Sharing healthy happiness 

I’m sharing this post from my new (old, but new to me) bedroom in my new place. Finally, I’m feeling settled. This past weekend I finished the room I will use as a home office. This room is where I will write more. That’s the plan anyway!

I started the Arbonne 28-day clean eating challenge again on Monday. No wine for me ;) Looking forward to getting more on track. Goodness knows I need the energy!

I’m feeling inspired tonight after my monthly Discover Arbonne meeting with my team and fellow health trail blazers. I enjoyed the opening discussion so very much from a breast cancer survivor. She jokingly said she might have given herself cancer because of all the chemically filled products she used all her life – a former product whore, she called herself. After she survived cancer and cancer treatments, she was talking to her oncologist about how to feel more energetic. After all, what good was beating cancer if she felt bad all the time? Her doctor, I proudly write, recommended Arbonne. Now, she’s using pure, safe & beneficial products and helping other people. Soon, she is hosting an event and all her proceeds from Arbonne sales will go to this fund that helps women get to the bigger city so they can undergo their needed cancer treatments. Women who otherwise might not have the means.

I love being surrounded by amazing people. We’re being authentic together, lifting each other up and helping others feel and look good.

I’ve always felt I was meant for something greater in life. Something by which to express myself, my passions, my dreams without getting shutout or put down. This, my friends, is it.

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Hello, 2015!

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This year started off sprint speed for me. After coming back to work from the holiday break, a co-worker who’s been at the magazine as long as I have announced she’s moving to Florida for her husband’s work. I’m moving out of my grandparents’ home – the home that’s been in our family for more than 60 years. I moved in four and a half years ago after my divorce. It’s well over time to let go and sell the house. I’m in the midst of publishing two books with my small publishing company, and I just had my best month yet with my Arbonne business!

Whew. I’m tired but feeling more alive than ever! I’ve declared this year the Year of Change. It’s also been a remarkable year so far for personal growth. I’m practicing writing down affirmations and goals. It’s amazing the difference writing things down can make. My goals came true. And I actually exceeded one goal. Put them down on an index card, tape them around your house and watch the magic unfold.

At our Arbonne monthly team meeting this week there was lots of celebrating and recognition going on. I love being around this culture of honoring each other’s successes. A fellow consultant and district manager closed the meeting with kind words for everyone and how each motivates her. In pointing out how we each bring something different to the table with our unique talents, she specifically mentioned me and how my writing inspires her. Sometimes I write on this thing and wonder if anyone pays attention. My heart lit up when she told me that. “To change the world, start with one step” … or maybe in my case, one blog.

This weekend is moving weekend. I look forward to writing more once the dust settles. In the meantime, cheers to doing whatever makes you thrive!

A doable detox for a new you

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This 28-day challenge changed my life forever. Lots of people say, “Oh, I can’t give up that for 28 days.” Sure they can. It’s just 28 days. Twenty-eight days in all the days of your life. I learned what foods work for me, what foods I’m better off if I avoid, and best of all, I gained confidence in the kitchen – a confidence I used to only dream about.

Bootcamps are happening now. There’s no starvation or deprivation. Just delicious recipes, support and accountability as you discover a new way of looking at food and you. :)

Happy, healthy holiday feast

Who didn’t feel miserable and bloated after eating a bountiful, delicious Thanksgiving dinner? This girl!

As my mom and I prepared the menu for this year’s feast, I suggested we prepare a primarily “clean” Thanksgiving meal for the family. She knows how important my clean-eating journey has been this year and happily agreed to change things up a bit. And I’m here to tell you I did not, nor did my family, feel one bit deprived. My pecan-pie loving uncle even approved! (For the record, we did provide a good ol’ pecan pie for him.)
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The menu:
Free-range turkey
Green beans (flavored with clean seasonings and olive oil)
Quinoa/kale salad with pomegranate seeds on top
Roasted fall vegetables (sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips with salt, pepper, garlic powder & minced onion) *soak in olive oil and seasoning the night before … delish!
Golden roasted Brussel sprouts
And some good old-fashioned mashed potatoes (hey, remember I said “primarily clean” ;))

And THIS …
Clean no-bake pumpkin pie with coconut milk whipped cream
IMG_7644We got the recipe here (sans chocolate sauce). It was so good! The recipe calls for a banana, which I really liked – a perfect complement to the pumpkin taste. The whipped cream was so easy to prepare! Put the can of coconut milk in the fridge over night, and when you’re ready to whip it up, scoop out the hard layer on top (save the liquid part for smoothies!). Place in mixing bowl, add some vanilla and cinnamon and blend. I actually enjoyed it better than regular whipped cream.

