Category: "Tips"

What’s in my Hospital/Birth Center Bag? + LAST Pregnancy Update {Weeks 35-39}

February 17th, 2017 | no comments

 Hi Friends!

Here we are at 39 weeks pregnant and I decided to write this post as my last pre-baby update. Aside from the regular pregnancy questions, a lot of people are asking how we are preparing for “the big delivery day” and “what’s in my hospital bag?” So… as to hopefully be helpful, I thought I would document it all here. Partially to keep myself organized but also to help if you’re preparing for your big day and wanted to see what we’ve done to pack and prepare.

DISCLAIMER: I am a first-time-mama-to-be who has NEVER been through this before and so you’ll soon see that we DID and PREPPED alot. Probably more than is actually necessary and I admit that I know some of the preparation we did will be in vain but I am OK with that because I’m a pregnant lady with a lot on my mind and it has eased my mind to focus on preparing in this way. So please know that this isn’t the END ALL BE ALL of lists and I also hope to post an update after baby with what I actually used or found really helpful in hindsight. So, there’s that. 

But first, let’s do a little update from the last few weeks…

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Weeks 35-39: These last few weeks have brought about a lot of preparation, which you will soon get a glimpse of. My energy level has ebbed and flowed (Enter: NAPS) and the baby growth spurts have brought about some new aches and pains, mainly in my lower back and hips. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor who specializes in obstetrics, going for weekly prenatal massages and wearing this belly belt and I have to say the combination is definitely helping. [Please consult your physician if you are experiencing any aches and pains, all of this treatment was pre-approved by ours for my specific needs]. Right around week 37 I came down with a horrrrrrrible cold and was on bed rest for about a week = NOT FUN. Luckily I made a full recovery and baby girl decided to STAY IN and I could not be more thankful to have that in the past and these days of getting healthy again accruing before the ‘big day’.  

In terms of cravings I am still on a FRUIT kick but have definitely been craving sweets in these last few weeks which is new. I’ve been indulging in all of the old wives tales about “what to eat” to prepare your body for labor…like dates, pineapple, spicy foods and supplementing with evening primrose oil… and not that I can tell you anything’s working or not working but it’s fun to pay more attention in this way (again, please consult your care provider before adding in any supplements or anything new to your regime).  I am still able to go to SoulCycle and do the elliptical a few times a week and always feel good and sleep better on the days I workout. Oh, sleep. This one is pretty rough as I’m getting bigger and more uncomfortable by the day, but all for a good cause! :) Other than that our weekly appointments have been mostly uneventful in the best way possible and we are getting more and more eager to meet our sweet daughter very soon! 

Self-care has been tremendously important for allowing me to feel good as my body, mind and soul continue to change everyday. For me that looks like exercise, good nutrition, early nights in bed, manicures, baths and scrapbooking the Baby Book which has been a really fun experience (thank you to my sweet friend Kelly for giving us this book!). I also snuck in a haircut since I knew I wouldn’t have a chance for some time postpartum

 A fresh cut/color pre-baby sure makes a mama feel good! 

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The NESTING instinct has picked up HARD and we’ve really spent the last few weeks preparing the nursery, our home, our work and our minds for what’s to come soon. You’ll soon see as you keep reading just HOW MUCH we have actually done to prepare but now, at 39 weeks pregnant I really don’t have much to do but “feel well“, get lots of rest, eat well, enjoy prenatal massage, visit my chiropractor, enjoy the last few days as a twosome (threesome if you’re counting Harlow) and stay comfortable. Which is exactly the place I wanted to be at. I know that so much of labor and delivery and having a newborn will be unpredictable and chaotic (and beautiful) so it has helped me to relax by getting all of these ducks in a row. 

 So, I warn you. Super long post. Lots of products, packing and preparations (mostly necessary but surely some unnecessary). But, I feel great about it all and that’s all that matters.

Read at your leisure, use this as a reference if you find it helpful, skim, bounce around and if you’re a mom and I am completely missing something obvious — help a sista out and let me know! :) We are giving birth at a Birth Center so some of what we did/prepared for is geared towards that experience which may be slightly different than a traditional labor & delivery situation at a hospital. So just keep that in mind if you’re thinking “wow, that’s a lot!” If you have any questions about why we did something or packed a certain item, let me know. Happy to share my thought process it reasoning with you if it will be helpful.

Otherwise, know that you don’t really neeeeed most of this “stuff” or to prepare like we did. It’s SUCH a personal thing and whatever fits your personality and preferences. So…please please please listen to your body, your heart and connect with your partner about what will work best for you. What you’ll read below works best for us but may be too much (or too little) for someone else and I can totally respect and appreciate that. 

“Prepping for baby is exhausting!” -Harlow 

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For my Hospital/Birth Center bag I chose this one from Vera Bradley that I had on hand because it’s a large duffel that will fit a ton, it’s very light as a bag so won’t add extra weight or bulk (for Karl who will be handling) and most importantly it can easily be tossed in the washing machine afterwards. I didn’t want to bring a nicer bag or our diaper bag for that last reason specifically. I’m happy with this choice because it sure is big enough for everything you’re about to see on my list below! 

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I’ll start with what we packed….

For Baby:

• (2) newborn outfits (with feeties and mitts) • (2)  newborn white onesies • (3)  0-3 outfits • (4)  pairs of socks • Headbands (because…pictures ) • (2)  cotton hats + (1)  cozy going home hat • Going home outfit + puffer onesie (because it will still be winter here) • Burp clothes (disposable + cotton) • Swaddles (so we can use our own) • Organic coconut oil (for baby’s bum before meconium) • Newborn pacifiers for car ride home • Cozy receiving blanket

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For Me (mom):

• Labor outfit ((2) super soft robes — one old that we can chuck and one new for postpartum, cotton bras, cozy tanks, loose boxers + maternity leggings) • Extra Cotton Bras + Nursing Bras • Comfy hipster style undies (for postpartum) • Grippy socks • Slippers • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, face wash, face cream, comb, deodorant, etc.) • Nursing pads, nipple cream, bottom spray (I am already a lover of Earth Mama Angel Baby) • Fridet Mom Washer • Maternity Belly Band (for postpartum support) • Extra socks • (2)  comfy outfits (Gap Body Maternity leggings, maternity tanks, cozy zip-ups and open front sweaters) • Going home clothes • Pillow with colored pillow case • A roll of my own soft toilet paper • Phone chargers • Digital camera with extra battery • Polaroid Instapix camera with extra film

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For Hospital/Birth Center:

• Pre-registration Confirmation paperwork • Copies of license and insurance cards • Copy of medical records that we go at out last prenatal appointment• Copies of birth “preferences” + Who to Call/Text list • Snacks • Drinks • Nursing Pillow (My Brest Friend) • Bluetooth speakers • Toxic-free ink pad + Baby Book

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For At-Home Labor:

(Since we are going to a Birth Center, at-home labor will be a longer than tradition L&D)

• Birth ball • Essential oils (lavender, peppermint + lemon) • Massage oil • Bendy straws (for easy hydration) • Baseball cap for ride to birth center • Headphones • Snacks + Beverages (hydration!!!) • Copies of different labor positions + contraction management techniques

 For Karl:

• Extra clothes • Bathing suit • Toiletries • Pillow • Snacks for hospital

This should say 38.5 weeks or “Just shy of 39″ ;) But, who’s counting??

