Recently, I decided to go shopping for some new Spring clothes. Feeling pretty good about myself and the upcoming sunshine, I ventured into an old favorite store where I started to grab all kinds of items to try on. Something caught my eye, and I picked it up off the rack. It was, of course, a romper- super cute on the hanger and a very flattering color. I decided to not listen to the little voice inside of me, add it to my pile of "maybes" and continue on my spree.
Now, let's rewind to last year and even the one before when this same scenario was playing out. I wanted to go shopping in order to treat myself to some new items. Like clockwork, I browse and always seem to be drawn to rompers this season because:
A. They are adorable
B. I see people rock them in magazines
C. I also see people rock them in real life
D. They look so damn cute with wedge heels
E. Apparently I like to torture myself on the reg'...
BECAUSE here is what I find out every single time (and this past experience was no different)...
As I stare at myself in the mirror I realize: I do not look good in rompers.
Not because I think I am ugly or anything like that, but because it's just absolutely not flattering for my body type. My butt is plump, my thighs are thick enough to eliminate any shot at a thigh gap, it totally takes away my waistline, and frankly how is someone even supposed to pee in this thing?
As these thoughts flooded my mind in the fitting room, I had an epiphany. Why am I wasting time trying on items that I know are just not good for me??...
Why, in life, do we continue to do anything that doesn't really serve where we are at that point in time? My 31-year-old self doesn't need to rock a romper and that's more than okay. I have accepted the fact that my curvy, muscular, taller-than-average, bootylicious self belongs in other pieces of garment that make me feel good, exude my confidence and spew out lots of positive energy to the universe. Rompers, you just don't make the cut and I now have completely accepted that fact.
With that being said, you have my word that I will never again try on a romper. I owe it to myself to own what is truly right for me. Even though I might not get it right the first- or second time, I will continue to choose myself and make decisions that leave me feeling great despite what the latest trend is or what's hip and new around me.
Now, wait 'til you see the maxi dress I'm about to romp' around in this summer!
To What Fits YOU Best,
As most of you know, this year has personally been a tough one for me. I have dealt with hardships and keep riding the waves of grief. But as challenging as it was and still is, I feel stronger and wiser as a result of everything I've had to endure.
Looking back, I'm proud of my accomplishments and know I have helped a lot of people on a path to a healthier, happier life; more than I could ever have imagined. Nothing could be as rewarding and I am honestly beyond grateful. I wake up and pinch myself each day realizing I am following my dreams and living out my purpose. What could be better?
As I reflect on the past 365 days and all the good that has come from the time, I still have regrets. As we approach a new year, I am working to let go, learn from it, move on and grow. The little ones should be easier to overcome, but there is one that weighs heavy on me. By far, the biggest disappointment I have is that there was nothing I could do to save my father from losing his battle with cancer. How does a person feel like they can help almost anyone/everyone in their life but not one of the most important people? It's both discouraging and devastating at the same time and has taken a toll on me in the regret department.
You see, for years I had been trying to create small changes, add in better habits and educate my Dad on what it meant to truly be healthy from the inside-out. I basically made him my client without his consent. I wanted him to be active, lower his stress, not drink as much alcohol, find hobbies that kept his passions alive and most of all, eat wholesome and nutritious foods on the regular. Selfishly, I felt that if I could change my Dad, I would be able to have him around for more milestones and experiences that I was so looking forward to us sharing together. He used to laugh at me and listen to what I had to say, but continue to live the way he wanted. I would get mad and take it personal, but I realize it was never about me. I now understand that we cannot force people into change, we can only support and love them for who they are and what they bring to our lives. A big awakening in my freedom from what has happened leading up to the loss.
My main goal in 2016 is to live with no regrets, work through the ones present now and encourage those around me to do the same. As we all know, life doesn't usually work out the way we want it to, which is why realizing the potential consequences of our actions (or inactions) is so important. Looking back on the past few months since my Dad has passed, I've learned so much and also have come to understand the most crucial part in someone's journey. I fully know what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle and will continue to help anyone who is open and willing to learn, but the person has the be ready. That's the key. I realize my Dad wasn't quite there and probably thought what happened to him never really would, an all too common mistake most of us are guilty of in today's day and age.