See how easy and delicious eating clean can be?!

Cheers to healthy & happy living!

 

Happy (Healthy!) holidays

One of the most important things I’ve learned since I took the plunge and cleaned up my diet back in April is you don’t have to deprive yourself and can still enjoy great-tasting, satisfying food. When you hear the word “diet” you might think restriction, bland, constraint or any other word that might go along with a boring diet.

As I discovered recipes that are as tasty as they are nutritious, I realized a new way of approaching food. Rather than trying to outrun my diet, I familiarized myself with foods that fueled my body the best. It’s so true that the majority of our fitness is based on our diet and not exercise.

The holidays are here, and of course, that includes our favorite holiday treats! My mom and I have gathered some healthy holiday recipes to have as an alternative or addition to your regular holiday fare – all to set you up if you want to join in on one of the 28-day clean-eating challenges starting in January!

Get Healthy

Joyful health

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I’m sore. Really sore. But it’s the good kind of sore – is what I hear. I’m happy to be back on a more regular basis at one of my favorite workout spots, ZenStudio. Barre, spin and tabata are my favorite classes they offer. And I have my yoga. Nothing beats yoga at Barefoot Studio. Reflecting on this year, I’m thankful for my more consistent willpower to care about my health, both inside and out. Self high-five for finally being brave enough to try headstand without support from the wall. I’m seeing handstand in next year’s landscape. Yay!

In April, I made a commitment to care more about what I put in my body for fuel. I was feeling tired a lot, irregular and unhappy. It’s amazing what a difference a meal makes. The simple act of cleaning up my diet has made me a happier person. I’m continually learning about bodily functions and how food might affect those functions. During this journey, I’ve learned that emotions are largely influenced by our gut health. It didn’t take me long to realize peaceful gut = happy Jillian :) I encourage you to read this article about how our gut is our body’s second brain. It all makes so much sense to me now.

I have a dream to further my nutrition knowledge and become more credentialed. Hence, the above photo. On a recent trip to Chicago (thanks, Kari!), I was walking along Michigan Avenue and came across this neat city project. There was a set of box structures for the public to write in chalk what they envision in the world.

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I’m putting it out there that 2015 will get me closer to this goal to inspire and inform more people. In the meantime, I’ll continue sharing my knowledge and products through the company that aligns with my nutrition and personal care needs – Arbonne.

I can’t believe the holidays are just around the corner! Where does the time go? That saying reminds me of one of my favorite songs – “Where does the time go” by moe.

Cheers to good workouts, good food, music and all the things that make each of us feel joy.

‘My fear is my only courage’ – bob marley

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I recently heard one of the most inspiring speeches I’ve ever heard. This inspiration has fueled me even more to follow my dreams. Sounds trite, you might be thinking. But I challenge all of us to examine whether we’re really doing something we love. When we finally decide it’s OK to do what drives us, what makes us feel alive, we’re true to ourselves and are who we’re really meant to be. No mask. No facade. No compromising to please someone else.

We have to unbecome what we aren’t and remove the facades and compromises to become our authentic selves. This art of unbecoming may be uncomfortable, scary and spark all sorts of emotions, from happy to sad. When we believe our dreams, rather than doubting them or running scared from them, we become free in our own skin. There’s a freedom in our soul that energizes our being so we can do more, be more and give more. The destination will be there. If you want it badly enough, you can count on that end result ready to greet you. It’s the process, the journey, that counts. That journey isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The hiccups we face only make us stronger. We have the power to reach the top of the mountain. And just think: The top of any mountain is the bottom of another.

Keep reaching.

Cheers!

Join me: Be an informed consumer

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This image makes me giggle. For various reasons. First, I’m looking forward to a Halloween-themed event I’m hosting with my mom this weekend. I also laugh because when some people hear about a new endeavor I’ve taken on, they say, “You got a master’s degree and now you’re selling lipstick?” Technically, yes, I have the ability to sell lipstick. But it’s so much more than that. I can supply you with all the beauty products you might need or want, but I’m also building a foundation for myself, building new relationships, boosting my confidence and uplifting others.

