vacation.

tumblr_inline_mq1mlldes11qz4rgp

Lululemon.com: Hot Hitter Dress | Festival Bag | Essential Polo | Daily Short | Every Day Gym Bag

Lululemon.com:  Mod Moves Tank | Wunder Unders | Energy Bra | Iconic Wrap

Lululemon.com: Mod Moves Tank | Wunder Unders | Energy Bra | Iconic Wrap

Lululemon.com:  Free to Be Bra | Ago Go Crop | One Hit Henley | Surge Short | Sand to Savasana Bag

Lululemon.com: Free to Be Bra | Ago Go Crop | One Hit Henley | Surge Short | Sand to Savasana Bag

And while I was dancing around my apartment listening to Beyonce while packing, I realized something about my excitement.  It’s not about the clothes. I mean, it is, and it is also about how I will practice yoga on the top of a mountain outside in the middle of summer.  I really can’t think of a better vacation! In order to enjoy EVERYTHING while I am there, I must stay hydrated, fueled and skin-protected.

Here are my 6 must-haves: PROBAR | Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer|Harmless Harvest Coconut Water| Elemental Herbs | The Mat

PROBAR | Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer|Harmless Harvest Coconut Water| Elemental Herbs | The Mat

 

Why these guys?

PROBAR is rich in raw ingredients and nutrient-dense calories for lasting energy and nourishment. Great for a post work out snack or something to grab in between means. I love that it is non-GMO product, gluten free and vegan. Happy for all dietary restrictions. They also happen to be DELICIOUS.

Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer 99.9% of bacteria eradicated while being Chemical-free. It is a safe, effective alternative to preventing the spread of germs and impurities. #notoxicshit

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water Nothing is added, nothing is ever heated. They source unique coconuts from small organic agroforestry farms. Super hydrating, outstanding flavor and the nutrition of raw and organic without the need for unnatural and harmful additives. Shweeeet!

Elemental Herbs includes a host of rich, skin-saving certified organic oils–including jojoba, coconut and avocado. Amazingly tested and approved by people like us, the sunscreen is chemical-free and coral reef safe. Beautiful!

The Mat is hands down the best mat to practice yoga on. It doesn’t slip or stick, it provides a ton of padding for those difficult poses and it is easy to clean.

—–

Nkechi Deanna Njaka, MSc. is a health and wellness lifestylist combining her backgrounds in neuroscience, dance and nutrition to create a holistic practice.  Nkechi is a private practitioner, seminar and workshop leader and a writer. Professionally having studied and worked as a neuroscientist and as a choreographer/dancer, Nkechi has spent the majority of her life investigating the relationship between the brain and the body. In her practice she approaches stress management and lifestyle goals with equal parts mindfulness, movement & diet.

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Amazing Natural Anxiety and Stress Relief

By: Natasha Uspensky

Yes, some stress and anxiety are a natural part of every day life. But how much is too much? How much is “normal”? If your stress and anxiety causes you to:

Lose sleep, or experience poor quality sleepEmotionally eat or over eatTurn to drugs, alcohol, or other substances for reliefAvoid social gatherings, giving presentations, or other situations that may out you on the spotExperience stress-related health issues like ulcers, IBS, fibromyalgia, adrenal fatigue, weight gain (particularly around your midsection), or chronic inflammation

…then your stress and anxiety are out of hand. This is not something to “just deal with,” ignore, or drown in medication.

When you’re feeling particularly stressed, you enter a downward spiral of negative thinking. From that place, is gets increasingly more difficult to find a solution for the stressor you’re dealing with, or take a moment to quell your anxiety. What you need in those moments is a respite from the physical and emotional manifestations of your stress and anxiety — just long enough to calm down your mind, lower your cortisol levels, and feel more in control. What you need is a break.

In my holistic health practice, I coach clients on employing breathing exercises, meditation, or even just going for a walk to disconnect from the stress at hand. But sometimes, you are just in too deep with your emotions to snap out of it. In these situations, a fast-acting herbal remedy is a total life-saver.

I first tried 1Hour Break last week, when the sheer volume of unanswered emails, work, and obligations I had felt overwhelming. I sprayed the powerful blend of calming herbs, including kava kava, lemon balm, and St. John’s Wort under my tongue, and within just a few minutes, I felt a wave of calm come over me. I breathed a sigh of relief. Everything is ok. I can handle this.

The effects of this powerful and totally safe herbal spray, formulated by a top U.S. herbalist, last an hour (hence the name) and feel amazing. This hour long break gives you a chance to calm your nerves, relax your tense muscles, and soothe your over active mind. It gives you just enough time to get a handle on things, so you can deal with the situation or emotions at hand clearly without being bogged down with your stress-induced fervor.

The minty taste is rather strong, and word is, the next round of 1Hour Break products released by this new company will have multiple flavor options. And frankly, I can’t wait to see what they come up with. In the meantime, pick up a bottle and experience the calm for yourself. And check out their adorable video!