If you are stuck somewhere in the middle and are unsure as to where you stand (or would like to lend a hand to some of your loved ones), here are some questions I have for you to ask as we approach a new year and clean slate of living with no regrets:
Who is in your circle?
It's very common to reflect on the past year and have some "could of, would of, should of's." As you can see, I do the same. But just as I plan to move on and grow from what I've learned, I encourage you to try as well. Take note of what worked, what didn't, and how you plan to live 2016 with no regrets...
As for me, I have accepted what ultimately was my father's journey. I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with him and know that for the most part, he was living in a way that made him happy. I am finding my peace in that. However, I will continue to keep my doors wide open to anyone who is ready to walk through and work on the most important job of all time: long term health, vitality and the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases. Although I can't change the outcome for my Dad, what I can do is honor his life and legacy day in and day out through my work. If I can prevent just one person from going through the pain and suffering my family has had to endure upon his death, I feel I will have succeeded.
I hope this article inspires you to take a good, hard look at your life and ask yourself the tough questions needed to answer what is truly holding you back from living the life of your dreams- not just in 2016 but beyond. If there are loved ones in your life you are struggling to change, share this with them and maybe it will shed some light and motivate them to walk down a different path...
Remember- It's better to look back on life and say "I can't believe I did that," than to look back and say "I wish I did that."
Thank you all for not only an amazing year, but the unconditional love & support through the not-so-amazing times. I can't tell you how lucky I feel and am truly blessed to be surrounded by such an incredible community of people. You make my heart feel full again. Thank you so much.
Here's to a New Year of No Regrets!
Are you one of those people who gets super stressed during the holidays? I used to be, but now I have a really good grasp on how to tackle the next few months with grace and ease. Although most gatherings revolve around food and drinks, there are ways that you can stay on track and still come out in 2016 on top of your health and happiness game. Here are some of my keys to success for surviving the upcoming Holidaypocalypse:
“The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing others’ loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes, for us, the magic of the holidays.”
To a Merry & Bright Season,
Lack of sleep can mess with your mood, add in food cravings and enable your hormones to not work properly. In addition, the stress hormone cortisol will be increased when you have any sleep issues and that can cause chronic inflammation, fat storage and other potential health problems.
So, what is keeping you awake all night?
There are factors that may be in your control if you are having a hard time hitting the Zzz's.
Here are some things to consider:
Diet- Typically, the clients that come to me with "insomnia" as one of their symptoms are usually not aware of how many cups of caffeinated drinks they are consuming on the regular. This is definitely a good place to start. Try to keep consumption at 1-2 cups a day and all before 3pm. Also, if you are hungry before bed, try to avoid a heavy meal that is hard to digest. This can impede the process of internal triggers that signal to your body it's time to hit the sack. Alcohol, dark chocolate and sugary foods can all interfere as well, so skip the treats and nightcap. Opt for lighter foods and snacks if needed an hour or 2 before bedtime.
Technology- Have you ever felt absolutely exhausted, crawled into bed and then find yourself surfing the internet or Facebook for way more time than you initially expected, opening up a whole new world of second winds? That's one of the worst things to do for the melatonin in your body, which is the hormone that releases each night to promote sleep. Little things like the light from your phone, laptop, and television can be very detrimental to a good night of REM sleep. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from technology at least an hour before bed, keep it out of your room and only use the space for sleep & sex!
Stress: Not being able to turn off the "hustle and bustle" from the day will absolutely set you up for a horrible night's sleep. Some good strategies for overcoming this all-too-common problem is to "write your worries" down in a journal that you keep on your nightstand. This will allow your brain to get a break from the constant gerbil wheel, and hopefully focus more on rest. You can then tackle all those issues the next day, removing them from your mind and placing them in a checklist for future reference. Meditation, taking a bath, breathing exercises, light reading and creating other relaxing nighttime rituals will certainly help as well.
