How to Enjoy Stay-at-Home-Motherhood More

Enjoy Stay-at-Home Motherhood | The Organic BeautyFor the first year of motherhood, I was on cloud 9.  I loved this sh*t.  I felt like I was made for being a mama.  But life with a baby is verrrry different from life with a toddler.  I can’t just put little M into her carrier or stroller and spend the day out doing what I want to be doing anymore.  I don’t have the luxury of those two nice, long naps anymore, that afforded me to the opportunity to relax, get work done, and maintain some balance.

My little M is a full-fledged person now, with her own opinions and desires.  And though I still follow all of my 5 Secrets to Happier Motherhood, suddenly, as we approached a year and a half, they just weren’t enough.

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How I Created My Dream Business (and Life!)

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Dream Business

This has been a month of reflection — on my life, my intentions, my mission, and my future. Some huge changes have been happening… getting pregnant, moving cross-country to Southern California.

And all of it has gotten me thinking about the choices I’ve made along the way that have led me here: with a dream business that allows me to help hundreds of women to love themselves and their bodies, and live a vibrant, healthy life; and a flexible schedule with plenty of time for my own self-care, fun, and travel.

The name of the game has really come down to one word: clarity.

When I first thought about leaving the performance world, I got super clear on what frustrated me most about that lifestyle: being poor, relying on my parents for financial support, needing to cater, wait tables, or babysit as a “day job” (which at times could feel so demeaning and uninspiring), constantly being subject to the criticism and scrutiny of the people I was auditioning for, and above all, feeling powerless.  My future felt totally in the hands of others.  This was my specific set of circumstances, but I know a lot of you can relate to feeling underpaid, undervalued, and uninspired.

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Wearable Organic Beauty from Lovely Hunt

lovely huntIt’s no secret that I’m obsessed with all things organic and beautiful (I mean, it’s in our name!).  I believe that living the organic beauty life is about so much more than eating beautiful, healthy food, prioritizing self-care, joy, and balance, and living a non-toxic lifestyle (in all meaning of the word).  It’s also about adorning your body and home in beautiful things that make you FEEL the way you want to feel.  Whether it’s a unique, one-of-a-kind vibe, an earthy goddess sensibility, or a super cool trendsetter feel, surrounding yourself with beauty is such a key element in living a life of joy, ease, and radiance.

So you can imagine how giddy I was when I discovered Lovely Hunt, a beautifully curated online marketplace of handmade jewelry, bags and accessories that are all deliciously covetable and perfectly unique.

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What would happen if you let go?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

What would happen if you let go of it?  Of the need to be perfect.  Of the fear of standing out. Of the plan. Of the self-criticism.  Of that crappy relationship or unfulfilling job.

A lot of my clients and readers who struggle with weight or their health are holding on to negative thought patterns, past experiences, or current habits that are holding them back.

When we’re in a place of “holding on,” our bodies and minds get a clear signal that we’re not safe. It’s not safe to lose the weight.  It’s not safe to get out of emergency mode and feel calm.  It’s not safe to put yourself out there.  It’s not safe to be happy.

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Say Buh-Bye to Belly Bloat!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Say-Goodbye-to-Belly-BloatBelly bloat is one of the most common issues that my clients come to me with, and if you’re anything like them (and I know you are!), that “food baby” nasty bloat is something you are ready to say goodbye to, forever.

Unless you’re suffering from an unmanaged food intolerance or IBS (and if you are, please schedule a consult with me so we can get you feeling all better, fast!), belly bloat is a matter of compromised digestion or simply sub-par food choices.  And guess what? It’s a pretty easy fix.  Follow the tips below to make that belly bloat a thing of the past!

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How to Hold on to That New Year’s Possibility

“If happiness always depends on something expected in the future, we are chasing a will-o’-the-wisp that ever eludes our grasp, until the future, and ourselves vanish…” – Alan Watts

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The New Year is a beautiful conceit. Across cultures, it’s a period reserved for expansion of the self. At the drop of a ball, we celebrate pure Possibility, with open hearts and minds. We pretty much all align ourselves accordingly: start on resolutions, compare lists with friends, refresh those horoscope pages…!

We’re happy to. Maybe simply, we have the time.

