Self Love Summer <3

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"Don't forget fall in love with yourself first!"

- Carrie Bradshaw

Summer time is one of the busiest times of the year for people. I can see why! Traveling all the time and weekends in the Hamptons - if you live near nyc.  

I feel like the only thing people want to focus on is how to have less responsibilities and less to-do lists. With the sunny weather and option for beach days, I find myself unmotivated to do much work let alone commit to my workout schedule.  Cooking has definitely been fine-tuned to salads and one-pot dishes to avoid being in a hot kitchen!

But what about your self-care rituals that you've been practicing all year long? Do they go out the window too? Do you just skip the workouts while on vacation and out drinking with friends while watching the sunset on the beach? Uh...yes!!! And it's ok to do so!!! I feel like people have this guilt around what they "have to do" and what they actually "want to do" to feel like themselves. It seems with our wellness oriented world that we live in, people don't feel like they are doing enough or they are made to feel guilty if they don't take yoga.

My advice to every single person...find what works for you. I know I have said this repeatedly and I want to make sure you understand that whatever self-care things you do for YOU is enough. You are enough! Self-love and feeling happy with your choices is the only thing that matters when it comes to what movement and lifestyle you're doing today.  You have to remember to love yourself and forgive yourself in order for your mind to catch up with your actions.

If you are out every weekend and only work out once a week in the summer so be it. Listen to your body. Don't feel obligated to try the keto diet or not eat breakfast because everyone you know if doing intermittent fasting.  Listen, I have an autoimmune disease so the guilt I feel for eating gluten sometimes is all on me. No one else.

5 Ways to Create Self-Love:

  1. Follow your heart: Listen to your hearts desires. Or as I like to say...listen to what your gut is telling you.  Do what makes you feel alive and at peace at the same time! If that's going to yoga or lifting weights than great. How you feel about yourself during and afterwards matters most.  Find what speaks to you heart <3.
  2. Gratefulness: Something I think works best for people to help them realize how amazing they are is to write down 3-5 things they are grateful for every morning.  Wake up and think about all that you have! It will totally change your whole day...I promise!
  3. Journal: This is an amazing way to find the voice within yourself. Writing helps you understand yourself better and helps to process all that we are thinking about every single day. I know certain days have more going on than others so writing it all down or typing it out in a document creates a space that you can open up. 
  4. Meditation: Something I have begun to absolutely love because there is nothing more important than being present. Especially when it comes to spending time with friends and loved ones. We all spend a ton of time on our phones trying to "connect" when we are in the presence of others, but the ironic thing is that we are already doing so when we spend time with people. Creating peace within you will help you connect more authentically.
  5. Stop comparing yourself: To anyone!!!! I mean it! You are doing enough. Please remember that whatever your goals are, is does not matter how long it takes for you to get there.  This is your life and you can be at whatever stage at whatever age you are. We are all beginners at one point or another. Figure out how to be yourself because authenticity is amazing! 

 

Life is short and you gotta do you!

I love myself every day as best I can!

 

Body Love ;)

Life is too short to not love your body!

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Sure there are days when my body just does not do what its supposed to and it definitely freaks me out...big time! As you all know, I have MS. I am in a constant fear that when something is wrong, it's related to that disease. And I feel like something is always wrong (I'm not a hypochondriac...trust me).  But, then I remember that I am human and having digestive issues is "normal" and that getting sick happens to the best of us.  I have to remember that this is just my body and I need to give it acceptance and love all at the same time while it's not being perfect.

There are so many reasons to love your body. So many reason to be thankful every single day that you are here and can do everything in your power to be happy.  What makes you different is soooo totally what makes you beautiful. ;) You have that control! It's up to you to make your life more than just about being sick or not the weight you'd like to be. 

Food is one of the best ways to show yourself some love...am I right? I mean, it's definitely the way to my heart! No doubt about that. The need to eat is the one thing every single person has in common. What you eat is the only thing you can actually control. I eat way more than people would think. I also exercise often because I know how much it benefits my body and makes me feel awesome! I do NOT exercise just so I can eat what I want. Everyday, I am very careful about what I consume. Having an autoimmune disease does not make me have free reign in the food department. Quite the opposite, actually. I am totally ok with having dietary restrictions. They don't bother me. I know they bother my friends and other people but (like I mentioned in my last post) it's not up to other people to make me feel my best day in and day out. Loving my body, my digestive system, my sleep patterns and my exercise routines has changed my life!