Environment: Your room should be cool and dark. Think cave-like, but not so much that you block out the natural sunlight in the morning. You can add in "white noise" to help drown any other sounds. A fan or machine can be a good addition, especially if you feel your mind race when you try to lay down to rest or you are a light sleeper and get woken up by the slightest sounds at night.
Generally speaking, most people need 7-9 hours to function optimally. Sleep synchronizes so many of the processes that relate to your health and should not be taken lightly. Look at your current habits and make the necessary changes needed to finally get the proper rest.
"Your future depends on your dreams - so go to sleep!"
To Your Best Life,
P.S. Stay tuned for great Fall specials coming in September...
I'm so excited to be a Mom someday.
I know that's a funny thing to say at the start of a wellness blog, but I'll explain.
You see, the "why" of someone's health journey is more important than the "who, what, where, when and how." In my experience, it is the root of everything we are searching for in our quest for the happiest, healthiest life.
For me, personally, my journey started very young. I was diagnosed with a few autoimmune conditions (PCOS first in my early teens, then Chronic Fatigue and Hashimoto's in my late teens/early 20's). It utterly destroyed me both internally and externally for a long time. Mostly because I didn't fully understand the reason it was happening and also because I felt like I had no control over what my own body was trying to tell me. One of the traditional doctors I worked with at the time told me straight to my face that "You will most likely have issues trying to have a child one day." I hadn't menstruated in well over a year, my hormones were completely out of whack, I was gaining weight, exhausted and in an utter state of inflammation. I was defeated. With all that being said, the words literally cut me to the bone. I felt like I was sucker punched in the stomach and was left there with absolutely no answers and a head full of questions.
At first, I was devastated. Devastated. How can someone say that to me when I have grown dreaming of carrying children one day? How is that fair? The truth is, it wasn't at all. The emotions went from so sad, to angry, to now: determined and inspired. It wasn't until I took my own health into my hands that I was able to take the power back from what was said to me that day. Looking back, that moment and beyond is one of the biggest blessings in my life.
The ironic thing is, I'm not a Mom yet (those beautiful girls pictured are my nieces), but I will be one day. I wake up each day and make choices based on that driving force. I have worked my tail off in my own personal journey to reduce inflammation, eat right, exercise, sleep and manage my stress appropriately- all to make sure I am nourishing my body in the way that it needs to work properly. It has taken a while and patience is definitely the virtue I have learned in the process. But, my root is grounded in my mission and it's something that continues to motivate me each and every single day. I have normalized and regulated my menstrual cycle, thyroid and energy on my own and it's been that way for a few years now. No medications, no treatments, just a holistic and natural lifestyle supported through nutrition. My last annual proved that we do have the ability to take our own health in our hands, as my current OB/GYN came into the exam room, gave me a big hug and said "Every single test has come back completely normal, Alicia. I'm so happy for you! I see no reason you will have any issues when you are ready to start a family of your own." She's seen the blood work, internal ultra sound images, food sensitivity testing, and has had countless conversations with me partnered in my mission and completely on board with what I have done. She now understands the value and feels inspired to send other patients my way who can benefit. What better gratification than that? Healing myself with the opportunity to help others in the process- that is my mission. That is my "why" and I will continue to fight not only for mine, but yours as well.
Today, I challenge you to take a minute and ask yourself what is the real reason you want to live a life of wellness? What is the strongest root in your tree of health? Understanding this concept and creating a plan to execute it will transform a wish into your new reality.
With your reason to succeed, right team and plan of action- I truly believe anything is possible!
*To Living the Life of Your Dreams*
Did you know you need to consume half your body weight in ounces of water each day just to stay hydrated? It's your most basic nutritional responsibility.
Just because you may not feel "thirsty" doesn't mean you shouldn't hydrate. In fact, any kind of strong desire for water means it's already too late. Water is essential to your health for many reasons and will improve your overall wellness. Your fluid intake can directly change your energy, stamina, vitality, body weight, aging process, stress management, digestion, skin elasticity, mental clarity and more.
