This crazy, beautiful, fleeting phase.

by Stacey Jayne in


 Farmers market treat

Farmers market treat

My husband and I wake up a half an hour late with our daughter between us.  We oversleep as a team then scramble to start our day. This usually includes him swearing about the time, her crying: BUT mahmaaay it’s nooooot faaair when denied her Curious George computer game and me sweeping up maniacal amounts of dog hair. He rushes out to walk the dogs and she cries because she can’t imagine an hour without him. I try and get her to eat some peanut butter off of a spoon, and then we rush out for a playdate. She plays at her friend's house for a couple of hours then we head back home again for lunch. We prepare and eat lunch, duel about napping till I finally get her down (with force) in our (unmade) bed. I return to the kitchen, clean up the mess from lunch, the morning’s toys and the dog hair. Again. I then have an hour or so to work on building my business, preparing for dinner, answering some emails and taking a 2 (or 5) min break to check out how many grey hairs I have. She wakes up, he comes home, dogs get walked, we eat dinner, recap our day, then off to bed for her. He takes care of bed time, I clean up the kitchen (for the 3rd time) and put away the same toys I put away that afternoon. I finally sit down to do some more writing while imagining healthy foods magically preparing themselves in the kitchen without me.

My dream reality looks like this: I wake up every day and leisurely exercise, shower, eat a delicious healthy breakfast, see clients, write, create, grow my business (and my garden) and still have time for a few sun salutations and nostalgic daydreams while I sit with my feet up on the deck. I’m (very) well-rested and everything is checked off on my to-do list. My house is clean (not by me) and my laundry is tidily put away (by that same other person). I make a healthy dinner with my daughter's help, and we eat as a family with smiles on our faces and flowers on the table.

Ok, to be honest, some days ARE like my dream reality (without the house keeper and sun salutations), and then some days are totally chaotic and I want to buy myself a one-way ticket to someplace warm where I can sip frozen drinks and lazily kick sand for exercise.

I am dedicated to my healthy lifestyle and making compassionate choices, but this particular phase in life is tiring and unpredictable. In an article I just wroteI talk about how confusing it can be to even FIND healthy foods let alone factoring in the chaos. 75% of the time I’m successful in making healthy choices. 25% of the time I have to embrace the chaos - this crazy, beautiful, fleeting time in life. One day my daugher will be ten, and I’ll be shaking my head happily remembering her bolting around the apartment naked with socks on her hands. I’ll be seeing clients with ease and making the money I deserve because I learned from it all.

I can’t help but look back at all of those romantic visions of good health I had before my daughter was born. My favorite visions took place in the fall, all sweatery and snuggly where I imagined the chilly afternoons -cinnamon apple sauce simmering on the stove and morning glory muffins baking in the oven while baby and I danced to 80s music.

Reality check. My first actual fall involved my getting over my daughter’s colic and realizing that I’d just spent the past 5 months eating only bread and cheese. Three years later I’m building my coaching business and learning what it takes for me to feel alive and healthy.

My passion is helping families and young women lessen their chaos by eating real foods and removing toxic habits so they can truly love life. Nothing confirms how much I love my job then when I hear a client share a small success. Just hearing her say the words: I'm so excited about this Stacey makes ME so excited too. Yesterday I had a client write: I just wanted to thank you again for all the encouragement. I finally feel like this is a step in the right direction! And honestly, I was elated! I'm so thankful for the work that I'm doing.

If you have been making small steps to remove toxic foods and habits so YOU can feel amazing and live a healthier life, share them below in the comments. I'd LOVE to hear what works for you. I know that if I'm inspired by what you write, you could be inspired too. And when we are both inspired, that's when the magic happens.

You totally freakin rock.

Love,

SJ


Why does feeing my family healthy foods feel so confusing?

by Stacey Jayne in


Here in Brooklyn we have a sea of options. We cook. We order in. We raise chickens. We juice. We pizza. We make choices everyday based on what is accessible and what feels right. At times we think we are making healthy choices only to find out that some of them are totally off.  Will we ever feel like we are buying the right foods? I want to be transparent here and share that I don’t have this all figured out. I do not consider myself an expert player in this game, but I am driven by the journey I’ve had so far as a parent who truly cares about my family’s well being. I will say that my passion is feeding my family real foods. I hope that doesn’t scare you. I’m eating gummy bears right now if it makes you feel any better.

