Monday, May 22, 2017

10% more chill

You guys, can you surrender? Try not to control everything? In moments of anxiety, try and be more chill? Even just 10% more?

Something happens with your travel plans and it's stressing you out.
10% more chill.

The guy you've been talking to on Bumble flakes out.
10% more chill.

You're upset with someone you love. Call them, but in the mean time,
10% more chill.

You're running ragged, teacher style, end of the school year.
10% more chill.

You forgot your favorite ingredient for your stir fry.
10% more chill.

You overdraft your bank account.
10% more chill.

You thought your BFFs birthday was the 20th, but it's actually the 16th.
10% more chill.

The rain ruins your plans.
10% more chill.

What if in every moment of anxiety, you surrendered a bit, you chilled a bit, even just 10%? How could that improve your day?

Thanks to my fave HPF yoga class for this reminder today.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

fighting overcarbsumption

I'm five days into my second Whole 30 and it's been a combination of emotions.

I gave up coffee. Whole 30 doesn't require this, but Arbonne's 30 days to healthy living does, and so I haven't had coffee since Monday. I've had a pretty persistent headache all week. A few of the days I took Aleve, including today, and it's still here. So that's definitely not my favorite part of this.

Someone this week asked me, "Why coffee?" It's acidic. What I've learned about food in the past year since I began consulting with Arbonne is that ideally, our body should be alkaline rather than acidic. In an alkaline state, your body can relax, it doesn't have to work to "fight off" chemicals or rescue itself from ingredients in our foods that are not in our best interest. Check out this link for a cool graphic and see where your favorite foods lie on the pH scale! I also found this article (not sure of the source, but seems legit). In addition to the acidity, I always flavor my coffee with a sugary, flavored creamer, and if I can't have creamer, then may as well just forget it.

On day two I had zero energy. Like I couldn't even return a text in the evening, I just wanted to lay there with my eyes closed. My energy ebbs and flows, hasn't leveled out yet, but I did go for a run/walk last night after school so that was good!

The biggest thing has just been the ongoing narrative in my head, about the cookies, carbs, and wine in my vicinity. I haven't cheated once, but I have to seriously talk myself out of it each time. As I'm rereading It Starts With Food, I'm reminded that this isn't my fault - we are living in a world of FrankenFood - it's all manufactured to get at our senses of pleasure, but it's not nutritionally sound. To compound this problem, because of the overcarbsumption, the signals in our body do not function properly. We're eating superficially flavored and chemical-laden foods, but because they have zero nutritional value, the hormones in our body don't tell our brain we are full. So we keep eating and the pattern continues.

Why is this happening? Money. Nabisco wants to sell you massive amounts of Oreos, so they process the cookies with the best chemicals so you can sit and eat the whole pack in one sitting, getting not one ounce of nutrition, and since your hormones probably aren't working right, you never become full.

There's so much more behind the science of this, I am not even fully grasping it yet, but I highly recommend the book.

I tell myself this is hard, but then I read this:

So, I will persist, and hope for a dream of wine or Oreos.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

thinking about croutons, dreaming of tortilla chips

Three years ago, on this day, I finished a Whole 30 (thanks, Timehop!) Today I'm starting another one... modified. Here's my plan:
  1. Eat whole, clean food: fruit, veggies, meat, berries, nuts
  2. Eliminate toxins: gluten, anything processed, sugar, alcohol, coffee
  3. Add Arbonne supplements - protein powder, fiber boost, digestive enzymes, fizz sticks, detox tea, and a 7 day body cleanse
  4. Workout (already did two miles today!)
  5. Mind my mind - pay attention to the emotional stress that comes with all of this, and
  6. Blog as I go, because it makes me more accountable and your comments motivate me (hint, hint) : )
Have you read It Starts with Food? I had to order another copy of the book because I'm already living the emotional hell of this food challenge, but it's definitely necessary since I had such a great time over the Easter holiday and gained 4 pounds in 4 days. #GrowUpMichelle

Today, I sat there at lunch eating a super healthy Greek Salad, with homemade dressing, and all I could think about were the croutons that were not in the salad. (Even though the salad was delicious.)

And then, I just came home, and had some guacamole left over and was seriously considering the tortilla chips - Just a few, I told myself - and was even reaching for and grabbing the bag.

I'm only on DAY ONE of this 30 days to healthy living!

(I put the chips back.)

