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6 ways to Practice Self-Love

Six Ways to Practice Self-Love

28K Views 7 Likes 2 Comments
February 26, 2015
The idea of “self-love” can be a pretty foreign concept for people even though we talk about love all the time. We do so much for others we love, and we even sing songs about how “all you need is love.” Yet we bristle at the the thought of taking care of ourselves before others because it sometimes has a misperceived selfishness attached to it .

What if the act of taking care of you helped you to be better able to be present to the ones you love in your life? What if you could do simple things that could help you feel happier and more grounded in your life?

This is one beautiful piece of what self-love is all about: simple moves that invite in more joy.

There are many ways to practice self-love, and here are six ideas to get your started:

photo by Liz Lamoreux
photo by Liz Lamoreux

Schedule in Rest

I’m putting rest at the top of this list because I think just doing this much can change your life. Big time.

When I say schedule in rest, I mean literally looking at what your planner says for today or even this week and writing in where you can take a few moments of rest. From a nap to simply sitting outside to going to bed early, give yourself the gift of truly letting your body, mind, and heart take a break from your to-do list and rest.

When I watch how freely my four-year-old daughter expresses her crabbiness when she’s tired, I sometimes think about how so many of us feel the same way because we’re going through our lives exhausted. But we don’t express what we need because unlike my four year old, we just keep going and ignore it. Or we take it out on others and don’t even realize it. Try to notice when you’re own crabbiness flares and see if you can rest for even just a couple of minutes to give yourself (and those around you) a break.

And remember, rest isn’t being lazy or not getting enough done or being selfish. Rest is giving your body and mind what you need so you can be fully present in the other moments of your life.

photo by Vanessa Simpson | Focus in Photography
photo by Vanessa Simpson | Focus in Photography

Put Down Your Phone

This isn’t a guilt trip because here’s what I really believe – smart phones make our lives better. We can look up recipes and get to where we’re going and find the nearest gas station and deeply connect with loved ones and so many other things on a device we carry in our pockets. It is amazing.

But it can also really distract of us from the beautiful world around us, from “in-person” living.

This week, practice self-love by putting down your phone and being present to the life around you. Schedule in breaks where you even put your phone in a drawer or another room. Let people know that you won’t always be available on their timeline. Even if you only do this for five minutes at a time. Try it.

photo by Liz Lamoreux
photo by Liz Lamoreux

Buy Yourself Flowers

So this one can be one of those cliches, but it is also such a  fun thing to do. Fresh flowers that you get from even just the supermarket can bring much needed color into your world. I love putting a few in simple jars and vintage bottles . One bouquet of daises can give you delightful spots of happy throughout your home.

You can also let someone in your life know that you’d love it if they would sometimes buy you flowers. Asking for what you really want, instead of expecting your loved one to read your mind, becomes another act of self-love.

photo by Vanessa Simpson | Focus in Photography
photo by Vanessa Simpson | Focus in Photography

Wear Your Favorite Clothes

There is something about the simple joy of wearing clothes that you feel good in. When you next go shopping, find a colorful scarf or hat or pair of shoes that just make you happy. You can even go shopping in your own closet. My blue cowboy boots were a big act of self-love for me. They literally make me feel so joyful. Blue is my favorite color and wearing them gets me right out of a bad mood. Saving up the money to buy something you want just for you can become an investment in your own joy.
photo by Liz Lamoreux
photo by Liz Lamoreux

Take a Selfie (Yes, a Selfie!)

A self-care practice I turn to again and again is self-portraiture. The act of seeing yourself, your beauty, through your own eyes is a powerful act of self-love.  Our internal dialogue can be so negative, but through taking self-portraits, I’ve learned to look at myself with a softness, with more love.

Try it. Maybe even try it right now. And if you really enjoy taking them, you might even want to get a selfie stick for your phone or a remote for your DSLR camera.

photo by Liz Lamoreux
photo by Liz Lamoreux

Do Something Your Really Love

Make a list of 10 things you really love to do. Just get out a simple notebook and jot them down. Then choose one. I love to read poetry and write in the bathtub. It sounds oh so romantic, but I seldom do it. I mostly love the idea of taking a bath, but I like the quickness of a shower. Yet every single time I take a book of favorite poems (usually Mary Oliver) into the tub with a notebook, I end up writing my heart out and it makes me feel so good.