When I got to the other side of my pregnancy I was doused with a healthy serving of nutrition overwhelm. Once my daughter was eating real foods, I felt forced to figure out what that really meant. What I found was that real foods (foods that are not genetically modified, that are not filled with additives, dyes, sugars and other toxins to make them last for years upon years on a shelf) are not that easy to find. Real foods come from plants and animals that have not been altered. They are foods that go bad when you don’t eat them in a fairly short amount of time. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It may seem simple, but the supermarket is a very difficult place to navigate. There is an abundance of food options from whole foods, packaged foods, drinks, candies, cereals, with words like nature, natural and farm fresh on items that are far from it.

So the question is: how do we find real foods. Oh, and how can we keep from feeling like crazy food Nazis so our friends will still invite us over for an occasional BBQ?

This is what I do to find my real foods.

  1. I shop at farmers markets and I’m about to join a CSA (community supported agriculture).  A CSA is a way to purchase a “membership” to a local farm. I will receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout farming season. With both of these options you get a chance to know where your food is coming from. You can do your own research and make your own choices. It’s empowering. FYI Shopping in this way does not always mean that it’s going to be organic and free of pesticides, but you can easily ask to find out what their practice and philosophy is.

  2. I buy bulk organic ingredients. There are a bunch of grocery stores that have a bulk section where you can purchase whole grains, nuts, popcorn, dried fruits and other fun organic ingredients.  When you buy organic you are buying foods that are free of GMOs and pesticides. I make my own muesli, trail mix and other convenience snack foods. It saves lots of money when you shop this way AND you know what’s in your food. You can add your own amount of sugar, and you can tailor it to your family’s likes and dietary restrictions. You can also bring your own little baggies and reuse them each time for an added earth friendly twist.

  3. I found a butcher I can trust. Though our diet is predominantly plant based we do consume some animal products. Knowing what I know about the overuse of hormones, antibiotics, torture of factory farm animals and the negative impact factory farming has on our already suffering environment, it’s easy for me to spend the extra money to make sure that what I’m buying is high quality.

  4. When I’m at the grocery store I buy foods with ingredients that I am familiar with. I try and stick to the 5 ingredients or less rule. There are a couple of books by Michael Pollan that I highly recommend. One is called “In defense of food” and the other is “The Omnivore’s dilemma”. Both books are full of invaluable advice and tips in healthful eating and food buying. He suggests avoiding foods that your grand parents wouldn’t recognize as food. I think about this all the time when I’m at the market!

This is what I do to keep myself sane when I show up for that occasional BBQ.

  1. I aim to consume real foods 75% of the time, the other 25% of the time I relax and let life happen. I celebrate eating and cooking with my family and friends as much as I can. We talk about the foods I choose to buy when they ask me. They ask great questions and I enjoy talking about the choices I make.

  2. I go easy on myself in social situations. My goal is practice good health and kindness and if someone is uncomfortable with that I just move the conversation along and remind them that I eat lots of different foods. Including gummy bears, and cupcakes and…

  3. I bring back-up snacks. When I’m going to a party I usually bring some nuts and fruit in my bag. Whether or not I choose to eat them will be up to me, but it’s nice to have the option if I’m stuck.

This is where I’m at so far. I’d LOVE To hear what you are doing to celebrate real foods with your family. Please also share your frustrations and questions. I’d love for this to be a place where we can learn from each other. I believe we need to work together to practice compassionate food buying. I want the shift into buying real foods to be fun, funny and exciting for families. We all have the resources we need; we just have to be creative how we spend our money and time.

Love,

SJ

serisouly?

Six Weeks Till Summer

by Stacey Jayne in


http://www.dreamstime.com/-image20444680Six Weeks Till Summer

April 18 – May 23

Let getting in shape feel like a girl’s night out.

This is the time of year when you start thinking:

This summer is going to be different. I’m REALLY going to get serious about taking off that extra weight before the warm weather gets here. I’m going to start exercising everyday. I’m going to REALLY pay attention to what I’m eating.

 

BUT just then you start thinking:

I eat “relatively” healthy already. I’m not sure what to do differently. I feel so out of shape, I’m embarrassed to even go to the gym. I don’t even know where to start!

 

When you join us for Six Weeks Till Summer you will:

 
  • Slip into your “skinny clothes” with ease by Memorial day
  • Start your summer with more confidence and joy
  • Sleep more soundly
  • Naturally ease up on caffeine and sugar or get rid of them all together
  • Look and feel younger

 

It look us years to learn this but we have discovered the secrets of making lasting change. Together Stacey and Mina have lost over 80lbs and kept it off for years. We want to share what we have learned with you so you can celebrate this summer!