You can also contribute to 1Hour Break’s Indie Gogo campaign to help your purchase support the new company.

Click here to purchase on Amazon.

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Are you self-sabotaging?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the phenomenon of self-sabotage…

You know, things are going great: you’re eating well, taking care of yourself, you’ve finally gotten into a rhythm… and then, slowly, things start to slide.  You start “rewarding” yourself for being so good by more dinners out ordering foods you normally would avoid.  You start skipping the gym or your favorite yoga classes, because, you know, you’ve just been so good all week!

And before you know it, you’re back to feeling totally off your game, contemplating doing another cleanse to “get back on track.”

This cycle totally sucks!  But luckily, it’s also totally avoidable.

The key to abolishing self-sabotage is keeping your routine super fun and sustainable.

When you take on extremes — going to the gym 6 days a week! eating only salad! meditating every single day! — you are setting yourself up for failure.  Those extreme approaches can only last so long before you just get bored, exhausted, or strung-out.  And that’s when you start cheating, and skipping, and thinking of reasons why you don’t need to stay so rigid.

The fact is, you’re right!  You don’t need to be so rigid!  And every fiber of your being will eventually start to rebel against this rigidity, often with disastrous consequences.

So instead of taking on big, huge, extreme goals, focus on the what you can actually stick with.  Start small and go from there.  Having trouble getting to the gym at all? Pick one class you really love and get super consistent with going to it every week.  Then gradually add on another day, and another, until you’re at a place where you’re seeing results while still enjoying yourself.  Feeling super overwhelmed with the prospect of starting a mediation practice? Start with a short, 10 minute guided practice, just 2 or 3 times a week.  Get really solid with it, and then add on… Or don’t!  Maybe 2 or 3 days a week is all you can realistically and sustainably handle, and that’s OK!

Stay focused on what feels good.  If you’re hating every minute of it, what are the odds that you’ll stick with it?  Be flexible with yourself.  Honor what your body and mind are telling you.

And most importantly, take time to acknowledge all the awesome stuff you’re doing for yourself.  Show yourself some love, instead of focusing on what more you could/should be doing.  Every step you’re taking towards the body and life you want is worth celebrating.  If you feel like rewarding yourself, do it with something that makes you feel even more amazing — a massage, a new sweater, a great date — instead of rewarding yourself with cheat foods or skipping your healthy routine.  These feel-good rewards will help you stay motivated and encourage you to stick with it, as opposed to pseudo-rewards that will be hard to come back from.

Want some help in starting some simple daily steps that you can stick with?Click here to sign up for our 14 Day Ayurvedic Instagram Challenge!

Starting February 1st

{Image: Pinterest}

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Healthy Travel Guide: Key West

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-Guide

Key West is a super fun, quirky beach vacation destination, but with a pretty dominant party/drinking/fried food scene, having a healthy stay can be a bit of a challenge.

Our quest for healthier food options (or even a decent salad) took us off the beaten path and into some surprisingly awesome restaurants and even a few adorable health food stores. Our craving for a bit more of a mindful vacation gave way to some great yoga classes and a luxurious Ayurvedic spa experience. And our thirst for adventure yielded some unexpectedly fun times.

Below, our top picks for super fun and healthy Key West vacation.

Key West Healthy Travel Tip: rent a bike at one of the many rental spots around town for the best way to explore the island, while burning off that key lime pie!Where to Eat

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-GuideHelp Yourself Organic Market
829 Fleming St
This little healthy oasis is the perfect spot to stock up on essentials you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere (other than Sugar Apple) — health food store staples like healthy snacks, nut milks, kombucha, and even some natural beauty staples can be found here, as well as some delicious made-to-order vegan and mostly raw meals. Make sure to try the “TLT” — tempeh, lettuce and tomato wrap, the killer salads, and the raw vegan cheesecake.

The Sugar Apple
917 Simonton St
A perfect pit stop to stock up on supplements, tinctures, and herbs, as well as vegan snacks, fresh green juices or smoothies.

Louie’s Backyard and Upper Deck
700 Waddell Ave
Housed in a beautiful waterfront mansion, with unparalleled views of the water, this little gem is great for locally sourced, inventive dishes and small plates. Watch the sunset on the Upper Deck over an heirloom tomato and eggplant salad and charred octopus and Key West pink shrimp cazuela, or head down to the backyard for the daily catch, prepared with elegant simplicity.

Cafe Moka
1211 Duvall St
This sweet little coffee shop serves the best coffee we found on the island, and they have non-dairy milk!

