How to drink water like a boss

How to drink water like a boss

Hey there! 

Let’s talk about WATER. Water is one of those things that we know we SHOULD drink but it often gets left by the wayside. Many people don’t drink enough water for two main reasons:

  1. They’re busy and they just don’t think about it.Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 1.24.29 PM
  2. They don’t like the taste of it.

Do you fit into one of these two categories?

GOOD– not good that you’re dehydrated, but good that you’re reading this article. Keep going. 

You’ve probably heard that your body is made up of 60- 75% water, so yes it makes sense that you should drink lots of it throughout the day. But how much and why?

The rule I go by for how MUCH water to drink is the following:

Take your body weight in pounds and divide it by 2 to get the ounces of water you should be drinking. Then add 10 ounces for every hour you work out. 

So if you weigh 150lbs, you should be drinking 75 oz of water. If you also workout for an hour, bump that number up to 85 oz.

WHY drink water? Well, a number of problematic nuisances occur when we don’t drink enough water. For starters HEADACHES are often a sign of dehydration. Many people experience CRAVINGS when they are dehydrated and a drop in their ENERGY. This is due to the fact that when we are dehydrated our cells cannot function optimally, but also water provides much-needed oxygen to the brain for clear thinking. When we can’t think clearly we tend to crave sugars, fats, and salts. Additionally, lack of water messes with our electrolyte or mineral balance, triggering cravings and all other types of symptoms.

Now what’s the best way to get your daily water in? Make it available! Pick up a water bottle you like, and keep it full. This also gives you an excuse to get up and walk around throughout the day, refilling this sucker. I really like the CamelBak 25 oz water bottle with the straw.  

  1. Make it available! Pick up a water bottle you like, and keep it full. This also gives you an excuse to get up and walk around throughout the day, refilling this sucker. I really like the CamelBak 25 oz water bottle with the straw.  
  2. Add some flavor! There are a number of ways to make your water more palatable if you’re not into the “water-taste.” I love water but still like to add a burst of flavor. Here are three of my favorite add-ins:
  • Fruits, Veggies, Herbs: Lemons, berries, cucumbers, limes, oranges, basil, mint, toss them in your water bottle for a burst of flavor.
  • Bai Antioxidant Infusion Drink: I keep one handy at my desk and will add a touch to my water bottle each time I fill it. I go through about one bottle every two days. 
  • Ultimate Aloe: I get the Strawberry-Kiwi flavor and think it tastes like the pink freeze pops we had when we were little, but it’s actually good for you! I put a splash in my water once or twice a day. It supports a healthy digestive tract and strong immune system. If you really want a digestive tract boost, check out the Digestive Health Kit, which includes Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes. 

How do you stay hydrated? Write below in the comments!

Got a question? Email me at jennie@jenniefagen.com and I can feature your question in a future blog post. 

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The 3 Ingredients I always have with me

The 3 Ingredients I always have with me

I noticed a common theme around my Instagram page and recipes. Most of the things I make contain one of three ingredients (or a combination thereof):

  • Avocado
  • Eggs
  • Tahini

No matter where I am in the world, whether I’m at home in New York, traveling, or visiting family, I also have these ingredients Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.43.28 PMwith me. If I’m traveling one of my first stops is usually to the grocery store. 

Preparation is key when living a healthy lifestyle, and by stocking up on lots of healthy ingredients we can reduce the amount of mindless snacking, cravings, and temptations we experience on a day to day basis. 

So what is it about avocado, eggs, and tahini that makes me pick these 3 specifically?

Well for starters they all contain healthy fat. This is important because a lot of times when people transition to eating more vegetables and cutting down on carbs, they are starving. You should never be starving in order to lose weight or “be healthy.” The trouble is when you cut down on carbohydrates, the food that may have been filling you up, you need to replace it with something new to fill you up, or… you guessed it– you go hungry! And when you are hungry (or hangry), our judgment goes out the window. Our body starts searching desperately for nourishment and tends to seek out sugars, fats, and salts. To our demise, these things that were once hard to come by in nature are now plentiful in the form of pretzels, chips, cannolis, pastas, and other forms of deliciousness. Unfortunately for us, they are extremely calorie-dense, but not nutrient-dense. What this means for you is, even after eating these foods, or eating what you may deem as the appropriate amount of calories, your body is still lacking the nutrients is was craving. The result is perpetual hunger and unsatiated cravings. 

