Are bad habits dimming your light?

I just finished another month of teaching and training at Rancho la Puerta in Tecate Mexico.  It is a true honor to be able to do what I love at the world’s oldest and most popular fitness and wellness spas. 

I am often asked what it is like to live and work at a spa. While the majority of my days involve leading hikes, personal training, and teaching 2-5 fitness/yoga classes, I also take advantage of every moment and soak up as much knowledge from other instructors and the guest speakers that come in every week.

A big theme of Ranch life is “mindfulness” and living in a cell-phone free environment has been a true gift. It has forced me to come face to face with a bad habit. A habit that I absolutely KNOW dims my light. I have a confession to make. 

I multi-task 


Why just eat, when I can eat and check my emails. Why just fold laundry, when I can fold and listen to a Ted Talk, and of course the thought of going for a run without my music started to freak me out! I realized that except for my daily mediation, my brain was always performing (not very well) double time. Just like our physical bodies cannot perform at their highest level when constantly taxed, your mind also needs a break. 

“To be everywhere is to be nowhere” – Seneca 

Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t watch the news while cooking dinner, or listen to a podcast during your morning commute. But, for me I know that reading, watching, and/or listening to my phone or iPad keeps me from being present and is a way that I distract myself from feeling deeply and facing life. 

Most of us have some form of personal coping habit that we use to hide from life. For some people it is having 1 or 2 glasses of wine every night, for others it is binge-watching Netflix. Even being endlessly productive or being an excessive caregiver can be a way of hiding from unresolved issues, unhealed wounds or challenging conversations. 

We are here on this planet – at this time – TO SHINE! 

Are there any activities or habits that are dimming your light? 

What might you need to take away OR what can you ADD into your life to feel more whole, more authentically you? 

I am big on baby steps, so I now eat my dinners with no iPad, no phone and no book. If I am eating salad, I am one with my salad :) I even started going for runs and hikes without my music, and I always return with a sense of lightness and peace of mind. 

I hope this little exercise on mindfulness helps you shine a little brighter!

5 Tips To Stay Healthy And Balanced As A Busy Entrepreneur

My friend, Tamara Jacobi AKA “Jungle Girl” is the founder of Tailwind Jungle Lodge, an eco-retreat center here in San Pancho, Mexico. This jungle lodge idea was sparked from a college course, which she in turn made into a reality by literally building it, rock by rock, from the ground up. She is currently writing a book about her story, “Wild Entrepreneurship: A Real Life Jungle Book” – an inspiring look at entrepreneurs who are living their life by design and a little off the beaten path. I was honored to share with her my tips for staying healthy and balanced as a busy entrepreneur:
1. You are not what you eat, you are what you absorb!

We all know to eat organic whole foods – fruits and vegetables, meats and whole grains, but if you are not absorbing all the nutrients, your health (mental, physical, sleep, etc) can suffer. I highly recommend having a food sensitivity test, or doing an elimination diet to really get clear on the proper foods that are right for you.

2. When it comes to your workouts, always have a plan B.

There are going to be times a kid is sick or your meeting runs late, and you cannot make your workout. Have an exercise video, a regular run, a 2nd exercise class time, or written workout plan that you can do at home. No excuses.

3. Plan fun into every day.

Fun isn’t just for weekends. For me, exercise IS fun so I kill two birds with one stone. My friends and I have Taco Tuesday Fight Night – We box, we eat tacos, and then watch a movie. You may not have 4 hours to commit to fun, but try to plan at least 10 minutes (out of 1,440!) of joy into your day. Because if you are not feeling joy, then what if the point?

4. Breathe in gratitude.

I take a few minutes everyday to FEEL grateful. Sometimes it is during my morning meditation, or when I walk my dogs. I take deep breathes and thank the universe for x,y,z. It always makes my not-so-good days better and my good days – AMAZING!

