Forget about Resolutions ~~ How do you want to feel?

Forget about Resolutions ~~ How do you want to feel?

 

Hello friends,

I hope your festivities were great and that you enjoyed your time with family, friends and good food. These past few days have been powerful and productive for me. With the extra days off from work I did some house cleaning, you know, throw out the old to welcome the new. I played in the kitchen, worked on my biz. I did a lot of self-care and my end-of-year reflections and planning for 2017. This was huge! and I will tell you why in a minute.

This was my New Years Eve

Unlike most people I suppose, I was sitting on my computer and with all my journals and planners laid out on the dinning table. But hey! don’t feel bad, it was my choice. Honestly, staying home brainstorming, planning and being productive sounded more sexy. Anyway, so I went down to business (literally).

First, I did this visualization exercise that I want you to try:

Close your eyes, and visualize the person you were back in Jan 2016. What were you most excited about? what were you wearing? did you make any goals for 2016? most importantly, how were you feeling back in Jan 2016. Try to get as many details as you can remember.

Take a deep breath…. inhale… exhale…. do this 3 times.

Now, fast forward to this Jan 2017, how are you feeling NOW? what are you thinking? do you see differences between the person you saw back in Jan 2016 and now? or is it the same person? what will you do this time that will be much different, -or the same? Breathe into it. How does that feel?

From here I went on to my journal and asked these questions:

  • What went right in 2016?
  • What am I proud of? what did I accomplish?
  • What was not good, challenging? (and the lesson behind it)
  • How did I feel about each experience?

Then I went a step further and asked myself, how do I want to feel going forward in 2017? For me, doing this helped me get clear about my mission and what I am committed to: To be confident and own what I have to give to the world. From that place of feeling confident and in touch with my feelings, I started mapping out what I wanted to achieve in 2017. Of course this was after a major brain dump, I needed to empty what was in my mind and put every single thought and idea down on paper so I could visualize things better. This my friend, was not writing down resolutions. It was about writing goals and desires from a place where I am connected with my feelings. Owning those feelings and keeping them present everyday is my north star, the driving force to achieve anything I want.


This visualization helps us see specially the differences, if we have learned or achieved the goals we often set up at the beginning of every year. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve already heard people complaining how they feel stuck, and here goes another year of doing the same thing. It is true for many of us. So it is obvious that if one feels stuck or unhappy about something in their life, it probably means that whatever they were doing was not working, right? So doesn’t it make sense to do something different? Now, you probably might say, it is not that easy. True, but having that limiting belief of doubt and ‘I can’t do it, I am not worthy‘ mindset is not a good starting point either and will keep you stuck… for another year.


It is more painful to feel stuck and we don’t do something about it than knowing that at least we tried.


In the end, as you can see it is not about resolutions. Wonder why they only last a few weeks and never work? Resolutions are just wishful thinking without any feelings involved. Sometimes we make them because they are the latest trend, or we compare ourselves and want to do what the next person is doing. 

I hope you can set aside some time to do this exercise of visualizing a great year ahead of you. Get out of the comfort zone and let your feelings guide you, even if it feels uncomfortable. Uncomfortable = growth​. My hope is that next Jan 2018 we can do this exercise again and see how much we have grown and achieved and are able to manifest whatever we want. 

This is a special time right now, this is the time of REFLECTION and CREATION. Yes, you can create the life you want
 

Here goes to another great year ahead of us. Remember, trust that you can do it, and ask yourself each day: HOW DO I WANT TO FEEL?​ and how that feeling is getting your closer to your goal.

 
End of year clean up = Making room for greater things

End of year clean up = Making room for greater things

Are you waiting for greater things to come in 2017?

If your answer is hell yes!!! let’s make some room for them because shit just won’t happen on their own.