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Tips to Care for Your Yoga Mat from Aurorae

Aurorae Tips for a Clean and Long-lasting Yoga Mat

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water before class to reduce any natural oils in your hands. The natural oils in our skin, while sweating, can cause slipping so it is important to keep as dry as possible.
  2. Do not use creams or oils on your hands or feet before your practice.
  3. Wash your mat in the bath tub/shower with a soft brush/coarse sponge, warm water and small amount of non-oil based detergent/soap. No Bleach. (Some customers also mix sea salt in the water) Rinse thoroughly. This will help break in your mat and reduce any resin that may be sitting on the top surface of your mat. (Repeat as necessary) Resin is an oil base that is put in all synthetic materials to help preserve your mat. When it lies on the top surface of the mat it could cause slipping when wet. This is normal for all new mats and is part of the production process to keep your mat safe during handling/shipping as well as maintain a long life.
  4. Wrap your mat is a bath towel after washing and squeeze out any excess water. This will expedite the drying process.
  5. Hang dry outside in the sun if possible for best results. DO NOT PUT IN DRYER. (If you can’t hang outside, trying hanging over your shower rod)
  6. Always keep a micro fiber towel near you to wipe away any perspiration. Keeping your mat and body dry are keys to prevent slipping on your mat.
  7. If necessary use an Aurorae Yoga Slip Free Rosin Bag to absorb any perspiration and increase gripping power. Just tap a little on your mat where your hands and feet go and no more slipping.
  8. To preserve your mat as well as keep it free from bacteria, use the Aurorae all-natural organic mat wash.

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Yoga Mat Essentials from Aurorae

7 Ways To Combat Stress

By Callie McBride

Let me fill you in on a secret-I had one of the most stressful days of my life last week. Let’s just say leaving your phone in a cab, trekking it to an AT&T store in a downpour sans umbrella, while simultaneously dealing with unwelcome house critters -in the New York City humidity- doesn’t do a body good.

The worst thing you can do to remedy stressful times is to ignore your body and mind’s needs and shuck them aside for a later time. When stress creeps into your life, as it always does, its imperative for a healthy lifestyle to deal with it properly. How is this possible, when all you want to do is pull your hair out and shut off your brain for the day? I think I may have a pretty successful formula.

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Here are my 7 steps to combating stress and maintaining peacefulness throughout your day:

1.) Always find a silver lining.

Believe in the power of positivity, and find the good in your situation. It could be anything from the weather, to an upcoming TV show, to your Twitter or Instagram feed. While I was soaking wet and getting more frustrated by the second buying a new phone, I kept thinking of my plan to crawl into bed and watch Girls on repeat that night (which I did, thankyouverymuch). Remember, your mind is the ultimate tool to changing your attitude and taking the focus off of whatever is causing you stress.

2.) Write out a list.

This one never fails. If you aren’t a constant list-maker, this may feel strange at first, but I find that writing things out always helps to alleviate stress. Schedule out your day or week, write out a to-do list, or even map out a list of things you want to accomplish. Getting thoughts out of your head and onto paper can release anxiety by simply changing a mental breakdown into a visual reference. Plus, its an excuse to buy an adorable notebook or notepad!

3.) Talk things over.

Tread lightly with this one, for you don’t want to turn a friend or significant other into an unwilling therapist. Still, finding someone who will listen to your problems, and even reciprocate with their own issues, can be extremely detoxifying, if you will. Here’s my cheeky go-to line: “So I need ten minutes to vent. What’ll it be, coffee or tea?” Your friend may just listen politely, or may try to offer advice. If you can find a confidant to rant to, be open to that advice! A second opinion or viewpoint is always helpful to find a solution to a complicated matter. Either way, talking out your problems out loud, similar to making lists, is stress-relieving in itself; often times you will end up seeing a new perspective as you are forming the words.

4.) Make an emergency “happy” kit.

Mine looks like this: Dark chocolate w/ sea salt, GIRLS on HBO, candlelit yoga or meditation, a long solo walk, the song “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities, and a hot bubble bath. This one’s easy. Keep a handful of “favorites” on hand to lift your spirits and calm your nerves. Call it Insta-peace!

5.) Consider the Big Picture.

When things aren’t going your way, its never productive to dwell over it and wallow in sadness. One way to beat that easy trap is to think about things from a different, much wider perspective. If work troubles have you upset, remember your career goals; if a relationship is on the rocks, remind yourself of your values and your commitment. It could be that your weight loss goals are taking longer than expected. Imagine yourself accomplishing those goals, instead of impatiently dwelling on the present, however frustrating it may be. Again, let your mind be your tool for peace!

6.) Take out the unnecessary.