What do you love to do? Walk around a bookstore? Get a pedicure? Watch The West Wing?  Knit? Bake cookies? Schedule in some of your favorite things and boost your joy.

A current popular saying is ” Do what you love. Love what you do.” Yet, we are a society that can be a bit obsessed with being busy and forgetting to actually enjoy ourselves. What if the “doing” was actually more about creating space and nurturing ourselves so that the actual living is full of more love?  Try to invite in more self-love into your life today and notice what changes happen.

If you need a few more ideas, check out my Self-Care Tools collection and these other guides:






Have something to share, create your own guide… Write a guide
Liz Lamoreux is an author and artist who invites you to slow down and soak up the simple beauty of your everyday life (even when it rains). Read stories of her adventures at and connect on Instagram at @lizelayne.

Body Positivity Week!

Welcome To Body Positivity Week

Your body, your self.

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

Body Positivity Week is a week of content devoted to exploring and celebrating bodies and our often complicated relationships with them. Over the course of the week, BuzzFeed will cover topics such as illness and disability, fitness, body dysmorphia and eating disorders, self-expression through physical means, and media representations of and misconceptions about bodies.

In addition to BuzzFeed staff, Body Positivity Week essays, lists, videos, and photo projects feature the voices of brilliant contributing writers, everyday models who have generously shared their images and personal experiences, and BuzzFeed community members who’ve volunteered their own incredible stories.

By amplifying so many diverse voices, we hope to represent people often left out of mainstream media narratives, and to provide resources for readers as they move through their respective body image journeys.

To see all of our great Body Positivity Week content click here.

Mexican Sweet Potato Salad!


September 15, 2015/0 Comments/in Blog, Recipes /by The Nutrition Twins
We’re not sure if it’s our sweet tooth, but there’s something about a sweet potato that just hits the spot. Cozy comfort food that also squashes a sweet tooth, sign these veggie-loving, twin dietitians with a sugar tooth up! Our clients are always so relieved to know we aren’t anti-carb girls. In fact, we know from research, the results on ourselves and on our clients that small amount of a high-fiber quality carb gives you energy, helps you to lose weight, prevents mood swings and helps prevent binges—woohoo! And sweet potatoes, well these cozy nutrient-packed spuds are just our style! Remember these satisfiers? Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Pumpkin Dip, Kale Salad with Warm Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrots, Sweet Potato Cutie Pies and our Sweet Potato and Carrot Mash, just to name a few?

mexican sweet potato salad

Well, now you can even say buh bye to potato salads that are loaded with fat and that pack on the pounds! This sweet potato salad is a lighter, Mexican style salad and you’ll flip for it! And the fiber in our ‘ole sweet potato helps to control blood sugar control, fills you up and plays a role in helping you to eat less and lose weight, oh yeah!


Think this isn’t enough reason to cozy up with this satiating salad? We’ve tossed in yummy black since they’ve got protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied—plus they’re packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to keep your body in better working order. In fact, recent research has shown that black beans provide special support for digestive tract health, and particularly the colon. So if you struggle with a digestive system that seems to always be bloated and be having issues, ironically, black beans can help you in the long term!


Mexican Sweet Potato Salad

Makes 9 servings


4 medium sweet (6 oz each) potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch slices
1 can non GMO corn, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 red peppers, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 medium avocado, pit and skin removed, chopped


1). Microwave sweet potatoes one at a time (about 5 minutes each side) or until you can pierce with a fork.

2). In a large bowl, combine the corn, black beans, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, and avocados. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, quarter the rounds and add them to the bowl!