 

Six Weeks Till Summer Details:

  • 6 week program
  • Weekly informational and inspirational emails
  • Support of a group to keep you focused and accountable
  • Group facebook page for extra support
  • Optional workouts
  • Meet on Thursdays from 730-9pm

 

Some topics covered in our group meetings:

The right foods to be eating on the go to give you the energy you so desperately deserve
Easy ways to integrate exercise into your already busy life
Tips and gentle exercises to reduce stress and get a better nights sleep
Ways to increase your energy throughout the day
Healthy AND easy delicious recipes

 

What if I told you in 6 weeks YOU will be exercising regularly and eating healthfully and LOVING it?!

Would you believe me? Would you trust in yourself to do it?  This time you can, and we will support you to keep you accountable to ensure you get there.

 

Find early bird prices here.        

WE (me and Mina) are SO looking forward to meeting and supporting you as you change your life. 

 

Love,

SJ

 


Get Juicy.

by Stacey Jayne in


 BEFORE hallway

BEFORE hallway

 BEFORE entry way

BEFORE entry way

This DIY project has turned into a really self reflective experience. I wasn't expecting to want to share it with you, but here it goes...

Painting my front entryway started with dirty yellow walls, damaged plaster and a dream.  A little bit about me: I LOVE painting walls. It's calming, gratifying and just a totally zen activity for me. I grew up watching episodes of "This Old House" with my Dad and I truly loved them as much as he did. Of course it wasn't until AFTER I started to paint that I realized the extent of the damage to the walls and the stairs. It's amazing how painting walls from yellow to white can bring out the truth.

(Lesson number one: It's difficult to know what will go right or wrong until you actually jump in and start.)

That week my dad came over and helped me repair an area that was buckling from past water damage. For a moment I thought to myself... mmm I probably should have done this BEFORE I painted. Then he pointed out about 15 other places I could mend with putty, so I spent the rest of that day filling cracks, letting that dry, then smoothing them out with a damp sponge to make it look even. That was really fun for me too, again very gratifying watching the hallway transform. The next day I bought some semi gloss white for the trim and got to work. LOVED that too. Now that the trim was looking so good the whole area felt completely different. So new, sunny and open.

Now it was time to check out the stairs. It wasn't until I started priming them that I realized how much work it was going to be. By applying the primer I revealed all the holes and scuffs and gaps. LOTs of them and some very deep. At one point I thought damn... this sucks.

(Lesson number two: Taking steps with out fully knowing how it will go (gasp!) will lead you to... TAAA DAAA... the next logical steps. Very exciting.)

I had our super intendant come over to coach me a bit about the best way to fill all of the gaps and how I should approach painting the stairs they way I envisioned them. I wanted to make it as simple as possible by painting part of them white so I wouldn't have to tape the trim.

(Lesson number three: When you get stuck, outsource. There is always some one who knows more than you about that thing that you are doing who would love to help you. They MAY even congratulate you for doing an awesome job.)

He totally talked me out of doing it the simple way. He mentioned that having dark brown stairs especially in high traffic areas (kids, dogs, heels, work boots, etc) will keep me from going absolutely bonkers. He said I would go crazy wanting to clean the white areas and when they chip and scuff- which they will quickly- it would show up right away. He then told me which caulk to get and how to apply it. He also advised me to buck up and start with the trim first and to get that all done before doing the easy part. He even said- Hey good job... I'd hire you. YAY!

(Lesson number four: Invite those into your project who you know will support you. It feels good.)

So... here I am about to caulk and paint and go for it. I'm not done yet with this project and I'll post pics when I am, but I wanted to share how important these lessons have been for me. Of course painting my hallway is a lot more tangible than starting a business or changing one's diet, but it's taught me how to approach those other things that WE JUST NEED TO GET STARTED.

Before I began I was really focused on the outcome: A beautiful new hallway and gorgeous stairs that would be so breath-taking I will surely be featured on apartment therapy. The whole time I continue to reference the beauty of my goal, and it's not hard to continue to move forward.

(Final lesson (so far): For some of us having very visual or tangible reminders of the beauty of our goals is a giant help.)

Some things seem like a big deal, but you know you gotta do it, so forge ahead. Don't pay too much attention to how it gets done, you just keep moving forward and amazingly enough you'll notice it's happening! You'll make a mistake or two, but who cares? You are gettin' shit done. You are feeling good. You are moving forward.

