4 Ways to Keep You Grounded

In my last article, I discussed how important it is to move inward, and I promised I’d tell you how to do it in my next post. As promised, I’m giving you not one but four ways to do it, and I’m showing you how each works using real-world experiences from some of my clients.

The key to move inwards is to first identify areas where you can flip what’s not working for you. If you want to attain inner peace, you have to make some shifts first.

1. Be Consistent

Client 1: My client told me she is really consistent at blowing up at her children. In turn, her children are becoming consistent at expecting their mom to explode and react. What do the children do now? They explode and react.

Flip it: Take something that doesn’t work for you such as overeating vs. portion control, reacting vs. responding, passive aggressive vs. compassionate. What is it that you can become consistent with that works for you rather than against you?

2. Take a Step out of Your Box

Client 2: My client noticed her pattern and habits of doing things to the extreme. Whether it was having sugar and deciding she ruined her track record of eating well so she might as well just throw in the towel (sound familiar?) or something else, everything was always extreme.

Flip it: Did you go off your Simple Clean and Whole lifestyle? Big whoop! Life is about the ebb and flow rather than the extremes. Step out of the box. Make a choice to drop the dialogue of failing and be curious about flipping that pattern. What would it feel like to get back on your Simple Clean and Whole lifestyle the very next day?

3. Create a Daily Ritual

Client 3: My client would eat breakfast one day, but she wouldn’t eat breakfast another day. She’d exercise for one week straight, and then she’d completely drop exercising. She’d practice kindness, and then practice anger. Again, this is an example of living in extremes. I’m going to ask you to find your neutral. What does that mean? Think about the behavior that you can take on which is in between the extremes.

Flip it: Challenge yourself with one ritual that you’ll do for the next 40 days. It can be as easy as taking a breath when you wake in the morning, prepping your meals the day before, smiling at others, or gifting yourself with some “me” time, even if it’s for three minutes, a cup of tea in the quiet, or shutting down your phone at a certain time. This will promote a feeling of sturdy, a feeling of steady, and a feeling of being grounded.

4. What’s Good?

Client 4: My client said, “I’m tired. My husband works so late, work is overwhelming, my kids didn’t make the travel team, and I just want time for me.”

Flip it: We tend to focus on what we’re deficient in rather than what is sufficient and good. With that in mind, ask yourself what is good? What are you grateful for? How much do you focus on what’s good? Catch yourself when your dialogue is all the crap that is going wrong. Instead, focus on what is going right for you.

Putting It into Action

My husband and I have stepped out of our box creating a daily ritual of being consistent on 40 days of no complaining. We’ve had a few slips here and there, but we’re doing it.

I was propelled forward to create this ritual because of everything going on in the world – politics, natural disasters, gossiping, drama, and good old complaining was getting me down. It began to put a wrench in my relationships, my own spiritual practice, and my entire physical wellbeing.

There is only one guideline to no complaining. You state your displeasure and then, close your mouth. There is no rambling on about it or building on the complaint. Here’s an example of building on a complaint. You make a statement like, “I’m so tired.” Next, you add complaints to the statement such as, “I’m so tired – tired of everything. Tired of work, feeling overwhelmed, annoyed, annoyed at the kids, the dogs, the way someone looked at me today. I could go on and on.” As you can see, you can add on very quickly. Instead, make the statement and move on. This is a ritual you can practice with your spouse or loved one, too.

Can you begin to be consistent with a daily ritual that will help you step out of your box and begin to notice what is good? I believe we all have a choice to move inwards and begin to tame the inner hurricanes, flooding, heavy winds, rains, lightening, and storms – one step at a time. Use this fall to plant the seeds of life, and nourish those seeds with your ability to create inner peace. There are just too many pesticides flying around lately!

If you’re ready to move inward and find your inner peace, let’s work together. And if you’re ready to make a true shift, get started by signing up for my 3-week SHIFT21 program.

Feeling the Impact of Fall 2017

Wow! Life is getting really messy in our external world since the lunar eclipse in August of this year! Some of us may not connect the dots between the eclipse and recent events, but through my studies, I’ve discovered that the connection has been showing up everywhere. Since August, we’ve had:

  • Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, Texas
  • Hurricane Irma swept through Florida and the Caribbean
  • Hurricane Katia affected Mexico
  • Hurricane Jose off the East Coast
  • Hurricane Maria in the Carribean
  • An earthquake in Mexico
  • A possible volcanic eruption at Mt. Aguna in Indonesia

These natural disasters have affected so many of us either directly or through friends and loved ones. My husband, Drew, and I planned to leave for a trip to Bali during the first week of October. We’ve been planning this trip for a year, but the rumbling of Mt. Aguna put a dead stop to our three-week, 25-year anniversary celebration.

What is Happening?

As many of you know, I always look for a deeper meaning in things. What’s the lesson here? What can I learn about the whys? What kind of impact does this have on our overall health and wellness?