3). ENJOY! Easy as 1-2-3

Nutritional Information:

9 servings

Calories 106; Fat 3.4g; Saturated Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 19g; Protein 3g; Cholesterol 8mg; Sodium 20mg; Fiber 5g
Mexican Sweet Potato Salad

Serves: 9 servings
4 medium sweet (6 oz each) potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch slices
1 can non GMO corn, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 red peppers, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 medium avocado, pit and skin removed, chopped

). Microwave sweet potatoes one at a time (about 5 minutes each side) or until you can pierce with a fork.
). In a large bowl, combine the corn, black beans, red pepper, green onions, cilantro, and avocados. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through, quarter the rounds and add them to the bowl!
). ENJOY! Easy as 1-2-3
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 106 Fat: 3.4 Saturated fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 19 Sodium: 20 Fiber: 5 Protein: 3 Cholesterol: 8


Sexual Assault Awareness Month April 2016

Statewide Events are available!! 

Check out IowaCASA’s Website.

Don’t see your SAAM event listed? Let us know.


 April 1 – April 30 sponsored by RVAP

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Activities

Visit for event details. For a full calendar of activities sponsored by Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Johnson county, click here. For additional events sponsored by Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Des Moines, Henry, Lee, Washington and Van Buren counties, click here.

 April 5 – April 27

2016 SAAM Events Sponsored by Family Resources and SafePath Survivor Resources

Events include The Hunting Ground Screening, a speaking engagement by Judy Ferraro, a bystander intervention student event, a Denim Day on April 27, and more. Contact Melody at to receive dates and more information.

 Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 1:00 – 7:00PM

Writing on the Wall

Music Man Square, Mason City

Writing on the Wall is a free event that enables survivors of violence and/or their family and supporters a chance to design and display messages they feel must be spoken about abuse. Click here for more information.

 Thursday, April 7, 5:30 – 7:30PM

Take Back the Night (Des Moines)

100 Locust Street at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

TBTN is a night where those who have been silenced by sexual violence are given a forum to share experiences and bring awareness to the prevalence of sexual violence in our community.

 Thursday, April 7, from 10:00AM – 1:00PM

Start by Believing Campaign at Waldorf College

Waldorf College in the Atrium.

This is a public awareness campaign designed by End Violence Against Women International to change the way we respond to rape and sexual assault in our communities. For more information about this event, email

 Thursday, April 7, 7:30 – 10:30PM

Take Back the Night (Dubuque)

Mary Josita Hall Cafeteria at Clarke University.

Take back the night is a night where those who have been silenced by sexual assault are given a forum to share their experiences and to bring awareness to the prevalence of sexual assault in our community. It is a night for allies of survivors to show their support. Fore more information, contact For a flyer of this event, click here.

Friday, April 8, 11:30AM – 1:00PM

The Clothesline Project

Ellsworth College at the Gentle Student Center.

The Clothesline Project is for anyone who has experienced sexual violence or intimate partner violence. For more information about this event, email

 April 12 – 25

The Clothesline Project

Riverview Center’s Manchester office will be displaying the Clothesline Project on the campus at Upper Iowa University in Fayette. Anyone who has experience sexual violence or intimate partner violence is encouraged to design a shirt. For more information, contact

 Wednesday, April 13

Together. In Teal.

Join Crisis Intervention Service by wearing something teal to show your support for victims of sexual violence and for those working to end violence in our homes, communities, and nation. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, April 13, at 12:00PM

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (Osage)

Contact for more information.

 Friday, April 15 at 7:30PM

1BlueString Awareness Concert

Maintenance Shop, ISU Memorial Union.

1BlueString asks guitarists to replace one of their six strings with a blue string to symbolize and support the 1 in 6 men sexually abused in childhood. Come join Assault Care Center Extending Shelter & Support (ACCESS), KURE 88.5, and Theta Chi Fraternity – Iowa State for a night of great music to raise support and awareness for the 1 in 6 men impacted by sexual violence. For more information, click here.

 Saturday, April 16 at 5:00PM

DSAOC’s 21st Annual Cake Auction

Iowa Central East Campus, 2031 Quail Avenue, Fort Dodge.

Doors open at 5:00PM, live auction starts at 6:00PM. Event to benefit Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center. Click here for postcard.

April 19, 12:00 – 1:00PM

Bilingual Twitter Chat: #YoSoySAAM

Join ALAS members, @ArteSana_org, and co-hosts @endsxlviolence, @TAASA, and @IowaCASA in #YoSoySAAM, a bilingual Twitter chat on April 19 to discuss culturally responsive efforts for addressing and preventing sexual violence against Latinos. Vamos a twittear sobre esfuerzos culturalmente sensibles para tratar y prevenir la #ViolenciaSexual contra Latinos.