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Now let’s talk about HOW we prepared…

Aside from packing our bags and the car for the delivery day, we’ve been busy in the weeks leading up to our due date. We wanted to be mindful of other life responsibilities and take as much off of our plates for those first few weeks/months in the “newborn vortex” as possible. It was a great opportunity to go through our lives and think ahead to what might be needed/due and handle as much as we could now as to minimize any distractions later on.

Of course with delivery services like InstaCart (for groceries), Target.com /Amazon.com /Diapers.com for baby and household essentials and Chewy.com for pet supplies, it’s really VERY easy to get most of our needs met without more than the push of a button (which is very comforting). But there was more on our list as we took inventory of our life and apartment and it feels good to know that this is all taken care of and that our baby will get our full attention when she arrives. Also because the nesting instinct is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and it kept me calm to focus on some of these things the last few weeks without just sitting around and waiting.

Other things we did to prepare our lives (and create mental capacity) for this new life change and the inevitable beautiful chaos that’s about to ensue:

• Karl got the car’s oil changed, checked and filled up car with gas (checked insurance coverage and inspection dates so nothing falls through the cracks) • Put car seat in car beforehand with base, seat cover and rear-facing mirror • One word: “padsicles” (Google if curious) • Arranged Harlow (pet) Care “on call” basis / stocked pup with food and treats (checked with vet for any upcoming vaccines that are due) • Meetings with our Doula • Completed Bradley Method Childbirth Ed classes • Completed birth center orientation • Talked extensively about our birth preferences + views on newborn procedures + postpartum preferences • Books, documentaries + positive stores • Expectful.com meditations + YouTube • Stocked fridge + freezer with healthy meals / options for postpartum • Picked our pediatrician • Set expectations with family/visitors • Prepped the nursery / washed all baby clothes and blankets and swaddles, prepped diapering station at changing table and one “to-go” for our bedroom • Stocked the apartment with essentials and cleaning products so we wouldn’t have to think about it for a while • Paid bills / filed taxes (since our baby is due during tax season!)

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Reflecting on what’s to come…

Now that I’m 39 weeks I’ve been doing a ton of reflection about this whole pregnancy and what’s to come. I love to sit in the nursery which is so filled with love already. I look around and see all of the beauty, love, support and generosity from everyone in our lives and the positive energy is truly remarkable. It’s been an emotional week. It feels like it’s 24/7 that I think about how she’ll arrive any day, whenever she’s ready, however is meant to be and what it means to let go of control, expectation and put full trust in something greater than myself.

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I’m learning new lessons in patience, unpredictability, unconditional love and acceptance of the unknown. I know that the journey is only beginning and that I have A LOT to learn but I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in any of this. Which is absolutely a mindset shift as I reflect back to discovering we were pregnant and having all of these anxious and isolating feelings appear. I’m proud of the growth I can see in myself, in Karl, and in US, throughout this journey that was FULL of a spectrum of emotions and experiences. Now more than ever I know that there is a reason pregnancy is approx 40 weeks. It really has taken all of that time to feel all the feels, prepare mentally and physically and fully embrace the life changes that are coming.

One more thing before I wrap up this VERY LONG post which is my final pregnancy update(next up a baby update!)! I need to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this entire journey. The love and support we continue to receive in abundance has allowed us to truly welcome this new chapter in our lives with open arms and hearts, and know that this journey will be amazing, real and one where we are never alone. Because I really do believe that it takes a village, and I am sooooo thankful for our village! 

It’s been so much fun to share this journey with you and to connect with all of the new-mamas to be that I’ve met along the way. I’m looking forward to more updates, baby updates, sharing new mama struggles and successes and OF COURSE getting back to some regularly scheduled “GREAT LIFE” programming like clean eating recipes, wellness tips, and much more, here soon. With LOVE + gratitude… Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

 And now… we wait. ♥

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In case you’ve missed any of the other PREGNANCY UPDATES, here are links to all of those posts! 

Big News: We’re Expecting!!  {Update Weeks 1 – 18}

10 Pregnancy Essentials {Weeks 1 – 19}

It’s a…….!!! Gender Reveal + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 19 – 22}

Hello, Third Trimester! PREGNANCY UPDATE {Weeks 23 – 28}

Baby Celebration + Pregnancy Update {Weeks 29-35}

9 Ways to Detox Your Home and Body With Ease!

December 19th, 2016 | no comments

Many people associate “detoxing” with the Summer months or attempting to balance those indulgences after the holidays or a vacation.  Did you know that your body has built in systems for detoxification and your body is CONSTANTLY getting rid of toxins?

From the air your breathe, to the foods you eat, to what you put on your body, toxins are everywhere. If you’re anything like me, minimizing your exposure to toxins is important to you, especially now that I’m pregnant but even pre-pregnancy this is a main area of interest in my life and coaching practice. I am fascinated by our body’s ability to get rid of toxins and it starts with reducing your exposure to toxins and creating a few new healthy habits.

But first, let’s talk about where toxins are found and why they matter.

Where are toxins found? Here are a few places…

  • Environment
  • Food
  • Water
  • Household Products
  • Cleaning Products

Why do toxins matter? They have been known to cause…

  • Breathing issues
  • Health problems
  • Inflammation
  • Disease
  • Pain
  • Mood Disorders
  • Digestive disorders
  • and more…

Of course it would be VERY difficult to eliminate all toxic exposure in our lives but there ARE a few ways you can help your body and environment decrease your exposure. Now, let’s talk about ways that you can assist your body in naturally detoxing ALL YEAR LONG. These are some of the ways I help my body “stay well” on the regular. 

Use an air purifier in my home or work space - I use one similar to this in my workspace and recently got my hands on this Himalayan Salt Lamp for our bedroom.  

Tongue Cleaner – gently wipe away surface bacteria/toxins with a tongue scraper before brushing two times a day. I get mine at Vitacost and switch out every 3 months.

Dry Brushing Your Skin – before you get in the shower use a dry brush to remove dead skin cells, stimulate circulation and improve lymphatic drainage. This one is an awesome habit to get into and you will instantly feel invigorated. I buy my dry brush at Vitacost as well and change every 6 months.