The deeper I get into my counseling practice, the deeper I get into being counseled. Yes, you read that correctly – once a week for me! There is incredible evidence that shows as life gets more complex, human beings need support. Studies have revealed we need time to move inwards.

As I spoke to my own counselor about the shift in life as we know it, a lot of things came up in our conversation that I’d love to share with you.

What Does It Mean?

With all of the natural disasters going on in the world, this is a time in life to make a choice. You can either go mentally dark or you can move inwards toward light to better yourself and those around you.

And now, I know you’re thinking, “What does that really mean, Jen?”

I want you to think of it this way. We are made up of approximately 85% water. What is happening in the world – hurricanes, winds, rain, volcanoes, and earthquakes – whether you know it or not, is having an effect on your entire wellbeing – either physically, mentally, and/or spiritually.

In other words, as the world starts to ebb and flow, so do we. If natural disasters are causing a lot of movement – bubbling and exploding – you have to look within yourself to see where you’re actually percolating and bubbling under the surface. For example, are you building up anger and ready to explode?

Now, I don’t mean to sound all doom and gloom. The truth is I’m taking this opportunity to explore, be vulnerable, experiment, and become curious with the patterns and habits that I’ve kept with me for longer than they were welcome. This is the silver lining.

My belief is that practicing, exploring, and changing things up will offer you a SHIFT in a direction that is beneficial to you overall, and eventually, it will be beneficial to those who surround you, too.

How Do I Do It?

Your next question is probably, “How do I do it, Jen?” Take a deep breath and stay tuned for my next post where I’ll give you four ways to do it.

In the meantime, if you’re ready to take the next step to transformation, let’s work together. And if you’re truly ready to make a shift, get started by signing up for my 3-week SHIFT21 program.

“Throughout my life, I have struggled to find a healthy relationship with food. A month ago, desperate to find and live a healthier lifestyle, I reached out to Jen.  Just 5-6 days later, believe it or not, I felt a shift. This shift was not a ton of weight loss or a magically toned body. It was me!  But with a less bloated belly, clearer skin, more energy and a newfound confidence.

“Throughout college and the past two years, I found myself choosing erratic and extreme diets to lose weight- nothing ever stuck. I found myself quickly falling back into old habits, because I felt deprived of tasty and satiating food. Now, I love the food I eat. Yes, sometimes I miss pizza, but I do not miss the way I used to feel.

“I now am determined to give my body the healthy food and fuel it needs. Jen has guided me through this process with patience, understanding, balance, and passion. She is my cheerleader, and I am her biggest fan!”

— Samantha B.

Experiencing Emotional and Physical Tension

By the title of this article, you may think I’m going to give you tools to relieve your tension. Instead, you’re going to get the opposite. I’m going to show you why you need tension if you want to make any kind of shift.

Yes, you read that correctly! We need tension to transform.

Now, before you get all tense for the wrong reasons, let me start explaining with a story.

As you know, I’m in The School of Functional Medicine Coaching. I’m busy studying and taking exams, and soon, I’ll be doing my practicum with a Functional Medicine Practice in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Over the past six months, I’ve noticed a lot of shifts in my own practice as well as the deep belief in bridging the gap between emotional wellness and nutritional wellness. You just can’t have one without the other.

I’ve also noticed that many of my clients just want things to be easy. They want things to be effortless, and they just want to be happy! Amen! Agreed!

But… (There’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there?)

To have all of the good stuff, you need to experience the other side, which is the tension.

There are two types of tension, physical and emotional, and you need to understand both of them if you truly want to shift.

Physical Tension

Think about any exercise you do, whether it’s weight training, spin, Pilates, bar, yoga, and so on. Now, think about what you have to do to make a change in your body. You have to tense up your muscle for it to change, right?

If you’re taking any kind of fitness class, and you’re just going through the motions, you won’t make any kind of shift. Your body won’t transform. Engaging muscle to bone causes tension which causes the lengthening and toning of your muscle.

So yes, you need physical tension to make any kind of change in your body.

Think about when you’re doing any kind of lifting, holding a baby, grabbing a strap above your head on the subway, or carrying grocery bags. In all of these activities, you’re tensing to move towards action. Again, this is physical tension, and you need it to shift.

Emotional Tension

This is a biggie! Most of us are programmed to back away from emotional tension and confrontation. However, when you practice burying your feelings below the surface, a whole bunch of toxins build up in your cellular system.

Can you guess what happens next? All of those toxins cause inflammation which then causes aches, pains, mood swings, and most of all, unhappiness!

Despite all of the negatives, I believe that emotional tension is worth having because it ignites change in your entire well-being.

With that said, don’t run away from speaking up, saying what’s on your mind, or feeling your feelings. Instead, allow it. Allow the tension, because without feeling the tension, you can’t shift. You can’t transform. You can’t elicit any kind of change.

Remember, just as you can’t have a physical change without experiencing physical tension on your muscles, you can’t change emotionally without experiencing emotional tension.

Feeling and Managing Your Tension

Now, you may be thinking, “What should I do, Jen? Walk around saying everything that’s on my mind?” No way!

