Monthly Archives: January 2016

Acceptance Into Graduate School

getPartI found out a few weeks ago I was accepted into the University of Bridgeport, Masters in Human Nutrition (online) program. I will start classes at the end of April 2016 and nothing (professionally speaking) has ever felt more right. I know some might think I am crazy to return to school and they might be right, but I know in my heart this is the right path for me.

Why do I want to go back to school?
In the past couple of years, I have had a strong desire to pursue a masters degree, but I just could not decide on the specific degree that felt right. I considered a Masters in Nursing so I could become a Nurse Practitioner. I meditated on it a lot and realized nursing does not bring me pleasure, nor am I not passionate about it. That does not mean I think it is a bad career,bad, it just simply means it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life. It is also why I work in research now and not in a hospital. The message that kept coming up for me was to follow your passion in nutrition. Do what you love and love what you do.

How will I balance work, school, a baby and life?
I expect this to be a little challenging at times, but when you really want something in life, then you will make sacrifices and do whatever it takes. This may mean I will not watch television for the next three years. Or that I will get up early everyday to study and every hour of my day will probably be scheduled leaving very little free time. However, when we are on the right path and following our passions, then we do not mind giving up the small things so we can chase our dreams. I am okay with all these sacrifices because it is all worth it to me.

Why did I choose to Human Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport?
I chose the Human Nutrition Program because it has an integrative and holistic perspective interwoven into learning how to assess and counsel a client. The program’s courses are built on the foundation in human physiology, biochemistry, biochemical individuality, human development, functional assessment and nutritional therapeutics. This aligns with my health beliefs and the way I want to practice in the future.

What do I plan to do after graduation?
My dream is to work as a Clinical Nutritionist (CN) and open a private nutritional counseling practice using functional medicine concepts to help others achieve their optimal health and prevent chronic diseases. The counseling will help clients uncover the root cause of their symptoms and develop a health plan to help balance their body. My specialties will be in food allergies and intolerances, autoimmunity, gastrointestinal disorders (like irritable bowel) and disordered eating. My dream is to work with clients remotely, as well as hopefully have a facility where I can see patients, facilitate cooking and nutrition classes and teach yoga. A girl can dream, right?

I see this as something I will love doing and want to do forever. I often hear people talk about how they cannot wait to retire so they can finally start living the life they have always wanted to live. I do not ever want to be that person. I want to do work that I love and am passionate about so I never want to retire.

How does this fit into my 2016 goals and desired feelings?

This new journey completely aligns with my core desired feelings of love, joy, centered and femininity. I am following my passion (love), which makes me just want to scream for joy. I meditated on this decision a lot and everytime my message was to follow my passion. I believe when we are on the right path and doing what we love, then we naturally will be centered. Lastly, femininity, this makes me feel good and when we feel good, then we look good.

Now, go follow your passions and dreams!


The Pivotal Moment

IMG_0424I recently wrote about my core desired feelings in relation to my 2016 goals. I keep feeling the need to write about a pivotal moment that I failed to mention in my last post. I somewhat mentioned it, but I didn’t expand on it and I am not really sure why. Maybe I didn’t because it makes me feel vulnerable and somewhat exposed. But, I have thought about it and think it is important to share because it might help someone out there. And, if I can help one person, then it’s worth being a little vulnerable on my blog.

I mentioned in my last post that my husband told me he wanted me to work on seeing myself the way he sees me, but there is more to this story. After visiting our families for Christmas, we came back to Carlsbad, CA and went for a long walk the next day. We talked about our goals and I told him how the core desired feelings were changing how I set my goals. He listened and was very supportive like he always is with me. Even though I am sure he was thinking, “she is crazy.” And, he is kind of right. Then he told me about his personal and professional goals along with some things he wanted to do in 2016. He said he would even do a vision board with me this year. I was shocked, but so excited to work on them together. I started creating a vision board a couple years ago and have been amazed at how so many of the things really happen. I am a huge fan of them and hang mine in the back of my closet so I can see it every morning.

He asked me if there was anything I wanted him to work on this year. I wasn’t expecting this question, but I thought what an interesting twist to goal setting. I thought about it for a bit, but didn’t really have anything specific. Luckily, there isn’t anything that he does or doesn’t do that really bothers me or I think he needs to change. We have the type of relationship that if there is something bothering us that we talk about it. So I won’t share the details of my response because he might not like that, but it was basically something along the lines of I want him to realize how talented he is in design. Designers often have a very critical viewpoint of their work, which makes them good at their jobs, but it is also hard on them. I think he is amazingly talented and just want him to see it too because sometimes I see that it can hold him back. I just want him to go for whatever he wants in his career. I support him and his professional goals 100 percent.

Then it was my turn. What does he want me to work on in 2016? It was silent for a moment and pretty sure my heart was doing flip flops in my stomach during that time. Then he said, “I want you to be confident. I want you to feel comfortable in your body. I wish you could see what I see when I look at your body. You look great, but you always cover yourself up. You don’t put out that confidence that other girls do, even if maybe those girls are too confident.” Thank goodness I had sunglasses on that day because tears instantly filled my eyes and started streaming down my face. My heart really felt like it dropped, not because I was hurt by his words, but because I knew he was right. It is one thing to personally have these thoughts, but for someone who is so close to you to say them out loud is gut wrenching, at least it was for me. It was definitely a pivotal moment in my life and for the way I will go about my goals this year.