NOW! Here is where you come in: Dig into your gut to find a project or a goal that you've been mulling over or avoiding and INVISION THE BIG BEAUTIFUL OUTCOME.

What does it (the big beautiful outcome) look like? (It will feel clean, organized and finally free of clutter, cracks and stains.)

What will it feel like? (It will feel so nice every single time I walk into our apartment. I realized that I was always annoyed when I walked through the hallway and that's like 20 times a day! I deserve to feel good in my home.)

How will you feel when you get there? (I will feel proud, sexy and accomplished. I will have done it myself with the help and support of  those who think I'm capable.)

Take time to answer those questions for yourself. Get juicy. Have some alone time with them.

What visual reminders will help you? (For me it's the stairs remaining only half done- for you maybe it will be other things that make it easy to visualize what you want.)  Only you know the answers. No answers are wrong or stupid. You decide how detailed to get and what the rules are. I totally believe in you and I fully adore you for being brave.

Courageously yours,

SJ


More on my elimination diet.

by Stacey Jayne in


Not much to report actually. I've been avoiding caffeine, which isn't so hard for me. I only drink a cup of tea in the morning, so it's not biggie to leave it out. On the first day I had a green smoothie from my favorite juice bar in Brooklyn followed by a green juice. After that I had some fruit, some raw and roasted veggies and for dinner I had a giant baked yam with some coconut milk mashed in it and I sprinkled it with sea salt. Today I had some brown rice made with almond milk and water. I added chia seeds and blueberries too. Delish. I had roasted root veggies and a handfull of walnuts & cashews for lunch. For a snack I had an apple cut up with sunflower butter. Yum. For dinner I made some lentil veggie stew. It rocked. The most wonderful piece of news is that I haven't had a holiday cookie in 3 days. Which is really big- it probably had been almost 30 days straight of cookie celebrating. I'm talking 2-4 every day. I was REALLY into them. It was so awesome. I also made a couple of cakes- my fav was the pecan pie I made. Whoa. It was borderline wrong. So good. So I ate and snacked and enjoyed my sweets this holiday. It felt right. Then I finally felt done. I had had enough. So I ate cookies for about 3 more days and stopped.

devine goodness

POST ELIMINATION DIET INFO:

This whole experience was amazing. I've done this before and found the same answers again. If you have a gut feeling that you are sensitive to a food- it's probably correct. I experience whats called brain fog and sluggishness when I consume wheat. Dairy makes me feel a similar way, along with making me farty. Sulfites (found in wine... BOOO!) don't like me either.

All this is wonderful information and I'm so thankful I stuck with it for the long haul. YAY!


My take on good health

by Stacey Jayne in


happy gal with chocolate croissant
One day about 8 years ago I realized it was time to feel better. I guess I believed that not only was it possible but it would be worth it. Even today, almost a decade later, my fears pop up a lot. Even as I write this I feel those fears. They linger for a while, and I realize they stink, so I try to shake them off (maybe even learn from them) and move forward.
For me healthy is joy. It's lightness. It's delicious. It's feeling full of goodness. It's fun and funny. Healthy = feeling present and accountable.
I realized this year that healthy = creativity. Healthy is singing and imagining and playing. Healthy is letting go of what is not useful and relishing what is beautiful. Healthy is knowing what is important, and trying not to get caught up in other people's games.
I have big ideas for the future of my good health. I have stuff to get excited about. I am a person that wants people know that it's ok to push it. It's ok to step outside of your comfort zone. That is where the healthy is. Healthy is learning and living. Loving and listening. There is healthy in cookies and fights and hating and searching and confusion and there's even healthy in the darkness. I wouldn't say that I've "found" the healthiest me, but something tells me that as long as I keep going I'll forget that I'm looking.
For me healthy is all of these things.
Best of healthy good thoughts to you,
SJ

 


Elimination diet step one: prepare

by Stacey Jayne in


Items to stock in your pantry and fridge:

Please use organic when you can. Treat yourself to organic foods while doing this detox- your insides will be happy.
  • dark leafy greens (dandelion greens, kale, collards, chard, bok choy, mustard greens...)
  • cabbage (all varieties)
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • onions
  • yams
  • winter squash
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • carrots
  • celery
  • avocados
  • cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • raspberries
  • pears
  • apples
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • teff
  • wild rice
  • adzuki beans
  • mung beans
  • lentils
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • flax seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • sunflower seed butter
  • wakame and nori seaweeds
  • wild salmon
  • organic chicken
  • organic ground turkey
  • organic lamb

Foods to avoid:

Red meat, processed meats, eggs, egg substitutes, milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, processed veggies, citrus fruits, strawberries, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, canned or creamed soups, sodas, alcohol, caffeine (yikes), butter, shortening, margarine, butter spreads, peanuts, peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, fructose, corn syrup

Tips:

Do a cabinet cleanse before you start. Freeze what you can. If there are foods that you know will be a real challenge to avoid get rid of them.