My belief is that you should allow yourself to feel the tension and make a CHOICE to respond on a level that helps you grow.

Many people have practiced for years to choose REACTion rather than responding, which is the opposite of reacting. Let’s take a closer look at what that means.

There are two words in reaction: REACT or ACTION. When faced with tension, you have a choice to take action on what’s keeping your emotional muscles weak and flaccid. You have the choice to flex your emotional muscles to promote change just like you have a choice to flex your physical muscles to promote change.

I’m a huge believer in the paradigm, “The way you do one thing is the way in which you do most.” If you’re just moving along your days as the victim, then you most likely are treating your exercise as a way to victimize your muscles. However, the truth is that exercising promotes shifts and changes lead to a transformation.

If you’re ready to take the next step to transformation, let’s work together. And if you’re truly ready to make a shift, get started by signing up for my 3-week SHIFT21 program.

Here’s what people are saying about the SHIFT program:

“This is NOT a detox! This is a reset. Well yes, “technically” this is a detox, because you will completely rid your body of toxins, however…it does not FEEL like a detox. It just feels RIGHT!

“I have been working with Jen for many years as a private client. I have done many of her detox plans (in groups and on my own). I find at different times of the year, I need a good reset. There are many different reasons to do so. With this particular plan, I was trying to get my eating back on track after having my fifth baby (who is five months old now)! The lack of sleep and need to eat quick and easy meals (never a good combination) caused me to make decisions not in line with healthy eating. I was telling Jen that I had been feeling very bloated coupled with occasional stomach pains. I knew that my body needed a reset.

“THIS PLAN IS PERFECT! This plan in EASY. I love to cook and I find peace in my kitchen, so not only is it easy, it is calming! You are eating real food! You have choices! You are satiated! You are consuming good fat (do not be scared of that word)…you need it!

“I can honestly say that within 24 hours I felt a difference! I felt GOOD again! I have basically taken this 10 day detox and continued with it. There is nothing like sitting down to eat and seeing a plate (or a glass) full of goodness in front of you! Play around with combinations, add colors to your plate, and enjoy! DO NOT forget the water!”

— Nicola Masella

Steps to Light Your Pilot

I am continually asked by clients about how I light my pilot. You may be asking, “What pilot?” or “What the heck are you talking about, Jen?” The truth is I love to coach with metaphors! It helps to put the thoughts into perspective and make them part of reality.

What is Your Pilot?

Basically, your pilot is what makes you happy. Your pilot:

  • Stirs your thoughts
  • Ignites your fire
  • Makes you smile
  • Gives you a sense of grounding
  • Keeps you somewhat balanced
  • Gives you a sense of peace and purpose

It’s the last item on the list that is the most important, so I’ll say it again. Your pilot gives you a sense of peace and purpose. I think one of the hardest questions to ask yourself is,

“What is my purpose in this lifetime?”

When we’re asked that question, some of us shut off, get defensive, or feel sad. I totally get it. Even if we think we know our purpose on this planet, it’s always shifting, growing, and transforming.

My purpose for a very long time was raising my children, Elly and Jack. Later, it shifted to focusing on being an empty nester and all the things that brings. At the same time, I’m supporting my clients through their own changes and shifts.

My point is that you don’t have to have an answer to that big question. You don’t have to know what your purpose is. What you have to do is begin to light your own pilot so your purpose unfolds!

Lighting Your Pilot Helps Unfold Your Purpose

Here’s what I want you to do. Imagine your body is a furnace, and the only way to begin to bring heat into your house is to turn that furnace on – or light the pilot. Turning the pilot on or lighting the pilot takes action right? It won’t light on its own. You are the only one who can decide or make a choice to take action on what lights up.

Some of you might say, “I don’t know what lights me up, Jen.” That’s okay. Start with very small steps, and I mean really small. Some of the ways I take small steps to light my pilot are:

  • Lighting a candle
  • Reading the Post (Yup! That’s my favorite paper.)
  • Exercising
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Spending time alone
  • Educating myself
  • Dousing myself with nutrient-dense foods
  • Taking hot showers
  • Trying new scents
  • Cooking

Take a look at that list again. These are all very small steps that I started taking many, many years ago. It took practice and commitment to keep my flame burning, but as I became better able to commit to some of these actions of self-care over time, more opportunities and possibilities presented themselves to me.

For example, one very profound finding I discovered as I kept my pilot lit was the birth of Simple Clean and Whole, LLC, which now has led many other people to different paths. Believe me, this takes time and lots of energy. There are still days when I’m overwhelmed, exhausted, and questioning my own path, but the underlying beauty of questioning yourself is growth!

3 Steps to Start Lighting Your Pilot

With all of that said, I offer these three steps to light your pilot, which you can start right now:

1. Think

Think about something that makes you happy or something you’ve been wanting to try.

For me, that something has been wanting to learn new yoga breathing techniques because I’ve found that they really give me a new perspective on my body awareness. However, I really never put that into action before. I always had an excuse that kept me stuck in old patterns and habits.