Choose Lemon Water - Starting your day with a glass of warm lemon water is one of the most effective habits you can create for revving up your bodies natural detoxification systems. 

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Drink Filtered Water – Depending on where in the world you live water from the tap contains various amounts of minerals, fluoride and even chlorine combined with rusty pipes and this can be a serious toxic zone. I recommend drinking filtered water. If you use a Brita or something similar just make sure you are switching out the filter as instructed. 

Eat your way clean - foods such as beets, cabbage and dandelion help to cleanse your body by cleansing the blood and boosting liver function. I love to incorporate steamed or roasted beets in my weekly meal planning or toss them into fresh pressed juices like this recipe here. I like to drink Traditional Medicinals Dandelion Root tea in the afternoon as well! 

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Safer cleaning products in your home – conventional household cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that you absorb through your skin and breathe in (think about if you can smell the scent very strongly when you use them). I like to make my own cleaning products when possible or use gentler or all natural products especially for my kitchen, dishwasher and bathroom. Try my natural hand sanitizer spray recipe!

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Use fragrance and dye-free laundry detergentsI love the one from Trader Joe’s because it is plant derived, free of phosphates, dyes and parabans AND its biodegradable. 

Use paraban-free and sulfate-free haircare/skincare products – remember that anything you put on your hair or skin WILL get absorbed into your blood stream. Harsh chemicals used in hair and skin products have been linked to endocrine system disruption. Companies are getting MUCH better at labeling products so this is a good one to be aware of. 

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There are MANY more ways to help avoid toxins in our daily lives and “naturally detox” on the regular. In fact, this is one of my FAVORITE subjects. I am considering doing a post geared towards foods that naturally promote detoxification. And, if you’re interested… I am happy to take you behind the scenes of cleaning products, household products and skincare products that are cleaner and safer to use if that would be helpful to you. 

Let me know on twitter @DeeLynn, in the comments of Instagram @DeeLynn78 or leave a comment here! 

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

 

10 Pregnancy Essentials {Weeks 1 – 19} From a First Time Mom-To-Be!

October 3rd, 2016 | no comments

Hi Mamas-To-Be!

When we first got the news that we were expecting, after the shock and then joy set in, there was a bit of overwhelm about all of the pregnancy stuff I did not know about. Mainly what to expect and when, what the symptoms would feel like and what to stock up on to make things a bit easier and more comfortable along the way. Now that I’m in Week 19, I am starting to get the hang of a few things such as being able to listen to what my body wants and needs (mainly good clean nutrition and LOTS of sleep!) and which go-to products are making my symptoms more comfortable. Just in time for things to change again, I’m sure. Know what I mean? LOL!

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I thought I’d put together a list of some of my First Trimester and early Second Trimester essentials that I have found super helpful to have around. Let me be CLEAR, I am a first-time mama-to-be…so being that this is my first pregnancy, I am only able to speak from that perspective. I figured I’d share in case there are other new-mamas-to-be who might be interested in hearing about my experience. This is by NO means an exhaustive list but just a few items that have eased the symptoms or made this beautiful process a bit more special, so I thought I’d share! 

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Let’s share in this amazing experience together! I’d love to hear about your pregnancy journey and what product, resources, blogs and experiences you found the most meaningful/helpful along the way. Tweet me @DeeLynn or leave a comment on my Instagram @DeeLynn78 so that we can connect and talk babies and bellies all.day.long!

Here’s the list, I hope you find it helpful!

My List of 10 Pregnancy Essentials for Weeks 1 – 19 (from a first time mama-to-be!)

1. Prenatal Vitamins: The very first item my doctor recommended was to start taking a prenatal vitamin. We immediately took to the web to research the options and ultimately landed of Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal. This is a vegan, non-GMO, raw, dairy-free, gluten-free formula that has probiotics and natural digestive support in a  3x a day supplement. I buy my prenatal vitamin by the large bottle at Vitacost.com since I love the selection of healthy organic foods to add-on to my prenatal vitamin order and it’s the best price I’ve found (and you know how much I love a deal!). Something like a prenatal vitamin is so personal and for me this was an important decision, so do your research and find one that fits your values and lifestyle. This one works for me but there are a lot of great brands on the market!

vc2. Belly Oil + Body Lotion: Stretch marks are a common side effect that many pregnant women experience, so it was important to me to start a belly lotion/oil ritual early on.This item was on my radar early on and one of my first pregnancy purchases. Between purchases and gifts I have quite the collection of belly oils, butters and lotions to help ward off stretch marks and give my skin an elasticity boost. I recently found this article from Desiree Hartsock with pregnancy safe product suggestions for stretch marks and I wanted to share to show you that there are a variety of scents and price points to fit every lifestyle and budget that do the trick. I’ve had friends recommend olive oil or coconut oil that works just as well and I’ll probably add that in closer to my third trimester – I love me some coconut oil. Here are a few products I love:

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3. Belly Bands: These little wonders are inexpensive and effective for those first few weeks when you start to pop a bit but you’re not quite in maternity clothes (or want to save a few bucks – gosh maternity clothes are expensive!). These bands expand with your growing bump and allow you to stay in your regular pants, just unbottom the top button for more comfort/room and place the band over the top of your pans to secure. At 19 weeks, I’m still in my regular lower cut pants (though they’re getting TIGHT, especially towards the end of the day) but I enjoy wearing the bands to give me a little extra support. Here are a few great options:

4. Comfy Cotton Bra: As you new mamas-to-be know, breast tenderness is an early symptom that can last throughout pregnancy (and postpartum too) so early on one of my essentials became comfy cotton bras that I could wear at night and for lounging around. I love these Calvin Klein Modern Cotton Racerback Bralettes, they’re super soft, stretchy and light weight and they will support you without feeling too tight or constrained. Any non-wired cotton bralette will do. Comfort is key! Have you found any that you love?