The standards of beauty that are out there are created by people that probably don't even look like that! And who cares if you have dimples on your thighs or rolls on your stomach when you sit down. You are made up of muscle and fat and we all have different proportions. It doesn't make you any more/less of a person if you have more/less than someone else. It just makes you YOU! So lets give yourself a break already and try smiling when you look in the mirror?! Think about the qualities you like about yourself and strive to be a better person. It'll make the world a way more fun place to be :)

5 ways to accept yourself and give your body love:

  1. Stop comparing yourself to others: If there's one thing you learn as you grow up it's that everyone has a different body for different reasons. We are all unique and we all have special qualities, shapes, sizes and amounts of cellulite. We have to accept our differences to love ourselves. One of the best ways to do this is also by deleting the instagram accounts that are not providing positive messages to you.

  2. You are not defined by your health issues: Having a sickness or health problems does not define you.  I am not my MS!!! It is just something I have to live with. I couldn't be more thankful this happened in the first place. It completely changed the way I treat and think of myself. One thing that helps is that if you look at someone who is sick, they don't always look sick. One in every two Americans have a chronic illness. Everyone is fighting something. #selflove ;)

  3. Be mindful: Self compassion--This is something I tell you guys all the time and it impacts so many areas of your life.  In regards to your body, pay attention to the areas that need more attention. Instead of cursing your gut for being constipated, why not try sending it some love and being nice to it. Maybe give it a massage in a clock wise position or ask me how to find relief naturally. It keeps you alive and is just doing it's job.

  4. Pay attention to you plate: Caring about what you put on your plate at every meal isn't for anyone but yourself. What you eat directly impacts how you feel physically every day. Each plate should consist of green veggies (fiber), protein, and raw fat (PFF). 

  5. Me time: Exercise is not always about losing weight. I do it to build muscle because I want to be able to do push ups and have strength as I get older. Finding some way to sweat that you enjoy becomes more of a hobby that you do for yourself. It's a time of the day that is "me time." Everyday, take some time for yourself to improve how you body functions and handles stress (running, strength training, yoga, meditation). You will start to look forward to feeling good!

 

It's hard. Life can be a challenge. Having health issues definitely sucks! But, we are in this together and you are not alone in the battle you are facing. I am interested in putting together a group program. Please reply yes if you are interested :)

 

In good health,

Marielle

 

Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System!

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We all get sick...well most of us do. I know people who never get sick and I am secretly envious of how well their bodies work. I tend to get mad at myself when I come down with a cold, but then I have to remember that I am doing everything I can to stay healthy everyday. It happens and because I know what to do when it does, I am better in a couple days rather than a couple weeks.

So, now that we are heading into colder months and staying indoors more (i.e. getting less of the sunshine vitamin (D) we need to be sure we are making our 'self care' of the utmost importance! If you have an autoimmune disorder, your immune system needs you to stay on top of your self care now more than ever. We are exposed to viruses and bacteria everyday that can be harmful. All of those things can weaken your immune system. Here are a few ways to protect our bodies and stay healthy when that happens.

5 easy ways to boost your immune system:

  1.  Sleep Well: This is one of the most important things you can do for your mind, body and immune system every single day. Sleep deprivation is stress you are adding to your body that it cannot control. Lack of sleep causes a loss of white blood cells which your immune system needs to fight inflammation and infection. Sleep influences every aspect of your day to how you feel, how well you are mentally focused and how to fight a flu virus. Make sure you get the necessary 7-10 hours. If you think you need more, take a nap, get it in. 

  2. Improve your diet: When I say diet, I don't mean restricting calories. I mean the foods you consume for health. Foods that you like to eat and that actually make you feel good! One of the most important things you can do is pay attention to how certain foods make you feel. Healthy foods help build your bodies defense team up! Steer clear of processed foods. If you don't know what is in it, neither will your body! Try to eat foods that are natural to the earth and not made in a lab.