2. Action

Next, you move from contemplation and take action.

For me, it’s always scary to walk into a new yoga or exercise class. Being a novice makes me feel really vulnerable. I stepped into my first Kundalini yoga class two months ago, and wow, did it light my fire!

3. Commit

Finally, Commit to the action.

For example, I’ve planned to take two to three Kundalini yoga classes each week. This is a time for me. It’s a time to light my flame and expand.

It’s Time to Light Your Own Pilot

Since I’ve been practicing, I met some wonderful people and made connections to like-minded people. Now, I’m able to expand my practice and share some amazing metaphors with my own clients. It’s just one more step in the journey to finding and feeling my purpose.

Now, it’s time for you to think, take action, and commit to that action. I ask you to think about something you have been wanting to take action in to light your own pilot. Nothing is too little or too big to give you the push into action. The truth is that it takes practice and the willingness to put yourself first.

Want some coaching on your journey?  If you’re ready to take the next step to light your pilot, let’s work together. Having support truly can help!

“Working with Jen can best be described as a total awakening. Jen places a huge emphasis on the connection between mind, body, and soul, which really resonated with me. Without Jen’s guidance, I would have never realized the extra weight I was carrying around was from not putting myself first. Jen helped me break out of my comfort zone and totally changed my way of thinking.

Working with Jen one-on-one was a true blessing. I learned to shift my consciousness and make healthy decisions both physically and mentally, and I learned a number of new behaviors that I have incorporated into my everyday life. I lost 10 pounds in six weeks with Jen and overall feel lighter both mentally and physically.

Jen, you are AWESOME. Never stop sharing your light with those around you. I cannot thank you enough.”

Is Living in the Present Moment Bulls..t?

What frequently makes living in the present moment uncomfortable is that we often feel like it comes with a huge amount of uncertainty. In fact, some of you may have read this article’s title and said, “Hell no! I am not okay with uncertainty!” I get it, and that’s why I’m writing about uncertainty today.

You’re not alone in disliking uncertainty. When I think about uncertainty, I get a pit in my belly. All of these questions and more can come up when a person thinks about uncertainty in life:

  • What will the future bring?
  • What will life bring me?
  • Will I like my new school that I committed to?
  • Will our team win the game?
  • Will I get the job I interviewed for?
  • Will I end up marrying this person?
  • Will I be able to lose weight?
  • Will this group of friends accept me?
  • Will the evening go as I expected?

These are all questions about the future, and they’re questions that most of us FEAR. Here’s what I want you to understand about fear:

F.E.A.R. = False Evidence Appearing Real

Write that one down and store it in your pocket! That’s how important it is, because the truth is we really don’t know what will happen in the future. None of us do. The only thing we have control over is the NOW – the PRESENT moment.

5 Ways to Harness the Power of Staying in the NOW

Understanding that we all struggle with living in the present, I guide my clients on the power of staying in the NOW. How do you do it? The answer is by following the five keys below:

1. Have Gratitude for the Present Moment

Whether or not you’re having a sh..tty day, find one thing you’re grateful for at the present moment. Acknowledge it and give it the time it deserves.

2. Give Yourself Permission to FEEL Instead of Running from the Present Emotion

Are you angry today? Sad? Happy? Annoyed? Elated? Feel and acknowledge that emotion, and then, move on. Yes, it may come back over and over again, but that’s what emotions are all about – to teach and guide us to feeling. Remember to respond instead of react!

3. Know that EXPECTING Causes FEAR and Having a VISION Causes FREEDOM

Once you start to EXPECT an outcome, you’re setting yourself up for FEAR. What if the outcome doesn’t meet your expectation? The truth is, we can’t expect anything. We can have a VISION though, and that vision can lead to FREEDOM. Let’s put this into perspective with a few examples:

  • I EXPECT to get an A on this test I have a VISION of receiving an A on my exam.
  • I EXPECT my husband to ask to do the dishes I have a VISION of my husband doing the dishes.
  • I EXPECT my boss to give me a raise I have a VISION of receiving a raise.

Having a vision leads to a positive intention. It’s just much softer than expecting, and it allows you to move freely towards something that is nourishing rather than depleting.

4. Take SHOULD, WOULD, and COULD OUT of Your Vocabulary

Do any of these sound familiar to you:

  • I should have told you how I felt.
  • I would have had a good eating week except I totally messed up last night.
  • I could have gotten a good grade if I studied harder.

What do these sentences have in common? They’re all about the past. Staying stuck in the past takes you right out of your VISION! You’re no longer in the present.

5. Walk Around with CURIOUSITY

The only way to SHIFT is to be curious. Being curious allows you to explore and experience life. Curiosity takes us out of our limited beliefs and gives us another perspective. Think about these examples:

  • I am curious about what it would be like to drink half my body weight in ounces of water each day.
  • I am curious about what it would be like if I got to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • I am curious about what it would be like to smile at strangers today.
  • I am curious about what it would be like to ask for help.