So what’s a better way to fulfill your hunger AND your body’s need for nutrients? HEALTHY fats! 

  • Avocados are a great snack to take on the go (I always bring them when I fly or travel), or to add to a salad and mix in to create a creamy dressing.
  • Eggs are a wonderful quick breakfast combined with greens. They also make a great afternoon snack. You can hard boil them in mass and have them stocked for when hunger calls (or when you roll your butt out of bed).
  • Tahini is ground up sesame seeds believe it or not, and has the consistency of a thinner peanut butter. Some tahinis are more separated than others– looks for one that blends easily so you can drizzle it over your steamed or sauteed greens. Combined with lemon and sea salt it is heavenly.

Hope that helps!

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Salmon Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs

Salmon Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs

Last weekend I stayed with one of my best friends in DC. When he heard I was coming, he gave me a heads up that he was on the Whole 30 plan. What is Whole 30? You’re basically cutting out all processed foods, added sugars, grains, legumes, etc and eating clean… so really this was just a convenience for my part. I often have clients commit to eliminating a lot of these foods in our first week of working together. Depending on their body type, lifestyle, health conditions, and goals we’ll continue from there with a plan that works from there. 

Now what is the POINT in giving up all these foods and ingredients completely for a period of time? A lot of these foods– dairy, sugar, processed foods, gluten– cause inflammation in the body without us even realizing it. Inflammation shows up in the form of allergies, nasal and ear infections, bloating, weight retention, joint pain, feeling generally blah, brain fog, and the list goes on. We don’t realize it because we live with it everyday– it becomes our state of norm. We don’t know how good we CAN feel until we reach that point of improvement. Our bodies are also fairly flexible, adaptable, and resilient, and when we are exposed to foods on a regular basis that our body doesn’t like, it figures out how to deal with them. It does so by becoming inflamed.

Inflammation, when experienced in short periods of time, is the body’s healthy way of repairing itself, by activating our immune system, destroying pathogens, increasing oxygen, and delivering nutrients to the pertinent areas. 

The problem comes when inflammation is experienced chronically— which is exactly what happens when we are continually eating foods our body doesn’t want or doesn’t deal well with.

By eliminating all potential irritants (i.e. dairy, sugar, processed foods, etc) completely for a short period of time (minimum 7 days) we allow the body to repair itself, reset, re-energize, and function optimally. Then by reintroducing these potential irritants one at a time we allow ourselves to play detective with our bodies to see what the main culprits are of our pain, bloating, and inflammation.Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 11.33.28 AM

If this sounds intriguing to you or if you have further questions, send me an email at jennie@jenniefagen.com or check out my 90-Day Transformation

Below is a clean-eating recipe my friend prepared while I was in DC and it is absolutely delicious. Bon a petite! 

Salmon Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs

Ingredients:
1 jalapeño
3 scallions
1 1/3 c sweet potato
2 cans salmon
2 T ghee
Bunch of cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop all ingredients and mix together in a bowl. Place in a muffin tin, coated with ghee and bake 25 minutes at 350 deg!

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Chipotle Smoked Eggs and Greens

Chipotle Smoked Eggs and Greens

I love mayo. And no I didn’t always. I was the kid who would scowl if you put too much mayo on my sandwich, and yes it was always too much mayo. 

But you know what? I was just eating bad mayo!… we’ll call it “faux mayo.” Turns out with all the artificial ingredients in the mainstream mayos, the integrity and essence of real mayonnaise was lost. Not only that but intuitively your body knows when you are eating nurturing foods and when you are eating toxic foods— we just need to train ourselves to pay attention when this happens. For instance, if you were to bite into a paint sandwich (yes, I just made that up) your instincts would immediately make you gag and/or spit it out. Your body senses danger. 

