I recently went on a scenic, life changing Ayurvedic retreat in the mountains at the Art of Living Center in Boone, NC with three good girlfriends, Sahara Rose, Rosie Acosta and Alyson Charles. Ayurveda is a holistic mind body life-science that believes that every individual is unique and no one lifestyle works for everyone. The foundation is based on listening to your body and doing what works for you.
Every day as part of our retreat, we checked in with an Ayurvedic doctor, who told us what we should be eating based on our doshas (I am a Pitta-Vata). The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, and energy production. The primary function of Pitta is transformation. Those with a predominance of the Pitta principle have a fiery nature that manifests in both body and mind.
During our morning check in, we went over my diet. What I eat at home during morning, noon and night, including snacks. I answered everything honestly.
And then my doctor asked, “You don’t eat popcorn, do you?”
I don’t. At least, I couldn’t remember the last time I had.
“Good,” she said, “Because you shouldn’t.”
That struck me. Since I kicked my sugar addiction years ago, I also stopped the habit of eating processed or ‘instant’ foods like microwavable popcorn. I haven’t owned a microwave since 2011, which helps.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I pretty much grew up snacking on salty Pop Secret every single night.
And I’m so glad that I stopped that bad habit. Because what I didn’t know was that my choices could have killed me.
During most of our childhoods, the buttery flavor of microwavable popcorns like Pop Secret and Orville Redenbacher contained the chemical diacetyl, which has been linked to cases of bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare life-threatening disease, often called popcorn lung. It wasn’t until consumer concerns arose in 2007 that ConAgra Foods Inc., General Mills Inc. and the American Pop Corn Company all promised to make the change and remove diacetyl because of consumer safety concern.
At the time, those companies accounted for more than 80 percent of the market for microwave popcorn consumed every year.
By the way, brands like PopSecret and Jolly Time still use trans fat today, which is considered one of the most deadly fats available because it is associated with 20,000 heart attacks a year and over 7,000 deaths, according to the CDC.
Surprisingly, my health assessments at the Ayurvedic retreat were already very in line with what I was already craving and consuming. Pretty much everything I was told to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks was already waiting for me in my fridge or cabinets at home.
That’s when I discovered was that my intuition about myself is pretty spot on, because I’ve been avoiding popcorn for years. Instead, I’ve been snacking on a delicious, vegan, organic popcorn alternative. With no guilt, health concerns or regrets.
Bohana has been my popcorn alternative and my favorite snack since I first tried it. Made from Popped Water Lily seeds grown on a farm in Bihar, India, this snack has been an Ayurvedic superfood staple for centuries. Water Lily seeds are one of the most prescribed seeds in Ayurveda because of their neutral character making them beneficial for all body types. Oh, and by the way, they’re DELICIOUS. I go through about a bag a day, and all my friends take one bite and are obsessed!
The founders Priyal and Nadine are both spiritual junkies, curious to learn about some of the world’s most ancient practices and traditional superfoods. On this journey, Priyal went back to her Indian roots and rediscovered her childhood snack – Popped Water Lily seeds. When Priyal introduced this puffed super snack to Nadine, she was inspired and made it her go to snack too! The two never looked back and vowed to bring this ancient super snack to free spirit snackers everywhere.
You know I love a company for plenty more reasons than it makes delicious food. I also love Bohana because of their relationship with their farmers, their commitment to fair wages, ethical, sustainable harvesting, and fully collaborative supply chain. The cultivation of lily seeds doesn’t destroy the ecosystem, the whole cycle is sustainable, seasonal and naturally occurring. This allows them to source the highest quality ingredients that you can be proud to eat.
I am officially hooked! I literally take a pack with me wherever I go, and it’s my staple go-to snack at night when I’m catching up on my Netflix shows. It tastes 100,000x better than popcorn, with a texture and flavor similar to puffed corn or those old Kix snacks (but savory!) Plus, the ingredients are amazing for you! Each 110-calorie serving provides three grams of protein and at no point are you subjected to artificial flavors, colors or additives. It’s vegan, gluten free and absolutely devourable.