I think you get the picture.

Living in Your Present

You really can live in the present. In this article, I covered just some of the many amazing tools that I work on with my clients to help them stay in the now. They’re all examples of reverting yourself, your mindset, and your individual story to the present moment.

I’m curious what you would feel like if you took on some of these tools. How about you? How would learning to harness the power of staying in the now support the SHIFT in your life?

If you’re ready to take the next step in learning about your health, nutrition, and the Simple Clean and Whole lifestyle so you can live in the present and make your own SHIFT, let’s work together

What’s NEW with me?

Happy June! I’ve been receiving lots of emails and inquiries from new and prospective clients asking if I’m still practicing my coaching since I’m moving between Colorado and Long Island. Yes, I am!  Be sure to go to the read the last paragraph….Something from me!

People have been asking if I’m still coaching clients because I haven’t put out my seasonal group cleanses yet this year. But remember, my Simple Clean and Whole SHIFT 21 program is always available and live on my website where you can be a part either privately with me or do it yourself. Think of SHIFT 21 as the entry level to working with me and helping you understand that cleaning out your gut leads to cleaning out your lifestyle.

My belief is that in order to truly SHIFT, we must always start with what we’re ingesting nutritionally. I always say that not everything you ingest will digest. That includes both food and emotions. Once your gut is on its way to healing, we’re able to access lifestyle obstacles that may be keeping you in idle.

The Intersection of Positive Psychology and Functional Medicine

When I’m working with coaching clients, I don’t dig into the old, deep emotional roots as much as I provide tools to you, and I support you to lift yourself up above the midline. This is called positive psychology, which I’m in the midst of studying with the Institute of Functional Medicine. Positive psychology is the science of well-being, and it appeals to me because it focuses on what we do well.

There has been so much research conducted that shows when we tap into our character strengths (especially through the coaching process), we improve engagement. Work engagement goes up, energy levels increase, and people report higher levels of resiliency and achievement. People actually achieve their goals more quickly when they use their character strengths. This is positive psychology, and it pairs perfectly with Functional Medicine, which looks at the body as a whole, not a half. Everything is completely intertwined whether we like it or not.

Always harking back to what does your lifestyle look like? Is it working for you? Are you missing something that is keeping you unbalanced? Could it be that you want to go back to work? Live a cleaner lifestyle? Move your body with ease? Be more mindful of your reactions? Dig deeper into your truth? All of these questions are intertwined within us!

With that said, I have a deep understanding of nutrition and the food we ingest and an even deeper understanding of food and emotions making up a balanced body. I strongly believe that every diet on this planet works. The real issue is what most people do once they lose weight. Studies show that 80-85 percent of weight is gained back within a year if not shorter. Why? SUPPORT!

What supports weight loss? The answer is understanding what makes you tick as an individual. Sure, calories in and calories out matters, but did you know that the extra weight you’re carrying could be sticking to you because of the emotional weight you’re carrying? Whether it’s your environment, the people you hang out with, your job, love life, children, and so on, food becomes a distraction to dealing with what is right in front of your eyes, which is your TRUTH.

Ready to Access Your Positive Character Strengths?

I’ve been working with my clients on accessing their positive character strengths as tools to keep them up above the midline. This includes finding a way to access our strengths, which makes us more aware of what is strong and worth nourishing within ourselves. To help my clients in this process, I’ve been asking them to take a free test using an amazing tool, and you can take the test, too. It identifies how aware you are of your own character strengths. I’d also like to share my positive psychology text book with you, Character Strengths Matter, so you can learn even more!

Now, what do you do with all of this information? My practice is one with great depth and passion. I work privately by Skype, FaceTime, or phone with clients from all parts of the country. Last summer, I led a one-day retreat called “The Truth” which was very well received. Some were not able to make it live and have asked me to do a small live online program. I say “small” because I’m practicing deep transformative work and feel that I can only give my full expertise to small groups at a time.

I’m in the midst of putting this online program together, and it will include a seven-day SHIFT Clean Up while we’re shifting our Truth as well as group and weekly private sessions to deepen your true understanding of what really lights your fire. If you’re interested, please email me at jen@simplecleanandwhole.com for details.

Being Transparent

Did you know that deep inspiration from self or others and deep discomfort are what cause change?

I want you to really think about this. When you’re inspired from the inside out, something chemically happens to your being, to your cellular system, and to your cortisol levels.

There is a SHIFT.

On the other hand, when you’re in discomfort (which truly kinda sucks), it either causes you to go back to old patterns and habits or it gives you the opportunity to move forward.

Now, think about this. So many of us want to be idle. We want to stay in the same place. We don’t want to disturb the flow of life. Yes, I agree it’s great to just “be,” but like a parked car, idling means there is no movement.

I’m not suggesting that you put your foot to the gas pedal and just go, go, go without taking in your surroundings. On the contrary, I’m suggesting that you slowly put your life into drive and start noticing the beauty and excellence around you — whether it’s in your relationships, career, or surroundings.