So I had a couple extra days off for Christmas and what do I do? I conduct a major clean up at home. I started with the kitchen, donated and tossed food I didn’t need or wasn’t good anymore. Rearranged cabinets and drawers. Man! you get to accumulate so much. Continued with the rest of the house and ended with my bedroom which is still an ongoing process.

Forget about spring cleaning, it is winter/end of year cleaning. The end of a year is perfect to clean up and get rid of what is not needed, physically and spiritually. Get rid of what doesn’t serve a purpose anymore and make room for the new. Even if you don’t believe in all things woo-woo, it actually makes total sense, right? every so often we need to clean out and declutter what is not needed and is taking space.

But let’s back up a little….

In the past, I was the kind of person who would be conformist, would be happy to just get by and didn’t like to get uncomfortable out of my comfort zone. I also clung to things that brought me memories (even if they were sad and I wanted to forget). It was all good (for me) until I learned about my gifts as a person and as a teacher/coach that allowed me to discover my passions. This of course included learning and embracing my health challenges (yes, I accept them and see what positive they brought into my life). That’s when my coaching business was born.

What does it have to do with ending 2016 strong? That with getting out of my comfort zone and challenging myself to start something completely new (and with the possibility of switching careers), I learned to pay attention to what is important to ME now. This includes all things related with my health, personal life, business, my community, and the space around me, thus cleaning my house like crazy. I had to learn to let go…

Now, it is about bringing that awareness every day (or at least I try to) where nothing is taken for granted. The years won’t just go by unnoticed, new goals won’t just get lost as wishful thinking, and the lessons learned (or avoided) will have a special place because they somehow played an important role in my personal development.

This my friend is living with purpose, bringing awareness and enjoying what I have and getting myself ready for what’s to come. Because after all, anything is possible and you should always aim for greater things.

In order to get healthier and adopt some healthier habits, some mind work is needed. It is not just drinking green juices and slaving yourself at the gym hoping for a miracle. It is about learning and preparing yourself for it.

Here are some helpful tips to end the year strong and preparing you for an awesome 2017:

  1. Recap for 2016. Make a list of lessons learned, what was good about the year, achievements, what made you happy. What are you proud of? Anything you want to acknowledge yourself for, brag about it. This is your time to give yourself a pat on the back and shine, because maybe other people were too busy to notice. It is important to celebrate what gave us bliss and happiness, even if it was something small. If 2016 wasn’t so good of a year, that’s ok, also acknowledge it. Tell yourself it is all done and gone and now you are ready to move on.
  2. Clean out things from home that don’t serve you anymore. You can use the method from Marie Kondo. In her book, you’ll find an useful trick where you ask yourself if the item in question brings you joy. That way you identify the things that bring you happiness. Aww, that’s a good one, make sure you surround yourself with things that bring joy to your life 🙂
  3. Create a vision board (or vision book) Something about having a visual map of what you want helps focus your attention. But it is not just about having a big poster of what you want in life, some action needs to take place, and for that we need…
  4. Goal setting. it is not as intimidating as it sounds. it can be as simple as maybe cleaning out your diet, getting more exercise into the schedule, drinking more water, drinking less soda, sleeping better. Now, the trick is getting into action, but that’s ok, setting those intentions are the first (and huge) step towards your goal. Most importantly, and this is what helps me, is that I ask myself HOW I WANT TO FELL ONCE I ACHIEVE MY GOAL. When you bring your feelings forward, you are coming from a place of authenticity, being true to yourself. And your true self always wants you to shine. But don’t worry, if you need the tools and support, I am here to help you along the way.
  5. Clean out your email account(s). I must confess, I have 4 different emails and in all, I have at least 1000 UNREAD emails except my business email. With that saying, a goal for me will be to not subscribe to anything unless necessary.
  6. Challenge yourself with something you’ve been on the fence of doing. It could be a hobbie you’ve been wanting to do; learning a new language; get in the kitchen if that is scary for you; start a business if your heart calls for it. Be adventurous and discovery how much more you can do when you let loose a little. For this new year I am committing to be more creative and do some painting.
  7. Be grateful. Take into account all the things and people to be grateful for, and even the challenges to. They can have life changing lessons if we look at the closer.