The best time to consume water is in between meals. Gulping down large sips while eating can actually affect the digestive juices that are working to break down your food and impede the natural process. As we come into the summer months, you can add anti-inflammatory and cooling foods like: cucumber, zucchini and watermelon to aid in hydration, and reduce dehydrating sources such as: caffeine, alcohol and overly spicy foods.
For athletes, or those who strenuously workout, proper hydration is critical to your performance and recovery. Although you need to consume plain purified water on the regular, you can start to look at other nutrients to contribute to your hydration.
Fresh coconut water is great for mineral replacement since it contains magnesium, potassium and small traces of zinc and copper. It's a personal favorite and natural source that will provide balance to your internal ecosystem.
Endura by Metagenics is another great nutrient that I utilize in my practice. It's a glucose electrolyte solution that provides sodium, magnesium and potassium- ideal for those who plan to exercise hard for at least 30-60 minutes as it already promotes the recovery process. I explain to my clients that Endura is a "healthy gatorade," and can be taken in about 10 minutes prior to working out and all throughout the event. It doesn't contain any processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, chemicals or food dyes that make you sick and inflamed (please always read labels!!) I have a ton of success using Endura with my clients and even their children involved in sports. I can easily provide more information if you are interested in learning more.
The biggest take away from today is: Just when you think you've had enough....DRINK MORE WATER! Start with a 16oz glass and make it a priority throughout the day to get at least half of your body weight in ounces consumed. Your physical, mental and emotional being will thank you.
P.S. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with my new "Healthy Habits for Happy Lives" segment of video clips. #shorenutritionwellness
The weather is breaking and it seems as if Spring is here. Finally!
There are many concepts in the nutrition world to follow, but one is an Ayurvedic approach that bases it's foundation on "eating for the seasons." Meaning: there are certain foods, at certain times of the year that can be very healing and also foster an overall sense of health based on what your body may need during that time.
Since we are welcoming the beautiful changes of Spring externally, here are a list of foods you may want to incorporate to add to the internal benefit you may already be experiencing from some added sunshine:
Start utilizing some of these foods in the next few weeks and experience that healthy glow inside and out!
To Your Own Spring Shine,
You will never catch me saying the word "diet." Just thinking about it makes me cringe.
There are so many other inspiring words to use when it comes to your health including: delicious, devotion, divine, discipline, diligence, drive....You get the picture.
At Shore Nutrition & Wellness, my partnership with clients is to get them to a space of simple changes that make big differences. This is why focusing on a new lifestyle, as opposed to just being "skinny" or "fitting into summer clothes" is a much greater task to accomplish.
Here are some simple ways to make sure the process is sustainable and fit for life:
To Your Own Health Care,
P.S. Come visit me at my new office location!...1151 Broad Street Suite 216 Shrewsbury, NJ 07702
Everything starts in our gut.
Which is why it is so critically important to have a solid understanding of what could potentially be going on in our insides. Here are some clues on whether or not you have a healthy or leaky gut...
Leaky Gut - You are experiencing one of more of the following:
If anything is out of whack, your entire system can be suffering. The good news is it takes about 30 days to reverse a lot of these issues and I can help you with that. Most of your health problems will simply go away when you get a handle on fixing your gut- it's the gateway to your health.
Heal your gut and heal yourself!!
For more information check out: The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers
In Good Gut Health, Alicia
One of my clients shared this article with me, knowing this is one of the top concepts we stand for here at Shore Nutrition & Wellness.
Being "skinny" does not equal healthy and being "heavy" does not equal sickness.
Take a look for yourself
It comes down to high inflammation levels that account for majority of diseases in Americans- and that has no specific visual body image. Weight is just 1 marker, which is why we should stop fixating on the number as if it's going to save our lives.
If the focus is more on the other things that show an overall good state of health, more will be accomplished. Plus you will probably feel less frustrated in the process...
What's your definition of "healthy?"
To *Happy Fit* being the new *Skinny Fat*