  3. Take your vitamins: The reason they are called 'supplements' is exactly that; they supplement the nutrients we need from our foods. Today's produce does not have as many vitamins and minerals as they once did. If you are sick or have a chronic illness, your body needs vitamins more than ever! It's not getting what it needs from your daily lifestyle and eating habits. Just remember, that that is ok! We all need help in certain areas of our daily lives. Making sure your body is functioning at its best is highly important.                               
  4. Exercise: Find something you enjoy. Exercise should never be a form of punishment for eating poorly or a way to out run a bad diet (not even possible). If you like yoga try pilates or gyrotonics. If you like running, try doing endurance training. What I am saying is, try something that makes your body move. You never know what you'll end up enjoying and when you enjoy doing something thats beneficial for you, you'll see results faster!                Exercise is also an effective way to reduce inflammation. As an individual with MS, I work out because I love it and because I know it is a powerful anti-inflammatory version of medicine I can do for myself. Sweating is your bodies way of detoxing. Try finding a way to sweat everyday! Just remember, any workout that is longer than an hour can actually cause your body to become inflamed.                                                                                                   
  5. Being Mindful: This is an important factor for every single aspect of you life! One of the main reasons I teach my clients to meditate is to practice being present. In a world where we are way over stimulated with technology, we need to remind ourselves to pay attention to the moments of days that pass by. When was the last time you ate food without any distractions?! It's hard, trust me. Take a second and lift your eyes away from your phone. Pay attention to where you are and what's happening. Maybe try reading a book on your commute instead of looking at Instragram. Make a list or start a notebook of things you are grateful for. You'll be surprised at the amazing things you've got in your everyday life!

In love and health,

Marielle

 

 

 

5 Ways to Move Forward!

With the new year is upon us we all like to think ahead and get excited about planning what's next. Like taking a trip or maybe you're getting married. There are always big life events that make each year an event in and of itself. But what about the little things?! Like those goals that keep coming back every year and keep reminding us that we need to make this one particular change.

Every year, 81% of New Year's resolutions fail. How sad is that?!? 

I mean come on, we are all adults here (or I'd like to think we are). We can do this! We can put away the cookies and fit in a work out today. And most f-ing days for that matter. If it means enough to you, you'll make time for it. You know this to be so true so don't lie to yourself anymore!

Trust me that I am not where I thought I'd be going into 2017. I am in a better place but there are changes that I really want to stick this time around. I began looking in all of the areas of my life where I have not been succeeding. Why am I not leading the life that I want? I should be the epitome of wellness but I continue to let myself down. I have decided to take more responsibility for my overall well-being in this coming year. I am the only one who can make myself truly happy. But hey, I am not one to get offended if my friend slaps a cookie out of my hand because I'd do the same to her! Spend time with friends and loved ones that will be supportive of what you need. 

Trust yourself that you can make these changes once and for all!!!!

Here are 5 ways to reach your goals this coming year:

1) Think about what it is you truly want

Sit down with a pen and paper and consider what matters most to you present day. Set your intentions with the New Moon before the end of 2016. As the moon becomes full, your power of commitment grows as well.

2) Give yourself time

Stop thinking of a whole calendar year as the timeline for your goals. When you think of each task you've completed in your life, it didn't all happen within 365 days. Give yourself appropriate time frames. I suggest starting with monthly goals. It takes 21 days to change a habit so 30 days is enough time to commit to any change.

*Consider doing Whole30 with me!!! =)

3) Be confident!

Believe in yourself first of all! Be honest about your limitations and be open to the unexpected. Things are never what they seem at first. You will most likely surprise yourself in the end! ;)

4) See it!

Make a vision board! Put together ideas and things you see happening for yourself. Look at it everyday. See mine on instagram. It changes from time to time but it's a constant reminder that I believe in my work and the love I have for my life.

5) Manifest it!

Write it all down. Re-write it and read it when you feel like inspiring yourself. Remember why you wanted this thing so badly in the first place. 

With love and health,

Marielle

 

Taking care of yourself isn't selfish...

How often do you take time out of the day for yourself? If the answer isn't everyday, we need to talk. You're the most important person in your own life. Your health matters most, even if it doesn't always seem like that. I know the holidays are madness and your presence is required at more than one event, but remember that your health is still the most important thing. This is the perfect time of year to start fitting in time for you. Whether it's going to a yoga class or just staying up on meal prep, it's important to keep your motivation grounded and focused on yourself!

Wellness is a way of life that is based on being balanced, healthy and fulfilled in your everyday life. What daily activities do you do just for your mind and body?  . 

Everyday I have a list of things I do just for me to keep me healthy and happy all the time! It changes but these are the most important things for my wellness lifestyle. You may have you own ideas of what works for you. 