Firefly
223 Petronia St
New southern cuisine in a super cute space, where both the food and atmosphere reminded us of our fave restaurants in home sweet Brooklyn. Though the meaty menu doesn’t have tons of healthy options, they have great salads (including the only kale salad we saw all week) and deliciously inventive wine and beer-based cocktails. Try the kale and arugula salad with sautéed shrimp and the delectable biscuits with fresh gooseberry jam.

Flaming Buoy Filet Co.
1100 Packer St
Quite possibly one of the yummiest, cutest and most fun of all the restaurants on the island, The Flaming Buoy’s inventive menu and serious wine list has been written up in the New York Times, Frommers, and countless travel guides… and with good reason! Try the heirloom tomato caprese, green curry, or daily fresh catch. Though there aren’t many vegetarian items on the menu, they’ll adjust dishes to suit your needs. Plus, the owners and wait staff are some of the coolest people in town.

Cafe Sole
1029 Southard St
This quirky, Provence-style French joint showcases simple, delicious local seafood without any stuffy Francophile pretension. The local hogfish was quite possibly the most delicious fish we’ve ever tasted, the local lobster was delish, and the conch carpaccio was delicate and understated. For a little bit of decadence, share a slice of their key lime pie, which was one of our favorites on the island.

Where to Get Centered

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-GuideYoga on the Beach at Southernmost Hotel
Sat / Tues / Thurs at 9am
Get your zen on with a beautiful view of the ocean and a good blend of hatha and vinyasa classes right on the beach. A perfect way to start the day.

Yoga Sanctuary
1130 Duvall St – Daily classes
Located on the quiet end of Duvall Street, this great little studio offers many different daily classes to suit all tastes and styles.

Lazy Dog Paddle Board Yoga
www.lazydogpaddleyoga.com
Perfect for honing balance and stability, paddle board yoga on the calm clear water is super challenging and extra zen.

Where to Get Beautiful

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-GuidePrana Spa
625 Whitehead St
With super affordable treatments and awesome add-on’s like coconut body scrubs and shirodhara Ayurvedic oil treatments, this peaceful little spa is the perfect place to get massaged, pampered and beautified.

Purely Paradise
1108 A Duvall St.
We were so thrilled to discover this little natural beauty shop on Duvall St, where all the lovely, all-natural bath and beauty products are made in-house by a wonderful mother-daughter duo. She formulates simple, effective beauty staples without any chemicals, mineral oils, or additives — all scented with delicious tropical essences. We are obsessed with the natural deodorant that kept us dry through those 100-degree, humid days, formulated with enzymes that turn sweat into salt that immediately evaporates into the air. Also try the rooibus-infused eye serum and yummy sugar scrubs!

Where to Get HistoricalOrganic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-Guide

The Hemingway House and Museum
907 Whitehead St
Visit the famous author’s home where he wrote the majority of his oeuvre, and hear tales of his crazy life while perusing the beautiful grounds and making friends with the 50+, multi-toed Hemingway cats that live there.

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-GuideThe Little White House and Truman Annex
111 Front St
Biking around this beautiful little enclave makes you feel like you’ve steps into the pages of Southern Living magazine. If it’s your thing, you can get a tour of the Little White House, where many presidents hung out, but we were more into exploring the little micro parks and ogling the beautiful architecture.

Ghosts and Gravestones Tour
501 Front St
Totally camp-tastic and goofy, this nighttime trolley tour gives you a peek into the more sordid and supernatural underbelly of this bizarre little town. Plus, you get to meet Robert the Doll, a creepy possessed toy that’s housed in a glass box in the middle of a purportedly haunted old fort.

Where to Adventure

Mellow Ventures
These guys provide a much needed alternative to the slightly boozy and fratty scene that dominates many of the island’s excursions. You can create a custom adventure with snorkeling, dolphin watching, paddle boarding, fishing, and/or private island hopping with a more chilled out vibe.

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-GuideJet Ski Tours
Fury or Hydro Thunder
Though I was initially dubious of this particular activity, the 60-90 minute jet ski tours around the island and out into the open waters was an absolute blast. Gliding over the smooth, clear water; exploring the surrounding islands and preserves; finding ourselves on beautiful sand bars far from shore, and stopping for swims in the warm ocean was the perfect blend of adrenaline and calm.

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-GuideDeep Sea Fishing
Captain Conch
Again, I wasn’t sold on this Hemingway-esque pastime, but there is definitely something exhilarating about catching a huge mahi mahi or snapper, bringing it to a beachside cafe, and having them grill up your catch for the ultimate ocean-to-table lunch. Now if only I didn’t get super sea sick….

Organic-Beauty-Key-West-Travel-GuideThe Butterfly Conservatory
1316 Duvall St
Ok, ok, I know this doesn’t sound like much of an adventure, but the is something both amazing and terrifying about being in a glass dome surrounded by thousands of beautiful butterflies and birds, flying at, on and around you. I spent the entire time screeching with glee (and fear) as enormous Blue Morpho darted at me from all angles. It was a total blast.

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