Embracing Transparency through Honest and Truthfulness

It’s been seven years since I opened my practice of Simple Clean and Whole, LLC. It may look to you like everything is just perfect and moving along smoothly, and yes, at times it feels like an old glove full of knowledge and purpose. But then there are times when I’m stuck not knowing what will be. I’m sitting in park feeling paralyzed!

You feel me? I’m sure.

Have you ever felt this way at your job, when making family decisions, or in your relationships? I’m being completely transparent here, and I want you to be transparent with yourself, too.

Your SHIFT occurs when you recognize that you’re stuck and take steps to get unstuck. For me, those are the moments when I begin to take a step forward, and it’s like the heavens open up with new ideas and experiences falling from the sky.

I have not only experienced these feelings myself, but I’ve also experienced them alongside my clients. I call this transparency — being able to be honest and truthful with yourself.

Judgement and assumptions are what harden us and cloak us from our transparent being. I’ve seen many clients peel back incredible layers to their true essences once they let go of judgement and assumptions and embrace transparency. We all have what we need to be inspired or to go through deep discomfort only to see through to our beauty. My role is to help you get there.

What To Do When You’re Feeling Stuck

So what should you do when you’re feeling stuck? To help you move from idle to drive, here’s a little something to play with. Answer the following questions honestly and transparently:

  • What are the areas in your life that are keeping you stuck?
  • What are the areas in your life where you’re idling?
  • What are the areas in your life that inspire you?

Answering these questions with complete transparency will give you something to think about, chew on, and explore, so you can get unstuck, recognize your own truth, and start to experience your SHIFT.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re ready to take the next step in learning about your health, nutrition, and the Simple Clean and Whole lifestyle so you can make your own SHIFT, let’s work together!

 

5 Amazing Books for Encouraging Change

I’m sure you can imagine my library of books that have made a profound impact on my journey of living Simple Clean and Whole! On a typical day, I have between three and five books on my bedside table, and they’re filled with tags, dog-eared pages, and highlighted messages that speak loud and clear to me.

In fact, I’ve made it a ritual to buy all of my educational books in the traditional format – printed and bound – and I buy all of them from my local bookstore. When I used my Kindle, I missed out on the tagging, dog-earing, and highlighting! It’s just not the same experience for me.

With that said, I want to share my five favorite books for encouraging change with you. I highly recommend adding some or all of these to your own bedside table!

1. The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams

Recently, a dear friend visited me and gave me this book. It’s the type of book that infuses you with exactly what the title promises – The Book of Joy! I read about 5-10 pages each night to fill me with words, thoughts, and a view that are nonjudgmental, unassuming, and purely magical.

Together, the Dalai Lama, who I was honored to see at the Beacon Theater in New York City two years ago, and Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop, have all of the ingredients to produce the most beautiful recipe to infuse joy into your everyday life.

2. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

I’ve mentioned The Four Agreements before when I shared my 10 lessons learned while living Simple Clean and Whole. It’s basically my Bible when it comes to living Simple Clean and Whole. It’s also the first book that I invite my clients to read.

This is a very short book, so it’s really easy to read – even for the novice. It’s also really relatable! Here’s a taste: Imagine your life following these four agreements:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take things personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

Of course, Ruiz elaborates on each of these four principles in his book. What I love most is that this is a lifestyle practice that leads to self-awareness. Remember, your thoughts lead to your feelings and your feelings lead to your behaviors. Most importantly, your behaviors lead you to discover your belief systems. The four agreements taught in this book will give you the opportunity to fine-tune your belief systems.

3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Brene Brown has an amazing story that most men, women, and young adults can relate to. Imagine accepting being vulnerable. Imagine working through life peeling away your mask of toughness, weight, addiction, and expectations to live a life a truth!

Brene will take you on that journey in her book. Think of the word “courage” as you read.

4. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions and helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. Next, it delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness.

In a nutshell, this book opens you to deep realizations of the habits and patterns in life that have kept you stuck. I’ve written before about rewriting your manual to get unstuck, and this book is a great resource to help you gain freedom from those old patterns.

5.  The Languages of Love by Gary Chapman

I read this book years ago when my husband, Drew, and I began walking and visiting our life together as a couple and parents. It gave us verification that not everyone is “in love” in the same way. It was at this time when I really began to understand that we all have a very specific way of showing love – whether it’s by affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch.

This book is a must have in your collection, especially if you’re co-habitating! Read it and you just might begin to accept and honor your partner or loved ones as you begin to understand their unique love languages. I know I did!

More of Jen’s Favorites

As we move from cold to somewhat warmer weather, I feel like it’s time to SHIFT up our thoughts, patterns, habits, and overall behavior. These books are a great way to start and to support your own SHIFT. After all, taking the time to indulge in self-discovery is the best gift you can give yourself!

Stay tuned for my next blog post, which will include links to my favorite Ted Talks and podcasts!