Your body can sense this same danger with foods that don’t fare well in your body, but the impulse is more subtle and when we are constantly multitasking or eating on the go, your body goes into auto-pilot. Auto-pilot is no good while eating– it’s the opposite of “mindful eating.”

So how did I fall back in love with mayo? I found an awesome brand called, Sir Kensington’s. 

Here’s a list of the ingredients in their Chipotle Mayo:

Sunflower Oil, Egg Yolks, Water, Lemon Juice, Distilled Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Salt, Organic Sugar, Chipotle Powder, Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cumin, Black Pepper, Citric Acid

Pretty simple, right? And their eggs are certified humane and free-range. Why does this matter? Well think of it this way: Anything that chicken is ingesting, you are ingesting as well, including lovely antibiotics. arsenic, cow dung, and other fine delicacies. A more direct answer would be that 1) they taste better, and 2) They cause less reactions in the body (think bloating,, acne, allergies, etc). 

Plus the healthy fats keep you fuller longer! I’m a big fan of healthy fats, especially when you cut down on carbohydrates. You need something to keep you full, nourished, and energized. 

Below is a simple breakfast I throw together in the morning. Try boiling a batch of hard-boiled eggs the night before or earlier in the week to cut down on prep time. Hard-boiled eggs are a great nourishing snack/meal enhancer to keep handy. 

Hope you enjoy!

Chipotle Smoked Eggs and Greens
IMG_3529
Ingredients:

  • Mixed greens: I like grabbing the bins of organic pre-cut, pre-washed greens! Much easier to prep and more likely to be eaten.
  • 2 Hard Boiled eggs: Organic eggs taste best and cause less body reactions (i.e. bloating, acne, etc)
  • Teaspoon Chipotle Mayo: Sir Kensington’s mayos are my absolute favorite for taste and quality
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Teaspoon olive oil: Cold-pressed is best
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. Toss your greens in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
  2. Stick your hand in and massage at the greens a few times to coat the greens and make them more digestible. If you use rougher greens, like kale for instance, you can massage for a longer time to soften it up. Then add the eggs and mayo and chop and stir it all in!
  3. Add the eggs and mayo, chop and stir it all in!

Bon a petite!

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Avocado

Goat Cheese Stuffed Avocado

This is the easiest recipe known to man, and is inspired from @nudespice’s Instagram. 

Here’s the gist of it…

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole, ripe avocado
  • Goat cheese, soft type, ideally local
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, crushed

Directions:

  1. Cut the avocado in half, longways, and twist to break apart easily.
  2. Remove the pit, either by stabbing it with a knife and turning (please be careful when you remove said knife!), or using an avocado pitter to pop it out.
  3. Spread out your crushed pistachio pieces (note: if your pistachios aren’t already crushed, you can do so by placing them in a zip lock bag, sealing the air out and leaving the bag a little room for air to escape, and rolling a glass jar over top) on some parchment paper and roll the avocado outside around in it until coated. 
  4. Use a spoon to fill the center of the avocado with goat cheese and spread smooth.
  5. Enjoy!

It’s to be noted that this is a very fat-filled snack (or part of a meal). These are all GOOD fats– the avocado, the pistachios, the goat cheese. Avocados are bursting with omega 3s, which are super important for reducing inflammation in the body. Additionally, they have been shown in studies to help people lose weight, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and support overall heart health. 

Too much fat at once can be a lot if your body is not accustomed to it. It’s also to be noted that this is a good snack for a lower carb diet or low carb day. The healthy fats will help satiate you– you should NEVER go hungry in an attempt to lose weight. In my experience with hundreds of clients this always backfires. 

So here’s what I recommend:

  • Eat one half with greens as a serving.
  • If you are on a VERY low carb diet (i.e. ketogenic) and you’re body is accustomed to this much fat, eat the whole thing.
  • Listen to your body and eat slowly. When you eat slowly, taking time to chew each bite, your body will typically tell you when it’s time to stop. It’s best to eat without distractions, but if you’re eating with friends– you know how initially in the meal you start gobbling the plate down, and then there’s a point where you usually slow down or start pausing? That’s usually a good sign you’re full.