Buy lovely high quality herbal teas.

Buy candles and bath salts and take baths to help aid in detoxification.

Ask your family and friends for support- tell them what your goals are and be proud that you are taking steps toward a healthier you.

Realize that you may be low energy some days, and don't be hard on yourself. Not every day will feel good... the first 3 days can be hard- you may even feel sick. Try and get as much sleep as you can. Drink loads of filtered water.

Love your self. Leave a note on your bathroom or bedroom mirror that says: I think you are amazing, or you seriously rock or you smell like unicorns and sound like perfectly behaved babies.

Ok that last one may be a stretch, but you get the picture.

 

I highly recommend you buy a small notebook and use it to record what you eat. Use it as a journal during this time as well. This is your YOU experiment. You are the only one who really knows how you feel and what you want.

Do you understand how powerful that is? I sort of do... I'm getting to know more about that. I'll keep you updated as I learn more.

Keep me updated if you are joining me. I want details.

Love,

SJ

 

 

 

 


maple oats with chia

by Stacey Jayne in


Maple Oats with Chia!

1 cup of steel cut oats
1 1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cup of milk of your choice (mine is unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup (real) maple syrup

Bring the water & milk to a boil and stir in the oats and salt. Let the water and oats come back to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat. Let it cook for about 15 minutes then add the chia (If I want to get crazy I also add some raisins or goji berries). If it starts to dry out add more water. Cook for another 15 minutes or so until oats are soft or chewy as you like them & add the syrup.

Eat sitting down with a smile on your face.

Feel free to  make a big batch and enjoy over a few days. I do.

 

Love,

SJ

PS.  yr awesome

 

 

 


vegan lentil stew yummmmm

by Stacey Jayne in


Lentil Stew

So yummy.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium celery stalk, small dice
  • 2 medium carrot, peeled and small dice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (any color except red), rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    2. Add the broth, tomatoes paste, lentils, bay leaf, and thyme (and other spices you may like to add) and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer, about 15 minutes. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, covered, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes more.
    3. Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed, then stir in the vinegar.

Happy Healthy Cheat Sheet

by Stacey Jayne in


This is your

Happy Healthy Holiday

&

Kick-Ass New Year

Cheat sheet

(print and shrink to fit in your pocket if you please)

 

How to have a happy healthy holiday:

 

  1. Make your shopping list as if you were Santa. Shop with love and courage. Put your heart on your sleeve (when you can) and enjoy getting gifts for the people in your life.

  1. Don’t forget the value of a homemade gift. Frame a love poem. Make someone a t-shirt. Make a collage of old family photos for an older relative. Make cookies or cakes for your loved ones. Anything hand made is worth the time and effort because people know it was made with love.

  1. Support local shops when you can. Bigger corporations such as Walmart and Target seem to have everything you need. They make their merchandise affordable and easy to obtain. Screw them! We all know a small business owner & we (hopefully) want them to succeed. Support them during the holiday season. It may take an extra trip in the car and an extra 10% on the price tag, but after you do it you will know in your gut that you have done the right thing.

  1. Keep your own sanity a priority. The holidays are demanding in every way. Make sure you make time to keep yourself healthy so you can really enjoy them. Go for short brisk walks out doors. Schedule a short massage to release your gift bag carrying shoulders. Keep yourself hydrated with fresh filtered water. Keep your fridge stocked with fresh veggies and fruits. Make time for yourself. You are awesome and I believe you deserve the best of whatever you desire.

 

 

How to have a kick-ass 2013:

 

  1. If you are into resolutions- make the list.

  2. After you make that list, notice if there are a few items that are on it year after year (after year.)

  3. Make a different list with those special items and call it something else like “lets get serious” or “it’s time bro” or “no more BS list”. What ever you call it, know that those things have been on your mind and deserve some real attention.

  4. Break those things down into smaller lists and figure out where you need support- there are certain things we genuinely need help with sometimes. Clearly this list needs some manpower besides your own.

  5. Stop judging yourself for taking so long to get to these things. You are busy being amazing and awesome, no need to beat yourself up!

