Can you imagine being told, “I will love you when you’re in better shape,” “I think you’re great, but I would really love you if you had more money,” “I would really fall in love with you if you were prettier.” What kind of messed up person would say that to someone, right?!? In the midst of the “Oh heeeeeeell no” that is going on in your head right now and the, “If someone EVER told me that!!!!!!” sassiness you got going… what if I told you, someone HAS told you that before? In fact, you’ve probably heard it several times, in different ways and through different actions, from none other than YOURSELF. Yup. Think about it. We set all these conditions for love and happiness. “Sure I like myself…but I would love myself if I lost a few pounds.” “Yea, life is alright, but I’ll be really happy when I get a promotion.”

You wouldn’t take it from anyone else, so why take that kind of limited conditional love from yourself? And yet we do it almost daily. Judging ourselves, beating ourselves up, and depriving ourselves of self-love because we aren’t this, don’t have that, and don’t look this way or that. Ok, so let me ask you this: when does it stop? When you attain that thing you think you want or need to love yourself or be happy…will you, in fact, love yourself and be happy once and for all?

photo-5When you set conditions for love and happiness you send a message to yourself and the Universe that you are not worthy, not deserving, and that you are not enough as you are. When love and happiness come only if this or that happens, that love and happiness will dissipate if the conditions set forth change. How fleeting and unfulfilling it is to love and be happy based on factors outside yourself. And funny enough, like I mentioned before, we wouldn’t take that from a partner or anyone else, and yet we set all kinds of conditions, not only for ourselves, but for others as well. “I will do this for you, but what do I get out of it?” “She didn’t invite me to her party so I’m not going to invite her to mine.” “I love you, but I really want you to change.”

Conditions keep us away from the true love and happiness that we deserve, the true essence of joy that we are at the core. When we were born, we were blank slates, bouncing baby boys and girls with no expectations. When and how did we start setting all these conditions that became a brick wall cemented one condition at a time keeping us disconnected from feeling unconditional love for ourselves and for others and experiencing happiness regardless of the circumstances? Love and happiness are states of being. How beautiful it would be to love and be happy independently of the changing tides of life. Because you deserve it. Because the world needs it. Because it would be a complete waste of your beautiful life to spend it incessantly wanting and basing love and happiness on getting.

By no means am I saying not to strive to be better.  What I am saying is you don’t NEED to be anything other than what you are to feel love and happiness.  Working on yourself is a part of life, but as you do, accept and love yourself without conditions.  Be gentle, be kind.  Kick the conditions to the curb.

I love you…without conditions.
xoxo

how would your life be differentI don’t like chisme, pronounced “cheese-meh”… that is, gossiping. I’ve been guilty of it, and it seems it’s difficult to stay away from because, if you pay attention to what people talk about, you’ll notice how prevalent gossip is in most conversations. Gossip doesn’t necessarily ONLY refer to talking about other people, that’s a huge part of it; but, it also includes stories you share about yourself, especially when it involves making yourself the victim. It’s easy to think, “Well I’m just sharing what happened to me, how is that bad?” Well, most often we keep sharing how this co-worker upset me, or how you can’t believe that you got rear-ended, or how you were dating this guy/girl and then he/she stopped talking to you out of nowhere… ok, you get the point.

We LOVE to talk about the bad stuff. But consider that in re-telling the story you’re staying in a negative energetic space, one that will most likely keep attracting more of the same.   I’m not a talker, I know that’s weird considering I’m a TV host/reporter and I talk A LOT on TV, but in life there are so many things I do not talk about; especially over the last few years, where I’ve become extremely aware of what I put out into the Universe. And most often I have very little or no response to gossip, particularly if it has to do with someone speaking badly of someone else. But even just listening is as much a part of the problem as doing the actual gossiping. When you’re involved in a negative conversation, much like when having a negative thought, there is actually a chemical reaction that occurs in the brain and body, the effects of which can be worse than smoking, drinking alcohol, or eating junk food. Considering that fact, your health can be compromised by constant gossiping or even just listening to gossip.

happiest people

Personally, I’ve learned to remove myself from situations and distance myself from relationships that involve a lot of gossip. Or, if I am in a situation where someone is complaining about someone else, for example, I offer a different perspective hoping to bring light to the situation versus being pulled to the dark side.  Don’t be pulled to the dark side.  Consider stopping the gossip standing up for your health.  You may need to distance yourself from people, and they may be upset at you or judge you.  That’s ok.  That’s their battle, not yours.
Do you think you can stay away from gossip for one entire day?  I think you can.  How about you give it a go?  For the next 24 hours do not gossip, and if others try to gossip to you, change the conversation.  You can even be honest and say, “Hey I’m trying this thing for a whole day where I don’t gossip.”  Who knows, maybe you may even inspire them to do the same.  You may even decide to do it for 2 days, or 3 or a whole week!  Leave a comment and let me know how it goes.
As always sending you lots of love.
xoxo
nv