Anyways, I know I always feel so much better when I am more proactive with my health and summer is coming so it is certainly time to do so. If you read my blogs the next few weeks, I'll be sharing from the book I mentioned above and also reporting on my status. Stay tuned for more!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Live Free

If you picture your life five years from now, how does it look? Do you have financial freedom? Time freedom? Are you able to spend your time doing the things that you love or are you spending most of your time building someone else's business?

About a year ago, I asked myself that same question and realized if I didn't change something or add something, in five years I would be in the same place I am now - living paycheck to paycheck, wondering how I would ever pay off my student loans and only dreaming of my next vacation. And so when Mary shared Arbonne with me and asked me if I was interested in changing my life, I said yes.

Yes to super-premium, botanically based skin care.

Yes to personal care products free of parabens and other nasty ingredients that are, unfortunately, business as usual here in the States.

Yes to a nutrition line that is Vegan, non-gmo, Kosher, free of chemicals, formaldehydes, and dyes.

Yes to better gut health and sleep, and more energy.

Yes to continuous education in health and wellness.

And in that moment, that was all I thought I was saying yes to, but since then I've realized there's a few more things coming my way...

Yes to a tribe of women who are amazing and positive and some of my best friends.

Yes to financial freedom and time freedom. As much as I love my career in education, as much as I love to teach middle school kids, as much as I love my colleagues, teaching is never going to afford me the lifestyle I desire, a lifestyle that includes financial freedom and the ability to leverage my precious time.

And today, I ask you... where will you be in five years? Arbonne isn't the only opportunity for creating passive income and the opportunity for legacy money. Perhaps you've got a plan. But if you don't, maybe Arbonne could be for you.

Let's grab a coffee or a have a Skype date. I'd love to share with you what I've been blessed to learn in the past year!

Be well,

Monday, March 20, 2017

good to glow

Our Liquid Sunshine line has awesome products from chapstick to sunscreen to a tinted self-tanner that I've been using the past few months of this gloomy time of year in Chicago. I just did four applications this weekend and at school today, got some pretty great reviews!

First I saw a teacher in the lunchroom, and she asked me, "Have you been tanning? You look great!" I told her no, just using a sunless tanner, and she said, "It looks so natural!"

And then, walking into my classroom after lunch, one of my kids blurts out, "Have you been tanning again?" You know, they just speak what's on their mind!

Definitely noticeable, but not in a Ross kind of way...

So what sets Arbonne apart?
We are formulated to be pure, safe, and beneficial. We're the best of nature with a little bit of safe science on the end. No need to worry about hormone disrupting ingredients in any of our products, you know you're safe and taken care of with Arbonne!


  • Lightweight, non-oily, quick drying formula provides a natural-looking tan, visible within 2 hours after application
  • Lightly scented, creamy lotion rubs in with no sticky residue, streaking or color transfer
  • Tan can be built to a deeper tone with continued application, delivering a healthy, natural glow to the face and body
  • Hydrating, refreshing formula recommended for ages 18+
  • Allergy and dermatologist tested
Personal Experience
When I first used it, I didn't notice much difference after one application. After two, there was a barely noticeable change. Personally, I've found that four applications is the magic number. Over the weekends, I will usually do one application in the morning and another before bed on Saturday and Sunday- that seems to be the sweet spot for the perfect bronze look.

You can learn more about the Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanner here. And I'd love to share with you how you can shop Arbonne anywhere from 20-80% off!

Be well!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Create an Amazing Day in 5 Steps

I woke up this morning a bit before my alarm. That's no surprise, I usually do. I actually had about 20 minutes before I had to get out of bed, and as I was laying there, I could feel how tense my my shoulders were. I started thinking about the Sun A flow from Yoga, but the without really thinking further I reached for my phone to open up social media, like I usually do. (This is a serious addition I'm not particularly fond of, but that's a blog for another day.)

Instead, I put my phone back down, got out of bed and decided I would do some yoga for fifteen minutes, rather than start my day on facebook.

I go into my living room and turn on a soft light and start the poses - mountain, stretching up high, letting my shoulders melt down my back, gentle backbend, back to mountain, forward fold...and slowly flowed through each movement. My hair got in the way, so I got a hair tie, came back, and worked on stretching through the sequence a few more times. I had 15 minutes, I could really get some good stretches in!

Instead, I worked on my yoga for like 4 passes through the sequence. In total, probably only 4 minutes had passed, and then I quit, laid on my couch and opened facebook. (Do you see? Addicted.)