Hahtag/Almohadilla: #YoSoySAAM

 Wednesday, April 20, 1:00 – 7:00PM

The Clothesline Project

Music Man Square, Mason City.

Crisis Intervention Service is proud to host this event to honor women survivors and victims of intimate violence. Any woman who has experienced such violence, at any time in her life, is encouraged to design a shirt. Victim’s families and friends are also invited to participate. Click here for more information.

 Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 7:00 – 7:30PM

Take Back the Night Walk

Music Man Square, Mason City.

Unite with other community members in support of survivors of sexual violence with a short walk around the mall, escorted by local law enforcement. Help shed light on the darkness of sexual abuse. Glow sticks and candles provided.

 Thursday, April 21, at 5:00PM

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (Algona)

Contact for more information about this event.

 Friday, April 22, 1:00 – 5:00pm

Guarded Photo Series sponsored by L.U.N.A.

Marshalltown Public Library, 105 W Boone Street.

The event will consist of an open gallery featuring photographs followed by an artist talk and photo shoot for women/female identifying people to pose with what they use to protect themselves from sexual violence. For more information, click here.

Saturday, Arpil 23, at 10:00AM

Sexual Assault Awareness 5k

Circle Park in Storm Lake near the BVU Football Field. For questions

All proceeds will benefit CAASA, Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault, a nonprofit organizations which helps victims in the surrounding areas to combat sexual abuse, abuse, and violence. For more information, click here.

 Saturday, April 30, 7:00AM-10:00AM

Biscuits and Gravy Fundraiser

Crisis Intervention Services of Oskaloosa is hosting a Biscuits and Gravy Fundraiser. The event will be held in Pella, IA, on the Central College Campus in the Maytag Student Center in the Boat, Moore, and Weller (BMW) rooms. Everyone invited to attend. For more information, contact

 Saturday, April 30, at 10:00AM

Stand Up to Sexual Violence 5K in Charles City

In an effort to raise awareness in Floyd County the Floyd County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is hosting the 2nd Annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K. For more information about this event, click here.

This information was provided by!saam-events/c1b1d

Issues in our Tissues

11 Seriously Wonderful Self-Massage Tips That Will Make You Feel Amazing

Go ahead, rub one out.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Everyone deals with aches and pains, but not everyone has the time or cash for a professional massage. Here are 11 massages you can do to yourself that will leave you feeling so good.

BuzzFeed Life spoke to Sulyn Silbar, ACSM-certified personal trainer and founder ofBody + Mind NYC, and Luke Bongiorno, physical therapy director of NY SportsMed & Physical Therapy, who recommended these simple self-massages. You can do some with your hands only, while others require the aid of a tennis ball or foam roller — but all are super easy and only take a few minutes, no professional required.

1. If your feet are killing you:

11 Seriously Wonderful Self-Massage Tips That Will Make You Feel Amazing
Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

The best part about this move is you can do it under your desk without interrupting whatever you’re doing. You can use a regular tennis ball, but Silbar recommends a spiked ball like this one, which will leave you feeling airy on your feet.

Here’s how to do it:
1. While sitting, step on the ball with a bare or socked foot and roll back and forth from heel to toe with firm pressure — but don’t try to flatten the ball completely.
2. If anywhere feels particularly painful or tender, work those knots out by rolling in small circles.

If you need more pressure: Do while standing instead of sitting.

2. If you suffer from tension headaches:

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

This will relieve tension in your neck and head often caused by crappy posture — like when you crane your neck while texting or push your head forward when slumping at a desk.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Lie on your back with your legs bent.
3. Holding a tennis ball in each hand between your thumb and forefinger, rest your hands behind your head so the tennis balls are on either side of the base of your skull.
4. Alternate between shaking your head from side to side, then tucking and lifting your chin.

3. If PMS is making your lower back hurt:

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

This will help the tenderness and pain you get in your lower back before and during your period due to inflammation.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet firmly planted on the ground.
2. Place two tennis balls under your lower back around where your sacrum — the large, triangular bone at the base of the spine — meets your hip bone.
3. Raise and lower your hips, kneading the area with the tennis balls.