 

That’s exactly the kind of response I receive when people find out I’m juicing… for the next 30 days (well 19 more days, to be exact). Which is why I haven’t told many people…I’m not a fan of explaining myself, or why I do what I do. And, yes, it sounds absolutely crazy, even to me. Just to confirm my level of insanity people are like, “Juicing? You mean, no food? At all? JUST JUICES?!! For THIRTY days?” With each word carefully enunciated, as if I would all of a sudden say, “Oh no no, I thought you were asking something else.” So just to be über clear: I have decided to go on a juice fast for 30 days. This means ONLY fresh vegetable and fruit juices, water, and herbal tea. I drink about 4-6 juices a day, and I mix it up as much as possible to make sure I’m not missing out on vital nutrients. So don’t worry I’m not starving myself, because, of course, the next thought and question people have is, “Is that even healthy? How are you getting protein?” I won’t get into all of that, because this can get quite long… instead, let’s get into what you really want to know…

image-1

Why? Well, other than apparently having lost my mind, the biggest reason is actually to see if I could be disciplined enough to go through such a cleansing process. That’s another reason: cleansing. After dealing with a few health issues, and some back problems AND being diagnosed with arthritis in my lower back, I want to remove everything that can be causing inflammation (all illness essentially begins with inflammation of some sort). While a few days of clean eating and juicing can be very cleansing, usually we end up going back to foods that may be having an adverse effect on our bodies.   When you remove EVERYTHING for a longer period of time, eventually your palate changes, you tune in to your body, and you are able to tell the difference between cravings and nutritional needs. At the end of it all, when you SLOWLY reintroduce foods there’s no way of denying what foods just don’t work with you… trust me, your body will let you know: bloating, discomfort, gas, pain, acne, fatigue, nausea, headaches, just to name a few.

Now I’m not asking you to do a 30-day, 20-day, 10-day or even a week-long cleanse. BUT how about….(you’re thinking I’m ‘bout to say something crazy…chill…wait for it)… you just try incorporating juices into your daily diet? Let’s say 1 per day? Or at least every other day? Try it. See how you feel. To help you out, check out some of my favorite juice combinations below. Sending you lots of juicy love ;)

 

Nat’s Fave

3 cups of kale

2 apples

1 lemon (peeled)

1” piece of ginger (optional, for a little kick)

 

Asparott

4 carrots

10 asparagus spears

1 lemongrass stem

 

Mean Green Juice (from Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead documentary – a must watch!)

1 cucumber

4 celery stalks

2 apples

6-8 kale leaves

½ lemon (peeled)

1” piece of ginger

time use worst

If you wish you had more time, watch where your time goes.  Chances are the Facebook posting, the channel surfing, the Pinterest pinning and the twitter roaming could be sucking you dry of the precious time you do have.  In what areas can you manage yourself a little better to free up time for things you need to get done?

Wishing you a productive week!
xoxo

To many interpreters of The Secret, one must merely sit, preferably in sun-salutation pose, and think of that which is most desired for it to appear, almost as if teleported from the land of eternal possibilities, right to your doorstep…better yet right in front of your big toe, at arm’s length.  While I believe in the law of attraction, and have seen it at work many times in my life, this information can be misleading.  The result: lots of doing nothing, with the energetic intention of getting something.

On the other end of the spectrum we have the doers, of the “good things come to those who work hard” school.  The result: lots of doing A LOT, with the energetic intention of doing A LOT.

While the “thoughts become things” concept can be proven by quantum physics, specifically the work of Werner Heisenberg, it’s still widely considered hocus-pocus mumbo-jumbo.  And, on the other hand, we all know of people who work and work, and do and do all their lives to no avail.  So, who’s right?