5. Pregnancy Apps: At the moment I am loving Ovia, The Bump and What to Expect for weekly updates, answers to frequently asked questions and the size of the baby compared to fruits and veggies. Since this is our first go-round, sometimes I’m not sure what questions to be asking so it’s helpful to have apps that provide some popular questions and answers. We also recently started our registry on BabyList and I love that the app makes organizing everything so easy. Sneak peak of this week’s update from The Bump App – baby is the size of a mango this week – ahhh! :) 

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6. Ingredient-Conscious Skincare: One of the biggest changes in my daily life has been my skincare routine. For the past few years I’ve been “cleaning up” my beauty act…switching to natural toothpaste, natural deodorant, body soap and many face products. Now more than ever, I am extra careful about what I put in my body and on my skin since what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream and thus, reaches your baby. I want to preface this category by saying… do what you can without driving yourself crazy. You have to find a regime that works for you without stressing you out. Do your best to avoid chemical-laden products and think about the areas of your body that are very porous and close to your bloodstream like under arms, mouth/gums and on your skin. I  am the first to admit that I can always do better in this category — yes, I still use regular nail polish and my favorite shampoo/conditioner though sulfate-free and paraban-free, but there is always room for improvement. Here are a few of my go-to products:

7. A Journal or Memory Book: Early on my bestie Lisa got us this adorable journal. This wasn’t on my radar due to good old morning sickness ;) but I LOVE that we have this to jot down memories for our baby to enjoy when they are a bit older. We have so much fun filling out the journal. This specific adorable keepsake allows us to write down one quick memory, thought or anecdote a day…something that we and the baby will enjoy for years to come. It’s been fun to document the “firsts” like sharing our news and hearing the heartbeat. I recommend a journal of some kinda so that you can remember these precious moments that fly by. 

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8. Milestone Cards for Bump Pictures: Another sweet gift I received early on was from my friend Katie who made these “weekly photo cards” for us to document the progression of *The Bump* and various milestones. Katie downloaded a template, customized it in Photoshop and then printed at Staples and we LOVE our custom milestone cards so much (thank you Katie!!)!  You can make or print cards of your own, I’ve seen people use a chalkboard, index cards or Photoshop like Katie. Again, early on my focus was getting through the day without being sick so this isn’t something I’d think to buy for myself but it has been really fun to capture the moments and changes. 

I found these cute ones on these Etsy shops:

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9. BPA-Free Water Bottle: Along with all of the wonderful changes your body is going through comes dehydration which can cause headaches and cramps. It became a must for me early on to have water with me at ALL times. Staying hydrated helps reduce headaches and overall I feel better when I get in enough water during the day. The flip side to that is having to run to the bathroom a lot so I try to reduce my water intake an hour or so before bed and then drink a big glass right when I wake-up. 

10. Essential Oils: During my first trimester I experienced a lot of morning sickness and all day nausea and had a lot of trouble sleeping because of it. Certain senses like smell were heightened and a lot of everyday scents bothered me. It was helpful to have essentials oils like peppermint for nausea (when I didn’t feel like sucking on a peppermint candy) and lavender for calming and relaxation at night. These are not going to be essentials for everyone but they did help me find small moments of relief. throughout the day, and I lean on them even now (as I did pre-pregnancy). I’ll add a few drops to a tissue and lay next to my pillow or add a few drops to a warm bath or directly on my temples for more intense relief. 

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That’s a wrap on some of my early-on essentials. I’ll keep you posted as my pregnancy progresses with resources, tips and products that I find helpful or enjoyable throughout the way. I hope you found this helpful and found a new ‘essential’ or two of your own. Let me know!! Tweet me @DeeLynn or comment in Instagram @DeeLynn78 with your favorite essentials for me to try. Let’s help each other out Mama! :)

Missed my initial Pregnancy update? Read all about my experience so far with a few Bump pics from Weeks 1 – 18: CLICK HERE

What I’ve been up to… (May 2016)

May 31st, 2016 | no comments

Hi friends, 

It’s been quite some time since my last blog…a month or so? I don’t like to take those bigs gaps in between blog posts because I love sharing my life, tips and recipes with you. However, sometimes life gets busy and you just gotta go with it. Even as a coach, with the many life tips and tricks I have up my sleeve there are times when I just need to prioritize and that sometimes means letting there be some gaps (a few weeks without posting)… and not beating myself up about it. 

I wanted to share what I’ve been up to this last month. May is one of my favorite months of the year. The weather starts to warm up, we get outside and there’s always fun things in store like Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day and the long weekend of Memorial Day. This month was full of travel (to Vermont), a wedding and TONS in between. 

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Up at Okemo Mountain in Vermont!

As you may or may not know, twice a year I work with health-coaches-in-training as a Mentor Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the health coaching school I attended back in 2012. It’s always an amazing experience to be able to intimately support 80 – 100 new change-makers in the health and wellness world. Though as you can imagine, this is a big chunk of time that gets added to my already full plate, which is why I’ve been a bit quiet over here on the blog. 

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These gorgeous sweet bell peppers inspired fajitas on Cinco de Mayo!

I always learn so much from these new groups of coaching students. Their passion for changing their lives and the lives of those around them is truly inspiring to me. It helps reignite my belief that we have the power to make this world a better place and I love that. Since I am a part of the community, I do get a small kickback for sharing things like a FREE SAMPLE CLASS or this GUIDE TO SPRING CLEANING but I promise you I would recommend this school even if I didn’t. I also get to give out AMAZING TUITION DISCOUNTS from time to time…so if this is something you’ve ever considered, EMAIL ME AND LET’S CONNECT so I can hook you up! :) 

Some of my favorite healthy cookbooks that are my go-tos this time of year!

Some of my favorite healthy cookbooks that are my go-tos this time of year!

I’ve seen hundreds of up-and-coming coaches transform their lives and it never gets old. It’s such a beautiful thing. So if this is at all interesting to you or appealing in any way, pretty please don’t be shy and email me over at createyourgreatlife@gmail.com. :)

Harlow girl on yet another road trip! :)

Harlow girl on yet another road trip! :)

Anyway, my Spring round of coaching this lovely group of health coaches is coming to an end this week and I look forward to another one in the Fall after a much needed “summer break.” With that commitment ending, I am lexcited to be more active on the blog as is my norm and sharing some other things that I’ve been up to like creating new clean eating recipes, summer slim down smoothies, lots of travel (always), all natural skincare (an upgrade to my Skincare 101 post) and TONS more. 

Our first beach day out on Long Island!

Our first beach day this year out on Long Island!

In the meantime, make sure you check out my RECIPE LIBRARY where you can instantly access a backlog of my favorite clean eating recipe posts or my WELLNESS TIPS LIBRARY where I share DIY Skincare and Haircare recipes, tips for staying healthy on the go and my go-to tips for eating take-out without sabotaging your diet (and much more). 

RECIPE LIBRARY HERE

WELLNESS TIPS POSTS

With the kick-off of Summer this week, make sure you check out a few of my popular travel tips posts:

Beach Day Essentials

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Avoid Seasonal FOMO

Had a blast celebrating The Newlyweds!

Had a blast celebrating The Newlyweds earlier in the month!

In the meantime, I’ve been SnapChatting up a storm my daily ins and outs, recipes, behind the scenes in my fridge, pantry, lots of puppy snaps and of course my travels, so make sure you ADD ME ON SNAPCHAT and follow along:

ADD me on SnapChat: @deelynn78

Looking forward to more posts coming in June. Feel free to TWEET ME @DEELYNN and LEAVE A COMMENT on INSTAGRAM @DEELYNN78 and let me know what you want to see!