My 'wellness' list includes:  

  1. eating right
  2. working out
  3. getting enough sleep
  4. meditating

My task for you in the next coming weeks is to start making lists. Prioritize what you want to get done and tackle one major thing a day. Figure out what is the best way to get a workout in or start reading that book you keep saying you're going to finish. Make sure you enjoy whatever task you set your mind to. Be yourself in everything you do and it will come naturally. 

Planning ahead is the best way to get anything accomplished! 

Starting to think about resolutions for the coming year?! I know I am!!! Winter solstice is the perfect time to set the ground work for next year's goals that I know you are going to crush! Look out for a post coming soon about that =)

Let me know if you need help because making lists and staying organized are my favs! 

*hint... I use apps to get this stuff done and I put it all in a folder on my phone labeled "everyday" 

How do you stay organized and make sure you take time for yourself on a daily basis? Let me know what is your favorite way that helps you lead a healthier lifestyle. Reply to this email and tell me!

With love and health,

Marielle

5 Ways to Indulge Without Feeling Guilty!

Yes, you read that right!

When it comes to restricting yourself, it sucks to think about it. Trust me! I know we have all been there. Restricting yourself is not easy nor is it fun. During the holidays, I give you permission to eat what you want (as long as you don't have food sensitivity/allergy or are doing an elimination diet like I am (yay me!)). You're going to be surrounded by cookies, pies and cocktails and all in social settings. If you're anything like me, you have this plan about what you're going to avoid and what you'll stick to at parties. But, it all goes out the window and you tell yourself, you'll start once the holidays are over (New Year's resolutions here I come!).

But, here is a little secret, the weight gain in the winter isn't just from the few parties you indulged at but from the rest of the year living in an environment where food is available all day/every day. Please don't feel bad. We all do it. It's very easy to get off track.

It doesn't help that the holidays provide stress from all angles. You have to live by an 80/20 rule when it comes to eating. So 80% of the time you stick to what you know is good and healthy for you and 20% of the time you indulge and treat yourself. Diversity is key when it comes to food and health so try something new and keep the selection changing. Seasons have a wonderful way of showing you what your body needs at that time of the year. 

Now if your scale tips in another directions during the holidays, don't fret! You're human and enjoying yourself is literally the reason we are all here. Be happy. Don't get mad at yourself for eating too many cookies. If you have negative emotions when eating a certain food, its going to cause stress on your body. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/diet-weight-loss/emotional-eating.htm

5 ways to indulge without feeling guilty:

1) Eat the cookie. Just do it. You'll feel better. Yes, it's sugar and tasty and good. Just don't eat the whole platter. 

2) Make sure you're eating real/full meals every 3-5 hours. Stay satiated so you don't fill up on just stuffing and pie.

3) Eat an apple before going to that party. It will help you from reaching for the treats right when you get there.

4) Don't drink on an empty stomach. It's like sugar overload and you're body will respond better if you've eaten something beforehand.

5) Plan your detox ahead of time. Prep your kitchen with the healthy foods you need to feel better the next day and have cooked food handy in case you're hungover and can't go outside. 

*Being prepared is the best way to be successful when it comes to sticking with an eating plan.

Please let me know if you'd like to learn more about why I am doing an elimination diet during the holidays.

Digest your emotions with a plan for the new year by working with me =)

In love and health, 

Marielle xoxo

 

 

If you didn't go to the doctor, nothing would be wrong with you...

So, I wanted to give a you all a little background on myself in case you did't know how I got into the wellness industry.  We all have our own health issues, but I wanted you to better understand why I do what I do. 

When I was a kid, my mother cooked about 90% of our meals. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen and she was amazing at whipping things up from whatever ingredients she had on hand. I spent most of my time hungry though. Quite funny when you think about how kids these days are able to eat whatever, whenever. I'm the youngest of six (6) kids. We ate when she cooked. We were very active children and I don't remember not being outside running around. I have the scars on my legs to prove it! Breakfast was cereal of some sort which always left me hungry as soon as I got to school. And what child can wait until lunch without getting hungry?! This all led me to eating even more sugar once I got to school. I spent much of my teens and into college craving sugar like it was nothing. I didn't gain weight that easily and I had no idea about what was considered a 'healthy' meal anymore.

Living on my own in college had me eating whatever made me full until the next meal since I hated being hungry so much. Tons of bread and soda and cookies.  Needless to say, I was not well often and I had cold sores all the time from my weakened immune system.