I wish you a wonderful end of 2016, and much success and happiness in the new year!!!

Healthy Holiday Eggnog

Healthy Holiday Eggnog

 

I had to try making this holiday drink but with a little twist. So here it goes… Regular eggnog has milk and/or heavy cream, so if your tummy is not happy with dairy, this is the go-to option 🙂 Not just that, but also making your own eggnog guarantees you are using real ingredients without additives or preservatives, yuk to that! And my secret ingredient in all this, for added protein, nutrients and a boost in energy is MACA! yup, not so secret ingredient for me, as I put this pretty much in all my smoothies, but at this time of the year is when we might need a little extra kick.

Blending it at the end with coconut oil is what makes the froth and thickens it up so deliciously that makes me wanna go back for more, and the best part is with no guilt. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup) I actually used less 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maca powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 

 

Put all ingredients in the blender except the coconut oil.

Do not boil, just simmer stirring constantly so the egg whites don’t scramble.

Once it is warm enough, bring back to the blender and add the coconut oil and blend. This is so that it makes that delicious froth right on top.

Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, and serve! **Of course you can add your favorite liquor like bourbon. What is eggnog without the alcohol, right! I made enough to have some later but I will add a splash of Pisco (Peruvian liquor made from grapes) 

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Gift Ideas

holiday-gift-ideas
Hey you guys!!
 
It is almost Christmas I know your time is pretty busy these days. So I will go straight to the point: what to gift people for Christmas?  If you are like me, probably you are scratching your head trying to figure something out. But every since becoming a health and wellness advocate and enthusiast about self-care, spreading more of that is what calls my heart 😃. For the health enthusiast or not, these gifts sure say how much you care for them. Note: I am not affiliated to the links posted here; however, if you are interested in the journals (picture above #1) or the essential oils, contact me here
 
So here are some of my favorite things to gift (or what I would like to have, hint, hint 😉  and it is not too late to get these:
 
  • Journals – you probably know this one is one of my favorites and I usually call it the cheapest therapy to clear the mind. Writing is the best way of expression that doesn’t necessarily have to involve someone else but only you. Along with this, comes art journaling, simply put, journaling in a way of drawing or painting is also a great way to relax the mind. You can get them at any stationary store, but if looking for something different and special, these journals are made from plantain leaves from the jungle in Peru. I use them for special notes and mantras to read throughout the day or to draw and paint since the paper doesn’t wrinkle out.
  • Planner – this makes total sense and is super helpful for those who juggle with their schedule, own their business. I’ve tried a few planners in the past and the one I am enjoying the most is the Passion Planner. Not only it is a daily planner, with goals for different time frames, but there are tips about how to make it more personal.
  • Coloring books – for some time now, adult coloring books have become the new trend when it comes to combining art, relaxation and stress reduction. They are not just for kids, and here is a fun blog to read where you can find pretty much a coloring book for any personality 😉. My favorites are the mandalas or the ones with nature and animals. But I must confess, I started with coloring books but lately I’ve been playing around with painting and watercolors, check here
  • Home made facial masks, lotions, oils (see recipe here) –  who doesn’t like to be pampered with a SPA treatment… at home! Hand-made creams, lotions and scrubs are so personable and good choices to care for the body with natural products and without any chemicals. Here are some DIY ideas to gift away, or for yourself: lavender bath salt, bath fizzles, facial scrubs.
  • Essential oils – are more than just a nice smell, these pure plant extracts (of course when coming from a reputable source) can deliver great benefits for our health, balance, at home remedies (specially as alternatives to harsh chemical products) and overall wellbeing. I use them pretty much all the time: have a drop or two of lemon, frankincense or peppermint oil in a glass of water first thing in the morning. I also use them when I make my own beauty concoctions (see above). If interested in learning more about oils or would like to order some, ask me. 
  • Tea set –  This is a set from David’s Tea I was gifted some time ago and I love i! and for the tea aficionado, also check these awesome gift ideas from Teavana, can’t go wrong with any of them.
  • Spiralizer – makes cooking veggies much more fun. You’ve heard of zoodles (zucchini made into strings that look like noodles) and you can do the same with pretty much any veggie to get the noodle or ribbon type. This one is a cool gadget to have. There are many types, some bulky and with attachments, others are hand held and take little space in the kitchen. Check this out for ideas.
  • Cast iron skillet/cast iron dutch oven – all things cast iron have become my new favorites in the kitchen. Three things I like about cast iron: 1) delivers heat more evenly, 2) last forever, 3) adds iron to our food. Every since I got a small 8 inch, I use it all the time for my breakfast frittata (recipe here) because it is personal size and easy to handle. Here is a 12 inch cast iron skillet so useful for bigger meals and it can also go in the oven.  One thing to remember is to care for it, including seasoning and clean up. Check out this site for more tips. 
  • Glassware food storage containers – glass containers are always a better choice for food, specially for left overs for lunch the next. You can store, freeze and even heat in them without the harmful chemicals found in plastic. This is a great investment for your kitchen. You can find good deals at Macy’s and also at Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Portion-control plates – I’ve had a few people ask me that it is difficult for them to measure serving sizes or that they don’t want to have to pull out the scale or measuring cup (although I must confess I don’t do this either, I just eye-ball it). But these plates are not just cute, but also great with the measurements already on them. The flowers are designed to mimic the right amount of grains, veggies, and protein, so you can more easily eat a sensible amount of food. 
 