What blog posts would you like to see more of?

Recipes, Lifestyle Posts, Wellness Tips, Coaching Business Tips, Travel Posts, Beauty, Fitness

HAPPY SUMMER + SAFE TRAVELS!

Xx, D.

 

 

Wellness Tips for Healthy, Shiny and Strong Hair

April 2nd, 2016 | no comments

 Helllooo my beautiful friend, 

Today I am giving you the run down on one of my favorite topics. Well, my favorite topic to talk about is “self-care” and that can be expressed through eating well, taking care of yourself and through your beauty regimine since it makes you feel good. We’re talking about how to get healthy, shiny and strong hair!

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I actually get a ton of questions about this through Instagram, email, Snapchat and just in everyday life. Women always want to know what are the best products to use or tips, and some of my most-loved social media posts have been about natural beauty care such as my Avocado Honey Hair Mask.

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I will confess that not all of my tips/products are all natural but I have been making a much bigger effort to switch over to natural beauty and home cleaning products. Just last week I shared three recipes for all natural home cleaning products using essential oils

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I have to admit it… my hair has been through A LOT! Heat styling, flat ironing, curling iron, lightening the ends, countless pony tails and headbands, tons and tons of products and more. Since I am constantly learning about how to make things better, over the years I have picked up some tips and tricks and I am excited to share them with you and hope that they help you achieve strong, healthy hair!

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Anyway, let’s get to the GOOD STUFF!

Here are my top 9 tips for strong, shiny and healthy hair the “wellness way”: 

#1 Eat for strong, healthy hair - look for foods that are naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids , zinc and biotin such as dark leafy greens, walnuts, cashews, almonds, Chia seeds, wild caught salmon, lentils and black beans. Cage-free organic eggs also provide a good source of biotin, a vitamin of the B complex, that help keep hair healthy, growing and strong. 

#2 Hydrate with Coconut Oil – I use coconut oil two ways to treat and condition dry and over processed hair. First, once a week I will slather the bottom 3 inches of my (dry)hair (and a few flyaways my face) with a handful of coconut oil then put my hair in a bun and wait for 20 mins. Then wash out in the shower. You’ll need to wash your hair two times to get excess oil out. Test it out but depending on your hair type and condition you might not need  to use a conditioner after the two washes (I do because my hair is fairly thick, colored and heat styled often). Next, I’ll use a small dab of coconut oil on dry ends after styling. Just warm a small amount of oil in your palm, rub hands together and lightly pinch dry ends for instant moisture and shine. 

#3 Use a Clarifying Shampoo – I recently learned this trick and it’s made a huge difference to improve my hair texture. If you’re a dry shampoo girl or even any kind of hair product lover, using a clarifying shampoo is a MUST for vibrant hair. I use a lot of products throughout the week and using a clarifying shampoo (like this one) really gives my hair the deep clean I’m after for a completely fresh start with my strands. I no longer have that bulky feeling with my hair since all of the remaining products gets completely cleaned away (when you just use a moisturizing shampoo you’re actually putting product on top of product, make sense?). Since my ends are colored and often heat styled, I’ll follow the clarifying shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo to replenish the shine and strength of my hair. 

#4 Get Frequent Trims - Just like exfoliating takes off the dead skin cells to reveal healthier rejuvinated skin, frequent trims (every 6 – 12 weeks) allows your hair to stay healthy and strong by removing dry, brittle and split ends. Split ends often give the appearance of “straw-like” hair and getting regular trims can help stimulate hair growth and keep your ends healthy. 

#5 Upgrade Your Products. Look for sulfate-free, paraban-free and silicone-free products. These harsh agents actually strip away strength and add unnecessary chemicals to your hair follicles (which in turn can affect your overall health and hormones – no Bueno!). I haven’t fully replaced everything in my beauty regimen with all natural products but I’ve been on a mission to replace beauty products as much as possible and at the very least strip these major ones from my products. It’s a process! 

#6 Cold Water Blast - This one I learned from my hair dresser. After your shampoo and condition right before you’re shower is done, turn the water as cold as possible and blast your hair/scalp for a few seconds under the cold water. This will feel a little crazy to do at first (especially in the colder months) but you will quickly love the feeling. Blasting with cold water stimulates the scalp and closes the hair follicles to help strengthen the hair, stimulate hair growth and creates a beautiful shine once dried. 

#7 Supplement with Biotin - A supplement of the B complex that is known to help with the condition of your hair, skin and nails. Many people experience hair and nail growth, so this is great to incorporate if you’re growing out your hair or want to keep it strong.

#8 Trade in Your  Brush for a Wide Tooth Comb - years ago I threw out the brush and traded it in for a wet comb. Now this tip will depend on your texture. I keep a wet comb in the shower and lightly comb after I condition and then I have one more in my vanity and comb my hair once when it has hair dried a bit, that’s all. Harshly brushing your hair can damage the texture and create flyaways. If you’re a person who needs to use a brush I’d say this is an area to invest in a professional brush that will cause minimal damage and use a light leave in conditioner to help smooth the process. 

#9 Limit  Washes to 2-3x a Week - This is where some of my favorite products come in…dry shampoo! If you can, start washing your hair every other day or every third day (or 4th, even better!) if possible  . Washing and styling your hair can be damaging, cause breakage and create a brittle-look. A healthy hair trick is to limit the washes if you can. On day two, I’ll spritz some dry shampoo on my roots, blast my hair with the dryer and then add a little argon or coconut oil to the ends and you’re good to go. Day three, you can get creative with a top knot, slicked back pony tail or loose braid. Just make sure when you do shampoo to use a “clarifying shampoo” to get all that product out and give your scalp a good massage in the shower! 

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 Some products I LOVE at the moment…

 

CLEANSE:

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CONDITION:

  • Coconut Oil – I use the same organic cold-pressed coconut oil I use in my kitchen from Vitacost


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TREAT:

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STYLE:

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  • amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – spray underneath sections at root then blast hair with a blow dryer to refresh next-day hair

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If you have any tips for me to try or products that you have been LOVING for strong, healthy hair, tweet me @DeeLynn or leave a comment over on Instagram @DeeLynn78 so that I can try it out and add to future tips posts! 

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My Love of Essential Oils and Current Favorite DIY Recipes

March 28th, 2016 | no comments

 Let me start off by saying I am not a representative for an essential oils company. I am just a gal who LOVES essentials oils, natural products and holistic remedies for unwanted ailments. 