4. If you have a tight, painful jaw in the morning:

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

Clenching when you’re stressed can give you a headache and a sore jaw. Do this right when you wake up or when you’re feeling anxious.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Using the pads of your fingertips, press up under your cheekbones, starting at the apples of your cheeks.
2. Open and close your mouth as you press up into your cheekbones.
3. Do this all the way back, following an imaginary beard line.
4. When you reach your sideburns, press your thumb under your jawbone and pull your fingertips down the side of your face.
5. Repeat movement along your jaw, moving toward your chin.
6. Finally, grab chin and pull the skin down between your thumbs and fingertips.

5. If your knees get sore from sitting at a desk all day:

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

This will work out the bound connective tissue fibers called fascia — aka what you probably think of as knots — that form when your legs are bent for too long.

Here’s how to do it:
1. While sitting, unbend your leg and let it rest so the muscles in your quad are soft.
2. Press into where it hurts with a fingertip or a knuckle and massage in a star shape for 10 seconds.
3. Bend and straighten your knee twice.
4. Repeat 2–3 times for each place it hurts.

6. If your butt is sore from all that sitting:

11 Seriously Wonderful Self-Massage Tips That Will Make You Feel Amazing
Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

Or if you just want to massage your butt because it feels good.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Sit on the ground with your legs bent, your hands resting on the ground behind you, and a tennis ball under your butt cheek.
2. Lift your leg off the ground and roll around on the ball, working into the places you feel most tension.
3. Repeat on your other side.

7. If your forearms are sore:

11 Seriously Wonderful Self-Massage Tips That Will Make You Feel Amazing
Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

This move feels good pain or no pain, but if you work with your hands a lot, whether typing all day at a computer or doing manual labor, it’s a lifesaver.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Hold your arm out, palm up, and cup it just under the elbow with your opposite hand.
2. Flip your arm within you grip so your palm faces the ground.
3. Repeat all down your arm until you reach your wrist.

Don’t squeeze too hard. Per Silbar: “We’re just taking the casing of a sausage and twisting. We’re not squeezing the meat out of it.”

8. If your legs and knees hurt after walking, running, or scaling stairs:

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

If you’re on the move a lot, you probably experience tightness in your IT band, the tissue that runs from the side of your hip all of the way down past your knee. Instead of rolling directly on your side, which can be painful, come at it from an angle instead.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Lie on your side with your foam roller under your hip.
2. Using your hands to brace you, slowly roll down from your hip to your knee, rotating your body toward the ground as you go.
3. Roll back into the starting position.

9. If your neck and shoulders hurt:

Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

Attempting to give yourself a neck or shoulder massage with your hands actually leads to more tension, even if it feels good at the time. Try this instead.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Stand with a tennis ball between the wall and your shoulder.
2. Raise your arm above your head and shift your head from side to side.
3. Experiment with the ball in different positions along your neck and shoulders.

10. If you ache from slouching in front of your computer:

11 Seriously Wonderful Self-Massage Tips That Will Make You Feel Amazing
Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

You should feel this in your mid-back, where your muscles pull tight and get sore when you slouch.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Lie face up with feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor.
2. Center the foam roller on your mid-back, beneath your shoulder blades so it’s perpendicular to your body.
3. Rock your body toward and away from your feet over the foam roller.

11. If you just want a head massage that feels so. good.

11 Seriously Wonderful Self-Massage Tips That Will Make You Feel Amazing
Anna Borges / BuzzFeed Life

This is great for headaches, but it also just feels good. A good head and scalp massage is pretty much the best part of going to the hairdresser, you know?

Here’s how to do it:
1. Draw circles with your fingertips at your temples, increasing the size and pressure of your circles as you move toward your scalp.

6 Life Lessons on Embracing Change

6 Life Lessons on Embracing Change


“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Karen Kaiser Clark

Life can be a persistent teacher.

When we fail to learn life’s lessons the first time around, life has a way of repeating them to foster understanding.