5. Breathe some more.

I am big on breathing. You can use your breath to calm your mind in the middle of a crazy day (or yoga class), or you can use your breath to bring power and energy to your body. 20 years ago, my boyfriend at the time was heavy into martial arts and yoga. He taught me a breathing pattern, that I believe is similar to Apnea breathing. It is something I practice almost nightly while I am in bed, before I fall asleep. It is a 1-4-2 breath count. Meaning, breathe in for 1 count, hold for 4 counts, breathe out for 2 counts. I typically breathe in for 7, hold for 28, and breathe out for 14. Long exhalations, are scientifically proven to calm your nervous system. I also breathe to power myself up. My close friends make fun of me because before I do anything “big” like point my bike down a steep trail, or speak in public, I always give it a big (loud), quick exhale before I begin.

Simple right? It really can be this easy to stay healthy during busy times. These are just 5 out of 10 tips I shared with Tamara. You’ll have to wait for her book to see the rest!

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe – 3 ways to raise your vibration TODAY!

We have all heard the expression, “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” But did you know that is physiologically true? At a basic level we are all energy, and energy has power, positive and negative. LIKE literally attracts LIKE. Your vibration sets off a chain reaction that will attract people and situations that match your energy. If you are a genuinely positive individual, your energy or vibration will attract other genuinely positive individuals. But if you are just “trying” to be positive and not truly embodying the emotion, your energy or vibration will attract others vibrating at a similar frequency. Here are 3 ways you can go from “trying” to actually (and authentically) raising your vibe!

IMG_18781. Wake Up On Purpose:

How often do you wake up on purpose? Not just to make breakfast, dress the kids, or check your inbox – but to wake up with a purpose! How do you want to FEEL? Take a moment after waking and sit, breathe, and think of 3 things that make you happy. I bet you will actually start to smile, and that smile begins to raise your vibration – the energy you emit out to the world. Starting your day with the intent of being happy or joyful will set in motion the energy to attract joyful people and joyful experiences. I like to think about my Sadie Bug –>

Even when someone throws a wrench in your plan, or a bowl of cereal on your clothes, or doesn’t get your coffee order right – can you see the humor in the situation, or find anything positive? Or do you always go right into doom and gloom mode? When you look for the positive in everyday situations you are also raising your vibration…

2. Flex Your Optimism Muscle:

Truly. It is a practice. You may not be able to control everything in your life, but do get to CHOOSE how you react to things and in turn how you see your world.

I often hear people automatically default to negativity. Whether it be at the grocery store – “I always get the slow line!.” Driving to work – “Why doesn’t anyone know how to drive!” And even at the gym – “I can’t believe someone took ‘my’ treadmill!”

I am a genuinely positive person, but of course there have been times in my life when I wasn’t always happy on the inside and that reflected in my reactions to things. After my divorce, I made a conscious effort to look for the good in every situation. I flexed my positivity muscle. If I had a negative thought, I would immediately tell myself a different story. I had to do that for quite some time until it wasn’t a conscious decision any longer. Some mindset “gurus” tell people to say “Cancel-Cancel” after a negative word or thought – whatever works for you.

The point is to become conscious to your negativity. Become aware of that inner voice (or outer voice) that spews unhappy comments towards yourself or others.

Yes, sometimes there are crappy things that WILL happen to all of us, but you always have a choice of how you will react and for HOW LONG you are going to dwell in crap-land.

This past October, I missed my flight down to Mexico where I spend my winters. It had just started snowing in Park City that morning and I was excited to escape for the season, but I also had a ton of work to do before my first retreat guests arrived. Bummer. I believe everything happens for a reason, so I was racking my brain trying to see the good in that situation. We drove back to Park City from the airport and I immediately went to the boxing gym and had one last workout with my favorite trainer. Ok, that was pretty good… and I stayed extra long because I didn’t want to walk out in the snow :) The next day I landed in Puerto Vallarta and saw my good friend, Steve, at the airport. He invited me to his house for dinner that evening. It was magical, and had I made my flight the day before I definitely would not have had that experience. I told Steve that he was the reason I missed my flight!

Was it really? I will never know, but why not? It may sound a little naive to walk around with rose-colored glasses on, but I sure prefer roses to crap.

IMG_65063) Go On A Complaining Diet:
I got this one from, Tracy Di Nunzio, the founder of She was born with spina bifida, which is a congenital birth defect where your vertebrae do not form around your spinal cord. She began to paint during her recovery from surgeries and had to crawl around the floor (to paint) because she could not stand upright. She became bitter and began complaining until she read some words by Stephen Hawking.