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Via my SnapChat @DeeLynn78

I used to suffer from bad anxiety while traveling so it was recommended to me that I try essential oils. Well, enter my “gateway drug” to essentials oils was this lavender oil to help with stress relief and anxiety that I picked at Whole Foods (and now buy from Vitacost at half the price). I really loved the natural calming effect the aroma had without any of the side effects of anxiety medicine – which I absolutely loathed taking.

Via ShapChat Story - Follow @DeeLynn78

Via ShapChat Story – Follow @DeeLynn78

Since then, I’ve dabbled into the world of essential oils year over year and have added new “staples” to my holistic arsenal. Now, I can’t imagine NOT having these gems in my “wellness toolbox.” So I thought I would share a few of the oils I have been loving, what I use them for, a few storage tips and some recipes that I played around with this past week and have got me REALLY excited! 

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From my SnapChat this weekend – follow me @DeeLynn78

Essential Oils I have been LOVING and why:

  • Lemon – Energy, Digestion, Cleansing, Detox, Immune Booster
  • Eucalyptus – Releives sore muscles, opens sinuses, breaks up congestion, Antiseptic
  • Grapefruit – Mood Booster, Boosts Immune System
  • Tea Tree – Natural antiseptic, Antibacterial, Antimicrobial, Great for breakouts
  • Lavender – Calming, Restoring, Alleviates Stress, Relaxation
  • Peppermint – Alleviates head aches, body aches, nassua, anxiety
  • Sweet Orange – Anti-inflammatory, Aids with colds and congestion, Natural Antidepressant, Boosts Immunity
  • Rosemary – Concentration, Hair Care, Digestion, Antimicrobial, Stress Relie
  • Have a favorite essential oil?? Tweet it to me @DeeLynn
 A few tips I’ve picked up along the way:
  • Using Carrier Oils are oils that help dilute the essential oils so they are safe for the hair and skin. My favorites are organic coconut oil and sweet almond oil but you could also use jojoba oil, olive oil and avocado oil! 
  • Store homemade skin and hair care products in dark glass jars like blue and amber colored jars that you can purchase at Whole Foods, a craft store or on Amazon
  • When creating at home products, always mix in glass bowls as not to disrupt the oils
  • Have a tip?? Tweet it to me @DeeLynn
A few of my favorite uses for essential oils:
  • Added to my diffuser to help with headaches, stress relieve, relaxation, nausea, concentration
  • Added to an Epsom salt bath
  • To make DIY home care and skin care products like the recipes below (still learning here and taking suggestions, tips and recipes!)
  • Used with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or almond oil) and applied directly to the temples, lower belly, bottoms of feet and as a massage oil
  • Inhaled on a tissue in flight to alleviate stress, discomfort and anxiety
  • A few drops on my pillow at home or while traveling to help with relaxation 
  • Natural pet odor spray (recipe coming soon!)
  • Know of a use that I should try?? Tweet it to me @DeeLynn

Now onto the FUN stuff! This pas weekend I played around with a few new recipes and I just love the results! All three of these recipes would make a great hostess gift or housewarming present. You can decorate them with cute ribbon and home made labels to add an extra special touch. I just used what I had laying around! 

Let me know what you think of these recipes and if you have any tips to share! 

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Citrus Bathroom Spray
(inspired by Today's Creative Blog
  • 1 TBSP Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1 TSP 100% Witch Hazel
  • 20 drops each essentials oils: lemon, sweet orange and grapefruit
  • 2 oz distilled water

Mix together and funnel into an amber glass jar. Before you use shake well then spray into the bowl. I’ve also seen these cute directions: “spray the bowl before you go and no one will ever know” – LOL!!

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Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray
  • 1.5 TBSP 100% Witch Hazel
  • 1 TBSP of Vitamin E Oil (Pure Aloe Vera works too)
  • 2 oz distilled water
  • 30 drops 100% Tea Tree Oil
  • 30 drops Lavender essential oil (or oil flavor of your choice…eucalyptus works well!)

Mix together and funnel into an amber glass jar. Before you use shake well.

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From my SnapChat – @DeeLynn78

 Yoga Mat Cleansing and Disinfecting Spray

  • 2 oz distilled water
  • 1 TBSP Witch Hazel
  • 1 TSP Tea Tree Oil
  • 20 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 20 Drops Lavender Essential Oil

Mix together and funnel into an amber glass jar. Before you use shake well. I like to spray and either wipe down with a lightly moist cloth or lay outside to dry. 

 I hope you enjoyed this post about my dabbles into the world of essential oils. I am learning more about essentials oils, uses, tips, recipes and more every single day. If you have a tip or use that you’d like to share, I’d love to know! 

7 Money Saving Apps for Clean Eating on a Budget

February 19th, 2016 | 1 comment

If you like saving money…keep reading.

A few months ago I posted a blog Top 10 Tips for eating Healthy on a Budget where I laid out some of my best kept secrets for saving money while eating well. It was one of my most popular blogs and that’s probably because, who doesn’t love to save money? 

As a health coach I often hear clients complaining that it is so expensive to eat healthy and keep up with a healthy lifestyle. I don’t agree! With a shift in mentality and some planning ahead, eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. 

I’ve learned a few things since I wrote my last money-saving post, so I wanted to expand on those tips. My goal is to reverse the mentality that you have to spend your “whole paycheck” on healthy food and instead show you how I SAVE money while shopping when, where and for what I want at my favorite stores. 

Here is a 2.0 version of my earlier post and I’m going to share some of my favorite Mobile Apps that help me save money, eat well and not break the bank. Want $35 in FREE MONEY instantly?? Keep reading, this post contains all of that and more…

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Whole Foods App

WF recently came out with an app and there is a section for SALES & COUPONS. Once you create an account you can browse sale items before you go, to plan ahead (which is always a tip of mine!) and then when you get to checkout you scan the coupon barcode and it will apply ALL coupons applicable that are in your cart at checkout at the store. HOW COOL IS THAT? No clipping coupons and you may even snag up deals you didn’t know you were eligible for. This is awesome. In my earlier post, I suggested clipping and printing coupons from WholeFoods.com which you can certainly do, but make sure you don’t forget them at home or miss any $ back with this new app

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Ibotta App

This has got to be a new favorite app of mine. Ibotta is a cash back rebate app always you to plan your shopping before you go by store and category, “unlock rebates” and then collect money back that you can withdraw for cash or gift cards to Amazon, Sephora, Starbucks and more. Just make sure to save your receipt and scan it into the app right away so you don’t miss any deals. Ibotta uses your location to tell you which stores are applicable. By me in Brooklyn, I use this app at Whole Foods, Target, CVS, Rite Aid and Stop & Shop to name a few. The app also partners with stores like Walmart, Walgreens, Albertsons, Wegmans, ShopRite, Safeway, KMart, The Food Emporium BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Costco and many more, even gas stations and retail stores and auto mechanics! If any of these are in your  daily shopping circuit, I recommend this app. Get it HERE for a $10 instant rebate for signing up as a CYGL blog reader. 