 

Both.  For some reason we seem to love to compartmentalize, thinking our arm is separate from our leg is separate from our stomach is separate from our head.  The Universe/Source/God, you, me, our thoughts, our actions, our bodies, all other beings, and everything in between are intricately interwoven.  EVERYTHING you do, say, think, and feel has contributed to what you are getting out of life in this very moment.

you create reality

Then you think, “Man, but that’s a lot of work to get my head, heart, and actions all working together!”  Yea, it is.  Truly getting the Universe to deliver your dreams to your doorstep is a team effort of all the parts that make up your amazing self. It’s choosing your thoughts, exploring your feelings, and consequently aligning your actions.  A million dollars would be nice, and you can meditate and visualize living the millionaire’s lifestyle, in fact, that’s a huge part of it.  But, what was that?  Did you say you never play the lottery?  Oh, that’s cool.  And how about you?  Did I hear you say that you ALWAYS buy a lotto ticket at 7-11 but you “know” you’ll never win?  Alrighty then.  So, do you see how disconnected we are?  Play the lotto AND act as though you’re already a millionaire.  Believe it, feel it, act on it.  It’s really the only way to create a life you love.  Do the work, and you’ll be surprised at how much life reacts in your favor.

Sending you lots of love and big hugs
xoxo

 

Ever notice how we are always looking for someone to tell us what we should do, how we should live our lives, and even what to eat?  We seek the advice of family, friends, experts, Google… for pretty much everything.  While Google and everyone else on your go-to list might have some pretty good info and have your best interest in mind, bottom line is they don’t know your life.  As opposed to what that stretchy tank top has printed on the tag, there is no one-size-fits-all of ANYTHING.

perfect diet

And let’s be honest, a lot of the information out there is confusing and contradictory anyway.  Milk does a body good.  Milk is linked to osteoporosis.  Drink soymilk.  Soymilk is linked to breast cancer.  What a headache.  So I propose that perhaps you stop relying on all this information, and, instead, be your own experiment.

Over the past year and a half I’ve been my own guinea pig.  I’ve tried detox programs, raw food, a vegan diet, juicing….etc etc.  I’ve searched recipes, diets, what the experts eat, and everything else in between.  And where all that research and experimenting led me was to a tailor-made-just-for-me-and-my-lifestyle way of eating.

It all started a few years back when I got a medical diagnosis that changed my life.  I went raw vegan after finding tons of information on the healing benefits of this type of diet.  Raw food did what it needed to do for me at that point in my life, but for me 100% raw was unsustainable long-term.  As I started to push my limits in the gym, I started to feel muscle breakdown from insufficient carbs and protein.  This is not to discount raw or vegan diets, as I believe they have their place, and work very well for some individuals; but I needed more.

So much at-your-fingertips information is great, and getting educated is important (especially when you have a health condition to take into consideration, like I did), so I definitely recommend that you do your research; but don’t let a fad diet that worked for (insert name of your favorite fit celebrity here) be your be-all end-all.  There are so many things to take into consideration, and yet all we focus on is “She lost 10 lbs in 3 days!” and “He got in shape for that movie in 1 week by eating what!?  That’s it, I start Monday.”  Play a little, experiment a lot.  Don’t be afraid of carbs…OR, maybe, be afraid of carbs.  I can’t tell you, YOU are the only one that knows.  Check in with your body, notice how certain foods and meals make you feel, monitor your energy level throughout the day.  Important questions include: what is your goal…weight loss?  Build muscle?  Do you workout?  How intense are your workouts?  Are you allergic to certain foods?  Do you have a gluten intolerance?  A great way to keep track is to have a food journal, where you can also write down how you felt after each meal (immediately after and a few hours after): tired, cranky, energized??  Change things up every few weeks, remove, add, adjust as needed, but more importantly, have fun with it.

Advice is nice and all, but only YOU can figure out what is best for YOU and your body.  Now go play with your food!

Until next time…
xoxo

I’m one of those people that’s always seeking; and for a long time I’ve had this deep-rooted feeling that I was on the verge of something amazing, but yet couldn’t quite get there.  Whatever was stopping me, I knew it was self-imposed.  No idea what it was, but I just knew I was standing in my own way.  The reality is that what stops us from being the truest expression of ourselves in this world, from reaching magnificent heights, and from living truly amazing lives is our conditioning.  It’s the ideas and beliefs that we’ve spent years being told, learning, reinforcing, and creating in our own minds.  Stop for two seconds right now and ask yourself these questions:

Is this the most amazing life I could be living?
If not, what’s stopping you?

See, a lot of times we have excuses and stories… “I can’t because I don’t have enough money,” “I could never do that,” “I’m too lazy,” “I’m not smart enough,” etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.  Brace yourself for what I’m about to say: NONE OF IT IS TRUE.  Take that in for a second.  NONE OF IT IS TRUE.  So, what have you been believing all these years that has kept you where you are?  And perhaps there’s nothing wrong with where you are.  It’s comfortable, you have a routine, and it’s what you know.  But there’s a huge difference between being alive and living.  Which are you doing?