  6. Connect yourself with the support you need ASAP. For example hire someone to come and organize your closets or garage. Hire a career counselor to help with your next professional adventure. Join a weight loss support group or zumba class to get your booty shakin. What ever the need- there is a person out there who desperately wants to help you.

  7. Reward yourself for taking steps forward.  Even if they are teeny tiny steps. Forward is forward and that’s what you really want to feel, like you are getting somewhere. If you want to have a dance party when you finally organize your desk (or whatever you are working on) call me and I’ll dance with you over the phone. It will be super fun!

This list is brought to you by the words hope and love and the number 2013.

Love,
Stacey

 


How to cut added sugar OUT of your diet. In four steps.

by Stacey Jayne in


Step one:Prepare for this Courageously Healthy journey. Cutting sugar out is very difficult, especially if you are dealing with a sugar addiction. The more you prepare the better off you will be. How can you prepare? Go through your cabinets and eliminate all processed foods and beverages. They are the #one source of sugar for most people. Muffins, flavored oatmeal, snack foods, sweetened cereals, sodas, juices (even those that are all natural are very high in sugar) candies etc. If it's not inside your cabinets or fridge it's less likely to end up in yo' mouth. Don't forget to check your freezer. When you are checking out the ingredient list look for these other words that mean sugar: agave, barley malt syrup, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, dextrin, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, rice syrup, saccharose, sorghum or sorghum syrup, sucrose, syrup, treacle, turbinado sugar, xylose. All those fancy words mean SUGAR and if you are trying to control your addiction you need to get em' out! There is also mental preparation that would be nice to do. Set an intention for this experience. Find a mantra. Clean out your tub and decide to take long lavender baths by candle light every day while listening to your favorite album. Do it and think about how wonderful and loving you are... to yourself (inside and out). You totally deserve to feel in control of what you put in your mouth.

Step two:Inform your support system. Inform those in your immediate circle of being (who you live with, work with and who ever you spend your time with) that this is a time of transition. Tell them that you are experimenting with your diet by removing sugar. Ask for their support. If they make any jokes or make you feel stupid for doing this- tell them that your are serious! Then find another friend who will say- "Hey congrats gorgeous, you rock!" followed by giving you a big hug. Maybe even post it on Twitter or Facebook. Perhaps you will find a friend that will do it with you! Or tell me, I'll send you a cyber high-five.

Step three:Shop. This is the fun part, at least I think so. Decide what you will be eating instead of processed foods. I love oatmeal (Quick, regular or steel cut oats, cook in water and you can add some milk if you like too. Add nuts, raisins, cinnamon, chia seeds, gogi berries, blue berries etc.) for breakfast, eggs n toast (look for whole grain), banana and almond butter, pancakes (whole grains please). For lunch I like a salad, a wrap, rice (brown) and beans, yogurt (try greek or plain soy) with fruit or nuts. Some healthy snacks are fruit, cut up veggies, nuts, hummus and carrots, a smoothie. For dinner I like a good stir-fry, baked chicken or salmon, roasted veggies. There are tons of easy options when it comes to home cooked meals. If you are a newbie realize that it an take about 15-30 minutes to prepare your dish, so leave yourself the time. Get your kitchen ready for this too- light candles, put on a cute apron, music, make yourself a cup of tea with lemon to get your digestion working. Put a sign on your fridge that says: You rock or You got this dude or You deserve to feel fantastic. Do what you need to do to enjoy this time you are taking for your health.

The food you eat becomes your blood, your thoughts, your life. You are what you eat. Simple and true. 

Step four:Hydrate and circulate. Drink water my friend. If you are a sugar addict you may experience mood swings, head aches, unexpected emotions, anxiety etc. Who knows what will come up. Drink water- add lemon if you like. Drink it in a fancy glass or mug with your pinky in the air. Circulate your positive thoughts- shake off the negative ones the best you can and let positivity rule. Reference your intention or mantra many times a day. This will feel forced in the beginning but in time they will be a source of solace for you. If all else fails use my mantra: I am, I can, I will.

Sending you love and strength to do this.
 killer carrot ginger soup with whole grain bread

killer carrot ginger soup with whole grain bread

Love,
SJ
P.S. Don't forget to chew your food. Digestion starts in yo' mouth. Chew it all real good so you can really taste what you are eating. Your taste for foods will shift during this transformation. I would LOVE to hear from you about this too- feel free to share what you experience.

Friends and Ghosts

by Stacey Jayne in


 tell me everything she says. you rock she says. im so glad you are my friend she says.

tell me everything she says. you rock she says. im so glad you are my friend she says.