Bohana Popped Water Lilly seeds come in 3 incredible flavors. My personal favorite are the Himalayan pink salt and Cheddar options, which both harken back to my childhood – without the health risks!
Today, we’re giving you the chance to try a box containing packs of all three kinds!
One of my very favorite parts of writing a book is getting to share this one, beautiful part: book bonuses.
For pre-ordering my book, you get special, heartfelt gifts.
These very special gifts – from me to you – are hand-crafted to express my gratitude. Whether you order one copy or five hundred copies of WILD Habits, I want to let you know how incredibly you’re impacting my life by supporting my work and the larger message of personal healing.
HEAD HERE to unlock epic book bonuses, worth up to $6,000 total! They include free webinars with me, my meditation series, gift cards to my skincare line and tons of goodies from loyal partners I trust, like GT’s Kombucha and The Gerson Institute.
I’m so excited for you to receive WILD Habits and I am thrilled to send you over the bonus goodies! Keep a lookout for them on May 8th! I appreciate your support so much and can’t wait to hear your feedback on the new book!
Five years ago, the word “exercise” seemed like the most daunting word on the planet. I saw no value in it and (possibly more importantly), I had absolutely zero motivation to do it. At the time, I certainly saw no way that it could possibly help me as a person.
There was only one problem: I was always in massive amount of pain. Yes, five years ago I was in excruciating pain – each and every day. The kind of pain that will drive you nuts. The kind of pain that’s unexplainable to anyone who hasn’t experienced it before. Blessed with juvenile arthritis on top of a bad spinal curve, I thought I was doomed to be in persistent pain forever.
Little did I know that just a few tweaks in my daily regiment were the keys I had been missing to rid myself of pain for good. Moving needed to be an essential part of my wellness – or I was never going to feel well!
What if I told you that just one simple move could activate your metabolism (speeding up weight loss), strengthen your core (hello six pack!), improve your posture (HEY job promotion!) and help you feel pain free?
Along with supplements, food and the right exercises, I have near completely rid myself of pain. And I’ve done this – not through painkillers – but through exercise!
Exercise should be easy and fun. That’s why I am so excited thatKohl’s has recently launched with epic brand Under Armour.
WithUnder Armour at Kohl’s, your favorite store will now be able to provide you with the gear you need to get going. You can easily access the extra-push you need to give it your all with every start – every day!
Not only was moving an essential part of my cure – without it, the other proactive steps I take for wellness (food, supplements, hiking, mind-strengthening) just would not work! Not only do certain exercises give me a competitive healthy edge, they’re damn fun to do!
For instance, if crawling isn’t a part of your daily exercise routine – it should be!
My new favorite exercise to incorporate into my routine is The Bear Crawl. This simple set of moves tones your core and improves your ability to strengthen your spine. Your deep core stability muscles (also known as “the corset muscles”) all become activated. The body contracts because it is on high alert to guard the spinal joints, ligaments, discs and nerves.
Not only does The Bear Crawl make you feel like a kid again, it fires up your metabolism, aiding in weight loss and the ability of your body to process fats. In addition to stabilizing your spine, your chest, arms, abdomen, shoulders and upper back will tingle after you finish your reps!
Mastering The Bear Crawl also helps your posture! Studies on posture are striking. You may think of this as an exercise, but you should start thinking of it as a brand new life!
Posture is so important on many different levels. In one study, students were asked to rate themselves on their job performance while holding one of two postures: confident and shrunken. The results were telling: how the students rated themselves as future professionals depended on which posture they held as they wrote the positive or negative traits.
Students who held the upright, confident posture were much more likely to rate themselves in line with the positive or negative traits they wrote down. Their confident, upright posture gave them more confidence in their own thoughts, whether they were positive or negative.