YOU CAN EAT A WHOLE AVOCADO EVERYDAY– Yup, even to support weight loss. I try to split it up into two meals. The healthy fats help lubricate your body, allowing excess fat and toxins to be shedded and slide off the body. 

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What to Do When You’re Falling Off Track

What to Do When You’re Falling Off Track

As human beings (yes you are only human), we have a tendency to have a goal, move toward it, and then stumble. Here’s where we are really tested. 

I say this because, it is inevitable that you will stumble. The true test is whether or not we can bounce back and continue to move forward despite setbacks.Three steps forward, one step back, three MORE steps forward, one back… 

Here’s how this can apply to food:

Oftentimes we commit to a certain diet or way of eating, and we’re doing so WELL that we decide to “reward” ourselves in the form of a snack– maybe it’s a little piece of chocolate or a little bag of potato chips. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while! The problem arises the next day when we crave that food again… and we indulge… again. Maybe that day we add in another treat. At some point we’re not really eating that well, so we figure we may as well just KEEP indulging. The “Well… I already ate a bagel this morning, might as well eat pizza for dinner– this day is shot… and it IS the weekend– I’ll just be “good” again tomorrow” mentality. Sound familiar?

I want to introduce some concepts to help you when you feel yourself falling off track:

  • Rewards don’t have to take the form of food: For some reason when we’re eating well, many of us “reward” ourselves with an indulgent food. The problem with this, among a million things, is it implies that the food you’re eating otherwise is punishment. In reality the best kind of “diet” is when we’re enjoying the food we’re eating and it just…. happens to be healthy. For instance, if you don’t like brussel sprouts, don’t eat them. There are a ton of other great veggies. If you DO like brussel sprouts then love them up! When you feel that need for “indulging” ask yourself what you’re really craving. Are you craving comfort? Maybe call a loved one or make yourself a cup of tea and listen to music. Are you anxious and just want something to do? Then get up and go for a walk, instead of gnoshing on the nearest crunchy goodness.
  • Look at it with curiosity not judgement: A good portion of our health is our mentality. We know from study after study that stress not only manifests in our heads– it also manifests in our bodies (in the form of poor digestion, colds, acne, eye twitches, tight muscles, headaches, etc). When we beat ourselves up for “falling off track” we set ourselves up for further self-sabotage and perpetuate negative thoughts. We say something like, “Man why did I eat that?” and the internal dialogue that follows is, “Why do I have no self-control? Why do I keep messing up?” etc, which feeds into doubt in other areas of your life. What if instead you said, “Hmmm… I ate [_____], and now I’m feeling [_tired/bloated/etc_]. Isn’t that interesting? Is that how I want to feel? How do I want to feel? And why is that important to me?”
  • Get accountability: Sometimes when we’re falling off track, it helps to outsource that power to someone else. It can be to a coach, a trusted friend, or family member. By saying your goal out loud and proclaiming it, we make it that much more real and tangible. When we say, “I want ____,” out loud and it’s heard we are planting a seed for what we want so the why falls into place. It’s similar to the old, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” question. If you are making a commitment and no one is around to hear it, is it a real proclamation? Another element of this is, many of us are people-pleasers– we’re better at committing to a meeting with someone else than a meeting with ourselves. If you know this about yourself, then take advantage of it in a positive way! 

And when you fall off track, look at it with curiosity, acknowledge what you really need and why that’s important to you, and move forward!! I believe in you!

Love, kale, and kisses,

Jennie

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How to Make Your Face Soft as a Baby’s Butt

How to Make Your Face Soft as a Baby’s Butt

I’m going to be honest with you all. I’ve never been much for washing my face.