So.

There is something in your life that takes lots of brain space. Maybe it’s your weight. Or you want to shift careers. Perhaps you maintain relationships that are out of balance. Maybe you rely on meds to contain a condition that you suspect you can heal naturally. Whatever the case, there is something that the voice in your head is relentless about. Your friends watch you struggle with this… THING.

The voice in your head that has its own opinion of what’s going on too. You know what I’m talking about, yes?

I’m in the same place as you are.

That darn voice in my head… so full of fear at times and so good at making the same choices that I’ve been making my whole life. I’m not sure if it’s the voice of my parents, certain teachers or if it grew from watching too much TV in the 80s. It doesn’t really matter where my ghoulish inner voice came from- it’s scary and never believes in me. When you continuously listen to that voice - it becomes the story of your life; otherwise known as your thoughts. In the spirit of the season it’s like constantly being visited by my ghosts.

When I run into an uncomfortable moment, the voice in my head suggests I eat something. Sometimes it also thinks I should avoid what I’m doing completely so I can feel comfortable again. Something crunchy is best like crackers or tortilla chips. While you’re chewing (the voice suggests) why don’t you check facebook, then do a few other things that have zero importance, i.e. clean some thing, pick at your face, clean out your email inbox? Then something I can chew again, cuz chewing and eating are feelings I’m familiar with, and I’ve recognized that they ease me. Chewing calms me big time. Strange I know- I’m working on it.

You too? Phew I thought I was alone here.

Well… I’m trying to be a better friend to me. I’m getting this new chapter of my life going and I’m constantly running into my old ghosts. What would I say to a friend who had similar issues? I would say: I love you so freakin much. Take some deep breaths. Drink a large glass of water and give it 15 minutes before you decide if you are actually hungry. Brush your teeth. Go for a walk or listen to your favorite song. Call a friend to talk about what’s REALLY happening in your life, make sure to bring up what you're struggling with, then bring up where you are headed! Make sure you are clear about where you are headed- make it delicious.

The truth is this: Young women need (NEED) to be better friends with themselves if they want to be successful. They need to care for their bodies, hearts and minds - the way one friend truly cares for another. A friend is a partner, not a leader, not a follower. By making friends with my body I’m learning to care for it – love it like I would a friend. When you have an amazing friend in your life, it’s easy to know what she would do for you. Just ask her. Or ask me; I'm now your friend.

Hugs and loving ghoulish thoughts to you.

Love,

SJ


Love is strange.

by Stacey Jayne in


So I've been doing this whole better myself and save the world thing now for a hot minute and have noticed a few things. 1. I feel joy. Like big hearty keep ya warm on a chilly night joy. It grew on it's own. Learning to care for others grew my joy. I must say I'm happy about this because I didn't do very well with my little garden this summer. I'll take home grown joy any day though!

2. There is space. Space in my life to do things that are important to me and space in my brain to recognize that.

3. I love you. I don't know how to explain this fully, especially if you are reading this and we don't know each other. But I do. I love you. I feel love for you. I am positive that if you don't over think it too much you can feel it too.

And that is all.

Love,

SJ


spreading the word

by Stacey Jayne in


"The world of tomorrow will be, must be, a society based on non-violence. That is the first law; out of it all other blessings will flow. It may seem a distant goal, an impractical Utopia. But it is not in the least unobtainable, since it can be worked for here and now. An individual can adopt the way of life of the future--the non-violent way--without having to wait for others to do so. And if an individual can do it, cannot whole groups of individuals? Whole nations? People often hesitate to make a beginning because they feel that the objective cannot be achieved in its entirety. This attitude of mind is precisely our greatest obstacle to progress--an obstacle that each person, if they only will it, can clear away."

Mahatma Gandhi

 

I believe that everyone is unique and requires different nutrition and life style habits. When a person learns to listen to his or her body, he will know how much of any particular food group is required for him to feel healthy. We are living in a time when the major illnesses that are making our loved ones sick are mostly diet related. We live in a world where the desire for convenience and pleasure leads us to unhealthy nourishment. But we can turn that around. There is a solution to better health in this country.

There are warnings these days on tobacco products. The warnings are harsh but truthful, and people now are becoming more aware and choosing accordingly. What would happen if our favorite fast food chain that makes sub sandwiches told you that you are hitting the max for sodium intake in one sub sandwich? And what if another giant fast food chain told you that when you order that milkshake with your meal you are consuming over ONE CUP of sugar? There is a reason why kids are being diagnosed with type II diabetes - what was once called adult onset diabetes. It’s the food they are eating and with the right knowledge and support they can truly thrive.