I needed to hear exactly what my husband said to me that day. It made it real for me, like I cannot hide from those feelings anymore. It’s time to start focusing on it and changing it. I am not saying it is something that will change for me over night, but self love and body acceptance is something I can work on. Just being aware of it is the first step to creating change. So since that day on our walk I have already started to incorporate a few things towards creating the desired changes. I have been doing guided meditations on self love and acceptance and use affirmations. When I look in the mirror and have negative body talk, I have been rephrasing those thoughts in my mind. I set my intentions for my yoga practice to create self love. If I look in the mirror during practice and think “you look fat,” then I change it to “look how strong you are right now.” And, everytime I bring my hands to heart center, I say to myself “I love you and accept you.” These things may seem silly to some, but it’s surprising the affect they can have on you. Try some of them out and see what it does for you.

I have thought about all of this in relation to raising my daughter. During one of my guided meditations, it said to think about how you feel when you look at someone you have unconditional love for, like a spouse, child or pet. I instantly thought of the moment I see my daughter when picking her up from daycare and how excited she is to see me. She crawls over to me as fast as she can and gives me the biggest smile and hug. It truly is the best feeling in the world and my heart is completely full at that moment. In the meditation, it says to think of that feeling, now feel that same love for yourself. What? Are you kidding me? I don’t feel that much love towards myself. That is when I realized how important it is for me to continue working on this right now. All I could hear was “put the oxygen mask on first before assisting others.” I have to take care of me and love me before I can truly love others. I want her to be confident and feel loved so I must change now.

I share this with you because I think a lot of people can probably relate. Please do not think I hate myself because that is not true. I just don’t see myself or have as much compassion for myself as I would like and want to change those thoughts because they are just that, thoughts. I think we are all critical of ourselves to some degree, but we don’t always talk about it because we are ashamed or embarassed. I believe talking about it brings awareness to it and helps us heal. I share with you my story as part of my healing journey towards love and acceptance.

~With Love


2016 Resolutions and Goals

I typically love January 1st because it is the time of the year for setting resolutions and goals. January feels like a clean slate to me and like anything is possible, as long as I set a goal and make a plan to tackle it head on. However, this year I am approaching things a little differently then I have in years past.

I recently read the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and fell in love with the concept of setting goals around your core desired feelings. It suggests that whenever we are setting a goal, we are really just trying to create a feeling. For example, if we set a goal to lose ten pounds this year, ultimately we are saying we want to feel better, have more energy, feel good in our clothes etc. This concept really resonates with me because it allows me to feel more in control and admittedly, I am a control freak.

I completed the workbook in the back of the Desire Map and determined my four core desired feelings for 2016, which I can change at anytime, are 1) love 2) joyful, 3) femininity, and 4) centered/grounded. I chose the word love because to me I want to feel in love, you know how you feel when you first start dating someone. I have been married for over 10 years now and had a baby eight months ago. It is easy to get caught up with the demands of daily life and not keep the romance alive. I don’t want that to ever happen to us. Just to clarify, I have a wonderful relationship with my husband, but there is always room to make it better. Also, I want to give love and by that I mean I want others to feel loved when they are around me. It might be something as simple as giving someone a hug or supporting a friend. Lastly, I want to work on loving myself. I, like many women, have a hard time seeing my own beauty and often struggle with body acceptance. My husband told me he wanted me to work on seeing myself the way he sees me. He loves me for me and the way I look. He even notices the small things, like if I wear a different color eye liner. So this year I commit to learning self acceptance. This is so important to me because I want to raise a daughter who has self-confidence and not afraid of the world. I want her to do great things and follow whatever her passions may be. I have to be her role model though because I believe in leading by example. It will be challenging, but my love for her is so strong that I am willing to put in the work.

Joyful is really my underlying desired feeling. I want to feel more joy in all aspects of my life and be present for those moments. So instead of just having a goal to run another half marathon. My goal is to enjoy my runs and not worry about my pace. Let them be meditative and time for me to think.  This goes along with my other desired feeling of centered. When I am present and not distracted by my phone, Facebook etc, then I feel centered. Yoga really helps me to be grounded so this year I will focus on my yoga practice. I plan to take a workshop every month, as well as take as many classes as I can a week.

My last desired feeling is femininity. I chose this one because often I feel frumpy or ugly or out of style and I don’t want to feel that way. I want to feel pretty, confident, and stylish. Focusing on my femininity will also help with increasing self confidence and body acceptance. Something so simple as painting my nails or putting on some lip gloss can help me feel attractive, which creates a snowball affect. When I look good, then I feel good, which makes me want to go out to do things, be more social, and be more confident in things, like public speaking, or work.

So this year I may not have specific goals, like lose 10 pounds, but by following my core desired feelings I will naturally do more yoga, enjoy exercise, go on more dates with my husband, be kind to myself, but most importantly be happy with where I am with life.  I think it will be a great year and one I am really looking forward to seeing what it brings.

Please feel free to share your core desired feelings for 2016. I would love to hear about them and how they changed your goals for the year. Be sure to check the Real Foodie Friends podcast on Monday. Erin and I discuss our core desired feelings, goals and resolutions. We are biased, but it is definitely our best episode yet!

~Eat well, be well