But in this case, it's good because I found myself on a blog that had a podcast that I then listened to and it shared five things you can do to start your day off in such a great way that it will keep on being awesome the whole rest of the day. I got in the shower and turned up the volume, and here's what I learned. (Also: these are not my ideas, just passing them on from Tim Ferriss.) (Also: these are not rocket science, either, well maybe #3 is, but that's all.)

1. Make your bed.
Yeah, do that. It will be the first thing you accomplish that day and will set you up to start and finish a bunch more things. Tim mentioned a monk or something who was sharing about this, but also the military. They always start their day by making their beds. You don't even have to make your sheets all crisp and perfectly folded, either. Just get the sheet and blanket on good enough (especially if your bed is like mine, surrouneded by walls on three sides). And let me tell you, if you are someone who doesn't usually do this, you will be so happy when it's time to go to bed later that night!

2. Meditate.
I don't know as much about meditation as I do about bed-making, but what I do know is enough to say it's good for you. Meditation forces you to slow down. Do you know how fast our society goes? And how much we have to do in a single day? How much information we take in and process and then share back out? And even more crazy are our thoughts, the constant, incessant chatter on and on and on.....

Meditation creates a space for you to slow down and not have to problem solve or worry or analyze or stress. You slow down, take note of how your body is feeling at the moment, relax, and prepare for a great day ahead.

I have done most of my meditation in Hot Power Fusion at the yoga studio but have done some at home, too. There are a bunch of great apps you can get, too. Some free. My favorite is Headspace. Check it out and stick to a routine. Make meditation the second thing you accomplish every morning.

3. Hang upside down.
This one was new. I don't have a space to do this, but from what I remember, he was saying it's important to strech out your spine. I don't remember the details at all, so check out the podcast (#105), but I image some bendy or stretchy yoga could also do the trick.

4. Drink some tea.
He had some crazy concoction of a loose leaf teas and herbs he used for varying reasons, but I equate this to drinking warm lemon water. Detox yourself. Most of us drink a cup (or 8) of coffee every day, but starting with lemon water or some other kind of detoxifying tea would probably be better. Coffee is super acidic, and from what I've learned about pH balance, it's not good for us (especially if you put a sugared creamer in it like I do). Alternative: hot tea to detox and get your organs inside functioning properly before you get your day going.

5. Write Daily Pages.
I've said it before that writing is so helpful for my state of mind. The writing Tim suggests was writing in a private notebook for two purposes. First, to express gratitude for all that is amazing and happy in yoru life. We all know that it's the grateful people that are happy. His second reason is to write through all your anxieties. Put them down on the paper, let them be heard, and then you're ready to start your day. After all, you know you're going to encounter some jackass in your day (random or someone you always encounter) so instead of building up all that anxiety in your mind and carrying it with you, put it down on paper and let it go.

So there you have it friends. Make your bed, meditate, invert yourself, drink some detoxifying tea, and do some writing. He said even if you can knock out three of these you're off to an amazing start.

Tomorrow I'm going to make my bed and do the writing.
What will you try?
Or, what are you already doing?
Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

See the Light

It's winter in Chicago, which means the sun doesn't show itself much these days. Yesterday it rained, all day. Seriously, from dawn till dusk. Throughout the day I found myself stopping to listen. "Yep, still raining," I thought, wishing the sun would pop out, dry everything out, and spread some happiness.

I was trying to write yesterday, but more gloom. Nothing was coming to me. But then this morning just before my 4:45 alarm, I realized that the sun has been shining, I just needed to change my perspective.

You get on Voxer for the first time and the first message back is, "So glad to see you here, Michelle."

Your friend takes you to yoga on her buddy pass.
(Like, literally.)

The guy your best friend is dating finally calls her to schedule another date after what seems like forever. (More like 36 hours.) :-)

You wake up to an idea for a blog post and strike while the iron is hot.

You see some work one of your students is doing, that is extra beyond her classes, and it's really good.

You sleep in for three days in a row.

A friend who you haven't seen in ages texts and wants to meet up after school to catch up. So you set the date for Wednesday.

I can't hear much in the way of rain anymore, but it's still winter and I doubt the sun will come out again anytime soon. But, with a little change in perspective (and a trip to the tanning salon), I bet we can all see some light in the coming days.

Where are you finding sunshine on these gloomy days?