The Bear Crawl can definitely help you get there!
HOW TO BEAR CRAWL:
Get down on all fours
Keep your hands underneath shoulders
Keep your knees underneath hips
Lift knees off the ground
Allow the posture of your body to be natural
Move forward 10-20 yards
Move back 10-20 yards
Move sideways 10-20 yards
Move in the other direction 10-20 yards
That’s it! Super simple – and SO many great benefits!
Feel free to laugh at yourself – but this workout is SUPER serious! You’ll feel like a kid again – but get adult results!
HEAD OVER TO INSTAGRAM OR TWITTER:
Take on the bear crawl challenge! Post a photo or video of yourself doing the bear crawl and tag @Kohls, #GetYourStart, and #BearCrawlChallengeSweepstakes to enter to win a $1,000 Kohl’s gift card!
10 runner-up winners will each receive a $100 gift card from Kohl’s.
I adore these two products! Their limited edition Body Scrub Winter Scent is a blend of anise, vanilla, and a hint of lavender. It’s as fresh and clean as the first snow! As for the Melted Buttah Repair Balm – it’s to die for! Sometimes you just need something, you know…more. Starting with Babassu Oil, the star ingredient of their Lip Buttah, Splurge adds soothing Calendula Oil and Red Raspberry Seed Oil. This trio of exceptional oils combine to give Melted Buttah Repair Balm it’s healing powers. It’s capabilities go beyond your lips to include any area that needs a little extra attention – cuticles, dry spots, rashes – this is truly an all purpose repair balm!
To Enter, simply tell us your favorite way to live a healthy lifestyle:
That’s it! Good luck my loves! Enjoy your weekend!
After that heavy post last week I had to hit you with some super cute puppy pictures of our new adopted baby Ruca. Can you truly blame me? Ruca has been in our family for 3 incredible weeks and my heart has grown to the moon and back! She is TOO much and definitely making these last few weeks a little easier on the heart. I didn’t know I could love something so very much. Sweet little Ruca Bear is a pit/lab/rottie mix. She’s a future service dog. 12lbs at 7 weeks old when we brought her home. Ruca Bear: tiny little monster. I’m loving every second of puppy mamahood. I remember when Raelie was little it went by so, so fast. I’m trying to soak up every second with this one.
ANYWAY… I’ll be gushing about Ruca in another post. This post is about my new book!
If you’ve been following my instagram or twitterlately, you may have taken note that I’ve been working extremely hard on Book #2. In fact, I remember taking a bath on the night that I first turned in Cured by Naturealmost two years ago, and laughing at myself because my first thought after the immense accomplishment of finishing my first book in three months, at the age of twenty-seven, in the same year my Dad had passed away from brain cancer was, “…I really want to start writing my next book!”
I am so excited to announce that I have signed my second book deal!!
My new publisher is unique and if you know me, you know theyare a perfect fit. They only publish about two dozen books a year and work very closely with their small group of select authors. The CEO’s experience is beyond impressive: a nine year role as a Vice President and Publisher at Bantam/Doubleday/Dell, a Supervisor at McGraw Hill and three years as a Vice President and Publisher at Random House. Their publication model is streamlined and their authors are true leaders in their fields (science, spirituality and business). I feel very honored and inspired to be amongst them.
I am with Select Books! My new book we are working on is along the same vein of Cured by Nature:packed withbrand newmind-strengthening techniques, health advice, food, supplement and nutrition recommendations – plus just the right amount of personal backstory. I am so excited to reveal the title, publication date and context!! Oooo guys I am TRULY excited about this one, for more than one reason.
It feels like home. I went to the same school from Pre-K to 8th grade with the same 10 kids in my class. Then, I went to one of the smallest colleges in the country, Bennington College, which had a total undergrad population of just 550 when I attended. I’ve mostly signed with boutique agencies and I live for working one-on-one with clients. Let’s just say I work really well in small groups.