In the meantime, if you’re like me and information about food, nutrition, recipes, and lifestyle feeds your soul, you can purchase my ebook full of delicious breakfast recipes here. Want to go even further? Let’s work together!

5 Must-Try Secrets to Build Your Immune System

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been experiencing some crazy cold and flu symptoms this winter season! My kids, clients, and a long list of other people—everyone seems to be feeling so run down. And forget about the flu shot! So many people that I’ve talked to say this year’s flu shot isn’t covering the flu that’s going around.

How do you protect yourself? With my must-try secrets to build your immune system of course!

As most of you know, I’m all about exploring, experimenting, and experiencing different supplements and products that are out on the market. I’d say I’m the queen of the supplement drawer in my house! As you can imagine, I’ve been hell bent on researching the best (well, what I think are the best) alternative products out there to combat all of the germs in our atmosphere this winter!

Keep in mind, these products aren’t going to cure you, but they will support your immune system during the cold, flu, and belly bug season. And whose immune system couldn’t use a bit of help, right?

Support is the pivotal word here. As a practitioner, my belief is not to support yourself in only one part of your life. Whether it’s nutrition, supplements, exercise, mental health, or spiritual health, you need to support the varied parts of your life. Why? Because you are a WHOLE. You have many parts that you might view as separate, but my practice for myself and my clients is to marry those parts of you to gain balance, perspective, and a sense of wholeness.

With that said, the products I recommend in this article offer support for your health in so many ways because when you feel healthy, you have the opportunity to look deeper into those other areas of your life. You have a chance to find your balance and wellbeing for yourself as a whole, not just a bunch of disparate parts. Amen!

Now, it’s time to share some of my must-try secrets to build your immune system and protect yourself, not just from those pesky winter germs but also to support your whole self.

1. Vitamin D3

The problem for most of us is that we’re simply not getting enough vitamin D to allow our bodies to work optimally at performing all of the functions that vitamin D supports. Did you know that an estimated one billion people (that’s about one-seventh of the global population) have inadequate vitamin D supplies in their bodies? It’s very probable that you’re one of those people!

Vitamin D deficiency can actually be quite serious. Low vitamin D levels are linked to increased risks of cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. If you’re feeling tired, sluggish, overworked, moody, or below the midline, or if you’re craving CRAP, don’t wait to get your vitamin D levels checked. It’s a simple blood test.

To support your vitamin D levels, I can’t say enough about Vitamin D3. I believe that every practitioner out there should be measuring their patient’s D3 levels yearly. Depending on where you live, if you’re not getting enough outdoor time or sun, there could be a significant drop in your vitamin D3!

2. Tea Tree Oil

Did you know that using any of the mass-marketed hand sanitizers actually strips away good bacteria from your skin over time? That’s why your hands get so dry!

I know that I’ve been guilty of being the hand sanitizer crazy woman for myself and family in the past, but this year, I began to make my own hand sanitizer after learning that most of the ingredients in those hand sanitizers you buy may contribute to resistant strains of bacteria.

My go-to homemade hand sanitizer recipe is very easy to make, cost effective, and so good for your skin! Just mix 1/4 cup of Aloe Vera gel with 1 tablespoon of filtered water, 20 drops of tea tree essential oil, and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Not only does this keep your hands moisturized, but it also kills bacteria at the same time without the effects of stripping good bacteria.

Any drug store or health food store sells small, reusable bottles that you can use to hold your homemade hand sanitizer. If you don’t think you have enough time to make your own, I’d suggest purchasing an essential oil hand sanitizer from a certified aromatherapist, so you know you’re getting quality ingredients in a safe product.

Of course, always work directly with a certified aromatherapist whose certification is recognized by the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists, and check with your doctor or health care provider before using essential oils, especially on children or if you have a medical condition.

3. Immuno-Shield All Season Wellness

Ahah! These are honestly my favorite go-to green pills! My functional medicine doctor turned me on to these supplements last winter season after I had the wicked 2016 flu. This supplement is from Irwin Naturals and helps to support your body’s natural defense mechanisms. It includes vitamins, minerals, herbs, and antioxidants all in one!

I take this supplement throughout the winter season. In fact, during the winter months, I substitute this for my daily multivitamin, and if I feel something coming on, I take double the dose indicated on the bottle.

4. Extra Vitamin C

I believe that your body can heal itself. I also believe that we need extra support, including extra vitamin C during the winter months. Common winter ailments are usually caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but during the winter months, fruits and vegetables that are full of vitamin C aren’t always readily available. Why not take a vitamin C supplement?

A 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that vitamin C reduces cold and flu symptoms by 85%. Of course, participants in the study were given megadoses of vitamin C, so your results might not be comparable. However, the point is that vitamin C truly does work! Just be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider before using vitamin C, especially for children or if you have a medical condition.

5. Epsom Salt Baths

I’ve introduced all of my private clients to the benefits of Epsom Salt baths! Most people only think of taking Epsom Salt baths when they need to relieve sore muscles, but there are so many more benefits.