I believe we need to start with kids to educate and support them as they make choices- choices that will save their lives and the planet.

I like to make information available in a fun and supportive way. I like kids to work in groups so they feel they are part of a community AND realize that they are truly unique in their needs. I like kids to be armed with the truth about whole foods, exercise and self-care. Being young is a journey without a map. Let them make their own!

Love,

SJ


found: amazing website.

by Stacey Jayne in


http://www.sustainabletable.org/home.php Check em out.

Here is some info from their site:

"Every day, more and more consumers are shopping smarter, eating healthier, and enjoying an abundance of fresh, locally-grown products. Sustainable Table was created to celebrate this fast-growing, dynamic movement, to educate consumers on food-related issues, and to help build community through food.

Today’s dominant form of agriculture relies on synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, large amounts of water, major transportation systems and factory-style practices for raising livestock and crops.  Artificial hormones in milk, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, mad cow disease, and large-scale outbreaks of potentially deadly e.coli are all associated with this industrial form of food production.

Sustainable agriculture involves food production methods that are healthy, do not harm the environment, respect workers, are humane to animals, provide fair wages to farmers, and support farming communities.  But rather than focus on the problems, Sustainable Table promotes the positive shift toward local, small-scale sustainable farming."


Eating after vacation

by Stacey Jayne in


Vacation usually starts strong willed, doesn't it? Day one I went for my only run of the week. There was a couple of bike rides we enjoyed as well during the week... but mostly I read, slept, played and feasted.

Vacation is a special time where (hopefully) people are doing solely what feels right. And that is exactly what I did! A week in the Outer Banks NC was all it took to fully relax my bones and inspire my taste buds. I didn't stick to my vegan diet completely, but I came pretty darn close.

It was the crab cakes that got me.

And OH... they were DIVINE! But now I'm back in Bklyn and loving my vegan updates and lessons from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She rocks and makes the journey VERY easy. I'm on day 23.

Being away on vaca was helpful for me. It reminds me what people are eating most days. Now let me start by saying that I'm not perfect. I crave chocolate and treats of all kinds just like the rest of the world. However I really truly strive to avoid artificial stuff in my food. Artificial stuff is everywhere! Health claims are written on packaged foods like crazy! A health claim is a statement written on a package that makes you want to buy it regardless if it is true or not. For example: "Heart Healthy" is one, "Fresh" is another, "Natural" is a great one etc. There are lots. I love it when they write things like "NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP" yet the item is filled with lots of other junk.

Look, artificial flavorings, colors, and sweeteners are plain old gross. Avoid them when you can like the plague. Why? Because It's simply not real food. It's bad for your brain, your health and the whole planet. Trust me. I'm super nice and don't lie.

Read labels. Do you recognize what the ingredients are? If you don't, go home and look it up. Do you like what you find? Do your homework when it comes to the foods you eat. Your body will thank you and you will be part of the solution that brings people back to eating real food. Here are a few other things to avoid while you are at it: aspartame (in some yogurts and cereals), MSG (in some tortilla chips, boxed grains and canned soups), and anything that has been partially or fully hydrogenated (in some breads, chips, crackers etc). Consumption of hydrogenated oil has been linked with diabetes, coronary disease, and obesity in a wide number of scientific studies. So, yuk. AVOID THOSE THINGS CUZ YOU LOVE YOURSELF.

Going back to my family vaca... It was really wonderful! We had some delicious meals and really enjoyed each other. I'm so very thankful and lucky to have them!

BUT now we are back to real life in brooklyn and I'm left answering the question: how to clean up the bod after a leisurly calorie filled vaca?

Here are a few tips that work for me every time.

1. Water. Drink lots of water. Add lemon if you like.

2. Get back to your routine right away, do the laundry, and dive back into life!

3. Find support if your brain is stuck on the beach- maybe a friend who wants to go for an evening walk or share a healthy recipe.

4. Green juices are great if you have access to a juicer, but lots of greens in general is also wonderful. Kale, broccoli, zuchini, edamame, snap peas etc. Go get 'em.

5. (This is my favorite) Be kind to your self. Vacations are temporary and wonderful and filled with goodness. Don't stress when you get home- honor that good week and move on. Remind yourself that you rock and that now your body deserves kind attention. You have better things to do than stress about the small stuff.

Enjoy yourself.

Love,

SJ