Over the last few years, my life was shaken up by dramatic circumstances. I resisted the impermanence of these events in my life and struggled with embracing change. When I resisted the lessons that change brought, a roller coaster of changes continued to materialize.

When I was seventeen years old, my immigrant parents’ small import-export business failed.  From a comfortable life in Northern California, they uprooted themselves and my two younger brothers and moved back to Asia.

The move was sudden and unexpected, catching us all by surprise. I was in my last months of high school, so I remained in California with a family friend to finish my degree.

I spent the summer abroad with my family, and then relocated to Southern California to start college upon my return. Alone in a new environment, I found myself without many friends or family members close by.

Life was moving much faster than I was able to handle, and I was shell-shocked by my family’s sudden move, my new surroundings, and college. Their relocation and college brought dramatic changes, along with fear, loneliness, and anxiety.

I felt overwhelmed by my new university campus and its vastness; alone, even though I sat in classes of 300 students; and challenged by the responsibilities of independence and adulthood.

Everything I had known had changed in a very short period of time. I tried to cope the best I could, but I resisted the changes by isolating myself even more from my new university and surroundings. It was the first and only time in my life I had contemplated suicide.

Several years after college, having achieved my career goals in the legal field, I started a legal services business. I helped immigrants, refugees, and people escaping persecution who’d come to the U.S. to navigate the hurdles to residency and citizenship.

I invested money, time, and my being into my law office. Not only was I preoccupied with the dire legal situations of my clients, but I also confronted the ups and downs of running a business.

Starting and running a new company is not easy, and mine was losing more money every month. While I found the nearly three-year venture immensely gratifying because of the lives I was able to help, it was time for me to move on.

It was a difficult decision, because I thought I’d found my career path. My life became engulfed with changes once again as I tried to close the doors to my office, close my clients’ cases, pay off my debt, and seek employment.

In between university and my business venture, I married a beautiful, gifted girl in India after an international romance. We were married for ten years and endured many of life’s personal and professional ups and downs together. Despite our problems, we both struggled to keep our marriage together.

When the tears dried, the counseling sessions did more harm than good, and our communication ended, we separated and then divorced last year. The ending of our marriage felt like the shattering of an exquisite glass vase into a million pieces.

I met the closure of our marriage first with strong resistance and then with profound sadness and loss. How could something that I valued so much and believed to be forever, cease to exist?

As much as I fought back and resisted each of these events in my life, I’ve since learned to embrace the impermanency of my life and the changes that come my way.

Here are 6 lessons life has taught me on embracing change:

1. Reduce expectations.

In each of my life’s circumstances, I had high expectations for my family, my business, and my marriage. I had expected each to remain constant and to last forever. But I’ve learned that nothing lasts forever. Nothing.

You can have reasonable expectations of how you’d like something to turn out, but you can’t marry yourself to that result. Reducing or having no expectations about a relationship, a business, or a situation can help you accept whatever may come from it.

When you set reasonable expectations, and don’t expect or demand a particular outcome, you’re better able to manage any changes that do come your way. Unreasonable expectations of life, however, will likely be met with loss, disappointment, and pain.

2. Acknowledge change.

For the longest time, I refused to believe that change was in the realm of possibility in a situation. I’ve since learned that change can happen quickly and at any point.

Be aware that change can happen in your life. This means understanding that things can and will be different from how they are now. Acknowledging change is allowing it to happen when it unfolds instead of approaching change from a place of denial and resistance.

3. Accept change.

I desperately tried to prevent and stop change from happening in my business and marriage by trying to forge ahead even in futile situations.

Instead of resisting, allow change to unfold and try to understand what’s transforming and why.

Circumstances will not turn out the way you want them to, and it’s perfectly all right. Embracing the situation can help you deal with the change effectively, make the necessary shifts in your life to embrace the change, and help you move forward after the event.

4. Learn from the experience.

If you accept and embrace change, you will start looking for and finding lessons in it.

When dramatic changes were happening in my life, I refused to acknowledge them at first, so change left me distraught and without meaning. Once I reflected back and finally accepted the changes, the lessons I started absorbing were profound.

Change becomes your greatest teacher, but only if you give yourself permission to learn from it.