Declutter, downsize, and decrease in order to de-stress. Declutter your home and work space, downsize any “stuff” that has accumulated in your home, and decrease any unnecessary time or effort into people or things that do not bring you a sense of fulfillment or happiness. In stressful times, you don’t need to extend yourself beyond what’s manageable, which means that an unreliable or unpleasant friend shouldn’t take up your free time.

7.) Enlist the help of Youtube.

If all else fails, head to youtube to cheer you up. We’ve all done it: hopped online “for 2 minutes”, landed upon a funny Youtube video, and spent the next 45 minutes searching and enjoying plenty of others. No shame! Pure joy and laughter can erase stress in an instant, and if an adorable baby panda sneezing does it for you, more power to ya! I would suggest “I Knew You Were Trouble Goat”, “Sassy Gay Friend”, any laughing baby video, and go from there.

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Healthy Summer Reads

By Callie McBride

Whether a new book sits on your bedside table each week, or summer is the one time of the year when you’ve even got extra time to read, a great genre of books that both entertains and educates is “health and wellness”. You can find light reads and much more in-depth books alike, that inform you of important health topics and also stir up inspiration for your own personal lifestyle. Soaking in a bubble bath or lounging on the beach are two prime spots to sink into a book and escape the world for a little while.

Here are my top healthy reads for this summer:

1. Vegan Before 6, by Mark Bittman

vb6Mark Bittman offers an interesting and completely doable concept to his readers by taking the pressure off of becoming a full-fledged vegan, and instead eating a diet free of any animal products until 6pm each day. This means that no foods are “forbidden” and no sense of deprivation is felt throughout the plan. Filled with recipes, helpful tips, and a 28-day eating plan that shows why a vegan diet is the way to go most of the time, this easy read could have even the meatiest of eaters have a change of heart.

2. Crazy Sexy Diet, by Kris Carr

The strong, beautiful, and hilarious Kris Carr brings her spunky energy and full-of-life attitude to her fourth book which walks readers through a 21-day cleanse as well as all the needed information to adopt a plant-based diet. Her writing is smart, witty, and filled with life experiences that add that personal touch necessary for readers to relate to. She covers all of the bases, including skin, hair and nails; body; spiritual energy; mental health; physical strength and energy; and happiness, all of which she promises will improve and skyrocket when switching to veganism. Especially touching is her recounting of her battle with cancer, and how incredibly brave she was to successfully turn to food as her ultimate source of medicine.

3. Yoga Cures, by Tara Stiles

This quick and fun read by Tara Stiles reveals in tiny chapters every single awesome benefit that yoga offers. From joint pain relief to weight loss to less anxiety and better sex, Stiles’ voice is relaxed and to the point in her book, which also demonstrates tons of yogi moves and includes tips and tricks to perfecting one’s flow.

4. Unbearable Lightness, by Portia De Rossi

This intense but beautifully crafted novel by actress and vegan Portia de Rossi delves into the dark world of eating disorders, as well as the touching journey to recovery. de Rossi grew up modeling and acting in Australia and, once thrown onto television in America, lost sight of what was important in surrender to her highly disordered thoughts. Her story is closely detailed and so personal that readers feel as if they experience everything alongside her. A heartwarming ending places this book on my favorites list, as it is a huge reminder of how precious life is.

5. The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone

It’s all in the title: “The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet”. Actress and resident vegan Alicia Silverstone approaches veganism in an extremely approachable and easy way in her book, which features tons of recipes that I can personally say are life-changing (I’m referring to the vegan seven-layer dip and the homemade peanut butter cups). Without going too much into detail about nutrition and health benefits, Silverstone’s cookbook serves as a reminder of all the other amazing things that going vegan can do: literally save the planet! Her aim is to cause the most cautious of readers to consider the lifestyle, and her method seems to work. Her online forum is extremely popular, as is her incredible food.

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6. YOU: The Owner’s Manual, by Dr. Mehmet Oz

For a more scientific, biology-lesson type read, pick up this heavy-duty manual by Dr. Oz. It’s got an interactive element to it with mini quizzes at the beginning of each chapter to test you knowledge on health and the body, before delving into the nitty-gritty of the body’s entire makeup. Don’t fear, this isn’t a bore. It’s chock full of information that can help turn your  entire household into a much more health-conscious one. Dr. Oz places all of the focus on YOU in this book, so with each page you will learn more ways to improve your lifestyle and maintain the best health state you possibly can.

Pick up one of these books today for your next day at the beach, and soon enough they’ll be dog-eared and torn from love. If you’ve already gone through them, enter the titles into Amazon and click  “similar to” for more healthy reads that won’t dull your mind this summer. Happy reading!

 

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