There you have it, I hope this can help a little. Let me know what you’ve been thinking of gifting your loved ones, I’d like to know. Hit reply, I am always available through here. Happy shopping!
Wendy signature


 
How I walk along with fears, NOT IN fear (steps to go from panic to powerful)

How I walk along with fears, NOT IN fear (steps to go from panic to powerful)

 

I’ve been meaning to send this out to you a while ago, more than a month ago, but I was holding back…. actually fears were holding me back. When I was writing about fears, ironically I was going through some shit myself. Emotional and physical challenges that shook me up a little and made me loose my focus, so for a little while fears won. Interestingly, I was hearing the same from some people who came to me for support. I then noticed I wasn’t alone, and this got me thinking about how many people have to deal with fears, anxiety, panic attacks, traumas, etc, and are looking for ways to release that weight from their shoulders. I felt called to share a bit of my story and some practices that I use to deal with those fears and how I can actually use fear to my benefit.

Because with every situation there are always 2 choices: to live in fear or to live with joy

For me, it happens every 6 months before my doctor’s appointment. A slight anxiety kicks in anticipating what my blood tests will throw at me. I started with this roller coaster ride of emotions almost 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). Most of the time things are good, but here I am almost 5 years later, scared as shit waiting at the doctor’s office. Fear creeps in… Results: health is good overall, but my liver enzymes were high again. It happened before and we were not sure why. Scared? you bet! Usually high levels of liver enzymes are indicative of liver damage, commonly due to antibiotics, excessive alcohol use, hepatitis or liver disease, neither of which I have. Of course my mind starts creating negative thoughts and I wonder if it is related to cancer or is it something else?, or maybe I had too much herbal tea that day.

Later that week my worry increased as I found out both my mom and kitty Velcro were also going through their own health issues. My body was also experiencing weird symptoms that I couldn’t explain. Then I was experiencing doubt and loosing faith in other areas in my life too! For a few weeks, things didn’t seem to align the way I wanted them. It got me lost and I needed to find focus again, fast. These fears were familiar and the feelings that came with it were no stranger either, so I resourced to a practice I learned soon after the cancer diagnosis.