5. Recognize you’re growing stronger.

When you accept, embrace, and learn from change, you inevitably grow stronger. The ability to continuously accept change allows you to become as solid as a rock in the midst of violent storms all around you—even if you feel afraid.

6. Embrace the wisdom.

The more I permitted change and impermanence in my life, the more I grew as a person. Embracing change has brought newfound strength into my life and surprisingly, more inner peace.

When you proactively embrace change and learn to accept it as a part of life, you are filled with more calmness, peace, and courage. When life fails to shake you up with its twists and turns, you realize that changes can’t break you.

You’ve reached a level of understanding in life that some might even call wisdom.

While by no means have I reached that place called wisdom, I’m working through my aversions to change. I now openly welcome and embrace it.

When we can accept change, learn from it, and become all the better for experiencing it, change is no longer our enemy. It becomes our teacher.

Photo by amslerPIX

2016! New Year, New You

New Year, New You: Healthy Nutrition Hacks to Ring in 2016

Decorate your plate, trim the fat and more ways to ring in next year in optimal health.

Kidney beans in a bowl next to ingredients on a table.

Try your hand at roasted Brussels sprouts or a bean salad.

By + More

With the New Year steadily approaching, it’s time to take a look back at 2015. Did you hit your health goals? Are you getting close? It’s never too late to modify our eating, exercise and sleep patterns, especially around the holidays when an abundance of festive food makes its way into our kitchens, shows up unexpectedly at parties and lurks around office corners. The good news is you can still meet your 2015 health goals, have fun along the way and set yourself up for a new way of eating – and living – in the year to come.

Here are five ways to ring in optimal health in the New Year:

1. Decorate your plate: Aim for seven colors each day. Don’t forget to leave out your plate when you break out the bright and colorful holiday decorations this year. Prioritize dark leafy green salads and glazed carrots, or even try to find a way to get some deep purple beets in your next holiday potluck lineup. Seasonal pureed pumpkin, yams and sweet potatoes now make it easier than ever to sneak in immune-boosting beta-carotene. Be sure to keep this tradition going even after the lights and New Year’s noisemakers are put away.

2. Trim the fat: Embark on a new holiday tradition. Still ruminating over your Thanksgiving dinner?The good news is it’s never too late to start a new tradition that celebrates physical activity and the healthy basics – fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – at your next gathering. The secret to healthful trailblazing: Make it fun, and make it festive!

3. Call the shots: Create a precision eating plan. Keep a food diary, and write down what you eat, the serving sizes and how you feel after you eat specific foods. Which foods help you satiate hunger, and which ones ramp up your appetite? Plan accordingly, and stock up on those that keep hunger at bay.

4. Prepare in advance: Share your favorite recipes. We’ve all been to gatherings with foods that could derail our health and fitness goals. To avoid this situation, make a healthful pit stop along the way. Pick up a veggie platter, or if you like to cook, try your hand at roasted Brussels sprouts or a bean salad. Nobody will know if your next “meatloaf” is actually a lentil loaf, a mix of fiber-packed lentils, beans, nuts and seeds. And if they do, encourage them to have a slice and share the recipe.

5. Reset your mindset: Give it 21 days. Still need help fine-tuning your diet? Getting fit and healthy is everyone’s No. 1 goal this year, for good reason. It’s hard to prioritize our health when other demands – family, work, and the holidays – take center stage. The easiest way to make your health goals a reality, for 2015 and beyond, is to make reaching for disease-fighting foods a daily habit. It takes 21 days to begin to retrain our brains. After a few weeks, everything falls into place. With Jan. 1 right around the corner, now is the perfect time to kickstart your health into high gear. Don’t wait another day.

If you need to help, visit for recipes or to learn more about the link between diet and health.

  • Cameron Wells

    Cameron Wells, M.P.H., R.D., is a registered dietitian for the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Barnard Medical Center. With a background in disease prevention and passion for helping others, Ms. Wells guides clinical research studies, employee wellness programs and nutrition education initiatives at K-12 schools.

    Ms. Wells previously worked as a bariatric dietitian and enjoys helping others improve their health through diet education and lifestyle changes. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech in Human, Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, completed a Dietetic Internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and recently earned a Master of Public Health degree with a focus in epidemiology from George Mason University.