3 c's of life

I’ve been in a comfort zone for a long time.  We all love our comfort zones.  It’s too scary to climb out of the box and see what awaits on the other side, especially when we’ve been told it’s not safe, or when we believe we aren’t good enough to live outside the confines of the boxes we build ourselves.  Perhaps, you even feel you don’t deserve it.  Brace yourself once more:  YOU DESERVE TO LIVE AN AMAZING LIFE.  I don’t care who you are, how old you are, what you do, etc… you are here, you are alive, and YOU DESERVE for it to be AMAZING.  If you KNOW there is something more, and your soul is in search of expansion and fulfilment, but you just have no idea how to get there or what’s stopping you IT’S TIME to find out.  Don’t spend another week, month, year(s) simply being alive.  Going through the monotony of daily routine because that’s what you learned and that’s how life is.  It’s not.  And that’s exactly why I want to share this with you: “Boundless Bliss: The Bali Breakthrough Experience”

This past July I made a COURAGEOUS decision to apply for the Boundless Bliss Bali trip facilitated by Kute Blackson.  Let me tell you, it was scary.  I had never traveled by myself; in fact, I had never traveled outside the country (Mexico doesn’t count lol).  I had no idea what I was signing up for, but I knew I had to be there.  I couldn’t even logically explain why.  I still can’t explain it.  There was just a nagging inner voice that no matter how much my brain tried to shut it up with its excuses it wouldn’t go away.  I had EVERY excuse in the book, “I don’t have enough money,” “I’m being impulsive,” “I can’t take the time off from work.”  Those excuses were going to keep me in my comfort zone, and, quite frankly, I was done simply being alive.  I was ready to start LIVING.  What I gained from this 12 day journey cannot be explained in a blog, it just wouldn’t do it justice.  But, I will say that there are major shifts happening post-Bali.  For one, I have FINALLY made the decision to move out and live ON MY OWN; I now ask BIG for what I want with the feeling that I deserve it; I am no longer willing to settle; and for whatever energetic reason, whether it’s my newfound confidence, or some subconscious shift that happened, I am manifesting so much work that I can’t even believe it myself.  “Amazing,” “transformational,” “once in a lifetime experience,” the more I rack my brain for how to really make you understand what this experience was like, the more I realize that it’s simply not possible with words…all I know is that I’m no longer standing in my own way.

If you feel called to apply, I PROMISE you WILL NOT regret it… “Boundless Bliss: The Bali Breakthrough Experience”

Sending you lots of love and courage to take your life to the next level…
xoxo!

photo-39You can call me impatient, impulsive… whatever… you choose; but, I’m one of those people who wants to make something happen and I want it now.  And no wonder, in this fast-paced society everything is about instant satisfaction, instant results…now, now, now.  It’s not like I’m a rare breed or anything, I’m sure you, reading this, feel the same way.  Ain’t nobody got time for waiting for things to happen, right?  Diets and weight loss are no different.

We want results and we want them NOW.  We don’t want to put in work, because with a career, kids, a social life, responsibilities, who has time to be fit!?  “No, no, no, just give me that little magic pill that blocks the fat and carbs.  I’ll still eat whatever I want, and that gym membership I pay for every month but never use, well, I’ll keep that because I’ll go one of these days.”  Then there’s the, “Or better yet let me go on that master cleanse diet Beyonce used!” ones.  Now let me tell you, I’ve tried it.  Yup, the “drink this lemonade with cayenne pepper and agave for a week”…I’ve done it.  Yes, with NO solid food.  Just lemonade and water.  See, I have pretty much tried it all; partly because I would never tell my clients to do anything I haven’t done.  And let me tell you, I would never have anyone do the master cleanse, or any sort of plan where food is not involved.  That’s a story for another blog!  Let me get back on track, here…OH YES…

Working out, consistently, is not something I’ve always done.  Maybe a few days here and there, 2 weeks at the most, or whenever I didn’t have an excuse.  I was one of those people who would work out one day, then come home and look in the mirror to see if I could see results.  Totally not kidding.  BUT, then something changed.  I actually began seeing working out as me time, rather than a chore.  I started finding workouts I enjoyed, and people I enjoyed working out with.  I wasn’t doing it JUST for the physical results anymore.  Over the past year I have taken very few days off, mostly due to injuries from pushing myself too hard.  Without even thinking about it, working out actually became fun; and I constantly challenged myself to go to the next level with tougher workouts.  This past week, I was in a body pump (weight-lifting) class and it hit me: I am getting stronger, leaner, and more defined.  AFTER A YEAR!