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 Vitacost

You’ve heard me mention Vitacost probably 1,000 times on this blog over the years. I seriously love this site and I’ve been ordering from it for a long time. Now, with the mobile app, life just got way easier. This is a bulk health food site where I order most of the specialty items in my pantry at a lower cost such as organic oils (coconut, sesame, olive), organic vinegars, gluten-free flours like coconut and almond, specialty baking items, organic grade B maple syrup, Bragg’s liquid amino, apple cider vinegar, matcha green tea, seeds, nuts, legumes and more. They ALWAYS have lower than retail prices, 2-for-1 specials and more. With the App you can see all of the current PROMO codes and apply them to your cart. Plus they offer free shipping over $49. AND, just for beign a CYGL reader, if you sign-up for Vitacost HERE you get $10 OFF your first order of $30 so you can try it out. The App can be found in the App Store on your mobile phone. 

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 BerryCart

BerryCart is similar to Ibotta where you can redeem cash back rebates on items you purchase. I like this app because it focuses on specialty items that you’d find at Whole Foods (which is where I shop the most in addition to Vitacost, Fairway and Trader Joe’s). I am always finding deals on organic items like tofu, hummus, probiotic beverages, nut butters, organic cereals, almond milk, coconut water and more. Start saving HERE! 

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InstaCart

The InstaCart app is most of my most-loved and relies on your location and is a shopping and delivery service. I use this app religiously when I am coming back from a trip or even a long weekend and I might not have time to get to the store. You can create shopping lists and it saves your previous orders so you can always refer back to your staples easily. Once you narrow down you location and the store (I use this for Whole Foods but they also have it in Fairway, Costco, Key Food and even Petco in my area), you can checkout the DEALS and SALES sections on the app to see the current specials and promos at the store at that time and add them to your cart. Get $10 OFF your first order now, JUST because I love yah! Sign-up HERE

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Amazon 

High quality whole foods bars can be expensive when you buy them individually. When I’m not seeing any sales at my local food store (when on sale, I ask the store if they’ll honor a “case discount” at 10% OFF, Whole Foods always does), I like to shop around. I always check Vitacost and also Amazon. Not many people know that you can find food on Amazon but it’s more than just household items and gadgets. I shop for GoMarco bars and KIND Bars and organic Nut Butters from this App and with a Prime membership, you always get 2-day free shipping. This one is great for your corporate gals who are always looking for healthy snacks at your desk, just get them shipping right to work. Sign into to the Mobile App for the first time through this link and get an INSTANTS $5 credit added to your cart my friend! 

CVS 

This one isn’t so health food-y but I thought I’d share because I love saving money at CVS using my loyalty card. The first thing you do when you walk into a CVS should be to go straight to the printable coupons center. CVS tracks your spending habits and gives you coupons that are similar to your spending habits. Now, with their new app you always have the coupons and reward bucks on hand (eliminating paper mail waste and losing any coupons). Find the App in your mobile phone’s app center. 

That’s a wrap!

I hope you enjoyed my healthy food money-saving APP edition blog posts. If there are any apps that you love for saving money or healthy food on a budget, comment below and share them with me I’d love to check them out! Eating healthy does not have to break the bank, it takes a little bit of planning, thought and finesse but with the help of money-saving apps and access to promos, deals and savings, your clean eating lifestyle doesn’t have to break the bank. 

This was the 2nd post like this, if you like this post checkout  my other Top 10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

XX,

D.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, however because I care so much about you and want to keep the integrity of this site, I only share products, services, apps and recommendations that I personally use and love myself.

5 self-care hacks for alleviating stress-induced pain

January 12th, 2016 | no comments

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Are you suffering from physical pain? Is there discomfort or dis-ease in your life, mind or body? Are your muscles tense, jaw clenched or perhaps bloating or fatigue? Read on…

Emotional angst and internalizing stress are like little demons to the body. They’re determined and they manifest in the body as physical pain. Without healthy outlets, release, forgiveness, confrontation(the good kind – think FACING your issues) and acceptance, the angst and stress multiplies; eventually leading to physical pain and illness. Sometimes it takes years for these little internal demons to catch up with the body and then they strike with a vengeance.

If you’ve been following me for some time you know that I overcame a back injury. In additional to physical therapy, I turned to an anti-inflammatory diet, many lifestyle changes and a slow and steady emotional recovery including combating stress management and finding healthy emotional outlets.

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As a deep feeler and highly compassionate person I tend to take on emotions from not only my inner thoughts and feelings but the outside world too. This means I tend to “take-on” an emotional load much bigger than myself and that has had a way of trickling into my physical being and showing up as headaches, poor digestion and back pain. 

This past summer I was diagnosed with Vertigo and TMJ – very painful and knock-you-on-your-a** kinda symptoms. Dizziness, nausea, the spins coupled with jaw aches, severe ear pain and just overall not fun. To understand the root of the symptoms, I looked past the physical into imbalances in my life, emotional wellness and areas of tension in my life. When researching holistic remedies for both ailments I was repeatedly pointed back to simple stress management practices such as sleep, self-care, writing, talking out my feelings, being in nature and creating rituals for calm and joy. 

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I’ve learned through the years how important these SELF-CARE practices are to my overall health and well being and that if I don’t take good care, my body will physically stop me.  It’s not ideal to wait for our bodies to slow us down through various ailments, our bodies are smart and they know what we need and will go to great lengths to correct imbalances. 

Here are a few of the SELF-CARE practices that have dramatically improved my symptoms of physical pain either in the moment or for on-going health and pain relief:

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  1. A CONSISTENT WRITING PRACTICE: developing a writing practice has helped me work through the thought clutter in my mind whether it’s good, struggle, ideas, conflict resolution, next steps, business ideas or just jumbled feelings. Getting the thoughts to paper helps me obtain a physical release instead of bottling the feelings and thoughts inside and them showing up as tension in my muscles or a headache.
  2. ESPSOM SALT BATHS: soaking in a warm tub is my time to create a boundary between me and the outside world. Soaking in a warm bath helps relieve muscle tension which contributes to some physical ailments such as back pain. I have my own personal “no technology” rule that I abide by and instead I will light a candle and take a book, magazine or just sit there with my thoughts and breathe. Epsom salt baths have been proven to lower stress hormones and increase levels of magnesium in the body which are vital to good health. I’ve found that the nights I take a bath before bed I sleep more soundly. 
  3. TIME IN NATURE: living in a city like New York it can be difficult to escape the lights, sounds and hustle-n-bustle which contributes to sensory overload on your body. Lucky for me living very close to Prospect Park in Brooklyn I make it a point to take Harlow for long walks or light jogs to get in fresh air and a moderate heart rate. Moving your body, especially while in nature can have a calming effect and help alleviate anxiety that contributes to physical pain.
  4. LETTING PERFECTION GO: as an entrepreneur, coach and overall passionate person I am always striving for excellence for myself, my clients and those around me. However, nothing in life is “perfect” so letting go has been a tremendous part of the journey for me. Part of the ways I implement that is by continuing to blog and create and put myself out there among fear or doubt that I’m not perfect. Another way I work out “letting go” is through my writing practice, #1 above. 
  5. COLORING: since my symptoms are stress-related finding activities that alleviate stress are important to my well being. About a year ago my brother introduced me to “adult coloring books,” and now they are everywhere on Instragram to large sections at the book store. Coloring is a fun, playful activity that also helps focus the brain in a mindful way. I find the colors soothing and if I’m feeling anxious, nothing gets me out of that feeling quicker than a fun activity.

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I hope you find some of these outlets helpful as you embark on your own quest for more joy, less chaos and calm in your life.

I’d love to know which tip resonated the most or which one you have tried or if you have another healthy hack for physical pain that helps you! Tweet me @DeeLynn

Create Your 2016 Vision (Free Vision Planning Worksheet)

January 5th, 2016 | no comments

 

Yesterday we discussed the importance of reflection as a foundation for creating meaningful tangible goals. I shared my favorite worksheet for 2015 Reflection that you can download for free here. I spent some time filling it out for myself and I was instantly filled with gratitude for the love and lessons brought about in 2015. It was a great reminder of how I’ve grown in 2015 and what I will be taking into 2016 with me. 

My 2015 Reflection

2015 Reflection DLE

 Now that we’ve done our 2015 reflection and we have a great understanding of how far we’ve come and what we will be bringing into the new year, let’s look at intentionally planning for a great year ahead. I’m not a HUGE fan of “New Year’s Resolutions,” I just don’t find them to be that sustainable or productive. For many of my clients,  resolutions tend to be negative or heavy. Instead, I am a proponent for vision planning and goal setting and of course this can be done at the beginning of the year(or any time of year). I encourage clients and friends to think about the words and feelings they want to cultivate in the new year ahead and we work backwards to define the goals and actions. 

A page from my journal…

2016 Words

Instead of thinking about something you want to give up, let’s shift our mindset to what you want to create in 2016. Think about how you want to be and feel this year. How will you act out those things? What form will they take in your life? 

When we set goals from a heart-centered place it is much easier to create the map for which we will start to achieve our goals because we feel really energized, connected and engaged in the process.

 

Just like my reflection worksheet, my New Year Vision Planning worksheet is a favorite among clients and friends. This worksheet is designed to help you cultivate the feelings, commitments, tangibles and energy that you will focus on this year. You can grab a free copy of the worksheet below to jumpstart your efforts to create your great year

Happy planning!

DeAnna

Enter your NAME + EMAIL for FREE access to the Create Your 2016 Vision Planning worksheet now: 


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My Year-In-Review (plus free printable 2015 Reflection Worksheet)

January 4th, 2016 | no comments

2015 Best 9 Pictures of 2015

It’s the first Monday of 2016 and that’s exciting. A brand new year for creation, challenge and adventure.

I have to admit that this new year crept up on me a bit. 

I’m a very sensitive person. Karl jokingly calls me a sponge because he says that I always absorb what’s around me. Sometimes that means absorbing different energies, vibes or moods, other times it means that I’m very affected by the weather. Well, these last few months in New York have been uncharacteristically warm and I guess it didn’t really “feel” like the end of the year. Since the end of the year crept up on me, I’ve had to get a little more intentional about reflection this time around. Can you relate?

One of my resolutions in 2015 was to ⭐be more present⭐. Though my online community has grown so much, and I am endlessly grateful for the people who have come into my life through social media and wonderful online communities, I am still finding a balance that feels really good. The year of 2015 was dedicated to bringing moment attention and intention to in person moments and experiences, having many tech-free meals, days and experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sharing my life, travels, relationships, experiences and most importantly RECIPES with all of you. However, I know in my heart that to be able to give YOU more I’ve needed to give to myself in a lot of ways too and for me that means disconnecting from technology, spending time in nature, prioritizing fitness and wellness activities and focusing on deep, soulful, heart-centered conversations and connections.

In 2015, I focused on enriching the quality of the time I spent with myself, through self-care, workouts and delicious recipes, and those I love by taking tech-free time to spend with them. I practiced listening and being less judgmental(of myself and of the world).

Above all, I strive to make sure that my “in real life” moments are worth remembering because I’m present, appreciative, grateful and fully engaged.

2015 was full of travel, adventure, family, nature, challenges, love, new experiences, lots and lots of new recipes, health, fitness, Y7 Yoga, SoulCycle, new friends, old friends, lessons, milestones and everything in between.

Here are some of the highlights from 2015:

I’m excited to take the love and lessons from 2015 and bring them into a new year. Here’s to a fresh year to create your dreams, BE who you want to be and strive to enrich your REAL LIFE moments for yourself and those you love. So thankful for this journey, this community and that most importantly your love, support and engagement that inspires me to keep sharing my life, my recipes and myself with you.

THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU!!

2015 Reflection

Let’s make this year F*#%ing Magical!

❤⭐⚡ 

Want a FREE copy of my coveted Reflection Worksheet? 

If you’ve coached with me, been to one of my workshops, followed me on social media or this blog, or  simply know me AT ALL, you know that I’m a big believer in reflection. Reflection helps us focus on where we have been, how far we’ve come and the lessons and gifts that have come into our life. Reflection helps us look back and connect the dots to see the growth in ourselves and our experiences. The steps we’ve taken have a direct effect on where we will go. 

One of my goals in 2016 is to share MORE of the tools, resources and tips that continue to impact my life and bring health, happiness and success to my clients and community. And it starts now!

Over the past 7 years, reflection has been a favorite activity among my clients, peers and has had a tremendous impact on my life. Time and time again I turn to reflection as a building block for creating an intentional, healthy, fulfilling and happy life and business. I’ve taken some of my favorite reflections questions of the year and combined them into a FREE worksheet for you here. Print it, take a few minutes for yourself and REFLECT on all that you’ve created in 2015 to help build a strong foundation for your goals, desires and purpose in 2016. I hope you enjoy!

2015 Reflection Worksheet Snapshot

Enter your NAME + EMAIL below for FREE access to the worksheet now: 

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