He said, ‘When you complain, nobody wants to help you.’ So simple and so true.


“If you spend your time focusing on the things that are wrong, then that is what you express and project to people you know. You don’t become a source of growth for people, you become a source of destruction for people. That draws more destructiveness.”

Tracy also put herself on a complaining diet – She would not let herself complain about any situation, and also would not let herself think anything negative about it!

Love that!

Being an optimistic person has many benefits. Not only does positive energy have a lightness to it, but you will feel physically uplifted and mentally calm. And really when was the last time you wanted to hang out with a grouch? People are naturally attracted to positive people, so begin your day with a smile, flex your optimism muscle, and start that complaining diet because…



COCONUTS – Certified “Awesome”

If I could certify my favorite things as “AWESOME”, Coconuts would be at the top of my list.

My fondest childhood memories are of visits to family in Hawaii. Stringing leis with Tutu (my grandmother), fishing and snorkeling off my uncle’s boat and huge meals of Kalbi (Korean BBQ), Kailua pig, poi (yes, I love poi), and haupia (coconut pudding). Coconut has always been magic to me, but for many years it got a bad rap – “…Too high in saturated fat, it will clog your arteries, etc. ” Fortunately, we now know better and the health benefits of coconut cannot be denied…

imageCOCONUT OIL – The fat in coconut is a Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) which is processed by the liver quickly and immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat. It is very thermogenic meaning it increases energy expenditure and you burn more calories.

Coconut oil stabilizes blood sugar – it helps glucose enter your cells, slowing and reducing insulin levels in the blood.

Studies also show that the consumption of MCT actually improves brain function in mild Alzheimer’s patients.

Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut are Lauric acid, so when digested it can kill pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi!

COCONUT WATER- Contains potassium and magnesium and rehydrates the body while reducing inflammation.

Living in Mexico, I feel so fortunate to get fresh coconuts anytime I want. If you do not have a coconut stand on your corner, grab some from the market but BEWARE most coconut waters you see in the markets (yes, even WholeFoods) are pasteurized and/or from concentrate (double pasteurized). And don’t let the “flash-pasteurized” label make you feel better… It is basically saying,

“I am going to hit you in the face, but don’t worry because it will be quick.”

It is still a hit. And in the coconut water world it means it is still killing all the nutrients and enzymes. Who does this? Brands like C2O, Naked Juice, O.N.E, Vita Coco, Zico, Purity Organic, Amy & Brian’s, etc. YIKES. So what does that leave? I personally have only found one brand – Harmless Harvest. It is the one that looks pink!

Here are 4 ways I incorporate coconut into my days:


imageIt is no secret that I love my post-workout smoothie bowl. It is one of my favorite rituals and Almond Joy (Coconut, Chocolate, Almond) is incredible!

Protein of choice, 1/2 C coconut milk, 1 C. water/ice, 2 T. chia seeds, 2 T. cacao nibs, spinach, stevia optional. Blend all and top with shredded coconut, almonds, more cacao nibs, and sea salt!







Awesome Coconut Oatmeal:
In large pot heat 1 can coconut milk + 8 cups water to gentle boil. Add 2 heaping cups steele cut oats, 1/2 maple syrup (or proffered sweetener), 1 T. Vanilla extract, 1 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut, Sea salt to taste. Reduce heat to simmer and cook an additional 35-50 minutes. Stir often.












Quick Coconut water “sports drink”:

My last 2 seasons of MTB racing this is all I used and I felt great!
Fill bottle with 1/2 water, 1/2 coconut water, pinch of sea salt



Baked Coconut Shrimp :

These are super awesome and SO EASY!!
Peel and clean shrimp.
Bowl with 1/2 cup cornstarch, salt, pepper, (optional cayenne)
Bowl 2 egg whites
Bowl 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line pan with foil and light coat of coconut oil. Dredge each shrimp in cornstarch, then egg white, then coat heavily in coconut. Place on baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes. Enjoy hot! I serve mine with honey :)




Last, but not least, I do use coconut oil on my body, lips and especially dry elbows. Whatever is left on my hands, I wipe through the ends of my hair!