Fast foward to graduating college in December of 2007, I had gotten my first job in the art world (I was an Art History major) and was so excited to move back to Southampton (where my mom was living again).  I had the least amount of stress I think I ever had since I could remember. Then towards the end of January, me eyes started twitching. Everyone, and I mean everyone, said it was just stress...if you clench your jaw often and hard enough you can effect the nerves in the eyes and cause twitching since 50% of your nerves go through your jaw. 

After 5 days, I decided to take myself to the emergency room after work. They had me see a neurologist the next day and I had a MRI a few days later. More and more tests, including a spinal tap, I was then diagnosed with MS. I literally had never heard of it before. I had no idea what that meant. I was beyond devastated. Being 23 with such a drastic and scary disease was traumatizing. 

Luckily I had my siblings, who were endlessly supportive of me and what I was going through. But, no one will ever know how you really feel. Sympathy is sometimes something you don't want to receive from someone. This was a lonely battle and still is to this day. Someone very close to me said "ya know, if you didn't go to the doctor, nothing would be wrong with you." That crushed me. 

I decided to listen to my doctor and take the medication. Which only made me resent having the disease in the first place. I didn't change my eating habits or my lifestyle because I thought 'well if this is just gonna be how it is then who cares'. I was at the point where fear made most of my decisions for me.

A few years passed and what I thought was another attack after falling during a skiing trip was actually just a concussion, but my new neurologist put me on a different drug (mind you, these are all injections you do yourself). They all make you feel like shit since they are chemicals. I totally get why some people need medication, I absolutely support it if it's the only option. I also decided to start studying nutrition at IIN and become a Holistic Health Coach.  Learning how to heal your body through food was something I knew I needed to try. I then saw a Kinesiologist who helped me balance my immune system and get off drugs. I have been off drugs for over four (4) years now! 

Don't get me wrong here, I am scared as shit to not have every possible weapon against this disease. I just know in my gut (where 70% of the immune system lives) that drugs are not for me. I have healed myself and continue to work on managing my health on a daily basis. There is literally not a minute that goes by that I don't think about how something is going to help/heal me. It may seem neurotic but it's not worrying so much as caring about myself.

I feel like in this day and age with all of the knowledge we have, I want to educate people how to take care of themselves from the inside out! To not live in fear! To know that making changes are sometimes the best things that they can do for their health and it's not as scary as you think.

That is where I stand today. I am here to educate you with the intention that you'll care more about your health issues and actually feel better after working with me.

Love yourself <3

xoxo,

Marielle

 

 

Are you listening?

Do you listen? Like, really listen? I mean to yourself, your thoughts and what your body is telling you? Do you take the time to let you body heal and care for it?

Every time I take a yoga class at the studio by my apartment, the instructor asks of to set an intention for the class. Something that's meaningful to ourselves. Lately, I've been actively listening to what my body is telling me more and more. So the other day, I chose my intention to be to listen more to myself and what my body needs from me.  The signs and symptoms I experience on a daily basis for what may be off or even right. 

Personally, I do feel as though I have more issues than most. Surprisingly, they don't really have anything to do with my MS. My body just likes to have an issue on a regular basis. From digestive distress (something I am working on harder than ever) to cold sores to UTI's. Can it just let up already? I'm getting kind of sick of being sick!

But, on a daily basis, I make sure I listen. I listen to the fact that my body needs rest, good/healthy fuel, exercise, brain stimulation and meditation. And ya know what, I am so thankful I can understand what she's saying to me. I'm thankful I pay attention and show my self love and appreciation and respect.

I am grateful for the body I have no matter what is wrong with her every day. <3

With Thanksgiving rolling around the corner, I have been thinking about this more and more. I feel as though people take their health for granted more times than not. They think their bodies are super heroes that are just going to magically heal themselves. While the human body is a miracle in and of itself, WE are meant to pay attention to its ailments and figure out a way to take care of it.

So I have an exercise for you to do. Don't worry, this one if not going to require any sweating!  One for your mind that will effect your body in a positive way. Each morning you wake up, list 3 things that you are grateful for. It can be anything you want. Just make sure that every morning, you make it 3 different things so you will start to realize how amazing you are! Say these things out loud, in a journal, or share them via text. 

This will help you for when it Thanksgiving comes, you'll show yourself so much love it won't know what to do! You can send a comment below with the list as well. I'd be thrilled to read what you have to say!

Sending my love,

Marielle