I’ll keep you guys updated! In the meantime, to celebrate signing with Select, I am doing a giveaway! Today, you can get a signed copy of my first book, Cured by Nature!! All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter. Yup. Seriously. That’s it. I’ll be picking FIVE emails out of our new subscribers this week and contacting you for your copy. If you’re already signed up, just add another email on there! I’ll announce the winners next Monday!
I am so thrilled to be able to share this very special news with you today. I love you all and I can’t thank you enough for all of your support. But trust me – you’ll be spoiled rotten with this new book!
Zoe Organics has quickly risen to be one of my favorite companies in the green beauty world. Not only have they been one of the first clean and safe cosmetics companies to bust through the doors of Target (along with our good friends at SW Basics of Brooklyn and, most recently, Waxelene!), but each and every product I’ve tried from Zoe Organics is pure heaven. Their commitment to well-rounded, full-family health is what every company strives for, but Zoe Organics executes it’s mission perfectly.
I was thrilled when founder Heather asked me if I’d like to try the brand new Intimate Collection before it launched. I was happy to, since one big topic in health has not been discussed as often it should be on this blog: sex.
Safe sex is important in more ways than just birth control. What you use to be intimate with your partner can have consequences you wouldn’t think of – like irritation, redness or even uncomfortable female problems like UTI’s or yeast infections, caused by nasty chemicals used as preservatives. Everything from conventional lubrication (think KY Jelly) to condoms (think Trojan) have some of these gross chemicals, and our goal should be to avoid these kinds of choices and protect our sexual health as much as possible without freaking ourselves out.
Remember: we’re not just about romantic love in this tribe.
We’re about self-love.
Zoe Organics is one of the first green, baby-safe skincare companies to present us with a brand new, totally organic, healthy way to enjoy ourselves or our partners sexually. And you can win the entire collection today! Just hop on over to our instagram page, follow us and Zoe Organics and tag someone you love!
This Body Oil is so luxurious, you – like me- may decide to use it every day as a pampering moisturizer after your bath or shower! I absolutely love the scent and am obsessed with using it after my baths. The aroma of sweet citrus, spicy clove, decadent rose, ylang ylang and woodsy vetiver envelops the senses. Let it carry you throughout the day or into the night because it’s so sexy without being a heavy oil!
Use as a massage oil with your partner and see where it takes you. Or add a few drops to a bath to create a luxurious and special evening. The possibilities are endless.
Not latex compatible.
Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil*, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil* olea europeaea (olive) oil*, a proprietary blend of organic essential oils.*
The Aroma Oil might be my personal favorite part of this collection. I absolutely love rubbing this on my pulse points either to set the mood for romance or somethings just to unwind after a long day. It is a concentrated blend of luxurious organic essential oils: the sweetness of citrus, warm spice of clove, and decadence of rose and ylang ylang. An amazing way to indulge in romance!
Roll oil behind ears, or on neck, wrists or other pulse points (or any other kissable body parts). Breathe deeply, and let the moment take you.
Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil*, a proprietary blend of organic essential oils.*
If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy just picking up and sniffing this candle as much as you enjoy lighting it to set the mood. Ages ago I used to have a sexy aromatherapy body oil. I was totally obsessed with the scent and carried it with me everywhere – even on trips! When I found out that it contained some questionable ingredients, I donated it, and had yet to find something that smells similar. Until now! This candle smells just like it! I was thrilled to find something with the same scent that is safe for me.
The Intimate Collection Aroma Candle is the perfect way to set the mood for an intimate evening. Designed with a lead-free cotton wick and organic beeswax to ensure a long, clean burn life, this candle will help create the perfect atmosphere – for a slow, romantic evening with your partner, or for a peaceful evening at home with a book (no judgements here)!
It has a burn time of approximately 40 hours.
To WIN this full collection, hop on over to our instagram and follow the instructions!
Use code GROWNUPTIME for 20% off the collection today!