It was important for me to share that with you because many times we want to give up.  It’s hard, and it takes sacrifice, but I promise results WILL come, funny enough it happens when you stop focusing so much on them.  I just want to ask you to be patient and loving with yourself in the process.  Find things about working out that you enjoy…find workouts you enjoy…and people you enjoy working out with.  Let your reasons for pushing yourself be stronger than your excuses for sitting on the couch.  If you don’t see results in 1 day, 1 week, 1 month…PLEASE WAIT…be patient…and keep at it.  About a year ago, were you thinking you needed to get healthy?  Get in shape?  Start going to the gym?  Had you started then, imagine where you’d be now.  So just get up and get moving, love yourself, and be patient…results will, no doubt, follow.

Sending you lots of love
nv

Lots of foods taste good; but then there are those orgasmic-died-and-went-to-heaven foods.  Of course, those are usually the deep-fried-dipped-in-chocolate-heartattack-causing kind.  You may be under the impression that I’m “good” all the time when it comes to food choices.  The reality is that I’m not.  Everyone needs balance.  When you move towards a healthy lifestyle, you can’t all of a sudden tell yourself you’ll NEVER taste a brownie again!  I mean, really, life is for living ;)  However, when I’m living a little too much I start to feel it, physically: I have less energy, my digestive system slows down, I have more breakouts, I feel bloated, and my workouts suffer.  I don’t judge myself, or feel bad about it, I just buckle down and get back on track.

Recently, I was excited by the arrival of my baby nephew, and spending time at the hospital – with limited time for healthy eating – which led to several days of indulging.  I’m talking Porto’s guava and cheese pastries, and those delicious dulce de leche cookies, and whatever came out of the hospital vending machine.  Today I got back on track.  My liquid breakfast consisted of parsley, cucumber, kale, mint, and lemon blended with ice and water.  It wasn’t good; I mean, it wasn’t bad, either…but there are a million other things I would rather TASTE for breakfast.

green drink

Interestingly enough I didn’t feel obligated, forced, or like it was some type of punishment, because today I realized that how I FEEL is more important to me than how something TASTES.  Feeling lasts longer than taste.  5 seconds on my taste buds of something finger-lickin’-good but probably not too good FOR ME would translate into bloating, discomfort, and not having energy for days…I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell don’t wanna feel like that!  When I’m nourishing my body with green drinks, salads, and fresh fruits & veggies I feel like a million bucks.  My energy is up, my mood improves, and I just feel better about myself.

Indulging every now and then isn’t bad.  The issue is that we consistently eat foods that make us feel like crap.  They might taste amazing…but what good is that if the end result is feeling crappy?  So, what’s more important to you: tasting something yummy for 5 seconds, or feeling good consistently?  Fuel the feel good…that’s all I’m saying! ;)

I love farmers’ markets, especially in the summer.  I love walking around, seeing the people, hearing the sounds, taking in the sights, and enjoying the sun; not to mention, the taste tests!!!  Who doesn’t love samples!?  Farmers’ markets are a great way of knowing where your food is coming from, because the farmers are right there bringing you their produce directly.  It’s also a great way of knowing and buying what’s in season.

In addition to the apples, peaches, basil, cilantro, parsley, lemon, and avocados I bought at the farmer’s market the other day, I also found these beauties…

passion fruit

PASSION FRUIT!  I was inspired to get a few because they took me back, back to Bali, Bali ;) AND when I had that layover in Taiwan, I had a yummy passion fruit smoothie.  So, of course, I had to create my very own smoothie using this lovely fruit!

passion fruit smoothie

Recipe:

1 1/2 cups almond milk
handful of blueberries
1 passion fruit
handful of spinach (got my greens in there, too)
2 small pieces of avocado
1 tsp of plain greek yogurt
1 tsp of rosella powder (for all the Mexicans out there, that’s jamaica)
1 tsp of raw cacao powder
1 tsp of coconut sugar

Ok, I understand how this sounds really weird… I was even afraid to try it myself.  I’m like a mad scientist in my kitchen, throwing whatever I find (or at least what sounds good) into my NutriBullet.  BUT this was sooooo good!  It’s definitely a great summer treat.  You don’t even have to try my recipe…

Here’s the fun homework: find your closest farmers’ market, make a day of it, have some fun… buy a fruit you’ve never tried and make up your own smoothie or recipe!

P.S. In case you’re wondering here are just some of the health benefits of passion fruit:

  • Antioxidant power
  • Fiber and protein content (about 24.5g and 5g, respectively, when you include the seeds -which are edible)
  • Rich in vitamins A & C
  • Great source of iron, magnesium, potassium

Hope you’re lovin’ your summer as much as I am…
xoxo

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