I sat down with some of these fears, I asked them questions, and had some tea with them.

They all reminded me that fears never really go away, even though they are not real. But our mind sure believes otherwise, to the point that it can trigger the body to experience physical symptoms. So I asked questions, and I got answers. I gave myself the permission to be vulnerable and went back to past experiences to dig deeper beyond the obvious. Why? because we react to fears based on how our brains were programmed from past experiences. I tried to see fears without judgement and many things surfaced that revolved around something big: the fear of not achieving my core desire to love and care for those that matter to me.

The #1 thing to do when facing a fear…

This would probably be the most important thing to do when it comes to facing and resolving fears; to spend some time understanding them, where they come from, why they are here. Ask them a question, what are they trying to tell you? Is there a hidden message? While you are at it, feel the emotions that come with it: anger, sadness, grief, anxiety, anything you feel at that moment. You might be resistant to go through as a defense mechanism to avoid pain and bringing back experiences that you might want to forget. But let me tell you this, it is better to sit with it for a few minutes rather than running away and later bumping into them again. I also take a few minutes and ask myself, ‘what good is it to feel trapped in fears, physically and emotionally?’ – None. Remember, with every situation there are always two choices…

This way of thinking came to light when I noticed that the old pitiful question of ‘why did I get cancer?’ transformed into ‘what can I get out of this situation?’. My other choice was to feel bad about myself and always be scared, and I thought, what quality of life is that attitude going to provide?’  I also learned that being in fear is the opposite of love, a balanced life, happiness and I definitely didn’t want that to happen. 

This is why I decided to walk along with fears and have tea with them. Because the answers I was getting were giving light to an amazing realization —> That I didn’t choose to have cancer, but I can choose to transform the experience into something powerful and meaningful where I can also help others. It is a journey of transformation and growth, where nothing is ever ordinary and taken for granted. Everything matters, gratitude is the norm and one learns that being vulnerable is okay.

But choosing joy over fear is not easy, it takes constant practice to own that power and to find joy in difficult situations. I know what it feels to fall back so many times, almost giving up, but after all of it, I have to remind myself that “I am enough, that I am worthy of happiness and I can learn to find happiness in the most unpredictable places” So I hold that vision of happiness and joy in my mind and use it whenever I need it. Can I tell you a secret? in that vision I see you too! I want you to feel powerful, joyful and happy. I don’t want anyone to feel lonely panicking in a cold doctor’s office, or feeling lonely unable to trust again, or feeling stuck in life because you are scared of trying. Whatever your fears might be, know that you can lead the way,  and believe it or not, some fears can give a little guidance.

Over these past few years I have come to learn not only what triggers them, but I also found ways to deal with them with ease. For instance, I learned to re-think the signs of anxiety (sweating, rapid heart beat and increased breathing) into this is my body healing right now.

Here are some practices I learned and keep in mind in times of doubt and hopelessness when fears creep in that will take you from PANIC TO POWERFUL

   

  1. Know your fears – learning where fears or anxiety come from, is it something that can be prevented? or is there an underlying condition that needs to be resolved? i.e. trauma, health related, stress, food, environment, etc.
  2. Express your feelings – don’t suppress them or try to avoid them. Give yourself the permission to cry if you have to, scream, feel angry, whatever is going through your body and mind. In my opinion, we need to express ourselves more, ask for help or support. It is okay to be vulnerable.
  3. Use positive affirmations. Yes, a lot of self-talk of reassurance and encouragement. This is the power or auto-suggestion: we train our mind to believe something in which the mind will work towards, thus making it happen.
  4. Practice self-care and self-love – Take care of your needs first, physically and emotionally. Self-care practices have saved me so many times (click here to get some tips)
  5. Journaling – great to brain-dump and declutter the mind from negative thoughts and emotions. Nowadays, I pretty much write down anything that is in my mind. 
  6. Practice mindfulness & gratitude – helps appreciate and focus in the good things in life. I’ve learned to appreciate my body and life in general. Things don’t seem so bad after all (Yes, even living with cancer)
  7. Seek support – invest in a coach, a therapist or support group who will hold your hand and provide the space and guidance.
  8. Self-development – whether it is reading inspirational and self-help books, enrolling in programs, etc, working in oneself for personal growth is an empowering experience. 
Here is one quick technique that I learned to practice when feeling anxious or in a panic attack:

 

   
So let me ask you something,
  • Do you also have fears, what are yours?
  • Where do you think those fears come from?
  • Do you see yourself sitting and having tea with your fears?
  • What do you think you can do to alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with it?

You should answer these questions for yourself, not for me. Hopefully these can help you understand your fears a little and come to good terms with them. Sometimes we might have to dig in deeper to learn the root cause for some fears and regardless of what you find, know that you are enough, that you deserve happiness and health. Know that you are supported and have the power to make a decision that is best for you. I am here to help!  🙂

 


So far, I’ve shared quite a few things with you. I’ll share one more. One day while waiting at the doctor’s office, the air felt much cooler than the usual, I felt really lonely. I wanted to talk to someone, but I didn’t know who and worst, I didn’t know how to start a conversation with anyone. I don’t want that to happen to you or anyone else. We all have those pesky fears and they seem to be more intense when one is alone. I know how it feels sister, it still happens to me sometimes. But thank goodness I have found ways to calm those fears, to watch them from afar and to have a better outlook in life. So I wanted to extend an invitation…

If anything I said resonates with your story or someone you know. Let’s chat (virtually) over tea, coffee, some juice or even some wine. Let’s find a way to transform fear into faith and love.

Here are 2 options:

Lentil + Quinoa patties with Cashew sauce (and kale salad)

Lentil + Quinoa patties with Cashew sauce (and kale salad)

OMG you guys have to try this one. Delicious mini patties that can be easily made as a savory snack, or into a meal with a salad on the side (and could also make them bigger like burger size). These puppies are so delicious that you could make a big batch and save some in the freezer for a later time. Just remember to store them in a tightly sealed container. 
 
This is a very delicious way of getting some plant protein and fiber from the quinoa and lentils. Also, feel free to customize any way you want. I’ve tried adding oats, barley and really guys, any grain will do. And the sauce! Mhmmm it is so delicious that I end up making it quite often and use it as salad dressing, condiment for a veggie burger, as a dip, heck!, I could just be drinking that stuff. 
 
Ingredients
 
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 
  • 1 small onion (diced) 
  • diced mushrooms (I use shiitake)
  • a handful shredded carrots
  • a handful shredded zucchini
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • S&P
  • cumin, turmeric, cayenne

for the cashew sauce 

  • 1 cup cashew (previously soaked) 
  • splash of almond milk /or water (this depends how thin or thick you want the sauce)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp tahini sauce 
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • gluten-free tamari (or soy sauce)
  • nutritional yeast (optional)
 

First, let’s make the sauce. This is super easy, just put all the ingredients in a blender and that’s it! :). Transfer to a glass container and put in the fridge until use.

Now on to the patties, but before that, let me remind you that this is a perfect way to re-use any left over quinoa, beans, rice, etc. 

Set your oven to 350F, meanwhile saute the onions and mushrooms until well cooked, once done, put aside.  

In a bowl, mix the lentils and quinoa, and with a fork, start combining and mushing them up a bit but do not over do it. You don’t want it to be mushy, just so that they stick together. Add the onion-mushroom mixture and the shredded veggies. Season with the spices. 

Once they are all incorporated, mix in the egg. Form small patties and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. Half way, check and flip them around.

 

IMG_5146 

 

 
Serve this with one of my kale salads. Check this recipe of kale + beets salad with tahini sauce OR my latest favorite, watermelon with kale, feta and pepitas.