I remember looking in awe at my friends’ collections of pore cleansers, pore scrubs, oil strips, black-head strips, anti-wrinkle creams, under-eye creams, firming creams, facial lotions, facial soap, toners, and make-up removers, and thinking, why would I rub all this froo-froo stuff on my face to make it look the same as it did 5 minutes ago?  

So when I say I found something that actually makes my skin GLOW, I’m not messing around. Now rest assured that I’ve come a long way since then, and I do have a routine of keeping these baby cheeks clean, but there is some logic in my aversion to all these fansy-pants cleansers, scrubs, micro-derma-whatevers. 

Your skin is your largest organ and our biggest immune system defense barrierIt is going to absorb anything that you put on it, including cleansers and lotions.

Or something NATURAL? Ding ding ding ding ding!So what shall we put on our skin? Some diethanolamineImidazolidinyl, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate? Perhaps some other hormone-disrupting, carcinogenic, depression-inducing, or formaldehyde-releasing ingredients? Ooh, yes, please rub this all over my body.2012-09-27 12.48.38

My latest favorite is a mud mask, called Indian Healing Clay.

Clay has been used for centuries to filter water, and soak up impurities and toxins, so why not soak up all those impurities from thine face!?

And the only ingredient is, Natural Calcium Bentonite (Green) Clay! 

So if you’re one of those delicate flowers with sensitive skin, you don’t have to worry about all those mysterious potential irritants you find in other cleansers.

You just mix the powdered clay with a bit of water, or for an extra kick, Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I like Bragg’s).

It also has been used for centuries, to stimulate circulation and absorb, and eliminate toxins.

Slather it on, let it dry a bit, rinse it off, and voila! Your face will be soft as a baby’s butt!!!

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Colorful Goddess Salad

Colorful Goddess Salad

Did you know that it can be beneficial to your body to eat what’s in season?

Why? Well, let’s look back at our ancestors and how they survived. Before we had all these modern conveniences of heating and air conditioning, we had to find ways to warm and cool our bodies. Mother nature did a good job of providing these foods for us at just the right time when our bodies need them. For instance, in the winter time we get heavier, heartier, warming foods like squash, cabbage, carrots and other root vegetables, to warm us and ground us. By eating seasonally, we help our metabolism and nervous system, or internal environment, more readily adapt to our external environment. Eating seasonally allows us to adapt internally to our external environment. photo 1-1

On that note, here is a rockin’ recipe with some of my favorite grounding root vegetables and warming winter veggies. Drizzle it with the tahini dressing from last week’s blog post, also listed below.

 

Colorful Goddess Salad

2 cups red cabbage
2 cups green cabbage
1 raw beet
1 yellow beet
1 radish
1 stalk of celery
1 cucumber
1 zucchini
Thinly slice the cabbages, cucumber and celery. Use a cheese grater to shred the beets and zucchini. Toss the mixture into a large bowl.

Tahini-Lemon Dressing:Screenshot 2014-12-12 10.58.57

  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor until smooth, OR toss in a ball jar and shake vigorously!

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Hangover Recovery

Hangover Recovery

Yup, it happens to the best of us– we drink a tad too much, and don’t realize it until we stand up from our cozy bar stool, walk outside into the real world, or go to bed and the world starts spinning (that’s right– I went to college).

Tonight is NYE and I have no doubt that many of you will be drinking. Instead of me telling you NOT to drink, which is not going to happen, I’m going to give you some recovery tips so that you can bounce back [as quickly as possible].

Here are 5 simple tips to promote hangover recovery:

  1. Be smart about your drink choice: This first tip is for the before you start challenging your liver like a champ. Avoid syrups and juices. These drink add-ins have sugar, lots of sugar, in them and often times when people are hungover it’s attributed to the sugar overdose. Excess yeast in your body= brainfog. Another quickie: opt for soda, NEVER tonic– which is laden with sugar. Get double limes and squeeze that flavor flave in. Clear liquors like tequila, gin, and vodka are generally going to be cleaner options.
  2. Drink water: Ugh– so cliche, I know. But seriously, HYDRATE. If you haven’t started boozing yet, pick up a glass of water NOW and drink, drink, drink. Think of yourself as a plant– if you left your plant for an extended period of time without water then DROWNED it in water, would that be enough to hydrate it– NO. Just like that plant, just because you drink TONS of water the next day doesn’t make up for the lack of hydration the day/night before. So try drinking a glass in between alcoholic drinks. Grab a buddy and remind each other to drink water throughout the night. Majority of headaches are caused by dehydration and mineral imbalance, which leads me to the next tip.
  3. Mineralize: Majority of headaches are caused by dehydration and mineral imbalance, i.e. electrolytes. Does this mean you should chug a bunch of gatorade? NO. That stuff is laden with chemicals and fake nutrients. You can make your own ade with water, lemon, baking soda, sea salt, and honey. Get my recipe for Jennie-ade here!
  4. B-complex: When you drink your B vitamins get depleted which causes a dip in your energy and a decreased resistance to stress. Take a quality B-complex vitamin the morning after drinking– I swear by these.
  5. Eat a meal rich in greens, protein, and avocado: Greens will help balance the acidity from the alcohol, protein will help replenish your amino acids which also get depleted from drinking and are necessary to help support the natural detoxification process of your liver, and the avocado will replenish potassium, a mineral necessary for cellular fluid homeostasis. Healthy fats are also a great way to get your blood sugar back on track and into fat-burning mode!

Have a happy NEW YEAR everyone and see you in 2016!

Sending love,

Jennie

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Holiday Eating Survival and Recovery

Holiday Eating Survival and Recovery

Last week I lead a workshop for the awesome employees at ING Financial Services, LLC called, Holiday Eating Survival and Recovery, with tips and tools to get back on track this holiday season and into the new year. I wanted to review some of the bullet points to share with you this week and next as the temptation continue to lure you in.

  1. Don’t starve yourself… ever: Many people, in anticipation of a big party with delicious treats, will refrain from eating during the day in a fruitless attempt to “save calories.” Here’s the problem with that: You’re setting yourself up for a binge-fest. Your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows, but more prominently, your inner caveman comes out. What this means is, when you are hungry you tend to crave three things: fat, sugar, and salt. When our ancestors would scavenge for food, these were hard to come by in nature. At a holiday party (or even at your office), they are bountiful. When we are hungry we can’t think straight and we’re more likely to eat EVERYTHING around us. So don’t starve yourself… ever. Got it?
  2. Take one bit…or two… or three: Research has found that our pleasure is dramatically diminished after the first bite, and again after the second bite. So go ahead, indulge in that first bite, but maybe leave it at that– after all, now you know it’s not going to get any better. You’ve maximized your pleasure.
  3. Eat what you LOVE: I mean this in two ways. 1) If you know there’s a dish you absolutely LOVE when you go home, then eat it! But maybe use tip #2’s advice and just take 1-3 bites, then EAT for ENERGY. This way you get to enjoy the food you love and feel better after the meal. 2) All “healthy” food doesn’t have to taste good to you. So instead identify veggies that you LOVE and focus on making a dish that you can fill up on.
  4. Choose your booze wisely: Avoid all sugary mix-ins, sugary sodas, and juices. Instead opt for dry(er) red wines or clear liquors (my go-to is tequila on the rocks with lime)– maybe you’re more of a gin or vodka person; Drink water in between and during drinks, and if you want a mix-in always opt for club soda, NEVER tonic water which has sugar in it. Also, if you know you have a habit of drinking whatever is in front of you, try holding onto a club soda with lime– no one will know the difference, you won’t get harassed, and you’ll get hydrated along the way.
  5. Be gentle on yourself: Plan in time to relax and catch up on sleep– the bears are doing it so why don’t we? Avoid the post-holiday guilt trip and instead look at it as an opportunity to get curious with your body and how it responded to different foods, etc. You can always get back on track, and this is the beauty of being human– we take a step back, we take a step forward– ideally two forward or ten. The important thing is to keep moving.

Happy holidays everyone, and sending love, health, and happiness to your and your families!

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