Equality Wheel


equality wheel

Domestic abuse is complicated, and not everyone understands what it means if they haven’t been through it. Even some people who have been through it aren’t sure what constitutes abusive behavior. So back in the 1980s, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) created the Power and Control Wheel to help describe the abuse women in domestic violence relationships were experiencing.

The wheel helped women identify abusive behavior and helped teach those less familiar with the issue about domestic abuse, but it didn’t help women learn what healthy relationships looked like.

“Their experience with relationships was that one person was in control and the other person was being controlled,” says Melissa Scaia, executive director of DAIP. “The women didn’t have any reference point for what a relationship was supposed to look like.”

So a short time later, the DAIP developed the Equality Wheel.

“The team listened to women in support groups saying they knew one type of relationship but didn’t know an alternative,” she says. “They wanted an example to be able to look for in their lives.”

The Equality Wheel offers an alternative to power and control. “If you lay the equality wheel over the Power and Control Wheel, you’ll see they are corresponding opposites,” Scaia says. “So, for instance, instead of emotional abuse, you’ll see respect.”

Today, both wheels are used in individual and community settings around the world. They’ve even been translated into 22 different languages. “That fact alone speaks to the socialization of the problem,” Scaia says. “Domestic violence is not an individual, psychological problem. It’s everyone’s problem.”

Recharge, Rejuvenate and Renew

Recharge, Rejuvenate and Renew

Increased body toxins can occur as a result of things we consume, such as air, food, water and chemicals. Stress, anxiety, sadness and other emotions experienced by domestic violence survivors can also increase body toxins.

Mixed opinions on the impact of toxins and the importance of cleansing the body of toxins abound. However, some believe detoxification can recharge, rejuvenate and renew the mind, body and spirit, and play a role in a survivor’s restoration.

Regardless of which side of the debate you’re on, one thing that isn’t debatable is that the healing process for a survivor should involve a personalized recovery plan. You should do what works best for you, and body cleansing—or detoxification—may be an option to explore.

When you hear about cleansing these days, it is often talked about in the context of a brief change in diet. While that works for some, there are other activities you can put into play to produce a more holistic experience to create improved balance, harmony and total well-being.

For Your Mind

Meditation. Research has shown that meditation can reduce levels of stress and promote well-being. The primary goal of meditation is to obtain inner peace, which can be achieved by learning to quiet your mind. If you are a beginner, you may want to try guided meditations—listening to a recorded voice that helps you visualize images in your mind to help you relax and quiet the chatter in your mind. This can also help you to eliminate unhealthy thoughts and feelings.

For Your Body

External cleansing. Due to the many chemicals used in soap and cosmetic products on the market today, look for those containing natural ingredients. What you put on your body is absorbed through your skin and into your blood stream. EWG (Environmental Working Group) is a non-profit organization that has a large database of consumer products which contain toxic ingredients. Research the ingredients in the products you are using.

Internal Cleansing. There are natural ways to do an internal body cleanse without having to purchase expensive products from health food stores or websites. The Livestrong Foundation notes that a diet that emphasizes certain foods (e.g., fruits, vegetables, organic to limit pesticide exposure, and raw preparations to keep the fiber and nutrients intact) and eliminates others (e.g., caffeine, refined sugars and flours, alcohol, saturated fat and processed foods) can help achieve the objective. Also, it is important to drink plenty of water, which naturally cleanses the body.

For Your Spirit

Elements of Nature: Connecting with nature allows you to release stress. With summer upon us, it’s a good time to enjoy the outdoors. Water hydrates the body and cleanses it internally and externally. Consider submerging yourself in a nearby ocean, lake or river; participating in water sports; or just enjoy the tranquility each offers. Camping and hiking, or even something as simple as walking barefoot through the grass and feeling the coolness of the earth beneath your feet, can work.

When cleansing holistically, keep in mind that it is a process. Therefore you are not limited to the length of time you remain on a cleanse. You can practice these methods at your own pace to experience total well-being as you recover from the after-effects of abuse and live a happier, healthier life.

By Connie Sloane
Revitalization Coach