Why did I choose Arbonne? It’s the perfect marriage between botanicals and science. A Scientific Advisory Board comprised of leading professionals in science, medicine, health, wellness & nutrition help develop, implement and assess the products and the informational content on each item. Products are made without animal by-products, mineral oil, petrolatum, parabens and other potentially harmful chemicals. That fact is very important to me these days as I’m focused on reducing my exposure to unnecessary chemicals every day.

Another reason that photo resonates with me is I’ve realized our beauty industry has spent millions (thanks to our hard-earned money) to advertise and over sell us products – filled with all of those items mentioned above – that may not really benefit our skin, and in turn, our bodies. I’m on a mission to help others streamline their personal care products. We all have drawers full of makeup, lotions, potions and creams that don’t serve us – they’re piled up in those drawers for a reason!

I’m offering an opportunity to “bury” those items and start fresh. I respect your choice to use any product you choose. I just encourage all of us to be informed consumers and know what we’re putting on and in our bodies and not simply trust the celebrity who got paid a lot of money to sell us that lipstick.

Note to self: I give you permission.

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A segment on entrepreneurship happened to be on the air today while I was driving along. This part hit me … the “crazy” doesn’t begin with the idea. It begins after you give yourself permission to follow your dreams and in the midst of the doing part. The biggest hurdle we all face is that mass between our ears – our head and the debilitating thoughts that stop us in our tracks. The timing of this radio interview couldn’t have come at a better time. The same theme was touched on during a meeting I attended this week.

“Give yourself permission.” I love that statement. So many of us grow up with the idea that it’s best to follow the status quo. We don’t know any differently. Go to college, get a good job, save what you can, retire. I followed that path, and I as a full-time writer, I enjoy what I do. Living paycheck to paycheck, though, I needed a change. And I realized I couldn’t wait for that raise or “perfect” job that would offer me more money. I had to make it happen. I’m giving myself permission to acknowledge what’s been brewing inside for a long time – my passion for health & wellness and the desire to share it with others. I realized this opportunity is the vehicle that will allow me to pursue other dreams, such as the publishing company that I licensed two years ago.

The other night I met with my Arbonne team in the comfort of one of our Regional Vice President’s home. I became an independent consultant in April to share the pure, safe and beneficial products. Friends and family were asking me about the nutritional supplements I had been using on the clean-eating challenge, so I figured I might as well sign up and be compensated for my recommendations and enjoy a healthy discount. The business plan looked intriguing, but my fears set in. “Oh, that’s good for other people. Sure, she did it, but I don’t think it’s for me. What will people think of me? What if it doesn’t work? I don’t like selling things. I don’t like standing in front of people.”

I still face those fears daily, but my belief in what I’m doing and sharing keeps me going. After signing up in April, I simply kept talking about my favorite products or would recommend something relative to casual conversation. I’ve been honest. I’ve been real. And guess what? I just promoted to the next level – District Manager! I was recognized at the meeting and also asked to give my “Why”.

IMG_7109The five ladies pictured with me above have inspired and supported my journey soooo very much in their special ways. I’m so grateful for their friendships and belief in me. My mom (camera-shy mom) is my biggest cheerleader. She wants this venture for me so badly and does whatever she can to help.

As I reflect on the past four years since my divorce (which left me with a lot of debt to take on), I realize I had been missing four major needs: choice, freedom, connection and flow. All four of those things are back in my life since discovering Arbonne. I feel and look better. I have more confidence. I’m learning new things every day about myself and the world of health & wellness. I’ve made new friends and work with women who support me. We believe in each other and praise each others’ successes. My life is flowing more naturally, and I’m feeling more grounded in all facets because I’m sharing my light with others. Fear of rejection used to have a leading role in my life. I have faced rejection a lot over the past six months. But  the “yeses” and connections with people who I never dreamed would see the value in what I’ve taken on far outweigh those rejections.

I have no idea where the journey is leading. But, as I know to be true in yoga, the unknown is a beautiful thing. Each time you step on the mat, you never know what you’ll learn, see and experience. As long as I continue fueling my health & wellness interest, I can’t go wrong. Same goes for you. Thoughts and over-thinking are what kill our dreams. Do what you love and I believe your individual life’s journey will present itself just how it’s meant to be.