Remember how I spoke about support earlier in this article? Well, Epsom Salt baths support your entire immune system. Epsom salt baths have a way of releasing your mind and body from daily stress. Where do you think the slogan, “Calgon, take me away,” came from?

When you add one cup of Epsom Salt and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil to your bath, it becomes a detox bath! I love peppermint essential oil as it is very invigorating, and I like lavender to relax my tired body. When I’m experiencing cold and flu symptoms, I use eucalyptus oil.

Epsom Salt is magnesium, which many people tend to be deficient in. In fact, studies show that taking Epsom Salt baths can increase your magnesium without even taking any supplements. How cool is that? Be sure to support your whole system with a daily bath or a bath a few times a week!

Ready to Boost Your Immune System?

Remember, these are ideas to support your immune system, and where would you be without your immune system? Prioritize your self-care and start taking care of your immune system. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better!

 

If you want to learn more about enhancing your immune system, let’s work together!

Looking for more aromatherapy products to boost your immune system? Check out my go-to certified aromatherapist, Susan Gunelius’, products available through her company online store, Aromassist. She offers a wonderful Immune-Stimulating Aromastick that you can keep in your purse or pocket to use on the go as well as an Immune-Stimulating Blend that you can use in

5 Ways to Relieve Constipation

Constipation is the word no one wants to talk about, or sometimes, it’s the topic of conversation! Either way, it’s not really a dirty word at all. Pooping is what keeps the entire human system flowing.

Here’s how the process works. All toxins go through your liver. Your liver’s job is to dump those toxins into your intestines. Once they’re dumped into your intestines, it’s your belly’s job to let them pass through your body in your poop.

But there’s a problem. If you’re already toxic from eating a bunch of SAD (standardized American diet) CRAP (carbohydrates, refined sugars, additives, and preservatives), your intestines can’t do the job of letting go of all of that crap. That means you won’t poop regularly and get rid of those toxins like your body needs to.

Where do all of those toxins go if you’re not pooping regularly? You’re not going to like this answer! All of those toxins from the SAD CRAP seep into your porous intestines and out into your blood stream where they get reabsorbed into your internal system.

In other words, if you’re not pooping regularly, your body is hanging on to those toxins, which aren’t good for you at all! There are real side effects that you’ll feel when these toxins are reabsorbed including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bloat
  • Gas
  • Headaches
  • Moodiness
  • Increased cortisol levels
  • Bad breath
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite

Fortunately, you can avoid constipation and the nasty side effects that come with it by taking some simple steps each day. Here are my five recommendations to remedy constipation and start feeling better:

1. Eat Healthy Fats

You need fats in your diet, but the key is to eat healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, MCT oil (brain fuel), flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts, ghee, and grass-fed butter.

Good fats burn out those crappy fats that could be lodged in your cells causing intense inflammation. Think of healthy fats as the lubricant to your internal system. Without them, things just won’t run as smoothly, so remember to have 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fats with each meal.

2. Take a Supplement

Consider taking Magnesium Citrate before bed every night. It comes in capsules, tablets, and powder. My favorites are the capsules from the brand NOW and the Magnesium drink CALM, which is easy to swallow. Of course, you should always check with your health practitioner before you start taking any supplements.

Magnesium aids digestion and relieves constipation, so it’s the perfect supplement to take on a daily basis. I started taking Magnesium before bed to relax and get a better night’s sleep. That’s because in addition to helping digestion and constipation, it also calms the nervous system from anxiety and stress. It’s basically an all-in-one supplement!

3. Drink Aloe Vera Juice

Did you know that Aloe Vera is a huge help in digestion? It’s an anti-inflammatory for the gut, immune system, and skin. It actually neutralizes the acid in your belly, which increases healthy gut bacteria. I call Aloe Vera the healing wizard!

Aloe Vera comes from the aloe plant, and it’s very easy to ingest in a variety of forms. For example, you can find Aloe Vera capsules or juice in any health store. My favorite is the liquid aloe from Realfood Organics! Just add 1-2 tablespoons to your smoothies or to a fresh green juice.

4. Balance Inner and Outer Movement

There is such a thing as working your “inner” being, but too often, we’re so focused in this day and age on the work “out” that we need to pause and get back to the basics.

When your focus is only on your outer being, you truly lose out on the “flow” of your internal system. Lifting weights, HITT classes, Barre, and spinning are all good in moderation and balance, but be sure to think about what you’re doing to connect your inner being to support and sustain your outer “figure.” Inner and outer is a marriage that is a practice in balance.

5. Water, Water, Water!

I’m sure you’ve heard me say this before, and I’ll say it again — drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. This should be one of your non-negotiables!

Remember, your gut is 85% of your immune system. It acts as the second brain of your body, and with that said, it must be cleaned out! Water flushes all of those CRAPPY toxins out to allow for healing.

Want to Know More?

If you want to learn more about how to clear your body of CRAPPY toxins and SHIFT into a healthier, Simple Clean and Whole lifestyle, let’s work together!